hecu_marine: Black and white photo of a faintly resentful looking white guy in Navy full dress whites. (Navy whites)
Sergeant-Major Adrian Shephard ([personal profile] hecu_marine) wrote2014-10-10 11:33 am
Entry tags:

An Unexpected Journey [EVIL CACKLE GOES HERE]

Milliways is great about being a place where you can steal some extra time in your day, and Shephard's grateful for it, but a man can only spend so long there studying and sleeping and getting other work done before it starts feeling weird. He went back and got back into his usual daily duties. To no one's surprise at all, within about a week a communication came through from Beatrice's people in Andamooka offering a food-for-fuel trade, since spring was in full gear down there and autumn in the Appalachians was giving way to what promised to be a particularly vicious winter.

Well, Borealis is an icebreaker, not a cargo ship, but that portal generator it carries means a whole lot of potential world-spanning voyages don't have to be nearly as world-spanning as they used to. So, once again, Shephard's had to marshal his people and get a hundred and some-odd asses down to the far side of the world. At least they're not going to Brazil this time. The Mawe are great trading partners, but every time Shephard shows up they insist on offering him another round of the ant ritual, since who would ever want to stop short of full manhood status. Australia's the Kingdom of the Spiders these days but Beatrice doesn't greet him by dumping a sack of redbacks on his head every time he shows up.

Anyway, the FOOMP! of portal travel is uneventful, so as the crew starts bringing Borealis into port and getting ready to start the journey north to Andamooka, Shephard briefly excuses himself from the bridge to make quick use of a nearby head.

... dammit, Milliways nearly ambushed him that time. He'll find a different head and use that one instead.

Maybe he should've closed the door a little better behind him.
hold_fast: (Considering that)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-10 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Now, to be fair - William is, in general, a very well-behaved boy. The combination of ship-board discipline and upper-class manners mean he only very rarely gets into trouble (and usually for falling asleep on the poop deck after watching the stars).

But he is a kid.

And very curious.

And Shephard did say he was from a ship, and he is rather curious as to what ships of the future look like. They probably have deucedly intricate sails.

So a slip of a tow-haired boy pokes his head through the open door a few moments later, and upon being confronted with a world of metal and pipes and nothing at all like what he was expecting... he decides to explore further, never mind that his uniform will make him stick out like a sore thumb.
hold_fast: (Considering that)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-10 08:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Blakeney blinks up at the signs, bemused. Shephard never mentioned his ship was so large it needed signs to direct folk around. He cannot even imagine such a thing - maybe they tend to recruit particularly dense sailors? There was one they picked up in Spain that had the hardest time separating starboard from port. He shrugs, since it's a good bit of luck for him, and trots off down the passageway that supposedly leads to the open air.

As he goes though, he marvels at the paneling - he cannot decipher how it all comes apart if the call to clear decks comes down. That is some fine craftsmanship. Even if he cannot figure how a ship with so much metal in it can float.
hold_fast: (A very proper young lord)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-10 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
He approaches the stairwell cautiously - and upgrades his estimation of how big the ship is. He has never seen stairwells like this on a ship. Everything's usually compact and neat and tidy belowdecks - this is... positively expansive. Warily he peers over the top of the railing down, his eyes wide as dinner plates. This place might be bigger than his parents home, and that was the biggest place he'd ever been.

He may have made a slight tactical error.
hold_fast: (Considering that)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
Carefully he creeps down the stairs, though he becomes more bold the farther down he goes - the treads don't creak the way he expects them to, they just faintly echo with an oddly metallic tapping. He peers down the... hallway? Passageway? It's so big, he isn't entirely sure what to call it. Either way, he seems to have an opening, so he makes a break for the door that seems to lead to the outside world.
hold_fast: (Yes Sir?)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
Blakeney's first reaction is a very natural 'Augh! Bright!' flinch and a arm thrown over his eyes for protection and shade.

His second, once he gets used to it, is to stare in amazement at all of the open decking. You could practically hold a dance up here.

The third is a very bewildered expression that suggests he's wondering if he's hit his head somewhere - where in heaven's name has all the rigging gone? There has to be some.
hold_fast: (Bloody-minded midshipman)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 03:48 am (UTC)(link)
Perhaps he can be forgiven his startled yelp - it's like the voice of God thundering overhead, louder than even Captain Aubrey at his most incensed. He does think, though, that God would have other things on his mind than the proper running of a ship.

Even if he hasn't the foggiest what a 'pronto' might be.

But then the openness of the deck becomes a decided problem, because suddenly there's all sorts of people - lots and lots of people and none of them look like him, in uniforms he doesn't recognize, and not one of them looks like Shephard.

Well, this isn't good.

He goes with his instincts and goes up, using any handholds and footholds he can. He's actually a nimble little monkey, now well used to climbing with one hand.
hold_fast: (Bloody-minded midshipman)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
The good news, he tells himself, is he only went down one deck. He just needs to climb up one, find a window, clamber or break through it, find the door he came through, and he'll be safe once again.

The problem seems to be a lack of windows to break into. Surely the next deck must be around here somewhere - and there must be windows. After all, he's well above the water line.

What he wouldn't give for a pistol right now. Sure he'd only have one shot, but it'd make him feel worlds better.
hold_fast: (Bloody-minded midshipman)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
If Blakeney swears at that moment, he'll thank anyone listening to not tell any of his commanding officers. Who would blame him, though, with that unholy amount of noise suddenly filling the air? At least when there's a battle you know it's coming.

There isn't much time for that, because he has better sense than to stay put when people are starting to aim at him - he knows well that a moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one, thanks to his time with the gun crews. Despite being pretty sure he's at a level with where he started, he starts climbing again, trying to get out of range of the... ... whatever those are.
hold_fast: (Lesser of two weevils)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
OhthankGod (which isn't swearing, by the by, that is a heartfelt prayer), that's a uniform he recognizes. There's no faces down there that he recognizes, but at least the uniforms he can identify.

It's a start.

And he rather does value his continued existence (at least in cases where he hasn't been ordered to risk it).

It does rankle a bit, being asked to surrender to soldiers, and not an officer.

He tries to spot where Shephard might be, but he'll be blown if he can see the man anywhere. He must be close, to pull off whatever that voice of God thing is.

Well. This is a pickle, isn't it?

...

Pride wins out over good sense, and he makes a mad jump for the deck he'd been climbing for - he's not even sure what he'd call such a deck, so far up but still connected solidly to the main body of the ship, but it's flat and solid and he hauls himself up in a trice, already stumbling into a run.
Edited 2014-10-11 04:41 (UTC)
hold_fast: (Bloody-minded midshipman)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 04:56 am (UTC)(link)
Blakeney decides it is excellent tactics to not be where this guy is. He is a bright boy, after all.

Usually.

So the midshipman is running hell-for-leather for the nearest door, and praying once inside he can find some defensible bolthole (or better yet, a way back to the bar).
hold_fast: (Bloody-minded midshipman)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 05:09 am (UTC)(link)
Blakeney is experiencing pistol envy.

He's not sure what that sleek weapon is, but he's fairly sure it's awesome. And that he wants one.

And he'd rather like to not have that one pointed at him. Even the weapons of his where and when wouldn't miss easily at this range.

(Unless they exploded, but that's a whole separate problem.)

Common sense (and every bit of good tactics) says that he should stop now. It was a good attempt, but honestly, he's out of good options.

Pride, a hot temper, and adrenaline say that Captain Jack would go over the railing and continue making an escape. ... Pride, temper, and adrenaline aren't wrong, but Jack Aubrey is three times this boy's height and more than that in weight, and would survive a drop like that without too much problem. Blakeney does not have such privileges.

Try telling him that.

The tiny midshipman makes a break for the railing.
hold_fast: (Don't put a stitch through the nose)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 05:19 am (UTC)(link)
William loses that battle with a somewhat undignified squawk as he's fetched up against the bulkhead.

...

Once he can do something besides gulp air, he's going to be eyeing that pistol with speculation.
hold_fast: (Keeping watch)

[personal profile] hold_fast 2014-10-11 05:27 am (UTC)(link)
Corporal ten Boom is definitely a biggish sort of fellow, big enough that Blakeney hasn't gotten up enough nerve yet to try and break free.

He does try to straighten to something like military correctness, though even that's a bit difficult at the moment.

"Ah... good afternoon, sir."

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