Desperate Measures (Jumbletron & Rebutal)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by doomy, Dec 8, 2014.

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  1. Wood creaked as the ship rocked in the damp and dark. The atmosphere at the dinner table was thick, but the captain somehow managed to maintain a calm expression, sitting with his legs crossed and his mug held tightly off the table. The quartermaster had joined them tonight, which was a rarity, and was sitting next to the captain with a smug smirk. The rainy weather was worrying some of the crew members, it seemed; and despite the pirate’s tranquil appearance, any expression of unease was shot down with a glare and trite reprimand. “You seem tense, Soren.” his quartermaster suggested with a chuckle.

    What an understatement.” The captain replied, finally setting his mug down.

    The indistinct sliver of land on the horizon was their only indication that they were entering noble territory. It would be only moments until the heist would be carried out. The objective was clear: kidnap that damned Beloreth’s daughter. “I just wonder if this will be enough?” The captain mused as he secured his black leather gloves, matching the rest of his outfit. The pirate hunters’ activities had tripled with the recent rise in bounties, hunting pirates down like prey, and many of The Empress’ allies—brothers, friends, acquaintances—had been compromised in the wave; thrown in jail or lynched. The opposition had been civil at first, with pirates contented by the search for Vendamina, but the attacks grew erratic, and there were those that took pejorative action.

    Petty noble kidnappings—and kidnapping attempts—littered the papers and at the helm of these attempts was Soren, a highly regarded pirate. Word of his plan to kidnap the most affluent pirate hunter’s daughter not only encouraged nobles to seal their homes up a little tighter at night, but also inspired a few others to follow in his footsteps. Luckily, and just like he had pig-headedly predicted, none had yet succeeded. The sky flashed with light as the large ship docked near a discreet cove off to the west side of the Beloreth’s estate, just below a cliff. On foot, Soren’s small group would sneak onto the property with the help of some inside connections and kidnap the girl, then escape using the family’s serving passageways and jump to the ship from the cliff. If all went well, they could get away cleanly. If not, they'd go down guns ablazing. “Let's make this count.” The three men behind him nodded, preparing themselves for what was to come; going through mental checklists: brought my weapon, brought rope, left a letter for home. A final sigh left the captain’s lips before he led his group to a covered pathway.
  2. "Father, I'm not a child anymore!" The shouting of a young women filled the halls of the Beloreth estate. Erin stood before her father, a tall brooding man named Robert, with her fists clenched tightly and a face full of anger. Once again the two were arguing about Erin and her freedom, which was a common argument these days.

    "You are a lady of this Estate, Erin. You will not raise your voice to me any longer. Show me respect or I'll have you locked away in the stable with the horses!" Robert's booming voice match his appearance. A thick mop of blonde hair rest upon his head and a finely groomed beard grew from his jaw. A long ugly scar stretched from his eye to his upper lip, given to him by a pirate no doubt. Despite his rugged appearance, he was a good looking man and well respected in every noble city across the land.

    "You are a murder, father! You do not deserve my respect!" Erin retorted as she turned to face away from Robert. Ever since her mother's death, Erin could not feel close to her father. It was something she regretted dearly, but she could hardly look him in the face any longer. "You cannot keep me here forever. I am not afraid of any pirate." And with that, she walked out of her father's study with a cold look on her face. She did not care how hurt he may be, she didn't think it was possible for him to even feel anymore. As she left, she heard her father mutter one thing. "Just wait until you meet one face to face. I won't be there to help you when they take your body and dump it into the sea."

    Once she was out of his sight, Erin began to run until she reached her bedroom. Tears had begun to well up in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. Instead, she placed a hand on the golden locket she wore around her neck. A trinket her mother had passed onto her on her death bed. Instead of changing into her night clothes and going to bed as usual, she made her way to her window and stared out at the sea that lined the edges of town. The moonlight on the water soothed the girl's nerves and soon her tears dried up.
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  3. They exited the secret corridor into the kitchen, and the captain lead his men into another dimly lit hallway all the way to… the library? Soren hit his head on the hall when he straightened up in surprise. “Shit.” Soren bent down again and set the lantern down so he could grip the map in both of his hands.

    We’re lost, aren’t we.

    No, they’ve made renovati—” The four went silent when they heard yelling from one of the other rooms. Soren had almost forgotten how close they actually were to the rooms inside and mentally slapped himself for being so careless; he’d almost dropped the lantern quite a few times now. He shook his head and collected himself as the boys pressed their ears to the wall to hear the argument.

    "Huh. They chose the perfect day to have an argument. No chance they’d hear us with all the noise they’re makin’."

    "Duking it out with the old man, aye?"

    I’m with the girl on this one.

    You lot are getting too loud.

    Sorry, boss.

    Soren shook his head in annoyance, crossing his arms and putting a hand to his chin in thought. His eyes lit up after staring at the hooligans with their butts in the air, and he joined in, unfortunately missing the entire argument, but not the thing he needed. Footsteps. And since the map that he was given was out of date, it was obvious that they would have to forge their own path to the girl’s room… and that they had a contact to burn later. “Looks like we’re alone again, boys.” He whispered intently, moving quickly to follow the sound of steps. When the sound stopped, they found themselves before a sliding door and cautiously slid it open. The captain peeked a head inside and there she was. It seemed that she was a bit too distracted by whatever was outside the window to notice the door slide open and the men enter.

    He saw his reflection behind her as he sidestepped his way over; breathing hard; sweaty, covered in mud, or mold, or both; unshaven. No wonder people were weary of pirates. At least his breath smelled like mints? He shook the thought from his mind and hastily put a hand over the Beloreth’s mouth. He looked her in the eye to keep her attention, “I’ll make this easy. Come quietly and we won’t lay a finger on you, or make a ruckus and we’ll use the chloroform.
  4. The grimy hand that had found it's way over Erin's mouth put a sickening feeling into her stomach. At first she thought this must be some kind of joke put into motion by her father. It seemed like the kind of thing he would do. Although upon looking at the man as he spoke, her suspicions fell through. This man was way too filthy to be a hire of her father's. From his grungy unshaven face to the ungodly smell of man and mold and... mint? Erin would have laughed if she were not in a hostage situation at the moment. Clearly this man is a pirate. He fit the description of the men her father told stories about, although she had always thought he was exaggerating at least a little bit.

    Erin looked back into the eyes of the man who threatened her, a bit of both fear and anger present in in her own eyes. With a jerk of her body to show that she was not at all pleased, she nodded. She knew better than to disobey the likes of him, at least for the time being. Surely someone would notice her missing. Her father sent servants to check on her at least every hour. She doubted that they could even leave the property without someone coming to look. How did they even get into her home? Erin tried to speak but all that could be heard was muffled nonsense.
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  5. "Good choice." Came the reply. He suspected that she had reason to act so accommodating, but he wouldn't be one to complain. Besides, this made things much easier. Furrowing his brows at the muffled response, he took his hand off of her and put it on his belt. He then held his hand out to the sliding door that they had come in through earlier. He made his way over and opened it wider, turning to the young lady of the house and raising a brow. "Say that again on the way out." His men shifted in their places as Soren drew his left rapier and picked up the lantern sitting in the dark corridor.

    "We must move quickly." He stated, nodding as his men: their cue to leave and start a distraction; probably at one of the far ends of the estate. As they disappeared into the hidden corridor, he looked back at the young lady, eyes scrutinizing her movements. He was convinced that she would come along, but knew that this relationship was fragile. His word was his bond, he'd keep his hands away from her, but only as long as she wasn't as annoying as to cause a complete uproar. He had his boys for that. "We’re taking the moldy emergency escape route leading out to the garden. Know the way, or do you need help getting there?" He sounded more agitated than was average, but it was because of the moral implications of the mission, ..along with the fact that he didn't know much about how to treat women.
  6. "These passages haven been used in over a decade. Of course I don't know the way!" Erin snapped, keeping as much of a distance between her and the pirate captain. However, she had used the escape route more than once in the past few years and had the path memorized. She planned to give this pirate a hard time. Perhaps she would duck into another corridor and lose him. He didn't seem to have a map, so perhaps escaping was truly possible. But did she really want to escape? Perhaps this was her only chance to get away from her father.

    Erin allowed her feet to drag across the ground. "My father will kill your friends." she muttered, just loud enough for her captor to here. Whether she said it as a threat or a genuine warning, she did not know. She hated the thought of anyone dying, but these men were pirates and her kidnappers. Did they actually deserve to die? Erin shook her head at her thoughts and placed her hand over her mother's necklace once again. It was the only thing she could do to keep herself calm.
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  7. Soren blinked, looking down at her, unsure of what to make of the girl's reactions. She was snapping at him one second, then muttering things thoughtfully the next. Was she loony? He pinched the bridge of his nose. Nobles. He'd heard what she said, that's true, but something didn't sit right with him about what she had said. I suppose we were all a bit suicidal when we agreed on this plan. He thought to himself. But he couldn't muster up enough energy to remove her from the grudge he held on her old man. "That's what pirate hunters do. They kill people." He said, brows furrowing in irritation ..and probably guilt.

    A pact was already made on the ship. They'd detonate themselves before letting a pirate hunter get at their bodies. With the plan's overall pros, they knew failure would prove.. fatal. But that's why those three had volunteered, despite the copious amount of time spent deliberating. "They'll.. be ready." To want change so badly that they'd risk their lives; it wasn't bravery, it was desperation. He sniffed, trying to suppress the feeling of regret in his stomach. If they made it out of this together in one piece, maybe they could all just get back to the lives they had before. Without the violence and the perpetual fleeing. If not, well, then they'd have the lack thereof to look forward to, or so he'd like to believe. Now he just had to remember not to take out his worries on other people.

    A look of confusion touched his features when he turned his back on her to face the passage, "And you're his daughter. So what do you care?" It was a rhetorical question, but as soon as it left his lips, he did wonder. As quickly as it came, it wasn't long before he trashed the thought and shot back to reality where he was attempting to kidnap a pirate hunter's daughter. "If I'm playing shepherd, you better be the sheep." He pointedly shook his head once and ducked to fit into the passageway. Luckily, if you just follow the smell of mold, you can probably find the way out. He really hoped that the path he remembered from the map hadn't been obstructed by some other renovation, though.
  8. "As you command, shepard." Erin mumbled, keeping her eyes glued to her feet as she walked. "But you won't make it to your ship. At least not with me." With her mind elsewhere, she had become quite mouthy towards the captain. His previous question rang through her mind like the city bells at midday. Why should she care? It was true that she felt concern for the men. She didn't want them to be murdered, at least not because of her. If she could get away, perhaps she could convince her father to not kill them. What a laughable thought. Erin sighed and looked to the pirate as she followed him into the small passage. She was fortunately short enough to not have to duck as much as he did. Unfortunately, it seemed as though he knew where he was going.

    Erin's heart was torn in two. Should she try to escape? Or should she go with this man? One path led to the life she had always known, and the other was a clouded mystery to her. Anything could happen if she continued to follow. This raised a question in her thoughts that she just needed answered. "Why are you doing this? What's in it for you?" Erin lifted her head just enough to watch the man as she waited for an answer. Did he really think her father would negotiate with his kind? She couldn't help but doubt her father when it came to being an actual father.
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  9. Soren twitched at the shepherd bit, but there was really no point in correcting her at this point. He was asking for that one. "You've got one hell of a sassy mouth on you for a sheep. I guess life gets hard when you're living in a damn palace all day." He refused to say anything more after that comment, instead letting further thoughts and replies fester in the silence as they continued to wander further into the maze of old corridors. Whether he made it out with her or at all wasn't important at the moment. For now, the objective was to get her to the exit. "Why are you doing this? What's in it for you?"

    He threw a glance in her direction and his stoic expression broke into one of utter dread. Of all the questions that she could have asked, that was the one that she actually had the right to know; curse his upbringing for producing such an honorable asshole. Grumbling under his breath about never having said so many words in an hour, he sighed. "Why?" Extra emphasis was put into the word, as he thought the answer was straight forward enough. "Harmless lives ruined for something as trivial as prestige... This is the expected response." He nodded, unable to mention the deaths of innocents caught in crossfire. Family members, significant others, friends... "Wars" condoned these things.

    His mouth was getting a bit dry, and he was grateful when he stopped in front of the door leading to the last, long corridor, "They hunt us like mad animals." A scoff escaped him, "Some might as well be, looking for damned Vendamina." If they knew just how comical lunch hour and bunk rotations were, they'd know the pirates were at least below mad animals. He moved his hand to slide the trick wall, and was unsettled by it's ease to give way. It was humid and leaky inside, with walls that looked like they would collapse on themselves at any second. Leather "scrunched" as the grip on his rapier tightened and he stepped inside, now able to straighten up because of the raised ceiling. "I guess you're innocent in all this, too." He thought out loud.
  10. Erin stayed silent for the rest of the trip. She didn't dare say another word for fear of upsetting the pirate further. Right now, she felt as though he held her life in his hands. At least for now. But her silence just gave room for her mind to run wild. At the mention of Vendamina, her amber colored eyes seemed to gain a slight sparkle. When her late mother wasn't telling her tales of the great treasure, she was reading about it in her father's study. He seemed to have many books related to the subject, which surprised Erin at the time. But shortly after her mother's death, the books were burned to ash. "It's nothing but lost dream..." Erin sighed, as she reached up and clutched the golden locket around her neck.

    The final corridor left Erin feeling a bit unsettled. The walls and ceiling above had grown to be much more fragile since she had last been here. She was afraid to make even the slightest noise for fear that the walls would collapse on top of them. Of course, she knew she was probably exaggerating a little but she had every right to be afraid. Erin was distracted from her frightful thoughts when several dirty drops of water fell from above onto her face and bare arms from above. "Ew..." she muttered, wiping away the dirt and grime. She felt like as filthy as her captor looked and it was only getting worse the more she trudged trudged through the tunnels. "
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  11. When Sorin heard the whisper, he glanced back, only to have murky liquid drip on his face. He immediately regretted doing so, and took a handkerchief out of his coat, hesitating before offering it to the girl instead of actually using it. He wiped his own face with the sleeve of his shirt. When the door they had entered through flew open, Sorin rushed to put himself between his captive and the other person, ushering her behind him with his weapon ready. However, the person in the doorway was someone familiar, one of his men. The youngest... the pyromaniac. He was panting, and looked behind him nervously when he heard a "boom" in the distance.

    Eyes going wide, Sorin looked at the young man expectedly. "Explain."

    "The guys are in the kitchen grabbing bacon, or something." His worried expression left him as he snickered. "Oh, and I was followed. So, I rigged the halls to explode in..." He squinted his eyes briefly in thought. "...ten seconds?" He gave the captain an innocent smile, and Sorin cursed under his breath in response. There was no doubt in his mind that this plan couldn't have ever worked out quietly.

    "They left you to steal bacon?" The boy nodded matter-of-factly and held out a handful of glass marbles. "And fer candies.." Exasperatedly holstering his weapon, he shook his head and grabbed the young woman's wrist. "Let's just get out of this place. You fast?"
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