I report to the Captain on the quarterdeck. The regular crew regards me warily, singing work songs and deck hollers, while they climb the rigging and prepare the sails for open water.
What do they make of me? Am I the noted specialist I carry as my own self-image; or a disloyal mercenary roving from port to port to exchange my skills for a few pieces of silver?
Regardless, we all have a job to do. Tomorrow we set sail and there’s no time to waste. Others like me continue to arrive: hardened men and women, all of us. Some come from as far as Lawrence, their eyes wild from the journey. I’ve heard stories of bandits befriending a man on the way, only to cut his throat and report for his work and wages. For this I keep a wary eye out when I come and go. I don’t trust friendliness and I’ve grown accustomed to silence.
The truth is, I’m afraid.