A different kind of Pervy

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Uncle Pervy
 

A different kind of Pervy

Unread postby Uncle Pervy » Tue Nov 05, 2002 1:15 pm

(This is something I wrote a while back, about a year before coming to RPGWW. This was recently ressurected for my Creative writing class, and I thought you might enjoy it as well. This was the Pirate we all know and love long before white magic or Gaera was introduced to his character.

No critiques needed, just tell me if you like it ^_^)





An Unusual Place for an Argument.



It was simply too hot that day, Rueben decides, as he dips his quill into a pot of ink. He scratches down a few notes in the ledger before him, as the door ahead bangs shut. Sighing, Rueben wipes the sweat from his brow, and rechecks his work, reading aloud.

"The Gem of Gabriel, Cargo Fluyte, registered under Stede Bonnet. Cargo, three tons of Gabrian Cotton and fifteen tons of Grain. Home Port: Gabriel," the young man says, his voice naturally soft and calm. "Yes, that seems about right." He then takes a small bottle of sand kept by the parchment, and pours it over the wet ink to dry it.

He leans back into his simple wooden chair, and sighs. A dry feeling tickled the back of his throat; he was thirsty again. The young man had just gotten some water about ten minutes ago, and it felt as though it’s already been sweat out of him. His clothes are sticky with it, and that the unpleasant odor in the room tickling his nose comes only in part from the fish outside.

However, Rueben stays at his post. The reason for that is necessarily loyalty to his duties so much as the source of the sound of shuffling papers behind him. Glancing back, he sees the door to Harmon Mastema's office is still open. He mentally calculates his chances of sneaking off to the water barrel in the corner, and decides they are not good. He would have to pass by the Mastema's door, and Rueben knows; just knows; that the old man inside will catch him if he tries.

Bitter old soulless bastard, Rueben mentally grumbles. I go to get a drink, and he chides me for laziness! What am I supposed to do, dry up and die at this desk? Then again, hasn't he done much the same? Gods, I hate being a clerk!

He runs a hand through his brown, sweat-dampened hair, and groans softly. With nothing else to do, he peers out the window. Outside, he can see the familiar sight of the Harbor, and the sparkling waters of Marut's bay. Through the open window, he smell the scents of fresh fish and sea salt mingling with his own unpleasant heat-induced odors. Also, he can quite plainly smell the reek of the many dockhands laboring outside under the unseasonably baleful sun.

Dozens of ships are berthed in the individual docks, each with its own unique appearance and a tale to tell. Cargoes and imports from a dozen nations, from liquors of the neighboring Kingdom of Gabriel to silks of the legendary Celestial Imperium far to the east, sit on the piers. A quaint country inn rests on a promontory overlooking the bay, older than most of the city and mostly unchanged by time. Dockhands and sailors crowd around the piers, loading and unloading cargo.

The cries of sea gulls, the creaking of ships' timbers, and the soft roar of the surf create a constant background noise that Rueben finds comfortably familiar. The shouts, cries, and general chatter of sailors and dockhands mask that background noise, but do not blot it out entirely.
Rueben smiles just a little as he watches the world outside.

Lovely, he reflects. So many stories out there, so many tales of travel and adventure. All those different ships, setting out for far away lands, and coming back with exotic things that we simply don't have at Haroth's Port. What a life it must be!

No place for a simple scribe in it, though.


He lets his gaze wander back inside, and looks over the Customs house. Once, when Rueben was younger, the old building held a special appeal. Its ancient timbers held the tales of a thousand ships passing through Haroth’s Port, of voyages, deeds, and history like no other place. It had seen the coming and going of numberless souls, each with a story to tell.

An old wooden statue of an eagle perches above the door, its sharp glare falling upon those who walk through the Customs House doors. Aside from that, there is not much in the way of decoration, save for a dozen and a half posters covering the wall to the left. Each bears a rough sketch of a man or woman wanted for some sort of Maritime transgression. Pictures of Smugglers, Defaulters, and Pirates crowd around each other, advertising rewards for their capture.

Once, this place held a great romantic appeal. But the mundanity of life has squeezed all the wonder of it from Rueben. Though a hundred stories pass through the Customs House each week, Rueben seldom hears more than one or two. All he ever learns is what cargo they carry, and where they hail from. Sparing a glance back toward Mastema's Office, he reflects that the old man inside does not make life particularly easy, either. For about the fourth time that day, the young man wishes fervently that one of the ancient, history-laden timbers of the Customs House would conveniently fall on Mastema's head.

The front door opens, admitting a tiny breeze that dispels the merciless heat for a brief second, before it returns once again. A small, lightly built man dressed in loose clothing walks in. He gives Rueben a little smile as he scratches at his short, curly dark hair. It is immediately obvious to the clerk that the man is a sailor; both his tan and his deckwalking gait give it away.

“Name, please?” Rueben asks as a seaman walks up to Rueben’s desk.

“Nathan Hawkin’s, sir,” the tanned sailor replies with an easy grin, “First Mate and Navigator o’ th' Vengeful Hand."
Reuben sits up a bit straighter as the name of that ship sends a shock racing down his spine. He's joking, the clerk's thoughts race. He has to be! That's a Pirate ship!

For a moment, Rueben ponders what to do. He knows that the ship has never been proven to be involved in anything illegal, but it was common knowledge that ship's captain can procure goods that were 'lost' at sea. Shaking his head, the clerk quickly scribbles in the name of the ship and its representative and asks, “Cargo?”

“Whadda you mean?” Hawkin’s asks.

“I need to know what the ship is carrying,” Rueben says calmly.

“None o’ your business,” Hawkin’s answers.

“I am afraid it is,” Rueben replies, trying very hard to not to sound challenging. “The Harbormaster needs records of everything that all the ships docked at Haroth’s Port are importing.”

The door flies open before the sailor can answer, slamming hard against the wall. “Hawkin’s!” an angry voice bellows, “what in th’ bloody hell are you takin’ so long for!”

A tall man in a red overcoat storms into the Customs House. His fine if sweat-soaked clothes are sharply contrasted by the lines on his face, telling of hard decades spent at sea. His dark red hair is long and uncombed, as is his beard. Though age is starting to take its toll on the man’s physique, Rueben does not doubt the old sailor could do more than his share of harm with the cutlass at his side.

Hawkin’s next words confirm every fear the young man holds in his heart, and gives him several new ones. “This clerk ‘ere was givin’ me trouble, Captain, Sir.”

“What!?” the Captain exclaims, fixing his hard blue eyes on Rueben, “Ye givin’ my man a hard time, boy?”

“N-No, sir,” Rueben stammers. The sweat beading on his brow no longer has anything to do with the oppressive heat. In the back of his mind, he prays that Mastema does not interfere with this. The last thing he needs is for the officious old man to come in and try to deal with the angry captain.

“Then how come ‘e‘s takin’ such a bloody long time to get ev’rythin’ set right?” the Captain inquires coolly.

“Well, Captain, sir,” Rueben answers, “Your man here...”

“Hawkin’s,” the pirate interrupts.

“Hawkin’s,” Rueben corrects, “refuses to tell me what your ship is carrying.”

“What in Ohmzead’s blessed name d’ye need to know that for, boy?!” The mariner roars, “What business could ye possibly have in knowin’ what I keeps in me hold! All ye need t’ know is that I’m Captain Aliester Purvis, and I’ve paid me dock fees!”

“It-It’s for the har-harbor ma-master, sir,” the young man says, his eyes going wide.

“What the bloody hell...?” Aliester says slowly. “The bleedin’ harbor master’s tryin’ to peek under me decks? Would I go peekin’ under his bloody wife’s skirts if she came on me ship for dinner? I fought to keep this bleedin’ port out o’ the hands of the bloody Hafazan Empire back a’fore I had grown me first whiskers, and this is how ye bleedin’ repay me!? I’ve got half a mind to raid this bloody harbor and raze it to th' bleedin’ ground, I do!”

“I’m sorry that you find it distasteful, Sir,” Rueben says carefully, fighting to hold his composure, “But every ship docking at Haroth's Port has to register their contents. The information is used to aid in locating any goods that may be stolen from your ship, and to monitor the flow of goods coming into the city.”

The Captain just glares at Rueben in silent fury, his eyes flashing with ire. Then, almost if by magic, Aliester's cutlass appears below the young man’s jaw! Rueben’s eyes focus on the blade’s tip, only inches below his nose, as the pirate speaks.

“Ye think yer so bloody big an’ important just because ye can write. Let Ol’ Captain Purvis tell ye something, ye little bilge rat. Them letters won’t do ye a lick o’ good if I drive me blade down yer gullet. Ye couldn’t so much as scratch a single one o’ them precious letters if men like me didn’t bring in ink from Azazel Isle. Ye wouldn’t make a single doubloon, lord, noble, florin, guilder, shekel, dinar, or tael without hardworkin’ folk doin’ all th’ real laborin’ ‘round here! What do ye say t’ that, boy?”

Rueben's thoughts begin to race. O sweet blessed Goddess, O Ohmzead; please o please do not let Mastema see this! O please do not let him summon the City Guard and make this into a hostage situation!

Though every ounce of sense in his mind screams otherwise, Rueben can’t resist the challenge that the pirate just issued. With his eyes still on the pirate’s sword, Rueben slowly replies, “I’ll agree that it is the efforts of people like yourself that let me make my living this way. But, didn’t the shipwright that built your vessel learn at least part of his craft from the manuals written by other shipwrights? It’s not a question of who is more valuable, but one of what we can do to improve life as a whole.”

Aliester just glares at Rueben, his mouth opening a little in surprise. Hawkin's stands silent, watching both the scene before him, and the door. That look gives the clerk a brief ray of hope. Aliester clearly wasn’t expecting him to do that! With some luck, it just might deter the Captain from following his previous course.

“Ye speak like a whipped dog, boy,” Aliester replies after a moment, “an’ miss me whole bleedin’ point. Ye be dead weight; I can do me business without ye, ye can’t without me.”

“It still doesn’t change the fact that I need to list what you are carrying in your hold,” Rueben replies, fighting to keep his voice from cracking. “If you don’t give me that information, I can’t register your ship. That means you won’t be able to dock here, and the guards will insist you leave. If you don’t, they’ll impound your ship.”

"Impound me ship?" answer the captain, "Ye think yer bloody governor scares me? He an' I be like brothers; fellow rulers! I don't scape an' fawn t' bluebloods, I let me own courage make me a blueblood on the seas! I be a king o' th' waves, with as much right an' authority t' make war on th' world as a man with a hundred ships under 'im!"

Rueben gulps, wondering what to say next. Then, with a smooth motion, the captain withdraws and sheathes his cutlass. “Gah! I’ve got better things to do than stand here an’ argue with ye!” He declares. “There’s a pair o’ twin raven-haired servin’ wenches waitin’ for me at the Seagull Tavern; been lookin’ forward t’ ‘em since we set course t’ Haroth’s Port. If it’ll get this o’er with, I’ll do things your way. Hawkin’s tell th’ boy what’s in th’ hold!”

“Yes sir!” Hawkin's answers, snapping into full attention. Rueben begins to write furiously as the first mate begins to rattle of the cargo list. “We’ve got twelve bales o’ fine Hafazan cotton, twenty-five kegs o’ Azazelian brandy, twenty hundredweight o’ raw iron ingots from Gabriel, and ten barrels o’ Azazelian indigo.”

“And,” the captain adds, “Two stone worth o’ uncut diamonds directly from the Dark Continent itself, kept in a sealed box in me cabin. If they turn up gone, I be expectin’ some kind o’ compensation for telling ye all this.”

“Rest assured that Lord Mellewyn protects his harbor,” Rueben replies, relieved beyond measure that Captain Pervy’s cutlass no longer tickles his Adam’s apple. “If you will show me your receipt from the dock warden, I’ll be able to send you on your way.”

“Here,” Hawkin’s says, handing Rueben a slip of parchment, declaring that the docking fee of fifty gold nobles has been properly and fully paid. The young man glances at it long enough to be certain it isn’t a forgery, then places it in a tray under the table.

“Everything’s in order now,” Rueben says, “Just sign this, and you can be on your way.” Both Hawkin’s and the captain sign with an X. The latter focuses a hard gaze with his single eye upon the young man.

“Ye pushed yer luck with me, boy,” Aliester growls, “I’ve sent bilge rats greener than ye to th’ briny depths for less than what ye’ve done. Ye best hope that I don’t have a lick o’ trouble with them guards o’ yer’s, or I’ll burn this bloody customs house to the bleedin’ ground! And ye best not cross me personally, or I’ll have ye riding me keel from here t’ th’ Imperium an’ back!”

Rueben has no idea how to answer that, so he just looks down and finishes the entry in the book, dating it Leafall thirteenth, Year of the Goddess four thousand, three hundred seventy six. Captain Pervy gives a derisive snort, and then says, “C’mon Hawkin's, th' Gull awaits.” As they leave, Rueben can just hear the pirate mutter, “Boy’s crazy enough t’ take on Ol’ Mell’s dragon job.”

The pair turn their backs and walk toward the exit, no longer paying any attention to Rueben. As soon as the door bangs shut, soft footsteps from behind come to the young man’s ears. “Mr. Asher,” comes the wheedling voice of Rueben’s superior, “who, may I ask, was that?”

“Captain Purvis of the Vengeful Hand, sir,” Rueben answers. Silently, the young man prays that his involuntary cringe at Mastema’s voice went unnoticed.

“Need I remind you that it is not our policy to deal with pirates, Mr. Asher?” Mastema inquires, his petulant voice becoming hard and particularly whiny.

“I didn’t know that he was a pirate, sir,” Rueben replies, “I never saw his face among the wanted posters.”
The older man’s face spasms in something along the lines of surprise and disgust. “How could you not recognize that name?!” He scolds, his nasal tone almost cracking. “He’s a public menace! I can’t believe you never overheard some uncouth dockhand boasting about that man’s exploits, or some no-talent hack of a bard regaling some dive with them.”

“There’s no warrant out on him, sir,” Rueben interjects at a pause in his superior’s scolding, “Nor does he have a wanted poster on the wall. I couldn’t deny him service.” As infamous as Aliester Purvis is, no one has ever been able to gather enough evidence to convict him for piracy. Nautical Courts in several different nations have tried and have failed. Of course, none of the ships from those lands ever suffered from his depredations.

“Yes, well,” Mastema says, scanning the wall covered in wanted posters for those guilty of maritime crimes, “I guess you didn’t actually do anything wrong. Still... be more attentive in the future. We do not deal with pirates.”

As the little man skulks off, futilely trying to fan himself with a piece of paper, Rueben cannot help but wonder what Aliester meant when he referred to ‘Ole Mell’s Dragon Job’...








<p>Image Rum, White Magic, an' Cabbits. That's th' life fer me. Image</p>

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pd Rydia
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Re: A different kind of Pervy

Unread postby pd Rydia » Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:28 pm

o.o

I liiiiiike...


Image <p><div style="text-align:center">
"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me...an F.N.W.C.!"
-- VampireJesterJinx (VA by...Dia! :D!)</div></p>Edited by: pd Rydia&nbsp; Image at: 6/10/05 17:24


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