Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Theme

Spoiler

 

Three years ago, off the eastern coast of Orisia . . .

Dusk domed over the ship as it drifted upon the sea, little more than a splinter of wood compared to the great oceans that dominated the world. Its crew, however, had long since come to appreciate the depth of their vessel. A kind of square-rigged caravel, Tranquility had stood up against foes that sought to better it a number of times and counting. The crew had a lot to complain about, it seemed to their captain, but none of them, including himself, would ever complain about their ship. Just, well, to it. A lot of the time. Well, most of the time, if you’re Waltz. And all of the time. If you’re me.

 There was a breeze in the wind. Or something like that. A wind in the breeze. Mal couldn’t think the words straight, but he reckoned they’d be poetic enough. With darkness falling, the waves would soon take on a dark hue, and Mal would order his crewmen to switch white sails for black. For now, he felt that wind on his face, felt it blow against his short blond hair like a woman’s wanton breath. Were the ship in motion, he might have felt himself regurgitate. Being in the crow’s nest, it was usually seen as a punishment. So far from the ship’s center of mass, being this high up on the main mast caused one to sway, and so too the surrounding sea to sway with as the world tilted for man like a lazy seesaw.

With the ship at a stop, however, Mal could enjoy the view for all it was worth. He loved seeing the world from this height, way up at the peak of Tranquility, taking in the waters that he and his would seek to sail her across. He smiled, hands clutching the edge of the barrel that encircled his position, watching as the sky fell into the sea, for night would have its turn before morning would come back around. And may it come bearing bacon. I could go for bacon in the morning. He licked his lips, watching his crew from his throne, smiling like they were his subjects and he was their king. I wonder what Lara would tell me if I asked her whether I’d make a good king or not.

With a crew of twenty, lodgings might have had to negotiate with cargo, however Tranquility was purposed to a different role than standard commercial sailing. It wasn’t so much the amount of cargo as the kind, and the lighter the load, the faster the ship. Mal lived by that law, one of the few that an honest man would get out of him, and he also knew that any combat scenarios went sour when your crew were caught unawares sleeping above deck because it was too cramped below. Instead, among the ship’s two decks, long-haul cargo was usually spared for the sake of the crew. Even passengers would find comfort beneath the wood. And rum. And mice. And my gold necklace if they’re lucky. Or James, if they’re not. That name reminded Mal to rub his clean-shaven chin with a detective’s fingers, staring scrutiny at the deck below, wondering where his good friend James sought to take those—

“James!” James looked up with that curious combination of curiosity and confusion plastered on his face as Mal shouted down. “Whatever you think you’re doing with that Jungjum Rum, you can flat out rethink it! I promised the Gruesome Brothers twenty bottles, not twenty heads!”

That seemed to upset James all the same. He never was one to think past the here and now, which seemed to be a struggle for his brain in its own right. In fact, the idea of James thinking is starting to make me as sick as I’d be if this crow’s nest were a’rockin’. Mal drummed his fingertips on the barrel as James shrugged up at him, a bottle of rum in either hand, an orange leather coif on his head. I can thank one noble house’s lord for that. As long as this man wears that hat, I have more to fear from a splinter in my bed. James sought to disagree and shouted back.

“Well then maybe I just won’t think!”  

The irony of that statement rendered its recipient at a loss for words. Mal could only cross his brows, trying to listen to whatever Katie had spoken to James, actually pulling herself away from her romance with fine-tuning some lining. He didn’t need to whip his spyglass out—Did that sound as bad in my head as I thought it?—to see that Katie rarely had her gloves on, and this dusk was no exception. She’d be getting rope-splinters for sure, but she seemed to like them. Her long, auburn hair flipped as she swung her head to shout up at her captain.

“If James gets rum, do I get rum!?”

Katie. Always the innocent instigator. All it took was her for everyone else to speak up while Mal could only stand up in his barrel-throne of a crow’s nest watching the revolution down below. Somehow James’ crusade to no longer think (Which begs the question when he ever was thinking to begin with) had incited first Katie then Waltz. Mal had turned around just to spot his own blond-haired head tilting back to shout across the distance to his poor old captain, hands on the ship’s wheel like he had just been caught playing steer-the-stopped-ship-…somehow game.

“I’m just gonna shut up about that whole James ever thinking…theory…and ask that I be included in this whole rum thing, Captain!”

Waltz’s sweet old wife, Chloe, just had to chime in, waltzing across the deck with her long, black curls draped down her back and her hands on her hips like she were Mal’s mother.

“Sir, I’m pretty sure we’re all going to find out what it feels like to be at the receiving end of a machete if we start getting on the brothers’ bad side by handing out their rum to everyone!”

“I’ve been on the receiving end of a machete, myself!”, James included.

Mal could only stare at them from his crow’s nest, completely confounded. Since when the heck did I say anyone was getting any rum!? “Look, James’ comment doesn’t surprise anyone, and no one is getting any rum! Everyone is, however, making a very unpleasant fuss! Now James, you can sulk till you’re sick to the stomach, but you are putting that Jungjum Rum back in its place, mister!”

He jabbed a stern finger toward James just in case his coifed head was getting its first thought, or second, if James were to be believed. In the end, he sulked off back below deck, leaving Mal to shake his head and wonder how he came across such a sorry crew. As a sudden gust caught his breath, Mal blinked in composure and breathed it out, realizing that such memories were best reserved for a later flashback.

 

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saoirse grinned to herself as she leant against the bow, her russet skin gleaming in the last of the red light of the sunset. Her eyes were closed against the low light as she basked in the sharp kiss of the wind. She took a deep breath of that wind, feeling the salt and damp fill her lungs. She reached back to let her dark hair out of its long braid, deftly undoing the plait to let her hair fly behind her. She sighed happily, basking in the still moment. 

This was the reason she’d muscled her way onto Tranquility. The open sea, the adventure, the freedom. She loved it. Yes, she occasionally missed the dense green of her childhood, but this - this steel grey, soft blue, the huge open sky - this was where she belonged. She’d known it as soon as she’d first seen the sea. Her sisters had been skeptical, but it had bothered her none. Besides, they’d relented as soon as she’d returned for the first time, wind-chapped and glowing, a broad grin on her face.

Her peace didn’t last long, though. It rarely did in such close quarters. James had gotten into the rum, of course - the man might be blessed with fewer brains than a mouse, but he could always find the booze. She turned to the commotion, scooping her hair over her shoulder to re-braid as she did. She laughed to herself as she watched Mal argue with the crew, eventually sending James off to put the rum back in its rightful place. She bounced across the deck, grinning up at Mal. She launched herself up onto the rigging and climbed up to join him, scaling the ropes like the nimble monkeys that had lived in part of Wolfwood. She balanced easily on the yard, one hand holding onto the edge of the barrel that served as their crow’s nest. “Sometimes I think we ought to wrap the booze in iron, you know, sir. James’s gift for ferreting out booze must be a fae-gift, or I myself am a ferret.” She looked over to the horizon, then back at Mal. “Will we be back in Orisia by midsummer, do you think? Aine made me swear to be at the festival this year. I think she’s hacked that I missed Whelping.” Saoirse hummed a little, letting one foot drop off the yard to tap against the ropes. “She gets hacked easy, really. Though maybe she’s just tired from the little ones.” She tilted her head a little, nearly forgetting about Mal as she contemplated her sister. “Anyhow. Midsummer?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Maybe you should have dinner, Miss," Andersen murmured as his fingers fluttered about restlessly before they fell to his sides, limp. His mistress had made it abundantly clear that under no circumstances should she be touched. His bare feet shifted back and forth on the waxed wood of the main deck. There hadn't been enough time to shove them into a pair of boots when his mistress began to heave in their quarters below the deck. "You haven't eaten since we boarded yesterday." 

He bit down on his bottom lip, his hair whipping into his eyes when his mistress brought her head up from over the railing. "There's reason for that," Demarius rasped. Her face scrunched in disgust at the sound of it before she straightened and pushed her long, frizzy hair from her face. A few strands slid against her forearm, slick with the wet of the ocean spray. 

"Something as simple as a light broth, I'm sure—" Andersen cut himself off when his mistress turned to face him. His heart seized at the sight of her brow wet with sweat despite the exasperation shining in her eyes. He couldn't imagine how the rest of the voyage would go. They both looked up at the sudden loud shouts on the starboard, Andersen grinning at what sounded like a promise of alcohol. "What about some rum? Perhaps that could settle your belly."

Rolling her eyes, Demarius shook her head and sighed up at the sun. Andersen traced the lingering rays up the warm umber of her throat. He crossed his arms behind his back and allowed his dark eyes to fall to the deck floor. "No. But I'll have some water," she told him. 

Shooting her another grin, Andersen disappeared below the deck, leaving his mistress to lean against the rails and fight off another roll of her belly as the ship crashed against another wave. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theme

Spoiler

 

The crow’s nest was thirty feet up the main mast, and with sounds so much clearer in the open water, Mal had found himself more raising his voice than truly screaming at his crew, but it had left his throat raw nonetheless. Deny it though I do, the truth is I’m catching a bloody cold. He had Sheker to thank for that, that pot-bellied fool with that bushy beard of his. Sheker was the kind of seaman who was laughing almost all of the time, except for such occasions where he was instead coughing and sneezing, and probably lying in his cot somewhere below deck laughing about coughing and sneezing. It might have started with him, Mal knew, but on a ship sickness usually ended with the only member of the crew who hadn’t yet caught it.

Mal had no reason to smile at the cold, the wicked warmonger that it was, but he did have a reason to smile at the lithe spectacle of the only Goran aboard the ship as she climbed up lines and mast, ascending one yard and then the next, hand over foot over hand over foot, climbing, climbing, climbing. Mal hadn’t entered the crow’s nest in much different a manner, but Saoirse made it look more like walking and less like climbing. As graceful as a Goran. He knew that was about the same as saying "as stovetop as a stovetop”, but it sounded poetic enough in his head. Holding his smile, he felt himself inclined to agree with Saoirse’s suggestion, if only because he could only disagree with the second.

 “Let’s hope not. I always pinned you for a monkey. Ferret never quite crossed my mind. Not very…monkey-like.”

Whilst Saoirse held her stance with hand on barrel’s edge, Mal drummed fingertips on it, pondering her ferret-esque attributes. Do Goran live in holes? Ever? The captain of Tranquility had ventured to vast vicinities in his vessel’s voyages, but Wolfwood was never one of them. Maybe one day. The day I get to meet all of the other merry Saoirse’s and Aine’s of the tree-climbing, monkey-ferret, woodland world. For now, Mal felt content in his crow’s nest, standing in his black leather duster, ready to rip it off in a heartbeat and bare his manhood for the seas to see as a symbol of his naked fearlessness. I’ll have to run that one by Lara as well. For now, he would settle for a different woman’s face as he nodded toward Saoirse.

“Speaking of hacking, James just needs to be content with the rum that ain’t belonging to three very gruesome brothers. Only the wet gods of the sea could tell me how he knows it, but Cook ran a very gruesome tale to me about how the brothers like to hack off arms and legs. I ain’t lookin’ to lose mine and yours or James’ or the crew’s on account of rum running away.”

Mal’s smile was only half in jest. Tranquility had gotten herself out of a number of tight spots and sticky situations, counted best by retelling them over a table of candlelit liquor every so often, but these boys and their sibling sadism had a reputation that he had no desire to be introduced to anytime soon. Or, well, at all, really.

“As for midsummer . . . ”

Mal paused to take in the red sun, a faint orange darkening at its upper half. He knew that for one of House Dawnwood’s primary colors, indeed its most primary of primary colors, and figured Vadrian would be watching that dusk for himself from Dawnwatch alongside Saoirse’s lady sister, Aine.

“ . . . Well, I reckon we’ll be back to the island it was named after soon enough, yeah.”

The breeze tickled his skin, none too chilly, the smell of salt and clarity calming the world down to this little pond of freedom that Tranquility found herself floating upon. My ship. My sea. My tranquility. It was as much his as it was theirs, he knew.

“Back to the dawn and the wood that made my boat what it is today.”

 

 

“You know, I have just the right kind of broth that would help with that, miss.”

The man’s voice was gentle, as though time had bonded with patience and came out in Cook’s speech. He had since introduced himself to Demarius as such, smiling at any question over the name being genuine or a result of his role as the ship’s designated cook, alongside the functions of advisor on financial endeavors and counselor on moral matters, which he found ran rife even among smugglers. He came to Demarius now in one of their few encounters thus far in his same gray chef’s jacket, all the buttons done up for presentation’s purpose, long gray hair tied in a ponytail at his back. He was brown-eyed and dark of skin, cheeks creased with fifty years to them, with a mild mustache amid an otherwise shaven face. Cook stood smiling some feet from Tranquility’s most recent passenger, his hands clasped behind his back like he were walking the deck in meditation before he crossed paths with her. Before fate put me on her path.

“A bowl of oh, let’s see, seaweed-and-nettle soup, with a spot of ginger and some drops of lemon, and my very own courbin whiskey with its perfect pepperment.”

The suggestion broadened Cook's smile, regardless of how Demarius herself had taken it.

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saoirse laughed at the monkey comment. “My sisters would agree with you. I’ve always been the best climber of the lot. Aine broke her nose falling from a tree, once, when we were wee. Her nose is still slightly crooked, too.” She bounced up onto the rim of the barrel then down onto the other side, as nimble as the monkey Mal referred to.

“You know, I wouldn’t mind getting a limb hacked off. Then I could get me one of them metal thinking ones as that Jonas has. It would make Mam roll in her grave.” She grinned at the thought - she’d always lived to vex her caregivers, and she’d often succeeded. She grabbed hold of the barrel’s rim with both hands and rocked from side to side a little, letting her legs take turns hanging from the yard. Her grin widened at his answer regarding their return.

“Fantastic. I can give my sisters their gifts.” She’d gotten herself into the habit of buying Aine gowns from every city they visited, and bringing them back for her to wear in court. So far she’d brought back beautiful gowns from all corners of the map, all designed to make sure her sister was the focus of every room she was in. She knew the Dawnwoods were struggling their way up the ladder, and he intended to help however she could. If that was by bringing billowing silks and luminescent brocades back? She would. She also always brought gifts for her other sisters - exciting weapons for Aoife, the warrior of them; religious texts for Maire, and pretty stones and trinkets for Daimhin. Honestly, most of her wages went toward gifts for her sisters, but she didn’t mind it at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Demarius watched Andersen walk off, the merry bounce in his step making her look away to stave off another roll of nausea. He had better put some shoes on. She didn't have it in her to hear any complaints of splinters or hookworms or infections for the next week or so. Who knew how clean they kept things here. 

Once his footsteps faded, a soft calm washed over her. She knew the solitude would last only a few moments, but she had come to appreciate times such as these when there was no one else to comment on the glowing orange sun dipping down into the gaping seas. Traveling by boat occurred rarely for the sole reason of her near inability to get over the need to empty her belly into the crashing waves. It was necessary this time, however. The steep fee had been paid without hesitation in addition to the numerous tasks that needed to be completed before Femi made landfall in the next several weeks. 

The faint sound of someone approaching from the other side had her turning away from the rail to put her back to it. The Cook, as he had introduced himself to her last night, must have heard the tail end of their conversation to know how she had been ailing. She offered him her own appreciative smile at the hospitality, clasping her hands before her to rest against the beads circling her waist. "Ginger does help with nausea," Demarius agreed as she pursed her lips to decide whether her stomach would allow anything to stay down. Surely, it couldn't hurt. The concoction that Cook suggested seemed a lot less risky than the stolen swigs of rum that Andersen proposed. It would likely help keep her strength until she could leave this god forsaken craft to complete her business. "How long would it take for you to make it?" 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theme

Spoiler

 

“Well you can certainly give them James, but I wouldn’t call it a gift. I didn’t when he was given to me.”

Mal smiled only after his expression, face twisted in a look of pretend grief. He had been captain of his crew long enough to know that they either laughed with him, laughed at him or put up with his laughing. But I swear, if he takes just one sip of that Jungjum Rum, I’ll make a Goran husband out of him yet. Somehow, in that context, “Goran” felt less like the name of a tree-fairy folk and more like a curse word, at least where James was concerned. Everyone had come aboard Tranquility for their own reasons, in their time, Mal reflected, gaze squinting from the red sun to behold the glow of dusk on the horizon, further down to the deck of his ship, to Cook and the newest member of the crew, if only for as long as it took to get to Orisia.

“So what do you make of Miss Mischief down there?”

Mal didn’t trust this Demarius, though he didn’t distrust her either; he didn’t know what to make of her at all. Tranquility was often open to picking up passengers for the short haul or the long one, ferrying fares from here to there, because the crew took on almost any job they could to get by, dishonest or no. That in turn meant that the ship had taken on a number of different characters and personalities, but this latest package was a whole new kind of package. There was something about her journey that was more than simply a journey.

 

 

Cook’s manner carried in its amiability, a selective constant he attempted to convey for all people around him who might accept it. Hostility and enmity had no place in peace, he had long ago learned, and these days he felt that it was as much his responsibility to help others learn the same truth in a world of war as it was his responsibility to keep them fed, serving them as much food to eat from the sea of wisdom as the fish in the sea. This Demarius seemed that she could use wisdom of her own, and less fish to go with, if only in the form of keeping a wiser stomach. Cook had also since learned that a ship didn’t have to be in motion to be moved, with waves lapping one another and gently rocking the vessel drifting upon them enough to upset a weak stomach.

“Ten minutes.” Precision spoken with a smile. “And five minutes more for you to start feeling better.” He would tilt his head in place of a shrug to preempt curiosity. “It’s no doubt a special kind of nettle. Sailors call it “goodbelly”, very imaginatively, though it can be a difficult remedy to prepare.”

Cook hoped his lingering smile would add a touch of intrigue. His was of honest play, but he did enjoy harmless mystery. It was part of the reason that got him mixed up with a bunch of questionable characters to begin with on this ship they called Tranquility.

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saoirse laughed again, her head falling back with the force of it. “No-one could call James a gift of any sort. It’d take a special sort to make him a good husband.” She clambered up onto the rim of the barrel and sat down on it, her heels tapping against the weathered wood. “In fact, I think it’d take a fae. Or many fae.” She smiled to herself, glancing back at Mal. “Though I’m not sure they’d want to.” 

She looked down at the deck, her eyes finding Demarius when Mal mentioned her. She hummed and cocked her head, watching her for a few moments. “Miss Demarius? Well. I’d very much like to put my face ‘tween her thighs, for starts.” She laughed, leaning forward a little. “She’s a beauty, and I haven’t had my face wetted since we last saw Rac.” She rested her chin in her palm, sobering a little. “Other’n that? She’s a merc. Loyalty to coin, and everything as goes with that. Lucky we’re not the ones as hired her, otherwise I’d fear for my head.” She sighed softly, looking over at Mal. “She’s a dangerous one. If I had the choice of being locked in with her, or a moon sick wolf? I’m not sure I’d choose her.” She looked back down at Demarius. “I think we’re safe, though. No-one’s killing no-one on Tranquility.” She nodded decisively. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The swiftness in which relief was promised was relieving in and of itself. A bit of authenticity slowly sank into Demarius' smile as she watched the older man speak. He didn't seem to be the kind to keep any ulterior motives hiding up his sleeves, but that didn't mean that he simply was not. It was a very distinct difference one had to watch for in her particular line of work. Underfoot, the ship surged again and Demarius had to fight down a great heave. "That-- that's very gracious of you," she told him after taking a deep, salt-scented breath. If all it took for her illness to abate was a quarter hour, she could manage to wait and give him a simple trust that he knew what he was doing. 

The wind blew a soft spray of water over them, spattering saline droplets over her arms and making her double over in a large sneeze. Rubbing her nose, Demarius sniffled and glanced up at the crow's nest to catch the eye of one of the captain's crew members looking directly at her. She kept watching her with blank eyes betraying nothing of her thoughts until Cook spoke again. If it was difficult to prepare, would that mean it would take longer? It was no matter. He had promised ten minutes to prepare.

She glanced over when Andersen chose that moment to bounce back onto the deck with the promised flask of water in hand. He had even taken the time to put on his navy blue boots. "Your water, Miss." Demarius couldn't help the smirk that slid onto her face when he ducked his head and shyly tugged at the rope of leather tied around his throat. 

"Thank you," she said as she took it from him and turned back to face the ship's cook. "Cook will be preparing a broth to help settle my stomach." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theme

Spoiler

 

Mal’s eyes widened like a young boy who just saw his first breast. That not being his own breast. ‘Least we hope.

“Whoa, hey! Okay. Details. Those are details. Yeah.”

What Mal didn’t do was blush. He knew that she knew that they knew that everyone knew that he wasn’t exactly as open to the bedding procedures as one might expect of a merchant/smuggler sea captain, and though he never made it a point to converse his sex life (or lack thereof) as far as conversation topics went, there was always a Chloe or a Katie or a James or indeed a Saoirse there to bring it up for him. He couldn’t tell if the latter were laughing at her own words or those of her captain, but Mal was also man enough to know a pretty lady when he saw one, and this Miss Mischief did indeed have a pair of legs on her. She is a beauty, and I do like legs . . . That thought didn’t last long, on account of a man named after an animal. Mal couldn’t help but direct confused brows toward Saoirse.

“…Rac? As in, Raccoon? As in, ew!? Do I even want to…no.” He looked away, a brief nod to reassure himself of the certain. “No, no I don’t. Nope.” A shake of the head to reassure reassurance.

He rested his forearms over the edge of the barrel, face leaning over it in a much less acrobatic stance than his Goran counterpart. The crow’s nest swayed gently upon calm water as the light breeze carried in the sails, though not to any sickening degree akin to how Demarius herself had been leaning over the edge of the ship for reasons obvious, its motions like a baby’s crib being rocked by a soothing mother. Whispering lullabies as the night comes to. The captain found himself studying their new guest bare of any lustful shred as he listened to wise words.

Saoirse was Goran to the bone, and the flesh, and the spirit, and whatever else came with those things, but for someone who swung around trees all day as a child she certainly knew a deal about the world and the people within it. Thanks to me, of course. Well, thanks to Tranquility. The ship had done its own fair share of dealing crew and cargo (be they animate or inanimate objects, not that Mal considered Demarius an inanimate object) wits and wisdoms to take with them wherever they went. She’s seen seas and skies, lands within and lands without. This kind of ship was as akin to Orisia as it might find it, but Tranquility had ventured beyond the bounds of that little island, and its worlds were written in its wood. Where her own dawn…dawns…or something.
 “All this fuss about heads. First the Gruesome Brothers, now I gotta worry about a mercenary.”

Mal’s response was more to himself, listening to Saoirse resume as he kept his gaze trained on Demarius like she were the only one on the deck, wondering at the same time what kind of dish Cook was cooking. Cook and his cook-y…stuff. Cook was always one to make new folk, be they temporary or permanent residents aboard Tranquility, feel as welcome aboard the ship as the ship had made him feel. We all have Katie to thank for that. Thanks, Katie. Oh, right, Katie’s down there and I’m up here, in a barrel. Yeah.

 Mal glanced at Katie, who had since resumed her smile-while-working campaign to conquer any questionable rigging, tying tightly tied rope tighter than that one time a Weland courtesan had tied his wrists. The memory was left at that, catching his mind drifting down Demarius’ legs again.

“So I reckon I might actually believe you if you told me you knew what a moon sick wolf feels like. I’m not sure I’d choose either.”

Studying that mare of mischief further, Mal somehow sensed an air of freedom emanate from her being, not much different than a wolf’s.

“I’m definitely with you on the no-killing part. Them as feel needs to be free ain’t bein’ forced to die on my boat, on account we got a fare to ferry.”

Another snatch at the dusky sky. The crow’s nest was no pendulum swinging, but it was swaying all the same, and as the drifting ship rolled over a wave just big enough to be felt, Mal cleared his throat and brought a fist into his chest.

“I think it’s time we gave our yards some new dresses…”

 

 

Cook tilted his head again, this time in a modest bow, affording himself nothing of pride to grace. Being gracious was a quality that all men, all women, all creatures of this world should afford themselves unto one another. In a perfect world, calling someone gracious for what gracious deeds they did would be the same as commenting on a rock being a rock. If everyone were kind and gentle, there’d be nothing remarkable about being kind and gentle. Yet while some would see that as a contradiction to balance, as an excuse to keep good-hearted people a rarity, peace is its own remark. Cook would give much more than he already had to bring as much peace to whomever he could, wherever he could, whenever he could.

His head lifted as slightly as it had bowed, taking in who he recognized as Demarius’ aide. The mustached smile was in no way less genuine to this Andersen as Cook greeted him with a look.

“A bowl of remedial awe, dare I afford myself the pride to say so.” He looked from one to the other, looking at both. “It took time to learn the recipe, one of arguably simple ingredients, but now I can make it nigh on the whim as surely as the wind—“

“KATIE!!” 

Cook couldn’t help but swing his head over to the crow’s nest, and the voice that boomed from it while directing a held smile that wanted to drip into a frown.

“—Whines.”

 

 

 “Furl white and douse black! Let’s give this dusk the back of our…” Mal trailed off just long enough to keep someone else from butting in, looking left to right as though the sea might help him. “…Well, our, back!” It did not.

“Good one, Captain! Very inspirational finish!” Mal turned his head in time to catch the sarcastic kiss blown his way from his helmsman’s extended fingertips. For the ship’s sailing master, Waltz really liked the ship’s wheel, whether he were steering it or not. Mal ignored him and slapped his hands on the edge of his barrel, smiling broadly as Katie relayed commands to other members of the crew, and all at once lines were pulled and yards were stepped on as sailors climbed rigging at the same time as working it, moving like ants that had just come to life.

“Hale up the brails and brail up the sails, boys!” Katie shouted with glee. Mal watched her while nodding his head, then nodded his head at every other movement of his ship as the ants of his hill labored for the crown. My sea. My ship. My tranquility. It was as much theirs as it was his, Mal knew. He turned to take in Saoirse, extending a hand with every bit of an actor’s exaggeration.

“Shall we, dear?”

Half-expecting her to somersault from the edge with a laugh at his hand, of course.

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“What? No! No. Rac has nothing for me. No - his sister.” She shook her head, her face wrinkling. “I only sleep with men as can pick me up and hold me up. I doubt Rac can even lift his own ledger. No.” She shook her head again. “His sister, though … “ She sighed happily. “I could only pray for half so talented a tongue and taste half as sweet.”

She went quiet for a moment, her gaze glassy as her mind went back to that night. She was half tempted to give Mal a thorough account, to see how red she could make his ears. Katie still had that record, having one made Mal splutter wine through his nose with one of her tales. To be fair to her, it had been a tale that had sent many of the crew to their bunks in a hurry. Saoirse was no exception to that. She jumped a little as Mal started to speak again.

“Aoife had had to restrain more than one wolf as had got the moon in its eyes. A few people, too.” She sighed. “Those as has moon in their eyes care not for anything but blood. Their own, others … matters not. The moon-sick will do anything to wet their teeth with blood.” She shook her head to clear it. She was fully distracted when Mal gave the order to switch the sails, jumping up to stand on the edge of the barrel.

She laughed as Mal offered her a hand. She took it as she jumped down to land on the yard, grinning at him. “Race you to the deck, cap.” She shook his hand once before releasing it, jumping from the yard only to catch herself on the rigging on the way down. She knew she’d beat Mal - no-one could scale up and down the rigging like she could, not even Katie. She grinned up at him as she jumped off the rigging again, barely even looking where she was going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it always be quite so loud on this damned ship? Demarius and Andersen's heads whipped around at the sudden scream, Demarius' eyes narrowing at the crow's nest once again. Hopefully this distraction wouldn't keep Cook from going to make her broth. However long it took for him to go down and prepare it was a moment longer that she had to deal with the potential of her having to toss her stomach once again. She spoke to get Cook's attention again. "That sounds like it would be wonderful to taste," she admitted, attempting to subtly nudge him off to the kitchen to prepare her broth. 

"Yes, anything to keep my mistress from feeling sick," Andersen agreed with a bright smile at Cook.

Demarius stepped between them to put her forearms on the rails of the deck, watching as the sun slowly sank down into the sea. She took a few sips from the flask of water Andersen had brought her, the cool liquid helping to soothe her overheated body. She mostly ignored the flurry of movement starting from the Crow's Nest after the flurry of shouting, attempting to recollect herself while the sun set. Being ill and nauseous was largely disorienting when she was unused to the feeling. Andersen was amiable yet somewhat flustered at seeing her wavering from her usual demeanor to a lower key, and without any patience to pacify him, he seemed to irritate Demarius in his attempts to double his efforts to please her. 

Hearing the shouts come nearer, Andersen looked over to see a woman flying through the air towards his mistress. Demarius happened to look over just as Andersen stepped over to allow the woman to smash into him and sent them both sprawling over the deck. 

Edited by #Rivers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recurring Theme

Spoiler

 

"What do I look like, a monkey?"

Mal grinned as Saoirse did what Saoirse did best—Or, at least, one of the things she does best, apart from having a good time with Raccoon’s sister (Mal was pleased that it hadn’t been Raccoon himself after all)—and hopped from the crow’s nest in an instant. All to myself, Mal thought, watching that Goran girl fly in her descent while stroking the edge of the barrel with both hands, feeling the smoothed wood against his skin. Somehow, silence and serenity were to be found as the captain stood on his lonesome in the crow’s nest, whilst seamen and their superiors went about changing out the ship’s sails from the day’s white to the night’s black.

 

 

“Rightly so.” Cook responded, smile a lingering truth. “But first, there’s an unlisted ingredient in this remedy of mention, and that is to smell, watch, feel and hear what you cannot taste.”

Cook recognized his own cryptic touch, and he was no stranger to the impatience of illness, no matter how many smiles he might display when talking of treating it. Andersen’s own response seemed like the final pass of permission, though this was a peculiar kind of remedy that required a meditated state of spirit.

“You must prepare your body for the cleansing it is about to undertake.” Cook closed his eyes a moment that seemed quick enough to him at least, slowly breathing in, exhaling, smiling through lips and open eyes. “Take in the salty smell of the air, the feel of the breeze against your skin, the sight of the sapphire sea, the sound of the ship as it creaks, and finally remain standing still—“

The object flew right past him in a flash. Cook’s back had been turned to the origin, a blur of color shooting by his side, surprise making the movements faster than they ought to be. The result was instantaneous, and alarming, his speech cut off by another person’s arguably rude introduction to the conversation as Andersen was suddenly knocked sideward and further on, over and down—falling, only on the wrong side of the ship. What fell with him, Cook couldn’t recognize in the abrupt commotion, but he already had a plaguing theory in mind. Reactively, he rushed over to the railing and clutched the edge as though he were about to have his own round with regurgitation, peering over it to spot the ripples and waves following the aftermath of a splash.

He was always one to react quickly to a person’s apparent endangerment, and was too busy focusing on the poor souls beneath him to consider how only a few had joined his endeavor. Most others were still going about the sails, or doing who knew what else.

Men overboard!” Cook screamed, “men” in this case referring to “persons”.

No shit!” Mal screamed back.

 

 

“Panda piss in a bag! What don’t these people understand about staying on the ship!?"

Cursing wasn’t going to get Mal anywhere, so he also leaned over the barrel of his nest with hands clutching the edge, like he were going to regurgitate himself as he barked commands.

“Petro! Petro! Yes, you, Petro! Get over to that railing and drop that ladder like it were your mother about to climb it!”

Petro, the four-and-a-half-foot-something Terran from Biazo Isle, had arms with muscles that Mal always found added a touch of comical contrast to his height. At this moment, the man had stopped walking toward the railing and stood staring up at his captain. Mal didn’t need to see the look on Petro’s face to realize his folly.

“Okay! Not your mother! Pretend it were a purple-haired mermaid with breasts like coconuts! Just toss that ladder over before I toss you over myself!”

Petro nodded and moved with a speed that Mal realized contradicted the very nature of this whole found-and-rescue. Tranquility was relatively still, the dusk was setting, and the day’s heat had since cooled to a tickling breeze. Maybe Saoirse just wanted to take the guy for a skinny dip? He had to consider that option, after all, knowing how adventurous the Goran could get. It also didn’t surprise him in the least that Katie were giggling about the entire situation while her immediate seamen worked the rigging, all five white sails being rolled up from bow to stern. Mal had seen the whole accidental impact from his superior height advantage, and suddenly he didn’t want to leave that crow’s nest until two wet souls were back aboard his boat getting dried off. Till they were, they’d just have to float. Whoever couldn’t swim could still pull that off, for some other seaman would be tossing over a lifebuoy.

Edited by Die Shize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so she had misjudged her jump. It normally wouldn’t have bothered her overmuch - the summer had her wearing nothing but very short shorts and a thin shirt - but she had accidentally taken their passengers with her. She had just enough time to think a few expletives before she crashed into the water, her victims following close behind.

She came back up a moment later, her eyes wide as she looked around for those she’d taken with her. She could swim perfectly well herself, but it may very well have been their passengers’ first time on the water, from their reactions. She swore loudly and profusely as she looked around for them, panic rising in her chest. God, what if she’d killed their passengers?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing Andersen bounce once and then twice as he slid across the deck and then right under the railings already had Demarius seething. Only two things kept her rage in check; the first being the fact that the woman who had caused all of this had fallen in with him and the second was the slight impairment of her facilities. The accident almost seemed to have happened in slow motion. One moment a shadow was quickly falling over her and the next, Andersen was crying out as he dropped headfirst into the waves. 

As moments passed and he didn't resurface, Demarius cursed and hurriedly shucked her shoes from her feet. The certainty with which she knew that Andersen could swim did little to outweigh the knowledge that something had gone wrong. The boy was from Nvengaria, for fuck's sake. 

She glanced over at Cook for a moment to see his attention fixed on the place they had disappeared into the water. Perfect. Then he wouldn't be able to see her duck under the rails and dive past the water's surface...and into a pocket of air keeping her assistant's unconscious body suspended with his back arched. He couldn't be careful like this. Demarius wrapped an arm around his waist and took a deep breath before breaking the bubble and swimming them both up to the surface.

The water was dark and cool in the early evening, the waves tugging them this way and that until Demarius as able to grab onto a buoy and tie Andersen to it so that he could be lifted back onto the ship. She could see the crewmember out of the corner of her eye, the woman's head whipping around in panic. 

Demarius couldn't help the sudden urge to grab onto that long brown hair and hold her head under until she'd stopped thrashing. She waited alongside Andersen to be lifted back up onto the deck, nails digging into the palms of her fingers while she watched his wet chest move up and down. It wasn't an eye for an eye. Her assistant was still alive, despite having fainted the moment he hit the water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...