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Character Bolak

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Two Tall Ships

Hands buried deep in his jacket pockets Bolak trudged down Greenwich hill towards the docks. His head covered by a black bowler and his collar pulled high to stave off the chill he shivered regardless. The raktacino he had shared with Mr Mok served to stave off the lethargy of his sleepless night as did the fresh tingle of his newly shaved face.

Absently he plucked a hand from his pocket and ran his finger tips over his baby smooth chin. He had to admit that Moks tendencies towards vigilante murder aside the blue skinned barber was a master of his craft. Every man required a hobby and who was Bolak to judge. In fact the short man made a living of not judging.

Passing between several tall warehouse blocks Bolak ignored the jeers and insults from the dock workers. His diminutive stature had always been a source of derision for the people of this City and ever would be. He had long since grown skin thick enough to bare it.

He rounded a corner to step out onto the western end of the dock and stopped short. There she was, the Fessarius. His dear brothers ship and property of the East India Society. He watched as the crew busied themselves bringing a mass of crates and bundles down to the dock. He saw flashes of red cloth and gilded timber amongst the cargo and could not help but wonder who the customer might be? It was then that he saw the Red Ensign flying at her bow. Royal business then.

He warred with himself then as to whether he should openly approach the ship. They could not harm him here in broad day light and should his brother prove to be absent and the crew freshly hired he might even attempt some sort of deception to ascertain their purpose, but no. There were already too many sharks circling the City and it would be unwise to risk his own blood in these troubles waters.

His thoughts strayed to the detective Avakhon as he turned away and began to weave his way to the southern pontoons. The mans attention here was unwanted but sadly unavoidable. The detective had been engaged on several fronts and would increase his focus until the matter was resolved or... the detective was removed from the board. An intriguing thought which the dwarf quickly dismissed. For all his dark dealings in shadowed corners Bolak was not a man of violence and the towering detective had done him no real harm.

He soon found himself tramping along a narrow alley between an alms house and the dockside chapel. He could hear the choir singing within and savoured the sweet intermingling of voices as they rose together to a triumphant melody. He was not a religious man but the transcendence of such music was not lost on him and he savoured it as it followed him out to a rocky outcrop overlooking the southern docks and the waters beyond.

Taking a deep breath he removed his pipe from inside his jacket and began to press in a fresh ball of tobacco. There she was. Sitting at anchor in the centre of the channel the vast hull of the Endeavour rose up to dominate the scene. There were other ships docked below but none came near to her mysterious majesty.

He pulled a small contraption from his pocket, a gift from Aji and set it to his pipe. Within moments it was ablaze and Bolak settled his weight leaning against a nearby lamppost as he drank in the sight of the ship. Beneath his breath he sang an old shanty he had learned during his time with the East India Company,

It's been a long road,
to get from there to here.
it's been a long time,
but my time is finally here.
And i can feel a change in the wind right now.
nothing's in my way....

As the words drifted away on the wind Bolak stood and watched and far out in the cold grey water the Endeavour watched back.

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