Brace! [Acceptance]
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#1
(This post was last modified: July 06, 2018, 11:33:56 PM by Charley.)

Fisk
***


"Heyyy-YO! Navy off the Port bow!" "Cap'n! More Navy! Stern!" "Cette tempête sera la mort de nous!""Lockwood be damned! He's betrayed us!"

The ship rocked in the tidal like waves, cannons burst as their target shifted from their rival to a common enemy. The rain would not let up as it pounded the decks of the galley. A small ship cat with orange flame points huddled next to furry a shadow below decks. Usually in a battle like this he would be on deck with his face in the wind, but those were on days when the sun was out. He could feel the thrum of the ship shift as the navigator threw his weight on the wheel, turning the ship about. Something was very different about this battle, their voices were filled with panic, not courage, fear not vindication. The pressure against him shifted as Nuna adjusted her position. He heard a yell for the cabin boy to get moving and he saw the kid dash by. A moment later a black and white feline snake slunk by and tried to see if he was invited to the huddle. Fisk hissed at his rival, daring Skippy to try coming any closer.

"Find your own hole to hide in, Rat!" The ginger cat swiped his paw out at the other but a roll of the ship sent the flame point flying across the deck with a yowl.

"Brig! Brace!"

Suddenly before the ginger could regain his footing and get back to his beloved shadow under the shelf his world turned completely upside down with a sickening crash. The wood splintered above him as the battering horn wrenched free of the wounded ship. Frigid sea water boiled up from below with a gurgling squelch and splashed over the howling cat. The last thing he saw was the glowing red eyes of a terrified rat getting washed away with him before Poseidon's tears ripped him from his home and pulled him into salty oblivion.

He clawed and scrambled through the dark water not knowing which way was up until his lungs could hardly take it and his limbs stopped responding. Then he saw through the stinging salty water a light like a bright red flower blooming above him. He broke the surface of the sea with a desperate breath and the next thing he saw with blinking clear eyes was a smoldering wreck of cloth and timber. He clambered atop a piece of flotsam. Nearly dunking himself back into the drink again. Finally, exhausted, he clung to the flotsam catching his breath.

He called into the tumultuous waves, "Nuuunaaaa!!!" but his voice was lost to the thunderous crashing of cannons and gunpowder. No!! This couldn't be happening! She was carrying his kittens! He hadn't knocked tSkippy to below decks for this nightmare! He had been the Captains First Mate! What will he do? Where is the captain? He yowled into storm for his human and again it was lost in the storm not even echoing back to him. A wave rose up and tossed him back into the water where he thrashed for a purchase on a new piece of flotsam.

He clambered aboard a large piece of timber. It was large and stable enough to act like a solid raft. He shook the water off his coat as much as he could and tucked his paws under him as the raft carried him away from the battle. He watched with tears as the only home he ever knew billowed up in smoke and slowly sank under the waves. He looked down to his new home, an old door with a piece missing. Red with a gold knocker. The captains door. He looked to where the eye hole would be and saw a handprint in black paint with a small paw print over the palm in red paint. He shifted to the mark and placed his now larger paw over the prints. He rubbed his cheek over the painted palm and flopped over to his side as the rain continued unabated. What will become of him, was the captain safe?


***
The morning sun peeked over the horizon to reveal a small white form atop a raft floating towards the shore of Tortuga. The ocean breeze carrying a strange and bloody scent to the beach. The little cat hadn't realized he had several large splinters, several in his side that was exposed to the battering horn of the brig. A new wound on his ear where a ruby gold piercing once adorned it. He was exhausted, bruised, bloody and thirsty. Fisk could barely open his eyes to the bright new world and barely moved as the ocean deposited his make-shift raft upon the sandy shore. Sleep was far too easy and it hurt too much to move.


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#2
(This post was last modified: July 24, 2018, 10:14:16 PM by Batzorig.)

    He's no Watchman-- nor would he want to be-- but Batzorig walks the beach all the same. Sometimes he finds shells to offer up in exchange for companionship, but mostly, he's just trying to keep his mind occupied. Once he came upon some dead ocean creature he couldn't identify, another time something that turned out to not be dead after all, and bit him for his efforts. A child burned fears the stove, but curiosity killed the cat, and so he sniffs the sopping heap of fur, and finds it smells of injury, but not death. It's such a small thing, he's not too concerned to nose at it lightly, checking for life-signs that still persist.
    It must be a cub, the lion reasons, as he lifts it gently by the scruff. He knows who watches the children in Tortuga. Batzorig takes the cat in his teeth, and goes to find Dixie.
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#3





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    The day was mainly spent deciding which task to put first: being loan shark or being keeper. Dixie had found out that they did have some orphan pup, although she wasn’t sure where it came from. She had a steward under her that could care for it, but she didn’t really know the new steward. Plus, one pup wouldn’t be that much of a handful. During the chaos of moving and, well, everything, they seemed to have lost track of the youngster. He was almost ready for voyage age, although she wasn’t even sure if they were going to continue that. Things were still settling, along with the new alphas. Eventually she would find out, but for now she was simply walking not too far off from the beach.

    The large creature she had learned as Batzorig was padding up to her, some scrap of fur dangling from his mouth. Dixie wondered at first why he would go up to her, actively seeking her out until it crossed her mind that this tiny creature could be a child. She went up to the Gunner, concern in her eyes. “Where did you find this?” She sniffed at it, using her paw to move the wet bundle of fur around in the lion’s jaws. If he set the creature down, she would stick her nose right into the tiny creature’s pelt. Either way, eventually she would narrow her eyes, slightly amused. “This is a grown ass cat.” This had nothing really to do with her. Dixie had also thought this wet creature was a kitten, but it was just a waterlogged grown adult tom.

    “I was a surgeon at one point. I can try to help.” The last cat she had seen had been Icepath, a black and white she-cat that spoke in cat puns. The little fucker probably left when she was bored, no one paying much mind to a tiny creature. Or she was stuck up in a tree somewhere, forever. Either way, she wasn’t going to tell Batzorig to throw this pitiful creature back into the ocean. “We need to make sure that he’s breathing, and then see if there is any water in his belly.” Dixie felt her age showing, her words half filled with confidence in her skill, but half filled with uncertainty in her movements. It had been so long since she was a surgeon, but surely she could handle a simple cat?




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#4

The cat's exhausted nap in the sun was interrupted by a snuffling black and white monster that eventually picked him up as if he were a kitten. If Fisk wasn't only half conscious and in pain he would reel, yowl and fight but as it was he could barely keep his eyes open and accept his fate. Maybe this was the mighty Poseidon himself carrying him to heaven.

When he was deposited upon the ground eventually the sudden stillness shocked him into breathing quickly and squinting his purple eyes against the sun. He could hear voices but couldn't quite make them out for a moment and decided they were maybe going to eat him.

"--sure that he’s breathing, and then see if there is any water in his belly." They wanted to help. Why? He was a waterlogged grief stricken-WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? His purple eyes shot open as they finally adjusted to a shadow being cast over him by a DOG and a HUGE FUCKING LION.

"rrrrRRRRrrrr....rrr...." He growled incoherently as if he was telling the cabin boy to back off, but he didn't have the strength to even lift his tail. He panted heavily between the growls. He didn't want no DOG touching him! The most he could do was shift his ears back for a moment but he couldn't even manage to hold them there for long. Why was he so WEAK?

He had several sprinters in his side, one the size of the end of his tail stuck in the soft spot near his flank and bleeding, several smaller wood chips speckled the same side, and another large piece was dug in close to his shoulder. Nothing some salt water, booze and rest couldn't fix after they were all taken out. He'd be picking the tiny ones out for weeks though. That is if he survived these two buffoons, and the waves of crashing grief of course.


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#5
(This post was last modified: July 24, 2018, 10:14:48 PM by Batzorig.)

    He mumbles slightly in response to Dixie's query, before setting the cat in the sand and saying, "On the beach." Batzorig indicates the direction he arrived from with a flick of his white-tipped tail, and settles on his stomach, the cat between his forelegs. He frowns at Dixie's next words, and wonders aloud, "They come this small...?"
    Still, she's going to try to save the cat, even as it growls at the both of them. Bat just licks the crown of its wet head.
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#6





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    When Batzorig put the tiny feline down, he was still a man of few words. ”On the beach.” And the lion flicked his tail in the direction, and Dixie knew that direction was towards open waters. It would have made more sense if he had been found closer to the mainland, but the ocean? It was odd, although she guessed the cat was light enough to be pulled a good ways away from land. So far, she had no suspicion that humans were involved. She sniffed more at the cat, softly lapping her tongue over it as it tried to make a groaning noise. ”They come this small…?” Dixie nodded. “You’re a ‘big’ cat, this is a ‘little’ cat. Humans favor them.” In her time with humans she had learned a few things. One being that humans sometimes grew little attachments to these little cats, but she wasn’t sure if they were used like some dogs, or just for aesthetics like others.

    As Dixie let her tongue go over the cat some more, she could start to feel out wooden pieces either in his fur, or that dug into his flesh. With the water running down him still, it wasn’t easy to tell the blood dripping out, but as he was drying she started to notice it more. The more she parted his fur and tried to lap at him, the more she found. Dixie pointed with her nose at the larger splinter in the cat’s flank. “You see that wood piece thing? There are more in his skin, help me get them out.” The might be butting heads, literally, with the task but if he was there, he might as well be put to use. If the cat started to fight them, she would put her paw down onto whatever he tried to fight with.

    “With his groaning, I don’t think he has water in him, or at least not enough to hurt ‘im.” She said as she gently bit onto a splinter, pulling it out with her teeth and spitting it onto the ground. If the cat didn’t show any signs of being able to talk to them, she would start talking to Batzorig while trying to get the larger pieces out and search for more (sometimes flipping the cat around like a ragdoll if he didn’t put up a fight. “Do you know like, what happened? At all?” After all, it seemed they were going to be the ones responsible for letting this tiny scrap of fur into their pack. She wanted to be answer any questions anyone asked, and so far she knew nothing except he was wet and hurt.




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#7

As the dog stuck its giant snuffling nose all over him Fisk froze and stopped breathing only to let out a blood curdling yowl of pain as a stake was taken out of his side. With sudden alacrity he flayed out on his back ready to slash the dog and lion with his claws when the dog just pinned him down and flipped him on his other side grabbing more splinters. He yowled again in pain and tried to scrabble away but he was too weak and tired to put up much fight.

When we was back up to his old self he'll show these numbskulls who they're dealing with! With a sigh he finally relented though and blinked up at them.

“Do you know like, what happened? At all?” the dog asked the big giant black and white lion and not the tiny cat himself. They probably thought he couldn't understand them. Though to be honest it was a different gear from listening to humans all his life. Was the ship close enough to shore when they were attacked? How far out to sea where they?

"Why don't... you ask's... the cat... himself?"
He growled and gasped out weakly. Still trying to reach his paw to grasp anything to purchase to slink away from them. All he could grab was sand.
"Hmf... Shipwreck." He conceded and if he could, he'd wrap his thin tail around himself, "I was... First Mouser and First Mate to my... human." He hated sand and how it clung to his fur. He hated how still the land was. He had been on land only once before and he hated the stillness so much that he just kept to the ship when they docked. He let the big lion swipe its massive tongue over him and let the dog get what splinters it could.
"He's gone... isn't he..." He asked quietly, referring to his captain. He missed his warm lap and the gentle scratches behind his ear and shoulders.


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#8
(This post was last modified: July 24, 2018, 10:15:26 PM by Batzorig.)

    Batzorig nods sagely as Dixie speaks, even as he struggles to understand. If a human were to take a cat like they domesticate dogs, of course they would want something smaller than them, but why take one at all? He licks the opposite direction the splinters went in, gently coaxing them back out through pressure alone, but pulling back when the cat begins to talk. The white marks above his eyes scrunch down at the mention of "First Mouser" but he quickly arranges the information. So, that's what they keep little cats for.
    The lion frowns then, as Fisk muses that his human is gone. "'Fraid so," he mutters, tugging at another large splinter, before leaving the smaller ones to Dixie. "Were you close?" He can't imagine fostering any sort of connection with a human, but he also hadn't fathomed a cat this small before he discovered it, half-dead on the beach. Instead of asking, he guides the conversation to where this little feline came from, both to satisfy his own interest, and keep the cat coherent. And for the safety of the empire, of course.
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    "Why don't... you ask's... the cat... himself?" Dixie frowned, her attention going from the lion to the cat. The words seemed to carry some kind of confidence, not one that Dixie would expect from a tiny creature that could be torn to shreds by either of the rescuers. But she would listen, settling down to watch the cat grasping at the sand that fell between his toes. "Hmf... Shipwreck." Her idea of the small cat being with humans had been correct. That was the only times she had seem small cats, after all, either that or they traveled in large groups, like Icepath had been from. Either humans or clans, no in between, not in this world. "I was... First Mouser and First Mate to my... human." She wondered what he meant as First Mate, but could see First Mouser. A small cat, hunting mice on some ship. The humans probably liked that.

    "He's gone... isn't he..." There was some pity in Dixie, as she looked at the cat. "'Fraid so.” Batz spoke, and together they started to finish getting what splinters they could. The cat would have to get the smaller ones on his own. "Were you close?" Dixie gave Batz a look that said ‘obviously’, having heard the small cat’s words. She’s let the two speak for a moment, and then she would cut in when she could. This wasn’t some pretty girl that she was just going to let into Tortuga for being pretty. “Well, no offense but that doesn’t matter that much right now.” Dixie had a human, once. The girl had called her Blue Ears, and had painted a heart of her face. She missed the girl still, but that was long ago. She felt for the lad, but knew that if she could get over it, so could he.

    “You washed up on the shores of Tortuga. We’re a pack.” Did he understand what she was getting at? “Either we can take you to the land bridge so you can go to the mainland, or you can join us.” She wasn’t sure she would actually let him leave, if he wanted that. It would be a waste of time. If he had uses, then she wanted Tortuga to have it. So, in all honesty, the offer to go to the mainland was a lie, but she wasn’t going to admit that. But it wasn’t like he had much left. And she could see some use in having a cat. They could lure in slaves, letting the strikers and sirens and others capture the creature that thought they would get an easy meal. Or maybe this cat knew something about crafting, considering his human history. “You need to be useful to stay, though.” Tell her something she would like to hear. 




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#10

Fisk clenched his tail around himself as they wiggled another splinter out. He was done and finally got onto his paws and made himself as small as possible flattening his orange ears against his skull, refusing to let them continue their assault on his fur. Ugh he was going to have to groom for weeks to get the dog slobber out of his fur.

He wriggled slightly closer to the big lion feeling a little camaraderie especially since he asked if Fisk and his captain were close.
"Yeh. He was captain of the ship. He would a-ways ask me for a new heading while he was chartin. He never made any important decision unless I was und-r 'is hand or in 'is lap." He was able to flick his ears up to express more emotion.

When the dog cut in Fisk scowled and pinned his ears back again. She explained they were a pack and he either had to stay and be of some use or get tossed over a bridge. Pah, it was more of the same on the ship. Join us or die, grieve later. He didn't really see much of an option here but what would a bunch of dogs need a cat for... He looked up at the lion he was huddling in the shadow of, what would they need a huge lion for? Do dogs even keep stores of food to chase rats and mice out of? There was no one to cuddle and get pets from. None of his charms would come in handy for scraps from the Cook. He could be a scout in the dark easily though if they needed one. From what he understood of dogs they didn't see well at all in the dark, though they might already have Big Cat here doing that job.

"Join or die, eh? I can scrap a rat in the dark and keep yer food stores clean of their piss. I can scout out in the night, and I can shimmy through the small crevices to gather and thieve anything ya like, savvy? Good enough fer ya?" Just in case they didn't actually know the lingo of savvy. What do a bunch of landlubbers know of savvy anyhow.


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#11

    He frowns when Dixie says it doesn't matter-- not out of judgement or disagreement, but disappointment in himself. This is why he isn't a Watchman; your bleeding heart has no right to decide who gets in. You are muscle, Batzorig. It's what you're good for.
    The cat, evidently, has more use than even Bat. It hadn't occurred to him how a lack of size could be an advantage, despite how often he's caught himself in underbrush. Felines do see better at night than dogs do-- that he can attest-- and rodents are never a pleasant find. His tail twitches, fluff of white flicking excitably while he raises sea-foam eyes to Dixie in a hopeful smile he can't quite suppress. He stays on his stomach while the kitty postures, and after a moment for the Keeper to state either her verdict or a moment to think, he swears to himself this is the last stupid question tonight, "What's your name?"
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    "Yeh. He was captain of the ship. He would a-ways ask me for a new heading while he was chartin. He never made any important decision unless I was und-r 'is hand or in 'is lap." Dixie gave some kind of sniff. Rita had never needed someone laying on her lap to make decisions. She wasn’t sure how Des was, but she was rather confident that girl was pretty independant. "Join or die, eh? I can scrap a rat in the dark and keep yer food stores clean of their piss. I can scout out in the night, and I can shimmy through the small crevices to gather and thieve anything ya like, savvy? Good enough fer ya? She almost raised her lips at the cat. He had some attitude, although she supposed that fit into such a pack.

    Dixie took a moment, pretending to give great thought. Really, her thoughts were fast, decided within seconds. This kitty could be entertaining, and it wouldn’t hurt anyone to have him around. Plus, if they did find a use for him, then well, why not? Plus, he was small, barely a mouth to feed compared to a canine or lion. Tortuga could afford to have such a scrap of fur. At the very least, he could entertain them all. “Then if you’re willing to earn your keep, welcome to Tortuga. I’m Dixie, Keeper and Loan Shark. Batzorig here is a Gunner.” Kind of an asshole move to say there ranks and not explain them, huh? But she was trying to get over her sadness, and in its death an asshole had been born, it seemed. “Make sure to stop by a healer, don’t want you to die from infection.” She’d look at Batz, letting him decided if he wanted to escort the cat somewhere or not. Dixie felt her work here was done, and if no one tried to stop her, she would start to walk away.




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#13

Feelings mutual love... he nearly raised his lip at her in turn, he had seen the twitch. Good to know that he could still sass the dogs around here without getting thrown overboard. He wouldn't want to push it too hard of course, he hadn't met their captain yet. Maybe Cap was a big ol cat like this handsome lug hovering over him.

He twitched his whiskers as Dixie welcomed him aboard and walked away.

"Gunna? What's a bunch a dogs and cats need guns for?" He was incredulous as he looked up at Batzorig. At least he had the decency to ask for a call name.

"Names Fisk. Thanks fer askin'." With a quick flip of his paws he hopped out from under the lion and in a frisky turn he hopped up onto the luxurious shoulders of his white mane.
"Hope ya don't mind me up 'ere mate? Looks comfy..." He'd probably be stable if the lion got up and wandered around while he had a cat nap on the beast. Probably be a lot better than the frozen still ground and a lot like the rocking deck of a ship.

((I'mma done! Thanks!))


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