The crossbowman known as Cutwing looked in shock as his boss and the girl flailed about in the water, splashing the side of the boat. He wasn’t fully prepared for this situation. Cutwing had been a homeless Selkie before signing onto Lafitte’s crew. It had been with great enthusiasm with which he’d greeted Beau Bergeron, the ship’s first mate, who had given him a glimpse of what his destiny could be.
Cutwing had been shown things, things he couldn’t explain, a smattering of stories and descriptions, impossible stories of fantastical technology that made no sense. A world he was promised access to, even if he himself didn’t quite believe it. Ever since then he’d thrown himself into his work. Any world had to treat him better than this one had. He was given purpose, and his boss had taught him skill throughout the journeys of La Danse Calinda.
But now he was for the first time without a purpose or orders, his boss possibly drowning overboard. He didn’t know which of the crossbowmen was ‘second in command’ so to speak, and now two of his four fellows were in the drink with their leader, and the other looked on in stunned confusion.
Glancing at Thimble, Cutwing’s mind was made up. With a honed precision he leveled his crossbow at the fairy. “You heard him, friend. Give us the letter or she dies, and you with her!”
At his words, the other Calinda man grew grim and purposeful, too. He trained his crossbow on the struggling Y’lanna while Cutwing kept his pointed at Thimble himself.
Captain Jean Lafitte III heard Lotye’s words and mulled them over. The girl hadn’t really spoken much, but he as yet had no reason to doubt her intelligence or sincerity. In fact, he found himself in possible agreement with her suggestion. Guerrilla warfare was a specialty of both his own pirates back home, as well as their enemies in the Guilds of New Orleans crime syndicate.
I wonder why I thought of them? Lafitte thought, he hadn’t thought of the men who had pushed him out of his home and towards that cursed Devil’s Triangle in a long time. Even after leaving the sea entirely, he had been under constant threat of assassination. He’d therefore flown east, hoping to make it to Africa or Southern Europe, when he’d been hit with the worst storm he’d ever seen — and for a native of the Gulf Coast that was saying something. The last thing he remembered was his ship crashing into the waters of the Atlantic and his last gasps of air before he was pulled under. Seemingly instants later, he’d been washed ashore in this strange land. It wasn’t long before he’d come across Larman Ogges, shambling, almost drunk, and the two of them decided it was time to turn their lives around.
In a way, Lafitte supposed as he looked about his creaky boat, he’d found his home after all. Pulling himself out of his reverie he went back to the task at hand.
“That’s all very doable ma chère fille. I, of course, would have to repeat that we’d need to stay out of range of whatever archers, and there is the matter of the plan regarding the dragon. Most of the sailors here are, naturally, capable combatants in their own right. With a skeleton crew I can park the ship elsewhere, and lead a charge myself,” Lafitte replied.
“However, the ultimate decision lies with our friends, the Ereonis brothers,” Lafitte finished motioning towards the three Selkies, “I was under the impression they preferred a more hammer and anvil style of attack.”