Swords at Dawn
Chapter 2: The Map says 'Go Here'
Location: Deck of the Steamhawke
All was calm on the deck of the Steamhawke for a change as Brem leaned on the rail looking skywards. The crew moved about with a grace normally only found in a crew who had been together for years, a call went up from someone and got answered from someone else but there was no stress in any of it.
Brem stood pondering things, mainly some sort of communication system from the helm to the engine room, but other, smaller things as well. In one hand he had a small, dirty rag and in the other he was running a cog over his fingers, he had meant to clean it while out there but hadn't gotten around to it yet.
Suddenly a hand clapped him on the shoulder and a voice said "Silver for 'em, sailor." It made Brem jump slightly and the cog tumbled over the side. He turned to face Dorothea O'Toole, the woman the captain had made first mate. "Not seen you around, you one of the engineers? I hear your chief is a bit of a hard arse."
Brem looked into her eyes and replied "I'm Brem de Berg, Chief Engineer on this bucket."
At this Dorothea's face dropped, "I.. I... didn't mean your a hard arse persay" she muttered "Its just what people say, you know?"
"Hmmm" was Brems immediate reply.
After a moment or two of the pair looking at each other Brem said "You made me drop my cog."
"I'm sorry for that, but you shouldn't be so jumpy. You look like you need to blow off some steam." With this, Dottie looked Brem up and down. The man looked tense, and it would be dangerous to have somebody like that in charge of the engines. "Do you always carry that old sword around?" she smirked. "Aren't you scared it will get caught up in one of those rusty gears?"
"Those gears aren't rusted!" Brem barked. "And neither is my sabre!" Quick as a flash he had the tip of his blade at Dottie's throat, but when he glanced downwards her sword was against his neck as well. "How did you move so fast?" he asked her. "I'd ask the same of you" smiled Dottie, "you could be in better shape. How about a little workout? A sword fight would get the sweat going". "I'm quite used to sweating, O'Toole, or haven't you heard where a chief engineer spends most of his time?". Dottie's smile turned into a grin. "Let's give the crew something fun to watch!"
Brem flicked his sabre and it sang as it hit Dottie's. The sound echoed across the deck and all of the crew who could see, turned to look. Dottie stepped back in one motion, her blade came around Brems. The grins on both of their faces spread as Brem swung a high, downwards swipe just to be met by an upwards block. Dottie held the blades there for a moment before she pushed and slightly over balanced Brem.
He stumbled back a few paces as Dottie came in with three fast lunges, each pushing Brem back another step. It wasn't until he felt hands behind him that he realised the crew had formed a human barrier on either side of the fight.
"Go high!" one voice called, "punch him" another cried but most of them just added to the general din of the crowd.
Brem went on the offensive with a faint left before running right. The move took Dottie by surprise and she jumped out of the way of the charging Brem. As she did though, her blade nicked Brem on the arm. He touch the wound and looked at the blood on his fingers, "First blood" he mumbled as the crowd cheered more at the sight.
The two both charged together and the clash of steel rung out, the fighting to close to make out most of the moves, before one had finished another had started. Where the pair moved away from, spots of blood were left.
Suddenly one of the blades was buried into the rail.
Dottie had her blade levelled at Brems chest, they were both panting hard. "Looks like I won" she said between breaths.
In one quick movement Brem used his palm to swat the blade left before grabbing her wrist. He applied slight pressure which made her drop the blade with a clatter. "Aghh!" she called as he let go. "Looks like a draw now" he replied.
"Yeah" she said with a wink. Both of them had many cuts over their arms and Brem had a shallow cut under his cheek.
Brem held out his hand and Dottie shook it. "If you need to blow off more steam, you know where to find me." she said with a nod towards the captain.