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Author Topic: Voyage of the Empress  (Read 40773 times)

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2006, 12:11:00 PM »
"Lady Ilsa! How are you faring?", Henri forced the pain from his face, hoping she was not noticing the reddening, dark blotch on his left thigh, which now stained his pants. "Oh it is nothing, I am merely acquiring my sea legs. I did hope to chat with you actually. Perhaps we may meet for refreshments in the main cabin? Its just that I have to  return my own humble quarters for a bit...as I've said, sea legs an all. I'm feeling a bit woozy. Shall we say a quarter of an hour?" Henri smiled, studying the woman intently as he did so. His suspicions of Ilsa were confirmed in his mind then and there.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2006, 02:29:05 PM »
Having just evaded his captain, the devious mr. Saisong, Ed was stopped by a want to be gambler looking for cards. "A deck you say?" he murmured, looking over the shoulder of the stranger and at the courtesan further down the walkway. Absent-mindedly he nodded in the direction of the ship's restaurant. "Talk to the guys at the ship's service store, one stair down from the restaurant. And if you want to play for cash you should talk to the red haired waitor with a pot belly. His name is Jacques DuChamps, from Belgium. He can arrange anything for you".

Not really waiting for a reply Ed walked to the painted lady. She had changed clothes since last he saw her and now wore a white cotton evening dress and a wide brimmed straw hat. She looked worn and tired with too much make up, yet her clothes suggested that she still was in good shape. Casually he rested his palms on the ship's rail and watched the waters with her. The dollar bill was visible between his right index and middle finger. "I love to just stand here and watch the waters" he said "but right now I could use a little company".
« Last Edit: May 11, 2006, 02:38:51 PM by Ancient Gamer »
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2006, 12:36:28 AM »
Ellie smiled and nodded.  "A quarter of an hour, Monsieur."  She had the feeling that he was studying her as much as she was studying him.  She wouldn't make any money off of him, of that she was certain.  As long as he didn't get in her way or ruin things for her, she was perfectly willing to live and let live.  It made little difference to her what he was up to.  Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the blood seeping through his pants leg.  But he didn't want to bring up whatever injury he had, and she had no reason to press the issue.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2006, 07:42:30 AM »
Peter paced away from the sailor, now irate. He had already been to the service store and they were out of cards, but had also referred him to that red headed fellow. Zimmerman had a bad feeling about it, like this Duchamps might be some sort of card sharp or hustler. Peter wasnt looking to swindle anyone out of their money, he just wanted a good game of cards, some cognac, and maybe a cigar... why did tihngs always have to be difficult?

*****
Henri returned to his cabin and found the wound in his thigh to be much smaller than he anticipated, but it was rather free with the bleeding. A tad worrisome but a few minutes and the wound was staunched. it wouldnt be long before he was supposed to meet 'Ilsa' in the main cabin.

*****
Lutetia looked over at the sailor, noting that his hands werent quite the clumsey and calloused sort she had seen on other sailors. They were long and fine, they made her think of the fingers of a pianist or a doctor. She placed her hand over his and gave him her working girl smile. "I wouldn't mind giving you a little company, would you like to come back to my cabin?" she asked.


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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2006, 02:09:04 PM »
In the heat of passion Ed felt like he was with Rebecca in the months before the bankruptcy. As the two sweating bodies rolled through the linen, his mind had drifted back in time. His fingers combed through her hair with genuine affection and his eyes became dreamy and adoring. It was a fleet moment and when it passed the dreamlike magic did not return.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2006, 02:11:20 PM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2006, 08:04:22 PM »
Henri stared into the small stained mirror in his room. *A few more wrinkles than last time ye' looked eh? No matter. Your still a looker!* His baby-face was one of his calling cards, able to charm young girls and older matrons alike. Switching into his only other pair of pants, Henri gave himself one last look-over and splashed on some cologne he had stolen from a fellow train passenger he had met on his way to Boston.

The pain in his leg was bearable and the bleeding, though initially profuse, had subsided. *Off ye go*

Henri made his way back to the deck and proceeded to the main cabin. The compartment was filled with people. Estelle Zimmerman was looking lost and vulnerable sans husband and hell hounds, nursing a sherry. Henri made a mental note. In the corner was Frederick Brandford, here for his usual martini no doubt, chatting with three or four other Frederick Brandford types. *Bankers stick together, like money goes to money*. And there was Lady Ilsa. The woman with the mangled accent managed to look out of place and exactly in the right place, all at the same time. Henri decided he liked her.

But first a drink! And that meant a quick hallo to Frederick Brandford and his gaggle of stuffed shirts.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2006, 07:24:29 AM »
Perhaps he was not quite alone in his luck. Brandford had found a clique of done on their luck bankers, one Benjamin Tolly was an englishman heading back home after his business venture in what he called America's ******** folded. The gent had a bit of a sailor's mouth which seemed odd with his accent. The sound of Middle Essex became more slurred and pronounced with each gin and tonic he had.

Randall Baumgartner was a different matter. His head balt and missing several teeth he seemed like a badger of a man who had aspirations of being a banker. More disturbing was the fact that the man knew the turf, the loans finance rates and the like. He laughed loudly and spoke in a nasal Wisconsin accent and favored the Tsing Tao beer the ship carried over any sort of liquor.

Certainly not least was Vivica Cameron, Vivi she insisted on, who wore a worsted cotton dress, but sipped gin with the men and had the careful attention of a bank teller working her way up. "This must be the good Mr. Lamorak you've been telling us about Frederick!" Vivi said, waving for Henri to come over.

*****
Though the water pressuse was laughable, the stream was hot. Ed languished in the shower after Lutetia left. She had given him a peck on the check and a knowing look before she slipped out of his cabin. A cursory look around the room assured him that none of his valuables were gone. The shower helped, but he was hit by a sharp pain in his mouth. The coppery taste of blood filled his mouth, a taste that made his stomach lurch dangerously

There was something small and hard sitting on his tongue, he could see blood dripping down onto his chest and as he spat, he heard the clatter of a tooth hitting the steel base of the shower...

A blink and the blood was gone, and no teeth were missing...though a human incisor was still sitting in the shower under his foot.


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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2006, 05:19:21 PM »
So I am not alone in this... misery. Frederic found himself taking upon the coarse language of one of his companions. Each of them might make a great partner for a new beginning - or someone who will betray me on the first fitting moment. Remember to speak with each later about their business ideas, even the losers can inspire. Especially this Mr. Tolly will know about european business a few things. Baumgartner, hmmm... listen to him, don't tell him anything, advised his instinct. And 'Vivi' - certainly not a girl to marry, but a quick romance is possible with these types. They put away passion and emotions of a proper woman for career, and at moments fall to them, to recover later.

Nodding with the glass in his hand ("a single drink is no drink" as his father used to say), he notioned to Henry.
"Mr. Henry Lamoraq, a part-time businessman and part-time adventurer, if I get it right. Don't believe his stories, he has bought them from other people, and sold back a few times." he said with a wide smile, and just as he noticed somebody else, added: "Please, join us - perhaps we can also persuade Lady Ilsa to a little small talk?"

A slight wave went to the exotic woman.

Well, we may get some nice talk this evening. No better way to scare away boredom. I bet I'll wish this journey would not be over so soon.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2006, 01:24:04 AM »
Ellie considered for a moment as Frederic extended his invitation.  As a general rule, she didn't care for banker types.  No imagination at all and far too analytical for her or anyone else's good, and thus far more likely to outright pronounce her a fraud for no good reason.  She'd already decided that the best shot she had for making any money on this trip was that woman with the dogs.  But some reasonably civilized company might be nice.  "But of course, Monsieur."  She picked up her purse and strolled over to the group.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2006, 02:33:13 PM »
The experience made Ed sick and he purged the content of his stomach into the small sink of the crew cabin. As he had regained his senses, he wiped his mouth with the back of his right hand and then took a swig of the scotch that Karl always kept beneath his pillow. Somehow the licquor helped and Ed sat down on a chest. The memory of Nathan and how he lost his teeth to some venereal disease lurked in the back of his mind, and with a sigh Ed took another swig of the scotch.

I should probably not drink right now

The second mate would come check on his progress in the engine soon and would not have any sympathy for a sailor who drowned his sorrow in cheap licquor. Especially not one who caught venereal diseases while on duty. Sighing heavily Ed put the skotch back and exited the cabin. On his way down to the engine Ed tossed the strange tooth overboard, but was unable to suppress a shudder. Checking his teeth for the ninth time since the odd incident he once again confirmed that all were present.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2006, 03:57:35 AM »
Time went slowly down in the engine room. It almost felt as if it stood still and Ed could not help but feel like he was getting nowhere.

Time passes slowly and I fade away in this godforsaken gutter. Had my father seen me now he would turned his back on me; diseased, desperate and destitute as I am

With a sigh Ed continued removing rust in the aft engine room. Perhaps things would brighten up soon. Perhaps something would happen and he would be propelled out of this place of misery.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2006, 07:13:49 AM »
Halfway to the boiler room, Ed was confronted with a strange scene, though one much less disturbing than the tooth. Abelard, Saisong's 2nd, was clutching something to his chest, a strange and gnarled looking object. The half Dutch, half asian brushed hurridly past Ed giving him no more notice than he gave any inanimate object. Normally the mongrel would accost any crewman found away from either their work station or their quarters, tugging on his ear like some d**n looney.

*****
Peter appeared, a small package in his hand, the ideal shape of either a pack of cigarellos, or a deck of playing cards. "Anyone interested in a game?" He asked, approaching the table of Bankers.


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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2006, 10:23:21 AM »
"Cards?, I do believe I'm interested Mr. Zimmerman" Henri managed to sound casual between sips of Anissette. While waiting for the players to gather, Henri sidled up to Lady Ilsa, who was seemingly keeping an eye on Mrs. Zimmerman. *Hmmm...little does the Hell Hound Lady realize that there were now two sharks circling her* Henri thought as he smiled at Lady Ilsa. He kept his voice a throaty whisper, and looked directly into the woman's eyes as he spoke...

"Madame, It will do you no good. I do believe I am on to you." Henri kept smiling and paused for only a second before continuing, trying not to give Lady Ilsa a chance to become indignant. "We are in the same line of work, are we not, you and I? Let me be frank with you. If we work together, we can both get off this rusty barge quite better off financially, than we were when we boarded...dont you think? Furthermore, our respective talents could prove quite complimentary. What I suggest is this Lady Ilsa. Join me in my cabin this evening, and we can discuss any potential business relationship. If all goes well, dare I say, perhaps we can even consumate our partnership with a spirited roll in the hay". Henri glanced at Lady Ilsa with his most winning smile. " I find you quite ravishing I'm afraid...what say you madame?"
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2006, 12:06:55 AM »
Ellie froze for a second as Lamorak whispered to her, then she relaxed.  "I knew there was something about you," she whispered back, careful that the others wouldn't hear her.  "Momma always did say it takes one to know one."  She had lost all trace of her accent while she whispered, revealing her New England origins.  "For the first part of your proposition, sir, I think we might come to an arrangement.  As for the second... well, one never knows.  It is entirely possible.  It's also entirely possible that I might slap you silly." 
Then she raised her voice back to an audible level, her accent back in place.  "I am afraid I am quite hopeless at cards, Monsieur.  But it could prove amusing to watch."
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2006, 09:25:53 AM »
Henri smiled as he imagined Lady Ilsa bashing him upside the head, as he attempted to grope her. Strangely, that seemed to turn him on more so than if she didnt resist.

Henri whispered feverishly once more to Lady Ilsa..."Excellent! quite hopeless at cards indeed! Are you familair with the old system? depends on the game of course, but one earlobe srcatch for a queen, brush of the hair for an ace, and so on. Shall we say fifty-fifty? I suggest you find a good position. Try to stay somewhere behind Zimmerman, he seems like a player. Oh and a slight cough, and I beg thee be subtle, means fold".

Without a further word, Henri made his way to the card table and sat in a chair with dramatic flourish. "What game is it then Monsiuer?"
« Last Edit: May 25, 2006, 10:17:06 AM by Murometz »
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2006, 10:08:38 AM »
"Well then, I would say the opening game to be 5 card poker, red deuces wild, gentlemen, ladies." he said nodding to Vivica. The cards whispered out across the table as he quickly shuffled them and passed them out to the players. He was a regular player, but nothing to suggest a card shark. Ilsa found herself a comfortable seat at the bar where she could see not only Zimmerman's, but Vivica and Tolly as well. Baumgartner, the snaggletoothed banker held his cards close, looking at them once before dropping them face down on the table.

"I fold."



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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2006, 10:26:10 AM »
"Bloody Deuces eh? quite so, quite so. Ahhh...we have ourselves a folder, and so soon. And what say ye Brandford, my good man?

Henri glanced from face to face. So many giveaways! He felt like he was attending the "Easy Tells Convention". This was going to be easier than he first thought, he mused. After all, back in Four Points New York, he was known as the "fish-eater" for his guppy swallowing ways. Confidence notwithstanding, he still managed to give Lady Ilsa a look for some "inspiration".

"As for myself, I'll take one card please"

« Last Edit: May 25, 2006, 09:38:07 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2006, 05:40:18 PM »
(OOC: A warning.  I personally am completely hopeless at poker.)

Sitting quietly behind the others, Ellie watched the game start.  When Lamorak glanced at her, she very discreetly gave him the appropriate signals.  An ace in one hand, a jack and a queen in another.  She hoped she was doing it properly; she didn't know very much about cards, herself.  She had nothing against the game, but her reputation and what she liked people to think she could do virtually forbade her to play.  But that didn't mean she wouldn't help Lamorak.
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2006, 09:13:43 AM »
Being silent for a moment, considering the possible impact on his meager financial resources, the banker finally agreed to a little friendly game. He noticed the glances exchanged between Miss Ilsa and Henry. Are you trying to start a little romance, Henry? Good luck with that. he thought with a little smile.

Recieving cards, he thought for a while, then allowed himself a tiny smile.
"I think this will do. No cards please."
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2006, 07:46:10 AM »
Vivica visibly paled, her hands started trembling. With a scream she flung her cards across the table and bolted like a startled rabbit. The chair toppled over behind her as she made her attempted escape, only to be brought to a halt by a savage twisting of her ankle, which had been looped through the strap of her handbag.

She fell hard, knocking the wind from her lungs. It was a strange noise she made, trying to sob while trying to catch her breath.

*****
Deep in the bowels of the ship the buzzer sounded, calling the auxilliaries to the coal bunkers. The call had come from the bridge for full speed. Ed has roused from his position, the gang boss tossing him a coal shovel.

"Bridge called for full fire, lets go lad." the burly man said. Shovel after shovel was fed into the blazing maw of the boiler, and Ed could feel the head growing thicker and thicker. the acceleration of the machinery was smooth as the Dragon Empress poured on the steam.

"We've changed course..." One of the men said, glancing at the compass he wore around his neck. "We are bearing south by southwest now..."


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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2006, 11:21:59 PM »
Startled by Vivica Cameron's actions, Henri for once, could not think of anything to say. He briefly considered uttering, "yer hand cannot be that bad madame", but eschewed his usual quips. Instead he stared dumbly at gin-lovin' Vivi, sprawled there on the floor, like a goose shot down in mid-flight. *what just happened here?* Henri thought for the second time that day. His lower back hairs, the ones that always bristled when danger was near, (or so Henri had convinced himself over the years) stood on end. He glanced quickly at Lady Ilsa in confusion, as if expecting the fetching conwoman to have an explanation for him. Receiving none, he finally got hold of his wits and rushed dramatically to Vivica's rescue. *Perhaps she just had too much gin* was Henri's last thought as he nearly flung himself, to be the first "gentlemen" to reach her.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 06:47:31 PM by Murometz »
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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #46 on: May 31, 2006, 11:37:37 PM »
Ellie jumped up, and rushed over to Vivica.  "Madame!"  Strange, I would have thought she'd be the last one to have an attack of nerves.  She was slightly hampered by her skirt, and reached her slightly after Lamorak.  She had smelling salts in her bag, but this didn't look like a fainting fit.  More like hysterical panic, which was something Ellie recognized, having experienced much the same thing herself.  "Madame, what is wrong?"
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Offline manfred

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2006, 03:46:03 PM »
Still in thoughts about his good cards, Frederic has not understood at first what happened. She... just run away?

Finally gathering himself after a few long seconds, he slowly rised and then was free to act again. Running around the table, he joined the couple close at her, surely the beginning of a small crowd.

"Now, now. Leave her some free air." said he carefully getting ahold of her hand. "Madam?" He studied her for a while, remembering his father's words. Women are fragile beings, easily yielding to emotional fits, and not handling physical hardship well. Therefore it is our duty to protect them.

We might need a doctor.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #48 on: June 04, 2006, 01:40:10 AM »
After several moments, Vivica was able to get herself together, and it was general concensus that her ankle was not just strained, but that is was actually broken. A certain swelling of the tissue of the anbkle combined with an inability for the joint to bear weight seemed to support this. Unbeknownst to the others, Henri slipped his hand deftly into her purse as he helped with the inspection of her person. He felt the familiar and comforting heft of money as he slid his hand into his own pocket.

Ilsa, caught the movement from the corner of his eye. 50/50 he had said...

*****
"Hey, Ed!" One of the boiler team leaders shoutedf out the bump and scrape of the shovels, "Get cleaned up, one of the passengers is wailing for a doctor, and you're the best we got that isnt sh*tfaced drunk!" He took his hat off and swatted the sailor with it.

"That old bastard Kloony is drunk out of his mind again on the ether, that or the cooking sherry."


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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Voyage of the Empress
« Reply #49 on: June 04, 2006, 04:36:26 AM »
Ed stopped working and wiped his brow of sweat. "Again?" he shouted before asking where the incident had occurred and, after receiving directions he began jogging towards the upper deck. A minute later he was in the crew cabin again, quickly washing his hands and face with a bar of soap. At university he had studied both law and medicine, but he had never fully finished his education though he was the valedictorian of his class. Had his father not lost the family business he would have had excellent opportunities as a lawyer or a doctor or both, as was the case with some men.

Only stopping by Kloony's cabin to get his medical equipment, Ed rushed to the salon where he found the throng of passengers. "What happened here?" he demanded.

Diseases, drunken doctors, the ship following the coastline instead of going further out into the Atlantic and now this. This cruise is proving to different than most
« Last Edit: June 04, 2006, 04:38:42 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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