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bullubullu
bullubullu's Gallery (28)

The Captain's Pegboy - chapter 1

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Keywords male 856610, fox 181464, cat 150108, dog 113917, mouse 38122, slavery 1941, victorian 375, navy 336, exposition 120, background details 117, servitude 75, poverty 34
Captain's peg-boy

Chapter 1


The crowd was loud and tightly packed. Jimmy's broad-shouldered dad pressed through it, the cub's paw held firmly and dragging him through the press of bodies.

It was near midday in the large fishing town of Blightingham, the docks a flurry of activity of fishmongers, fishermen and fishy looking traders who had set up stalls with fried fish, boiled fish-dumplings, raw slabs of fish on beds of rice recently appropriated from the foreign colonies. Others sold roasted onions and garlic, thick potato soups strengthened with cream or milk and the fruits in season, early sour apples and strawberries and others. Suitable nourishment for the hungry and deprived men who had been travelling the seas for weeks or months bringing back either fish or trade from abroad or within the great nation of Oakland itself. As well as feeding the numerous native merchants that made their coin from either the fish harvested from the ocean or the trade coming across it, as well as the many labourers who worked to keep the ships sailing, gnarled men with crooked hands from weaving the strong ropes, female seamstresses with hunches from their work with cloth and gut-string for the sails, broad-shouldered teamsters in their prime, bulging muscles and sweaty bodies gleaming from the toil of loading and unloading. No bent backs there, once the body grew weak it couldn't manage the heavy hauling and several beggars were sitting with lost limbs or broken backs from accidents or injuries accrued over the short time their bodies had been able to handle that sort of work.

Vessels from the size of small canoes tied in the shallow waters to the wooden walkways near the road, to a couple of the King's own frigates anchored just outside the habour, long row-boats travelling back and forth with provisions and men, gunpowder and silver coin. Many other vessels laid in the habour's water, either anchored outside the docks and tethered to the many walkways that had been built into the water. Blightingham had the nearest good natural habour for 200 miles either way up the coast and excellent fishing waters, but was enclosed by hilly terrain to the south and mountains to the north and east, the oceans to its west. So it was an important town for the fishing fleets and for resupplying the King's navy, for respite for trading vessels, but not as a major trade hub or metropolis, the hard terrain made farming and herding difficult to provide for a large population despite the ocean teeming with fish and whales. The difficult roads made it impractical to haul trade across them instead of sailing for another couple days for ports with much better access. So a busy town, well-provided with the ocean's bounty, but short of most else.

Jimmy Forester, Jim for short, took in the sights and smells witout even noticing the press of the crowds of fishermen and workers and stalls and ships and boats. Having called this town his home for the 9 years of his life it held nothing new for him, yet the bustle and smell of sea and sweat and fried food still gave some amount of excitement, taking him away from his usual chores of mending bits and bobs at home, scrubbing pots and pans and clothes, or occasionally working as a messenger-boy or roasting-spit turner for this or that merchant or fishmonger who needed a copper's worth of labour every so often. His mother Anna had died from The Cough that nearly killed him as well some two years back and there were many chores in a home of 7 cubs that could be thrust upon the youngest son, yet still leave him time to attempt to help provide a little money for his keep.

His reddish-brown paw was tugged roughly, as his dad dragged him along the busy road in front of the habour, stopping outside the fortified building hosting the naval office of the King's fleet. Tim Forester, broad-shouldered and strong for a fox, turned around and met Jimmy's green eyes with his own blue eyes.
"You know why we are here, boy." he said in a deep barytone, reaching down to pat over Jimmy's clothes, attempting to straighten the bulges in the cheap, green, long-sleeved shirt, and clapping some unseen dust from brown, canvas trousers that stumped halfway between Jimmy's ancle and knee, mended with several patches since he'd gotten them as a hand-me-down from his older brother shortly after the death of their mother.
Jimmy's red-furred fox-ears drooped as he thought about their purpose. They were poor. Doubye so since his mother's death, and even worse now. Despite his strong build and relatively low age of 35, Tim had a noticeable limp after an accident at the docks a few months back. The leg hadn't even broken, but had mended poorly, the limp getting more pronounced over time, and nobody would employ a dockworker who couldn't carry half his weight easily over the narrow wooden planks used to get onto the ships and boats. That left him to do other minor jobs around the harbour, or transporting goods from the docks to warehouses or the pickled-fish cannery, neither paid nearly as well. Bobby, one year older than Jimmy, but twice as wide and twice as strong had been taken on as worker on the cannery, and his other siblings had found work or appreticeships except for his baby-sister who could barely talk. His eldest sibling, Patricia, had married and moved to a homestead up in the hills. And Sebastion toiled his own sort of work all the way over in Hamchester. But Jim was scrawny, he was weak, and he was sickly. He had survived The Cough three times in his short life, The Shivers twice, his stomach was often rebellious and so he was a picky eater, stunting his growth.
He was nine, but had the body of a scrawny seven-year old. He was a fox, not the largest of races to begin with, and so he had little chance to find work among the many difficult chores involved in keeping a busy fishing town running, the cannery a far too demanding and dangerous workplace for a little boy like him, so Bobby had said with all the conviction of a gruff ten-year-old who worked 12 hour shifts among the hisses of steam and the mad cacaphony of belts spinning and gears turning and engines running.
And that was why they were here, at the naval office of the King's fleet. War had erupted with Champania, another colonial power who had territories across the world same as Oakland did, and the navy had ever a need for bodies, even ones as small as Jimmy's.
He looked intently into the eyes of his father, this strong yet unfortunately half-broken man who had always shown him love and kept the harshest duties for himself to better care for his cubs, even one as sickly and weak as Jimmy, this strong man finally had to admit that he couldn't care for him anymore and the boy nodded slowly with all the gravitas he could master. It was time for him to give back to his family in the only way he could.
By being sold to the navy.

Slavery was forbidden in the kingdom, but indentured servitude to the state was an age-old tradition that punished debtors and assisted poor families with too many children. The child would be taken in, given work befitting their abilities, clothed and fed, trained in a profession, taught numbers and letters, yet they WERE the property of the state from the time of their contract to their 21st year, where they were released from servitude with a pouch of silver and the clothes on their back.
Most chose to stay in the army or the navy after that, those who had been indentured to the noble families as servants were considered to be expertly trained and often sought out work in the bigger cities in service to the growing merchant families that had prospered from the recent colonizations and innovations in steel and steam that turned coppers into gold and paupers into princes in this turmoultous age. Yet with the recent proclamation of war, the King had announced a bonus upon signing the contract that would mean the difference between ruin and salvation for Jimmy's family.
Sebastion, his older brother of 6 years, was the only one of them who had been naturally gifted with numbers and letters in the three years of public schooling they had recieved from the ages of 5 to 8. Their mother and father had turned every copper-coin to afford for him to join a real school and tutors and later on the imperial college and get a learned education in the big city of Hamchester. He was the pride of their family, good-looking and smart and talented. But none of that mattered if they couldn't afford the last 2 years of his education.
Jimmy loved his brother, and when he learned about the bonus for signing him up with the navy he had approached his dad with the idea. The regular payout for an indentured child was about 25 pieces of silver, approximately the same as three months of salary for a worker like Tim Forester. The recent eruption of war had necessitated a bonus of another 25 pieces. It was more than enough for room and board until Yule the next year, which would almost secure Sebastion's education. The youngest brother had been ecstatic when he found out how he could help his favorite big brother, but his father had been less pleased. He had argued against it, telling Jimmy how dangerous it would be, how he would be a little kid among gruff sailors who might yell at him or hit him or worse.
What Tim had meant by worse he wouldn't elaborate on, despite Jimmy's insistence, but he had emphasized that it was very, very bad and had looked away with his jaw clenched and a slight blush.
Jimmy had been utterly confused, yet had carried on his claims of being ready to work like a big boy now that school was over for him and he obviously wasn't too good at bookish things, his mind too playful and active for dusty books and arithmatic.
So his dad had relented and here they were, ready to hand over his cub's life for a pouch full of silvers.
Those were the times.

The naval office wasn't especially large, a small hallway with multiple closed doors lead them to the main room which consisted of a 3 tables covered with stacks of papers along the side of the room, each oriented towards the entrance door, each inhabited with bespectacled scribes or notaries with ink-pens in their paws busily scribbling, shelves full of more papers behind them. 2 mice and a tawny feline looked up annoyingly at their entrance to the room, huffed in unison, and bent back over their scribbling as father and son walked past them.
The back of the room was elevated one step, with a large table occupying the middle and a portly and important-looking Bassethound in naval uniform sitting behind it in a big wooden chair with blue upholstery. He was chatting with a naval officer complete with parade sword and forward-pointing half-oval hat, who was leaning on the table. The man turned around, his ears having picked up the sound of their footsteps coming over the thick oaken floor, and the first thing Jimmy noticed was a large scar running from his hair-line stopping just above his right eye and then continuing below almost down to his muzzle. The officer was a fox, like himself, but much better groomed, his fur almost shiny and the silver buttons on his jacket polished to brilliance. He didn't look annoyed at their arrival interrupting him, icy-blue eyes dancing with bemusement as he bowed artfully.
"Welcome gentlemen," he said, his voice pleasant yet commanding "I was just finished talking to Sir James here, you may approach. Be careful that he doesn't drool all over you." The last was said almost deadpan except for a wry twist of his mouth, and Jimmy didn't pick up the joke until the Bassethound half-chuckled-half-snorted and waved them over as the fox walked over a wooden stool to the side and sat down, studying a bunch of papers he had picked up from Sir James' table.

"Do come closer goodman, and you kid. My name is James Wellington, chief procurement officer here at the office. What's your names and how can I help you?"
Jimmy opened his mouth to speak, but his father's heavy paw on his shoulder silenced him.
"The name's Tim, Tim Forester, this is my son, Jimmy. We, ahhh, well, we are here because I am a widower and I recently had an accident at the docks. My leg's all dodgy now and I can't bring home what's needed to feed my kids and keep my eldest son's room and board in Hamchester."
The Basset leaned foreward and studied Tim with appraising eyes.
"Uhhh, well I was hoping the King's navy would take in my son here. Jimmy's a good boy, not much use with numbers and letters, too spirited for schoolwork and all, but he isn't afraid to work and does what he's told.." the words "most of the time' hung in the air, "he might look a bit scrawny, but he cleans pots and pans with the best of them, he ain't afraid of heights and climbing trees and isn't afraid of a little scrap with the other boys." The last was said rather lamely as Sir James' expression looked less and less interested, taking in the small and scrawny kit in front of him, it was obvious he wasn't impressed. Jimmy's ears laid back on his head and the hot feeling of shame tainted his cheekfur red. He knew he didn't look like much use at anything.
"The King has stipulated that no boy younger than nine years of age may be indentured," the canine said "this cub is far too small for the rough seas and rougher men who sail them. Who fight on them. He looks like a breeze could flip him over, how would he fare in a storm at high sea? Nay, I had hoped it was you who was hoping to join, a broad fella like yourself would do well in the navy, dodgy leg and all, ain't much running around on a ship ya'know? Also, they may be taught advanced numbers and reading, but this boy cannot be old enough to even write his own name, it would be a waste of the navy's time!"  The Basset's words were a clear dismissal, and Jimmy's dad's shoulders slumped, not even willing to struggle against this important person.

A rustling of papers brought the cub's attention to the officer who was looking intently at him. Also appraising him, yet his eyes looked much more as if he had interest than Sir James.
Somehow that blue-eyed stare gave Jimmy the courage to pipe up: "I'm nine!"
Sir James and Tim looked down at him.
"I turned nine half a year ago. I am finished with public school, and I know numbers and letters better than what father says," the foxcub exclaimed, "I can read verses from the Good Book and all! I can add and subtract and multiply and divide. Errr, sometimes at least, as long as the numbers aren't too big." he grinned sheepishly at the surprised Basset. His dad looked torn between consternation and pride of his plucky boy.
Sir James harrumped, his jowls wiggling from it, his eyes narrowed in annoyance. "Even if what you say is true, you are still far too small to be brought onboard. The work we have for young boys is rough enough and the men will tear him to pieces," he locked eyes with Jimmy's father, "You know what will happen to him right? If he cannot pull his weight in work, they will find other ways to make him serve!"
Again there was this untold assumption of the dangers from his own crewmates, the young fox cub simply couldn't understand the problem, the worse they could do was beat him and he was quick on his feet and not bad at wrestling boys his own age despite them always being bigger than him. "I'm not afraid of anyone, if I cannot beat them I will just run away!" he said with all the self-assuredness of a young kid.
The fox officer began laughing merrily off to the side, all the furs turning to look at him. He tried to control his laughter but it went on and filled the room as they all stared slack-jawed at this inappropriate display of mirth. The scribbling of the scribes stopped as well and the whole room was now transfixed by the sight of this well-groomed officer doubled over in laughter, tears falling from his eyes.
"Hey.. hey that's not funny! I mean it! I'm not afraid and I wanna join the navy for my brother Sebastion and my dad who can't work as much. I'll do whatever work I have to.." he trailed off as the fox's eyes, waterlogged as they were, locked with his and kept a stare as heavy as any he had experienced. A paw quickly brushed away the tears of mirth away and despite the dampness it was a very serious officer that was now staring into Jimmy's eyes.

"You say you will do anything. Kid, you don't even have the imagination for what anything is. You will be eating stale bread and salty fish for days on end, your paws will be worked ragged day in and day out, there are no free days on the seas, everyday is a struggle against God's winds and Poseidon's waves. On land the king is king, on the sea every vessel is commanded by an emperor, the captain. He can have you keelhauled, he can have you drowned, he can have you tied to the mast for the gulls to pluck out your eyes if you displease him. There's no mercy on the ocean, least of all from the captain of a ship. However, if you truly are determined...
My captain, Nathanial Rahlthorpe, is in fact in need of a cabin boy. Someone who can keep his rooms, empty his pot, bring him his meals, pen his letters when his hands are cramped from holding the wheel trough a storm. Someone who will wash his clothes and serve him in many other ways." at the last words his eyebrows shot up and wiggled, "You will of course also help on the ship, either cleaning pots and pans and bowls for the cook, mending and coiling ropes, climbing the rigging to bring food and drink for the lookout in the mast. Being directly under the captain will have its merits and will keep you safe from the crew's, err, misbehaviours," at this his eyebrows waggled even more furiously, the unspoken insinuations contrasting with his stern voice as he looked at Jimmy and then at Tim and back again, "However, the captain himself has needs that a boy like yourself can help him out with and you might prefer the rough sailors to his more... refined ways."
The eyebrow wiggling had taken on a life of its own and the officer looked almost silly, yet Jimmy had the feeling that a lot was going above his head and he felt a gut-wrenching apprehension from it all. He had read the Horatio books in school and knew that life on the seas was rough, he knew that the captain had ultimate power and that his life was going to change for the worse, having to grow up and earn his keep like his older siblings, but the unspoken yet obviously dark parts of the work made him hesitate. He looked to his father.

If it was possible that someone could blush furiously yet be pale as snow at the same time, then now was that time. Tim Forester, strong and good, looked at the point of breaking into tears from being mortified yet crushed by despair over the unspoken cruelties the officer was threatening his son with. Curiously, he closed his eyes and took several calming breaths before opening them again, seemingly having come to a decision. His heavy paw rested down on Jimmy's shoulder and he gave him a nod.
"It's the only thing we can do, son, I'm... Think of Sebastion, think of what good will come from this," the words came out almost pleadingly, and almost as if he wanted to convince himself more than Jimmy. It wrenched his gut to see his dad like this and his temper flared enough to bolster his courage.
"I'll do it! Sign me in. I'll be Captain Nathanial Rahlthorpe's cabin boy and I will be the best he's ever had!"

"Oh really?" the officer smirked darkly and raised an eyebrow before planting down the pile of papers on the table in front of them, the Basset almost forgotten. "We sail later today, sign the contract here..."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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First in pool
Last in pool
Got the creative juices flowing and came up with the beginning of a very raunchy story about a captain's cabin boy.
Actually I allready have all the raunchy parts figured out and for some goddamn reason decided to write entire pages of exposition and backstory instead of actual smut lmao
The story takes place in the beginning of the industrial revolution, where large wooden navies still sail the oceans while steam-engines have made their mark on the economy, where poverty is rife and a cub's life can be bought with a pouch of silver.

So now that's out of the way I will get to writing the next chapters which will include a bunch of semi-NC/rapey buttsex, a steampunky fucking machine, a cub-turned-chamberpot and more

Keywords
male 856,610, fox 181,464, cat 150,108, dog 113,917, mouse 38,122, slavery 1,941, victorian 375, navy 336, exposition 120, background details 117, servitude 75, poverty 34
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 3 weeks, 2 days ago
Rating: General

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