The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter: 22: Ships That Pass in the Night
The stream of people creeps quietly up the stairs onto the main deck, led by
Eïr. The old man is assisted by Aldamir, so he moves without tripping.
Sam, still holding the pistol, brings up the rear. The young man runs up
the stairs, screaming a tinny squeak of a scream. Aldamir puts up a hand,
but he tries to dodge around it, and so trips and falls off the stairs.
Neither Aldamir nor Bavör are quick enough to break his fall. He crumples
to the deck in an awkward, unconscious bundle. Bay TKs him up off the
floor, and Eïr grabs him to guide him up the stairs.
Aldamir guides his companion onto the deck. There, Aldamir picks him up in a fireman's carry, grabs the rope (for the look of it), and floats down to… a boat made of solid water, an elf, and a dwarf.
Eïr tries healing the lad as he lies in the same heap he was in on the floor. She now feels that he is no longer fatally injured. She takes a deep breath, grabs her psi battery, and starts work on that broken neck. "Keep him steady," she messages to Bay.
After handing his geezer to Mannie, Aldamir bounces back up to deck level. Sam smiles in relief as he gestures invitingly to the three young women. One faints. Sam braces herself, picks that one up, and hands her to Aldamir. Aldamir sinks down and hands her off to Mannie. Back up. The other two clamber over the rail, and down on the rope. Sam waits until they are safely down.
Eïr grits her teeth, and straightens her patient's neck. She adds in more healing, and prays to St. Thomas. Bavör continues to hold the lad steady. He communicates with the boat, and Mannie urges Teller to leave with the others.
Mannie fails to gather the last young woman into the boat. She goes overboard. Sam dives in, and swims over to the soggy girl. Sam helps the girl flounder over the gunnel to safely.
The last group, with Teller bringing up the rear, gets over to the rail. Bay lowers the boy. Eïr signals to him to catch her if she fails (again). Bavör nods. So, when she does fall, he holds her up – along with Aldamir. The Tymarker lowers her the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Sam, in trying to make her own way onto the boat, has not only failed, but has grabbed one of the oars and knocked herself silly. Mandorak grabs the oar, and offers it to her, but she does not respond. Immediately, she is scooped up by THE HAND OF BAVÖR and deposited in the rowboat.
Teller scampers down the rope. Bay and Aldamir untie the rope, and retire to the rowboat. We row to the anchor rope, where Mandorak silently hacks through it. Bay TKs one end of a plank at the waterline, so the water starts pouring into the Hellgramite.
As Finwë starts rowing back, Aldamir lifts his Silence. Mannie is bothered by the level of sound that he now perceives. He looks around. "Does it seem noisier than when we left?" Everyone looks around. Two of the ships, one near the docks and one 'way over there seem more well-lit and noisier than they were.
Eïr hears an odd "splash" sound, coming from the vicinity of one of the loud ships. Mandorak sends out his viewpoint, and Finwë continues rowing us back to our ship. Aldamir introduces himself: "Aldamir of Tymark." "Bavör Forothon," smiles the fair elf. "Pleased to meet you," says the captain, who never breaks rhythm. "Cough, cough. Sam!" says our soggy visitor. "What happened?"
Bay tells her, observing that he has rescued her again.
She looks around, and spots the squirrel riding on Aldamir's shoulder.
"That's your squirrel?"
"He has a name. Well, that's reasonable, given how he's been behaving."
"How is that?"
"Smarter than your average… squirrel. Have you had him long?"
"All my life." He scratches it behind its tiny ear.
Mandorak sends out his viewpoint towards the splashing. He discovers that a ship's boat is coming around that far ship. Fortunately, it heads for the Hellgramite.
Finwë is struggling, trying to maintain anything like a decent speed. Aldamir floats out of the boat and starts to push. Bavör performs a TK lift, to reduce the weight of the boat. We pick up speed, and are approaching the Tindomë as the other boat stops near the Hellgramite. Eïr is able to tell that they stopped to fish one of the floating pirates out of the water. There is calling out between the boat and the ship it came from. It continues on to the Hellgramite.
We reach our ship, and climb aboard. We look over, to watch the boat return whence it came: the bay. The same young woman faints. We carry her belowdecks. Eric has been scanning the bay with our lens. He spots the source of the activity, and watches three men with spyglasses scanning the bay. One concentrates on the Hellgramite, but the others watch farther afield. Eventually, Eric gets to see a spyglass aimed straight at him.
Finwë announces, "Engineers to Engineering. Everyone to dive stations." Most people have no idea where they should go, so they stay put.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.