"Pirates of the Cassiopeian"

Written By: Asymphototropic

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam wing.

Author: Asymphototropic (attracted toward the light, but never quite arrives there)

Summary: The officers of starship 'Coruscate Cepheus' kidnap an astral pilot from a pirates' crew. The new navigator proves to be quite a handful. Can he be tamed?

Warnings: language, violence, yaoi, bondage

Pairings: 2 x Everyone in the galaxy, maybe?


" Pirates of the Cassiopeian"

 

Part 8.

"We appear to be surrounded."

"Yes."

"It would be safe to assume, perhaps, since we know one of these is a pirate, that all the other ships are pirates as well."

"That assumption does appear warranted."

The conversation seemed singularly halcyon, given the circumstances. In fact, the Captain and the Commander of Coruscate Cepheus were taking their afternoon tea as they spoke. Their only concession to dire straits was that they were drinking out of sturdy mugs instead of the usual delicate porcelain cups and saucers.

"I'm open to suggestions," Khushrenada declared, eying the ring of his officers seated about him.

"I can recommend nothing better than to respond vigorously when attacked, make a break for it at the first opportunity, and then run like hell," Merquise replied off handedly.

"The plan has the advantage of simplicity at least," the Captain nodded politely. "Anything more creative?"

The faces of his young third officers appeared strained. Each wanted to make a brilliant contribution, but Merquise's proposal struck them all as the most practical.

"One alternative could be considered," Yuy spoke, his voice steady and stern as usual. "We have the plans of all these ships already studied, due to our prior activities." He blushed briefly as he glanced at Duo. "We could choose whichever ship appears the weakest, go immediately on the offensive, strike the first blow. Blast our way through it." Heero's lips creased in the slightest smile imaginable. "And then run like hell."

"That idea has merit. We would have the impetus of timing on our side, as well as choosing our opponent. Very good, Mr Yuy." The two men nodded slightly to each other.

"Mr Maxwell, you're not drinking your tea," Zechs studied the boy thoroughly.

"I've got a stomach ache." He did appear a remarkable shade of grayish green.

"Why is that?" The Commander's look seemed laser like in its intensity.

"Cuz I guess you all think this is my fault." The boy looked down at his hands, twisted into his lap. His damaged fingers had healed nicely during the interim of fleeing the ship's piratical pursuers.

"You did not ask to be abducted, Mr Maxwell," Treize declared succinctly. "And I presume you have given your best effort to navigation in order to elude the chase?"

Now the others were all dissecting Duo with their looks. He gulped and nodded miserably. "I did tell ya. Before, remember?" He glanced pleadingly at Barton. "I warned yer all, right from the get go. That we couldn't get away from them."

"But you didn't explain why that was the case," Trowa reminded him, his green eyes flashing behind the fall of his hair.

"Not to denigrate your worth. But all this attention over one puny cadet does seem excessive," Wufei stated.

"It is a bit over the top," Quatre agreed.

"Course yer right. The other pirates dun give a flying frick about the Dawg's difficulties. Its not that at all, savvy?"

"Then what?" Heero demanded, the sound coming from deep in his chest. Duo jumped, startled at this evidence of Yuy's berserker response. The young man definitely was in battle mode, over-ready for action.

"Its pirate-versus-prey that's caught our tits in the wringer, see? Intimidation is their stock-in-trade. They can't allow a mere merchantman such as the Cepheus to have bested one of their brethren, without retaliation. They're gonna want to bloody us totally. In order to keep their reputation fiercesome like. Elsewise they'd have to give up the rape-pillage-n'burn business, tuck tail, and go off to be choir boys."

Sawbones laughed cheerfully. "Well said, boy. That's it in a nutshell, of course. Duo speaks from personal experience, to which we should hearken, and act accordingly."

"We're all agog, sir," Merquise smirked wryly at the ship's other second officer. "Pray continue."

The doctor finished the last sip of his tea and then poured some more from the gleaming silver service. "We have no course now, other than to acknowledge our acts of piracy and become one with the brethren." The educated, patrician tone in which this was offered stood in stark contrast to the substance of the physician's advice, that they should all declare themselves slime.

Khushrenada would have spluttered, if it weren't well beneath his dignity. Instead, he arched one golden eyebrow. "You want us to become pirates?"

"With all due respect, Captain. We have already become pirates. I merely am proposing that we continue to act accordingly, openly and in our own best interests. At least until we extract ourselves from our current difficulties."

"Hmm. Perhaps so. But even granted our status as thorough buccaneers of the Cassiopeian. Surely our absconding with one small boy, no matter how talented he may be, does not do much for us in the realm of a dangerous persona?" Khushrenada replied thoughtfully. "We don't appear very dastardly, do we?"

"We did trounce the Dawgs on their on turf, sir," Winner reminded him.

"And we've led them all a merry chase over half the galaxy," Chang added with a smile of smug satisfaction.

"Thanks largely to Maxwell's navigational skills," Barton acknowledged with an encouraging glance at Duo.

"The Dawg Black Hole, at least, would have to bow to our piratical superiority," Yuy asserted, grinning wickedly at the memory.

"That's the spirit, gentlemen," Sawbones agreed. "Yo ho, me hearties, and all of that good stuff."

"Specifics?" Merquise drew them firmly back to pressing matters. "How, exactly, should we proceed? If we were to accept this proposal. Who, here, has passed the lecture course, 'Swaggering and Swashbuckling 101', much less the advanced seminar series? Duo is exempted, since he happens to be the quite lovely bone of contention in the current instance, and therefore must regretfully sit upon the sidelines, methinks."

Upon receipt of this challenge, Sawbones stood and swept them all a florid bow. "Permit me to introduce myself. I am Didjer Maxwell, notorious Gentleman of Fortune, at your service!" And then the old man laughed out loud at their faces of astonishment.

"You are Didjer Maxwell?"

"One of Rake Redbeard's officers?"

"Of the 'Comely Cassy', the most infamous pirate starship in Cassiopeian history?"

The boys nearly bounced in their seats with the excitement of this revelation. But remembered proper comportment in time to restrain themselves.

"The same." The silver haired physician preened a bit before proceeding. "You must understand, young sirs. I was an orphaned alley rat off the bad streets of First City. And yes, my surname derives from the selfsame Maxwell Church as does young Duo's. Most Traesky orphans, you will find, are dubbed after that particular charitable enterprise." He tilted his head rather regally at Duo, and then winked.

It caused Duo to chuckle. His color seemed to be coming back to him again, along with his innate cheeriness.

"During my early, much misguided youth, I briefly worked a rather bloody but profitable tour of duty on board the 'Cassy'. I was their surgeon's mate, which experience served me in good stead when I went off to medical school, spending my ill-gotten gains in the hopes of benefiting mankind. I intended it as a sort of recompense for my dishonorable beginnings. My stint on the 'Cassy', short lived as it was, happened to be at the height of Redbeard's fame, however, to which I attribute the unfortunate and continued notoriety of my name. That and my extremely roguish good looks, of course." Here, Sawbones swept a final bow and resumed his chair.

"My, my, wonders never cease," Khushrenada murmured as he helped himself to a tiny finger sandwich on a perfect white napkin.

"I hereby place my fate in Sawbone's able hands," Zechs dashingly declared.

"And I as well," Treize agreed. "The rest of you may withdraw at this time, with no besmirchment of your respective honors. I may even recommend that you do so. Assuming the semblance of criminality is no slight undertaking, no matter how temporary the stance. To protect you from the possibility of future prosecution, I shall put an indication of 'house arrest' on any of your personal records, as you may elect. As proof of your lack of complicity in the current proceeding. Such would be unnecessary in Mr Maxwell's case, since he is obviously here by forcible duress placed upon his person. But the rest of you must now declare your intentions, and remove yourself from the action, if you so choose."

The foursome glanced at each other and silently nodded. Then Quatre stood and bowed to his senior officers. "I believe I speak for all of us, Winner, Chang, Barton and Yuy alike. We sincerely thank Captain Khushrenada for his most kind offer, which we must firmly decline. Our crew needs our service, our duty clearly lies with our ship. We are with you, sirs, to the hilt." He nodded his golden head gallantly, and sat to the polite applause of his fellow third officers.

"Hear, hear," they declared in unison.

Duo's mouth dropped open at Quatre's speech. Heero placed his fingers whimsically over the boy's lips, causing them to shut abruptly, with a blush of embarrassment from their owner.

"Then we are in this enterprise together, acting of one accord," Treize decreed with a nod of approval.

"And what fools we shall look if we fail," Zechs concluded acridly.



~ * ~

Chapter 9


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