Okay, I forced it through. Time for major edits/revisions/etc. I hope it’s not as awful as I think it is.
Oh, and I made The Muse his compass last night.
Jack swallowed a mouthful of rum. Still good, even if it was a bit cloudy. He swished the rum around in the bottle, holding it up to the flickering light of his small lantern. Jack wrinkled his nose in mild distaste. Good but not that good, with a slightly sour aftertaste. Adulterated. He shrugged and downed another swig before lodging the bottle between his feet. Picking up the oars, he continued rowing toward the docks. Darkness had come quickly, settling over the town of Kingston with a blanket of clouds to hide the moon. Jack sighed and reached for the bottle again.
Firelight flickered in the distance and he could see some movement on the piers. No one should be there, he thought, but decided that he had to chance it anyway. It wasn’t worth the wrath of the Wolfe. Jack could make out at least two figures on the docks ahead. He grabbed the bottle and stood slowly to get a better look. The ocean was calm in the harbor and carelessly, he set the bottle on the railing, still holding onto the neck. The next wave, however, jostled the longboat, and losing his grip on the rum, the bottle landed with a splash in the water as Jack tumbled backwards onto the bench.
He cursed loudly and leaned over the side, his eyes searching in the darkness. Jack could not see the bottle and reached down trying to feel for it, but to no avail. Heaving a sigh and sitting up, he abandoned his exercise in futility, righted the boat, and rowed hard for the pier ahead.
Quickly approaching, Jack noticed two uniformed guardsmen positioned near a pile of goods waiting to be picked up and loaded. “They must have been the figures I saw earlier,” he muttered to himself. He straightened his collar and ran a hand through wild hair in a vain attempt to tame it. Jack stared at them and they back at him. “Goodevening gentlemen,” he said with a respectful nod and a sloppy salute.
One of the guards nodded back, a bored expression on an equally bland face. “’evening, lad. What are you doing out here at this hour?” The guard’s companion picked up his head, and looked Jack over a few times, sizing him up.
Jack’s eyes shifted from one man to the next. “Picking up the shipment, of course. I must say, I certainly did not expect that it would be protected. The captain, of course will be pleased. I’ll let him know, of course. There may be something extra in it for you.”
The guard who has spoken smiled mirthfully. “The captain sent you to collect the goods, did he? And how, I wonder, does Beckett expect you to get all this into that boat all by yourself?”
“Well, yes, to collect them, and it really isn’t that difficult, you know. Nothing here appears to be unwieldy, really. It’s more a matter of… Now I don’t know wh-“ Jack knelt , fumbling around for a rope to tie the boat to the pier.
The guard cut him off. “Never you worry about it. I thought we’d be up here until morning. But you promise to put in a good word for us and we’ll help you load up here.” He grabbed the end of the rope from Jack and helped secure the longboat. “You too,” he nudged his partner.
Jack wanted to ask who Beckett was, but something made him hold his tongue. When the goods were loaded, he waved goodbye and rowed back out through the middle of the harbor. He signaled his ship with the lantern and upon receiving a response, brought the goods in. Easy as pie.
I think the blueprints worked. I shrank it to 18.75% or something really close to that value - becuase I could only take it to 25% in Acrobet Reader and that was WAY too big.
Scene four at some point would most definitely interest me.