Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Dead Night- logic of The Night!

*minor spoiler warning*

Evening, all!

So, having spoken to people who have read my book or know more about my characters, I decideed it's about time to answer a few of the common questions which are repeatedly coming under the 'genes' parasol. For example, "Does Lizzie feel the cold?" "When does Avangelene feed?" "Why can Cybelle only blush sometimes?" and "Why are Cye and Lina's dominant genes different?"

So, here's the answer: It's to do with gene percentage!

The idea is, if you belong to The Night in any way, you have supernatural "Night genes". These can belong to almost any sort of Night, such as Fhearie, Witch, Wizard, Vampre, Werewolf etc (You cannot have a ''Sirith gene'', which will be explained in a moment). So if you are purely one of these races, you only have one sort of gene... Therefore Lizzie is a Noble Vampire, therefore her blood is pure and Vampire is all there is to her.

Now, if you have Night blood and human blood, then your Night genes will do batle with your human genes constanly, and your percentage will often change. It is USUALLY subject to how much of that gene is in your family as to which, but one will always be dominant, it will usually be the Night gene in this case.

If you are a hybrid, as mentioned above, you will have a dominat gene regardless of whether you have any human blood. James is a good example of this, his dominant gene is Wolf. Note that occasionally his Vampire side might come out, but not often, due to that changing percentage.

If you were a certain kind of Night before, but gaied the genes of another Night at some point in your life (such as Avangelene becoming Vampire), then your original gene will always be the strongest.As with any other hybrid type, your other genes might come out, nd they are also likely to show themselves if your body needs to use them, such as the Vampires self healing ability.

Now Sirith Magi are a completely different beast. They don't have to have that gene dominant in their family tree for it to be dominant in themself. The Saage sisters are a classic example of this (and possibly the only one). Night genes do battle with eachother, but in Siriths this is a particularly big thing. By the age of about thirteen in a regular hybrid, your genes finally settle, but Siriths might do this at a very early age. Thalia and Valenteia did this, ad that is why Lina was tutored a Witch, and Cye a Vampire. Your percentage still changes, but your dominant gene will always return.

So, those questions....

Can Lizzie feel the cold?
I think she might sense it, but she doesn't feel it as such. she senses a lot of things, but Nobles just sort of exist and observe, it's a little hard to explain.

When does Avangelene feed?
Avangelene was originally Witch, and therefore although she has become part Vampire, she rarely needs to feed, if her Vampire side is particularly present that day, then she might feel the craving, although we will probably never see this through the eyes of another character, as she is very self concious about feeding in front of people.

Why can Cybelle only blush sometimes?
Cye is mostly Vampire, but as I mentioned, even in Siriths, other genes might make an appearence. Sometimes her Wolf side or Witch side etc can come out and allow the little blood in her body to rise to her cheeks. Vampires are technically dead, Cybelle is a little-bit-alive. gain, it's hard to explain!

Why are Cye and Lina's dominant genes different?
Because as I mentioned, Sirith Magi gain a dominant gene early, and it can be anything.

I hope you found this informative!
Perhaps I will post more Night logic in the future, but as for now, farewell.

-I. I. Laverick x

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Reign of Hearts, Part One, The Illusion of a Dream

*beware of strong language and sarcasm ;P

    It all began at my best friend’s ex’s funeral.

    I don’t even know why we were there to be honest with you. Perhaps she’d always wanted to throw a dead flower on his grave for the irony; who has a clue? I didn’t know what went on in her funny little head those days… and often, I felt that I didn’t want to.

    “Jez, you alright?” I whispered. She was staring down at the contents of the coffin as if she were looking inside the dustbin back at the flat. Her eyes were focussed though, and in them was pure hate… A look the stupid git must have been used to.

    God I hoped he went to hell.

    “I’m fine.” She replied coldly after a moment, tossing her shoulder length black hair arrogantly in a very purposeful way. Lucky thing… I always envied her hair, right back in high school. Damn my genes and cheap hair dye.

    “Come on, I don’t think this was a great idea.” I murmured, and tugged her arm away from the coffin. She stole a last painful glance and then linked her arm through mine and we marched towards the exit. That was another thing about us; I was the one that strode ahead and did stuff, and Jez was the one who thought about it, and then usually told me what I’d done stupidly... And was usually right ad told me so.

    “I think a burger is in order.” She said with a sigh, “A big one.”

    “I thought you were on a diet sis.” I reminded her, as Jez usually forgot about her diets. They never lasted over a week.

    “Fuck my diet.” She muttered bitterly.

    You know, we’re not actually sisters, but everybody thinks so… and we let them. We’re like sisters, we act like it and we sort of look like it, but we’re not. If we were, she’d probably have killed me by this point for about a million different reasons.

    A guy caught us up before we got to the doors. He was pretty tall, but not massively; just taller than Jez, and she was shorter than me but wearing a loaned pair of my platform heels (which were pretty demonic, if I say so myself). He had dark brown hair, quite long so it got in his eyes a lot, and he didn’t smile but greeted us as cheerfully as was possible at a funeral, which amounts to about a grave nod.

    “Sorry to hear about Liam.” He said sympathetically.

    “Why, he was a wanker.” Jez answered dismissively and got a fair few alarmed looks from the small congregation around us (many of whom were probably thinking along those lines anyway). We were about to carry on our way when it clicked.

    “Oh hell!” Jez apologised (in her language, that alone was usually an apology, but she was messed up that day.) “Sorry, I didn’t recognise you!”

    Then, finally, I cracked it. As I mentioned before, she’s the brains. “Oh my god, Jay?”

    “You two haven’t changed.” He said with a sneaky grin.

    “What happened to you since college?” Jez demanded, and did her best impression of an electrocuted goldfish.

    “This and that.” Jay said with a smile again, “I suspected I’d find the undertakers daughters at the nearest funeral. I thought Allie was heading for Japan?”

    Allie isn’t actually my name by the way, but that’s what you might as well call me, because everybody else does. Really it’s Allyson, but that’s even worse. I tried to change it to Alyss once, but everyone was too used to it, so I’m still Allie.

    I decided to leave out the fact that I had about as much money as I had atomic bombs and just shrugged, “Not without a game design course… or sis.” I explained, and then mentally added a bit, or money.

    We were beginning to get some very unwelcoming expressions by this point, and so Jez excused us. “We have to go, erm… mourn. She said with a wink. Maybe catch you later.”

    “Ok, see you around, I know when I’m not wanted.” Jay joked, and we parted ways and Jez and I left the church. In one piece too which I hadn’t expected, perhaps god had really bad aim with that lightning strike.

    “Well that was more than a bit awkward.” I remarked, stating the obvious but it broke the silence.

    “Sherlock.” Jez replied, “Now about that burger…”


    So naturally, we ended up sitting in the local crummy McDonalds, and I watched Jez destroy any minor progress she’d made on that diet of hers.

    “Allie?” She asked thoughtfully after a while, as she poked at the last few fries in her box, “Do we just have this really shit luck that follows us around?”

    I thought about it. It was unusual for her to just up and say things like that… She was usually pretty light hearted at the best of times. Then again, this wasn’t exactly the best of times. “Nah, we don’t. We’ve gotten this far right? And considering high school, that’s an achievement.” I tried to smile, but I was worried about her.

    She laughed a little, but only faintly and stared down at the fries. “Remember when we were younger, and when stuff like this broke out, we could just… deal with it? What happened?”

    “Hey, there’s a reason for that, remember?” I replied. Now I was especially worried, Jez never brought up that bit of our past. It’s sort of complicated you see… I won’t really go into it but back then we’d both been through a lot, and we developed this kind of… Childish fantasy to help us deal with all the hell, it just got a bit too real by the end. It was lucky neither of us had ended up in an institute, we should have.

    “Let’s get out of here.” She said, changing the subject. I agreed with a sort of ‘hmf’ and we left.

    We walked in the park nearby in silence for a while. It was an old habit of ours, the way we spent many lunch hours back in college. It was all as normal as the day was going to get until that confounded cat turned up.

    I blame myself; if we’d have just gone straight home like we’d intended, probably none of it would have happened. Ok, perhaps he’d have found us, but all the same, it was the worst time the stupid creature could have chosen.

    There we were, sat on the edge of the fountain, minding our own business when it’s furry black and white face popped up. At least he wasn’t smiling this time, but it was still enough to paralyse us on the spot.

    …I know what you’re thinking. It could have been any cat couldn’t it? Well no. You didn’t see his eyes. His eyes were bright violet, like an unnatural shade of violet, and they stared with an expression that suggested the smile that wasn’t there. That’s how we knew it was Messenger, and it was undeniable.

    I looked at Jez, Jez looked at me, and then we both looked at Messenger, who smiled with his eyes. None of us said anything, and he must have realised we both intended to ignore him, so he leapt up onto the fountain in between us, put down the item he had been carrying in his mouth, and then ran off again. Like a phantom, he’d disappeared.

    I pretended he hadn’t been there for a precious few moments, and dared not look down at the spot he’d been a second ago. I think Jez did the same… We had a good enough life right now, apart from a few hiccups, we didn’t need our fantasy anymore.

   Unless it wasn’t a fantasy…

    I dismissed the thought and forced myself to look at the item Messenger had left. For a moment, I thought- no, I hoped- it was a regular British pound, but when I looked closer, my heart missed a beat. On the surface was not the usual portrait of the Queen of England, but of a Queen of hearts… like that in a pack of cards. When I turned it over in my hand, the reverse bore a picture of a little rabbit wearing a waistcoat and a top hat, and he had a little pocket watch in his paw.

    “Allie…” Jez said quietly, her voice shaking so much that if she were a tower, she’d surely have fallen, “Allie, please tell me I’m not seeing this…”

    I tried so hard to come up with an answer that would reassure her. Hell, I wanted an answer that would reassure me. In the end, though I didn’t believe myself, I just shook my head and said, “It’s probably just some convenient trinket. We don’t even have currency in Wonderland.” I considered tossing the coin into the fountain and leaving it there, but my utterly stupid curiosity got the better of me and I slipped it into the pocket of my leather coat.

    “Don’t even say that word.” Jez muttered.

    “Come on, we should go home.” I said, although my throat was so dry I had trouble speaking at all. “I need to feet Kurt anyway.” (Kurt was the dog). I figured at the time that if we ignored Messenger’s visit altogether, he’d get that we didn’t need him, and then perhaps he’d leave us alone. Dreams couldn’t pursue you could they?

    It wasn’t normal, but the state we were in as we returned to the flat was at least visually acceptable for a girl who’s just attended her ex’s funeral, and the best friend of that girl, so at least there wasn’t much to hide.

    But all the way we were contemplating the same things… If all that business with our Wonderland had been a dream, how did Messenger leave us a physical coin? And even worse, why?

    I honest to god hoped that it wasn’t because our Wonderland needed us…


    The flat we rented not too far from the university (seen as I still hadn’t got a driving licence), was pretty small and nondescript, but it was home all the same. Quite plain (as we’d never bothered to decorate) and furnished with mostly blankets, pillows and dog hair. Naturally, this meant that our current landlady wasn’t exactly Kurt’s greatest fan.

    Kurt leapt on me immediately as we walked in, which made even Jez giggle a bit, and licked my face in the way that only a husky who happens to be a terrible judge of his own weight could do so.

    “Hey there boy!” I laughed and attempted to drag him back onto the sofa by his collar before I collapsed into a heap. “Watch out, you’ll make Aiden jealous!”

    “Well look at that, put aside for the dog!” Aiden himself said from the kitchen doorway. “Don’t I get a kiss?”

    “Oh my God, Can’t you two take it to the bedroom? I’m still here you know!” Jez complained, and mock gagged.

    Feeling considerably better, I shot her two fingers for the very outdated joke and went to grant Aiden’s request. Jez made a great pantomime of throwing her guts up on the carpet as I did so. It was alright, it was her turn for cleaning chores.

    “Sorry.” He said brightly, although he had no intention of taking her advice, and neither did I.

    Again, I’m ahead of myself here; I should really explain. Aiden and I met in high school, and we’ve pretty much almost been together since. All of our friends always found it weird for reasons I’m not even going to try to guess or explain. I also know he’s the man I’m going to marry someday… I just haven’t quite gotten around to telling him so yet. Either way, I never thought I knew what love would be like… In a way, I suppose he saved me from insanity, and many other things besides.

    “Are you two done yet?” Jez groaned, and slumped down onto the sofa with Kurt (who was politely or disgustedly burying his head in his paws).

    “Not yet.” Said Aiden with a smile, “If you don’t want to watch, why don’t you go make the coffee?” He suggested, and then re-attached himself to my lips before I could tell him not to be so mean.

    “I’m not your housekeeper dear.” She said and stayed where she was to give Kurt a fuss. “No respect for us poor singles hm?” She said to him (his head was still awkwardly beneath his paws).

    I giggled and flicked Aiden on the nose. “You think you’re the man of the house, you go make the coffee!”

    Rolling his eyes in defeat, he gave me a mock salute, “Yes, ma’am!” He replied, and marched off back into the kitchen.

    “Sorry, sis.” I apologised, feeling a little guilty now. She was used to us, but today wasn’t exactly a great time.

    “It’s ok.” She smiled, “Kurt’s the one feeling awkward here!” She reached behind the sofa and conjured the remote control from it’s usual hiding place and turned on the TV.

    “I’m going to go find out what’s taking him so long with the coffee.” I said, and wandered into the kitchen, leaving Jez to channel hop.

    Aiden smiled when he saw me and, still filling the kettle with one hand, beckoned me over for a hug… yeah, for a guy, he had a hug complex... and one for messing with my hair. I wasn’t complaining.

    “Oh yeah.” He said suddenly, he turned around to hand me an envelope which had been sitting on the counter gaining coffee rings. “This came for you earlier.”

    I looked down at it… the paper was like old style parchment, and my name had been printed neatly in black ink on the reverse in a fancy Edwardian looking script. Oddly, it used the one variation of my name that I liked, but nobody used… Alyss. “Well it’s obviously not from uni.”

    He began to take down what was left of the clean mugs and shrugged. “Well maybe it’s from that Lord of the Rings fan club thing…”

    I shoved the envelope in my back pocket, “I’ll read it later. It’s been a weird day, I can’t think about ents and hobbits right now.”

    Aiden’s face changed when I said that. “How is she?” He murmured, cocking his head slightly in the direction of the living room.

    “Holding out I suppose.” I replied. “She’ll be fine.”

    “Hope so.” He said, and started to make three coffees, one extra dark for Jez.

    I sighed and piled more sugar into my own. Yeah, it had been weird, but I figured that if we just ignored the impossible and got on with our normal lives, we’d be fine. We always were.

    The rest of that evening was pretty sane. Jez was quiet, but that was understandable, so I dug out the old Tim Burton collection from the DVDs to save her the trouble of conversation. She spent the films half asleep on a Kurt too tired to throw her off his back.

We said nothing of the incident in the park. I knew it hadn’t left either of our minds, but it wasn’t real if neither of us voiced what we were thinking.

    On the bright side, no cat was coming near the flat with Kurt prowling around…


    It was only that night, when we had finally decided to turn in, that I remembered the letter again. It was crumpled from my pocket, but undamaged otherwise, so I opened it, and found inside a very short note. It was the very last thing on earth I wanted to hear:


    It’s no use trying to ignore us, you need Wonderland just as much as Wonderland needs you. Messenger will give you one final chance to return of your own free will.

    And you never answered my question about the raven…

    Hatteress Lunicie

    Dreams couldn’t write letters either. Was this Jez’s way of playing a sick joke to escape our lives? Somehow, I doubted very much that she would dare. “Don’t even say that word.” She had said.

    But nobody else knew. Not even Aiden…

    There was only one explanation, and it was the most irrational, mad thing I had ever thought of: Wonderland existed, and we were in trouble.

Of College, University andd Alyss...


If I'm not to active for a while, I'm currently being drained of inspiration.
 examiners, I somtimes want to slap them with a wet fish and then a copy of the Collins English dictionary.

In other news, I'm STILL working on Lenora Lacey, and I have the old block, I also have about a million drawing requests to do too v.v Woe is me.....
In other news, I have a new short story called "Reign of Hearts" It's a modern take on Alice in Wonderland written, by the way, with TOTAL respect for Lewis Carrol. It's only loosely based I suppose, my Alyss and Jez have  great deal more sarcasm than Miss Liddell at times. Anyhow, I'll put it in a seperate post, hopefully that will tide you over until the release of Lenora Lacey ;P Part Two will be on it's way soon, but I'm doing it in between everything else so yes, bear with me.

This is I. I. Laverick, really tired and stressed and out of ideas, signing out.

So long and thanks for all the fish (if I don't survive Wednesday)

-I.I.Laverick x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

I Love the sound of Halestorm in the morning!

I just thought that this would be a great theme for the Guild Girls in a future Dead Night book! xD Halestorm are just amazing!

-I.I. Laverick x

A First REAL look at Lenora Lacey...

Soo, I figure I was a little mean with my last claim to give you a preview of my new novel. It doesn't exactly tell you a lot! So I'm going to make it up to you! This week on my deviantART account, not only did I release a preview from the main story of Lenora Lacey, but also a drawing I did of the leading lady herself!

I will reveal that my main inspiration for this book was Abney Park. They're a great band and their music is wonderfully steampunk! However, though there may be one or two tiny nods to their music, Lenora Lacey's story is completely original! Thanks to Captain Robert, it seems that Abney Park already have one of their own. Either way, I hope they do not mind me using them as my inspiration! Also, I'm shouting out to Emilie Autumn and Alestorm for also inspiring me with their music!

I will reveal that the novel will hopefully be availdable in the Amazon Kindle store some time in 2013, possibly around May. This is of course if all goes to plan!

Before I give you the extract itself, I'm going to share with you the first real image I've created of the protagonist, Miss Lacey. It will not be in the Guild's Gallery Hall any time soon as I am currently thinking of creating a page in the blog specifically for Lenora Lacey, but we shall see. Unfortunately, due to blogger being a moron, I can't post the actual drawing here yet, but you may view it on deviantART whilst I attempt to get blogger to like it. While you're there, there's a great deal of work in both writing and art you can view on my profile that are not featured on my blog! (mainly for relevance). Anyway, here is the link to the drawing:    http://takarayuuki.deviantart.com/#/d5q1wka

So without further ado, here is an extract from Chapter 4 of the book, which is called "The New Addition". Enjoy! x

   Lenora held her breath as Saleen grasped the golden, skull shaped knocker on the door and rapped loudly on the green painted wood. Her companion must have noticed this, because she looked around and laughed. Not an intimidating laugh, but a soft, almost comforting sound.

“Don’t worry yourself so.” She said, “The Captain’s completely reasonable, I explained as much of your case I knew last night.”

“I’m alright…” Lenora managed to say, but it sounded more like the frightened squeak of a mouse. She realised this, and so straightened up and tried her best to look confident at least. Her mother had always said when she had been a shy little girl, that if she looked confident, there was nothing wrong with being scared, because nobody else would know.

It sort of hurt to think about her mother…

Suddenly, heavy footsteps could be heard on the other side of the door, along with the metallic clicking of more than one complicated lock.

Lenora’s heart didn’t even have time to begin racing, as the heavy door swung backwards suddenly and Saleen led the way inside.

The room was grand and beautiful; even more impressive than some of the Grey’s rooms in the manor that William had shown her. Even more impressive than her own rooms at home in fact, from the days of the Lacey’s wealth. The walls were lined with old and interesting maps and drawings, some of the drawings looks like fearsome dragons and creatures. There was a window the length of the back wall which looked out on the nothingness, and, if Lenora had time to concentrate to find out, may have led to an outer balcony. The room’s grandeur however, was made apparent by the vast amount of treasures and expensive furnishings that filled it. There was a great amount of gold, silver and gems which were all proudly on display; beautiful statues, swords, gems as big as somebody’s fist… And there were many books, beautiful leather tomes piled up in every available space.

There were two large, expensive looking red chairs positioned in the corner between the window and another door, which Lenora suspected led to the sleeping quarters, and there was a man sitting down in one of them.

“Sir.” Saleen said, suddenly turning to formalities now she was speaking to the Captain, “Lenora Lacey, you wanted to speak with her.”

“That I did.” Said an old, gruff voice from behind the chair. “So you are awake, Miss Lacey. Thank you, Saleen. You may go a while.”

Saleen nodded and turned to the door, leaving Lenora alone.

“Sit, child. There’s no need to be so afraid.” The captain said, and waved his hand to the second seat. Lenora hesitated, but since it seemed she had no choice, she crossed the room and sat down.

This time, she could finally get a good look at the Captain. He was not as old as she had expected, closer to her father’s age before the incident, but he looked worn, which was probably normal for the Captain of a pirate ship. He had a kind face right now, although it probably wasn’t always the state, and he seemed to have begun growing a greying beard, from under which stuck out a pipe.

The Captain studied Lenora for a moment with grey eyes, as he reached into the pocket of his long, battered brown coat for a match which he used to light the pipe. “I have to say, I’m quite surprised at you, Miss Lacey.” He said eventually, “From what I heard from Saleen and Lukas, I expected to be heading back to London by now.”

“What do you mean?” Lenora said, although she could barely whisper for her nerves.

“Saleen asked you if you’d like us to take you home, and you said no.” The Captain explained and then laughed in a surprisingly friendly sort of way, “That’s the adventurous spirit speaking inside that prim, proud exterior!”

“How do you know that?” Lenora asked, gathering her confidence now. “I didn’t see her tell you…”

“She would have if you had said yes. But never mind that.” The captain said, and took the pipe from his mouth. He leaned forward in his chair and looked seriously at Lenora, who admittedly, was terrified again. “The real question is why are you here. What is your purpose on this boat?”

“I’m sorry…?” Lenora said helplessly, “I’m sorry… I only feinted… you have to understand-”

“I understand perfectly.” The Captain said, cutting off Lenora’s babbling, “Everybody on this ship has a purpose. You, Saleen, Lukas… even Jack, although I’ve got no idea what his is.” At this the Captain laughed, and Lenora couldn’t help a little nervous giggle herself. “You don’t know it, but you chose this ship for a reason. There were dozens around it, but somehow you knew this one would take you where you needed to go.”

Lenora thought about it for a moment, and eventually let out a sigh, because she’d only succeeded in making her brain ache. “I don’t think so… I just wanted to get away… I didn’t want to know what had happened to my family…”

“That’s part of it.” Said the Captain and sighed. He sat back in his chair again and replaced the pipe. “There’s always some driving force though. There’s something you really need to do, somewhere you need to go.”

“I… I don’t know…” Lenora said, her head beginning to spin.

“Think a while.” Said the Captain, “We have plenty of time.”

Lenora did. She thought so hard that both her mind and her heart were in agony. She re lived every second of the hideous events of the previous nights. She re lived running away to the Valkyrie. She thought about her mother, Eleena, Charlotte… Ryan…

Ryan. Where was he? He needed to know what happened. She needed him, he might be Lenora’s only living family… Charlotte needed him too, maybe even more.

She needed to find Ryan, he’d know what to do. And then they’d investigate the fire.

“I need to find my brother.” She repeated aloud to the Captain, “I need to find my brother because he’s missing, and my family might all be gone.”

The Captain smiled. “I knew it.” He said, “This ship has a strange way of attracting lost souls if they have a driving purpose to fulfil. I don’t know why.”

“Wow…” Lenora breathed, although she hadn’t meant to say it out loud. She had now grown more at ease. Speaking with the Captain was like speaking with a friend. She’d even plucked up the courage to ask him the questions that had been niggling in her mind all the time.

“Do you mind my asking… if you were one of them?” She felt as if she were being intrusive immediately after the words had left her lips. She froze for a moment, praying she had not offended her new ally, but the Captain just smiled.

“Yes, I am.” He said, “I wanted to be a hero like I hadn’t been in the battle.”

Lenora didn’t say anything, but turned it over in her mind.

The Captain just laughed, “But I’m an old fool being too nostalgic. You have more questions, I can tell.”

Lenora hesitated for a moment, but she’d given up watching her words and she was in it too deep anyway. “Katie said you’re the Robin Hood of pirates… what did she mean…?”

The Captain smiled fondly, “Young Katie makes us sound saintly.” He said with a slight shake of his head, “She meant we don’t just land and loot whoever we come across. We attack other pirates, the worst ones, and we take from their ships as reward. We like to think of it as ridding the world of them, but really we’re the same, we just keep our bad business among the bad people.”

“Wow, so you really are…” Lenora said thoughtfully.

“And the other things?” The Captain asked expectantly, “You can ask if you like.”

“How do you know…?” Lenora shook her head and decided it must have been obvious, “What about the others? They all seemed perfectly happy, accept maybe for Saleen… but then I think she and Jack have troubles.”

The Captain smiled, and he looked very old and wise for a moment, or even more so anyway. “That’s for them to tell you. Don’t pry Lenora, but you may learn that from them.”

There was suddenly a loud ringing from elsewhere in the ship, somewhere below the main deck. It was followed almost immediately by a great deal of commotion outside, as if the entire crew were running the length of the ship… they possibly were.

“Ahh, breakfast!” The Captain said and stood up, “You’ll have to excuse the fact that I dine alone and not with my crew. I don’t like to be a figurehead.”

Lenora got up also, and was about to excuse herself when the captain said, “What was the last question?”

Lenora had forgotten when the bell had startled her, but there was one last thing she wanted to know, and she wasn’t entirely sure the Captain would be able to tell her.

“How does it work?” She managed to ask, feeling rather ridiculous for even believing such a thing (then, she was on a flying pirate ship, she had to keep reminding herself). “How does the ship attract people?”

The Captain just shrugged. “I have no idea. Perhaps it’s just the ship itself, Perhaps it’s Isabelle, or maybe just human instinct. I’ll probably never know.”

“Isabelle?” Lenora repeated, confused. Jack had mentioned the name before on deck, although Lenora had dismissed it to be a crew member… but she hadn’t realised at the time that Saleen and Katie were the only female crew members…

“Wait until Saleen’s summoning tonight, and you will understand.” The Captain gave a knowing smile, and Lenora decided not to bother asking what a summoning actually was.

She turned to leave, and just as she was about to step through the door, the Captain bowed low, holding the tail of his long coat as if it were a cape. “Welcome to the crew, Lenora Lacey.”


“He never bowed to me! Perhaps you’re special.” Saleen said with a laugh. She’d been waiting outside for Lenora whilst she talked to the Captain, but the main deck which had been almost crowded when she’d gone inside was now deserted. Clearly, everybody else had gone at the mention of food.

“Or lucky.” Lenora suggested and tried to act normal. She thought of something to say that didn’t involve the mind boggling issues she had discussed with the Captain. As they began to walk with Saleen leading the way, she settled on: “I hear you have a summoning tonight, should I be wishing you luck or congratulating you or…?”

Saleen laughed again, “Well I’m afraid it’s a hard thing to define.” She explained, “Not that you’d believe it if I could define it. Most people settled on wishing me luck, but luck has nothing to do with it.” At this she grinned, but it turned into a sort of distant expression that wasn’t quite a smile at all.

“How do you know?” Lenora asked curiously, determined to find out at least whether she wanted to witness the night when it happened.

“Because I’ll be dancing.” Saleen replied definitely, and as if to prove her point, she gave a graceful twirl on the swaying deck, lending perfectly without even a stumble. She was even more perfectly graceful that Eleena!

Lenora just smiled, and the climbed down the ladder to the first level of the ship. It was surprisingly easy in Saleen’s platforms; probably not as easy as Katy found it in her combat boots, but at least she hadn’t fallen off as she’d expected.

They walked along what Lenora supposed was a kind of corridor (but what did she know about airships?) and Saleen held open one of a set of huge double doors so that they could walk inside.

The room was huge. Bigger than Lenora had expected, and at least half of the crew were in there, each of them laughing and eating all manner of odd and familiar food. She hadn’t realised how hungry she was until now.

“You think this is big, you should see the other one!” Saleen said, laughing when Lenora’s jaw dropped. “Well, I’m starved, let’s go and get something.” She said and marched the length of the room to arrive at a long table. The food was of an odd variety; there were plenty fruits, all of which were typically British such as apples, so these had obviously been acquired during the ship’s brief stop in London. There was also bread and eggs and a little cheese, nothing like the grand dining of Lenora’s household, but the simplicity was sort of nice.

Saleen began to pile a plate high with food (it seemed that a lot of the crew didn’t bother with plates, however), and nudged Lenora as if to encourage her to do the same.

“Eat well while you can.” She warned when Lenora gave her an inquisitive look, “The fine dining decreases on the journey and by the time we reach a destination, we’re on a diet of grog and stale bread.”

“Grog?” Lenora repeated as she began to follow her new friend’s advice.

“You don’t want to know.” Saleen replied with a grimace, and tossed an apple to Lenora, who caught it and took a bite. “The problem is, we travel over water a lot… and we’re always really far up, so there’s not always somewhere to land and get supplies. We have to make do with what we have.” She explained as they walked down the benches.

Towards the centre of the room, Katie and Lukas waved them over. There were two empty seats opposite them, and so Saleen and Lenora ducked in quickly before anybody else could.

“Us girls need to stick together on this boat!” Katie said happily, tucking into what Lenora found out later was an ‘everything sandwich ala Katie’.

“So, have you had the talk with the Captain then Miss?” Lukas asked with a smile.

“Lenora.” She corrected him, “Yes. He seemed… nice?” She struggled for a better word but gave up.

“He’s reasonable as they get.” Katie said, “Done it all and seen it all, as he says.”

Lenora nodded and began picking at her bread self-consciously.

“No need to be polite Len, you’re among pirates!” Saleen laughed, and took a big bite out of her own Katie-esque sandwich. Somehow, and perhaps it was just because this was Saleen, it didn’t look as pig like as it was meant to. Lenora shrugged and threw her table manners overboard, polishing the rest of her plate shamelessly.

“That’s more like it!” Katie laughed, “We’ll make a sailor out of you yet!”

“Don’t scare the poor girl!” said another voice with an accent Lenora couldn’t quite place. When she looked around she had to force herself not to jump in fright. There was a man sitting there next to her, and she’d had no idea how she’d failed to notice him before because he was (frankly) huge. Not fat as such, but huge and intimidating. He smiled though, showing one gold canine which glimmered in the dim light, and then held out a hand to her. “Bert.” He introduced himself.

Lenora shook it tentatively (or rather Bert’s hand shook her), and tried to smile back.

“Shorty, you’re the one scaring her!” Katie laughed and threw a grape at him, hitting him square on the nose.

It was incredibly rude, but Lenora couldn’t help thinking… Shorty indeed!

Saleen shook her head but chuckled a little behind her hand. “His name is Robert Little. It’s irony.” She explained.

Lenora nodded and tried to focus on something other than the ideas in her head (like ‘where do I run away to on an airship?’ Which really might be a good idea to find out)

“I’m not the one eating like an ogre, Kate!” Bert protested and pretended to swat her across the table (Lenora jumped, but Katie had ducked in perfect time).

“You think I’m the ogre!” Katie scoffed, and then she laughed and picked up a tankard from the table, clinking it against the bottle Bert had in his giant hands. It was a wonder the thing didn’t break into a million shards! Katie happily turned the tankard upwards to take a gulp of the contents, but then she grimaced. “Ugh! What kind of rum do you call this?”

“The usual.” Saleen answered coolly, “You know we have water now?”

“Pah!” Said Katie, and then she shrugged and continued to empty the tankard, which she banged down onto the wooden table. Bert clearly found the whole thing amusing and began to bang his own bottle against the wood, making Lenora absolutely sure it could not have been glass. He began to sing some sort of funny shanty. The rest of the crew decided that this was a good call, and one by one, they stood up and joined him.

The song went something a little like this:

O fourteen men on the barrel dry,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog!

Drunk on the fumes and the Captain cries,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog!

Taste like shit with twice the flies,

You catch a whiff and nose just dies,

Cook would quit if he were wise,

‘Cause there’s no real rum on our ship!

Fourteen men chuck up o’er the side,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog!

Drunk or sick or some have died,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog!

Chuck the foul stuff o’erboard,

‘Cause we drink rum that’s fit for Lords,

But the bastards keep safe their own hoard,

So there ‘aint no rum on our ship!

O fourteen men on the barrel dry,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog!

Drunk on the fumes and the Captain cries,

Yo ho ho and a barrel o’ grog,

‘Cause there’s no real rum on our ship!

The last two lines were sang by one voice only, and the rest of the room immediately sat down and hushed when the heard it. The Captain.

“A fine ditty you boys have there.” He said, chortling from somewhere beneath his beard, “So there’s no real rum on our ship, it’s true.”

The crew stayed silent, obviously contemplating whether the Captain was angry with them or not. Lenora hoped for the life of her that he was not!

“But there’s a better place for rum than London!” He pronounced, and suddenly there was uproar from the crew, who had by this time made up their minds.

“AYE!” They shouted, some of them bashing tankards (including Katie), some of them throwing their fists into the thin air above them.

Saleen just shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Men!” She mouthed at Lenora, and she had to giggle.

“We’re on course for Cornwall, I know a lady in St Ives that’ll give you something to quench your thirst!”

The Captain departed, and Katie stood up, arms folded and a huge grin on her face. She was looking directly at Lenora, which couldn’t possibly be good.

“Right!” She said loudly, taking the rifle from the strap over her shoulder and spinning it expertly in one hand, “Time for your first routine combat lesson, Lenora!”

No… Of course this wouldn’t be good.