Crew of S.S. Dovetailer
Oliver- Courageous and stoic Captain of the S.S. Dovetailer.
Gail- The “Feisty” First Mate, childhood friend of Oliver.
Victoria- Chief Navigator, is a musician and also the cartographer (mapmaker).
Hurley- First deckhand, a calm counterpart to Gail, childhood friend of Oliver.
Kato- Second deckhand, mysterious, obscure, yet wise at times
Jason- Third deckhand, skilled yet shy swordsman
Bane- Fourth deckhand, a skilled cook, and the “new guy.”
Crew of Ravensight
Iago- Sharp-witted and financially-oriented Captain of the S.S. Ravensight. Outwardly hostile, but not cruel.
Rodrigo-The first mate: A sharp contrast to Iago. He’s a dull-witted man, but a man of good character.
Jill- Chief navigator, the “normal” girl. She looks normal, acts normal, and is friendly enough.
Larry- First deckhand, a quiet man with a shadowed past. Skilled with bomb-making.
Valerie- Second deckhand, very headstrong and opinionated.
Nylante- Third deckhand and cook, an old man from the bayou who will talk for hours… If you’re smart enough to listen.
Crew of Jaywing
Tyler (presumed dead)- Former captain of S.S. Jaywing, was training her sister in the ways of the sea.
Tracy- Captain of the S.S. Jaywing, became captain after her brother was blown overboard during a storm.
Zachary- First-mate and best friend of Tyler. Is not used to Tracy’s leadership.
Murphy- Chief Navigator, a young man with a dry sense of humor.
Grayson- First deckhand, a large man with an affinity for explosives and firearms.
Victor- Second deckhand, and Victoria’s twin brother, but hasn’t spoken to her in years.
Francine- Third deckhand, a connoisseur of obscure sea dishes, and a decent cook.
Gill- Fourth deckhand, an eccentric guy.
Our story begins under the deck of the S.S. Dovetailer. It is several minutes before lunch, and Bane is cooking for the first time, since Hurley has retired from the position. Of course, the rest of the crew (especially Gail) is getting impatient. He is currently adding spices to the smoked yellowfin. Finishing that, he garnishes it with a lime peel. He first (knowing that the crew mostly eats meat) brings up the finished salmon dish.
“New guy, what took you?” Gail yelled.
“Sorry, the spice rack was a bit cluttered. I was organizing it so it should be faster next time.”
Hurley glanced over. “What are you talking about, kid? I alphabetized them. They should have been organized just fine.”
“It was a mess when I went to cook breakfast. Remember the storm a couple nights ago? I don’t think I used it since then, but when I opened it to look for the salt for the eggs, a bunch of stuff fell out. So I put it back in order. The rolling of the ship probably knocked over the spice rack.”
“Forget about all that. What did you cook?” Oliver asked.
“Um… Smoked yellowfin with some chopped basil and a lime garnish.” Bane said proudly.
“Bane. How long did it take you to cut the peel in one long slice like this?” Victoria asked.
“Maybe ten minutes?”
“Yeah…. That’s ten minutes we could have been eating. Don’t do that next time. Kato, have you seen Jason?”
“He said that he was going to be up in a moment.”
“What’s he doing belowdecks?” Oliver asked with some concern.
“He said he was stacking the cannonballs.”
“Why would he do something silly like that? Someone get him.”
Just then, Jason came up the stairs going below. “Hi guys. The cannonballs are stacked really neat now.”
“Hey… hey Bane, what’s for lunch?” Jason asked.
“Oh, cool! I love tuna.”
They sat down to eat. This was the crew of the S.S. Dovetailer. Normally they were much friendlier, but they were hungry. And a hungry crew is a cranky crew. But as they ate, they grew gradually less and less hostile. By the end, they were downright jovial.
This was an exploration vessel, so all who were aboard had a hearty thirst for the world’s sights and mysteries. They lived for experiences.
About 50 miles northeast of them, lurked the Ravensight. Its crew was in very good spirits, as they had just sacked a smaller trader ship called the Squirreltail. Of course, being generally non-violent pirates who relied mostly on intimidation (they all wore masks while raiding ships) and threats to get what they wanted, they didn’t kill anyone aboard the Squirreltail. The worst thing they did was stab someone in the leg; which, for a pirate, is pretty merciful.
At that moment, they were going through their haul. In with the treasure, Nylante found a rather large dead rat. It looked relatively fresh. “Boys, whaddaya say to a helping of Nylante’s rat casserole? This rat looks like it ain’t even been dead that long; it’d make for some fine eating.”
“Ugh, Ny, seriously? Sorry, but I’m going to have to pass on that. Just looking at that thing is making me sick.” Valerie said with obvious disdain for the rodent.
“I dunno, I’m pretty hungry, and if rat casserole is anything like what Nylante did to that chicken we captured from the S.S. Sandshrew, I’d be willing to try it.” Said Rodrigo with a hungrily vacant stare.
“Yeah, I’ll second what Rod said. I’m up for some rat casserole.” Jill said with a grin.
Iago looked over. “Larry, what’s your vote? I’m actually in favor of Nylante cooking that thing.”
“Yes.” Larry said, and quickly returned to counting the gold coins in the burlap sack he had set down on the deck.
Iago smiled. “So it’s settled, 5 to 1. We’re having rat casserole tonight.” And then, they heard a thump.
“Guys, did you hear that?” Jill asked.
Valerie was already looking over the edge of the boat. “It’s a guy clinging to a plank of wood. He looks tired.”
“Okay, new vote. All in favor of bringing him aboard? I am personally in favor… With all this loot we scored, we can afford another deckhand no problem.”
Everyone, this time including Valerie, raised their hand. Iago opened a small door next to the door to the wheelhouse, and took out a rope ladder. He brought it over to the side of the boat. “Hey, guy! Look up here!”
The man was unresponsive.
“Alright, everyone hold the ladder, I’m bringing him up.” Everyone took hold of the end of the ladder as Iago tossed it over the edge of the boat. He climbed down and grabbed the man by the waist, throwing him over his shoulder. He climbed back up, almost dropping the castaway several times. But eventually he made it back up.
“Okay, we got him. He’s passed out, and he might have some water in his throat, but he’s breathing. Nylante, fetch some of that strong-smelling stuff you use to wake people up.” Iago began thrusting his wrist into his chest under the lung repeatedly, and the man spat out a good amount of seawater.
“I’m on it.” He returned a minute later carrying a corked vial with a red herb in it. He uncorked the vial and waved it under the man’s nose. The man spluttered and coughed immediately, spitting out a bit of seawater in the process.
They all backed away as the man sat up, holding his hand in front of his eyes to block out the bright sun. “Where am I? What are you all doing on my ship?”
Iago laughed a bit. “You’re mistaken, I’m afraid. This is MY ship, the Ravensight. What’s your name?”
The man hesitated for a bit, apparently concentrating intensely. “My name… My name is… Tyler.”
“Tyler. Welcome. We found you adrift, and since you look like a man who knows his way around a boat, we’d like to invite you to join our crew. Your pay would be 5% of whatever we pillage.”
“This is a pirate ship. We take just enough from merchant and trade ships that they can recover to be pillaged again, but enough that we can feed ourselves and live comfortably. It used to be a merchant ship years ago, but I commandeered it after the original captain died, and the people you see here were the crew of that ship at the time. Except Larry, he joined us after double-crossing his own ship to help us. No one can recognize us as the crew of a pirate ship on land as we keep ourselves somewhat well-groomed, and because we take down our black flag and replace it with a Eupyrdian (In the world of Trimera, derived from the Latin for “Three Seas”, Eupyrdiem is the country with the greatest naval strength, comparable to England on earth) one long before any shore towns can see it. So we are free to land at normal ports without suspicion and use the money we take from those ships to buy food and supplies. We also dabble in trade, so some people even know us as traders. This is the way we live. So, I ask again, would you like to join us?”
“I don’t remember much other than my name… Maybe joining you will help me remember who I am. Sure, I’ll take your offer.”
And so the Ravensight gained its fourth deckhand, a mysterious drifter in the most literal sense of the word. Only time would tell if he would remember who he was.