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The Alliance Meets Again; att. all three ship's officers
Topic Started: Mar 17 2011, 02:02 PM (1,693 Views)
Raoul Duval
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Rear Admiral
French Navy Admin
Raoul was paying attention to the discussion, while the meat assortment got replaced with an English pudding – maybe the best thing Brits had in their cuisine, actually. He had waited for the privateer acting captain to say something too, but the British Navy first lieutenant came with a good idea carrying further his own, then with another one which had merit too, and his captain fully supported him. Raoul smiled at the young lieutenant and answered, looking for his words:

”I think the most important part now is agreeing upon signals that only our three ships can understand, and a few battle tactics clear to everybody. Actually, given that you are two British ships and we have to... seem the same, especially being the ones in the middle, our French tactics of choosing the leeward gauge and firing on the uproll aren’t appropriate anymore. So please tell me what we are to do in the battle.”

He had studied English tactics, but only from the enemies’ perspective, as it had been years before. Now the situation was changing, and he was open-minded enough. Who knew what the future might bring? If they were to fight against the Brits again some day, in another war, these knowledge from a common exercise and a common fight might come handy...

When hearing about the proposed exchange of lieutenants, he smiled and looked at Giles. He would have no problem in sending his men aboard the British ships, to see how they are working... And he would have liked any of the two eager young lieutenants aboard „Le Phenix”, but he doubted they spoke enough French to get along with his crew.

Giles didn’t disappoint him at all, ready to learn about the Brits too, however the hosts confirmed their foreign language problem...

”Then, for the beginning, let us focus on flags and other signals which might be seen at distance... Lantern signals for the night watches too, just in case.”
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Mortimer Quinn
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Mortimer couldn't refrain to do a grimace.

Duval words sounded as if the british had to show their tactics of battle, while the frenchmen stood silent, learning. If they wanted to collaborate, there had to be an equally exchange of knowledge and trust. At the moment, Mortimer trust, was zero.

He said anything though, staring at Giles, who was in front of him, traying to guess what he was thinking of all this.

Let the captain play with the captains,...

During all his life, they taught him that the frenchmen were enemies. He could like their culture and art, appreciate their wines and music, but that was it. Frenchmen were not born to stay on sea.

Signals, fine. That was an issue that could skim the neutrality between them. Battle tactics was a bit more complicated. He sighed.
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[align=center] Robert Black[/align]

Robert Black had nothing against cooperation, of course not. He was a meticulously correct man, probaby more fitted for service in the navy than on a privateer ship, but the fact that he was of common birth would have made a career in the Nay next to impossible. Oh not that he had tried, but... better not think about it right now.

But on a privateers vessel, on the other hand he had the chance to become captain as well as any other man and he would show these Navy captains that they had made a grave mistake back then...
At least the fop of a Frog - about whom themost outragious rumours had been heard - agreed grudgingly, as it seemed, to sail unter the english flag.
Nothing else would have done, of course and it was *his* merit!
But the Navy men started to talk about allowing their men to rest... they could talk, having a crew twice as large as he had! Who should do the ecessary changes if ot the crew?
The ship needed careeing, the necessary changes to the rigging weren't finished yet, they had too little victuals, let alone the water... but of coure he did not want to admit that he was lamentably far behind the other ships with his small crew.
Black wanted to give the impression of being a competent man.
The cannon drill made sense,although they hadn't much ammunition to waste as well... but if nothing else, it would covince his new allies of his competence.
"A cannon drill might be costly, but certainly useful."
he finally agreed.
"My crew will be ready, whenever it will bemost convenient for you."
If it was conveient for his hard-working crew was another thing, but he didn't want to lose face. Not in front of two Navy captains... one even a commodore, even though a slightly disgraced one...

[align=center] This post has been written by ALCIA[/align]
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Giles Laurent
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Captain of "Le Phenix"
French Navy
Giles watched as his captain tried to gain more ground than he was giving. Even Giles could see it, and in this outright political game they were playing with the Brits, he knew that it would have to be more of a compromise than that. It made a little sense, though because they would be hoisting the same flag. They didn't necessarily have to use traditional British maneuvers, though. No one outside of the British Navy would know the signals if they were to use solely those. It would be a direct gain for the French ship, and he knew the gentlemen wouldn't go for it.

He thought about this for awhile as he picked at the next course. He had not been very hungry when they came in, but after each course he didn't want to eat any thing else. He took very small bites. Giles' stomach was still upset at the way it was treated at the party the evening before. His hangover had just lifted, but his body was not ready for the intake of food.

Political games made Giles' head hurt more than any hangover could have. Instead of keeping his mind on the tasks at hand, he let his mind wander to Marie and Hispaniola. He wondered when they would return... He wanted to see Marie again.
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Miles Rowan Crawford
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"Well, gentlemen..." he brought his papers to the table "I planned the signals and I'd like your suggestions so they'd fit all our needs..."

***

Later, after they discussed it, he looked around.

"Any further ideas? I think we all deserve a toast. This time something special."

The servant brought new, smaller glasses and a bottle of bright yellow liquid.

"This is a lemon liquor, made only in the area of Naples" he said. "Light enough at first but it's stronger than it looks. Enjoy."



//I skipped the signals part since no one really showed desire to go into details. If it's ok.//
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Giles Laurent
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Captain of "Le Phenix"
French Navy
Giles listened intently to the signals. He tried to memorize them first off -- and looking at the papers did help -- but he didn't catch all of them at first. His mind wandered frequently.

When the alcohol was brought out, he made sure only a little of it went into his glass. He didn't want a repeat of the evening before. He raised his glass, smiling and took a sip. Perhaps the liquor would make his returning headache subside.
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Raoul Duval
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French Navy Admin
Raoul was looking at the privateer acting captain. He liked more captain Ashton, but this one seemed to be experienced too. They set the details for the gun drills too, for the next afternoon, while tasting the pudding, then, over the coffee and dessert, they went over the fighting style and agreeing signals which were to be understood only by the three vessels.

Learning a part of the British tactics had been an interesting experience. Only for this and this night was priceless, not mentioning the other things they had agreed on. If they had to play being a British merchantman... this made it worth. And he would have to think about everything related to this later, to see what really holds merit to be adapted for his own fighting style... If he wanted the kind of victories meant to rehabilitate his name and ensure his promotion, he had to develop an original fighting style... And every bit and drop of knowledge from here and there might help it. Here it was the Caribbean, not an established line of battle how they had been taught in the Navy school. Here each vessel was on its own. Pirates fought dirtier than Spaniards. So... he had to learn this too. How to launch an unexpected attack, something that wasn’t taught by any school.

At the end of the discussion, the steward brought them ...limoncello. Raoul knew this fine drink from the Kingdom of Naples. He had anchored in that welcoming port for a few times in his youth.

”This is an exquisite treat, captain! The greatest surprise of the evening,” he smiled. ”So, the toast has to be special indeed. What do you have in mind, besides our victory against all our common enemies?” he met Captain Crawford’s gaze.
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Miles Rowan Crawford
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He smiled and looked deeply into Duval's eyes, and lifted his glass.

"May God give us justice and victory, and death to pirates, spies and traitors."

He knew very well spies were always a problem - that's why he was suspicious if someone volenteered to the service. And traitors, well, one could never know.

He drank.
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Gareth Sinclair
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Gareth had been dutifully silent, nodding at the appropriate moments and generally being the well-behaved English officer he was expected to be. He concentrated and tried to remember everything that was said, though he didn't feel that he was in the position to offer advice.
Of course, the tension between Miles and Duval was heavy in the air, but Sinclair had no idea about the bad blood between them. He assumed that it had been the nasty rumours about Duvals narrow escape from the pirates, that disgusted Miles Crawford... well, how should Gareth know anything about the death of Peter Seymore?
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Mortimer Quinn
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After the detailed study of neutral signals they could use, by day and those by night as well a few tactics which, in reality were well known but still very effective, Mortimer was greatful that the dinner came to an end and a last toast was done against their enemy.

Of course, all what here was said was more superficial, just the idea and a lot of work was still to do next days.

While he rose the glass he tried to guess what was happening in the mind of those frenchmen. Duval still smirking, he wondered for how long and his First Lieutenant like a devoted dog at his side.

He knew that to plan something was one thing, to put it into action another.

Live always writes its own story.

What he didn't consider was the factor "privateers" and his first mate. Is he, perhaps, the unexpected problem?
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Raoul Duval
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Rear Admiral
French Navy Admin
Raoul had enjoyed the evening. After the two months of denied social interaction, he was really starving for it. The meal and the accompanying drink had been good, the company, even if not as fun as he was longing for, was at least interesting and intriguing at the same time. Furthermore, he had learnt useful tings, and his mind was always

The sweet liqueur brought him the memories of previous adventures, before this war which sent him to the other edge of the world than his peace-time exploring mission.

Captain Crawford smiled, raised his glass and met his gaze, toasting for victory.

”For victory and justice, and death to all our enemies!” he answered to the toast with the same smile, without blinking.

He didn’t feel anyway involved in the toast. His conscience was clear, even if it perhaps shouldn’t have. But for him, wanting to know Jamie safely away wasn’t treason, it was only friendship and the right thing to do. “An eye for an eye” – in this case, a life for a life, a ship saved in exchange for the other one which had got saved then. He wanted the death not only of pirates, spies and traitors, but of Spaniards and any other enemies might bring him justice and clear his name...

So, he drank quietly and enjoyed the sweet taste of the limoncello. Victory tasted as sweet, he knew… and he hoped to get a taste soon.
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Miles Rowan Crawford
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Puttign the glass down he thought:

You really have no idea, do you? Just dream of victory... soon the justice you drank for will be coming upon you.

He was thankful for the company - otherwise he couldn't hold on the pretence so easily. But how long before he breaks? How long before there will be no king, no honour, no reason to stop his deadly wrath?


THE END
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