Bird Of The Sea

3 Trouble In Havana

Havana, Cuba, June 1715

"Ah, lively Havana!" Bonnet mused as the ship came into port. "I've been here once before, it was a truly awe-ful pleasure."

"See someone you know?" Asked Thomas as Bonnet stood beside him, waving at the people at the docks.

"No, no, no." Bonnet laughed, as if Thomas was the strange one. "Just putting on a friendly face. I shouldn't want to be mistaken for a pirate again."

"Right, flash rogue like yourself must be cautious." Thomas said.

As the crew began unloading the goods, Kenway and Thomas followed the merchant onto the docks.

"It's mad to think Spain and England were at war two years ago, isn't it?" Bonnet said, making conversation. "Here I am, bartering with Spaniards like they were my cousins."

Kenway said nothing, merely standing still, glancing around, analysing the view.

"Something wrong, Duncan?" Bonnet asked.

"No. It's nothing." He said, waving it off. "Sand in my hampers. So where's the best squat in town? I'm dying for a quick kip. Or a siesta, should I say?"

"Um... I'm just headed to a... a public house now to meet some merchants. I could... I could show you the way."

"Well lead on." Kenway said, flipping up his hood. "You coming Thomas?"

"Sure." He sighed. "I'm exhausted. I can always report back tomorrow."

"Good lad." Kenway grinned and slapped his back.

Despite only knowing each other for a short amount of time, the two men found themselves comfortable in each other's company, a mutual satisfaction with Walpole's death. Also, at any opportunity to exploit the Grand Master, Torres, Thomas would take it, and if it involved gold, so would Kenway. Thomas also found this man deeply curious. He treated Thomas with kindness, but he knew that he could cut his throat at a moment's notice if he got the chance.

'I'd like to see him try,' Thomas thought.

It was this curiosity that contributed to Thomas accepting Kenway's invite. He wanted to get to know this rogue pirate a little more, learn of his past and his thrilling stories of the sea. Entertainment was in short supply around these parts and Thomas would just about do anything to keep him from dying of boredom, as long as it kept him from the local brothel. He was a loyal man and no matter what happened, he would stay true to the girl he left back home.

"I hope you'll tarry a bit while I conduct my meeting. It would be a great relief to have men of your statures nearby in case of a... misunderstanding." Bonnet said his shoulder, carrying a crate of goods.

"We can hang about." Kenway assured him. "I might have a drink. Thomas?"

"Why not?" He shrugged. The young assassin had learnt to adapt to each and every situation he was in. So in the company of pirates, he would act like one.

"Splendid." Bonnet said nervously. "A drink."

"Well they don't take kindly to pirates here do they?" Thomas remarked, seeing the rotting corpses, feasts for the crows, hanging above them, a warning to any pirates that docked at Havana.

"I wonder how many stolen Reales bought these men this perch." Kenway said, peering up under his hood.

They stepped off the docks and onto solid land, making their way into the town.

"Ah ha!" Bonnet exclaimed. "Here's a purveyor of personal defences! I should acquire a blade for myself, Duncan. Just as you have."

Thomas grinned to himself. That poor merchant thought it was only Kenway that was armed. The hidden blades really were hidden well.

"This rusty razor's nothing to admire."

"Even so, I appear a mere kitten walking so close upon you! Perhaps a small dagger would suit me. Let's see what he's selling."

"Maybe I'll buy a sword too, and we'll both jump rank."

"Oh! We'll be quite the pair, you and I, twin devils!"

"Lend us a few Reales then, we did save your skin." Kenway pointed out.

"Ah, uh... of course." Bonnet reluctantly placed a purse of coins in each of the men's hands.

"Cheers, mate." Said Thomas and pocketed the coins.

"You're not buying?" Bonnet asked.

Thomas turned to him and with a smile, extended his wrist blades.

"Oh, my!" Bonnet exclaimed, fumbling with the crate.

As Kenway bought a pair of French cutlasses, Bonnet bought himself a dagger.

"That's a better fit for me." Kenway noted, examining the swords. "How'd you fare?"

"I had only enough for a small knife sadly." Bonnet said, hoping to guilt trip one of them from taking the majority of his money. But, as neither pirate or assassin showed pity or any sign that they would give the money back, Bonnet sighed and continued on. "Still, it'll do in a pinch."

They stepped away from the salesman, turning towards the large architecture of the island.

"Oh, puffer-duff!" Bonnet cursed. "I have led us astray."

"Oh, no matter. I'll get us a better view. What are we looking for?" Kenway asked, setting off at a jog towards the church.

"Uh, a tavern!" Bonnet called after him. "With a sort of courtyard interior!"

Thomas stood beside the merchant and watched Kenway scale the building with ease. Maybe climbing the rigging for so long had finally paid off.

"My goodness, he's an agile chap!" Bonnet remarked to Thomas, which Kenway and his trained ears heard.

"Every finger's a fishhook!" He called down. "That's how you tell a true sailor."

"Ah ha, yes. A fine way to put it."

As Kenway disappeared from sight, Bonnet turned to Thomas.

"Oh, dear, I've just realised I've been terribly rude! I've not yet asked your name."

"Thomas Young." He said and shook the merchant's hand, as if they had only just met.

"Well, Mister Young, how long have you known Duncan?"

"Not five minutes before yourself."

"Ah! A chance meeting! It does seem as if our paths were intended to cross."

"Maybe."

"I think I see the place!" Kenway called. "It's not far!"

Suddenly, a man burst in between the merchant and the assassin, making them stumble, caught off balance. Recognising Bonnet as the wealthier of the two, the man snatched what little coin he had left from his belt and although he tried to resist, Bonnet just received unintelligible abuse.

"Hey!" Thomas grabbed his shoulder and pulled him off Bonnet but the thief sent his fist soaring into the assassin's face.

Staggering back, Thomas roared curses, clutching his face as the thief took the money and ran.

"Hang on!" Kenway shouted and leapt down from the tower.

"I can't breath, oh God, I can't breath!" Bonnet gasped, gripping to a bench for support.

"Calm down, man!" Thomas said, wiping the blood from his nose on his shirt.

"That's all my money! Gone!"

"Ke-" Thomas stopped himself, careful to keep to Kenway's new identity. "Duncan'll bring it back, don't worry. How much did he take?"

Bonnet, still panicking, checked the contents on his belt.

"All eight Reales!" He cried.

"Oh, Jaysus!" Thomas put his hands over his face. He had a bloodied shirt, left with a hysterical man and there was every chance his nose was broken, just because of the theft of eight Reales.

Then, with a thud, Kenway landed beside them, purse in hand.

"Duncan! By Jove, you're alive!"

"Of course I am. That filch was no fuss."

The three continued on, two much more merrier than the other.

"Jaysus, lad, what happened?" Kenway jolted, noting the mess the assassin was in.

"That bastard you went after socked me right in the gob." Thomas growled, kicking the ground as he went.

He continued to grumble under his breath as they neared the tavern, confirmed by Bonnet.

"Take your time, we'll be just here." Kenway said as Bonnet left them, heading for his meeting.

Thomas and Kenway wandered among the rabble of drunkards, whores and rats, searching for a suitable place to sit and have a drink.

"Fancy meeting a Welshman deep in Dago country." A man said, a bottle in one hand, a blonde in the other. "I'm English meself. Biding my time 'til the next war calls me to service."

"Lucky King George having a piss-pot like you flying his flag." Kenway said, sitting down and pulling out Walpole's satchel.

"Oy!" The man barked, the woman stumbling from his lap as he stood suddenly. "Skulk! I've seen your face before. You's mates with them pirates down in Nassau."

"Oh, well done, Kenway." Thomas rolled his eyes.

"Shut your fucking gob or I'll fill it with shot." Kenway threatened the man. "Do you hear me?"

"Edward, is it?" The man laughed, flipping Kenway's hood back.

As he did so, Kenway shot his head forward, slamming it into the man's skull, sending him staggering back. Thomas sighed, head in hands as he watched the pirate get to his feet, bringing his knee sharply against the man's groin, shoving him onto a table. He crashed through it, lying heavily on the ground.

"You bastard!" Another man shouted, pointing at Kenway.

"Hey, I warned him-" He started before a third man sent his fist sailing for Kenway's nose.

As he clutched his bleeding nose, the two men grabbing his arms, throwing him into the centre of the courtyard. Kenway rolled and stood, rocking on his feet, ready to fight.

"You gonna help?" He called to Thomas.

"I think I'll pass." He called back.

Thomas watched on, taking a swig from a bottle that an unconscious drunkard had left unattended. Even if Kenway didn't have any interesting stories to tell him, a front row seat to an event like this would do just fine.

"Come on, Kenway!" He cheered as the pirate sent punches flying, kicking and beating his assailants.

Soon, the men lay flat out cold on the ground, the victorious Kenway standing among them, still pinching his bloody nose. Someone began shouting in Spanish and although he couldn't understand it, he knew it wasn't good.

Soldiers burst in, instantly alerted to the culprit, their weapons drawn.

"Time to be off." Kenway said, grabbing Thomas by the back of his shirt, hauling him to his feet.

"Here we go," Thomas sighed again, following the troublemaker out of the tavern and into the streets, soldiers in hot pursuit.

It seemed this notorious pirate was going to bring nothing but trouble for himself and everyone around him. The sooner the assassin returned to London, the better.

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