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PostSubject: Departure   Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:21 am

Chantilly scowled as she made her way back to the ship late that night, half-drunk on cheap rum and disappointment. She wasn't sure why she'd bothered making the trip at all, to be honest. What had she been looking for? Closure? Peace of mind?

Really, all she wanted was just an answer to a very old question. As annoyed as she was by the man's clueless and relentless advances, her conversation with Chris deMontfort at the ball had put doubt in her mind yet again about her judgment of Emile. "He's human," Chris had said. Human, though Emile never showed it, never let himself be that way.

Maybe on it's own, the matchmaking efforts would have fallen on mostly deaf ears, except that her own lover repeated the same sentiment later that evening after they fled the port after the ball. "He only did it for you," Reynaud told her, referring to Emile's part in the rescue. "He cares. I can see it when he looks at you."

But how could anyone else ever see it when every time she looked for it herself, she saw nearly expressionless, cold eyes gazing back at her? Nothing but his officious, nobleman's shell.

She didn't understand it. She never had. So she'd gone to his office, one last time, to at least know for sure before... She sighed to herself. Before.

But of course, it was the same as always. The Marquis' attention was focused squarely on some important matter, practically ignoring her presence once he realized she wasn't there to give him information of what Reynaud was up to. Not that she had anything to give. Reynaud was secretive with his group's plans. Even with her.

So she'd said what she'd come for. To say her goodbye, to say she was sorry. For what exactly, she wasn't sure anymore. Emile showed how he felt so infrequently that it was hard to tell when or if she'd hurt him. His motives, his feelings, such an enigma to her, but she knew she'd clearly hurt him at some point.

She remembered the harsh, confusing fight they'd had in Point-a-Pitre all that time ago, over his taking Marinus' sister to that Confederate Ball, over her... she wasn't sure. What had been his reason? Bitterness over her fledgling relationship with Marcus? Her sudden emotional and physical distance because of the visions, the Custodes? Whatever it was, it had been enough to drive him into the grasp of the enemy. Enough for him to wish ill on her.

And again, a year later, when she arrived in Puerto del Principe, random, desperate, looking for work. She thought she'd seen a flicker from him then. Surprised, happy to see her alive, followed by a confession of what he'd done. His involvement with the Umbra. A true sense of regret, a real apology, something she'd never expected. But at the time, she had been too angry, too broken, to respond.

Two times. That's it, in all the time she'd known him, that his facade had cracked enough to let her see inside to that man that Chris was so sure was in there, down deep, hiding below the pomp and circumstance. Every other time, it was only a disaffected, detached gaze of annoyance and exasperation, as if tolerating her mere presence was exhausting.

Even now, as she'd said goodbye, that this might be the last time they have to speak to one another, that she didn't know what would happen to her now, there was no response. Hardly a flicker. Not even his characteristic raised eyebrow. Just coldness, curtness. Calling her a fool, driving her from his office with the sheer force of his reticence.

He was more right then he knew. She was a fool for following Reynaud, yes, of that she had no doubt; choosing to put her life in danger for a cause she barely understood, for a man that, beyond the passion, she was not sure she truly knew at all.

But more than that, she'd been a fool for even coming to see Emile at all. For even thinking for a moment that saying goodbye would be worth the trip. He hadn't cared, not at all. It was as Seamus had told her: "He's incapable."

"Did I really treat him so badly as to deserve... that?" she'd asked Seamus, drunken, depressed tears falling from her eyes.

"No. You forgave him for things I could never forgive," Seamus replied. "You were a better person than me."

It wouldn't matter now whether it was deserved or not, she sighed to herself as she opened the door to her cabin on the empty Nemo Malus Felix and went inside, ready to pass out, collect her crew from the town, and be on her way in the morning. She at least had her goodbye and an answer she felt confident in. She could go back, rendezvous with Reynaud and be prepared for -

The queen was standing in the middle of the cabin, stopping Chantilly in her tracks. A look of regret played out across the queen's face as she stared at Chantilly. "I can't let you do it," the old woman whispered in a low voice. "It's suicide. And you know it."

"I thought you liked Langford. Liked his spirit, his cause."

"I do. But I like you more." The queen lifted up a pistol, her her hand shaking slightly, pointing it at Chantilly as she drew close to her. "Don't do it. You're not even sure it's the right thing to do. Don't throw your life away."

Chantilly whipped out her own pistol, unafraid, no longer intimidated by the queen's posturing. "You're just sad to lose your favorite toy," she whispered threateningly, aiming the gun steadily at the queen. "I'd much rather die for him and his cause than keep on being your little plaything."

"Then why not just shoot me and get it over with?" the queen replied. "You could be free. You don't have to die in some futile cause."

"Stop offering that!" Chantilly yelled, her voice shrill. "Do you want to die?"

"No. I want you to live."

Chantilly barely had time to react as the pain blossomed in her shoulder, the sound of the gun reaching her ears late, echoing as she staggered backwards, stumbling into a wall and falling to the ground.

She looked at the queen in horror as the old woman, too, sagged to the floor, blood spilling from a new hole in her chest. It was then Chantilly realized that the sound she'd heard late wasn't the queen's flintlock.

It had been her own.
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:33 pm

The afternoon sun warmed the air as the crew men carried supplies from the longboats into the shore tree line. Mr. M looked over the manifest records as the men moved about the smugglers hole nestled in the woods.

"Should be the last of it leaving the ship sir,” reported Willis, Mr. M's quartermaster.

“Good. I trust Mr. Hooper will be along shortly with the horses and wagons.” Mr. M checked the position of the sun. A faint sound of horse hooves could be heard almost on cue. Three men on horseback rode up to the group and dismounted.

“Cap'n wagons are behind us but somethin's happening in Augustine. You'd better take a look” stated Hooper in a worried tone. It was an hour ride back to hills over looking Saint Augustine. Hooper and Mr. M dismounted and took to the crest of the hill.

“There sir along the main road from the fort.” Hooper pointed.

Mr. M took out his spyglass and slowly moved along the road. He could see dust being thrown up by the troops marching on it. Mr M's lip begin to curl.

“How long has this been going on?” Mr. M uttered in a disgusted tone still looking through the spyglass.

“At least since mid morning, sir. They started with the reserve units and that would be the local militia detachment. They sent messengers some time this morning probably to gather some of the colonial regiments. Do you think its an exercise?”

“Mr. Hooper you don't call out the reserve troops if its a drill. They're up to something...something big. Any word on a British or Spanish fleet in the area?”

“No, cap'n waters have been fairly clear this far north. Pirates?”

“No...I don't think so...pirates don't launch ground attacks...at least not in those kind of numbers. I think its time I get some answers from the good Marquis DeMontfort” Mr. M lowered his spyglass and snapped in closed. “He does like show his power in force. Mr. Hooper did that crate from the far east get unpacked?”

“Yes, cap'n should be ready at the warehouse.” Hooper nodded.

“Good, we'll hold off moving the goods until things settle down.”

It was sundown by the time the Diligent arrived in St. Augustine port. The crew set about preparing to take on the more legitimate supplies from the docks of St Augustine. Mr. M changed his usual white Janus mask for that of a black bandanna and blindfold with 2 holes to see through. Securing his satchel bandoleer he emerged from the ship cabin.

“Look good cap,n planing a night out on the town?'

Mr. M smirked and he put on a black glove. “See the rest of the supplies loaded. If I'm not back by morning proceed to the rendezvous and wait until you hear if I'm captured or dead.”

“and if your dead?”, Hooper crossed his arms.

“Try not to spend it all in one place” Mr. M winked and climbed down to the longboat. The crew in the boat began rowing as Mr. M pulled a large tarp over himself.

----+++---

Mr M. approached the naval offices in St Augustine. Even despite the rundown nature of the town the Navy always seem to pride itself in making anything distinguished. It also provided a way up as it was made of layered stone making for an easy climb to the roof. Letting out a line of rope he lowered himself to the Marquis grand office window. Peeking through the window he could see a disheveled office. He took a moments pause to make sure he was at the right place. The large windows were unmistakable. This had to be it. It certainly didn't look like the office of a naval officer let alone one such as the Marquis. Mr. M didn't reflect on the whys very long as he saw the door on the opposite end open up. Two lower ranking officer aides stepped in and went about righting the overturned desk and some of the papers before a third stepped through the door ordering them out. DeMontfort Mr. M said to himself. The Marquis went to to the seat by the desk and seated himself rubbing his temple.

Suddenly the sounds of banging and loud whistling of fireworks from the front street grabbed DeMontfort's attention and visible annoyance as he walked with purpose shutting the door behind him. Mr. M lowered himself and opened one of the windows and looked through the scattered papers. Half written orders and ink blotched parchments no doubt from what ever had overturned the desk in the first place. Then a note not matching the quality of the other official papers caught his eye. Picking it up he read it over. “That damn fool”, Mr. M thought. His attention shifted quickly to the boots outside the office door coming up the stairs. M quickly made his way to the window opening it wider as he hoisted himself back to the roof.

DeMontfort entered the office with even more disgust at such distractions . He eased himself into his chair again a scowl growing over his face. Several papers blew over his boots as he his gaze tracked to the open window in puzzlement.

---+++---

“So much for being captured Cap'n” smirked Hooper as he helped M back onto the ship.

“I wouldn't give you the pleasure of seeing me hang yet. Mr. Willis are we ready to make way.”

“Yes, sir everything is loaded and...

Two shots rang out across the night. The entire crew took up cover behind the bulwarks.

“Did you piss someone off while I was gone Mr Willis?” whispered Mr M.

“No sir.” Willis shook his head whispering back.

The crew peered over the side rails to see a quiet harbor with only a few boots moored.

“Sir, the ship to larboard. Someone was rowed out after you went ashore then another before you came back.” whispered Mr Willis pointing to the Nemo Malus Felix.

“Trouble?” said Mr. M looking at the empty ship.

“Women, sir” Willis returned.

“Trouble. Mr Hooper the long boat and 5 men if you please..”


((2nd installment tomorrow))
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:14 pm

((and now part 2))

Mr. M cracked open the door slightly seeing the queen lying on the floor motionless the floor blood soaked. The sound of dripping could be heard in the lower decks as the pool of blood make its way through the cracks in the floor. M tracks a smear of blood to the side cabin windows where he sees Chantilly motionless against the cabin wall. Her glazed unfocused eyes stare out at the night sky.

Mr. M slowly enters the room with his sword and pistol drawn as he sweeps the cabin for anyone else. “Set a man outside I don't want any surprises” he whispers. The large hole in the queen's chest tells M all he needs to know. Her slowly approaches Chantilly and reaches out to check for a pulse. Chantilly moves her arm at his touch, and her eyes pull into focus.

“She's alive, Hooper call for the surgeon!” M yells out at the cabin door.
Chantilly looks at him hazily. "Monsieur... M?"

“Yes lie still. Looks like you've lost quite a bit of blood.”

"I'm... fine... I have to... " Chantilly made a limp motion with her hand.

“Have to what fill the harbor with blood! Lie still”
The ship surgeon pokes his head in and Mr. M waves over him over as the two set about looking after the wound

"Have to... Reynaud's... he waiting..." Chantillly whispered as they lowered her to the cabin floor.

Mr M shot a quick glance at Chantilly realizing what she would have been
apart of, “and he can keep waiting...now lets get to that wound.” his attention focused to the shoulder wound. Taking out a dagger he slices open the clothing around the shoulder wound. Removing the patched bloody clothing and tossing it aside.

Chantilly watches him with an awkward gaze. "Hey... I liked that... shirt.."

“I'll buy you a new one, now stay with me, where do you keep your favorite drink?” Mr. M replied giving her a soft pat on the cheek.

Her eyes refocused for a moment, "Uh..." She tries to think. "Chest... in the corner... Rum..."

M lunged over to the chest and threw open the chest and rummaged
through till he finds a bottle of Rum. The surgeon began probing the wound cleaning the blood with fresh cloth he had brought with him. Chantilly cringed as the surgeon's poking about sent waves of pain through her. M brought the bottle over, popped the cork and poured it over the wound. He offered up to Chantilly's lips. She tried to drink from the bottle held up to her mouth, but chokes on it a little bit.
Mr M gave a look at the surgeon , "Just about got it on 3 Cap'n" the surgeon replied as he readied his tools.

M nods, holds down Chantilly and begins to count, “1” his grip tightens, “2!” M takes a firm grip of Chantilly on the floor. The surgeon yanks out the pistol ball. Chantilly yells out in pain and nearly thrashes, but is held down tight and she doesn't get anywhere. “3” Mr M finishes and but doesn't relax his grip as Chantilly thrashes. “Close her up anytime!”Mr said through his teeth.

The surgeon retorts, "Hold her still!"

“I am holding her!” M retorts, watching the surgeon make his best attempt to sew the wound shut. M's eyes switch from the wound to Chantilly's pain racked face as she bites her lip violently, cutting into it with her teeth.

“GOD DAMN IT!” cursed M as he pulled one of his leather gloves off with his teeth and shoves part of it into Chantilly's mouth to have something else to bite on

“Are you done yet!” asked M in an annoyed tone.

The surgeon nods as he applies some fresh cloth to the stitched wound and puts aways his medical tools. Chantilly's thrashings subside and M loosens his grip.

"Keep her as calm as possible those stitches won't hold if she moves about too much” the surgeon stated as he rose to his feet.
Chantilly tried to spit out the gloves. “alright get back to the ship get ready to sail out, we'll be lucky to catch the tide” M said looking at the doctor. Without turning to face Chantilly he swiped the glove out her mouth forcefully and put it back on. “HOOPER! round up the men we can't waste another minute”

Chantilly gasps a little. "What... where are you going..."

“I'm sailing my ship out of here is what I'm doing” answered M helping Chantilly to her shaky feet.

"Out of... what?" she said still dazed in pain and shock.

“By the looks of things you probably should come with me until I can put you off someplace safe”

"Non, I... I'm not... I can't go with you, I... have someplace to be, I..."
Hooper shouts into the cabin from outside "The tide cap'n"

“AYE! I was going to put you ashore but we've got to go now" M started guiding Chantilly towards the cabin door.

"Why the... the hurry, where..." she asked her feet dragging along the deck.

“Well for one the tide and two two egos are going to collide at this port and I for one intend NOT to be apart of it

Chantilly blinks, fighting to stay focused. "Egos... what... who..."

“DeMontfort is prepare for an attack. He's been moving troops all day.”

"Attack... attack here?"

“The Poet has apparently been very busy these days.”

"Oh no.. Reynaud... here? No..." Chantilly shudders a breath, and her eyes start slipping back in her head, threatening unconsciousness at any moment.

“No no HOOOOPER!” M catches her and swings her good arm over his shoulders to prop her up. “WE"RE TAKING HER WITH US”

-+-+-+

Chantilly's consciences slowly came back as she felt the movement of a ship and heard voices in a room nearby.

“The men have made their point clear. I will only keep her on as long a necessary is that understood!” shouted Mr. M.

Chantilly stirs a little bit, the pain waking her more.

“I don't care what superstitious rumors you gutless dogs have heard but she is under my care on THIS SHIP! If she's as dangerous as you say she is then we would already be dead.” M slammed his fist into the table, “now get out! Keep the course for the northern most supply cave.”
Chantilly blinks, awake, listening to the conversation with an exhausted, muted interest.

As the last crewmen left his cabin M sighed removing his black bandanna. Unbuckling his sword belt and places it and the pistol on the table he drops into his chair.

Chantilly Angevin sighs, raising one hand to feel out her injured shoulder, flinching. "Hey..." a weak voice comes from the bed. "Who's out there?"
Mr M looks up from the table before him getting up from the chair he heads over to the bed room on the side of the cabin. “Ah your awake”

"You." She sighs. "Where are we?"

M cocks his head as he hears the watch bell being chimed. “mmm half a nights sail north of St Augustine with fair prevailing winds”

"I've... not been out too long then..."

“No not too long. There should be a change of clothes in the chest there
if you wish to get out of those bloody rags.”

"I... I have to go back, I have to... stop them..."

“No thats out of the question. St Augustine is a death trap...or soon will be.

"But... I... I can't let them..." She sighs exhaustedly.

“You can't let them?” Mr M begins to laugh, “you don't even have the strength to get up! Can't let them...” he trails off in a chuckle.

Chantilly turns her head away, annoyed. "Go ahead... laugh..."

“Captain the pieces are in motion those two forces can't be stopped less by an act of God”

"I... didn't know it was St. Augustine..."

“Does it matter where the fight would be?”

"Of course it does..." She coughs weakly as she struggles to shift in the bed. "Anywhere... but there...Not against Emile... not his port..."

“ah...” a grin of understanding crept across M's lips.

“I... should've known..."

“It's always the things closest to home that hit you the hardest”
Chantilly looks at Mr. M unevenly. "What does... that mean..."

“It seems the Poet wishes to make a point. None better than showing up the Marquis' front lawn.”

Chantilly closes her eyes. "Idiot..."

M scratches his chin in thought, “ ...with the colonial militia, probably the fleet not too far off... I'd say the odds are quite stacked”

"He warned the Marquis." She sighs. "He wanted to be a martyr all along."

“I can't imagine who would be fool hardy to go with him...” M said thinking
out loud still mulling over the situation.

"Oui. Me neither." She sighs again. "I'm tired."

“I shall let you rest. I'll drop you off at one of our old smuggler stashes. Give you food and supply. One of my contacts will be along in a couple days with horses. They'll let you about your business from there.”

"Merci. I suppose... that'll have to do." she closed her eyes.

Mr M turned to leave, “if you don't rest...you could always pray...who knows maybe God can make it a stalemate” M walked out shutting the door behind him.

Chantilly muttered to herself, "Too bad God doesn't give a damn."
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:16 pm

She stared at the ceiling of the smuggler's cave, a tumultuous mass of thoughts weighing her down to the bed. They seemed to swipe at her mind violently, grabbing and pulling her this way and that, seeking to add insult to her injuries...

She was an orphan again. Not that she'd ever truly stopped; her parents had been dead for so long that she scarcely thought of them. But ever since the Umbra had captured her, she'd had a family member... albeit one for which she felt no real affection, one that had seen fit to manipulate her, use her for ends that she didn't even understand, hurt and abuse her time and time again while claiming to do what's 'best'. It was a conceit to call the Queen of Hearts family at all.

But now that the old woman was dead? Even if she'd deserved that fate for her past misdeeds, there was a terrible, sickening regret lingering over the senselessness of it. She'd killed her for what? In self defense? A drunken, exhausted accident? Desperation to return to Reynaud, to be there when he'd need her?

Or was it just fulfillment of prophecy? The pain of knowing that the visions had been right after all... that she'd kill the person responsible for the attempt on Emile's life.

Mon dieu. Emile.

Their last conversation filled her head. He'd known the attack was coming, that it was coming straight for him in St. Augustine. He'd known for certain that Reynaud would mean death for her, because it would be his own men shooting to kill. And he still hadn't reacted, even though she clearly hadn't known what she'd signed up for. Had he wanted her to go? Maybe it was all just business with him, and she just another troublemaker he'd need to put down? Surely he wouldn't... "These... preparations... are perhaps the hardest I will ever have to make... they are very important indeed." She played the sentence over and over again in her mind, searching the inflection. Maybe there'd been... been something? Something she missed?

She sighed heavily, ashamed to even be entertaining the idea. What would Reynaud think if he knew that she was... Oh God, Reynaud.

He'd told Emile that the target was St. Augustine, but... he hadn't told her. She'd assumed his reluctance to speak the details was due to some matter of honor amongst his group of revolutionaries, that she wasn't authorized to know, or that he simply would rather whisper sweet nothings during the precious time they did spend together. Maybe he'd meant to tell her, but never had the opportunity. Had she been duped? Distracted by the romance, the passion... She sighed. She didn't know. She had to believe he wouldn't do that to her, but she couldn't be sure. She knew she was second to the cause. She'd always hated that, but she knew it anyway. It had been the catalyst for her offering her help, so that at least she could be a part of what he loved most in the world.

Even if he hadn't meant for her to be in the dark so long, at the very least, it was still a sin of omission to not tell her what he had been planning when he knew how it would affect her. How it would hurt her, even if she hadn't volunteered to go. That he'd be putting people she cared about in danger. She was angry at him for that much.

So much anger, and fear. For Reynaud, for Emile, for anyone trapped in the town, not knowing if any of them would be alive when it was over. And for herself, not knowing what would happen to her now.

She gently rolled herself onto her uninjured side and blew out the candle next to the bed, hoping Mr. M's contact would come sooner rather than later.
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:01 pm

The moon was low over St. Augustine, casting a soft glow on the narrow lanes and rotting causeways. A soft breeze blew in from the north, ruffling the sails of the silent armada that sat in the harbor, causing the limp flags to flutter from the looming fortress walls. The guards stood in solemn, sleepy silence. The night drew on, and the harbor was wreathed in shadow. The air held a quiet anticipation, a deathly calm before the storm. The streets echoed and reechoed with phantom footsteps, some coming, some going, some fading into nothingness. Citizens stirred restlessly in their beds, dreaming of blood and fire. Dreaming of the storm to come.

A single silhouette in a candlelit window, a single waking soul in a city of restless dreamers. The candle was burnt low, the inkwell was drained dry, and a thin trickle of sweat trailed down his forehead. His cheeks were slick with quiet tears, and his eyes held a new type of madness.

If only he had seen, if only he had known. All the unspoken words... He knew her fears, and he knew her demons. He knew how much she hated living in the shadow of a revolution. How much she hated not knowing. He saw how she hung on the Marquis' every word, and he had seen the look in her face when they met. He was too eager, she was too withdrawn. They had danced to different tunes, but the tempo was the same.

He knew. But he was a fool. He bit his lip, he turned away. Pretended he didn't see it. Told himself that they were lovers, and all was well.

She was dead. The messenger had arrived an hour ago with the news. Dead.

Chantilly, his link to reality. Chantilly, his light and his life. Chantilly, his... everything. With the news of her death, something inside of him snapped. Gone was reason, gone was sanity. All the humanity was stripped away - only an angry passion remained. His eyes were the eyes of a man possessed, burning with a deep hatred. Reynaud was dead, and Kasperl had come to flesh. There was hell to pay.

Kasperl sat at the cluttered desk, pouring over a map of the harbor. Charts, diagrams, and spy reports littered the desktop, detailing troop movements and fortifications. Emile was gathering his forces, tightening his hold on the city... a faint smirk flickered across Kasperl's face. The marquis wanted blood? He would get his share. A madman's laugh escaped his lips. The people would rise. The chains would be broken, and all men would finally be free.

She was his last link to sanity, his precious humanity. With her gone, he had nothing left to lose. The time was swift approaching; the city was a powder keg waiting to ignite. A single spark, and the world would be set ablaze. Soon.

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.


-Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I
William Shakepheare


Last edited by Kasperl on Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:13 am

The cave was a dark place to be, but she didn't mind the dimness of a candle and the hushing sound of the waterfall outside the cave's main entrance. During the daytime, light trickled out from a hole in the ceiling with a pulley, through which Chantilly could only assume the cannons were to be pulled up to the road.

She spent her time mostly laying still, not bothering to rummage through the dry goods but once or twice. Though she knew she was only weakening herself, her mind was too full to bother even reminding her of food. Sleep was even harder to come by. There was nothing, just an endless stream of worry and concern over what she could not control.

Her shoulder was not so bad; the Queen had either been a good or a poor shot, depending on her intention. The wound was only flesh-deep, and while it stung terribly if she moved her left arm too much this way or that, the range of motion seemed generally unharmed.

As the days stretched on, a feeling of despair settled over her. She was powerless here, utterly at the will and whim of a contact's appearance, hoping that they would come in time for her to... to what? She didn't know. To point in the direction of St. Augustine, even though she wasn't sure what she'd find when she arrived, but what then?

Whatever Reynaud might have plotted, she was certain that Emile could and would counter it to a reasonable degree of success. She'd served at his side in enough operations to know he had a sound strategic mind, careful and deliberate, and could manage to handle himself even on the rare occasion that he was caught dangerously by surprise. Even when distracted by some Orleans whore, she noted to herself with a hint of jealousy and derision before putting it out of her mind again. It didn't matter what... or who... was at stake, his detached stoicism meant Emile would endure, that much was certain.

Reynaud, however, came with no such guarantee, and frighteningly was very much the opposite. He was bright, brilliant even, but so blinded at times by his idealistic passion that caution was often caught by the winds of change and carelessly blown away. Doubtless by now he'd have discovered her disappearance, heard rumors of shots fired on her empty ship, still sitting in St. Augustine's harbor with blood splattered across the cabin floor.

He probably thought she'd died, when she hadn't come back. More than anything, she feared that outcome. He so often clung to her in desperation, as if his very humanity hung by the thin strands they'd woven to tether themselves to one another. If he thought those ties were gone, she had no doubt that the greater demons of his mind would be loose... would he even have a reason to keep on, or would he just go out in a blaze of glory, thinking there was no point in living past that moment?

He might be dead and gone already...

The thought coursed through her with a wave of accompanying dizziness and nausea, and she shut her eyes and brought her hands to her head as if to hold herself steady. She'd not had any delusions that it would end, that he would die and that she would have yet another dead lover in her arms. She'd known it from the very moment he'd first reached for her hand, feared it every time he walked out the door, that this would be the time he wouldn't come back. The stress of it was unimaginable, the relief staggering whenever he finally came back into view at the end of a day.

Yes, she knew he'd been prepared to die for this mission and this cause, but she'd wanted to be there, to not leave any words unspoken. They'd not been a perfect couple, she too reticent with her affection and him too unrestrained, but their moments together had woken a part of her that she wasn't ready to let go of without a fight. She wanted to protect him, to somehow rescue him from his seemingly inevitable fate. To help, to be a part of what drove him, even if it was in their very last moments. So that it would mean something. Her life, and his.

She screamed then, overwhelmingly sad and angry, and filled with a hopelessness she could not contain any longer. It echoed down and out the hole of the cave, the reverberations harsh and mocking, and she hoped that the shrill, frustrating sound would cut against the indifferent shell of God. That maybe it wouldn't have to be this way, and for once He would save them all.
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:06 pm

It was early in the morning on her third day at the hideout that Chantilly heard the sound of horses above the hole in the cave ceiling. She stirred from her bed and grabbed her weapons, though she noted with concern that with her shoulder still so painful, it was more for show than for protection if someone wanted to kill her. Still, she silently waited in the shadows to see if she was dealing with one of Mr. M's associates, or someone else entirely.

She wasn't prepared for who came into the cave's entrance, however. Her mouth dropped open. "Fayina?"

Fayina seemed twice as surprised. "Captain Angevin!" she exclaimed, her pace quickening to meet her, looking her over in wonderment. "You are... alive!"

"Barely." Chantilly grimaced as Fayina gave her a strong hug, practically lifting her off her feet. "Watch the shoulder."

"You're hurt?" She looked at her apologetically, noting all the grave changes in her appearance since they had last seen once another with a worried frown. Fayina's gaze went past Chantilly, looking deep into the cave with a hopeful expression. "Is Marcus with you?"

Chantilly's face contorted, searching for words. "Non. He... he died. Up north, along the coast. We were attacked, and..." She swallowed hard. "I'm sorry, Fayina."

"Then he died as he lived, captain of his ship. He would not have wanted it any other way." Fayina offered a sad smile and began to look about the cave in a businesslike manner, her gaze settling on the cannons. She went over and began to examine them closely.

Fayina... Chantilly was surprised to see her. It had been a long time. Not since Marcus was alive. Since he left his crew behind when they fled north, not wanting to put them in danger. She remembered the look in his eyes as he had told them all goodbye, especially Fayina and young Matthieu. "I'm... sorry I didn't come to tell you sooner. I had opportunity, I just... didn't, " Chantilly confessed, shrugging, not feeling a bit absolved by Fayina's reaction to the news.

"It is not your fault, for not wanting to," Fayina replied in a quiet voice, her eyes never leaving the weapons. "I have not wanted to think of him myself. My research... distracts me."

Chantilly took a deep breath, trying to keep her composure. "So," she asked, artificially brightening her voice, "I didn't know that you were my contact."

"I did not know I was anyone's contact."

"Monsieur M didn't have opportunity to tip you off?"

"He did send me here for the cannons, but I knew nothing about having help hoisting them to the surface." Fayina smiled.

Chantilly tried to return the smile, but could not stand the pleasantries any longer. "Fayina... have you heard anything from St. Augustine?"

"I have heard that the city has many more than the number of usual soldiers about, but not the reason why. It has been a few days since I -"

"I need one of your horses."

Fayina gave Chantilly a quizzical expression. "Horses? I do need them to get the cannons back to -"

"Surely you brought more than enough?"

"In case one came up lame, of course, but..."

"Please, Fayina. It's important I get back to St. Augustine as soon as possible," Chantilly begged. If it's not too late... "I'll pay you ten times what it's worth for the trouble."

"That is not necessary..." Fayina replied, bewildered, as Chantilly pushed a large coin purse into her hand. "You can always return it later. You know where to find me."

"I don't know if there's going to be a 'later'," Chantilly admitted, already halfway out of the mouth of the cave. "Which way?"

"St. Augustine? Head to the south. You'll run into the main road before long," Fayina called after her, stunned. "Probably a full day's ride."

"Merci, Fayina!"

"Be safe..."
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:44 am

The cabin was dimly lit by a candle near the end of it's days. It's light struggling against the darkness and the pall of cigar smoke that hung in the air. Seamus had been locked in his cabin since Chantilly had bid him farewell in the tavern. The first day he had stayed drunk furious that she had demanded he not follow her this time.
Instead she had made him swear to go north to see if there was any chance Marcus' body could be found if she didn't make it back. He didn't relish the idea but Marcus was a good man and a better friend. A man like that deserved to have some peace if it could be provided. Seamus frowned as he thought to himself "What i wouldn't give for him to be around now, I just don't know what to give to Chantilly to ease the misery she's buried in." He reached for the bottle of brandy on his desk draining it's dregs and placing it on the deck next to the other two empty bottles there. He almost called Dupre for more but decided to light another cigar instead. By the time Seamus had finished smoking he could see the first rays of morning starting to illuminate the cabin. A knock at the door brought an angry glare from him as he walked across the cabin stopping at the door but not opening it, "What is it?". It was his youngest Lieutenant Liam who answered him "Captain i've got news you'll want to hear." Seamus opened the cabin's door "Well you're not the excitable type, Come in and tell me what's going on." Liam stepped in the cabin giving a worried glance at the empty bottles before speaking.
"Captain, there's something getting ready to happen here." Liam paused a moment and Seamus pressed him with annoyance "The details if you would Lieutenant."
Liam swallowed hard taken aback because Seamus did not often call a man by his rank.
"Aye sir, Sorry sir, There's troops from all up and own the coast coming into town."
Seamus raised an eyebrow and listened more closely as Liam went on.
"I had some of the lads try for a quick headcount and we came out with over five hundred and we're certain it's not all of them." Seamus' gaze grew more intense "you're sure they were Regular's not some Militia gathering?"
"Aye Captain, I saw the coats and regimental flags myself even saw some Grenadiers."
Seamus reached out and clapped Liam on the shoulder "Good work lad you just answered some questions i'd been troubled over." Seamus grinned as he thought to himself "Well maybe i can find a way to help Chantilly after all." As he moved to his bunk to gather up his swordbelt Liam cleared his throat and spoke in a hesitant tone.
"Captain, There's more news i," his voice trailed off as a look of worry crossed his features. Seamus spun around still grinning "Spit it out Liam, What else is happening?"
The young Lieutenat sprung to attention and avoided his Captain's eyes.
"Sir we've gotten word that Captain Angevin's cabin was found ransacked and there was a large amount of blood as well as the corpse of an unknown woman."
The grin fell away from Seamus' face " Unknown to who?, Do we know who found it?, What do we know?" Liam was almost stunned by the rapid fire questions and the growing desperation he heard in them. "Captain we got the story from watchmen who responded after hearing a pair of shots, They thought it was a drunken duel so they didn't rush."
Seamus looked down strapping on his swordbelt as he spoke. "Liam get the lads togehter and kit them out for a possible land action." Liam saluted "Aye Captain." He turned to go speaking softly as he reached for the cabin's door, "Captain, Do you know what's happening?" Seamus sighed with frustration " I don't yet but i'm on the way to pay the good Marquis a visit to see if he knows what the hell's happening and who the hell they found in Chantilly's cabin, Now get to your orders." Laim opned the door then turned saluting again "Aye sir." Seamus took a few minutes to clean up and put on his old Cavalry uniform his mind seething with worry and anger in equal measure. As he stepped out into the early daylight his men were busy quietly moving the muskets and cutlass to positions closer to the rails. Moving down the gangplank Seamus made for Emile's offices his heart pounding in his chest. His anxiety had not lessened on the walk over and he snapped at the sentry who stood at the door.
"Tell the Marquis that Captain O'Flynn's here to speak with him, Now."
Seeing the thinly veiled murderous intent behind Seamus' spectacles the sentry paled and opened the door. "Do come in Captain i'll see to it they announce you." The sentry waved over a servant who was passing by and whispered in his ear eyeing Seamus nervously the whole time before saluting and retreating back outside.
The servant bowed slightly "I'll inform the Marquis that you're here Captain please wait here." Seamus folded his arms over his chest "Do so, and mention that i won't be leaving until we've had words."


Last edited by Seamus O'Flynn on Sat May 02, 2009 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Departure   Sat May 02, 2009 12:41 am

Seamus O'Flynn taps his foot impatiently
Seamus O'Flynn mutters under his breath "Damn it all hurry up DeMontfort"
Seamus O'Flynn scowls
[Emile deMontfort]: *After a few moments, the sound of two sets of footsteeps could be heard coming down the staris.*
Seamus O'Flynn Glares at the waiting servant
[Emile deMontfort]: "Monsieur O'Flynn," Emile begins as he appears from behind the wall, "I am in the middle of a rather important meeting. What is it that you want?"
[Seamus O'Flynn]: What the hell's happened aboard Chantilly's ship?
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Who'd they find dead?
Emile deMontfort pauses a moment while he's still a few feet away, considering the situation before answering.
[Emile deMontfort]: Her magesty, the queen, of course.
Seamus O'Flynn moves his hands away from his weapons
[Emile deMontfort]: *At that, both lieutenants look up from their word with puzzled looks, but Emile ignores them.
[Emile deMontfort]: *work
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Then where's Chantilly?
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Don't tell me that woman...
Emile deMontfort sighs deeply
[Emile deMontfort]: I am afraid to say that I have no idea.
Seamus O'Flynn I've heard there was to much blood for just one death, Is it true?
[Emile deMontfort]: There was, indeed, quite a lot of blood... but much of it was found in a trail leading away from the scene...
[Seamus O'Flynn]: It was bastard Langford wasn't it?
[Emile deMontfort]: "That I cannot say..." Emile's countenance seems to darken, if ever so slightly. "But I would not put it past him."
[Emile deMontfort]: Whatever the case, experts tell me that it is possible she was taken away against her will, judging from the marks left in thr trail...
Seamus O'Flynn lowers his voice to a growl "He's coming here isn't he?"
[Emile deMontfort]: Langford? I suspect that he is already here.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: I meant his jolly little band of hellions i've heard tell of
[Seamus O'Flynn]: The fight's here
[Emile deMontfort]: Yes, from what I have gathered, he plans to make his stand here.
Seamus O'Flynn stands to attention
Emile deMontfort , after a moment, raises an eyeborw.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Colonel, I'd like to volunteer to join you in the defense.
Seamus O'Flynn salutes Emile deMontfort.
[Emile deMontfort]: Join me in the defense?
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Aye, you've not forgotten my service in the Irish Brigade have you?
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Odds are i'm one of the most veteran Cavalrymen you'd find in Florida
[Seamus O'Flynn]: On top of that i can assign my crew to join the field artillery and the patrols on the docks.
[Emile deMontfort]: I was not calling into question your service record, monsieur, but you motivations.
[Emile deMontfort]: After all, are you not Chantilly's pet? And has she not been blinded by that damn fool and his "ideals?"
[Emile deMontfort]: You must forgive me, monsieur, if I am somewhat skeptical.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: I'm no ones pet, I've just tried to help her despite her own judgements.
[Emile deMontfort]: *Despite his words, Emile's tone has remained prefectly even.*
[Seamus O'Flynn]: But this madness, No it is to much.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: *Seamus' voice has steadily raised in volume*
[Seamus O'Flynn]: That damned republican has done this his driven her back to the bloody brink
Emile deMontfort narrows his eyes for a moment as he considers what the man has said.
[Emile deMontfort]: We are of the same mind, monsieur.
[Emile deMontfort]: You have your own mount, I presume?
Seamus O'Flynn nods "I've made arrangements."
[Seamus O'Flynn]: I'm an honest soldier Colonel, I'll follow your orders in this.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: But don't get used to it
[Emile deMontfort]: Très bien... lieutenant... come with me.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: A moment Sir, Where'd you like my men deployed
Emile deMontfort glances over his shoulder as he replies.
[Emile deMontfort]: Before you interupted me, monsieur, I was going over such matters with my and other officers.
Fri May 01 19:25:16 2009 Chat_Messages: [Local] [Emile deMontfort]: "So, unless you would simply like to remin here entertaining my men, who should be finishing their paperwork," Emile pauses a moment for the two lieutenants to realize he means them, "kindly follow me..."
Seamus O'Flynn salutes Emile deMontfort.
[Seamus O'Flynn]: Yes Sir
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