I watched Ash, Pat and Isaac walk off one by one. Two to engineerin', and the last to the upper part of the deck where the wheel was. The officer looked expectantly at us, waitin' for one of us to talk. Flint looked like he was about to panic, he probably had not though they'd ask for qualifications.
"Well, sir." I began, seein' a wee bit of relief in Flint's expression since I was buyin' him some time. "I've worked for two year as Doc O'Sullivan's assistant, I am handy with a needle and not afraid of blood and all manners of nasty. And I can handle meself with that blade if push comes to shove." I said, tappin' me blade. "And I can read and write well." I probably didn't need to elaborate but Flint might have picked up an idea.
He quickly looked at the ledger, flippin' through the pages quickly, lookin' for somethin'. "Anderson, the Surgeon's assistant was just discharged since he lost a hand, you'll be acting as his replacement for the time being."
"Aye, Aye, Sir!"
He hustled away and went down a level into the belly of the bird, usin' the central stair case that opened in the middle of the upper deck.
"You alright, mate?" I asked, lookin' back at Flint.
He nodded hesitantly at me. "Why did you tell him you could read?"
"Most sailors can not, T'why they're sailors not officers. Coats always need a helpin' with the stores."
Sir. Vantor choose this moment to come back, a burly, aged and mustached man followin' suit, wearin' a large apron over his Blue Frock coat. He took a long silent glance at me before speakin' with a strong hearty voice.
"I'm Doctor Warrens, Vantor told me you have medical experience."
"Aye, Sir. Worked the clinic for nearly two years helpin' Doc O'Sullivan. Thought me how to treat wounds and sickness, Sir."
"Aye, sir. Do you know him?"
"We studied together at Crombridge, a few years back, joined the Navy together. He retired, I didn't." He gave a nod to the other officer and nodded to the hatch. "Come on down, I'll put you to good use and you can tell me how to good doc is doin'."
He gave a strong chuckle. "If we're going to work together, it'll just be Warrens. Charlie, is it?"
"Aye Si-- Mr Warrens." I then turned back, lookin' at Flint. "See you around, mate?"
He nodded a quickly and his attention focused back at Mr. Vantor.
The belly of the Voyage was a different beast than the upper deck; dark, claustrophobic and the smell of the engines was replaced by a mix of old wood, aged fabric and that of spilled drinks. Steel plates and metal beams that held the hull together littered the place, hammocks hangin' from many of them, tables placed at the back of the top floor.
As we passed through a few Sailors looked at me oddly, probably wonderin' who the freshmeat was. A pair of powder-monkeys passed by, barely ten years by the looks of it, rollin' down barrels to the front of the boat.
"The infirmary is right next to the mess." The doc informed me.
We entered a room, a half dozen beds, honest to god beds, were placed around, behind a curtain that was stained with dark liquid that had long ago dried up, on the other side was a table and several cabinets of glass and ceramic jars, with tools secured in a belt hangin' on the wall. It did not smell like O'Sullivan's clinic, instead the smell of cooked sausages drifted from the next room over, makin' me stomach growl, I hadn't eaten in a while...
"Your job'll be simple," The doc said, turnin' around. "Helping me during operations and prepare food for the sick and wounded, help them eat if need be. That's in addition to your other duties as one of the Ship Boy. You also will clean up after operations, mop the floor, clean my tools, those kinds of things. Questions?"
"Nay, Mr. Warrens!"