The reflections of a sailor
They were thrown into the brig together; Overkill and Dangein Bamog or otherwise known by the dwarf as Pain in the Ass. In the dinning hall they had go into a fight and excited the whole crew. Sides were created and property damage was plenty. Honeysuckle and her crew would have their hands full in repairs on furniture and some of the walls.
The two men just stared at each other and had not spoken for an hour. Overkill had a busted lip and swollen shut eye and Dangein was certain that besides the bruises he had a dislocated shoulder that would need healing. It sucked to be the resident Psi-Healer and have no power to heal yourself.
Finally the silence spoke from the orc. “You don’t know the oppression of my people.”
Overkill grunted in disgust. “Holy Osiris, you think I don’t know oppression? You have been playing that slave card since you got here. Oh, poor me and look at the down trodden, bull crap. Really? You want to talk about being a minority in a government or in a crew. Did you count the dwarves on the ship? You need to get off the boat to mamby pamby land and grow a pair. Piracy is not for little boys and girls. There is no guild that will bail you out if things go bad. We are not hired mercenaries with pensions waiting for us when we retire. If we are caught for our crimes it’s death! Get over yourself and your ‘people’.”
“You know I was born a slave.”
“Yea and as I recall I was commissioned to buy you with group funds. I didn’t think that I would regret it for the rest of my life. You are a free man now and you are a equal member of the crew. Equality is reserved for those that pull their weight and show some tenacity for hard work and comradely but right now I see none. I see a boy who is waiting for his pity party. Well sorry I have none. No cake, no beer.”
“Do you know what it’s like to be a slave; to have your people slaves?”
“No. The longest I have ever been a slave is one day. I was whipped, beaten, stripped and put in a pen that smelled like someone took a nice duce; the longest day of my life. Then again I forget the beatings that my dad gave me when I was bad and that my friend was with a belt. My dad wanted a legacy and he had only one son; me. Two sisters, all with the love of their mother and adoration of their father and me who was supposed to be a blacksmith like his father. Only you can guess it, I went to the Naval Academy and became a sailor and that lasted for about three months before saying ‘screw this’ because the humans treated me like crap’; so here I am a pirate. So I don’t know your life. We all have a hard time and having you pipe up every night drunk and cry your story, I frankly had grown sick of it and well a good punch shut you up.”
“What do you want of me?”
“What do you want of me, Dangein?”
“Respect is earned by the sweat of your brow and the loyalty to your mates. I get up every morning and say within myself ‘Who am I and what will I become today’ and you know what is always the answer?”
“A gryphon’s ass?”
Overkill laughed. “Ok you got me there. I set you up for that and you took it. Very funny. Mate, you can do a lot but you have to separate yourself from who you were to become who you’re going to be. I bought you from all the others because I saw that in you. You are a free man. Either you can do something great with it or you can continue ending up here with me and perhaps you will have the busted lip next time.”
This time the orc laughed. “Listen, you are still the worse first mate ever but I can appreciate the honesty. I will make an effort not to end up here in the brig if you help me. That doesn’t make us bed buddies just know that I can respect you even if you scream and bark like a little Chihuahua.”
“You know I am really trying to keep you alive.”
“Yea but it doesn’t come across quite so well when you are so short.”
Overkill raised an eyebrow.
The orc laughed again. He was having fun at Overkill’s expense. “Oh and one more thing”, the orc added, “I know what you did to change your name to Overkill. I am glad you didn’t kill me for running my mouth.”
“Tenderfoot is not on this ship and you will do well to remember that, sailor.”
Overkill knocked on the door of the listening sailor. “We’re done here Brew. You can let us out.”
Picture from Young Kingdoms.