Meanwhile, Hernan and several Aurora crew are climbing down the rope ladders to board the La Partizane. Zachary, Robert and Sheena are expecting them near the bow.
This is too easy, Hernan thinks. Robert and Sheena are really good fighters, so it’s not possible for them to surrender without a fight. I must be very, very careful.
With that thought, Hernan walks towards the fugitives.
‘Don Hernan y Parvaez, welcome to Dewblossom. I am Sheena Mekh’ta, the captain, am so honored by your visit.’
‘You seem to achieve much since we fought side-by-side in Enia’s Sanctum, Sheena the Bladedancer,’ says Hernan, as politely as ever.
‘Well, I owe my success to my first mate here, Robert Chandler. He gave me my lucky break after his jailbreak. You do know Robert, don’t you?’
‘Of course I do. Hi, Robert. It’s been a while. Nice to see you here.’
Robert replies curtly, ‘I wish I can say the same to you, Don Hernan, depending on what you will do to us next.’
‘Escorting you to Aurora, of course,’ says Hernan with a gentlemanly tone. ‘...to talk with Adler and Eidos.’
‘Lo? Didn’t we tell you to come on board and talk?’ says Sheena. ‘I mean on board the Dewblossom, not the Aurora!’
‘WHAT?’ says Hernan in a shock, then he tries to compose himself and acts gentlemanly calm in this trap of words. ‘What do you mean? Don’t you guys want to surrender and avert senseless bloodshed?’
Sheena answers, ‘We corsairs live with one code: never surrender. We’d rather fight to the death than rot behind bars. But in this case, we just want to talk to explain our actions. So, I need you, Adler and Eidos down here to negotiate things over and reach a mutual agreement. I think he’ll be interested to what we’ll offer him.’
‘Don’t fool me, Sheena. You know Adler doesn’t talk with non-nobles, no matter how powerful or heroic they are, let alone setting foot on this degraded, dishonored ship. Eidos? You’ll never get a decision out of him, he’s always Adler’s lapdog. So, let me do the talking on their behalf.’
‘Hmm,’ says Sheena with a slight pause. ‘Very well then, what do you propose?’
‘You may keep your freedom, Sheena Mekh’ta, with a price. We will take Robert and Zach under custody – they’re already condemned men. And we’ll also claim the Le Partizane – it’s not yours. You and your men come with us to “escort” the fugitives to Vochaux. We will make up a story for them and you and your men will be free to go.’
‘Sounds like a perfect plan,’ Sheena replies. ‘But it’s not as perfect as it sounds.’
‘Of course. I altered the original plan because of your unexpected response, so we must work on the technicalities later.’
‘No, no, it’s not that. You don’t get it, do you? There are two things that will never work here:
One, losing Robert and Zach will be painful enough for me, but I will never surrender my ship without a fight! Oh, yeah, and the name is Dewblossom, not Le Partizane.
Two, no matter how perfect your plan is, the end result is the same: me and all my men hanging on the gallows.
So, sorry, mate, we can’t follow your plan. But we suggest a NEW plan...’
Suddenly Baxter and Ellephar seize Hernan from the back, although Hernan’s hand is ready to draw his Rapier Albatross.
Hernan protests, ‘Hey! You all chose death?’
‘Yeah, and you’re coming with us,’ says Sheena. ‘But before that, let’s see if my plan works.’
In Skyship Aurora, Captain Quazar the centaur is startled by the development on the deck of Le Partizane.
‘What’s wrong, Captain?’ says Eidos.
‘They’ve arrested Hernan, Master Eidos,’ says Quazar.
‘That fool,’ says Adler. ‘He failed me for the last time. Prepare to fire all blasters!’
‘But... wait, Lord Adler! There are our men down there!’ says Eidos hastily to warn Adler not to make a foolish decision.
‘It’s a worthy sacrifice! Don’t try to question my judgment, Eidos, or you’ll join them down there, sinking into the abyss!’
‘Lord Adler!’ Quazar speaks loudly. ‘They’re waving signals again! They want you to come on board the Le Partizane!’
‘NO WAY! I’m not going down to that filthy, degraded ship! FIRE, I say! FIRE! Or you will lose our heads!’ screams Adler with rage.
There is no response from all people aboard the Aurora, nobody’s moving at all.
‘Oh, so you all turned against me, eh? Is this a mutiny?’ says Adler.
‘Don’t force us to, Lord Adler,’ says Quazar. ‘Don’t forget, I’m still the captain of this ship. All crews take command from me only, except if I’m absent and I still have my first mate. You’re the owner, yes, but the well-being and loyalty of the crews is my own responsibility.’
Eidos adds, ‘If you’re unjust, then we won’t respect you as our leader anymore. If you kill Hernan who swore to be your partner to make sure Kraal’shazar doesn’t make you Vordac’s Heir, you’ll betray Vadis’ trust, turn all Forces of Light against you, and you’ll be alone against the world.’
‘Is that a threat, Eidos?’ asks Adler.
‘You may think so, but I say this is the truth,’ Eidos answers.
‘Hrrgh! Never, I say never in my life someone disobeyed me! Abort that command! Lower a rope for me! I will deal with those rabbles myself!’
Adler walks out from the control room, then turns back and points his finger towards Eidos and Quazar, saying, ‘I will never forget this humiliation. Mark my words.’
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