The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Aldamir volunteers to do reconnaissance by flight. Captain Finwe agrees, if Teller can make Aldamir invisible. Teller can and does.
Meanwhile, the "Lost Boys" on the shore launch another barrel of burning pitch at us. It falls short, so we decide we can afford to stop backing the ship up.
Mannie feels around magically and decides the ship feels more "vibey" than usual. Things are different ... as they were before, but "more so." Somewhere, something is wrong, but he isn't sure what.
Meanwhile, Aldamir has flown out on a semicircle, approaching the shore from an angle. He approaches low, crosses the shore, and heads toward the catapult, taking advantage of cover just as if he weren't invisible, just incase someone around here is unusually perceptive. He sees a crew of at least a dozen reloading the catapult with yet another barrel of pitch. All of them are men; some of them actually look old, which you don't expect of "lost boys."
Being an Oakley, he can't help noticing the local trees. They are unfamiliar evergreens. They look healthy. At *least* normally healthy, probably more so. (And remember there's that giant cedar or whatever it is, looming over the whole island.)
Aldamir hears the catapult crew speaking among themselves in rather old-fashioned English. "Gonna show Captain No-man what for!" and similar boasts and threats to the enemy (us).
Their "Peter Pan" flier, all in red, is still aloft, just watching the Tindome.
Experimentally, Mannie lets the ship drift to port, to see what the catapult rew will do for aim. They get busy and noisy. It becomes clear that one is a director. They pick up the end of the catapult and swivel it around, changing aim. Every now and then, some voice issues orders or advice from the woods back of the shore. It seems to be the *real* director.
Aldamir tries to get close to this voice. As he gets in among the branches, still floating, the voice stops abruptly. Several tree limbs grab for Aldamir. With his own tree-magic, he tells them to back off, but a much more authoritative tree magic overrules him. He's quickly caught.
A few feet away, a face appears in the bark. A face *of* bark, in a cedarish tree. "Why are you attacking my shipmates?" Aldamir asks it.
The Cedar's retorts make it clear that he takes the Tindome for a submarine belonging to Captain No-man, who seems to be a pirate captain they dislike. The Cedar steadfastly scoffs at Aldamir's claims that we are not pirates, and are enemies of pirates ourselves.
Aldamir hasn't had a classical education in Britain for nothing: he asks a few questions and it becomes clear that "No-man" is at least very like Odysseus. Defeating a giant here rings a bell, but the local giant was two-eyed, not a cyclops. Skull Rock, yonder, is and is not the giant's actual skull.
Fortunately for Aldamir, he is on the crew's telepathy net, provided by Captain Finwe. In an effort to prove we're nothing to do with No-man Aldamir suggests the crew make the Tindome loft. They hustle the Darkholmers from observation deck to windowless mess hall, to Teller's incomprehensible "explanations," then loft.
Cedar is impressed but not convinced. He calls out and down comes the red-clad Peter Man, who congratulates the Cedar on his captive. The fellow looks adolescent and half-elven. He calls himself "the Scarlet Cockerel." He is unimpressed when Aldamir tells him that our captain's daughter is "the wendy" of our land's colony of Lost Boys. "Oh, very droll," is is only remark.
"Well, then, what could we do to prove to you we're not pirates?" Aldamir asks.
"I dunno. Give treasure away?" the Cockerel says jestingly. That goes over the net and, in a minute or two, a small bag of golden coins comes floating over, by the Hand of Bavor.
They still don't believe us, but they let Aldamir go. He drops his invisibility as he lofts.
Teller *really* wants to grab the treasure back, because they welshed on the deal: they didn't agree we weren't pirates. Aldamir says No. Well, let's chuck something invisible at them, then. No.
Aldamir flies back to the Tindome. As he goes, we converse telepathically. While he was captive, Aldamir asked sarcastically if the Cedar had heard thus-and-such "on the grapevine." The Cedar remarked that they used to have grapes here, but no longer; he missed them. Accordingly, we prepared a gift of grapes, and Aldamir flies back with it.
Meanwhile, the Cockerel and the Cedar (who turns out to look like a small Ent when he's untangled from the bracken) have come out of the woods. Aldamir arrives by air and somewhat disdainfully hands them a napkin of grapes. As he flies back, he has the satisfaction of hearing the Cedar say, "Well, *that* ain't no pirate!"
We decide to make a leisurely departure and sail around the island (clockwise, deasil) slowly, to let the Cockerel catch up with us if he's a mind to. He comes flying, accompanied by a flying female figure in flowing white, presumably the wendy. She drops behind as we round the island, but the Cockerel goes up quite high, to keep an eye on us.
As we are ready to leave, Finwe asks Chekov if we can get back. The Sky Islanders told us the place was hard to find, and remember the veil of glamour about it. Chekov says yes, but not reliably. To increase our odds, Aldamir flits back to the shore once more and retrieves a pebble to use as a token. Surely that won't count as piracy. Looking back toward the catapult, he sees the Cedar, the Cockerel, and the Wendy in earnest conversation.
Updated: Oct 21, 2008
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.