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BLACK NOVEMBER. DOWN THE RAT HOLE. Chapter 2 - Трейси Поттер
BLACK NOVEMBER. DOWN THE RAT HOLE. Chapter 3 - Арчибальд О'Кэрролл
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от Майлза Бенсона:

Жизнь в лютном была такой насыщенной, что Майлз мог с полным правом похвастаться: с ним всякое бывало. Ну там, воришки, пытавшие спиздить из лавки хоть что-нибудь ценное. Более толковые воры, пытавшиеся спиздить что-то вполне определенное. Авроры и хит-визарды — о, этого народа у него в гостях побывало просто немеряно, они любили нагрянуть с утра и все обнюхать, выискивая запрещенку и конфискуя мелочь для отчетностей. Иногда в лавку подкидывали какую-то неведомую ебань, замаскированную под артефакты, один раз прилетела даже сова с непонятного происхождения посылочкой. >> читать далее

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Вы здесь » HP: Count Those Freaks » Альтернатива » The Tale of Gods And Monsters | Part I: Practical Arrangement

The Tale of Gods And Monsters | Part I: Practical Arrangement

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Part I: Practical Arrangement
«Where there is a sea there are pirates» (Greek proverb)


TIME: The Age of Sail
PLACE: The Seven Seas
CAST: Archibald O'Carroll & Mars Daily

In the seas of Gods and Monsters very few can survive on their own. For Archibald, an aspiring and rather ill-fated writer, survival is practically out of question. Unless certain arrangements are made and unlikely alliances formed. For Mars, the legendary captain of the Nightmare, survival is the way of living. And he is more willing to show the ropes than he appears to be.
Especially, if this helps him in his search for Atlantis.
[nick]The Ship of Ships[/nick][status]where there is a sea there are pirates[/status][icon]https://b.radikal.ru/b25/1801/b3/11bd867831dd.jpg[/icon][lich]<center><a href="ссылка на анкету"><b>THE NIGHTMARE</b></a></center><div class="zvanie">♦ a legendary pirate schooner with stark white sails</div><hr>[/lich]



“The prisoners’ wands, Sir!”

“Nothing seems to change in Old Britain,” the captain smirked as he examined several pieces of wood, all artfully crafted. “Ollivander’s work. I guess I’ve just lost a bet.”

The sloop was so small that it took very little to set it on fire and sink. Mars could still see the debris floating just outboard his schooner, stronger currents spreading them for a mile. He stepped in front of the hapless captives, lined along the rails. Every single one of them was soaking wet and humbled by the unfortunate situation, but secretly jubilant about being alive and breathing and not having followed their vessel's curved way down to the bottom.

Both jubilant and anxious, thought Mars. The fact that everyone still walked among the living didn’t mean it was going to stay this way. Not necessarily.

Luckily, the captain of the Nightmare felt generous. The newest Royal maps, now safely locked in his quarters, unraveled a whole new assemblage of opportunities for the future, and that one particular exemplar… A true rarity. A key to his dreams.

“There is an island to the south-southeast, around four miles from here. You might see the faintest blot on the horizon if you look closely. As far as I know, one can find fresh water there. So if anyone would like to relieve themselves of my presence,” Mars smiled slyly, “they are very welcome to jump overboard.”

His face lit up with mischievous glee at the sight of nervous glances passed among the miserable lot.

“For those who, well, for one reason or another would rather pass the swimming exercise, I have an offer. If you are valuable, make a deal with me.”

As Mars touched upon the matter, a chatter among members of his own crew died down completely. This was always interesting.

For a moment it became so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

“I grant you a place among my men in exchange for three years of honest service,” said Mars, moving once again along the line of magicians, his steps easy and inaudible. “You’ll get everything you will be worth. If this is not for you, there are other options. So? Who’s into negotiations? I heard them rather popular these days.”

The pirates laughed, the sound roaring.

“You,” said Mars and pointed his smallsward at the young man, whose fear was almost palpable and thus quite amusing. “Yes, you, Ginger.”

He grinned upon catching attention and barked out, “Step forward!”

The poor sod had no other option than to obey. He was all gangly and awkward, or so he seemed under pressure of catastrophe happening so swiftly in his life. Mars was very curious as to what the crew needed him for exactly, as he wasn’t built like a sailor and he definitely didn’t look like one of the pompous gits accompanying the maps.

“State you name and rank.”
[icon]https://c.radikal.ru/c19/1801/e6/54d1742ee7cc.jpg[/icon][status]The Wind of Seven Seas[/status][nick]Mars[/nick][lich]<center><a href="ссылка на анкету"><b>THE CAPTAIN</b></a></center><div class="zvanie">♦ takes what he can<br>♦ better not to annoy him<br>♦ no, seriously, DON'T</div><hr>[/lich]



That was not supposed to happen.

Or, rather...

Was Archibald's mother still alive, God bless her soul, she would most certainly point out that it was exactly the thing that should befall anyone who would abandon one family's land and estate in one's homeland and choose to reside in a filthy, smog-filled London instead, to pursue a career so questionable that it could hardly have a right to be considered as such. But she was not, and Archibald kept his mind occupied by thinking all of those nasty things by himself.

Why on Earth had he thought it was such a tremendous idea to thrust himself into a company of cartographers and board that sorry excuse of a ship and embark on a sea venture - what for? Inspiration? Experience? Bollocks! He knew the true reason although he would never admit it to anyone, dead or alive: he was out of work and out of money, his landlady kicked him out of his room for refusing to pay the rent, and he could not return home, not like that - mortified, beaten, a failure of a brother and a son.

So, a sea venture it was. Brave heart, Archibald O'Carroll!

He should have counted on his luck, though. Of course, every minor trouble and great misfortune were just waiting to happen, considering how unprepared he was, so out of place in a harsh unpredictable environment, so alien to the people around him. They sneered at him during the first few days when he constantly wore different shades of green on his face and threw up more than he had eaten. Then he got better and his relationship with the crew and, more importantly, with the honourable men got worse because it turned out nobody wanted his opinion, and they laughed at him when he was serious and mocked him when he tried to be nice and there was no way to get along with them without losing one's dignity once and for all. In the end, Archibald grew to prefer solitude - quite a thing to try and seek out on a ship of that small a size.

On the other hand - look at them now! All of them who survived - the crew, the cartographers, the cook and, well, Archibald - they were all, metaphorically speaking, in the same boat. Well, literally, too... They were prisoners. On a pirate ship. Brought on board for whatever reason their captain might have. If there were any, Archibald had not got a clue - he had been asleep when everything happened, woke up from the sound of explosions to find himself in a cabin filling up with water, on a rapidly drowning ship. He must have had conjured his way out or something then because the next thing he remembered - he was lying on a piece of wood that used to be a door or a stair, drifting, waves gently rocking him back to sleep.

But sleep he didn't get. He was yanked out of the water, saved - in a manner of speaking. He was yet to learn the price.

The real one, obviously. Because that deal their captain mentioned? Archibald would not buy it, not one bit.

Flee and be free, or stay and be useful. Come now, what does he consider them all to be, complete morons? How naive one ought to be to believe a pirate! Then again, Archibald caught a couple of glances thrown between the survivors and was pressed to admit: hope proved to be stronger than reason, even for well-educated men.

But not for him. For better or worse, he had nothing to hope for, nothing to gain. He was not a cartographer, not a sailor, just an aspiring writer, the author of books unwritten and stories unpublished. As for the flee-option... Well. He could not swim.

So, as he stood there, trembling with fear and shaking in the cold wind, suddenly that voice came through his miserable thoughts and made him jump by calling out - no, not his name, just a disparaging moniker. Nevertheless, he was singled out. Nothing good was coming out of that.

Gingerly, Archibald made a step forward. Everything was not silent but quieter than just a moment ago. He could feel all the gazes on him; he also felt his cold wet shirt clinging to his torso. He felt exposed - and judged, and he could not possibly know the criteria.

"Ar... Archibald O'Carroll... sir," he added "sir" because he wanted to live and hated himself for fawning right away. "I have no rank. I am a... a writer."

That is to say - I have no function, therefore - no reason to keep me alive. It may well be a moment when you die, Archibald O'Carroll.

Quite a sobering thought, that one. All at once, he realised: he did not want to die staring at the deck boards of a pirate ship.

For the first time since he was brought here, Archibald lifted his gaze up and looked straight ahead - at the man who called for him.

"Would you like to hear a tale?"

[icon]http://s5.uploads.ru/xUc87.jpg[/icon][status]brave heart[/status]



A writer, huh? Most compelling. It was not an easy enterprise to meet a writer while on the seas, not on an honourable ship at least, since people of such a dubious profession could rarely find a place among the royal seafarers.

Mars only needed a glance to see it in every respect that instant - this O’Carroll lad did not belong to his vast world of ancient creatures and present-day monsters all swirling in unfeasible patterns side by side with humanity, both magical and not. The droop of his frame cried volumes in a loud metaphoric whisper that wanted to be heard but tried to pass as nonexistent for its master’s sake - that’s how out of depth the writer appeared, dipped in his own fear that attracted the sharks, such as Mars, and invited to take a bite to savour and relish.

Archibald O’Carroll, despite being as afraid as he was, seemed a man that had nothing left to lose.

It is always in the eyes, isn’t it?

The pirate’s demeanour almost swayed as he caught reflections of his own past in the Irish greens of the man standing meekly but defiantly in front of him.

Mars didn’t have an unpleasant face, as scarred as it was (although, faintly), but he sure could put on a mask of sheer intimidation. Same as in this exact moment, he could smile a smile, which would promise the greatest forms of misery and disgrace befallen upon the addressee’s pitiful self, unless they do exactly as implied. And whatever was implied, one had to guess correctly straight away, because no one here had patience enough to give the unfortunate moron a second try.

And he spoke impeccable English.

“Oh, you’re a man of letters,” the corner of the captain’s mouth curved in half a smirk, his gaze locked with Archibald’s. It didn’t really match the ghost of a smile, the way it drew everything in so greedily and very ocean-like, and there was no indicator, which was predominant given the situation. “If I said I’d love to hear a tale, which one would you choose?”

He turned his head once again, observing the stupefied line of captives. His patience was wearing thin.

“I suggest you hurry up with whatever dull-witted decision you are going to take! I don’t have all day, and - I assure you - neither do you!”

His voice rang like the ship’s creaking moorings, stretched to the extreme and soon ready to snap, liberating whatever they were holding back and hardly doing their job. It wasn’t any more appropriate to hesitate longer than necessary upon hearing a definite set of conditions that might spare some smart and fortunate the cold evening swim in salt and emotional bitterness. Either one or the other. Choose wisely. There is no third options, not really, because all the third options would be mere shadows of the original two. Quiet and futile illusions of being smart and finding a more attractive kind of alternatives.

They are fools for holding faith in them having any choice in this.

“I have a soft spot for creators,” the captain returned his heed to Archibald, conjuring a softer expression and a singsong modulation of his somewhat husky voice. “You see, I carry a certain liking of writers, as I consider myself one.”

And it wouldn’t be any more satisfactory to just kill off this ruffled ginger sparrow than to kick a kitten. Why not give him a chance?

“What it’d be for you, Archibald O’Carroll, the truly brave?”
[icon]https://c.radikal.ru/c19/1801/e6/54d1742ee7cc.jpg[/icon][status]The Wind of Seven Seas[/status][nick]Mars[/nick][lich]<center><a href="ссылка на анкету"><b>THE CAPTAIN</b></a></center><div class="zvanie">♦ takes what he can<br>♦ better not to annoy him<br>♦ no, seriously, DON'T</div><hr>[/lich]


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