Aether Shanties RP (PM if interested/Started)

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His watched with delight as Garrett saw Annis order about the idle crewmen who were listening in. Reminded him of the few times back home in Sentinel Bay, where he had such a commanding presence. The skills he had learned abroad one of the many interceptors that helped protect his home, had certainly been of use; both back when he was a mercenary, and since he has been Adrianna's bodyguard. Annis then turned back to face Garrett.

"Mr. Roque certainly takes his work seriously. Almost as if it had an art to it. Now unless you need me for anything else, Corvus?"

"A workman who shows such dedication to his craft is certainly to be respected at least. No, there wasn't anything else I needed to talk about; and I'll make sure the Admiral gets your report when it is convenient. Thank you for taking this time to talk. Good day." Garrett said, giving the Second Mate a salute and a bow before returning to the cabin. He could see that Adrianna was slowly standing up as he entered, from the looks of it, Vasco has just administered an injection to help with the pain.

"How is it going in here?" Garrett asked to the two as he shut the door.

Beth let the chain rip through the air around her, the ball at the end of it threatening to hit her surroundings, but her training stopped it from doing so. She hadn't gotten the chance to use it in battle this time, but it calmed her down to unleash it and listen to the sounds it made. She could see Sheska back up on deck, and some of the officers, she turned away from them. If the woman wanted to strain herself it was her choice, still it felt like the second time she had disobeyed her in one day. Maybe she couldn't order someone to stay in bed, but she would keep an eye on her now. They had kissed twice, but it didn't mean she should go soft on her. She had slept with others and not treated them any differently afterwards.

Farthing was looking at her, possibly wondering when she was going to talk to him about their losses. She hadn't been told how bad it was yet, but she couldn't wait any longer. It would be unpleasant news no matter how long she waited. Beth slowed the chain down and rolled it up, before hanging it back at her side.

She picked up her bottle of rum, uncorked it and walked over to Farthing at the helm.

"Any update on how many we lost?"

He nodded, and kept his hands on the wheel.

"Thirtythree dead, another ten injured. The ship wasn't too badly damaged. We also found twenty imperials, but there'd probably be a few more dead and injured on their own ship after that fire."

Beth sat down with her back against a wall and drank heavily from her bottle. It could have been worse and they could recruit new crew when they arrived at Helium, but...

"People die all the time. They know they might get killed, during a raid or a boarding, or in a drunk brawl. It's not about death, it's about life."

"It could be much worse. We'll try to find a good burial ground for them. Throw the imperial bodies overboard if it hasn't already been taken care off. I'm sure the beasts are hungry."

She would show no respect for dead imperials, but her own crew deserved better.

"Already taken care off. Our own has been moved to the cargo hold for now, but they can't be left there for long."

I know.

"What now, Herr doktor?" she said, after removing the greatcoat.

He smiled under the mask, this was a new one, as he gave the succinct reply, "Examination."

Then Garrett entered - a minor irritation but a tolerated one as well - and said, "How is it going in here?"

Vasco was dismissive with his answer, "We had hardly started with treatment; stay and watch if you must. I will be starting with it now regardless."

She was obviously weak and the morphine didn't help with that. But it was a small price to pay to dull the pain. Weakness pointed to two things and at least one was staring him in the eye. Her side was heavily bruised, the purple-red colour leaked through the white silk-shirt. No wait, there were at least three, not five things here. But Vasco was always generous with his diagnoses, best to be safe than sorry, after all. He went and gently prodded the tender section of her abdomen and his suspicions were confirmed. Crepitus - a 'crunchy' feeling under the skin was what he felt, there were definitely at one least broken rib. Not much he could do for that. He pulled out what looked like an oversized leather belt from the doctor's bag and turned to Lanester.

"This is a rib belt. It will help with the broken ribs. I... suggest you wear it in addition to your normal clothes." He explained and went on to say as a thought popped into his mind, "I will set up a pulmometer here; it will prevent the possibility of fluid buildup in the lungs due to rib damage... You use it and do many repetitions per day, measuring your progress. You will also receive pain medication as well."

He wrapped the rib belt around her sides, demonstrating how to put it on. He left it on and moved onto the damaged arm. Vasco had an rudimentary understanding of mechanical prosthetics, but was more comfortable with those that dealt will matters of the respiratory system, as was his specially. Nevertheless, he did what he could, fixing little faults while looking for any sign of irritation from the knocked prosthetic limb. Some parts were twisted out of shape from the impact and would need to be replaced. She would have to wait until the next port of call to get the parts. Not to mention the back trauma, but hopefully bedrest would be the only thing needed. Spinal surgery was best done when absolutely necessary. He moved onto her head and treated the cuts and bruises caused by the fall. Satisfied, he gave out the last of his doctor's orders.

"Your prosthetic limb is heavily damaged; I suggest you wear the other one as the twisted parts will only cause you pain. Bed rest is needed, both to help with possible back trauma and with the trauma your head had gone through... As well as your other injuries. If there is anything else you want to mention, now is the time."

Adrianna heard someone enter and speak up, but couldn't recognized said person or the statement in her drug addled state. Instead, she remained focused - as best she could - on the words of Doctor Roque. He went on about Rib belts and pulmometers, prosthetics and bed rest. How much of it would help went over her head, but she agreed to it all none-the-less. "If there is anything else you want to mention, now is the time." he asked, to which Adrianna had little to say

"Thank you Dr. Roque, and I do have one: any idea how long it will take before I'm healed? I have a ship to run and a mission to accomplish after-all." Adrianna said, moving carefully over toward her bed; for some reason she was very tired.

She blamed the morphine.

It was as she reached the bed, she noticed that the person who entered with Garrett. It made some sense that it was him; everyone else would have knocked first. "Ah, Garrett; take a seat. I will be with you in a bit." she managed to say before the dizziness forced her to take a seat on the nearest piece of appropriate furniture, which fortuitously was her bed.

"Thank you Dr. Roque, and I do have one: any idea how long it will take before I'm healed? I have a ship to run and a mission to accomplish after-all." She replied.

Maybe he should have lessened the dose, but was too late and Vasco suspected that the Rear Admiral would not appreciate him poking her side and touching the tender ribs below without sufficient pain relief. He sighed, clearly some details had just gone over her head. And there was that question. And Vasco knew the answer he would give her would not be taken with joy. Nevertheless, as the saying went, they were all in the same boat. The crew, captain and carriage needed to rest, but by order of the Empire, they had to find this artefact, whatever it was. He got his pocketbook and pen out, scribbled on it almost word for word what he said before about her treatment, tore out the page and folded it neatly. At least the Rear Admiral would get some bed rest today, even if it was more the morphine's doing than her own will. He turned to the sofa and packed up his tools in the doctor's bag, except for the rib belt. Instead, Doctor Roque left it on the desk near the couch.

He then walked over to Lanester and handed her the folded page, "You are ever welcome." He said with a sigh bow, "These are your instructions; follow them and you'll be better in no time." It was not a definite answer, but it had to do.

Vasco walked towards the door and discretely half-whispered something to Garrett, quietly enough so that the Rear Admiral could not hear, but loud enough for Garrett's own ears, "As her bodyguard, it is your duty to make sure she follows them, yes? That would be appreciated..."

-Sheska-

Sheska relaxed a little more when she was given another dose of painkiller, enough to finally take effect on the majority of her pain, and then some. Her mind started to blur just slightly, and her eyes were half-open before long, a bored expression on her face.

"I can't be too harsh on the people of the empire. It is all they know and they get fed so much propaganda I would be hesitant to flee too. I merely was lucky enough to get the chance to see beyond it, to see what could be rather than what merely was.".

"Good thing you got out, too. Change Cage cities are hellholes. Everglade especially. God, did I hate it there. Peelers were assholes, other kids were little bastards...", she said, trailing off before shaking her head a little to clear it.

"Anyway, hopefully the retooling for that arm doesn't take long. It feels wrong to be ordered to rest, I can't stand just sitting around unless I have some rum to drink.", she told him.

"I mainly ordered you to rest because if you became too active the bleeding would pick up again. Once I close the wound up you should be ok to return to some level of active duty, though nothing too strenuous. Can't have you tearing up the stitches." Samuel said as he now began the closing procedure. Soon enough her arm would be closed and she could leave after he checked the area over a bit.

"As for getting out, I'm glad I could escape my life as well. Even having been from the upper class everything was always so stifling and controlled. Everything we learned was what was approved for us, and anything unapproved was confiscated. Hard to care for your patients properly when you are only taught one way of doing things." He said with a smile as he worked.

-Sheska-

"I mainly ordered you to rest because if you became too active the bleeding would pick up again. Once I close the wound up you should be ok to return to some level of active duty, though nothing too strenuous. Can't have you tearing up the stitches.".

She suddenly grimaced at that. "I can't say I'm looking forward to being pulled open and having that new arm stuffed into my shoulder. Hell, going to have to have a brand-new shoulder built. But, looks like it'll be worth it in the end. Might be better than my first arm.", she said, looking back at the almost skeletal prosthetic.

It was impressive to look at if nothing else, she just hoped it would stand up to wear and tear. Since it was originally made for him, she had a feeling it would, but she still wanted armor, just in case. You never knew if a bullet or well-struck blade would mess up something with the joint, or other mechanisms.

"It will not be an easy adjustment, but with proper help and support you can get through the process." Samuel said as he finished the procedure, before going and grabbing a bottle of rum. He poured two glasses and gave one to Sheska.

"To health, long life, and successful surgery." He said before downing the drink he had poured himself.

"So how does it feel to be able to indulge in the wonders of rum again?" He asked with a laugh after they had both had their drinks.

-Sheska-

When Samuel finally finished stitching up her side, she groaned softly and forced herself to sit up, grabbing her shirt from nearby and pulling it on over her head. Then she turned and gasped, quickly snatching the glass of rum from Sam and downing it easily.

"To health, long life, and successful surgery.".

"And to killing those two bastards who put me here. Thanks Sam. The sooner I can fight again, the better I'll feel.", she said, just before eying the bottle that Sam had, but thought better of it.

"So how does it feel to be able to indulge in the wonders of rum again?".

"Good. I'd best get back to the Cap'n's cabin, she's likely to be right pissed I didn't stay there and sleep. Still, I needed to think, and things were... Too comfy there.", she said, pushing herself onto her feet and stretching a bit.

Then she sighed and reached up, pushing her dreadlocks out of her face again and frowning. "Well, better get the ass-kicking I earned over with. Talk to you later, Sam.", she said, waving back at him as she opened the door to his cabin and strode out.

Overall, she felt better. Having some time to herself helped, and so did the surgery that Sam performed. Now, she needed to have a talk with Beth, first to apologize for disobeying her, then to see just how things were going to stand between them. She needed to take her own advice and make her feelings known, plain and simple. Beth may or may not like how she felt, but she would have to deal with it, just like she would have to do the same concerning Beth's own feelings.

When she got to the Captains cabin, she opened the door, stepped inside, and sat on the bed to wait.

"That was a good night. I don't think I've ever seen a captain and first mate dance on a table together before or after." Farthing laughed and downed the last of her bottle. "Makes me miss the old days."

Beth was snickering herself. Both her and Roberts had been pretty drunk, when the band at a tavern in High Tortuga had started playing one of her favorite shanties. She had climbed onto the table and the captain had suggested that she should get down again, before she hurt herself. Beth had made the rest of the crew chant Roberts name until he got up on the table as well.

"I'm glad I didn't get so drunk that I forgot it the next day."

It was one of her favorite memories. The look on her captain's face when she dragged him up on the table, the fact that he was actually decent at dancing and that the band had replayed the song just so they could continue dancing had made it a night to remember.

Farthing handed her the empty bottle and she put it towards her lips to drink, but there was nothing left. She shook it and pouted.

"Sorry, Cap'n. I'll buy you a new one when we get to Helium City."

Beth had to steady herself against the railing, when she tried to get back up on her feet, after sitting down. The ship moved a bit too much for her liking, but she realized that it was probably the rum and not a storm.

"Don't worry about it. I have a few more, and I was the one who drank most of it anyay." Maybe she should be worried that Farthing would steer the ship drunk instead. "Get someone to take the wheel and get some rest, man."

He smiled and yawned.

"Simply extending a courtesy to a lady. And I'll do that. Maybe Isaac is around somewhere."

She pointed at him and stumbled away from the helm.

"That's lady, cap'n."

He chuckled.

"Aye, aye, captain. I'll blame it on the rum."

You are excused. She thought and waved at him, before heading down below deck. There wasn't anyone around in the hallways, but she could hear talking from some of the rooms she passed by. They sounded surprisingly cheery, considering the circumstances. Beth opened the door to her cabin and found Sheska sitting on the bed. She slammed the door shut behind her, threw the bottle at her safe, which broke when it hit its side.

"So, you came back... Is this pleasure or business?" Beth didn't wait for an answer, she started trying to get her dress off, which was hard when she was drunk.

-Sheska-

When the Captain stepped in, Sheska stood up and opened her mouth to start apologizing, when an empty rum bottle was flung past her to shatter against the safe. Blinking, she closed her mouth and frowned, watching Beth slam the door behind her and step forward.

"So, you came back... Is this pleasure or business?".

Then she started to try and get her dress off, making Sheska close her eyes and blush, hard. "Cap'n, you're drunk. And of course I came back.", she said, taking a breath and opening her eyes so that she would try and say what she was wanting to say.

"I wanted to say that I'm sorry, for leaving when I shouldn't have. But, I was restless, and needed to think, needed to move. Needed to sort things out.", she started, trying not to pay too much attention to Beth's attempts to undress, which unfortunately was incredibly distracting.

"A lot has happened lately. Another you came from the future and died in front of us, I lost my arm, and we... Ok, do you need help with that?", she blurted out when she couldn't take it anymore.

She strode over and sighed heavily, shaking her head as she helped Beth out of her dress. She supposed she could speak her piece later, Beth's fumbling had gotten to be too much. It was both a little frustrating to watch, as well as rather endearing in a strange way. But once it was off, she stepped back and nodded.

"There. Better?", she asked, smirking just a little as she forced herself to focus on the Captains face.

"Blah, blah, blah." She mumbled while Sheska talked, and continued trying to get her dress off. If nothing else, Beth should think about drinking less because she'd be able to undress and get her weapon easier.

"Ok, do you need help with that?" The first mate said, out of nowhere. Beth grinned and cocked an eyebrow. Sheska stepped over to her and helped her get undressed. "There. Better?"

She removed the goggles keeping back her hair from her head, and allowed it to fall down past her waist. When the goggles kept her hair back, it almost looked like she had a ball on her hair, but now the red hair draped her body. Beth pushed Sheska away from her and the first mate stumbled backwards, until she fell on the bed.

Beth smiled seductively, which she wasn't even sure Sheska could see behind her hair. Many times she had wished that her mutations had been useful, rather than mostly aesthetic.

"Do you want to perish in skin and hair?" She walked over to the bed as well.

-Sheska-

Sheska was only more taken aback when Beth promptly removed her goggles, the only thing keeping her copious amount of hair even relatively tame upon her head. When they were gone, she was practically covered in the red locks, making it hard to see that there was a person underneath all of it.

The push was also unexpected, especially since she had the one arm now to try and catch herself with. She fell back onto the bed with a soft grunt, then looked up and managed to catch a glimpse of a rather scarily seductive smile behind the curtain of Beth's hair.

"Do you want to perish in skin and hair?".

"Wait, what? Beth, you're drunk! You aren't seriously considering... Now? But I-", she stammered out of panic, before she finally sighed and smiled nervously.

"Just, be gentle.", she said shyly.

-The Next Morning-

Sheska awoke with a terrified gasp, bolting up in the bed and clawing at her neck. She was shaking violently, her face pale and covered in a cold sweat, and she choked softly as she forced herself to take in hasty gulps of air.

She could still feel the monstrous hands around her neck. She could still see eyes not unlike that of a goat, and hear angry bleating in her ears. This time, the Misbegotten Capricorn wasn't satisfied with just tearing off her arm, but had tried to both choke her to death, and rip her head off as well.

It took her a few moments to regain her composure, slowly letting out a shaky exhale. She laid back and reached to her side, gently rubbing the stitches where her arm used to be. They itched, and the wound felt like it was on fire again. She'd need to see Sam for that.

But when she glanced over to her other side, she immediately felt more calm and at ease, and remembering the night before, she grinned. "Well, at least that wasn't a dream. Best get things ready for the Cap'n.", she murmured under her breath, leaning over and placing a gentle kiss on the sleeping Beth's cheek.

When she stepped out of the cabin, she was dressed and feeling herself again, and she strode to the top deck and glanced around. Everything was in order, but that didn't stop her from moving to one crewmate to another, barking out orders to make sure everyone was working their hardest.

Garrett quietly stood at the back of the room, not wanting to interfere with Vasco's examination, as the process revealed some interesting and useful information regarding Adrianna's current state, medically that is. The good doctor pulled out a couple of items that Garrett hadn't seen before, but then again, he didn't delve all that far into the medical profession. Afterwards, Adrianna was finally lucid enough to notice his presence in the room, as she made her way towards her bed.

"Ah, Garrett; take a seat. I will be with you in a bit." Vasco then gathered up the items that he had used, leaving the rib belt with Adrianna. He then made his way to the cabin door, talking to Garrett in a quiet enough tone so Adrianna wouldn't hear.

"As her bodyguard, it is your duty to make sure she follows them, yes? That would be appreciated..."

"Of course doctor, don't worry, I've been able to convince her before, its the reason why she's been in here the past couple of hours or so resting, rather than up and about on deck; figured it would do her some good to take it easy for a little bit. And thank you doctor, your work has been appreciated, and we're glad to have someone like you on board." Garrett said politely in a quiet voice. He had gained a fair amount of respect for the man, after all, he had kept many of them afloat, and was able to tend to Adrianna's injuries in a delicate manner.

Isaac wandered blearily across the deck, tin mug of steaming coffee clutched like a talisman.

Another sleepless night of nightmares had led him to forcing himself up earlier than everyone else so he could go and do his work in peace and quiet. He'd just spent the last hour cold and tired up the Crow's Nest mapping out the rest of the route to Helium City (as if he needed to go over it again) and was just about ready to collapse. He needed to be in his room with some calming gramophone record playing, possibly with a nice cold rag over his eyes too. Anything that might nudge him into sleep.

But as he was walking he saw Sheska. The crew were working fine but she was yelling at them anyway, only getting both herself and the men in question stressed out and angry. He had a couple of ideas as to what that might be about.

Well, no use just standing there, he still hadn't spoken to her since she first lost the arm.

"You'll do yourself an injury, yelling like that this early." he said, keeping his tone friendly. He looked Sheska up and down covertly before she replied, and an eyebrow arched.

He recognised that glow. And that posture. He'd been trained to pick details out, and the unkempt hair and ever-so-slightly out of focus eyes told a very curious story indeed.

Oh my, Sheska. You didn't, did you?

-Sheska-

Sheska turned whenever she heard a familiar voice, smiling just a little as she put her hand on her hip.

"You'll do yourself an injury, yelling like that this early.".

She snorted, then gestured to her missing arm. "Been there, done that, Izzy. You look tired. Ought to get some rest once we make sure we stay on course, you could use it. We'll be at Helium City before too long.", she told him, just before noticing the look he was giving her.

She shifted uncomfortably and narrowed her own eyes, even as she panicked inside. Oh, goddamnit. I knew, I knew that if anyone was going to find out, it'd be Izzy. Shit, he already knows, doesn't he? Of course he can tell. Shit, shit!, she thought, but she refused to let it show on her face.

"What is it? Something wrong?", she asked, her tone more gruff as she quirked an eyebrow.

"What is it? Something wrong?"
The overtly gruff tone said it all really.

Wow, you actually did. Good on you Sheska.

"From the looks of things, something's right" he said without thinking.
Once he realised what he said his eyes went wide, his face mortified.
"I mean... shit, I really just said that out loud didn't I?"

Maybe Sheska was right. Bed was suddenly looking like a tempting option and right now he needed to go and hide.

You appear to have failed us...

I'll set you to carrying the cabin boy's slopbucket, pidgeon-shit!

It's nothing personal, you simply haven't delivered...

One man's mistake is the entire crew's death!

You'll unfortunately be stripped of all your honours...

The floggings will continue for months, flea-ridden cur!

You have disgraced the Empire...

Your life is mine!

You have disgraced your father....

Exeter jolted awake, body snapping upright as he looked around crazily, disorientated as the voices in his nightmare melted away. It took him a moment to realise where he was, remember what airship he was on. The Invincible. He wasn't sure how long he'd slept but the moments before falling asleep rushed back to him in a barrage of pain and confusion.

Still clothed in his rumpled and blood-stained uniform, Exeter rummaged in his bed and found an empty glass. He leaned to the floor clumsily and grabbed the discarded brandy bottle only to curse at it's lack of contents. He closed his eyes wearily and took a deep breath, recalling what had transpired.

He remembered reading the piece of paper stolen from Lanester's coat. Remembered the meanings buried deep within the official rhetoric of the Empire. 'Find the artifact or do not return.' Exeter had spent a good time pondering over the implications of such an order.

Obviously it was aimed at Lanester, but why? The answer was obvioius, something Exeter already knew from his meeting with the Lord Commander in Desolation. She couldn't be trusted. This was certainly a way to keep her out of the way, suggesting that the artifact was indeed useless. The Empire was testing Lanester's allegience to the limit. The one thing Exeter couldn't fathom was what did the higher-ups know about her that he himself couldn't figure out? What made them so damn suspicious?

It made sense that Lanester would hide that part from the rest of the crew; Annis had touched upon it being a suicide mission in during the briefing. Maybe she'd want to see it? Exeter knew he needed to proceed with caution. Reveal things too soon and the situation would likely turn nasty, become a power struggle he was loathe to participate in. He had determined to keep his cards close to his chest for now; Lanester was a pretty good admiral, although she had her problems - like everyone else - and Exeter needed to continue his observations. He needed concrete evidence first, something that Black Annis would pounce on to aid in bringing down the traitor.

Exeter swung his legs onto the floor groggily and rubbed his face, wincing slightly as he brushed across his swollen nose. It didn't feel broken but still throbbed painfully. He toyed idly with the empty brandy bottle, remembering the hours spent trying to figure everything out but clouding his mind with alcohol too much to really grasp anything. His head pounded and his mouth was unbearably dry.

Suddenly, it occurred to him that he had no idea where the scrap of orders were. He dropped the bottle and desperately searched his bed, tearing the sheets off in an attempt to find the important evidence. After a few moments, he stopped, breathless and staring. A smile crept onto his lips as he shoved his tattooed hand into his jacket pocket and felt the paper there, crumpled in a ball. He needed a safe place to put it whilst figuring out what to do.

Reaching under the bed, Exeter pulled out a small mahogany box with a complicated lock attached, keeping it secure. With a few deft movements of his fingers, he unlocked and opened it to reveal a collection of old medals. He regarded them for a moment, face impassive. These were links to his past, reminders of the blood oath made to his father. Medals his own father had gained fighting - and dying - for the Emporer. Flattening the scrap of paper, Exeter slipped it underneath the silk lining of the box, safe from prying eyes. He allowed his eyes to pass across the medals once more, savouring their dulled surfaces, before locking the box and pushing it deep under his bed.

Standing up, Exeter looked down at his blood-crusted clothes and, for once, decided it would be a good idea to change. Although his wounds were not too severe, they still needed proper dressing, so once Exeter had dressed in a cleaner - if only marginally - uniform he decided to pay the good doctor a visit.

Jason strode out onto the deck, a smile on his face. Fry could be a judgmental little shit, but he did know when people where working themselves too hard - and his insistence that Jason go to sleep at a reasonable hour was one of the few times he was glad he'd taken his advice. It'd been what, three days since he'd gotten a decent night's rest?

"Good morning, you listless sods!" The rest of the crew, either exhausted from the end of their shifts or bleary from waking up to take their watch, gave him a death glare - but he paid it no mind. For once, his mood was high, and the fact that he didn't have a hangover for once certainly helped. He saw Issac and Skeska conversing on the opposite side of the ship. Isaac looked... bleary, to say the least. "Wow, Isaac. You look like shit. Something happen?" He turned to Sheska, who looked quite a bit more upbeat. She seemed to have a glow about... her...

Dammit. Looks like I'm keeping Fry from leaving the engine room for the next week. "Sheska. You're looking... upbeat. How are things?" So much for his good mood.

-Sheska-

When Isaac spoke up next, Sheska's eyes widened in horror.

"From the looks of things, something's right.".

She suddenly glared and leaned forward, even though deep down she felt a surge of pleasure at his approval. The fact he knew, however, was problematic. "You tell no one, you hear me? Keep it to yourself!', she hissed, keeping her voice low.

Then she heard Jason.

"Good morning, you listless sods!".

She leaned back and did her best to look like she normally did: Irritable and ready to bark out an insult or order at a moments notice. Thankfully, it wasn't hard.

"Wow, Isaac. You look like shit. Something happen? Sheska. You're looking... upbeat. How are things?".

"How in the blue hell am I looking upbeat? I'm missing an arm, I'm in pain, my stitches itch, and I had a bloody nightmare.", she said, reaching up and rubbing her temple.

Of course, all of that was true. But, it didn't include the fact that she had been seduced by a drunken Captain Beth, resulting in a spectacular night that far surpassed any of her recurring wet dreams concerning her. And, for some reason, just about everyone could tell that just that happened.

How the hell was she that obvious?

"You tell no one, you hear me? Keep it to yourself!"

Isaac shot Sheska a you know me better than that stare as he spotted Jason approaching.

"Wow, Isaac. You look like shit. Something happen?"
Isaac smiled sleepily at Jason. He'd always kind of liked the guy. Sure they never talked much but Jason didn't bandy about his words. And for an introvert like Isaac that suited him down to the ground.

"More like sleep didn't. Off to try get some now."

He stifled a yawn and sipped more of the coffee. Probably not the best of ideas considering he was planning on getting some sleep, but the bitter taste was refreshing in it's own way.

"How's the engine damage?"

"How in the blue hell am I looking upbeat? I'm missing an arm, I'm in pain, my stitches itch, and I had a bloody nightmare."

'Yea, nightmare. I'm sure something that would scar any who observed it happened last night. Well, if you don't want to talk about it, that works for me. The longer you play coy, the better my chances of winning my bet.' He rolled his eyes dismissively, turning his full attention to Isaac.

"How's the engine damage?"

"Not as bad as it could be. The engine itself is fine, but the starboard rotor will need to be replaced when we next make port." Jason took out a pack of cigarettes and lit one, making sure to savor its taste. It would be the last pack he'd have until they docked in Helium City.

"Speaking of port, Isaac, I was wondering - I've put it upon myself to get this ship ready for another engagement with those sodding Imps. You have anything in mind? I don't think it's boasting to say I'm one of the best machinists not currently kissing Victor's ass, so just say anything that comes to mind."

"Speaking of port, Isaac, I was wondering - I've put it upon myself to get this ship ready for another engagement with those sodding Imps. You have anything in mind? I don't think it's boasting to say I'm one of the best machinists not currently kissing Victor's ass, so just say anything that comes to mind."

Isaac shrugged.
"Not exactly my strong point. Some hidden weapon caches maybe?"
Isaac would have loved to suggest building more hidey-holes and secret compartments into the interiors, but obviously they were restricted here, both with time and money.

WHat's more, it could lead to some awkward questions as to where he'd picked the idea up from...

Adrianna tried to listen to what the doctor and Garrett were discussing, but found most of the words escaping her. Strangely, she didn't really care. She didn't feel like she cared about much of anything, despite the fact she knew something important had happened.

"What was it...?" she muttered aloud, just below her breath as she lay back on the bed. "Something about a ship... and a fire... and..." she started to say, before the final effect of the morphine - the sleep inducing property to be precise - came into effect, and she slipped into a drug induced light, peaceful slumber, still dressed in the blood stained uniform of the battle some time ago.

It was a good dream; Garrett featured prominently.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Some time later - the next morning if the light trough the small window was any sign - She awoke with a start. "THE FIRE!" she called out, shooting to a sitting position - that's what had been so important! Swiftly remembering that the battle (and likely the fire with it) was over - thanks in no small part to the dull throbbing pain in her side - she calmed down quickly enough, and instead tried to get a grasp of her surroundings. She found herself unable to see clearly in the sudden state of consciousness, and called out "Is any one there?"; hoping to get some idea of what had happened since the doctor had given her the injection of... something.

This was why she hated medicine.

Beth woke up with a headache, one that was actually worse than the one she had yesterday. She groaned and rolled over on her back, for some reason she had been laying at the side of the bed, with one hand on the floor.

Ugh, fuck me... She put a hand over her face and was happy that there were no windows in her cabin. Any sunlight would have been torturous. Waking up with a hangover two days in a row was harsh enough. If it hadn't been for Farthing, she would have drunk a little, mourned her crew and fallen asleep. He had been good company though, and she enjoyed drinking with friends.

She wasn't sure how long she lay there, just hoping that the headache would cease. It gave her a chance to think. How had she ended up in her bed..? It wasn't the first time she had lost memories in a drunken haze. Why did her cabin smell differently? It smelled of sweat, rum and something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Usually it smelled of wood and rum.

The headache didn't stop, it even felt like it worsened. She rolled to the side of the bed and put her feet on the floor. Her dress wasn't folded up or hung over the chair, it was thrown on the floor, among shattered pieces of glass. Her goggles was on the floor as well. Someone needed to clean this up, unfortunately that would be her. She couldn't order her crew to do it.

Beth got dressed in a clean blue dress, not that different from the one thrown on the floor and spent ten minutes trying to get her goggles to keep her hair up. When she had done that she stumbled out into the hallway and stopped outside Samuel's cabin. She knocked on the door, but not very hard or loudly as she didn't want to make a lot of noise. Both for her own sake and for any patients he may have.

"I need something against hangover, doc..." She said, but it was not much more than a whisper.

-Sheska-

When Izzy and Jason started to talk about what they might need concerning the next time they ran into Imps, Sheska decided that that was the perfect time to slip away, and see Sam about another dose of morphine, and something to keep her stitches from itching so damn much. Judging from the look Izzy gave her a few moments ago, he would keep his suspicions to himself, but she would still have to tell Beth he knew. She wasn't looking forward to that.

When she stepped below deck, she spotted Beth herself right outside Sam's quarters, looking like death warmed over. She suddenly kicked herself mentally. Of course, after being as drunk as she was last night, she had to have been suffering from the God of All Hangovers right about then. Frowning in concern, she quietly walked over and put a hand on Beth's shoulder.

"I need something against hangover, doc...".

Well shit. She couldn't remember seeing Beth suffering just that much from a hangover. "Here, lets get you fixed up, Cap'n. Lean on me.", she said in a hush murmur, worry plastered over her face as she opened the door and helped Beth in.

"Oi, Sam! Get over here, the Cap'n needs your hangover remedy. Make it double, she looks like she's going through hell.", she hissed softly, doing her best to not aggravate the headache that she was sure her new lover was suffering from.

Leading her over to the nearest chair, she gently helped Beth sit down. "There. You sit, I'll make sure Sam gets you what you need. You'll feel right as rain soon, trust me.", she said softly, looking Beth in the eye and frowning even more.

Samuel walked out from behind the partition where he actually kept his room.

'Ok now I know those two are definitely together. That much concern is far more than first mate relation or even a good friendship. Especially when taken with what happened yesterday and the fact Sheska and Beth shared the bedroom.' He thought as he grabbed a glass of water and a syringe of morphine, making sure to properly prepare everything. He handed the water to her right side before rolling up the sleeve on her left.

"Drink the water, it will help with the dehydration you are suffering." He said at a normal tone before injecting her with the morphine.

"I used the minimum dose but seeing as you are hungover not stabbed or shot it should work wonders." He actually noticed the new scar on Beth. It matched the one on her future self.

"I need to have a word with both of you, now." He said before pulling out the file on future Beth and laying it in front of Beth with a mirror as well.

"I noted a scar not on you on your future self. Now you have the same scar. I made note of it in the report. History appears to have begun repeating itself." He said with a strange combination of worry, fear, and excitement strangely enough.

Beth glared angrily at Sheska. If kissing her twice caused this reaction, then she was glad she hadn't taken it further yet. There weren't many awake in the room, but the doctor knew by now. She hoped he could remain quiet, but that kind of came with his line of work, right?

"Get out and go do your job. Now." Her whisper was filled with poison, aimed at Sheska. She better listen, or they would have a problem. One that switching the chain of command might be the only solution to, she couldn't have a first mate who doted on her and didn't follow orders. It would be meaningless.

She drank the water Samuel handed her, and got injected with the morphine, not like she had a choice about the latter anyway. The pain subsided.

"I noted a scar not on you on your future self. Now you have the same scar. I made note of it in the report. History appears to have begun repeating itself."

He must be refering to where she had been shot yesterday. She had joked about it, but it didn't mean she hadn't been badly grazed by a bullet.

"I wouldn't have thrown my life away for nothing. If she believed that I could change the future, then so will I." She said, trying to remain confident, but feeling chills along her back.

Beth would rather not think about it.

-Sheska-

Sheska was taken aback by the glare Beth aimed at her, but after a moment she knew why: She was being too worried, and damn if she couldn't help it. But it was her whisper once she sat down that made her flinch visibly.

"Get out and go do your job. Now.".

The words dripped with venom, causing Sheska's gold eyes to grow cold, and she felt a little hurt. "Right, Captain.", she said softly, her voice devoid of emotion.

Turning, she strode out, closing the door behind her quietly, then she went to the top deck. She was an idiot. The Captain was a big girl and didn't need her help, and had surely dealt with hangovers before. But damnit, she wanted to help, and show support somehow.

After a moment, her anger deflated. Well, Beth had a good reason to glare at her. The crew wasn't supposed to know, and if she was obvious just walking around, then doting on her was like putting up a fucking advertisement. Shit, I don't think I can do this. I'm no good when it comes to leading some sort of double life. I tried it as a kid and failed, and now? Shit., she thought, sighing as she scratched the back of her head and rubbed her wound, which was still in intense pain.

She forgot to ask Sam for more morphine. But she shook her head and started getting to work, deciding that now was not the best time to be in close proximity to Beth at all. Best to work through the pain.

Garrett had stayed awhile after Vasco had excused himself from the Admiral's cabin, he wanted to make sure that Adrianna had gone to sleep properly, and not come under any problems due to her injuries. He noticed that Adrianna was busy talking to herself, most likely about the previous battle, before the final part of the morphine injection kicked in, sending her to a peaceful slumber.

Looking around the cabin, Garrett realised what a state it was in. Despite not being in her service as a butler, Garrett had cleaned up this room on several occasions. He almost tripped up on Adrianna's greatcoat whilst tidying. After a while though, everything was looking presentable, just the way she would want it. Garrett soon made his way over to his sleeping lover, thinking it as slightly cute regarding the way she slept.

"Rest easy now my love, and have yourself pleasant dreams. Tomorrow is a new day, and we will be one step closer to our goal." Garrett then gave Adrianna a kiss on the cheek, and upon feeling the onset of sleep approaching, retired to his own cabin for the night, extinguishing the lights as he went.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It was in the morning when Garrett woke from sleep, the light not having reached his side of the ship. His head still reeling from that encounter in dreamland.

'Just who was that woman? How did she know me? And who is this other person she referred to?' He asked himself after changing into some fresher clothes, and walked along the corridors of the ship. Up on deck, there was a few crewmembers already at their posts, tending to their duties, although no sign of Annis to give them orders, though he had a feeling that she'd be up soon.

"Is anyone there?" A voice called out in distress. From the sounds of it, Adrianna had woken up. Garrett carefully walked into the room, signalling a few of the other crewman to be on standby in case of an emergency.

"I said, is anybody there." Adrianna called out again, sounding more desperate as her vision was taking a while to focus; as he she slowly moved from out of her bedroom. She would have fallen over if not for Garrett's timely assist.

"Who... who is there?" Adrianna asked, sounding scare that she was being held by someone. Her vision soon came into focus, and saw that it was Garrett smiling down on her.

"Oh, Garre- I mean Mr. Corvus, thank you for catching me. Blast that doctor, what was in that injection he gave me yesterday?" Adrianna asked, her voiced definitely raised.

"For the most part it was just morphine, though I have a feeling that there was something to help you sleep in it as well."


"Not exactly my strong point. Some hidden weapon caches maybe?"

"With all the other planned renovations, that's going to be pretty low priority. If we're boarded, we'll either be armed or we won't - and in either case, having hidden weapons won't help much." Jason turned back to Sheska, wondering if she'd become any less irritable, only to see she'd managed to slip away while they where talking. He took out another cigarette and lit it, taking in a deep draught. "Oh, that's the stuff. Well, I should get back to work, and you look like you need some sleep. See you 'round."

He motioned to enter the hold, but stopped before he made his way there, turning back. "Oh, but before I forget - if you see Jess or Sam on your way up, tell them to find me in the engine room. I need to talk with them." With that, he left, cigarette smoke trailing behind him.

"I believe that as well captain but we should be aware if we are going back down the same path, and comparing your physical to state to that of the autopsy may be the key to that." He replied as he took the file and closed it, getting her another glass of water.

"I suggest you remain hydrated, it will help with what you are feeling. Other than that your hangover will really pass in time."

"I believe that as well captain but we should be aware if we are going back down the same path, and comparing your physical to state to that of the autopsy may be the key to that."

How are we possible going to change it even if we are going down the same road? It needed to be thought about. She drank his water, and stood up, since she couldn't stay here all day, even if she had a hangover. The hangover was her own fault, drinking because others had died didn't bring them back, though their deaths was on her as well.

Beth sighed, then she turned to the doctor and whispered; "Probably best if you keep, you know what, to yourself for now." Did she mean Sheska and her own weird behavior lately or the scar? Maybe both.

She left his cabin and headed up on deck. They were getting closer to Helium City, a few other airships and the railroad below was a sure sign of that. The ships gave her an idea, one of them must be easy enough for them to board and take over. Not all of them were well armed, some were simple trade ships.

"Hmm.." Checking her pocket watch, she saw that the time was a quarter past ten. "The captain needs a spyglass!" One of her crewmembers threw her one, which she catched. She used it to get a closer look of the three ships they could see. As long as they didn't enter Helium City, they didn't need to worry about breaking any agreements. Well, they were pirates, so why should she care? One of the ships looked like another pirate ship, but smaller, probably of the tigerfish class. She didn't like attacking pirates. It felt like attacking allies. The second ship was as large as the mermaid, but was probably filled with mercenaries protecting traders. The third ship was almost the same size as the first one. Its unique look told her it was owned by skyfolk.

Well, if they wanted to capture a ship before Helium City it was their best option. She had skyfolk in her crew, but they only meant to capture the ship, not slaughter its entire crew.

Beth walked over to the helm and the woman handed the wheel to her. Farthing had chosen her to take the wheel, because apparently none of the officers had been around. What the hell?

"Attention crew, prepare to board and capture. Eddie ready the port side cannons, but don't go trigger happy... Kind of want the ship intact." She steered the mermaid towards their new target.

If everything goes well, we might be in Helium City by tonight.

Why did she have the feeling she'd wake up with another damn hangover tomorrow? The morphine worked decently, but she wasn't fond of the sunlight right now or the desert heat.

-Sheska-

Sheska handed off the line she was hauling when she heard the Captain make an announcement.

"Attention crew, prepare to board and capture. Eddie ready the port side cannons, but don't go trigger happy... Kind of want the ship intact.".

Board and capture? She rushed to the railing, and sure enough, there were several airships out there, and it looked like The Mermaid was readying to approach one of the smaller of the three ships she could pick out.

She swore under her breath. She hated knowing that she wasn't likely to be leading the boarding this time, which would be the first time for quite awhile. All because she had gotten too reckless before, dropped her guard. And lost her damn arm.

It burned at her pride, made her feel weak and useless. But if nothing else, she could gather the boarding party that would go over. Glancing over, she saw the bear-like Morgan securing some of the cannons. Morgan was essentially Farthings larger shadow, usually accompanying the shorter and much slighter man. Morgan was soft spoken and gentle with it, at least outside of a fight. He was also the largest Skyfolk man she had ever seen, and was the ships best cook.

Striding over, she lightly smacked the side of his arm with the back of her hand. "Oi, Morgan. I'll want you on that boarding party, make sure to strong-arm anyone who doesn't take kindly to pirates taking over.", she said, before frowning and glancing around.

"Where's Farthing?", she asked.

The giant of a man turned and jabbed a finger to the stairs that went below. "Nursing a hangover, drank too much rum.", he said quietly, and she huffed.

"Of course. Everyone and their brother is nursing a hangover today. Well, get ready to board. I won't be leading, so that's up to you.", she said.

She went around and gathered the rest of the best fighters from the surviving crew, and made sure to let them know that they were to follow Morgan's lead. Then she went to the helm and nodded to the Captain. "Boarding party's ready, Cap'n Beth. Morgan's waiting to lead them over, take it nice and neat. Ships as good as ours.", she said, though there was a hint of bitterness in her voice at the fact she wasn't at the head of the boarding party itself.

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