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KING and CROWN 7 CatMad 8-Nightmare 9-Antilles 10 Viva
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:58 am    Post subject: KING and CROWN 7 CatMad 8-Nightmare 9-Antilles 10 Viva Reply with quote

7 -Bloody - Cat - Mad

How quickly a fair wind can change to squall. How quickly an opportunity can be lost. Is it fate or luck? Can either be altered? Coagula sails at the intersection of fair winds and squall, of fate and fortune, in pursuit of four schooners. Each holds a jewel, the jewels of the CROWN of Carabbee. Rarely are all four encountered at the same time. Opportunity - the jewels; Luck - combat against four ships at once, a rare challenge.

Log of Coagula
I permitted Carlotta, wrist chains dangling, to command a carronade. Her escorts, Confetti and Kolera, stand ready to swab and reload. "How exciting." she whispers hoarsely each time I pace past.
We were closing but at the threat of an approaching squall I order topsails reefed. How quickly the hunter becomes the prey. Behind me, chased by those ominous clouds is a flotilla - YIXES - of two, or is there three ships, unnoticed for my attention was focused on the four schooners ahead. I was surrounded, and not liking the odds.
Breasting the squall came the first ship bearing down, much faster than pleased me, bringing rain with it. Close enough for my stern chasers to fire and Carlotta let her carronade.
" Les oeilleres"...(your wearing blinders)... Confetti yells through the gunsmoke.
The grape-shot tore at the railing. Flying wood needles struck an officer near. Officer? It was her father, Peligrosso ! He cursed her as the ships collided. He and his crew swarmed aboard to face a volley from muskets and the iron wall of my BASH. Carlotta, fearing her father, fled to the main-deck then entered the ship with her escorts. Suspecting some mischief I chased after them. I heard them stomping down the companionway. She had snatched a lantern and I ran after the drunken shadows it cast.
Through the fo'c's'le into the hold and deeper, fleeing her father they thought, deeper - into the bilge; SHRIEKING ! Only the shrieking of women could make that banshee wailing. I should have guessed it afore. The pretense of poseurs dissolved. I entered the bilge. The water was past my ankles. The dancing shadows echoed the hysterical women - battling rats! An army of rats. Carlotta swinging her wrist chains wildly; Confetti and Kolera stabbing with their throwing knives, shrieking as the horrid creatures scampered up their legs biting, biting their thighs and higher. I joined the fray, my blade was a blur, slashing. The rats retreated, clawing their way up the ships' ribs, out of my reach. Flying knives found their mark and rats fell from the ribs to splash into the bilge-water ...O...Wot's this ? Perched on a keg, a rat, a Giant rat, of hell spawn, gesturing, squeaking, ordering the rats on the ribs to leap. They sprang to our heads and shoulders, biting earlobes and noses; tangling and pulling hair. I became less than human. My cat hackles raised as I swatted them off and sloshed toward the unnaturally sized, demon-bred. rodent gargantua. I denied myself the pleasure of toying with him (as any good farm tomcat would be tempted). I clawed to this Captain of Rats and bit into the back of his neck and shook him soundly 'till it snapped. The rat minions fled. Now at me shrieking, as I released the dead rat monstrosity from my mouth, the crazed women attacked me ! I was mad - bloody-rat-bloody-cat-mad ! I latched my jaws to Koleras' face. My teeth crushed her cheekbones. i tore her face off and all her little pipes gurgled, snorted and some pumped blood. Her eyeballs dangled having no lower sockets supporting. Her mate, Confetti, clasped her 'face' and laid her down at the dry space near the foot of the stairs. All this while Carlotta, riding my back, pounding the metal cuffs about my head and shoulders, and me coughing up bits of bloody, crushed bone and spitting out the broken teeth, nose and strips of Koleras' skin. I couldn't dislodge Carlotta by bucking and stamping so I fell to the bilge water hoping to drown her. With that she released me. Not a pretty sight was she, with streams of reeking water, and gobbets of whatnot streaming back down to the bilge, which I noticed was higher, up to my knees. Might we be sinking?! I must get to the deck! As I stepped over Kolera I saw Confetti, with tears streaming down her cheeks, slit Koleras' throat, 'Twas a mercy killing. Carlotta's' wet gown clung to her, weighing her down, she stumbled onto Koleras corpse. Sobbing, enraged Confetti attacked Carlotta. Perhaps anger pent up, or long premeditation now released, spurred her violence. They were pulling at each others' hair as I ascended the companionway.
As i passed my cabin I saw Peligrosso hunched over reading from "Hell Howl" a slim volume of my doggerel.

"No maddened crowd with torches bearing
can stop my march with darkness nearing,
and must disperse to home, to bed
while enraged I seek a head,
a neck (that word alone makes me see red)
So I hover in their midst
they not knowing
who I last kissed.
For nights brief passage
again benumbs my mind I think
such pleasure not enough
must I spew this wordy stuff
and by my mere rhymes and worse
find comfort in the universe."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8 - Nightmare Flotilla

I entered the cabin. Peligrosso turned and cackled "You bloodsucking monster ! Insufferable blasphemer" . Beads of blood sprout from the splinters in his face.

CRASH!! My ship lurches. Another enemy is boarding !
"Extra crisp," he croaked, I'll see you burned at the stake, fiend; extra crisp ! " We clanged blades and dueled out onto the stair landing. I wanted to reach the deck.
Blocking the door, blue-tinged, bulky; the hulk Huracan looms silhouetted ! I was sandwiched between Peligrosso and Huracan. Up came the fighting women, behind Peligrosso. Screaming, slapping, tearing hair, Carlotta gripped the crossed bandoleers of Confetti and swung her about, banging her against the paneling of the companionway. They twisted past Peligrosso, past me and crashed into Huracan knocking him aside. Naturally I followed them out. The storm had not abated. Sheets of rain - slippery deck. Bright lightning seemed to freeze the fighting but at the crack of thunder that followed Huracan and Peligrosso charged at me. We all lost footing as...

CRASH!!.. Another galleon of this nightmare flotilla banged along-side.
Leaping and landing quite soundly was ghastly Lion Guts, (Ponce de Leon) fungal green with massive purple scupper sores. The women stopped fighting each other and joined my opponents. Five of them - Yixes - I reached for my pistol and ran toward the bow. Confetti drew her arm back to throw a knife. I fired and she went down.They chased me around the capstan. Peligrosso slipped and I kicked his head to the capstan. It made a pleasing sound. Huracan lifted his club and I pierced his wrist and in the same motion slashed at his bare feet. Carlotta swung her wrist chain, I ducked and she hit Lion Guts smartly across the face, and laughed I backed away to survey the damage, to find who needed more. Beyond the pelting rain the four schooners were tacking toward me without much success. The BASH held as a fortress surrounded by the fallen, surrounded by men made cautious, men not daring another charge...

CRASH... A fourth ship smashed into mine from a quarter not yet examined.
Dazed, the four I'd been fighting regrouped and advanced. Splinter thorned, Peligrossos' eyes spiraled, Lion Guts had blood draining from his nose and ears, Huracan limps. Bilge scented Carlotta laughs with bared teeth, her chains a pendulous menace. They crept forward daring for more of the same.

"STOP ! ! " demanded a voice from above. " HE IS MINE ! ! " A red garbed fighter swings from a shroud-line, and insults my seamanship. " Les oeilleres"...(your wearing blinders)... Baton Rouge lands gracefully and advances with classical poise. Here was a fencer to gladden my heart. I had longed to face this French upstart and nip his reputation in the bud. Here was a duel between equals. The maimed and pathetic foursome stood and watched. We did not fence as an act of war. My BASH and their opponents lowered weapons and all gathered 'round. We did not fence to defend honor, as forbidden by King James. Our weapons met with ...poetic... rhythms... balletic ...we fenced... a dance... by Death... designed.

A bolt of lightning shattered the crows' nest. Splinters fell through the rigging with rain. Ear-splitting thunder, so close the ship shook, announced the storms end. The air was electric. Hair stood erect. From the top of the mainmast sprang St Elmos fire. A glowing ribbon of fiery green descended to the yardarms outlining them. The green ribbon snaked down to the deck, to the spoked steering wheel, tracing every detail. All the rigging, the ropes and sails glowed eerily green. Over the cannons and across the belaying pins the line arced. Everyone froze, save them that dropped to their knees praying. Brightest of all was our spectral blades, bathed in unearthly green. When our blades clashed great green sparks ignited, arced, and hung in the air like flares. We dueled in a pulsing atmosphere fed by the flares. We fought hard, long and fast.

It's hopeless to describe each parry, lunge and duck. I was hard pressed, literarily back to the railing. Not since Montalban, ages ago, had I struggled so. His skill was so similar but swifter. The speed was not from the arm, not from the wrist but the fingers, manipulating the blade with unsurpassed delicacy. The parries were small and subtle, never broader than needed, never giving me an opening that one clumsier might. My ripostes were ineffective. ( I can't )He was playing with me in a manner familiar. (think about )... Is this the test ? Am I really immortal ?(this now ) His ripostes were serious threats. (I can't )'Twas MY parries in panic came too broad and finally his lunge, the coup de grace, straight to my heart. The point landed - FLAT - against my chest, the blade bowed, more than double and snapped in half ! Our bodies pressed together... something about his eyes...I clicked the bayonet out from Black Jacks' trick pistol and jabbed at his throat.(what a waste; a magnificent throat.) He twisted aside. The blade passed him but severed a halyard and a banner swiftly descended enshrouding Baton Rouge. Through the banner I bit that throat. I pierced the neck Illuminated by a gaseous green sphere, rimmed by the electrical, vibrating, green ribbons. I pierced the neck. More sank to their knees, crossing themselves.

I feel the familiar maternal linking, the sharing of the minds eye. The blood, his... his...the codex of his memories unfolds... strange... there are many pictures... of me here....his...' tis her...Her blood that I suck...but she drowned at Port Royal !...'tis her !... a poseur !...her, who I loved !... Her codex unfolding !...HER !... Roxanne I have my teeth into. She arches her neck, snugging it firmly to my mouth...The memories of Roxanne... her blood cries out to me... HERE - There is me an' Roxanne in an embrace?... wot never happened !...and HERE - 'twas me she imagined in all her invented smutty stories she regaled me old crew's me that is in'em. I star in all her fantasies.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9 - Antilles Confederation

Log of Coagula continues:
Not all fantasy. HERE - at the Outpost, she strokes the sand, lying near Sleeping Dog and myself, thinking of my head on a platter. HERE - she pilfers my cabin, stuffing my red disguise outfit into a seabag. She places the painting against the wall so I will see the picture on the reverse side. HERE - as a girl learning to fence, and ride. Her father teaches her, dotes on her at the outpost ! The OUTPOST ! Her father is Montalban ! I knew the fencing was familiar ! HERE - a privateer for France, rapid success, a meeting with the King, awarding her the Red Baton !
Tenderly my fangs withdraw. We have reached an unspoken accord. She is mine; her spirit and substance, mine. She will be my Queen ! Together we face them. They have lost the taste for fighting on. I show some mercy.
" You may leave with your captains or join me. Peligrosso, your ship is my prize, board the galleon of Lion Guts. Please take Carlotta with you ! "
"I'll not attend her any longer," snarls Confetti, adjusting a bloody neck scarf that binds her head wound.
Baton Rouge nods assent, "You will serve me in the same capacity."
Lingering last is Huracan who shyly asks to join me.
There's a great deal of nautical hustle and bustle. The four schooners are nearing, hoping they are not too late to assist in my defeat. Heh Heh ! They sailed right into my clutches, Heh Heh ! How quickly fortune turns, now those four faced four craft of my own. All were boarded. None were sunk. All the jewels for the Crown of Carabbee were mine and I had Baton Rouge, Huracan, and Carmine Suture, the Prize Captain of Peligrossos' ship to thank. As the now eight ships of my new fleet sailed back to Martinique I planned a celebration banquet.

A feast to celebrate my heroes, my marriage, my coronation, my queen. Poor Marta will have to face these new facts. She will yield to my flattery and sly promises of independent power. As I muse on, my thoughts become grandiose. Aye, I'll invite all the Governors of the Antilles, perchance kill them, a time honored banquet tradition. First we'll discuss Articles of Confederation. Aye, that'll be the way of it. Send Roxanne, still as Baton Rouge, as an envoy to invite them, and their daughters too. Who can resist such a gala event. Aye, An Antilles Confederation, I like the sound of it. With me as the leader of course. We'll see how it goes... one step at time... I won't bite off more than I can chew.. heh heh.

"There is an invisible line that runs down the Atlantic. The Carabbee lays 'beyond the line", outside the territorial limits of European treaties. These peace treaties sidestep their rival pretensions. Here might makes right and international law is suspended. All colonizers agreed to disagree overseas while keeping the peace at home. Our fights do not invalidate the peace settlement in Europe. We are expected to take care of ourselves as best we can, so our islands are indelibly stained by tales of human greed and atrocity."
Baton Rouge sails to every island of the Lesser Antilles with the message, and diplomatically entreats.
"These rival pretensions mire the Antilles in irrational disorder. I mean to ignite a revolt against this traditional conduct and set an opposing current in motion. I propose a "Confederation of the Antilles", to separate us from European ambitions and bring peace between our islands. We must change our world itself and enter a new stage of development. New classes, created by the interplay of intelligence, power and money, will knock at the doors of history."
Each Governor vows to attend what seems to be the grandest social event ever to occur in Carabbee, with significant political consequences.
"Join me. Make your island a hereditary fiefdom.
Join me to establish a cartel to establish fixed prices for our produce, based on quality and quantity.
Join me to organize a common defense against vengeful Europeans and your worst fear - slave rebellion. Reflect a moment on the irrationality of the slave system. You by them at considerable expense, then house, feed, and tend to their injuries. FREE THEM. Your responsibilities to their welfare are eliminated. Pay them; by the day or hour or weight of productivity, pay them. Surely the expense of salaries cannot by much, exceed the costs of the current system. Salaries are but another form of slavery. The nightmare of slave rebellion is eliminated. With cash to dispense new class systems will develop among them. Wealth will accumulate to the most entrepreneurial. Tax those who profit most by this new system.
Join me to celebrate my nuptials. I promise to guarantee the safety of you and yours in a peace that will endure forever. "
Ships arrive daily, gaily festooned with holiday banners and each bears the white flags of truce.Baton Rouge sails on to the furthest islands entreating, the message continues.
"The former slaves will multiply at their own natural rate. It will be unnecessary to buy captives. Promoters will go to the African coast to recruit, not enslave, and promise a better life. My system allows for temporary workers who can send remittance back home."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10 - Vive Coagula

We meet in the Hall of Mirrors. At one end are the pews and canopied alter set up for the wedding ceremony. The governors and I stand to confer at a table at the other end of the room. I ordered the BASH to quietly assemble out side and await my command. Should this meeting fail the Governors will be slaughtered.

" I'll not hide my ambitions, they are what you suspect. I aim to rule the Carabbee entire, but why not spare the bloodshed and humiliations of battle if possible? With peace in the Antilles I will be free to attack any and all the remaining colonies. Our Confederation of the Antilles" is just the beginning, I mean to forge a new nation; the "Carrabbee Nation" and I hope you will join me in this venture. You are aware of my strength. I don't mean to threaten but cajole alliance. Lets discuss my proposals."
The Governors smile, as I remind them, ( ) " There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat; And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."

Red Baton taps at the map spread on the table. We crowd forward as the baton taps at St. Eustatius and Martinique,. " Your flanks are threatened if it comes to hostilities. Alliance is the path to fortune."
Poor Coagule. How swiftly his tide in the affairs of men ebbs. The tapping was a prearranged signal. A knife point pricks his side, and another, the result of Roxanne's' plotting. They press against him, stabbing; Stabbing!
"Die, monster !"
"Die usurper !"
"Sic Semper Tyrannis !" (thus always to tyrants)
Baton Rouge unsheathes his knife, "Tu l'as dans le cul ," (You've been had) and stabs him in the back.
"Et tu Roxanne," his last gasp.
She twists the blade, "This for Maracaibo!" She stabs him again, "This for Gibraltar, and Senora Delapoza!" She slashes his neck. " This for L'Olonnais !" His blood spouts tinged with ocher and smelling sulfurous. Gagging, they lay him on the table, on the map of Carabbee. His liquids ooze out staining it, and spread over to the Antilles. His body seems to deflate to a younger mans shape. His face transforms loosing some beastliness.
" Cut off his head Confetti !' Demands Roxanne as she pulls his hair, exposing his neck.
Stepping forward, with two of her sharp throwing knives in hand, she cringes as she carves at his neck. Holding their noses, the Governors watch the clumsy surgery. At the severing of the windpipe air is expelled from his lungs. Did they hear that last wind emit what sounded like "Vive Coagula." ? They were not mistaken.

Leaderless but loyal, his men prepare a state funeral. It's not the event they were expecting. They wonder who will emerge to fill this power vacuum. Who will bid for their service.
His body rested on a raised platform called a bier, or more formally, a catafalque. His body was covered with a shroud. Written on it, proclaiming in elegant calligraphy, " Sic Semper Tyrannis ". Around his body the tall, sculpted, gold- leafed candelabras support a canopy to form a Castum doloris (Castle of grief ). This shelter signified the importance of the deceased. The windows were, with black drapes, shielded. The chandeliers were bagged with black. The mirrors, customarily covered on such occasions, were not. He would have wanted it this way, for he loved the mirrors so. Dim light was provided by candles in the remaining candelabras. His shrouded body was laden with flowers placed by the mourners who filed past earlier.

Evening - nearly midnight, sputtering candles the only sound. Out from the mirrors a dozen dim figures emerge. Aye, you heard me awright. They step out of the mirrors ! The glass seems as a membrane they can osmosivly penetrate or like from pools of dry water they tentatively sniff the air as they enter the Hall. No sounds as they surround the catafalque. The dim light from the candles reveals they resemble each other exactly. They are all mirrored Coagulas. They peel the shroud and some lift his body from where it rests. One of them climbs onto the catafalque and lies there with crossed arms. The shroud is drawn to cover him. The flowers are replaced. They lift the dead body to their shoulders. In unison they march following one who cradles the separated head. They march to a mirror and pass into it. The mirror shatters, the crazed glass crashes to the floor.

Morning - The important people, the aristocrats and Governors filed into the hall. When all were seated the orators' eulogy commenced. He praised my character (the hypocrite) and announced that my plan for confederation was accepted, and separation from the "Home countries" was eminent. He spoke at length, It was boring until he got to the part that goes ''ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."
I stifled a yawn and rustled about like I was roused from sleep. The corpse waking got it quiet awright. I held the shroud close about me... so... slow..I...rise... then, theatrically... I let the cloth fall... to expose... Coagula ! All froze, awestruck! Standing on the catafalque, I drew me sword and saluted the transfixed gentry below. That shocked them awright. But more shocking was the dozen of me, tiger-clad, emerging from the mirrors surrounding them, swords lifted. Most shocking indeed.

''Kill Roi'' I growled and the slaughter began. O.. The hasty flurry of seat changes ( I might die again, laughing) as the 'bravest' sought the center aisle and crowded to the exit. They trampled each other, discarding dignity. Did I mention the screaming ? O...the ladies screamed as the replicas of me advanced, knocking them out of the way, to get to those jammed at the door. Coagulas with swords slicing, cutting them down as they fled, massacring. O.. the delightful mayhem. More of me streamed from the mirrors shouting ''Kill Roi'', ' till there were none left to slay. 'Twas me finest moment ! Still standing on the catafalque, the horde of me gathered laughing. I roared, a mighty jungle roar, and they roared back to me, Then they tugged at the ladies they'd knocked down and dragged them into mirrors and entered them as mysteriously as before. As each mortal woman was pulled through, the mirror shattered like lightning struck, and broken glass tinkles to the floor.

Later - BASH came and cleared the corpses. They wondered that I lived, convinced I am immortal. They wondered how I alone had slain so many. I'll never tell, and those that survived to tell the tale would never be believed.

I ordered the room to be kept as it was with the catafalque, candelabras and canopy, as a shrine to Coagula the First. I forbade the sweeping of the broken glass. I visit the shrine when melancholia strikes. Hollow...echo my footsteps as I pace. If I hold a mirror-shard at just the right angle it shows me the Hall of Mirrors as once was, seen from above. In miniature, dancing, are all my replicants, wearing vests of tigerskin; dancing with Governors daughters and fancy aristocrat ladies, captured inside the mirror, crying in their black mourning finery, trimmed with lace and gold; all similar but different. The the middle, dancing with me double....captured inside the her wedding dress...'Tis me dancing with Roxanne !

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