Captain Edward Pellew stood on the deck of his ship gazing at the night sky. He was feeling his 37 years on this night. Only the creak of wood and lulling water was heard. He had released the men from their duties a half hour ago, only the ships watch remained. Everything was calm. There was not a single enemy ship in sight, nothing to worry about for a change. He was still deep in thought when Mr. Hornblower appeared at his side.
"Everything is in order, captain" Said Hornblower
"Thank-you," said Pellew, "You are excused."
"Aye-aye, sir" Said Hornblower
Captain Pellew stood a moment longer on the deck of the Indefatigable thinking about his life. He had a good life, full of everything he enjoyed. He had command of a ship, he was serving his beloved Britain, he had everything he ever dreamed of but truthfully he was not happy. He longed for companionship, something he was not going to find on the Indefatigable. Pellew looked at the stars once more and sighing went below to his quarters. He wrote a few thoughts in his journal and locked it up again. He sighed as he got undressed and got ready for bed.
Pellew was awoken by the sound of voices and running feet. He must not have gotten more than an hour of sleep and was in a fowl mood. He got out of his cot, put on his uniform and headed up. He was going to punished everyone on deck if the commotion had unjust reason. There was a full moon and light up everything within 30 yard. When got to the deck there were men everywhere yelling and making no sense. He walked to the ship wheel and seeing Mr. Bracegirdle he asked roughly
"Why are the men up, they should be below deck where they were ordered."
"I know captain but look at the sky to the west." said Mr. Bracegirdle
Pellew looked and what he saw make is heart pound. There was a firelight object about a mile westward form the ship. But it was not a fire ships because the object was about two miles about the sea.
"What the bloody hell is that?" asked Pellew
"Don't know sir, never seen of anything like it. The watch just reported it." Said Mr. B
"Mr. Hornblower my glass." Barked Pellew
"Aye-aye, sir." Said Mr. Hornblower handing Pellew his glass
Pellew looked at the object, it was heading strait for the Indefatigable and as the fire light object approached the noise that filled the air was defending. Pellew had seen many things while at sea but this was something altogether different and frightening. As he looked through his glass, he saw metal trough the fire. He had to keep his mouth from falling open. Metal on fire in the sky making such defending noise, surly he must be having a nightmare. By now the burning object was roaring just above the Indefatigable and through the glass Pellew was something fly of it and two things were propelled out of the fire. He trained his glass on one to the objects and saw strings attached to something below and to a canvas above. As he watched, the canvas caught wind and opened. Never in all his years a sea has he seen just a thing, and he was not going to forget it either. With is glass still trained on one object he saw that the object's decent was slowed by the canvas above. The object was about 20 yards from the water when the glass fell from Captain Pellew hands. The object was a body. He had to get the gig out to see if who ever they were survived.
"Mr. Hornblower, get the men to lower the boats. You saw where the objects fell." ordered Pellew
"Aye-eye, Captain." said Hornblower
The boats where lowered and the search began. Pellew walked back and forth on the Indefatigable. He was nervous and excited. He wished his men would hurry up and find both bodies because he was sure there where two things propelled from the falling objects. He could not wait to interrogate his prisoners, if his men ever found them. He was curious as to who they where and what that thing was. Captain Sir Edward Pellew had a lot of questions and he was going to get answers.
For the second time that night Pellew was drawn out of his thought by a shout form Mr. Hornblower. Hornblower was shouting at his men to keep the boat steady and Pellew saw something being lifted out of the water. Now he was getting really excited. It took all of Pellew will power to stop for shouting at Mr. Hornblower to hurry it up, but there was still one more body in the water and he let Mr. Hornblower continue the search. Pellew must have walked the length of the Indy about 10 times before the gigs were heading back to the ship. Hornblower climbed up the Indefatigable and landed on deck. He looked at his captain and Pellew saw the wonder in his eyes.
"Well man don't just stand there." barked Pellew
"Sorry sir, we need to lower down ropes, both bodies are unconscious." said Hornblower.
"Then lower the ropes, I am going below deck." said Pellew
"Aye-aye, sir." said Hornblower
He had to write down what had happened so far this night so he would not forget anything. He rushed to his cabin and got his personal journal. Pellew hoped by the time he went back up his prisoners would be on deck. It took him ten minutes to write everything with great detail. When he was done he locked his journal away again. Pellew again had to force himself not to run; he took one a slow and confident walk as he returned to the deck again. He was Mr. Hornblower standing near the ship rail. He also noted Hornblower looking down and as he followed his gaze he saw a bloody hand, but not the body to whom it belonged to for Mr. Hornblower was blocking it. Pellew moved forward still staring at the hand; he noticed the hand had unusual clothing. It was a coat of that Pellew was sure, but the coat was strangely colored. In the back of his mind, Pellew thought that if the stranger was in a forest no one would see him. With that coat the stranger would blend in perfectly with the greens and browns of the undergrowth. The Captain moved to the side so to get a better view of the man lying at Hornblower's feet. He wanted to see the man's face. But once again Pellew was shocked, the man was wearing a hat, but it was round and fit the man's head perfectly, also it was the same color as the coat, the unconscious man was also wearing glasses, but they were black and took up half the man's face. "What the bloody hell is going on" thought Pellew again. He had no time to think further because the other stranger, whom everyone was ignoring, seemed to be not unconscious anymore. With a yell so veracious the man, dressed the same way as the other one, jumped to his feet and with lethal force knocked down three of the sailors. Pellew was so taken aback at the stranger's actions that he was momentarily rendered speechless. The stranger got a hold of a cutlass and was using to defend himself from the sailors who, unlike Pellew, where in action. The captain watched as his men where knocked to the floor one by one by the stranger. Thankfully the stranger did not kill them with the cutlass but he was hitting them with enough force to keep them lying where they fell. The stranger was about to hit Hornblower when his eyes seemed to be drawn to the other who was still unconscious. The man's hands fell helpless to his side and his body went slack. Again Pellew was taken aback by the sudden change of attitude from the stranger. He stood fascinated as the man fell to his knees in front of the other and took the lifeless hand. There was blood everywhere, and it seemed that the sight of the blood made him stop his fight. He stranger took his head and held it in his hands. Pellew heard him whisper, "Please, dear god, no!" before Hornblower brought the butt of his pistol down on his head.
Pellew had both man dragged below and tied up, he would have to wait to interrogate them. He also had the surgeon take a look at stranger's bloody arm and the surgeon was told to report back to him. Pellew needed to make his rounds on the ship to make sure everything was in order. That took him about 3 hours and once he was satisfied that everything was the way it should be he went below deck again. Pellew needed to add a few lines to his personal journal again. He could not wait until the strangers where conscious again. He wanted his questions answered. There was a knock on his door just as Pellew was locking away his journal again.
"Enter." said Pellew
The surgeon entered waited to be asked to speak.
"Well, what is your report," barked Pellew
"It was a bullet wound to the upper arm. I did not remove any cloths; I merely cut up the sleeve. The wound was cleaned and bandaged, sir." said the surgeon
"Very good, have they awaken yet." asked Pellew
"Only the one who fought on deck this morning, sir. I had to move him above deck; there was no room for me to work on the other while he was there, sir. He is bound and a sailor is standing guard, sir." said the surgeon
"Good, lead the way, I wish to speak with him." ordered Pellew
Pellew saw the stranger; he was standing with his hands tied behind his back staring at the other end of the ship ignoring everything and everyone, he must have removed his hat. From where Pellew stood he saw the man had his head shaven and there was stubble growing on his cheeks and chin. He seemed lost in his own thoughts as Pellew marched up to him. He expected them man to show some emotions, but there was nothing. Pellew was incensed; usually he struck fear into every heart on the ship. He hid his anger and started questioning.
"Who are you?" asked Pellew
There was no answer.
"What was that thing last night?" Tried Pellew again
Still no answer.
"Do you know who I am? You will answer my questions, damn you!" said a frustrated Pellew
The stranger blinked once and continues staring at the far end of the ship.
Pellew was not used to being disobeyed and this stranger was really getting under his skin. He turned to the nearest sailor and said in a barley controlled voice, "This man is being disrespectful to me, the Captain of the ship Indefatigable on which he stands."
The sailor needed no more promoting, and sprang at the stranger with his hands balled up ready to strict him. Before the blow landed the strangers hands shot forward and caught the sailors raised hand in his own, twisting the arm and sailor was forced to his knees, whimpering in pain. Pellew thought, "My god, this man is strong." as the stranger brought his other hand high above his head ready to stick the defenseless sailor.
"Touch me again and so help me god, I will kill you." said the stranger.
Pellew was about to order Hornblower to cock his musket and fire, not to kill just to wound, when a clear and strong voice shouted, "Kiran, no."
Pellew looked around who had spoken, than he remembered no one knew the man's name so it must have been the other one. They all watched in total silence as the man named Kiran lowered his fist and released the sailor's arm. They watched as he straitened himself again and put his hands behind his back and faced the door, which lead below deck. The captain turned to look the same way so fast he almost lost his balance. Sure enough, the other stranger was standing there, his hands were raised, a clear sign of surrender. What unnerved Captain Pellew the most was when the stranger cautiously walked forward hands still raised, the captain could feel the eyes of this man on him even thought he still wore the hat and to big black glasses.
"Keep a musket trained on both and if they so much as show signs of resistance shot." barked Pellew
His orders where followed, but the man from the door kept slowly moving forward. He reached the other man, whose hands still behind his back, and spoke some sharp, rough words with him, the man moved uncomfortably from one foot to another as he received the words. Pellew did not understand the language but he was sure it was German.
"German, what the bloody hell, had Germany joined France? I have had enough of waiting. They better be ready to explain." Pellew thought
Before Pellew could give new orders the stranger with the hat turned to face him and spoke in English," Forgive my comrade, he loses his head when faced with danger."
The words where spoken with care and with a slight German accent, but it was not the fact that the stranger spoke to him but that the voice sounded like it belonged to a woman which caught Pellew's attention.
"A woman dressed in man's cloths who stopped an outraged man from killing the sailor who attacked him, this is not right; please let me wake up please. This can not be right it must be the German accent which makes him sound like a woman. Yes that's it. " Thought Pellew
The stranger who spoke slowly lifted his hands to remove his hat and black glasses. As he brought the hat to rest under his arm and Captain Edward Pellew had to fight the gasp that was on its way form leaving his mouth and he had to stop his jaw from falling open. He was staring into the face of a woman. A beautiful woman with eyes so blue it put the sea to shame. "That's not the point, think man, who cares if she is beautiful? You have a duty; get to the bottom of this mystery for once and for all." Pellew reprimanded himself.
Clearing his throat Pellew address the woman, "Who the bloody hell are you?"
"I cannot say." said the woman looking at her comrade. Pellew saw the look in her eyes; they were filled with sorrow, pain, and regret. He looked at the man still standing stock still and saw acceptance and forgiveness in his.
"You will answer my questions." growled Pellew
"Or what?" challenged the woman.
"Or what!" barked Pellew. Now he was angry. This woman in man's cloths, no matter how strange, had literally fallen from the sky and had been rescued by him was standing on his ship refusing to answer his questions and when he had threatened her she had asked "or what?" Pellew was so angry he was shaking, he took a menacing step towards the woman, but out of the corner of his eye he saw her companion, Kiran, take a half step towards him. He also saw the woman he was marching up to look at the man and give the slightest of nods and Kiran backed down. She had power over this man, Pellew wondered if he was her lover, but those thoughts were pushed to the back of his mind as he came face to face with the woman and he growled, "Or I will have him bound to the ship for three days without food or water."
"Then you will have to go through me first." said the woman and she raised her hand to Pellew's head, there was a black shiny object pressed to his temple and he dared not move.
"I don't know where we are or what the bloody hell to do about it. One minute we are being fired, we where hit hard, and the next minute I awake in some damned ship." said the woman calmly and lifting the cold metal from Pellew head she said, "I am not your enemy and we will surrender only if you give your word to leave us be until we are ready to talk."
Pellew listened to this speech without saying a word he was afraid of the object pressed against his temple, even though he did not know what it was he was sure that it would kill him is she so chose. He was relieved when she removed it and he looked at her again. Pellew could see the fatigue in her eyes but there was something else, was it hope? The captain was angrier than ever, he had been manhandled by a woman. He needed to get away from everything and shouting an order to Hornblower to lock up the prisoners he turned and descended below deck and headed for his cabin.