A loud noise had awoken Max from his deep sleep. Jolting up from his worktable, cluttered with gears and wires, he looked out the window. Max approached the covered window and moved the tattered blinds aside. Light flooded into the room.
The sounds of early morning work and bustle were emanating from every structure outside. Max quietly observed men walking in groups, most likely gangs, and Airships passing overhead. However, Max was not sure where the sound came from earlier. Disinterested, he left the window and made the way to his door.
Before he could reach his wooden door, however, the noise came clearly from downstairs. This time, it was noticeably a smashing of some type accompanied by grunting.
"Captain, whats going on down there?" Max flew out the door to find Cap collapsed in the hallway a few feet away from his room.
"Captain! what the matter Captain, wake up!" Max yelled as he ran over to Cap.
"Whoa-who... stay back!" Cap yelled as he struggled to get up and fell back onto the ground. "Get outta' here wit- Max, oh my. Umh, Good morning my boy."
Helping Cap to his feet, Max asked "Whats going on downstairs?"
"My good boy, whats not going on down stairs. Now, thats a good question! Lets see, I know the Royal Ball is not being held there. Oh yes, The Imperial army is not holding their annual Cheese Banquet. Which reminds me, Max, we need cheese! Oh my, I think its been ages since we've gotten a good cheese wheel!"
"Captain, what are you going on about? This isn't the time for jokes, theres fighting downstairs, i'm sure of it!"
Max started for the stairs when Cap grabbed his arm with a wide eyed expression. The noise from downstairs war growing and becoming more erratic.
"If theres fighting we cant just run in there, Max," The Captain established,"We need a plan!"
"But Cap, we always run in," replied Max.
"Good point, my boy! ONWARD!" yelled The Captain as he drew his sword.
The two charged downstairs to find the place in shambles and a band of five thugs surrounding a large man in the center of the Inn. Chair and table fragments lay spewed across the wooden floor. The Captain and Max walked slowly over to the men who quickly turned to meet the with weapons raised. Two of the Five left their formation to defend against the terrifying fighting force that was the twelve year old boy and a drunken Captain.
One of the two was at least three times the size of Max and towered above Cap. The pair also brandished daggers with defensive targes made of patchwork metal on their arms to deflect any blunt attack. However, those did nothing to protect against ranged attacks.
"You two picked the wrong time to be heroes," bellowed one of the thugs. Max could tell they were not afraid to kill, and judging by The Captain's expression, he knew as well.
"Now now, Lads, lets be civil here," was all Cap managed to say before getting a fist driven into his left cheek. "Well now you've gone and done it!" yelled The Captain as he raised his blade in the air in an overly heroic manner.
Even though Max was young, he knew how to defend himself. Quickly darting behind a wooden table, Max dawned his goggles and prepared for combat.
By this point the other three thugs had begun fighting again with the large unarmed man in the center of the room, and Captain was fencing with the two thugs. An arm kept behind his back, of corse. Max Looked through his cluttered pack while chaos ensued behind him. And, after a few moments, he came across his wrench.
"Prefect," Max yelled from behind his table. This caught the attention of the larger thug engaging Cap. With a good solid shove, the man had sent Max's cover flying to the wall. And, after this show of mite, he abruptly received a wrench to his skull. Realign back, the thug clutched his face.
Meanwhile, The Captain had ducked behind the counter and grabbed an arm full of booze bottles.
"Really, you're doing this now?" Questioned Max.
The Captain smiled and proceeded to take a swig from each individual bottle right before throwing them at the attacking thug, detouring them. Surprisingly, they were winning this fight.
Max, who had sent his much larger foe staggering out of the door, watched in awe as the stranger dispatch all three of his attackers. The man had grabbed the leg of a certain alcohol drenched thug and used the poor guy as a blunt weapon against his follow ruffians.
All of the remaining thugs ran, crawled, and scrambled right out the Inn's door.
"Captain! We did it!"shouted Max from across the room. "We sure did, kid, we sure did!"
The stranger had made his way to a still intact chair, and pulled it up to the bar Cap was now standing on.
"I'd dare to say that we gave them the worst thrashing of their lives," stated The Captain from atop his bar before taking a long swig. "Good morning, world!"
Max had smiled and walked up beside the stranger who was reluctantly cracking a smile as well. Max had greeted him with a nod and started to help the unstable Captain from his perch.
"Now, my good man, who did we have the pleasure of fighting beside today?" questioned The Captain. The man turned to outstretch his hand to Cap.
The stranger identified himself in a powerful yet smooth voice,"the names Richardson, Rich for short."
"Well I don't care if you're short Rich, you fight like a Galleon!" slurred Cap.
Max had been standing quietly behind Cap for a while now, when Rich cocked his head to the side and gestured for Max to greet him formally.
"I see you're handy with that wrench, huh, kid," Rich said in a pleased tone. "Cap tells me i'm a genius, but I just like to invent things."
The three observed the room quietly, or in Captain's case, with frequent hiccups. The Inn was trashed; nothing seemed to be in the right place. Not to mention the stolen booze The Captain was enjoying so much.
"You two have my gratitude for helping me with those Slavers. Scum like that deserves to be thrashed about more often," said Rich.
"Those were slavers," Max questioned," I had no idea they were even in the slums. The worst we get around here are gang members asking Cap for money he owes them."
"And, they will get the same boot every time they come back, Max! They owe ME money. Its just that some people get confused about certain things, bud."
Rich smiled once more before getting up and facing The Captain, "Im in your debt, if you're ever in need of an extra pair of hands let me know."
Max looked at Cap with enthusiasm, this could be a potential crew member. He handles himself well in a fight, and looks like he could even handle an Air ship.
The two asked more questions of Rich and found out that he had served on a Galleon, a very large Air Ship of war, only a year ago. Rich was more than capable of firing and loading turrets of any size. Standing at 6'4", Rich would make a much needed addition to the crew. So, they asked him if he would like to join their unfunded and unplanned adventures.
"You know what, I like you two. What the hell, sure, I'll join up. It'll be nice to fly through the skies again, it's been all to long," Rich decided happily as he clenched his fists.
With that, Max left a note on Bertha's, the Inn Keeper's, door.
Dear Ms. Bertha,
We're very sorry about the mess downstairs, and the stolen alcohol. I swear it wasn't me. The Captain and I were in a small fight and really did try our best not to mess everything up. Captain says that he'll "help out" when we get back tonight.
P.S. We made a new friend!
And, with that, the trio was off. They would hit ever Bar, Tavern, and Pub from here to the Cloud district to find another crew member. With a small amount of stumbling, Cap would lead them on their quest for companionship!