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Solo III
Demon World
Part 037

Captain Split takes the wheel. He turns the ship away from the island. As it comes around it leans hard to the port, picking up a strong wind. It leaves a wake behind it, and ocean swells start slaping against the prow. The astral dragons are flying along outside the front of the ship. There is a school of flying fish leaping before the bow wave and skimming along the surface of the water. The fish are tiny, with little wing like fins.

Physically Cookpot comes over to Gail and Ada, edging out some other crewmen who are starting to gather around them. "Come with me, we'll get you some Quarters, and cothes." He leads them to a door in the wall of the aft deck. The aft deck is 2 meters higher than the rest of the ship. This door is on the right side. Most of the crew are headed to the door on the left side. Cookpot leads Gail and Ada down a steep wooden stair with polished round railings to a narrow hallway. It runs left and right and is very narrow. To the left it turns to the right, or toward the back of the ship. In the other direction it runs to the starboard side of the ship and ends at a porthole. Along the corridor are three doors. He ignores them, goes to the left and turns the corner. Now the corridor goes to the back of the ship ending in a fancy door with engravings of gargoyles on it. Six of them. Four at the corners and two on either side of the middle. On the left side of the walkway are four more normal doors. He Opens the second one. Inside is a largish room with a slightly curved outter wall and two portholes. The right wall is a little shorter than the left wall. There are two sets of bunks in here, and a table fixed to the floor in the middle. On either side of the door are vanities and stools. They are bare with round mirrors fixed to the walls, but there is a basin with a large pitcher on each one. The bunks are built into the center of the left and right walls. Inboard and outboard of each pair of bunks is a trunk set on the floor. Four in all. "Use the trunks for clothes, they are water tight." He says. Under the portholes against the far wall, the curved wall, is a long bench. The seat has seams separating four sections. Each one a little more curved than the next to fit the ouside wall. He walks over to the bench and lifts up a wooden section of the seat revealing a storage area. "Here is some more storage, and some more practical clothing." He drops the seat with a thunk. "You might find some working clothes in the other seats, not sure." He turns, faces them and smiles appologetically. "Everyone is going to sleep on deck tonight, even the captain." The smile gets bigger and more strained. "You don't have to, but you might want to. They're clearing out the galley now. See, now that we have the stuff, it's time to start cookin up some gunpowder, and well..." The smile fades to a frown. Then the smile reappears. "It smells really bad. And it takes a week." He walks over to some trunks at the foot of the bunk beads. "You can stow your personal stuff in these. We'll be having our last hot meal on the deck tonight. After that it'll be cold stew till the powder is finished." He rubs his chin. "Oh, and if it rains, everyone usually crowds into the Anchor room to sleep. Anyway..." He hesitates a moment then heads for the door. "I'll be in the galley if you need me." And he leaves.

Ada and Gail start looking through the clothing. It's all female and there is a wide variety of sizes and styles. But most is practical. A silky red blouse with billowing sleves right up to the tight cuffs. A blue sleeveless shirt that crosses over the front and ties off in the back. A white leather vest that laces up the front. A large pile of scarves and bandanas. There are paints and trousers. Bell bottom and straight legged, canvas, linen, and leather that are varied in the basic colors. Leather's are the only thing that is white though. In another window seat Gail finds shoes. From the frivolous to the practical. Extended toe that curls up to a pair of small bells. Kneehigh calf skin boots, mocasins, slippers, shoes with raised heels, big and heavy boots, elegant sandals, and such. There is even a chest of frilly see through night clothes made of silks. The one missing color is green. They start mixing and matching different peices. Looking for the right combination of fit, freedom of movement, and color. While doing this another part of their minds take the astral dragons for a look around.

All three dragons fly up to a great height. The chain of islands is behind the boat. Radiating from an island crator just north of the dragon island are the roads of fire. The crator island is the center of a spiderweb that is made of flame and lays over the ocean. Long snaky trails of burning oil lay on top of the water. These rivers of fire trail off over the horizon. Mostly to the east, but some to the north, and one striking out due west. The ship is sailing south and away from these hazards to navagation. Uncle's dragon speaks. "The mistress of the ship will visit you soon. Don't let her touch you. She may be mildly insulted, but she will be more inclined to trade us off the ship if she is. She will want to find out if you know magic, so use any excuse to cast a minor spell. If she thinks you don't know magic, she won't trade us, she'll have us sold like cattle. Yes. And one more thing. The most important one. Agree with everything she says. Dissagreeing with even one comment can get us thrown over board." Uncle's dragon races off to the south. "I'm going to scout ahead and see what may be waiting for us." Gail and Ada send their dragons into the Captains chamber to spy on The mistress. But it is empty. She isn't there. Back in the cabin Gail and Ada hear a knock at the door. They have just finished getting dressed ang Gail moves to open it. The door swings into the room before she gets there and the lady strides in. She is wearing a green bikinni with frilly see throughs over it. Around her waist is a heavy leather belt and it has eight small bottles hanging from it. They each have a cork in them and bounce off her hips as she walks. "Girls, call me Lisa, and welcome aboard." She moves straight to Gail as if to hug her.

David Michael Grouchy II

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