Queensday Firstweek, Swallow's Reap, 147/32

Killing time 'till our date with the freighter. Crew are restless, as ever. The passenger is showing signs of thawing out. Malvery's decided to start dragging him out with us whenever he can. The Doc doesn't talk like it, but he used to live the high life once upon a time. He doesn't have a problem with Crake's accent like Pinn does. Me, I'm easy. He seems like an alright feller once you unjam that cane from his arse.

The golem is well-behaved, at least, although I do sometimes hear her charging around in the hold. I think Crake's playing ball with her. She doesn't seem violent, but I wouldn't want to get in her way while she's barrelling around. It's all a bit weird, but every time I think of kicking them off, I take out my cutlass and swoosh it around and everything's better. Pity I wasn't carrying it when I got spiked; I think I could have carved up the room blind drunk with this little wonder in my hands. It just seems to know what I want it to do.

I asked Crake if he could make any more stuff like that. He said no and went a bit funny. Mumbling about equipment this and sanctums that, but I could tell what was really bothering him. He's frightened of the idea. Seems a shame to know how to craft miracles and then not do it, but it's not my business, I suppose. Pity. I was going to ask him for a pistol that never missed, or something. Still, I'll set Malvery to pestering him, see what comes of it.

Not long till the freighter. Half the crew think the information's probably bad. The other half agree with the first half. But we've got sod all else to do, so we might as well check it out.
Kingsday Firstweek, Swallow's Reap, 147/32

Feel rather heroic today, actually. There's nothing to make a man feel like a man like setting right some wrongs.

Now I'm not going say I haven't pulled off a few injustices in my time, but Feckley's little trick was just low. I beat those guys fair and square at Rake, and he spiked and robbed me. It's not often I beat anyone fair and square at anything, so when I do I'm kind of precious about it.

Once I'd got out of bed and had my bowels back under control (an unpleasant-yet-strangely-satisfying side-effect of the spike) I gathered up the boys and we went down to Feckley's den.
Harkins I left to guard the Ketty Jay. He's a fine pilot but his bravery ends at the limits of his cockpit. He's not cut out for the physical stuff. Confrontations turn him into a gibbering wreck. He's likely to accidentally shoot someone out of nervousness. Quite possibly one of us.

I took Silo along this time. He doesn't often get off the ship on account of his being a Murthian and liable to get lynched when he's on his own. It's been a good few years now, but nobody's forgotten the war. Suppose the wounds run pretty deep. Me, I'm not fussed about Sammies or Dakkadians or Murthians or whoever - live and let live, that's what I think - but my guts still twinge when I think about that time in Samarla. The end to my illustrious career hauling cargo for the Coalition Navy. Still got the scars on my belly.

Silo and Malvery are the muscle, really, so I let them go in first. Pinn next, cause he's eager. I follow him in - can't go last, that'd just look weird - and behind me comes Keddle. I'm thinking I should start getting the passenger involved in this kind of thing, maybe. An extra pair of hands never hurts. And that golem would be pretty damn useful, if slightly unsubtle. Seeing Bess walk through town would raise a few eyebrows, and I like to keep my profile a little lower than that.

We boot our way into the den, bristling with guns. Feckley's got some muscle, too, but they're slow to their weapons. 'Don't you even think it,' I warn 'em, but there's always one. He thinks he's being ever-so-sneaky as he moves his hand towards his holster. Malvery spots him and shoots him with that big lever-action shotgun of his. Takes his head off above the jaw. Nobody messes with us after that.

Card dens have a lot of money lying around, and this one was no exception. Much more than was taken from me, anyway. I figure I deserve it. Just to be nice, though, I let the players keep the money in their pockets and what they have on the table in front of them. I'd be a bit of hypocrite if I didn't. It's not their fault that Feckley's a cheating pusbag.

He glares at me all balefully as we empty out his den. I can tell he's wishing he killed me when he had the chance. I know he's thinking up some kind of revenge if he ever lays eyes on me again, so I get my retaliation in first and shoot him in the foot. That'll teach him for glaring.

After that we reckoned it was best to get out of town, so we did, and then followed the obligatory grog-soaked celebrations of a job well done. It's not often we have a genuine reason to celebrate - we usually just make one up. So this time was a bit special. Put me back to bed for a day, but it was worth it.

Where next, Log?
Flaxday Firstweek, Swallow's Reap, 147/32

Woke up this morning in a bin. Not one of my better starts. Since I was upside down it took me a while to get out of it, after which I stumbled around trying to work out where in buggery I was. I was covered in all kinds of vile crap, and I had one of those hangovers where I could feel my eyes throb every time my heart beat. I would have been sick, but I think I left it all behind in that bin.

I was feeling so bad I didn't realise I'd been beaten up and robbed for quite some time.

Somehow I found a street I recognised and got back to the Ketty Jay without being stopped by the militia. Barely a flicker of surprise from anybody. Only the passenger made a passing inquiry about my well-being, but I just snarled at him. The cat obviously likes my new scent: he started following me as soon as I set foot on the craft and he hasn't left me alone all day. I went to my quarters and did my best to sleep, but the hangover and three tons of cat on my chest didn't make it easy.

Took me a long time to work out what happened, but from the bits and pieces I remember, I'm pretty sure someone spiked me. Second day I went back to the den they were playing Rake, and that's my game. I was flying. Came away considerably richer, and with the promise of a game the next day. So I went back for that one, and after that...

Well, I remember I was doing well. I remember I kept taking risks and coming up good. I remember beating Wings Full with a Run to the Ace of Skulls. Poor bugger I was playing with almost broke down in tears.

After that, I lose it. Someone sat down to play. Grinning at me, front teeth missing. He stank like sweat. Bought me a drink. The owner. Feller named Feckley, as I recall. It was him that did me. Guess he didn't like my run of luck.

Well, at least they were decent enough not to kill me. They didn't know who I was. Probably thought I was just someone passing through, possibly a professional cheat. Not that they'll find me grateful. Think I'd rather they had killed me right now.

But they didn't. So as soon as I start feeling a little less bloody awful, I'm going back there. For once, I won that money honestly, and I'm damned if I'm not getting it back with interest.

Scaleday Firstweek, Swallow's Reap, 147/32

Got a hot tip last night. Man I met at a card table gave me the news about a freighter, loaded up and ripe for the picking. Piracy's not gone well for me in the past, but still...

It went like this. I was on fire, taking down everyone at the table. Cash betting, all of that. This guy's good but he's desperate. Turns out after I beat him that some of his stake had been in the form of an IOU he couldn't pay. Things like that make me angry. I'm not an unreasonable man, but people who bet money they don't have just burn me up. So I pulled my gun on him and things got a bit strained. He was trying to talk his way out of it for a while, but a quick pistol-whipping took care of all that. Never let it be said that I lack finesse.

Finally he started blubbing. Turns out he used to work as assistant navigator on this freighter route before they fired him. He knows the times and the places where it's most exposed. The cargo is junk, but once a month they carry a heap of ducats, part of some accounting process they have. He offered up the information in return for me not clubbing him any more.

Fair enough, I said, since I wasn't getting any money out of him anyway.

I told the boys at dinner in the mess. Harkins went grey and looked rather unsteady. Pinn whooped and started dancing about until Malvery clipped him round the head with a spoon. Keddle grumbled. Silo didn't say anything, but he hardly ever does. The passenger just looked miserable. Morose so-and-so. This cloud of gloom follows him around everywhere. I wish I'd noticed it before I took him on.

Anyway, that's about as close to a vote of confidence as I ever get, so it looks like some light, refreshing piracy might be on the cards. Our window isn't for a little while though, so tonight, the only thing on the cards is cards. I'm going back to win me some more ducats. Feel like I've got a roll coming.

Note to self: Silo is complaining about spares again. Seems that no matter how many times I stock up on parts, there are never any spares. I should do something about it, but it's just one more thing I can't be bothered to deal with...