Poster: Brendan O'Sionna
Post # 27
At this point, it didn't matter which man was his father, did it? He had
a lot to think about once ... if ... he ... came back from the
dead. "Aye, better to sleep and never wake up." He was certain
Westmoreland wouldn't make his death easy, especially once he found out
about Vott and how the crew had helped him. And he was even more certain
things would not go easy on Rhazor. Brendan took in a deep breath and
stepped up the pace. They needed to get this over with, even if he
wasn't sure he was ready. It seemed all too quickly they were back at
the hut. The gunner couldn't help taking a look around. He didn't trust
Strykar to stay away for the full hour.
When they re-entered, Nyx was near the fire, squatted near as if she
didn't feel the excessive heat given the flames, the humidity of the
island, the stifling confines of the hut. She leaned close to the light,
a miniature ladle in one hand which poured thick, dark liquid in a tiny,
thin vial. She didn't look over to them, just started to speak,
measuring carefully. "You will take this with your meal, here, on
the island. You will slip that evilseed the other." The pouring
ceased, as slow as it was, and the woman shot an sideways glance from
across her shoulder to the men. "Do not confuse the two. A drop of
the boy's for you, Frederick. Only a drop. It will blend into the drink
and make the food appear tainted." She stood then, sweat beaded at
her temples, across her upper lip and she wiped both with the back of
the hand holding the small spoon. "You, Frederick, will appear sick
and the boy will appear dead." She placed the utensil on the table
and then tweaked off a bit of cork, stuffing it in with a squeak of
resistance from the narrow opening. "But dat satanspawn? Him, dat
one, he ... will ... be dead." Tenfold. She knew it. The woman had
no delusions about what her profession circled around back at her. But
in the end, to this end, she could hope it was all for the good this
time. Not that she would change a thing if it wasn't. She was who she
was...she did what she did. "And dat der case..." She picked
up another narrow vial wrapped with a dark string. "Dat be for your
bossman. He can send his payment da usual way, you know now." With
his head ducked beneath the lowered ceiling, Rhazor met the petite woman
half way, taking the vials. As he studied the thick liquid by turning
the one with the black string side to side, he motioned with his elbow
toward the wooden case the size of a cigar box. "Get that, Roach,
will ya?" Nyx looked around the large man standing in front of her
to spy on the younger one. "Shame dis be de only time you be coming
cross my brickdust, Brendan. Truly be. But will be. You take care of
you, now, yesmon? You take care of you."
Brendan listened as Nyx spoke, watching her from around the bigger man.
The hut was so hot, it made him slightly dizzy but he took in every
word. His eyes grew wide when she mentioned the death of the other Twin
then he let out a soft exhale of air. Only one to hide from? That would
help some. First he wiped at his brow, then answered the man. "Aye,
Rhazor." He had been tempted to use the quartermaster's name, but
held his tongue. As he lifted the box, he looked at Nyx and gave her a
wistful smile. "You never know what the future holds, aye? And I
will." Hell, if he did know what would happen in the future, he
might go on a different course all together. "Don't worry about
me." He was doing enough of that for all three of them.
Nyx laughed, a pleasant enough sound considering the affairs underway
beneath her roof. "Do we not, true? Do we not know what dat
temptress fate holds for us? Or do we not dare to be looking...for fears
of finding out da truths?" Spindly fingers shot out and poked
Rhazor in the chest, causing the man to huff out in surprise.
"Brendan needs to be drinking dat now, yea? Get da' boy in a
tavern, order him da' lobsta', fittin' last meal. Make sure you and dat'
twindemon eat da' same. Gots to make it looks to be foodrot, Mon."
Her arms crossed at her chest, a smile spreading. "You gonna' be
hurtin', My friend." Rhazor tucked the vials away in his vest
pocket, narrowing a look at Nyx. "And you are lamenting that fact,
I can tell." Nyx hooted out another laugh. "Will be fer days
an days, pirate. Will be for days and days." Rhazor huffed out his
own laugh at that comment and turned, inviting Brendan to follow him out
with just the motion of his head. "Damn witch, should have tossed
her in her own boiling brew years ago." As they stepped over the
threshold, Rhazor was still chuckling, even with the weight of the
upcoming events. Somewhere behind them, Nyx called out. "Heard dat,
Pirate! Enjoy your meal now!"
Brendan just grinned as he listened to the two, though dammit, he was
still scared to death. Hurting? He felt a chill move right up his spine
as they headed outside. He did laugh out loud, glancing over his
shoulder. The air outside was cooler then inside that hut in spite of
the humidity in the air. "How we going to find Strykar?" He
said it low, in case the bastard was about. Had the Twin had his way,
Brendan would likely be dying in a very unpleasant way. "I'm a bit
... scared." There, he admitted it. Mostly, it wasn't the whole
dying thing, but what would happen afterward. He had no clue what they
would do with his 'body'.
Rhazor headed them straight for the nearest tavern, and for all
appearances, he didn't mark their surroundings. But Brendan knew the man
well enough to know the pirate was well aware of everything, everyone
around them. "We won't need to find him..." The bastard wanted
Brendan, it was just a matter of a small amount of time before he showed
up. Just enough time, hopefully, to roll these dice and set the game
into motion. "Aye, Lad." Rhazor nodded, not needing to look to
Brendan in order to agree, but instead pushed into that establishment.
"Aye, me too a bit. But there is no turning back from here. We're
as good as dead, the both of us, if this doesn't work." He raised a
hand to catch the eye of a serving lass, then found a table that he
claimed for the three of them. When the third of their party
arrived...and Rhazor didn't have a single hesitation in confidence that
That first comment gave the gunner another chill. No, Strykar would find
them, no doubt about it. It did give him a small bit of comfort to know
Rhazor admitted the same. It would work. It had to. He didn't want to be
responsible for Rhazor's death. It wasn't a matter of guilt, but the
man, was, even more then before, important to him. At first, he was
afraid he wouldn't be able to eat a bite, but his stomach rumbled at the
smells coming from the kitchen. He settled into a chair so he could
watch the door and tried to relax. Damn, the chair was hard and there
was one wound that reminded him of why they were doing this. He shifted
then looked around. The tavern held the usual types, even some of the
folk from the port itself. Hopefully their business wouldn't suffer too
No sooner than the tankards and platters were clunked down on the table,
then Rhazor slipped the vials from his pocket. He cupped the slender
containers in his hand, staring down to his palm. Bloody, fucking, hell.
His other hand stuffed back down in that shallow pocket, fingers
fiddling, and then he withdrew them. Pinched between the sides of that
forefinger and middle...was the string. "Jesusfuckin'christ."
He growled low, staring at the captured thread. A flick of wrist and he
discarded it. Drawing in a deep breath, he opened his palm flat, eyeing
the two thin containers. One. Then the other. The first. Then the
second. He looked to Brendan, brows lifted, and then he offered his
opened hand over to him. "Pick your fate, Roach." *
Ohhellohhellohhellll. He watched Rhazor search for the missing string,
then audibly gulped. Blue eyes were wide as he looked up at the
Quartermaster. Sending off a prayer and an appeal to his mother to help
him chose, he reached for one. Appear dead or really dead. Either way,
he had made the choice. "Might be dead for sure come tonight."
He said low as he held that vial as gingerly as a deadly snake.
Rhazor held his breath as the boy chose, nodding off to his comment.
"And definitely considered so by this time tomorrow." He
opened the remaining vial and shook it into one of the tankards, leaving
behind a couple of drops which he plopped into his glass. The potioned
tankard he slid to Brendan. "We'll both be taking responsibility
for this decision, Roach. This one...is yours." He leaned, placing
the empty tube on the floor and then, with the sole of his boot, rolled
it toward the tables away from them. "Here...give." He
collected the one in Brendan's hand and poured that one into the
remaining glass. Gaze resting there a moment, he canted his head,
cutting a sidelong look to Brendan. "Here's doing, Roach. To a
long, prosperous life or a quick, slightly painful .... " He
straightened instantly, his comment never finishing and he shot off an
uplift of chin somewhere across the room. "Fuckme." He growled
to himself, a momentary notice to the leftover glass, then back out into
He watched Rhazor, a slight smile on his face for the comment. Eyes
lowered as the tankard was slid his way, then lifted again. "Aye.
It's the right one." He was almost certain. Fingers curled
around the tankard and he prepared to lift it but then ... he looked to
where Rhazor had and cursed softly. There was no mistaking the large
man. Not Strykar but Westmoreland. He glanced at the extra glass, then
at the Quartermaster. This was not the way it was supposed to go! Heart
in his throat, he felt as if he were frozen to the spot.
Goddamnsonofabitchlickingbastardson no it wasn't supposed to go this
way. The crowd was parting to allow Eric passage and Rhazor leaned
forward, large hand palming the rim of the potioned tankard and drawing
it toward his chest. "That for me?" A large figure loomed up
to the left of Rhazor, Strykar reaching over to snag the tankard from
the quartermaster. "It is too damn hot here." The remaining
twin brought the tankard up to his mouth, Rhazor's lips parting in a
mimic of the upcoming action. Eric joined them, hand slapping down on
the wood of the table and the other reaching forward, claiming Rhazor's
mug. "Didn't order one for me?" The captain snarled before
nodding off to Strykar. "Sit down and eat, ye bastard. We have what
we came for, right Rhazor? We'll eat and set to sail again."
Rhazor's eyes were darting from one to another then over to Brendan then
to make that circuit again, even as he nodded. "Aye, Captain. The
witch said you can pay her as usual." With that, one hand raised to
catch the serving maid's eye, the other reached out and grabbed
Brendan's cup. This he brought up, shifting a look the boy's way and
holding his gaze as he took one long pull from it. No way of knowing
just how much he got, but he had to have some, by god. He had to have
some. The liquid inside that tankard splashed but didn't spill out as he
slammed it back to the table, reaching for that platter and nudging it
toward Eric. Captain first. They had to start eating to make the
illusion complete and if they all were going to be double over,
considering Rhazor's and Brendan's recent visit, they had to be able to
blame it on the foodrot. The girl brought Rhazor a tankard and the
quartermaster practically sucked down the entire contents.
Brendan wasn't sure what was happening at first, but then Strykar took
the mug and drank, Westmoreland took Rhazor's and Rhazor took a drink of
his. He finally lifted the returned mug for a drink. Ready or not. The
food would taste good no matter what they were drinking. Not so much
when it came up again. He patted the box on the table to show the Pirate
Lord it was in safe-keeping. The gunner tried not to think that this
could really be his last meal as he downed what remained in the tankard.
Lowering the now empty glass, he motioned to the serving maid again.
With the heat, no one would think anything about the need to refresh
While captain and crew ate and drank, several men approached the table,
spoke with the foursome, wandered off. Tatt'ed, scarred, pierced,
pocked...the lot of those that mulled about inside the tavern. Forty
five minutes fifty ... Rhazor had no way to follow the passing of time
except to watch for signs. The fact that he and the other men were wet
with sweat didn't mean anything. Until that twinge in his stomach. He
moaned low, too low to be heard. A slight shake of head to ward off the
approaching pain although he welcomed it at the same time. Pain for
passage. He could only hope his pain, wasn't Brendan's true demise. Eric
was seated directly across from the quartermaster and the captain
snatched an emptied lobster shell over to him, sniffing the remaining
hull. "Christ." A frown followed and he tossed the used
carcass back to the table. His fingers curled into the shirt covering
his gut and he narrowed a look toward Rhazor.
Brendan was relieved there was no clock in the tavern, or none that he
could see. He ate as much as the others, tried not to tap his fingers on
the table, and generally studied those around them. The men who spoke
receive a polite nod, but they weren't really talking to him. He felt
odd, and then a pang in his stomach had him placing his hand over his
stomach. He looked at Rhazor then at the Captain when he cursed. Strykar
got a quick glance but another pang had him swallowing hard. It was
happening, no doubt about it. He took a deep breath and another, then
wiped his brow. Hell, it was getting hotter in here.
Strykar clamped a hand to his midsection, to his mouth, his eyes wild as
he shot a glance around the room. His words were smothered behind that
tight hold. "We've been...poisoned." He careened from his
chair, bumping, staggering, stumbling his way toward the door that led
out. Erick shoved up, glaring across the table. "You bloody
bastard..." He started, but then at the table next to them, a man
howled out in distress and he pitched to the side, relieving his insides
of its contents along the side of the wall. Several others started
heaving and gagging. Rolling from their chairs in agony or fighting
their way from the confines to the cooler, more open air. Some to get
away from the foul sounds and sights. The others to vomit and wretch.
Eric spun on a heel, rushing for the door himself, shoulders jerking as
he fought back the need to expel the contents of his stomach in full
view of any others. Runnels of sweat poured down the sides of Rhazor's
face, his stomach clenching in painful spasms, his throat constricting,
mouth watering with the oncoming threat. He glanced once to Brendan,
then jumped to his feet, hand to the table as a support while he too
started to make his way from their current location in route to the
door. He didn't bother to notice that anyone with lobster, was now
writhing in pain. Across the room, a woman sat. All by herself. Not even
noticed by the men in full chaos. Those affected. Those responding to
those affected with fear they may soon enough prove to be. Her gaze
crossed the room to the younger boy. Her plate of lobster untouched. She
lifted her tankard to drink though. Tipping it his way by means of a
silent toast, then touched the rim to her lips. Could they not know
their future? Or could the future be anticipated...and prepared for...
with something as simple as the water...in which to boil lobster.
Brendan barely noticed the others as he doubled over, gasping at the
pain, and trying to stand before he lost everything in his stomach. He
heard the accusation Westmoreland made, watched the others stumble away
without really seeing. As the gunner choked back the bile, he looked up
and through the dim light saw the tip of a pewter tankard. Just for a
second and then she too was forgotten as he fought his way outside. He
stumbled over one person, fell to hands and knees, crawled forward and
then lost everything that had been in his stomach. Gods, it hurt worse
then he could imagine. He kept heaving but there was nothing left in his
stomach. Somehow he managed to stand, take a few steps and fell to his
knees again. His sight was fuzzy and his heart felt as if it would pound
right out of his chest, but he had two lucid thoughts. What if he had
picked Strykar's vial? And maybe he should pray for his soul. Any
praying would be forgotten as his stomach rebelled again. When that
passed, he was panting like a dog.
Men rolled in it. They knelt in it. They ran through it to get away.
They added to the putrid puddles. Rhazor hunched over, a hand to the
wall of the tavern, eyes watering and head dipped with the pounding.
Wave after wave of those forceful expulsions tore his throat raw. He
tried to search for Brendan, but his vision was blurred, his mind
blurrier. He had no idea where Strykar had taken himself. Or Eric for
that matter. At the moment he was alone in his misery even when
surrounded by so many incapacitated by "the rot". The less
seriously gripped, those who hadn't eaten as much as others, were
already blaming a bad catch as the source. It was common. It
happened...a lot. With the heat and shellfish...men had died from less.
There was something he needed, something he wanted from the ship.
Something Eric didn't deserve to have, even if he really was Brendan's
father. The boy was driven and he stood and staggered back to the Whore.
The gangplank had never seemed so long or so unsteady but he headed up
it slowly, one step at a time. When he reached the top, he leaned
against the rail and heaved again. Someone yelled out something about
drinking too much, and he just waved a hand, causing them to laugh. No
one stopped him as he made his way to the Captain's cabin, even when he
stepped through the door. The gunner made it to the desk, leaning there
as he tried to keep focused. He fell to his knees as a spasm racked his
body with pain. Finally, he reached for the drawer knob. The drawer
wasn't locked and he pulled it open a little too quickly, nearly
smacking himself in the face. There, among the letters left for the
Pirate Lord, was the lock of his mother's hair. He put it in the same
slot in his belt where he hid the key for the sea chest and slammed the
drawer shut. Westmoreland could have the letters but that lock of hair
was his. "Bastard." He mutter and then he stumbled out again.
Sweat poured down his brow, stinging his eyes as he made his way back
down the gangplank. He paused again as the heaving started all over.
Would it ever stop? Yes, it would. His laugh was more a choking sound
before he groaned. The gunner started forward again, knowing he needed
to move away from the Whore. He felt he shouldn't be found near
her and oddly enough he wanted to find Rhazor. Brendan could barely see
where the hell he was going but somehow he was close to the tavern
before his knees gave way and he fell to the ground. Every breath was a
struggle, his limbs felt heavy and he felt tears fill his eyes. Somehow
he managed to roll over onto his back. A spasm racked his body again,
causing him to breathe in short, shallow pants. There was so much pain.
And then, he looked up at a sky so blue that it hurt his eyes. One final
spasm caused him to curl up again and he felt numbness and cold taking
over his body. "I'm afraid," he whispered. Tears rolled down
his cheeks as he took a few deep, final breaths, then with one final
gasp, sounds faded, the sky dulled to black, and the rise and fall of
his chest ceased. Brendan seemed truly dead.