This is something that my friend Malcolm and I have been toying with for a while. I found this post on the internet that said “For a very brief time in the 1860’s all of these types of people existed at the same time: Cowboys, Samurai, Pirates, and of course Gentleman Thieves”. So, the pair of us, being the creative people we are decided to make some changes and see what we could come up with in terms of story for a serial type of production.
We changed the gender of some of the characters as well as race to give us: A male African American cowboy, a disgraced male Samurai, a female French pirate captain and her crew, and a female thief that targets high society in London England. This marks one of the intro scenes before our “League” meet and decide to work together. So without any more babbling here is the opening scene to a new untitled project…
The sea misted onto his face as he sat with his back against the mast, sharpening his katana.
“Don’t you just love this part, my friend?!” the Green Queen shouted from the helm as she steered them away from a wave that would’ve crested the railing on the deck had she not acted the way she did.
“I… hate… the ocean…” was all the samurai said as he knelt sharpening his sword. The salty sea air was terrible for his weapon. He was constantly having to keep it dry and honed on the stone to keep it from rusting.
“If you hate the ocean, than you hate freedom!” the Queen shouted as she began taunting the storm. “Is that all you’ve got?! My dead grandmother yells louder than that!” she shouted to the sky as a loud clap of thunder rocked the ship.
This is never going to work, he thought to himself as he began gathering his sharpening supplies and wrapping them in a cloth. There’s too much water, I’ll have to finish below decks. He stood up and flexed his back, arching it backwards until his head touched the main mast. He felt the Crack! He was waiting for and relaxed his posture as the endorphins flooded into his brain. “That’s better”, he muttered under his breath and he bent over to pick up his wrapped supplies and his long Katana. He admired his sword as he slipped it back into the scabbard he carried with him at all times. Between his Wakizashi and his main Katana, he was always able to fight if the need arose. And it arose more often that it probably should.
“Don’t tell me this little bit of rain has beaten you Samurai! This is nothing, I’ve sailed through storms ten times as bad as this!” the Green Queen shouted back from the helm.
“You’re either braver than me or more stupid… it’s hard to tell sometimes…” he shouted back as he started towards the hatch to take him below decks.
“I think it’s probably a little bit of both my friend!” the Queen responded as she threw the helm to the right spinning the ship to avoid another wave. “Send up, Marie when you get down there. Tell her I need her at the helm”.
“As you wish, Captain”, he answered as the storm raged around them. He kicked the door open to the rickety stairs that led to the crew quarters of the ship. Despite the expert piloting by the Green Queen, the ship was still rocking back and forth immensely in the raging tempest that they were sailing through. Several times on his way down the steep stairs he was forced to brace himself against the walls. He finally reached the bottom and stepped into about an inch of water that covered the entire floor. Deck he thought to himself, they call it a deck on the ship. He pushed his way through a door that was held fast by a chain and a hook to keep it from swaying as the ship was rocked. He ducked through the entryway into the galley where some of the crew were huddled around tables either chatting or playing dice and cards. “Marie!”, he said as he approached a full table at the center of the room. “Her majesty would like your assistance up at the helm.”
“Merde!” the woman named Marie swore as she threw down her cards and looked angrily at the one who had broken her concentration. “Je suis désolé mon ami. I will go at once”, she said in a thick French accent as she stood up and grabbed her already soaked cloak, draping it over her built frame. “If you want to win me some money, I would not say no!” she said loudly as she started her journey up the stairs to the main deck. She, unlike the Samurai, was accustomed to life on a ship and didn’t need to brace herself as she climbed the stairs.
He looked to the other crew at the table, most of them woman like the Queen and Marie themselves. All of them seasoned sailors and privateers and all of them welcoming to him and the others. “Would you like to take her spot, Monsieur?” a small cabin aide asked as he motioned to the chair left vacant by Marie.
“Maybe another time”, he said as he bowed his head slightly, “I must care for my blade and armour first. If you are still here when I am finished I will join”.
“Fantastique!” the group of them shouted as they dealt out another hand. He wove his way past the other tables with crew all taking their free time to chat or play games to pass the time. He approached the galley and gave three sharp raps on the wooden door.
“Entrer!” a gruff voice said from inside the ship’s kitchen. He pushed the door open and stepped just inside the small room. “Ah! Monsieur Kenkito! Are you here for your evening tea?” the large cook asked as he reached for the box containing the Samurai’s personal teapot and cup.
“Yes, Mr. Duchar. If you would please..”
“At once!” the large man responded as his gruffness left his voice. He set the kettle on the fire and began mixing the tea leaves in the colander at the top of the small pot. He looked down at the content of the small bag as he added the instructed amount of tea leaves. He looked at the Samurai and shook the bag as he spoke, “you’re almost out of this stuff Kenkito. You might have to switch to something else until we can get to a port with fresh ingredients.”
“I will manage Mr. Duchar, I am growing fond of your Jasmine and Honey tea that you serve with breakfast”, the samurai stated as the kettle began to boil.
“Are you? Well that’s good. We have plenty of that!” the cook chuckled as he paused before pouring the boiling water into the pot.
“Why do you wait?” the samurai barely got out as he was knocked back into the wall with a loud thud.
“Hahahahaha, that is why my friend!”, Mr. Duchar laughed as he poured the hot water over the leaves letting the flavor seep into the hot water. “You start to be able to feel those kinds of bumps and sudden movements after a while”.
“I don’t think I will ever get used to this type of travel”, Kenkito said as he accepted the small tray with a bow of his head.
“Be careful as you walk back to your quarters, you don’t want to spill that on yourself or someone else!” Duchar advised as he pushed the door open for the samurai to step through.
“I will be very careful. Thank you, once again” Kenkito said as he bowed his head.
“De rien mon ami”, Duchar said as he shut the door and busied himself in the galley once again.
Kenkito wound his way back through the mess area and through another door near the stern of the ship. He spilled a small amount of the boiling tea as the ship rocked, but luckily for him it dropped harmlessly to the deck. He arrived at the door to his quarters, but with his hands holding the tea and his cup, he was out of options for opening the door. He slowly turned as the ship rocked back and forth and shouted “Could somebody please help me with this door?”
He heard some hurried steps behind him and he braced against the wall as the ship rocked. The young cabin aide trotted into his peripheral view and opened his door for him, her playing cards still clutched in her hand. “Do you… require plus d’aide, mon ami?” she said in a mix of English and French, her accent coming out very thick on the English verbiage.
“No, thank you madamoiselle….” he trailed off as he stepped through the door into his small quarters.
“Duchar!” she said quickly as she shut the door and scurried back to her table.
Duchar? he thought to himself, she must be related to the cook. He set his tea down on the small up turned barrel beside his hammock that served as a table. He poured himself a cup of tea and knelt in front of his armour that was standing up on a mannequin. He removed his swords and sharpening tools, laying them out on the deck before him. Let the Queen battle the storm, he thought to himself as he picked up his whetstone and examined his katana blade. I have my own battle to fight in here, as he squinted down the edge of his blade, looking for any hint of rust.