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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > Sick, dirty and mean
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 01:38 AM
Once Romain had been left with his last instructions, he had done something he had never done before. He had resigned himself to the fact that he was sick.
Appointing what men he thought he could trust to keep business running, he had retired to a room that the doctor thought suitably spacious and open to good winds to keep the miasma at bay. He was not certain what to do about this, but he thought that in the end, good food, rest and clean surroundings wouldn't make things worse. And it worked.
Well, it didn't whisk away his cough outright, but his fever broke, and he begun to feel slightly more alive than dead. If he didn't exhaust himself the couching was manageable, and he wasn't losing any more weight. There was one thing to be said for Cecilia, they had good food. He suspected the resident officers just wanted to keep him alive long enough for him to pick one over the other as successor, and thus he really didn't lack anything.
So, he was feeling better. In fact this was the third day running he got out of his bed and bathed on his own, feeling strong enough not to have any serious mishaps. He even shaved, and that was what he was doing at the moment.
He was sitting in front of a small mirror at the table, slowly but throughly erasing every trace of the stubble that had occupied his face during his illness. His shirt still hung a bit more on his body than it should, but he was trying to ignore it. Today he'd see if he couldn't chase someone down to get him his uniform again.
Bonet had been harder to replace than anticipated.
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 01:41 AM
"Good morning, Monsieur le Commandeur," said a polite, respectful, friendly, and utterly disembodied voice. "Sorry to interrupt. How are you doing this fine morning?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 01:44 AM
The voice made Renaud jump, neatly nicking his cheek. Swearing soundly but softly in aquitanian he pressed a towel to it, looking first at the door, then at the window.
Then he sighed.
"Commandeur Romain. I assume something important must have happened for you to use this way to contact me." He sounded annoyed and irritated, but continued to shave, his hand now steady.
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 01:48 AM
"Well, ah. Our mission has been successful," Andre answered. "Unfortunately, we were not able to capture the target alive, but we have--"
He raised an object wrapped in fabric, very gingerly. "I can open it if you want to see it. We're a few days outside of Mercer, so we're planning on putting in there."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 01:51 AM
"And pray tell Commandeur Romain, how would I see said head? The same way I see you? You look surprisingly like the thin air over my head, or maybe you are the boards in the roof above." Renaud looked up, but gruff though he might have sounded, his hand had shaken just a little bit.
"She is dead then? Kuleliti and nobody else?" He put down the blade, wiping his chin clean.
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 01:54 AM
"Ahh..." Andre looked a bit sheepish. "I forgot you can't see," he admitted. "We lost...about ten men?" he answered. "We have some injuries, too. But she is certainly, very much, dead, I am glad to report. We will have the head shipped to you?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 01:56 AM
"Shipped? You are not to be returning in person then Commandeur?" Renaud buttoned up his shirt, at least glad he had his pants on. This was why he disliked magic. You could never prepare for it.
"Tell me how she died. And..." His voice wavered for a moment "Tell me how old you would guess her to be."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 02:01 AM
"Hard to tell," Andre replied. "Weathered. At least forty? Fifty? One of my men shot her in the chest," he explained, not wanting to tell him which man, or that the man was in fact a woman.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 02:03 AM
"Ah..." There was a hint of relief in the man's voice, enough to take some of the tension out of his shoulders.
"Good. Now what was this about sending the head, are you concerned I will go back on my promise? You still have a substantial number of my men aboard."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 02:11 AM
"And they're going to be let off in Mercer," Andre replied. "The dwarves will take command of their ship back, and return her to Drunnandannon. I will ask your men to report to the Naval headquarters in Mercer, and my wife and I plan to resign our commission and settle down to await the birth of our child. It would be inconvenient for both you and us for us to return to Cecilia-- weeks out of our way, and you'd have to continue to keep us on payroll."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 02:15 AM
Renaud was silent for a moment, pondering what had just been said.
"It seems you have thought of everything Commandeur... I would be sad to let you go. I always hoped you would reconsider... but if you speak the truth, and I have no reason to doubt it at the moment, you have fulfilled your part of the agreement. As far as the Aquitinian navy is concerned, you are free to get on with your life."
He stifled a cough, but it was a small one, easily contained.
"Are you sure you cannot be persuaded to change your mind?"
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 02:22 AM
"I'm sorry, but no," Andre replied. "My wife has a baby coming. We want to both be on land, together, when the baby is born, sir. You knew from the beginning that this was only a short-term deal."
And then he paused.
"I also wanted to alert you, sir. The ships you promised us for back up? They never appeared."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 02:28 AM
The first bit made Renaud nod, as if it had been expected. "The offer will stand as long as I do Commandeur. You might find yourself in need of a good income once your child arrives. The navy pays well and takes care of their officers."
But the latter made the frown return. "They did not? No trace?" He sounded rather disturbed at that, cursing loudly enough to break into a cough.
Once he had recovered, he added "I would make sure of one thing Romain. Keep yourself alert. It might just be that they got distracted by other business in case they are fools that should be demoted, or it could be that they hang back to make you take the brunt of the attack, possibly get sunk. Then they would be heroes." Another cough. "They have no way of knowing you are in contact with me like this. If they get an opportunity, they might just... well, let it be said some men goes a long way for a promotion."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 02:34 AM
"I was concerned that it may have been an empty promise," Andre told the man grimly. "I have your word that it was not? You did send men?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 02:36 AM
"You have my word I did. If nothing else believe in my intent. I wanted that bitch dead, any way possible. I wanted to hedge my bets." Renaud sounded rather disturbed there.
"But I am new here. I am still not sure what officers are trustworthy or not."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 02:51 AM
Andre nodded, forgetting that the man couldn't see him. "Understood. I've found myself in that position plenty of times of late," he admitted. "It's...I know this is your world, at least, but there's quite a lot not to be trusted. I appreciate the offer, but to be honest, I'm not fond on any Navy, really. Not just yours. If there's some other way we can do business..." he offered. "Outside the navy. I might consider it."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 02:55 AM
"Trustworthy men are hard to come about. Do me one favor, think about the offer at least. You are not a single man any more. If anything should happen to you the navy would make sure she is taken care of."
He seemed honestly concerned about Andre's wellfare, but right now the man had rid him of one of the old ghosts that haunted him.
"Aquitaine always has a need for competent men, even outside the navy though."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 03:00 AM
"Outisde the Navy, I might consider," Andre answered. "If my wife likes the idea. After the baby is born. Do you...would you like me to speak to Judith about your missing ships?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 03:03 AM
"If you would..." He stifled a cough, then added "And send her my best wishes. This place is dull without her."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 03:05 AM
The man laughed agreeably. "Of course, Commandeur," he answered. "Is there anything else I can do? Orders when I get to Mercer, before I turn in my resignation?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 03:14 AM
"Make sure that the head is sent to me. I assume there might be someone trusty amongst the men placed on your ship. I want to see the bitch dead. Until then..." He shook his head, fingering the razor.
"There is... one more thing. I don't assume it will concern you, but you never know. Kuleliti had a daughter."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 03:16 AM
"Yes, I know that," Andre reminded the older man. "Remember the part where I asked you when you were going to tell me about her?"
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 03:19 AM
"Vaguely. I remember being quite sick at the time as well, trying not to make it show." He could admit to that now, once it all was over.
"I am not sure if she would go after you for what you did to her mother. I am hoping that she will leave well enough alone... but Commandeur?" He paused, then started once more "Romain... if you have an option, do not kill her. Please."
The word sounded odd in the man's mouth.
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 03:25 AM
Andre raised an eyebrow at the mirror. "If I have an option, I will be far, far away from her, sir," he answered.
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 03:30 AM
"I think we are all praying for that option."
The silence just kept going on as he struggled to decide what to say. Finally he settled for "If you talk to Judith, tell her about what have happened. She should know that Kuleliti is dead. In case her daughter targets them instead."
Posted by: Andre Romain Jul 6 2008, 03:32 AM
"She already knows," Andre assured the man. "I told her before anything else. I'll be in touch," he offered. "If you have anything else you want to tell me, please send a letter to the headquarters at Mercer, and I'll check in there now and again. Feel better, Commandeur."
Posted by: Renaud Moreau Jul 6 2008, 03:36 AM
"I will. I plan to."
Renaud stifled another cough, pondering. That mirror might be handy, but it was also magic. To be able to do something like that more reliably between ships, or cities.
How the world would change.
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