A sapphire blue sky, with the occasional puff of clouds, stretched wide over the ramshackle port town of Briggs’ Reach. Ships in their coming and goings dotted the small fishing town’s harbor and sky. Of anyone, the broad-shouldered Peter Townsend was as recognizable a feature in Brigg’s Reach as the brightly colored fishing cottages in the town. A former sky pirate, then later privateer for the Queen, Pete was rarely surprised these days. A unique qualification, so he was told, that made him well suited as dockmaster for Brigg’s Reach. However, when the Brass Griffin touched water, and drifted toward an empty slip in the docks, he whistled low in small amazement. With an amazed look, he lit his pipe before walking towards the damaged schooner. That much damage a person did not see every day.
Krumer appeared at the railing a moment later. “Ahoy, Townsend!”
“Looks like ya took a beatin’ this trip. What took ta chewin’ on ya?”
“Ah, they can make a mess of a ship. I heard tell of one causin’ a fair share of trouble along the shipping lanes. Good ta see ya still sailin’. So, Cap’n Hunter about?”
Krumer hesitated. “Missing since the drake attack.”
Townsend took a thoughtful pull from his pipe, letting a respectful quiet settle between them.
“My sympathies, lad; he was a good Captain.”
“Missing isn’t lost. We’ve hope still. We didn’t find a body on ground.”
“Good ta keep hopes up, but at a good sailin’ height though … how’d he be able to survive?”
“Spirit only knows, as I do not.”
A young man, human, dressed in a loose shirt, brown trousers and worn shoes skid to a stop along the boardwalk, calling out in their direction, “Oy! Ya the Brass Griffin?”
Krumer gave Pete a look. The dockmaster shrugged and puffed on his pipe. Once the gangplank was tossed down, the first mate walked to the dock proper and raised his voice in return.
“We’re the Griffin. State your business.”
“Ah’m from the Black Morgan. We picked up somethin’ o’ yers less’n a day back.”
“What’s your name, boy? An where’s the Morgan tied at?”
“Names’ Johnny and we’re at pier twelve. But wha’ yer wantin’s at the infirm’ry backside o’ the apoth’cary.”
“Indeed? Tell your Captain, the Griffin thanks him for the info. Fair winds to you, boy.”
“Aye!” The young man raced off down the docks the way he came.
Pete took another draw on his pipe. “Think it’s Hunter?”
Krumer sighed, “Spirits willing.”