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Pirate's Hoard

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  • Pirate's Hoard

    Gliding effortlessly across the waves, the trio of sleek sail barges moved towards their prize. Motioning to the rail, the captain crouched as he turned back around to the large fishing trawler who's size kept it from moving as fast. The cover of night was typical for this sort of raid, the lights around the tall bridge and several along the main rail would reveal the pirates, but not before they were already upon their prey. Joined by his men, now armed and ready, brown eyes scanned for patrols around the main deck and so far saw none. He prayed that it remained that way as they neared to within fifty yards.

    "Lower sail," he directed, his small comlink on the same frequency as those of the other two ships' captains. "Ready hooks." Adrenaline pumping a mile a minute, the crew of the Grey Lady prepared, rising as their vessel closed with the target.

    Illuminated by the lights on the trawler's deck, men stood and fired their grapplers, the magnetic heads dragging cables behind them until hitting the metal hull, just below the rail. Linking to their belts, the men pushed a button and were launched into the air, riding the momentum to the target ship, grabbing the deck or rail above them. Sliding over onto the main deck, the pirates began heading to various points in the ship as the rest of their crews joined them.

    **********

    Waking to the sounds of the echoing song of avians in the surrounding jungle, Torgeir stretched and sat up, noticing the morning sunlight as he wiped his face and prepared for a new day. Pushing himself up, he slid from under the blanket and pulled it back toward the pillow, leaving it as it was as he then headed to the fresher and cleaned up.

    Soon, the Corellian pushed open the door to his hideaway and looked across the covered wooden porch to the beach beyond. Waves crashed on the dark grey rocks that formed the inlet, separating him from the nearby port town here on Varn, The world was nearly half covered in oceans which made for a perfect vacation spot. Warm sunlight created a more humid, yet pleasant atmosphere, he was beginning to like it here. Dressed in shorts, he moved to the waterline and continued in, diving into the clear blue world beyond. Getting his exercise, the dark jedi explored for a while and soon found himself rounding towards another inlet. Rising to get another breath of air, steel-blue eyes noticed three dark grey hulled sail barges, anchored close to shore and well concealed by the surrounding verdant cliffs and large rocks.

    Didn't know I had neighbors.
    Last edited by Torgeir DeHaan; 11-21-2014, 07:07 PM.
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  • #2
    After a shower and some breakfast, Torgeir slipped on a close fitting, long sleeved shirt and carried the dishes back inside, moving through the small living room to the kitchen's sink. Washing the plate, he happened to glance up to movement in the jungle, beyond his home and traveling towards the waterline. Opening his mind to the Force, he shut off the water and moved back to the single door that led out to the porch. Narrowing his gaze, serious, steel-blue eyes soon caught sight of a pair of men tackling a third and then bind his hands. Scanning the forest for others, Torgier noticed only the trio in the Force.

    "You saw nothin', friend," one of them stated, shooting him a fiery warning with his eyes as the two armed men dragged their prisoner back into the woods. Not being armed, he knew that he would have to get the drop on these guys before they could draw their weapons and turned right instead, heading around the back side of his cabin and crouched, waiting for them to move through the thick jungle beyond him. Not being one to be told what he saw and what he didn't, the dark jedi then crept into the dense undergrowth and followed, speeding his movements just enough to catch them, while doing his best to remain quiet and kept his eyes from them directly, knowing people had a sixth sense about things like that.

    Soon, they neared a depression in the forest and he leapt upon the nearest one, punching the man in the face with his metal hand, knocking him sideways as his friend then went for his gun. Reacting, the prisoner then head butted the second, knocking him off balance just in time for Torgeir to move up and Push him to the ground, his pistol flying out of his grasp. Gripping the man's throat as he leaped on the kidnapper, Torgeir leaned in.

    "You belong to those three sail barges I saw in that cove," he questioned, gaining no answer as the man tried his best to wrestle away from the Corellian.

    "Yes, they do," the prisoner verified, then a shot rang out prompting Torgeir to spin away from the man on the ground to see the slightly older man holding the first downed kidnapper's gun in his hand, the barrel now smoking.

    Standing, Torgeir knew that the sound of that shot would echo for miles. "We gotta get out of here," he started back towards his cabin. "Come on." Running back through the jungle, Torgeir led the rescued crewman away from the scene of the crime and soon reached the porch of his cabin. Heading inside, he closed the door and knew that they had little time. "They're going to come looking for us, we've gotta leave."

    Heading into the room, he began packing as the disheveled man followed to the doorway. "You tell them that I ran, you didn't have anything to do with the shooting. These guys are only worried about money, so they'll probably leave you alone."

    "Nope, not how it works, bud," Torgeir finished packing and slipped on his shoes, then shouldered his backpack and headed back into the living room. "We'll find the sheriff in Livingston and tell him what's going on."

    "You're out of your mind," the middle aged sailor argued as they stepped out onto the porch and Torgeir locked the door. "Those pirates will blow that town to hell if they think I'm there. We have to go inland, or get a ship of our own."

    "Then we'll get us a sail barge, come on," Torgeir shot back, then turned and began jogging back down through the inland grass, along the beach toward the distant port town. "Name's Torgeir."

    "Stephen."
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    • #3
      Eyeing them both quietly, the sheriff tapped his stylus on the desk in quick succession, either end see-sawing back and forth. "You're sure it was pirates," he asked again and Torgeir was wondering now if the law here had any backbone whatsoever.

      "I am, yes," Stephen nodded. "They hit us last night and seized our ship, a cargo trawler. The Essen Princess." He shifted his weight uncomfortably. "The captain was taken as well and is still in their camp," he pointed northwest. "About three miles that way, in a cove."

      "Alright," he leaned forward then glanced to Torgeir. "You weren't part of that crew, just saw them attack him and drag him into the jungle. That right?"

      "That's it, yeah."

      "Okay, you can go then. I'll take care of it from here. Thanks for your statement." Rising from his chair, the sheriff motioned for Stephen to follow him, "We'll put you in a room for now until I can notify the mayor and let him know what's going on. Just to keep you safe."

      Offering his hand, Stephen grinned at Torgeir, "Thanks for your help."

      "Not a problem. Take care." Watching as the sheriff and Stephen disappeared into the back of the office, Torgeir turned and headed outside, then continued across the street of this sleepy town and walked into a local bar who's front was open to the sea. A large roof overhung the seating and tables and the smell of grilled fish and other local delicacies was starting to make his stomach rumble. Taking a seat, the dark jedi then perused the menu as a tanned, ebony haired girl walked up, the t-shirt sporting the name of the cantina in bold letters.

      "What can I get ya'?"

      "Lommel on the rocks and... the star eel appetizers."

      "Comin' right up," she smiled at him and moved around the bar and headed back into the kitchen.

      His eyes drifted from her to the shimmering waves beyond the shallow beach, not thirty yards from the edge of the cantina floor. Sunlight brightened the blue sky and as he tried to relax, something still ate at him about this whole situation.

      "Hey," a gruff, deeper voice called from behind him as Torgeir turned to take in the burly, leathery skinned man. "You the one that took that guy to the sheriff? I heard he was part of a ship's crew that got hit by pirates."

      Backing the Corellian turned to face the man a bit more squarely. "News travels fast in this place."

      "Yeah, small town," his displeasure continuing as he leaned on his left arm, now atop the bar. "Must be new here. The sheriff works for Mikhail, you idiot. You just delivered him back to those cutthroats."

      Sighing, Torgeir was more worried about Stephen now than being insulted by this older man. "You're kidding."
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      • #4
        Carrying his friend back to the cove, the pirate's wounds had been rather light by comparison though his head still pounded from whatever that other guy hit him with. The bruise was going to be there for a while, he mused as those repairing equipment sat upon the rocky shore or within the shadow of their cave. Now eyeing the returned scout, few had any kind greetings as their gaze moved to the limp body over his shoulder. Heading inside, he knew that their captain wasn't going to be happy, but he had nowhere else to go.

        "What happened," the large, muscular first mate queried angrily.

        "Went after that one that escaped and got ambushed on the way back. Must've been at least four of 'em."

        Lips pursed, angling his thick mustache as dark eyes narrowed. "Get a look at any of them?"

        "No," he shook his head. "They came out of nowhere."

        Turning, the first mate of the Grey Lady moved quickly toward the interior of the cave, worked for some months to expand it's room for their men and supplies. "Captain," the bellowing voice called as everyone inside glanced toward them, the heavy scents of local cigarras clouding the air, mixing with a cook fire. "Said they got ambushed on the way back."

        Mikhail stood and turned to eye the returned scout carrying his companion, then laid him on the rocky floor. "How many?"

        "About four, I think. Came out of no....," the guard said as a shot rang out, the bullet hitting him in the heart. Wide eyed, the man slumped to the floor, hands to his wound.

        "There was only one and he just delivered our prisoner to the sheriff of Livingston who just called and said he's got our man," dark eyes turned to the first mate. "Get the ships ready, we're going to get him back." Glancing back to the pair of bodies on the floor as the men began grabbing their things and running toward the cave entrance, "And pay this rescuer a visit."
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        • #5
          "You sure about this," Torgeir queried as he crouched behind a dilapidated speeder, rusted in the corners and angles, glancing to his new partner in crime.

          "Yeah, trust me. This guy's been on the take from Mikhail now for months, turning a blind eye when those pirates want to come here and spend their money and take advantage of the women," his brown eyes narrowed and his personal vendetta was becoming evident.

          "And who lives here," the Corellian motioned to the home behind them.

          "He does. Alone."

          Nodding, Torgeir waited for the sound of the rear door opening, knowing that he had maybe one chance at this and not having a weapon of his own yet, the sheriff would have to be jumped quick - and without the help of the Force. Not long after, the creak of the hinges alerted them to the emergence of their target, prompting the larger fisherman to round the back end of the vehicle, at a low crouch as Torgeir moved around the front. Steel-blue eyes caught sight of the sheriff, his lackadaisical toss of the trash bag into the can as he then turned to see the fisherman.

          "Morgan, what are you doing here? I told you to leave town and never come back."

          As he talked, Torgeir moved up behind him and then wrapped his arms around the man's head and neck, choking off his air. The struggle as the sheriff grabbed the strong arms now grappling him continued until the older man soon went limp in his arms. Letting go, Torgeir then dragged their prisoner into the office's back door. Morgan opened a door to a janitorial closet and backed, allowing Torgeir to drag the sheriff inside, then set him on a large bucket. Going over the man's belt, he removed his pistol and keys, then moved back out into the hallway.

          "We gotta get Stephen out of here before they arrive," Torgeir stated as his accomplice closed the closet door and let Torgeir lock it.

          "He'll be downstairs in a cell," Morgan motioned and then led him toward another door and opened it to reveal a stair heading down.

          Following the simply dressed man in shorts and short sleeved shirt, "So, what'd you do to get kicked out of town?" A long silence as they reached the bottom step and then moved into another long lane flanked on either side by cell doors. Scanning each, they found Stephen laying on the simple, hard looking cot and Torgeir began rifling through the keys to find the right one. "This is becoming a habit with you," he smiled.

          Rising to his feet, the crewman grinned, then chuckled. "Sure is."

          Soon finding the key, Torgeir unlocked the cell door and opened it, allowing the sailor out. "May need your help with commandeering a sail barge, those pirates are on their way."

          Sighing, Stephen nodded. "Okay, have to find one first."

          "Covered," Morgan stated, then led them back upstairs. Reaching the top step, the front door opened and a group of footsteps entering the main office echoed in the dimly lit room around and to the right.

          "Sheriff," Mikhail bellowed. "Heard you had something for me."
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          • #6
            "Sheriff, delivery from Rani,"came the call from the being entering the door. Audren was one of the newer people in Livingston, working various jobs and saving up money for the next leg of his travels. He worked as help on the fishing ships when he could, and did other odd jobs around town when he couldn't. Right now he was helping Rani - the local deli owner - with deliveries. She wanted the sheriff to have one of her newer creations, he'd often taste test them. The town was small enough that they didn't really need speeders to get around, so he'd simply walked here. It was big enough that not everyone knew everyone else, but it was close.

            Not a peep was heard from inside the office. Maybe he was in another room. Odd, usually the sheriff was right on his free food. Instead of just setting the food on the counter and heading back to the deli, Audren decided to wait for the man, he did most of his work in his office. Five minutes of sitting in one of the waiting room chairs did nothing for the Sephi's disposition. He was getting restless, and gradually began to figure out that it had little to do with wanting to get to work. Something wasn't right here.

            Right about the time he came to that realization, the building's door was roughly pushed open. A bellow came from one of the men who walked through. "Sheriff, heard you had something for me." Two others also stepped inside, and Audren didn't like the looks of any. For whatever reason, maybe because he was so quiet, none of the three seemed to notice the seated Sephi. "I haven't seen or heard him," he said. The way they whirled on him would have been comical but for the blaster pistols suddenly in hand.

            On seeing the guns, the blue-eyed Sephi's demeanor grew graver. He left the food sitting in its bag on the chair next to him and half-raised his hands. This was the source of the feeling that had been growing. He may be newer around here, but even he had heard certain rumors about the sheriff and the men that made their way into town every so often. He hadn't met any up until now, and they had an unwholesome air to them. The curiosity faded from his eyes as he raised his hands, replaced by durasteel easily mistaken for fear. He could defend himself, but would need to be very lucky to take on all three with guns drawn. That luck came in the form of a creak of the floor by the stairs, causing the three to shift their focus from the seemingly-peaceful man. A mistake. The Sephi's hands shot out and grabbed the blaster, twisting it down and out of unprepared hands. In the same motion, he was out of his chair and an elbow was swung into a chin. Audren didn't waste any time checking on his first target, that one would at least be stunned for a few seconds. He used the momentum from the elbow strike to spin and bring his other hand into a backhand pummel. Knuckles hit cheekbone, splitting skin and knocking the target to the ground, while the blaster came up aimed squarely at Mikhail. His voice was deceptively calm when he spoke. "Drop the gun, please."

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            • #7
              It only took a moment for Torgeir to decide what to do as he glanced to the escaped prisoner and the fisherman, "Take Stephen out the back door and I'll meet you in the woods straight south of here. Go," he whispered. As the Corellian led them out, he turned right and covered their escape and was quickly surprised to find someone else in here. Unexpected, but as he watched the man disarm and fight the trio, the dark jedi was surprised again to see how adept he was at unarmed combat.

              The creak of the back door let Torgeir know that the two were out which allowed him to concentrate more on the pirates and hopefully another ally. Stepping into the office a bit more, steel-blue eyes caught the angry brown orbs of the one that appeared to be in charge. "You Mikhail?"

              Still pondering his options, the pirate captain kept his pistol aimed at Audren as he slid back toward the door. "You the one that killed my man?"

              "I haven't killed anyone... yet."

              Grinning wryly, the pirate fired once at the blonde haired male, then dove back outside, firing more shots wildly in the hopes of keeping their heads down.

              Crouching low, Torgeir eyed the newcomer. "He's got three ships worth of men that could be outside right now. Come on," turning, the dark jedi sprinted for the back door and soon disappeared outside.
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              • #8
                It really wasn't a surprise for the man to walk out of the back, chances were good that he was the one who'd caused the creak. It was a bit more surprising to see the third man, the one Audren was currently holding a gun on, backing slowly out the door. Apparently his name was Mikhail and he was the leader of the group. For whatever reason, it became very clear that he was going to actually pull the trigger instead of dropping the gun as Audren had instructed. There was no outer indication of this, no muscles clenching in the forearm but still the Sephi somehow knew it was coming. When it did, he was already ducking and the bolt only singed the ends of his hair. He didn't come back up, didn't hold the blaster up and pull the trigger like Mikhail did. He just waited.

                The other man, the one who had provided such an apt distraction, had crouched low to avoid the gunfire as well. "He's got three ships worth of men that could be outside right now. Come on," said the man, who then turned and sprinted back into the office and towards what Audren could only assume was a back door. Upon hearing that, the Sephi paled a bit. Three ships' worth could mean three men or seventy-five men, and he was willing to bet closer to the latter. Why had he gotten himself into this situation? With what could only be generously described as a groan, he was up and sprinting after the other man, displaying a grace and athleticism common with those trained in martial arts.
                Last edited by Audren Sykes; 12-02-2014, 01:51 PM.

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                • #9
                  Rounding the parked speeder, Torgeir kept his senses open as the dark jedi flew up the low hillside, between homes and kept running until he finally made it into the forest beyond. Commanding the top of the nearby hill, he slowed his pace, meandering through the large trees and undergrowth. Turning, he noticed the slender blonde haired man on his heels.

                  "Thanks for the help. Not sure why you're mixed up with those pirates, but we could all help one another if you wanted." He began as they continued looking for Stephen and Morgan. "Apparently the sheriff's been on the take from those jerks for some time and they hit a trawler last night, kidnapping several of the crew. Apparently wanting to keep them for ransom." Doing his best to keep his voice low, steel-blue eyes soon turned to the new recruit again. "Name's Torgeir, by the way."
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                  • #10
                    This guy was fast. Audren had to move at a full sprint just to keep up with him as they wove between houses and the associate detritus that came with them. Uphill the whole time, of course. He only stopped once he'd reached the top of the hill and disappeared into the trees and brush. By the time he caught up, Audren was breathing heavily and sweating generously. In stark contrast, the human looked to have been out for a leisurely jog. The Sephi really wanted to know how that was, given his own propensity to stay in excellent shape.

                    He kept silent as this man - he introduced himself as Torgeir - explained a bit. The sheriff on the take fit with the quiet rumors, though Audren himself had never witnessed any indication of it. The three men who'd come into the sheriff's office had been pirates - Mikhail was either their leader or another ranking member, logically - who the sheriff worked with. Those 'jerks' had taken a trawler and kidnapped members of the crew for ransom. That had absolutely nothing to do with the Sephi, though he felt for those captured and held. He was no idiot though. He'd stood up to the pirates, and unless they were killed or somehow permanently taken out of the picture, his life here was over.

                    Short as it had been, short as it would have been, the stay was over now.

                    That more than anything else influenced his decision. Hopefully he ended up having enough time to grab his bag when all this was done. "Audren," he responded. "Wasn't involved at all until they pointed guns at me, I was just there to give the sheriff a sandwich from Rani. What did you have in mind as far as helping? I'm not exactly a soldier." He had skills with martial arts, sure, and he could hit the broad side of a bantha with the blaster he'd taken from the pirate, but not much more. Against three ships-full of pirates, he wouldn't be much help.

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                    • #11
                      Nodding, he understood that only two of them would have any experience at what he had planned, then turned steel-blue orbs deeper into the forest and soon noticed Morgan's hand wave at him from the dense underbrush. Moving toward them, the dark jedi brushed aside a large fern and then crouched with the Stephen and the fisherman.

                      "Audren, this is Morgan and Stephen," he motioned to the crewman. "Stephen was one of the sailors that was taken and I helped him get away from two pirates a few hours ago. They've still got his captain and a few others in a cave not far northeast of here. I'm planning on getting them out." He glanced between his co-conspirators. "All of us are in this now, so there's either running and hiding or fighting back." He turned his attention to Audren. "Mikhail's seen you and with what you did to his crew back in the sheriff's office, you're also in as deep as we are. I have a feeling he's not going to forget your face no sooner than mine."

                      "How in the world are you going to get into that cave," Stephen queried. "That place is full of them."

                      Torgeir glanced to Morgan. "You have any more friends that hate these guys as much as you do?"

                      Morgan just smiled.
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                      • #12
                        Audren nodded at the two others that they joined, mentally filing away their names. Stephen wasn't a fighter either, which made the Sephi feel a bit better. It wasn't even footing per se, but more even than it would have been otherwise. Morgan was a little older but still fit, his skin tough and leathery. He'd worked outdoors for a long time at the very least, and since most of those who worked outdoors worked with the boats, it was safe to assume he was either a sailor or a dockhand. Introductions complete, Torgeir turned back to Audren to speak. "Mikhail's seen you and with what you did to his crew back in the sheriff's office, you're also in as deep as we are. I have a feeling he's not going to forget your face no sooner than mine." "He either needs to die or I need to leave the planet," came the even response. "And leaving won't be difficult, it wasn't long ago that I arrived. Just need to find passage."

                        Morgan's reason for being here was apparently that he hated Mikhail's group of pirates. And he had friends that hated them too. Hate was powerful, everyone knew that, but all the hate in the galaxy couldn't substitute for fighting force. If Morgan and his friends couldn't fight, they were worse than useless. That was Torgeir's worry though. What Audren knew of pirates came from the news broadcasts and occasional holofilm, but he figured that pirates in a cave wouldn't have just a single entrance and exit. Certain ones would need to be blocked to stop escapes...which brought up another point. "What's the goal here? Rescue, yes, but in relation to the pirates. Kill, capture? What I saw at the office and the rumors I've heard suggest the sheriff isn't quite the enforcement officer to call right now."

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                        • #13
                          "Sheriff's out of the picture at the moment and I think once he sees that someone else has stood up to these thugs, he'll get back in line again or leave," Torgeir mused aloud. "I've seen thugs like him more often than not. As far as the pirates, the more of them we get rid of during this rescue, the better. They're going to want to protect their money, so don't think this'll be a cake walk." Steel blue eyes turned back to Morgan. "Take us to these friends of yours."

                          Nodding, the thickly built, tanned man rose and turned away from the town, moving through the forest rather quickly. They traveled that way for some time until arriving at another small village hugging a large, rocky inlet. Seeing several skiffs and sail barges on the water, he took heart that maybe they had a chance in this mission. The town was closely knit as the dark jedi watched as wives and children of the obvious sailor community waved or greeted Morgan heartily, but were obviously wary of the newcomers.

                          Entering a two story home, Morgan walked through the den modestly appointed, though with trophies from fishing trips mounted on the wall. Some creatures gave the Corellian a moment of pause as he stopped to eye one in particular. It's toothy maw opened and the six foot creature looked powerful enough to kill a man easily. "Wow, how'd you get this one?"

                          Grabbing a pack in the back room, which through the kitchen appeared like a study or clean workshop of some sort, Morgan reemerged and smiled at the comment. "That one nearly took my arm when I hooked it. Fought with it for over an hour before we gigged it in the head and dragged it aboard." He grabbed an older comlink and began dialing. "You guys want anything to eat or drink before we go," he motioned to the refrigeration unit and adjoining pantry. "Help yourself."

                          "I could use the head," Stephen stated, then followed Morgan's right forefinger as he pointed beyond the stair. "Thanks."

                          Moving to the fridge, Torgeir opened it to find exactly what he expected. Frozen fish stocked in the freezer and several cases of lum and a local beer. Smiling, the sight reminded him of his friend back home. Glancing to Audren, "Want one?" Taking one himself, he listened to Morgan's conversation as they waited and took a rest.

                          "Yeah, Mikhail's back at it again. Got one of the crewmen from a trawler they hit last night and two others that have some fight in them. Already took out three in the sheriff's office and he's locked up. Time to end this." His determination made Torgeir positive that they would win this fight as he sipped the beer, which wasn't half bad. "They've got a few of his crewmen and their captain in the cave now. Could really use your help in this." He listened for a moment, leaning on the counter. "Alright, be there shortly." Hanging up, Morgan stuffed the comlink into his pack and then moved to the fridge and grabbed a beer for himself and drank it as they waited for Stephen.
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                          • #14
                            Audren absorbed the clarifications in silence. He followed along as Morgan led them to a village built along an inlet. Given the distance from Livingston and the rocky nature of the place, this could only be Orham, a tight-knit sailor's village. Evidence of that closeness was given in how Morgan was greeted by the various peoples they passed, but how those same peoples barely tolerated the outsiders' presence. One thing he did notice was that those who were present were female or younger males, not people who would be fighting.

                            Morgan's home was a two-story building. Though the furnishings were modest, some of the trophies were impressive. There was one that was the centerpiece of a particular wall, a dangerous and rarely-seen fish. If nothing else, the man's story about catching it reassured the Sephi that the man could hold his own. That meant chances were good that the others he would call could also do so.

                            When offered, Audren took the sailor up on both food and drink. The beer was made here in town and was relatively expensive in Livingston because of how little there was available. As bad as it sounded, algae was a key ingredient, and that added a twist to the flavor one couldn't get elsewhere. A slice of bread and some cheese was close enough to a sandwich, he probably couldn't handle much more than that at the moment. He finished the food just about the time that Stephen came back to the room, not long after Morgan finished his conversation. By that time, questions had already come to mind. The instant Stephen was in the room, he asked, "So how many and where are we meeting them?"

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                            • #15
                              Morgan grabbed a quick sandwich and a beer, then moved to a modest table and sat down, glancing up to Audren as Torgeir leaned on the counter that separated the kitchen from the small dining area, Stephen now helping himself also, behind the dark jedi.

                              "The crew of the Aspire in the cove," he motioned toward the waterline beyond his house. "They've been spoiling to get rid of these thugs for a long time and have had a few of their own fellows killed in raids in the past few months. Time to get some payback," he took a bite and ate as he glanced to Torgeir. "Sure hope you're more able than what I've seen already. What do you do for a living?"

                              "Ship mechanic," Torgeir replied, taking another sip of his beer.

                              Morgan remained silent for a long moment, then laughed heartily. "Kidding, right?"

                              "No," he shook his head, grinning.

                              "He saved my life," Stephen piped up as he finished making his own sandwich. "He's more than capable."

                              Morgan grinned wryly, then glanced at Audren. "How about you?"
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