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Making Waves

Making Waves

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When trouble arises, pirates old and new must band together to do what they have to do.

2,056 readers have visited Making Waves since Electric Pool created it.

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

Introduction

Jacqueline Thuron never expected to set foot on a ship again in her life.
Her brother, former lovers, friends: all dead and lost to the waves she once called home. What could make one want to return to such a tumultuous sea, at such an age? What could make her want to leave her cozy inn, with a steady stream of customers right at the edge of the port town?

Blackmail, fire, kidnapping of the only family Thuron has left?
Or perhaps the discovery that she’s not the only one left from her glory days….

A new pirate crew gathers in town. Whispers have been going around that someone is targeting the Thuron’s inn, and the proprietor herself. There's been tell that she’s an old pirate, still wanted by the government . They say the governor has a noose specifically waiting for her in his desk. But rumors travel as long as there are ears to hear them and lips loose enough to spread them. Surely you've got some spread about you by now, or perhaps you're a greenhorn looking for adventure. Maybe you're looking for trouble with a capital T. At any rate, the town’s been too quiet for too long. Something was bound to happen eventually.

Ship:
The Acheron
Image

Image

Roles:

Captain: LordTalbot as 'Black Nate' Sellers
First Mate: Bravo_Zver as 'Ren' Thompson
Sailing Master (Navigator): Open!
Surgeon:
Master Gunner: VincentRayne as Karena Schneider
Cook: Electric Pool as Jacqueline Thuron
Assorted Sailors and others: (Would like all upper spots filled first please!)


Character Sheet

Name:
Age:
Occupation: (We'll be forming the crew after the story begins, so your occupation may be different from your role, aside from the captain.)
Role:
Nationality:
Personality: (Five sentences, but please go over if you want!)
Appearance: (will accept with no picture, but if so I need a decent description. If you find one you like that’s almost right, but not quite, and you use it, please list the differences after it!)
Bio: (I love backstories, but I only need about five sentences. If you’re struggling with that much, pm me and I’ll help you out a bit within reason.)
Other:

Toggle Rules

1. Play nice! I don't care if you and another person’s character get in a fight, just be kind OOC.
2. Flirting and romance are cool. Do try to keep it PG-13, or fade out/pm the scene. Make sure the person playing the other character is comfortable with it first!
3. I reserve the right to reject characters, although I doubt I will.
4. Reserves last for 72 hours, aka 3 days. If you're working on the character and need more time, feel free to ask! I'm flexible.
6. Put the password at the bottom of your character sheet, so I know you read the rules! Also, please put it in the ooc chat and I’ll okay it prior to submission. Thanks!
7. Please post at least three sentences worth of material. I get if you're stressed or busy, but do try, okay? If you’ll be gone for a few days or something let us know so we can work around you.
8. Have fun!
9. Interact with other characters!!!! If no one’s engaging your character, it might be because you haven't engaged with them. :)
10. One officer per person.
11. Feel free to add more to your character sheet if you’d like!
5. Password is escargot.
12. If there’s a role you want, but it's not up there, or is taken, talk to me and we can work something out.
13. If you’d like to interweave your character’s backstory with one of mine, let me know. There are certain parts I’ll be leery to do, but I’m always up for mixing backstories.
14. I will adjust these rules as need be.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 8 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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Furious beyond any possible measure, Nathaniel stood, his sword pointed at the two would-be stowaways. So angry he could barely think he was brought out of the red mist by the shattering explosion of one of the deck guns. The canister shot he had ordered swept out over the dock like deadly hailstones, lead musket balls fired like a shotgun at close range. The guards who had been firing at the Acheron disappeared in a haze of red mist and gun smoke, the canister shot rattling off the walls of buildings and shattering glass. For a few moments all that could be heard was the terrible echo of the cannon and the pounding feet of the Acheron’s crew, then the few plaintive moans and screams reached Nate’s ears. They whetted his appetite for destruction a little. Seeing the effects of canister and grape always had a cooling effect on his anger, he didn’t know why. Maybe the destruction was just too complete to be happy about. Regardless, it got the job done.

The acrid smell of gunpowder filling his nostrils, Nate lowered his sword to his side and took in the scene before him. Two lay on the floor, one of the stowaways dealing with them, Carrington stood beside him, and the inn’s proprietress stood opposite, glowering in his general direction.

“If we don’t sail now we won’t make it out of the harbour sir.” Nate heard his new first lieutenant say from the deck. He glared at her as she struggled to her feet. Ren had her arm tourniqueted, and a blonde girl was examining the wound. Ten minutes on the ship and she was already seemingly out of action. A sneer crossed his face before he could control himself. He had been wounded many times before, and often a lot more seriously, but he never left his feet if he could help it. In addition to having being laid bleeding on the deck she was plying him by stating the obvious. Nate hated many things, but being treated as if he was blind really riled him up.

“Ye know I’d never countermand an order, captain, but there’s sails coming with the dawn. ‘Tis now or never. I can always shoot them later, or we can maroon them.” Nate’s scowl deepened. In addition to everything else that was going on, Carrington had decided today was the day he would be as difficult as humanly possible.

“Damn the man. If only he could do what he was told ALL the time,” Nathaniel thought as he shot another fire filled glare at his old friend. However, the expression on Carrington’s face touched a nerve. He was right. There was no time. They’d been through a lot together and it wasn’t often Carrington spoke against him without a reason. Over time Nate had learned to trust his friend’s judgement of people.

“Mr. Carrington, God damn you! Take those three,” Nate pointed to Jaqueline, Karena and Angelique, “down into the hold. I want them below the waterline and out of my sight!” Now Nate turned to Ren again. “And you Miss Thompson, you will be stood at your post or you will be dead. Decide now!” The anger had worked its way back to boiling point and he was in no mood to be lenient, especially after allowing Carrington his way. The fact that she was back on her feet after being shot didn't penetrate his fogged mind, his only concern now being for the coming action.

Turning around Nathaniel strode back to the quarterdeck, pulling out a long spyglass and training it on the distant horizon at the entrance to the harbour. Sure enough there were sails there. Sails that were in the pattern of the Royal Navy. Nate quickly scanned the masts. Two ships. Damn this would be close. He snapped the spyglass shut and leant over the rail, shouting down to the gundeck. “All hands make sail now! Loose Mains and gallants! Get up and reef the topsail!”

The sails dropped from the yards and masts like huge white clouds, and suddenly the body of the Acheron was dwarfed by the large expanse of clean, crisp sail. The sails billowed in the wind, filled, and the ship began to move away from the dock and out towards the approaching Royal Navy. The breeze whipped across the deck, which was lit by the dawn sun to the left and the fires behind. The air suddenly fresher Nate felt his mind totally clear, his heart thumping in his hears as he took the wheel and turned the Acheron straight at the Navy ships. He could now see that they were frigates, nothing he hadn’t gone up against before, but it would be a hard fight if the plan he was formulating in his head didn’t go well.

Picking up speed the Acheron raced towards the Navy ships, which were now well hull-up. Nate could see them turning broadside on to fire at the Acheron as she raced towards them. The water split either side of the Acheron’s hull, and she was now virtually flying through the water, the early morning wind filling her sails. Nate almost called out in joy, but held himself back, instead calling down to the gundeck again.

“Gun captains, double shot the guns! Ram home the powder hard!” He smiled slightly. The plan was crazy, but it might just work. “Take the wheel,” Nate motioned to a crewman. “Take us right between them, no hesitations.” Clapping the man on the back Nate slid down the stairs to the gundeck and strode forwards to the fos’cle. He clambered up and leant over the front of the ship. Now the Acheron was close enough for him to make out details on the Navy ships through his spyglass. He recognized the Illustrious and the Endeavour. He smiled to himself again. Both captained by fools. He was surprised the Navy had allowed Captain Fotheringay of the Illustrious to sail again after he ran his last ship aground in the Bay of Biscay.

A white puff of smoke billowed out from the Endeavour, and a cannon ball skipped across the waves in front of the Acheron. “Short,” Nate thought to himself. “But the guns will warm soon.” He turned back towards the main body of his ship.

“Now’s the time boys! Hold fast and stay true. We’ll show these Navy dogs that they picked the wrong day to fight the Acheron!” Nate punched his sword up into the air as his crewmen roared in response. He saw that spare match was already burning in the sand tubs. His gunners were working well, even with the new crewmen. He was surprised by how easily they had slid into place. He supposed he had his new first lieutenant to thank for that.

“Those bastards over there are afraid! They fear the god-forsaken devils you are! They are over there right now wetting their breeches at the sight of us bearing down on them. Hold fast! And today you will have victory!” The crew roared again, Nate responding in kind. Acheron! Acheron! Acheron!”

Now his blood was on fire. Leaving his crew roaring the name of the ship over and over, Nate strode forwards and climbed onto the rail, holding onto one of the ropes attached to the bowsprit. He hung out over the front of the ship and glared at the Illustrious and the Endeavour, the Acheron racing towards them and the air buffeting his face.

Suddenly the sides of the two ships ahead disappeared in a great cloud of smoke. “Down! All hands down!” Nate yelled as he leapt from the bowsprit and ducked behind the rail. The crew followed suit as within seconds a peal of thunder reached them, then cannon balls began striking the Acheron. Splinters flew and round holes were torn in the sails. A couple of guns were dismounted, their crews shrieking as the metal reared up into the air, to come crashing back down on the deck. Peering over the rail, part of which no longer existed thanks to a close shot, Nate saw most of the broadsides fired by the two ships fall short or wide. “They’re afraid of hitting the town,” he thought, and smiled again.

The thunder roared again and the Acheron shuddered as she was hit. Nate climbed back onto the bowsprit and stared at the ships that were coming closer fast. The Acheron was near enough for him to make out details through gaps in the smoke even without his telescope. He could see the gunners frantically reloading, the buckets of muskets being lifted to the tops, and the two other captains, watching him nervously through their telescopes. Nate could also see the gap through which the Acheron must go. The other captains were being sloppy, the gap was widening as they focused on firing as fast as possible. The Acheron would slide right though.

Nate did whoop for joy this time, crying out as he was enveloped by gun smoke and flying metal, daring fate and the Navy to try and kill him. “Hold fast boys!” He yelled backwards. “Hold fast!”

They were seconds away now, the navy ships frantically reloading and firing, tearing great splinters from the hull of the Acheron. The gun crews still crouched by their guns, covering their heads from the shards of wood, some grinning in mad hysteria. In places the gun ports had been ripped away, letting the crew look out onto the waves beside them. The men in the tops and the fighting platforms had begun firing, the sharp crack of the muskets and rifles a stark contrast to the deep thunder of the cannons. Here and there a man fell backwards as he was struck by a musket ball, a couple tumbling down from the heights to land in the water as the Acheron raced forwards.

Nate could see panic in the faces of the crew of the Navy ships now. They knew what he planned to do, and it was too late. The nose of the Acheron pushed between the Illustrious and the Endeavour. Nate turned back to the ship and screamed at the top of his lungs, “now! Fire as she bears!”

There was silence for a moment as the navy guns could no longer fire at the Acheron, but it was quickly pierced by the rolling thunder of the Acheron’s own. Keen for revenge the gun crews yelled as they worked, the gun captains yanking on the lanyards in sequence, the guns leaping back against their traces. The fire rippled down the sides of the Acheron as she slid between her opponents. This raking fire was usually totally devastating, the cannonballs travelling the full length of the enemy ships, and this time it was no different.

Great chunks of wood flew from the navy ships, guns thrown from their placings, crewmen eviscerated as pounds of metal crashed into them. The fos'cle of the Illustrious and the poopdeck of the Endeavour were shredded. The length of the Acheron was wreathed in smoke and flame, her gun crews reloading as fast as possible to fire again before they were quickly past their target. The sails and some of the rigging snagged on falling pieces of the Navy’s own, but were dragged clear by the motion of the ship. Nate cackled with joy and ran back along the length of the ship to the poopdeck, watching the destruction as his ship moved past the Navy.

The three ships sat in a sudden silence, all covered in smoke, and on the Endeavour, flames. Obviously a cannonball had struck her galley. It was sloppy to leave the galley lit during a fight, but then, both the Navy captains had been sloppy. Moans and plaintive screams carried across the water, and the few wounded on the Acheron were being carried belowdecks during the lull.

“Lieutenant Thompson! Boarding hooks and weapons!” He called to Ren. The crew gave a roar and surged to the weapons lockers without another word, passing out tomahawks, cutlasses and pistols.

“Mr. Dogood, Mr. Carrington! Take up some of those grenades, prepare yourselves for boarding the Illustrious.” Nate was smiling, a crazed, bloodied smile. A splinter had whipped past his cheek, opening it to the bone, and blood was pouring down his face. But he didn’t care. The Acheron was as good as she could be, and now his men were going to take their revenge on the Navy who had humiliated them. "Bring her around for boarding!" Nate called to the crewman on the wheel.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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It had been years since Ren had felt the tension that came with combat, the chaos palpable as musket fire filled the air. rounds whizzed by like angry hornets, the volley accompanied by a symphony of sharp cracks that rhythmically filled the air. Even weak on her knees as she was, Ren couldn't resist a smile at the familiarity of it all. The grin widened as she watched the cook square off with the captain, unsure of why but she felt a measure of pride in another woman pressing her own will against the Captain's. Perhaps it was admiration? Or perhaps she was only anxious for more stew. She prayed for the latter, considering she had held a gun to her just moments before.

The fact that the young blonde one began to treat her injury without provocation heaped onto her shame, though Ren would be lying if she didn't enjoy the gentle touch the young woman possessed. She crouched down to aid in her caregivers work, unable to look the girl in the eyes as she did so. She swore she'd make it up to the both of them if the Captain didn't decide to have the lot of them shot.

“Don't mind my aunt, she understands more about girls than boys when it comes to stuff and things.”

The words caught Ren's attention, a welcome distraction from the stand-off with Nate.

“Long as you compliment her food an’ don't ask for snails she'll think you're okay.”

"I've had your aunt's cooking... the compliments will come naturally I assure you," Ren replied, trying her best to smile gently back at the niece. "Your aunt's skill is apparent in the kitchen, but we never did recruit a doctor. Do your best to treat any wounded and prove your worth if you want sanctuary. Do that, and I'll do my damndest to keep you safe, I swear it," Ren whispered, not wanting the Captain to hear her conspiring with the stowaways. Her words might not have been entirely audible to Angelique, but Ren dared not say them any louder, using the chaos above their heads to mask her voice.

She hadn't so much as taken a breath afterwards before she felt Carrington crouch down behind her, whispering to her now as well.

"Miss Thompson, we should, perhaps, raise the plank and be off, but me shoutin' the order gets you not an inch with the boys."

The rage was quick to spread on Ren's face, but with it came an idea as she saw another crewman scurrying about nearby. A wicked grin spread on her face instead as Ren stood, the wound as treated now as it could be without proper supplied. She'd need to see the girl after the battle for anti-septic, but she'd not bleed out by then. Ren nodded at Angelique and motioned for her to tend to the unconscious girl they'd brought aboard before swiveling on her heels to glare at Carrington.

"Mr. Carrington!" She shouted, an angry smile still widening on her face as she spoke, "That is a novel suggestion!" She then pointed at the crewman, who stopped in his tracks in surprise, before continuing.

"Crewman, Mr. Carrington has volunteered you to help him raise the gangway so that we might shove off!" Ren shouted, then glared back at Carrington, "Thank you for your initiative, Navigator Carrington. I look favorably on officers with the gumption to volunteer for the grunt work."

The crewman glared at Ren, and again at Mr. Carrington for his role in the dangerous task of retrieving the gangway amidst the musket fire. Ren glared at the man as well, pistol still drawn and easily aimed if the man openly defied her order.

"Unless, Mr. Carrington, you presumed to order me to carry out your own whims?" She barked, wanting to make this painfully apparent that this was her way of rectifying the earlier situation with the gangway, the look on her face suggesting her lack of humor about the matter. The men not listening to her was one thing, but having an officer below her rank giving her orders was a death sentence if it took root now. This way, the men would see said officer following her own words, and some might come to heel as a result. The sooner she established herself with the crew, the sooner she could stop cracking the whip and settle into the crew proper. If she were a man, she might not have had to so much as raise her voice to accomplish the same, but she could tell by the looks of all aboard that they didn't think she belonged. She had to stand her ground and prove she did.

After the gangway was raised, the Captain resumed issuing his orders, instructing Mr. Carrington to take the women below deck to keep them from being underfoot, as well as demanding Ren stick to her post or die. Ren saluted, still grinning as she gave a hearty, "Aye sir, one measly shot wouldn't take an officer of the Acheron to the depths!"

She did make it a point to step forward to Jacqueline as soon as the Captain left for the quarterdeck, placing her flintlock firmly into the woman's hands.

"A good deterrent should a sailor be faced with temptation. I'll want this back, but I won't miss a bullet. Stay safe, mam," She said gently, winking at Angelique before turning and drawing her sabre from it's scabbard.

"GET OFF YOUR ASSES BOYS! DAVY JONES IS HUNGRY AND ITS THEM OR US!" She whooped as she started pacing the decks, making sure all hands had a purpose and that any slack was absent the ship. She could see the Acheron turning to charge the two navy ships, a moment of fear shooting up Ren's spine.

'Black Nate is as mad as the devil, he is,' She thought, but a quick shake of the head and she was back in the moment.

"WHAT CREW ARE WE?!" She cried, carrying on the Captain's chant from before to keep the crew's spirits high. God knows they'd need it sailing headlong into the enemy.

"ACHERON!"

"WHO DOES THE NAVY FEAR?!"

"ACHERON!"

"WHOSE SAILING OUT ONTO THAT OPEN BLUE PARADISE?!"

"ACHERON!"

"PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO THOSE PITIFUL BASTARDS!" She shouted, a roar from the crew as her reply as everyone worked in unison. Truly she'd missed being on a ship. Even as the call to hit the deck rang out from fos’cle to aft and Ren put her nose to wood and covered her head, she couldn't imagine a more fitting place for herself in all the world. When the thunder quieted, Ren got to her knees and looked about to assess the damage. She couldn't find much that the crew wasn't already tending to. The Navy was getting sloppy, it seemed.

Another volley hit the ship, and one of the roundshot bounced off the deck just five feet from where Ren lay, splinters piercing her coat and cutting up her hands. She immediately popped back up, whooping and waving her sword. "THEY'VE LOST THEIR BIFOCALS, BOYS! SHOW 'EM WHAT KIND OF AIM A TRUE SON OF THE SEA HAS!" She called out, a volley of the Acheron's own thundering out and slamming into the enemy ships.

The volleys were near constant up until Nathaniel's plan came to fruition, wedging the Acheron between the two navy ships and letting the broadsides have their way with the both of them at once. Between the cannons and the musket fire, the fight had been smacked out of the Navy's collective mouths. The smoke cleared and the only sound Ren could hear was the plaintive wailing of the enemy, and a few shots from the tops silencing their cries.

“Lieutenant Thompson! Boarding hooks and weapons!”

Ren's head swiveled about as the order came through, a grin spreading on her face as the bloodlust began to take hold. Another fine opportunity to earn respect and kill those that had cast her out of their fold.

"YOU HEARD THE CAPTAIN! ARM UP AND GIVE 'EM HELL!" Ren shouted, joining the men at the weapons locker and holstering all the pistols her uniform could hold. Another crewman came from below deck, carrying all the boarding hooks he could manage, and distributed them among the eager crew, one of which was Ren herself. The order came for the ship to turn about for boarding, and the men roared in anticipation.

Ren joined the line of men portside, a wicked grin on her face as she began swinging her hook about, waiting for the Illustrious to come into range. As soon as she could see the fire from the enemy musket barrels, she threw her hook and yanked hard when it hit the ship's deck, catching it on the railing. She began to shout, "Heave! Ho!" to get the men pulling in unison. Any of the linemen that fell to musket fire was quickly replaced and the phrase devolved into a cackle as the two ships were practically touching.

"SHIP'S OURS, BOYS! VACATE THE STOWAWAYS!" She cried, drawing her sabre as she leaped forward, jumping off of the Acheron's own railing and landed in a roll on the enemy's deck, jabbing her sabre straight forward into the sternum of a navy sailor as soon as she rolled onto her feet. She grabbed the man by the coat and yanked him around to absorb a round from a flintlock by his mate, and kicked her shield off of her blade before raising her own firearm and pulling the trigger.

Dear God in heaven, she felt so alive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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It was dark and empty. Karena felt like she was stripped of all sense until a murmur could be heard. Then suddenly a loud voice could be heard behind her. It was commanding and authoritative. Karena spun around and saw a familiar figure in the darkness.

“You messed up, Karena!” The voice was also familiar. It belonged to her father as did the figure that was standing before her. “You showed mercy when you shouldn’t have. You didn’t fully analyze the situation. You didn’t shoot the target when you had the chance.”

“She was with someone else.” Karena defended herself and her father leaned forward to put himself at eye-level with his daughter.

“Then you kill them both.” There was venom in his voice and then he straightened himself again. “Which life do you think is more important? Their’s or yours?”

“My life.” Karena answered.

“I would say you are going soft. Have you not murdered women and children before?” The question brought up the past that Karena worked so hard to dig into the furthest reach of her memory. It was an orphanage. Karena was offered a large sum to set it ablaze. The girl had thought it over. The job was heartless but in time of war and rebellion heartless deeds had to be done.

It was at night, after all the children were put to sleep, Karena snuck into the orphanage. She silently killed all the staff before setting up the place to go up in flames. Only a few children managed to escape alive. But that was a few out of two floors’ worth of children. It was done as a message against the country. What did Karena care? She was not English. And the pay was magnificent along with the reputation should would receive. But the only mistake she made was watching the place burn. The screams were still clear in her head. The doors and first floor windows were locked to make sure there was little to no escape.

Karena had to do it for the sake of infamy. It had worked once word had gotten out that she was the one who committed the deed. She was sought for many jobs afterwards and even was trusted with killing high ranked officials on occasion. When you were an assassin then it was best to be known for having a lack of conscious when it came to jobs.

Karena looked back up to her father. He was right. If Karena was the same person from back then, she would have killed Jacqueline and the other girl without hesitation for the fact that the probability of the target putting up resistance seemed high.

“Now that you remember your true self then I trust you won’t make the same mistake again. You even collapsed at the sight and realization of having been shot. Staying conscious is a state of mind when it comes to that. I suppose I could not have taught you that short of shooting you myself. Aside from that I raised you to do what it takes to win. To make better choices in the long run and do what must be done to remain on top. I trust you remember.” Karena nodded and then looked her father in the eye. A smirk appeared on his face. The same smirk that he gave whenever Karena showed understanding in his teachings. “You were given another chance to make up for what mistake has been made. I trust you will not waste it. Remember to think things through only as much as they need to be thought and make an action accordingly. Make me proud!” On her father’s final word he disappeared in a thundering boom that awoke the girl at the same time. She was in a that was filling with wounded at a slow pace.

Karena sat up and the sharp pain in her shoulder reminded the girl of the reason for unconsciousness. She looked around and saw her rifle. She guessed what was happening based on the moments before she passed out and by the sounds she heard now. Screaming, yelling, gunfire and judging by the sound that woke her; cannon fire.

The girl quickly checked over her wound and breathed a sigh of relief. The bullet missed anything vital and had passed right through. The only downside to her injury would be the aching and some blood loss. But her arm was bandaged up so that solved the immediate problem. She was on the ship now and that meant her target probably was as well. Which meant Jacqueline was safe from the assassin. Whoever was the enemy of the crew on the ship was also her enemy as well. She’d have to cooperate with the pirates until she was off the ship. Karena climbed toward the main deck to see exactly what was going on.

Setting

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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Carrington was just turning away when Miss Thompson threw the help he was trying to give her back in his face. At first he couldn't quite believe that she would have the audacity. It was almost appalling to him, and he briefly toyed with the idea of simply shooting her right there, damn whatever punishment he would have gotten. Ungrateful navy harlot deserved worse at that moment in time.
Instead, he turned to look at her, his head titling to the side in slight confusion before a smile, that could only be described as psychotic, spread across his face. He offered a slight bow, and languidly walked over and "helped" the man stow the gangplank. Help being something akin to how he'd been helping secure the cannon just hours before, but with a little more effort, and certainly more of a homicidal craving than before.

"Woman on board, in charge, and ordering us about... I send her below first chance I get, mark me words.", the other man grumbled.

He was quite unfortunate to be a new member of the crew, Carmichael might have let it slide had it been an older crewman, but as it stood, this man was not, and was in desperate need of a lesson in manners. As the words left his mouth, he found Carrington's pistol pressed under his jaw, the murderous look that burned in his eyes causing the other man to pale considerably, and possibly even piss himself as the navigator pulled back the hammer.

"Consider them marked.", he hissed at the terrified crewman.

Just as he was squeezing the trigger, Nathaniel bellowed his order about the prisoners, and Carrington spun away as if nothing had happened, but made a mental note to make that man's life hell if he survived the next few hours, and made his way back to the stowaways.

Almost as soon as Miss Thompson gave Jacqueline her pistol, the very pistol the captain had just gifted to her, Carrington slid forward like a snake and snatched it from her hand. The First Mate was already off carrying out her own orders, and another mental note was added to inform Captain Nathaniel that his special little Lieutenant was now arming prisoners as well. Maybe the Royal Navy had changed a lot since he had taken up piracy, but surely they wouldn't employ addle cove people that would give prisoners weapons and order navigators to do jobs the common crew were for.
He proceeded to order a passing Mr. Franklin to relieve them of the rest of their weapons and placed them all in the nearest weapons locker before stuffing the pistol he'd taken into his belt along with the other two he possessed, he then gave a polite bow and extended a hand towards the stairwell leading below deck.

Jacqueline fully expected Carrington to snatch the pistol; not that she could use it anyways, but she'd been grateful for the gesture and had planned on giving it to Angelique so she'd have some defense. She bristled when the crewman took her saber, though she still let it be taken. A saber, even that one, was not worth her life.

"Ladies first, please.", he said with a polite smile.

Angelique smiled sweetly at the man while Jacqueline frowned. Both knew flattery well, but only the young blonde was willing to make use of it. Jacqueline would have rather dented Carrington’s skull with her pan, but that would have dented her favorite pan, and she couldn't bear that.

Carrington's hand snapped out once more and gripped the youngest girl's collar as she seemed to be in a daze and trying to wander off.
He clucked his tongue a few times and shook his head. "Lass 'as cracked she 'as. If you would be so kind as to keep her close, Madam, a ship is a dangerous place for a delirious lass."

“Believe me, I know that better than most,” Jacqueline glared, taking Karena’s collar with her left hand and the girl’s shoulder with her right. “If you feel as though you'll collapse let me know and I should be able to carry you the rest of the way,” she murmured to the girl. She had made a promise, after all, though if the three of them made it to port Jacqueline would make a point of ditching Karena.

After handing off the young girl, Carrington guided them below deck, being the perfect gentleman he was, he took the other young blonde woman's hand gently as they descended.
"Impressive feat of bravery lass, comin' aboard a ship of sea dogs and beggin' for their aid without so much as a coin of offered pay? Got the fearlessness of a shark ye do. Make for a fine negotiator."

Angelique accepted the man’s hand with no hesitation. “Well,” she said, smiling and fluttering her lashes, “when one grows up with such fearsome men, one has to be fearless, else one gets taken advantage of.”
Jacqueline had to remind herself how many men Angelique had gone through in the past year. She knew her niece knew exactly what she was doing (whatever it was), but that didn't stop her from sending the navigator a death glare.

Carrington nodded his head in agreement. She was right after all, and most of the men aboard would gladly take advantage of any and all of the women in his charge at the moment. Weeks and months at sea did strange things to a man's mind and often they would attack anything weaker than them, especially a woman, if they got the chance to.
Carrington never suffered from such things himself. Maybe it was because he was already insane, or perhaps he was simply made of stronger stuff than many others. He never gave it much thought personally.

"Aye, bein' fearless is all well and good, but knowin' when to back down is just as good. Ye can always come back and kill 'em later.", he said with a chuckle, and a wink towards the woman glaring at him.

"Try telling that to my aunt," Angelique giggled, making a mental note to apologize to Jacqueline once Carrington was out of the room. She would have rather not dragged her, but sometimes a snide remark had to be made to gain someone's trust. "Her attempts at subtlety are about as good as her snails."

"I get the feelin' from you lass, that you would have little qualms about slidin' a blade through a man's throat, though judging by the lady starin' daggers at me, I would say ya 'aven't been given the opportunity, nor been shown how. Pity... A woman willin' to get 'er 'ands dirty is quite a thing to admire."

"Well, I'm certainly always happy to learn," Angelique smiled coquettishly.

Jacqueline took this opportunity to jar Karena enough for the girl to groan. "Mon ange, I suggest taking your eyes off the crewman for long enough to make sure this girl doesn't bleed out," she said, doing her damnedest not to go up to Carrington and deck him. It was bad enough that he was flirting with her niece, but to insinuate the girl couldn't protect herself? Jacqueline may have been a bit overprotective of Angelique, but the girl could at least slit a man's throat if she actually wanted to. If she saw him again, she'd have to have words with him. Or a duel. Most likely the latter.

Noticing the glares once more, Carrington looked back at the young woman once more and loudly whispered, "Well maybe she taught ya more than might readily be obvious. And if not, perhaps someone would be willing to help ya along, if of course the captain decides not to have ya killed."
He lead them up to the cells, opening it with a flourish and letting the older woman and the delirious one enter, before guiding the girl on his arm behind them.
Deftly locking the door, he spun around in that strange manner in which he walked and made for the stairs. As his foot planted itself on the first step, he stopped and looked back at the three women and said, "The captain desires usefulness out of everyone aboard. Prove yourself useful, don't be a burden, and he might be persuaded to let ye stay as far as the next port. If it comes to ye bein' more trouble than you're worth.... Well I'll probably be the one sendin' ye below. Just a little food for thought!"

He finished with a smile and sprinted up the stairs in time to hear his new orders shouted.
Nothing would make him happier than to spill some navy blood, and perhaps if he was fortunate, he might get to see Miss Thomspon, who was currently screaming her head off, get run through and save him a little effort.
He quickly pushed the thoughts from his mind as he drew his cutlass and a pistol and yelled, "Mr. Franklin, Mr. Donovan, with me!"

The pair quickly rushed to meet them and the trio were amongst the first wave to clamber aboard the Illustrious.

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Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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As soon as the navigator left, Jacqueline cursed his name.

“Auntie what is wrong with you?” Angelique rushed over to take the still dizzy Karena from her aunt. “I had him in my palm!”

“Angelique, the man is merely baiting you so you'll sleep with him,” Jacqueline said, working her way around the cell.

“I would never sleep with a man I barely knew,” Angelique frowned, helping Karena to one of the bunks. “And besides, I was flirting with him to get him on our side.”

“Your side, mon ange,” the older woman replied in her search. “The captain despises me, and as much as his lieutenant likes me, that man is far more dangerous than she.” Finding nothing of interest, she sat on the opposite bunk. “After all, cooks are expendable. A good surgeon is not.”

“I barely know anything about doctoring, though,” Angelique frowned.

“You learn fast, and you know more than you realize.” Jacqueline gave a start before pulling her pack into her lap. Her frying pan’s handle still stuck out of the top, and the scent of fresh clove immediately filled the room. She scowled. “Mon diu, do they have any idea how expensive clove is?”

“Auntie, you can just get more at the next port. It'll be okay,” the younger Thuron told her, then focused on keeping Karena conscious. It would do the girl no good to pass out from the blood loss, and it would be easier to move her if she was awake. “I need you to stay with me, okay? Gotta keep your eyes open,” she told the assassin.

Jacqueline put aside her frustration with the clove a second time and took the pan out of her bag. Then, she switched into her breeches.

“Can't you pout just as well in a skirt?” Angelique said. “We're going to be stuck here until they decide what to do with us.”

“Angelique, you've not been on a ship since you were little, and you've never been on a pirate ship,” Jacqueline replied, relacing her boots. “If you're locked in a cell, you either try to bust through the door, or you rush the guard when they come bring you food. Besides, I can fight far better in this.” Jacqueline stood up and brandished her frying pan, first in her right, then in her left.

“Aren't you right handed, Auntie?”

“I've always felt better with this pan in my left,” Thuron noted, giving a few experimental swings with the pan. She pulled her coat out of her bag and donned that as well. Now, she was ready to go on the offensive.

Now, if only she could pick locks.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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The Acheron swung around, and with a loud thud came against the starboard side of the Illustrious. The ships bounced apart, and the gunners of the Acheron blazed again, close enough to see the faces of the crewmen on the lower decks of the Illustrious through the gun ports. Heavy round shot and lighter canister swept the flank of the Navy ship, wreaking even more destruction. Splinters flew and ropes twitched in the air as they were hit by shrapnel and bullets. The sails of the Illustrious hung limp, their ropes gone, and the few Royal Marines left in the tops frantically fired down at the Acheron, the sharp crack of their muskets barely heard amongst the thunder of the great guns.

Blood pouring down his face from the gash in his cheek, Nate kicked open the weapons locker on the fos’cle, pulling out a nasty looking tomahawk. “No pity! No mercy!” He shouted as he strode to the rail, which now laid up against the poop of the Illustrious. “Deck guns clear the breach!” Nate yelled, and was immediately rewarded with the lighter boom of the smaller cannons on the fos’cle and quarterdeck. Loaded with canister they swept the deck of the Illustrious clear, filling the air with musket balls and red mist.

With a roar Nate pulled himself up a dangling piece of rigging, grabbing hold to the side of the Illustrious with his other hand. His move signaled to the Acherons, who surged forwards onto the enemy ship. On his way up Nathaniel glanced through one of the shattered windows and into the captain’s cabin. Fine furniture, ornaments and bits of debris were scattered across the floor. In amongst the detritus and broken glass he spotted what looked like a brass sextant, and even in his heightened state of battle rhythm he made a mental note to claim it as soon as possible.

Reaching up to the rail of the Illustrious’ poop deck, a bayonet whipped past Nate’s head, scoring a line down his back and tearing the shoulder of his coat. His eyes widening in shocked fury Nate grabbed the musket the bayonet was attached to and yanked as hard as he could. The marine who had been holding the musket plunged forwards over the rail, meeting Nate’s eyes for a fleeting second before he fell between the frigates with a splash. Gritting his teeth Nate pulled himself over the rail, immediately followed by others of the Acheron’s crew. Down on the gun deck he could see Ren and other men from the Acheron laying about what was left of the Illustrious’ gunners. Carrington was among them as well, and Nate was delighted to see the sailing master flashing a maniacal grin as he slashed and stabbed all around him.

In a few split seconds Nate took in the scene of devastation that had once been the ordered deck of a Royal Navy frigate. Even though she was raked from the prow instead of the stern, and was protected by the thick wood there, the Illustrious had been badly mauled. The gun deck was awash with blood. Racks of spare shot had been tipped over and broken. Some guns had been thrown from their carriages and threatened to break through the side of the ship with every roll of the waves. Some dead crewmen lay about or slouched over guns, some wounded, yet to be taken away, moaned and cried where they had fallen. The men who remained on their feet were shaken, powder stained, and totally unprepared for the ferocity of the men from the Acheron. They had been humiliated, they had been beaten, but now they would take their revenge.

The canister shot from the deck guns had blown away whatever concentrated resistance the men of the Acheron might have faced, so they fell about the crew of the Illustrious like wolves among sheep. They roared and shrieked like demons and cut down anything in their path, swarming below-decks to secure whatever loot they could. Acheron!” They roared over and over. Acheron!” Some of the navy men tried to surrender, but the pirates of Black Nate were in no mood for mercy. A couple leapt over the side, swimming desperately to try and reach the Endeavour. Those Nate could let go. They were of no consequence.

Coming back to what was directly in front of him, Nate locked eyes with the captain of the Illustrious, captain Fotheringay. Nate fixed him with a glare of malevolent intensity as the naval captain crouched by the wheel. He took a step forwards but was forced to duck as a great axe soared over where his head would have been. Snarling like an animal Nate turned to face his opponent, a giant marine sergeant in a torn and bloody red coat. Nate drew his sword and held it in his right hand, the tomahawk in his left. He was about to strike when a man landed on the marine hard. Both were driven to the deck and the one on top was furiously stabbing at the marine with a stiletto blade.

“Mr. Peters,” Nate roared. “Get in my way again and I’ll kill you myself!” He couldn’t help but let a little of the grin of pride show on his face, before he set back to the stonewall expression of hatred he always wore in battle. “Now get back to it Mr. Peters!”

“Aye sir!” Peters shouted and dove back into combat, grappling with another seaman near the steps to the gangway.

Slashing out left and right Nathaniel carved his way over to the wheel, kicking a wounded seaman out of his way and splitting a marine’s skull when he tried to check his advance. By the wheel Nate found Fotheringay again. The man was shivering, his sword held limply and shaking like a leaf. Nate could not stop himself from laughing and very nearly bent over double as other crewmen from the Acheron, their opponents finished, turned to see what was bringing out the rare sound of their captain’s laughter. Fotheringay, now surrounded by dangerously laughing and blood spattered pirates dropped his sword with a clatter and raised his arms.

“I….I… I surrender sir. I surrender.” He stammered, withering under Nate’s gaze.

“Captain Fotheringay,” Nate spoke, filling his voice with venom and drawing himself up to his full height. “You scratched my ship.” The level of animosity in the statement made Fotheringay’s knees shake. “Mr. Carrington,” Nathaniel called. “String this miserable excuse for a captain up by his ankles to the yardarm.” As he spoke Nate pushed Fotheringay’s chin up with the bloodied blade of his tomahawk, before letting him drop and turning to flash a quick smile at Carrington as he stepped towards the rail to look down onto the gundeck.

As he walked a creaking and cracking noise filled the air. With a groan the mainmast of the Endeavour leant over, then with a horrendous tearing noise collapsed into the sea. The great sprawl of sail and rope came crashing down, the few men who were up there plummeting into the sea, or bouncing off the deck. The flames that Nathaniel had noticed on that ship suddenly flared up. Once again, time was against them.

Leaning over the rail and seeing that most of the crew of the Illustrious had been killed or herded together by the men of the Acheron in the belly of the ship, Nate shouted to Ren. “Miss Thompson! Take a prize crew of fifty and get the Illustrious on the move as quickly as humanly possible! We do not want to be anywhere near that,” he pointed to the Endeavour, “when she goes up.” Turning away from the rail Nate sheathed his sword. “All hands back to the Acheron! Make sail as fast as she can go!” With that he strode to the side and hopped down to the poop deck of the Acheron. One captured. One destroyed. Not a bad start for a half fresh crew.

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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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Despite initial resistance, it became quite evident after only a few moments fighting that the raking fire and the boarding had stricken the discipline from every man aboard. Formations and teamwork that Ren knew had been beaten into their skulls at the academy was thrown to the wayside as soldiers shot at anything that moved and wildly swung sabres. 'The most powerful navy on the seas...' Ren thought to herself as she smacked a strike away from her person with her sword, deftly raising the loaded pistol in her grip and firing without a moment's hesitation. She could hear the splashes of men jumping overboard, while others dropped their weapons and surrendered.

“No pity! No mercy!”

The Captain's orders had been painfully clear. The best she could do for these bastards was to make it quick. She spied one young lad, a recent enlistment or damn close to it, fumble in a panic as he tried to reload his musket. The lad was just barely older than a cabin boy, tears streaming down his face as he fought desperately to live. He never saw the woman approach from his side, eyes blinded to the world around him as he dropped musket rounds from trembling fingers. He jumped once when a hand gently gripped his shoulder, and felt the sharp pain of a blade pierce the back of his neck. He was dead before he could see the tip jut from his throat, Ren allowing gravity to remove his corpse from her blade.

"No pity! No mercy!" She barked, as much an order to herself as it was to the men around her.

With the sheer number of pirates on board, and the number of Navy either dead or surrendering in vain, there wasn't much need for her own blade once Black Nate cornered the Captain of the Illustrious. Ren felt no need to check her defenses as she looked over to the helm, feeling a sinking pit in her stomach as she recognized the name Nate called out in mockery. That man had been Second Lieutenant on the first ship her father had captained. Might not even have a Captain's colors if not for her own father's words.

“No pity! No mercy!”

She made it a point to watch everything Carrington did to the man, only looking away once to shoot an opportunistic navy-men hoping to kill a pirate he believed distracted. She hadn't seen her father in nearly a decade, she realized as the life was slowly stricken from the Captain. She didn't even know if he yet lived to be worried or disappointed over her. At seeing the limp form of the former Captain, she prayed he wasn't alive to see her like this.

She was taken from her prayers by the loud thuds of bodies falling to the deck from the tops, cheers and mockery coming from the pitayes who had scaled the rigging to kill the snipers who had long since ceased firing either due to lack of ammunition or motivation. She regarded every corpse she could spot, compartmentalizing their faces and uniforms just as she had with pirates, Spaniards, and the French. She thanked God her father was retired.

“Miss Thompson! Take a prize crew of fifty and get the Illustrious on the move as quickly as humanly possible! We do not want to be anywhere near that,” he pointed to the Endeavour, “when she goes up.”

She was surprised to hear the orders, and looked up at Nate in disbelief for but a moment, but a grin spread across her face like a child on Christmas morning.

"Aye aye, sir!" She saluted, and turned on her heels to survey the damage the Illustrious had sustained. A quick glance was all she needed to know this ship would never make it to harbor again, but it could stay afloat long enough for a proper looting once the Endeavor was finished with its theatrics. She pointed at a group of four before sweeping her arm up towards the sails.

"You lot, jury rig those sails! I'd rather not be near the Endeavor when the fires hit the magazine!" She called, then looked out at another group, glaring at them before pointing at the cannons, "Secure what you can! The deck is beaten enough without artillery getting ideas about mobility!"

The men couldn't help but grin a little at the choice of words, but jumped to the tasks. Ren grinned in return, and turned to continue visually sweeping the ship for problems that would prevent their sailing away from the inevitable blast. She was surprised to find a familiar, recently bloodied face saluting her. The act confused her, but she was just thankful to not be called a whore again.

"Orders, Cap'n?" the crewman asked, smirking in a way which Ren couldn't tell was mocking or genuine, but she opted for the latter.

"What's your name, crewman?"

"Tom Jenkins, Captain Thompson."

"First Lieutenant Jenkins, see to it any fires remain controlled and away from the powders. We'll be limping away but I'll be damned if the first ship to my name sinks while I'm aboard. I also don't want to see any looting when there's repair work to be done. Plenty of time for that when the ship is secured," She said, Jenkins nodding before turning on his heel, just as Ren had done before, and let out in a booming voice, "CAPTAIN SAID TO GET OFF YOUR ASSES THE LOT OF YA! ANY FIRE REACHES THE POWDERS AND SHE'LL USE YER CARCASS TO PUT OUT THE FLAMES, AND GOD HELP THE MAN WHO STUFFS COIN IN HIS POCKET WHEN THERE'S WORK T'BE DONE!"

Ren put a hand on Jenkin's shoulder and gave it a few pats. "I appreciate your enthusiasm, lieutenant, but I fear the crew might not respect you, being the captain's whore and all," she said, getting a uproarious laugh from her temporary officer.

"After seeing you fight on this very deck, just glad a busted nose was all you deemed necessary. Woulda done worse t'any man disrespected me the same way,"

"And worse is what you'll get if we don't sail in the next few minutes. Find me a helmsman and set them to the wheel, We've no heading asides away from the blast and eyesight of the Acheron," Ren said, a bit of the authority back in her voice as she nodded to the man and walked away and back up to the helm where the previous Captain had once stood, his corpse still in eyesight of Ren's post, but Ren tried to focus either on the flames of the Endeavor or the decks before her. The Acheron's boarding hooks were gone and the Illustrious was under its own power now.

Ren took the wheel and aimed the ship so that it's broadside would take any blast, but until the sails were refastened they'd be dead in the water.

"You lot! Go up to the masts and help with those sails! Those ropes are our lifelines now!" She called, anxiety creeping in to her mind as some of the powders on deck of the Endeavor began to blow. Jenkins was below, carrying out her will with a strong voice and stronger arm. Most of the men listened, knowing their survival now lay in Ren's words, but some still would rather die than follow her command. She watched as Jenkins threw an empty barrel overboard, an insubordinate crewman shortly following and yelled for him to either serve on the Endeavor, or go explain to Commodore Sellars that his choice in officers was lacking. Jenkins was proof this was going to be a great crew once they came around, but getting there would take time. She ran down to where the man had been thrown overboard, tossing a line over the ship for the soggy seamen to grab hold of. She was almost surprised when the slack was taken out of the rope and she helped haul in her subordinate, grabbing him by the collar as soon as he was in sight to pull him over the rail.

The man attempted to catch his breath, but Ren still had a grip on his collar, and yanked him in so that the heat of her breath could be felt on his face.

"You'll return to your post, or I'll shoot ye in both legs and toss you back in myself. I'd hate to lose a good man over his head being crammed up his ass," she said, and threw the man over to Jenkins.

"Check on the prisoners below deck. Dry off, steal a change of clothes if you like, but don't come back above deck unless you're done being a child," Ren said. The man scowled, but Jenkins shoved him off towards the hold before he could say anything he'd regret. The man had barely been off deck for a minute before wind finally caught in the freshly tied sails, a sight Ren had been longing for since she'd first started barking orders.

"Helmsman! take us away from the Endeavor and set a rendevous course with the Acheron!" She called, hearing an affirmative response as the ship began to swerve away from its wrecked sister ship.

"WHAT CREW ARE WE?!" Ren called.

"ACHERON!" the men called back.

"WHO DOES THE NAVY FEAR?!"

"ACHERON!"

"WHOSE SAILING OUT ONTO THAT OPEN BLUE PARADISE?!"

"ACHERON!"

"WE'RE NOT EVEN ON THAT SHIP YA INBRED MONGRELS!" Ren called back, laughter erupting from the crew as they sailed out to the open waters.

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Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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Karena laid in silence as the two women lightly quarreled with each other after listening to Angelique’s soothing voice to stay awake. They reminded her of when her family was alive. Back when Karena still knew how to smile. The girl and her sister would often argue over similar things. Karena fancied more of the clothes her father wore and adapted his like for things men were more known for than women. Her sister, Hilde, took after their mother and was more refined and ladylike. Hilde would often chastise Karena for not being the same and would often give tales about the kind of lifestyle there was for girls that wanted to be like men. They were often barbaric and over exaggerated tales but even so, their father loved hearing them. They were likely tales that Hilde had heard from her friends since there was no way of the girl knowing them herself when her only places she went to were the school for ladies and out on the town on occasion.

Hearing Jacqueline and Angelique made Karena suddenly long for her old life. Back before her parents died and her sister’s disappearance. When Karena heard of Jacqueline preparing to either break out of the cell or fight the young girl snapped back into reality. She slowly sat up and swung her legs back to the floor. It hurt like hell to move any part of her upper body, especially, sitting up.

Karena took a deep breath, willing the pain to the back of her mind to focus on more important task. Then her eyes opened to look at the door handle.

“Waiting to rush them would be too risky if the captain comes, escorted by his men. It’d be suicide.” Karena stood up and walked over to the door before kneeling down to further inspect the keyhole. “It’s not a cell door.” The girl looked at Jacqueline’s weapon. “You could force the door open with the frying pan if you desired so. With all the fighting going on I don’t think anyone would hear it unless there were guards stationed at the door.” Karena pulled out her lockpicking kit. She always carried it on her just in case. It was pretty small so even if she was searched the was always a possibility it’d be overlooked since it was in her bosom.

The true challenge was picking the lock with a single hand and on a swaying boat. At least the cannon fire had ceased but there was still the swaying. Karena found herself lucky the door to this room held a simpler lock than the ones she was used to breaking into. She spoke while starting to work.

“This will take a little while to do with one hand but if you can be patient then we’ll be through the door in a few minutes.” The girl dropped her pins several times before grunting in frustration. She moved her arm from the sling it was placed in and let out a short but sharp cry. The sudden pain was surprising and had caught her off guard despite expecting it. She held up a hand letting the others know to keep their distance and that she was fine.

-----------------

After working for a little while Karena was surprised at how exhausting the work was. Beads of sweat formed on her head and her breaths were getting shorter. Working through pain like this wasn’t something she had to do before. She would admire anyone that could. Then the bolt turned.

“Got it!” Karena whispered. She gathered her kit back together and put it back in its original place. “Now what’s your plan?” Karena asked the older woman as the girl sat back on the bunk and carefully placed her arm back into the sling. The pain slowly dulling out as Karena got used to it. There wasn’t any popping or cracking when she moved her arm early so the assassin came to the conclusion that nothing was broken or shattered. She was very lucky but now her mind was set on what would happen next. That would test how great her luck really was.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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As Mr. Franklin, Mr. Donovan, and Mr. Carrington all scrambled over the the Illustrious the pair of ships and their crews were in an all out bloodbath. Despite the complete desolation they had suffered, the opposing crew still put up a dogged fight, showing their worth even if the battle was all but over.
The trio crashed into a group of survivors and quickly made short work of them before Carrington pointed towards the stairs leading below deck.

"You know what to do gentlemen!", he yelled over the din of battle, and shooting a man point-blank in the face as he finished.

As the man fell, Carrington quickly placed his pistol in its holster and took that of his slain opponent. He rushed off into the fray, a maniacal smile spreading across his face the deeper he went into the ferocious melee. The acrid stench of spent powder filled the air in an oppressive fog that sent a thrill through the insane navigator's body. He rushed into another group of battling Navy and crew, intercepting a blow aimed at the new Lieutenant, potentially saving her life without her knowledge.
They were all screaming and roaring like madmen, and Carrington was no different, blood filled his thoughts and murder fueled his tired body.
It must have been his strange way of moving, or perhaps some kind of natural talent, or just pure, dumb luck that kept him from harm as he weaved through the chaos. He would take a languid step forward and then lunge, stabbing his blade into an enemy and narrowly dodging the swing of an axe, or he'd pivot without rhyme or reason and empty his pistol into another, barely being missed by the shots of others.

By the time the captain called him up, Mr. Franklin, and Mr. Donovan were creeping from below deck, both sporting fresh wounds and spots of blood here and there and carrying a sack over their backs. They had standing orders from Carrington, typically with the captain's blessing, to ransack important cabins when prudent, just in case the ship capsized before they were able to properly plunder it. They were both burdened with functional clothes and boots, as well as anything of value they could reasonably carry, and more maps and charts to add to Carrington's collection.

The crowd of men that have moved up to witness the spectacle of the captain's triumph parted as Carrington made his way forward. He had been able to see most of what had occurred during melee.
"What do we do with a cowardly captain, What do we do with a cowardly captain, What do we do with a cowardly captain... Early in the morning?", he sang quietly, almost to himself.
As the crowd parted, it could be seen that the blood of the slain clung to him like a horrid, crimson shroud. Ten more pistols were added to those that were there before, his trophies for each man killed. In one hand he gripped one of his newly gotten pistols by it's barrel, the handle of which was dripping as much blood as he was, making it clear that it had been put to work as an impromptu club, and in the other he held a mangled head, loosely gripped by its hair.
The grim visage of Carrington made his way to stand before both captains, but he never took his eyes from their prisoner. He placed the pistol back into his belt and grabbed another, the one that Miss Thomspon had recieved and then given to their stowaways, and extended it back to Nathaniel.

"I believe you misplaced this, Sir.", he said quietly, choosing the words carefully.

After handing the gun off, he smiled once more at the enemy captain, noting his trembling, and placed the head in the man's lap. Captain Fotheringay began to shake even more, and his lips began to tremble, however, he stop in shock as Carrington placed a bloody finger to his lips.

"Shhhh, dignity, Captain, dignity."

All reserve the man had broke down and he began sobbing and crying for help. Carrington snapped his fingers and pointed towards the humiliating man and several of the crew held him while the navigator deftly bound his hands and feet and began hoisting him high, belying his apparent strength.
A few more notes came to mind as he pulled, and Carrington sang out, "String 'im up by 'is 'ands and 'is ankles, String 'im up by 'is 'ands and 'is ankles, String 'im up by 'is 'ands and 'is ankles... Early in the morn..."

With the last bar, he finished tying the captain down and turned, a sadistic, triumphant look in his eyes only to have the last word cut out by the sound of a gunshot. One of the enemy crew that had survived the assault and had apparently wanted a measure of revenge leaned again the mast, the smoke of the shot billowing about his form moments before the crew descended on him and slew him.
Carrington meanwhile, had a look on his face that was a mixture of mirth, confusion, and surprise. His hand had instinctively gone to the point of impact, and the force of the shot itself sent him reeling back and he tumbled over the side of the ship.

-------------------------------------------


Back aboard the Acheron, Mr. Franklin and Mr. Donovan were heading to the cabins when the door they were passing opened up, revealing the three stowaways that they had imprisoned. Mr. Donovan instantly reached for an axe at his side, but Mr. Franklin held him back, and instead handed him the sack he was carrying.

"If you'd be so kind as to take these to Mr. Carrington's cabin on your way to the Captain's, I would be appreciative.".

The grizzled pirate nodded his head, took the bag and left in response.

Mr. Franklin calmly drew his pistol as his friend departed and he smiled at the women. He might have been almost handsome despite his age, if it weren't for his mangled right eye and the spiderweb of scars surrounding it. But, he smiled at them nonetheless and said, "Now ladies, this puts me in a quandary. Y'see, the Captain wants ye off the ship, and ne'er said a thing about killin' ye. And I'm not much one fer killin' womenfolk. Leaves a darkness upon the soul that's hard to be rid of. So, I'll letcha go by without action, since the Captain doesn't want ya aboard regardless. But if it's a fight yer lookin' fer, ye might kill me, but one of ye will die with me." He emphasized his point by cocking his pistol and taking a step back to let them pass.

About the time, commotion was once again begin heard over the din of the waves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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Jacqueline looked on appreciatively as Karena picked the lock. The girl had quite the pair of hands, to be able to do that with one bad arm. Jacqueline had never been quite deft enough to fiddle with such things. She'd almost told the girl to stop when she cried out in pain, but Karena had insisted on continuing. When the hunter finished, she sat back with Angelique.

“Now what's your plan?” the girl asked her.

Jacqueline opened the door. “First, I'll have- Merde!” she hissed. Two men, smack in front of the door. She gripped the handle of her pan tight. She could hold them off long enough to get the girls away, but-

"If you'd be so kind as to take these to Mr. Carrington's cabin on your way to the Captain's, I would be appreciative."

Jacqueline raised an eyebrow as the grizzled man took a familiar looking sack from Mr. Franklin. She could see the butt of her saber sticking out just barely of the sack. She scowled, though was thankful the other man had been sent away. She gripped the handle of the pan tighter and stayed in the doorway.

The man smiling caught her completely off guard. “Now ladies, this puts me in a quandary. Y'see, the Captain wants ye off the ship, and ne'er said a thing about killin' ye. And I'm not much one fer killin' womenfolk. Leaves a darkness upon the soul that's hard to be rid of. So, I'll letcha go by without action, since the Captain doesn't want ya aboard regardless. But if it's a fight yer lookin' fer, ye might kill me, but one of ye will die with me." That smile looked all too familiar to Jacqueline, one that she'd been given many times long ago. Her heart leapt for a split second before she pulled herself back into reality. Though the smile was the same, she knew this man not.

Jacqueline stared at the lone pirate before stepping out of the doorway. “As long as you keep your word, I've no notion to start a fight. Angelique!” she called back behind her. The blonde started behind her, still focused on Karena.

“What?"

“We're taking our leave of this cabin.” Jacqueline never turned her head back, instead keeping her eyes planted firmly on the scarred cyclops in front of her.
“Where- oh. Oh!” Angelique helped Karena up off the bunk and out the door. “Are we-”

“Go. You know what to do.” Jacqueline waved her hand in the opposite direction of, apparently, Carrington’s cabin. Angelique nodded hard and hastily helped Karena away from the pair in standoff.
Jacqueline didn't watch them leave. She stood there for a moment after she could no longer hear their footsteps, then spoke quietly to Mr. Franklin.

“I'm sure a man of your age has had plenty of cause to kill women for lesser reasons. I've no notion as to why you've decided to leave us be.” She took a deep breath. “Should I see the sun rise-” She heard shouts ring from above them and cursed. Still a bit shaken, she finally left the hallway and made for the deck.

-
Angelique had no idea what to do. Had she been on her own, she’d have taken the time to learn the lay of the land- well, ship, scope out any easy hiding spots, size up the liquor, all of that. She wasn't used to sneaking about with someone else, though the girl was just as silent as Angelique.

“We're going to see if we can't find a surgeon’s chest,” Angelique murmured to Karena. “I don't have much of anything on me, and if I have to start tearing up my dress for dressing auntie might try to put me in breeches.” The blonde shuddered at that, then gave a quick glance around.
Where were they?

-
Jacqueline bounded up topside as fast as she could. She prayed to whatever was listening that Angelique hadn't gone on deck as she went.

She came on deck to the sight of the Endeavor near explosive as it sank, sucking in water as if there was no tomorrow. It seemed like the two ships couldn't get away fast enough; if they couldn't get moving fast enough, there wouldn't be a tomorrow. The crew on both ships raced to get moving. The Endeavor cracked and groaned and popped as it sank, the few men left on her doomed to sail with Davy Jones. There was no time left for them.

Her niece nowhere in sight, Jacqueline turned to go back and find her inside the ship when a gunshot rang from the deck of the ship the pirates had boarded: the Illustrious. She watched as someone fell overboard, coat billowing as they fell. Jacqueline couldn't quite see who it was by the light of the moon and the blaze of the Endeavor, but he looked to be someone of importance, as the new crew of the Illustrious scrambled to fish him out.

“Oi! Don't just stand there, mate! Captain’ll shoot you ‘imself if ‘e sees you slakin’ off,” a burly, smoky man clapped Jacqueline on the shoulder, giving her a start. Jacqueline looked at the man as though he were crazy, then realized what was going on around her. With her current attire she looked far more like the pirates scurrying around the deck than she had earlier. She tool a page out of Angelique’s book, nodded back at the man and began to assist the crew of the Acheron in sailing them away from the Endeavor. After all, she reminded herself, she was no good to Angelique dead, and if the Endeavor blew with them as close as they were, there was no chance in hell for them.

She could taste the powder still in the air, though the wind felt as though it would shift directions any second. “Å quelque chose malheur est bon,” she murmured to herself, taking glances up at the clouds that were floating lazily by. Jacqueline wouldn't rest well until she saw the color of sunrise.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Taking the impact of the jump to the Acheron in his knees, Nate quickly stood straight and strode along the gangway towards the quaterdeck. A few splinters and fallen ropes lay across his path and the gundeck below him, but his gaze remained fixedly forwards. His mind was full of the need to get as far away from the buring Endeavour as possible. Now that the immediate action was over, and his heartrate was slowly dropping, he had time to consider how unlikely the whole situation was. Two Royal Navy frigates, one captained by a coward and the other by an idiot. It was nothing less than a miracle for the Acheron. Nate scowled. He didn't believe in miracles. He did however believe in the explosive power of magazines.

"All hands make sail! Lay in a course directly ahead! Look lively now!" He shouted as he reached the quaterdeck, the crew returning from the Illustrious streaming up the undamaged rigging, and the sails, now released, billowing in the wind. "Steady as she goes!"

The last time Jacqueline had actually put out to sea had been over a decade ago. As she wordlessly assisted the crew of the Acheron, she let her mind drift back to the days when she still had both sabers, when she was given free reign over her kitchen, when she was truly happy.

Well, perhaps happy wasn't the right word. Content, but not happy. Hardly anything made her truly happy anymore, since well before the Serpent sunk. Too many friends gone, too many sleepless nights.

She sniffed the air. "Storm's about three days out, Tocaz-" she began to murmur, her accent slipping through before she stopped herself. This was not the Serpent, and the last time she’d seen her dear friend they were both sloshed after the ship had gone down. Jacqueline scowled. That man in the cabins had set her off on memory lane, probably the only place she wanted to be less than on the Acheron.

With a creak the Acheron pulled away from the Illustrious, trailing debris and a few floating bodies. Nate spared a glance at the captured ship and noted the multitude of holes barely above the waterline. This would be tight, especially if Miss Thompson couldn't get her moving in time. Seeing the scratch crew darting upwards and setting what sail they could, Nathaniel noted with satisfaction that Ren was a quick and resourceful commander. She would definitely prove useful, especially at the rate with which she was gaining the respect of the crew.

Nate remembered all too well the troubles of a new officer forced onto a new ship, with its set practices and cliques. When promoted to first lieutenant he had been assigned to a small sloop, the Ajax, and set to patrolling the English Channel. It had been difficult at first. The crew had been wary of a young lieutenant, but quickly his ferociousness in dealing with discipline and the enemy won him respect. He promised the men grog and glory, and they came to trust him. They even trusted him when he began attacking neutral merchant ships, demanding tolls or bribes, some of which would go to the men. Any merchant captains who resisted were put to the sword and soon enough his men began to enjoy it as much as he did.

But all of that was a long time ago. Nate was shook back into the present by a series of small explosions. Whipping round he strode to the poop deck and stared over the rail. The deck of the Endeavour was sparking, flashes of explosions throwing men and material over the side. "The spare powder on the decks must be going up," Nate thought to himself. Turning back to the Acheron he yelled, "get her moving men! A pint of rum for every man if we are a league away before the Endeavour goes up!"

This shout from the captain gave the crew the second wind they needed. Jacqueline started to find it hard to keep up with the seasoned pirates- of which, she was surprised to think, she was no longer. She'd never been much for the grunt work on a ship, at least not in this magnitude. The Acheron was bigger than any craft she'd sailed with, even her brother's ship.

One of the younger men clapped her on the back enthusiastically. "Whooo, this 'as been one 'ell of a day, eh mate? C'mon, faster we put out faster we get to celebrate!"

Jacqueline grumbled, "Je ne même aime pas le rhum," as she turned to cuff the young man for shoving her. Her eyes flashed as she saw him. Definitely one of her younger regulars; Ackerman, if she remembered correctly. He had a thing for her niece, though Angelique had none-too-kindly turned him down for stalking her and insulting her stitches when Jacqueline tried to throw him into a table. There was no lost love between the two.

Ackerman quickly recognized her as well, and his jovial smile turned into something vindictive. With a triumphant yelp he lunged for her arms, but Jacqueline was still quicker. She jumped out of the way, straight into another crewman.

"'Ey! Wot the bloody 'ell is wrong with you?" the man shouted, shoving Jacqueline off of him and into Ackerman, who grabbed her to his chest, keeping her arms pinned.

"What's not wrong with miss Thuron?" Ackerman responded, struggling to keep Jacqueline still. She already felt sore from all that she'd done that night, especially the running. She didn't know how Angelique managed it. She stomped on his foot with the heel of her boot, but he managed to keep his hold on her.

"Shit!" Ackerman hissed in pain. He then called to Nate, who wasn't far from the group. "Hey, Captain, isn't this one supposed to be belowdecks?"

At the sound of the shout Nate's eyes quickly shot to the source, alighting on the two stuggling crewmen. Glaring in their direction he came to notice, only one of them was a crewman, the other was indeed the inkeeper from back at the port. With that realization Nate's eyes narrowed in anger, his hands clasped behind his back as he stepped down from the quaterdeck and walked towards the pair. Many of the sailors avoided his glance as he passed them, quickly turning away and double-timing their work in an effort to avoid whatever was brewing in their captain's mind.

Stopping in front of the two Nate scowled again. This woman seemed to be proving nothing but trouble, however, instead of causing issues upon breaking out of the officer's cabin she instead tried to help with the sailing of the ship. Narrowing his eyes Nate studied her face. Somewhere in the back of his mind, an itch started, unnerving him a little. Why did he feel like he had seen her before?

"You two," Nate pointed to two nearby crewmen. "Keelhaul this man," he said pointing straight at the man holding Jacqueline.

"W...www...what sir? I haven't done anything wrong!" Releasing Jacqueline's arms he stepped back against the rail, raising his hands as the men advanced on him.

Nate growled, "and again you rotten piece of filth. Who the hell do you think you are to address me so?" Stepping forwards in a flash he delivered a backhand to the man that send him sprawling against the side of the ship. On any vessel, especially one run by a captain as strict as Black Nate, protocol was everything, and a base crewman addressing the captain with familiarity and without respect was a gross violation.

The two crewmen grabbed the mans arms and quickly strapped long ropes around his wrists and ankles. One of the men climbing over the rail and carefully lowering and pulling the rope so that it passed underneath the middle of the ship, coming up on the opposite side from where the unfortunate man and the captain stood.

"Now," Nate ordered, and with a final scream the man was picked up and thrown over the side, the crewman on the other side of the ship hauling on the rope and dragging the man under the ship. Keelhauling was not a pleasant thing in the slightest. A fast one could tear you to pieces, a slow one could let you drown. "Typical of the Dutch," Nate thought.

Turning to Jacqueline Nate narrowed his eyes again. "Now, what in God's name are you doing up here?"

"You need better locks," Jacqueline stated plainly, dusting off her arms where she'd been held. "If a girl with a bad arm can get through them in no time, someone with two good ones will decimate it." She glanced in the direction of the keel. "Haven't heard a good keelhauling in..." She trailed off, frowning. Perhaps that information was better kept to herself. This wasn't her ship, nor did she want it to be.

"To answer your question, I went looking for my saber. I believe one of your men took it to a Mr. Carrington's cabin, though the noise from that"- she nodded in the direction of the sinking Endeavor- "drew me up." That wasn't entirely false, as the explosions had gotten her attention, though she was more in a daze at that time. She did want her saber back, with a powerful need.

"If I wanted you locked up madame, I would have had you thrown into the hold with your arms and legs hogtied." Nate gripped his hands behind his back, ignoring the grating sound of the ropes keelhauling the unfortunate man.

His eyes still narrowed, Nathaniel stared at Jacqueline. "You would do well if you addressed me properly. This may not be a navy ship, but I run it like one."

With the sound of splashing water and coughing the man who had held Jacqueline emerged from the water under the keel, the crewman dragging him over the side. He looked in a bad way, broken limbs, blood pouring from numerous cuts and bruises all over his body. Nate nodded to the crewman, who picked the man up and carried him below.

"If you want your saber back I need to know you are trustworthy. That you are not a threat to my ship." So far she had not proved a danger, but she had angered Nate by stowing away at the last moment and breaking out of the room he had placed her in.

Jacqueline laughed. "I am here purely out of necessity, sir," she said, fighting the temptation to spit the last word. She completely understood the need to be totally in charge of one's area; hell, she was the same way in her kitchen. She'd have to mourn it probably after dawn. "And despite my age I have never, nor will I ever be a madame," she added, her eyebrows furrowing at a decades old memory. "Thuron will do."

Nate raised an eyebrow. "Thuron?" Why did that name sound vaguely familiar to him? He glared at Jacqueline a little longer, torn between his need to find out why she seemed familiar and the increasing awareness that he was wasting time on this.

"Some of the men here joined for reasons of necessity. Debt, accusations of crime, broken hearts, the usual. But they have all learned to be a part of the Acheron. She has become their home, their protector. She can be the same for you if you find a place." Now the action was over Nathaniel was able to draw on his usual poise, the words flowing calmly in his usual baritone. Here Nate drew himself up to his full height. "What can you do Madmoiselle Thuron? I have no use for a washed up tavern-keeper on my ship."

"Yes. Thuron." Jacqueline had to remind herself that this man stood between her life (and her niece's) and her death. She clenched her fist and unclenched it, feeling a touch of blood come away with her nails. "Monsieur, name practically anything, and I can cook it. Ask your lieutenant; she practically inhaled her stew earlier." She muttered something in French about her cooking, then stopped. Jacqueline had been asked a similar question almost 30 years ago to the one Nate had just asked. Was she willing to go through the insanity of an unknown ship again?

She didn't really have a choice, did she? Jacqueline returned the captain's glare before remembering her bag. The whole thing was going to end up smelling of cloves for weeks. Not that it wasn't a good smell, but there was a reason she used it sparingly. "And though it's been years since I've sailed, I've still as much skill with that saber as I did when I still possessed its twin."

"Comment typique d'un Français d'être un cuisinier." Though he had not spoken French for some time the words flowed relatively easily from Nate's mouth. He had always enjoyed speaking it, and maybe the appearance of this woman would allow him to practice once again.

"A cook? You came aboard a frigate of two-hundred and eighty men with the offer of being a cook? Are you being quite serious?" Nate's eyes narrowed again, mostly in an attempt to hide his incredulity. His hand gripped the pommel of his sword, and his other clenched behind his back. How ridiculous. The cook on a ship was usually just one of the men who was too wounded to take his place on a lanyard, and what he produced was usually just barely edible. He spent all day every day cooking for the ship's watches and working his way through salted provisions.

A thought pressed itself into Nate's mind. "Perhaps there could be a better use for you." He took a step closer and appraised Jacqueline again, this time going over her with a swordsman's eye. "You say you can fight, well we shall see. If Lieutenant Thompson can speak for your cooking then you can work directly for me, as my cook." To himself Nate muttered that it was about time he had someone who could actually make something worthy of a captain's table.

"Comment commun d'un Anglais d'être en commande," Jacqueline replied, though it lacked the malice she had shown him previously. She still braced when the Captain ran his eye over her, nearly refusing his offer before he made it. It took a moment for her to realize his gaze was that of a fellow swordsman, not of the men of her youth.

Jacqueline took a deep breath as Nate stated his proposition. "Should I have never sailed, I would have put the finest chefs in France to shame," she replied, not even trying to brag. She'd been told as much over the years over and over again. She didn't need to brag; her food would speak for itself. And, hopefully, the Lieutenant would speak for it as well. The last thing she needed was to lose her niece at sea due to something entirely preventable.

A memory stirred at the back of her mind, one she'd tried to soak in wine and whiskey and gin, but to no avail. She nodded, half to Nate, half to get that god-forsaken night out of her head. She'd already thought back too much today; she didn't need to start drinking again. Best to leave that to her niece.


Nate gave a momentary inclination of his head. "Peut-être que les Anglais sont dans le contrôle parce que les Français sont incapables." He would not offer his hand, he rarely did and only to those he respected. Jacqueline had not yet earned his respect in the slightest. Time would tell.

"To my mind Madoiselle Thuron," that name still gave him pause, "one does not truly know someone until one has fought them. When there is time, we shall remedy that." Turning away he strode back to the quarterdeck, pacing forwards and back, casting glances at the Endeavour every so often. Trouble might come of this. The Royal Navy does not lose two frigates then sit by idly. Nate began turning over ideas for a course in his head as he paced.

The Mediterranean? No. Too many British ships around Gibraltar, and the Italians always protected their merchant ships well. The North Sea? Though the fur and seal skin trade was always profitable Nate did not like the idea of constantly scraping ice of the ship and running to and from the Russian Empire. The Indian Ocean? British Indiamen were always heavily laden with spoils, but nowadays always well protected. Maybe in the future. For now, the Carribean. Easy pickings and the Spanish galleons to prey on. A decision then, and soon to be acted on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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The Illustrious had barely been underway by the time the first wrinkle decided to rear its ugly head. No sooner had Ren called for the crew to set sail before someone began shouting about their being a man overboard. Ren snarled as she looked starboard, esitating in thought for only a moment before she looked to her interim first mate, Jenkins, and demanded he fetch her a long rope and tie one end to the railing on the starboard. He saluted and rushed off, the task not taking but a moment as the stuff was everywhere, the crew gathering it for transfer back to the Acheron.

"Belay those sails! I was given a full crew and damn the man that makes me return with a head less!" She called to the tops, accepting the rope Jenkins returned with, handing him her jacket and pistols in return before tying a knot around her waist.

"Get some strong arms, Lieutenant, I'll be going fishing," she said sarcastically, both smiling as Ren turned and set into a hard run at starboard. She dove headfirst into the waves below, using her "hands to break the surface and spare her head the trauma. Growing up in a port town, the son of a sailor, Ren was a strong swimmer and it was probably very fortunate to whatever crewman had decided to lose their sea legs. She could spy a strange lump clinging to driftwood, looking to be unconscious but still holding a grip to the planks of wood liberated from the Endeavor. She could also see the glasses and familiar coat once she swam closer, and upon realizing just who the overboard crewman was, Ren cursed under her breath.

"Some Navigator you are, Mr. Carrington... two ships to choose from and you get yourself lost in the ocean..." Ren mutterd, the annoyance plain in her voice as she untied the rope around her person and began securing it to Mr. Carrington. She made sure the knots were tight, to ensure his hauling up the side of the ship would be both secure, and leave him with rope burns the likes he'd never seen before. When she was satisfied, she swam back towards the ship, keeping a hand to the rope.

"HAUL LIKE YOU MEAN IT BOYS! CARRINGTON SAID HE'S DONE WITH HIS SWIM!" Ren shouted, her command met with laughter as she felt the line grow taut, and Carrington's limp form unceremoniously dragged through the waters and to the broadside of the ship. Ren climbed up the rigging alongside Carrington as he was brought up to make sure he didn't get snagged on anything, crawling back over the railing as his body hit the deck.

"Alright, I did the hard part. Who knows how to give mouth to mouth?" Ren asked, and was delighted when one of the crew raised their hands to volunteer. Granted, he looked to have scurvy, but Mr. Carrington would live to annoy the shit out of her another day.

"When the sea gets sucked back out of him, see Mr. Carrington is taken below deck to recover. God forbid he loses his way again and goes overboard," Ren said, though stopped as she noticed the broken compass hanging about his neck.

'Lucky bastard,' She thought, but looking back at the man preparing to revive him she could help but grin and ponder the nature of his luck.

"Set sail! Course is set so let's haul our asses before the Endeavor takes us with her!" Ren called, ripping the sleeve off of the right arm of her shirt, balling it up as she moved Carrington's coat out of the way. She shoved the fabric down onto the wound and pressed firmly before wrapping the tourniquet around the wound to hold it in place. Should keep him from bleeding out until the Acheron was reached.

Their course was set and the wind was with them, so reaching their target would only take a matter of minutes once the Acheron dropped anchor to allow for boarding. In the meantime, Ren decided to take a little time for herself and a reward for the crew thus far.

"Loot the bodies and chum the waters! I want everything presentable for the Captain once we rendezvous. Not a piece in your pockets till the quartermaster gets it counted, or I'll see to it you're on the deck of the Endeavor when it blows. Keep 'em honest, Jenkins!" Ren called, the men roaring in approval as they finally got the all clear to start their looting. Ren smiled and let them have at it, taking it upon herself to venture below deck. It didn't take her long before she found the officer's cabins, and a swift kick to the doors saw them open easily enough. She grabbed a convenient burlap sack and started sizing the room up, taking the lieutenants uniform off of its stand and greedily shoving it inside her sack, as well as a violin safely tucked within its case. A few personal affects to go into her own quarters once she got settled well enough. The next room called for a new sack, this one belonging to the ship's surgeon. all the supplies she could carry she appropriated into the bag and hoisted them both over her shoulder. After the battle they'd just had, and the bullets that had hit their mark, she felt it was prudent to go ahead and acquire means beyond tourniquets for their treatment. Mending the Captain's arm might even see Angelique remain aboard.

It was the least she could do for the Inn keeper, considering who she was.

A moment of nostalgia swept the young woman's mind as she reached inside her jacket and dug a piece of old parchment from pocket in the lining, flicking her wrist to undo its folds. A bounty poster for the woman known as 'The Serpent's Teeth', the very same poster she'd taken down as a child and hid in her room, to look at as she practiced her knots, to fence with her butler and eventually her father, the poster she'd held onto when she needed to remind herself of why she left home in the first place.

The poster that proved a woman could sail if she damn well pleased.

Ren folded the parchment back up and hauled her sacks back to the main deck, happy to see the Illustrious pulling up beside of the Acheron.

"Raise sail and drop anchor! Prepare the gangway once the Captain is ready to board! You lot! Start to the hold and see to it any rations or supplies are ready for hauling back to the Acheron. Bring Carrington back up and see to it he gets treatment for his wound!" Ren called, setting her sacks down and saluting the Acheron.

"Permission to come aboard, Captain!"

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender
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Carrington was completely aware of his circumstances as he tumbled over the railing of the ship. He knew full well that he'd been shot, the pain in his chest was quite the reminder of that, as was the hull of the ship gliding past, not to mention the water rushing up to greet him.
He fought to right himself, but his body wouldn't obey him. The shock of the impact had stunned him and seemingly locked him out of his own voluntary functions.
This all only lasted a second or two before he plunged into the abyss, and then, everything went black.

As the blackness enveloped him in its cold embrace, he felt the pressure wrap around him like an angry lover. He struggled against its grip and pulled himself towards the surface. His head crested the waves and his blood ran cold as a terror more complete and horrible than any he'd never felt before seized him.

The Acheron was ablaze!

The Lady, his invincible home had gone up like a piece of dry parchment. Tears of rage and hate stung his eyes as he frantically swam towards the ship, ignoring the blazing sails and explosions of gunpowder. Carrington scrambled over the railing with an ease born of years at sea and was not surprised to see the crew lying all around him amidst the corpses of downed navy. One man in particular stood at the helm, shrouded in crimson and laughing like a mad man. His head was tilted too far back, his spine arched in a grotesquely impossible way as he bellowed the insane laughter towards the red clouds above.
He ignored the navigator, who rushed below deck as the sound of clashing steel met his ears.

Before he knew it, he stood, watching as the young, delirious woman he'd locked up, slashed Captain Nathaniel across the abdomen, spilling his entrails across the floor. As his knees buckled, the older woman slammed a knife into his back and whispered sharply in his ear, "Pleasure to meet you once more, Black Nate"

Nathaniel's gaze met that of Carrington, the rage and blood lust never diminishing as the light left his eyes and he collapsed. Carrington went insane with fury, and roared like a demon and tackled the younger woman as the ship finally exploded into a rain of blood and bones and ash.
He surfaced from the crimson sea and didn't so much swim, as glide across the water to the young woman. He gripped her by the throat and held her under water, digging his thumbs into her windpipe, causing her to choke and quickly inhale the bloody seawater. As she quit struggling and began to twitch feebly, Carrington pulled her face back above the waterline and screamed at her like some roaring beast, only to push her away and let her finish dying.
As the incensed sailing master laid eyes upon the old hag, a large scarecrow garbed in blue descended from the sky. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him from the sea and towards his fate.

Dimly, Carrington was aware of hands roughly handling him and unceremoniously dumping him upon the deck. It wasn't until he felt someone rummaging through his pockets, and touching his face, that he finally snapped back into consciousness. As quick and smooth as a snake he drew a pistol in each hand. One pointed towards the retreating form of Miss Thompson, and the other pressed under the jaw of the man leaning over him.
Smiling, Carrington said, "Seamus, take your 'ands off me 'ead and get your gob away from mine, if ya please."

The crewman blushed and bobbed his head in agreement.

"Jus' followin' arders Mr. Carring'on"

Carrington dismissed the man with a wave of his hand and looked down the barrel of his other pistol. His eyes locked onto the retreating back of the First Lieutenant and the desire to end her welling in his breast with every second. However, everyone would know it was him, and he couldn't trust the new minnows not to tell the captain. Besides, she had earned a better death than a coward's.
Shaking the thoughts from his mind, he stood triumphantly for all to see, the smile plastered back onto his face. Arms outstretched and a small swagger to his step preceded his words. "I've told ya boys time and again, I cannae be 'armed aboard a ship. The sea loves me too much to watch me go!"
This brought a chorus of cheers from those that knew him, and simply some perplexed looks from those that didn't, though they would learn soon enough.

As the rest of the men bustled to carry out their orders, Carmichael pulled the compass from his shirt and studied its caved in face. It had been close, far too close. He was only half lying about not being harmed at sea. He had never been seriously injured, only a few things like this, and the typical wounds anyone might get. But this, this had nearly been him being cast overboard to shake hands with Jones.
The navigator descended below deck to clear his mind. He didn't want the crew to see him in his slightly introspective state, he had a reputation to maintain, and he also wanted to try to make sense of the strange vision he'd seen whilst unconscious. He was surprised when he saw Miss Thompson go from the main cabin and into that of the chirurgeon. Carrington kept to a shadowy corner, trusting the darkness and sounds of the ship to mask his presence. Surprise flickered across his face as he noted the face on the bounty notice and wondered just what kind of game the new Lieutenant was playing at.
He ducked deeper into the shadows as she turned and quickly made her way back above deck.

Carrington dithered about for a minute and followed her up.

"Raise sail and drop anchor! Prepare the gangway once the Captain is ready to board! You lot! Start to the hold and see to it any rations or supplies are ready for hauling back to the Acheron. Bring Carrington back up and see to it he gets treatment for his wound!", Miss Thompson shouted to the crew.

Biting into an apple, Carrington cheerfully replied, "Mr. Carrington present and accounted for, Ma'am! I suppose a thanks is in order.", he finished, taking a pull from a flask, that had come into his possession as mysteriously as the apple, before extending it in offering to her just before she hailed the Acheron.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson
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Karena hated the fact she had to rely on someone. It hadn’t been something she experienced since she was with her family. That was to be expected. But now she had been alone for quite sometime. To rely on others would mean that Karena wasn’t able to do something herself. And that was unacceptable.

Only until this wound heals. Then I’m going back. Karena thought but then something an ounce of doubt came over her. How would she get back? Who knows what the pirates had in store for her. She was a female on a pirate ship. Karena heard stories of what they did.

Technically, she hadn’t met the captain of the ship yet so Karena would delay planning her next move until she did so. It seemed things had calmed down above deck and Karena started to find her way to get there. More of the crew were appearing below which confirmed the girl’s thought on the battle being over. Most were too busy to pay the girl any attention while every once in awhile she would there would be a surprised or nasty look from a crewman.

Karena wouldn’t meet their gaze, as to seem like she was challenging them, but she did keep her eyes focused ahead with her head up so the girl wouldn’t seem weak either. When ascending the steps Karena just hoped she wouldn’t be escorted back down in the ship again like she had before. She was going to find answers and if it took a sacrifice of the unfortunate crewman that was given the task of dragging her back down to see how serious she was then so be it. Now was not the time to treated like a kid.

Still pacing the captain’s side of the quarterdeck Nate deliberated his choice. Now that he was sure the Royal Navy would hunt the Acheron, they needed to move as fast as ship and wind would allow. The North Atlantic currents should carry them a good way, and even any storms or squalls would help their flight. Nate sighed, he hoped that the ship had been repaired well enough to withstand what it needed to. Despite his belief in the abilities of his men, there was only so much that they could have done in that time. Maybe when they reached Kingston, or another Caribbean port, they could fly navy colours and be given access to dockyards, at least for a while. He would have to see. For the moment, Nate needed to reward the men and see to their spirits. After such a victory he did not doubt they would be fired for the hard work that would need to be done to see them across the Atlantic.

The Illustrious was quickly following along behind the Acheron, the hotch-potch of sails and rigging dragging the beaten ship through the water and away from the Endeavour. The Endeavour herself was blazing with furious intensity. Nathaniel was reminded of other ships he had seen burn, and the horrible fate of the crews on board. He himself had burned a couple with furnace heated cannon balls, and the resulting explosions had seared themselves into his memory. He made a mental note to pick up some sand to be spread on the decks of the Acheron during battle to help combat fires. Surely the Endeavour would go up soon. Now was certainly not the time to rest easy, and the niggling in his brain from that damn cook was still irritating him.

His attention was drawn from his reverie by the appearance of a blonde framed head on the gundeck. Stepping forwards to the rail he narrowed his eyes and recognised it as the girl he had very briefly met in the town outside the tavern. Though the whole evening was rather blurred into one at the moment, he remembered her skill with a blade, the flashes of blood and his own movements in the exhilarating combat. Raising an eyebrow as his eyes met hers, rather fierce eyes he thought, he motioned his head to the side a little, inviting her up to the holy side of the quarterdeck. With all the rules about decorum and propriety he could not wave her up or actually invite her, but her appearance there would certainly make it easier for first contact.

The first thing that caught Karena’s attention when she appeared above deck was the burning ship. The pirates must have been pretty good in order to take out a Navy ship. Either that or the Navy commander was a joke. Then she noticed the other ship. Seeing that made up the girl’s mind about which possibility was true.

Karena continued to look around the ship and a familiar face seized her immediate attention. It was the man that helped her against those sailors outside the inn. He definitely noticed her too because her motioned with his head for her to follow him. Karena’s legs moved while her mind buzzed a dozen thoughts at once.

Why was that man here? Was he a prisoner to the pirates? No, he seemed to be roaming the ship without supervision. Was he a rogue? Or maybe a double agent working with the pirates to conspire against the Navy? Maybe that was his ship that sailed along with this one. The man stopped walking, meaning they arrived at their destination and Karena put an sudden rest to all of her wandering thoughts.

Standing at the rail of the poop deck and facing back over the water towards the burning Endeavour and following Illustrious, Nate sensed the girl stop next to him, facing the same way. Turning his head to look at her he scowled. She looked well done in after her flight and wounding, and could probably do with a night’s rest. However, the way she walked and held herself at the moment decried disciplined training. Nate cocked his head to one side. There was obviously more to this girl than met the eye. When he had found her fighting that large group of men, she had fought with the grace and fluidity of one who has trained long and hard with the sword, and he had no doubt that, even wounded as she was, she was still a threat.

In the excitement Nate had totally forgotten the wound on his left arm from the battle that had brought the Acheron to the town, and now it reminded him of its presence with a painful throb. There had been no time to see to it beyond a quick bandaging, and Nate was aware that it needed to be dealt with quickly, along with the new gash on his cheek, earned from a long splinter a cannon ball had chosen to throw his way. “Damn that surgeon for shying away,” Nate thought to himself, stifling a wince.

Keeping the scowl on his face Nate cleared his throat. “I do not believe we had the chance for introductions.” He paused. “You were in the tavern when I was recruiting, so you most likely know who I am, but you have me at a disadvantage.” Turning fully towards her he clasped his hands behind his back. “So who are you, and what are you doing on my ship?”

When Nathan turned towards Karena, she instantly recognized the piercing glare his eyes had. That look was also shared by her father. It was a look of experience and the same cold look when you live around death for so long. He cleared his throat and finally spoke. He said he was recruiting in that tavern. At least one of Karena’s guesses were right. But who, exactly, he was, the girl still didn’t know. Then he finally asked the questions Karena knew were coming. She thought, briefly, about her options of telling the truth or lying and weighed their consequences. She opted to be truthful. If she lied it wouldn’t benefit her since she was on a ship and very limited. Not to mention what might be done if she was found out. All the thoughts went through her head in a second, as she was used to doing, and then answered the captain.

“My name is Karena Schneider. I am a mercenary and was pursuing a bounty; that older blonde I was locked in the cabin with. Before I could retain her we were shot at by others pursuing her as well as retaliation for the village being destroyed, I imagine. I had little choice but to run for the ship after that woman, Jacqueline, for safety’s sake because I doubt those men were going to ask questions if I had stayed. I was shot by our pursuers upon boarding the ship which is reason for the injury.” Karena said quickly but clearly.

Her habit or giving briefings before military officials showed. Even though she wasn’t under their command the arrogant bastards, more often than not, still wanted her to follow protocol when speaking to them. She did so only because they were had pockets which held her money. But she did enjoy getting the jobs of killing them every so often. Better to kill off bigots and arrogant men and women sitting on their high chairs punching down. Karena despised people that abused their power from a comfortable seat.

Seeing as Nathan said “my ship” Karena guessed that he owned this ship and either wore Navy colors because he went rogue or more for a type of camouflage. The girl was curious what type of man the captain was.

Nate visibly stiffened. A mercenary. Though little more than a pirate with a vengeance against those who wronged him, Nate had always been wary about mercenaries. They were never bound to people or ideals, only to whoever was paying them the most. But what disturbed him more was the knowledge about the woman who had come aboard amidst the hail of gunfire. The niggling in the back of his mind grew in magnitude. He was sure he had come across her somewhere before, but he could not for his life remember. The name Jacqueline meant nothing to him, but he was sure he had met her before.

Snapping out of his momentary reverie Nate’s scowl deepened. “This ‘ship’,” he waved his arm back towards the main body, “is the Acheron. A forty gun ship that has seen more action than the rest of the Royal Navy put together.” Nate’s voice rose a little with his passion. “This ship has been the scourge of any foolish enough to get in her way, and she has burned the coast from here to Gibraltar.” Indifference to a ship was a cardinal sin in Nate’s eyes. A ship was hearth and home. A fortress that encompassed your whole life, and treating one with anything less than reverence was worthy of scorn, if not violence. The Acheron was particularly precious to him, seeing as how she was his first proper command as a captain.

When Nate had first stepped aboard the Acheron as a post-captain he had immediately fallen in love with her. Her shape, lines and build had been perfect. Her speed under full sail was unmatched by other ships he had been on, and her agility in a fight had proved invaluable. The crew had also made things easier. By bringing men from the smaller ship he had commanded previously, it had made resuming his dubious practices easier. Raiding neutral shipping had been child’s play in the Acheron, and running before the navy ships when he had stolen her had been exhilarating. Nate had been in and around ships most of his life, and by now the Acheron had enough of his blood in the woodwork to almost be family.

Stepping back a little and calming himself, Nate glowered at the girl again. Her report had been delivered in a monotone not unlike the practiced report giving of the military. Give your superiors nothing but the facts. No opinions, no conjecture, no thoughts. She was good, but there were still two problems forefront in Nate’s mind. What was he going to do with her, and who was this bounty she was chasing?

“Well Schneider,” Nate had never spoken German in his life and did not want to insult the girl by calling her Miss, “every person on this ship has a purpose, or they go overboard. What can you do besides fight?” After a second’s pause Nate decided to ask the other question on his mind. “Who was this bounty you were chasing?”

So the ship was indeed his. Which meant that the other ship was one he had most likely taken in the last fight. Then the captain gave some information about the ship or at least its accomplishments. If it was as infamous as he said it was then there had to be a bounty on this ship from all over. She could see how proud the man was of his ship and the deeds that had been accomplished aboard it. She may be a mercenary but the sea was something she didn’t mess with as well as the people that sailed it. If a sailor or a pirate came on land then that was a different story. But seeing that Nathan had saved her life, unless circumstances drastically changed then she wouldn’t pursue a bounty on him or the ship even if she were offered a good sum. But that wasn’t to say she wouldn’t look into seeing if there was one.

He spoke up again and she felt her heart skip a beat at the mention of being tossed overboard. She already didn’t like the sea due to the numerous tales about the monsters and ghost that dwell on and within. The thought of floating on the open sea made a lump rise in Karena’s throat.

“I a good shot and a great fighter. Not to mention I can scope out of places you or your men might not be able to. But those are skills I retain on land. I would have to rely on my combat ability on ship, I presume.” Karena looked at the other ship. “Unless you want to get a drop on another ship. I don’t know if pirates roundup ships like a farmer does cattle.” Nathan then asked about the bounty Karena was chasing and she pulled out a crude drawing from one of her trouser pockets, handing it to the captain.

“Jacqueline Thuron is wanted in several counties if not all of them. The older woman with the dirty blonde hair that boarded the ship at the same time as I. She’s an ex-pirate but that’s all the info the government would release. The reward is more than enough to deter bounty hunters from asking questions.”

“Outsmarting a ship, or ambushing one, is very different to what you might do on land. Maybe you will learn something before I leave you at the nearest port. I have enough fighters. One more will not make a difference.” Nate spoke half out of truth and half to see how the girl would react. In reality he did not doubt that her skills could be infinitely useful, especially if they wanted to do some quiet raiding. Even sat up in the tops with that rifle of hers she could be useful at picking off enemy officers on deck. Nate raised an eyebrow. “What do you know of cannons Schneider?”

The name. The name. ‘Jacqueline Thuron’. Damn the name. He thought he recognised the person but not the name. For the first time in a long while Nate was feeling unsure of himself. He was certain, but everything he was told about this woman did not help with his memory. All he could drag forth from the dusty reaches of his mind was a blurred image, surrounded by gunsmoke and blood. Nate ground his teeth, glaring straight ahead. “In time,” he thought. “In time.”

Being dropped off at the nearest harbor didn’t sound too bad.

“Are you dropping off the other woman, Jacqueline, as well? I hope you understand she’s the reason I came out here in the first place and I would not like to return empty handed.” Then he asked of cannons. Karena almost smirked. If it was one thing she knew on a ship it was their artillery. She spent quite a good amount of time dealing with them at the academy. Frankly, it was the primary subject that kept held her interest at the academy if not the only one. Her father taught her many things but weapons that he could not get his hands on was a different matter.

“I do know that the cannons you currently use are of low quality. I don’t know how wealthy pirates are but I can tell just by hearing your canons that they aren’t the best.” Karena looked at the almost fully sunk ship. “How do you know when you fire a cannon it won’t backfire and do significant damage to your ship?” Karena paused. “I know of the best cannons you can get that can dominate forces both on land and sea. They would be easy to move as well as take less resources to fire but yield the same destructive force as any cannons you have now. Not to mention their lifespan would be a good deal longer.” Karena stopped herself realizing she was going on too long and bragging rarely looked attractive in anyone’s eyes.

Nate smirked a little, and pointed to one of the eighteen pounder cannons down on the gun deck. “You know cannons Schneider. Then you should know that these guns are held by ropes and pulleys so that their backfire is checked.” Turning to another of the guns, a carronade on the quarterdeck. “Some of these guns are French made, the best in Europe. We replace our guns with better and heavier calibre ones whenever we can.” Turning back to the girl he fixed her eye with his own. “However, if you think you can do better with our guns Schneider, be my guest. You may find that the gun captains will be reluctant to let you mess around with their pieces, but if you show an improvement on one gun then they will be more amenable.”

Walking slightly forward towards the gundeck, Nate pointed to the fos’cle. “Make a start on the long nines. They are brass and we use them as chasers. Stopping a chase quickly can make a difference for us.”

Casting his eye back towards the Endeavour, Nate guessed they had gone far enough. “Reef the sails! Open the hatch to the hold! Prepare for the Illustrious coming alongside!” Striding away from Karena he climbed down from the quarterdeck and a little along the gangway as the crew scurried around the deck and rigging above. The sails were raised up to the spars and tied in place, the Acheron slowing gradually till it was just moving on the swell of the waves. The Illustrious pulled alongside, looking a lot lower in the water than it had been before. “So much for bad cannons,” Nate thought.

“Permission to come aboard Captain!” Nate heard Ren call from opposite. The deck of the Illustrious had been mostly cleared, the bodies floating in the water behind testament to the looting that had been going on. Stores and valuables were stacked on the deck in various places, and it seemed that Ren was carrying two sacks herself. Nate scowled and was about to ask why an officer was carrying baggage, when he was interrupted by a clap of thunder and a deep boom. Whipping round at a bright flash Nate saw the Endeavour disappear in a ball of flames, wood and debris flying in every direction. Clasping his hands behind his back Nate smiled with satisfaction. Now they could get to the good part.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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Jacqueline ceased her assistance with the crew after Nate had assessed her. Her hands ached from the ropes, and she could feel a soreness spreading from her shoulders up her neck and down her back. She’d need to get that stretched out before she slept (if she slept that night.) Sighing, she smoothed down some stray grayish blonde hairs as she stood on deck. She moved over to the railing and took glances at the officers and sailors still on deck. How long had it been? Eleven or so years? It- no, that had to be about right. Angelique was grown, after all, and hadn't she been so small on the Petit Bleu that she wouldn't speak? No, she was old enough to speak then, she just wouldn't, not even to her father-

The Endeavor exploded in a flash and a thunderous clap. Jacqueline whipped around to face the remnants’ final blaze of glory. The ship was bigger, but with the ringing in her ears Jacqueline swore she saw teal blue French script and a small but lovely figurehead in the explosion, and something else that she hoped she could write off as sleep deprivation.

She saw a face that had plagued her nightmares for a decade.

Jacqueline blinked hard, then shoved away from the railing as though the metal had burned her. She breathed in the scent of burning wood and imagined her kitchen. In, out, in… that always helped. Yet, she couldn't shake off the darkening feeling in her gut: that face had looked awfully familiar, as though she had seen it recently.

“Lots of Englishmen look the same,” she muttered, scowling at the sky. Still dark. Still cloudy. Still depressingly the same English sky she'd been under for years. Jacqueline missed La Rochelle, though a part of her longed for the place she grew up in. Hell, she missed France in general. Angelique had never known her father's and aunt's homeland; perhaps, once this was over, she would take her niece to her homeland.

Wait.

Where was Angelique?
---

Angelique had lost Karena not long in, and had subsequently gotten lost afterwards. She knew the outsides of ships well, and she could find her way through any building (she liked to think) but this ship was plaguing her more than the outbreak of scurvy had a few years ago during a festival. Its innards made no sense to her. She finally gave up trying to find anything of note when she felt the boom of the Endeavor. Angelique popped her head above deck and found herself near the larboard gangway. She could easily see her aunt glance about the approaching Illustrious, as well as Nathaniel and Karena.

‘Oops,’ she thought. Yet, her aunt seemed not to be bothered by her absence; maybe her aunt actually thought she could handle herself? For once?

Nah, she probably just forget where she was.

Angelique lept out onto the the deck and bounded gracefully to her aunt, only losing a bit of momentum trying to jump up on to the deck by the mainmast.

“Auntie, your hands look awful!” the girl exclaimed, grabbing Jacqueline’s hands and inspecting them. “What on earth were you doing?”

“Mon ange, don't startle me so!” Jacqueline exclaimed, shuddering at the shock. “I was doing what needed done, nothing more.”

“Your hands look like you lost a fight with five cats and a round of rope,” Angelique remarked, feeling all around her aunt's hands and frowning. “I've got some ointment to put on your rope burns that should clear them up by tomorrow but my bandages are running low.”

“I’ll live,” Jacqueline looked over at the Illustrious, particularly at the grinning face of the lieutenant. Not as familiar as the Captain’s, but she'd definitely seen that nose and those eyes before. So many familiar unfamiliar faces today!

“Not if it gets infected you won't,” Angelique fussed, reaching into her bag to get a stopped bottle of a greenish paste. “You always say that our hands are our most important part of our bodies.”

“Aside from the head,” Jacqueline replied, squinting to see the other members of the Illustrious’s returning crew. She looked at Carrington, still sopping wet, and felt a chill come over her. She didn't trust that man as far as she could throw him.

“Depends on which head,” Angelique giggled, pulling out her last few bandages and following her aunt's gaze.

Jacqueline fixed her with a stern look as Angelique’s giggles turned into full laughter. The older Thuron rolled her eyes and prayed that her niece would be able to laugh still after a few weeks at sea.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson
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The Illustrious caught up to the Acheron none too soon, the formerly proud warship now slowly inching into the sea from the damage sustained from the firefight. Still, Ren looked over her shoulder at the sight of the crew she had been given running cargo from the hold up to the main deck with practiced ease and couldn't hide the pride in her face. She even let out a bit of a chuckle after Jenkins threw a rotten piece of fruit at a man trying to stuff a coin purse down his breeches in the commotion. She was glad to see him keeping true to her orders of keeping the men honest.

Not a second after Ren ordered someone to check on Carrington, the man appeared on her blindside eating an apple as if all was well, the only sign he'd nearly died being the sopping wet mess that was his clothes and hair. He moved much too quetly for her liking.

"Mr. Carrington present and accounted for, Ma'am! I suppose a thanks is in order," He said before taking a swig from a flask that had somehow come into his possession, the act of him then tilting the thing towards Ren in expectation catching her slightly off guard.

"None needed. Captain gave me a crew of fifty and I wouldn't insult him by showing up with less," Ren started, smiling but holding up a hand to signal her polite refusal of the drink. She got the feeling it would be prudent not to ingest anything offered to her by any of the crew, though given his demeanor she was especially suspicious of Carrington, though she had the sort of stone face that only someone who's life had hinged on their lies could manage.

"Also ordered me sober till told otherwise. I'd risk a swig anyway, but I get the feeling you wouldn't bother with the flask unless it could eat through the lacquer on the wood," she added, still smiling as the gangway was laid down and she locked eyes with her captain. It had been the first time since leaving the inn that he'd had a satisfied look on his face, though she was staring to pick up a bit on where his eyes lingered as he thought. They held just a second too long on her bags for her liking. Ren saulted, ready to move should Nate give her the clear to come aboard his ship, or move off to the side and follow should he want her present for inspection of the looting.

It looked as if Nate was about to speak, but the crack of thunder interrupted whatever comment he was about to make. Ren ducked slightly out of instinct as she turned her head to look off towards the Endeavor, watching just as the fires finally hit the ship's powder room. An eerie calm took hold of the seas as the ship cracked nearly in half, allowing just a few seconds of the groaning of wood before one final explosion filled the air, blowing the ship apart into chunks of driftwood and splinters. Ren raised an arm to keep any shrapnel out of her eyes, more habit than legitimate fear, but as soon as most of the chunks were mostly submerged she turned back to Nate.

Smirking a little after the explosion, Nate turned back to Ren and the Illustrious. Remembering the sextant in the Illustrious' captain's quarters Nate decided not to bring up the fact that an officer was both carrying their own luggage and looting. He turned back towards the Acheron and motioned to Mr. Peters, the bosun. "Let's get going then Lieutenant Thompson. I want us away in an hour." The crew of the Acheron lashed one ship to the other, and laid a boarding plank between the two gangways. Nate immediately crossed the gangway, and, returning the salutes of the grinning crewmen he passed, disappeared under the Illustrious' quarterdeck headed for the captain's quarters.

The layout was just the same as any ship in the navy, and Nate had been on this one before. Back when he had been a lieutenant he had been ordered to the captain's dining room to face a board of the bastards. There he had stood for an hour as they railed him with accusations of piracy or murder, and even raiding. The evidence was scant, Nate had deliberately made sure it was, and the whole case hung on the witness testimony of one Dutch captain Nate had stupidly left alive. He had thought that stringing the man from the figurehead of his own ship, and amputating a few of his fingers, would be enough to keep him quiet, but apparently not.

His main accuser was a by-the-book captain who had come to dog Nate's heels, watching for any chance to destroy him, and apparently now he had found one. Captain Isaac Thompson. Nate had come to despise him, and everything he stood for. The man doggedly followed the ways of the Royal Navy, no matter how corrupt or flawed they were, and he chased down and punished anyone who stepped outside his rigid rules. There had been a brush at a ball held by one of the admirals on the Admiralty Board in London. Nate had been drinking with some other young lieutenants, showing off the medal pinned on his chest earlier that day for destroying a French ship. Captain Thompson had stormed across the room, pulled him aside and threatened Nate with the knowledge of his illicit activities. As Nate remembered, he had smiled and pulled away, challenging Thompson to do his best. He wondered where Thompson was now after all these years.

Reaching the captain's quarters, Nate kicked open the door and strode through the wreckage to where he had seen the sextant. Picking the thing up from the floor he examined it. It was made of brass and the intricate workings seemed to all be in order. Behind him he could hear the crew efficiently looting the rest of the ship. Soon it would all be squirrelled away into the bowels of the Acheron, to sell or kept for use. Remembering what Karena had said, he considered ordering the men to lift a few of the cannons over to the Acheron, replacing a few of their older ones. But he thought better of it. If the cannons were better, it would be the Acheron that was on fire now, not the remains of the Endeavour.

Stepping out of the cabin, with the sextant in one hand, Nate examined the work. As far as he could see it was going quickly, and the Acheron would be away soon. Standing in the middle of the feverish activity Nate stopped to quickly think over what to do with the Illustrious. The ship was sinking, so he could just leave it to its fate, but there was always the chance it could be recovered. Therefore, it must be induced to sink faster. Now there was a task for the erstwhile new gunner, Schneider. Once back on the Acheron, Nate decided he would task her with sinking the Illustrious properly. A couple of cannon balls below the waterline would do it, but he was interested to see how she would get the job done.

Turning to see Ren still directing things from near the gangplank, Nate called over. "Lieutenant, it's time to go."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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After the ships settled parallel to the other, the crew of the Acheron made quick work of lashing the two ships together and throwing down the boarding plank. Sellars strode confidently onto the deck of the slowly sinking ship, smirk on his face as he took one self indulgent glance at the driftwood that once encompassed the Endeavor. Gloating to himself over the kill, Ren imagined, but she'd be lying if she wasn't feeling the slightest bit giddy after coming out of that battle. She had a fixed grip on the feeling, lest she see flashes of the young men that she'd just cut down.

"Let's get going then Lieutenant Thompson. I want us away in an hour," The captain ordered, one which Ren saluted before she looked to the deck of the Acheron. She need not bother with the crew of the Illustrious as they'd begun preparations before the anchor was dropped.

"Oi! If you don't want to starve in a few weeks, best get your asses in gear! Captain wants this cargo loaded up in the hour! Ship won't loot itself!" Ren shouted, still smiling as she tried to direct the stampede of crew coming over the boarding plank to where the holes in the looting were. They hadn't so much as hit the deck before the first crates of rations began making their way onto the deck of their new ship.

It seemed as if this was the type of work most of the crew had been waiting to do, and Ren hadn't needed to actually issue any orders after giving the all clear for any available hands to come aboard. She watched regardless, making sure no one was slacking off or needed to have her point them to where they were needed, but she couldn't stop her thoughts from wandering back to the Dublin, where she'd last served as proper navy. The ship and its crew were all new, and the sight of the crew running about like baby chicks who'd lost their mother during drills had become some of her fondest memories. She was incredulous at the time, of course, having to teach someone who'd been to the academy, the same Ren had studied and trained all her life to enter, what a bowline knot was, and lord in heaven if she saw one more soldier drop their loader from their musket...

Her thoughts drifted of their own accord now, back a few hours to the chaos of the Illustrious. The young man shivering in his boots as pirates swarmed the decks. A light breeze could have knocked him over, but he faltered only a moment before raising his musket, eye to the irons, and desperately searched for a target. He hadn't jumped when Ren had put a hand to his shoulder... perhaps he thought her rough hands were that of an ally? Perhaps he'd accepted the state of things and welcomed his fate. The shivering stopped and he let out a breath, calming himself as he started to squeeze the trigger, but Ren's sword slid into the back of his neck before he ever managed to fire. She wondered now if he'd have known how to tie a bowline knot if asked. If he'd run from home to join the Royal Navy.

"Lieutenant, it's time to go."

The order snapped Ren out of her daydream, and it was the most grateful she'd been since being handed that bowl of stew at the inn.

"Pack it up! Time to disembark!" Ren called, watching as another stampede headed for the boarding plank. The deck of the Illustrious had been picked clean, though Ren spied a few stragglers that were apparently hard of hearing. Thought they could pocket a little for themselves since the Captain's back was turned. Ren pulled out her pistol and fired a shot between the two, putting both on their asses from the shock of it.

"Now that your attention's been had, we're disembarking. Dawdle any longer and the planks'll be raised without you," Ren called, having to hold back a chuckle as the men tripped over themselves to run back to the Acheron. She headed back herself, standing on the boarding plank and turning to make one last sweep to ensure all hands were accounted for, and once she was satisfied made her way to her new home, sacks still slung over her shoulder.

"Raise the planks and tie down the new provisions! Lets make the ship handsome after such a display!" Ren called, the crew roaring as they got to work preparing to sail, readjusting the netting in the hold to secure the new rations, a line forming as men passed crates and barrels of powder and round-shot to the magazine.

Nodding in satisfaction, Ren spotted the familiar faces of the Thurons on deck and couldn't hide her grin. She wondered which had been the one to pick the lock, or if Jacqueline had simply shouldered through the door. Perhaps a crewman had a bruise in the suspicious shape of a frying pan now?

She made her way over, not bothering to hide her good spirits as she gave a wave with her free hand.

"Got bored of the Hold, eh?" Ren joked, the sight of one of the new crew tripping over themselves catching her eye. Not quite as young as the lad she'd pinned to that table at the inn, but it was apparent he hadn't gotten his sea legs yet.

"Stay on your feet lad or I'll tie you to the mast! See to it that the rations are properly secured, make sure the quartermaster has enough hands!" she called, the order mainly being an excuse to get him out of sight until he stopped wobbling.

Jacqueline smiled as Ren waved to her. She nodded back, as Angelique was still finishing up with her slightly battered hands. "Well, with all of the action topside, it was hard to find any reason to stay below-decks. Though it looks like you saw your fair share." The older woman furrowed her brow, finally getting a good look at the girl. The resemblance was uncanny, but...

"Angelique, have you finished yet?" Jacqueline asked her diligent niece.

"That should do it," Angelique replied, tying off the ends of the bandages around her aunt's hands. "You'll want to rinse that off with warm to hot water after a while, but that should heal it fast." Angelique rubbed the remnants of the ointment on her skirt.

"You should check up on the rest of the crew," Jacqueline said, waving the lieutenant over. "I'm nearly positive they haven't a surgeon of any sort, and if you can handle a few bullet wounds here and there they might just not, what's the word?" She tried to snap, but the cloth muffled it. "Maron? No, maroon, that's it. I doubt they'd drop you off on an island."

Angelique pouted and sighed. "Fine, fine, but if you get in a fight before I get done you're patching yourself up!"

Watching the banter made Ren more than a little homesick, though the sight of Angelique starting to run off made Ren remember the primary reason for her visit. She grabbed the sack with the medical supplies she'd appropriated and held them out.

"Oi! Before you go, might have a need for this. I grabbed antiseptic and gauze, as well as any books or vials that looked important. Enough until we get the chance to properly stock up at port. Captain also hasn't had his arm looked at, though I'd make sure he sees you working on the rest of the crew a bit before you make the offer," Ren offered, wincing a second as the wond in her own shoulder from before they left port shot through her mind. Her adrenaline was dying down. She hid the wince as best she could with a wink, then looked away and towards Jacqueline. She didn't want the Captain to see her weak, which included getting treated, until they were at sea proper.

"Glad to see you both unharmed," Ren said, having already noted the fact that Jacqueline was very much unarmed. She wondered for a moment whose hands the pistol had winded up in, but she knew she'd catch hell either way. Regardless, she still didn't regret the act, wanting to make amends for having aimed it at her hero in the first place.

"Oh, I'm being rude. Lieutenant Ren Thompson, at your service," Ren said, bowing slightly as a gentleman might to a lady he was courting, though the grin on her face was that of a jest.

Angelique practically drooled at the medical supplies, particularly the books, as Ren handed then to her. She snatched them out of her hands and almost started pouring over them before she remembered where she was. She shoved the books in her pack and fit what else she could on top, opting to put the various vials in her skirt pockets! "Thank you thank you thank you!" Angelique called back to Ren as she rushed over to a few of the more battered crewmen.

Jacqueline laughed at her niece's antics and returned her attention to Ren. "I'm certainly lucky to be unharmed, though I must thank you for your help," Jacqueline added, remembering the pistol she had been passed. "Good to see you're no worse off."

The elder Thuron didn't return the bow, but frowned. "Thompson? Thompson... I know that name but where?" she mused. Then it hit her, and she felt like an idiot for not realizing sooner.

"Merde, you've certainly got his nose..." she muttered quietly, then added "You wouldn't happen to know Isaac Thompson?"

Ren's grin widened as she saluted, glad to know that her father had been remembered by the woman he'd spoken of so often to her.

"I'd hope so, Captain Isaac Thompson is my father. Retired after he took a wound to the leg fighting the infamous Serpent's Teeth. Told me stories about the encounters..." Ren said, reaching into her coat and pulling out the wanted poster once again, now handing it off to Jacqueline.

"Enough to convince a mischievous tomboy of a girl that the sea wasn't out of her reach."

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Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Jacqueline wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh or cry. Thompson’s brat was on the same ship as her? Fate had a strange way of showing her affections, but it seemed like this truly was a blessing, given the evening’s events. She gingerly took the old wanted poster from Ren and smiled wistfully. “You know, this was one of my favorite posters they put up?” Jacqueline said. “If I recall, these were put up not long after Tocaz and I “picked up’ the Screaming Serpent for a song- remind me to tell you about that one- and then we gathered enough crew to run it up and terrorize the Irish and English coasts. Almost ran aground a few times, but it certainly was a great way to get a feel for such a lovely ship. Saw these scattered about after a nasty brush with your father's ship, and I'm nearly positive he helped with the poster because it's actually accurate. One of the better to actually acknowledge me as a woman- not that I ever tried to hide it, mind,” Jacqueline added, then chuckled. “Honestly, some of the early ones made me look like my brother. I think they were just afraid to admit a girl carved them up and tossed them overboard.”

Jacqueline looked back up at Ren and gave her back the wanted paper. “Merci, mon ami. I'm glad my years at sea did something more than terrorize the English. I must say though, that I inspired one as remarkable as you is certainly something. We'll have to spar sometime, see if Issac actually taught you anything.” She could count on one hand the number of swordsmen she had ever felt evenly matched by, and Ren’s father was by far one of the better known.

Jacqueline had almost an angry fondness for Issac. Out of all the officers that had tried to best her, Captain Thompson was the only one she felt a rivalry with. Their first meeting had been quite explosive. She'd been sailing with the Medusa under an idiotic captain for about six years, and the only reason she had stayed was her dear friend Tocaz, the cabin boy several years her junior, who was essentially enslaved to the captain. As it was a smaller ship, she cooked and did a plethora of the cleaning belowdecks, but any time they overtook another ship, she shone like the gleam of her twin sabers. If Tocaz covered her with a musket and pistol, she was nigh unstoppable; by her twenty-third birthday, Jacqueline had gained the moniker of the Serpent's Teeth, and Tocaz the Serpent's Venom, for if the serpent bit, the venom was soon to follow and send you to Davy Jones. Though their area of piracy was small, they were well known in that area.

Fighting, cooking, and her dear friend Tocaz were all Jacqueline found to live for until two years later, when the Navy finally caught up with the Medusa. The ship was already wounded from a fight earlier that week, and it was only a matter of time before the Navy ship caught up with them. The captain was laid low in a matter of minutes after they were boarded (there was speculation that Tocaz had done it, and Jacqueline would neither confirm nor deny it to this day), and the mate decided that it would be best to get the hell out of there as soon as the mizzen mast was downed by grapeshot. That left the rest of the crew to scramble and salvage and bail their own asses out.

Jacqueline and Tocaz decided that was a poor way to go down, and planned on making their last stand on the Medusa as they took out man after man. Tocaz spotted a lone lifeboat still tied to the now burning ship, and Jacqueline covered him til he could hop in. As he tumbled in, she slashed the ropes and watched it splash down as he screamed at her. Jacqueline waved him off before whipping back around to block a blow from one of the remaining naval officers on deck: one Issac Thompson, who seemed hell bent on taking her out. Through the smoke they fought, blades clashing, each landing a few hits here and there. They would have danced until one or the other had been killed had it not been for the powder kegs igniting belowdecks. With a nod Thompson ran back to his ship and Jacqueline dove overboard, sabers tied securely into her belt.

Fortunately Tocaz hadn't taken her advice and was close enough to help her out.

“You were supposed to leave,” Jacqueline had laughed at her dumbfounded friend.

“You're not supposed to martyr yourself and then dive over the side of a burning ship, yet here we are!” He had tapped her on the head with one of the oars and continued rowing away from what had once been their prison.

Jacqueline remembered that fight happily. It had freed her, in a way, given her something to strive for: find and beat Issac Thompson in a duel. It helped her love the sea again. Though she gained a few more goals, that one was always in the back of her mind, urging her onwards to greatness.

They had had a few short clashes between then and the desecration of her beloved Serpent, thought none as memorable as their last. Jacqueline involuntarily brought a hand up to her sternum, just above her breastline, and winced. Worst scar she'd ever received; any higher or any further left and she would have died at Thompson’s hands. She'd paid him in kind; she heard tell that he permanently walked with a limp after what she'd done to his leg. The older woman still didn't know why he'd let her go that day; even though she’d won and spared him, he still should have at least taken her to trial and let her hang and sway in the breeze as the crowd cheered.

She blinked and smacked herself lightly on the cheek. Wasn't worth thinking about; so long as she and Angelique were safe, everything would be fine.

And, perhaps Ren, too, so long as the girl didn't take too much after her father.

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Carrington was just working his way into another bite of his apple, his stomach growling hungrily despite the food. It had been roughly thirty-six, or more, hours since he had slept or eaten anything, but he was used to this sort of thing, as if anyone would notice him acting strange from lack of sleep regardless.
He paused halfway through the bite as once again, Lieutenant Thompson slighted him. It wasn't enough that she had tried to humiliate him for attempting to apologize before, nor that she had taken a personal gift from the captain and given it to a prisoner. No, now she was turning down his final attempt to bury the hatchet, and lying to him to boot. He was an expert on lying, which is why he robbed his mates blind when they gambled.

Her eyes turned towards the approaching Acheron, as his right hand drifted back towards one of his remaining loaded pistols. His middle finger caressed the hardwood handle. Apple perched between his teeth and the fury welling up inside him once more, his middle and index fingers slid along the grip as if studying a lover while visions of the shot caving the woman's head in danced before his bespectacled gaze.
Just as he made up his mind, heedless of what the captain and crew might think, and firmly grabbed the pistol in order to make his lovely visions become a reality, the magazine on the Endeavor unleashed a climactic roar as it detonated. He took a step back and gripped the railing with his murderous hand as the shock of the blast rustled his hair and clothes.
The apple fell from his mouth as a cry of laughter echoed in its place. Carrington's mind whirled at the sight, wondering what the last moments had been like for the surviving crew that might have been aboard, aside from the debris that is. Did they feel the explosion, were they crying out to God for salvation, or is it possible that they were heedlessly fighting the chaos and one another to simply escape into the slightly safer water?

As these wonderings died away and his mind returned to the present, he was annoyed to find that his shining opportunity had passed him by. The captain came aboard and gave Thompson her curt orders and disappeared without so much as a glance his way. The one who did glance his way did not escape his notice however, he smiled as his eyes found those of the Frenchwoman. She held his gaze for a few heartbeats, which was a enough time for him to smile and flash her a wink.
When she looked away, Carrington simply shrugged. Having nothing to do aboard the currently sinking vessel, he slid onto the gangplank and made his way across, heedless of the bouncing or the protests of those he came inadvertently close to knocking off.

Once he was back aboard the beloved ship he called home, he was back at his usual antics. He quickly swapped a few jokes with his gambling group, added a few bawdy lyrics to a song a pair of hands were singing while securing some rigging before ending up at the helm. He inquired if they yet had a heading, which they didn't, if the captain had mentioned any potential destinations, he hadn't, and proceeded to spend to rest of the time spent unloading the captured cargo jovially joking with the man, leaving him breathless by the end.

Once he saw the last few men stumbling across, as well as Miss Thompson and the captain, he made his way down the stairs and began circling around, wanting to give the captain enough time to shout orders before speaking to him. His hands ran along the railing nearby, a few members of the crew, with few protests after the more seasoned crew noticed who it was, and even along the cannons when he ran out of railing.
As he passed, his fingers brushed the hand of the youngest blonde, whose name he had yet to hear, and was apparently working on one of the cannons, his touch sliding up her arm and to her shoulder before he broke contact. Not that he was paying attention however, his eyes drifted to the form of the young woman that was obviously kin to the older woman, who gave him a strange nagging. She was tending to a man who had suffered a minor wound in the fighting. The man would have been alright regardless, but he couldn't blame him for enduring the ministrations of the lovely young woman.

"Bonjour, ma belle femme.", he said in greeting. He placed a hand on the wounded crewman's shoulder, while a charming smile played across his face, and his wandering gaze came to fall upon Angelique.

The Sailing Master probably looked a fright, his naturally messy hair was in an even more disheveled state and stained a slight pink to match his shirt from all the blood they'd absorbed, as if he'd bathed in the ichor. His clothes were damp as well, still clinging to him in places and he was laden with pistols, trophies of those he'd slain aboard the Illustrious. Somehow, despite his battered, damp, bloody appearance, his moppy hair, and the dark bruise that peeked from beneath his loose shirt, he still displayed an aura of confidence and dangerous, possibly insane, charm.

Carrington opened his mouth to speak again when his eyes caught sight of Miss Thompson and the Frenchwoman. His brilliant green eyes narrowed in cold suspicion as the two of the spoke. His hand drifted to his pistol again as he looked around. As luck would have it, the captain wasn't more than a pace or two away and Carrington quickly closed the gap after turning towards the young woman, whispering, "Hold that thought lass."

As he came to stand before Nathaniel, he saluted smartly, despite his bedraggled appearance.
"Captain, we should talk, Sir.", he said quietly, pointing with to the pistol he'd returned a few short hours earlier with one hand, and with the other, he jutted a thumb over his shoulder, indicating Miss Thompson pulling the poster out of her jacket.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Nate stepped back over the plank from the Illustrious to the Acheron. He noticed how slanted it was becoming as the navy ship slowly sank and he smiled a little to himself. Of course he would have preferred to have more time to harvest the ship’s sails and spars, but the contents of the hold would have to do. Around the gundeck of the Acheron was strewn spare shot, powder, stores, and myriad things from the Illustrious that would be useful to the ship’s journey. There was even a little dog that was being fed a small piece of salt beef by one of the powder monkeys. The little boy’s hair was wild and his powder blackened face was split by his great smile. As he saw the captain looking at him the smile disappeared behind a somber expression as he snapped a salute, positioning his legs in front of the dog in an attempt to hide it. Returning the salute with a frown Nate pretended to have not noticed the dog. In the past the decks of the Acheron had hosted monkeys, real ones, parrots and small dogs before. One more would not make a difference.

Mr. Peters the bosun was hanging above the chaos of the gundeck, using his mouth trumpet to shout orders. Slowly he was organizing what needed to be, the shouted records of items being passed back to the quartermaster and his logs. The hold had already been half filled by the raid on the town, so the experienced crew was now performing a balancing act to keep the ship level with its large amount of cargo. Unfortunately, the new crew was more of a hindrance than a help. A few snarls reached Nate’s ears as he walked along the gangway towards the quarterdeck.

“Mr. Dogood!” Nate called at the top of his lungs. The giant of a man turned from his work near one of the hatches leading down to the hold and stood to attention. The glint in the man’s eyes betrayed the remaining adrenaline from the brief battle, and sweat coated the bunched muscles of his forearms below his rolled up shirtsleeves. Nate had always liked men like Dogood, quiet, but intelligent. Dogood had the advantage of also being built like a brick privy. The bushy black beard only added to the Wildman look that was oddly accentuated by his baggy shirt and well cared for trousers. Dogood’s appearance had an animalistic effect on the rest of the men, even with silence he was able to quell any troubles, and he could always smash some heads together if needed.

“Mr. Dogood. Congratulations, you’re my new coxswain. Get to work on the lubbers down there with you.” Nate gave Dogood one of his rare smiles and indicated the new crewmen, who were bustling about and knocking into one another as if they had never been on a ship before.

“Aye sir!” Dogood replied before wading into the chaos of the gundeck and shoving new crewmen into chains or onto ropes to help with the loading.

Continuing to walk towards the quarterdeck Nate noticed Ren talking to the new cook, Thuron… Jacqueline Thuron. The name clicked in Nate’s mind. That was the name of the bounty the German girl had been chasing. Stopping in his tracks Nate fixed the group with a glare. Why would a bounty hunter be chasing a tavern owner? Granted she claimed to have skill with a blade, but that had yet to be seen. The itch at the back of Nate’s mind grew stronger as he stared at the woman. Where did he recognize her from? Not knowing was infuriating. Though it may be totally inconsequential, he decided he had to know. He could not focus on the running of the ship properly unless he got rid of this itch.

He was shaken from his reverie by the appearance of Carrington. The man was a dull red colour from his actions during the battle, and one shoulder slumped a little. “Captain, we should talk Sir.” Nate followed the direction of Carrington’s thumb to see Ren pass a piece of paper to Jacqueline with a big smile on her face, the two continuing to talk animatedly. Narrowing his eyes Nate turned back to Carrington.

“Come find me in my cabin in a minute Carmichael.” Normally outside his cabin Nate would never use Carrington’s first name, but he had his suspicions that any information relevant to that woman could be extremely volatile, and it was important that this was handled carefully.

Placing his hand on Carrington’s good shoulder for a moment Nate turned and stormed up the steps to the quarterdeck, standing at the rail overlooking the gangways and gundeck. Nodding to Mr. Peters, Peters blew hard on his bosun’s whistle, halting the chaos around the hatches and turning all eyes to the captain.

Nate waited a moment before he spoke, scanning the expectant faces of the crewmen. His eyes alighted on Jacqueline and Ren, and he shot an icy glare their way before turning his face back to the crew. Clasping his hands behind his back Nate drew himself up to his full height and took in a breath.

“I am disappointed men,” Nate paused, glaring around at the crew, the disdain he had hoped for present in many of their faces. “I am disappointed that the Royal Navy could not put up more of a fight!” Here a roar met Nate’s words, the men shouting their agreement as the last of their adrenaline died down.

“It just goes to show how pathetic these dogs in their wooden tubs are. One ship against two and we still come out on top.” Nate smirked down at the crew. “You boys, you dogs of hell, are worth any ten of those navy pisspots. Admiral Nelson, God rest him, would turn in his grave if he saw the useless excuses for navy men they have now.” Here Nate paused for a second, letting the men’s elation die down a little. “You’ve done well lads, and as such you will all have an extra ration of grog today.” These words were met with a deafening cheer. Nate pitied the quartermaster, whose job for the evening had just been made even more complicated.

Nodding to Dogood and Peters the two men shouted down the other crewmen, the latter beating about with his stick to quiet them down. Nate continued, “but routine is the same from now on. Our lady needs to look shipshape again, and you boys will be doing gunnery training every other day till I am satisfied. Church will be as usual on Thursdays, so make sure your bests are ready for then.” Nate made a mental note to have Peters do what he could with his best uniform. He had the suspicion that splinters and maybe a musket ball or two had gone through it in the fight that had seen the Acheron brought to the town.

“Doubtless you are all anxious to know where we are going, but you’ll have to wait for a destination. For now our course is Sou Sou West.” Nate smiled to himself at the confused expressions on the crewmen’s faces as they tried to guess where they were going. He did not doubt that there would be many conversations over dinner that night, and many speculations as to where they were going. But for now he wanted to keep it to himself and the officers, when he had a chance to talk to them.

“Last thing men, did we take any prisoners on the Illustrious?” Despite his order for no mercy Nate expected a handful of men to have survived. Usually kept so they could point out the places where loot was hidden, they could be offered a chance to join the crew. Or they would, if they weren’t navy men. Nate’s eyes narrowed at the small group of bloodied men clustered around the mainmast. “Send them back over to their ship, then push off.”

“Lieutenant Thompson, when we are clear do the honours and sink that hulk. I want it on the bottom in twenty minutes. That’s all.” With that Nate stepped back and began the walk to his cabin, the wails of the captured sailors in his ears. Motioning to Carrington to follow him he went down the steps and turned, passing through the door and into his cabin. As soon as the door was closed Nate sighed and collapsed into a chair, placing the sextant on the table. Suddenly the pain from his wounds caught up with him, and Nate winced as he rubbed his cheek where the splinter had sliced it.

“Now Carmichael, what have you found out?”

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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“You’ve done well lads, and as such you will all have an extra ration of grog today.”
Rashid looked up in surprise at this. The captain hadn't told him anything about this. Rashid shook his head in disbelief. He jerked his head in the direction of the stairs to his young helper this week. Jack scrambled in the big man's wake heading towards the stairs down into the hold.
"What is the point of my job, if the Cap'n doesn't see fit to inquire about these type of things?He asked aloud on his way down. He sighed again and looked around.
"We've got our work cut out for us today, Jackaboy. Storing everything we captured, then dolling out grog." He shook his head again as he stepped into the cool darkness of the Acheron's hold. He withdrew the ship's ledger from it's shelf on his way to what he considered his domain. He sighed with satisfaction. Men started bringing more supplies to be stored down into the hold. Rashid stood off to the side, marked in the big, leather bound book that served as the ships ledger.
"Have I told ye I love me job, Jackaboy?" Rashid smiled as he caught Jack's eye roll.
"Many a time, sir"Jack responded sullenly. Rashid grinned at the youth's despondence.
As the last of the powder was being stored deep in the hold, and the netting was properly secured, Rashid made one last check of everything, just to be sure they men had done their job correctly.
"Now, what's this then, Jackaboy? Some powder monkey lazed about on his job!" Rashid glared down at the offending barrel, clearly left in the open and not with it's mates.
He hefted the barrel full of salted cod onto his shoulder, the ledger still under his other arm. He deposited the barrel in it's proper spot and turned around to see Jack pushing sacks of potatoes into shelves with their brothers.
"This ship would fall apart without the likes of you an' me doing our duties, right boyo?"He swung the heavy book around and signed his name at the end of the new supplies page. He breathed in, and out with a huff. This was where he belonged. In his domain, making the ships supplies in tip top shape. Everything in it's neat and proper order. He pulled out his pocketwatch.
"Almost time fer supper, Jackaboy. After grog is through, you can go and join yer mates and not before." Rashid growled in an almost teasing manner. He heard footsteps behind him, heavy boots descending into his realm. He turned around, expecting the Captain, coming to see about the grog.
"Sir, ye know our grog supplies aren't as strong as they should be. I'm not one to question yer decisions, but we'll be out of the devil's brew before the month is out." Rashid said as he turned around to behold the form of Angelique Thuron.
"Why hullo. I don't believe I've had the immense pleasure of making yer acquaintance."Rashid winked and doffed an invisible hat at this dropping into a low bow.
"I am none other than Tigerman Rashid Alamba, quartermaster. And you are?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
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As Jacqueline took the poster, Ren was practically vibrating from excitement. Never in her wildest fantasies did she think she'd ever meet THE Serpent's Teeth out at sea, much less sail on the same vessel. She tried her level best to remain calm but the grin on her face was wider than any she'd managed in recent memory. She vowed that when Jacqueline looked back up from examining the poster, Ren could try to suppress the grin to keep from looking like a loon.

“You know, this was one of my favorite posters they put up?” Jacqueline said. “If I recall, these were put up not long after Tocaz and I “picked up’ the Screaming Serpent for a song- remind me to tell you about that one- and then we gathered enough crew to run it up and terrorize the Irish and English coasts. Almost ran aground a few times, but it certainly was a great way to get a feel for such a lovely ship. Saw these scattered about after a nasty brush with your father's ship, and I'm nearly positive he helped with the poster because it's actually accurate. One of the better to actually acknowledge me as a woman- not that I ever tried to hide it, mind,” Jacqueline added, then chuckled. “Honestly, some of the early ones made me look like my brother. I think they were just afraid to admit a girl carved them up and tossed them overboard.”

As Jacqueline raised her head and returned the paper, Ren simply nodded as she folded it gently and tucked it back into her coat. She tried to speak, but was afraid that all that would come from her was a church mouse's squeak.

“Merci, mon ami. I'm glad my years at sea did something more than terrorize the English. I must say though, that I inspired one as remarkable as you is certainly something. We'll have to spar sometime, see if Issac actually taught you anything.”

The smile made it's return as Ren patted her hilt.

"Taught me more than even he knows. Even after he came home to stay, he kept practicing in the gardens where he thought I couldn't see him. I learned so much just by watching the way he moved. The way the speed and power came from his hips and not his arms, proper foot placement... I got ten lashes once for getting into a fight with a crewmate that kept throwing rotten fruit at the decks I'd just scrubbed. Ran my mouth and he hit me. I hit back so he drew his sabre. Disarmed him with a mop handle and slapped him with the wet mop head. Bosun didn't have nearly the sense of humor I did about it," Ren said, a playful look to her now as she lingered in the memory. Hearing the Bosun yelling at the new crewman snapped her out of it, and Ren's face shifted back to one a bit more serious.

"You or your Niece need anything at all, you just say the word. Short of getting in the Captain's bad graces, mind you," Ren said, looking over her shoulder now at Angelique, her face twisting into disgust as she saw Carrington lurking about her.

"Especially at the cost of that soggy excuse of a navigator..." Ren spat.

Jacqueline followed Ren's gaze and her mood immediately soured. The Navigator had rubbed her the wrong way since she laid eyes on him. He had an insane sort of flair about him that reminded her far too much of the Medusa.

"I doubt with a man such as he aboard you'll have any trouble souring your relationship with the Captain," Jacqueline scowled, fighting to keep her arms crossed and not at her hip, where her frying pan was in the loop where her saber should have been. "I'd watch him. Reminds me too much of someone I used to sail under."

"Already had to drag his ass out of the ocean once today. Surprised he can still muster all that bravado with his trousers soaked through to his skivvies like that. I'll keep an eye on him, but he has more pull with the crew than I as of yet. Keep a weather eye on your niece... he seems to be interested in her. Doubtful many survive his interest..." Ren said, her tone more hushed now as she watched Carrington skip along towards the Captain, her scowl deepening as he pointed towards her.

"I've no idea when, but I can tell I'm going to have to cross swords with him sooner rather than later. Should probably get our spar in before then," Ren mused, looking back towards Jacqueline. "Think it would be poor form to just shoot him when he goes for his hilt?"

"It's always better to get a fair fight in, but if you must, you must," Jacqueline said, shrugging. "Though I am a touch surprised his pride didn't weigh him down so much that the sea could claim him. Perhaps he's pompous enough that the waves refused him?" She thought for a moment, then let it go. Ren probably wouldn't recognize her other saber.

"Shit floats," Ren shrugged, smiling a cheeky grin as she readjusted the bag that had been resting on her shoulder. She was about to speak again when Nate called out to the crew, demanding that they gather. Ren nearly rolled her eyes, knowing he was probably going to pat the crew on the back for taking out two warships and having the ship come out smiling. She wasn't disappointed, but the crew ate it up and they did deserve the recognition. Ren raised an eyebrow at the mention of extra rations of grog, though. She'd heard pirates drank the stuff like water... the idea of it being rationed...

Ren shook her head again and turned back to Jacqueline.

"I trust you've had the chance to speak to the Captain, then? What did he think about having such a famous pirate aboard his ship?" Ren asked, a sincere smile on her face, but one born of naivete. It faded slightly as Captain Sellar's words carried across the deck.

"Lieutenant Thompson, when we are clear do the honours and sink that hulk. I want it on the bottom in twenty minutes. That’s all.

Ren turned on her heels to salute and gave a hearty "Aye, sir!" before turning back to continue her talks with Jacqueline.

Jacqueline smiled a bit at the shouts of the crew, then answered Ren. "Never made mention of it, and I've no intention of telling him unless he asks," Jacqueline said flatly. "The girl that came up chasing me is after the bounty on my head, and if it's half as good as I remember then any man with an inkling for gold would be interested," she added. "If he asks you, for your own sake... don't try to hide it." Jacqueline glanced at Nate and Carrington as they went below-decks. "That's my fight, not yours."

Though she doubted it would be a fair fight. Despite the years away, Jacqueline still doubted she could be beaten with her blade in hand. Practice was sparse with people, but that saber flew in her hands. With its twin, if she ever got it back, she’d be unstoppable once again. Boring, but safe.

Ren frowned at Jacqueline's request, looking over the ship once more before letting out a sigh. "Fine, though yours won't be the only one with a target on their back should word spread," Ren said, looking back at Angelique as she reached into her pocket and once more withdrew the wanted poster, studying it for a moment. The paper was old and the edges cracking from wear and tear, the parchment yellowing and crinkled from getting soaked and dried several times, but what Ren really focused on was the face on the poster. She studied the features of her hero's face, the smug grin on her face and her blonde hair seeming to sway in an assumed wind. 'It really was a good likeness,' Ren thought to herself before handing it to Jacqueline.

"Either way, probably best I not have blatant proof on my person. I get the feeling Carrington is going to be on my back for some time and the less ammunition he has the better," Ren said calmly, turning to walk away before Jacqueline could return it. If Carrington had seen Ren with it as he ran to the Captain like some mongrel to its master, then doubtless he would make mention of it. Best for it to not be on her person should that occur, for the Thuron's sakes.

Walking now to the Gun deck to begin preparations to sink the Illustrious, Ren noticed a vaguely familiar girl tinkering with the long nines. Seeing as Ren was the only woman hired proper and the Thurons were both to her back now, she assumed the unassuming girl here must be the bounty hunter Jacqueline had made mention of. The hell was she doing to the cannons?

"Oi!" Ren called as she started into a jog, double timing to the girl.

"Captain Sellars know you're up here playing with the artillery?" Ren asked, though looked from the girl to the chaser she had been working on. It looked as though the vent had been not only cleaned but polished, and the rope work holding it in place had recently been retied and refitted.

Ren let out a low whistle as she crouched down to get a better look at what Karena had managed to spruce up.

"Apologies, Miss. Handsome job on the vent and the rigging... Even if Sellars is unawares this is far from the tinkering of a novice. Don't suppose you'd be interested in taking a break long enough to assist me in sending that Navy ship down to the depths? Could use a keen eye to inspect the thirty-twos below deck," Ren asked, a grin on her face. She might hold a slight grudge for the girl dogging Ms. Thuron, but she'd be damned if she didn't have a weakness for women knowing their stuff aboard a ship.

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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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Carmichael was doubly surpised at Nathaniel's reaction to his blunt statement about needing to talk. Not only had his old friend addressed him in a very informal manner, which he scarely did when able to be heard by the rest of the crew, but he also placed a hand on his shoulder.
Suspicion, and concern wormed its way into Carrington's mind as his old friend walked away, but there were more important things to worry about at the moment.
He slithered away from Angelique and her patient, and made his way erratically weaving way closer to Thuron and the shining new First Mate.
He managed to drop a few eaves before the captain began to speak and he wormed his way forward. His mind was hardly on what Nathan was shouting, he'd heard his speaches plenty of times over the last two decades after all, but instead, he became introspective, fumbling his way through years of bloodshed, drinking, and whoring.
It wasn't until the Captain shouted his order for the prisoners to be left aboard their sinking ship that he was rocked by a dark, delightful memory and he quickly moved through the throng of men as Nathaniel motioned him forward.

The cabin was not as well stocked as it could be. In the action the Acheron had been in over the past few days most of the furniture had been moved out and put in the hold for safe keeping. It had only been in the short amount of time after the victory over the two ships that Mr. Peters had organised some of the dunnage brought back up. The windows to either side were a little worse for wear, one of them sporting an amusing round hole from a shot that had bounced its way across the cabin, the ball itself now sitting in the corner of the room. A door behind the table Nate now sat at led to his apartment, a larger room in which he could host meetings and dinners, with large windows that looked over the wake of the ship. Nate almost flinched at the thought of the state that room must be in, not to mention his sleeping quarters and privy. Brushing those thoughts aside he refocused on Carrington, motioning to another chair at the table for him to sit.

Drawing on what he himself knew, Nate was sure he had met Jacqueline somewhere before, and, although her name didn't mean much to him, her appearance did. Nate prided himself on his memory, but after thirty years of life, and much of the last twenty spent near or in combat, some of it had begun to fade. "Maybe what Carmichael has to say will clear my mind on the matter," Nate thought, his eyes scanning those of his loyal friend. A nusciance at times, Carrington would not have reacted like this unless he believed there was a danger to the Acheron. That, Nate could always rely on.

Of course, Lieutenant Thompson was another matter. Nate could see that she certainly had potential, in time he had no doubt she would earn his respect as a valued member of the Acheron. However, he would have to speak to her about her dealings with the stowaways, though not stowaways any more by any stretch. Arming one of them against his express orders with the flintlock he had given her as a symbol of acceptance was not something Nate would forget quickly, nor forgive easily. Placing the offending pistol on the table between himself and Carrington, Nate wondered how she would react to his latest order. Killing men in battle was one thing, but sinking a ship with helpless prisoners on it was another. Nate's hatred of the Royal Navy was such that if he had time he would have killed them in a longer lasting and certainly more painful way, but he was unsure where Ren's loyalties lay. "We shall have to see," Nate thought, leaning forwards and placing his wounded arm gingerly on the table.

Nate was dying for a moment's rest, even a trip to the tops to clear his mind. The climb up through the rigging was always invigorating, and hanging off the highest point of the mainmast with the wind in his hair always helped him lose himself for a moment or two. An hour with his pride and joy, the violin that sat in its case in his sleeping quarters, would be even better. But this matter needed resolving, and Nate guessed it would not be an easy one to solve. The bounty hunter had told him that Jacqueline's bounty was worth a lot of money, but bounty hunting was something Nate viewed himself as above. He took what he needed. He did not pander to government officials who would pat him on the back for a job well done and hand him a tiny purse. No, he wasn't interested in the bounty, simply why the woman felt so familiar to him. He had said to her "to my mind, you only know someone when you have fought them", and for some reason her appearance had brought feelings like that. The mystery was killing him.

"So Carmichael, tell me, but keep to the facts. No conjecture."

Carrington was busy looking about and noting the dishevelled state of the cabin with some amount of remorse. His interest was piqued at the sight of the sextant Nathaniel placed on the table, and a smile spread at the sight of the pistol.
He had been wondering if the Captain had forgotten about it, or had simply decided to let sleeping dogs lie. He was relieved that this was not the case.

Carrington stepped forward, drawing the flask from his coat and pouring an equal measure into a cup that had somehow remained on the table and placed it before Nathaniel. He raised the flask in a toasting motion before taking a drink and a seat.

"Apparently Mr. Donovan, and Mr. Franklin weren't as thorough this time.", he said, indicating the sextant, "They better 'ave gotten the maps, journals and anything else important..."

He knew that Nathaniel knew about his standing orders for the pair to ransack the cabins during raids, and he was quite disappointed the pair had left such an important, and expensive item behind.
Carrington noted the grimace cross his old friend's face as he placed his wounded arm on the table and said, "Before I speak anything more, facts, or conjecture, and the like, ye better have that young woman look at your arm before ye bleed out, or it becomes septic..."

Nathaniel scowled at Carrington and deliberately flexed his arm and rolled his slashed shoulder, gritting his teeth to make the display effective. "I'll live for now Carrington," Nate almost growled, "so get on with it. This is more important." As he spoke Nate could feel the deep cut on his cheek clotting and getting harder to move. He would make a point of not seeking any attention until every other man in the crew had been seen first.

Carrington had to admit that he liked the fire that Captain possessed. He was one of the toughest bastards he knew, and also knew that he was the only person worthy of his loyalty. The man, despite being as cold and sadistic and Carrington himself, always looked out for the crew and the ship first.
The Navigator simply shrugged the point away, and took another pull from the rapidly dwindling flask. He was happy he had found it however, the adrenaline from the fighting was quickly wearing off and the past two days without sleep was making the various bumps and bruises stand out all the more. Thankfully the rum in the flask was dulling these down.
He idly rubbed the glaring bruise on his chest for a moment as he leaned back in his chair with a resigned sigh and looked his captain squarely in the eyes.

"Well Nathaniel...", he began, "I 'ave been getting this strange feeling from the older woman that decided to steal aboard during the chaos of departure for some time now, but I never let it concern me much. We had more important matters to address and a few rogues boarders were not so important."
Carrington paused for a moment and took another pull from his flask and tossed the empty vessel onto the table before leaning forward and placing his elbows upon its surface.
"When I was aboard the Illustrious I was nearly slain... Took a shot to the chest. Only thing that saved me was the fucking compass.", he continued, removing the compass from around his neck and slamming the heavily dented device onto the table next to the pistol.
"Miss Thompson managed to pull me aboard, and once I was among the world of the living once more, I made my way below deck to clear me mind of the brush with the reaper... And there she was, Miss Thompson, standing alone within the officers' quarters, staring at the same piece of parchment ye just saw, painted with the Frenchwoman's face. This got me thinkin'. I recognized the face and took a closer look and thing started fallin' together. From what I managed to catch before ye gave yer speach to the men, the Frenchwoman was a sailor, a pirate, and she had some run ins with our new first mate's father. Somehow, Miss Thomspon idolized both. Perhaps she is a navy girl with a black heart, or a scallywag with a heart of gold, but either way she is navy."

This last sentence seemed to hit a chord with Carrington, for he stalked over to the cabinet, which was blessedly intact, and poured another drink for himself and the Captain and brought both back to the table. After knocking back a fair portion, he looked back at Nathaniel and continued, "I find it quite the coincidence that this supposed former navy girl could be at the same city the was the most likely spot for us to make berth after our vicious fight and subsequent flight. She's still wearin' navy colors for Christ's sake..."
He stopped for a moment and pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to bring himself back on track.

Nate ignored the drink, though he shuffled a little at the rate Carrington was going through the contents of his personal collection. It had been a while since Nate had replenished his stock of Portugese Port or deep Italian red wines that he was fond of. "I wear navy colours Carmichael. I'm glad we've finally got another officer who does," here Nate cast a critical eye over Carrington's appearance. "Besides, if she was sent by the navy I doubt they'd hound her to near starvation. The Admiralty isn't clever enough to actually use convincing agents, and Thompson really looked starving before I brought her aboard."

Leaning back in his chair Nate eyed the compass. "I'll have to get you a new one. I heard the Venetians are making good ones these days. Remind me to stop some Italian shipping some time." Looking back up at Carrington Nate thanked the luck they both seemed to share. Both had been wounded many times, but the devil's own luck ran with them for now, and nothing had maimed, crippled or killed them so far. Testing that luck over and over again had proved fruitful in the past. The almost casual nature of this conversation was testament to their long years together. If anyone else had used his first name, Nate would have personally gutted them.

Ren's father? There was only one Thompson Nate knew who had been in the navy, and they had hardly been on good terms. Captain Thompson had come close to scuppering Nate early on in his career, and had hounded his wake as he attacked and raided shipping as much as he could during the final years of his career in the Royal Navy. "They can't be related can they? I certainly never heard of anything" Nate pushed the thought from his mind. It didn't matter.

"I knew she was a pirate Carmichael. The German girl sorting the long nines is a mercenary after the bounty on her head. I thought I recognised this French woman but her name means nothing to me." Nate placed his hands under his chin and leant his elbows on the table. "This doesn't help me. Did you hear anything else? See a name or any details on the poster?"

Carrington chuckled at Nathaniel's seeming concern at his wounding. The pair were as hearty and as lucky as any, and it would take far more than some hopeless shot to bring either of them down, but he appreciated the notion all the same.
Ignoring the remark about the compass because he already had a new one lined up, and even if he hadn't he knew the Captain would make good on his promise.
He blinked for a moment as he recalled the young woman he had seen, and inadvertently stroked, working on the cannons on deck.
A German bounty hunter was strange in these parts indeed, but then again, everything was strange lately, and there was no point in dwelling on the matter.

A grin spread across his face as the earnest questioning of Nathaniel came forth and he drained his mug as he continued, "Well Nathaniel, as I was below deck of the Illustrious, I managed to catch a good look at the poster that Miss Thompson held, and I also heard enough of their conversation to put some pieces together. About a decade, most likely more ago, we came across a ship that was apparently a merchant vessel simply carrying cargo, but I recognized a man from a poster that you wound up fighting in single combat before we sank the entire vessel. Well... it would appear that that we were mistaken. The only thing I think you would truly find interesting about Miss Thompson's poster is the name, Serpent's Teeth."

Nate slammed his palm down on the table as that night flashed before his eyes in a moment of clarity. How could he have forgotten? That dark and stormy night ten years ago had nearly ended his career before it had begun in earnest. Still a new captain in the Royal Navy, he had taken his ship on the hunt for the infamous 'Serpent's Teeth', a French pirate the Navy had been hunting a long while. As he recalled, Isaac Thompson his tormentor had been heading up the chase, before the old fool got himself crippled.

Nate had caught up with the ship the Serpent's Teeth was using in the middle of a raging storm, sheet rain slashing across the decks of both ships as cannons blazed and wood slammed together in the boarding. Quick flashes of images of combat lit by lightning and gunfire went through Nate's mind, and he saw the man, twin sabers twirling as they duelled back and forth across the soaking deck. Each gained the advantage in turn, a swift blow nearly severing Nate's jugular. A kick in the chest had sent the man sprawling backwards as Nate followed with his sword, jamming it between the man's ribs and through his heart. The rest of the night was a blur.

"That's impossible Carmichael. We killed the Serpent's Teeth, wrecked his ship. It can't possibly have been her." Nate picked up the drink Carrington had poured him and downed it, his fist clenching the empty cup in white knuckled fury. "How could it be her?" The pieces were fitting together now, and Nate was, for once, at a loss. "Are you sure Carmichael? It's not just someone who looks like the person on the poster? God be damned if the Serpent's Teeth was a woman. A regular damn Anne Bonney" Picking up the cup Nate threw it through the broken window, clenching and unclenching his fists as he wracked his brain.

Carrington was rather impassive as Nate reacted to his revalation. He was familiar with such things that he had suspected such an outburst, but the Navigator knew what he saw and knew what he recalled.
"We saw a man fighting with a pair of cutlasses, and not very well. You fought him with one and defeated him, and everything we had been led to believe was that this, Serpent's Teeth was nearly unmatched with a pair of swords. Ye handily beat him whilst I fought plenty of 'is own men. Only a 'andful of people made it off of that ship, mostly women. Who has carried a confiscated blade upon the ship so far? And, while we're at it, let us think of the many goings on aboard. We have a new first mate trying to prove herself while constantly belittling the crew she should be winning over, we have an apparent bounty hunter eyeing our cannon, we 'ave a nigh legendary pirate stowing away on the ship, while her kin is tending to our men. My suggestion would be to assign someone to the younger lass. Perhaps Mr. Franklin, he's as trustworthy and loyal as they come, or Mr. Donovan. We all know he fancies boys, and she would be safe with 'im until she gets your wounds, and we get her guardian sorted one way or another."

Fuming in silence, Nate listened to what Carrington said and turned it over in his mind. At the moment he didn't trust his judgement. Heat was all very well and good in a battle, but this required delicate handling. If it was true, and Jacqueline was the real Serpent's Teeth, things could go deadly very quickly if she remembered what he did. Granted he had been younger, and years at sea had not been kind to his complexion, but there was a chance she would eventually recognise him. Damnation for not remembering earlier. The only chance he would have is if she was out of practice, and he was as good as he hoped. Fighting dirty was always an option. On board the Acheron, there was nowhere to run, and a few hundred men hunting you through a small space was not something he envied her if she chose to try and kill him.

Looking up at Carrington, Nate nodded. "See to it. Get Mr. Dogood to watch the girl though. I trust him more than your hounds." Here Nate stood, going over to the shattered window. "Mr. Donovan can assist Madmoiselle Thuron in the galley. I want you watching Lieutenant Thompson. If she does anything more to threaten this ship, I want to hear about it. But make no moves for now. I want no trouble on the Acheron" Turning back towards Carrington Nate nodded towards the door. "You can go. I want to think for a while."

Carrington noted the sudden change from old friend to veteran captain and saluted smartly as he stood, recieveing his orders.
"It shall be done, Sir. I shall only make a move if anything threatens the Lady, or the crew itself... While I am thinkin' of it, Captain, do we 'ave a 'eadin' that I might plot out, or should I devote m'self to watching Miss Thompson?"

Nate scowled deeply. "Weren't you listening Mr. Carrington? I announced Sou-Sou-West. But I will tell you we are heading to Corunna, round Brittany then on to Spain. A short stop shall see us ready to sail the Atlantic." Pulling himself up to his full height, Nate assumed all his bearing of command. "Jump to it Mr. Carrington. I don't want to founder in a cross current in the Bay of Biscay. The French don't like us too much."

Carrington smiled in an almost sadistic light at Nathaniel answered his query. He knew damn well the order in which his captain, and friend wanted things done, but if he let his mind set to the things he desired at present, it wouldn't always work out quite so well in the future. After he had finished, Carrington snapped a final salute and headed out to find Mr. Franklin, and Mr. Donovan to inform them of their respective parts to play.

Setting

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Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba
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Angelique was giddy with glee as she set about fixing up the men aboard the Acheron. After Ren had given her the treasure of a lifetime of books and vials and the like, she had set upon the closest wounded man she could find, cleaning up his minor scrapes and cuts as though his life depended on it. Not that he seemed to mind; if anything, the sailor seemed to enjoy being cleaned up by such a pretty face as herself.

She was nearly finished with the man when she heard someone speak beside her.

Bonjour, ma belle femme,” the voice of the navigator carried through her focus. Her head lifted to behold his soaked, pistol laden form, hair sticking up and bloodied like the rest of him. Fortunately, none of it appeared to be his, though secretly she wished some of it was so she could stitch him up. His charm was almost as intoxicating as the old bottle of wine she'd swiped last year from Bertie when he was asleep. Despite the gore, Carrington was certainly handsome.

She was about to reply and bat her lashes at him, but his eyes suddenly narrowed past her towards her aunt. “Hold that thought, lass,” he whispered to her, and headed off to talk to the captain. Angelique shrugged. There were plenty of handsome, easily manipulated men aboard, and losing the interest of one (even one as alluring as Carrington) was nothing to worry about.

The young Thuron patted the man on the shoulder. “Be careful, okay? As much as I'd love to see you again, I'd rather not be dressing you up.” Angelique gave the man a wink before flitting off to a man with a decent gash in his leg. She went around like this for a few minutes, fixing up the men that would let her work and making note of those with worse injuries for later. It was hard to work with the Captain’s speech, and she had to practically chase her latest victim deep into the ship.

Angelique hated the way the ship was laid out, as she couldn't find the way back up on deck once she lost the sailor she was looking for. She stumbled around for a bit like a lost puppy, seeing not a single person to assist her in her quest to fix up all the injured aboard the Acheron. She ended up heading further down, clomping around until she found herself almost running into a tall, broad man on her way into the hold.

Sir, ye know our grog supplies aren't as strong as they should be. I'm not one to question yer decisions, but we'll be out of the devil's brew before the month is out,” the man began, before realizing that this was not, in fact, the captain. “Why hullo. I don't believe I've had the immense pleasure of making yer acquaintance." He winked and doffed an invisible hat as he dropped into a low bow. "I am none other than Tigerman Rashid Alamba, quartermaster. And you are?"

Angelique scowled as he bowed. “You certainly have the manners of a tiger,” she muttered before putting on her sweetest darling face. “Angelique, the new ship’s doctor,” she replied, smiling and curtsying. “Though I seem to have gotten a mite lost, good sir. You haven't happened to see a man with matted brown hair and blood running down his left side of his face? Head wounds do bleed more than anything, and I'd like to get him cleaned up before he passes out.” She kept a smile on her face as she talked, glancing around the hold of the ship. It seemed bigger on the inside than she expected.

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Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
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The recent skirmish with the naval frigate, the Illustrious, left Josephine shaken. It had been many years since she had been around gunfire, let alone cannonfire. On the bright side, repairs on the Acheron would be better than she expected. The main concern of the boatwright was whatever damage was done to the hull when the idiot that was at the helm rammed the Acheron sidelong into the Illustrious. The patch work that had been done in town was not enough to hold well against even a softer bump.

Josephine sighed as she examined what damage she could from the inside of the hull. She had the figure out what she would need to do a quick patch job without wasting supplies. Absent-mindedly, she twirled her hammer in her right hand as she took mental notes. “I don’ understand why rammin’ another boat would be a good idea.” she grumbled as she turned to get what she’d need.

The walk towards the hold lasted a while because Josephine made a wrong turn and had to stop and think about the layout of the ship. When she got back on the path to the hold, she had a little bit of a headache. “It is goin’ to be a long day.” She thought.

As she walked into the hold, Josephine pushed the sleeves of her white shirt over her elbows and scanned over the people in the hold. A blonde girl, aged around her late teens or early twenties, was rushing around tending to the crew’s wounds before she stopped to speak with a man that had shoulder-length black hair.

Rubbing her temples in circles, Josephine walked up to the two people conversing. The blonde girl had just finished speaking about a wounded man. “So I see you have work to do,” Josephine gestured at the blonde, “Could you assist me in carryin’ some supplies for a temporary repair?” she addressed the man.

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Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson
32 sightings Renata "Ren" Thompson played by Bravo_Zver
"Well, at least the pay is better..."

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View All » Add Character » 10 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars
Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
Character Portrait: Karena Schneider
Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
Character Portrait: Hammond Elrich
Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba
Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar

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Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
Josephine Dimas Aguilar

A Spanish spy and boat carpenter with a relatively easy past.

Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba
Rashid Alamba

'Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.'

Character Portrait: Hammond Elrich
Hammond Elrich

Quartermaster-to-be

Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
Angelique Thuron

"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."

Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington

As long as the stars are burnin', I'll steer ya true.

Character Portrait: Karena Schneider
Karena Schneider

She strikes fast and her assualts prove deadly

Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
Ivory Emerson

"I don't suppose you might need a surgeon by any chance?"

Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
Jacqueline Thuron

"The kitchen is MY domain, understand? Set foot in here without my express permission, and you'll wish for death."

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars
Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars

"Never mind we're outnumbered, we'll frighten the bastards to death."

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Character Portrait: Hammond Elrich
Hammond Elrich

Quartermaster-to-be

Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
Jacqueline Thuron

"The kitchen is MY domain, understand? Set foot in here without my express permission, and you'll wish for death."

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars
Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars

"Never mind we're outnumbered, we'll frighten the bastards to death."

Character Portrait: Karena Schneider
Karena Schneider

She strikes fast and her assualts prove deadly

Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
Josephine Dimas Aguilar

A Spanish spy and boat carpenter with a relatively easy past.

Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
Ivory Emerson

"I don't suppose you might need a surgeon by any chance?"

Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington

As long as the stars are burnin', I'll steer ya true.

Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
Angelique Thuron

"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."

Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba
Rashid Alamba

'Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.'

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Rashid Alamba
Rashid Alamba

'Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.'

Character Portrait: Josephine Dimas Aguilar
Josephine Dimas Aguilar

A Spanish spy and boat carpenter with a relatively easy past.

Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
Jacqueline Thuron

"The kitchen is MY domain, understand? Set foot in here without my express permission, and you'll wish for death."

Character Portrait: Hammond Elrich
Hammond Elrich

Quartermaster-to-be

Character Portrait: Karena Schneider
Karena Schneider

She strikes fast and her assualts prove deadly

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars
Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars

"Never mind we're outnumbered, we'll frighten the bastards to death."

Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington

As long as the stars are burnin', I'll steer ya true.

Character Portrait: Angelique Thuron
Angelique Thuron

"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."

Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
Ivory Emerson

"I don't suppose you might need a surgeon by any chance?"


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Most recent OOC posts in Making Waves

Re: Making Waves

Something like that, and I just moved back to Michigan, hence my absence.

Re: Making Waves

yup. it's like super extended weekend.

Re: Making Waves

Apparently summer is the worst time to RP xD

Re: Making Waves

I think it is.

Like I said dude, I already know what's gonna happen.

Re: Making Waves

is it electric's turn? i have an idea of a part to write but it'd actually be reacting off of whatever Valaun would write in response to Nate's question.

Re: Making Waves

You're a tumbleweed!

I know the feeling bud.

And fucking Christ dude, your open ended question there just gave me a brilliant, perhaps even evil idea for a reply.

Re: Making Waves

Posted! Sorry it has taken so long but work has just exhausted me recently.

Re: Making Waves

Tumbleweed.gif

Re: Making Waves

Yeah yeah I'm sorry guys xD I started working recently and I've just been exhausted.

Re: Making Waves

Tomorrow is my day off work :P I'll get a post in for ya.

Re: Making Waves

*cricket sounds*

So who's next up?

Re: Making Waves

Lol I was going to mention that he handed it to her, knowing it was loaded before turning in a challenging manner, buuuuut I forgot.

Re: Making Waves

Ren never disarmed, so she had two loaded on her person before the trophy. One she never fired from the battle on the Illustrious and the one Nate handed to her. Not to mention her sabre is still in arms reach, though I did neglect to have her remove it so she could sit down now that I think about it.

Point being, I caught it but didn't think to comment on it due to Ren already being armed. She's not going to shoot him on an empty stomach regardless ;)

Re: Making Waves

Haha you kids.

Sounds like work's been a blast EP.

I would like to point out that Carrington handed Ren a loaded pistol. I don't think that was caught. Fearless bastard.

Re: Making Waves

So help me if this ship sinks before we get to next port I'm going to die of laughter.

Re: Making Waves

I've been putting in job applications the past few days too. I know a sinking ship when I see one.

Get it? Sinking ship?

Fine, me and my comedic genius are going to go back to the classified ads.

Re: Making Waves

Oh, man, that's def worse. I wish you the best dude.