The long night passes uneventfully and the party members resume their watch of the horizon once it gets light again.
Stian, asks why with a small army at his disposal and no law enforcement to speak of to worry about, would the Overbluff chap have us bombed discreetly? I guess it’s a cheap option and takes fewer people to do but given his audacity at snatching the Connoisseur, it would appear he or his minions have a few more options at their beck and call. Who tipped him off then? Which of ours snooping got back to him? Are his minions still watching us from orbit or afar to be sure we’re “dealt with”?
“Unless of course, you guys have other enemies that maybe now would be a good time to tell me about?” Stian finishes.
Jie listens to Stian’s question about other enemies while operating the starboard oar:
“We at Intersol tm have many enemies Mr. Lokkeburg. We keep quite a detailed list of them in a note book in the…” She looks back in the general direction of the crash. “..AGC.”
“All I can think of is someone found out that we were asking a bunch of questions about the Overbluff and were put under observation. The problem with the AGC … Horkalie bless it’s little metallic soul … is that it wasn’t exactly subtle. It does stick out like a sore thumb.”
“Maybe they were trackin’ it to see what we were up to and, when they were pretty sure that our plan was to head for the Overbluff’s island, they took us down in a place where we’d be sure to end up in a watery grave.”
The remainder of the day passes with nothing but the seemingly endless tract of blue sea spreading in all directions. But then, in the early afternoon, they see a tiny sail on the horizon.
Everyone starts shouting as loud as they can and waving whatever they have at hand in order to attract the attention of the vessel. With great relief, they see that the vessel is coming towards them.
As it comes closer, they see that it is a tiny boat – no more than 5m long with a simple trail. The boat has just one occupant, a cinnamon-skinned girl who bears quite a strong resemblance to Jie. As the girl sees the party members, the girl looks afraid and hesitates, starting to turn the boat around. Jie has to do some fast talking, jabbering away with the girl in order to reassure her that they are friendlies.
They spend five minutes talking until the boat heads back in the direction that it came from.
“She said that she is going to get help,” Jie explains.
There is nothing that the party members can do apart from to wait and hope that the girl was telling the truth.
Much to their relief, just as dusk is falling, the see smoke on the horizon. As the light is fading, they can just see the form of a steamboat heading towards them. They flash torches in order to guide the steamboat towards them.
As the ship pulls up, they see that there are a dozen crew-members onboard, all of whom are pointing either shotguns or sharpshooter rifles at them. None of them looks too happy.
Once again, Jie does the talking, holding her hands in the air.
“Nobody make any sudden moves,” she says to the other party members. “Keep your hands away from your weapons.”
The other party members do as she says.
After a few minutes of negotiation, the crew of the boat somewhat reluctantly drop a rope ladder down to them, allowing the party members to climb up one by one. They are allowed to bring their belongings with them, but they are separated from their weapons as they get onboard.
Still at gunpoint, the party members are led down to the dark hold below at gunpoint. Without saying anything, they are locked in. A few hours later, the girl from the boat who originally found them brings them down some food and fresh water. She says nothing and leaves as soon as she has dropped off the meal.
Once again, there is nothing that the party members can do other than to wait and see where they are being taken and what their fate will be once they get there.