Captain Jean Lafitte III was among his crew, tying off ropes, moving around crates, occasionally shouting orders or directions, even going so far as to scrub his decks. He would never order them to do anything in which he himself would be unwilling to endure the same task, and part of proving that fact was occasionally joining them in the everyday activities of running the ship. It was his primary management style, and had been since he’d first begun captaining his own ship, taking a cue from the old Captain Broussard aboard La Petite Moore.
As much as he respected his old captain, there were things about him which made hate often seep through and crack that respect. For one, Broussard was an effete snob with no real right to call himself either, and for another, had frequently ordered raids, or demanded his crew give their lives while he remained with the relative safety of the ship. This was something which Lafitte had been determined to avoid from the moment he’d begun hiring for the Calinda. And he’d made good on that determination, year in, and year out, personally maintaining a working relationship with even the lowliest of sailors aboard his vessel, even across seeming time and space.
But, lately, there was a new purpose driving his perseverance in this regard: He needed something to distract him from the allure of the card. More and more he’d found himself attracted to it, hours he’d spend just staring at it, an image of the creature going through his head, a want of its power and abilities coursing through him. It simply would not leave his head since deciding to embark on the hunt of Peino Starhand.
More than once he had locked the card into his personal quarters, but each time he had been drawn back to it, seemingly unable to part with the item which had so piqued his temperament. And so he had found the only answer which seemed to satisfy, whether he was satisfying himself or the card he became increasingly undecided, and that was keeping it in his pocket as he joined in the efforts of coaxing as much speed, and as much efficiency as the Calinda could muster towards getting to Kledy and finding the card taken by Prince Starhand.
The rain had long given way to a hot and sticky humidity in the air as Lafitte gathered himself from a particularly bothersome blood-stain on his deck. “Captain!” and Lafitte looked over to see the Dwarf making his way over to him, worry on his face, “Yes, Mr. Ogges?”, he said, “Captain, we have a problem, two problems really,” Ogges said, “First, there is a tear in the Starboard main Sail, which is impeding our progress, and the second, is that there is excessive heat coming towards the aft observation deck…some suspect Dragons, sir,” Ogges finished, saying this last with an awed whisper. No matter how many times one faced a dragon the fear never quite subsided, and Lafitte could see the Dwarf’s eyes go wide, just as he was sure his were doing currently as well.
His jacket pocket, however, pulsed with frustration, seemingly fighting for position with his emotions against the fear. Lafitte attempted to fight down the both of them with limited success, “Putain de l’enfer” Lafitte cursed, catching his breath in an effort to clear his head, “Alright, send for Beau below decks, tell him to get his crossbow ready and those of the gunners, we might not be able to hurt it much, but maybe pissing it off might give us a few seconds, just in case.” he said more firmly, “But, hopefully it won’t come to that, get me Taliyana, tell her to get the boosters ready for an emergency sea landing,” he finished, and Larman Ogges set off to relay his messages.
Looking up towards the crow’s nest, Lafitte took another breath, this time preparing to yell, “Ionas! Keep an eye out for that Dragon, and if you can, get across the rigging to repair that tear! Someone get him a replacement up!” If they intended to make it through this, they’d need every bit of speed they could muster, and if anyone was going to be able to repair it in time, it was the ship’s lookout, noone had the kind of experience traversing the ropes, pulleys, and canvas of the Calinda as Ionas Farseeer did.
Lafitte just hoped it would be enough, and somewhere deep in his soul, he found himself determined that it would be…or he would die trying…