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 Somewhere near Calais, 1719

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PostSubject: Somewhere near Calais, 1719   Somewhere near Calais, 1719 Icon_minitimeThu Jan 03, 2008 1:19 am

The smell of salt hung heavy in the air, clearing Aenon's nose as he stood in the blustering wind of a late Winter day.

"Will she be ready?" The nervous Frenchman at his side paced back and forth, eyeing the vessel. Aenon did not reply, but stood on the dock and looked at the refit schooner that his recent "promotion" had only by the slighest circumstance saved from decomissioning and perhaps a well-deserved scuttle. She was already looking a might bit finer than she had been upon their first meeting. Her dirty exterior had been cleaned, her hull cleared of barnacles, a fresh coat of paint slapped onto the gunwales.

The Lieutenant frowned again shook his head. "Alright, Monsieur. I'll grant you, she's looking a lot better than she was a few weeks ago. She almost looks like she could sail safely. But the question is, will she hold her own in a fight?"

Aenon nodded his head, confidantly. His French was very good for an Irishman, though his brogue was impossible to hide. "She'll hold her own in a fight. The question, I think, is whether you are ready for -her-." He grinned, good naturedly.

The small Frenchman stiffened. "How long have you known me, mon frer? Why would you ask me such a thing?"

"Long enough to know that you'll answer me honestly, Laurent. So I'll ask you again. Are you ready for her?"

"I survived Oudenarde. I'm ready for her. And so is your crew. But I wonder. Couldn't they have given us something..."

"The Navy has high priorities. Sanctioned piracy isn't one of them. We were lucky they let a few artillerymen sign on to one of their castoffs. From what I hear tell, they'd rather we float away on a raft."

Laurent snorted. His feelings regarding the Naval aristocracy were well established. "Well, they've given us little better. But..."

"But?"

"It's a start, Captain."

Aenon nodded his approval of the comment and ran a gloved hand along the surface of the anchored vessel. His good eye took her in, judged her lines, and for a moment he hoped that his grandfather was watching him, watching over the ship. "Aye, it's a start. She's ready. And the crew is ready. All that we need now is a fair wind."

"God willing, Captain!"

"God is always willing. But we are not always capable of understanding his will," Aenon replied, his focus now locked on the sea beyond the vessel.

"What will you call her?"

Aenon smiled at the Frenchman and murmured a bit of Gaelic, something he remembered from an old sailors song that his grandfather had taught him.

"An Faoiléan"

"What?"

"Seagull," Aenon smiled. "The name means 'Seagull'."

-A.

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