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 A Tour For The New Recruit., Tag: Antoinette
Giles Laurent
Posted: Sep 4 2011, 11:01 AM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



Date: 1-st of July 1719
Place: The Docks of Port de Paix, Le Phenix


The sun rose over the horizon as Giles stood on the deck of the ship. He watched the sun rise a happy man. He knew what he wanted out of life, and he was so close to having it. There were a few things to get out of the way in the mean time -- the first being his duty to his ship. Giles longed more than anything to have his own command, perhaps the Governor would help him with that. He had no idea what was to come in the marriage between himself and Marie... A smile warmed Giles' face almost as much as the morning sun warmed the sea. Every time he thought about her, he got butterflies in his stomach. He had proposed about a week previous.

After a few hours of organizing tasks aboard to get the ship in proper fashion, Giles was feeling great. He hadn't actually told the men to come to the ship, but he had written down a list of tasks to complete before they shoved off again. He wore a simple loose shirt, a waistcoat of a more casual nature, trousers, boots. He was not in uniform, but it occurred to him that he should be. The difference of his appearance from the last few weeks was that he didn't have a stark white sling tied to keep his arm immobile. This was the first day he could walk around without it. The wounds were beginning to heal.

The time slowly passed as he waited for their new recruit. Antoine, Giles thought was the name. He didn't recognize the family name, either, but that wasn't surprising. France was a large country. The memory of leaving France came to his mind and he sighed. He felt sad that he would never make it back to France because of his bride. It was a fair trade, his homeland for the woman of his dreams.

Giles retreated to his quarters for a few minutes to get into his uniform. That would be better attire to tour the ship in, to display his authority over the new sailor. He wondered if this sailor was as inexperienced as he had been when he first set foot on a boat. The thought of his first trip to sea clouded his mind as he slowly put his full uniform on. He went back to the deck of the ship and leaned up against the mast. The position of the sun told him it was almost ten in the morning. That was the hour of truth. Would this new recruit show his face? Giles went down on the docks to wait so that he might catch the boy's eye when he approached. He stood in his usual, straight-backed posture with his hands clasped loosely behind his back.


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Antoine Leroux
Posted: Sep 4 2011, 02:59 PM


Unregistered









Antoine had never felt so small as she did in this moment, meandering along the dock towards the naval ship. It was packed with men, barking out coarse orders and remarks as they went about their daily labor. It was no place for a teenage girl, yet here she was in the midst of it, completely ignored. Antoine was not used to being ignored. Although she came from a low-class family, Antoine had grown up spoiled with attention. Being the only girl of five children, her parents had always worried more over her than any of her brothers. After all, boys could take care of themselves. And they took care of Antoine as well. When she went out with her brothers, Antoine could not help but feel special, like she had an entourage of guards ready to start a fight with any passerby who made a lewd comment about their sister. For her entire life, Antoine had been the girl amongst the boys and loved the special treatment that came with it.

A man hoisting one end of a massive crate slammed into Antoine and knocked her to the ground. "Watch where yer goin', boy!" he spat down at her brusquely before trudging on without so much as a second glance.

Antoine's jaw dropped in silent outrage for just a moment before she realized this was a good sign. Her costume was flawless. Not a soul had noticed anything off about her. They just saw a skinny, dark-eyed boy on his way to work. She was on her own now and needed to get used to blending into the scenery. With a sigh, Antoine stood up and straightened her clothes--technically her elder brother's clothes, which she had stolen the night she ran away. She ran her hands through her hair, or at least attempted to out of habit, but her fingers only ran over the soft flesh of her scalp. This persona was still new to her, and minuscule moments like these occasionally caught Antoine off guard. She could see the Naval official awaiting her at a distance, though he did not seem to have spotted her yet. What if he saw right through her?

She took a deep breath in. Get into character. She reminded herself that she'd done this before, she had played Jeanne d'Arc and Viola, when she would perform small plays for her family after supper. She was a decent actress and an excellent liar. Even though she had never so much as been on a ship in her life. That could be a problem. Antoine had seen plenty from a distance, but knew nothing of what was going on aboard. She swallowed down the stress welling up within her as she approached the lieutenant, who gave off an intimidating air of authority.

Antoine halted before him and did her best to sound confident yet respectful as she spoke. "Good morning, sir. My name is Antoine Leroux, I'm the new recruit."
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Sep 5 2011, 12:48 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



An air of authority was just what Giles needed. He generally felt like he was too mousey to be a lieutenant. He would rather have a gentle voice than bark orders, and given his druthers, he'd rather be reading than doing either of those things. When at sea and he had no duties, Giles just sat in his bunk and read the day away. When he couldn't sleep at night, Giles would read to keep his mind from wandering to less happy subjects.

He only saw the new recruit when the boy stopped in front of him. The bald headed new recruit was going to get so very sunburned at sea. He felt almost bad for the lad. He saluted and a genuine smile came to his face. "Antoine... right on time." He said, as he reached his hand out. "I'm Giles Laurent... First Lieutenant of Le Phenix. We're glad to have you aboard." He shook the boy's hand firmly, the grip of a man who knew how to shake. He was well trained. Giles liked shaking hands with the new recruits. No matter how many of the sailors he gave the tour, he still liked to introduce himself in a gentle manner, because he wouldn't be yelling... but he wouldn't let them undermine his authority either. In this way, he might be a good captain if given the chance.

"Have you ever sailed with any ship before?" he asked, as he led the lad aboard. If the lad had sailed before, there would be no need to go over the rudimentary things, but a new sailor and a new navy man would be harder to train. Once they made it to the deck of the ship, Giles turned to face Antoine again. He gave no indication that he believed Antoine was anything other than what he appeared to be. He looked to be a good lad and Giles took it at face value.


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Antoine Leroux
Posted: Sep 6 2011, 03:33 AM


Unregistered









Antoine was taken off guard by her first impression of the French lieutenant. She had this preconceived notion of military commanders as strict, harsh, and cold. Yet the man before her introduced himself with a surprising warmth. He seemed quite benevolent, the precise opposite of what Antoine had been expecting from him. Even so, the firmness in his handshake suggested that he was no pushover, despite these qualities.

As they stepped onto the deck together, Antoine did her best to look indifferent. The truth was, she had just been hit by the reality of what she'd gotten herself into. She ran away from home. There's no way she could ever see her family again, they all believed she was dead. She had signed up for the French navy. This was no place for a little girl, and there was no getting out of it. She would have to train, fight, and sail just as well as the men. It was daunting and dangerous and… slightly thrilling?

When Giles asked if she had sailed before, Antoine decided it would be the one question she would answer honestly. He seemed like a compassionate man, perhaps she could appeal to his sympathies.
"No, sir, I have not. I'm here because I have nowhere else to go," she replied.

"But I'm a quick learner. And a hard worker," she added eagerly, in case he turned out to be more severe than she thought.
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Sep 6 2011, 05:58 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



Giles nodded to Antoine. "Nowhere to go is a common reason for young men to join our Navy. Either that or a romanticized view of the sea life or what that entails. I do hope there was a little bit of patriotism in your decision to sign on with our French Navy, Antoine. We are a patriotic bunch." He smiled and began a circuit of walking along the deck of the ship.

"Your duties are simple, and you will learn the parts of our ship quickly. Many young men do learn quickly. You seem to be a bright fellow and I have no doubts thus far about your ability to be a good sailor." Giles paused. "I will show you some of the most important parts of the ship today, including both where my quarters, the captain's quarters, and your bunk are. These are important for if you have any troubles with the crew, you can come to either me or the captain... I will give you this advice in deciding. The Captain is the one who hears about problems when they are too escalated for his lieutenants to handle. If you believe your situation to be too much to handle with us, you may go to him."

Giles spoke slowly and clearly in a firm voice. This was simply to make sure he was being fair in his walkabout. "Before I show you the places on this ship, do you have any questions for me, Antoine?"


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Antoine Leroux
Posted: Sep 7 2011, 05:00 PM


Unregistered









Antoine trailed behind Giles like a lost puppy as he strode around the deck, explaining the basics to her. Yet for some reason his comment about patriotism remained at the back of her mind. Antoine had never really thought about patriotism before. She was proud to be French, but� it's just land, who cares? Antoine had never even seen France, and most likely never would, so it was difficult for her to feel the emotional attachment that patriotism requires. Of course, she kept these thoughts to herself in front of the lieutenant. Antoine was born and raised on Hispaniola, and felt that this melting pot of cultures was her homeland. She had even adopted the Creole lilt in the speech of the native children when she was young, to her parents' dismay. At the moment Antoine was speaking in proper French, for she wished to make a good impression on her superior, but during casual conversation she would normally speak using the local dialect that was looked down upon by higher classes.

"If you have any troubles with the crew, you can come to either me or the captain�"

Antoine's eyes widened at this statement. Was this a warning? Did the crew have trouble with each other often? What would they do to her?! Her mind immediately began jumping to conclusions, and she envisioned very clearly a savage brawl scene that she had read in a book about pirates. She was a teenage girl, she couldn't possibly come through it unscathed!

"Do you have any questions for me, Antoine?"

"No," Antoine answered a bit too quickly.

She could tell that her immediate answer had triggered suspicion in the lieutenant by the way he turned to look at her. Antoine assured herself that her imagination was merely running out of control again. Surely, the crew aboard a navy ship would be absolutely civilized and well-behaved� right?

"Actually� I'm just wondering," she admitted. "Do the crew cause trouble often? I mean� what kind of trouble?"

She attempted to cover up her apprehension with a casual tone, but had a feeling that Giles was not fooled.
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Sep 16 2011, 09:11 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



With no questions to answer, Giles was about to go on with his speech, until Antoine stopped him to ask a question. Giles was indeed not surprised by her apprehension. He didn't like producing this reaction in new recruits, but it was necessary to relay the same information each time. Whether they liked to hear it or not was not Giles' problem. His sea-hardened face seemed to soften at Antoine's question. A smirk slowly grew out over his face as he kept in step with Antoine. "No, there is not much quarrel that happens on the ship. We all get along like a family. There are small spats, but they don't turn into anything more."

He walked further and led Antoine below deck to start showing him where everyrthing was. "At sea we are all men," he added as an afterthought. "If there are any quarrels about who has the best woman waiting for them ashore, they get settled by either coming to me or, if it results in violence then they go to the captain. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable by talking about this. It hasn't happened in a good long while aboard this ship. You should be aware that it has been known to happen though..." He paused for another moment and looked at Antoine. "What I'm trying to tell you is that whatever you might need while we are at sea, my door is always open... and you are welcome to come in... I have been told that my long-windedness confuses some people... this is why I'm explaining," A low chuckle emmitted from his throat. He rubbed his face. This was not the way he had planned this all to go. He shouldn't be the one to tour new recruits.


--------------------
^^^
Antoine Leroux
Posted: Sep 27 2011, 04:41 AM


Unregistered









"Really?" Antoine was unable to conceal the tone of surprise in her reaction.

The tension in her body that had built up with her panic was steadily relieved by the lietenant's reassuring answer to her question. Antoine had an overactive imagination, and it had a tendency to make her jump to wild conclusions. Of course she would be safe aboard this ship, this was the navy, it's their job to keep people safe! Although she was trying very hard to be taken seriously, Antoine could not restrain the slight smile that escaped.

"This isn't what I expected at all. Not in a bad way, though. No offense, sir, but I expected navy officers to be a lot more… mean," she hesitated before sheepishly finishing her thought.

Giles was quickly proving to be much more likable than the harsh seafarers she had read about in books… which, up until this point, was the only experience Antoine had with anything Navy-related. Antoine had run away from home on impulse, driven by teenage rebellion and a flare for dramatics. She didn't have a plan, or course of action. Antoine disguised herself as a boy only to avoid being raped on her first night away from home, she didn't expect to be recruited into the Navy and have to keep up the charade. She didn't know how long this would last, but at least felt comforted to know that if the truth were discovered about her, at least she would not be hurt (worse) for it, surely that would not happen with someone like Lieutenant Laurent onboard.
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Sep 30 2011, 08:25 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



Giles smiled revealing his charm. He was amused that a young boy such as Antoine would have such a sour opinion of the navy officers without having met one before. He shrugged his shoulders, but his face remained jovial. “I don't know where you have gotten this opinion,” he said, chuckling, slightly.

He paused and showed the new recruit where the crew tended to take their rests. He didn't explain what they came upon, but it was fairly obvious that men took to sleeping in this part of the ship. “I assure you, I can be mean if necessary, but I hardly find a reason to a lot of the time. I'd rather you did what I asked because you respect me, rather than fear me. Respect is a much harder thing to garner, Antoine. It takes time and it takes patience – both of which I have an abundance of as of late.”

He turned to their surroundings and gestured outward. “When off duty, the crew rests here,” he noted before moving on.


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Antoine Leroux
Posted: Oct 1 2011, 04:30 AM


Unregistered









Antoine trailed behind Giles, brown eyes wide with wonder as she took in every detail of his little tour. Of course, this fascination was bound to die down quickly. Soon, the ship would be just a home to her, taken for granted as most sailors do. But for now, this was the first time Antoine had been aboard a real ship. Until today, she had only seen ships from afar when she happened to pass by the harbor. She never dreamed she would ever be permitted aboard one... then again, the last couple of days in Antoine's life had been so outlandish, she wouldn't be suprised if it turned out that she dreamt it all.

"Hm, for some reason that's just the stereotype people have--a harsh lieutenant barking out orders. I think I prefer your way of doing things, though. Makes it a lot less intimidating for me, and well, I suppose it saves you the sore throat from shouting all day," Antoine said, falling into her habit of speaking without a brain-to-mouth filter.

She caught herself doing this and forced her mouth to quit voicing her thought process before she said something even more daft. "Er, sorry, sometimes my mouth runs off without my brain's permission."

Antoine was still unsure how her relationships with her superiors were defined. Was she allowed to be friendly with them, like equals? Or was she supposed to always be respectful and subordinate? She trudged on behind him as he continued to lead her throughout the ship, quietly hoping Monsieur Laurent did not think she was as stupid as she felt.
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Oct 4 2011, 07:46 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
Group Icon

Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



Giles smiled at Antoine. "Our mouths run off without our brains a lot. It's called creativity," the kind-hearted lieutenant said as he continued the tour. He found the door to his room and opened it. "When I'm not shouting orders at everyone," he joked.

"Ill be in here, probably reading." The Lieutenant closed his door again and brought Antoine back to the deck of the ship. As he did so, he started to explain what her duties would be aboard the vessel. It was a mere list from the top of his mind, explaining what the sailors did. Once they reached the deck of the ship, he stood, looking out to sea for a moment.

"Do you have any questions?" he asked, as he would have to depart soon for strength training for his arm. He needed to regain what muscle he lost while injured.


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^^^
Antoine Leroux
Posted: Oct 5 2011, 06:15 PM


Unregistered









Antoine's eyes widened in fascination when Giles opened the door to his quarters. So. Many. Books. Her very favorite things in the world! One of her more minor fears upon joining the Navy was the thought of long voyages at sea where she wouldn't have the option to run off to the book store once she finished a novel. She never dreamed there would be an entire room full of books conveniently located inside the ship.

Though this discovery was a complete thrill, was careful to express only minimal interest in her face. The last thing she needed was for Giles to perceive her desire to steal his belongings. Suspicion would make it so much harder. He was a kind man, and Antoine liked him very much.. but she had a feeling she'd like his books more.

Fortunately, he did not seem to have noticed anything off and continued the tour as usual. Antoine did her best to listen carefully to his explanation of her duties as he led her back onto the deck, though her mind kept wandering back to that room.

"Oh, um, no, no questions," Antoine answered, feeling infinitely more pleased about her decision than when she first stepped onto the deck. "I was pretty intimidated at first, you know, about joining the navy. But I'm quite pleased that I did. Thank you, Lieutenant Laurent," she added with a smile and playful salute.

- THE END -
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