Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

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 [Closed] A Sailor's Tale

[Closed] A Sailor's Tale

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[Closed] A Sailor's Tale

Shane Mathis | Warlock; Necromancer

Posted on Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:05 pm

Thread Details

Wildwood, NJ | cloudy | This takes place in the past.

OOC Message
This takes place before Shane arrived to Index. He's known at the time as Daniel or Danny.

Every single time I left, I considered trying yet again to convince Alyssa to move here to Wildwood. Jersey jokes aside, wouldn’t it be any kids dream to grow up in a place like this? With the carnival and the boardwalk to go to? And it would be that much easier for me to see Alyssa when I was away. That was the one reason we had yet to have children - my time out to sea.

Well, no, that was wrong. It wasn’t the only reason - thought it might have been at one point in time. It was certainly the first. The rest of the reasons were side effects of it. Every time I said goodbye, she seemed more and more.. okay with it. I wasn’t faulting her. After a while, I think we were both growing used to it. But her goodbyes felt canned, automatic, even if they were sincere. Maybe it was conceited, but in a strange way it felt nice to be missed. I was feeling less and less of that. I guess I knew what I should do, but I loved what I did. I loved the risk, I loved the thrill of driving into a storm when everyone else was running away. Maybe I didn’t fear death as much as others because well.. I talked to the dead. And while they lamented about it a time or two, it didn’t seem all that bad. I’d manage.

I boarded the small silver and red boat which would, after a quick patrol, be taking me to one of the larger off coast boats. That was the other exciting thing about it - it seemed like it was almost a different crew every time I went out. Almost. There were a few that I saw more than once. There was the dude everyone called Hot Dog, including myself. I’d been told his real name but I kept forgetting since it didn’t matter. I almost always saw Jefferson, who.. was strange but in a good way. He didn’t talk much until you got close to him, then he wouldn’t shut up, and any pictures of him not with us, in his land life, I could swear he was wearing guyliner. And then there was Lauren, who wasn’t always there, but I did see her a lot more than I saw the others. This time, all three were there, and I was glad, because I was craving a little familiarity for once.

Heeyy, dudes and dudette! So nice to run into you strangers here. I said as I threw my duffel bag into the pile with all the others. Ya’ll ready for this? and as if on cue, Lauren responded by humming the very next part of the song that was probably played every time my high school football team broke through the banner and ran onto the field.

My knees steadied themselves as the waves from another boat sent ours rocking. I still have my sea legs, I swear.
”No, you don’t, Danny,” Lauren grinned, ”I stole ‘em. You’re gonna have to crawl around the deck until I decide when I wanna give ‘em back.”
I shook my head with a silent snort but what I noticed was Hot Dog giving her a slight elbow and a cough.

”We’re just waiting on one more,” Jefferson said, starting up the boat. I took a seat beside Hot Dog and watched as the last of the joining crew boarded the small boat and took the remaining seat across from us. He had black and grey hair, but nothing else about him looked necessarily aged. Skin was tan, eyes dark, and he was quiet. He made a point to study us, and Jefferson, but there was nothing awkward about it since we were doing the same with him. As the boat took off we all understood that the motor and wind noise would be too loud for casual conversation, so we just felt the rush of the wind and spray of the salty ocean water until we reached our destination.

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Re: [Closed] A Sailor's Tale

Shane Mathis | Warlock; Necromancer

Posted on Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:47 pm

The gray haired man I came to know as Corbin, and he’d been with the Coast Guard for fifteen years, although until recently, the majority of it was spent on the West Coast. What it was about me, I wasn’t sure, but he seemed to gravitate to me. He stuck to me, and didn’t speak much with anyone else on board the boat. He wasn’t annoying, he wasn’t needy, and most of the time he was quiet, so I was alright with it, if not a little confused. We worked well together, on the boat and in flight, patrolling or just the menial tasks of day to day operation of the ship.

”I’ve got a distress call from a fishing boat, says their hull’s been breached. Who’s ready?”

I looked to Corbin, and I was sure we were giving each other the same, “Let’s go” look. A quick grin before we grabbed a few things and headed for one of the smaller boats housed by our large cutter. It couldn’t have been even ten minutes and we were speeding toward the coordinates. We had our plan of action based on the few details we had, which wouldn’t be anything new. It really seemed like the simple basic training beginner stuff, and had there been any beginners on board, they would have been sent, but everyone around and available was really very seasoned.

We finally met up with the boat, and I could see right off hand why the hull had been breached. The thing was old as shit and rusty - it hadn’t been cared for at all. I narrowed my eyes and was thankful that it was daytime and it was clear. I began counting crew members. Nine of you? I yelled across the minimal distance between boats. Corbin looked at me shaking his head, and the one who seemed in command of the stranded sailors did the same.

”Only eight, man, unless you count Caleb’s girlfriend, but she’s vinyl and filled with air!” They shared a nervous laugh despite the situation. Their safety wasn’t really a question, it would take the vessel hours to sink, but the boat would be a loss. (Although I wondered which would be worth more, the boat itself or their catch.) As I recounted, I noticed something about my mysterious number nine. Ah, shit, I needed to be more careful, but this was not a place I expected a ghost. The ghost, a man close to middle aged, reddish hair, beanie, black jacket, hovered until he was standing beside me.

”You can see me?” I cleared my throat. He was new, new enough so that he hadn’t thought out the process, the fact that I couldn’t speak to him without looking, yanno.. nuts. Then again, who could be expected to be thinking about those logistics when you’re dealing with your own death?

”Oohh, right, right, sorry. Don’t trust them. I can tell you nine people boarded that ship. Can you guess why there are only eight now?” I kept my gaze to the front but my eyes looked to him as he opened up his jacket to show the stab wounds in the middle of his chest. Well, wasn’t this an interesting situation?

You’ll understand, we’ve had some recent security issues. Since there’s no imminent danger, we’ll need to search each of you as you come on board.

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Re: [Closed] A Sailor's Tale

Shane Mathis | Warlock; Necromancer

Posted on Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:06 pm

”What the hell are you on about? I’ve never-”
Just go with me on this. I’ve got a feeling. I took a slight step away from Corbin, and damn, this was so much easier alone, in public where a pretend phone call made the whole situation much easier.
Why? I asked in a hushed whisper.
”Why wh- oh… why did they do it? Board the ship after. You need to find evidence before it goes down. They were poachers, not fishermen. But that wasn’t my doing. I meant to turn them in when they propositioned me. They had other plans. You’ll find their equipment on board, too, if you know what to look for.”

”A feeling? You didn’t strike me as the type, Danny-boy.”
Corbin, you of all people know better, I grinned, Alright, one at a time. Do you understand? At this point I no longer had to yell. The boats were side by side, and Corbin was now tying a rope to hold them together, until all the men were safely on board. He looked up, and looked back to me when he noticed the same thing I did - that none of them seemed very happy or relieved to see us. He raised his brows as if to say, “good call”.

Four confiscated gutting knives and lots of protest later, all of the men were on board, and very anxious to leave their failed vessel.

Before we go, since your vessel is still afloat, I need to get some information before we take off.
”Oh, that’s okay, no need, sir, I’ve got it all right-” and the leader of the group began fishing in his pockets. Don’t bother, sir, they’ll want damage reports. You know, there’s a lot more red tape and paperwork than you think.

As I turned around there were murmurs and whispers between the rescued men. The leader (I refused to call him Captain as I’d learned it was the Captain of the ship that had been murdered) stood up, ready to stop me.

What’s wrong, mate, worried about what I’ll find? Hoping the ship would have gone down a bit faster? There was a camera in the cabin of the boat used for that purpose. Well, not for photographing crime scenes, but most of the time, the crewmen appreciated photographs of the damage for insurance purposes. And we did use the photos when we came across poachers for evidence. Murder was new on my list.

I stepped in the cabin where I was met by Corbin. ”What’s going on, Danny? Seriously?” You’ll see. I know I’m right about this. If you can, radio and see if you can get a manifest or something of the passengers. Don’t let them hear you. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about soon enough. I grabbed the camera and headed for the sinking boat, and I mumbled to the ghost of the Captain. Show me.

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Re: [Closed] A Sailor's Tale

Shane Mathis | Warlock; Necromancer

Posted on Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:25 pm

Had it not been for the captain, they really would have gotten away with it. There would be no reason to suspect the blood was human blood and not fish blood, and for all I knew it was mixed. But it wasn’t like I carried crime scene equipment around with me, I was no forensic expert. The captain just pointed and told me what was what, and I took photographs of the blood and also anything that might have suggested that they were poachers. I found a towel, the cleanest one I could, making sure I photo documented what I was doing. A bloody towel wouldn’t mean much if it wasn’t connected with the scene. I wiped up some of the blood, and put it in a trash bag. The next part was simply getting these guys back without them knowing what I knew. I needed to pretend I hadn’t found a thing.

I’m assuming your body is in Davy Jones’ locker?
”Yeah, long gone.”
Sorry, man.

Between the Captain and Corbin, I managed to “lighten up” with the guys, and hide any of my suspicions. I wasn’t ready for any more confrontation until I had more backup, and it was waiting for us when I arrived back to the main ship.  

It was Corbin who decided later that we needed to celebrate, even though myself - I felt ready to forget and move on. Drinks, music, and pool. Yeah, the cutter was big enough, and it better had been if we were to spend two months on it.
”My hero!” Lauren said as she hugged me from behind. She didn’t let go of me until she finished taking a swig of her beer. I just shook my head with a grin. ”And to think, we’ve only been on board, what a week?”

She walked off, and I found myself again, alone with Corbin. He stood beside me, and because he didn’t have much to say, I could always tell when he did.

”I know what you are, Daniel.”

I had learned early not to assume the worst when someone said that, because except for my cousin, no one else had ever been right following that statement. Not until now.
Oh, and what’s that, Corbin?
”You saw him. You saw number nine. He told you everything, didn’t he?”
What the hell? He wasn’t one, I didn’t feel anything different about him at all, so how did he know?
What do you know about it? I said as our conversation had taken a very quiet tone.
”We’ll talk more tomorrow, when you’re sober. And I think it’ll be good for you. You can do more than catch the bad guys with this. Just keep that in mind.”

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