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    Bette was dragged by the arms, pulled bodily, and yanked brutally into the castle of her father, forced down a long flight of stairs and into the dank, damp prison cells below. Her rough treatment was largely her own doing as she resisted and fought every effort to move her along. Even bound and gagged she posed a formidable threat, surprisingly strong and extremely resourceful, launching both herself and her captors into nearby walls, doorways and tables in an effort to get free.

    She almost succeeded, but she simply wasn’t fast enough with her arms tied behind her back and they caught her after a chase through the kitchens, which resulted in boiling water being spilt, a rack of pots spectacularly fell and several house servants fleeing, screaming. After that the guards were much less gentle, beating her into submission only to have her try to escape again the second she found an opportunity.

    They left a trail of broken vases, overturned chairs, doors off hinges and artwork crooked or laying on the ground. One guard came out of his shoe and several candlesticks flew through the air to leave holes on opposite walls. It was a struggle that would be talked about all day, most of the servants remembered Bette from her childhood and many expressed outrage at the way she was handled.

    By the time she was thrown in the cell, both guards were bloodied and spent, her nose was bleeding, her clothing torn and she was quite possibly suffering from a broken rib or two. She was covered in bloody scratches and bruises, not counting the ones sustained in the sword fight earlier.

    The gag cut sharply into the corners of her mouth, bloody and painful but she rebounded quickly after being tossed in her cell, wasting no time attempting to launch herself at the cell door as it swung shut.

    “You’re a wild one, aint ya?” The guard said laughing, blowing kisses at her lewdly. He wiped his sweaty brow, spit at tooth out on the floor, cocky now that she was safe behind bars.

    It was a nasty business. “Cut her binds…” Commander Edwards barked, wanting to be done with the whole sordid affair.

    Bette turned so the guard could sever the rope that bound her arms. He was quick to withdraw his hands and a good thing he was, Bette spun faster than he would have believed possible, reaching for him through the bars, even now trying to escape. She shook the bars angrily and roared at him, frustrated beyond measure.

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    1. Hi BK,

      I look forward to read the chapter, unfortunately I work at unfortunate times today and tomorrow so that I probably don’t have time to read it before I’m free. I can certainly read it on Wednesday.

      I hope you are okay?! Stay safe and healthy!

    2. This is like a truly fine wine and I am going to savor the moment. Taking a deep breath and settling in. But yes, true to form I did sneak a peak at the last page……
      Okay…. pause removed.

      Cross cutting is my absolute favorite technique in filmmaking. And this chapter reads exactly like an action adventure screen play. This is truly incredible writing. No time to take a breath. Talk about a page turner. Not one moment of insignificant dialogue. Every utterance totally essential. So where to begin?

      Carmen is just so super majorly cool. Lurking in the shadows. Blending in. There but not there. Performing her magic and recognizing that for once her Captain won’t be the leader. That Captain Bette needs to be saved. “Carmen’s words were so soft that Bette had to lean in to listen. Recognizing that the brunette had been treated harshly, the Poisoner went with a gentle approach. “Do you trust me?” She asked and waited, her eyes like steel. She paused until Bette finally nodded. “Then for once, for fucks sake… do as you’re told…” Your heart at once truly breaks for a humbled Bette and soars for our cunning and heroic Carmen. She ranks right up there with my favorites. “This rescue would be all for Bette, not with Bette.”Carmen is in the castle! You go girl!

      Cross cut to Jodie. What great names for her motley comrades. Can I just say that Beard is really beyond creepy? Poor Tina. Trying to formulate any plan. Trying to stand up to Jodie. Not show any fear. While Jodie did the same. Both knowing Bette was out there somewhere. Each waiting for the Captain for their own reasons. Jodie knows if she fails she is a dead woman. And she IS failing. Oh the pleasure we will all take in seeing her suffer. And if our Tina has but one scar on that most perfect face, that’s going to mean just a little more torture before she is allowed to die. Dear Jodie would be quaking in her boots if not so sick from rabbit stew!!! Too bad Long Sword and Beard and Jodie. Gluttons! Oh, poor Tina. No soup for you. Shades of the soup nazi. Hahahaha! Tina is going to be just fine, thank you. And super pissed!

      Cross cut to James. Yes James!!!!! Our total hero gotta give this guy a title and a raise and a big sloppy kiss James. Such a loyal and clever guy. “His antics earned him a starring role in the circle of outlaws, Beard sharing his flask and Jodie no longer looking at James with suspicion. Only Tina saw that James never actually ate anything, his bowl dumped out when the other’s weren’t looking. He ignored her completely, throwing himself into his newfound fame, stroking egos and making Beard laugh so much he doubled over, holding his stomach.” Oh James. And so it begins with his plotting to rescue Tina. Another one who blends in so well. We knew James would save the day. Love that Jodie is not threatened by him. Dismiss James at your own peril. And we all surely know where they are headed to be sure.

      Meanwhile: “Three ships hung off in the horizon, pregnant in their pause, waiting, expecting, guarding. Long Sword moved to stand next to Jodie, talking to the Captain about sneaking out under the cover of darkness. While the Captain argued against this idea due to the dangerous rocks in the water, the Number Four man approached Tina from behind as Beard stepped up to join in the conversation about escape options.” Dana and Alice and Tasha might be there by a accident but most assuredly have saved Tina’s life without even having seen her. And bought James the essential time needed to hatch his plan. And gave Tina time to catch her breath and add in the poison. And…It is just so great that now Dana is off to the castle with a poisoned and weakened Jodie. Perfect.

      Meanwhile: Bette continues to be torn between despair over Tina, maintaining her own pride and dignity, attempting to formulate a workable plan to fight her predicament and get to Tina, and mock the so called Lord who believes he is hours away from claiming her: “By this time tomorrow, my Unfortunate Lord, your cock will be shriveling on the floor after I cut it off you…” Bette promised, her words like daggers. She thought about the knife in her boot and how quickly she could get to it and kill him, but Andrew only smiled joylessly and walked away, her father close behind.” We all know/knew Bette would not go willingly. What utter fools these so called men.

      Meanwhile…oh how many times does meanwhile come into play in this chapter? Meanwhile…I am so glad Kit is now on board. This is very good for Bette. She desperately needs to rekindle some semblance of familial bond and I believe Kit loves her sister. The aftermath of this is going to be hard on the Captain. She also desperately needs her Tina. Bette’s father is a lost cause. And he may have some troubles of his own. I really do have faith that Kit loves her sister. And will help her in whatever way she can. Even if that help is in not doing anything, not stopping her. And maybe just buying her time or looking the other way.

      And so Carmen is working her magic; James has rescued Tina; Alice and Tasha are on the scene; Dana is on her way to the castle with Jodie; Kit is now a member of the team; Shane is stronger and at the ready; Lord Bates is a little pissed; and a humbled but still feisty Bette has taken her frustrations out on the wretched bridal gown but ultimately found a perfect use for the shredded fabric. Cue heroic music!!!

      But alas, one last meanwhile still remains. The riddle that still eludes Bette: “Ever watchful, always brave… stay the course, yourself to save… behind the Tiger you will find… a map a key a home defined…” I have my own suspicions about the answer but don’t dare mention it here. I will PM my guess. This chapter really hits home the theme of blind faith. Each of these characters is performing an essential act. Pull one out and everything collapses. I love Bette listening. Always listening for the sounds. The sounds that do not disappoint. Carmen is out there. And Tina has James. And we know Jonathan is out there somewhere. Oh how I love this story.

      My favorite line: “But, my sweet beautiful child, ‘X’ never, ever marks the spot and most of your search will be done in your heart not on the trail. Listen to it, and it will show you the way…” Yes, I do have my suspicions. Now I need to go read and enjoy this chapter again. And again. So so so so excellent, BK. Just so good.

      • Full disclosure…. I struggled with the cross cutting from scene to scene. What if I forgot someone? What if there is no logical reason for that character to be that place at that time? Also how did travelers at that time cook rabbits? Did they really carry pepper? These are the things that I juggled as I wrote this. BUT hot damn on a stick, it was fun to write. I love these stories – when I find an author that writes epic, rolling, absorbing stories I am hooked. NOT saying I can do that, but that it was hella fun trying.
        Carmen is super cool. I always liked her character. And while Poisoner is a far cry from DJ Master, it works I think. She is quiet, blends in and strikes when she needs to. This rescue is pivotal for Bette to trust (blind faith you called it, so true) her crew and allow them to take care of business. Can you imagine if Carmen listened to Bette and went to find Tina? Bette would be wedded and bedded before you can say Captain my Captain.
        The soup nazi quote… so fun to throw that in there to lighten the mood a little. Jodie has her comeuppance coming… she will rue the day she ever heard the name Tina Kennard.
        MEANWHILE (love how you threaded that in your comment) James and Alice and Dana and Kit all have their own very important role to play. This is far from over.
        The meaning behind the riddle will be revealed the next chapter. Lots of theories in the comments here. One of you is right…
        Thanks Billy. For commenting. For encouraging. For being as excited to read these chapters as I am to write them…

        • BK!

          I am in absolutely in love with this story. And actually your comment just pretty much summed up everything I wanted to say. And don’t worry about the cut scenes because everything was passed off beautifully

          And really you didn’t actually set this to any particular timeline. Not from what I read anyway so they could cook rabbits anyway they wanted or even carry pepper in a sack and a cell phone in the other for all I care. Just keep writing!

          Cant wait for the next chapter!


          • Lovely response, PIE. A cell phone would certainly come in handy during the rescue. Can you imagine the text thread –
            B: hey T where u at
            T: woods wbu
            B: escaping smh
            T: meet in the courtyard fr?
            B: Ya ttyl

            Or something like that. That is what my girls phones look like. Who knows who says what…

            Looking forward to your next chapter, you have a couple good stories going there!

            • You crack me up! The texts were too much. Reminds me of the times when I was writing bad fic for fun. ;-D
              I second Pie’s comment: you can do whatever you like in your own timeline/universe, your historic setting. But then I read your comment and immediately I saw the scene playing out before my eyes: Bette with bruises all over her body, torn pirate outfit running through an old castle with castle gate, drawbridge, a pig stall, horses, maybe some geese on litter in the castle courtyard and all, in her left hand a sword and in her right she holds her mobile phone, texting Tina and cursing because she gets a poor signal.

    3. The weather here in Georgia is oddly in the 70’s today, so I sat outside to enjoy this posting; and boy have I ever! I can imagine this mottly crew akin to Robinhood and his mighty men. I am so in awe of how you paint the picture it’s as if I can see everything that is happening. I see Jodie and those horrible beast with vomit and bowel rolling on the ground in agony and it served them well to have their throats slit. Hope Melvin gets his just deserts as well! Superb don’t keep me waiting too long stay well!!

      • We are having oddly warm weather here too. Tornados last night in Alabama and a ton of rain where I am. Those folks had ten minutes of warmings before it hit. It is a motley crew in this story, what a great description! I won’t keep you waiting too long, more to come!

    4. The plot thickens….. if the poison was intended to kill, they would be dead soon anyway. That is the same poison Jody has ingested. If Bette is the one to pronounce final sentence on Jodi, well, they do not have much time. But Tasha, Dana, nor Alice know what has happened on the island…everything is a guess or from what the Captain told them. They are responding perfectly….

      James and Tina must be heading back to the ship to either get more help or to keep Tina safe until a rescue can happen for Bette. Tina may feel better to be out of Jodi’s clutches but she must be frantic about where Bette is and in what condition she is in. Bette is also frantic as to where Tina is and what condition she is in. Thank goodness Carmen has taken command of the rescue. Someone with their eyes on the goal and the level headedness to think clearly and the trust of the Captain Bette Potter needs to be incharge.

      I wonder….behind the Tiger you will find… a map a key a home defined… Perhaps this is not a place at all…but an idea??

      Thank you for the wonderful adventure story. So full of drama and intrigue and even a threat of of little Lorena Bobbitt. You are the master….

      Love this chapter…. please write more…

    5. This is BetteandTina_HouseofStirFry’s comment that she sent via messenger –

      yay!! BK…i’ve been waiting for this one. you did not disappoint. the action, the pacing is perfect…this could be an action movie! a well written non-michael bay action movie. bette is going through it: the mad anger of being held captive which stems from realizing that she made some mistakes that may have cost her the woman she loves. the despair of worrying about tina, wanting to save her again causing her to act without really thinking when she tells carmen to go to tina. thank goodness for bette’s friends! sometimes you do have to give up some control and not be the “captain” …for your own good. i think bette is seeing that or will see it. each of the friends has such a specific talent, and when it’s all pooled together for a common goal, it’s like The A-Team! only better. :) Also…I will say it everywhere…I love James.

      i love how in their darkest moments of despair, even when they’re not together, bette and tina find some comfort and strength in each other, in their love. sigh.

      you juggled so many different threads of the story and it was such a fun, engrossing read. i do not know what you do in real life but you most certainly have a talent for story telling. thank goodness you chose our favorite couple to concentrate on.

      i cannot wait…cannot wait…to see how this plays out. all i know is that lord bates better lose an important appendage and jodi needs to hurt a lot more! Thank you!

      • StirFry –
        I had to goggle Michael Bay. I have not seen any of his movies although I have heard of him. I don’t like scary movies but I would probably like the action ones like Transformers…
        Your line – “how even in their darkest moments of despair, even when they’re not together, they find comfort and strength in each other, in their love.” I LOVE THIS. This is so apparent throughout this chapter and it makes all the ugliness and awfulness they have to endure worth it. Almost. LOL.
        More to come More to come! Glad you are with me on the ship…

        • Michael Bay! yes, known for ACTION ACTION ACTION with not a lot of substance…which is not you. Your action moves the story along and you cannot help but write Bette/Tina and the other characters with substance. I cannot wait for the next chapter. To find out where that key is from Bette’s mom…maybe it’s somewhere that is right under Bette’s nose? hmmm.

    6. BK, you had me at the edge of my seat! So much going on at the same time. It really doubled the pace of the story.

      But first things first: Wonderful tribute to Indie …. “..X never, ever marks the spot..” Perfect!!! If Captain Bette would’ve watched at least the first three parts of Indie she would’ve started to think out of the box. ;)
      I’m not about to solve this riddle – Billy seems more versed at treasure hunting – but I think the Tiger is the key. Probably not a tiger, more a title. Like “Sandokan the Tiger of Mompracem” (obviously I was watching a looot of TV from young age on ;) ).

      Over all it pays out for Bette that she is treating her friends and crew as well as she does. James. I have not enough words of praise for him. He saved my Tina. Well, Captain Bette’s Tina. Sneaky, talented, brilliant man. Saving his boss Tina by providing poison at the risk that he himself could be forced to eat from it and not being able to secretly pour out the soup. You staged Tina’s rescue wonderfully! I was really worried that she would leave on that ship.

      Carmen is at her best as well. Stealthy, intelligent and determined. Just knows when to step in for her Captain, even pulls out the trust card and kind of verbally slapping Bette over her head to stop her from wallowing in self-reproach and trying to sacrifice herself to save Tina.
      Btw good for Bette that she admitted her faults and apologised to Shane.

      Alice, Dana, Tasha – even if they were there only by mistake (so Alice and Dana to misread the maps!) – I can see Dana storming the castle like Robin Hood when he and his men came to rescue Lady Marion just before the wedding with Nottingham (you know, the movie version with Mel Gibson and Alan Rickman). I really hope that Kit will be at her sister’s side for real. She could be crucial now that the scene seems to be frozen with Andrew and the knife at Lord Porter’s throat, Bette and Shane somewhere in the castle, looking for a Tiger, Kit hopefully on her way to Bette’s crew, Dana and her archers hopefully near, Carmen busy with knocking the guards out.

      What a great adventure, BK. I try to make sense of Bette’s room. Why was it ransacked? Who was looking for what? Bette didn’t tell anyone of her mother’s secret. Or does Lord Porter know a thing? But he wouldn’t need to ransack, he had years to search her room. Was it Carmen because she only knew that Bette needed something important from her room?

      You were right: It was a little difficult to step onto this wild ride after the peaceful time we spend at the river. But it was so so so worth it. Totally love this chapter. Thanks so much.

      Have a great week, stay safe

      • I had to quote Indy right? I remember when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, going to see it with my best friend, we rode our bikes and sat stunned watching the movie then queued up to see it again immediately afterwards. From the first shot of him in the jungle to the escape in the snake filled water plane, woah!
        Also, Alan Rickman is the BEST! Maybe a good person to play our Lord Bates. Just the right amount of slimyness we need!
        It was hard to put on the black outfit of Captain Porter. She is so different from River Bette. Literally takes me a day or two to switch mindsets. Hopefully you don’t feel like you are reading the same Bette in two different stories – the essence is the same but the delivery and impulses different.
        Have a great week yourself, be safe!

    7. Yay James! So Bates is pissed, maybe he will slit Melvin’s throat and Bette and Kit can rule together. I hope Bates gets what is coming to him and B & T are reunited soon. Please, Please, Please post the next chapter soon.

      • I will cheers to James! Who knew his character would be so pivotal in so many of the stories on this site. More to come, OneStorm, thanks for always letting me know you are reading

    8. I adored the Chapter in its entirety and I loved all the comments.
      Please please post the next chapter soon.
      I really don’t know whether I’m happier by the River or on the High Seas and will join you at either scenario just please keep producing these wonderful posts.
      Stay safe and well

    9. Hi BK,

      As i promised Monday, i read the chapter and wow there are so many things happening in it, how am i going to mention all of them?! Not easy and i already saw and read so many good comments from my fellow readers!

      I am so happy that Kit is on board and helped Bette, for a minute i was afraid she wouldn’t. And Carmen, James, how could you not love them?! They are truly brilliant in the way they try to save and protect Bette and Tina.

      I was deeply impressed with the first part where Bette fought almost literally to the end to escape her guards in order to save Tina. It hurts my heart how much pain and injury she has suffered. Luckily, Shane was in the same cell as her and it was heartening to see Bette apologizing to Shane and admitting she should have listened to her. And how she also eventually listened to Carmen and gave her complete trust in her.

      And James, how unobtrusively he was there for Tina and ultimately helped her escape. Jodi will not escape her punishment at the hands of Bette. I’m already looking forward to it !!! What an incredible coincidence that Dana, Alice and Tasha were stranded or actually decided to stay before the port where Jodi wanted to put Tina on a ship to sail her to the other side of the world.
      The net closes around the castle and they all have one goal and that is to save their Captain Bette and Tina. The first steps have been taken and now on to the final battle. I hope Bette is able to castrate Lord Andrew Bates as she threatened and he dies a slow and painful death. What a terrible man he is and I will not shed a tear when Lord Porter is killed in the fight that is sure to come.

      What I also want to mention is the piece you wrote about Bette and her mother, she loved her so much and knew how special Bette is, now keep my fingers crossed that Bette listens to her heart and will find out what this words spoken by her mother means and were to look for it: ” behind the Tiger you will find… a map a key a home defined…

      Incredible story and so different from RWYA, it’s a pleasure to read your stories!

      Thank you BK! Stay save and healthy my friend!

    10. BK,

      What a chapter – yes, so much action & activity.

      Gotta say that I too want a very SLOW, SLOW death for Jodi. I’m thinkin slow roast over that fire pit of skinned alive – layer by layer. Poisoning is way too quick & walking the plank is too good for her. There’s always rotting in a cell like in The Count of Monte Cristo too!!!

      Same goes for Papa – the bastard Melvin & all the Bates. Liked the idea to make Lord Bates a Lady Bates!!!

      Have to say that I had questions the last chapter about where some folks where – Alice, Dana, Tasha, James, Carmen – so thanks for providing us with the answers as to what they have been doing. I knew you would.

      You mentioned in some of your comments about the action cutting from one scene to the other – they flowed smoothly & were great. I agree that it did seem like a movie & scenes shifting from one to the other. I know I mentioned before that this story reminds of the movies of the late 1940’s with the likes of Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Douglas Fairbanks Jr & the like. In my mind’s eye – I saw all the action & wanted the next scene & then teh next & next!!! Great job!!!

      Bette – yes I can see why you titled the chapter – Humility. Life never seems to work out the way we have originally planned – fanfiction too! But the true mark of an individual is not what we do in the calmness of life, but what we do & how we act in adversity. She has laid the groundwork for all to come & the actions of her loyal crew.

      And James – so underused in OG & many other stories – so glad you teamed him with Tina & allowed him to shine.

      Thanks for this update & a story to savor for the ages.

      Well done my friend.


      • Wow Collins, what a lovely comment, thank you so much!
        There are a lot of requests for Bates to become … less of Bates, so that will have to happen at some point. He certainly deserves it and more.
        Love how you mentioned that life throws punches but it is how you respond that truly matters. So true. Bette’s crew will go to the ends of the earth for her because she has carried them for so long. Now it is time for her to ask for – and receive – help. I love James, a Jack of all trades for sure.
        I know you are working hard on your next entry so looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Thanks for reading and sticking with the cross cut action!

    11. Hey BK!

      I can add absolutely nothing to the foregoing comments, but my own praises for your outstanding talents as a storyteller and author!!! Are you also a scriptwriter? It seems we Tibetters are in agreement that Black Beauty would make one helluva movie!!

      And to think, initially, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy reading about our beloved Tina & Bette and the other OG characters, as pirates or buccaneers! Was I ever WRONG!! I think I love you, BK! You truly possess a mind and soul full of magic, mystery, courage, rebellion, wit, compassion, love and beauty; as it all flows into your wonderful descriptive writing! I guarantee that I am among your most ardent fans, and will be reading everything that you so kindly share with us.

      As if you hadn’t already perceived it, I do love *Black Beauty” and “Remember Who You Are”, profoundly, for portraying women as fountains of strength and monumental love; both of self and for others. We also have a few villains to despise. (Hope the poison doesn’t kill Jody, so that Bette can torture her and “do her in” slowly!). Also, that repulsive, evil Mastur Bates. (Sorry-notreally-Lord Bates). See how involved you get us? We react viscerally!!

      I also find myself lost in feelings of love for so many of your characters, especially those of *TLW” origin; mostly because your versions are much more “fleshed out” than even the series. We didn’t get a lot of background on any of the characters, really. It started out with Tina trying to get pregnant and provide a family for a (then) self-absorbed, self-centered Bette, who put her professional life first, most of the time.

      Anyway! You are the Star of this comment about your superlative, entertaining, storytelling. So, thank you, dear BK, for it all! Can bearly wait for the next chapter!!! Please stay safe and healthy, happy and productive. (Virtual hugs!)

      Dr. A

      • DR. A this comment made my day! Thank you so much. I am not a scriptwriter but I would give my left kidney to write for GQ and set those pathetic writers to task. I love portraying these women as fountains of strength but also underlying weakness. We all need help sometimes and Bette is learning to trust her crew to come to her aid. Huge moment for her. I am writing the next chapter for The Beginning if you haven’t read that then your weekend is set. Thank you for taking time to let me know how much you are enjoying these stories… it motivates me to continue! Be safe in these crazy times….

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