Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Timeline: Day 3 after arrival
"Get that stowed away" Brem called down to the engine room as he walked towards the deck. Getting things ready to be away from the ship was taking time, he didn't want things to go completely to hell while he was away. People were busy doing what they had been told to do but they were in Brems way. He needed air, things were feeling to close on the ship.
Chago heard the call and, as for the moment being he had nothing to do, he asked the Chief Engineer:
"Do you need any help?"
He was strong enough for "stowing away" things, even if he wasn't skilled on the technical side, and he knew that, if the work the Chief Engineer had in mind was one requiring strength and resistance, it would be good exercise for him too.
...Good exercise for what? As a mercenary, he had got accustomed to think about keeping in shape, not allowing his body to lose the agility in moves... but was he going to be a mercenary anymore? That was not likely, but his mind had accepted it only partially.
"No, it's crowded enough in the engine room. My men can take care of it." Brem looked at the deckhand and remembered his name. "But I could use some company while taking a break, Chago," he said. Brem wasn't usually very social, but taking a break meant being able to get a drink and some time in the open air. If he were seen talking to a deckhand, people would assume he was giving out instruction for packing and storing things. They would leave them alone for a while.
Using his company while taking a break? This was a little unusual for the less talkative Chief Engineer. Chago smiled and answered:
"I have nothing else to do. I'd be delighted to share a drink with you."
It was less unusual to see the Chief Engineer unwinding with a mere sailor aboard a pirate ship than aboard a merchant one, as there was less hierarchy. Still it was a little unusual, and Chago wondered if it was casual or Master Brem de Berg had something in view. He had his whole attention.
"Hmmm" Brem said "If I remember rightly there is a few bottles of the good stuff hidden away behind the wheel. Follow me and let's have a gander if we can find them."
Chago raised a brow. It sounded tempting, and if the Chief Engineer knew their hidden place, it meant he had been involved in placing them there - they belonged to him. It wasn't as if they were stealing the captain's secret stash and getting in trouble for it, were they?
"It sounds interesting," he said, a smile on his lips.
The pair made their way towards the rear of the ship, making sure no one was paying them more attention than would be normal, Brem looked around for the hiding place. It took him a few moments before he saw it, but neither the less, he soon noticed the loose board near the rear of the ship.
"See that board, the one next to the small hole? It's loose, if you get it up and put your hand in, then you should feel 2 bottles."
Chago did as told, even if in his mind he was still wondering why him, if the other knew so well how to reach them.
Soon he passed a bottle to Master Brem, and he kept one to himself.
"A toast should be the starting point," he remarked casually.
"To the Steamhawke?" Brem asked.
This sounded a good choice, since they were her crew.
"To the Steamhawke and her crew, and to the success of our endeavours!"
If he had failed his mercenary assignment, it didn't mean that he didn't want at least the treasure they said they were after.