Captain Sendrick duels with the Eeee captain for the fate of both ships.
(Airship) (Chiaroscuro) (Envoy) (Mircus) (Pawtuxet) (Roho) (Sabaoth's Wrath) (Quest in the
Blaze Of Glory
This small, light ship is one of the fastest in the Temple's fleet, brilliantly decked out with red, orange, and yellow sails. Though its registry and side-marks denote it as the 'Glorious Wildfire', it's known as the 'Blaze of Glory' by all sailors of the air.

The temple-sent crew have gathered in Sendrick's office as requested… except for Mircus, who has retreated somewhere to sulk. A tension almost palpable fills the air, as they await the Captain.

Envoy swishes her tail and wonders why everyone looks so apprehensive.

Chiaroscuro cleans his claws carefully on his sleeve, and buffs them until they're shiny.

Naomi stands in a corner by the door, twiddling her thumbs, and sniffing distainfully at Sendrick's decor.

Roho finds a seat, and sits down slowly, leaning his staff against the chair.

Pawtuxet has obtained a small length of string, which apparently holds a great secret of entertainment and delight.

Envoy says, "How do you think they got his desk in through the door?"

Chiaroscuro hmmms. "I would imagine it was assembled inside the cabin itself, Envoy."

Pawtuxet ponders the size of the mentioned desk, "Probably built the room around it?"

Foxtaurs are not always the most practical minded.

The door creaks open.

Naomi sticks her nose in the air. "I imagine Captain Beastly wouldn't have figured it out by hims-… " She quiets abruptly.

Sendrick gazes silently around the room for a moment, looking at each crew memeber in turn. He turns to shut the door. "Allright, landers. The air's about to get turbulent… And yes, busybody," He says indicating to Envoy, "I do not mean that as a literal phrase."

Pawtuxet puts the string into one of the bags on her back.

Envoy blinks innocently, and looks to see if her body is doing things she isn't aware of.

Sendrick sits down at the table. "Here is the short version: They're Babelites. We're Rephidians. We're at war. But their captain is of The Order, so there is a way out of this without much death. I'll need aid from one of your group."

Envoy asks, "What Order?"

Roho asks, "What sort of aid?"

Sendrrick says "The Order of the Noble and Refined Sky Captains, founded by Welathanzaa the Blacktailed many years ago."

At the word 'refined', there is a tiny snorting noise from Naomi's direction. Still, a look at her finds the Rath'ani appearing quite serious and attentive.

The poodle continues, "I'll need a recorder, so that this event may be preserved for the notes of The Order. Other than that, all I require is your atttendance abovedecks, silence, and sworn oath not to interfere with the duel."

Chiaroscuro's ears perk suddenly. "Duel?"

Roho rasps, "Duel between whom?"

Envoy says, "I can record, it is my function on this expedition."

Naomi gasps! "The other captain?"

Sendrick nods to Envoy. "Then you will need this," he says while reaching to a top shelf. He hands Envoy a slim leather book, with a bookmark of blue and white fabric. "You will enter a faithful and concise record of pertinent events, writing impartially. You will return this book to this ship. Do you accept this duty?"

Envoy nods to the Captain.

Sendrick frowns. "Aloud, Envoy."

Envoy says, "Yes, I accept this duty."

Sendrick says "Also, curious one, read nothing else in the book. As for the question of the duel… It is between a crewman of my choice, and a crewman of the other captain's choice. The weapon is the sword. No armor."

Naomi whispers, "Is… is the duel to the death?"

The black poodle's head rises and falls to Naomi. "Yes. But it shall be the only blood spilled this day. The duel's winner shall take command of both ships in an orderly fashion- and if that should be the Eeee… I expect you all to comply."

Chiaroscuro swallows audibly. "I… see sir." He glances at Envoy worriedly… "You need… a volunteer?" he offers unsurely.Envoy hmms, but doesn't say anything.

"B-but… what'd happen to us?!" squeaks Naomi, her eyes tearing. "And if you're so noble, why aren't you fighting? Who're you going to bully into killing someone for you, anyway?"

Sendrick gazes at Naomi fixedly. "None other than myself."

Naomi looks stunned. Her mouth works a little bit, but she says nothing.

Sendrick says, "Unless one of you has spent years with the sword, it would be foolish for any but me to fight. This ship's designate fell yesterday before I could recognize the other ship as Reeleon's." The poodle looks down at the table, then adjusts his lace shirtcollar, and proudly says, "Leaving the role to me."

The Rath'ani's silence continues unbroken, but she regains her grip. There is no more derision in her looks at Sendrick.

Sendrick says. "Zepik, who was to fight for me, was trained as well as I… and stronger." The captain shakes his head. "No matter. I shall fight, as only a Gallee can fight… with honor and dignity supreme."

Sendrick waggles a paw at the group with overdone (even for a poodle) haughtiness. "Go now, I have preparations to make."

Envoy looks around, then asks, "Go where?"

Chiaroscuro slides out of the bench slowly… "May Rik'Tik'Tav' fight by your side, Captain," he says as blessing.

Naomi nods, and shuffles to the door quietly. She pauses in it to look over her shoulder. "Uhm… good luck. Captain Sendrick." The raccoon hurries away.

The poodle says, "Abovedecks. Unless you have questions… " He sighs. "I forgot who you were for a moment. Make that question. One."

Envoy smiles, "If you lose, can I add your brain to the specimens we've collected so far?"

Sendrick's jaw drops, eyes almost bugging out, yipping "Are you insa- no, I know very well you are." He returns to a more relaxed voice. "No, you may not. The unsucessful one shall be sent overboard with full honors, as is only dignified."

Envoy nods, and leaves with the log book clutched to her chest.

Chiaroscuro heads out of the cabin quietly, with Envoy.

Back abovedecks, the duelspace has been set. Planks have been placed between the two ships to form a deck, and the crews now lines the sides of their ships, waiting at attention.

Envoy tries to find the best place to view the duel from.

Chiaroscuro stands in line with the rest of the crew, chanting and muttering soflty, asing that Rik'Tik'Tav's spirit might fill the captain with fire and energy.

Sendrick climbs up from belowdecks… bearing a thin chitin sword, but a highly ornate one. His usual outfit is replaced with one with double the white lacy frills, while the reamining clothes are smooth, almost shiny black.

Envoy makes sure to keep the Poodle in view at all times.

A sinewy eeee, about a head taller than his average crewman, hops up onto the makeshift deck of planks. His demeanor is as grim as his clothes are flashy, a royal blue blue greatcoat over a loose-cut zolk tunic of white. The legs of his black breeches tuck into boots with genuine brass buckles glinting on them. The eee strides to the center of the deck, one paw over the bell of his own sword.

Naomi sits beside Envoy, clutching one of the bardess' arms. "I don't know if I'll be able to watch, Lady Envoy… "

Sendrick walks forward to meet the other Captain, not speaking until they are face to face in the center. "I formally request your surrender of your ship and crew to my command."

Envoy glances at the young Rath'ani, "Is there something interfering with your vision?"

Chiaroscuro is quiet now, watching all.

"The surrender of my ship is impossible for me to consider," replies Reeleon in one even tone. "I hereby grant you the oppourtunity to honorably surrender to me."

Envoy turns her attention back to the duel. She'll write down what happened later, in both the book Sendrick gave her and in her own report.

"I cannot and shall not surrender my ship." Sendrick says. He then repeats his first statement again, not in Rephidim Common, but in Eeee.

Instead of replying to Envoy, Naomi numbly watches the duel proceed, looking queasy.

Reeleon's reply comes in the same form of muted, impassive eeee, and bears the same refusal.

Envoy quietly provides a running translation for the people near her.

The poodle's replies in Eeee again, and then steps one pace back, bowing to Reeleon. "Then it is with the highest regret I must ask for duel."

"I grant your duel," responds the eeee gravely. "Who is the Champion of your ship?"

Sendrick says, "None other than me." and holds his sword in his right paw, dipping the point to the deck.

"And your Champion?", the poodle inquires.

Reeleon's blade slides from its sheath, and the captain points to the deck at the same angle. "None other than me."

Envoy takes a moment to wonder what happens if they both kill each other.

Sendrick turns around. "Crew, I duel today for our honor. Should I fall, it is your duty to surrender peacably. Swear this by the name of our ship."

Reeleon looks away, and in eeee, sternly sets the same oath before his own crew.

The Rephidian crew says aloud "WE SO SWEAR, BY THE BLAZE OF GLORY!"- save for the Savanites, who sign it in emphatic gestures. The Eeee ship shrills similarly, save for the name of their ship, the Speed Of Sound.

Envoy looks over the Eeee craft critically, and decides the name is only symbolic.

Sendrick turns back to the other captain. "Blue and white." he intones, the words hanging in the air like a stormcloud.

The eeee returns a crisp salute. "White and blue." he intones.

Sendrick lifts his sword in a similar salute… and then nods, once, firmly.

The crew leans forward, no longer so stiffly at attention.

Reeleon brings his blade down to his side with a clearly audible 'Zwip!' sound, and falls into a guarded fencing stance, his wing-membranes folded against his forearms. "It's a pity, Sendrick. Serving under the same captain, and fate has led us to this," murmurs the captain, tracing tight circles in the air with the tip of his rapier.

Envoy leans forward. She's never seen anything like this before.

The poodle captain replies in fluent Eeee. "Yes, quite a pity." as his blade circles similarly, one leg stepping lightly back and forth. "Whatever happened to Old Redpaw?" he says as the blade *sssssscchhs* against each other for the first time.

Chiaroscuro watches closely, paws set on the rail of the ship and tailtip twiching nervously.

Envoy decides not to translate the current chatter for the others. Besides, she can barely make it out herself.

"Much the same fate as one of us will face," says Reeleon, tapping the tip of Sendrick's blade every so often. "It's just as well, he would have drank himself to death otherwise." The eee feints once or twice, testing his opponent's style, and trying to keep things unpredictable.

Sendrick's eyes keep focused on the blade of his opponent, despite the chatter. "He did like his rum, didn't he?", he yips while weaving his body steadily left and right. "Ah well, so it goes."

Reeleon's eyes narrow… "Yes… so it goes… " With a swift lunge, he begins the attack, the dark green chitin of his weapon flashing is he seeks a weak point in Sendrick's defenses.

Sendrick's blade blocks his opponent's with surprising speed, and Sendrick returns with a lunge of his own, tearing a bit of lace off Reeleon's shirt. "First touch." He says with a grim smile.

The eeee grins humourlessly as the duellists lock blades for a moment, taking a brief glance at his torn shirt. "Your form is as excellent as I suspected it would be. You've kept your touch over the years." With a heavy push, he forces his opponent back, and makes several quick cuts, but unable to touch Sendrick.

Envoy whispers to Naomi, "I don't think either one really wants to win, although neither wants to lose. It's very confusing."

The Rath'ani's worried expression deepens. "Well… you can't blame them, Lady Envoy. They served together on a ship… maybe they were even friends. It's a fight born of this horrid war, not any hatred… just obligation… "

Envoy watches the duel again.

"And you yours." Sendrick says, taking a few riskier swipes at Reeleon. "You did well not to name an alternate."

Reeleon catches his opponents sword on the flat of his rapier at each swing. With a flick upward, he riposte's, nicking Sendrick's forearm with the very tip of his rapier. He disengages, standing back for a moment. "I have indeed been practicing. An Eeee warship is no cargo line." He taps the deck, where a few tiny spatters lie. "First blood."

Envoy waits to see if the duel stops now that blood is spilled.

Naomi's breath catches, her ears paling. "Oh!"

Sendrick winces, as a bright crimson stains the lace of his sleeve. "Indeed so. But a Temple flyer must also keep his skills at the ready." He raises his sword up, at the ready to continue, swordtip *clllsshing* lightly with his opponent's.

*Kting!* The fight's pace picks up, Reeleon catching most of the strikes on his blade's forte', but put slightly off balance by the flurry. He's forced to take a few steps back for the one he gained, his defensive stance affording him only the occasional token thrust in return.

The two Captains cross swords again and again, blades flickering between them. Soon both have been cut several times, red blood staining their clothes… but no serious wounds dealt…

… until Sendrick scores a deep cut on a jumping manuever, savaging the bat's right wing!

The Blaze crew cheers a loud "Hurrah!"

Envoy whispers to Naomi, "They seem evenly matched in skill, but Sendrick will have a strength advantage to compensate for Reeleon's endurance I think."

Naomi starts to reply, but then claps her paws to her face, torn between wanting Sendrick to win, and seeing his foe's suffering.

"Ughn!" Reeleon falls back, nearly losing his balance completely. "Moment called!" he manages to gasp, nearly dropping his rapier from the pain.

Sendrick nods, stepping back. "Moment granted." he pants, catching his breath.

"I wonder if they're allowed to see physicians during the break," Envoy says to Naomi.

Chiaroscuro winces as the fight slows, no dancing swords to distract from the wounds of both Captains.

"I… don't think so, Lady Envoy," says Naomi weakly. She looks rather ill.

It would seem Naomi's statement holds true. The eeee grits his teeth as he tries to fold his wing. Ignoring the pain of the slashed membranes, Reeleon raises his sword once more, crimson streaks speckling his flight skin. "I won't yield."

The Babelite crew squeaks somewhat worriedly to themselves… hmmm. There don't seem to be quite as many Eeee as before. Or maybe they've just shifted around to watch.

Sendrick says, "Then we shall fight." He raises his sword, and the fight begins anew.

The duel rapidly turns to Sendrick's favor as Reeleon's attempts to parry each stinging blow become less and less effective with his wounded sword-wing. He retreats backward, his recoveries becoming slower, and his lunges more desperate…

Envoy swishes her tail agitatedly. Surely the Eeee will surrender soon.

Sendrick's tail actually starts to wag, as he presses in harder and harder on the attack, sword *clang* *schhhisch* *clang* against his foe's. He makes a powerful stab at Reeleon's side!

Roho places a paw on Chiaroscuro's shoulder, and quietly whispers, "Can I talk to you for a moment?"

Chiaroscuro turns from the fight… albeit reluctantly… and nods to the Doctor… "I… I suppose. What is it?" he whispers.

Roho whispers to Chiaroscuro, "There are some Eeee that have left the battle, and are now behind us… they're saying something. I'm not familiar with this custom, can that be normal?"

The eeee bends his back in a strange manner, avoiding the majority of Sendrick's strike, and getting away with a small cut. With his opponent's foot extended, he is able to hook one of his own boots around it. As the fighters push one another, then twist away, Reeleon delivers a deep cut to Sendrick's calf.

Sendrick shrieks! as the blade slices through his flesh. "Moment CALLED!" he yaps, sword clattering down.

Reeleon picks himself up from where he'd fallen to his knees. "Granted," he puffs.

Chiaroscuro blinks at Roho, whispering again, "I do not know… I think the serpents are slithering behind us. Where are these voices?" he says, turning with Roho and walking away from the side of the ship.

Roho mutters softly, "Well, stay here for a moment… " He moves a bit, closer towards where the voices are coming from.

"What's happening now, Bardess Envoy?" whimpers Naomi. She still hasn't taken her paws off her eyes.

Envoy says, "They're taking another break. Sendrick has been wounded in the leg."

Sendrick whimpers like a pup for a few moments… then tries to stand… blood flowing as tendons exposed to air barely support his weight, forcing him to favor his weaker, left side. It takes nearly two full minutes for him to raise his sword, gripping it tight in a paw.

Naomi blanches. "Oh, no! He mustn't lose!"

Envoy frowns, "At this rate, neither captain will be in a shape to fight much longer. Perhaps a draw will be declared."

Eeee from the Speed of Sound call out loudy, "Sit down, Yapper!" " Bet your tailor can't fix *that*!"

Envoy squeeks back at the Eeee crew, "Do not disgrace your Captain with your disrespectful taunts."

Roho takes a little risk, and leans out over the railing slightly to try to make out what the bats below are saying…

Some of the Eeee… mostly females… grow silent at Envoy's remark. Most ignore her, and a few make a rude gesture back to her.

Envoy doesn't recognize the gesture. The Eeees are not very good at Savanite, she assumes.

The Eeee captain himself summons enough energy to shout at his crew to cease the catcalls. "Silence! This is a battle of honour!" He looks back at his opponent, his face tense. "And it's not dishonorable to yield… I offer you surrender once more… take it, and I'll see that you and your crew are cared for and treated well by Babel."

Sendrick's muzzle is set in a grim snarl, as he hop-steps back to the center of the deck, sword raised. "I. Will. Not. Yield."

"So be it."

Roho finally catches some of the words, and gasps, stumbling as he comes forward, "Stop the fight!"

Envoy blinks and turns towards Roho's voice.

Chiaroscuro follows along beside the doctor… not sure precisely what's happening.

The captains don't seem to hear Roho, as they continue their battle, Sendrick now taking the worst of it once more.

Roho comes closer to the duel, "Captains, you must stop for a moment! There are some plotting to breach the vows!"

Envoy blinks, and calls out Roho's plea in Eeee.

*CLANG* The blades of the fighters come together, locking.

Sendrick yaps, "Doctor, what are you telling me?", never taking his eyes off Reeleon.

Reeleon struggles to hold the lock despite his wounded wing. "Our fight can't end without one of us dead!"

Most of the Eeee crew looks startled at Envoy's claim. One in particular seems to slink back a little…

Roho switches to Eeee now that he has their attention, "I heard voices over the side of the ships. I recognized one as Dalagask. They were planning to burn the ship."

"Dalagask is free?" Envoy asks.

Chiaroscuro mutters, "I knew we shouldn't have trusted the snake with wings… "

Sendrick glares intensely at Reeleon. "So… unable to win on your own, *honorable* Captain?" he says, wobbling on his leg.

Roho shakes his head, "Captain, don't jump to conclusions, they may have been panicked and acting on their own." {Please don't let this start another battle… }

Reeleon bares his teeth. "I've had nothing to do with it! That sort of maneuver exists in our war files as a contingency plan, but why should I care when I know I'm the better swordsman?"

Envoy turns to some of the nearby crewmen, and says, "Check on the prisoner."

Two Savanites look at Envoy, then at each other, a flash of realization appeariing on their faces. They rush belowdecks.

"Better braggart, maybe… " Sendrick mutters… "Call your men off, now, if you're a true man of the Order."

Sendrick takes a wobbling step back, uncrossing the swordpoints.

From below, sounds of clatter and sudden noise are head, and muffled Eeee cries.

Envoy says, "I think the renegades have gotten into the ship."

The Eeee disengages and backs away. Unable to fly with a crippled wing, he simply runs off the dueling deck back to his own ship. "You idiots!" he raves at his crew. "Tell those fools to stop you /squeak eek squirklee skee/" The rest of his order dissolves into angry Eeee as the captain waves his left fist at his henchmen

Sendrick sits down on the deckside, whimpering and winceing freely now that the other Captain is busy. He glances down at his bloody boots, and mutters, "That stain is never going to come out… " then giggles far too mirthfully.

Envoy asks Sendrick, "Does this action count as a default on Reeleon's part, Captain?"

Roho's ears stand up, as he hears more noises, "Envoy, watch the captain. Naomi, Chiaroscuro, would you come with me? I believe there is a problem belowdecks… "

Naomi still stands by the Blaze of Glory's rail, her paws still pressed firmly over her eyes. "What? What's going on? Is it… … over?"

Envoy stays with the captain, still trying to watch both him and his Eeee counterpart on the other ship.

Chiaroscuro rushes to Roho's side, nodding. "Yes, Doctor… " he says, clambering below. One Jupani follows him, but the rest of the crew stays above, snarling or merely watching at the Eeee…

Shendrick mutters at Envoy, "Always with the questions… " and nods. "It is a captain's honor to control his crew… " He rips some lace off his arm, tying it around his calf to try and stop the bleeding.

Envoy says, "Is it allowed to treat your wounds now then? Is the duel over?"

Reeleon paces around on his deck, still shouting at his deck-hands. "I had him! The duel was MINE! And you fools ruined it! There'll be twenty lashes for whomever I find's been in on this! No, thirty! Aren't those stone-headed imbeciles back yet?!"

Naomi, lacking a response, and finally paying attention to all the shouting, peeps between her fingers. With the all-clear, she takes her paws away. "Captain Sendrick!" The nurse runs over to the dueling deck, taking a roll of gauze and some herbal packets from her apron pockets.

Sendrick nods to Envoy. "I think… medical attention would be acceptable."

Envoy waves Naomi over, "Are any of these wounds severe?"

Bem clacks at Envoy. "This unit requests directions from scout unit designated Envoy. Intruders detected in nest." It glances about and then back to Envoy.

Envoy blinks up at Bem. "Help the Savanites remove them, Bem, but guard the samples from the paquebot from damage as well."

The nurse bites her lip as she kneels down by Sendrick, applying some acidic-smelling liquid to a cloth compress, and pressing it to the wound… "The cut is very deep, judging by the bleeding," she says worriedly. "I can't tell off hand, but I don't think it hit the bone. It should heal over if it isn't infected, but we'd really better bring this to Doctor Roho. I can only stop the bleeding… "

Envoy says, "The muscle will need to be sewn back together then? I'll have someone fetch Roho as soon as possible."

The Zelak waves its sabers in a negatory gesture. "Directives conflict. This unit is charged with the protection and assistance of the scout unit Envoy in its mission to contact its former hive. Potentially hostile units are still present in the area."

Sendrick's muzzle screws up at the pain, but he says nothing, just nodding weakly to the nurse.

Various sounds continue to come from belowdecks, Eeee cries along with shouts in Rephidim common.

Naomi continues to apply pressure as she wraps the compress and Sendrick's leg with tight strips of gauze. "Yes, please get someone to fetch him, Lady Envoy. If there was a vein severed, Captain Sendrick might be bleeding inside more than I can stop."

Envoy blinks, and begins to wonder if this is how others feel when dealing with her. "Alright Bem, stay here with me then."

Envoy tries to find someone on deck that can go down to find Roho

Most of the crew seems leery of leaving the deck, in case of a rush by the Eeee crew. A few more Savanites obey Envoy's requeests, running below with glances over their shoulders.

The Zelak rasps and glares at nearby Eeees. It appears vaguely dissatisfied.

Envoy edges away from Bem, beginning to wonder if Warriors actually find violence attractive.

Bem follows Envoy, staying close.

Envoy hmms, and moves back towards the Captain and Naomi, just in case another Eeee decides to cheat.

Bem interposes itself between Envoy and the others, sabers sliding smoothly through the air. "This unit detects increasing levels of hostile activity in the nest," it rasps. Mandibles clack with what might seem like relish.

The noise increases, an anguished shriek of an Eeee clearly heard.

"You mean belowdecks?" Envoy asks. "There is fighting going on down there?"

Bem rasps, head tilting to look down the length of the deck. "Affirmative. Worker-class units designated 'Savanites' are being driven back by enemy warriors. Type of enemy warriors unknown."

Envoy says, "Eeees. Are the Savanites armed at all?"

Reeleon stomps back onto the dueling deck. His right wing has been swatched in bandages as well, some of it speckled with red. "What in the Sabaoth's name are those morons doing over there? Captain Sendrick! We must stop this at once!"

The Zelak responds, "This unit did not see worker-class units issued weapons. Natural weapons possessed by worker-class units called 'Savanites' are negligible."

Envoy turns to Sendrick, "Captain, you have to send soldiers down there!"

Envoy whispers, "If the Eeees have met with Dalagask, then they must know about the weapons."

Sendrick pauses just long enough to leave doubt that he's heard Reeleon's words… then suddenly nods, standing as best he can. "Agreed. Tell your men out here to stay put, and let's deal with your 'rebels'.

Sendrick puts just enough inflection on the word to indicate his not-total belief in the correctness of that term.

"Those cowardly rabble," snarls the Eeee. "I've a mind to go down there, but I better keep this bunch up here in line. You can tell those mutinous dunces that they've orders to cease immeadiately and get back here." Reeleon frowns, and turns away. "Should they disobey my orders… well… you can deal with them as you see fit, Captain Sendrick."

Envoy says, "Roho is down there, he can speak in Eeee to them."

Reeleon nods curtly, and looks away to return to his ship. "Very well. They'll get a few lashes for tarnishing the Order, that I'll guarantee."

Sendrick smirks. "Let's see if they'll listen." He points to some Savanites. "You, you, and you with the ugly tail. With me. The rest of you, call up if the other ship tries anything." With that, he hobbles downstairs… towards the sounds of fighting…

Envoy sits down on the deck, next to Naomi. "I'm sure you'll be able to make a ballad out of all this someday."

The savnites follow, while the other crew regard the Eeee suspiciously. The Eee look, for the most part, chastised by tthier captain, and mill about mumbling quietly.

"Ohhh… I'm not sure if I want to immortalize something this… this… " Naomi swallows hard, the skin beneath her fur turning slightly greenish. "Grisly."

Envoy hmms. "I think Jupanis would like it."

After just a few minutes… silence belowdecks.

"I think things have been sorted out down below," Envoy comments. "Or else everyone is dead."

Bem rasps once, and lowers his weapon only slighlty. "Hostilities ended."

And after a few very long moments… from below…

Sendrick climbs up, follwed by the Savanites, Chiaroscuro, and Mircus, each bringing along a bat… most restrained and wriggling, except for two, who don't move at all. Following at the last is Dalagask… no sign of Roho, the Jupani, or three of the Savanites.

Envoy says, "Chipper! Is everything alright down there? Where's Roho?"

Naomi stands up, looking over the group. "W-where's the doctor?"

The mongoose pushes the bat forard to a Vartan to handle, and turns to Envoy… a thick bruise already forming on his face, and his left side slashed. "Roho's down there," he says hoarsely, "Trying to save a Savanite. He's okay. They're all stopped… "

Dalagask moves with an attempt at dignity, despite his tattered clothes. "Captain Reeleon," he says. "I am Lieutenant Dalagask of the Wings of Red. I wish it known that I have held to my promise not to raise my hand against the Rephidimites, and I now wish to be returned to my nationality."

"Oh! If you're alright, Captain, I'd better go help the Doctor!" Naomi checks to make sure the dressing on Sendrick's leg hasn't soaked through.

Sendrick's bandages are holding… but are bloodstained, as the fighting he's done has reopened wounds. "Go, healer." he mutters.

Reeleon scowls at Dalagask's request as he storms back onto the dueling deck from his ship. "Is that so? I might consider your request after I get to the bottom of this mutiny! Who's responsible for this?" The captain surveys the line of prisoners before him. "Well? Speak up, vermites!"

Envoy says, "What happens now, Captain? Will you continue the duel?"

Naomi nods, casts one final warisome glance at Reeleon, and scurries below-decks.

Mircus watches Chipper for a moment, then shoves his Eeee to a nearby Jupani. He slumps to the deck and just watches, cradling a hand against his side.

Dalagask glances at the other Eeees disdainfully.

The Eeee prisoners stay silent… for two of them, it is a permanent silence.

"I haven't got all day!" barks Reeleon irritably. "Someone step forward, before I decide to LEAVE you to Captain Sendrick's tender mercies! If you think I was bad when I was angry, I might as well have been reading you all stories and baking you cookies compared to him! Speak up!"

Envoy blinks at the tirade.

One of the Eeee starts to whimper-sqeak at the captain's words, but doesn't seem to say anything.

Chiaroscuro decides Mircus has the right idea, and slumps down.

Envoy looks at the hesitant Eeee, and asks Sendrick, "Can I have this one's brain when you're done?" For some reason, she says this in Eeee.

Dalagask stares at Envoy and then says, also in Eeee, that being his only language, "Abomination of nature! First you defile the dead, and now you want to keep their minds about for knick-knacks?!?"

Envoy blinks at Dalagask. "I am not a product of nature."

Sendrick smirks. "The fighting is over for now, so no." He adds in Eeee to the bat-prisoner, "Be glad I'm still alive, or she'd have hallowed out your skull and put the insides into a sandwich by now."

Dalagask looks sick, perhaps for more than one reason. "First Ones keep you safe then, Captain. You may be one of the cursed Rephidimites, but you have honor."

Reeleon grits his teeth, seething. "Very well, then!" he shouts in Eeee, glaring at the prisoners. "Captain Sendrick, make good use of your new crewmembers! You'd best shackle them in the hold, so they don't fly. Otherwise, I'm sure there's plenty of uses for them!" With that, the captain turns around, and starts to make his way back, shouting orders at his remainder to disengage the Blaze and cast off.

Mircus' stare fixes itself on one of the dead Eeee. He flinches, and closes his eyes, right hand pulling at his left.

Sendrick hmmms. "Perhaps you might be able to… 'examine' one after all, Envoy. " he says to the Aeolun, in clear hearing of the bats.

One bat whimpers, and shrieks, "It was MARKOV! Markov's idea! Don't let her eat my braaaain!"

Dalagask pauses, looking after the bats who will be held, then after Reeleon. Then at Envoy. He shudders and says, "Captain! Wait for me!" and hurries after him.

Chiaroscuro keeps fairly still, breathing slowly turning back to normal. He whispers prayers of thanks…

Reeleon freezes in his tracks, biting off a command. He turns slowly around, his wings behind his back. "Markov… is he still alive?"

Envoy winks to Chipper.

Markov is very alive… and is not one of the six who were on board the Blaze of Glory. He's quickly jumped upon and subdued by the other Eeee.

Chiaroscuro smiles at Envoy, and winks back… not quite sure why at the moment.

Reeleon casually strolls across the deck, the heels of his boots clunking on the wood, to where the other eeee hold him. "Is this true, Helmsman Markov?"

Markov squeals at the captain. "Who? me? Hah-ha… surely not! I would never call for a plan seven… "

Reeleon smacks Markov in the face with the back of a hand. "Liar! Put him and the rest in the brig." The crew of the Speed of Sound complies, dragging off the bound Eeee.

Reeleon trods back across the planks to Sendrick's side. "I believe we still have a duel to… 'complete'.", he says.

Envoy watches the activity on the other ship, assuming that Captain Sendrick wants it all put into the log.

Sendrick rises up. "Very true indeed." He hobble-steps onto the deck between both ships, raising up his sword to a guard stance.

Bem rasps as it stays close to Envoy, its head tracking the Eeee captain.

Surprised that the duel is starting up again, the Aeolun nonetheless watches dutifully.

Chiaroscuro winces, standing up. "After all this… more fighting?"

Dalagask blanches. If Reeleon loses… It means he'll STILL be travelling with this ship of fools, and worse, he'll be made a prisoner at journey's end rather than released as Roho promised. He tries to think of something he could say to persuade the bat captain that this isn't necessary, mouth opening and closing, leaning heavily against a section of ceramic pipe that serves the limping bat as a cane.

Mircus looks up, eyes pained. "There hasn't been enough death?"

Envoy says, "There's been enough death, but not the right deaths."

Roho comes up through the deck hatch, a rather sorry sight at the moment due to blood caked in his fur from a blow to the muzzle, "The Savanite will live, as long… " he tapers off as it becomes evident that the duel has begun anew.

Reeleon trudges up the planking to the makeshift duelling deck, the discomfort caused by his injured wing obvious in his expression. Still, he turns to face Sendrick, and plants one foot back, his rapier raised again.

Sendrick's sword rises up, the point touching to Reeleon's. His muzzle tense…

Naomi follows after Roho, fussing over him. "Doctor, your muzzle! Are you sure you're all right? Don't you want any antiseptic for that? You… " She notices the captains squaring off again, and falls silent.

Mircus watches the duelers prepare, not sure what's happening, but knowing it's important. "… not enough killing… "

The Eeee captain coughs, his nose rising a few degrees for the correct aire of nobility. "In light of the current situation, I must propose a formal end to our conflict, without further hostilities," he sniffs. "I have matters of insubordination to attend to that can't be ignored for the sake of honour."

"Duty first, and all that," Reeleon adds.

Sendrick nods, and lets his swordpoint drop to touch the deck. "I am in concurrence, as we have wounded aboard and must now tend to our own. Hostilities between our ships shall now end, for time enough for both our needs."

Reeleon replies with various squeaks and twitters that somehow bear a formal edge, implying much the same as he said before.

Envoy hmms.

Sendrick responds again, his words the same in Eeee. Then he raises his swrod up visibly, and lets it clatter to the deck. "Blue and white."

Reeleon drops his weapon as well, trying not to show how relieved he is that his wing no longer needs to bear its weight. "White and blue."

Dalagask looks at Roho guiltily, catching sight of the red blood.

Mircus stares at the two on the dueling deck for a moment longer, then returns to staring at the deck. {… or maybe there has been.}

The captains turn from each other, and reboard their ships… the crews beginning to put away the planks.

Bem's mandibles clack.

Envoy asks Sendrick, "Does this mean the duel is over and we can leave?"

Sendrick nods slowly to Envoy. "Yes, yes. Finish your recording and return the book to me. Doctor, get all men wounded to the infirmary… and you, nurse, there as well."

The leg-lamed Eeee whispers to Roho, "I had heard that there were reasons you insulted the Sabaoth – that you did so to precipitate a war, some sort of Rephidim plant to sow dissension." He shakes his head. "I no longer believe it, Healer. And I will tell anyone I meet that."

"Oh, what a relief… " Naomi sighs. She looks back at the fennec, her paws on her hips. "Now are you going to get cleaned up? You don't want a big sore on your nose, do you?"

Dalagask hurries to catch up with Reeleon and the other Eeees.

Roho nods, "Yes, sir. But that does include you." He grins slightly at Naomi, "And wouldn't you rather have some help with the wounded?"

Roho turns to Dalagask, "What I did was merely try to prevent The Sabaoth from killing his son. I have no wish for war."

Sendrick raises his voice. "And if the rest of you flea-bitten oafs don't get out ship back on course before dinnertime, you can go overboard and hope you can swim to shore!" He begin shuffling towards the hatch to below.

Dalagask salutes to Roho from the railing of the Eeee ship.

Roho naturally doesn't see the salute… he just turns sadly, to head below and start tending the wounded.

Chiaroscuro pats Envoy's shoulder with a paw. "I had best go below as asked, then."

Naomi winces. "I suppose so… let's go get it over with, then."

Bem rasps. "Potentially hostile units disengaging," the Zelak warrior reports with a tone of almost disappointment. Or perhaps that is just Envoy's imagination.

"Will you tell me what happened belowdecks later?" Envoy asks the mongoose.

Chiaroscuro's muzzle dips and rises to Envoy, in a nod. "I suppose I can." he mutters as he turns to walk below.

Mircus sits on the deck, eyes closed, and cradles his left hand in his right.

Envoy says, "Are you hurt, Mircus?"

No response.

The Speed Of Sound disengages, and begins a southernly course… while the Blaze of Glory resume its eastward voyage.

Envoy is about to ask the Rath'ani if he's hurt again, but decides to leave him alone for now. She heads back to her cabin to write down her reports.

"Was everyone below-decks accounted for, Doctor?" asks Naomi. "Lady Envoy, Mr. Waashu-Supper, Mr Mircus? Where is Mr. Mircus?"

Envoy says, "He's on deck, and might be in shock."

Roho rasps, "Mircus is on deck… I believe he may need some coaxing to come to the infermary."

Naomi hunts around for a bit, spying the cartographer. "Mr. Mircus! Are you all right? Let me see your paw."

Mircus lets out a shuddering sigh and shakes his head ever so slghtly.

Naomi frowns, and says a little more firmly, "Let me see your paw." She startles herself, and after a moment, she adds, "Please."

Mircus starts slightly, sighs again, and after a moment holds out his left hand.

The nurse looks Mircus' paw over worriedly, taking a finger-splint and a thinner roll of gauze from her apron. "Oh, we need to bind this. Why didn't you show me this earlier? It could have been permenantly damaged if you hadn't said something!" She gives Mircus' fractured finger a makeshift binding. "Let me help you to the infirmary, and I'll brew you a nice cup of willowbark tea. Or was it Akwavi root? Let's go."

Mircus sighs again, but allows Naomi to help him up, and then towards the infirmary. His eyes are open, but he can see nothing for the tears in his eyes…

And soon, the other ship has shrunk to a dot… and then disappears amongst the clouds, leaving the Blaze of Glory once more alone on its voyage home.


GMed by Chiaroscuro

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Today is 15 days before Candlemass, Year 29 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6128)