loudest_egan: (arms folded)
loudest_egan ([personal profile] loudest_egan) wrote2008-10-09 10:37 pm
Entry tags:

Prose log with Troy

Who: Skald and [livejournal.com profile] i_am_a_pisces
When: this morning, well before Lowma came calling
Where: the docks
What: informative discussion between two captains

It is a dreary autumn morning, mild but overcast with a hint of rain on the wet breeze, and Troy mentally tells himself to enjoy it while he can. A few years of northern living have taught the southern sea captain that this is the calm before the icy storm, and as he oversees some inventory on the docks, he can't help but sigh at the thought of another year of snow.

Admiral Egan was himself supervising some work, coming down off the ramp to make sure his crewmen were doing their duty hauling provisions off the ship. With him around, there was likely to be far less grumbling about it. He noticed Troy not far away and strode up behind him, all business and bluster. "Morning, captain!" he called out.

Turning, Troy recognized the admiral and nodded a greeting to him. "Good morning, admiral. I hope your ship is sailing well."

"She'll be a lot quicker once we offload some of these extra provisions." Skald gestured with a thumb over his shoulders at the laboring crewmen. "Not that I don't trust Bernadette, she knows what the winters are like here, but we don't need it all aboard ship when there's a perfectly good warehouse in the castle." His eyes wandered to the Kooluk warship for a moment. "Looks like the same business going on over here."

Troy nods. "I like the stores adequately stocked....but not to excess here. We are not going on any long journeys at the moment, and if we do not use it, then what is the point of taking up space?" He doesn't elaborate; both captains know the importance of space on a ship. "Although it would be nice to make one more trip to the Islands before the winter sets in."

"Hm...yeah, you've got a point." Skald rubbed idly at his chin as if thinking. There were a few men of both crews going to and fro on the docks, but no one of great importance. "I don't suppose you could answer me a few questions about the other Kooluk ship, could you? I'm not trying to pry for military secrets," he immediately added, holding up his hands. "Just a few things kind of bugging me."

Skald's request did not come as much of a surprise to Troy. He had been expecting something of the kind in the near future, especially after Colton's statement earlier in the week, but while he had deliberated on it, he was still unsure of how he felt speaking out of turn about Colton. He still had respect for the man, and while their situations were now different than in Kooluk, it still brought him up short to think of discussing his countryman to people that considered him a potential enemy. "What were you curious about?"

Skald folded his brawny arms over his chest and peered curiously at Troy. "Do you think he'd really haul off and blast the Zexen capital? Provoked or not?"

A small line between his brows was the only thing that betrayed Troy's inner thoughts. Long ago he would have said no...but now? Peace did not seem to be sitting well with Colton, and it takes Troy a long moment before he can respond to the man in front of him. "....I do not." He says it slowly, heavily, the words dragging out of him in doubt. "Colton was a well respected captain of Kooluk, and his military manuvers were most often successful..." Even if he did tend to favor a stronger hand, but the captain kept that particular part to himself. "He would have to be provoked first."

"All right, fair enough," Skald nodded, keeping his arms crossed and his blustery facade intact. "Now, I can't say as I hardly know the guy, just from what he says in public, but he strikes me as the kind who doesn't need a whole lot of provocation. And won't ask permission from the castle lord, either." He arched one hairy eyebrow. "Am I on the right track?"

"Colton has a....strong mind about defense." Troy's face was blank, his most diplomatic.

Skald's face twitched with obvious annoyance. "The castle's, or his own butt?" he snorted.

"Perhaps a bit of both. You know the saying: the best defense..." Troy said, smiling just a little at the older captain's expression. He does not mean to be irritating, but he is unsure of just what Colton would do now and he does not want to give false information...or betray an old friend.

"Yeah, I sure do." Skald lifted his head and looked away, pretending to follow the flight of a vee of geese over the lake. "I gotta tell you, captain, there's few things in this world that I just don't stand for. Pirates being pirates. Countries trying to expand their borders with the sword..." He gave Troy a sidelong glance from that position. "The thought of a Rune cannon being fired anywhere near here gives me the willies. It sounds like something I can't let happen, so long as I have the power to stop it."

"Kooluk was a nation of...ambition, admiral. It is difficult for old war horses to change after so many years." Troy's tone suggests that it is not just Colton he is speaking of, but his eyes are on his ship almost wistfully, sadly, as if he wishes that those wooden planks could explain what he cannot. "Pirates will be pirates, nations will always expand by force rather than diplomacy...." He looks back to Skald, dark eyes even and sure. "But the need for civilian deaths is not something that anyone should stand for."

Skald held his gaze and then nodded slowly. "I won't say I don't have my own stubborn ways of dealing with things. The pirates can attest to that. But I hear what you're saying." He heaved a long sigh and looked up at the rigging of his own ship. "Ah, she's served me well, I'd hate to have to watch her go down in a blaze of glory just to take out a Rune cannon."

It takes Troy a moment before he can think of appropriate words, knowing the importance of the knowledge he was just given. "Rune cannons are difficult to destroy. It would be a shame to lose a ship to that effort."

"Damn straight it would." Skald looked at him again with the sort of expression that said nothing and everything at the same time. "But I'll be damned if I have to sit by and do nothing while innocent lives are at stake. I'm not the type to wait for permission either, I'm a man of action. Even when I know I'm the underdog, I've still gotta fight."

Skald's stubborn determination to fight, and fight till he dies or wins, reminds him so much of the Island spirit he found during the war, trying to thwart him at every new battle, that he almost smiles. It seems some things never change. "Let us hope that it does not come to that, admiral."

"Yeah," Skald nodded in sincere agreement. "Well, that was all I wanted to know. I feel pretty well-informed, at least as much as I'm going to get." He turned away, his cape swirling around his legs. "I suppose I'd better get back to seeing that the Lino is made fast and light, and the crew is ready for anything."

"Indeed. Let us hope for a dull winter." Troy dips his head, a respectful farewell. "Good sailing, captain."

Skald raised a hand and waved it over his shoulder. "The same to you."

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