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May 8, 2017. Tortuga, Haiti. The Bonny Read Tavern. Just After Sunrise.


AEGIS agent Hannah Snell sighed as she looked at the tattered remnants of the Bonny Read Tavern. She didn’t know how she got herself into these things. Her mum back in Devonshire would say it was her desperate need for adventure. She sorted through the sleeping and/or battered unconscious figures scattered throughout the tavern with her eyes, hands, and (occasionally) fists, until she settled on one. “Oi.” She prodded the sleeping figure with her boot. “Oi. Flint.” What happened here last night would live in infamy…until next weekend, at the least. And it was at least half this woman’s fault. With the woman not waking from her rum induced slumber so easily, Hannah Snell decided to just go for it, and kicked the pirate captain in the side. Hard. “Oi. Get up, Flint. Need your ‘elp. Some pillock thought it’d be brilliant to resurrect a few old pirates for a lark. Needless to say, the prat’s dead and they’re on the loose.” Snell kicked the pirate again. “So get up, you lazy sod. You’ve got work to do.”

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"Wha...wha..." mumbled Flintlock, before bolting straight upright, eyes glazed. 


"The walrus! With tea! Three times!" she said, blurting incoherent meaningless nonsense, before snapping awake. 


"I was just resting my eyes!" she said, defiantly, reaching out for her hat and placing it, lopsided and clumsy, on her hair which was quite the state. 


Her head hurt most awfully. 


"Pirates? Resurrected? Yes, yes, terrible thing!" she agreed, wondering who this woman was and whether her own crew of resurrected (well, technically undead) pirates was somehow to blame. 


"I'll be right on it. Promise. Top priority. This century, for sure" she said, standing up. She felt giddy. She sat down again. 


"Hrmm...might need a moment. Who did you say you were again? And do you have any rum?"

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"Buncha delicate flowers."  Muttered the billionaire, as he stepped over people, his eyebrows knitted together over the aviators, as he stepped over a body, and then another, in the way back from the bathroom.  He moved to the cash register, and tapped the key to get it to slide open, before he set a business in there, and he pushed in closed, snorting a little bit before he shoved it back closed.


Turning, he prodded a foot against the proprietor, or who he had been introduced as such, before he barked in French, "<Hey!  Hey!  I left my card in the register, call it when you can think...>"  And he stopped when the person he was speaking to slumped back down.  "Fiiiiiine."  

Shaking his head, Amir al-Misri, billionaire playboy, philanthropist, and hero, stepped away from the bar, and walked towards a hole in the wall, looking at it for a couple moments, and nodding, before he looked to the two women he heard, and pointed to the hole.  "<It was here when I got here.  They said it was the air conditioning.>"  And then he moved to step through the door, intending on going to get some coffee, or more booze, he hadn't decided yet.  His humanitarian efforts here going just fine, or as good as t'were be expected, fortunately the stuff he applied to that one place, he was able to bring up here, and was helping deployment and other things, as he dropped one of his NGOs here in frustration over other humanitarian efforts that he really didn't feel were operating efficiently.

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Hannah just eyeballed Flintlock. “AEGIS, Flint.” She tapped her chest. “Had to skip the unis on foreign soil. And I think you and-“ She gestured toward the people scattered all over. “the rest of your friends drank all the rum in Haiti. Name’s Hannah. Hannah Snell.” She wished to the gods of booze that Flintlock didn’t know the name. Her ancestor was one of the first recorded women sailors. Didn’t sail as a woman, of course, but all the same. Hannah wasn’t her. Like, at all. Speaking of. “Oi.” She whipped a finger at Amir. “Here for you too, playboy. You know who’s calling in his marker. Lend a hand, yeah?” She ran a hand through her light brown hair. “Chop chop. You know how it is. Time’s a wastin’. Got anover one to pick up, 'n then off we go.” She looked at Flintlock again. “I’m sure playboy over there can find some rum if you ask him proper, so let’s get on wiv it.”

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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"AEGIS? Didn't I take you dancing at King Louis' ball in Paris?" she said rubbing her eyes. 


"No! Wait! That AEGIS!" she said, snapping her fingers into a mime pistol pointed at Hannah. "Yes, some kind of secret service thing. I remember now. Very sexy! Double-oh-seven, Dum dum de daaah - de darr darr!" she sang. 


"Well count me in then. Do I get a poison tipped umbrella? I always wanted one of those!"


She turned to Amir, put her fists on her hips. "Well, hello Sinbad! I have a bottle of rum and a shiny cutlass for you, my hirsute friend!" she laughed. 


She bowed at Hannah. "Consider myself, the Skeleton Crew, and the Black Flag at your disposal" she said, so deep her bow that her hat fell off and her hair brushed her boots. 


She pinged up straight again, eyes wide, and placed her hat on head once more. "Do you know where we should set sail to? Or do we have to tread feet on dry land?"


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Tortuga. Hakim wondered why he’d come here. He knew the reason, he’d been searching for something mentioned in one of the manuals. But he still wondered. It wasn’t exactly the kind of place one went to without a reason. And the pirate stories only did so much. The manuals. One of it mentioned that the answers lay in Tortuga. That was all of it.



The mages of old sure liked their secrets and cryptic wordings. What came next? He didn’t know. He’d arrived in Tortuga only a few minutes ago, when he stumbled across a faint magical signature. Still as Hakim Naifeh, but after a quick change, as Sha’ir, floating above the heads of the pedestrians while invisible.



It was faint, something that just was in the air. But maybe it was what he was looking for. It led around Tortuga, and got stronger the closer it approached one of the many taverns. It was worth a shot. He returned his visibility and stepped through the door. What he saw was certainly not what he’d expected. A clearly magically-powered person, somebody else, and, perhaps strangest of all, Amir al-Misri. Standing in front of a broken wall?



Sha’ir walked up to them, treading carefully. “Mr. al-Misri, I did not expect to meet you today. What appears to be the situation?”


Edited by olopi
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Amir walked towards then slowly, dressed a bit like a tourist in his polo shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and a pair of sneakers.  He folded his arm across his chest as he managed to raise one eyebrow in a supreme and sublime expression of 'Are you f***ing kidding me?'  Amir was never a guy who really leaned on his presence that often but it was hear now, and he was bigger in person.  Height wise and bulk wise,  the arms that were crossed were not delicate noodles.


"That's adorable.  You threatening me.  Look in the ledger again.  They.  Owe.  Me." He drew in a deep breath to sigh, and he let it out slowly.  "Now... ask, nicely, and tell me what you are expecting from me."

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Hannah held up a hand to forestall any more words from, well, anyone. She pulled out a smartphone and dialed. “Oi. You owe me twenty quid. Told you you’d lost the plot, but God forbid you listen to your expert.” A listening pause. “Right, right. I’ll get it done.” She hung up. “And bollocks to you, too.” She looked back at Asad. “Sorry about that. My boss is a bit of a gormless git. Bet him twenty quid it was the other way round, and guess who was right?” She replaced her smartphone. “Anyway, resurrected pirates running loose, and God only knows what that necromancer did to them to get them all stirred up. Shelled a few places. Pillage. Plunder.” She winced slightly. “Really don’t like men.” She shook her head to clear it. “Like I said. Lend a hand, yeah?”


Hannah pulled a roll of paper from the back of her waist. She unrolled it, and it was a big map. Sea charts spanning the entire globe but barely small enough to be held in a person’s hands. “Electronics can’t hold the signals. Some mystical nonsense. Map’s good, though. Takes magic to track magic, but you know that.” She spread her arms as wide as she could so both heroes could see. “Four places to check. Atlantic around the western coast of Ireland. English Channel and a bit of the Atlantic around Brittany. South China Sea near Shanghai. And what’s closest, the Mississippi coast.” Each zone was marked with X’s, in fine treasure map tradition. She rolled the map up and handed it to Flintlock. “Keep it, we’ve got a million of ‘em. The map, not the magicked bits.”


This was when Hannah noticed Sha’ir. “Oi. Don’t be shy, join up. Hannah Snell, AEGIS. Got a bit of a problem, but you’ve been listening. Got some work to do. Could use a hand.”

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The Skeleton Crew started waking up. They looked somewhere between rotting zombies and skeletons. The reason for looking like something like that was because that was precisely what they were. Only in pirate outfits. 


Handsome Jack had not been a handsome man in life. The dour German had been infamous for his pig-ugly nose. It mattered not so much when half of it has rotted off. Out of all the Skeleton Crew, he, as the first mate, was the only one with a degree of professionalism. He was a good sailor. 


He was also a little hungover, but less so. Nobody quite understood how the undead crew could get drunk, but they did. 


"Arr, Das Map!" he said, stabbing a finger on the article in question. "I know exactly where das is!" he concluded proudly to everyone. He paused an uncomfortable moment and went back to peering, closely at the map. "Stockholm! In Denmark!" he said, proudly. 


Flintlock clipped him round the ear. "Frunken Dool!" she slurred. "I mean...Drunken Fool! That's not anywhere! And anyway...Stockholms in...errr...Finland...No...Wait! Sweden!" she said, demonstrating superior geographical skills despite intoxication. 


She looked at the map a bit more seriously this time, knee on stool, elbow on knee, hand on chin. 


"Well, I say we check Mississippi coast first. They probably have the best rum" she concluded. 

Edited by Supercape
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Just what did I walk into…


There were times not having a visible face really helped. This was one of those. He had not idea what was going on. But clearly, it was something that could use his help. Just what was up with the woman, and … her crew? Hakim had a fair chunk of magic, but he’d never seen anything just like that.


But if AEGIS was involved, then this was big enough. So he stepped forward. Slow, deliberate steps. “I will gladly offer my help. Necromancy, you say? I may have something to help with that. “


He turned to face all of the others, and extended his hand. “Sha’ir. Spellsmith, and mystical defender of the Emerald Cities, at your service. I see we will have to travel, do any of you have any suggestions on how we will accomplish that?”

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"I can assure you it is always the other way around, it's why I am a billionaire, but let's not have a show of whose contact list is bigger.  Fine.  Undead, zombies, necromancer.  Great, fun.  You realize I am not magic right?  In the most literal.  I mean, yes my sparkling wit and stunning good looks do occasionally have people believing I am."  He shrugged a little bit then.


"Hello Sha'ir, just saddle up, we're going to be fighting undead pirates.  You know how that is."  He smirked a little bit, and then lifted a hand, jerking a thumb out towards the ones there.  "Are these guys included in that?  Because this is really going to be pressing on certain aspects of my religious beliefs..."

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"Don't mind them. They are me loyal crew. Fine sailors, fine gentlemen, and zombies. Or at least, one of those three" she answered Asad. 


"Well me hearties, if you want to fight pirates, you best become one! I can get you anywhere in this world, or others, on me ship, The Black Flag! Fastest thing on the seas, might of cannon, billowing of sail, full of salted meats and rum. You couldn't ask for a finer vessel!" she said, with some justification. 


"And I give you some proper pirate clothes. Some proper threads. Maybe some jewels! And hats! Yes! Hats! Always good to have hats!"


She tipped her own purple one proudly. 


"Although Sinbad here looks the part already! Don't you, me heartie!" she said, fondly, with a wink, and a quick tug of his beard. 

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Hakim still had barely any idea what was going on. Sure, necromants and pirates. And a different set of zombie pirates? And a pirate, a genuine pirate, who also was magic? And what was her relation towards al-Misri? And how did AEGIS actually connect to it all?


The fact al-Misri had reacted so casually to all of it only confused him more. Meeting each other on Tortuga was the first thing. The entire situation was another. Was this just how the east coast heroes were? Were they so used to it all?


“I fear a ship may take a while. Unless, say, it can do similar things to what I assume you are able to?”


Just what was her magic? He’d not seen anything like it before. Perhaps in a manual, but he wouldn’t know about that. But never in person.

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"Das Schwarze Flag ist die Shnellest Ship on das Sea!" blurted Handsome Jack, offended. Perhaps in life his German, or English, had been better. His Zombie brain tended to make a horrible bastard of the two languages. 


"Easy there, Jack! We don't want these fine people thinking you are a brain eating zombie, now, do we?" said Flintlock. 


"Errr...Nein?" whimpered an unsure and slightly awkward looking Jack. 


"<But that whale brain Gutboy cooked up last week was delicious!>" he whispered to Flintlock in a more acceptable German. 


"The Black Flag can make Mississipi within the day. By afternoon, if the seas are good" said Flintlock in a cheery voice. "It is the fastest ship on the sea. I could even make it faster, if we travel by...uhhh...other seas. But I doubt you want the freezing winds of Leng or the black bile of Mootlestain. Unpleasant at best, dangerous at worse" she said, serious and black for a moment. 


"But if anyone can get us there faster, that's fine by me, me hearties!"


Edited by Supercape
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He unfolded his arms and held his hands out, parallel to each other.  "... Just how big is this ship, and how fast would we need to be there?"  He hadn't really pushed himself, except for that mutagen incident, which he was happy didn't leave him with gills, or something else.


He was ignoring the Sinbad comment, or the pulling of his beard, even with Mali's training, Amir was stronger when he waited, after all.  Plus, the last time he saw Hakim there was something to do with a Tidal wave being controlled by Atlanteans.  This... this was hardly a blip on the patented Amir al-Misri 'Wierd-ometer.'  Even if magic was... something he tried to not ponder.  He'd talk to Imam about this later...  

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“I believe I should be able to shave some time off of that estimate. “


Leng? Mootlestain? He’d heard of both. They were spoken about only in whispers. Neither was a place one simply went into. She’d been correct with that, unpleasant and dangerous. Hakim began to second-guess himself. IF she spoke this casually, then what was her power like? Was there any connection between those forces and what she could do?


And how was her crew connected to it all? There were many ways to animate a corpse, after all. Or so he’d been told. He decided to not look at those manuals, save for an emergency.


“Not by myself, however. This big of a distance requires some concessions in order to work safely. Unless we have a safe spot to serve as a beacon, I suggest an alternative measure. But I will be able to accelerate the ship. “

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"Accelerate the ship? Accelerate das schnellest ship on das sea?" blubbered Handsome Jack, dribbling with indignation. 


"Why that sounds a splendid idea!" said Flintlock, clapping Handsome Jack heartily on his back. "What fun and jaunts! Sailing like an arrow, splitting the mighty waves like a cannonball!" she said, getting quite eager. 


"If you can do that, Ill open a bottle of 83' Rum I had stored away for the most spezchalisticles of occasions! I might even give you a glass, and my friend Sinbad, here! Yohoho!"


"And in answer to your question, Sinbad. Its not the size that matters, its the motion in the ocean, am I right, crew?" she laughed. 


The Skeleton Crew broke out into spontaneous sea-shanty song, with a few clumsy dance steps. 


"Ahoy me good hearties, the winds are a blowin'

Ahoy me good hearties, the anchor is up

Ahoy me good hearties, we like a good blowin'

Ahoy me good hearties, rub the mast down and up!"


"Ta daaa!" finished Flintlock. "How can you all resist a pirate ship full of song and dance like that? Plenty more entertainment and japes to be had, me hearties!" she said, winking at Asad. And, for that matter, Shi'ar. 


"Say the word, and Ill pull it up. The anchor, that is! harharahar!"

Edited by Supercape
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"Okay, next one who calls me Sinbad is being put into orbit."  Amir checked his watch, and he frowned a little bit.  "One sec..."  He stepped away, and picked and pulled out his cellphone.


"Hey... yes, I am aware, I wanted so local culture, and AEGIS is roping me into helping deal with Zombie pirates."  He paused, and he craned his head back and he looked up at the ceiling.  "Yes I am aware that I said that sentence. This isn't the strangest thing that's happened to me recently, well... I mean, it looks like I am fighting the zombie pirates with other zombie pirates...  No, I am not drunk.  Anyway, I don't know how long this will take.  And a drunk pirate wizard is trying to flirt with me badly, so I am just going to need to free up my calendar today, when I am done, I will check in and we will go from there...  Ok... well, when you are done laughing clear my calendar."


The eyerolling he was doing was hidden behind his glasses as he hung up, and then turns towards the others, pursing his lips a bit as he regarded them.  "So... yes, no more drinking for the rest of you.  Or, again, orbit.  And I can probably fly the boat in... though I've not tried doing that, but I am pretty sure it wont tax me."

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Hannah just let the heroes talk for a while. Negotiation was important, she guessed. AEGIS had a bit more of an orderly structure, it did. But eventually enough was enough. The sun was entirely over the horizon. “Oi. You lot done chattin’ each other up? Chop chop, I said.” She studied her nails, looking entirely too bored and impatient. “I’d like to get ‘ome in time for tea.”


And so, with Hannah Snell’s not so subtle encouragement, they set off to sea. Or rather, Asad picked up the entire Black Flag and flew them to Mississippi. Because he could do that, and yes, it was as cool as it sounded.




Black Flag. Mississippi Gulf Coast.


There was magic in the air. No, literally. Hannah Snell, AEGIS agent ordinare, just chatted idly with a female member of the crew. It was surprising how little blue collar life had changed in the centuries since they’d been alive. Well, that, and Hannah was going super duper hands off on this mission. Technically she was supposed to be supervising, but bollocks to that. Asad knew more or less what he was doing. Flintlock was…competent, at least. And Sha’ir…eh…he’d do. Probably. Besides, she preferred the Earth’s surface to orbit. Much healthier, it was.

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"Aha! Missisippi!" said Flintlock, fondly, examining the coastline with her rather splendid telescope. 


"I remember her well! Ah, what sweet times we have. Except for when those Lemurian Cultists tried to impersonate the mayor and that Jazz singer started laying eggs. Poor thing! She had such a sweet voice too..." she sighed. 


She folded in her telescope. "Well that was a herculean bit of strength there, Sinba.....err...not Sinbad" she slurred, saluting Asad heartily. "Haven't seen anything like that since...since..." she pouted. "Well I haven't seen anything like that before at all" she conceded. 


She turned to Hannah. 


"Now then, my splendid wench" she said, with a little jig towards the AEGIS agent. "What type of man woman or tentacled horror from Mootlestain are we dealin' with? I believe you referred to the jumped up flubberbrain who raised them as a pillock and more so, as a dead pillock. Now I won't be contending that. No, it takes a special type of flair to properly raise pirates from the dead!"


She emphasised the last point and did a dramatic bow to her crew, who clapped. 


"But now here's the thing. Pirates tend to have captains. Well, till they stab their captain in the back and throw him overboard and the next one comes along. So, do you fancy speculating who said captain might be?"

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"So I am gonna try something... might work, we might be sheared into space.  Don't worry though, I'll be fine."


Said before he picked up a ship, and aimed roughly towards where they were going, and then he pushed into the air.  Fortunately he couldn't try his mad plan because it just wasn't sureh e could do that and juggle a ship.  However, what Asad could do was push hard the whole time.  Which might be problematic, if it wasn't for the fact that his metabolism was... weird.


He didn't tire ever.  Endurance limits?  He hadn't found it.  He was fast when he flew, but then he could just... push, and he had yet to push himself too hard.  So this?  This was nothing.


When he hit the wall that was his top speed, he just buried the pedal and went faster.  The friction, the inertia, everything was just fuel for him.


Then they arrived at the Mississippi, and he had to shift, and slow and find where they were going, landing on the river and then swooping up to arrive on deck, and then he cracked his knuckles through the gloves he had worn and he looked around.



Edited by TheAbsurdist
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The ship had a certain atmosphere. It wasn’t per se unpleasant, but something about how it’s magic worked and looked told Hakim to be careful. Not only did Flintlock know about Mootlestain and the others, and not only was her crew zombies, but the entire ship seemed to work with powers he’d decided to never even think about playing with. It would be interesting to see it in action, but he was glad that they’d decided on the more reasonable approach.


The fact it had been the more reasonable approach told Hakim that this was gonna be one of those adventures he wouldn’t forget anytime soon. Still, they’d arrived just fine, so he was not going to complain. Now it was just a matter of figuring out exactly what they had to do here. And the others were already doing it, so he just sat back.

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Hannah shrugged. “Dunno, Flint. Who the prat brought back, I mean.” She walked the deck a bit. “Do know he liked pirates. Just the ladies, really. Should’ve seen his room. Ghastly.” She eyeballed Flintlock up and down. “Would’ve liked you, no question about it.” She strolled to the starboard rail. “Should’ve spent more time out of mommy’s basement, s’what I say. So, probably wasn’t lookin’ for a crew, savvy?” She turned and peered into the coastal waters. They were relatively clear. “And not a chance he was after a captaincy.”

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Pirate ladies! I hope he didn't make zombie pirates to...no...let us not dwell on such thoughts on this plane!


"He sounds like....what does one say these days...a Neek? a Gerd? I can't keep up with all this chapping and swanging of lords and wetters" she said, tapping her temples furiously. 


She sprang up. "So then, I would venture we need to put these pirates down. Give em the death they deserve! And...well...now I thinks about it, it may not be that simple, hmmm!" she ventured, strolling up and down the bridge of the Black Flag. 


"How to kill the undead? Burn them? Bury them? Smother them with kipper oil and dance an Irish Jig? The possibilities are endless!"


She spun around, finger waving to the sky. "We need to know how the fool raised them! Know thy enemy, or something like that. Napoleon always told me that!" she concluded. "A terrible man! How I adored him!"


"Mayhap we can reverse the spell? Aha! reverse the thaumity of the necrotic flow!...or...something like that..." she said, confused. 

Edited by Supercape
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Amir walked towards them coming in a bit on the tail end of the conversation.  "Did we lose any of the putrescent ones?"  He didn't want to talk to them to find out, as he felt their stupid was... pungent.  Powerful.  But he really wouldn't be broken up by them getting lost, except for the possible heart attack inducement for someone running into the Skeleton Crew, without realizing what was happening.


"Well, I can deal with the undead, they go squish."  To emphasize the point he punched his hand against the palm of the other, it wasn't forceful seeming.  But there was an exertion of the hideous strength, and it was enough to urge everyone back a step or two, just from the resonance of the force.  "Failing that I can burn them."  And he pulled his hand apart and a coruscating bit of energy started to stretch between them, heat washing off, but it was gone soon enough as well.


"But the magic stuff ain't me... and listen, I am gonna level with you, ya'll muthaf###as need Allah."

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