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The first chapter of the pirate fic! The formatting got a bit messed up, so for now, if text starts and ends with "/", it's a thought.
~~

Contrary to popular belief, a pirate's life isn't all pillaging and plundering. There's a lot more sailing and drinking and bartering and drinking and waiting for ships to pass and... was drinking mentioned?

Anyway, point being that a pirate's life isn't always filled with action.

So when Baj, who was situated in the crow's nest, yelled out, "Oi! There's a guy in the water! Starboard side!" everyone on the deck of The Mindcrack ran over.

Zisteau was one of the first people to get there and after a second of looking, he spotted a figure in a white shirt, lying on what looked to be a scrap of a ship's siding. He was about 30 yards from the ship. His head was down so it was unclear whether or not the man was alive at all.

"Should we bring him in?" Avidya asked from Zisteau's right.

The crew the erupted in to murmurs of whether to bring the person out up onto the ship or not. Just by tuning into a few people's conversations, it was clear to Z that the men were divided on the issue.

/This won't get resolved until Captain Guude gets here... but who knows when he'll get on deck./
Looking around to see if anyone was paying attention to him (no one was), he shed his dark brown leather vest, shirt, and leather boots and carefully placed them on deck. Double checking that no one noticed him, he leaped over the side of the ship and into the calm ocean below.

/Shit!/ The water was much colder than he had expected. It felt like a thousand needles pressing on his chest and head and he was thankful he became numb to the feeling quickly.
/Really hope my gut is right about this./ As he surfaced, he heard the last bits of "Man overboard."

He chuckled to himself as he swam toward the figure. /Now THAT will get the Captain's attention./

When Z finally reached the figure, he was able to tell that the person was a man and he was alive (/Thankfully/) by the rising of his chest, but completely knocked out. The man had brown hair that was clumped up and matted down by the salt water, and all in all looked more fit to work on a merchant ship than a pirate ship (/Please let he not be a member of His Majesty's Navy/). From this angle, the man didn't look very buff, but Z had learned from experience not to judge people by their looks. What was left of the man's ripped shirt was dirty and it was clear that there were long scars running up the man's back. Zisteau shook his head, dispelling any images he had conjured up of how the man could've gotten those scars. /Just get him on deck, maybe he'll tell you how he got them when he wakes up/. He hooked the man's arm around his shoulders and his arm around the man's waist just as Pause and Doc came up in a rowboat.

"Took you long enough!" Zisteau called out to them, a smirk on his face. The first mate, Pause, smirked for a second, then quickly wiped it off.

/Lighten up guy, seriously./

He hauled up the unconscious man first, and then allowed himself to be pulled up. Pause and Doc shared a look before bringing the man up and laying him half on one of the benches in the small boat. Once Z was seated, he quickly got cuffed in the back of the head by Pause.

"Hey! That actually hurt!" Zisteau exclaimed, rubbing the spot on his head Pause had hit.

"Oh, I'm sorry, maybe next time you shouldn't jump off the side of the fucking ship to save some mystery man! Geeze Z, I thought you had more sense in that brain of yours!" He made a move to smack Zisteau again, but he avoided it.

"Okay, okay I get it. I just... had a feeling in my gut," Z mumbled the last bit, looking at the bottom of the rowboat.

Pause looked at him with his eyes wide and jaw slack. "You-you had a feeling... in your gut?! Why would you risk your fucking life over some man you just saw in the water?! On a gut feeling!"

Zisteau ignored him and instead grabbed a length of rope underneath the bench he was sitting on. They were nearing The Mindcrack and he knew he would get no help from Doc or Pause with helping the man on board (/In their defense, I did just jump over board/). When they reached the ship, there was already a ladder waiting for them. As his crew mates climbed up the ladder, Zisteau loosely tied the man to his shoulder (wow this man is skinny), so he wouldn't have to worry about dropping the unconscious man. With the man secure, Zisteau made his slow decent up.

When he finally reached the deck, he was greeted with glares from most of the crew. The most menacing came, of course, from Captain Guude who was standing front and center of the crew. He was dressed in his usual dark green coat with gold trim surrounding the buttons and pockets. The black tricorne that was usually tilted on his head in a half-hazarded matter was not there at all. Instead the blue bandanna that was usually peeking out of the hat was all that was on the captain's head. Zisteau had to bite down a smile because that was a dead giveaway he had caused Guude to panic and rush out of his quarters. The smile went down when he realized that Guude's belt, that usually held two pistols and two cutlasses, was missing a sword... because it was gripped firmly in his hand. A brief flash of possessiveness toward the man on his shoulder coursed through him along with thoughts of No way you're getting your hands on him.

"Captain," Zisteau nodded in his general direction, "I will collect whatever punishment you plan on giving me as soon as I take care of this man."

Not waiting for Guude's approval, Zisteau untied the man and set him on the deck. It wasn't the most sanitary of places, but his shoulder was aching now. He could feel the crew lean in over him as he rubbed his shoulder.

/Really need to get him to sickbay so I can check on his vitals./

He was jerked from his thoughts of how to get the man down to sickbay without being seen when Mhykol kneeled down and pointed to the unconscious man's left sleeve.

"What's that on his arm?" he asked.

Zisteau carefully rolled up the wet sleeve revealing the most intricate tattoo work anyone on The Mindcrack had ever seen. By his shoulder, there was a large sun with runes outlining the edge. The rest of his forearm was covered in the most vibrate blues and violets in the most interesting swirls and patterns. Near his wrist, white clouds faded into black ruins and illegible words.

Zisteau absentmindedly rubbed his own tattoos as Captain Guude knelt next to him.

"Shiver me timbers," the captain mumbled as the crew drew closer. There was no denying it, only one person was known to have such an extraordinary sleeve of tattoos...

With a sudden clap on Zisteau's shoulder, Captain Guude smiled and looked to his men, "Well look at this, Zisteau here has caught us the navigator of The Emerald, Kurt J Mac."
And I don't remember if I told you, but the title is going to be "And a Bottle of Scotch",you know, this the famous pirate "poem":

15 men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho
And a bottle of rum

But with scotch for Team SMS. What do you think?

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February 2014

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