Waterwitch

Fiction detailing the ongoing events on the Homeline and numerous parallel Worldlines.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:19 pm

Edgar King suddenly rushed out of the darkness into the relatively bright brig with a guttural roar and his machete raised high. Clough was the nearest man. He had been talking to Laurance with his back to the passageway. The roar made him jump, his body tensing up and he ducked away from the approaching sound.
Laurance reacted slowly too and before he could get his pistol out of his belt King was almost on top of him.
Instinctively Laurance backed away his hands raising in surrender.

Burrows and Shmitty were both quicker off the mark, getting their rifles to aim roughly in King's direction. King reached out with one meaty paw and dragged Clough in front of him like a shield, but his men were already rushing past him, their own rifles aimed, with yells for Wade's men to drop their weapons. Laurance reacted by thrusting his hands higher and Burrows backed into the bars of the cell holding his Lee-Enfield out to one side. Shmitty gripped his weapon like it was a life line, his eyes seeking out each man for an opening.
"Go on Shmitty," King said in his deep booming voice. "Give me one damned ex..."
His words were cut off by the thunderous, deafening retort of a rifle and King staggered forward, the wicked machete wavering.
After a few paces the black man dropped to his knees, the blade clattering noisily to the ground, then he fell forward, managing to get one arm forward to support him momentarily before he finally lay on the cold steel deck.
"Drop the guns," Jim Muldridge's voice said from the far end of the passage, his own rifle pointed at King's stunned companions.

They surrendered their weapons.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:19 pm

Suddenly there was another figure in the doorway, he was suited like a toff and carried a very un-toff-like knife in one hand.
Brewer reacted quickly, his rifle changing position to aim at the already moving man. He was quick but this other man was quicker.

Lord Reynolds rushed into his brother’s cabin, his free hand knocking the barrel of Brewer’s Lee Enfield to one side and the knife describing an arc through the air with the aim of slashing across the nasty little man’s face. He needed to incapacitated Brewer so that he could deal with the other man in here. Brewer was either very quick in his reactions or blessed by some remote god of weasely little people, Reynolds thought, as his blade passed several inches short of its target.

Brown had been stunned by the sudden events, especially as a fountain of blood from Lipton’s lacerated throat had sprayed up his front and over his face. But now he saw the glint of the knife in their attackers hand and his own self-preservation instinct kicked in.
Raising his rifle he meant to shoot the man but a dull thunk on the stock of his weapon which was followed instantly by something that felt like someone had hit it with a hammer. His shot was forced well wide of the mark.

Reynolds grabbed the barrel of Brewer’s rifle and yanked hard at the same time he brought his knee up into the man’s groin. It had a satisfying meaty feel and Brewer instantly crumpled.
Looking down at his opponent, Reynolds was mildly surprised it had worked buthis attention was quickly drawn to the other man.
Brown had recovered from the mysterious blow to his weapon and was looking wide-eyed out of the doorway.

Reynolds seized the moment and crossed the room rapidly. The movement caught Brown’s eye and he reacted by bringing his rifle up to block the attack.
This was not Davie Brown’s first fight and it showed. He deftly parried the rifle aside, Reynolds had hold of the barrel and was now using it like a club, and Brown countered, wielding his own rifle like a quarterstaff.
Any normal man would have had his teeth knocked out as the butt of Brown’s Lee Enfield smashed into their face, but Reynolds was quick on his feet and he leaned backwards just in time to avoid the blow.
Brown considered himself lucky as the miss had left his right side exposed but the Baron’s deft dodge had put him off balance and unable to cash in on the advantage. That was when the blow came, hammering into his kidney and threatening to buckle his legs.
Something Davie Brown could not have known was that Lord Sebastian Reynolds was never off-balance.

Brown staggered away from Reynolds, experienced enough to know to keep his guard up.
Reynolds used the space to spin his rifle around and point the business end at Brown.

A shrill voice called out, “Uncle Seb, look out!”
Reynolds turned to look in the voice’s direction and from the corner of his eye saw movement behind him, down low.
He dodged forward, annoyed that he had forgotten about Brewer, but he was not quick enough to avoid the bite of the blade he had thrust at him. It cut deep into his thigh.

Reynolds grunted in pain and staggered, pulling away and glaring at Brewer. He could feel blood soaking his trouser leg.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Jim Mudridge cautiously approached the inert form of Edgar King and prodded him with the barrel of his rifle soliciting a groan from the big black man.
Muldridge gave an appreciative huff upon seeing that the engineer was still alive. He didn’t dislike the man, in fact he knew how good an engineer he was and how valuable such a man would be to a ship like this. He thought it a pity that he might die.
Ordering the other ‘bilge-rats’ to drag King into the cell – carefully – he closed and re-locked the door.

Gecko stepped up, his nose pressed against the bars almost. “I’ll see you swing for this James, that’s a promise,” he snarled.
Muldridge shrugged. “Guess I’ll have to make sure you’re a gonner before you get out of that cell then, hey, Mister Gecko,” he smiled falsely at the vessel’s executive officer.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:21 pm

Reynolds avoided the temptation to examine his wound and instead concentrated on his opponents.
Jabbing backwards with his purloined rifle he slammed the butt down at Brewer who managed to lean away and take the blow to his thigh rather than his head as Reynolds had intended. He still yelped like a girl.

Brown took the opportunity to rush Reynolds but once more the Peer dodged away, this time hobbling slightly.
He shoved brown sideways sending the man sprawling over the back of the settee.

“Enough of this!” came a shrill order from the doorway. Paige Holt was there, in the doorway, her hands steadily holding the evil looking pistol that Reynolds had given her. The weapon was pointed at Brown and then at Brewer and back to Brown again.
“Don’t bother picking that rifle up,! She told Brown.

Davie Brown sneered but refrained from reaching for his weapon. Instead he raised his hands in surrender.

The captain’s daughter regarded Reynolds briefly. “You ok?” she asked.

“I’ll live,” Reynolds replied with a slight shrug of his shoulders. He glanced down at the man who had stood in the open doorway and was glad the lighting was so dim. He wouldn’t want the children to see what Uncle Seb had done.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:13 pm

Blood pounded through Jonah Brewer’s ears, deafening him to all other sounds. His heart hammered in his chest.
Face to face, punching, slashing, mauling combat was not something Brewer liked to get involved with, not unless he was guaranteed to win.
But he had just witnessed a man’s throat opened, right in front of him and had then fought with the assailant. He felt that he had handled the situation well… he was still alive, and was pleased with himself. He’d even managed to stick the toff and he grinned inanely at the darkening stain upon the peers suit trousers.
The blood, the rush, meant that Brewer didn’t hear Reynolds telling him to help Brown drag the body out of the cabin.

Paige Holt smacked him across the head, the grip of the pistol connecting with a loud thud on Brewer’s skull.
Brewer stooped forward and shot his gaze up towards his assailant, absolute hatred and contempt pouring from every pore.

“I said,” Paige snarled, “help get this body out of here, NOW!” she yelled the last word and Brewer flinched and shuffled along to stand beside Brown who held one of the dead man’s legs.
Sneering at Paige, Brewer grabbed the corpse’s other leg and shuffled backwards out through the doorway escorted by the ever watchful barrel of that wicked looking gun.
Never one to miss an opportunity to save his own skin at someone else’s expense, Brewer waited for Brown to step over the body and back into the cabin before he stepped in behind him and shoved hard. Brown staggered forward into the captain’s daughter.
Instantly Brewer sprinted off towards the end of the passageway.

Paige let out a little scream as Brown stumbled into her.
Wade’s man at first tried to back away but then he saw an advantage and made a grab for Paige’s weapon.
She resisted, catching in the ear with her elbow as he arms flailed about.
Snarling and angry, Brown lashed out, striking Piage a thunderous blow to her cheek.
She crumbled.
Brown plucked the gun from her hand as she fell. “Bitch!” he cursed.
“Hey!” said a calm voice off to his side.
Brown turned to see the side of a rifle butt swinging in at his head.
Reynolds had swung the thing like a baseball bat, all his might powering the wooden stocked weapon in a lethal arc.
Brown was plucked off his feet as the blow hit home.
The wooden butt splintered with the force of the impact and was the last thing Davie Brown ever saw.

Ignoring the twitching body, Reynolds knelt and took Paige Holt’s head in his hands so that he could look into her eyes.
“Are you hurt badly?” he asked softly.
After a moment her eyes focussed on him and he felt her shake her head, no.
“Sorry, Lord Reynolds” she apologised, “I let Brewer get away.
“Don’t worry, Mr Brewer cannot go very far. None of them can,” Reynolds said with a fire in his eyes that made Paige shiver.

“Oh and…,” he added as he stood and tucked the deadly pistol into his belt, “…call me Jimmy.”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:16 pm

A deep groan of pain from Edgar King drew everyone’s attention, both inside and outside the cell.
First Officer Grecko’s jaw clenched in anger and he turned his gaze immediately upon Jim Muldridge.
Muldridge caught the glare but wasn’t quick enough to prevent the man seeing the guilty expression upon his own face.
“What?” Muldridge hissed defensively.
“What indeed?” Captain Holt said, an edge to his voice but his anger held in check.
Muldridge frowned questioningly at Holt.
“What are you going to do Mr Muldridge? Are you going to let Mr King bleed a slow agonising death, right here in front of our eyes?”
Muldridge locked eyes with Holt for a while before finally turning his gaze towards Shmitty. “Go get the doc.”
“Vot?” the German asked astonished.
“Now Hartfield’s dead he’s the best engineer on board,” Muldridge replied.
It wasn’t enough for Shmitty but a glare from Muldridge made the German huff and stomp petulantly down the darkened corridor.
“Thank you Mr Muldridge,” Holt said.
This time Muldridge couldn’t look the captain in the eye.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:17 pm

Jonah Brewer sprinted through the passageways of the Waterwitch as though the devil himself were snapping at his heels. And having witnessed Reynolds in action, Brewer wasn’t so sure he was that wrong in the description.
He reached the ladder up to the bridge deck and took it in such a rush that he lost his footing and scraped his shin heavily on one of the rungs.
Cursing loudly he moved on, then yelped as he came face to face with the muzzle of a rifle.
“Bloody hell, Brewer, you prick!” Bill Guthry cursed as he lowered his weapon. “Announce yersel’ next time or I might shoot first an’ ask later! Anyhow, what are you doin’ here?”
Brewer was shaking with adrenaline, his breaths coming in great heaving gasps. He tried to speak but couldn’t get the words out.
“Come on Brewer, you gimp! Spit it out man!” Guthry impatiently gruffed, his face showing a more than a hint of disgust and annoyance.
Eventually brewer managed to get his breathing under some sort of control. “I have to tell… Mr Wade… what’s happened,” he gasped.
Guthry shrugged. “Tell me,” he offered.
“No, I need to speak to Mr Wade.” Brewer made to pass Guthry but the man barred his way with the rifle so Brewer stopped. “Let me by, Willaim,” he said injecting as much authority into his voice as he could muster.
“Ooo,” cooed Guthry. “Listen to you getting’ all demandin’,” he added in a mocking tone.
Then Guthry leaned in closer to Brewer and in a low, dangerous voice said, “Don’t you be givin’ me orders, Jonah!”
Brewer heard all kinds of threats in just those few words. Swallowing hard he called out, “Mr Wade?” Loud enough for anyone on the bridge to hear.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:21 pm

Nestor Wade appeared at the doorway looking to Brewer as though he had aged a decade. His eyes, although maintaining their usual malevolence, were ringed with dark shadows.
“You’d better have a damn good reason for being here, Brewer. When I give you an order to be somewhere, you damn-well be there! I’m not going to run this boat soft like Holt did, I expect complete obedience from my crew, you got it?”
Wade had barked the words at Brewer, the weasel y little man flinching with every one. His mind went blank and his mouth dry, his tongue sticking to the top of his mouth. “Sorry, Mr Wade,” he croaked.
“Sorry?” Wade fumed. “We’re trying to take this boat, Brewer! We can’t rightly do that with you wandering around and not being where you’re meant to be, now can we?”
His accusing eyes bore into Brewer’s soul and the younger man knew that Wade was looking to lash out at someone, probably anyone.
“But…” Brewer said.
“Bloody hell, Jonah! Don’t ‘but’ me! I want you lookin’ after the toff’s family and if you see that bastard Reynolds, you sit tight and send Davie along to fetch me.”
“I can’t!” Brewer almost wailed the words like they pained him to say.
Rage threatened to consume Wade and he closed the gap between them I almost a single bound. He grabbed Brewer by the collars of his grubby white shirt and slammed him into the bulkhead.
“Don’t you go tellin’ me you can’t do as I ask, Brewer. We got men out there who are fighting for us. They might even be dyin’ for us, so by god you’ll do as I say.”
Jonah’s chin and bottom lip started quivering and wade was about to give the man a whack for being so pitiful but a sudden change in Brewer’s expression, one of abject defiance, stayed his hand.
Uncharacteristically Brewer shoved hard at Wade’s chest, pushing the man backwards.
“Davie’s dead, Nestor. He’s dead!”
Wade blinked in surprise and stood in silence for a moment, running his fingers through his hair nervously.
He took a deep breath to calm himself.
“ alright, Jonah,” he said, his voice calm but still carrying a hidden threat to never do that again.
“Come in here and tell me what happened.”
Wade led Brewer onto a very dark bridge.
Brewer noticed that none of the equipment was powered up, not even the orange-red bulbs that showed there to be power available were lit.
He assumed correctly that the engine room had cut the circuit. There were a few ether-gas lanterns dotted around illuminating the bridge just enough to navigate, and were casting deep shadows acoss most of the compartment.
“Speak,” Wade ordered once he had settled into Holt’s old chair.
“Well,” Brewer started nervously, “It was him!” he added, blurting out the words in a shriek.
Wade didn’t need to ask who. He could see the fear on Brewers face, could see that Brewer was looking to him for protection, could tell by the way Brewer almost hissed the word ‘him’ tht he meant ‘your nemesis’. He knew it had been Reynolds. Not the prisoner, the younger brother, but His Haughtyness himself, Lord Toffee-Nosed Bastard.
“Tell me what happened,” Wade said and cold and deadly edge to his voice.
So Brewer explained. He told Wade about Lipton’s arrival, about the blood, the ferocious attack by Reynolds. How he murdered Gerald Lipton, took down Brown, how Paige Holt was with him. He told Wade how he had sliced Reynolds’ leg with his knife and grinned like a schoolboy because Wade liked that bit.
Wade sat perched on the edge of the captain’s chair. Even after Brewer had finished talking he remained there, his face one of brooding anger, but the silence made Brewer self-conscious.
The younger man ran his fingers through dark, lank hair, nervously waiting for some sort of reaction from Wade.

Wade knew that Brewer was hanging onto his every movement and let him stew for a few minutes longer. He was angry, not at Brewer any more, he knew just what sort of man Brewer was, just how weak he could be both physically, and mentally. And he knew that Brewer could never hope to stand up against him, or someone like Reynolds either.
He wasn’t even angry at Reynolds for killing Lipton and Brown because that would have meant that he would have needed to care about them in the first place. Even though they were very usefl allies and tools, he just simply didn’t care enough about them to get angry about their deaths.
No, he was angry because he was afraid. He had assumed that Reynolds the toff was nothing more than a title, someone who used his privileged position to his own advantage better than most of his sort. He had even thought that Brewer’s description of Reynolds’ actions back in Canada had been greatly exaggerated. But now Reynolds had reappeared and wrought havoc already.

Wade noticed that Guthrey and a few others had also been listening to Brewers tale and they were watching him intently to see how he reacted.
He was stuck, there was no way out for Wade other than open confrontation with Reynolds. Wade had to prove himself the better man in the eyes of his crewmen.
Wade wasn’t afraid of a good punch-up, but only when he knew he had an advantage.
It was now the unknown. Reynolds’ other, darker side that worried him. Wade considered the one-on-one option and thought better of it.
“Bill,” he called, summoning Guthrey.
“Yes, Nestor?” Guthrey said as he arrived beside the self-proclaimed captain, staring challengingly at Brewer.
The young man frowned at what he considered an over-familiarity but said nothing.
“Bill, you heard what Brewer said, right?”
“Yep.”
“We need to put a stop to him.”
“Aye,” Guthrey affirmed with a curt nod.
“There’s too many of us to take on all on his own, wouldn’t you say?” Wade prompted.
“Aye, reckon so,” Guthrey answered cautiously.
“The toff will surely go for help, especially as Brewer claims to have winged him,” Wade surmised.
“Makes sense,” Guthrey agreed nodding again.
“Where will he go?”
Guthry shrugged. “Well, he woulda heared you say you got the old captain prisoner, and Paige is with ‘im so she’ll probably talk about her father. Reynolds is no dullard so he’ll work out you sent Holt to the brig. His other choice will be the engine room. He’ll see the power’s off and figure the engine room boys are against you… so either o’ them two.”
Wade paced back and forth, his head bowed in thought, hands clasped behind his back, his heels clunking on the steel deck. His head snapped up as he came to a decision.
“He’ll go for the brig. Toff’ sense of justice and authority figures and stuff,” Wade announced turning to face Guthrey.
“Bill I’m leaving you here, I’m going to the brig myself.”
“But that’s dangerous, Mr Wade,” Brewer piped up.
Wade frowned at him. “Yes, thank you, Jonah, I’m aware of the situation.”
He closed on Brewer, his face furious, grabbing the scrawny man by the lapels and shoving him hard against the bulkhead. “You mean it’s dangerous ‘cos of HIM? Because of Reynolds? You think I’m nothing? You think he’s more dangerous than ME?” he almost screamed the last word.
“No, no, Mr Wade,” Brewer whimpered like a frightened child.
Wade grinned at him, an evil, sadistic twist to his mouth, lacking any joy or mirth. “You damn well better believe it, Jonah.”
He released Brewer from his grasp and turned on his heel. “C’mon Shils,” he said summoning one of the two other men on the bridge to follow him as he stalked out of the room.

Bill Guthrey shot Brewer a withering, disgusted look, like someone would give a pile of og’s mess they’d just found in the middle of the neatly trimmed garden.
Then he ignored him as he gave orders to the remaining crewman to guard the stairs.

Brewer could not hide the hatred he felt for Guthrey and was physically shaking from Wade’s sudden attack. He dithered for few moments before creeping away to hide in the little day room at the back of the bridge. He closed the door and found himself in complete darkness. Feeling his way around the desk to the chair he slumped into it and began to quietly cry.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:45 am

Dr Baird was a tall man, lean, his face gaunt looking, although he had looked that way for most of his life, healthy or otherwise. His hair was greying and thinning and receding but he didn’t mind. At sixty four he was glad that that was his only real complaint. Well, that and not being some filthy rich Harley Street consultant. Even then, he wasn’t sure he could put up with all the simpering toffs, moaning about minor or even fictitious ailments.
No, upon reflection the Doc was happy here amongst this bunch of misfits. Although he wasn’t overly happy with them at this point in time.
It was bad enough that poor Lilly had managed to get herself in trouble, he had very little equipment here to help him deal with someone in a comatose state.
But now Wade had gone and started this lunacy!

Every now and then the deep rumbles of gunfire would reach him and he wondered if the result would and up here, or a deck below in the morgue, to join Hartfield in eternal rest?

A faint moan stopped the doctor as he stacked bandages and dressing packs on the table beside his treatment bed.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw Lilly May Buxley moving. Not quite awake yet, but very nearly.

It took several minutes for Lilly to properly regain consciousness, during which time the doctor sat patiently in the gloomy light cast by a single oil lamp perched on the table alongside the old steel sink where he washed his equipment.
He was amazed that no one had come to get him yet, not one soul. There had to be injuries, serious ones too. Gunfire had echoed and boomed through the boat for nearly a half hour now.

Lilly groaned, sighed, rubbed at her eyes and eventually sat up.
“Welcome back,” the doctor grinned.
Both jumped when the door was abruptly shoved open.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:46 am

“I want to come with you,” Paige whispered in Reynolds’ ear.
The baron shook his head slowly. “No, Paige, it’s too risky. Lock yourself in here until I come back.”
Paige pouted but Reynolds insisted she stay put. He moved closer to her so that only she could hear him. “Paige, please do this for me?”
The young woman fidgeted, her breath hot on his cheek as she sighed heavily and nodded her obedience.
Reynolds hefted a rifle and tried it out for size. He decided against it – he’d never been one for shooting the things – pheasants with a double-barrelled twelve-gauge, no problem, but rifles he’d never given much time to.
As he checked his own weapons were where he wanted them to be he moved towards the door. Paige reached out with both hands grabbing his wrist and stopping him.
Reynolds glanced in his sister-in-law’s direction, conscious of this open show of affection. She wasn’t watching.
“Sebastian,” she said breathlessly.
He liked the way his name sounded coming from her.
“Be careful,” she said in response to his inquiring look.
His grin came easily.
“I mean it,” she implored, “these people are dangerous. Wade is… insane.”
“I can handle it, Paige, I promise you. I’ll be back.”
He made to move away but she held on to his arm tightly.
Smiling he stepped closer, his free hand slipping behind her back drawing her closer still.
He pressed his lips to hers in a passionate embrace until she had to pull away giddily.
The flush of her cheeks made Reynolds chuckle.
Then he left, but not before catching the amused but not disapproving glint in his sister-in-law’s eyes.

Closing the door behind himself he waited to hear the lock being clicked into place. The smile immediately faded.

Nestor Wade had someone new and far more dangerous to contend with now, for it was not Sebastian Reynolds, but Jimmy Ambrose who walked away into the dark passageway.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:47 am

Leon Chambers gave an exasperated shrug as he told the other two men about Wade’s instructions: Find Reynolds.
“Yeah, I know, but Wade’s got a real string beef with this guy, so just do it, okay?”
“Jesus, Leon!” one of the men said. “Haven’t we already tried that? We already looked everywhere? Alright, alright! We’ll start again.”
The two men headed off down the passageway, carrying their ether-lamps with them, leaving Chambers on the relative darkness of the small emergency light mounted on the bulkhead behind him.
Jimmy Ambrose was crouched behind a unit in the galley, listening to the conversation. He had an amused grin fixed upon his shadowed face.
A boot scrape on the deck and Ambrose held himself quietly.
Footfalls announced Chambers’ departure.
The shadow in the darkness moved off too.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:47 am

Bill Guthrey shivered suddenly aware of the growing chill within the bridge. “Reckon those bastards in the engine room turned the heat off,” he grumbled to Stanley Beswetherwick, the only other man in the room.
“Can’t say I noticed,” Bez, as he was known throughout the crew, replied. He was watching the oak panelled door that led into the captain’s day room. “What do you think he’s doing in there?”
Guthrey followed Bez’s line of sight. “Who?” he shrugged.
“Brewer.”
“Is that where the little gimp skulked off to? Christ, how should I know what he’s up to? Why the fuck should I care?”
Bez gave a half-hearted snigger in reply. He didn’t much like the way most of Wade’s followers treated Brewer.
Alright, the boy was a simpering sycophant with no will of his own to speak of, and some said a sickening taste for girls rather than women, but Bez thought that was all probably down to the way Brewer was pushed around and bullied. The simpering and fawning over wade gave him a little protection from the other bullies, and the girl thing was probably about power, where he was able to exert some over people weaker than himself.
Bez, once known as Dr Beswetherwick, had been what was known as an alienist. He had believed that many disorders of the mind had come from a person’s environment and background as much as any other influence. A lot of his peers had thought otherwise.
Their treatment of patients had not sat very well with Bez. Electro-shock therapy just didn’t seem to be the answer.
Bez himself knew he was a victim of such things too; stress. Stress at home and at work had led him to gin. Gin had led him to bouts of anger, anger to violence, and violence unfortunately to murder.
Ironically it was that murder, or more specifically the prospect of hanging, that put an abrupt end to the vicious cycle that was a drunkard’s life.
Dropping everything he had worked for, his home, his family, his career, he fled England before the authorities could put a rope around his neck.
After fifteen years working untold numbers of merchant vessels he ended up on the ‘Witch’.
And now here he was, begrudgingly partaking in another hangable offence – mutiny.
He sighed heavily then turned in surprise as Guthery made a squeaking, gurgling noise.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:48 am

Up the stairs, along a short passageway then one last set of stairs. All were shrouded in darkness, something Reynolds/Ambrose used to his full advantage.
Quickly and silently he had made his way through the boat armed now with an additional knife, one taken from the galley.
He paused upon reaching his goal.
There were two of them in there, one heavily built with a large moustache and tattoos over his forearms, the other clean shaven, leaner and wearing round spectacles.
The larger man was closer by at least ten or twelve feet. If he had to get into a brawl he’d rather face the smaller guy.
Both men were armed so there was a chance that either could get a shot off whilst his attention was on the other.
As he waited, the taller one began speaking, talking about something that Ambrose couldn’t hear.
Their attention was drawn to the rear of the compartment, the door at the opposite end to the one he would use. Ambrose moved, quick, silent, deadly.

“…Why the fuck should I care?” the bigger man was asking as Ambrose came up behind him.
Swift, accurate, fatal. The purloined knife traced an arc through the air and bit home on the man’s larynx.
Ambrose twisted the blade but left it there as he moved out of reach of the big guy, his hand already reaching for his pistol.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:49 am

Bill Guthrey felt the blow strike his throat, though at first it was just the impact like a punch. Within a second or two though the pain surged like a tidal wave the short distance to his brain.
The knife was twisted harshly within the wound, opening it up horrendously then it was gone as it slid gruesomely from the blood slicked flesh.
Air was sucked back into his lungs from the newly opened hole, but it was instantly followed by a river of blood which blocked his pipes, choked him, drowning.
His body did what came naturally and heaved what air was left out of his lungs in what should have been a cough to expel the invading fluid.
Instead the blood gurgled and whistled in his throat, bubbling up into his mouth.
Again on instinct his body tried to force air back into his lungs.
More blood was all they got.
Wide eyed with terror the aging grenadier stared forward, his brain finally realising what was happening.
Frantic hands clasped to the wound in a vain effort to stem the flow.
Fear and panic set in next as his body began to starve of oxygen and his thoughts became muddled from loss of blood.
Lord Reynolds suddenly stepped into his vision, only he looked very unlike the prim and proper gentleman he had seen aboard this past several weeks. This version had a look that Guthrey had seen before and learned the hard was to be wary of – feral.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:56 pm

Jimmy Ambrose stepped past the dying man, his pistol drawn and pointed steadily at the bespectacled man whose face had change from one of disbelief to one pf fear in the blink of an eye.

Bez’s mouth dropped open and he slowly lowered his weapon to the floor, flinching when Guthrie’s almost dead body fell to one side with a dull thud followed by the clatter of the rifle it had been holding.
Bez stepped away from his gun, his hands slowly raising in surrender .
“Please,” Bez begged, his fearful expression and tone completing his plea for leniency.
“I don’t need a prisoner,” Ambrose said.
“Honest, my Lord, I have no quarrel with you.”
Ambrose kicked the rifle away. “You’re with Wade, are you not?”
“Only ‘cos I’m in the heavy gang, you know, handling the cargo and stuff. I didn’t have a choice really.”
“I’ve seen no reason to trust any of Wade’s men.”
“No, I guess you aint. But I’m an honest man and if I’m being honest with you when I say I hold little truck with the gentry, but I have even less with good-for-nothing wastrels like Nestor Wade.”
Ambrose decided he didn’t have time for this.
“Wait!” Bez yelled, his hands held out open before him as though the act of creating a barrier with them would stop the bullet.
“Guthrie’s got manacles. You could lock me up.”
“Get them,” Ambrose said coldly.
Bez almost threw up as he peered at Guthrie’s mangled throat. It had been a long time since medical college and his corpses then had always had less blood.
Ambrose allowed a wry smile to cross his face. He knew from bitter experience that he would have reacted worse, which was why he didn’t look at the people he killed, if he could at all help it.
As Bez bent low to search for the chains, Ambrose came up silently behind him. He pressed the white cloth in his hand over the man’s nose and mouth.
One slight struggle was all Bez got in before the chemical on the cloth took hold of him
Unconsciousness turned him into a dead weight so Ambrose let him fall over the lifeless body before them.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:58 pm

Reynolds moved to the handset at the communications console, as Holt had described it, but there was no power.
He pondered the situation for a moment before acting. He yanked a wire from one of the other consoles and stripped the sheathing away.
Using the handy tool kit he carried with him for small tasks such as this, he unfastened the back of his ether-com and observed the ether conduit inside.
Then he removed the back of the communications panel and found the ether connector for the power supply. Connecting the two items together he then switched on the ether-com.
Speaking into the handset, he was not Jimmy Ambrose, but Lord Reynolds once more.

Across the ship the personal address speakers crackled and hissed until a distorted but intelligible voice rang out clearly.
“Nestor Wade,” his voice echoed through the vessel.

Wade stopped dead in his tracks, his head cocked to one side.
“Nestor Wade,” the eloquent English voice repeated. “This is Baron Sebastian James Ambrose Reynolds, Nestor. I’m telling you that for a reason. I hear you are looking for me? Well that is fortunate, as I am looking for you. The difference between you and I, Nestor, is that I know where you are.”

Wade span around on his heel, his pistol sweeping the corridor, one end then the other.
“Where the fuck are you, you bastard?” he shouted, but the voice continued on, unhearing.
“I told you my name, Nestor, because I wanted you and your men to know exactly whom they are dealing with. You see, the Baron Roborough has long been in the service of Queen and Country and has dealt quite successfully with far greater enemies than you. So my warning to you is to surrender to Captain Holt before I get to you, for I will accept no such capitulation. As the only representative of the Crown in these international waters I assume the role of Judge and Jury and executioner. And believe me Nestor, anyone who stands in my way will be found guilty and summarily executed there and then. Oh, and if you may think I am bluffing, perhaps you might like to ask Messer’s Guthrie and Lipton if they thought having their throats slit was a bluff.”
The speakers crackled and hissed and then went dead.
“The bridge!” Wade snarled, setting off back the way he had come. He stopped when he noticed the men with him had not followed. “Come on, you idiots!”
Noting the hesitation his anger flared. “What the hell is wrong with you lot? You’d better not be afraid of just one man, ‘cos if you are, I don’t need crewmen with no spines.” Emphasising the words with a wave of his pistol in their direction he stared hard at them, his expression accusing, daring them not to come with him.

But his men’s faith in him had just taken a blow and they were all having second thought about this whole endeavour now.
“What if he’s not alone, Nestor…. I mean, Captain?” one of the men asked.
There are few things that can subdue Wade’s anger quickly, but self-preservation was one of them. The question had sunk in straight away.
“What if it’s a trap?” the crewman asked, driving home his point.
Wade turned to face in the approximate direction of the bridge and squinted as though able to peer through the decks and bulkhead and see the set-up happening.
It seemed inconceivable that Reynolds could have people there backing him up, wherever that was? But it had seemed inconceivable that he could reach the bridge unobserved, let alone take it.
“Yes,” he said absently, drawing the word out then adding “Yes, you are right. Very good thinking. We need to draw him to us.”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 6:45 am

As the shadowy figure of Lord Reynolds moved swiftly through the darkened compartment, the door to the captain’s day cabin slowly clicked shut.
Jonah Brewer leaned his back against it, his heart thumping in his chest so loudly he had worried it might give his position away.
He could have picked up his rifle and killed the Baron as he spoke on the ‘squawk-box’.
Why hadn’t he, he wondered?
Closing his eyes, an unnecessary move in the all-encompassing darkness of the small room, he let his shoulders sag and head drop in shame. He knew what had stopped him.
It was his life-long ally, the one thing that had kept him alive, yet bound to follow one man’s, any man’s, lead. Fear.
And seeing Lord Reynolds in action had put the fear of god up Brewer.

Swallowing hard the young, lank-haired man with bad teeth sighed heavily. He knew he had to do something – make a move that would cement his allegiance to the victor.
Until a few moments ago he had believed that all would work out just as Mr Wade had said it would. But in the semi-darkness of the bridge he had seen Bill Guthrie’s dead body, and that of the other fellow too.
The English toff was cutting through Wades men like the proverbial knife through butter.
Again fear gripped Brewer, just as his hands gripped the stock of the rifle perched on the captain’s desk.
But that fear gave him a moment of clarity in his thinking.
He knew he had to follow Reynolds, but as his enemy, or otherwise remained yet to be seen.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 6:48 am

When Nestor Wade strode into the brig, a room that was better lit than most of the boat he had travelled so far, yet still dingy by any normal standards, he held his head high and entered with as much gusto and bravado as he thought necessary to mask any doubts he might be having.
For gathered here were all the major players in any resistance to his plans…. Bar one.
He was surprised to see Doc Baird in one of the cells, his medical bag open and the dark skinned form of Edgar King laying upon the small cot bed while the doctor tended whatever wound it was that King had acquired.
“What the hell is the Doc doing here?” Wade growled at Muldridge.
“King was shot. I thought I should get the doc to look at him,” Muldridge said in defence.
“What the bloody hell do I care what happens to that nigger?” Wade almost shrieked, his face inches from Muldridge’s. “We’ve got injured of our own, get him to look at them.”
“But we need King,” Muldridge said calmly, defiantly.
“Why the hell do I need that fucking nigger?” Wades jaw clenched with anger and he felt the tension around him rising further.
“Cos we already lost one Engineer. With Hartfield dead King’s the only other one who knows this crate. If he dies who are we going to get to fix this boat?”

Anger distorted Wade’s features but he could see the logic in Muldridge’s argument.
“Alright then,” Wade said patting Muldridge’s shoulder. “Alright, mate. That’s what I like to see, someone else thinking straight around here. I was getting sick of having to do all the thinking for everyone else.”

“Captain?” a weak voice from the adjoining cell called out.
Holt turned as did Wade.
“Buxley!” Wade sneered in delight, turning briefly to stare with amusement at Muldridge.
“Buxley,” he said again, his voice and face betraying his elation. “You look so different behind bars!”

Lillian May Buxley stepped up to the bars separating the two cells. She ignored Wade and spoke to Holt. “Captain, is James dead?”
Her voice quivered on the last word.
Holt cast his eyes to the deck and nodded.
“Oh, YES!” Wade whooped, spinning on the spot to emphasise his glee. “Dead as can be, Buxley! No more than a slab of meat in the morgue now. You must remind me to throw his stinking carcass overboard, won’t you Mr Muldridge!”

Lilly staggered back until her legs hit the low cot-bed and she slumped down, pale.
“Ha! So you were sweet on him?” Wade mused with delight.
“Shut your face, Wade. That’s enough,” Holt warned.
“NO!” Wade screamed. “You shut your mouth you fat prick. You don’t tell me what to do no more, don’t you get it? This is my boat now so I do the tellin’. And if any of you lot want to see more than the inside of your eyelids for the rest of eternity, then you’d better shut up too.”
Wade clanged the barrel of his pistol down the bars nonchalantly. “You understand me, Holt?”
Holt slowly turned his head to face the mutinous bastard that had turned his crew against one another. He always knew that Wade was a poison on his ship, and regretted his decision not to be rid of him. He’d taken the easy route and was paying the price now.
He drew himself up and squared his shoulders as he stepped up to the bars.
“I understand you just fine, Nestor. But I also understand that there is a man out there hunting you right now. And this man is going to kill you.”
“KILL ME?” Wade bellowed derisively. “I got plans for that prick!”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 3:02 pm

Jonah Brewer gasped when he reached the ladder that led up to the galley.
Slumped against the bottom of the ladder was Leon Chambers. A neat bullet hole decorated his forehead whilst the top of his skull had burst outward.
Brewer could see the darkness behind the body where most of the man’s brains had splatted.

He swallowed hard and slipped in a pile of vomit he hadn’t noticed.
Cursing he wiped his worn and soiled boots on the dead man’s trousers and moved slowly onwards.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 3:04 pm

Sebastian Reynolds crouched in the darkness of the passageway that led to the brig.
His journey here had been swift but not without incident.
When he hadn’t come across Wade or his men near the bridge he knew that the man hadn’t been taken in by his broadcast.
But he also knew that he had sown the seeds of doubt in both the minds of Wade himself and his fellow mutineers. Leon Chambers had told him as much before he had died.

Reynolds shifted position slightly as one of the knives he had acquired on his journey here, no longer required by its deceased owner, was digging uncomfortably into his side.

He heard the movement long before whoever was sneaking up on him appeared.
His own movements were fast as he darted up from his concealed position, behind the stalker, placing his hand over the small soft mouth and his knife sliding around the front to cut into the persons throat.
He caught his hand before the blade bit home. Soft mouth?
Spinning the person around, keeping his hand pressed tightly over that soft sensual mouth he stared angrily into Paige Holt’s shadowed eyes.
“Christ Paige! What are you doing here?”
Paige was frozen on the spot, her breath caught in her throat and her eyes were wide with fear.
She knew this boat like the back of her hand. She had grown up running the many passageways and tunnels and compartments. She knew for a fact that there had been nowhere for anyone to hide on this short stretch of hallway, even with just the emergency lighting on. Yet this man had indeed hidden there, completely concealed.
She had thought that she was going to die, her throat slit by one of Wades insufferable lackeys.
“I told you to stay put!” Reynolds hissed at her.
“I couldn’t,” she hissed back, pulling his hand from her mouth. “This is my dad’s boat. I’m not going to sit by and let Wade just take it.”
Reynolds could feel the defiance as something almost tangible.
“How?” Reynolds pressed, “By getting yourself killed?”
“I’m not leaving so save your breath.”
Reynolds relaxed, knowing that he’d not win this argument. He knew that even to attempt it could end up giving their position away.
Reynolds saw that he had a pistol in her head, which currently hung limply off to one side.
“Be ready to use that thing,” he said as his posture changed and something in his voice made Paige shudder.
“Okay,” she whispered.

Reynolds led her forwards, until they could see into the brig. She tensed anger threatening to boil over when she saw Wade nose to nose with her caged father.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 3:04 pm

“It doesn’t matter what plans you have, you moron,” Holt was saying antagonistically. “He’ll outsmart you and you’ll die. I’m certain of it.”
“I ain’t the one gonna die here. Now shut up!”
Wade was getting angrier, Holt knew that. He knew that he probably shouldn’t provoke him further, but he was so angry himself, he couldn’t help it.
“You’re doomed, Mr Wade. You’d be better off putting that gun against your own head. Dead. Dead. Dead.”
Wade’s fists clenched and unclenched, his jaw clamped down hard as he ground his teeth together.
Turning his back on Holt he spied Muldridge’s rifle. “Shut you fucking mouth, Holt!” he snarled, taking the weapon from the temporary jailor.
“This is my ship Wade, mine. Do you understand me Nestor? Do you?”
Holt was just as angry now, soliciting warning looks from his second in command, but the usurped captain ignored them. Seeing Wade again had stirred up a bucket of hatred for the man and all he wanted to do was wrap his bare hands around the man’s throat and strangle the life out of him.

In a swift, swirling series of movements wade stripped the bayonet from under the barrel and clipped it in place. Then with a fierce lunge he thrust it forward, skewering Holt through the stomach.
“SHUT UP!” the mutineer yelled as he did so.
“Captain!” the first officer cried in fear.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue May 27, 2014 10:22 am

She moved before he could react. He had been too shocked with what he was seeing.
She hadn’t seen what was going on properly at first, but when the Captain crumpled to his knees Paige had had a perfect view of her wounded father.

She rushed into the brig as all eyes were upon the captain. “Daddy!” she wailed.
Wade and the eight other men outside of the cells turned in surprise as she pushed passed them and grabbed the cell door with both hands.
“Daddy!” she called in a terrified voice of a little girl.

Nestor Wade stared incredulously at the young woman, finding himself momentarily speechless as he blinked rapidly thinking he was seeing things. Everyone seemed to be handing themselves to him on a plate.
When the words finally returned to him they were abrupt and disjointed.
“Where? What?... Where?”
Jim Muldridge was the first to react properly by dashing to her and snatching the pistol from her hands. “Shouldn’t play with guns, little girl,” he quipped.
Paige looked at him blankly then span around to face Wade. She was shaking with fury. “You bastard,” she cursed, slapping him across the face.

Wade blinked several times, his head having jerked to the right slightly.
“You bitch!” he growled, surging towards her, pinning her against the bars with the rifle held across her chest, its bayonet glistening with her father’s blood.
His face was in front of hers, less than an inch away. She could smell his foul breath but she defiantly held his gaze.
“I ought to gut you like I did your old man, but I know someone who’d give me a lifetime of servitude to have a night in the sack with you.”
His angry defiant gaze, full of hatred and loathing, made Wade smile. He even felt a twitch in his penis. Perhaps he’d have to warm her up for Brewer first?

Wade ordered everyone in the cells to back away from the door, eliciting a pained groan from Holt as he was dragged back. Doc Baird immediately went to work on patching him up.

Wade had Muldridge unlock the door while everyone else covered the prisoners with their weapons, with orders to shoot anyone who moved.

Gecko was seething. Every muscle in his body was on edge.
It was because he was looking at his captors, trying to find a weakness, an opening in their defences which he might exploit that he spotted the blood spattered figure as it stepped out of the darkness of the passageway and into the relatively better lit brig.
The two made eye contact as the key was turned in the lock and the door swung open.

Sebastian Reynolds held a revolver by the barrel and threw it just like a knife thrower at the circus would do.
It rotated in the air as it arced its way towards Gecko.
Reynolds was already running before the weapon reached the ship’s first officer.

Gecko has seen what Reynolds was doing, but couldn’t quite believe it.
His eyes followed the gun as it appeared to gracefully meander across the compartment.
Then, miraculously, the gun passed cleanly between the bars of the cell and he caught it. For a moment he was frozen, too amazed at what had just happened to react further.

Reynolds was behind the first man, someone he had seen from time to time about the ship.
He knew he had to get these men out of action as quickly as possible, all the time his mind focussing on his main target – Nestor Wade.
His blades passed over the man’s shoulders and crossed just beneath his chin. They stopped there for the briefest of moments before slicing backwards, the flesh of the man’s neck offering only a modicum of resistance.

Even before the fountain of blood erupted from the severed artery Reynolds had side stepped and sliced across the elbow of the man to his right, cutting cleanly through the tendons there.
With a yelp the man lost his grip on his rifle and then fell to one leg as Reynolds had swept down and slashed across the back of the man’s knees.

By now the captors had realised that someone was there in the poorly lit compartment with them.
It didn’t take much for Wade to figure out who it was.
“KILL HIM!2 Wade screamed manically, pointing at the ever moving figure to their rear.

Jim Muldridge brought his pistol up quickly, the retort deafening, the muzzle flash blindingly bright in the gloomy room. The weapon kicked back half filling the brig with smoke.
He’d never fired the old flintlock inside before and hadn’t appreciated how it could obscure visibility in an already semi-dark room.
As he peered through the sulphurous fog he saw another of Wade’s crewmen staring back at him accusingly.
Blood soaked through the man’s shirt and he leaned backwards rigid like a felled tree, thudding onto the hard deck.

Reynolds twirled left, his knife catching a man in his ribs. Flesh and bone sucked at the blade, wrenching it from the Englishman’s fingers.

Reynolds inwardly cursed but was too busy to worry about it now.
He kicked the skewered man aside and swung his empty fist like a club at another who was coming at him with a rifle.

Wade screamed again. “Kill the fucking bastard!” and let off a shot in Reynolds’ general direction, ripping a section of wood from the locker on the wall nowhere near the Baron.

Cursing the weapons cumbersome nature Wade threw it aside, plunged his hand into his pocket, his fingers worming through the row of holes he found in the heavy brass object there.
The hand withdrew accompanied by a grin as Wade surged into the fight, his brass lined fist managing to strike Reynolds’ arm.

Reynolds was knocked sideways, the heavy blow leaving a dull numbness down to the fingers of his left arm.
Another punch powered in. his arm felt sluggish as he moved to block the attack.
His remaining knife was knocked from his weakened grasp but he’d managed to avert the incoming blow.
Reynolds danced around another opponent, putting him between himself and Wade.

“Hey Muldridge,” Seth Gecko growled now that he had recovered from his initial surprise.
Muldridge turned ferociously on the second Officer.
He didn’t hear the shot, not a single sound. But his view of the gaping hole in the end of the barrel was perfectly clear.
Flames fanned out from that hole in slow-motion, following in the wake of a dark cylindrical object.
Jim Muldridge watched with morbid fascination as the bullet made a slow laborious trek across the eight foot gap between the barrel and his own chest.
He noticed how everything else had stopped and he was unable to move.
The bullet hit his chest, just below his left nipple. It was a hard punch to the chest that knocked him back a little. It didn’t hurt as the small metal disappeared inside him.
Then the barrel spat fire again, the path of this round slightly altered from the first. This one struck his sternum, shattering the bone into thousands of minuscule pieces before tearing through his heart.
Muldridge still felt nothing and cast a questioning look Gecko’s way before his feet lifted from the deck. He was thrown backwards by the second shot, his lifeless body hitting the hard steel deck with a dull thud that was lost in the noise of battle.
“Told you I’d kill you,” Gecko sneered at the dead man’s corpse.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:33 am

Gecko’s triumph was short lived. Luckily for him it was a poorly aimed shot and the bullet hit his thigh, the small light calibre projectile buried itself in flash without doing any significant damage.

Gecko roared at the man who had just shot him and rushed at him, covering the six feet between them in a single bound, as though the bullet in his leg was nothing more serious than an itch.
He threw his whole weight at the men, a high level rugby tackle that sent both men cascading into the adjacent bulkhead and then to the floor.
Maintaining his ferocity Gecko began pummelling into the man’s head and shoulders, raining blows in at the fellow in a relentless torrent.

Whitby, who had been standing almost petrified at the back of the cell throughout the entire proceeding suddenly sprang forward and charged another of Wade’s accomplices. He had spotted the man closing in on Gecko from behind with a knife.

Reynolds was dodging left and right to keep one man between himself and Wade, biding his time until the perfect opportunity presented itself that would allow him to take Wade down in a single strike.

The fight now degenerated into a scuffle, with fists lashing out and boots stomping and foreheads clashing.
Paige screamed like a banshee as she ran from the cell launching herself into the fray.

Lilly had managed to stretch her arm through the bars and plucked the keys from Muldridge’s pocket. The swung the cell door open viciously using it like a weapon. It hit a man who was about to attack Gecko with such force that he fell to the deck, pole axed.
Lilly didn’t hold back. She sprang like a cat at the downed man, slashing with sharp nails and clenched fists alternately.

Reynolds saw stars as Wade almost threw himself over Burrows to strike at him. He landed the blow on the back of Reynolds’ head and the young Baron stumbled forward on shaky legs.
He managed to recover his wits in time to block Wade’s swinging kick. He grabbed Wade’s foot and lifted it much higher than Wade had intended it to go , then with a roar he pushed back.
Off balance wade hopped backwards a few times in a vain attempt to maintain his balance, but Reynolds kept coming, holding onto his foot. Eventually Wade tripped and fell backwards, hitting his head against the steel bars of the ship’s prison.

A fist smashed into Reynolds’ cheek as he stood over Wade. He released Wade’s foot as his hands came to his head and he staggered away.
Another pinch landed, this time a powerful blow to his kidney that sent a wave of pain through Reynolds’ entire torso and doubled him over.

Paige, for all her elegance and demure exterior was brought up amongst this bunch of old sea-dogs. She’d seen her fair share of fights in various places and had learned a thing or two that most respectable ladies shouldn’t know.

She gave a shrill ‘war-cry’ and ran head0long at Burrows as he was about to hit Reynolds again, shoulder barging him halfway across the compartment and into a barrage of punches from Gecko.
Noticing Nestor Wade, who was now at her and shaking the ringing from his ears and the flashing lights from his eyes as he tried to stand, she snarled a guttural almost feral sound.
The heel of her boot smashed into his nose, renewing the blinding lights and soaking his shirt in blood as it poured from his nose in a river.
“Don’t get up,” she quipped.

Ignoring the aching throb in his side, Reynolds straightened. He could hear people approaching from the passageway. His eyes darted about the room searching for his weapons. He saw them, one protruding from the body of a dead man and another laying abandoned on the deck beside the corpse.

Reynolds rolled into the compartment snatching up the loose blade and having to pull hard to retrieve the other from the dead man’s chest.
Rolling from a second time he came up just in front of Gecko, Paige and Lilly. He turned to face the incoming men.

The newcomers arrived and skidded to a halt as they surveyed the carnage.
The front man spotted Wade holding his hand to his broken nose and looked back to the group standing before them.
“Drop the guns boys,” Paige said sternly.
“Bloody kill them!” Wade growled at them.
Reynolds could see the uncertainty in the man’s face. Would he obey Wade’s command, or see that the others had already been taken down, including wade himself?
Paige Holt scowled at Wade and kicked him in the leg.
“Shut it, Wade,” she said venomously.
Nestor Wade’s eyes narrowed as he glared at the captain’s hot young daughter.
“I’m going to fuck you, little missy! Right her on the floor in front of your dying old man. I’m going to tell him how nice and tight your virgin cunt is as I tear away your maidenhead!” Wade sneered the words and Paige blanched.
He grinned at her, knowing he’d shocked her, maybe even horrified her, and that made him feel good.
“Hey, Wade?” called a gruff voice from beside him.
Wade looked across to a dark visage, an older man with dark hair, cut short, silvering at the sides. From above his open collar tattoos could be seen, seeming to be crawling up his throat reaching for the bushy mutton-chop sideburns he sported. It was the menace in the man’s eyes that made Wade’s evil grin fade quickly away.
Seth Gecko’s balled fist slammed like a hammer blow into the side of Wade’s face, making the world go dark for the downed man.
Wade lay on the deck and groaned, unaware that Gecko’s fist was poised above him for another blow should Wade move. He didn’t.
Paige took the pistol from Gecko’s belt and pointed it at Wade, then said to Wade’s men, “Put the guns down or I’ll kill him. After what he said, no one would blame me for executing a mutineer.”

Reynolds was watching them. The three at the back were waiting for the one at the front to say something, or react in some way.
He knew that whatever the lead man chose to do, they would follow suit.

Either way, he was ready for them.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:15 pm

It took George Humphries several long minutes to make up his mind.
He had stared at Wade’s prone form, at the pistol pointing at Wade’s head.
He noticed the dead and beaten men that lay about the compartment and the bloodied almost feral form standing just a few feet away, a knife in each hand, both darkened with blood.
He realised that his men were better armed, but that had been the case with the corpses too and they hadn’t fared well.
Besides, if he tried anything now then young Miss Holt would shoot Wade dead. The whole point of this mutiny had been to place Wade in command.
Humphries knew there was a damned good chance that he would die in this room and although death was inevitable for a failed mutineer, he figured there was at least a glimmer of a chance that he might not hang.

With a heavy sigh that made Reynolds’ shoulders relax, George held out his pistol, butt first, saying, “It’s over boys, give it up.”

Reynolds took the weapons from the men and handed them to Gecko and Lilly, then ushered them into the cell that Lilly had previously occupied.
Paige had returned to her father’s side and was holding onto his hand as though by squeezing hard she could ensure that his life would stay within him.

Exhausted, Reynolds slumped back against the bulkhead and slid to the deck. He watched Mr Whitby, whose face seemed as pale as his shirt, drag the dead over to one side.
He also heard Gecko’s gruff voice speaking to Edgar King. Apparently, Reynolds came to understand, he had missed a crawl-way back in the passage that would have led him to engineering.

Lilly had found the keys again and was unlocking the third and final cell, releasing the engineering crew that had been with King.

“We could do with power again, lads,” Paige called from her father’s side.
The crewmen looked to King, who in turn looked to Gecko.
The First Office nodded his agreement.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:22 pm

“Thank you,” Paige said with a weary smile. “What should we do with Wade?” she asked, a jerk of her head indicating the prone unmoving body on the deck.
“There’s a cell free now,” Gecko suggested and Lilly and Whitby grabbed the unconscious man’s arms and legs and half lifted, half dragged him across the room.

Whitby, at the foot end was suddenly struck by Nestor Wades heavy boot, making the junior officer drop him.
Wade sprang into action, twisting around so that he had Lilly held around the throat, using her as a shield. There was a small revolver in the man’s hand that was pressing against Lilly’s jaw just below her ear.
“Now you just drop those irons of your, you fuckers, or I’ll pull this trigger right now.”
“DO IT NOW!” Wade yelled, thrusting the barrel of the gun hard into Lilly’s neck making her yelp.

Slowly the crew lowered their weapons to the floor.
“Back away,” Wade ordered, waving the pistol in their direction.
Lilly took the opportunity to respond now that her head was no longer in the firing line.
First, she swung her balled fist as hard as she could into his groin, following it up immediately by jerking her head backwards.
The whack to his nuts had the reaction it always had on any man. Wade doubled over, causing his head to involuntarily rush forwards where it met Lilly’s incoming skull.
Wade’s already broken and swollen nose was hit hard again sending excruciating pain through his head and almost blinding him again.
He dropped the pistol as one hand went to shield his nose and the other reached out to the cell bars to steady himself.

Reynolds too had taken the opportunity to react. As soon as he saw Lilly’s clenched fist swing in between Wade’s legs he had rolled forward, his hand scooping up the large revolver with the unfeasibly huge silencer. It felt so comfortable, so natural in his hand.

The weapon began its fluid movement as its wielder targeted Wade at the same time as Lilly May Buxley darted away from him.

Yet a third person reacted too.
Seeing the scenario unfold before him, he’d had an uncharacteristically clear understanding of how things wold pan out.
Something inside him just couldn’t let that happen.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:20 am

Lilly was clear and Reynolds had an unobstructed view of Nestor Wade. Inside him the hatred and rage he felt against the man bubbled over and swamped the last vestiges of human compassion that the baron had felt towards him.
His pistol had homed in on the target and all his concentration seemed to focus very quickly on that one spot.

From the darkness of the passageway Jonah Brewer launched himself in front of Wade screaming a high pitched “Noooo!”
Reynolds’ bullet hit Brewer in the back, throwing the lank haired youth into Wade’s unsuspecting arms.
Everything within the brig seemed to stop right then with the skinny Brewer staring up into Wade’s eyes like some sort of star-crossed lover.
He smiled, his rotten teeth lined with red as he gurgled up blood.
“Ha! Nice one Brewer!” Wade sneered victoriously as he shoved the young man towards Reynolds with all his might.

Brewer crashed back into the group, his body a dead weight. Reynolds stumbled back into Gecko and fell to the floor unable to hold Brewer up.

Wade sprinted off into the darkened passageway.

Reynolds shoved brewer aside and sprang to his feet.
Brewer was laughing hysterically and coughing simultaneously. Blood bubbled in his mouth.
Remorselessly Reynolds took aim and shot between the eyes then gave chase after Wade.

Gecko nodded and looked around at the others. “Anyone got a problem with that?”
No one did.

After another brief moment Whitby recovered from the shock of it and grabbed a gun from the floor before following after Reynolds.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:22 am

Nestor Wade’s knowledge of the ship proved to his advantage, keeping him ahead of Reynolds, especially in the complete darkness of some passageways.
He had stopped momentarily when the thought he had heard a familiar voice. The could have been a chance that he could have turned things around.
But then he’d heard pursuit and had made his mind up to follow his escape plan.
Twenty minutes ago he would never have considered the possibility of having to put the plan into action. Everything had seemed to be going his way.

Suddenly small fairy lights appeared in a neat well-spaced row ahead of him.
The lights grew bigger, brighter, as more volatile ether was pumped into the light-tubes.
In the matter oh a half dozen strides the passageway was fully illuminated.
Wade could hear the air moving too as the ship’s ventilation had started up again.
“So they got the power on huh?” he huffed. “Won’t do them no good!”
“Wade!” a voice called from the doorway at the far end, the one he had already passed through.
There was a sharp crack next to his head as something fast and hard smacked into the door to his left.
Casting a quick glance behind him he saw Reynolds pointing that damned great pistol in his direction. He was too far from the end of the passageway to make it through without getting shot. He knew that at last the long game was up and tensed expecting the bullet that was about to silently rip through him.
He saw Reynolds curse and break the pistol open.
Ha! He was empty! Wade couldn’t believe his luck.
He darted off again, aware that his advantage in the darkness had been removed.

It took Wade several minutes of hard running to get to the small compartment with two heavy doors at either end. He threw open one and then the other as he passed through.
Stepping out into a cylindrical passage that ended in a another even bigger door he saw a surprised Malcolm Wren gaping at him.
“What the hell happened to you?” the old man asked.
“Where’s the bag?” Wade panted ignoring the man’s stupid question.
Wren pointed to the dirt hold all in the corner.
Wade wrenched the bag open and smiled at the contents.
“Get that damned door open!” he bellowed.
The huge door had a circular wheel in the centre which Wren began turning quickly.
Mechanical clanging could be heard from the other side as steel arms moved and locks were disengaged.
Wren heaved on the handle and the door gave a hiss as it swung open.

Wade pushed Wren through and followed him pulling the door shut, spinning the wheel to close the locks again.
He peered through the small round view port in the door and saw Reynolds at the far end.
“Get the other door quickly!” Wade hissed, his voice very nasal now that his nose had been destroyed. He knew that as soon as Wren began turning the wheel on that door then the one on this one wouldn’t operate. Airlocks weren’t much good if you could open both doors at once.

He grinned as Reynolds stepped into the cylindrical umbilical tube that connected the Waterwitch to the sub-sea station. He also knew that the Witches airlocks could have been better.
Reynolds reached the door just moments after Wade heard the locks engage on the wheel he was partially leaning against.

Try as he might, Reynolds couldn’t turn the wheel. He scowled at Wade through the small but very thick window and Wade smiled back and waved mockingly at him.
Then Wade knocked on the glass and pointed at something behind Reynolds.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 am

Sebastian Reynolds snarled at the door and kicked at it.
“That won’t do you any good they are incredibly strong doors,” Whitby pointed out.
“Yes, thank you Mr Whitby!” Reynolds replied sardonically.
Wade knocked at the thick glass again and once more pointed to something behind Reynolds.
This time Reynolds turned to see what it could be. The bag wasn’t hidden.
He cast a wary gaze to the small viewport and wade nodded encouragement.

Opening the bag Reynolds’ breath caught. Inside were several sticks of dynamite and a clock face showing less than a minute until it reached zero. Reynolds knew a bomb when he saw one. Quickly his mind raced for a solution.
His first thought was to disarm it and he had no tools and no time to figure out how it worked. It was a foregone conclusion that he couldn’t take it into the Witch with him.

“Get out of here!” the Baron yelled at Whitby with such a degree of urgency that Whitby didn’t even consider asking why and just did as he was commanded.
From the corner of his eye Reynolds could see wade laughing hysterically at him through the window before he darted away.

Reynolds and Whitby plunged through the first door; both turning to swing the door shut and throw the levers to lock it.
They reached the inner airlock door when the bomb exploded.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:41 pm

The whole vessel was rocked like a bottle bobbing in rough seas as the fireball expanded within the connecting tube. The pressure within had been contained for a moment but then the structure had ruptured and the outer doors for both the base and the submarine buckled.
Reynolds and Whitby were both thrown about as the submarine rolled heavily to port the latter gentleman falling and sliding into the bulkhead.
He was amazed to see that Reynolds remained standing. Hauling himself up he eased his way across the sloping deck to re-join the baron, who seemed frozen, a lifelike statue of himself, his expression one of poised expectation as though waiting for some sort of signal.
Whitby tried to shake away the ringing in his ears and became aware of another sound, a high pitched hiss, accompanied by creaks and dull thuds at random moments.
“Are you alright sir?” Whitby inquired whilst rubbing at his bruised elbows.
Reynolds didn’t respond. He just remained motionless in the doorway staring back at the airlock.
“What is that noise?” Whitby mumbled, unsure how to handle being ignored. His eyes widened with horror when he saw what Reynolds was looking at.

The outer door to the airlock was closed but four of the six locking clips had buckled, along with the door itself. Water was spraying in around the seal in a fine mist.
As he watched, the door creaked again and another jet of water squirted into the airlock.

Reynolds nodded his head in understanding.
“We need to get this door shut, now!” he said hurriedly.

It was as though that had been what the outer door had been waiting for.
More leaks sprang from the ever buckling closure and as the two men swung the inner door closed, the lower half of the outer door folded and a huge bore of cold Atlantic water rushed in.
Whitby fumbled one-handed with the single clip that he could reach as both men, shoulder jammed against the door , pushed with every ounce of strength they could muster to try to close it against the influx of icy sea.
The boat began to roll again, this time the opposite way, helping them push against the flow but water was gushing around the door.
“I can’t keep this up, Mr Whitby!” Reynolds hissed.
“It’s almost there. Another quarter of an inch is all it needs.”
Reynolds roared as he summoned up whatever he had left and shoved even harder, but against the building pressure on the other side he was losing.
Then another body joined them, roaring too as he shoved at the door, his considerable strength pushing back against the Atlantic.
“Get the goddamned clip in now Whitby,” the ship’s first officer growled.
Gecko backed off slightly and then slammed back into the door.
“Got it!” Whitby whooped excitedly as he dropped to the deck, puffing heavily, and momentarily oblivious to the water spraying in steadily from the top and bottom of the door.
Gecko tried another clip but it wouldn’t engage.
“This isn’t going to hold dammit!”
There were doors at either end of the narrow passageway in which they stood. Both were designed to be watertight.
“Whitby, dog that door shut tight, right away,” Gecko ordered pointing to the forward opening.
Whitby sprang to his feet and splashed through the ankle deep water.
Next, Gecko grabbed a handset from the bulkhead and snarled into it. His ferocious voice crackled from speakers all over the boat.
“Right you bunch of bastards, you all better listen up right now. We have a hull breach at three deck port airlock. Wade has gone and left us all to drown so if any of you mutinous fuckers want to stand a chance of living, you’ll do as I say.”
He paused for a moment then his following announcement was more professional.
“Action stations! Action stations! All personnel report to their posts. Bridge crew prepare for emergency surface. Damage Crews muster at the port airlock.”
He slammed the handset back down.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:42 pm

All across the ship opposing crewmen glared at one another, then as each faced that common fear of drowning or suffocating inside a steel monster, they nodded as each of Gecko’s words echoed around them.
Then the vessel was awash with activity as each man, drilled on what was required of them, rushed to their posts.

Lilly looked across to Captain Holt and then to the doctor.
Baird shook his head. She sighed and sprinted off towards the bridge. With Wade gone, she was the best pilot this old crate.
To hell with that, she thought as she ran, even with him here she was the best pilot!

Paige took her father’s hand.
“It’ll be alright, daddy,” she smiled reassuringly.
Holt grimaced as pain shot through him. “What’s happening?”
Paige tried to hide her worried expression when she heard how weak her father sounded.
“Wade must have done something. It felt like an explosion and now we are taking on water.”
Holt’s eyes shut, screwed up tight and he sighed with frustration.
“They’ll need help on the bridge,” he coughed. “Take control sweetheart. Be my voice up there.”
“Me?”
“Yes, you! All your life you’ve watched me, mimicked me at times and even pre-empted me too. It’s like I’ve been teaching you all these years without realising it. You can do this, honey!”
Paige blinked rapidly. “You want me to take command?”
Holt allowed himself a smile. “You’re the only one. Seth’s busy with damage control. Besides, if I die, the Witch is yours anyway. You have the authority, now you just need to have the confidence to do it. There’s no one else.”
Paige shrugged. “There’s Lord Reynolds?” she offered.
Holt coughed again and Paige saw blood staining his teeth. “Authority and confidence he has in abundance, yes. But know how to command a ship? Definitely not. It has to be you, Paige.”
Her face lost its worry and became more serious. She could see he was dying and was determined that his last impression of his daughter would be one of pride. She squeezed his hand then stood saying, “I’ll do it.”
With that she was gone, unable to bring herself to look upon her father any longer.

“You really think they’ll listen to her?” Baird asked as he changed out the blood soaked bandages.
“They probably will. If Lilly’s up there they should. Besides, I didn’t want her to hang around here and watch me die.”
“Ach! You maudlin’ bastard!” Baird swore. “Am I not here beside ya? I ought to let ya die for the cheek of it!”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:14 pm

The damage repair crew arrived bearing tools and timber.
They immediately waded through the ankle deep water and began shoring up the door, jamming a long length of four inch square timber between it and the opposite bulkhead.
Suddenly the witch lurched to Starboard, accompanied by a cacophony of timpani drums as the vessel struck the ocean floor.
All but Reynolds, whose balance and equilibrium were better than most, were thrown about suffering minor injuries.
There was a deep booming noise from the other side of the bulkhead followed by a popping sound.
The repair crew looked anxiously at one another, then at Gecko, who shrugged.
“Best not think about it,” he grumbled.
Suddenly a vent pipe started leaking water, then a deluge poured in from above.
Scraping, grinding noises sounded throughout the vessel as she slid along the sea bed.
Gecko screwed his face up in annoyance.
“Go inboard and get the vent Flap closed. Don’t let the water get any further along that duct,” he ordered one of the crewmen.
He grimaced as the rush of air indicated that they were losing a lot from the other side of the bulkhead.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:15 pm

Paige entered the bridge to see only Lilly and Mr Whitby in post.
“Who’s on the sound-o-graph?” she called, holding onto the door frame as the vessel lurched again.
“No one yet!” Lilly called as she dragged herself back into her seat.
“Mr Whitby,” Paige said as the ship up righted itself. “I’ll take over there while you operate the sound-o-graph. I remember you having some experience with it.
Whitby nodded and settled into the operators chair after passing the handset to Paige.

“Now hear this,” Paige spoke into the mouthpiece as she watched Whitby settle in and fire up the odd machine. “This is Acting Captain Holt speaking.”

In numerous areas of the vessel crewmen glanced at one another in surprise. Some frowned while others shrugged. A few baulked at the idea of a female captain, while Reynolds merely grinned at Gecko, who grinned back.
“Good on her!” the first officer chuckled.

“Engine Room,” Paige called out, “give me full power on the Ether Generators and blow all tanks. We need to get top-side as quickly as possible.”

In the time it had taken to say those words the water level within the passageway adjacent to the airlock had risen several inches and was now lapping at the lower edge of the doorways at either end.
Seth Gecko waded across to the round glass viewport in the airlock door and peered in.
It was too dark within to see anything so he pressed his ear to the glass.
He could hear gurgling and sloshing from inside, perhaps were air was trapped near the deck head, or ceiling as non-sailors would call it.
Listening for a little longer he became aware of a pattern to the sound, a liquid rhythm to the gurgling noises. Too regular to be the random sloshing of water this, as he feared, was the sound made by a constant stream of air passing through the water filled compartment.
The water on this side of the airlock was now over the lip of the doorways and flooding into the boat beyond.

He grabbed the handset. “Port airlock to bridge.”
“Go ahead Mr Gecko,” Paige said.
“Captain,” Gecko said clearly so that all on board were aware that Paige had his backing. “We are losing air. Water’s filling through our ventilation system. I’ve sent someone to shut the valve but I don’t hold up much hope.”
“Understood, how long do we have?”
“Piece of string? We’re holding for a while but the more air we lose, the more water we take on and the heavier we get. We let this go on long enough and we’ll be too heavy to surface.”
Paige was silent, thinking hard.

“Mr Gecko?” Reynolds called, summoning the First Officer over.
“One moment, bridge,” Gecko said as he joined Reynolds at the forward watertight door.
He peered through the viewport into the illuminated passage beyond and saw water flowing passed the door almost waist deep.
“Shit!” Gecko cursed running back for the comm.
“Bridge!”
“Yes, Seth?”
“We’ve just discovered a bigger problem forward of our position. The compartments are flooding quickly. We’re now cut off and can’t get forward.”

Paige stared at the speaker and noticed Lilly watching her.
“Bridge, this is Engine Room. We’ve opened the generators right up but the water is tripping out circuits all over the place.”
“Understood Engine Room,” Paige said calmly as she glanced around the room, being careful to avoid looking at the dead Guthrie.
Bez was sitting to one side, slumped against the bulkhead with his head in his hands.
“Bez!” Paige beckoned. “Get me a rope from the locker down below here, quickly!”
Bez stared at her in disbelief.
“Do it!” Lilly barked, not knowing what Paige was planning.
“Stand by,” Paige spoke into the mouthpiece.
Bez returned swiftly with rope in hand and passed it to the acting captain.
“Help me tie Lilly up,” she ordered.
“What?” both Lilly and Bez said in unison.
“Sorry Lilly, but we need to make like a diving bell. They’re open at the bottom.”
Lilly frowned as she considered the words. “So I don’t fall out?” she asked and got a nod in return indicating that she understood the plan correctly.
“Neat!” Lilly quipped. “Do it.”
Paige and Bez passed the rope around Lilly several times, binding her and a harness like web to the chair.
“Kinky, captain!” Lilly laughed, the tension getting to her now. “In other circumstances?”
Paige scowled at her. “Ew, Lilly! That’s disgusting!”
Lilly laughed, a maniacal sound. “Better tell folks to hold on!” she warned.

Paige turned to the comms station.
“Engine Room, flood all portside ballast tanks, blow air in all starboard tanks.”
“You want us to let the air out of the port tanks?” the engineer asked.
“Yes.”
“We’re taking on water, that would be nuts!”
“just do it!” Paige said harshly.
“No offense little girl, but there’s no way I’m going to let you sink us.”
“Paige?” Seth cut in.
“I know what I’m doing,” Paige argued. “We need to trap the air inside, and the only way to do that is to put the hole on the bottom of the boat, like a moon pool. I want to roll the boat over.”
Gecko thought about that and laughed aloud. He was about to order the engineer to obey but the engineer’s voice crackled over the speakers.
“That’s a unique idea, ma’am. I like it! Flooding port and blowing starboard tanks.”
“Everyone hold on,” Paige called out. “Port bulkheads are about to become decks. Watch out for falling items.”
Lilly was already turning the wheel and pulling the levers that operated the hydroplanes, cork-screwing the vessel through the water as she applied more power.

The Waterwitch began to lean to port, rotating further and further over. Lilly May Buxley was still laughing like a maniac as she fought the controls to keep the boat from rolling all the way.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:16 pm

Paige thought that to say the journey was plain sailing from then on would have been a laughable statement.
The water kept rising for some time, building up the pressure inside the sausage shaped main hull of the Waterwitch had increased enough to counter the inflow.
Many of the ship’s systems didn’t like being submerged in water, or operating a ninety degrees from the normal.
Even so, the engineers work extremely hard to keep the vessel running, and Lilly equally so, to keep the vessel rising and Whitby to keep the vessel from crashing into anything until they had made it into clear waters.

A warning crackled over the struggling intercom system when they were only one hundred feet below the surface and rising; “Prepare to return to normal attitude. Prepare the vessel for flight.”
Paige had heard the cheer echo through the vessel without the need for the comms.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:04 pm

“After we surfaced and laboured skyward,” Paige Holt was saying as she continued to give her account of the events that had transpired aboard the Waterwitch.
She was dressed in a conservative dress, expensive, but not outlandishly so.
Standing there giving evidence to the court she looked very calm and confident, not at all flustered by the proceedings nor the prosecutor’s attempt to trip her up or pick holes in her story. Or that’s whet Reynolds thought as he studied her from the back of the courtroom.
He was keeping out of sight, partly because he didn’t want Paige to stumble, or relax her guard just because she thought he would bail her out of trouble, which of course he would.

Paige continued.
“It took us a long time to sort out our systems as the water drained out. It seemed a lot more reluctant to leave than it did to enter,” explained smiling at the judge who allowed himself a quick grin and nodded understandingly.
“After your vessel had taken flight, might I ask what happened?” aksed Mr Baxter, the defence barrister.
“The crew worked hard o get the systems on board to a condition that would allow us to return to England. Well, actually, most did. A few others including r Gecko and Lord Reynolds gathered up the dead and carried them to the forward deep hold. A few others assisted Doctor Baird with the wounded.”
“Tell the court about those that had mutinied. What befell them?”
Paige glanced towards the judge briefly before returning her gaze her barrister.
“with the exception of Wade, most of the ring-leaders had been killed during the failed attempt at mutiny. Most of the those who’d supported Wade had helped get thye Witch back in operation and those that chose so were allowed to stay on as crewmen to complete the journey without pay. Those that did not were placed in the brig to stand trial. Only two chose the latter and they were handed over to the authorities when we arrived in England.”
The barrister smiled as he leaned forward on both arms.
“Did you not consider the alternative, Miss Holt? Is it not true that some of you senior crewmembers and your own father were urging you to execute them?”
Paige nodded. “It is true, sir. But I had been appointed as acting captain and I was not prepared to have men put to the firing squad. I don’t think my authority would go that far.”
“Thank you Miss Holt,” the barrister said with a courteous nod of his bewigged head. Then turning to the judge he announced that he had no further questions.
Paige braced herself, knowing that the prosecutor would have his turn again.
“Miss Holt,” the short man said in a patronising tone. “This wondrous tale you have told us, in which all the guilty parties have either perished or fled does seem like a rather fantastic adventure. However, I am unsure as to whether I believe you.”
He fixed the young woman with a steely gaze over the top of his round spectacles and was silent.
Unused to such environments Paige looked around her, nervous for the first time as to how to respond. She had been told that she should answer all of the prosecutor’s questions, but she hadn’t heard a question in the man’s dialogue.
“Erm, that is you prerogative, sir,” Paige said cautiously.
As though she had not answered, the prosecutor continued.
“You will see my predicament, Miss Holt, may I call you Paige?” he sucked in a lung full of air, wheezing as he did.
It reminded Paige of the old kettle in the kitchen at lord Reynolds’ Knightsbridge abode.
“You may not,” Paige said in immediate response, bringing a smile to her barrister’s serious face.
“You see, Pai….” The prosecutor had begun, but his jaw snapped shut as her response sank home. He looked most put out.
“May I ask why not?” he said at it was obvious to Paige that he was not used to people telling him he could not do a thing.
“Because it would be improper of me to address you as Rupert, and therefore I will not. It would be equally improper for you to address me bin such a familiar fashion under such circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Unless,” she quickly added, “you were to be proposing. Are you proposing Mr Grindley?”
A ripple of laughter echoed through the audience and the magistrates panel.
“You think this a laughing matter, do you, Miss holt?” the prosecutor asked indignantly.
“You believe it alright to mock me and by default, this court?”
Again he fixed Paige with that icy glare of his. “Do you?” he barked.
“No,” Paige answered meekly, her eyes downcast.
“How funny do you think perjury is, Miss Paige Holt?” the prosecutor inquired, deliberately inserting her forename despite her previous objection.
Paige frowned at him. “I don’t follow your meaning, sir,” she said.
“You could be a liar, Miss Holt. It could be that you concocted this whole rather bizarre story with your in an attempt to avoid your responsibility towards your debts. After all, we aren’t just talking about a handful of shillings here, are we? You owe my clients a very considerable sum indeed. Enormous, in fact. And I wouldn’t put it past you and your crewman to have made up this whole fantastic series of events as an excuse for not paying.”
The prosecutor leaned forward, as though the extra few inches he had moved closer to Paige would be more intimidating.
“Is that true, Miss Holt?”
“No, absolutely not!”
“Is it not true that you and your penniless father are schemers and swindlers that have conned my client out of nearly two million pounds?”
“Objection, Your Honour!” the defence barrister called, gaining the attention of the judge and magistrates panel. “The debt is that of Captain Holt. Miss Holt is merely here to give her account of events and speak on behalf of her father who is still convalescing in hospital.”
The judge nodded. “I should be inclined to agree. This debt is not Miss Holt’s and she is not on trial here.”
The prosecutor raised himself up as high as he could. “Your Honour, Captain Holt is not able to attend due to his so-called injuries. His next of kin has agreed to stand in his stead and is therefore accountable for her father’s debts.”
The judge sighed. “Indeed she has, but steady as she goes there Mr Grindley. Miss Holt is here to give the account on her father’s behalf and answer what questions she may.”
Grindley gave the court a nod and smiled graciously before turning on Paige again.
“I put it to you that your father and his co-conspirators hatched a plot to subvert payment of extraordinary debts. I say that they planned an event that was made to look like a mutiny. I believe that their plan included the murder of their own crewmen.”
An audible gasp filled the room and Paige stifled a giggle as it made Grindley seem like a pantomime villain.
“Objection,” Baxter shouted.
“That is a strong allegation. Mr Grindley. I hope it is not just conjecture?”
“No indeed, Your Honour. I have here,” he waved a piece of paper at the court.
“A sworn and and signed statement from the man these people accuse of being a mutineer; Mr Nestor Wade.”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:29 am

Paige instinctively scowled at the proffered paper.
“In it,” Grindley continued, “he says that you and your father, both of you, had plotted this horrific illusion and when he had objected you vilified him and threw him from his job on the Waterwitch.
“That’s not true!” Paige said defensively.
“Is it not? But he has sworn the truthfulness of this document upon the bible, just as you have here today. One of you must be lying and Mr Wade is not the one trying to avoid paying millions of pounds is he?”
“But wade is an evil, sick, twisted man and a liar to boot,” Paige countered. “We have sworn statements to the events too!”
“From your crew? The people you employ? Their loyalty to you is commendable, but also easily purchased. I cannot say that one word they have written is true. I believe your witnesses are the liars, Miss Holt, are they not?”
“No!”
“Every worthless scrap of paper; a fabrication?”
“No!”
“There is not one person there,” he pointed to the stack of statements on Baxter’s bench, “that can be trusted to tell the truth, not one person who does not have a vested interest in you keeping the Waterwitch.”
“That is not true!” Paige exclaimed. “They are all true, including the one from Lord Reynolds.”
“Ah, yes, Lord Reynolds. Odd how we haven’t been able to contact him isn’t it? Probably hiding himself away in shame! Doesn’t he employ you as his housemaid?”
Paige blushed. “He did.”
“At his London Residence?”
“Yes.”
“A place where you could easily have acquired the headed paper on which you claim he wrote his statement, if indeed he did. He didn’t did he?”
“Yes!”
Reynolds, at the back of the room frowned and fidgeted but decided to hold back for a moment longer.
“No Miss Holt, he didn’t. I have had an expert look at the writing and it is not his.”
“It is! His hand was bandaged after he found that he had broken a finger during the flooding.”
“Damned convenient, I say! Your so-called star witness’ hand is injured making his handwriting unrecognisable?”
“It is his. I say!” Paige said in frustration.
“Well, maybe it is his signature. Our expert said it was very similar to the real thing. Did you write it and get him to sign it?”
“No!”
“You are undeniably a beautiful young woman, Miss holt. That is why Lord Reynolds employs you, is it not? After all, you have had no previous experience in the serving industry. Why would the son of Earl Reynolds hire you, if it were not for your beguiling looks?”
“Or perhaps that was your father’s plan all along? Ensconce you with the impressionable young peer who stood to inherit a fortune and like a succubus you were to lure him into your trap and take that fortune from him? It wouldn’t be too difficult for a confidence trickster and his daughter, would it?”
Paige didn’t get to answer.
“He has a bit of a reputation, I hear. One with the ladies? Was that indeed why he employed the beautiful and inexperienced young daughter of a merchant ship’s captain? Were you his concubine?”
Paige’s mouth once more hung open in shocked silence.
“Careful, Mr Grindley, this is a dangerous territory you are treading. Such accusations against a peer of the realm could land you in hot water,” the judge said.
“I am merely trying to establish the validity of the witness statements, your honour. Earl Reynolds’ son is without spouse and could easily fall under the beguiling sway of a manipulative young woman. He wouldn’t be the first! And from what I have heard, your honour, he is the sort!”
Paige was furious. She stared at the fat little man but then movement at the back of the room caught her eye and her face suddenly brightened, but Grindley didn’t notice her sudden change in demeanour.
“So, Miss Holt, was that about right? Did you in fact ensconce yourself with the weak willed philanderer, Reynolds, and twist him to agree to your plans?”
Paige took a deep satisfied sounding breath and let it out slowly.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself, Mr Grindley?”
Grindley scoffed. “Well, of course I would, but he is conveniently missing, just as your father is conveniently unable to attend his own trial.”
“Why Mr Grindley!” Paige said in a mocking tone that made the prosecuting barrister balk. “Of course you can ask him, he’s right behind you!”

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:30 am

All eyes turned towards the rear of the oak panelled courtroom.
The smartly dressed, clean, tall figure of Sebastian Reynolds stood just inside the door to the courtroom, looking as though he had just entered. He held his hat and gloves in one hand and a cane in the other.
The startled court bailiff took the items from Reynolds as he thrust them towards him, then at a slow leisurely pace the Baron made his way towards the front of the room.
“If I might be permitted to address the court, Your Honour?” Reynolds asked of the judge.
“It is highly irregular, but as I am feeling a degree of morbid intrigue at your sudden appearance then I shall allow it.
Reynolds nodded congenially at the judge and turned on Grindley.
“Apologies for interrupting proceedings, but I believe you were in the midst of casting judgements upon my character, or lack thereof, Mr Grindley. In order to assuage your concerns would you care to ask me your questions?”
Grindley’s face flushed, his jaw dropping open as he gaped at Reynolds.
“Well?” Reynolds pried.
“Erm…” Grindley managed.
“Which is it man? This weak willed philanderer doesn’t have all day! What question do you wish me to answer? Shall we start with… Did Miss Holt join my employ to beguile me and dupe me into providing an alibi and to con me out of my fortune? No she did not!”
Grindley finally recovered. “How can you know that?”
“Because I offered her the job as a favour to my father with whom Captain Holt had had dealings. It was my father’s suggestion. One to which Captain Holt initially objected, but did eventually agree to.”
“But why, Reynolds, would you offer someone with no experience in the work a job at your Knightsbridge residence?”
“Am I on trial, Mr Grindley?”
“Erm…. No.”
“Then firstly, you will address me as Lord Reynolds, or Baron Roborough, whichever suits your tastes. Secondly, my reasons for employing my staff are my own and NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS!”
Grindley made to bluster at the harsh raised words but Reynolds continued in a loud but calm voice.
“Shall we go back to the point where you initially accused Miss Holt of being a liar?
She and her father did not concoct that this story, the statements, including my own are genuine, mine written on paper which I took from my writing bureaux. My writing is different to normal as I have a broken index finger,” Reynolds held up his hand for all to see the first two fingers strapped together.
“Captain Holt is genuinely wounded, to such an extent that he will not walk again. He is lucky to be alive at all,” in a sudden flurry of movement Reynolds drew a long bladed knife from the inside of his coat.
“Lord Reynolds!” the judge exclaimed as the Baron brandished the weapon.
Reynolds stabbed the tip into the top of Grindley’s bench and the prosecutor blanched white.
“That,” Reynolds said pointing at the weapon, “is a sword bayonet. The very same twelve inch long blade that was thrust like so…”
The baron swung an imaginary rifle towards Grindley’s portly stomach.
Despite Reynolds holding nothing at all, Grindley whimpered and fell backwards into his seat.
“It passed through Holt’s abdomen and surprisingly did very little damage all things considered. However the tip managed to sever the good captain’s spine, meaning he is chair bound for the rest of his days.”
Reynolds strolled slowly around the courtroom as he continued. “The person responsible for that was the very same person that has signed you witness statement, Mr Grindley. The peper which you have so confidently flapped around like a victory flag is so worthless that I wouldn’t even use it to wipe my arse with!”
Grindley remained aghast and speechless.
“And as for my marital status and whom I may or may not be having relations with, well, if I ever hear anything that even hints at such slander coming from your mouth again, Mr Grindley, then you and I shall be falling out.” He turned suddenly and fixed Grindley with a cold stare. “Do I make myself clear?”
Grindley swallowed hard.
“Now,” Reynolds said quietly, “is there anything else you would care to accuse Miss Holt or myself of before I bring this session to a close?”
Flustered, Grindley shuffled papers around his bench as though is was some kind of mantra that could bring order back to the world.
“My Lord,” Grindley addressed the judge rather than the peer. “I think the court has heard enough, and this irregularity needs to be stopped immediately. This is, as the common phrase goes, ‘Debtors Court’. We are here to ascertain whether Miss Holt, as the proxy of Captain Lidsey Holt of the Waterwitch has reasonable grounds and reason for defaulting on their debts. They owe incredible sums of money to my client and have not paid what is owed. I think I have shown that they not only had reasonable time to pay the debt, but also conspired to avoid payment by making up this incredible, implausible and laughable tale. The law is clear, Your Honour, the debt is owed and the time has passed. I move that the Waterwitch be used as collateral to cover some of the debt and that the Holts be incarcerated in the nearest debtors prison for a time comparative to the monies still outstanding.”
“If I might be allowed to indulge the court for a little longer?” Reynolds interjected.
“NO YOU CANNOT!” Grindley almost screamed and banged his fist upon the bench before him, making the long bayonet wobble.
The judge observed Grindley through his round glasses for a moment.
“Mr. Grindley, are you operating under the assumption that this is your courtroom?”
Grindley flushed and fidgeted with his paperwork again being careful to avoid observing the long bayonet that swayed gently every time he nudged the bench. “No. Your Honour.”
“I’m glad to hear it. So if it is all well and good with you sir, I will decide who speaks and when, within these four walls.”
The judge straightened in his chair and eyed Reynolds. “And do you believe your social rank gives you authority over me or my court, Lord Reynolds?”
Reynolds gave an amused chuckle, “Of course not, Your Honour.”
“I’m glad to hear that too,” the judge leaned back in his seat and surveyed the room for a moment.
“Are you an intelligent man, Lord Reynolds?”
Reynolds shrugged. “I’m no genius, Judge Barnaby, but I’ve plenty enough to see me through.”
“That is what I assumed. So given that you are intelligent, in an earlier comment you mentioned that you would bring this session to a close, I must assume that you would not say such a thing unless you believed you knew something that would have sway in the outcome?”
Reynolds burst out laughing and clapped his hands.
“That, My Lord, is why you sit in that chair and not Mr Grindley here! Indeed I do possess something that will sway the outcome.”
Judge Barnaby nodded and waved his hand before the gathered room. “Then let us see it.”

Reynolds stepped forward. “I have here,” he declared reaching into his pocket and producing two folded pieces of paper, “two bankers draughts.”
Reynolds placed them on the bench before the judge.
“The reason, ladies and gentlemen, that I have been out of contact is down to the fact that I have been in India, liquidating a few assets.”
“I have just come from a meeting with my own solicitor where I have signed the finalised Sale and Transfer documents alongside former Captain Holt. That would be the Sale and Transfer of the vessel currently known as the Waterwitch, to me, for the sum of five million pounds.”
A unified gasp filled the courtroom and Reynolds allowed the sum to hang silently in the room for a while longer.
“The condition of the sale is that three million pounds of the money goes to paying off the debts accrued by the previous owner and the rest to Mr Lindsey Holt, a man who will no longer be capable of working and earning his own money in the manner he until recently be accustomed to.”
Reynolds turned to face Grindley. “So, Mr Grindley, all I need from you is your client’s name to be placed upon the draught and your client will have been paid in full.”
Grindley looked both astonished and crestfallen.
Judge Barnaby watched Grindley closely. The barrister was staring into the beyond as though he didn’t know what to do.
“I would suggest that you accept the offer, Mr Grindley,” the judge announced.
“But the Holts defaulted on their payments! They should be sentenced!”
“The debt has transferred to Lord Reynolds who is paying said debt in full, Mr Grindley as is the purpose of this court. I see no reason to burden our prisons with people that will have committed no crime, do you?”
Grindley’s shoulders sagged. “No, Your Honour, you are quite right, but I should have to take guidance from my client.”
“Your client wouldn’t happen to be German by any chance, would he, Mr Grindley?” Reynolds asked, already knowing the answer.
Grindley looked shocked. “How would you know that? My client has chosen to remain anonymous throughout these proceedings?”
“I’ve met your client, Mr Grindley, and you might not know it but he has another to whom he answers. Now that man, whom we shall not name here, works in the financial sector. Would you advise such a person against accepting full restitution above what he is due in favour of acquiring a badly damaged submarine? I can’t say I see him having much use for it other than selling it on for a massive loss.”
“I…” Grindley floundered and it was obvious to Reynolds that the barrister was well aware of the full situation.
Grindley sighed and filled out the name on the bond.

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Re: Waterwitch

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:31 am

The Ether Submersible Ship Waterwitch was sitting on the blocks in No.1 Dock, McMasters Naval Shipyard, Chatham.
Lord Sebastian Reynolds stood at the superintendent’s window overlooking the dock, silently watching the workmen below cutting away that damaged structure.
“Sit down, laddie,” an gruff voice said from behind. “If we dinnae get the changes down now, then she’ll no be ready for long while more than she need ta be.”
Reynolds smiled and returned to the large table where Sir James Alexander McMasters sat with a large sketchbook where he and Reynolds had already laid down some of the changes the peer wanted to make to the vessel.
McMasters was excited. He’d been building Ether vessels for the Royal Navy from plans that were decades old and it was nice to get his teeth into something where he could let his inventorial juices flow.
Reynolds sat down.
“Now then laddie, did I hear you right just the now? You want this old bucket to go into space?”
Reynolds grinned. “And that’s just for starters, Jim.”


THE END

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