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Rebellion: The Beginning
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Chapter 3: Winds of Hope
Mêlée was far away over the horizon as seen on The Grog Villains Beauty, when the sun greeted the lookout, half sleeping on his duty, on the small Sloop.
Young Lindy had happily agreed to be the first man, who had his duty with the steering wheel. Meanwhile Rum had taken a nap, Rap was going through the goods stored up in the cargo hold and Angus and Marley sat in the captain’s quarters, discussing their situation.
"I have to be true to you Angus." Marley started, after emptying a cup of rum "This escape seemed as a folly when we sailed out of the Mêlée harbours. But after serious consideration, I’ve got hopes in this journey, if only we can outrun our followers."
"Oh?" Angus answered with a sarcastic undertone, disbelieving that Governor, now Captain Marley could possibly have found a solution for their grim situation.
"Well," Marley started, picking up a map from the floor. "we are here," He pointed a dirty finger at a small group of islands west of Long Island, and south of Exuma Sound and the English colony of Eleuthera. “If we can outrun the VoodooLady’s frigates, we could get help in Eleuthera. My brother has many "Good" friends, among the local captains. He was quite a giver of Letters of Marque last I heard from him, and he wasn’t sparse with military titles either. And Nassau..." Angus clearly marked his dismay over just the mention of the place" Yea. It’s one of the worst pirate anchorages in the whole West Indies.
But what choices do we have? And also, some of the more "respectable" Buccaneers owe me quite some favours, I often helped Nassau quite extensively in the beginning, before the closing of the sea that is. So I believe that we could muster a little fleet from just that place, multiplied with approximately 2 from Eleuthera..." Marley stopped talking, and did some heavy calculations, it seemed. "Ah, yes of course!" He suddenly burst out. "Florida Keys! They’re so crammed full of pirates, Buccaneers, and other scum that it is nearly embarrassing for the whole West Indies, and now in the fall, they’ll be dying for new booty, unless the Treasure Fleet is extremely late season." Angus swallowed deep. "Not going so good eh?" Marley thought aloud, while fiddling with his great beard "Well, we could drag some ships out of the place, right?"
"Well, the Florida Keys are not as thriving as they where in the forties Captain. Many an attack from the Spanish, and minimal successful raids on the Treasure Fleet, has nearly made the keys deserted. I think you should think of the French colony of Tortuga, It actually far exceeds the Keys as a gathering place for privateers. It is truly a heaven for privateers and the likes. But they might be picky with the prices. The times have never been better for pirating. Spain's colonies are so poorly defended, that a ship loaded with monkeys could sack one of them. I’ve heard stories about pirate raids, where the captain just had to stick his ugly face over the fortifications, and every soldier would flee with the governor closely behind. You would actually have severe problems with prices nowadays.” Angus said, clearly remembering the many happy sailors, waiting for another killing spree over the Terra Firma.
"Ah! Money, you don't need to worry about such trifles." Marley said proudly "I got some reserves tucked up in some caves..."
"I hope so." Angus said doubtfully.
At that moment they could hear yelling at the deck, and soon a frantic knocking on the door.
"What?!" yelled Marley, not pleased over the lack of respect to a fine oak door.
The door opened with a crash, making a clear bulk in the oak plating in the wall, to the clear disliking to Marley, and in came Young Lindy with eyes almost out of his head.
"Yea?" said Marley slowly, in a tone that discouraged any jokes from the young boy.
"You must come on deck and see this Captain!" Lindy said with rushed words, full of amazement. "It's like a being of it self." They followed Lindy up to the deck. "I didn't want to disturb you about a feeble little cloud, although it is strange. But as I was drawing it, I changed course, and as I did so, the cloud also did the same. I have changed course numerous of times now, but the cloud always position itself on the Broad Beam Reach of the ship.” (Approx. 60 degrees from the mast in backward position, on either starboard or port)
Angus was furious by hearing this.
"You must be crazy boy! The winds come from the direction of that cloud." he yelled to the young boy. “Here the Goddess of Winds gives us a little gift, and you insult her with trying to stay clear of the wind... This is a Sloop, you stupid scab, and you have been trying to slow her down with your reckless sailing. The broad beam reach is her sweet spot, the side on which the wind must blow to fully make use of the sails, and here you try to navigate it everywhere possible except that spot... If I were the Captain, you would have been keelhauled this instant!"
Lindy was terrified, and could not focus on anything else than his drawing of the great, but quite strange cloud.
Captain Marley looked down from the cloud that has captured his complete focus trough the entire outburst from Angus. Now his mind returned to the ship, and he hated himself for not stopping Angus in time, and he looked upon Lindy with great pity.
"And that is why you aren’t the captain." Marley said, with a laugh (aimed at Lindy) mixed with an angry scowl at Angus "Young Lindy made the right decision after my opinion. We don't know if this cloud is our friend or foe yet. And look, it is still mustering strength." They looked at the cloud, and could see that the whole sea underneath it fumed, as if the ocean it self was boiling. "And see ahead," Marley continued "there also is a cloud coming towards our prow. We should be patient but wary about this cloud."
Later that day Captain Marley ordered Angus into his quarters.
"Welcome" Marley greeted the Scotsman, and bade him sit down and take as much as he wanted from the mug of grog on the table, then he continued " I want to talk with you about your comments to Lindy about his navigation..."
"I'm sorry if my views don’t fit yours Captain" Angus said, with spit full of anger flying all over the place "But trying NOT to gain the most of our sails, just seemed like folly. Even I..." He was interrupted by Marley before he could complete his sentence.
"It is not your disapproval of his navigation in its self, that I am going to talk with you about" Marley said, in a tone as friendly as possible, trying not to set afire any sparks that still could glow in Angus' mind "The problem is the way you talked to him. Remember that he is just a kid."
"Remember that he must grow up." Angus nastily spat back.
"I don't see what yelling at him, has anything to do with him growing up." Marley said, irritated over the complete lack of understanding from Angus' part.
"He got to learn that reality isn't just cosy life, where he doesn't have to wonder about a thing." Angus started, he was clearly repulsed over the thought of Lindy's easy life "The only proper work he does is drawing those pictures. I don't see why you brought him with you at all. If you wanted an illustrator, I bet that tens of other people could have done just as good as Lindy and still be doing a better sailing job."
"It IS his first time working on a ship." Marley said, trying to defend Lindy's lack of thought when handling the steering wheel.
"Even more the reason for teaching him the true world" Angus said, seeing a hole in Marley's defence. "He won’t find any captain who will be understanding towards his mistakes in the future, so why not teach him the lessons as soon as possible. That way he won't be disappointed in later life."
Angus had hit the Captain’s soft spot, and he could see it in Marley's eyes. He could see the conflict that had bothered the Captain throughout the journey so far.
"I can't." Marley answered after a silent break "I just can't yell at him without proper reason, and I can assure you that none of the others would neither (he referred to Rap, and Rum, of course). He is dear to me. Like a son, and I truly see him like a son. You know of all the stories from the travelling trough the waters of this realm; I believe his must be the saddest. Even the way we found out our story was tragic; we had to force it out of his parents." Marley stopped, hoping Angus would have enough understanding to listen at his story and think it trough.
"Go on." Angus said interested.
"Well, it happened just by chance that we came upon their ship really. It was a proud English Pinnace named "Duckling" manned by a crew of traders, which consisted of members from just one family we believe. (We don't know if their names where Lindy or anything, we just saw that name noted on their boxes: "Mr.Lindy's fine rum", so it might even be their customers.) But anyway, this was just east of Booty. And it was before the Booty Massacre, so we thought that we’d better pay the Pinnace a welcome and talk about politics. We came alongside them, and just as we had come close enough for a cosy little chat, we heard a woman scream, followed by a children’s cry. Oh well, we though, a bit of bad timing maybe? But the strange thing was that the child’s crying wouldn't stop, and neither would anyone answer our calls. Well you don't have to be a genius to understand that something was wrong. So we quickly climbed into their Pinnace, and going down deck, we saw a nightmare come true. There the whole family was huddled into a corner with great disgust, and sickness in their eyes, while the newborn baby was left alone unclean on the floor. We asked them about the situation, and they answered strangely that it was the mother's fault and that she should clean it up, but the mother only pleaded that we should clean the mess up, since she had a very sensitive nose. Well, since we couldn't get anything out of them without taking away the baby, we carried him to our boat for the moment, where Rap cleaned and fed him.
After we had taken the baby away, the mother started cleaning up the mess that was left on the floor, and she clearly marked her disgust in doing so, holding her hand to her nose all the time. We talked to the other members of the family while the mother was cleaning, and it seemed that they believed that the baby was her “most personal trash” and they where all shocked over that she couldn’t press it over the rail when she dropped it, but had to insist on doing it down deck.
We tried to get more information out of them, but all we got was cryptic messages like, -great black cloud singing and dances in England the grand. And then they went around talking about their childhoods in Birmingham.
We just saw this as another tragic result of the VoodooLady's power over the realm, and we found out that if the child was to survive we had to keep it ourselves.
So we sailed away from the Duckling while holding the child in our arms. And we looked with disgust upon the mast of the Duckling as it disappeared from our sight over the horizon, and ever since we have watched over that child. And we called him simple enough Young Lindy, after those crates I told you about earlier.
So you must understand Angus; that I can't yell at him for simple things as sailing, even if it would be necessary. You might do it yourself, but that would only destroy the kid’s opinion of you personally I think, since no one would support your side of the story. But neither will we prevent you from yelling at him. So you can choose yourself, what to do."
"I can understand your kind heart." Angus said, slowly thinking trough the whole aspect of the tale "But it might be a terrible mistake from your part. ‘Cause beware, people who always get their wishes without a fight, seldom gains any true holdings to any people. Their own gains are always most important for them, because that is what they are thought to seek by all means.
And concerning my own behaviour towards Lindy In the future... We will see what I'll do."
"Then I'll ask you to please leave my quarters Mr. McDow" Marley said, clearly thoughtful over what Angus had said. "I got to get some sleep. The waves are tempting me to rest forever it seems." That last comment he added with a smile, hoping to extinguish any anger between them.
"I know what you mean Captain" Angus said with a smile, happily playing along to hide his disagreement with the man's way's to handle children. "When I got to Nevis after crossing the Atlantic, I couldn't sleep for a week; I missed the calming waves so much." And with that Angus went to bed, and forgot his anger for a time. But Marley laid long awake, thinking about Lindy, and what his future might be when he was no longer any protection to him. But at the end he fall to sleep, and had a quite disturbing dream, whereas Lindy stabbed him in with the tip of his own duelling rapier.
But in the morning all seemed well, and Marley turned his thoughts against the two strange clouds, and he asked the crew to keep watch on them.
And so they sat in turns day and night, and watched the clouds muster, and closing. For three days they saw this creation of weather, before on midday the fourth day, the cloud mustering from the waves (behind of them) laid it self gentle but stern, right behind Broad Beam Reach. And the cloud ahead of them, laid itself Close-Hauled Beam Reach (exactly opposite direction from the back driving cloud at Broad Beam Reach), and then they felt the warm, but strong, breeze from the back driving cloud. And they could clearly see snow fall from the cloud ahead. The waters in front of them where in fact full of hurriedly melting snow as they sailed over it. Pictures of these two clouds, was Lindy's main occupation for the few weeks with the two clouds.
And as Marley understood that whatever the path they choose the clouds would follow them and giving them a friendly push, he astounded, but happy welcomed Angus belief in the gift from "the Goddess of Winds ". And they never saw any sight of any of the VoodooLady's ships.
But the truth about the weather was not theirs to know, at least not for certain, even the VoodooLady did not understand it until much later...
The Goddess of the winds indeed seemed to be on their side in this quarrel. And in reality she was, but not as "The Goddess of Winds", but with the most peculiar name of Aunt Helen.
The only thing that is clear, is that tired of the constant fights with the voodoo filled fumes of smoke that often arose from Scabb and other islands, Aunt Helen had found her last remaining hope in the small ship of rebels named Grog Villains Beauty. She felt that that little gang of 5 mortal men, and their crew, could be her salvation in her fights, which she soon would loose, she knew if not the VoodooLady was properly destroyed. So she pushed and huffed, and let much of her remaining powers be in that little miracle that occurred in the midst of the oceans around the small Sloop.
She felt that with her help, they were sure to succeed, and finally after rallying people from the outside colonies, wage a grand war, that surely would destroy the VoodooLady for ever.
And this might have happened. Angus McDow, Young Lindy, Rap Scallion, Rum Rogers and Captain Marley could (with trouble of course) have made it to the borders, and passed them, if it hasn't been for that very help that was granted them. But for the moment, they where delighted (some of them at least) of their futures, in high hopes, and was heavily into the tactics that they would surely use when they returned to claim back the lands.
But alas, that fight was never meant to happen. For a force much grander than both the VoodooLady, and Aunt Helen was working with its own mind, with tactics unknown to all. The Grand Ruler of Doom, the writer of destinies, Deston had made his own twist of the story.
And so, as the Grog villains Beauty, was sailing with perfect winds, and with a crew in high hopes steering it, a Spanish War Galleon was entering the borders to the realm of the VoodooLady. The ship contained Pirate hunters, and they desired to find a notorious murderer named Stew Bram.
This foul and spineless murderer, had food poisoned dozens of Spanish Colonies on Terra Firma, and had acted his grim trade with most food sorts known to man.
His most successful poisoning was his Baccalao Finale, which terminated the entire upper class of Puerto Bello, causing civil disorder, and destroying the defences of the once proud city, making it possible for numerous of pirates to easily rob the colony for its riches.
But his most renowned poisoning was definitely The "Heated Weenie" Massacre, which depopulated the entire colony of Puerto Calabaza. A colony founded by a relatively poor merchant who had been fooled by a gang of Indians to buy a shipload of "precious" seeds. The man was moments later attacked by a pirate, by pure luck he defeated the pirate, and was granted lands by the governor of Coro. So he built a plantation, and ended up with pumpkins, and he started exporting them, but he didn't really make much money with his farm. Then one day he found gold in a stream near his house, later it was clear that it came from the mountains nearby. And so the colony grew larger and larger, and so the gold disappeared, and the people who were left from the gold rush (A couple of thousands) hoped to gain new ways to gain income. And thus desperate of alternative ways to gain income, they managed to distil a more intoxicating drink than any man had ever tasted before... And just after the first shipload had sailed out of their port, and met astonished buyers, they got a shipment of sausages (as payment for a trade deal from one of the colonies), accompanied by a chef who would prepare them in the proper way.
This chef was Stew Bram, and he went from door to door with his hot tasty poisonous sausages. And by the next day, not a man was left alive, children and women had stopped breathing in the middle of the night, and all thought the sausages tasted good, but that the nutty aftertaste was kind of too much. Only one man was left to tell the poor colonists’ tale, Cortez the man who had founded the colony (he had been at a meeting that afternoon, and had arrived just after his family had eaten their meals). But even so, Cortez only survived long enough for him to write the dreadful episode down in his diary, after that he mysteriously disappeared. No trace of the liquors was ever found in Puerto Calabaza, neither the manuals to how one might distil any of it. The only trace ever found of the brew, was numerous of bottles sold in dark back alleys in Havana, at extremely high prizes.
After that incident, Stew Bram became infamous, and every tavern owner in Spanish America feared even his name. The War Galleon had, therefore one singular goal, to find this murderer, and bring him to Maracaibo, either alive or dead, so that his head forever would hang on a spike, bowing gently to the Spanish flag.
The captain of the war galleon was an Admiral named of Alonzo Hernando He was the kind of man who easily could slaughter a village populated only with women and children, if they stood in his way for completion of a quest. He heeded therefore little the unpromising looks of the great storms that greeted him on his way towards Eleuthera. His head was too full of anger over his so far unlucky quests, to notice anything wrong with the weather around him as he entered the Voodoo Empire by a South-Eastern gate.
And he was then on a collision course with the Grog Villains Beauty, since he was drawn North-West to get brainwashed along with his crewmembers on Scabb Island. And as the dark and stormbursting winds controlled and manufactured by the VoodooLady for the transportation of the war galleon, met the natural winds of Aunt Helen, there developed, in the clash of the two great forces, a great storm as which never has nor never again shall be seen. There, in the southern realm of the Voodoolady, the second fight against the High Sorceress of all Voodoo-like was fought (the first one, being the rebels’ escape from Booty).
Waves upon waves, threatened to smash the other ships to destruction. But since each power wanted their goods safe, none where harmed; none on Grog Villains Beauty, neither none on the War Galleon.
And in the midst of that night, Lindy awoke. And crying in panicking fear, he awoke the rest of the crew. They all stumbled up from their beds, and the sight that met them on deck was something dreadful that they had never seen before, nor would ever again in any future. Lindy sat down and started drawing right away.
"Hey!" Shouted Angus, he could hardly believe the easygoing mind of the young boy "Aren’t you going to help us?"
"Do I have to?" Lindy asked, with a pleading look at Captain Marley with eyes wide open, as if he where an innocent infant.
"Well..." Marley dragged the answer, understanding that people would be disappointed at whatever he might say. "These waves ARE quite large" He said after a while of thought. “And I would be more pleased to see you safely under the deck, than sitting here in the middle of the storm"
Lindy tried to object, but Marley’s expression quickly made him silent. Captain Marley, followed by Angus, went towards the prow of the boat, and then Angus heard Lindy whisper to Rum. "You won't tell anything to Marley would you? I'm going to the cannon-place to draw some pictures." Angus was furious; the little kid had more nerve than he thought. He quickly stepped over to Rum and Lindy, grasped Lindy's neck with a strong arm and threw the boy down deck. "And stay down there!" He shouted after him, as he barred the door. Rum looked at Angus with curious eyes, and angry scowl. "Why on earth did you do that?" Rum asked, clearly bothered greatly over the mistreating of the poor boy.
"Because it was needed." Angus said, and started to walk away.
"And why is that?" Rum asked. "What possible need could it be to throw a poor young boy down a staircase?" Rum had raised his hands up to his hip, as in preparation for a shootout of words.
"He was ordered to go downstairs, and remain there." Angus said. "And by disobeying the Captains orders, and trying to drag you into his evil schemed plot, he deserves whip lashes. But I'm not a brutal man."
"Brutal enough." Rum said while going away, displeased with the way Angus dealt with things.
"When it is needed that is" Angus shouted after him, in a tone which hinted to regret, but it soon passed. "Bah! They are cursing his life, and their selves'. From now on they can do whatever pleases themselves. Their lack of understanding is their undoing, and I should not be a part of it. At least no longer than I have to" He thought to himself, as he strolled towards the prow where Marley was waving commands to the men in the mast.
"Angus!" Marley shouted in a wondered voice "I can't figure out these sails."
"Among other things" Angus muttered low, and in a scowl "What seems to be the problem?" He then added much merrier and higher.
"Problem? Well, I wouldn't actually say problem" Marley answered looking up at the sails "Not at the moment that is." Angus too, looked up and saw that none of the sails seemed to have the slightest winds in them. It was like the sails where surrounded by a windless environment, and they just hanged low without life it seemed. The only time they moved was when the ship rolled.
"What do you think?" asked Marley, truly puzzled over the whole situation.
"I think." Said Angus, waving his hand calmly around for some time "That it is also quite strange that not a single drop of water has hit the boat yet. Look the planks are crispy dry."
Marley looked down, and it was true. He spitted on the darkest plank he could see, and instantly saw the change, and that the plank almost sucked the spit in itself as if it had been in a desert.
"This is most strange" Marley said, as he thought over the situation. "And I really don't know what to make out of it." He reached his hand into the storm, and he cold see how the raindrops shifted course so that none hit his arm. But that could just be a trick of the winds, or eyes for that matter he knew.
"I think that we should once again keep guard and lower the sails. We have no control over our situation in this storm, or the storm it self." Marley said, while waving his arms in the right directions for the ordering of sail lowering.
"I'll take the first watch." Angus said, hoping to avoid the spoiled kid he knew that he would find down deck.
"All right!" Marley said, patting him on the shoulder. He believed that Angus did it out of sacrifice. "I myself will go to bed. Good night, and please wake me when your shift is over, since I want to take the next one" And then Marley left Angus to his sinister thoughts.
And they held guard over the storm through night and day...
The fight was hard, and bitter, Aunt Helen, finally eyeing a forced departure from one of her kingdoms, was truly panicking and dashing out her most powerful strikes and blasts. But the Voodoolady was more cunning than such. She only backed of the worst strikes, and ducked away from the heavy blows. And later, as Aunt Helens powers where diminishing, The VoodooLady put forth her destructive powers for REAL. Fort came tornados, and hurricanes, and dread to all not under protection of the VoodooLady.
Then tired, and finally understanding at last that her fight was lost, Aunt Helen moved most of her remaining powers to the secret kingdom in the skies. And there she was a long time, before fate chose the final departure for her. There she looked after the land, but since she was so diminished, she never could defend it, at least not properly. There she eyed the Voodoo Empire with remorse, remembering the fair times of the land, when the islands weren’t darkened by ash-full clouds of thunder and lightning, and dread was not in every creature’s souls. Only a small fragment of her power she left the Grog Villains Beauty, so it shouldn't at least sink.
And then feeling nature’s departure from the land, the VoodooLady added a final blow towards the Mother of clouds and winds. A great shock-wave, flowed out of a grand lightning, and all the remaining powers which protected the Grog Villains Beauty, was ultimately destructed. And feeling at last the victory, the VoodooLady silenced her winds. And let only the slow waves draw the grand War Galleon towards Scabb. And there it would, after her designs, reside as a symbol of her final victory, and her supreme rule over the area.
Rum, Angus, Rap, and the Captain was having breakfast in the captain’s quarters when the door suddenly burst open. Marley seeing at last, the oak plating in the wall crack, looked curious and slightly madly at Lindy who rushed into the room with eyes full of terror.
"Shouldn’t you be on guard?" Angus spitted at him as he saw the drawings that he held firmly in his hands.
The others looked surprised at Angus, and couldn't believe that his disliking of the boy had gone so far. But Angus only saw this as just another proof to his judgment of their relation to the boy.
"Well, what is it then?" Marley asked, in a much lighter and happier tone than Angus’. He had soon forgotten his anger over the broken oak.
"I really hope that he was mistaken, but it looked large from my view..." Lindy stammered out.
"What?" Angus asked, tired of the long waiting for what was surely a short message.
"Eh," Lindy said, while his eyes sought after a calming resting place "A Spanish War Galleon, heading directly at us."
"What?!" Marley shouted out. His eyes got blank, and as he turned against the others he saw that they're expressions where likewise. Rum had spitted out his mouthful of rum while dropping the half full mug in his hand. Rap sat completely still, with his mouth open as to greet the food that his hand was about to put into it, but the food never reached the mouth, Rap was completely frozen. Angus had just taken a quite large bit of Rap's soaked fish, and had chewed most of it, but now it just poured out of his mouth and back unto the platter. "Well why did you not tell us before?" Marley finally choked out in fearful disbelief over their situation.
"I didn't want to disturb your breakfast..."