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An Epistle of Inquiry


Naturally, in addressing this letter to the entity known as ‘Captain’, I am implicitly - and now explicitly, I suppose - addressing all individuals who might reasonably possess the ability to lay claim to said title: March, Branch, Marsh, and indeed - if against staggering odds, there was any amount of truth to that ludicrous assertion - Brian. The latter possibility is something which, naturally, I doubt - but still, I’ve learned never to underestimate your ability to conceal relevant information.

This is, coincidentally, a skill which is relevant to the topic of this particular message. Inasmuch as I’d like you to dispense with it. To wit: would any single one of your personas be so kind as to inform the crew where in the absolute hell are you taking us, and why?

It’s all very well for you, sequestering yourself in that overlarge cabin with the vast majority of all alcohol remaining on deck, but there are some of us for whom the comforts of drunken oblivion whilst pondering the whys and wherefores of our inevitable demise have now been rendered inaccessible - and trust me, it has hardly been pleasant. Some of us, for instance, are called Stephano, and have taken to sobbing over the railings of the boat at odd intervals. Others, granted, have simply been swabbing the poop deck (or whatever you call the high-up platform thingy) with customary stoicism, but that doesn’t make them any less despondent. Some of us, dare I say it, have planned highly important dinner dates for which they are now exceptionally (by which I mean four whole days) late, and are currently wondering whether or not they are likely to ever catch sight of their beloved home city again before it is laid waste by a former legal client - but I don’t suppose this is likely to sway you.

What might sway you is the ever-dwindling supply of rations on board this godsforsaken rowboat, but I’m not holding out much hope.

Hugh, what I was trying rather haphazardly to say last night was that, yes, this is all in no small part your fault - but it’s not as if any of the rest of us behaved any better. I didn’t happen to be his High Priest, but I humoured him all right, so if there’s blame to be dispensed, then we might as well all take a share. But, regardless of that, right now, we’ve an innocent adventurer’s wife to locate, and she’s not about to kidnap herself - so could we maybe postpone that particular ethical dispute?

I’ve held off on prayer so far, but there’s only so long we can spend drifting aimlessly before I’ll abandon such scruples. I want to see what she makes of this scheme. At least if I do, I’ll be able to commit wholeheartedly.

I can’t just sit here in my cabin reading up on Binding rituals. I won’t. I’ll face Xavier empty-handed before I let myself fester for a single moment longer. If I thought for a moment that going on the run would actively hinder my ability to help Acryn when it most needs it, I’d have stayed on the streets to fend for myself and probably starved; nothing would have convinced me to hole up in an oversized dinghy with an insolent, rum-swilling madman who keeps levelling balls of Flux energy at my head, and I daresay I wouldn’t have even -

… Oh.

Oh, all right then. Lila just told me that Albert heard from Gerard, who says you’ve emerged from your room smelling like a distillery in order to tell us we’re heading East, with the distinct air of someone who possess an actual plan.

Hmm. Well, in retrospect, I suppose that makes this letter appear rather foolish.

I suppose I’ll go join the others on deck. Pietro said he’d teach me how to use a sextant today, and if I’m not going to see Acryn again just yet, I might as well pass the time learning valuable life skills.

In the spirit of passive-aggression, Tabitha chooses to leave the unfinished letter on one of the library tables. Peering through the windows, all she can spot is the same vast, featureless stretch of sea, with nothing besides the word of a few sailors to indicate their change of course whatsoever.

Back at her room in the city, she’d had a direct view of Founders’ Square, and every day she’d entertained herself watching Acryn’s inhabitants advertise merchandise and religious dogma both.

If, for a moment, she sighs, there’s no-one there to catch her at it. In a flurry of skirts, she exits, and heads back on deck.

resources/fic/an_epistle_of_inquiry.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/15 14:49 by emmab