There was a battle coming. It was sure to be bloody. It was sure to be brief. But this band of misfits, lunatics, stowaways, and nuts were something to be feared. And Earl Grey was in there with them. Matron would have been so proud.
In all the buzzing about on deck one member of the crew sat and watched, biding his time. Birbee did not like to join in with the others. He was above all that. He was going to take command himself. And his time was now..........
Even more previously.........
Birbee never wanted a life at sea, he was too lazy. All he wanted was to drink, fornicate, eat, drink and sleep with a little more fornication thrown in.
It was whilst he was indulging in the drinking part of his master plan, dressed in Priest's robes in a bid to gain free flagons of ale and the attentions of loose women looking for forgiveness, in a back street tavern in South Bristol, trying to avoid eye contact (or any other bodily contact for that matter) with the six-fingered in-breds that inhabited this side of the city, that he was first 'discovered' by the man he came to know as Morse.
He was reading a short story in a magazine at the time, a depressing tale of a bunch of ne'er-do-wells who had set sail on a Pirates frigate in search of new worlds etc etc.
Soon to appear in the tavern was a strange looking fellow, but one to whom birbee felt strangely drawn. It could have been, and probably was, the pungent odour of ale seeping from every pore of his body that attracted birbee so, but he pretended not to notice.
"You'll be having ale, Father?" were his first words.
"Cheers, my son, God be with you," was the first reply birbee could think of, not wishing to turn down free drink.
"So, Father," started the man Morse, "what brings you to a Tavern as this?"
Birbee took a large swig of his ale and before he could answer, slumped face down onto the table.
A little later, or maybe longer, or maybe not who knows......
The first thing he saw when he stepped out of the shower was a strange beast of a man, blowing his nose on his cassock.
Was a man, or was it two extremely close men?
The floor seemed to be moving beneath his feet, and as he was about to ask the twin headed, twin torso-ed man where he was, and if in fact he was, the man/men farted.
"PERCIVAL, BUCK, are you treating the Father well, we may need him where we're going!" cried a vaguely familliar voice seemingly from somewhere above him.
The wind-ridden bi-pegged giant slipped away, as only someone with two wooden stumps for legs can do, on a slippery, freshly soaped, wooden floor, in search of an Irish Senior crew member to play with.
Once re-robed, birbee climbed up the wooden ladder to try and find out where he was, and why.
As he reached the top and cautiously emerged into the bright sunshine he was greeted (probably NOT the most apt word in the circumstances, greeted) by the rather bizarre sight of the twin-pegged-legged-man-men sauntering up behind an unsuspecting man staring in aghast a short naked man next to what seemed to be an old shell of a man.
"Okay, we need a boarding party. Right, Percival, Buck, Monkey, Skoob and Roy, with me. Dr Vic cover our rear. Any volunteers to come with us, there will be booty, killing, mayhem and women" boomed the second vaguely familiar voice heard in the last five minutes, prompting the whole deck to become a flurry of activity.
The boarding seemed to go well, and the fight was short lived, the crew of The Maddoffno match for The Buggerall. Soon the ship's stores were full to the brim with fresh meat ready for Cook Skoob to work his magic.
It was amazing to see Skoob work his magic, it was like the magic that would be performed by the late great Tommy Cooper, as soon as he is invented as naturally in 1815 he wasn't as well known as he is now.
It was as the motley men were transferring the sick, infirm, wounded and dead from one ship to another that the plan was hatched.
Birbee would continue his charade of being a man of the cloth and proceed to climb the social ladder as only corrupt, perverse clergy could.
He wouldn't go as far as buggering small boys, that could be left for the genuinely religious, but anything else that came his way. Well it had been a long time since his last barrel experience.
He started to wander around the dead and the dying, trying to get to them before the cook dismembered anything that appeared to have stopped moving, and murmured indecipherable words in a comforting tone. It seemed to do the trick as more and more of the wounded became less agitated and seemed to calm down.
Either that or they were just dying.
From that day onwards, the black cassock would be the trademark of the self appointed Pirate Priest, Bishop of the Buggerall, and the religious leadership would be all his.
Meanwhile, as thoughts of grandeur swam around in his head, like the bloated bodies of the inedible left behind in the wake of the Buggerall, the rest of the crew had settled back to normality.
Cap'n Morse was plotting a new course for the Carribean in his cabin, Morse's Courses as he fondly called them; Percival and Buck were pissing through the cracks in the deck, forcing Morse's course to make a detour; Monkey was no-where to be seen, presumably lost in thought, or translation, or elsewhere; Skoob was in the Galley, trying fervourishly to remove tattoos from his un-organic meat, and from the food he was preparing for the evening meal; Madame Piebottom was powdering her nose, as was her want at every available opportunity, as Hal A Peno licked it clean as quick as she applied it; Hal himself was in the counting house, counting beans on a calculator that had yet to be invented; Dr Vic was in the ship's medical room, a room he shared with the laundry on account of the fact that the dirty clothes not only produced penicillin (or so he told the rest of the crew) but also doubled up as a rather comfy operating table; Very Able Seaman Turse was practicing his aim with the largest cannon on the ship, and failing to hit the water with most of his shots; Senior Crew Member Fergus McCarthy practising his alliteration on anyone who cared to listen, plus those who didn't care.
The only one who seemed to be missing (apart from any that the writer has forgotton, for which (or whom?) I apologise) was The Queen herself. Queen Mudder was no where to be seen, maybe she would grace this scurvy bunch of wastrels with her untold beauty and sophistication, maybe not.
Only time would tell, and time was becoming scarce.........