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Marines Aloft, 21st July

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:30 am

Terence's heart felt as if it would jump out of his chest at any moment and was beating hard against it too. He was clutching onto the ropes, his breaths shallow but quick, his hands felt sweaty and slippers and he believed that at any moment his knees would give up and he would plummet to the ground.

If he had been reasonable, he would know that there was little danger that he would fall now. He had two marines that were helping him, and both were making damn sure that he did not slip. Still, panic never did have reason, and his had gripped him hard.

He shut his eyes, wishing he had not climbed all the way up to here. At first he did not even hear either of the two men so lost he was getting in his fright.

He mumbled a breathless. "Gonna fall!.. m'gonna fall!" He was beyond feeling ashamed for acting in that way.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:12 am



"Look. At. Me." Robinson repeated insistently. "You are not goin' to fall. We ain't goin' to let you."

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:08 am

Still breathing fast, Terence slowly began to look towards Robinson. His eyes were wide and reminded a lot of a spooked horse. He was focusing only on the man's face trying to force his breathing down a little. The speed of it was making him feel dizzy and this was certainly NOT helping him hold on.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:10 am

Still not liking the looks of Whyte, but glad that Robinson seemed to get through to him, MacTavish looked up and down to get a measure of how the others reacted to the situation. Perhaps Thompson would decide that it was not worth the trouble after all? Although then Whyte probably would never get up into the rigging, and who knew when the situation demanded it?

He still believed that with a bit of coaxing and time, Whyte could do it - after all, the ship was no horse and did not buck without rhyme or reason, and the shrouds were quite sturdy, once you got used to the idea.

On the quarterdeck, he could see Sewell, watching them covertly.

Terelly meanwhile was still holding to the mast, but his arms started to ache in their current position, and he thought he seemed to get the hang of the movements of the ground under him, so he dared to loosen his hold a bit, though he still stayed as far as possible from the whole in the floor. It had been quite convenient to get in, but now it seemed enormous and much too close.
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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:19 am



"Right. Look at this here rope," Robinson continued, bringing a hand up to within Whyte's view, and indicating the thick tarred rope. "It ain't a piece o' thread. Like the Corp'ral said, this is jus' like a ladder. Right? Now. I want you to hold on and move your right foot -just your right foot - up one, got it?"

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:46 am

"...Got it." Whyte was still pale as chalk, and still shaking a little, but his lips were a thin line, so tightly pressed together and he was focusing only at where his arm and leg would go next He was trying not to think of how high he was and instead remind himself that two marines would not let him fall.

He managed a movement at last. One foot up, one more shift and he was a little bit higher. He had done the second part without being told.

He breathed in sharply a few times, then forced himself into action again. Another shift, a little bit higher again. There was another pause but it seemed he just needed a bit of time and he was not going to stop again. The two marines have been the safety line, the confidence he needed.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:53 am



"Now move your hand up a bit afore you move your other foot," Robinson continued. "Like that - jus' move one bit at a time and don't try to do the whole lot at once." He looked up to see how far they needed to go.

"Ain't far now, mate," he added encouragingly.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:11 am

Whyte was listening to what the other man said and began to repeat the motions at a strange more automatic pattern, which brought him higher and higher until he had to make the decision - as if there was one - whether to go over or through. He looked questionably at the two marines. What to do now?

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:14 am



"Keep goin' as you are, we's goin' through there," Robinson said, pointing. "Ain't takin' you up the futtock shrouds when you's in this state." He grinned to show there was nothing hurtful meant by the words.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:48 am

"Aye." Whyte began to ascend towards the hole. He actually began to hasten a bit because the floors just above it seemed much more secure and sturdy and it also meant he has reached his destination!

"'ey Terr'" He said, catching a glimpse of the other lad as he clambered onto the wooden plateau.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:07 am

"Hey Whyte!", the other man answered, then squeaked as the wood shifted under the additional weight and held unto the mast again until his fingers where white.

"See, wasn't that bad!", MacTavish announced cheerfully, his carrot top appearing over the side. "Soon you will climb up and down like one of those little monkeys!"
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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:23 am



"Said you could do it," Robinson announced cheerfully, scrambling into the top himself. "'Lo again, Corp!"

"Birdy," Thompson replied, looking relaxed and swaying easily with the motion of the ship. "How many more of them are there down there?"

"Ah, Allen, for one. An' Grattan an' McEwen both," Robinson answered, glancing at MacTavish.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:24 am

"Aye, but they know how to climb!", MacTavish laughed, still clinging to the rigging outside the top.
"There's that English lad who never opens his chops if not to eat, and the little Welsh one."
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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:43 am

"Kendall and... little Welsh one?" Thompson frowned for a second, trying to place the lad. "Oh - Morgan."

He had been under the impression that Morgan had been aloft before, not being new to Terpsichore, unlike Whyte, but it seemed he'd got out of it, like Terelly had.

"Right. You five will be all right up here for a moment on your own, won't you?" he said briskly, preparing to head back down to the deck again to arrange things between the remaining five. There was plenty of room in the maintop for eleven of them - it was why he had chosen the maintop rather than the slightly smaller foretop.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Terence Whyte on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:15 am

"So....." Whyte looked at the other marine for whom climbing up a mast was also his first time. ".....any idea how we get down?" He glanced at the other one, the one who helped him get up to the top. He probably had an idea too. He still avoided looking down.

He had chosen to sit down, thinking that the more of his body he had in contact with the plateau, the greater the chance he would not dip, trip and fall.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:38 am

Terrelly squeeked.

"Down? We ... climb down? How do we see where to step?"

The prospect seemed even more frightening than going up.
-------

MacTavish climbed into the top proper with a lot more swagger than was necessary and grinned at Thompson.

"No worries, corp. They'll be right as rain. Not moving from their places they won't be!"
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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:01 am

Thompson sighed to himself. There was that idiot Chase above them in the main crosstrees, acting as lookout, of course. Ever since Thompson had broken up that fight between Chase and Seward, the former had held a grudge against him - a grudge that need not have arisen if the man had had the common sense to tell Thompson that the fight was over so Thompson could've carried on and turned a blind eye to renewed hostilities between the two.

Seward... That was an issue for another day.

He resumed his progress down to the deck after telling Chase to shut up his heckling. Not that he expected the sailor would, but at least he'd be more likely to keep it down now.

"Right," he said briskly when he reached the deck again. "Allen, you're with Kendall. Grattan, you're with Morgan. McEwen, if either of 'em need extra help, you go with 'em. Got it?"


Last edited by George Thompson on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:57 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Chase was aloft up the wrong mast...)

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Jeremy Mitchell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:06 am

Kendall nodded stoically, seeming unafraid but not too pleased about the effort climbing required. Before he could start to climb, a gangly maintopman, Smith, approached Thompson.

"Pardon, Corporal, but Mr. Mitchell says to tell you that we'll be making sail soon. Meaning that we'd be needing the shrouds to get up there."

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:13 am

"Aye, aye, sir," Thompson said. "Me respects to Mr Mitchell and thanks for lettin' me know."

This required a rapid rethink. The two youngsters still down here were safe enough down here. The youngsters up aloft required a firm hand, and to be out of the way... It was obvious, where he was needed.

"Right," he said to the more experienced Marines. "You four need to be out of the way while the sailors make sail. As soon as they're done, I'll be back down here and we can carry on."

He offered Mr Smith a quick salute, before turning to go back up to the top again, thinking ruefully that if he wasn't fit to start with, he would be by the end of the day.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Jeremy Mitchell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:01 am

Smith touched his forelock and retreated towards the quarterdeck. He called something up towards the lieutenant there, who nodded and dismissed the man.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:03 am

MacTavish blinked when Thompson reappeared.

"Hullo, corp. Missed us already?"

He peered down, waiting to see the others, just as the cry for all hands to make sail rang out.
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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:50 am

"MacTavish." Thompson looked around. "We need to keep as much out of the way as we can - Mister Mitchell is sendin' the hands up to shake out a reef or two, which is why I've come back up an' why the others won't be comin' up just yet. Muskets in the rack, now, if they ain't already, an' stand by the rack as close in as you can get - we'm goin' to have a bunch of Tars here headin' out on the mainyard any minute now."

The platform was certainly big enough for them to be out of the way, if they were careful. Most of the seamen coming aloft would be heading further up anyway, to the three spars above them.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Jacob Chase on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:41 am

From high above came a ringing, brass-voiced hail. "Deck there! Sail ho! Starboard bow, two points!"

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  George Thompson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:52 am

And didn't that just top it all off wonderfully.

This called for a quick decision from a man promoted corporal only six weeks ago after twelve years as a Private Marine. Thompson was up to the challenge, however - and if not, he'd answer to Sergeant Quinn for it, which didn't bear thinking about right now.

"Make a choice, any choice - sometimes you won't know till afterwards if it was the right one, but any decision is better than none," the Sergeant had told him, shortly after he'd got the stripes.

He looked among the Marines gathered in the top. "When the sailors have done makin' sail and they'm gone back down, Whyte will go down the windward shrouds with Robinson and MacTavish, Terelly will go down the leeward shrouds with me and then you both will go and get into parade uniform."

He would have to bring Kendall and Morgan up another day. Damn.

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Re: Marines Aloft, 21st July

Post  Artair MacTavish on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:25 am

"Sure, corp. We'll have him down neatly enough, never fear!", MacTavish nodded, making sure that his musket was safe for the moment and tucking Terelly and Whyte behind him.

"You think it will be a French ship, corp? Something nice with a good load we can take home?"
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