Chapter IV.16 – A Pirate’s Life…
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         Joseph wished he could repeat the same lock-and-load montage that one could see in any action movie. Their “montage” was consisting of running around the entire estate, gathering any and all useful items they could fit into the truck and their backpacks.

  He found himself a pair of winter gloves in the workers' building. There were covered in leather, had rubber on their fingertips and provided him with a very tight grip. He could easily climb a mountain now!

  No you can’t. Remember what happened at these windows?

  He got a few additional pairs just in case.

  The trio did manage to load the Archrhyder into the truck. Surprisingly, that took them way less time than they thought it would. Pat suggested that they might have been already tired back then, and the considerable distance from the river to the square didn’t make it any easier, which is why it took them two whole hours. Joseph was inclined to agree.

  Joe then asked Lady Edna for her permission. He wanted to get the book he left behind on the glass table. Ghost dismissively waved her hand, sarcastically asking if they would like the entire estate packaged and sent to them as well. Joseph honestly answered that he wouldn’t dare to ask for such a gift, but it would be nice.

  Irfan refilled their improvised flamethrower and lighter on the barrel of the weapon. He left the device inside the brick building before going to rescue Joe this morning. He also made some wooden torches just in case.

  Pat replenished his backpack with supplies from the basement hospital. He looked way more focused then usual, and was choosing only very specific extracts. He replied to Joe’s question, that since now they know for sure, what they are working against, he was only taking what was necessary. Joseph agreed that it was a clever thinking, and left their doctor to prepare in peace.

  Finally, after three hours, they were done and ready. Doctor decided to go down the list again, to check for anything missing.

 

  “Alright, alright… One packaged Archrhyder - check. One journal - check. Mysterious oil spewing device, scavenged by Joe and Irfan, and one he called ‘flamethrower’ - check. Don’t frown, Joe, I know what a flamethrower is, I’ve seen a concept back at the Capital. That was only a concept, though… why didn’t they put it into production if it was that easy to make?… Khm-khm. One dead guy in the weird glass armor - check. Carpets… fine, check. You did rob those rooms, didn’t you? But why carpets only?! Where’s gold?!! Alright, fine, we can come back for it, you said so. Revolving rifles, check. Only two? Oh, right, there was that closed crate. Yes, that crate was heavy, I agree. Probably in there. What else? Spices, got it. Gas masks and filters, right there. Barrels of water… two. That’s… not a lot. Not a lot at all. Packages with food. Check. Yes, we are not taking the drill. We have almost no space left. One thick book - check… why did you take it? Have you not suffered enough? Alright, fine, your problem now. Anything else? Ammo crates? Yes, check. That’s it? That’s all we can take?!”

 

  Both of them shrugged. Doctor scratched his nose.

 

  “Well, we can unload all of this and come back if we need to… Since we need to get Roth here anyway.”

 

  “We can bring the crew here as well then, but Lady Edna would be pissed.”

 

  “Joe speaks true. Should we move?”

 

  Pat nodded and took his place on the driver’s seat. Joe hopped onto the passenger seat, while Irfan remained in the back.

 

  “We ready? Buckle up, because the road is a disaster and a half!”

 

  Doctor put the crank into the hole right between their seats, then spun it several times. The engine roared, the cabin began to vibrate.

  It wasn’t a very long drive until the familiar tree wall showed up. Pat stopped the car far enough, so that any accidental explosion wouldn’t damage it.

  Irfan picked up his toy and jumped down.

  He didn’t even have to move very far.

  The forest began to shake. The same familiar sound erupted from the forest, but this time, all those trees on the way were crawling back inside the woods. Joseph had no idea, how, or why the eldritch gas could pull off feats of such magnitude, but he was sure, that anything he went through on this Black Island - as he named it for himself - is only a small part of what this world had to offer. He hoped for that to be the case, at least.

  The road was clear. Finally, after two days of fighting they could return back if they wanted too.

  Just not yet.

  They still had Duncan, Henry, Rodger and Vas stuck somewhere within those cursed lands.

  That would prioritise going after them, of course.

  But they really, really had to unload first.

 

  And so, with one truck full of random trophies, with a new equipment, knowledge and experiences, their peaceful vacation on the Stone Maw Island was finally coming to an end.

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