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It's 1719 in the West Indies. The Caribbean Sea is boiling in the war and there is no quiet place ashore or at sea. Besides the political turmoil which leads the colonies at each other's throats, pirates and privateers are on the prowl. Come spend some time with us BEFORE THE MAST, on any ship you like!



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The dark privateer boatswain is a good leader and, at the same time, a well rounded and well researched character, written by an active and faithful writer, full of imagination.

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 A Grilled Siren, Att.first the 2 Navies, then the pirates
Raoul Duval
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 01:23 PM


Rear Admiral
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Group: French Navy Admin
Posts: 663
Member No.: 9
Joined: 31-July 10



Date: 1-st of August 1719
Place: In the open sea, in the French waters


Raoul was nervous. They had followed the “Rose” from the meeting point in Bahamas to Nassau and back, according to the new instructions the Englishmen had. The men were not too happy to merely patrol in the British waters, or, how some more loose-tongued had said, to “hold the Brits’ train”. Some of them were looking for adventure – or at least for something to break the routine. If this promised fame and prize money, the better…

Now the captain was alone on the deck. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply of the salty air. It was soothing - the briny smell, the cool breeze, the sound of the waves against the sides and the sight of the British ship in front of them. But beneath it all, there remained that burning restlessness... Damn, how he missed Jamie, and, at the same time, how he wanted to see Captain Crawford and discuss the next strategy!

He had Jamie’s maps with the hideouts marked, something the Brits had no idea about, still it was not enough; the ship was something in the move, the pirate captain must have his own plans… And it was their duty to stop the damn pirates and catch them! Once to avenge Jamie, secondly to avenge their own shame in March, and thirdly… for fame and glory.

”Quervaric, signal the British ship that I am coming aboard!” he suddenly decided. Fresne, send men to lower the jolly-boat!”

He took two men to row, choosing carefully among the ones who had been assigned aboard “Le Phenix” after the repairs, to be sure he didn’t risk that anybody recognized Jamie.


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^^^
Gareth Sinclair
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 01:25 PM


Unregistered









The “Rose” pulled along, sailing smoothly towards the French waters. The shadow of death still hung over the frigate like a silence, following the strange encounter with the mysterious ship. The secret adventures of the prisoners exchange with the Spaniards were also the subject of discussion before the mast. The sailors who didn’t witness or didn’t understand the negotiation process had, each of them, their own opinions about the fact. But all of them agreed that the lack of a captain on deck over the past almost two weeks contributed to various rumours among the crew, adding to the distress of the superstitious ones who still feared a punishment from Heavens for having interfered in the destiny of the unlucky Portuguese ship. How severely was the captain ill? Doc, when asked, always said he would recover. And, worse than anything, the Rear-Admiral Croft himself was abaord the ship for this new mission! How important might it be?

Gareth was not smiling like his usual, jovial self. The blue sea couldn’t heal his worry. He was in his cabin, pondering over books and maps… damn them all! Since they left Kingston for the previous trip, three weeks ago, with him freshly appointed as first lieutenant, every week brought a new challenge. The captain was ill and in a rather sour mood, the only one who had helped him in moments of need was, strangely, the captain’s friend, the merchant. Or maybe not so strangely, as he said he knew the waters and that he had been born in this area. More and more often Gareth had invited him to diner. They talked about various things, and the young lieutenant started liking him… on one hand. On the other, he was secretly worried. The captain’s illness, the bringing of this friend who knew so much, might not have been a mere coincidence. He had heard stories from the previous wars, with captains who faked their illness in order to give the ship control to the first lieutenant and test him. With admirals sending their representatives aboard, to spy on the first lieutenant and follow each of their decisions. If proved to be sound, at the return to the home base, the lieutenant was announced that he had passed the examination and he was given a smaller ship to command. If any of the decisions was bad, the captain recovered suddenly from illness and shamed the lieutenant… sometimes in private, sometimes publicly. So no wonder that Gareth had a heavy weight on his mind and heart, especially that the Rear Admiral himself, embarked aboard the "Rose" four days ago, was an additional reason for worry.

The door to the first lieutenant's cabin was closed when a midshipman approached. The lad rapped his knuckles lightly against the door out of politeness before entering. He started by giving a quick salute:

"Sir, I am here to inform you that the French ship had signaled their captain is coming aboard!”

What the hell does the frog want?” Gareth thought, annoyed by the interruption.

”Given the captain’s unavailability, I’ll be the one to receive him properly. I need the steward to take care of drinks and something to go along with them! And please inform the Admiral too!”

He put on his coat and went to the deck. The boat was visible, advancing slowly on the waves.
^^^
Jamie Russell
Posted: Feb 26 2012, 02:14 PM


Unregistered









Jamie was... restless.
Had been restless for a few days.
It was as if he could sense that his fate was drawing near - in form of the Siren. A ship he had considered his home a crew he considered his family, until... involuntarily, his slender back tensed as if expecting another vicious blow with the cat. He had run away from the crew, the ship and from piracy in itself, leaving his life behind him for... yes, for what?
Being the concubine of a captain?

For now that was all he was and although he loved Raoul dearly, it was hard for him to restrain himself when he saw what these idiotic, pressed landlubbers did to the innocent sails. And now that poor, dear captain Crawford had taken ill, he had nobody to talk to honestly... youg Sinclair was certainly nice and gentlemanly enough, but he had no idea to whom he was actually talking and Jamie was very cautious around him, lest the man could suspect that he wasn't quite what he pretended to be. But at least, that tall, harmless critter listened to him and followed his veiled suggestions without to much ado. At least, Jamie had nothing to complain about the youngsters decisions.
He had expected worse.

But the fact remained, that he felt useless and longed for Raoul. There was so much he wanted to tell him... not only about them, but about the area they were in, for Raoul knew a few points of interest, but surely not all of them... therefore it was like an answer to his prayers, when a small jolly boat approached the stately flag ship.
^^^
NPC
Posted: Mar 4 2012, 10:18 AM



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Joined: 1-August 10



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ELOUAN QUERVARIC and OLIVIER GADOU


It was quiet aboard “Le Phenix”. The French ship was out to sea for almost three weeks, having the benefit of favourable winds for a while, then hiding from a hurricane which had separated them again from the Brits they were following, only to meet them afterwards and to sail into their shadow to Nassau and back. Neither Elouan, nor Olivier had any solid idea what they were up to together with their “allies”, but this was it. Hunting for the “Caribbean Siren” appealed to them as expected. There had been enough shame they had endured from the damn pirates. Still Olivier had the uneasy feeling that there was something else on their captain’s list too. For example, the way he went now to meet Captain Crawford. Yes, captaincy stuff to discuss…

Fortunately, perhaps, there was plenty to do that helped distract Elouan and his crewmates from the discontent of remaining in the frigate’s shadow – they, the third rate French flagship.

Most of them were scattered around the forecastle, while the ones in charge with the guns were cleaning them again. The sailors and marines were chattering, the marines cleaned their firearms… A normal day aboard. A boring one.

This post has been written by ELENA
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Mar 6 2012, 11:22 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
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Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



The beginning of the journey had been slightly uneventful. Giles wondered at first whether or not the Captain would actually let him command for the first time.

The Captain made good on his word, as Giles knew he would. Giles had commanded the ship, under the wing of the captain. He had been left alone on the ship before... to lead the men by himself. Of course he had his orders.

While they were sitting... waiting... Giles had time to peruse the letters he was sent. His mother's first. She had not very much to say, but what she did say seemed to matter more than anything. He read the words with fondness.

The other letter... the one from his other family was left unopened for a long time. Actually Giles had already an idea of what was inside. He didn't want reality to be worse than that...

He kept the letter in his breast pocket of his uniform. He was standing on the deck as the captain departed. He watched over the men on deck, hard at work at their various tasks, and he pondered about what his life had turned in to.

He was chasing after a dream he wasn't even sure he wanted to fulfill.

Giles was full of doubts, but he didn't let those show to the crew. He couldn't let that show. One slip up in his stern face... and he could be seen as a bufoon.

He watched the sea, waiting as he had for the entire journey. Giles hadn't had to make any decisions yet... and he was almost hoping that he could avoid it long enough that the Captain would return and he wouldn't have to.


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^^^
NPC
Posted: Mar 7 2012, 06:02 AM



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Posts: 1,596
Member No.: 12
Joined: 1-August 10




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Fergus MacMillan and assorted sailors


"I don't see why we have to team up with those damn Frenchies. Didn't they get their arses kicked the last time they tangled with the pirates?"

"Ha, yes, that story was all over Kingston, and probably every other port around! Soundly beaten, I hear."

"They'd better not let any of that luck rub off onto us..."

There was a general mutter of agreement from among the small group of sailors, all of them superstitious in a variety of ways, and most of them shooting black looks off towards the shape of Le Phenix, which was sailing smoothly along behind the HMS Rose, the two ships evenly matched in pace. The men were all off-duty, enjoying the rare chance for some lounging, though they kept well out of the way of their working compatriots and were prepared to jump to quarters instantly at the first sign of trouble. A motley group, composed of an interesting variety of personalities, they were all proud of their positions aboard the Rose, quite firmly believing her to be the best ship to ever sail the Caribbean.

"That's probably why they want to sail with us, you know. They know they can't win unless they've got some good Englishmen on their side!"

"And when we worked with them to capture those pirate ships, who did all the work? Us!"

"And the privateers... but they're English too. Sort of. Well, they count as English, anyway."

"Yeah, but who took all the glory? Took the glory, and then lost their prisoners? Talk about incompetent!

"What else can you expect from people who eat frogs?"

A chuckle arose from the five men, all of them choosing to ignore the fact that their French counterparts probably ate food that was very similar to theirs, and probably equally boring and filled with weevils after a long voyage. Happy to continue with their fairly good-natured complaining about the alliance that their betters had thrown themselves into (they were mostly all experienced enough Naval hands to know that Captains usually made decisions that were completely incomprehensible and that they had little choice but to keep their complaints quiet and go along with things; those that weren't experienced enough yet to realise this had been firmly informed that this was the way things were) they were interrupted by words from one of the men who had not yet said anything.

"Look - is that their Captain?" Fergus MacMillan pointed out, feeling that diverting the complaints before they could get any more pointed, or before an officer overheard, was best for all concerned. Ever the peacemaker, Fergus had been aboard a ship longer than half the crew had been alive, and acted as wise decision maker and oracle-upon-all-things-British-Navy for many of the crew.

The other four men settled around him all perked up with interest, peering more closely in the direction of Le Phenix, which did indeed appear to be putting out a boat.

"That's definitely the signal for Captain coming aboard," Jimmy Greene, the youngest member of the group at the tender age of 19, confirmed, pointing towards the French ship's sails. "Wonder what he wants?"

"Some advice on how to sail?" This suggestion, accompanied by a laugh, was from Edward Hall, the man who had initially voiced his complaint about the French, known for his hearty dislike of anyone who wasn't English. In his youth he'd also been known for his penchant of stirring up trouble, but he had that particular aspect of his personality mostly under control these days.

Fergus fixed him with a quelling look. "No need to be quite so loud, Ed," he cautioned.

"Maybe they've seen something! Like the pirates!" Will Miller hastened to add his opinion to the conversation, shading his eyes with his hand as he squinted at the approaching French jollyboat. Will was the excitable one of the group, and tended to see enemies all the corners that he didn't see potential lovers in.

"Don't be a fool! They'd be doing more with signals if they'd seen the pirates, not wasting time sending the Captain over!" The words were accompanied by a punch to Will's arm by Phelan O'Bryne, solid and red-headed, and about as practical a man as you were ever likely to meet.

"'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout'," Fergus quoted, quietly, the men around him understanding him perfectly, and not just because Fergus could find a Bible situation to suit every circumstance, but also because every Captain was rather like the god of his ship.

"There's the Lieutenant!" Will just managed to restrain himself from pointing, and on cue the heads of the five sailors swiveled to take in the figure of First Lieutenant Gareth Sinclair, who was just emerging onto the deck.

"Captain must still be ill..."

"God bless him."

There was a brief respectful silence, for Captain Crawford was generally well liked by his crew, and his recent infirmity had been a cause for both much gossip and some sadness.

"He don't look happy, does he? Must be tough, being in charge, and all." Unsurprisingly, it was Ed who returned them to the far more important topic of gossiping, and though the men did their best to keep their keen interest in the situation mostly hidden, refraining from staring too obviously or talking too loudly, there was no denying that every sailor on deck was curious about this new turn of events, whether they were on duty or off.

This post has been written by CYPHER
^^^
Gareth Sinclair
Posted: Mar 8 2012, 04:33 PM


Unregistered









Gareth appeared on the deck, after checking again his uniform, to be impeccable. He was in full dress uniform, having donned his formal frock for the meeting with the Frenchman.

”Good afternoon, Captain! Glad to have you aboard!” he greeted cordially, while tugging nervously at his neckerchief, in an attempt to find some relief from the stifling tropic heat.

Too damn hot to be true… And there was still more than a month of summer ahead.

He knew it was not polite to ask from the beginning what had brought him here. This would be revealed at the right moment.

Now Gareth was looking for Admiral Croft. He knew that flag captain Duval had a rank equivalent to commodore. Now that there was an admiral (well, rear-admiral, to be more precise) aboard, he would greet Monsieur Duval too.

And the lieutenant's eyes reviewed the deck. Everybody seemed to be in their place, it was clean... but an admiral would always have something to comment.
^^^
Marc Lafont
Posted: Mar 8 2012, 09:11 PM


Carpenter on "Le Phenix"
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Group: French Navy
Posts: 56
Member No.: 258
Joined: 4-February 12



Marc seemed to be the only one less than happy about looking for the Caribbean Siren. He knew the reason, too... and he only resented that no one else seemed to have family or friends aboard that ship. If God allowed them to actually find the ship, he didn't want to be the only one feeling horrible. That wouldn't be fair!

But life wasn't fair.

If life were fair, he would have been reunited with Baptiste before the fool jumped ship. He suspected why his brother had jumped, and he couldn't have blamed him- after all, he wouldn't have wanted to die without a woman either- but he also didn't consider him among the brave ones. If he'd been brave, he would have fought with the French.

He was worried. about facing his brother in battle..but he couldn't let anyone know. Likely, no one would care.

He tried to think of something to do to keep his mind off of it and not sulk, but as usual, he was sulking while thinking of something to do to keep himself from sulking!
"Elouan, could you spot me? I need to check and see if the masts are still firm."

He knew very well that they were, but he was not about to take any chances. If the pirates blew apart their ship again, he wanted to know how hard of a blast it would take.




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||Biography||Theme song||
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Thank you, Mascha, for the signature!
^^^
NPC
Posted: Mar 9 2012, 06:48 PM



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Group: Civilian
Posts: 1,596
Member No.: 12
Joined: 1-August 10



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ADMIRAL EDWARD J. CROFT



With a gentle knock on the door a sailor came to announce the arrival of the French Captain. Admiral Croft was sitting in his cabin looking at some charts. So far he had left everything up to the young first lieutenant who was second in command of the ship and now the highest ranking officer in the Captain’s absence. The British Admiral didn’t know though that he would soon find himself in command of this ship in a battle that was long overdue. “Knock like you were a man, Sailor!” the admiral commented on the sailor’s soft knock and looked up at him. “Or do I need to let the doctor see if the Rose is home to even more women?

Yes the incident where the Rose had found out that one of the crewmembers was in fact a woman, a pregnant woman, was far from forgotten in the Admiral’s mind and the fact that none of the officers had ever noticed or even the doctor who had worked a lot with her, seemed like sloppy work to him. However there was work to do and with sure steps, the British Admiral left his cabin and walked out on deck where he was saluted by the sailors as he passed them. “Lieutenant, signal the French Ship that their Captain is well aboard and then you’ll have the bridge” he said. He didn’t let the young lieutenant answer as he had other things to do and Admiral Croft certainly expected his orders to be carried out without question or hesitation. “Captain Duval” He then greeted the French Officer with a polite nod. “Welcome aboard the HMS Rose… If you’d follow me to my office we can begin our preparations immediately…” As the admiral turned to lead the French Captain to the office, he looked at the nearest sailor in sight. “Sailor, bring us two cups of tea and a fresh bread.” He continued and watched the sailor salute and hurry off with the words: “Aye Sir


This post has been written by MASCHA
^^^
Raoul Duval
Posted: Mar 11 2012, 07:59 AM


Rear Admiral
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Group: French Navy Admin
Posts: 663
Member No.: 9
Joined: 31-July 10




Raoul looked at the young lieutenant he had seen before, and greeted him with a smile:

”Glad to see you, Monsieur Sinclair!”

He liked this young man, only that he didn’t see around Captain Crawford. He saw Jamie a bit farther, trying to seem indifferent as in not attracting the admiral’s attention on himself, and he couldn’t blame his beloved. If anybody learnt who he really was… Raoul took a deep breath, to suppress a shiver of horror at that thought, then he greeted Rear-Admiral Croft.

”It’s an unexpected honour to meet you here, Sir!”

He followed the older man to his cabin, wondering what could have happened, while the young officer and the sailors went their way, to comply with their orders. Raoul, in order not to think about Jamie anymore, tried to focus on his host.

”Tea? What is this Brit taking me for? If it was Captain Crawford instead, he would have surely offered brandy and coffee! But well… I think admirals are the same, all in this world…” he mused under a polite smile.


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^^^
NPC
Posted: Mar 11 2012, 08:16 AM



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ELOUAN QUERVARIC and OLIVIER GADOU


Olivier checked again the maps, confronting them with the latest results, to have an idea where exactly they were. He looked at the first lieutenant, and went to report him:

Monsieur, I think tonight, if the wind doesn’t change, we have to change our direction… if we don’t want to get into the Spanish waters yet.”

Elouan looked at Marc, the new carpenter. If one could understand his need to be busy, it was the Breton. Had he told Marc that he had been a friend of his brother’s?

”Of course I am ready to help you with anything you need from me. I can even kiss the figurehead if you want,” he added in jest, attempting to let that frown disappear.

”If it was a mermaid figurehead, and not a bird, everybody would have laughed more…” he thought, then he remembered exactly when and where he had seen far too close such a mermaid.

Elouan swallowed dryly and thought better – indeed, what if they met in battle? Or worse, what if the cannon he is serving would let a ball kill Baptiste? No, he couldn’t tell Marc exactly what he was thinking.

”You are right, I think I need something to do right now…” he told Marc.

This post has been written by ELENA
^^^
Jacque Gasquet
Posted: Mar 12 2012, 12:44 PM


aka Jacque Fresne, boatswain, "Le Phenix"
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Group: French Navy
Posts: 86
Member No.: 272
Joined: 7-March 12



The Captain had called him over and ordered him to prepare a boat to carry the young officer over to the English fleet, Jacque had complied as he always did, but that didn’t stop him watching the newest ‘ captain’ sail off and sneer at how ridiculous it was that men like that got to have the power of Captain.

He was a Captain! He was the type of man that should Captain such a ship as this!

This new youngster was anxious, distracted, at what Jacques was not ‘ party’ too, being ‘ only ‘ the Bosun, but IF he were Captain, he would not be trailing the English, he would be out front, striving forward, showing there supremacy. Nor would he have ‘ lost’ the last pirates they had captured, he would have beat them so hard that any escape would not be possible, and would have had them in irons that was up to grade and job.

In a mood he stalked the deck, his short single whip rod in his hand and slapping it occasionally against the dark polish of his right boot side. The crack a familiar sound showing the Bosun was close by.

Some men apparently thought that there was time for laughing……Jacque eyed them, Quervaric, Gadou, and the new carpenter, what was his name? … Marc Lafont. He reminded himself, priding himself on knowing all the men aboard the ships names.
All commoners in Jacques eyes and none worth there salt! He had no control over Gadou, but the other two came under his rank, and command.

QUOTE
”Of course I am ready to help you with anything you need from me. I can even kiss the figurehead if you want,”


At the sound of the laughing to the comment from Quevaric, Jacque strode to within striking distance, his eyes focussing in on Marc, and his dark eye brows making the shadow around his eyes darker, holding the gaze far past what was considered comfortably decent.

'' Idle hands are the devil's playthings; I would say your hands are Idle! If you have time to be considering jokes and antics to dishonour our ship’s head Quevaric, then Lafont could be strapped to the figurehead first before you KISS IT. ! I can oblige and organise it if you feel you have such time!''

His voice snapped out the reprimand, now turning his gaze to stare at Lafont, he would love to accompany the rebuke with a slashing stroke across that Carpenters cheek with his whip, so far the man had managed to evade him, and had not had the ‘pleasure’ but one look to the wrong, just one comment out of place, and he would remind the Carpenter just where in the pecking order he belonged. Below HIM.



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AKA Jacque Fresne, boatswain, "Le Phenix"
user posted image
^^^
NPC
Posted: Mar 14 2012, 07:42 AM



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Joined: 1-August 10



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ADMIRAL EDWARD J. CROFT



While waiting for the tea and the appetizers before discussing the actual battle plan, Admiral Croft wondered if he should have Captain Crawford kicked out of bed so that he could see how he would have handled this battle. However the admiral’s humanitarian side decided to handle this himself. He gestured to a chair by the table for Captain Duval and took the seat opposite himself. He had only waited a few moments when the door opened and the sailor tasked with bringing the food and drink arrived. He placed it on a table and while he certainly had no idea how to dress a plate, he had done all he could to make it look nice. The admiral offered him a polite smile and the sailor saluted and left the room.

So… Captain…” the admiral started while looking at the younger French officer. An officer he had so far only known by name. However two stories came to mind when thinking of the name Duval. Firstly a story of a crushing defeat to a smaller pirate ship. Secondly a story of brilliant work to capture three infamous pirates. “I see that you are back in Charles de la Bastide’s good graces again since you are here” He continued with a smile. He knew how quickly a governor’s mood could change. “Is your ship ready to engage another ship in battle? How’s the morale of your crew?


This post has been written by MASCHA
^^^
Giles Laurent
Posted: Mar 15 2012, 01:14 PM


Captain of "Le Phenix"
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Group: French Navy
Posts: 211
Member No.: 88
Joined: 21-January 11



Giles watched the interaction between the Bosun and his lower crewmates. He was close enough to have heard Gadou talk about Spanish waters. He didn't want to intervene, because the Bosun had a right to tell them to get back to work. If he had resorted to violence... they would have a problem. Giles didn't condone violence to get their men working right. The violence was supposed to be reserved for the other side. The ship was ready to face another battle... but was the crew? Could they band together and win another fight?

He walked along the deck in contemplation. Trying to see the benefit of reprimanding Jacque. There was none. He paced more, still. He hated waiting.

"You are right Gadou.Spanish waters are not the favorable place just yet..." He paused and then looked at the crew. "Signal to the British ship we are changing direction... and then do so to stay out of Spanish waters. Don't let us lose sight of our British allies..."

And within moments, the crew began to follow his orders. He was glad to be acting captain. His confidence in his decision-making also made him able to give orders without guessing twice about them. He knew in his heart which was right. He walked around the deck, making sure every man was set to his task.


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^^^
Raoul Duval
Posted: Mar 15 2012, 02:44 PM


Rear Admiral
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Group: French Navy Admin
Posts: 663
Member No.: 9
Joined: 31-July 10



Raoul was intrigued to know better Admiral Croft. Up to now, they have met only at Saint John’s festival, briefly, as Giles’ engagement had been the main event for which everybody had toasted. And the fact that the Admiral was smiling was a good sign, in Raoul’s opinion.

His questions were good and to the point:

”Our crew’s morale is good, Sir. They are eager to fight… and if the Caribbean Siren is the enemy, the better!” he smiled with hope and faith. ”We have good men, even if some of them are new, and the guns we have got during the repairs are more modern.”

Talking about the upcoming battle raised still a few questions:

”Have you thought about a strategy for the beginning? They wouldn’t fall for a disguise again, we have to be open.”

Raoul had an idea of his own, too, which had functioned in May, against the two pirate ships, but the more senior officer had to be listened first.


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