I know that this isn't historically, destinationly correct, please work with me. I'm terrible with this but it's a key essential to the plot. Tell me if I should continue. Do you recognize any names :) Please read, reveiw, and enjoy, tell me what you think. :) Thanks!
Captain Jack Aubrey paced nervously across the rickety wooden deck of the HMS Surprise. He cursed the French Acheron under his breath, muttering something with disgust about it's tall white sails and fancy name. He stared out into the fog, for once he was thankful it existed. Damn he was good. He just came out of nowhere, a monster emerging from the fog. Mr. Hollom had seen it, and thank God Mr. Calamy woke him up. If not for the light of canon fire, Jack would never have seen it. Nine lives were lost, and twenty seven wounded, some were not even expected to live through the night.
Aubrey shook his head sadly. It was terrible. The decks were covered with blood, and the remaining able-bodied crew was furiously scrubbing it off. His ship, if you could call it that, looked more like a giant, floating scrap of wood than a ship. Jack kept climbing down into the ship's hold, checking on Stephen's progress. Each time, the doctor just shook his head sadly. Jack side and closed his eyes, he just didn't know what to do.
Later that night, the officers sat around the captain's dinner table, waiting for a grouchy Killick to serve them their dinner, all the while discussing the morning's attack.
"It was absolutely unfair, he had the weather gauge." Mr. Allen yelled, slamming his fat fist on the table.
"Yes the weather gauge, it was a powerful ship no doubt." Jack sighed, putting away his writing log. Peter Calamy and Thomas Pullings were fuming.
"Those bastards, it's truly unfair!" Pullings argued. "Damn weather gauge." he muttered. Stephen frowned.
"What exactly is a weather gauge?" he asked, folding his hands. Jack smiled and leaned across the table.
"Shall I show you again, Stephen?" he said, beginning to draw on the white linen table cloth before Killick stopped him and handed him a peice of paper. Aubrey rolled his eyes and shoved the yellow paper away. "It's when the wind is on the sail's side, pushing the ship." he exclaimed. Stephen nodded.
"But the damage, how are we to repair it? We will need a port." Mr. Aleen told them, changing the subject.
"We will refit at sea." Jack replied.
"But sir." Calamy interjected."I believe the damage is too extreme to refit at sea, perhaps a port might be best." he suggested. Jack stared at him, around him, the other officers were nodding their heads and muttering in agreement. Aubrey sighed.
"I suppose." he gave in.
"Jack, I remember you told us of your friend, the gentleman who governs California, by a port? Perhaps he could assist us?" Stephen suggested. Jack pondered the thought.
"Yes, I haven't seen him in a very long time, I believe he has a daughter now." Aubrey muttered to himself.
"What was that?" Stephen asked. Jack slammed the table with his fist.
"Splendid idea Stephen, we shall sail at once." he turned to walk upstairs."Mr. Holler!" he shouted. "Change of course."
Captain Jack Aubrey leaned on the Surprise's wooden railing, taking in a deep breath of the salty ocean air. The gently sea breeze ruffled his golden hair which was neatly tied back with a navy blue ribbon. He listened to the yells of the crew and the barking orders of the officers, who were loading boats into the water.
It has been five days since they turned their course to California, five days since they have been attacked by the bloody Acheron, and to much of the crew's relief, were now entering the calm bay of San Mateo, California.
"Jack, life boats are ready, men waiting to board, requesting permission." Mr. Pullings reported, from behind Aubrey, making Jack jump. He eyed Thomas Pullings, who had taken off his hat and was fiddling with the golden fringes. Jack smiled.
"Well, by all means Thomas, board." Jack replied slapping Thomas's upper arm. The young man smiled and immediately began to yell orders at people.
In less then an hour, Captain Jack Aubrey, his officers, and a few members of the crew were rowing to land. When Jack could make out the faces of the people that gathered on the long stretch of white sand, he smiled. In the middle of the large crowd of peasants, stood a big group of officials, surrounded by solders in red coats with shiny brass buttons that gleamed in the sun. In the group of officials, he recognized the aging face of his old friend, a man he hadn't seen for nearly twenty years, the now governor of California, Don Rafael Monterro.
A few feet before the boat made dry land, Jack Aubrey leaped off of the row boat, ankle deep and splashing through the aqua-blue surf. Killick would have killed him for that. He jogged up to his friend, who was walking towards him, the two gave each other stiff man-hugs, grinning wide, Jack pulled away first.
"Rafael! It's been a long time, old friend" he told him. Rafael smiled.
"Well, I do not believe it, "Lucky" Jack is here. Still with the Surprise eh?" Rafael asked, chuckling, Jack laughed two.
"My friend, that ship is the finest vessel ever built." Aubrey replied. Rafael glanced over Jack's shoulder and frowned.
"Good God, what happened?" he asked, eyeing the crooked mast. Jack was about to explain the sad, embarrassing story, when fortunately a splashing from behind them claimed his attention. Aubrey looked back at his officers who were stepping on to the beach, squinting in the blazing California sun.
"Attention men!" he barked. The men, including the doctor, immediately stopped squinting and stood up straight. Jack turned to Rafael. "My officers." he said, while to the officers, he proudly introduced,"Men, may I present to you, the stubborn Rafael Monterro, governor of California." he turned back to Rafael, who was softly chuckling along with the officers."Oh how I pity the people you govern." he joked in a whisper. Rafael rolled his eyes and addressed the doctor, Stephen.
"Is he still and always this presumtous? Pray tell?" Rafael asked with a smile. Stephen laughed.
"Oh yes" he grinned. Rafael turned back to face Jack, his laugh roaring as loud as the crashing waves.
"I too, have someone I would like to introduce, but I don't believe that she's here." Rafael put a hand over his forehead, shielding his eyes from the sun. Both men squinted at the crowd, watching every face intently.
"Have you gotten married again? Rafael congradulations, you failed to mention that." Aubrey congratulated, slapping poor Rafael on the back. But Rafael wasn't smiling, instead he gave Jack a long, hard look before speaking again.
"Jack, I did not get married, I could never love anyone as much as I loved my late wife, Esperenza. You are the one who should get married." Monterro pried. Jack smothered a shocked cough.
"Me?" he squeeked, then clearing his throat."What kind of husband would I make, always out on the ocean?" he asked. Rafael shrugged like he didn't care.
"The young woman that I was going to introduce, was my daughter, Elena." Rafael added. Jack raised an eyebrow.
"Your daughter?" Jack repeated, Rafael nodded.
"Yes, but I don't know where she - ah - there she she is." Jack followed Rafael's gaze, finding himself staring up at a stone wall, that also served as a sort of bridge-highway-thing on top of it. It was a young woman, in her twenties, perhaps, she was so beautiful, that Aubrey was beginning to believe in Sirens.
Elena Monterro strolled on the long stone wall-bridge, her white parasol resting on her shoulder, her wavy, long, dark brown hair swaying in the gentle sea breeze. Linked to her right arm, was her best friend, Elizabeth Jameson, who was continuing her mindless chatter on the fashion trends of London, and whom danced with whom at the Annual State Ball last week. But Elena, as she usually did, tuned her out. She was more interested in the unfamiliar white sails that were bobbing up and down in the harbor, than boring lace, shoes, and petticoats.
"Elena?! Are you listening?" Elizabeth asked, annoyed with the lack of attention.
"Surprise. What an unusual name for a ship." Elena replied, not even glancing back at her friend, still mesmerised by the ship's intoxicating beauty, even in its current, damaged state. Elizabeth rolled her eyes.
"Not that floating block of wood, the man. He's staring at you. Look, down there, next to your father." Elizabeth elbowed Elena and nodded her head down to the beach. Elena looked down, right into the deep blue eyes of a ship's captain, judging by his navy uniform. She gave him a small smile, and he smiled back, before a big, sweaty hand closed around her wrist.
"Armand." she gasped, startled, hoping that her smile was hiding her dissapointed in seeing the man. "How nice to see you, again." she lied. Armand grinned. Elena tried to, but t came out as a grimace. Arman was the perfect gentleman, with red hair, and sunny freckles. He was rich, good-looking, and royalty. Anything a woman could dream for, just not Elena. He was not the type of man she could fall in love with, he was just too...boring. But unfortunately, everyone thought that they made a perfect match, especially her father, who was hoping that the two would soon marry.
"Elena, darling." Arman linked his arm through hers, and offered his other to Elizabeth, who graciously took it. Elena allowed them to pull her away from the boarder of the wall that looked over the ocean.
Jack looked back at Monterro and smiled. Elena's smile was still burned in his mind, too bad she was dragged off by that redhead. Rafael smiled too, proud of his beautiful daughter.
"Perhaps you and your officers shall honor me at my governor's ball tonight?" he asked. Then perhaps, I could give you and my daughter a proper introduction." he added. Jack nodded.
"We shall be present indeed, thank you." Aubrey replied.
"Also, your officers will be given separate rooms to stay in until the refitting of the Surprise is complete." Rafael continued.
"We are extremely grateful for your hospitality, my dear friend, thank you." Aubrey smiled, and along with Rafael, and his officers, they made their way toward the long stretch of awaiting carriages.
Thanks for reading, review please. Thanks. Tell me your opinion. :)