The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 21: Seven at One Rescue
Finwë informs everyone above decks that there are sleeping pirates below, so
we must remain quiet.
Eïr looks through the open door. There is a standing group of barrels, with a pirate semi-reclining on one or two of them. He is apparently guarding the door with the barred window in it. We know, from Mandorak's Second Sight report that there are three rooms with prisoners beyond that door. The squirrel aims for its target; it jumps down, runs up the pirate's leg, leaps to the door, and disappears through it.
The pirate is now fully awake. He flails at his legs, to ward off the dozens of rats be seems to believe are there. Eïr tries to sidle around him, holding a sleepspell bauble at the ready. Despite his flailing, he misses her, so the Distracted cleric sleeps him. He collapses loudly through two barrels. Eïr looks more closely at the door. It has a lock. She starts to search the downed pirate for his keys.
The squirrel leaps through the window of the appropriate door, and onto one particular body. Its chittering and bouncing wake up the slightly disoriented prisoner. "Rillas! What are you doing here?"
Above decks, Teller heads down below. Bavör climbs up on deck, and heads after the Marginalis. He hears "Thorns! Dragons!" coming from below – Marginalis curses. He grabs his hammer, mentally tells Finwë where he thinks everyone is, and heads quietly down the stairs.
Eïr find a ring of keys and removes it from the sleeping body (without awakening him). She selects the largest key, since it seems to be the right size for the door, and slips it into the lock. She unlocks the door and eases it open.
Mannie sends his viewpoint through that door. He now sees the familiar set of four doors on the other three walls. He looks into the room on the right. He's seen these guys before. He looks into the room across from him. There are three grimy, but attractive, young women stapled to the wall.
Bay reaches the bottom of the stairs. Teller is standing on and clutching the shirt of a downed pirate. It would seem that Touch of Sleep works. Two more sailors are rolling out of their hammocks. Bavör TKs his hammer at one pirate, who grabs it, and, with a torrent of pirate-based bad words, hurls it back. Bay regains control of the hammer. The other pirate remains entangled with his hammock, and ends up with his nose against the deck.
Back in the cell on the left, the captive comforts the excited squirrel. Eïr pulls back the sliding bar on the door the squirrel leapt through. The prisoner watches the door open.
Outside, the Brisingalf feints with the hammer, and TKs his new dagger at the ninja pirate. The fellow dodges. Teller somersaults off his downed pirate, then tosses a crumpled ball of paper at the entangled pirate. With the trigger word, the pirate relaxes right down full length onto the deck.
Sam has started down the stairs. Finwë demands that all report on their situation. Some comply.
In the cell opened by the Distracted Eïr, a small, squeaky voice in the other corner of the room asks "Who's there?" Eïr asks, "Are you Sam's brother?" He scuttles farther back. She softly asks again, "Micah?"
"How'd you know?"
"We found her. We've come to find you." She holds up the keys, then looks at the other figure. "Squirrel? Is that the one you were looking for?" She points to the person cuddling the squirrel.
"Who are you?" asks the prisoner.
"Eïr of Lanthil."
"Lanthil? I'm Aldamir of Tighmark."
Eir unlocks Micah's cuffs first. Aldamir keeps tugging on his bonds and looking expectant. "They're probably iron," she warns.
"Of course." He knows that. Then it finally dawns on him—these walls aren' t oak.
Again, Bavör feints with the hammer, and, from behind, drives the dagger into the pirate's back. He starts to let out a scream of startled agony, but it comes out more stifled, because of the blood in his lungs. Sam, coming down the stairs, is disconcerted by the pirate coughing up blood. She manages to inform Finwë that we are doing better than the pirates before she vomits on the stairs.
Mandorak sends his viewpoint to the stairs, where he can see the entire impressive tableau: Sam is puking, one pirate is sleeping, Teller is standing on a second pirate, Bavör is holding his hammer, there is a kneeling pirate coughing up blood, and about twenty pirates are swaying quietly in their hammocks.
Eïr finishes unlocking Micah. She hears "Is this pirate dead?" in her mind. She returns, "No, he's sleeping." As Sam heads for the cells, Eïr whispers, "Be quiet." The reunion of Sam and Micah is touching but silent. Eïr turns to Aldamir and asks, "Do you have a weapon?" It comes out very muffled, since Aldamir has glamoured the sound level down. He shakes his head. This doesn't bother Eïr; she saw several weapons on the downed pirate. Meanwhile, Sam has scooped up her brother and headed out of the room.
Bay mentally asks, "Where's Sam's sister?" "Not here" is the response. He continues to watch for signs of waking pirates, as does Mandorak, through his Second Sight. Teller Touches any pirate who looks restless.
Eïr signals to Aldamir that they are going to rescue the other prisoners. He nods, and signals that there are five of them. The tiny human starts unlocking shackles in the room on the other side of the passage. He stays in the central passage, extending his Silence throughout the stern. That helps enormously when the elderly prisoner starts to scream – silently.
Sam has reached the railing. Micah slides down the rope into Mandorak's arms. Sam creeps back down the stairs. "Is—?" There's no sound. She realizes that she must communicate mentally through Finwë. Bay explains the situation through the captain. Sam leaps down, and smashes the neck of a sleeping pirate.
Aldamir steps over to the oak barrels, touches one, and turns it into sawdust. Oh, well. Meanwhile, Eïr tries to heal the elderly fellow, at least enough to stop his screaming. That works. She hands Sam the keys, so that she can unlock the women in the middle cell.
Teller skips around, Sleeping various pirates. Bavör bonks two on the other side of the deck. Mandorak experiments on one of the dead pirates: He encases his head in ectoplasm. Yes! He can act through his viewpoint!
Finwë gets reports from Bavör and Sam. Eïr and Aldamir coax the old man and the young man out of their cell. Sam urges the three women out of theirs. The leading woman has the dagger Sam gave her, while Sam is gingerly holding the flintlock pistol.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.