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.She won’t beat up the channel into Blood Bay, but we can tow her in with the Cutthroat and the Manta.We’ll be on ‘em like seagulls on a bloated carcass.”“Will you be able to control…them?” he asked, lowering his voice despite knowing that the cannibals on deck couldn’t understand him, and hating the quaver of fear that shaded his tone.“I mean, Sam, they’re cannibals!”“We don’t need to control ‘em, Captain.All we need to do is turn ‘em loose!” She reached for the rum bottle and topped off first his cup, then her own; her old habit.“I’ve convinced them that we’re not food.Besides, they hate the tribe that befriended the sea witch; been fightin’ ‘em for years.And the best part: they’re not interested in gold.They just want to make war on their enemies…and keep all the prisoners.”“And you’re sure the seamage is gone.”“I watched her sailin’ straight south with my own eyes, Captain.”“Straight south?” That didn’t make any sense at all; there was nothing straight south but the Fathomless Reaches, then a windless gyre of seaweed.Any other direction was feasible: north to Tsing, northeast to Southhaven or Scarport, southeast to Marathia or Fornice on the Sand Coast, or straight west with the trade winds at their backs to reach the far western continent.But south? “Where’s she going on that course?”“I don’t know, and I don’t care!” Sam stood, placed her fists on the table, and stared right at him, her eyes hard with determination.Parek looked down at the wounds on her forearms; only three or four days old, they were dark, as if they’d been rubbed with some evil salve.He remembered the scars on the cannibals, and repressed a shudder.The dagger tucked under her belt was obsidian, a gift from her new friends, no doubt, and showed signs of recent use; the hide-wrapped handle was stained, and it repulsed him to consider the origin of the leather.Her voice brought his gaze back to her eyes.“This is our only chance! This is exactly what we hoped would happen, what I waded through hell and damnation to make happen; the sea witch is off Plume Isle! If we don’t jump on it now, the emperor’s fleet will beat us to it, and as sure as seagulls squawk, they’ll leave a garrison there and we’ll never get another chance!”“I realize that, Sam, and I’m with you, all right? Just calm down.” It was distracting to watch her sharpened teeth flash as she spoke.He pushed the bottle over to her.“Have another tot.We have plans to make, and we’re not likely to get this all straightened out until morning.”Maybe she’s been through too much, he thought, sipping his rum and watching Sam as she sat back down.She was changed, there was no doubt, and not for the better.She sounded half mad, but she was also right: this was their only chance to take Plume Isle.But if he agreed to let her run a shipload of cannibals into Blood Bay and set them loose, would there be anything left for him when they were done? There was no way to know the answer, but he was sure of one thing: if he refused her, he and the skeleton crew of the Cutthroat would be simmering in a pot by morning.Chapter 4A Light in the Darkness“Burn!” Edan whispered as he tossed a handful of sulfur dust into the air.The powder burst into a shower of tiny flames.With a flick of his wrist he pulled in a breeze that gathered the burning motes and spun them into a small cyclone of yellow fire.Edan felt the blaze, was drawn into its light and heat until he was part of it, spinning and burning for the sheer joy of it.Flicker crouched on his shoulder, mesmerized by his creation, chittering her gibberish into his ear as she stroked his hair with her tiny hand.A wave slapped the hull of Peggy’s Dream and splashed up to the taffrail where Edan stood, spattering him with seawater.Flicker yelped in his ear, breaking his concentration and shattering the cyclone.Each of the motes of fire fell into the sea and died with a tiny sst [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]