When Alerion woke it was to the press of cold wet wood to his cheek. Groaning he pushed himself into a sitting position, wiping at his cold face with his sleeve as he struggled to remember where he was and how he'd gotten there. The last thing he could remember was settling down on the shore with a book, relieved to escape the cramped halls and barely muffled insults of the boarding school, if only for an hour or two. He grunted and wrapped an arm around his middle, fighting off waves of nausea as the floor rolled and shifted under him, and coupled with the pounding of his head, it took him a fair few moments to focus. Through the groggy haze of his barely conscious mind he slowly came to realise that the heaving rolls of the floor and the near deafening roar could mean only one thing.
Waves. The Ocean.
The realisation caused Alerion to bolt upright from his slouched position, head spinning with the rapid movement. He groaned, dropping his head down between his knees, hands flying to the back of his head where a large lump was forming under his thick black hair. Pain laced through his head and neck when he pressed at the sensitive spot, wet with what he could only guess was blood. Gasping he glanced around, blinking to clear moisture from his eyes and taking in his surroundings. He was nestled between barrels and boxes in what seemed to be a small store room. Gripping the edge of one Alerion used it to pull himself to his feet, slumping against its side while he waited for the room to stop spinning. Gaining his bearings Alerion staggered to the stout door, using the barrels for support along the way.
As he reached for the handle it was yanked open, revealing two large men crowded into the narrow hall beyond. Gaping in hazy shock Alerion staggered backward, nearly losing his footing as he fell back on one if the boxes. The first man stepped forward, reaching out the grip Alerion's arm, tugging him forward roughly.
"Captain wants to see you." He grunted voice rough as his sun weathered skin. Alerion blanched, stamping down his rising panic as he was tugged into the hallway, struggling feebly as the nausea returned with the violent movements. "Who is the Captain?" He groaned as he was herded between the two men along the hallway and up a flight of stairs. "What ship is this?" He demanded weakly as the door was opened onto the deck, bright and hot with the midday sun. Perhaps this is just an ill thought out prank...Alerion thought to himself, cringing back as the light stabbed at his slowly adjusting eyes. Surely this is just father's doing...
It was only when he had been pulled up to the quarter deck that he realised the sheer size of the ship. It was a huge schooner, at least two masts from what he could see as he looked around, still squinting and wincing at the bright light. The main deck was one of the largest he'd ever seen, dozens of men rushing about busily.
Alerion's gaping was interrupted when the man he had been unceremoniously presented to cleared his throat. Alerion glanced around, surprised to see that the man before him looked nothing like the smug naval officer he had been expecting. His lack of a uniform lead him to think that perhaps the man was a privateer, though he had no idea what a privateer would want with a British school boy, or why he would be sailing British waters, and with such huge ship to boot.
"This's him captain." growled the man to his right, pushing him forward. Alerion staggered, but retained his balance, glancing up at the captain uncertainly. He was a tall man, and he easily stood a full head over Alerion, if not more, with broad shoulders under his dark leather coat. His skin was tanned, brown stubble covering a strong jaw and his short, ashy brown hair had been lashed into a salt stiff mess by the ocean winds. Alerion gulped as his eyes fell to the sword on his hip and the two pistols strapped to his chest.
"Welcome aboard the Defiant. Your name?" Alerion blinked in surprise at the question, raising an eyebrow questioningly.Shouldn't he introduce himself first? He's kidnapping me!A quick glance past the man revealed open ocean with barely a smudge of land. The realisation caused a tendril of anxiety to curl in Alerion's stomach.Or he has kidnapped me.
"A-Alerion White. Why am I here?" He demanded, tempted to stomp his feet in frustration of both his situation and the persistent pain constantly pulling at his focus. The fresh air had done little to clear his head, but it had helped to settle his stomach and though his skull still throbbed Alerion was able to think with a further fraction of clarity. He planted his hands on his hips and fixed his best glower to his face, determined not to play the helpless victim as he attempted to stare down the larger man. "Who are you?"
The Captain exchanged a smirk with the other ship hands that had gathered before turning back to Alerion with a wink and a mocking bow.
"Captain Shepard, but you can call me Lucas."
Alerion froze, face seizing in shock, the name having rung a bell. Captain Shepard. The Captain Shepard?A tendril of anxiety seemed to warp around his stomach, squeezing as hot pins and needles broke out across his shoulders.