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[Skyship Aria] Galley Days

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Date: Winter's Day the 6th in the Month of the Crow/Turtle, WTA 596. Ref. First month is Genesaren standard, second month is Terren standard. This convention maintained throughout. Date is read as follows: Day of the week--date--month--year
Time: 6:39 PM
Place: Galley aboard the skyship Aria. This setting is maintained throughout.
Today's events: Hull is laden with goods after a successful raid on a Genesaren trader. Ship is en route back to Cutpurse Cove  to offload this plundered cargo and refuel for the crew's next endeavor. Fighting was fierce, and several crew members were injured during the battle. The Aria herself was damaged as well, and several hours were spent patching holes in the ship. The hull is secure, but some things are still rattling alarmingly, and engineers can be heard banging away at the problems.
Current galley occupants: Acorn, Eli, possibly others (let me know if you want your character to start in the galley and I'll add you).

The ice-pack sat cool over Cecil's eye as he leaned back in his chair. He was going to have a real shiner in the morning, of that he was sure. Not for the first time, he considered putting a harness into the captain's chair. It would stop him from flying out of the seat and slamming his head into bridge equipment, but it would also add time to extricating himself from the bridge in case of emergency. There were pros and cons, and the pirate captain sat considering them as he waited for food to be served.

He was on shift to eat this hour, as were many of his crew members, but it was hard to say who would show up with the ship in it's current shape. Between injuries among the crew and repair work to be done on the ship, everyone's schedule was out of wack.

Still, for all that, Cecil couldn't keep a grin off his face. They'd made off well today, no fatalities on their side and a small fortune in stolen cargo. Not to mention minimal death among their prey. Exactly the kind of result they worked so hard for. The Genesaren trader's day was ruined, true, but they probably had insurance. And if they didn't, well, their stupidity.

Gingerly, Cecil took the ice away from his swelling eye for a moment and inspected his injury in a pocket-mirror. Sunny had given him the ice-pack and shoved him out of the way in short-order, she was busy with others who had more grievous wounds, but it'd been some time since he'd been hit before he could get the ice on it, and it was showing. The discoloration hadn't really started yet, but already he could barely see out of it. Claire was going to spend all day tomorrow making fun of him, he just knew it. At least Lydia had looked concerned, before shooing him down to the medical bay. She was running the bridge for now, but it was possible someone else was scheduled to take over soon. 

The captain put the ice-pack back over his eye, and thought back to the earlier battle. He'd have to commend Eli later for some excellent shooting, landing the crucial disabling shot on their opponent's engines. Chad too. The burly marine had brought back practically his own weight in plunder, and judging by what he'd heard from the other fighters, done plenty else beside.

Eventually, the captain looked up from his musings, curious about how dinner was coming along. Acorn was a relatively new hire, but already the man's quick hands and breezy ability to pick up skills had earned him some popularity with the rest of the crew. He'd have to check in with the engineers soon, and make sure they were fit to make it back to the cove. Maybe he'd go to Bellediere today? The new mechanic was a tinkerer with an almost insatiable curiosity. If anyone had figured out the ship's airworthiness by now, it'd be her. He wanted to get his meal in quick so he could take care of business, but it was looking like any food was a bit of a way off yet.

Sighing, Cecil deepened his leaning in his chair. So much to do. So little time. Yo-ho a pirate's life for me.

Edited by Prestississimo

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(I'm better with my chars than I am with keeping track of where everyone and everything is spatially so if I mess that up please let me know)

"Here ya are o capn my capn."

Acorn had a few distinct features which made him easy to pick out from a crowd, not least of which was the red bandana he was always seen sporting on his pate. If not that it was the dreamcatcher he wore off his waist; when asked why he walked around with it when he wasn't sleeping, his response was invariably that 'life is just a waking dream' and said nothing more on the subject. One might think that a sneakthief would want to blend in, and that same one would later realize that by associating himself with traits so easily identified, by merely removing them from his person, Acorn could fade into the background.

None of that for now though. Now he was directly to one side of Cecil, bent at the waist, hands delicately pushing a wooden plate across a wooden table.

"I got a mighty stew boilin for the rest of the crew but for you? With that shiner? On my capn? I had to do something special. Capn that there is a salmon fillet, topped with ginger shavings, seasoned with garlic. Broccoli on the side. Desert? Cuppa blueberries and diced pineapples. Capn every single one o dose things will take the shine outta that shiner o yers."

Acorn ran his hands along the leather sash pressing against his chest, reaching over his shoulder to grasp at the lute he had strapped there. He swung the instrument out to his lap, bringing one foot up against the wooden bench on one side of the table to act as a platform. He rested the butt of the lute on his knee and plucked at its strings.

"Would ya mind too terribly much if I entertain ya a spell meanwhile the meat tenderizes?" Acorn sampled a brief melody on the strings, a lilting tune floating away from his minstrel ministrations. Before too long, whether the work of simple distraction or due to the trappings of a more esoteric artform, the captain would find some of his pain ebbing away.

"Also mind if I be inquirin as to when we might be pullin in to port and getting a furlough so's I can reunite some of this coin in my pocket with a few of its brothers and sisters on the mainland?"

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Eli spluttered as the cannon barrel belched smoke into his face, streaming around the brush that he had attempted to reach inside. The battle had been taxing on the ship's artillery which needed heavy maintenance. Forget the guns, I need maintenace. The heat of battle had him working furiously at the turrets. Because of the frusturatingly low amount of gunners on board currently, Eli was running from turret to turret as they inexorably jammed, misfired, or some other accident. In the end he was thoroughly exhausted. Luckily, the haul was a great help and some of the cargo could be at use. You never know what those traders may have. But for now, Eli needed to make sure the weapons were up and in top condition.

Eli looked down at his pocket-watch. It was just about time to eat."Oh, thank God." He rose to his feet, wiping soot off his face with a rag, then headed to the galley.

He entered to the mouth-watering aroma of cooking meat. After a hard day, the gunner could use a meal. "Aye, Captain!" Eli sat down in a chair to Cecil's left. "I tidied up most of the big guns, so they should be in working order soon." He then noticed the cook was playing a melody on his lute. The tune seemed to fall upon his mind like a blanket, somewhat dulling his aching body with sound. As Eli waited he pulled out one of his pistols from his hip and removed out the cylinder, wiping it with a small cloth. It wasn't used much during the fight, but he made it a habit of cleaning his weapons daily. After examining it for a second then putting it back into his holster Eli looked up at Acorn.

"I heard something about a stew?"

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The mouth-watering aroma of the oncoming food put a bit of motivation back into the weary captain, and Cecil sat up in his seat to stare at the approaching plate with his good eye. He listened to the minstrel's explanation with a rueful grin, and pulled the plate closer to himself. "Thanks for this, Acorn. Anything to take the swelling down that's not this blasted cold pack." He set the worn ice pack down on the table, more a cold-water pack now than anything else, and set into the food, avoiding the salmon for now at Acorn's advice.

He listened to the cook's song with an appreciative ear, and he felt some of the tension drain out of his shoulders. Things had been stressed, but it was done with now, and something about the playful melody reminded him that so many of his previous worries were a thing of the past. Sure there was still stormy skies ahead, but they worst was probably over. Unless he jinxed it. Well, it was probably fine.

So distracted was he by the entrancing notes that he almost missed the cook's question. He shook his head with a start, and turned to answer the man. "We'll be pulling into port in a couple of days. From there, we'll probably be taking a few of weeks off while the ship gets repaired. You can catch a ship to the mainland on your leave time, and be there for more than a fortnight if you want."

Question settled, Cecil turned back to his food, but before he had a chance to tuck in again, another person walked into the galley. The captain waved at Eli as the gunner walked over, slapping the man appreciatively on the shoulder as he sat down. "Glad to see you're still walking around after all that running between guns. Nice shooting out there today." He listened to the man's report and nodded appreciatively. "Glad to hear it. We'll have to get a team together later to remount the big harpoon, but other than that it sounds like weapons are settled." Content with the news, Cecil turned to set back to his meal, hopeful that now was the time to try the salmon.

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Acorn stuck his tongue out one side of his mouth and looked up into a corner of the cabin as if juggling a large mass of numbers in his head.

"Dat'll be jus' fine cap'n, jus' fine. I don't mean tah presume that what works for me is best for the ship cap'n, I'm jus' pleased as a bilge rat wot found its way to the pantry that it'll work. I have a job planned see, up der in Casper."

Acorn seemed poised to dive into a detailed overview of his setup when Eli interrupted. The interruption was far from unwelcome. They were all brothers in arms, and as a gunner, Acorn particularly appreciated the role that Eli played in their steady acquisition of new booty.

"Aye aye Eli tha' you did. You 'eard of it no doubt from the angels that sipped mah ambrosia and sing its glory rather than the glories of god."

Acorn winked and then picked himself up off the bench, veering towards the kitchen while plucking an aimless tune on the strings of his lute. The music stopped a moment amidst the clatter of pots, pans and utensils, but was soon framing Acorn's words as he instructed the bus boys.

'Bus boy' was a generous term for the half dozen or so poor, unfortunate souls who managed to find themselves on the low end of the totem pole for the week. Soon the bus boys were going to each long table, placing an empty bowl in front of a present crew member, and ladling a healthy amount of hearty stew, chunks of potato and meat visible as they roved through the thick broth.

Acorn returned to the table with Eli's bowl personally, placing it in front of him before kicking one of his own legs up on a stray barrel so he could plant his flute on his knee and tune it.

"Good haul Eli?"

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"Glad to see you're still walking around after all that running between guns. Nice shooting out there today."

"Just part of my job as a part of this crew!" After hearing about the weapons, Eli nodded. Looks like I won't be needed 'til the next big thing rolls around.

As Acorn entered the kitchen with a racket of voices and clatters, the gunner smelled the distinctive smell of cooking meat, even through his odor-deadened nose. Eli grinned as he stared at the steaming bowl with anticipation. "Yes, yes it was. Plenty of cold hard cash and some raw materials. Although whatever treasures were taken during the battle would surely pale in comparison to your cooking!" This was only a slight exaggeration, for to him right now a hearty meal shined more brightly than a thousand gems. Eli's stomach growled in agreement.

As he waited for his stew to cool, the gunner observed the busboys scurry back and forth, setting the table and serving the hungry souls at the tables. I'd hate to be them, but who could live without them? Good thing I had an aptitude for shooting than scooping. "Seems like you've gotten a little kingdom here in the kitchen, and plenty of subjects." Eli laughed good-naturedly and took an apprehensive sip of the stew. "Why, this elixir should be served straight from the Holy Grail instead of a mortal's tableware!"

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The salmon, as it turned out, was very good, and as the busboys Acorn had insisted they hire set about feeding whoever else had made it down for a meal, Cecil pushed his empty plate away and stood. He retrieved his ice pack and put it back over his eye, feeling the chill fabric on his skin. The swelling seemed to be on the retreat, as promised, but the discoloration might be there for the long haul. For a moment, Cecil watched Acorn's assistants work. He hadn't seen the need for a half-dozen busboys and some kitchen assistants to feed a crew that barely numbered fifteen, but after meeting the kids, he'd been remiss to say no.

The kids hadn't any other place to go, and while this life wasn't a safe one, it was almost certainly better than whatever they'd had before. And besides, if their excellently talented cook wanted a small contingent of his own to command, well, as long as he kept making amazing food he got some liberties. Such was the benefit of working aboard a pirate ship, he thought ruefully. Among other things.

Speaking of other things, someone had to inventory their haul for selling and paying the crew once they reached the port. It was possible someone had already done the work, but Cecil wanted his own crack at checking everything over. Might as well set out now. Plus, there was something cathartic about looking over the day's haul.

"Thanks for the food Acorn, I'm gonna head off now. If I catch anymore hungry crew members I'll send them your way. Keep up the good work Eli, I'll see you two later."

With that, the captain wandered out of the room, heading for the main cargo bay below, looking forward to cracking open some crates and figuring out exactly what they'd made off with.

Edited by Prestississimo

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Acorn stopped plucking at his lute so he could fan his face with both of his hands.

"Whoowee Eli you keep up dat sweet talkin' and I'm liable to bake you a pie."

As a confidence man of the highest order Acorn knew when someone was shining him on. But he also knew that there was a kernel of truth to every good lie, well meaning or ill intentioned. And it was that kernel that kept him vested in the art of the cook. A good meal warmed the heart as well as the stomach – a proper one, as the captain would soon attest, can even improve your health. The rich were agog for exquisite meals and prisons which killed their worst offenders often offered them a final meal, a nod of recognition to the importance of gustatory experiences.

"'m afraid takes more than a few serfs to make a kingdom Eli. I got no land, no horses, no wine cellar, no butler, and no wenches. Still got a ways to go by all reckonin'. But if'n ya happen tah find a golden cup, why, the last thin' in the world I'd do is tell ya to keep it."

The captain bid them adieu. With the raison d'etre of his playing vanished out of sight, Acorn found his motivation flagging. His fingers ceased their lively ministrations and the lute was laid to rest atop the table. Acorn stood up, stretching arms above his head, and looking around. The mess hall was on the emptier side, his boys having already ladled out stew for all present and so were tucking into their own meals until more crew members trickled in.

"Seems mah job is done for the time bein'. I've got some blueprints tah look over afore we land. Wit' any luck, next time ya see me Eli, I'll have some wenches and be that much closer tah royalty."

(I actually do have Acorn involved in an art heist right now so will be back when that's over)

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