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Jun 23, 2021 8:37 PM
Thorn in Isekai
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She looks out on both sides of the ship. Any sign of the pirate vessel?

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There's a ship behind them, small and cutting through the water with great speed. There is a crude cloth covering on the side of the ship made to resemble clean wooden lines from a distance, but that's being torn aside by crew on the other ship to reveal a row of cannons.

This ship appears to be armed with only four ballistae on pivot mounts, two on each side. Hence the fleeing.

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Well, shit.

She stays abovedecks and waits for orders.

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Abyssia shouts something at the crew she's helping, then leaves them. The others get back to work after shouting an insult or two.

"Thorn! Cabin. The sea is theirs. Help me... Blood sacrifice."

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"Right. I'll help you." Her smile is shaky but it's there.

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"Thank you. I know it's... Serious. We have healing potions, though. And maybe you can contribute too. Let's go before they yell at me again or the pirates catch up. I didn't bother explaining."

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"Stop talking and get to it. What do I need to do?"

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Into the cabin. She practically dives into her bag for that wide, shallow bowl.

"Hold the bowl still, no matter how the ship rocks. And if you know how to pray, it can't hurt."

She hands it over and pours water in.

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She brings her telekinesis to bear on the bowl as well as her hands, holding it rock steady above the rocking ship.

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Bys bleeds into the bowl and prays. Thorn can understand what she's saying - calling for fortuitous winds and an escape from those that would do them harm.

They say she will need to do something for them in return, as this is an unusually large favor.

Bys says 'of course'.

They say they need some of Thorn's blood, too. Bys tells Thorn this, hesitantly.

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Thorn offers it willingly.

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Something about the ship's motion changes. The bowl goes clear.

Abyssia bandages Thorn's arm, then her own. She's shaking.

"I wonder... If I'm relying on them too much."

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"I don't think it's wrong to call on them. You just saved us a costly fight, maybe even our lives. And I'll help you clear that debt."

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"Maybe we could've beat the pirates... And it'd be a hell of a levelling experience if we could." She shakes her head. "Let's go."

She stands, then stumbles against the wall.

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Thorn hugs her. "Can you work like this? Take a potion at least."

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"Definitely... A potion." She grabs one and downs it.

The ship turns suddenly. There's a sound like rushing water.

"...Sounds like something important is happening?"

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"It does. Let's get you back on deck."

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"Right. Thank you."

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When they emerge on deck, they can see the pirate ship listing severely, with one of its masts torn clean through. Two groups are arguing in front of the captain, who is staring at the enemy ship.

"Ah, perhaps you can weigh in on the sudden misfortune our foes have encountered?" He gestures. "Regardless. Now there's a small question about what we do about it. Rescuing men and women at sea is in the finest traditions of sailing. But then again, they may decide to kill us all and be quite able to, if we do. Your opinions?"

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"I'm not inclined to give them the chance to board us. They knew what they were signing up for with a life of piracy."

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Bys looks conflicted, then glances at Thorn.

"I'm not sure... Admittedly I don't know much about pirates, but if you can save someone... We can take all their weapons and put them ashore so they don't, uh, plot. It just seems wrong to leave people to drown."

Especially when it's basically her fault they're all going to die. Even if it was self defense.

"Do you happen to know their levels and skills, or have a plan to hold hostile prisoners?" The captain asks dryly.

Bys shakes her head. "Is there some kind of local navy or patrol service we could alert to them?"

"Not as such," the captain comments. "We could hire a rescue crew but I'm even less inclined to do that, to be honest."

"Sell them the coordinates of the wreck?" Bys pleads. "They might have something valuable, and we're above the continental shelf so it's going to be two hundred feet or less..."

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"I could theoretically repair the damage to the ship if I were on it - okay, maybe not the snapped mast - but, again, it's not worth it. We'd put the lives of everyone aboard at risk again, getting close to them. It might be the right thing to do, but it's just not very practical."

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"It's going under in under five minutes, I think. Fuck."

"...As captain of this fine vessel," Szarn slowly muses. "It is my decision that we should not engage in rescue operations. There's a lot to consider here, but ultimately, they are pirates. I will alert someone I know who might choose to rescue them for bounties or to secure their loot, however."

"...Yes, Captain." Bys says. "I'm- I am responsible for the," she gestures and grimaces. "I can explain fully if you would like, but preferably somewhere private?"

"I will take you up on that this evening. There are things to do right now. Are you good to work?"

"Yes."

"Then get back to work. And miss Thorn, please stay out of the way."

Then he starts belting out orders to set sail again.

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Thorn goes back to her cabin, and broods. 

... she doesn't like being on the opposite side of an argument from Bys. Especially not one that critical. 

She'll just have to explain later.

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Bys can be found drinking in the galley grog circle that evening, looking frustrated.

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