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Thursday, June 18

Naoke: Part 10 – Sole Survivor

The lookout on the crow’s nest shouted, “Land, ho!”

Not far away lay a verdant island, lush with vegetation. Though the island itself was rather small, no more than two miles across, it teemed with life. Most of the island was a dense jungle, and birds flew above the treetops in great number.

”Mariners anchor here and meet on th’ shore in informal gatherings,” said Captain Baldric. “To exchange gossip and inexpensive trade goods. Personally, I’ve never harbored thar. But if ye be willing t’ take a look, we can drop anchor.”

“No,” said Ilmarė sternly. “No more islands. We have enough stragglers and enough grief.”

“I’ll go,” said Kham. “I want to stretch my legs.”

“Me too,” Vlad added eagerly.

“Fine,” said Baldric. “Ye’ve got three hours to conduct an investigation, just in case thar be something of value.”

Kham and Vlad took six crewmembers with them. Given the extra mouths to feed, Baldric secretly hoped they would gather up more food. The ship was getting crowded.

They rowed to the island. The white beaches bore evidence that the place had been used as a port by many vessels throughout the years: old longboats and dinghies were here and there, along with the detritus that sailors left behind after an excursion ashore.

Kham led them deeper into the jungle. “Maybe we can find some fruit or something to eat.”

“Anything but rations!” said Vlad. The pirates shouted in agreement.

With a roar, a horned beast crashed through the jungle, plowing into Vlad and the pirates. Only Kham dived aside in time. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:33 AM


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