Tradewinds 18 CH 13Sure enough, the seventh day dawned, and still no electricity, also as Mercer’s messenger warned, leaving more questions than answers about whether or not the two pirate crews really were conspiring against them.
All of them aware that there was only about three or four days’ worth of food left, and attempting to stretch it any further would only weaken them, softening them up for the kill. Even the knowledge that neither enemy was surely in any better shape themselves only served to reinforce their own desperation. The growing certainty that this situation’s own unsustainability would force change, and soon.
And with that, the dire knowledge that they could not afford to be a spectator in the events to come.
“Are you ready?” Roxy asked the room, radio in one hand, battery pack in the other.
They all nodded.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Maximilian told them. “Though I still feel like I’m walking into a trap.”
Flav 2To vote, or not to vote— that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the booth to suffer
The slings and dictators of infinite fortune,
Or to take Royal Flushes against a sea of Full Houses,
And by folding end them. To die— to bluff—
No more; and by a bluff to say we end
The Two Pair and the 1001 natural shocks
That flesh is dealer to— ’tis a Wildcard
Hysterically to be wish’d. To die— to bluff—
To bluff! perchance to raise! aye, there’s an Ace;
For in that bluff of death what chips may come
When we have shuffled off this lucky coil,
Must give us deuce; there’s the Joker
That makes gamble of so long life.
A poker face doth make cowards of us all.
Tradewinds 18 CH 12And the waiting continued, dragging out for seven long days as the three-way stalemate continued.
By the end of the first day, it was fairly obvious Mercer’s crew had the sail rig working, just from the simple fact that Striker’s crew never returned to wreak any further havoc. Easily the single biggest thing to go right since the galley raid. Otherwise, things remained as quiet as they were tense aboard the Excelsior.
Though on the second day they mounted a second expedition to the kitchen, by that point, the others had already ransacked much of anything worth taking, so it was slim pickings. Roxy insisted on at least one patrol a day, for reconnaissance if nothing else, though they had yet to make any direct engagement with either enemy. Finding only evidence that Mercer’s crew, at least, was also carrying on some regular recon of their own.
After each run, Roxy whipped out a datapad and entered some information, though whatever she made note of, s
Flav 1THA BOOK OF FLAVOR FLAV
(Tha Book of Flavor Flav was brought to thee by Monolith. What hath Will Bates in mind for the future of technology? Bend over, Peppy, and we shall show thee!)
Thru me is the way to the Aquarium of Gatekeeper.
Thru me is the way into the Sexy Way Station.
Thru me, the Way among the all-American below.
Righteousness didst my Slow Mutant on high constrain.
Me didst wonderful Overlook Hotel uprear;
Me didst Dipolar Nugget and Evil Diamond sustain.
Before I was, no things uncensored were, save the positronic,
And I doggedly move on.
Riddle all cake, ye who enter here…