Prologue ReduxMature

Captain Hannes van der Klooster, commander of The Iron Tongue and all-round-nice-guy, impatiently danced the cluttered deck of Moniker in an attempt to appear stalkish.

“You said he’d be here by now! You know how impatient I get when I have to wait for celebrations. Oh God I think I’m getting a headache! Can’t we just have a tipple now?”

Luchinus de Pescina, second-in-command of The Iron Tongue and dark-and-handsome-and-smelling-like-coffee, shot a glare at Hannes before replying, “No. Go to bed if you’re going to be a baby.”

The party had not begun well. The invited guests had already milled and rhubarbed around to everybody else and there was little more to inanely chat about.

“Well!? Hannes! What the fuck are we waiting here for?”

“Yeah! You mentioned some secre-“

“We can’t all have fucking fanc-“

“Hey! Don’t you interrupt me ya blue-bellied lar-“

“Who the fuck you callin-“

Luchinus turned from intently studying a small, silver instrument.

“Everybody’s free to go home,” he stated, gesturing to the assembled ships surrounding Moniker. “In fact, I recommend it.”

Hannes, running and hissing under his breath, grabbed Luchinus and pulled him aside.

“Whatwhatwhatareyoudoing? Thisishowit’ssupposedtostartIreadaboutitinabookthatyoubeginwithapartyandthey’resoimpressedtheyju-”

“You want to impress him with, well, with this lot?”

Hannes turned to the guests, a smile flashing on his face in a gesture of acquiescence. They were a rather dishevelled assortment of acquaintances and associates. You wouldn’t call them friends, but they were more than strangers. If you passed them in the street you’d attempt to clumsily chat about how things are going since the last time you bumped into them in the street. How little Lucy is going and oh is she old enough to-

“The word you’re looking for is competitor,” prompted Luchinus.

“Competitors! You’ve been great, you’ve been grand, now it’s time to go away. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, it’s mostly you. You smell awful. You're all so very, very ugly. The chatter... oh boy the chatter... it's so... inane! Basically, I’m sick of looking at you all.”

“You fucking promised us a fucking party!”

Hannes paused ever-so-briefly before grabbing a pistol and putting a hole through Duncan’s head.

“You see? It’s this common disregard for language that- Bah! Just go away! I’m going to bed. I’ve got this pain just behind my eyes and it’s not goi-“
Hannes’ voice trailed off as he stalked below deck.

“As I said earlier, everybody’s free to go home. Don’t call us, we’ll call you, blah blah blah five minutes and I let Sniffles loose.”

The End

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