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Islandkat 11-11-2010 06:27 AM

The Stone of Momrath
 
The Stone of Momrath

Time, Space, and Immortals of all forms, race toward an awakening that must be prevented if the mortal world and even the gods themselves are to survive.

20,000 years in the way mortals tell time Momrath Eminán, a godling of Fire, was entombed beneath the bedrock of Colombia’s Amazon Jungle. Taïno, his sister Earth goddess, in a last ditch effort to save a young race from his depravities entombed him. Imprisoning her brother in the bosom of the earth, she cut out his heart and instructed her followers to take it North; to a mountain of mystical energies, brother gods and sister goddesses, and stories of Shining Beings that came from the stars.

20,000 years have passed. The twin-tail, green star that was set as part of the wards on his prison has again returned from the depths of space on its long journey. If Momrath Eminán’s modern day followers acquire his heart and return it to his tomb before the summer solstice all mankind and the gods themselves may perish in his wrath.

Warnings: L, V, C, Ra/Rel, S, AU (Guest Appearance/Crossovers) – It is also not a short read - 275 pages in Word. About a 300 page paperback? :o Not huge, but not a shorty either.

Before beginning, I’d like to thank my ever patient Hubby and poor abused beta reader, Pilot. Who Luv’s ya baby.

*****


From The Tribunal Record: 12 July, In the Year of Our Lord Seven Hundred and Thirty-One.


It has been exactly three days since that very hot night when a sandy-haired blond Knight and an auburn-haired woman, disguised as his young squire, came to our doors of St. Christopher’s Monastery seeking shelter. The Knight - I am certain it is Kendall of Airghialla, of the Kingdom of Ulster, for he greatly matches the description given on the “To Watch For List” that all Watchers are to pay heed, so as to account for the whereabouts of Immortal’s among the unaccounted for, which could only mean the fiery redheaded lad he travels with is really his Lady Wife, Katriona of Aileach - is already up and walking around these last two days.


Though Brother Paul attempted to keep any but Brother Kalas from seeing the grievous belly wound the man suffered from, causing him to lean so heavily on the “young squire” as they entered, I did chance to glimpse the amount of blood that covered the two. That much blood would surely have killed a mortal man. I believe God has seen fit for the Cursed Immortals of Ulster, or The Cursed Lovers of Ulster as the more romantically inclined would call them ever since Lydia of Marseille first began definitive record of them in Marcus Constantine’s Chronicles, have been located once again and by this humble servant.

Islandkat 11-11-2010 06:29 AM

There was also an unusual item for a Knight to be carrying, found with their packs that first night. I mention it since the couple has been noted to pass as wandering minstrels a time or two. A stringed instrument that I believe is called a lute; however, I am no expert on instruments. Having chanced to hear the two entertaining some of the younger novices last night, I must say they are both quite good, something I would not associate with a Knight and his squire. With pleasant singing voices which brings up another point of note. I do not believe a lad of the squire’s apparent age would still be singing in such a light soprano.


The pair appears to be different from other Immortals and Brothers Paul and Kalas seemed rather taken aback by their presence. Unsure of what to make of them at first. This has been noted before by others of our Order, if I am correct. Brother Paul tended the man personally for most of the night and a portion of the following morning that the Knight was abed healing and I chanced to overhear many things as they talked. Brother Paul quite curious to discover what form of God's creature they were and unaware of my presence in the alcove where I had sought quietude for my mediations. Which might interest you in adding to their Chronicle.


This information would explain much, I believe, and validate what Lydia of Marseille recorded from her own observations. It appears that they are not like other Immortals and find themselves to be fringe elements of “The Game” that is played for what some have speculated is the destiny of mankind. The two asserted that they were born as mortals! With familial resemblance to some family member or another. Cursed into their Immortality by pagan gods – the Morrigans of Irish Legend - in retribution for Kendall’s defiance when he refused to release his dying love, Katriona, into their care.

Islandkat 11-11-2010 06:30 AM

They are uncertain exactly what was done to them, but it seems a number of Immortals have seen fit to test them in battle over time, forcing them to compete if they wish to keep their heads. They heal faster than a mortal, as witnessed by this humble servant, yet slightly more slowly than an Immortals faster healing ability. They have had children of their marital union! Only to experience the loss of them all, as the offspring were as mortal as you or I, I have heard. The “squire” asserting, that as far as she knows, descendants of those children still reside in Ireland. They sense other Immortals but they have to be in rather close proximity for them to be detected and in circumstances where they have been forced to take an Immortals head - as has also been noted by other Chroniclers - they have not always received a complete Quickening. Being parted pains them greatly. Physical pain, not just emotional. Apparently they have gone to great lengths not to be separated due to some mischance or another, as evidenced by the woman disguising herself as a young man. One last thing I overheard the Irishman Kendall relay to Brother Paul, this poem that may have been the wording to their curse by those pagan gods, the Morrigans.

‘So long as the two do keep their heads, death eludes them as an end.
Tir na nog, a warrior’s reward, denied to them forevermore.
One heart. Two minds. Two halves of the soul.
Passions torment throughout their days, Love and Hate are wedded ways.
This is the life the two shall lead until my sisters are returned to me.’

If it is the Tribunal’s wishes, I shall continue reporting on them for as long as they remain in this Monastery, but I would advise sending someone quickly for I do not think they intend to stay long.

If this humble brother might speculate; it is in my opinion that whatever the well-spring the Immortal’s power and longevity arises from, the pagan goddesses drew upon it to make these two Immortal as a punishment and they do not enjoy all the benefits of Immortality. Yet they do enjoy some of those benefits. They have been made to suffer every possible joy and sorrow all the more keenly. As though they were meant to feel emotion as passionately and deeply as the pagan gods might have. This has not always led to a happy union between them, it may not have been meant to be. However, as evidenced by the feeling in their eye for the other, their love is strong and despite ill-wishes, perseveres without killing the other.



Daniel, Servant of Christ.

Islandkat 11-11-2010 08:11 AM

Prologue

The sun shone brightly over the slopes of Mt. Shasta, casting dappled shadows across the trail of a lone hiker. Pausing to take in the earthy scent, Doug Trimbley clambered up onto a large boulder to take in the view. For nearly all of his twenty-two years he had been climbing this mountain and this particular outcropping had long ago become a favorite spot to stop for a break. Today, he sat down and opened his pack to pull out a granola bar. Munching contentedly, he listened to the twitter and chirp of bird song emphasizing the off-beat rapid-fire knock-knock-knocking of a woodpecker drilling for bugs nearby. All was right in the world.

At least for the moment, he thought, heaving a sigh of frustration. Even here, in this spiritual place, the real world intruded on his thoughts. Looking off into the distant horizon those thoughts reluctantly turned to his graduation from Seacouver State University last summer… and the crushing load of debt he had incurred in student loans.

Doug had thought his degree in Business Management would be a guarantee of employment and in fact he had landed a nice position just a few months out. Unfortunately, the company folded when the bottom dropped out of the market two months later. Since then...

Washing the last of the granola bar down with a long pull on his water bottle, Doug prepared to continue his hike determined to escape the dark feeling of financial desperation. Just as he stood however, he noticed something strange. The forest had fallen eerily silent.

With a low grumble deep from within its belly the mountain suddenly heaved alive. Doug braced himself against the rock, but it did him no good. He had been through many earthquakes and had been reminded several times that the “mountain” he climbed was actually a live volcano, but this time the rocks he stood on shook with a ferocity he had never experienced. Small boulders from above fell around him and just as the young man threw his arms up to protect his head, one end of the rock he stood on dropped out from under him sending him on a headlong slide into darkness.

Islandkat 11-11-2010 08:12 AM

After he came to a bone jarring stop up against a rock pillar several feet below, the earth calmed. Doug slowly stood, peering into the blackness that surrounded him. Willing his eyes to adjust to the sliver of light that slipped through the hole he had fallen through and gingerly shaking dust from his brown hair, the young man was gradually able to discern the strange shapes of other pillars in this cavern. Stalagmites, he wondered, before taking a few shaky steps and kicking something that yielded to his foot on the strangely smooth floor.

“My pack!” Doug softly exclaimed, bending to examine his bag. Quickly opening and digging around, the young brown-haired man triumphantly located his trusty flashlight. Shining the beam around, he realized that the “stalagmites” were actually carved stone figures arranged along walls covered in symbols that seemingly conveyed a story. The fact that they were here at all was strange enough since the local Native American tradition was to leave no evidence of their religious ceremonies behind. Stranger still was the fact that they only bore a vague resemblance to the spirits usually honored by the Northern Pacific tribes.

Continuing to pan the light around the room a flash of red caught his eye. Training the light back, it gleamed in beckoning to Doug Trimbley. The young man made his way over the rubble littered floor to the object, realizing the sparkle came from a blood-red stone set in a finely wrought golden disk engraved with what looked like a turtle pattern and similar symbols gracing the walls circled the outer edge. Almost against his better judgment Doug reached out and with a racing heart grasped it. Turning it in his hands, he noted the turtle pattern continued across the bottom too. The gem set pendant seemed so incongruous lying atop the stone pillar in the center of this chamber and Doug briefly wondered why it had been placed there.

Moments after he lifted the disk from its resting place, Mt. Shasta once again came alive. Heaving unpleasantly the floor shook and rocks rained from the ceiling sending Doug scrambling up the rock slide, back through the opening he’d fallen through just minutes earlier. Racing down the mountain he dreamed of the riches the pendant would bring him.

Islandkat 11-12-2010 06:27 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg. 1
 
Chapter 1
Pirates & Demons

Lifting the latch to the bridge hatch, the auburn-haired woman could still hear the argument underlying the Helmsman's phone call a few minutes earlier. Stevens had asked tonight's lookout to come back up from the galley and take an eyeball off their stern before she returned to the Wheelhouse. “I'm telling you! Call the skipper! Now, you bull-headed moron!” Katriona heard Stevens' Texas twang snap out strongly in his aggravation with the young twit he felt he dealt with. “If I have to come over there and do it myself, I'm knocking you into next week, kid!”

“It's nuthin' I'm tellin' yoos! Just trash!” Callari's Brooklyn Italian neighborhood snapped out in his response. “Why go wakin' Cap't for trash?”

With a brief sigh for the just brewed cup of coffee and sandwich she had to leave below, narrowed whiskey-brown eyes darted back toward the blur she could just discern a couple miles off their starboard as another cloud slipped across the nearly full moon and dimmed her light. No, not trash... Not the kind you’re thinking and hopefully not the kind I’m afraid it might be.

Walking in on the two sailors bristling like a pair of toms glaring the other down, Katriona tried to diffuse the situation quipping, “Is the testosterone getting thick in here, or is it just me around all these hunk guys on duty tonight?”

“That blip you noted earlier and wanted Callari to keep an eye on passed our five mile limit about eight minutes ago and the dumb punk won't use the common sense God gave him and wake the skipper! The drift's all wrong for it not to be under its own power and I swear it's picked up speed as well.” The Helmsman snapped, tersely sketching the situation out.

Crossing over to the con to note their south-southwesterly heading that put the largest of the Seychelles behind them on a wide course for the port of Mombasa, Katriona stopped behind the young man standing in front of the radar screen to look for herself. Mentally aligning the blur she saw in the distance with the configuration on the screen the redhead huffed in frustration.

“He's making more of a fuss than is necessary. I'm telling you there's not another damned vessel around us for miles!” Callari scoffed at the image. “The thing’s too damned sensitive,” the young mate griped in well rehearsed complaint. “Probably nothing more than drifting flotsam – a tangled up trash drift. God knows there’s enough illegal dumping out here.” Tapping at the offending speck, “Wind’s kicking up some wave action, too. That could be it.”

Islandkat 11-12-2010 06:30 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg. 1-2
 
“No, you just need to look more lively. How many times have I told you? You need to be keeping a keen weather eye open if we’re going to get through these waters without any unwanted visitors. That blip on the radar has moved closer since I went for lunch and there is something off our starboard that's riding a lot higher off the water than floating debris would account for. Or didn't you bother to call Stoney to check it out? Or go out and eyeball it for yourself? Callari, this is serious! You can't always trust the computers. There's no better processor than your own eyes and your own brain!” The twenty-something looking woman admonished, reaching for the night vision binoculars with a light smack to his head. “Now, forgive me if I’m a superstitious auld sailor, but I’m checking on our ‘trash’. Again. I want you...”

“It’s nothing, Morgan,” Callari interrupted the woman he didn't seem to grasp was his tutor and sole hope of keeping this job. “Just get on with the morning check list.”

“It's been ‘drifting’ closer at a good clip for the last fifteen minutes and I swear it picked up speed eight minutes ago,” Stevens stubbornly repeated from the controls. “I told him to call the skipper and the first-mate, but he refuses!”

“Callari!” Katriona rebuked. “When senior staff tells you to do something, especially one with fifteen years service under his belt, it might behoove you to do it! Wake the Captain, Stavros, and Chou; let them know what’s going on.”

“I told you it would be a good idea to get Skipper up here. You know ignoring procedure is what’s got your ass in a sling and on the night watch.” The Texan muttered censoriously under his breath, inspecting their speed and heading against that of the “trash” for the seventh time since he had taken notice and hitching the freighter’s speed another notch.

Pulling her two-way from its case on her belt, Katriona asked into it, “Stoney, what’s the word in the bow?”

“Bow’s still clear, but from my angle I think our trash has sprung an appendage.” The sun-bleached brunette’s baritone reported back.

“Confirmed,” she replied. One brandy-brow arced eloquently in her aggravation, pinning the younger man under her gaze.

“I’m tellin’ you,” Callari’s Brooklyn Italian neighborhood still sounded thickly in his voice, “Yoo stubborn Mic… It’s a tangle of trash! There! It’s gone a-”.

Islandkat 11-12-2010 06:31 AM

Chapter 1 pg. 2-3
 
“No, you just need to look more lively. How many times have I told you? You need to be keeping a keen weather eye open if we’re going to get through these waters without any unwanted visitors. That blip on the radar has moved closer since I went for lunch and there is something off our starboard that's riding a lot higher off the water than floating debris would account for. Or didn't you bother to call Stoney to check it out? Or go out and eyeball it for yourself? Callari, this is serious! You can't always trust the computers. There's no better processor than your own eyes and your own brain!” The twenty-something looking woman admonished, reaching for the night vision binoculars with a light smack to his head. “Now, forgive me if I’m a superstitious auld sailor, but I’m checking on our ‘trash’. Again. I want you...”

“It’s nothing, Morgan,” Callari interrupted the woman he didn't seem to grasp was his tutor and sole hope of keeping this job. “Just get on with the morning check list.”

“It's been ‘drifting’ closer at a good clip for the last fifteen minutes and I swear it picked up speed eight minutes ago,” Stevens stubbornly repeated from the controls. “I told him to call the skipper and the first-mate, but he refuses!”

“Callari!” Katriona rebuked. “When senior staff tells you to do something, especially one with fifteen years service under his belt, it might behoove you to do it! Wake the Captain, Stavros, and Chou; let them know what’s going on.”

“I told you it would be a good idea to get Skipper up here. You know ignoring procedure is what’s got your ass in a sling and on the night watch.” The Texan muttered censoriously under his breath, inspecting their speed and heading against that of the “trash” for the seventh time since he had taken notice and hitching the freighter’s speed another notch.

Pulling her two-way from its case on her belt, Katriona asked into it, “Stoney, what’s the word in the bow?”

“Bow’s still clear, but from my angle I think our trash has sprung an appendage.” The sun-bleached brunette’s baritone reported back.

“Confirmed,” she replied. One brandy-brow arced eloquently in her aggravation, pinning the younger man under her gaze.

“I’m tellin’ you,” Callari’s Brooklyn Italian neighborhood still sounded thickly in his voice, “Yoo stubborn Mic… It’s a tangle of trash! There! It’s gone a-”.

“Stubborn Mic with Spidey Sense,” Katriona cut him off over her shoulder. Heeding long honed instincts that the blip on the radar wasn’t any clump of illegally dumped debris that was affecting the Somali fishing. The drift was wrong and had moved too close in too short a time to account for current. This April night, experience niggled, conditions were the kind a wary soul didn’t let their guard down. The Cursed woman had learned to heed that feeling more years back than she cared to count sometimes and she

Islandkat 11-12-2010 06:33 AM

chapter 1 pg 3 - 4
 
berated herself soundly for giving the young man this break to prove himself. With the spring weather calming these waters, she ought to know better that those Somalis that were just desperate, or greedy, had started stepping up their heists before the rains came for the season. There hadn’t been a working government in the country for nearly a generation and piracy was flourishing because of it. Even at five hundred and seventy miles off Somalia’s coast, they were thirty miles too close according to the Coalition’s security suggestions. But they had thought to make time after having to leave their sister ship, “Calypso’s Due” in Victoria with engine troubles because some of the donated supplies were time sensitive and the W.H.O. contingency in the Kenyan refuge camps desperately needed the medicines.

Irritably brushing aside a deep-scarlet strand caught by the stiff sea breeze, Katriona brought the stern of the freighter into focus. Sweeping along their starboard shadow line she paused amidships to train the night binoculars on… what are you? With a slight twist too far when another strand tried snapping out from her ponytail, the still larger shape lying a couple miles off in the darkness came into clearer focus than her own unaided eyes had noted when she had come back up. “Filho-de-a–cadela! Bloody ’ell,” the freckled lass’ Portuguese curse finished on a slight Irish lilt.

With a step back, the old sailor snapped at the younger man in the wheelhouse, “If you haven’t called the skipper yet, pray St. Brandon preserves you from your mama when she realizes she birthed a dim-witted boy. Tex, we’ve a trawler two miles off our stern and that appendage is a speedboat.” Crossing to the captain’s desk, Katriona pulled a key from her cargo-short’s pockets. “I’m going down for a better look at this ‘trash’, but you might want to pick up speed, Stevens. Callari, after you’ve roused the Cap’t get on the horn and rustle us up somebody’s Navy in that Atalante Coalition.”

Finding Kendall’s Glock and an extra clip she sought in the locked drawer, Katriona checked the items before stowing them at her waistband and tossing Tex a paint marker. “Aim for the whites of their eyes,” she joked as the older Texan caught the air rifle and nodded. Glad someone agreed that erring on the side of caution was a reasonable course of action and increased their speed even more than he already had. Flipping at a recently installed switch on the board, his expression darkened while he flipped it again to engage the L_RAD. “Damnit,” he cussed, slipping under the panel to check the connections.

Coolwater 11-12-2010 04:15 PM

and???

Islandkat 11-12-2010 05:54 PM

More is coming. There's only a 3,000 character posting limit per box. Kind of messed up my idea to post it 2 pages a post. But that's 2 pages. I suppose you want the whole chapter? :D

Islandkat 11-13-2010 06:33 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg's 4 - 5
 
Finished with the helmsman, her gaze swept back to the unmoving man biting out, “Do it!” with such authority Callari’s further objections died as he snapped too under a tone brooking no more challenge or banter. Taking up the hand set, he pressed Kendall Wright’s extension hoping Cap't wouldn’t be too pissed off over a fishing crew and his three mates acting as nervous as his maiden, Venician great-auntie.

Nimbly padding down the ladder to the deck below, Katriona paused along the ‘Morrigans Curse’ starboard rail training the battered binoculars at the spot she’d observed from the Bridge. Slowly peering over the side, her fingers itched for the cutlass she’d left in her cabin. While the Glock at her back rode oddly from the pistola her nerves remembered once tucked there. The clank of a grappling hook seeking purchase on the rail and missing, accompanied by a thunk fifty feet below at the waterline, prompted the woman to evaluate her weapons and sprint back to acquire the fire ax.

Flipping open her Motorola, the tenor she sought demanded; “Talk to me people! I’m almost to the bridge, but somebody talk to me!”

“Unless you invited guests for your birthday next week we have party crashers in a trawler a couple miles off our stern, 2 o’clock, and somebody’s knocking on our starboard hull,” the Lookout reported. Hastening back to where the clawed hook had scratched earlier, she cast wary glances over the side trying to figure out a new noise and keep from being seen below.

The stutter of automatic rifle fire broke the relative quiet of the early morning as a second speedboat sped by the freighter, causing the redhead to jerk back reflexively. The sound of the trawler’s engines starting up two miles off prompted Katriona to hiss into her mobile unit, “They’ve figured we’re trying to outrun them and we’ve a second speedboat! Return fire or no?”

“Let’s try to keep it non-lethal for now. We don’t need to be breaking about twenty Maritime Laws just because they are.” Kendall replied reaching the Bridge. “At least until the crew's in position. Chou, where’s that L_RAD? Callari, tell me you have someone on the horn,” the wiry freighter captain demanded of the man working their satellite radio as he awaited further elaboration of ‘I’m working on it’, from the first man.

“Working on it Ca… Yeah!” Callari exclaimed, addressing someone on his headset. “I said Mayday. I repeat, Mayday… This is the U.S.-flagged cargo ship, Yukon & Northwestern, ‘Morrigans’ Curse’. We’re hauling relief aid for W.H.O. We’re one-hundred thirty nautical miles south-southwest of Victoria Island. We appear to be under attack by pirates. Our position is -”

Islandkat 11-13-2010 06:40 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg's 5 - 6
 
“No appearin’, we are!” Kendall corrected, turning back from his sweep of the Indian Ocean out his windows and interrupting the swarthy twenty-three year old. Picking up the hand set for internal communications just as another burst of automatic gun fire sounded off his port in answer to the first burst of AK-47 rifle-fire, the sandy-blond mentally cursed. Bloody ’ell! They’re flanking us. What I wouldn’t give for a couple riflemen right now… “Hey, Tex! Can’t you kick this mare a little faster? Let’s try showin’ ’em her heels.”

“Aye, aye, Cap’t! But I already got the old girl giving almost everything she’s got.”

“Sweet talk her then and get your hand up her thigh!” Kendall ordered tersely. His usually pleasant tenor dripping with irony at the vagaries of life as his voice sounded below decks accompanied by the clamor of emergency klaxons, “Good Mornin’ and Emergency Stations, Lads n’ Lassies. Rise n’ shine smartly. Let’s do this like we rehearsed, shall we? This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. Be careful and let’s keep our heads! Those that don’t have an assignment, make your way to the Engine Room. Parker, open our rabbit hole. Joker, get the rest of those paint balls out of the freezer and pass ’em out to those with markers. Stoney, Charlie, Barney, Walker, …”

The clang of another grappling hook caused the lithe woman’s attention to center on the rail. A hard tug from below proved that the line would hold fast this time and Katriona raised her weapon, quickly closing the distance down the deck. The resulting splash below from the severed hemp line made her shrug with a chilly smile and mutter, “Price o’ bein’ on account, lad.” Pulling out her air horn, Katriona ducked back from a fresh hail of bullets lighting up the night before her eyes…

1672 ~ Indian Ocean:
North of "São Lourenço"

~ Present day Madagascar ~

The tall redhead squinted against the smoke from the riflemen's latest volley drifting past in the graying light of morning and motioned for the grappling hooks to be thrown when a deep throated laugh further up deck almost made her flinch back behind the English galleon's rail. Warily the captain's whiskey-brown eyes darted over her rigging for any sign of incoming the caravel may have thrown at this last minute despite their dropping their flag in surrender. Morgan stopped on the black ensign that snapped in the salty breeze above with a sidelong tolerant glare back toward the aft deck where she could see William at the ship’s wheel. A wild grin beaming from his sun-kissed whiskers as he gently eased the ‘Morning Star’* alongside their target, the Portuguese merchant ‘Nossa Senhora Dos Mares’.

Islandkat 11-13-2010 06:45 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg's 6 - 7
 
“Throw the lines an’ make her fast,” Morgan Adams called in a light soprano heard across the deck. Half bent; she scurried back to the wheel to observe the melee. Mounting the ladder to the aft deck, the mistress of the ‘Morning Star’ judged their distance and called, “Cease Fire!” to the men exchanging weapons, now that their quarry was cowed into submission. “That’s it, Mr. Shaw, ease her over gently.” She urged, joining the Irishman behind the wheel.

A long arm snaked around her waist jerking her tight against the taller man’s muscled length. “Much like how ye wanted i’ las’ night, lass?” he drawled quietly in her ear, nipping around the small gold hoop in her ear lope.

Tilting her head and tamping down her body’s reaction to her lifelong companion, the fire-tressed woman quietly admonished in his ear, “Kendall O’Laidhgnén, mind what your doin’ laddie. You’ve a big boat in your hands.”

“Oh. Aye! Seems I do, don’t I?” the ‘Morning Star’s’ pilot joked.

“Mind the other boat,” his captain chastened her husband.

“You never let me ‘ave any fun, wumon,” he groused good-naturedly in long familiar complaint.

“You’re not havin’ fun, luv,” Morgan teased.

“Maybeh a little,” William grinned before his expression changed. Nodding sharply, blue-green eyes narrowed on a sail coming loose. “Bowen! Make tha’ Mizzen above you, fast!” Running his large hand up her back, he continued, “Now, where was I? Aye! Pistolas, powder bag, rapier, marauder, dagger… you’ve a few more knifes?”

“Aye.”

Damnation wench! Do ye have any idea how incredibly beautiful you are when ye’re armed? All tempest n’ dangerous.” Suddenly becoming more thoughtful William objected, “But I’d rather you take the wheel an’ I lead this. I don’t like it when I can’t watch your back.”

“Board at will,” she called down to their Quartermaster, instructing Blaire to take the lead. “I need to be goin’ now, luv. I’ll be careful. Bring ye back anything?”

“Oh, aye,” he capitulated, letting her go with a pat on the bottom. “Back to work wi’ ye, lass, and bring me back your gorgeous body with tha’ beautiful head firmly attached. I may have a use for it later.”

“Blarney,” the lithe captain called back over her shoulder.

“Is’na blarney if it’s truth,” he called after her before a shrill feminine scream from the ‘Nossa Senhora Dos Mares’ caused him to seek his flame-haired siren in reassurance.

*****

* “Cutthroat Island.” Director: Renny Harlin, release date 1995.

Islandkat 11-14-2010 07:26 AM

Chapter 1 pgs 7.5 - 8
 
The startled female scream that broke the night galvanized Kendall to scan the deck searching out a familiar five-nine, almost-boyish frame. He paused to glare at the invisible green comet, Lulin, speeding away from Earth out past Mars orbit.

Damned Chinese Fire Drill! Not the least bit cliché! Just had to cause me trouble, he cursed the distant traveler he had been tracking since it first appeared to his antiquated navigational equipment last December, couldn’t go your merry way without it. “Talk to me, Beautiful!” he ordered into his radio on Katri’s channel when he failed to find her.

“Ah, shucks Cap’t,” Barney teased back. “Din’t know you felt that way!”

Kendall started to demand, ‘where’s Katri’, when the wench in question took the radio from the grizzled-Cajun boiler-mate, commenting, “There, try the hose again.”

“Bon temps,” Barney’s gruff voice replied. “Best go find Noelani. Sure you don’t want company, cheri?”

“I’m joining her. You stay your post,” the captain of the ‘Morrigans Curse’, ordered. Leaving the helm to Stevens, he instructed, “Balls to the wall, Tex. Keep trying to show them this girl’s skirts until helps got here and keep that hatch locked. Use the shaft if you need to fall back - and if you need me…” he held up the two-way as he hastened to meet his lookout in search of their cook.

Her back to the shipping containers, Katriona crept low along their length until she saw water gushing along the deck and their chief-fireman, Walker’s, voice placated an unseen adversary. “OK, buddy. I’m putting it down. Don’t hurt the woman. OK?”

“Nobody’s got to get hurt tonight,” the assistant fireman, Stoney, tried calmly reassuring.

The gruff reply in Somali was accompanied by another pained objection from their Hawaiian cook, Noelani. Aye, it was Lani all right; she didn’t think Mina would scream like that. The older engineer's mate would have been more defiant. Keeping low, Katriona hefted the fire ax consideringly and cautiously peered around the corner to discover the reason for the other woman’s pain. A young stranger held the small islander captive using her as a shield; one hand tightly wrapped over a plump handful of breast in leverage seemed the source of her discomfort, while an old Russian Stechkin was pressed up against her jaw.

Shit! Where’d you get that and do you really know how to use it, Katriona shuddered at the thought of an untrained thug with, in her opinion, an unreliable weapon. “Step away from the hose, American Dogs.” The pirate demanded in heavily accented English. “You are going to pay for our brothers you dogs have killed! You will be last,” he leered significantly to his prisoner, squeezing her breast harder.

Islandkat 11-14-2010 07:28 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pgs 8 - 9
 
Maybe it was a hollow, ominous clang from somewhere near the bow; or maybe it was the caterwaul of his mates attempting to board aft that startled him. Either way, the almost sixteen hundred year-old woman made the short dash between cargo containers, raising her weapon to gather momentum before hitting the older teen across his back with the flat of the ax head. Thrown off balance the pirate staggered, allowing Noelani to break free and dart away with an exaggerated step and another scream. Coming up against the port rail the staggering Hawaiian almost shrieked a third time when the red-haired fiend's momentum carried her forward to kick the machine pistol away from the teen scrambling back to his feet. Slamming the ax handle across his skull, Katriona hissed at him in Arabic, “Don’t even think it!”

Walker straightened from retrieving the kicked weapon to focus on his mate, whistling. “Damn, Morgan! That was a helluva entrance! I thought the cap't said to try and keep this non-lethal,” with a nod to indicate the ax.

Keeping her weakly struggling prisoner down with the simple expedient of a firmly placed sneaker clad foot on his back and another application of the ax-handle to his head, Katriona held the weapon out to a cringing Noelani. “I think he,” she indicated the now unconscious man with a sharp jerk of her chin, “made it fairly clear there’s no quarter even if we do give up peaceable. Lani,” she urged, “Come on, hon. We’re fine. We’ll make it through this. I don’t know why you’re up here, but we need to keep our heads. Don’t fall apart on me now. Later!” she bargained.

At Katriona’s wide-eyed infectious grin, the twenty-nine year old woman started snorting at the audacity of her seemingly younger shipmate when their skipper silently slipped around the corner; a telescoping boat hook in hand led his soft footed stalk and almost completely unhinging her again. Squelching the cry, Lani's gaze swept the last stars of early morning rebuking herself that she knew better about these two as she searched for the strength to get through this. With a sigh she took a firmer grip on the ax, plastering on a more determined expression.

“That’a girl!” Stoney quietly cheered, clapping her on the shoulder.

“Captain,” Katriona greeted, improvising with the draw strings of her wind breaker to truss up her prisoner. “We have this one immobilized. One attempt to board starboard failed. Another was repelled cutting the line. What’s the news -”

A trio of air horns from the rear of the ship blared out again, one in reply to the other before other varying ululating cries shattered the cloudy night over the duller thwap-thwap of paint guns. “One Sioux brave and a couple crazed Yankees just went on the warpath. So Enjun, Charlie, and Joker are trying to cause chaos and confusion. Is that supposed to be something Mandarin…” he queried with a baffled look and a nod of his head to the

Islandkat 11-14-2010 07:29 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pgs 9 - 10
 
rear. “Damnit, Katriona - Stoney! Why didn’t we get more notice? We might have avoided this goat rope!”

I know! I know! I went down to get a bite to eat an’ Callari assured me the board was clear. I should have looked myself. Noted how close his ‘trash’ was ge -.” The sudden deafening blare of the L_RAD broke the quiet shushing of the wind, interrupting her.

“Better late than never.” Their burly, ebony-skinned chief-fireman loudly interrupted the couple indicating the attempt at audio defense, blaring a high decibel sound wave at the attacking Pirates.

“Right, Walker,” Kendall agreed, stowing their prisoner. “Damn thing was giving Chou trouble turning it on. All this technology!” He growled irritably at the stutter of automatic rifle fire in response to the L_RAD's activation. Taking the slightly smaller woman’s elbow to talk in her ear, he led the group aft instructing. “Take Noelani down to the Engine Room, then work your way to the stern and up. Hopefully you’ll reinforce Trip and Jenkins. If you don’t find ’em, keep pushing back.”

The protestations from the water below over the ear-shattering noise accompanied the sudden booming rip of metal that caused the ship to shudder. “What the hell!” Kendall snapped, daring to dart a look over the side despite the rifle-fire.

“Oh Shit!” Stoney sputtered in surprise. “Oh Shit!” The Florida-native repeated as fire alarms rose from below decks.

“What the bloody hell do you people think you’re doing? Do you idiots even know what you’re doing?” The ex-privateer demanded, centuries of disbelief at the sight of the hole at their waterline coloring his tone. “That’s not how you take a prize, you… Amateurs!” Casting a sidelong glance of utterly disgusted disbelief to his long time companion, the sandy-blond turned snapping orders and hastening people to their positions. “Engine room’s out, as is the bolt hole. Lani, best lock yourself in the galley. Stoney, go see if Mina’s all right and ascertain the fire situation.”

“Walker, try not using that noisemaker if you can help it.” The freighter’s master admonished the shorter man slipping around the corner ahead of him to recheck the hose clamps and pressure gauge. “And watch the kick on auto. Someone didn’t bring their stock. Do you two have a supply of frozen paint balls?”

“Right here. Wish it were legal to be carryin’ a few more of these.” Walker groused, inspecting the Russian weapon's clip in response to the sounds coming from the rear of the boat that grew progressively more confused.

“Full,” Stoney called over his shoulder, already hastening in the direction of the engine room to help put out the fire.

“You and me both, brother! Are you armed, Katri?”

Coolwater 11-14-2010 10:07 PM

Aw, Kat, remember that writing is like cooking: it takes hours to make a meal and minutes to eat it!

Islandkat 11-15-2010 04:28 AM

Yes, I know. You'll forgive me if I'm getting a giggle out of the "more please". :D

Islandkat 11-15-2010 05:30 AM

Chapter 1 ~ pg 10
 
“Your Glock, my ‘pig sticker’ -,” patting the hilt of her seventeen inch marauder.

Damn you’re hot when you’re armed,” Kendall utter before kissing her soundly. Pulling her Beretta, he exchanged weapons commenting, “This might kick less for you. Watch your head, beautiful.” he whispered, releasing her reluctantly.

“Don’t worry about mine, watch your own.” She chastised, brushing a long finger down the side of his face before hurrying after Noelani and leaving the two men to their own assignments. Casting one last look over her shoulder, Katriona saw Kendall helping Walker shake and drag the fire hose toward the stern.

Catching up with the petite woman a deck below, Katriona scanned the passageway trying to stretch the limit of her hearing. “Lani,” she asked her mate, “think you can make it to the galley by yourself or do you want me to escort you?”

“You don’t have to, I’m sticking with you.” The smaller Hawaiian announced, taking a firmer grip on the fire ax.

“Lani, you don’t have to prove anything,” Katriona objected.

“Nothing to prove. This is my ship too and by my people’s old gods, I’ll be damned if I just hunker below cowering while the Sioux Nation stands for the fight. If I do, there’s a dozen generation of warriors that’ll rise from their caves to haunt me. I didn’t much think I could do it before,” she said, pausing to take in a shaky breath before she continued with more determination, “But after that guy grabbed me, it’s pretty clear these guys might not consider rape as mistreating prisoners. If they take us prisoners! He said as much! This bunch may well kill us if the ship’s taken instead of holding us for ransom like they’ve been doing. I read the news! They’re out for American blood since the ‘Alabama’ and those French raids last week! I might’ve inherited my Japanese side’s slight build, but I open my mouth - its all ‘American Girl’ here!”

Biting her lip momentarily in indecision, Katriona finally nodded in agreement. “All right, but stay with me and do exactly as I say. Understand?” At Noelani’s solemn eyed nod, the older woman gestured her to follow. Wishing she could retrieve her cutlass in a way the mortal woman wouldn’t think unusual. But a knife at a gun fight never works out the way it does in the movies, she mused.

Searching for Jenkins and Trip, the two women slipped around the corner of the ladder leading topside when the second rocket-propelled grenade exploded, turning pieces of stern into lethal bits of shrapnel. Ducking, Katriona pushed Noelani down as the ‘Morrigans’ shudder of protest accompanied another sensation that slithered up from the pit of her stomach to her nape. Rubbing her neck at the rising hairs; she glanced up through the open hatch silently debating if the sensation were foe or unlikely friend, and if she could sense them now, were they on board already? Straightening to her


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