The Pirate Moot, Chapter 3: With the Spring comes December

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On a not-quite-so-cold day, late in the spring, Seji practiced her martial arts with the Sisters of Kril in the rocky flat outside the monastery. It was an easy place to slip, stumble, or fall, making it an ideal practice ground. She has been practicing with them for nearly a year. At first the acolytes had much to teach her and she has much rust to shake off, but today she was leisurely fending them off as they came at her in waves. It had taken some time to convince them to not hold back, but today the rocky plain glistened with sweat, blood, and the deep scoring of deadly magicks. The blood was mostly hers, she was going easy on them, but their healers would still be getting plenty of practice when this was done.

She was about to call for a break when she was nearly taken down by an especially agile acolyte as she was distracted by two people walking toward them from the north.

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The Pirate Moot, Chapter 2: You just need a catalyst

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There were plenty of questions that got answered when Ornery returned after two years without so much as a letter, though not immediately, and probably not of the important ones. Okay, really, most of the answers weren’t answers at all.

“Where where you?”

“Had to go someplace.”

“What were you doing?”

“Things.”

“Why?”

“To escape all yer questions.”

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The Pirate Moot, Chapter 1: A story is continued

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I leaped dramatically though the hatch on to the deck, successfully dodging any new explosions that didn’t happen anyway, doing a roll across the deck and springing smoothly to my feet all on one smooth move.

Absolutely no one noticed.

Everyone was too busy paying attention the small fleet of pirate ships chasing after us. Even Officer Puppy had his back to me.

It was not my greatest moment.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 26: Another birthday of broken things

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It took three days with heavy equipment to dig the crawler out from under the cliff it had toppled on itself. The only major damage aside from an engine being ruined in the explosion was the cockpit. The control panel was totally shot, filled with fragments of the shattered pilot’s chair it had embedded itself in. Anything between them would have been as broken as it was.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 25: An informal inquest is held

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Birch waited quietly on her guests through the glaze of pain that still covered her, but tried to keep a clear head. She was a lucky one. Her body could do in hours what took others days.

Rimares, Sr. looked at her critically, waiting without a word. Dr. Pac sat in the corner, trying hard to not be there, looking uncomfortably at the last man in the room, who had called the meeting and who now waited with a patience that could wear down stone. He had stayed on to research some things he wasn’t supposed to even know about. After two years he knew more than anyone except, perhaps, the Sisters themselves. He had discretely contacted the others in his order and all had, in the end, agreed with him. The information would never be recorded, anywhere, until after the fates had played their hand.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 24: The very brief maiden voyage of a rusty turtle

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When we were test floating it, it sat pretty low. It was heavy. But with the engines on it just hung there, barely above the water, with the water underneath skittering around madly, trying to figure out whether it was supposed to get out of the way or not. The engines were meant to push off things, not to make the crawler float through the air, that it why it was called a crawler. If you were lucky, you could survive ending up under one of those engines while it was holding the crawler up in a way you couldn’t if you ended up under the crawler itself, but they still pushed things down and around in weird ways.

“Take her to the test site,” Rimares said, and then climbed top side through the hatch above us. I stayed in the cockpit, taking in all the equipment and blinking lights. Birch got to take us out because she knew how to drive most anything with a working nav. Her already intimidating eyes always had a disturbing look of seeing things no one else could see. Though the nav, she could do just that.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 23: A waiting game

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Seji pounded on the snow-beaten door of the isolated monastery. She couldn’t feel her hand hitting the wood anymore, and she wondered if the noise could be heard over the howling wind. She was not entirely sure she could hear much of anything either, except the wind. Even properly prepared for the elements, she was reasonably sure she had died at least twice on her way here. Between the numbing cold, and the blinding wind, it was hard to tell anymore.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 22: The master project

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For the next year there was a lot or work and a lot of learning and plenty of getting my hands dirty. I started giving the four troublemakers who had scuffed my uniform fighting lessons. They’d been so busy studying books, they had never even learned to throw a punch. They didn’t want to at first, but I insisted. After all, it had been such an unfair fight. In six months, they were calling me “boss” as a joke and using their new found intimidation skills to keep the peace instead of pushing people around … most of the time.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 21: Mrs. Apothecary cracks the case

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“Look out, dear!” Mrs. Apothecary pulled her husband down as a blast of magickal fire ripped over top of them.

The entire chamber was engulfed in magick, fire, and chaos. The two of them were crouched behind a stone table in the entry hall of the High Wyrd of Farport. Chaotic energies swirled above them, crackling with the force to scorch and scar stone, let alone cloth and flesh.

“Wait for it,” she said calmly, gauging the storm above them. “Now!”

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 20: On being a first year

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I spent three months cleaning the shop floor, or at least Rimares’ section of it. Most new apprentices spent six months at it, but I already had more experience cleaning shops than most of them, and working for the Apothecaries had made me very good a not spilling dangerous things on me. So instead of learning how to handle a broom, a mop, or a vacuum hose, or which chemicals to use when and which were safe and which would melt my hands off, I got to focus on what tools were for what, where they were stored, and how to clean them.

My spare time was spent making friends in town, doing things with mom and Officer Puppy, training with Blademaster Kasa, and visits from Maid, Dr. Pac, and the pirate Periwinkle. None of them really had any place to go while the ship was in for repairs. And, except for Maid, none of them were really interested in spending their time getting drunk in bars. Though Periwinkle did like a good wine bar, and would be praising each new one he found for days, even if it wasn’t really that good.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 19: An encounter at sea

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The monitor came to life at the flick of a switch, lighting up the room and presenting Seji with the face on the other end of the channel. She was almost painfully familiar with the face she saw, but it was still more pleasant to talk in something that was almost in person. She left the rest of the room dark and just let the glow from the screen light her face. No need to let others know how mother had insisted on decorating her room.

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The Pirate Apprentice, Chapter 18: The Pirate Apprentice

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It was early in the morning on the twenty-second day of the Second Planting, the beginning of a new week. I was excited. The sun was just barely awake and hiding behind dark clouds, the clouds were hiding behind a heavy rain, the rain was hiding behind a good strong wind, and all of it was discretely wrapping itself in a veil of gloom, but I was excited anyway. I was starting on a new adventure. I was also pretty scared, because I was starting on a new adventure.

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