Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 13 Coming Aboard by RedPhantom ()
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Captain Miklin saw the ship he was meeting to accompany the delegation up to Yarba and grabbed his bag. A copper dragon flew up.
“Forgive me, Captain. The tide’s wrong for docking,” the dragon said. He picked up Miklin and flew into the ship. There, he deposited it gently on the deck among several spectators and flew off.
“Permission to come aboard?” Miklin asked and saluted.
“As if we gave you a choice. Welcome aboard,” Emeton greeted him.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
“Sorry about that. Docking is difficult at this tide level. We were hoping to get here earlier, but the winds have not been cooperative.”
“Sergeant Tohan will escort you below and show you to your bunk. I recommend not being on deck at sunset.”
A young soldier approached as Emeton beckoned. “Sergeant Tohan, this is Captain Miklin.” The king made introductions. Tohan saluted and Miklin responded in kind.
“You’re that fighter that helped us with the gate broken Paosij, aren’t you?”
Tohan nodded. “I’m one of them.”
“Prince Remtani finally got you to enlist?”
“He did. This way, please.” He saluted to Emeton before leaving, and Miklin did too.
“I don’t know how much you were told, but I was asked to fill you in. King Emeton, Prince Bacna, and Emissary Nimitinas are the three delegates. Emissary Nimitinas was the one to bring you aboard. We were only to bring two guards for each delegate and one servant for each. The servants are actually more soldiers. You, Captain Merton, Captain Crito, Commander Tolis, Sergeant Nirl, and I are the official guards. You, Captain Merton, and I have been up there are ready so we might be recognized. There’s no way Captain Crito could pass for anything but a soldier. The others drew straws.
“Prince Bacna is having a hard time walking on the ship, so he stays in his bunk a lot. We try to get him on deck each day.
“Emissary Nim is afraid of water, so he’s flying along with the ship during the day and landing each night.”
“Does that have anything to do with staying off the deck this evening?” Miklin guessed.
“Yeah. He can’t land in dragon form so he changes to human form and drops. Most of the sailors aren’t used to dragons, so they crowd the deck and he can’t land. He breathes fire so they’ll worry that he’ll burn the ship and run from the buckets.”
Miklin shook his head. “By now, you’d think a dragon wouldn’t be quite the novelty.”
“That’s what I think too. I hope you don’t mind sleeping in a hammock. With all of us, there wasn’t room for beds.”
“I sleep in a hammock regularly.”
“My pledged is an elf.”
“That’s right. I saw you two dancing at Prince Bacna’s wedding. I used to spend the night at Vor’s when he lived in Thager, so I’ve used one, but I’ve never gotten used to it. I’d sleep on the floor if there was room.”
“I find it’s more comfortable with someone else, but that can’t happen here.”
“No, and not up in Yarba either. It’s illegal for men to sleep with men.”
“I know. I was almost arrested for sharing a room with Jerta. Fortunately, there was no evidence we’d been sleeping together.”
Tohan showed him the rooms. Four of the guards were in one room while the rest were in the other. A fifth hammock had been hung over one of the others.
“Can you get up there?” Tolin asked.
The hammock was almost chest height. There wasn’t much room for a jump. Miklin grabbed the overhead beams and pulled himself up. He swung his legs up and over the hammock. “No problem.” He turned around so he was looking at Tohan.
“I heard you were like an elf.”
“I grew up with elves, and I was short until I was about sixteen, so I had to learn alternatives.”
“I’ve always been on the tall side. I learned to duck.”
“That came later.”
“This room is for day shift. The other is for night. On the ship, we’re all keeping an eye on everybody. Someone needs to be down here with Prince Bacna. You’ll be Bacna’s guard in Yarba. Nim doesn’t want a guard, but we were both friends with Kith so he let me do it for that. Merton has been with Shimmer, I mean Princess Ann, on her ambassador trips, so he might help.”
“I was friends with her when she was a runaway. She went by Shimmer in Thager. She said I could still call her that. Prince Remtani said not to do it on duty.”
“Most won’t know who you’re talking about.”
Tohan nodded. “That’s what the Prince said. I’m just still getting used to it.”
“You were up in Yarba with Princess Ann and Prince Andy. Is there anything to watch for?”
“The servant women wear less than elven women.”
“That would probably more of a problem for you than for me.”
Tohan thought for a moment. “I suppose.”
“You make sure you keep your hands to yourself.”
“I married. I’d never do that.”
“Good. So is Merton. Crito looks, but he’d never touch. Tolis also prefers men. Nirl is pledged. Who else is here?”
“Captain Solvnor, Sergeant Prish, and Commander Skwen.”
“Solvnor? Emeton let him come?”
“He’s still trying to atone for not protecting Princess Ann better. His Majesty figures he’ll be a model soldier.”
“He always was. What happened to Ann was not his fault. Most of it happened while he was off duty. Glad he wasn’t her guard when she was poisoned. I’d hate for him to get blamed for that too. Is there any word from them?”
Tohan shook his head. “Not the last I heard.
“Skwen is the only one we have to watch around the women. Sergeant, you are under orders to hit him anytime he acts inappropriately during the trip.”
“Merton already talked to him.”
“If he acts inappropriately, hit him. That is an order. I don’t care if he does out rank you.”
“And tell him, if he does it again, I’ll hit it between the legs.”
Tohan raised an eyebrow.
“Part of being an honor guard is to watch out for each other and help each other stay in line. A few months back, Solvnor was coming back to Paosij from gate duty. Because he had another rider with him, he wasn’t going to make the city walls before sunset. I was in Paosij and gave the order to keep the gate open for them. He yelled at me for giving that order. And he was right. I shouldn’t have risked the lives of the whole city for two people.”
“Why did you?”
“Because I want to keep everyone safe, not just most people, the same reason I had them hold the gate for you.” He swung down from the hammock.
Image Comments (6)
RedPhantom () Online Now! 9:16AM | Fri, 12 February 2021
This is my first series rendered with Poser 12. I'm still updating the textures and finding ways to work around the bugs and changes. I have to say that I do find it improved in many ways.
Wolfenshire () Online Now! 2:15PM | Sat, 13 February 2021
It does look good. Fantastic scene and story.