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Making Waves

The Seven Seas


a part of Making Waves, by Electric Pool.


Electric Pool holds sovereignty over The Seven Seas, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,294 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

slightly based off of an old rp i did years ago on a now-defunct site


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The Seven Seas is a part of Making Waves.

10 Characters Here

Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars [39] "Never mind we're outnumbered, we'll frighten the bastards to death."
Jacqueline Thuron [34] "The kitchen is MY domain, understand? Set foot in here without my express permission, and you'll wish for death."
Renata "Ren" Thompson [32] "Well, at least the pay is better..."
Karena Schneider [19] She strikes fast and her assualts prove deadly
'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington [19] As long as the stars are burnin', I'll steer ya true.
Angelique Thuron [14] "I'm excited to be on the sea, sure, but it's not QUITE what I was expecting. Stupid boys probably lied just to get me to kiss them."
Ivory Emerson [5] "I don't suppose you might need a surgeon by any chance?"
Josephine Dimas Aguilar [3] A Spanish spy and boat carpenter with a relatively easy past.
Rashid Alamba [2] 'Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.'
Hammond Elrich [0] Quartermaster-to-be

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4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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After the captain had dismissed Karena and set off about his own business the girl walked towards the cannons he pointed out. They weren’t too bad but had definitely see a lot of battles. The wear was obvious and if they wanted to last longer without the gun captains worrying about a misfire then they needed to be cleaned, at least.

Karena had cleaned and fixed up, the best she could, most of the long nine cannons. She was finishing up one when she felt a touch on her hand that moved up her shoulder before letting go. The girl had stopped worrying about every person that approached her since the ship held a lot of people so her guard was let down when someone had gotten too close.

When the man first touched her hand, the girl tensed up. A million things going through her head at once. Normally, her first reaction would be to either kill the man or at least remove his hand from his body. But she wasn’t in her usual environment anymore. She was on a ship that wasn’t hers at not a part of the crew.

However, if the hand moved anywhere down her back or towards her chest then Karena didn’t care what consequences she’d face. The man was dead. It was already taking every ounce of control to hold still hoping the man would not get too ahead of himself. The girl was not a harlot and wouldn’t be treated as such. Some men tried to take advantage but Karena was trained, very well, how to deal with men thinking she was an easy target. And she made sure each and every person that tried would never be able to take advantage of another girl ever again.

The hand lifted itself once it reached Karena’s should and she heard the man walk off and start conversation with one of the other two women. The girl let out a sigh and made sure to get a good look at the man. Tall, of average build, and glasses. Karena would keep an eye on him. He would not be putting a wandering hand on her again.

Before Karena could shift her mind back to what she was supposed to be working on she heard someone call her out. She stood as a young...girl...came rushing to where Karena was.

"Captain Sellars know you're up here playing with the artillery?" Ren asked and before Karena could answer she looked to observe the work Karena had done before letting out a whistle. The she complimented Karena’s work and asked if she wanted help. She was pretty much done anyway.

“Captain Sellars was the one who assigned me to see to these cannons in the first place.” Karena replied back. Ren smiled at Karena but the mercenary didn’t return it. She noticed Ren speaking with Jacqueline. If she was on friendly terms with the former pirate then that made Ren a potential enemy in the future. But perhaps treating the girl coldly now would possibly make things harder in the future.

So Karena smiled back.

“Sure! Show the way.”

Karena’s lack of good cheer caused Ren’s own smile to fade, but she decided not to think much of it. Young girl trapped on a ship full of men who’d not seen port in some odd months didn’t leave one with much to smile about, Ren supposed. The girl surprised her when she agreed to her request, smiling as she did so, and the grin returned to the lieutenant's face as well.

‘Fake as snake oil…’ Ren thought to herself, having pulled the same agreeable act in the navy hundreds of times. Still, Ren could guess at her motivations for it, and decided to let it slide. The two didn’t need to be best friends, just able to be in the same room without coming to blows. Still, the thought of having more women on board was a cheerful one for Ren, and would rather one of the three or so others not hate her guts right off the bat.

“Splendid,” Ren said, turning and motioning for Karena to follow as she headed towards the stairs leading below deck.

“Ever sail before, miss…?” Ren asked, looking over her shoulder as she began strolling down a hallway at a leisurely pace.

“I’ve been on a ship before. But it never left port. It was used to train upcoming Navy sailors and get them familiar with she ship and everything on it before getting on the real thing.” Karena made sure to keep up. It seemed like the ship held a labyrinth inside of it and she didn’t want to get lost. “Unfortunately, a series of circumstances kept me from graduating the academy.”

“Academy graduate, huh? What was your alias? Mine was Ben,” Ren said, glad to have a shared experience they could talk about. Fortunately, the gun deck was just a few turns from where they’d started. The Captain had given Ren a deadline and she aimed to keep it. Most of the hands were either on deck or at the hold sorting their new cao, only leaving a handful of men to tend to the armaments. The replacement cannons had been secured and tied down, but it had seemed the man weren’t expecting an inspection, both leaning against a cannon at the far end of the deck in idle conversation.

Ren brought up a hand to cradle her face as she let out a sigh of annoyance.

“Wish a few more people on board had been to the bloody Academy,” Ren said, looking over at Karena.

“Go ahead and test one of the cannons, get their attention. Going to need the extra hands if we’re to sink that ship,” she said, though the tone denoted more of a request than a command.

Karena nodded as Ren told her of her alias.

“I didn’t have an alias. My father was high in command. Even though it’s pretty unheard of for a woman to sail I was allowed to at least attend the academy. So I guess I was privileged in that aspect.” Ren then said she wished more on board had been from the Academy. So that meant the majority of the crew were uneducated and untrained? Karena then wondered how did pirates often best Navy commanders and their crew if that was the case?

Karena shook the thought from her head as Ren gave her permission to fire the cannon. It had been quite some time since Karena had the chance to fire such a weapon. The girl walked over to gun and gave it a quick look over. Then she felt her training coming back to her.

There was just a gun battle earlier so the mercenary covered the air vent to choke the barrel and suffocate any sparks that may have remained from previous firings. Karena didn’t want the cannon firing when she wasn’t ready. The equipment for firing the weapon were already lying next to it for convenience and easy access.

She picked up the sponge and dipped it into a nearby bucket of water. Karena then inserted the damp sponge rod into the barrel of the cannon to clear out any hot debris that may have remained in the barrel from previous firings. She remembered the ramblings of her instructor. If you are in the midst of battle then it is best to skip this step seeing as you most likely want to spend as little time as possible readying your next shot. But there was no threat of battle and Karena wanted to let Ren know she fully knew what she was doing.

Karena grabbed a charge from a bag full of them and placed it down the barrel of the cannon. She then rammed the charge down to the base of the barrel using a ramrod and then inserted the cannon ball afterwards. They were heavy as she remembered.

She removed the cover from the air vent and carefully inserted a new fuse. Karena then turned to Ren.

“There you go. The only thing to do is aim and fire.”

Ren smiled at the job Karena did in preparation, any doubts of her having fibbed about the Academy now banished. Ren bent down behind the cannon to inspect the work as well as im, though paused as she aimed down the sights at the Illustrious. She could have swore that she saw someone on deck…

She quickly reached into her coat and grabbed a scope she’d swiped from the officer’s cabins on the Navy ship and looked again, face turning pale as she confirmed men in the navy’s colors with their hands and ankles bound, huddled on the deck of the Illustrious. There’s no way the Captain hadn’t known prior to giving the order. Ren stood and silently pocketed the scope, body tense as her mind raced about what she should do. Killing in battle was one thing, but these men were already broken and stripped of everything but their lives. Ren’s fists clenched tightly, teeth grinding as she mulled over her next orders.

“There are prisoners huddled on the deck. Make their death’s quick and I’ll be in your debt,” Ren said coldly, though she still looked out through the cannon’s window at the ship they were firing at. She wouldn’t insult them by being a coward about this.

“Fire when ready.”

Karena’s eyebrow arched as she observed Ren’s face when she said there were prisoners on the ship they were about to fire at. Was the girl not used to battle? People were killed whether in the midst of a firefight or not.

“I’m afraid there isn’t much such thing as a quick death when it comes to sinking a ship. Not unless a person is lucky enough for the cannon ball to decapitate one. But a ball is small enough to kill only a few. The rest would die by drowning once the ship goes down.” Karena relayed and thought that the captain must have arranged this. “He must have wanted to save resources. The ship is sinking and it’d be a waste to put a bullet in all their heads. But I don’t suppose tying them up would be quicker than just ending them with the end of a saber.” The only reason Karena could think of the captain choosing this method was more of a personal vendetta. It couldn’t have been to give a message. The prisoners were going to sink to the depths, out of man’s range of sight.

Karena took a match and lit the fuse before backing away. “If they have any last prayers then it better be that this projectile is the one that ends them.” Karena put her hands against her ears and then there was a loud blast. Not to long afterwards the sound of exploding and splintering wood could be heard and possibly the sound of men screaming.

The ball hit its mark, slamming onto the deck where most of the crew were gathered. Ren watched grimly as the men wailed and groaned from the blast, slowly removing her hands from her own ears just in time to hear the two men from the other end of the deck come running over.

“Oi! The fuck are-” The one started, but his friend slapped him in the back of the head before he could finish.

“Don’t speak to the new lieutenant like that! You saw what happened earlier to the welp that didn’t speak proper to the Captain.”

“I’m used to it,” Ren interjected, getting the attention of the two men once again, “though slacking off at your posts isn’t too admirable. My associate here managed to load and fire a round before you were aware.” Her tone was biting now, taking her turmoil out a bit on the men before her.

“Seeing as you two can’t do without supervision, you’re to follow my associate’s orders and sink the Illustrious to put the new armaments through their paces,” She barked, turning to look now at Karena, “Sink it fast. I’ll leave it to your judgement how to accomplish it.” Ren had acknowledged how foolish trying to be merciful with artillery was, and instead steeled herself as she resumed watching the deck of the Illustrious.

“Fire when ready. Don’t stop until the sea retakes her.”

Karena nodded before turning to the two men that Ren had put the mercenary in charge of.

“We need to put down that ship fast and hard. Seeing as you two are more experienced at putting down ships I need you to show me where to hit it. And while you do that, it’ll be up to me to see if you are using your cannons proper.” The two men exchanged glances momentarily and briefly looked at Ren. Karena cleared her throat loudly and got the men's’ attention.

“I’d like to do this before the next day comes upon us.” The two men then got to moving and took steps to reload the cannon. Karena observed them do so and made corrections to their routine so they were faster and safer at the same time. Neither of the men objected to another young girl giving them order since they quickly recognized Karena’s skill as fast as Ren had. It wasn’t long before several more shots rang out. The newly formed holes visibly sped up the process of sinking the ship and Karena observed as the men gave her instructions on where to hit a ship so sink it quickly and where to sink it slowly.

Soon not much was left of the Illustrious and everyone watched in silence as the ship vanished beneath the surface of the ocean and was yet another ship claimed by the sea.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars
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Nathaniel sighed and collapsed back into the chair after the door closed behind Carrington. The exertions of the past three days had crept up on him, and only now could he allow himself to be affected by them. He raised a hand to his face and rubbed his temples, closing his eyes as a headache rushed into full overdrive. His ears rang from the din of battle. His throat was dry from powder smoke and hoarse from shouting. His muscles aches and his wounds throbbed. Nate needed to rest for a few moments before he dared step outside of his cabin again. Taking his hand from his head Nate examined the wound on his arm. Nothing too serious and certainly not deep, he’d simply have another scar. What annoyed him was the cut in his blue jacket. Mending clothes was always irritating. Standing up, Nate left the sparse room and went through the door behind him into the apartment.

Unlike the smaller room he had left, the apartment was spacious, at least in comparison to other cabins on a ship. The benefit of being the captain of a frigate was that as it was a larger ship, the captain’s quarters were bigger. The apartment had large windows looking out over the wake of the ship, and its floor was covered with a sailcloth patching of black and white, not unlike a giant chessboard. To the right a thin wall partitioned the apartment off from Nate’s sleeping quarters, where a cot hung from the ceiling and some of his more personal possessions were stored. A large table took up much of the room in the apartment, its surface strewn with papers, maps and books, the ship’s log open to the most recent entry in the middle of all this. Nate was glad to see the pot of ink he had left on the table had not spilled, and no cannonballs had wrought destruction in the room. The walls themselves were covered in bookshelves, which in turn contained volumes of all shapes and sizes, including a large amount of sheet music for the violin that sat in the corner by the window, the early morning light catching its curved edges.

Taking all of this in in a brief moment, Nate walked through the room and into his sleeping quarters, collapsing into his cot as he heard the first cannon fire. “They must be finally sinking the Illustrious,” he thought as he shook off his shoes. Laying back he remembered his first action as a foremast jack, stationed on number six gun on a ship of the line called Thunderer. The noise had shaken him to his bones, the cramped and claustrophobic atmosphere of the gundeck getting worse and worse as the battle went on. With no idea of what was going on outside Nate had lost himself in the repetition of leading and firing the gun with the rest of the crew. Unable to hear the gun captain’s orders it had only been screw, swab, cartridge, wadding, ball, wadding, ram, prick, fire, repeat. He had nearly fainted from fright when one of the crew clapped him on the back and he noticed the fight was over, men cheering along the deck that was clearing of smoke. Nate had stared, powder blackened and drenched in sweat at the men around him, his ears ringing and his hands rubbed raw from the tool handles. One of the older men pushed a mug of grog into his hands and cuffed the youngster around the head. Nate warmed, smiled and downed the mug, his parched throat letting out a cheer with the other men. His eyes closed, Nate could still feel the elation, the rush, the trust in the hours of practice to pull him through. He had not even noticed the death above and to the left and right of him. But that was how it was. You did your job and hoped to God, it was only the machinations of the Admiralty board and the captain that stole all recognition for that victory from the men who had fought it.

Opening his eyes Nathaniel realized he had been dreaming, the smell of gun smoke in his nostrils almost as real as the smell a few hours before. Sitting up and looking out of his porthole, Nate was glad to see he had not slept long. Swinging his legs out of his cot, he got up and changed into a baggy shirt, laying his waistcoat and jacket on his cot, frowning at the damage. Walking into the apartment Nate picked up his violin and strummed the strings a little. The discordant notes filled the cabin, and he was glad to discover that the strings only needed a little tweaking to be in tune. The salt-filled air at sea played hell with string instruments, and Nate’s violin was his pride and joy. The horse-hair bow and the body of the violin were lovingly maintained, kept varnished and strings replaced whenever they needed to be.

Picking up the bow Nate rested the violin under his chin, closed his eyes and played a chord. The notes sang out and filled his head, driving his worries under as he warmed up the strings. Settling in he began to play properly, Paganini’s sonata in C major filling the cabin and even seeping upwards through the skylight on to the quarterdeck. Nate knew his playing could be heard by those on deck above him, but he cared very little. His music was his passion, the melodies driving away his stresses and filling his head with colour and life. As the ‘duo merveille’ came to a close, Nate left a moment of silence after the final notes, keeping his eyes closed as the music hung in the air. The moment over he opened his eyes and placed the violin back, tucking a sheet of Bach under it to play when he next had an opportunity.

“Mr. Peters!” Nate called. The bosun was usually within earshot, and even with a couple of wooden walls between them, Peters could hear the captain’s call. His arrival was noted by a knock at the apartment door. “Enter,” Nate said simply.

Coming through the door, Peters touched his knuckle to his forehead and did an odd little bob almost like a bow. “You called for me sir?”

“Yes Mr. Peters, I’d like my uniform,” here Nate pointed into his sleeping quarters, “washed and darned within the hour. I don’t want to be on deck looking like I’ve just come out of a slaughterhouse.”

“Aye sir, I’ll see to it.” Normally it was the job of the captain’s personal servant to deal with these issues, but seeing as Nate did not have one, the job fell to the bosun, who would then give it to some unlucky crewman. Peters touched the knuckle to his head again and picked up the jacket and waistcoat, backing out of the door and disappearing.

Nate smiled. He had spent a long time cultivating his crew, and although he knew he could lose it all in an instant as was the way of the sea, men like Peters would follow him to Hell and back. They were essential, and they made everything run smoothly.

Following Peters out of the door Nate stood in the sea breeze, crewmen going about their business unfazed by the casual appearance of the captain. When at sea and not in combat, it was well known that Nate would lose the constricting jacket and baubles of a captain, and jot about in essentially the same clothes as the men. It was often an indicator that he meant to climb to the tops. If he had wanted to just walk the decks, he would stay in uniform. But climbing to the tops was his intention, and he walked quickly to the gangway, swinging himself up over the rail and climbing up the rigging with the agility of a monkey. He had been doing this his whole life, and nothing except music and battle gave him such a thrill as speeding up the ropeways of the Acheron.

Reaching the top of the foremast Nate heaved himself onto the platform. At the moment it was empty. The lookout sat at the top of the mainmast, and waved to the captain as he appeared atop the fore. In a better mood than usual, Nate returned the wave with a nod and settled in, sitting with his back to the rest of the ship and facing out to the sea that stretched before him. The English Channel was by no means a beautiful stretch of water, often grey and far too populated, but Nathaniel loved the feel of the wind in his hair and the sun on his face. Looking around him he could see the coast of England fading to starboard, the coast of France becoming more visible to port. Out in front stretched the channel as it fed into the Atlantic Ocean. Nate had sailed these waters umpteen times, and he was leaving them again more than happy to do so. However, heat. Nate hated heat, and setting Spain as their current destination would not be pleasant for him. At least there was always a breeze at sea. Well… usually.

After a while, and after surveying everything he could, Nate looked back down to the deck to see what was going on. Far below him it seemed everything was back to normal. The captured stores had been put away, and normal daily routine had begun. Dogood was at the wheel, and Peters was calling out changes to the cloud of sail so that they would proceed as fast as the Acheron could go. The current watch clambered into the rigging and edged along the yardarms, raising or lowering the sails as ordered. The call of the bosun’s whistle and the ordered barked from his speaking trumpet carried up into the tops, and Nate decided to climb down. Getting as far as the fighting platforms built above the deck, Nate took hold of a pulley rope and slid down it to the deck, landing with a thud. The newer members of the crew stared at him in disbelief. On a ship the captain was king, and to see the king clambering about like a common sailor was nothing if not shocking. The older crewmen smiled and touched their knuckles to their brows. Black Nate was one of them. He looked out for them, knew how things were for them, and he would always see them right.

Returning the salutes of the crewmen Nate walked back to his quarters, closing the door behind him and going into the apartment, where he found his jacket, washed, stitched and as well done as it could be. “That is the good thing about sailors”, Nate thought. “All that stitching sails and making their own church clothes led to an uncanny ability with a needle and thread.” Slipping on the waistcoat, which was now a tinge more pink than before in places, Nate rolled up his sleeve and wrapped the cut on his forearm with a strip of cloth. Stepping over to a small side-table Nate poured some fresh water into a bowl and scrubbed at his face and hands, working off the grime with a stiff brush he kept for just such an occasion. Feeling, and looking better, he put on his jacket, tweaking the cuffs into place, and went into the outer cabin.

“Mr. Peters!” Nate called again, the man appearing in a matter of seconds. “Tell Lieutenant Thompson that I would like to speak with her.” Wordlessly Peters saluted and went out, the door closing behind him.

Nate sat down at the table where he had spoken to Carrington, putting away everything unessential, but leaving the pistol he had given to Ren out and clear in the middle. He reached into the cabinet nearby and pulled out a large book, emblazoned with the Admiralty’s coat of arms. The book of ‘King’s Regulations’ was still Nate’s rule book, though he chose to ignore parts of it. He ran his ship by its letters, and now he intended to enforce it. Laying it next to the pistol, he sat bolt upright in the chair and glared towards the door.


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Carrington stepped from the Captain's quarters with little preamble and shut the door quietly behind him. As if closing the door had a sudden debilitating effect upon him, the Navigator swooned and placed a hand against the frame of the door to steady himself. The alcohol and lack of sleep was rapidly catching up with him. His vision was beginning to blur and he could feel the tingly touch of fatigue hammering into his muscles.
Carrington shook his head, clearing it of the fog threatening to overcome him like a dingy in a treacherous harbor. As he recovered, his mind whirred as he began plotting and planning what was to come next. Part of his thoughts raced through finding Franklin, and Donovan and giving them their parts, while the other plotted their course. He knew the channel like the back of his hand, and already had an idea as to where they should head in order to properly supply and repair.

He did not have to walk very far until he bumped into Mr. Donovan, whom he hailed over with a broad smile.

"Donovan, old man. I have a little task fer ya!", he said merrily as they came to stand together.

Donovan rolled his eyes in exasperation at the prospect of having more shoved on his plate, but he shrugged, going along with whatever Carrington's insane mind had cooked up this time.

"I swear to God if ya have me waking up in the middle o' the night to put rats in Daniel's bed again I'll be pushin' some under yer door as well, Carrington...", he replied with a finger pointing at his old friend.

Carrington chuckled, waving the thought away and shaking his head.

"Christ's sake Donovan, ya think I'd be givin' ye the same order twice now? Little faith ya 'ave in me, mate. No, I want ya to be lookin' after the elder woman we brought aboard. Name's Thuron, Jaqueline Thuron. You're goin' to be assistin' 'er with 'er various duties aboard the ship an' makin' sure she does nothin' untoward, ya ken?"

Donovan nodded and gave Carrington a salute before wandering off to go find his new charge. He couldn't repress a shake of his head as he descended into the ship, wondering why the hell he pulled such a shit charge and musing at simply killing the woman so he wouldn't be stuck with her for too long.

"Send Mr. Franklin to my quarters if ya pass 'im!", Carrington called after the man as he rounded a corner.

With everything pretty much taking care of itself, Carrington decided the best course of action would be to retire to his quarters for the time being, chart them a course, and then go find Nathaniel's primary lapdog, Mr. Dogood. Carrington and Dogood had alwasy gotten along, the two seeing rather close to eye to eye, and having a particular sadistic streak, just like Nathaniel himself.
He made his way inside and was disappointed to find the place a complete wreck. His armoire had taken a cannonball though it, and the thrice damned sphere had gone though it, and his cot before finally coming to a stop. Most of his clothes were little more than shreds, and now he no longer had a proper place to sleep.
Carrington heaved a sigh of irritation and simply filled his basin with water and cleaned himself after stripping from his bloody clothes.
After he was suitably clean, he placed his trophy pistols in a chest at the end of his shattered cot and noticed the pair of sacks that Mr. Donovan and Mr. Franklin had left, as per their orders. He rummaged through them and found a finely made pair of trousers, as well as various maps, charts, journals, and various other things that they were under orders to pilfer from the officer's quarters.
He slid on the trousers and tore the cork from a bottle of wine that was probably for the Captain, but since there were at least two others, he figured that there was one to spare. He took a long pull from the bottle as he sat down at his table and poured over the map, plotting out the most direct route to somewhere that they would not find to difficult to get what they required before moving on.

Carrington nodded and placed a finger upon the spot that marked the port of St. Helier on the island of Jersey, reasoning that, while it wouldn't be the safest place, if would be the easiest place to procure everything they required.

Suddenly, he found himself standing upon a rocky cliff, watching a pair of ships sail towards one another as a tempestuous storm wracked the water upon which they sailed. On his right, Carrington could clearly make out the form of Captain Nathaniel manning the helm and looking every bit the furious, sadistic man that he was. His ship was made up of the corpses and bones of the countless men he had slain, or lost at sea. His sails were of human skin and the masts were giant pillars resembling great spines.
On his left was the vision of Thuron, the Serpent's teeth. She was manning (or womanning?), the helm as well, a stark mirror to her counterpart. The vessel was shaped like the head of a great snake and covered in scales.
The pair sailed at one another, without crew and at complete odds with the maelstrom that roared around them.
Nathaniel roared in challenge, both ships sprouting forward cannons, as well as readying those upon the sides despite their lack of crew. The cannons Nate possessed fired the macabre, bloated heads of the drowned, which exploded with maggots and fire as they slammed into Thuron's vessel. Thuron's cannons fired in turn, sending live serpents and venomous fangs slamming into the undead hull of Nate's ship.

Carrington stood by, watching the pair wage their personal war against one another with single minded impunity. It was a marvel to witness, and as he watched, he became aware of someone nearby. He turned in time to see Ms. Thompson thrusting her cutlass at him, attempting to assassinate him while he was caught unawares.
The Navigator side-stepped the thrust and lashed out with his own cutlass, a roar of fury echoing from his lips as thunder and lightning peeled about the two.
The pair danced about one another, thrusting, jabbing, feinting and parrying. The dance of death was the only thing that they knew and they took the steps like the cold warriors that they were.
After several minutes of going back and forth, Carrington lashed out and snapped Ms. Thompson's blade in half, only for her to spin and knock his own blade from his hands. She moved in, seizing the opportunity to stab him in the abdomen. He let out a cry of pain, but gripped her wrist before she could withdraw the broken sword. This moment was all the madman needed and he slammed a dagger to the hilt into the space between her neck and shoulder. Ms. Thompson tried to scream in agony, but only succeeded in issuing a wet gurgle and spattered her killer with blood.
Carrington smiled as he licked her blood from his lips and pushed her collapsing corpse from the cliff , before falling to his knees. Instead of striking hard stone as he expected, he found that he had instead struck thick, glistening scales as hard as wood. Confusion spread across his face as he looked around and found himself aboard Thuron's ship.

Thuron herself cried out in confusion and fury, and without thinking twice, she drew a pistol and shot a venomous fang deep into Carrington's throat. He touched the protruding tooth with a mixture of surprise and disgust, and crumbled to the deck, gasping for air as his esophagus filled with his own blood. Tears stung his eyes as his mind raced. He wanted to know what was going to happen, he wanted to help is old friend kill this old hag and send her into the deep. His eyes opened, the haze of shock fogging his vision, but through the murk he saw that his blood was an anathema, eating away at the ship like a virulent acid. He died laughing as his blood spread throughout the ship, crippling it and reducing it to ragged ruins.

With a jolt, Carrington snapped upright in his chair, the empty wine bottle clattering to floor as he was suddenly awoken by a rough knocking upon his door.

Opening the door, Carrington was not surprised to see the scarred visage of Mr. Franklin smiling back at him.

"Go find Mr. Dogood, and tell 'im that 'e pulled duty on keepin' an eye on Angelique, the lass runnin' around patchin' the crew up. And make sure she goes to see the captain. When you're done with that, find Daniel and see to it that 'e arranges my quarters and fixes me cot."

Franklin snapped a salute and left without a word, going on to carry out his orders.

Carrington closed the door with a sigh, dressed, and went out to tell the helmsman of their heading, find Ms. Thompson and hopefully find Angelique before the First mate.

Around this time, Mr. Donovan had finally caught up with Jaqueline. He made his way up to her and gave her a nod and offered her his hand.

Mr. Donovan was an average looking man in his late twenties, and of Spanish descent. He had a mustache and goatee, both ears pierced, and a weather worn hat covering his long black hair. He stood a little less than two meters tall and had the bearing of a man that had long ago quit caring about much.

"I've been ordered to offer you aid, Madam. I am Mr. Donovan.", he said in a neutral tone, not revealing his actual feelings on the matter. Only cursing his luck at the turn of events.


3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson
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Ren forced herself to watch as the cannon fire hit home. As the wood splintered and the sea churned from the impacts and the ship sucking in the sea around it. She watched as the younger navy still on board scrambled to find safety. She watched as the older men sat stoically, praying and accepting what was about to come. She watched as water began spilling onto the main deck when it became even with the waves, as the younger fools flopped towards the quarter deck for higher ground. One smart man managed to get a plank beneath him, but his hands and feet were both bound. There'd be no swimming. All he could do was pray a ship passed by and spotted him.

A testament to the lunkheads skill, the ship was gone all but the mast in a matter of minutes. All throughout the process not a soul had said a word in the room, which punctuated the lone musket shot when it rang out from the tops. Ren's eyes widened as she saw the man on the plank writhe in agony before slipping from his perch, disappearing into the sea. There was laughter up on deck, a roar of approval from the gunman's mates. Ren's hands were clenched tight into fists, fury building up in her veins and her arms nearly shaking, but years of practice kept her emotions under a facade of calm. Pushed the anger and the sorrow back down into the same pit she'd put all her painful memories and things she'd rather forget. A terrible vault of things that could only see the light of day in her nightmares or through the coaxing of alcohol.

When only the masts of the ship were all that kept above the gentle ebbing of the sea, Ren silently turned and began walking towards the door. She didn't look behind her but assumed that Karena followed, though at the moment Ren wasn't much for conversation.

Another quick stroll found the duo back on deck, a quick scan of the men telling Ren that everyone was back to their normal duties, though she saw a few who were apparently new and no idea what their normal duties were to be. She took another cursory glance around the ship and scowled as she saw scraps of debris and blood on the deck still from the battle. Turning back to the new hands, she strode towards them and placed a firm hand on one's shoulder before pointing to the main deck.

"I understand that we've not had proper time to take stock and sort through the ship's ledger, but can't have idle hands. Mops and brooms, the lot of you Plenty to clean after a battle," Ren said calmly, and was quickly backhanded in the temple for her trouble.

Karena took in a sharp breath and quickly stepped back. This was Ren's problem and didn't want to risk getting involved. Getting mixed in with others' issues often got people killed. Karena would know because she was the one who killed them.

"The fuck you think you are giving out orders?" A man shouted, one who had not been in the group she'd been addressing but was apparently in earshot. Her head throbbed dully from the blow, blurring her vision for a brief moment, but her feet remained planted where they were, not giving an inch to the blindsided attack. Her head slowly turned to glare at her assailant, a brute of a Scotsman who as quickly being backed by his mates, arms crossed over his chest as he awaited an answer to his challenge.

"Well, ye cross dressing bastard?" He insisted, ars unfolding as he raised his right hand to hit her again. She grabbed the wrist as it came down, putting her free hand to his elbow as she pivoted and turned to face the same direction as the Scotsman. She threw her hip back into his gut, pushed with her hand on his elbow and pulled the wrist in, sticking a foot back to kick a leg from underneath his considerable bulk. Her knees were locked as he rolled over her and landed on his back, his head cracking against the deck just before Ren's boot pinned his throat down, still holding an iron grip on his wrist and elbow.

"I'm your commanding officer, and you will address me as such!" Ren barked, pushing gently on the elbow to shoot pain into his arm and demonstrate to her insubordinate crewman how little pressure it would take to have it bend the opposite direction. The man was overwhelmed by all that happened to him in the short span, his breathing limited by Ren's boot and his head foggy from the blow to the back of his head. Her eyes darted back up at the men she'd originally been directing.

Karena was satisfied and yet disappointed. If she was in Ren's place the mercenary would have killed the man or at least thrown him overboard as an example. There were plenty of men to take this crewman's place and a blunt, hard-hitting, example was often needed for the likes of these men. Let them know what the risk are to defying orders. But at least Ren handled the situation. For now.

"Mops and brooms!" she shouted, turning her head again to glare at the Scotsman's friends. Three had swords drawn and two had pistols cocked, but as quickly as the fire had been lit in their bellies, they backed down. Ren was grateful, not wanting to be shot today, but was surprised to see Mr. Peters standing behind her.

His arms were also crossed over his chest, an unimpressed look to his face as he looked the lieutenant over as well as scowled at the men who had meant her harm. "Captain wants a word with you in his quarters," He said coldly, then turned to face Karena, "A word in private."

Ren let out a sigh, now having mixed feelings about the man as she knew damn well what words the Captain wanted to have.

"Thank you Mr. Peters. See to it Ms. Angelique is made aware of the new injured, if you'd be so kind," Ren replied, getting a unenthused snort in reply as he shouldered past her, heading to the same set of stairs Ren and Karena had just come out of.

Ren let out a sigh before putting her shoe to the Scotsman's shoulder and gave a solid yank to his arm and slipped it painfully out of socket. The Scotsman screamed up until the barrel of a pistol found its way into his mouth.

"Next time you speak to me, short of the words 'yes mam', I'll shoot you on the spot and use your fat ass to restock the long pork. Are we clear, mate?" Ren spat, glaring at the man as he attempted to speak despite the weapon holding down his tongue. Ren nodded in satisfaction, wiped her pistol off on the man's coat, and holstered it before looking back at Karena.

"Sorry you had to see that, though it seems I'm to report to the Captain... you going to be alright by yourself?" She asked.

Karena nodded in response to Ren's question.

"No need to apologize. I've seen worst. And you don't have to worry about me. I'll just help." Karena then turned a cold glare towards the other crewmen as Ren left. "And if any of you think about touching me then you're dead. Not injured. And I dare you to test me."


It was a simple walk to get to The Captain's quarters, glad that this frigate was former navy and its layout similar to the ones she'd formerly served on. Facing the door to the Captain's cabin, one she had no doubt the man was already staring daggers at in preparation for her arrival, and took a few deep calming breaths. Nate only seemed unreasonable when the heat of battle boiled in his blood, and though her actions were inexcusable, she would accept any punishment short of keelhauling or execution that he deemed fit. Should it come to that... well she was a quick shot and a strong swimmer. Her odds of survival trying to escape would be much better than acceptance. God knows there was more than enough lumber in the water to cling to.

She stood up straight as though Captain Sellars could already see her, and gave short three but firm knocks to the door. "Permission to enter, sir." Ren called, and swallowed the lump in her throat. The stress of trouble never waned with age, she'd found.

"Enter," Nate said just loud enough to be heard on the other side of the door. Pulling himself upright he adopted a stony faced expression, one that carried the atmosphere of displeasure even without openly saying so. His hands on his legs below the table he flexed his fingers over and over again. He had intended to speak to Ren properly when he got the chance, the events of the evening and following morning not allowing for much conversation, but now he had to carry out the unpleasant task of disciplining an officer. In the Navy such an event was rare, and bad officers were often simply ignored. But on tighter ships, and certainly on the Acheron, it was recognized that good officers meant a good and happy crew. Better to nip the problem in the bud than wait for the day cannon balls started rolling on the decks at night. Nate did not enjoy the act, but he prided himself on an efficient and happy ship, a testament to his abilities, and it was better he made his thoughts clear now than have to scrape what was left of his new first officer out of the head come the next dawn.

Still stony faced and with as little emotion as possible, Nate motioned to the chair opposite him at the table. "Take a seat Lieutenant Thompson."

With a curt nod, Ren crossed the room in a march that would have made her instructor at the academy envious before taking her offered seat. Before her lay the pistol, which she expected, though the sight of the King's Regulations made her wonder exactly what kind of course this disciplinary hearing was headed to. Surely to God he wasn't going to make her copy the damned thing.

Her eyes lingered back to the pistol, but her face was neutral, not betraying the nerves shaking just beneath the surface as she looked up to lock eyes with the Captain. She made no excuses or attempts to explain away her guilt, but she wouldn't disgrace herself by begging for mercy either. Instead she straightened her posture and placed her hands on her knees, gripping them tight to let out her anxiety. Years of hiding her gender and name from officer and ensign alike had given her an enviable poker face, but even still she made no attempt to hide the fact that she recognized the gun.

Nathaniel let the silence hang for a few seconds, letting it become almost palpable and certainly uncomfortable. The Lieutenant's brazen stare betrayed nothing but a preparedness for what she expected to come, if she knew what to expect. Not breaking the silence, Nate raised an eyebrow quizzically. Her behavior was exactly what he thought it would be, and why he had brought her on in the first place. Respectable, and more than a little brave. After all that had happened, and the obvious difficulties facing a new officer on an established ship, Nate was impressed. She did not have an easy time ahead of her, and he could understand that she needed to find her feet. He just hoped she did it quickly. Bringing his hands up to the tabletop and lacing his fingers together, he visibly relaxed a little, deciding to give her the benefit of the doubt.

"Well?" Nate asked. He was being deliberately vague, having decided to let her explain herself rather than summarily admonish and punish. His usual action of choice. A slightly raised finger in the direction of the pistol indicated what he was talking about.

The silence was nearly agonizing as Ren waited for the yelling to start, or the fist to come across her face, even for Nate to grab the pistol and tilt back the hammer, but instead there was just the creaking of the ship as the two maintained eye contact, Nate searching her for weakness and Ren daring him to find any. Even if he'd yet to say a kind word to her since they'd left the inn, and despite the cruelty she'd seen from him, there were still several things Ren owed to the man. She'd spent a full day on the deck of a ship without having to hide who she was, and she'd found someone willing to look past her gender and willing to make her an officer on his ship as she was. She didn't give two shits at this point if it was a cruel joke whose punchline was to be shortly delivered, it was far more than the Navy had ever given her.

When he did speak, his lack of volume surprised her nearly to the point of breaking her exterior expression, but she didn't need the motion of his finger to know what was expected of her.

"I couldn't leave three women, one unconscious and one barely out of school defenseless, sir. I take full responsibility and punishment for my actions as they have no excuse," She replied, speaking as if replying to a superior on deck. She dared not risk the disrespect of casual tone even if no other crew were present. Given the situation, she had far from earned it. She had no real defense save for what she'd already said, leaving out the detail that, if Jacqueline had wanted, she could have taken the arm of any crewman that tried to disarm her without consent. She didn't need to know how deeply she could dig the whole she'd found herself in by putting her foot in her mouth.

Of course it was a problem with morality. Nate had expected as much. From the first thing Ren had said to him he had figured she had a soft spot for the underdogs of the world. For the downed, the helpless. In the future, that may become a problem. However, she had dealt with the Illustrious and the prisoners on board without questioning the order, or trying to release them, so the issue may not be as prevalent as he thought. But for now, he could let her know exactly what he expected.

"Have you ever read these Miss Thompson?" Nate said, motioning to the book of King's Regulations. The book, and the Naval Articles of War, were the two items Nate ran the ship by, and had lived by for most of his life. They were his Bible. Although he had forsaken his oath to King and Country, and ignored the rules about spies, information and piracy he still ran his ships by the rules on discipline. Every Sunday he read the Articles of War to the crew as a form of church, beating into them what was expected. Admittedly he also let them laugh at the final dedication to God and to the King, but their dedication to him and the Acheron was deadly serious.

If the tension didn't break soon, Ren was going to start sweating. Her knuckles were white and her fingers and knees hurt from her grip, but it was the only release she had for the moment. At least if he hit her the blasted air of the room wouldn't be strangling her.

"Yes sir. Cover to cover at the Academy and again when I was promoted to officer aboard the Dublin," Ren replied, her voice shaking slightly, the first crack in her facade of calm since opening the door. It made her wonder if on some level Nate was drawing this out on purpose. She'd seen his temper on deck and she'd openly defied him. Why hadn't he gotten angry yet?

"Then you should know, that in its pages there lies protection for any passengers, prisoners, or simply those who happen to be on board. Most certainly it keeps those under protection by the Captain of the vessel." Nate paused, letting the words settled for a moment. He could see where the confusion lay. To all concerned outside the Acheron, he and his crew were pirates. He did not call himself a pirate, but then he did not know what to call himself. He took what he wanted, when he wanted it, but he still abided by rules, rules that had kept himself and his crew alive. Maybe he was a pirate, but he was anything but the raping, murdering, unprincipled stereotype. His piracy was organized, and that was why he was successful.

"What is this vessel to you Miss Thompson?" Here Nate leant forwards. "Back in town I told you I expected you to behave like an officer of the Royal Navy, even if you are one no longer. Did you come to this ship expecting to see what you've heard in tales and in the penny dreadfuls?"

Ren dared not break her posture, but at this point the tension in her muscles may not have let her. Nate's words settled on her mind, reminding her of their talk in the tavern, but with the follow up to his question glints of painful memories flashed through her mind. Her face softened slightly, but she tried her best to correct it.

"I acknowledge that I have not been on this ship long enough to speak in anything besides ignorance of the crew as a whole, Captain, but as an officer of the Royal Navy, I've seen men who were to uphold those words... disregard them," she said, not breaking eye contact but her resolve to was weakening.

"When I served as a cabin boy, we encountered privateers off the coast of the Caribbean and made quick work of the frigate. Not all of its cargo were spices and rum, ferrying people to the colonies for profit. The Captain... he considered them cargo. I confess I misjudged the discipline of your crew, but I've seen men of more moral profession do worse given the chance," Ren said, voice shaking again as she spoke, but she pulled all the strength left in her to recover her stony expression. "But my actions were equally as inexcusable. I should trust my Captain and trust in his crew," She said, voice strong and even, pushing her memories back down into the vault in her mind.

Nate almost sneered at the mention of Navy officers, especially at the implied comparison. "Navy officers are mostly aristocratic scumbags who treat their crew with as much disdain and disrespect as the enemy. As if stealing from them wasn't enough, they whip them for raising a voice, impose bad leaders on them and drag them from their homes and jobs without so much as a request. At least the army press gangs get you drunk first." Nate stopped, closing his eyes for a moment as he pulled himself back. His hatred for the Navy wasn't in question, and a rant about the evils of the service was not what was needed at the moment.

Ren's apology gave Nathaniel pause for a moment. That was something he had not expected. He had thought she would refuse to apologize for her actions, sticking out any punishment he gave her, but sticking to her guns. However, it would seem that she understood what he was trying to say. Hopefully over time she would see it for herself, if she had not already.

"I'm glad you think so Lieutenant. I understand that you are in a stressful position, and our close proximity to combat rushed things more than I would have liked." Nate paused again, scanning her face for her reaction. "The crew will be difficult to win. My last Lieutenant, a man named Pullings, was popular. We lost him in the combat that brought us to the town, so, as you can imagine, they are not feeling very forgiving of a new officer they do not know, or yet respect."

A point raised itself in Nate's mind, certainly something that would be useful in the future. "What are they saying about me back in England these days?" Knowing what the Admiralty was putting about could be useful, especially if it made people afraid. That way he wouldn't have to kill so many people before merchant captains gave up their goods.

Ren hesitated before answering, blinking a few times in disbelief. No temper? Nothing more than stern words? No. She wouldn't be suckered into letting her guard down. She wouldn't strike back, but she needed to keep her guard up.

"There are more than a few rumors you're taking gold or supplies from the French or Spanish to hound the Royal Navy as you do. A sentiment even the common-folk have taken to, if you recall the drunkard at the inn. The Dublin had your poster in the mess hall to keep the crew on edge. The Acheron is precise and brutal, not like the sloppy attacks most crews are prepared for. At least around these waters, there is a great deal of fear surrounding this ship Such tales may have affected my perceptions of the crew's integrity," Ren replied. She regretted the act of automatically being distrustful of the crew rather than her decision to protect the stowaways. That was what she felt was a demerit to her rank.

"The rumors are permeable enough that I wondered if you'd be given land and a title by King Louis should you make port," She quipped, immediately snapping back to attention. Damn the man's demeanor for relaxing her.

Nate smiled a little, allowing one to slip through. "I doubt I would be anything other than dead if I went to France. I've raided as much of their shipping as I have British." Though true he had raided a lot less recently. British ships from the colonies overseas were richer targets than the meager French pickings that could be had. Nate wondered if the poster they were using was still the old one from when he first left the Navy.

"Well Lieutenant, I expect you in future to follow the letter of the law, unless in extreme circumstances. Like I said before, this may not be a Navy ship, but I run it like one. The discipline and efficiency the ruling gives lets us be the precise weapon we are. It is why we are still alive today." With that Nate pushed the pistol across the table towards Ren, placing his hand on top of the book afterwards. "One more thing. The crew will be difficult, but that does not mean you can forget what you are. You are not one of them, and I expect better. So no more brawling with crew members. If you need one punished, do it properly. I will say the same thing to Carrington." Even though he'd been saying the same thing to him for five years it would have to be said again.

The salute was instinctual before taking back her pistol, though the last bit gave Ren a moment's pause. That one was going to be a problem.

"Aye sir. At the risk of informality, I don't suppose you've decided on an officer's cabin to assign me as of yet? I've been itching to get a change of clothes and to tune this violin I found on the Illustrious. Savage had it lying about outside of its case," She said, glancing down at her bag briefly.

"A violin?" Nate raised an eyebrow again, his voice betraying his interest. His own violin was still propped up against the window in the room behind him. "Do you play then?" Leaving a violin out of its case for any extended period of time whilst at sea was a cardinal sin. The many strings Nate had gone through to learn that lesson had long since been left behind.

"You can take any of the cabins on the deck below this, though I would suggest you take the one at the end. It used to belong to Pullings so I suppose it should be yours. It is larger than the others. Of course as first Lieutenant you will be in charge of the Gun Room mess. You can choose to supplement the food for yourself and the other officers out of your own pocket if you wish." Nate had many fond memories of the Gun Room, sneaking wine out with the other Midshipmen and taking it back to their much smaller rooms to enjoy illicitly. The bosun of that particular ship had not shown the same enthusiasm when he caught them.

With a smile Ren reached down into her bag and gently pulled out the case, setting it in her lap and opening the latches to reveal the instrument therein. Taking it out of the case, Ren gently plucked the strings, briefly holding out a C with her voice in surprisingly accurate pitch before quickly tuning the strings. They weren't as off key as she'd imagined, leading her to believe that maybe it's owner had been playing just prior to the attack. That it survived the cannon fire was a miracle in of itself.

Without a word she took the bow and stood, placing the violin's base to her chin and let out a calming breath before touching the bow to the strings. She drew it across the strings once to ensure they were tuned, and transitioned quickly into the second movement of Beethoven's second violin sonata, gracefully playing with a gentle smile on her face. Her fingers danced on the neck and her body gently swayed with the rhythm, and almost before she knew it she had played through to the end of the third movement to the piece's conclusion. Blinking in realization, she bowed her head slightly in apology.

"My parents insisted it as a part of my education, though now that I'm older I see the wisdom in it much more clearly. Some days I feel bad about waiting for tea to practice the accordion in the garden," Ren mused, though her eyes flashed in realization as well, "Does that mean you play as well, sir?"

Nate sat through the music, following its twists, turns and bends, threading the sound through his head. Though rough in places, due to the condition of the instrument and probably a little of that of the player, the melody was well done.

"I do indeed. It was a habit I picked up over long voyages. Trips to the East take a dreadful amount of time. We shall have to play together when we have a free moment." Nate gave one of his rare smiles and stood up, placing his hands behind his back and drawing himself up again.

"Very well. That will be all Lieutenant. Remember what I have said." Nate paused, then laced his voice with as much barely concealed threat as he could. "I can guarantee that there will not be a repeat of this conversation. Next time, things will be done the normal way. Am I understood?"

Ren was careful to place the violin in its case and latch it once again before standing straight and saluting.

"Aye sir. I'll strive not to need it repeated. I am thankful for the opportunity," Ren said, and paused briefly as she looked from the violin and back up to Nate. "In answer to your previous query, sir, that's what this ship means to me. It's an opportunity you've given me that no other Captain under the Crown would dare. I may have issue fitting in yet, but I am very grateful," Ren said confidently, placing the case back in her bag and saluting once more before turning for the door. Deep down in the back of her mind she half expected to be shot when she reached for the handle, but she let her guard down anyway. She couldn't be an officer of this crew without putting in trust and respect herself.

Except for Carrington.

It was a quick trip back to the main deck, the cool sea breeze caressing her face and gently nudging her hair back as the wind took hold of the sails. The ship creaked briefly from the shift of the weight, the kind of noise you felt with your feet more than with your ears, but Ren was no stranger to it. She stood there for a moment and felt the sea air soothingly touch her skin and listened the the waves as the yielded to the ship's hull, the cries of the gulls above and the bustle of the men as they went about their duties. If she hadn't sweated out all the moisture in her skin over the last twelve hours, she might have shed a tear.

The sight of the German bounty hunter caught Ren's eye once again, grinning and taking a step to go meet with her again, but stopped as her vision began to blur and pain shot through her stomach. Her moment's relaxation had brought her body's protests back to the forefront of her mind, and her the wound in her shoulder throbbed dully, but the pain was spreading down her arm at a slow but sinister pace. She'd have to send for Angelique before long and pray the girl hadn't gone through all the supplies Ren had scrounged up.

She took a second to clear her head before approaching Karena, raising a hand in greeting.

"Glad to see you and the crew haven't had reason to come to blows. Any opposition to finding Ms. Thuron and helping her set up in the Gun-room Mess? Turns out a bowl of stew doesn't stretch very far once the heat of battle cools in your blood," Ren said, grinning as she pointed a thumb over her shoulder. Whether Karena agreed or not, Ren fully intended to eat something within the hour or shoot the bastard that stopped her.


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Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Jacqueline would hardly admit it, but damn had she missed the sea. The spray of salt in her face, the gorgeous sunrise, the rock of the ship, the camaraderie of the crew (at least when the Captain wasn't around); it was far from boring. She'd loved her inn, but something had drawn her back to the harbor every now and then, and it had been that same feeling in her gut that had convinced her not to try to slaughter every last one of the men aboard the ship when Carrington had escorted them into the officer's cabin. She felt it in her bones. It was time to get back to business and do what she did best, albeit with one less saber and a good ten years on her.

She spent a good deal of time familiarizing herself with the ship after Nate's speech, watching the men go about their duties and helping the new crew. After the sinking of the Illustrious, Jacqueline headed back belowdecks. She'd never taken an extended visit on a naval vessel, though she'd bloodied up the decks of countless. Mostly British, though they often went for Spanish or Portuguese. At her request, they rarely took out French naval ships, though if they fired first they were fair game.

Jacqueline strolled down the hallways, noting various holes from cannonballs and the like. She was particularly delighted to find that the cabin she, Karena, and Angelique had escaped was unharmed and still unlocked. Her cabin on the Serpent had been a touch bigger, though the ship wasn't as big as the Acheron. She could picture it as though it were yesterday: beautiful dark stained flooring, a cabinet filled with little trinkets and spice jars, bookcases filled with French novels and cookbooks written in every language Jacqueline had heard and many she had not, a lovely multicolored rug she had picked up from some friendly natives in the Americas… Jacqueline tore away from her daydream with a wistful sigh and continued her wandering.

The strains of a violin made their way to her ears as she exited the cabin. “How long has it been since I've danced…” she murmured, a bit of long lost grace added to her step. Too long, Jacqueline decided, as she headed away from the beautiful sonata. Longer still since she'd had a suitable parter. Bertie had had two left feet, Tocaz was always dancing with Banba, she didn't like to think about Grey or Alton or Sondag, and none of the men in the bar were either good dancers or trustworthy. She tested out a few steps as the music faded away, her tailcoat swishing out behind her. She wasnt surprised to get a few odd glances from passing crewmen. Jacqueline did prefer dancing in more feminine clothes, but it was fun to do such dainty moves in breeches and boots. She did a little curtsy to her imaginary partner and went further into the ship.

They (when had she started thinking of this as ‘they'?) had gotten plenty in their raid to last them until they next made port. Jacqueline lent a hand with a few loads, noting the layout of the hold and keeping an ear out for anything foodstuffs related. Dieu, did she miss her fires. She'd be serving a fresh batch of cinnamon bread with coffee to the sailors coming off the fishing boats right around now, chatting about nothing and getting fish that she would serve for lunch or dinner, or perhaps smoke and save for later. Then there were the handful of school children that would stop by to pay their parents’ tabs and maybe some sweets. Jacqueline always did love the morning, though she preferred sleeping beforehand. Twenty four hours and some change without sleep was not enjoyable, and she’d probably have to wait until night again to rest.

She made her way back to the main deck, only to run into Mr. Donovan before she could get to the gun deck. Jacqueline took his hand firmly and shook it, maintaining eye contact as she did despite the height difference. “I have not, nor will I ever, been a madam, Mr. Donovan.” She frowned and raised an eyebrow. “Assist with- ah, I recall now. Something about the officer's mess?” Jacqueline yawned. “Would do them some good to get something decent in them. Very well. Lead the way.”


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
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Cannons fired not even a full second after Josephine adressed the man that spoke with the blonde lady. The thunderous reports of the cannons made Josephine flinch before she remembered that the crew needed to sink the Illustrious. She then attempted to calm herself as her heart beat on her ribs like a caged bear. It hadn't been long since Josephine first boarded the Acheron, and after a while she would get used to the crashing and clanging sounds of raging combats.

Josephine looked down and popped her knuckles before pushing her sleeves back up to her elbows and crossing her arms. A strand of her brown hair had fallen out of the strip of red cloth that held her hair in a bun and hung down the side of her face curving slightly aside the curve of her porcelain cheek. She steadied herself by changing her footing to a more widespread stance. Her brown trousers, which were torn just below her knees, swayed slightly in response to the change of position.

She let a short breath out in a failed attempt to steady her whirling nerves. "My apologies for that. It's been some time since I have actually left port on a ship." She sighed as she moved the stubborn piece of hair out of her face. "I will be needin' help transportin' the supplies required for the patchin' the boat needs at the soonest opportunity." The cannonfire must have made Josephine forget that the blonde lass was busy patching the crew because she spoken more pointedly at the lass than at the seemingly unoccupied man that stood beside them.

Angelique clasped her slightly bloody hands together and turned to her savior. "Oh, thank God I'm not the only one that's not good on a ship still. I'll see if I can't find you some strapping men that aren't bleeding heavily. Speaking of which, did you suffer any hits?" The young woman glanced up and down the carpenter. "I'm not seeing anything, but let me know if you start to feel light headed or dizzy. Or if you just need a bandage. I'm still pretty good on everything right now." Angelique smiled before adding, "Ah, I don't believe I got your name, miss...?"

Josephine stifled a smile at the blonde. It was a good feeling to not be laughed at by at least one person for such a visible display of fear and discomfort. The lady did seem to care only for leeping damaged people alive. That was an admirable quality for a doctor. When the doctor asked Josephine for her name, Josephine held her hand out for a handshake. "I'm Josephine, and you are?" Perhaps Josephine could find a friend here other than the boat itself.

Angelique wiped her hands on her skirt quickly before taking Josephine's hand. "Angelique, please. The pleasure is mine. Glad to know there's another woman aboard other than my aunt and the boyish lieutenant. We'll have to chat once everything has gotten calmer around this place." She broke the handshake and gave a start. "I still need to check on everyone else! I'll send some cute boys your way to help you out, Josephine, though they might be a bit dazed after I get through with them!" She laughed and did a little curtsy. "I'll be off, then. Adieu!" Angelique flitted back out of the hold, leaving Josephine to her own devices. After all, she had sailors to attend to, and perhaps she'd run into that cute navigator.

Josephine nodded at Angelique as she introduced herself and broke the handshake, "Their help'll be much appreciated." Josephine then went to gather supplies she needed and make sure that when help arrived, it wouldn't be difficult to start moving. She needed wood, nails, and a saw. Josephine then realized that her hammer wasn't currently on her person. She began looking around her, "Maybe I dropped it." she mumbled quickly to herself. After a few minutes of this panicked search, she remembered that she set the hammer down where she needed to do repairs. She relaxed and then double checked the supplies she had gotten ready for transport.

Angelique must have kept to her word of sending people because soon after Josephine finished double checking everything, two men showed up to assist her. The two men were rather strong and seemed too tired to care that they were taking orders from a petite lady like Josephine. They helped her transport the supplies. During the walk, Josephine saw Angelique running around covered in more blood than before. When Josephine and the two men got to their destination, the two men told her that they had to get some rest. Josephine thanked them with a kiss on their cheeks then went to work. She simply patched holes and reinforced any weak spot that she could before she got tired and had to retire to rest for the night.

Josephine decided that she would be back to work in the morning and it wasn't worth moving. She lied against a freshly repaired part of the hull and soon found herself in her dreams.


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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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Donovan looked blankly at Thuron for a few moments after she asked him to lead the way, realizing that Mr. Carrington had not been kind enough to tell him what he would be doing whilst tagging along with her. He knew his job was to keep an eye on her, but beyond that, he was clueless.

As Donovan was opening his mouth to tell Thuron that he had no idea what her actual duties were meant to be, the new First Lieutenant and a young girl came walking up to them. Mr. Donovan was typically a reserved, and observant man. He quickly looked over the pair, noting their mutual exhaustion, mirroring his own, and wondered how long it had been since anyone of them had gotten a good night's sleep and some food, when Miss Thomspon saved him thoughts of food, and and Thuron saved him from embarrassing himself with his lack of knowledge on the subject of her duties, he merely nodded and lead the way as he was asked.

It didn't take them long to arrive, and he kept quiet, only replying with shakes or nods if he didn't need to speak. When they finally arrived, he noted how much nicer it was compared to the crew mess, despite the disheveled look from the previous battles, and wasn't surprised to find that the foodstuffs stored within were of much higher quality as well. Not that he had never been in here before, or that he hadn't dined with Mr. Carrington before, it was just the small reminders of things.
Donovan shook the thoughts from his mind, he was not an envious man, and knew that he was in no small standing amongst the crew himself, even if much of it was due to his closeness with the eccentric navigator.

Without being asked, he began loading the stove as he asked, "What would you have me do, Ms. Thuron?", in his typical, impassive voice.

Meanwhile, as the others were going about their chores and a myriad other things, Carrington was back at his customary spot near the helm, his spectacled eyes roaming over the hurrying bodies of the crew, looking for the any sign of their diminutive first mate. His attention was caught by a group of men pretending to sweep and mop a quiet area near the railing. One of the men cradled his arm gingerly and he could tell they were whining like a team of mules.
Interest and curiosity got the better of him, and he languidly dodged and weaved between the bustling crewmen and came to stand before the group, his leery smile splitting his face as they turned to regard him warily.

'New crew...', Carrington thought to himself, and said, "Afternoon lads! Fine day we been 'avin' thus far, eh?"

The men relaxed a bit and muttered or nodded their ascent, or simply gave non-committal shrugs.

Carrington clucked his tongue at the lack of enthusiasm in the group, the smile fading from his face as he crossed arm over his chest to prop the other up so he could cup his chin in thought. His face scrunched up on mock consternation and he asked, "Why, might I ask, are the six of ye standin' around bein' layabouts when there's an entire ship's worth of work needin' doin'?"

The group milled about for a moment, looking at each, hoping one of the other would answer first. Three of them simply walked away and actually began sweeping or mopping, while the others merely stood without comment until the one holing his arm spoke up.
"That skinny First Mate, the god damn lecherous harlot wrenched me arm when I struck 'er for tellin' us what to do."

Carrington's eyes narrowed and jaw tightened noticeably at the crewman's admission. A grand smile split his features once more and he was nearly beside himself upon hearing what had happened and seeing the results of the encounter. It gave him some more information of the woman, making it clear that she knew how to handle herself in a fight with a much larger man.
It was until uncontrollable fits of chuckling shook his body, that another of the group hurried off to make himself busy, fearing the madman standing before them.

"Ye struck the las?! Y... you actually hit the First Mate?!", he asked incredulously between breaths. He was holding himself up on the other man's shoulder as he held his stomach in laughter. The two began to join in, his mirth infecting them as his laughter echoed.

Still wholeheartedly laughing, Carrington's hand snapped forward like a cornered viper and snatched the pistol from the large man's belt, arched back, and struck him directly in the mouth with the butt of the handle, sending teeth and blood flying. The unfortunate man fell backwards in shock and struck his head for the second time that day. Carrington wasn't finished however. He leapt atop the man, his free hand digging into his prey's throat like vicious claws. The other man remaining in the group, who could have been the other's brother if looks were anything to go by, made a move towards the navigator, only to hold up as he was now staring down the barrel of a cocked pistol.

"It seems Miss Thompson let ye off lucky if yer still breathin' after assaultin' an officer. I, 'owever, am not so forgivin'. Lay another 'and on any of the crew that is not in friendship and I'll sever the offedin' limb and eat it before skinnin' you and throwin' ya into the deep. Ye ken?!", he shouted into the man's face, the mirth never actually leaving his own despite his rage. Carrington leaned in a bit closer and whispered into the man's ear, not caring if he was conscious enough to answer, "I'll make it worse if ye so much as brush against Miss Thompson again. She's mine."

The sadistic navigator stood and pulled the oaf to his feet and roared over the general din of work and splash of the waves. "This is for all ye men who find themselves aboard for the first time. We are a fair crew, and this is a well disciplined ship. 'Ard work is rewarded, loyalty is smiled upon and brothered'ood is encouraged. By this same token, any infraction is severely, and justly punished, most often by myself or the captain. So, let this be a warnin' any man caught 'armin' a fellow crewman, or officer will 'ave whatever punishment the good captain deems appropriate laid upon them. Last time, I got to chop the 'ands and feet from the offenders and we got ta watch 'em swim!"

He abruptly let the man go, allowing to slump down to the deck and grabbed the other man by the collar.

"Take him to see the chirurgeon if ye can find 'er.", he said, and made his way below deck without waiting for a reply.

He was tired of looking for Thompson, he was starving, and still had a slight glow from the wine and his punishment of the oaf. He decided the best course of action would be to get some food and either hope the captain would wind up there so they could discuss their destination, or he would simply go find Nathaniel after he was sated.

Several minutes later, Carrington walked into the Officer's Mess only to smell a fire being stoked and see Thompson and the other woman, Karena, sitting at the table.
Carrington smiled that deceptively charming smile of his and gave a slight bow to the pair. He took a seat of the head of the table and lay the bloody pistol in front of him. He smiled at each woman in turn, the manner might have seemed friendly on anyone else, or anyone unfamiliar with his dispostion, as the young woman was, but could only appear sadistic, or even eerie from someone too familiar with him.

"Las.", he said in greeting to Karen and withdrew a small pouch from his large side pocket and placed it in the center of the table, "Nicked these from the Illustrious if either of you would like one."

He pulled another apple from within, letting his gaze drift over to Ren, noting that, other than marks accounting for the recent fighting, she was unharmed and once more in possession of Nathaniel's pistol.

"Nathaniel must like you, Miss Thompson.", Carrington said conversationally.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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Karena was relieved to be able to do something on the ship. It meant that, hopefully, she didn’t have to worry about being tossed overboard. But with one worry temporarily dealt with another one wouldn’t cease until much later, if at all. What was she going to do once the ship hit the next port? She had an idea of what she wanted to do; find out any information on Nathan and keep an eye on Jaqueline. If the captain had her leave the ship then there would be nothing left protecting her. But at this rate it seemed like she was being put to use much like Karena was.

A man entered the area and gave a slight bow. Karena glared at him, immediately recognizing him as the man that had invaded her personal space earlier. It was harassment as far as the girl was concerned. He then lay a bloody pistol on the table in front of him and smiled. Despite how hungry she was her appetite was fading due to this man’s mannerisms. Did he not know they were about to eat or how unsanitary blood actually was?

The part about pirates being barbaric seems to be true even on a ship owned by a former Navy man.

He then also placed a pouch of apples on the table after greeting Karena and offered them to eat. Accepting anything from the man would be the last thing Karena would voluntarily do. Even as he pulled one out and consumed it the girl was not coming any closer to accepting the offer. Then the man finally turned to Ren who was the only person, aside from the captain, Karena felt anywhere near comfortable with.

To say that the day and night preceding had taken what patience Ren had left was an understatement. Bad enough she had to dine in the same room as Carrington, but she was nowhere near the mood for conversation with the guy. He’d rubbed her the wrong way since she first met him, and though she’d tried to be as civil as she could, something about the man drew fire to her blood and made her stupid, like she was in the heat of battle anytime the bastard opened his mouth.

She cast a bemused glance at the pistol on the table, eyes barely shifting away to regard the apples, before looking up at the man speaking to her in such a subtle demeanor.

“Disappointed, Mr. Carrington? Would you believe me if I said I even played music for him? We’re to find the time for a duet once the ship is in proper order,” Ren said, taking a seat at the table as well, leaning back in her seat as she felt her muscles relax for the first time since she had stood at the Inn. She nearly fell asleep right then and there. Her sense of spite kept her awake, as well as a fear of letting her guard down with Carrington in the room, weak though it may be.

“Though since you’ve demanded my attention, Navigator, I wasn’t aware the Captain allowed for bloody weapons on the officer’s table. I know I certainly don’t,” She said, glaring at the man, “And I doubt Ms. Thuron or ms. Schneider here care much for it either.”

Carrington didn’t care one way or the other if they partook of his gift. He leaned back and bit into the succulent green flesh of the apple and was delighted to find that it was still fresh. The apple filled the room with it’s sweet aroma and Carrington’s stomach growled in response. Apple were certainly that food that he liked eating, but they only made him hungrier, never satisfying him in the least.

He couldn’t help but note that the younger woman simply glared at him and said nothing. He couldn’t blame her, they did not know one another, and why she was in the officer’s mess was a mystery to him. It would appear that the delightful Miss Thompson was making a great many ripples all around. Everyone had their place, everyone played their part and contributed. The Captain made them the fierce, blood letting pirates that they were. He himself improved morale across the ship, being the sort of man that managed to infuriate and give the men a laugh in equal measure and keeping the tedium at bay. Many of the others had some sort of effect on the crew themselves, and from the appearances Miss Thompson had made apparent so far, hers was devolving into violence and hostility in any situation and favoring any female she encountered.

Carrington smiled brightly in response to her first question as he placed the apple on a plate in front of him.
“Disappointed? Come now Miss Thompson, it would be most unbecoming of a fellow officer to be disappointed that ‘is fellow would be sad to see ‘er punishment cast by the wayside. The news of the duet is equally unsurprising, Nathaniel does love music. We play together as often as able.... I do ‘ope my instrument was not damaged during the fightin’...”, he replied, trailing off with a pensive look as he finished, making it clear the he was genuinely concerned about his instrument, whatever it was, being unscathed.
He shook his mind from such thoughts as Miss Thompson began speaking once more. He gave her his undivided attention as she spoke, and smiled all the more at her hostility. Some part of him hoped they would continue this until one finally snapped and killed the other. He could never imagine either of them finding common ground, but he was better at civility it would seem.

“The pistol is not mine, Miss Thomspon. It belonged to a fat pail of ofal. I believe ye may ‘ave ‘ad a part to play in the woundin’ of ‘is arm.”, Carrington replied, the sadism returning to his smile.

The Navigator slid the weapon towards the First Lieutenant and said, “You wounded ‘is pride more than any might, and I defended yer honor and ruined a mouth that would ‘ave spoken dissent towards yerself. It is your trophy ‘owever, not mine.” The look in his eyes just then was without the typical malice. Gone was the usual sadism and smarmy arrogance. His demeanor made it clear that whatever he thought of Ren herself, he was a man of the ship, and would brook no insolence from the crew, nor violence towards the officers.

“And besides…”, he continued as he stood and made his way towards a cabinet. “There ‘as been more than just a bloody pistol atop the table, and the Captain demands the very best when seated at ‘is table. So by that logic, neither of ye should be seated at it as ye are. And frankly, I do not give a damn what Thuron, and whoever Schneider is, thinks, this is not their mess, nor their home.” He indicated their bloody, dishevelled appearance and then his own, clean clothes and lack of blood, though his bruised chest still shone from beneath his shirt.

Carrington returned to the table, placing a glass in front of both women and one for himself, before filling each glass with a modest portion of wine. He raised his glass in salute and said, “To the Captain, the crew, the Acheron, and to our victory. My the waves be gentle, the winds be fair, and may we live to fight another day, or die without cowardice.” As he finished, Carrington drained his glass in one smooth motion and resumed his seat.

Karena looked at her hands at the mention of how dirty she truly was. She was drawn so much by the mention of food that she didn’t notice. She felt a tad embarrassed at the fact that she neglected to clean herself before coming to eat and even more so that someone else had to point it out. So she had to give the man, Carrington, that point. But it still didn’t come close to making Karena respect the man or even make her comfortable in his presence. At the mention of saying he didn’t know who Schneider was the girl stood up.

“I am the Schneider the lady speaks of. I’m sorry for not introducing myself properly earlier. My name is Karena Schneider.” Carrington came back with some glasses of wine and set one down in front of each of them. Karena had the pleasure of drinking wine only on rare occasions. Like, when she was invited to banquets and the like. This hardly seemed like a special occasion to drink wine but maybe pirates didn’t need any. Karena, indeed, had a lot to learn about them and their ways coming from almost no prior knowledge outside of books and stories that passed by on the occasional bartender’s lips.

Carrington made a toast to the Acheron’s recent victory as well as to the crew and drank before sitting down. Karena hesitantly picked up her glass and drank as well. Not taking the apples was one thing but to refuse to partake in a toast was similar to swiping the back of her hand to whomever was proposing the toast as well as whoever it was for. The wine wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Karena had expected it to be. But either way she didn’t plan on drinking much else than she already had. She was nowhere near comfortable to be tipsy amongst a band of thieves and strangers.

Karena sat at the same time Carrington did after taking a drink and took to thought what the man said before. That he defended Ren in her honor against the man that had struck her before. Maybe Carrington wasn’t a complete ruffian if he still had a sense of honor not only for himself but for others.

“So did the captain say what he intends to once he docks at the next port?” Karena spoke up. “If you don’t mind my asking.”

A brief grimace flashed across Ren’s face as she too looked down at her own uniform, but her hunger and fatigue prevented her from feeling the full levels of embarrassment that she normally would have felt. Even still, she shrugged briefly as she looked away from Carrington, her way of relenting the argument. The story of how Carrington came to be in possession of the aforementioned bloody pistol caught her interest, frowning as Carrington stood to get the bottle of wine. She stopped herself from immediately snapping, her inability to hold her tongue already having gotten her in plenty of trouble today, and instead stewed and mulled over the offending words.

It was true enough that Carrington had seen fit to punish a crewman that she had already seen to, albeit her punishment was no less a violation of the King’s Regulations, but she still felt that the act had undermined her own, as if her dislocation was insufficient when in fact it was calculated. He’d suffer on the spot, as well he should, but he wouldn’t be able to do much besides think of his actions till someone popped the joint back into place, which would give him a second dose of humility. Forcing him to dentures was needlessly cruel, she felt, but for once she decided to entertain Carrington’s perspective. She’d want to bust the mouth of anyone that spoke ill of another officer, true enough, though that still didn’t mean it was his place.

Ren accepted the wine with a nod, still in thought as she swirled the drink gently in its glass during the toast, giving a quiet “here here,” before drinking. The flavor brought her back to the summer garden parties her family would throw on a whim, the wine certainly not of noble vintage, but she’d honestly always hated the taste of such. Anything older than five years merely tasted of forced civility and moldy grapes to her. She took another long sip and waited for Karena’s question to be addressed before finally speaking.

“I appreciate the chivalry, Mr. Carrington, and I hope my previous tone doesn’t give you cause to doubt that sincerity, but the Captain already issued me warning about improper punishments, and I’d thank you to hold to the same standard. Particularly to crewman I’ve already reprimanded,” she said calmly, looking from her glass and back to the navigator. Her tone was measured and she was trying to choose her words carefully. Anger had gotten her nowhere with the man, and spry as she might be, she wouldn’t last a minute in a duel with the lunatic, not in her current pitiful state at least.

As Carrington resumed his seat and poured a little more wine into his glass, he looked towards the young woman once more and offered her a smile and a nod.
“Entschuldigung Frau Schneider… The fault is mine, a good officer would ‘ave introduced ‘imself from the start, but alas, it ‘as been an exceedingly long couple of days.”, he replied amiably and sipped from his glass.“We are ‘eadin’ to warmer waters, no destination yet, but I would presume we repair and restock, take on s’more crew if we find any worth a damn. Beyond that, well… I’d be remise indeed if I told a crewman more than they need know, so forgive me.” He was as friendly as could be given the circumstances, but he didn’t know the woman from a hole in the wall and would be willing to tell her nothing that any crew could figure out.

His gaze returned to Miss Thompson as she spoke, suppressing a smile as she, surprisingly, took on a measured, civil tone with him. He might have laughed it he wanted to provoke her, but now was not the time. They weren’t alone, and he was certain Frau Schneider would leap in to help Miss Thompson if they came to blows. He was significantly larger than either of them, but two woman would have the upper hand in the cramped mess they found themselves in, and all three were wounded and exhausted, he himself slightly intoxicated.

Carrington did smile as Ren finished speaking and nodded in agreement.
“Nathaniel ‘as told me much before, said I’m often too ‘eavy handed, but a cur never learns unless ya rub their nose in shit… As the saying goes. I merely took the liberty because I knew the man would seek revenge against ye, and I could not stand by and let something like that occur, Lieutenant.”

Karena was pleasantly surprised at Carrington knowing any German. It had been quite sometime since she had heard her native tongue. He then answered her question ending that he could not give her anymore information due to her position as a crewman. She was barely even considered crew so she completely understood not being told more detailed information. She often got the same type of briefing from the people that hired her for jobs. Telling her just enough of what was necessary. In response to Carrington’s information, Karena simply nodded as Ren started speaking to him.

As the two spoke Karena felt as if she were looking at two leads in a play and she was the audience. There was a definite flame between the two. A burning flame. The one that would normally cause destruction if left unchecked. Karena would just keep her distance if she saw these two interact each other. She wouldn’t want to be caught in the crossfire. It wasn’t her problem and Karena learned, vicariously, that getting caught up in other people’s issues could get you killed.


6 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
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Nate let out a sigh of relief as the door closed behind Lieutenant Thompson. Slumping back into the chair he had no doubt there would be further teething issues with his new first lieutenant, not to mention the newer members of the crew. Rubbing his temples with his good hand Nate thought that this would only be made worse with Carrington’s natural tendencies. They would have to have another talk, and soon. Nate dreaded going through the same things again and again. If the two insisted on snapping at each other he would have to step in and crack heads together. With things as they were he could not afford any dissidence on his ship. The presence of a potentially dangerous figure only made things worse. Screwing up his eyes and rubbing them hard, Nate wondered if he would have been better floating onwards instead of stopping in the town at all.

Slamming his hand down on the table to force himself back into the present, Nate stood up and stepped back into his quarters. Stopping opposite the miraculously intact mirror that was propped up on a nine pounder cannon that took up a lot of the space, Nate picked at his uniform until he was moderately happy. Frowning at the powder stains, and the slowly spreading dark patch from his wounded arm, he made a mental note to try and find a new jacket as soon as possible. Twisting neatly on his heel he strode through the door and puffed himself up to his full height, steadying himself, before he passed through the door Ren had closed minutes earlier. Blinking in the sunlight he looked around the deck immediately in front of him.

Climbing up to the quarterdeck Nathaniel was happy to see everything was going well. Returning the salutes of the crewmen with his own, he made sure not to notice the odd badly hidden mug of grog the men were drinking whilst they worked. They could be allowed some indulgences today. He made a note to announce tomorrow as a make and mend day, so the men could rest and repair their own things, as well as the great rents in the sails that were worryingly large. At the taffrail Nate stared at the wake of the Acheron. He could never get over how beautiful the sea was, especially on a day like today. The thrill of being alive, the afterglow of the adrenaline, the sunlight sparkling on the wave-tops. It was what he lived for. At that moment he didn’t care whether he ever sank another ship, or took any more money, he simply wished he could remain forever upon the sea, the wind at his back and the sun on his face.

Reluctantly he turned away, moving off to inspect the repairs and the storage work the men had seemingly completed whilst he had been inside. Spotting a man on the maindeck nursing a busted jaw, Nate frowned. Carrington. Doubtless. That talk would have to come sooner than he had planned. Walking around the gangway, Nate looked down onto the gundeck and saw that the blood and splinters had been carefully cleaned away, the final bits of the deck being laboriously holy-stoned by a group of sailors who touched their knuckles to their foreheads and redoubled their efforts when they saw him. Seeing Mr. Peters overseeing the final bits of work at the top of the stairs down into the depths of the ship, Nate walked over, the bosun turning and touching the brim of his hat.

“I see you’ve managed to get the quartermaster to relinquish you a new boater Mr. Peters,” Nate said gruffly. Rashid was not one to let stores out without due cause, and Peters would no doubt be charged accordingly in the great pay book that sat in Nate’s cabin.

“Aye sir. Old one took a cutlass to it on the Illustrious.” Peters mimed the slicing of a cutlass across the top of his new hat, and, if true, Nate saw how close the bosun had come to losing the top of his head.

“Very well Mr. Peters.” Nate fixed the man with a critical eye for a moment, making him squirm in discomfort. “Pipe the men to an early dinner when the work is completed to your satisfaction. Tomorrow will be a make-and-mend. Consider it an early Sunday.”

“Aye sir,” Peters said quickly. “Very good sir. I’ll see to it.”

Nathaniel nodded and walked on towards the fosc’le, turning his eyes upwards towards the rigging and sails. Most of the loose ropes had been replaced and the worst rips in the sails would be dealt with tomorrow. The spare sails had already been prepared to go up when the others came down, and Nate almost smiled when he spotted the lookout staring into the distance with a strained, but determined look. Reaching the head Nate leaned over the rail to inspect the Acheron’s figurehead. Having originally been built by the French before being captured by the Royal Navy, the figurehead was that of lady liberty, her red white and blue cockade a hint at her previous links to revolutionary France. Happy that she was still whole, Nate turned away and strode to the nearest staircase down into the ship.

Walking the length of each deck, Nate inspected each gun, each storeroom, and especially the magazine, but avoided going near the gunroom mess for the time being. On the second deck he stumbled across Josephine. Suppressing an initial flare of anger to find one of his principal technicians asleep whilst there was still work to be done, Nate coughed loudly before booming as loud as he could whilst not shouting.

“Get up Senorita Aguilar, and come with me to the gunroom. I want you a part of this.” Without waiting to see if she responded, Nate turned on his heel and marched off towards the gunroom mess, allowing his annoyance to grow into a seething anger. He would set them all straight now once and for all. He had been easy on Thompson, but in front of the others he would brook no nonsense.

Quickly passing up from the officer’s quarters, Nate went to the door of the gunroom and threw it open, quickly filling the doorway with his massive presence. He took one look at the state of his first officer and the girl sat at the table, as well as the bloody pistol, and had to stop himself from immediately letting out a stream of vehemence directed at all and any who happened to be in front of him. The anger settling into a more manageable state, Nathaniel clasped his hands behind his back and frowned, his eyebrow twitching a little as he controlled his anger.

“I want all the principle officers here in five minutes Miss Thompson. The Thurons as well. Get the quartermaster up from the hold as well. But first,” here Nate pointed a finger at the pistol, “Would someone care to explain this?” Nate left the question hanging malevolently in the air. This kind of thing needed to be stamped out. Setting the precedent for the mess now would save trouble later at least.