You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me (in the end) "
"In the End"
Bernie almost broke down Richard's door. "DOC! Where are you?" Bernie's voice was filled with panic as he carried Kindle in.
A stag came out of his sleeping room. "I'm right here!" he said, sounding annoyed and groggy. "What's wr…" he stopped, looking at Kindle. "Dear God! What happened to him?"
"I don't know." Bernie said, gently laying Kindle down onto a bed. "I found him like this by one of the storage rooms."
Doc took a knife and cut away what was left of Kindle's shredded clothing. Kindle had dried blood coming from the corner of his mouth and from his nose. He could see the skin under his ears was bruised badly, and with prodding could tell a rib or two had been broken. What concerned him most was the massive bruise under Kindle's tail, between his legs.
"I need Robert, Kindle's going to need something for the pain if he comes to. And get the Captain." Doc said. "And don't tell Ironbar yet." Bernie nodded, and went for help.
Robert chewed on a whisker as he looked over Kindle's unconscious form. "I hope Maria can help heal him. It looks pretty bad."
Doc nodded. "If we were anywhere else but on this ship I would have called for someone of higher intervention. Whoever did this went all out."
Robert looked over the Howler on the bed. "I can go get some things that might help." Doc nodded as Yars walked into the room. "Excuse me, please?" Robert said with the strains of panic in his voice. Yars stepped out of the way as the cat ran past him to the botanical garden on board.
"Bernie told me you needed me." Yars said, looking at Kindle on the bed. "Now I see why."
"I found him like that." Bernie said, following Yars into the room. "Now I'll tell you the rest of it. I followed Kindle's scent to where I found him. But when I got there, the scent wasn't alone. I smelled rats."
Yars took in a breath. He thought of Vermin's last words before getting on board the ship, words he had hoped were idle threats. Yars shook his head slowly. "I'll tell Ironbar. Doc, you and Robert see what you can do for Kindle. If he regains consciousness, come for me. I will talk to him. Bernie, I need you to come with me. If you go back to the den now I know someone there will sense something wrong." The two left to find the Great Dane.
"He would have to wait until after a Howl." Ironbar said. "Get us just as we're weak and filled with the dog's heart."
"Either way, he did it or one of his men did." Yars said. "We need to come up with a plan of action."
Ironbar sat down. "I just hope this doesn’t start into a war." Bernie and Ironbar both twitched their ears , and Bernie spun to look at the door. He could feel the blood drain from his face as he caught, barely, a howl from the other end of the ship. "I'll double your rum ration if you tell me that you just imagined that." Ironbar said.
"I wish I did." Bernie took in a deep breath. "After what I think I just heard, I may need it." The three raced to Doc's room.
Mutt opened the Doc's door to find the room was almost full of people. Rev, Robert, Abacus, Yars, the Doc, everyone looking at Kindle. "Is he ok!?" Mutt demanded.
"He's still unconscious." Doc said. "He took quite a blow to the head and…." Mutt's nose flared, igniting the fire in his eyes. Mutt then turned and walked out the door. "Was it something I said?"
"No." Yars said, getting up. "It's something he smelled." Yars walked out the door, and gave chase.
"GET YOUR TAIL OUT HERE!" Mutt screamed as he went down the hall. "I WILL FIND YOU!" Mutt was balling his fists as he walked.
Yars chased him, and caught up to him before he could get too far. He stood in front of the dog. "Don't do it David."
"All due respect, Captain." Mutt said. "I want him. I want to rip his innards out through his throat. And if you'll get out of my way, I'll save you the problem of a killin' him." Mutt tried to force his way past the tiger, who blocked the hallway.
"I know your angry." Yars said, staring Mutt in the eyes. "We have ways to deal with him, and this. Let us take care of it before you do something that you might regret tomorrow."
Mutt looked defiantly at the Captain, then took in a deep breath. "I'll give you that chance." Mutt said. "But if I don't get justice, I will tear his balls off."
"He's only got one left." Yars said. Mutt glared, but backed down. "Your friend needs you more than Vermin will. Go be with Kindle, it will do more good for you both in the short." Mutt ran the idea through his head, and realized the tiger was right. Mutt bit his lip, sighed, and went back to Doc's office.
"You handled that well." Yars turned around to see Rev standing down the hall. "I didn't think that the Royal Navy trained officers for that."
"They don't." Yars said. "I learned that lesson from Captain Goetz." Yars rubbed his paws together. "Immediate justice is not justice. As long as I am captain, I need to remember that we do have rules."
"Robert said that Chris will recover, but won't be on active duty for a few days." Rev said. "Maria will try to help him all that she can."
Yars nodded. "Can you watch Mutt? Make sure he doesn't go after the rats. I will talk to them before this gets out of hand." Rev nodded, and sat vigil with Mutt all night in the Doctor's room.
The next morning, the ship awoke to an eerie silence. Silver awoke because of it, and never did get back to sleep. He was sitting on the edge of the bed when Sharpeye woke up. Sharpeye sensed something was wrong as well, and only hugged Silver. No words needed to be exchanged, they both knew. Breakfast that morning was silent, as was first shift.
"I don't like it." Smoke said, his tail twitching nervously. "I just wish they'd fight and get it over with."
"I don't." Treble said quietly, coiling more rope. "I don't think a pistol shot will stop them if they start."
"At least the wait would be over." Smoke said. "I don't know about you, but I'm planning on staying in our room if war breaks out."
"That may not be safe either." Treble said. "I may ask Maria to reinforce the door anyway. I don't want my fiddle to be used as a weapon."
Smoke nodded, resting his head into Treble's chest. "I hope that Kindle's going to be alright." Treble nodded and held Smoke quietly, looking around for something to happen.
Yars tapped his desk, looking at the rat in front of him. It was not Vermin, but one of his newest lieutenants. Also In the room as Ironbar, and Bernie. "Why is Vermin not here?"
"He does not recognize your authority to summon him at your whim." the rat said. "My name is Sam, and I will be acting as his liaison."
Yars held a snarl in his throat. and leaned forward. "Very well then. Have it your way." Yars motioned to a chair, Sam remained standing. "So be it." he said, finally. "Then tell me what happened last night."
Sam looked straight forward, not making eye contact with anyone. And he recited from memory "Last night all the Jackrats were in our quarters all evening. A few of us went for supplies from the main supply room, but came back without incident. We are sorry for what happened to the dog in question, but it was not our doing." Sam stopped, still standing at attention.
Yars ran a claw across the table he sat at. "And none of you saw, or heard, anything?"
"No." Sam said with conviction.
Yars leaned forward, and took a deep breath. "Then if that's the case, why was Vermin's scent present on Kindles clothing?"
"I wouldn't know." Sam said, not looking at the tiger. "Vermin will explain himself when he feels he needs to. In the meanwhile, it is our opinion that it's a coincidence, and perhaps Kindle bumped into a Jackrat on his way to the storage room."
Ironbar bit his lip, and Yars sat back in his chair. "Very well. You're dismissed. But I will want to talk directly to Vermin."
"I will see if he desires it, Captain." Sam said. Sam turned to leave, and Yars sat up in his chair.
"One more thing." Yars said. Sam turned to look. "Why did you call me Captain?"
Sam gulped hard. "Captain Lanaham's last order to us, as his crew, was to follow your orders as we would to him." Sam looked at Yars directly. "Despite what you may think of the Jackrats, most of us will still obey our Captain's orders." That comment hung in the air for a long moment. "IF you'll excuse me, Captain?" Yars nodded, and the rat left the room.
"Dissention in the Jackrats?" Ironbar said with a humored tone. "I guess that last ship we found wasn't so bad after all."
"We all were very loyal to Captain Lanaham." Bernie said sullenly. "Be thankful he didn't become a rat, we would have all followed his lead." The other two nodded. "And I know Sam. He only does that routine when he's ordered to make a report. He knows more than he's telling."
Yars nodded. "As I expected."
"Can I look into it?" Bernie asked, his body perked in anticipation.
"If you want." Ironbar said. "Just try to stay out of trouble." Bernie nodded, and left the room. Ironbar looked to Yars. "I don't know how long I can keep this pot from boiling."
"Just long enough for me to end it." Yars said.
Captains log : Day 25
The seas are calm, and we seem to be going at a good speed. Scott says that the island which has proof of the last crew's fate is about a week away, and we will have to approach from a new heading to avoid the reefs. But if the coins Scott says are truly there, we can get an idea of the riches aboard this "Maria" ship.
I am beginning to wonder of the wisdom of bringing the woman on board. Although she came willingly, the others in the crew seem nervous to her presence here. She has taken to the sea well, and her ability to cook has not gone unnoticed by the crew. I will be happy to let her play her part in this sail, if the stories Scott tells are true.
I have also been thinking of the coins Scott had as proof of his journey. Several were stamped as being from the Santa Christa, a ghost ship found many years ago. I only undertook this journey once I saw that he had not only one, but dozens of these coins with him. Even if the treasure is not real, solving the mystery of the Santa Christa will be worth the journey and more than a little money when we reach home.
We sail South from our current location, and we shall see what happens from the island.
Log Entry, Roger Wallworth, Captain
Kindle opened his eyes, and looked into the face of a brown dog with floppy ears. He focused his eyes onto the muzzle in front of him, until he could see it clearly. "Hello Dave." he whispered out.
"Hello Chris." Mutt said with a sigh of relief. "How'r ya feelin?"
"Like I got thrown by a horse." Kindle said with a groan. "then trampled by it."
"You've been out for a few days." Mutt said sadly. "What happened? D'ya remember?"
Kindle looked to the ceiling, deep in thought, blinking slowly as he thought. "I'm not sure." he finally said. "I remember a little bit. Going down for supplies, being stopped by…" his eyes widened out, and he realized his tail felt sore. "Did I get fucked?"
Doc walked to the bed, and behind Mutt. "Why?"
"I remember being bent over, getting hit…" Kindle was reaching into his mind for something. "and my tail hurts. It feels like it did when I was a rat and…" Kindle's head dropped into his pillow. "Vermin."
"CAT'TAIN!!!!" Kyle came bursting through the door of the captains bedroom. "CAT'TAIN!!!!! It's all gone bad!"
Yars looked up from his bed. "What do you mean?"
"Kindle came to." Kyle said, and Yars sat up in bed. "Before we could get you Mutt talked to him."
"Oh no." Yars said, jumping out of bed to put pants on. "What did he say?"
"He said Vermin's name." Kyle said, his eyes filled with panic. Yars looked at Kyle in disbelief, and the squirrel only nodded. Yars didn't even bother with a shirt, he ran out the door, grabbing his weapon belt on the way out the door.
They found Mutt pacing next to the only entrance and exit to the Jackrats quarters. He had a large board in his paws. "Stay out of this Captain!" Mutt screamed, his rage boiling. "This is between me and him!"
Yars took in a deep breath, and motioned for Kyle to back away. "I don't want to send you to the brig Mutt." Yars said.
"I'll go willingly." Mutt said. "I'll take my pound of flesh from his gizzard and we'll call it an even trade for raping Kindle!"
"You don't know if he did!" Yars said, grasping. "We have laws on this ship, let the laws take their course."
Mutt slammed the board into the door a dozen times, eventually breaking the board. "He doesn’t follow the laws! What makes him special? HUH?" Mutt slammed his fists into the door.
"Because we're better than you." a voice returned from the other side of the door. Mutt turned to look, then with a growl he started to body slam the door, attacking and barking with all the energy he had. Yars turned around to see Kyle running down the hall. Yars just watched, knowing better than to get in the way. A few minutes later, he returned with Ironbar and Dice. Between the two of them, they managed to subdue Mutt and pull him off the door. The gouges from Mutt's claws were deep, a normal door would not have survived the onslaught.
Ironbar and Dice both hauled Mutt back to the Howlers area. By the time they got there, Mutt was crying openly. The others reacted to his emotions, and came to Mutt's side, reassuring him. Mutt cried to himself on his blanket in the corner all night. The Howlers kept watch over him as a brother.
Vermin held the nose ring of one of the Jackrats in his claws. He smiled to himself, knowing the chaos he had caused. With the Howlers distracted, and Yars trying to keep order, he could probably make a move to run the ship in a weeks time. He let the ring go, and the rat relaxed his body posture. "I hope you're ready to fight." Vermin said. The rat nodded. "That's good. But you need to have one more thing."
He pointed to one of the lower ranked rats, and motioned him over. Vermin ripped his pants off, and motioned to the ground. The rat bent over, and raised his tail with his head bowed in submision. "He's yours for the night. Be ready." The rat with the nose ring nodded, and wasted no time mounting the lower ranked rat. The lower rank let out a small cry of pain, but took the intrusion as well as he could.
Vermin looked around. "The rest of you warriors." he said casually. "Pick one of the weaker ones for your pleasure for the night. We'll need to be prepared for tomorrow." The rats began to partner off, and Vermin reached over to Sam. "Not you."
Sam nodded sullenly. "Yes Sir."
"I want you to be second in command." Vermin said, tracing a claw down Sam's chest, removing his shirt. "You're going to be my exclusive partner, until you're ready to take command." Sam nodded, untying his pants, and letting them fall. "You will learn how to give orders, and make them obey you."
"Yes Sir." Sam said, removing Vermin's cod piece. He knew what Vermin wanted, and began to stroke Vermin's testicle sac with his claw tips.
Vermin drew in a long breath as Sam stroked his cock. "Oh yeah…." he said, breathing harder. "You got balls, boy. I like your style. I like it so much I'm gonna pierce those nipples tonight while you're cumming. You're gonna like that." Vermin stood up, and led Sam to his playroom, and grabbed another subordinate rat by the ear as he closed the door.
In minutes, the lesser rat has his hands tied behind his back, and a muzzle full of Sam's shaft. Sam was moaning in ecstasy as Vermin was closing the restraints around his legs, arms, and chest. "Suck his nipples!" Vermin barked out. "I want them nice and hard!" The rat complied, sucking Sam's nipples. Vermin locked the collar around Sam's throat. Sam was laying, helpless to stop what was going to happen to him.
Sam groaned louder as both nipples were worked into hard nubs on his chest. Vermin smiled, watching Sam. "Now you order him." Vermin said. "Make him suck that cock of yours."
Sam looked up to Vermin, then to the rat on his nipples. "Suck my cock." he said. "And raise that tail while you do it."
Vermin nodded in approval. "You're learning!" the rat complied, and Vermin roughly pinched Sam's nipples. The dual stimulation of his cock and nipple made Sam try to writhe away, but the restrains held him still. Vermin took out the sharp hooked rings, and used the sharp tip to tease Sam. "The moment you go, these go in." he said, pulling Sam's left nipple hard.
Sam tried to look down, but the sudden pull of the nipple made his body tense up. He never said a word, just screamed, trying to lift his hips off the board to pump. His first shot was hard, filling the muzzle of the rat. Vermin quickly jabbed, and Sam's left nipple was pierced. Sam screamed in the agony and the pleasure, the two mixing into one, pleasure and pain. Sam's body pumped again, and again, and again. By the third thrust, Vermin had grabbed the right nipple, and slowly drove the sharp needle through. Sam's screaming was almost all pain now, the orgasm fading fast.
Vermin smiled, knowing the pain would be intense. Sam's eyes glazed over, and he collapsed onto the bondage board, blood tricking from the fresh wounds on his nipples. Sam's shaft letting out a trickle of fluid as he lost consciousness.
"He did pretty well." Vermin said with a sadistic grin. "Now for you, your night has just begun to get interesting." Vermin grabbed the rat hard by his upturned tail. The rat yelped in pain as Vermin pulled him off Sam's shaft and backwards, impaling him onto Vermin's erect cock. The rat tried to fight the intrusion, and the pain of Vermin's shaft. Vermin laughed as he thrusted harder into the rat under him. "Fight it boy!" he screamed, slapping the rat on the head. "I like it when you fight it! You're nothing!" Vermin was breathing hard, turned on by the genuine fight he was getting from the lower ranked rat. "Your… tail… is…. AAAHHHHHH!!!!" Vermin's climax exploded, and he planted his seed deep into the rat's belly. He could feet the Rat's hole clamp down, and hold Vermin into him. The rat fought harder to get away, but could not escape. Vermin slapped the rat's ass hard as he came, finally slowing down out of his orgasmic bliss.
Vermin looked down at the rat, who was trying not to sob. "You've pleased me." Vermin said, reaching back to the toy bench. "You get to go up a rank." Without warning, Vermin clamped the earring down on the rat's ear. The rat screamed in pain, his flesh being violated unexpectedly. Vermin then reached around, and stroked the rat he was still inside. "And you get to cum." Vermin's rough claws scraped the sides of the rat's shaft. The rat was so stimulated, he only needed a few strokes to start shooting onto the floor. Vermin reached to the rat's face, and clamped his claws down on the rat's muzzle. The rat breathed hard through his nose as he climaxed. Vermin enjoyed the massage his shaft got, still under the tail of this rat.
When he was done, the rat's knees almost gave out. Vermin pulled out hard, and let the rat fall to the floor, panting hard. "Don't go anywhere." Vermin said with a grin. "Our night has just begun."
The next morning, Mutt was eating alone in the mess hall. Rev had been finishing up, but decided to sit next to the dog before going about his day. "Would you like to talk?" Rev asked.
Mutt looked up to the rabbit, then back to his bowl. "Rev? I need to ask you to do something." he said. "I don't ask people to do a lot for me, but I want you to do one thing."
"Anything you'd like, if I can." Rev said.
Mutt looked to the bowl once more, and quietly said "I need you to clear the deck of anyone not a Jackrat. Don't tell anyone, but get them off the deck."
"Why?" Rev asked. "Is something wrong?"
"It will be." Mutt said. "And don't tell Yars. He'll stop me." Mutt took in one long breath. "Or tell him, but get everyone off the deck first." Mutt got up, leaving his bowl there. "I'll ask God for forgiveness later."
Rev watched him walk out of the mess hall, and down the hall. He looked to the ceiling and shook his head. "I realize I needed patience." he said. "Do I really need the object lesson with it?"
The first shift was under way, nobody seemed to notice the lack of anyone on the deck that wasn't a rat or dog. Mutt walked around the deck, and saw Rev walking to the command cabin. He stood upright, and took in a deep breath. Now or never. He walked up to a particular rat he had been eyeing all morning. "'Skuse me!" he said, sounding jovial. "Last night, were you on door duty to the Jackrat's quarters?"
Greg looked up, and saw the dog there. He really didn't know who it was, other than yet another Howler. "Me and Charles." he said, pointing to another rat. "Why?"
Mutt nodded. "No reason." The voice wasn't the same, and this rat only had two rings in his ears. "Thanks." Mutt walked over to the rat Greg had pointed to. "Charles?"
Charles turned around, both hands still on the rope he was coiling up. "Yeah? What do you want?"
The voice was the same as the previous night. Mutt's muzzle turned up slowly, sadistically. In his hand he gripped the broom handle. He looked at Charles, and stepped close enough to reach him, and only said one word. "You."
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Being a work of fiction, none of the characters herin
are based on a real person. Any similarity to any person alive, dead,
undead or unalive is coincidental, totally. However, if you see yourself
or someone you know in a character be honored. You've been immortalised.