A special mission in town
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: Harling Pass
Chago was getting dressed with the new clothes, which was a sign that he intended to go to town. He didn't like what some of the crewmembers had done lately, getting drunk and frightening the locals, and he definitely wasn't this kind of man. He got on the deck, worrying if he'd find Myira or not to accompany him. Lately she wasn't much around for him, and this intrigued and worried him.
Almost immediately the deckhand was approached, accosted even, by Mistake. The doctor had been pacing around Steamhawke's deck for the past few minutes, waiting for someone to appear. Faziel, his original go-to person for help, had been busy with cargo logistics. Chago's attire did not go unnoticed by Mistake, and it was with a bright smile that he asked the pirate a question he already knew the answer to. "Heading to town, are you?"
Chago looked at the doctor. He knew that he had been the one to patch up Carol and Melisande. A doctor was always good to have around. "Yes, I am. Why, would you like some company on the way? Actually I was wondering what you'd recommend someone who doesn't want to spend his time at the Iron Buffalo..."
"Well, that depends. The Roosting Cockerel's a pretty nice place. Quaint with good food, and not too nosy. Up until someone told them that I'd joined the dastardly pirates' crew, that is. Now they're holding my things hostage and asking for a ridiculous sum of ransom." Mistake spread out both hands in a gesture of wry helplessness. "I was hoping you could help me with that actually."
This was a nice tip, and Chago was ready to thank him... until the doctor added the part that they were asking for ransom for a doctor's clothes. Time for justice being done, and for some action, not to get rusty, in the help of a fellow... "That's ridiculous from them. Wait a moment, I'll bring my sword and my dagger too. These might persuade them, if used well."
"Thanks." Mistake smiled brightly shifting from foot to foot as he watched Chago disappear back down the deck. He caught sight of another figure crossing the deck, and recognizing the brunette as one of the more...enthusiastic pirates with regards to confrontations, proceeded to wave. "Hey!"
Carol’s gaze, as well as her posture, tilted creakingly to the side as a grimace of annoyance came across her face, stopping her in her tracks. It seemed lucky for all involved that most of her weaponry was missing and that she still had a bit of trouble keeping her footing. She still had her pistol, though, but further fortunately she wasn’t that great of a shot with it. Hopefully everyone else would be safe. The woman turned to face the shout in her direction. “Ye’, what?” she shouted back, grouchily.
Chago didn't have any special fondness for Carol, but she was one of the crewmates. This was enough to respect her, especially that he had seen her working aboard the ship and it gave a totally different impression than her drunken brawls. As he was returning well armed when the doctor shouted for her, he understood first. Doc was trying to raise a little army in his favour. Things weren't looking nice. He expected big troubles there.
"We are getting ready to go to town," Chago answered her. "Do you want to come with us? There is another tavern he wants to show us."
Normally Carol would have jumped at such an offer, however right now she was anything but normal. Her legs, though mostly appearing fine, were still incredibly painful. Having them all but reattached tended to do that. Plus she was still without a proper weapon. Sure, she could handle herself without one well enough, but even so it was nice having a good sword at your side.
She waved her hand dismissively at Chago. She had better things to do right now. Well, not really, but anything was better than walking into town barehanded with crippling leg pain nipping at you. “Tch, I got no reason to head anywhere with the likes of ya’” she remarked coldly as she headed off towards the door to the lower decks. “Have fun gettin’ killed on yer own.”
Chago wasn’t regretting her absence though.
“Come on, we’ll manage in two. I assume you can hold yourself in a fight, can’t you?”
The doctor didn't answer, so Chago couldn't know he hadn't got the occasion to fight before.
The interior of the tavern itself was bustling as normal for such an establishment. Loud, coarse, and gruff chatter and laughter could be heard across the confines of the huge room, with various menfolk, a handful of womenfolk, and tavern girls chattering loudly and drinking all sorts of alcoholic beverages. But once they saw the doctor appearing, a fat middle aged woman, with apron and bonnet, most likely the tavern keeper, said immediately:
"The one who is in league with the pirates doesn't have what to do here! We are a respectable tavern!"
"Indeed? So respectable? Then what about my luggage? I came to pay you what's due, then to exempt you of my presence."
He wanted to go upstairs when three angry-looking men blocked his passage, with a similar message than the one conveyed by the owner. Apparently, they wanted him to go away without taking what belonged to him.
Chago saw it and he drew his machete:
"The man wants only what is lawfully his, and we'll leave afterwards. In peace, if you let us do it. But if you try to stand against him, your blood will be spilled here."
“What about yours?” somebody answered, producing a flying dagger which Chago barely ducked. Others have come with their fists, a few fellow crewmen were there and raised chairs in Chago’s defense (and their own, no doubt) but the doctor had overcome somehow the man-barrier and was getting upstairs packing.
Chago had the machete in his right hand, the sword-breaking dagger in his left, and he started cutting. They had been warned. A man among those gambling in a corner jumped on a table, saying something about pirates among decent townsfolk… and in the next moment, both the ones crowding around the cards table, where a few “Steamhawke” people were trying their luck, and those around the bar counter were at each other’s throats.
The scene was becoming a nightmare, especially for the innkeeper, who protested loudly, in vain, seeing her place starting to get destroyed. Chago availed himself of the others’ diverted attention and he went up on the stairs, right in time to meet the doctor, who had taken everything and he was descending with his luggage.
Chago didn’t offer to help him, as he needed his hands free. The passage was blocked again. He threatened two of them with the swords and they backed off, while a third lunged at the doctor. One of the big bags, not the one with fragile items, swept the attacker off his feet and threw him on the stairs, rolling down to the ground floor, into the crowd.
That was the quickest method to make sure they were able to reach the door.
“You owe a bottle of liquor to the crewmates who have helped us,” Chago said when out.