Fish out of water
Posted on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 3:33pm by Snot Rag Chops McGinty
Chapter 3: Mypos or Bust
Timeline: Day 2, morning
Herring Finn had not yet stepped off the ship, but the moment he awoke in his hammock he knew that today was the day. The green-skinned Elphin sat up and cracked his neck left and right. Maybe one day he would get used to sleeping above sea level.
Finn strapped one prosthetic arm on, then the other, and flexed his joints to check everything was working okay. One of the fingers on his left hand wasn't clenching properly, so he popped open the hatch on the inside of his forearm and set to work adjusting the gears with a small screwdriver. That's better.
Today Finn was determined to look his best. After shaving the dark green stubble from his head, the man donned his favourite red bandana and brown knee-length pants. He was ready to see Mypos. He signed his name on the quartermaster's ledger and stepped onto the docks. The sunlight beat down on Finn's bare chest, and he smiled. He was never going to get his land legs, but he was looking forward to spending some time with other Elphins. He'd served with plenty of them aboard various pirate crews, but what he really wanted to do was see how his people lived on Mypos.
He walked through the market quarter where humans and Elphins were mingling. There were even a few Kitlings and the occasional goat man. He didn't think much of the Ngafr and was quite happy that none were aboard the Steamhawke. Finn chatted with a few Elphin merchants. He told them stories of how his family earned their keep as travelling merchants before he started travelling to earn his own fortune. He left out the part about becoming a pirate, although it was obvious from his many battle scars that he hadn't had a peaceful life.
"I wish I had enough coins to buy that idol" said a woman, pointing at the merchant stand while talking to her friend. "If only I'd brought two more coins with me." Finn listened and smiled. It was indeed a beautifully crafted piece, Elphin in origin of course. She was a very pretty woman, for a human, and Finn had plenty of loose change in his pockets. "Here, it would be a crime to go home without that idol" he grinned and held out two coins. For an instant, the woman looked grateful, but then everything went wrong.
"Hold it right there!" shouted someone behind Finn. He turned around and found a guardsman pointing a pistol at him. The man was dressed in a dark blue uniform with a high neck and large gold buttons running from waist to collar. His hair was slicked back with oil and his moustache was twirling angrily. "You're under arrest for violating section twelve of the Elladian civil code!" he barked while stepping towards Finn. Finn was startled, but this wasn't the first time he'd gotten himself in trouble. He carefully raised his brass arms to show that he wasn't hostile. "Turn around and put your hands behind you!" shouted the guardsman, cocking his pistol to show just how serious he was. Herring did as he was told, and the guardsman shackled Finn's hands together. "May I ask what crime I commited?" The guardsman huffed. "No Elphin may converse with an Elladian woman!". Finn's gills flared with anger. "I thought these Elphins were Elladians too?". The only answer he got was a pistol whip to the head. A couple of the Elphins in the crowd looked like they wanted to help Finn, but they were held back by their friends. No sense in making a bad situation worse.
Finn's response was to flex his prosthetic arms and snap the shackles apart. He swung around and batted the gun from the guardsman's hands before he could respond. Finn's other hand was at the man's throat, but he was immediately taken off guard by a loud trumpet blast from across the way. It was another guardsman, who was sounding the alarm. Finn knew he only had moments to react. The hydraulics of his arms whirred as he tossed the first man through the air in the direction of the second. The Elphin was already on the move before the men collided. Finn turned and came face to face with another two guards. They were both pointing rifles at him, with deadly looking bayonets fixed to the end. One of the guardsmen swung his rifle and cracked Finn over the head with the handle.
The guardsmen stood over the unconcious Elphin. "To the high court dungeons with this one" nodded one to the other.