Aether Shanties RP (PM if interested/Started)

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-Annis-

The worst part of the morning check-up was the itch.

Vasco had to check over the mask, prodding and poking at it with his tools and instruments, checking for wear and tear. Doubly so after incidents such as yesterday's running battle.
And those instruments caused some outlying piece of metal in the mask to start brushing against the sides of her neck. And it itched. Annis couldn't do a single thing about it, and presumably if Vasco could he would have done so already.

Her thoughts returned to the fight. It had been messy. Not just in the expected fashion of a battle with such a chaotic enemy, but just... sloppy. The crew hadn't been prepared for an encounter. Hadn't expected one so soon out of harbour.

That was a belief that needed drilling out of them. And the Rear-Admiral... Annis hadn't seen her or reported to her since yesterday. She'd entered the cabin briefly to give her damage report, but Lanester clearly hadn't been in the condition to receive it. It didn't look as if she was too badly wounded, but enough that Exeter would have the ship until she was ready to reassume command.

Hopefully today. Annis found it hard to imagine a ship working well under the unkempt first-mate's hand.

"Are you quite finished?" Annis asked, not for the first time. She knew what the answer would be, but she was feeling impatient today. There was still so much to do before the ship was back to what Annis considered a decent working order.

And with any luck, the Rear-Admiral would be up to actually giving some orders.

-Isaac-

"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.".
The intercom message snapped Isaac back into the waking world.
He looked around the room. He'd passed out in his chair again, and the dregs of the coffee were splashed across the floor almost like a rorschach blot. His tiny gramophone was hissing slightly as the needle bounced against the finished record. He stumbled up from the chair and set the needle down, putting the record away with his collection.

He had a surprising amount of music in his tiny room. He'd gained quite a taste for the various free-wheeling pirate bands on his travels and more than one of them had actually taken the time and effort to record some songs, that he picked up wherever he could. He thumbed through them briefly, each carrying a memory of the place and the person, and what he'd been doing with them (or to them in the earlier memories). He paused briefly on his prized piece - the only song ever recorded by The Musician.

He'd never learned her name. There hadn't been time, in between hiding from his Chuno Ggun handlers and working every waking moment to break their mental hold over him. After the process was done, she'd disappeared. This was all she had left him. He'd listened to the song thousands of times, but if it held any secrets about his rescuer he'd not found them. Maybe if he bothered Jason about it he'd find something, but that would mean letting someone else on the crew know about his past.

Right, boarding. As always, there was only so much Isaac could do in combat. But if they were going to capture the ship, they'd need a spotter to follow the subtler movements of the enemy vessel. So up he went.

As he made his way through the ship, Isaac couldn't help but think about the captain.
If he'd been worried about her before, he was doubly so now. She was drinking more, and the toll was showing. She was getting rattier with the crew too. Or rather, rattier with Isaac. She'd always been a little disappointed that he couldn't handle himself in a fight, but that had never gone to outright frustration like it clearly had yesterday.

There'd been a bad feeling in the crew ever since setting out on this strange journey. But that feeling hadn't reached Isaac until now.

Vasco watched the sunlight creep into his quarters as the sun rose. After treating Lanester, he had gone into his quarters and worked through the night by lamplight, scribbling down and crossing out words, amending the medical reports as needed. So much had happened in the battle, and Vasco scowled at the sheer amount of additions and subtractions that marred the pages. He set the fountain pen down, finished. Vasco started his day as normal and descended into the sick bay.

As always, where Vasco went, Annis followed - as least where her check-ups were concerned. It was almost an automatic process now, all it was took was a quick check over of the apparatus. Prodding and probing, checking for any sign of weakness within the metal while Annis' eyes solemnly stared ahead in nothingness. After looking over the underbelly of the mask, he noticed that an outlying strip of metal was irritating Annis and he quickly went over to the more underused section of the sick bay, where different bits of apparatus lay for the maintenance of Annis' mask. One such thing was the welder, which he would use shortly. He picked up a thin strip of metal, he then bend the misbehaving bit inwards and used the welder to imprison it where it would not irritate Annis. This development led him to an idea still submerged in the back of his brain - an upgrade. The mask was showing wear at an exponential rate, compared to when it was still shiny and new. A complete replacement was in order.

The same question came around again, "Are you quite finished?"

The same answer came back again, albeit with a twist, "A complete recovery is better than a rushed one, Annis and... you still have a wound that needs attending to as well" Vasco said while turning towards the it and began to tend it, "The mask needs replacing soon, anyhow... I would estimate a replacement when be ready near or at the end of this mission."

From where he stood, Vasco checked over the patients for any sign of infection or a change for the worst in their condition. All was well, except for the snoring that tested Vasco's patience. He was snapped out of deep concentration by a knock on the door. He opened it to find a slightly tidier Exeter. Doctor Roque scowled once again behind the mask, no matter what he wore, Exeter would always been viewed in disdain.

"Please come in." He said, greeting the man with a polite tone,

"Of course ma'am, doctor patient confidentiality stretches to all things." He said before she left, dropping a small hint he had figured out what had happened but wasn't about to say anything about it in any case.

Samuel heard the call to board and immediately grabbed his bag and pistol and moved to be just below the top deck. He knew he wouldn't be part of the first wave if he boarded at all, but he would need to be close to the action in case anything should happen.

'Opportunities come a mile a minute when one is on a pirate ship.' He thought to himself as he checked to make sure he had everything he might need.

"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." Garrett responded to her inquiry.

Adrianna reached up to her head - which was pounding like a drum - and rubbed her temples; relieving some of the pressure. "Remind me to never be injured again; I do not believe i will survive the treatment." she said, standing up from the bed without much delay. Unlike the previous day, the pain in her side was much more tolerable; reduced from a burning hot needle in her side to a dull aching that merely never ceased.

She was about to begin asking Garrett for all the details she had missed in her slumber, when she noticed her ghastly apparel. In her morphine induced state of mind, she had apparently opted to remain in the blood stained uniform of the previous day. Grabbing her coat and another uniform, she placed the two items atop the dressing divider where she could change into them when there were less Garrett's in the room - she was after all a lady of some modesty.

While she did this, she began her questioning. Seeing no one else around, she opted for the less formal form of conversation with her lover. "Garrett; so what did I miss in my... unbecoming state?" she asked, trying not to remember the injury or the morphine that followed.

"Remind me to never be injured again; I do not believe I will survive the treatment." Adrianna said as she stood up, rubbing the temples of her head to relieve some of the pain. She looked as though she was about to ask Garrett something, but then realised she was still wearing the blood stained uniform from yesterday.

"Duly noted m'lady." Garrett responded with as Adrianna grabbed her greatcoat and a spare uniform as she moved behind a dresser divider so that he couldn't see her change; retaining some of her modesty. He had on previous occasions caught a flash of bare skin from her more private areas, but nothing that was worth wanting at the time. Whilst he waited, Garrett began to whistle a tune.

'Ah well Garrett, maybe some day you'll get your chance to see it all.' He thought to himself as Adrianna asked a question; although the tone of her voice was a lot less formal than usual.

"Garrett; so what did I miss in my... unbecoming state?"

"Not much I'm afraid. Managed to grab a report from Mrs. Annis. You'll be pleased to know that at the time, a majority of the fire damage has been attended to. All the fires are out, and the damage was being repaired. She expected to have a more fuller report from her engineers within the hour. Once she knew more, she was going to report to you in person, but seeing as though that you were not in a state to be seen to, I believe she has held off for a while." Garrett responded with in a nonchalant kind of manner. He then waited for a few moments before asking a question of his own.

"Not to intrude, but do you need a hand with anything in there? Promise I won't look anywhere indecent, unless of course you permit me to."

"Boarding party's ready, Cap'n Beth. Morgan's waiting to lead them over, take it nice and neat. Ships as good as ours."

Beth chortled, and guided the mermaid closer to the skyfolk airship. She hadn't gotten a chance to partake in the last battle and now Sheska thought she'd let Morgan lead? When did he become an officer anyway? She must have missed that meeting. The ship's cook should make their food, not lead a boarding party. They had lost crew, but it wasn't quite that bad yet.

"Are you sure you're feeling alright, Sheska? The man is big, but we've got officers for a reason." She'd rather let Jason or Eddie lead the boarding party and they were skyfolk. Making skyfolk fight skyfolk felt like asking for a mutiny.

Please, board and kill your own people. I'd appreciate it if you don't have a change of heart and side with them against us too. Beth shook her head and held back the laughter. I will be leading the boarding party.

"Morgan! Could you take Sheska to the good doctor? I think the heat's starting to get to her." The large man seemed to ease up, now that he didn't have to lead an attack on skyfolk which would surely make him question his allegiances. He walked over to Sheska, and took a firm grip of her arm. Disobeying the captain was a bad idea, he knew that from seeing others do it, but he didn't want to anger Sheska either.

"Come on, Sheska, better get that wound looked at today too. I'll make you something nice to eat afterwards." He whispered the last sentence, since the crew would probably start laughing if they heard him talking to the first mate like she was a child. He didn't wait for her to come with him by herself, instead he began to drag her with him.

Beth grinned, and pulled up next to the skyfolk airship, then she reached for the intercom again.

"Eddie, fire the grappling hook and pull them in. Feel free to use the cannons as you see fit."

The skyfolk airship hadn't responded with their own cannons yet. Perhaps they'd rather wait and see, but that was seldomly a good plan.

-Sheska-

Sheska's eyes narrowed as she heard the Captain chuckle, making her feel like Beth knew something crucial that she didn't. That was very likely, but the fact was it didn't help her rapidly deteriorating mood.

"Are you sure you're feeling alright, Sheska? The man is big, but we've got officers for a reason.".

"I'm feeling fine, Beth. Besides me, and yourself, who we shouldn't risk, Morgan is one of the best fighters on this boat. Not only that, but he can be scary if he needs to be. Might be able to avoid a fight altogether.", she explained with what she thought was remarkable patience.

But it was Beth's next reply that made her face twist into an expression of indignant shock.

"Morgan! Could you take Sheska to the good doctor? I think the heat's starting to get to her.".

She blinked and turned to the big Skyfolk man, and resentment burned in her belly as her eyes burned into his. But she complied. She needed to preserve what pride and dignity she had. However, the moment they were below, she managed to pull away from Morgans iron grip and kicked the nearest support with a boot-shod heel once, twice, then three times as she spoke.

"Damn this wound, damn the Captain, and damn you, Morgan! You know better than to speak to me like that. Let me ask you, aren't I First Mate still? Eh? Both you and her damn well know the heat hasn't gotten to me. I am fine.", she ground out, aiming a withering glare at him even as she jabbed a finger into his chest.

After a moment, she jerked a thumb in the general direction of the galley. "You get back to your part of the ship, Morgan. I can see Sam on my own, and right now you don't want to be around me.", she hissed, before striding in Sam's direction.

"I hate that Beth thinks I can't do my job. I resent her sending me off like an ill child. I really fucking resent her making Morgan drag me away. Hell, I despise the look she gave me this morning. Fuck it.", she murmured angrily under her breath, baring her teeth by the time she got to Sam.

"I need morphine. My wound is throbbing like a bitch in heat, and I've a headache coming on, so make it a lot.", she spat out.

"Very well, let's go back to my area. About time I checked on how your arm was healing anyway." Samuel said as he lead the way back and had her sit down on one of the beds.

"Now that we have a bit more privacy, penny for you thoughts?" He said as he prepared the syringe with a larger dose than usual. He injected her near the stump so that he couldcheck on it as he worked.

"Haven't seen you this angry in a while, what's on your mind?"

-Sheska-

"Very well, let's go back to my area. About time I checked on how your arm was healing anyway.".

She nodded curtly and followed, a scowl on her face the entire way. When she was led to a bed, she sat down and dug her fingers into the sheets. The more she thought about what was going on, the more infuriated she got, so when Sam asked what was going on, thought about grabbing something and throwing it at the wall, but she resisted.

"Its the fucking Captain. I lost my arm, but apparently she thinks I lost part of my brain and some of my spine as well! You know that she had Morgan drag me off, like a little girl who's whining of a little cut? I shouldn't stand for this kind of shit, not even from her. What's worse is that I should be heading that boarding party myself. Even with just one arm, I'm a better fighter than half the goddamn crew, that's not boast, that's a fucking fact. I deserve more respect than that, damnit.", she said, bile practically spewing out of her with every single word.

She kicked at the nearest vacant wall, and growled loudly. "Oh, Cap'n Beth and I are going to have a talk about this, in private. We will have it out then and there, once we've captured that ship.", she added in a dangerous mutter.

Samuel checked over her arm and saw it was healing fine.

"Well medically your are doing just fine. If you happen to need an appraisal to back you up I would be perfectly willing to back you up. Though I would advise you take caution if you do board a ship." He said before taking out a ball and bouncing it toward her.

"I keep it for when things get rather slow and I've read all my books, also helps keep up the hand eye coordination, might help with a bit of stress. As for Beth, the way she is treating you now seems quite odd to me as well. In fact I've figured out that the two of you have some deeper relationship going, my lips are sealed by the way, and that the both of you have begun treating the other differently than before. Maybe the two of you need to remember that you are both perfectly capable of handling yourselves in a fight. I've seen the way you both have begun to dote on the other any time one of you gets hurt." Samuel took a drink before continuing.

"But if Beth has been acting as you say it seems like something that could very well use correction. Can't have either of you undermining each other in front of the crew, bad for the health of the ship at large. Just make sure you don't accidently say something you'll regret."

-Sheska-

"Well medically your are doing just fine. If you happen to need an appraisal to back you up I would be perfectly willing to back you up. Though I would advise you take caution if you do board a ship.".

"Good to hear. Means I can beat some ass once I get out of here. See about getting on that boarding party and keeping Beth safe so I can 'talk' to her later.", she said, just before having a ball bounced to her.

She caught it handily, then looked over at him with confusion.

"I keep it for when things get rather slow and I've read all my books, also helps keep up the hand eye coordination, might help with a bit of stress. As for Beth, the way she is treating you now seems quite odd to me as well. In fact I've figured out that the two of you have some deeper relationship going, my lips are sealed by the way, and that the both of you have begun treating the other differently than before. Maybe the two of you need to remember that you are both perfectly capable of handling yourselves in a fight. I've seen the way you both have begun to dote on the other any time one of you gets hurt.".

"Well, thanks for keeping quiet about it. I suppose things may be easier if... Last night didn't happen.", she said, feeling a tug of regret for voicing that.

Last night was nice, and memorable. And really, she didn't think it was something to take back at all. But, who knows, maybe Beth felt that way. That thought made her anger flare up again.

"But if Beth has been acting as you say it seems like something that could very well use correction. Can't have either of you undermining each other in front of the crew, bad for the health of the ship at large. Just make sure you don't accidently say something you'll regret.".

"Oh, I won't. I'm just going to be perfectly clear on where I stand about this, and at the moment, I don't give a good goddamn about-", she growled, winging the ball as hard as she could at the wall in front of her.

And she was promptly interrupted when it bounced back with force and slammed into her face, right against her forehead. She let out a grunt, then fell back. Out cold.

"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."

Jason let out a sigh as the intercom settled back down. "I suppose I'll be needed on deck. Fry, you're in charge. Don't blow anything up while I'm gone." With a half-hearted salute form his subordinates, he left for the deck. As he entered into the open air, he removed a spyglass from his satchel and took a closer look at their mark.

'Tigerfish class. Heavily customized, so it's probably run by Skyfolk. No visible cannons, though. They could be concealed, but that wouldn't be easy on a ship that small.' Looking to the side, he saw Beth rallying what appeared to be a boarding party. He couldn't help but smile at that. 'Looks like she's taking what I told her to heart. That's good - we're going to need that wisdom in the days to come. It's a good thing I brought my pistol...'

He walked up to her, readying his revolver with a click. "Good to see you're taking what I told you seriously."

Samuel got out of the chair and picked Sheska up before putting her on a bed, he really couldn't contain a chuckle at what he just witnessed.

"I guess somebody need the hand eye coordination more than I do." He said to himself as he checked her over to make sure she was ok. Finding out she was fine he simply grabbed a small book and began to read.

"I'll make sure to have some alcohol ready for you when you wake up." With that said he turned the page and waited for any word from the captain or a sailor.

"Good to see you're taking what I told you seriously." She turned around when she heard Jason's voice, with a grin on her face. Seeing Sheska getting dragged off had been fun, and the woman would just have run after Beth when she lead the boarding party. She didn't need to risk losing more limbs so soon.

The grappling hook was fired at the skyloft ship and began pulling them in. It was then that a few hatches on the side of the ship opened, to reveal several cannons. Neither of the two ships fired at each other, just yet, but she figured that they would soon enough.

"Aye, we'll sell that ship." She said, while looking at the other ship, to try and dodge in case they fired at them. She probably wouldn't be able to be that fast though. "When we get to Helium City. It will give us some more gold."

"...Once she knew more, she was going to report to you in person, but seeing as though that you were not in a state to be seen to, I believe she has held off for a while." Garrett said as she changed. It was good to hear; she would have to check in on said Second-mate shortly, but that was no major problem; she was the Admiral and she could manage to find Annis injury regardless.

"I suppose I will need to find Ms. Baker-Cromwell then." she called out to Garrett as she began readjusting her newly acquired rib belt. It was hardly the first time she had taken such significant damage - she did after all have on arm for reasons other then birth-defect or preference. She was going to ask if Garrett knew where Annis could be found, when he spoke up again, stopping her in her tracks. "Not to intrude, but do you need a hand with anything in there? Promise I won't look anywhere indecent, unless of course you permit me to."

It was a loaded question if ever such a thing existed. On the one hand, even she had to admit between her damaged arm and her ribs, the uniform was proving difficult to put on, but on the other; she was changing on the other side of a divider for a reason. Yet, if their relationship continued as it had, it was only a matter of time before the issue became... difficult. Needing to make a decision quickly, she slipped on clothing to cover the most indecent of exposures, then called out to Garrett; only a small amount of hesitation in her voice "Th...that would be kind; thank you."

"Th...that would be kind; thank you." Adrianna responded after some hesistation, obviously the question must of taken her back a bit, given the nature of their predicament. Giving her a few more moments to herself, Garrett stepped carefully to the other side of the divider, making sure he didn't catch a glimpse of anything sensitive yet. What he saw was reasonable, nothing too revealing nor was it overbearing. A smile crept onto his lips.

"You look, wonderful." Garrett said as he stepped closer towards his lover. He then picked up her greatcoat, and gently repositioned her arms so it would slide on easier. Whilst Garrett did up the buttons on the coat, he made conversation.

"Sorry for asking this of you... I just thought that given you might still be hurting from your injuries, you might of found getting yourself dressed to be a little difficult. I hope you understand." Garrett said, looking away from Adrianna, feeling a little ashamed for himself. After a short while, he stood back to inspect his handy work.

"There, you look like a respectable member of the Imperial Navy now." Garrett remarked, feeling a little happier now for a job well done. He noticed a couple of buttons on her trousers were out of line. So taking care not to look, he undid them then realligned them to the right holes. He rubbed the back of his neck, relieving some of the tension.

"Well, now you do. So, how is your arm holding up? Did you sleep alright?"

"Eddie ready the port side cannons, but don't go trigger happy... Kind of want the ship intact."

"Like I'd go trigger-happy on something that takes a minute to reload."

Eddie and the cannon crew readied the port side, and awaited the order. Then the other ship opened up on them, but didn't fire. A minute into the stand-off, Eddie started getting antsy and yelled up the stairs to the deck.

"Eh Cap'n, you wannit done yet or what?"

"You look, wonderful." Garrett said, resulting in a light blush on the Rear-Admirals face; it was after all nice to hear compliments from those you love. Fortunately for her however, the blush was light enough to hopefully go unnoticed.

Garrett then proceeded to help her with the more difficult garments to position with one hand. This mostly consisted of her greatcoat; given the absurd amount of buttons Imperial greatcoats required. As Garrett did so, he began to apologize. Adrianna smiled, thinking "That's Garrett for you; apologizing for offering help.". Shaking her head slightly; she commented "Don't apologize; you've done nothing wrong. That was just my empire-induced paranoia rearing its ugly head." she said, stopping her head shaking. "Thank you for the help." she continued as he finished with the aid.

She consciously chose not to think about the trousers.

moving over to her desk, she began to grab the device Dr. Roque gave her the day before, intent on taking the first reading. "Well, now you do. So, how is your arm holding up? Did you sleep alright?" Garrett asked as she picked up the device. She was intensely happy her back was turned, for at the mention of "sleeping well", the rather embarrassing dream of the night prior returned to her mind. While pleasant; dreaming of a potential future together was hardly something she wanted to bring up. None-the-less, a smile escaped onto her face.

"I slept very well - far better then most nights" she said, remaining vague on the details as best she could. She continued to face the desk as she was about to use the medical tool, when she remembered the question had a second part; her arm. "and my arm is still a bit out of sorts; hopefully the new engineer will be able to fix it when we reach Helium." she said, then turned around, her face back to the stoic form she preferred it in.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Please come in." Dr. Roque said pleasantly enough; though the mask made him question the veritas of the pleasantry. None-the-less, he took the good doctor at his word and entered the room without much delay. "Thank you Dr. Roque." he said, returning the pleasantry with a large smile; not genuine in the slightest, but it was the thought that counted really.

Getting straight to business, Exeter began to explain his reasons for his visit. "Now that the more pressing matters of health have been dealt with; I would like you to check my wounds; just to ensure they do not become infected. I'm sure you understand. The ship cannot be down its Captain and First-mate at the same time; else Annis would need to take command. On a mission such as this, we need every officer acting at the best of their ability. he said, truthfully enough; gesturing to Annis as he mentioned her.

Noting a chair in the corner, he bowed his way out saying. "Though please; finish with Ms. Cromwell first. I'm sure her injuries are much worse then my own." he said, letting the subtle insult remain in a tone that suggested concern for the Second-mate. "Though; do tell me. How is Admiral Lanester? I do hope she will be quite alright." he asked as he took his seat in the 'waiting chair'

"Eh Cap'n, you wannit done yet or what?" She heard Eddie shout from below deck. They hadn't been fired upon yet, but why should she wait for them to fire? Beth had to make the call and she would.

"Aye, fire!" She shouted down to him, and in the same moment the skyloft airship fired at them. The loud roar of cannons could be heard, and she threw herself on the deck. After a few seconds had passed and she was certain that she wasn't dead, she got back up on her feet and unfastened her weapon.

No one in the boarding party Sheska had collected before getting dragged off was missing, or in pieces.

"Prepare to board." Beth almost wanted to jump across and fly the distance between the ships, but then she would end up alone on the other ship.

-Sheska-

Sheska was roused from her unconscious state by the roar of cannons and the shaking of the ship. Her head ached, specifically right between her eyes, where the ball Sam had handed her impacted earlier. Unfortunately, she woke up with a groan, and when she opened her eyes, she wasn't entirely sure where she was, or what it was that woke her up.

But after her initial disorientation passed, she realized what was going on: They were just about to capture a ship. And she was willing to bet every single gold coin she ever earned, and every one she was going to earn in her lifetime, that Beth was going to lead the charge. "Oh, that headstrong bitch!", she said under her breath as she tried to force herself up.

The best she could manage was rolling awkwardly out of bed and falling on her face, which only compounded her headache.

With another groan, she pushed herself up and onto her feet, ignoring Sam as she pushed open the door to his cabin and staggered out. Her footing was unsure, and her head spun, but she forced herself to work her way to the top deck. When she got there, she had to grab onto one of the ships supports to keep from falling.

Glancing over, she saw the boarding party, and Beth, and after a moment of intense internal debate, she sighed heavily. "Captain! Capture us a ship. Don't get killed.", she called over, making sure she was heard over the din of ship combat.

While she was going to stay behind, she did step forward to keep a good eye on her dear Captain. If anyone so much as grazes her..., she thought, her hand letting go of the wooden beam to grab her cutlass' handle.

Adrianna's head shook slightly as she spoke. "Don't apologize; you've done nothing wrong. That was just my empire-induced paranoia rearing its ugly head." She then stopped. "Thank you for the help." Garrett smiled, feeling a lot more calmer about the situation now as he breathed out a sigh of relief. Adrianna then went over to grab the pulmometer that Vasco had left for her the previous evening.

"I slept very well - far better then most nights."

"Well, that is good to hear. Did you dream of anything special?" Garrett asked, slightly curious to learn more.

"and my arm is still a bit out of sorts; hopefully the new engineer will be able to fix it when we reach Helium." Adrianna remarked as she turned back to face Garrett, pulmometer in hand, looking as if she was ready to take a reading.

"Let's hope that this engineer has the skill which are required. I would offer to try and fix it for you, having a bit of mechanical knowledge being as though I'm a Skyfolk; but automata appendages aren't really my area of skill. That being said, I did make a fully working automata raven as a pet when I was younger. Oh, sorry, just going off on one of my little trips down memory lane, it's been a good few years since I've last set foot in Sentinel Bay; at least ten I think. Speaking of Helium City, would we by any chance have some time to do a little shopping as it were? It's just I need to pick up a couple of things is all."

"Well, that is good to hear. Did you dream of anything special?" Garrett asked, slightly curious to learn more, as she blew into the pulmometer. The combination of unexpected question and the attempt to use the medical device resulted in a course cough; no doubt throwing off the readings. "Ah... well...er... It involved laying in a beautiful green field watching the sky; pleasantly warm wind as well. I don't know why I was there watching them; but it made perfect sense in the dream... something to do with looking for constellations I think... and uh... you were there. Also lots of flowers, and some clouds and-" she said, moving through the basics of the dream, the last section with swiftness in an attempt to avoid the embarrassment of the admission she had dreamed of him. Desperately trying to avoid the more... specific details, she quickly latched onto the lifeline of a topic that was Helium City.

"Yes; speaking of Helium indeed. Thank you for the offer, but I believe I can manage the arm until the city anyway. As for the shopping; I do believe we will need to delay our progress slightly to replace our fallen crew members and make required repairs. What more; we will need to resupply. If you have need of something; I can add it to my list of requisitions or assign you to the resupply team." she said, her voice still accelerated and higher pitched then normal do to her attempt to change the conversation.

It looked as though Garrett had asked at the wrong time, as Adrianna was busy trying to get a measure on the pulmometer; and his question caused her to cough, probably throwing off the reading she would get.

"Ah... well...er... It involved laying in a beautiful green field watching the sky; pleasantly warm wind as well. I don't know why I was there watching them; but it made perfect sense in the dream... something to do with looking for constellations I think... and uh... you were there. Also lots of flowers, and some clouds and-" The description made Garrett feel a little more relaxed, as he cocked a smile at Adrianna.

"I see, that certainly sounds like it was a very nice dream; don't think I've ever appeared in someone else's dream before. In any case glad your rest was pleasant, though that probably had more to do with the morphine than the dream." Adrianna's voice suddenly went high pitched as the topic of conversation changed.

"Yes; speaking of Helium indeed. Thank you for the offer, but I believe I can manage the arm until the city anyway. As for the shopping; I do believe we will need to delay our progress slightly to replace our fallen crew members and make required repairs. What more; we will need to resupply. If you have need of something; I can add it to my list of requisitions or assign you to the resupply team."

"That might be a good idea adding me to the resupply team, granted most of the stuff I require is standard fare; however, there are one or two items I'll need to get personally, as they are somewhat private in nature. Might try and acquire a few things that may help us should we ever face the Mermaid again. I presume we'll need some gear for when we reach the more colder climates up north. Unless there is anything else you want me for, I shall, uh, leave you to get reading from that." Garrett said, gesturing towards the pulmometer.

"Though please; finish with Ms. Cromwell first. I'm sure her injuries are much worse than my own."

Annis frowned at Exeter.
"Just a routine adjustment, Mr. St. John. Some of us are capable of handling ourselves in a fight."
The snide reply was unnecessary, but the wire had been irritating Annis all morning and she was just about ready to snap at someone. It had come as a relief when Vasco finally did something to it and the itch eased.

She stood, readjusting her mask into a comfortable position as she did so. She always felt the need to alter it once Vasco was done. Yes, he was the doctor and the genius that built it, but it never quite felt right when he was finished. Perhaps it was because he didn't wear it himself, she wasn't sure.

She looked at Exeter coldly.

"I have errands to run. I shall leave you two alone. Dr. Roque, when you have a moment please see me in my quarters about your proposed replacement. Good day gentlemen."

She left the medbay, thoughts on her routine.
Oh, but she should probably go and speak with Lanester first. Surely she'd recovered from the morphine by now?
Well, only one way to find out. She walked through the ship and up towards the Admiral's cabin, rapping precisely on the door and waiting patiently outside.

Jason could feel instinct take over as he saw the ship swing open several compartments in its starboard hull, revealing an array of cannons. The cannons hadn't even brought themselves to bear before he reacted. "CANNONS! HIT THE DECK!" He ducked prone with the rest of the crew, hands over his head to shield himself from any shrapnel. Their cannons fired with a roar, and the Mermaid shuddered as she took a full broadside.

Shuffling back to his feet, he cast his vision around the ship's deck. 'No new holes, and we'd know if it hit anything important. That means...' he took a brief look over the ship's railing and grinned. Their smallbore cannons found their mark, alright - right alongside their armor. There where a few dents from where the shot had struck, but no significant damage had been done.

Jason looked to the side to see Beth and her boarding party realign themselves after the salvo. "Prepare to board."

"You heard the Captain, you louts! Get those grappling hooks ready. No explosives this time around, we want the ship in once piece! Guns and blades only!"

Garrett turned to leave. Adrianna didn't quite want him to leave; it was a truly rare occurrence for her to not want to be with him. She was going to vocalize the thought, when the rapping at the door began. with the sound; she knew the chance was lost. It would need to wait for later.

"Come in!" she called out toward the door, putting the pulmometer down on the table; it could wait a few minutes until whatever business the unknown guest brought was attended to. Turning once more to Garrett, she added; much more formally then so far today. "Very well Mr. Corvus; I shall add you to the resupply team for Helium. And thank you for the help." She made a motion for 'dismissed', then returned to the door

From the now opening door, she could see the unknown guest was Annis; here to make a report no doubt. "Ms. Baker-Cromwell; very good, I was just about to go and find you. What is your report?" she asked, offering the Second-Mate a seat if she desired it with a gesture.

The other ship fired less than a heartbeat before Eddie and the Mermaid's crew fired back, and Eddie's laughter was heard over the resulting silence that came from the explosion of cannons and the anticipation of boarding.

With their numbers depleted so from the fight with the Imperials, Eddie and the cannon crew swarmed up on the top deck, ready to go across, his eyes wild and his voice still broken apart by the laughing that came with the sounding of the cannons and a fight.

"Ms. Baker-Cromwell; very good, I was just about to go and find you. What is your report?"

Annis stayed standing, she disliked spending too much time sat down. There was always more work to do.

"Largely positive, Rear-Admiral." she said, standing aside to let Garret leave.
"Whilst we have sustained damage, the majority is merely cosmetic. Repairs have been underway since yesterday and I am sure that we shall be back to full condition before too long. Thus far the crew have been reporting to myself on their progress but since you have recovered, I can order them to start bringing updates to yourself."

She looked briefly around the Rear-Admiral's cabin. She'd been in it before of course, but it was usually in a better condition than this. She supposed that getting shot and falling from the rigging had a tendency to make you somewhat sloppy in terms of room-keeping.

"Oh, and Dr. Roque is still seeing to the injured. From the looks of things I doubt we shall be losing any more men."

Vasco was too busy with finalising the adjustments to answer Exeter's question, or he just didn't care for the animosity that filled the room with his presence. One of the two. He just nodded as Annis left, then turned to the gentlemen - if he could be called that. To be honest, the notebook on the nearby desk lined with plans and diagrams looked more appealing than dealing with this person, but he was the ship's doctor and that was his duty. Then a thought crossed his mind, it was to do with the chain of command here. If Lanester died or was otherwise in a condition unfit for a commanding officer, Exeter - as First Mate - would take over. That would be a very bad thing indeed. Hell, even if Annis was First Mate it didn't look any better. Dr. Roque didn't like the prospect of either one bossing him around, Lanester was a good leader and level-headed, he doubted that Annis or Exeter would lead in the same decent manner. He concluded that her health was definitely a priority.

"St. John." Vasco said with a quick look over. He would not utter that man's first name, the formality distanced him from him, "These only need cleaning and dressing as they have not been infected yet... Lanester suffered a fall but has recovered well so far."

He went about doing as he said he would, finishing quickly. Vasco sighed, he would have to see Lanester about getting some more medical supplies and some extra things for the replacement mask.

The mermaid and the skyloft ship moved closer to each other, until the crews of either ship could almost jump over. Beth backed away from the railing, it was too long since she had gotten to fight. A couple of days at least.

"Captain! Capture us a ship. Don't get killed." She heard Sheska call out to her. It was a shame that she had come back so soon, especially when she decided to warn Beth about getting killed, like she couldn't handle herself. No, she was probably worried, but now everyone knew that. Sheska's discretion was quite amazing. She could have told the first mate a secret, and within the hour it would have been broadcasted across the ship on the intercom. Beth would remember to keep her darkest secrets to herself, it was for the best, not that she had many to hide.

"You heard the Captain, you louts! Get those grappling hooks ready. No explosives this time around, we want the ship in once piece! Guns and blades only!" Jason shouted, but most of the pirates knew how to capture a ship by now.

Eddie and his subordinates rushed up onto the deck, eager for a fight. Beth began running towards the railing, jumped over it and extended her wings to fly the distance between the two ships.

"Charge!" She screamed while in the air, then she placed a boot in the head of the woman who got in the way of her landing. Another man got to taste her sickle against his throat. At first she was a bit worried that she had jumped too soon and would get overrun, since no one else on her ship could fly, but she noticed that her crew was just behind her. She wouldn't be the one to get overrun, the skyfolk crew were.

Garrett calmly nodded his head to Annis in appreciation as she held the door open for him to leave. As the second mate approached Adrianna, he took the door handle, and pulled it to as he left the cabin, closing it behind him. A light breeze passed by, causing his hair to sway gently, as Garrett walked towards the front of the ship, and looked out upon the skyline. He saw a couple of ships off in the distance, but couldn't tell what they were.

"Everything alright sir? You look a little out of it is all." One of the crewman asked as he approached. Upon turning around, Garrett saw that it was Leigh, a crewman that had been on board the Invincible for roughly four months by this point. The man was roughly four or five years younger; he had blond hair and dark green eyes. He looked as though he'd taken a few hits during the last battle, but they looked like minor ones.

"Everything is alright crewman Leigh, was just wanting some fresh air is all; the Admiral's cabin can get stuffy in there at times."

"Okay, its just I often see both you and the Admiral together is all; figured something might have come between you two."

"No, nothing has come between us; its just Second Mate Baker-Cromwell arrived to give a status report regarding the ship, and I didn't want to be in the way." Garrett remarked in a nonchalant kind of way, but kept a positive attitude.

"Ah right. Listen, I've heard some rumours floating about on board ship, that both you and the Admiral have known each other for a good few years, and I kind of wanted to know if any of it was true."

"Well, those rumours would be correct Leigh. It all started five years ago, back when she was a Captain, and I was a Mercenary/Pirate. Her ship, the H.M.S Conquest, was part of a convoy that was sent to protect some merchant vessels. At the time, I was under the employ of one Ramirez Salvador, deceased. The two ships under his command, came down from the clouds, and attacked the convoy, taking out the lead ship and another in a single swift broadside.

Whilst the Conquest had engaged one of the pirate ships, the one that I was at went straight for the remaining merchant ship, and was already boarding. Fortunately for the merchant ship, the Conquest came sailing in and began a counter boarding procedure. It was as the two crews were fighting, that I set upon the eyes of the lady who would become my future employer. We duelled for what seemed like an age, each one not showing any signs of stopping, till the fates intervened that is."

"What happened?" Leigh asked, curious to learn more.

"A stray cannonball tore the Admiral's arm clean off, sending her into an unconscious state. Sadly though we could not capitalize on this, as we were being beaten back. I was lucky to escape, though I did have a small hand in ensuring her safety, not that she knows of it. For the next few years, whenever we would meet, we'd either fight by swords or with wit. It was a year ago that our current situation came to the fold. But that is another story for another time."

"But I want to know what happened."

"Like I said, another time perhaps. You should be getting back to your post; surprised that a naval crewman would even want to talk to a pirate like myself."

I know you had connections to piracy sir, its just, with us still having some sailing time before we reach port, had to find something to pass the time; figured I'd talk to the one who has been on an adventure."

"I guess you could call it an adventure, the things you see whilst travelling, they are sight to behold. But get back to your post, I came here for some time alone is all."

"Well, thank you anyway for talking sir." Leigh said happily as he turned back and headed towards his duty.

-Sheska-

When she looked closely at the Captain, Sheska could swear she saw something on her face when she called out to her. It looked like... Disappointment. And possibly scorn.

She felt a cold clench in her gut when she realized that Beth didn't like her call at all, and her face hardened as she let go of her cutlass handle. So, that's how its going to be? Were you just using me last night? Or hell, you were drunk enough, do you even remember?, she thought.

Then she shook her head and strode to the railing to watch. She would still defend her Captain if she needed it. Feelings wouldn't get in the way of loyalty. She wouldn't let them. But damn if her feelings weren't fragile, with two upset looks and being dragged off.

Maybe starting something with Beth was a mistake. But she seriously hoped it wasn't.

Isaac was up on deck, keeping an eye on the ship as they boarded. It didn't look like there'd be much for him to do in this encounter, but if it made any hostile or drastic moves, he'd know about it. He saw Sheska leaning on the railing and staring out at the captain. He crossed the distance and stood next to her, one eye still fixed to his collapsible telescope.

"You know why she's responding so coldly, right?"

He said, trying to keep his tone approachable.

-Sheska-

Sheska glanced over at Isaac, and felt a little better having him around. Really, he couldn't have had better timing. She could use someone to talk to, a confidant that wouldn't necessarily judge her, and one that would certainly keep a secret.

"You know why she's responding so coldly, right?".

"No, I don't, not entirely.", she said flatly, keeping her voice low so only Isaac could hear her.

Then she shook her head. "I know part of it has to do with the fact I can't hide my feelings worth shit. But the rest, I don't know. Damn it, Izzy, last night she... She made all the moves at first. Then this morning, I saw her hungover, and I wanted to help. She glared at me, and told me to get to work or else. I can't remember her ever speaking to me like that. Then she has me dragged off, like I don't know how to do my job, saying the heat has gotten to me?", she asked, starting to get angry again.

"I just don't know what to do with this. I've never been in love before, and I always figured I'd fall in love with a good man, one who didn't mind killing Imps. Then I started having these confusing dreams about the Cap'n, and last night happened...", Sheska told him, shrugging as she turned to face him.

"What the fuck should I do?", she asked, her eyes fixed, pleadingly, on his.

"What the fuck should I do?"
Isaac listened calmly, but he could see the anxiety plainly in Sheska's face.
He put a hand on her shoulder, eyes still focused on the ship. He needed to do his job but he did his best to seem somewhat comforting to his friend.
"Well panicking about it is exactly the wrong thing to do, trust me."

He looked to her briefly, holding her gaze.

"Look, Sheska. The captain's got a reputation to uphold. She needs to appear strong in front of the crew, sure we'd all die for her but the lower-down crew members need motivation and need command. And to do that Beth has to have no visible weaknesses. Think about it, have you ever seen a captain in an open relationship? Romance is a damaging thing when you need to appear above it all."

He twisted the telescope slightly.

"She didn't use you, Sheska. I know the captain and I know you, there's something there. She just can't act on it with the crew around, understand? If you look like you're fretting too much about her, she'll seem weak and you'll seem weak. Yes, it's awful, but you'll have to try and keep things... clandestine for now. Be calmer around the captain unless you're alone. If it bothers you, talk to her the next time you are. See?"

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