|The Dark Before the Dawn|
|Summary:||Inside Eoin's head before an attack on a Laniveer port.|
|Related:||Immediately before Dawn Raid|
|Deck - Lady Aoife|
|The boat deck of Eoin's flagship.|
|22nd Sess 229|
The lanterns had been doused a while back and now the leadsmen were quietly noting the depths as the Lady Aoife crept through the sea fog towards the Laniveer coast. Without a clear view of the stars it was hard to be sure they would hit their target, but their charts were good, and the soundings were as expected so Eoin allowed himself some measure of hope. It was an ambitious plan, but he'd worked on it for months and it was as ready as it was ever going to be.
Swilling his drink round in the glass for a moment he allowed his mind to wander back over all that had happened since he'd first had this idea, first enlisted the help of this select group of captains. Elisabeth had found love, would likely be berothed by the time he saw her again. Aldren had married, Shepard too. And him? He'd lost his heart to a lady who loved another.
She wanted to be friends, that was what she had said and he did not doubt her on that for a moment. But it would not be more, would never be more, even though he'd gladly throw himself to the kraken if she said it would please her. He'd worn her token at the tournement, before the announcement for the public but after she'd already told him. Still had it on him, held safe and close to his heart by the tight embrace of his armour. He'd been there to cheer for her in the bardic contest, walked with her, exchanged letters, been the friend she wanted as it made her happy.
Her company, even for those short times, was like nothing else in the world. It hurt though, more that he'd ever be will to confess to anyone, except perhaps the bottom of the brandy bottle, to know that every time he bid her farewell she was going back to the arms of another, the arms of a man who hated him and his family. It was worse of course with the house so empty, with everyone he cared about so far away, no one to set the world to rights with over a flaggon in the wee hours. Was it all worth it? Would it just be easier to run onto a Laniveer sword? It'd be doable, that much was certain, what was there to stop him? Duty? King and Country, and all that. Would that do?
No, he would not go looking for death in this fight. It would cause her upset, and his sister, and he couldn't do that. If it found him? Well, such is the risk of war, and there are worse fates… Shaking such thoughts from his head as he downed the remaineder of his brandy and strode over to the leeside where the ship's boat was now waiting only for him. A quick check of his gear showed everything was as it should be, so he swing himself over the side and down the boarding ladder to take his place in the bow. No, he would not seek it, he would do his duty. It was what he had left.