I have just published a new book, a pirate adventure story at that. For long time readers of this blog, the book might be recognized in its infant stages, but it is now full grown and a far better read than the choppy thing that it once was. Please check it out here.
So here’s a comic thing. A comic thing about ice cream. The next comic may be viewed on the website.
A website: ficuscomic.com
From the log of the ship Aeolus
Landed at Checkerboard Airfield to take on supplies. Assigned Blaze to watch new crew member, Leo, but told him that he was free to wander as he wished. Uncertain if he can be trusted yet. Sent Leo to present our ship manifest to Airfield attendant. He looks respectable, that might be useful. He returned, Blaze told me that his conversation with the attendant was normal and he did nothing that might draw attention to us. Leo also returned with mail for the ship. Have accepted a new business proposition advanced by Checkerboard contact. Headed South.
Dear Mr. Florance,
I acknowledge your continued concern for your foolish young friend, and I assure you that I know nothing of any harm being done to him. Please rest your mind. I did think you might want to know that we have a new clerk who is doing very well. He reminds me much of your friend actually. Think of it as a good sign. As for the continued search for him, that too will calm with time. We will be gone from the city for some time, please manage our account until we return. As for payment, consider your service in this case as a partial payment of your debt to myself and my crew. Remember the difficulty that we allowed you to extract yourself from, and serve us well.
Letter of introduction, from Checkerboard Airfield, for Neriena Wordsmith, To Alexander Kirk
Dear Mr. Kirk,
I am writing in response to your request that I find you a reliable captain and crew to transport goods for you. The carrier of this letter is Captain Neriena Wordsmith, a name of some repute among those that I have contact with in the Chicago area. You may trust her integrity, and that of her crew, completely. I dare to imagine and suppose that my introduction will lead to a pleasant arrangement for both of you.
Dear Ms. Wordsmith,
Forgive me for sending this letter in triplicate. Being uncertain where you might fly to, I sent a letter to each place I had an address to contact you at. I have sold the items that you left in my care, and the money is waiting for you whenever you might call for it. When able, please send more goods. I will not speak too much of business here, I am always afraid of competitors finding these letters and using them against us, or beating us to good deal.
I continue to hear of men searching for Leo Walker. Many of them are men he borrowed money from. His family also looks for him however. I have had several other visits from his friend Floyd Jones. If you do have any news in your travels of him, please do send us some comfort. His family is old friends of my family, and I hate to think that any harm might have come to him.
Excerpt from account written…by Leo Walker, age 70
I was left to my own devices the day after the tour, and no one seemed to resent me when I wandered around and just looked at what people were doing. A few times I asked questions, and people were polite enough in their answers. It seemed that overnight I had become a tolerated presence. I supposed that some announcement had been made that I was a member of the crew, though I was not entirely certain when it was made that I would not have heard. Word seemed to have gotten around, one way or another. I could think of no other reason why a group of men who previously had been willing to kill me, would now talk to me with at least some civility.
I found myself a quiet spot at one of the mess tables for dinner, and expected to eat my food in silence, since I did not know anyone. The people at the various long pine tables all seemed as one would expect from long time comrades. They laughed and joked together in a way that only highlighted the fact that I was an outsider. I hand only taken a few bites of my food however, when a plate was placed at the spot across from me. I looked up and saw the captain seating herself.
“You looked around the ship, Leo?” asked Captain Neriena.
“Yes, Captain,” I said, looking down. There was something very intimidating about her, especially being so close to her.
“Was there any position that you fancied?” Captain Neriena asked, completely ignoring how nervous I was. She mainly seemed interested in what was for dinner, and I was impressed to discover that she was eating much the same meal I was. I had expected her to eat better than we did. Then again, I had expected her to eat at her own table, and not at the mess hall.
“I did not see the position, but I had thought I might work as a clerk, it is what I have experience at, Captain,” I said, timid. I had thought about it plenty, but to voice it, while uncertain of the reception took all of my determination.
“That would be a position that would require us to trust you rather a lot,” pointed out Captain Neriena. “You would have much knowing of our business.”
“That is so, Captain,” I agreed, but I was disappointed. I had hoped that I would be able to continue working in business like I had before, it continued to be what I felt I was most suited for.
“If I place you as a mechanic you will have the opportunity to destroy the engine and cause us to fall from the sky. If I make you a laborer you will have the chance to travel all around my ship, and steal in the name of carrying goods. If I make you a fighter, you will have the chance to carry a weapon and murder us all in our sleep. I would be a fool to think that anything I make you is safe. You will be my new clerk, though do not expect me to hand you confidential documents just at first.”
So it was that I became the only clerk aboard a ship of air pirates.