The adventure begins HERE!
With Nym consumed by her research at the Meiville Archive, Amos found himself spending much of his time idly wandering the streets, reminiscent. Every corner he turned seemed to bring back memories of Emily, of school, and of being alone much of the time. Without parents or money, life was about survival. He had enjoyed hunting for treasures, drift woods, pieces of string, things other people would walk past without a care. He had found that he could make amazing a elaborate constructions with very little materials, including fantastic tree houses where he could while the hours out of the sight of other children. Amos was a dreamer who planned for the day when he would escape this unkind city and make his life and fortune as a man.
Since his return he had encountered people who still remembered him from his boyhood days. Some were aware that he was the man who had almost crashed into the Celestial Heliograph in the storm and they took relish in reminding him of his station. Perhaps more difficult though were the people who welcomed and showed him kindness. The memories called to him and made him ache for his almost-family.
His boyhood dreams of returning one day a wealthy man, war hero, celebrity, success had passed. It was difficult facing the realization that things had not turned out at all like he had planned. He sat wondering at returning, well, himself, and contemplating just who that man was and how he to be.
Sitting at a corner table at Ettie’s Tea House in the quiet of the afternoon, Amos considered taking Nym a cranberry scone but decided against it, heavy hearted. He knew that he was too often interrupting her work. He knew that Nym enjoyed his visits, they seemed to be able to talk for ages about the most inane of things. He was even able to be helpful with her work, which made him feel confident and proud much as Marcel once had when they had time together. The thought of Marcel left a hollow in his stomach and the nagging need to talk to Nym about all of the things troubling him was unbearable.
He would resolve to march into her room and tell her everything. If he were straightforward and open, surely she would understand? However, once he was near her the fear of never seeing her eyes shining at him again would tangle the words in his throat and he would find himself making small talk. Eventually he would leave more troubled than he had arrived, and struggling with the reality that he was liar and that she would never forgive him when the truth came to the surface.
He rested back in his chair and closed his eyes. He so wished he could be someone else. Someone she deserved.
“Bit of luck, mate,” Rox had said, leaning against the bar of the Brew Ha-Ha, Stevenson District’s most notorious saloon and the most likely place for a ‘faring man to find a Lady’s company, “Posh tart bailin you outta the skinner then chasin’ you about?” She ran her tongue across her teeth luridly, “Way with the Ladies, aintcha?”
Amos took another swill, “Pretty thing she were, too.” Despite his bravado, he was still shaken from the strange events of the evening: the woman, the cog and her mention of Ghostraven. If he had any reason to leave Meiville and never return, it was the Captain. He planned to catch the first rig he could find in the morning, but first he needed a taste and maybe a consort to release his mind.
“How bout you, Rox?” Amos said with a dirty grin, sliding his arms around the wench’s waist and pulling her onto his lap, “You fancy a chase? Or would you rather be a’ chasin’?”
A sharp pain radiated through Amos’ shoulder. Annoyed Amos turned to find himself looking into the face of the SkyCaptain whose ship he had commandeered and nearly grounded in the storm. The girl, Rox, skittered off of his lap and into the arms of the SkyCaptain and gave him an indescent kiss. Two large men stood behind Amos and he could feel the steel of a pistol in his side as his left arm was wrenched behind his back painfully.
“Let’s have a chat then, shall we?” The SkyCaptain flashed a tense smile and lead the restrained Amos to a dark table. One of the ruffians guided him firmly by the neck and held his arm, the other mashed his instep and slammed his head into the table as he was forced into a chair.
Amos sat with blood spilling from his nose, a furious look in his eyes.
“I came here to kill you, boy.” The SkyCaptain started, petting the girl Rox’s cheek. “I’da killed ya for touchin my boat, to be honest.” He scowled at Amos across the table. “Now she’s in the kindly hands of the constable I hear, and that’s an inconvenience for me, boy -and I don’t much care for inconveniences.” The ruffian pulled Amos’ arm back hard, pain shooting through him.
“So here I come,” the SkyCaptain gestured grandly around the room, “to some hauty town to find my Boat and kill some jackass kid-when I hears somethin’ interesting. Seems you ain’t no stranger ’round here, are ya boy?” The SkyCaptian raised an eyebrow and waited to see how Amos would respond.
Amos held his tongue with a defiant look in his eye. He knew well that he was in a corner and likely about to meet his end but he wasn’t the sort of man to sell out his friends.
The ruffian behind him dug the barrel of the pistol into his ribs painfully.
“No matter, I know who you are… and what interesting friends you got! One Captain Ghostraven I hear, and that is very interesting indeed. Not sure I wanna be killin such a valuable jackass.” Amos felt a cold spike of fear move up his spine, he couldn’t imagine what this man might want from Marcel, but he was certain it wasn’t anything he wanted a part of.
” Not when I could put him to work. Fact is, we might just be able to make this unfortunate beginning mutually beneficial.” The SkyCaptain grinned, an unnatural flash of rotten, snarling teeth, then waved a dismissive hand. The two thugs eased, but kept the pistol engaged with a strange air of politeness.
The girl Rox was sent, with a tap upon her bottom, to collect Amos a fresh pint from the bar.
Amos’ mind was spinning. He knew that if he refused to drink the pint when offered, they would kill him on the spot. Drink it, and he would be agreeing to complying with whatever the SkyCaptian might have in mind. The last time he had come to Meiville, Amos had visited Marcel with his heart in his hands but despite Amos’ sincerity Marcel had refused to forgive him or even give him a chance to make things right.
Rox slammed the foaming pint onto the table in front of Amos. The amber liquid flowing over the edge of the glass while she returned to her perch on the SkyCaptain’s leg. All eyes were on him.
Painfully, Amos remembered the look in Marcel’s eye he seemed to be disappointed and disgusted. That look had solidified Amos’ belief that he could not become better than his birth and he had left for the sea never to come back to this place. The bitterness Amos felt remembering that day decided his fate.
He lifted the glass.
The SkyCaptain watched Amos take a pensive swill, then erupted in laughter, clapping him on the back as if they were the oldest and dearest of friends.
“Now, My boy, What do you know about the Apport Sextant?”