With guys like these, is there any doubting Thomas out there? Who thinks Mitchell’s uprising will not succeed? Look at ‘em. Honestly .. against these dudes .. do Rais’ poor slave handlers stand a cat-in-hell’s chance?
My thanks to these guys for leading us through the story. Each as good as the next. Each as inspiring as Mitchell.
“Barbary Pirates” has been deeply personal. A friend’s ancestor was captured and enslaved on the USS Philadelphia. But after the initial fight scene, the story has been make-belief. I can only hope the narrative remains true to his forefather’s fortitude.
One thing I DO know .. the characterisation of Mitchell .. it owes a lot to my tough-ass SF mate. This was you, fella .. in case it wasn’t obvious. Like (fore-)father, like son!
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This wasn’t what he’d signed up for. Putting his life on the line .. enduring the hardships of a cramped warship .. risking death every time they put to sea .. all that he’d taken on-board.
But loss of freedom .. betrayed by his own captain .. plaything for some Arab heathen .. THAT he hadn’t signed up for.
There had to be something better than this ……..
An infidel, Unbeliever. With the likes of such scum, anything went.
An American pig. Filthy disgusting animals. Live on muck, shit and dirt. Untouchable. Unclean.
Rais wanted this. The infidel’s pain. The pig’s squeals.
And what Rais wanted, Rais got.
The captain was unjust. They’d done their best on this fucking slave. Whipped till he squealed like a pig? Who’d ever told them that?
But he’d scream all right. Rais would have what he craved.
He said they’d let him down. Unfair. But when was Rais ever fair?
Let him down again .. they’d be feasting on their own balls.
Near to pissing in his pants. Wilting under the captain’s glare. Not a man to upset. No one you argued with.
They’d done their best. What they thought was right. That fucker couldn’t get back under his own steam .. had to be carried back.
What more did the captain want?
You couldn’t miss the message. You had to be blind to misread the signs. Rais’ actions spoke more than words. This body .. muscular, strong, broad-shouldered, tight in the belly .. HE owned it. Every single little bit of it.
But .. in case this stubborn ass was too dumb to get the message .. in case any other piece-of-scum out there got the wrong idea ..
So he thought he was the formidable warrior, did he? Brave, proud, strong. Defied his captain’s orders. The ship had surrendered. But not this one. This pig knew better.
Singled-out, separated from his shipmates .. made to row with the negroes at the oars. But still he thought himself something special ….. Didn’t know when to lie down and beg.
An unbeliever. An infidel. And that alone gave Rais every right. An abomination in the eyes of good Muslim men. Filth, pig-shit.
But Rais needed no justification. He had his own cause.
The pig had crossed him. No slave did that.
Sailor felt guilty as hell. Heck, they ought to be doing something. Sailor was worried. They couldn’t let it happen again .. after what they had witnessed in the quarry. Their shipmate tied to a whipping post again. Orders of that evil Rais.
But what COULD they do?
Rais had issued his orders. This infidel pig gets it in the neck. For publicly standing up to him. Make an example of the dog, he’d ordered his slave-master. Let his damned body know the cost of defying Rais.
No let-up. The most punishing regime. Break his back. Break his will.
Till he screams with anguish. Till the pig squeals …….
Sailor had helped him back. The poor sod was knackered, he was done-in. But he was dogged, he’d forced himself to walk, wouldn’t be carried. Maybe he was his own worst enemy but Mitchell couldn’t give those bastard heathens that satisfaction.
They’d passed the word around, the ones who’d been made to watch. Willing ears heard about the savagery. Disbelieving eyes opened wide at their shipmate’s strength of mind. At Mitchell’s fortitude against the brutes.
If only their own captain had shown such strength ……