Damphir, Fendar, Pirates
The pain caused from the silver bullet lodged in Fendar’s shoulder, stabbed at his consciousness until it finally drove him up out of the darkness he’d fallen into shortly after being brought aboard the pirate’s ship. That they hadn’t bothered to remove it, suggested the captain knew that even though small amounts of silver wouldn’t kill someone like himself, it would begin leaching away his ability to heal or recover enough to break out of the four by six cage they’d locked him in.
Needing something other than the pain to focus on, Fendar went back over everything he could remember about being shot and captured.
He, Pedal and Aryan, had been on their way to the monastery on Vashon Island, when their boat was spotted and shot upon by pirates – the arrow, a sentient weapon designed by the US military to seek out vital organs – missing him and hitting Aryan instead. It was decided, after taking her to the monastery, that he would return to the city and tell Spider and the others what happened, while Pedal stayed behind and waited for Aryan to recover from the surgery needed to remove the arrow.
Disguised as a monk, Fendar had taken one of the monasteries smaller boats, instead of the one they’d brought, in hopes that if he were spotted by the pirates, they wouldn’t attack or try to capture him. But shortly after getting out on the water, a storm rolled in from the south, keeping him so busy trying to stay afloat, he didn’t notice the pirate ship until it was too late. If he’d been shot with a regular bullet, the wound might have hurt like hell, but it wouldn’t have been enough to slow him down or keep him from reaching the Viaduct and disappearing into the tunnels. But they’d used silver instead, making him too weak to outrun them.
Fendar gritted his teeth as he tried to find a position that would ease some of the cramping in his legs without putting any more pressure on his shoulder.
When the ships crew hauled him up and dropped on the deck, a combination of the violence of the ships rocking and the bullet’s toxins caused him to vomit everything he’d eaten on the island, between the feet of someone with blue rubber soles. He couldn’t remember the particulars, but he thought one of those boots might have kicked him in the head, while somewhere above him, a man yelled to get the cargo below and clean up the puke. Everything after that it was a blur, until he woke and heard two of the crew talking about the captain having a buyer.
Knowing most pirates trafficked in flesh, be it human or otherwise, Fendar had a fairly good idea what they were talking about, even if they hadn’t given the details. said. What he couldn’t guess was, which of the Council of Four it might be. But since they all wanted the Damphir’s eliminated, he supposed the ‘Who’ didn’t really matter. Unless of course he did manage to find a way to take the bullet out, then he knew his chances against all but the Strigori, were better than good. And even against them, free of the silver’s poison, he could still inflict a lot of damage before they’d be able to take him down.
Now that he was finally awake he realized the vessel was no longer careening back and forth, which meant that the captain had either anchored in a harbor where the storm couldn’t reach them, or it had finally blown over. Since it didn’t feel like they were actually moving, he’ d have to go with the first; the captain had decided to hole up somewhere and wait it out. He was just thankful they hadn’t captured him near the island, otherwise someone might have spotted the boat, gone a shore and discovered the trail of Aryan’s blood.
Exhausted from his body’s struggle to try and purge itself of the bullet’s poison, Fendar closed his eyes and fell back to sleep. The next time he work, it was to the pain of someone prodding the wound in his shoulder. His jaw nearly cracked with the effort not to cry out. Opening his eyes, he found himself gazing into the hardened eyes of a man not much taller than himself, with thin lips and hair long enough to pull into a ponytail at the base of his neck. Like the companions to either side of him, the man’s features were a mixture of Asian and something else, maybe several something else’s. In the fading light it was hard to tell. To the right of Hard Eyes, was a man Fendar recognized as Captain Josiah Jyun. He assumed Hard Eyes had to be some kind of lieutenant, and the woman, maybe a second lieutenant. Since rowing small boats between the city and monastery was the sole extent of Fendar’s nautical experience, he neither knew nor cared. All he really needed to know was, once he found a way to get loose, who to kill first.
Hard Eyes leaned forward, threatening to prod him with the harpoon again. Fendar tried to scramble back, but didn’t get any further than the wire pressing into his back.
Captain Jyun reached over and laid a hand on the other man’s arm. “Let’s see if our cargo might not be forthcoming with the location of his friends, without using violence. Shall we, Mr. Maa?
Mr. Maa lowered the weapon, but didn’t withdraw it from the cage.
The captain squatted down, putting him on an eye-to-eye level with Fendar. “My name is Captain Jyun, and you are aboard my ship, The Nergal, and therefore belong to me. Earlier today, someone in a boat very similar to yours, was shot with an arrow. I need to know where that person is. And let me warn you, I have no tolerance for liars.”
It didn’t take a genius to figure out why Josiah Jyun wanted to find Pedal and Aryan. Being a pirate and flesh merchant, the captain would do whatever it took to meet the city’s supply and demand. There was no way Fendar was going to tell him about the girls.
“I don’t know anything about someone being shot. I’m from the monastery and was taking medicine to one of the tribes.” Theo had put some of the medicines used by the Humans and Morphkind into the satchel he’d been carrying, in case Fendar were caught and needed an alibi. “If you need proof that what I’m telling you is the truth, look in my satchel.”
The Captain’s eyes narrowed, sharpening his features. Stepping back from the cage, he nodded towards his lieutenant. ” Mr. Maa, please demonstrate to our cargo what happens to people who lie to me.”
The captain hadn’t even finished speaking before Maa drew back his arm and thrust the harpoon into Fendar’s side – piercing flesh without actually hitting any organs. Fendar nearly bit off his own lip to keep from screaming.
“He’s a Damphir. He’ll heal.”
“Yes. I’d forgotten. One of the perks of being related to the un-dead; a speedy recovery system.” Retrieving a bottle of water from the case behind him, the captain unscrewed the lid, took a long pull, than recapped it. “Yet, we must not forget, silver in the blood stream tends to slow that process down considerably, rendering them almost human. Hm . . . I’d like to see just how human. Mr. Maa, again if you don’t mind. “
On the deck above, The Nergal’s crew, all too familiar with Mr. Maa and Captain Jyun’s methods for getting information, went about their work, ignoring the screams coming out of ships hold.
The next time Fendar woke-up, it was to more than the wound in his shoulder. There was also the searing agony of multiple wounds, all of which were located in areas that would cause considerable pain, without being life threatening. And each time the captain and Mr. Maa had come back for another ‘lesson’, Jyun would remind his henchman how incredibly difficult it was to kill a Damphir without cutting off their head or ripping out their heart. Fendar might bleed like a stuck pig, but eventually, even with the bullets toxins in his system, his regenerative powers would, over time, heal the wounds. So far he hadn’t told the captain anything other than his original story. He prayed he still wouldn’t.
Without torch-light the compartment he was being held in was as dark as any cavern beneath the city. Even for someone like himself, whose very nature was a product of the night, he was finding it difficult to see much beyond the walls of his confinement. It didn’t help that he was finding it harder and harder to remain conscious. He almost laughed; not even a three-day stint guarding roof tops, with no sleep, had ever left him feeling this weak. He might as well be missing his head, for all the strength he had left.
His morbidity was interrupted by the sound of someone running on the deck over head. A few minutes later the thud of boots on steps and the flicker of torch-light in the passage outside his room, warned him he was about to have company. In his weakened condition, it took a few minutes before his eyes were able to adjust to the intrusion of light, to be see that Captain Jyun was the first one through the door, followed by Mr. Maa and a boy not much older than Trench.
Captain Jyun grabbed a bottle of water and thrust it into the cage. Fendar looked first at it, then the captain, all too aware of a shift in the man’s attitude. Jyun smiled. “The water is perfectly safe. I bottle my own.”
Fendar took the bottle, paused, twisted off the cap and drank the entire thing in one gulp. He’d been given nothing to drink since his first ‘lesson’, and with all the energy his body was expending in order to stop the bleeding, his hydration levels were dangerously low.
Settling into his customary squat, the Captain raised his own bottle as if saluting, then drank. When he’d replaced the lid, he leaned forward, his face almost euphoric. “I though you should be one of the first to know. One of my scouts just returned. It seems a boat matching the same description as the one we shot this morning, has been spotted on Vashon Island, on the beach below Gray’s Point. It seems you weren’t the only one to visit the monastery today.”