Week 2, Travelling to Samoa
When we left our heroes last time, they were about to assist Captain Hayes in an informal gang war between his crew and that of Ben Pease, to be held dockside in the city of Appia, Samoa. (RSVP) Hayes had marched into a bar, collared the barkeep and demanded, "Where's Ben Pease?" Before the man could answer, he was shot through the head.
Hayes leaps up the stairs after the assassin, who ducks through a door and slams it. Cantrel leaps to the balcony from a standing position, arriving in time to see another door closed by a delicate hand. Wu, Tom, and Lorelei follow Hayes up the stairs.
Meanwhile, the shot was the signal for a general rumble to break out in the bar. Alag gets hit with a thrown chair and returns fire with his bow and arrows. His grandmother Daewen turns to a nearby sailor, kisses him, says "Thank you," and, while he is thus distracted, swipes his pistol and leaps up to the balcony after Cantrel. Unfortunately, she misses her catch, but Cantrel catches her.
Hayes has arrived at the door the assassin slammed. He opens it and ducks a gunshot. Around the curve of the room, Cantrel sees another man lean out a door with pistol in hand, aiming it at Hayes. He makes it go off by TK, thus spoiling the shot and alerting Hayes. Hayes shoots the man down. Cantrel promptly runs over and grabs the man's pistol. Glancing through the open door beside him, he sees an attractive young lady in bed. He smiles at her, drags the body into the room, closes the door, and starts frisking it.
Meanwhile, Hayes has entered the assassin's room. The assassin exits by the window, onto the roof of the adjoining tool shed. Outside, hovering on a lift belt, and invisible, Chris observes this, and fires a couple of arrows into the man. But he jumps off the shed roof and keeps running. Wonderful stuff, adrenaline.
A couple of combatants from the barroom come sailing out the front windows. This, plus news coming over the telepathy net, makes Pfusand decide to come in. She squeezes through the door and charges into the scrum just in time to rescue Alag from a double attack by two sailors. She knocks one aside while Alag downs another with an arrow. (A crowded barroom is not the best place to fight with archery.)
Upstairs, Hayes leaps onto the roof in pursuit. But Hayes is a much larger man. After a couple of paces, he hits a weak spot in the roof and goes through. By good luck and better agility, he lands square on his feet with a clean shot at the assassin through a window. He fires but the gun explodes in his hand. Damn!
And as it happens, the shed has a wide door opening onto the street. A young man named Nate sees Hayes and dashes into the shed. "What have you done with Sophie?!" he demands. Hayes is dumbfounded. "Reverend?" he says.
Chris, meanwhile, has killed the assassin with a couple of more arrows. Cantrel and Daewen have removed themselves to the bar's roof and Wu and Tom have ventured out onto the shed roof and peered down the hole after Hayes. Inside, Lorelei "leads" Pfusand back outside. Pfusand helpfully makes weefle-weefle noises to keep up the impression of a dumb animal. Alag covers their retreat.
Wu spots a couple of pirates approaching --- one of them reluctantly after seeing the assassin dropped by arrows from heaven -- and warms up a Deryni sleep spell. He downs one that way and the other falls over with a knife in him. Hiro? Meanwhile, inside the shed, Rev. Nate is trying to shake "Sophie's" location out of Hayes, who is simple dumbfounded. Tom drops lightly down beside them and asks, "What's all this, then?" Hayes tries to leave Nate behind with Tom, but Nate hangs on leech-like. They drag out into the alley, where Hayes drops a distant pirate with a shot from his other pistol and Hiro appears to beat Nate off with a stick.
Wu now strolls up to Hayes and asks where the action is. Hayes asks if we took any alive. Wu indicates the pirate he slept and Hayes is very much puzzled to find the man asleep. He smacks him awake and roars, "Where's Pease?!" "G-Gunderson's warehouse." Then Hayes shoots him.
Nate rushes up and accuses Hayes of killing his aunt and uncle and stealing his bride. Hayes denies it and says, "You mean they've taken Sophie? Off to the brothels!" (Gee, that doesn't sound like the kind of girl who would get married to a preacher. As it turns out, we're going to the brothels to join forces with Blake.)
The party splits up. Alag, Cantrel, and Wu go with Hiro to the warehouse (with Chris giving invisible air support), while the others go with Hayes to meet Blake, Mubato, Ratbag, and several rather disgruntled sailors.
At the warehouse, Cantrel shinnies up a drainpipe while Hiro leads Wu and Alag to a side door. At the door, Hiro enters and cuts the guard's throat with alarming speed and ease. He then enters. Moments later, a couple of men are thrown out through a window and one through the flimsy wall. Just as Wu and Alag start to enter, though, Hiro runs out being chased by a dozen men. However, they resume their earlier opinion of Hiro when he turns and starts lobbing knives into them. They wade in to help.
Up on the roof, Cantrel finds two gunmen. One of them immediately "drops" his gun thanks to TK. The other shoots Cantrel in the chest. "Well, gentlemen," says Cantrel jovially, "you may jump or be thrown." The gunman shoots, the other jumps. It's three stories. The shot bruises Cantrel somewhat, but then Chris uses his own TK to throw the gunman off the roof after his buddy. They both land on the crowd Hiro is fighting.
Cantrel and Chris enter the warehouse through the skylights and start exploring. He finds a pair of armed guards on the second floor. He sneaks up on one and knocks him out, but the other notices and shoots. This only makes Cantrel mad. He strides up to the man, taking the shots on his armor. The guard drops his gun and flees out the loading window, dropping one floor to the street.
Hiro has expended his knives and pulls a concealed sword out of his staff. He doesn't seem to need a lot of help from Wu and Alag, but they contribute karate and arrows. This is just as well when Hiro slips in the blood and falls. Alag shoots down his immediate attackers. Eventually, only one is left and he runs away. Hiro picks up a knife and downs him with it. Wu asks the $64,000 question, "Where's Ben Pease," of one of the survivors, with a patharchic Suggestion. He then sends the answer out over the telepathy net: he's leaving town in a wagon.
Meanwhile, the other half of the party has spread out, looking for Pease's men. Hayes heads for another bar with Pegleg, Tom, Nate, Lorelei, and Pfusand. Nate now believes Hayes, more or less, and asks for a weapon so he can help fight. Hayes spots a pirate in the middle foreground, shoots him, and invites Nate to take the man's cutlass. Hayes and Pegleg enter the bar while the others go to the back door to intercept escapees. We hear shots and chaos within, and soon three pirates come barreling out. They take one look at Pfusand and try to run the other way, but that leads through Nate and Lorelei. They start swinging swords. Lorelei adds karate and Nate, boxing. Two more pirates comes out in a high state of panic. Tom shoots one down and the other, after his gun jams, tries to pistol-whip the Naza, a futile operation.
We have them all subdued by the time Hayes and Pegleg come out the other side. Also, by this time Wu has learned Pease's whereabouts and passed the data on telepathically, so Tom tells Hayes that one of the unconscious ones confessed. We meet up with Blake, who lost a crewman, then collect Hiro, Wu, and company. Chris, meanwhile, has flitted off looking for the wagon.
We all find Pease at a lagoon, rowing toward an ironclad gunboat, in a little boat containing himself, a couple of men, and a young woman, tied up. Sophie. They are at the extreme range of Wu's telekinesis. He flips their oars overboard while Chris, still aloft and invisible, heads out to the rescue. The gunboat points its cannon at our party and fires. It misses us, but not by much and the flying rocks are a nuisance.
Seeing the rowboat's difficulties, though not the reason for them, the gunboat throws Pease a line. Chris pulls it out of the boat, along with the pirate at the other end. (TK.) The party on shore, busy hiding, gets another cannon shell in their vicinity.
Chris decides to put a stop to that. He has a magnesium-&-thermite-tipped arrow left over from our raid on Gorlach. This he fires into the gun turret. This causes a lot of alarmed activity on board, until they finally throw a shell overboard. It explodes on the way down. Chris's arrow must have hit it.
Back on shore, Tom isn't sure ironclad boats belong in this time period. (They do, but they're very new.) So he scans the thing for psychic activity, as it might be from other time travelers. Nothing. Good. Nate starts swimming out to his beloved Sophie. Every helpful, Chris TKs Sophie overboard. Pity she was tied up at the time. He obligingly helps her with more TK, so Nate is treated to the very off sight of his beloved scooting through the water at record swimming speeds by no very visible means. But he isn't fussy and the two enjoy a romantic if water-logged reunion on the shore, while Pease reaches the ironclad and steams away, defeated but not done with.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.