Captain Greco placed his hands on the sturdy ship railing of the Sagittario and took in a deep breath. The slight breeze presented smells of jasmine and oil. The night was cool and the ship gently ebbed in the Bizerrcan harbor. Captain Greco studied the scorched walls of the Presidio, The imperial ships sure shot this place to hell, sneaky bastards.
The captain heard voices and turned from the ruined building to see some of his crew returning to the ship, his boson, Amilcare Campari, had a body slung over his shoulder, this was not in itself an unusual site aboard the Sagirratario, sailors who drank too much were often carried back to the ship by their mates, however the captain did not recognize the man en tow, which made him very pleased.
Boson Campari steadied himself holding onto a rope and ascended the gang plank , upon reaching the deck he dumped the body at the captains feet.
“Is this a present for me?” the captain said in a playful voice.
Captain Greco could smell rum on his boson’s breath as he spoke, “Aye, cap, is a man what not knows when to shut his trap.”
Greco took a closer look at the young sailor, blue vest and pants with a yellow sash, “Get him below decks so we can finish this task” the captain barked. The sailor was again hoisted on shoulder and taken to the officers' mess.
“Wake him up”, a bucket of cold water was liberally applied to the sailor’s head, who gasped and looked about disoriented.
The sailor jostled in his seat, bound by ropes and questioned, “Where am I? Campari is this a joke?” “
I will ask the questions, lad” the captain leaned into the lamp light. “What is your name and why are you here?”
“My name is Iephthae, I am a carpenter on the ship Maria-Louisa, what is this about?”
“Just answer my questions and everything will be over soon enough.” said the captain. “What do you know of the Buccaneer Ducas?”
Iepthae glanced about nervously ,”he is a pirate, captured by the Dey, he was released to my captain two days ago, the people of Bizerrca hate him and his release caused a riot in the market,!”
The captain took a drink from his cup,“Very good, when will your ship depart?”
Iepthae’s eyes grew wider, “I do not know, I am just a carpenter! Please let me go!”
Captain Greco threw the rum into Iepthae’s face, “You had best think hard, your life hangs in the balance!”
Iepthae’s eyes burnt and he could feel cold steel against his throat, “wait, wait!! I think I heard the first mate say that the Maria-Louisa would depart after the Archbishop presents his gifts to the Dey!!” Tears began to stream down the poor carpenter’s face.
“Where are they keeping Ducas?”
Iepthae surveyed the situation, perhaps he could barter for his life, “If I tell you will you let me live and be a part of your crew?”
An eternity passed then Captain Greco let loose of Iepthae’s hair and tossed the dagger to Campari. “Enterprising, I like that in a crewman, what can you tell me?”
“Ducas is being held in the aft hold of the ship, being watched by a Janissary guard, but that is not all. Morea has ships in Taranto, the Maria-Louisa will set out to meet them before heading home.”
Captain Greco turned to his bosun, “Campari, introduce Mr. Iephthae to our most important crew member.” With a lightning fast movement Campari buried the dagger hilt-deep into the Morean sailor’s chest.
“Have the cook clean up this mess, we need to get word to Captain Sanuto in Susah!"
Captain Greco turned and looked at the dead carpenter, "don't you worry much Mr. Iaphthae you're mates will be joining you soon enough!"