Aether Shanties RP (PM if interested/Started)

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"A nightmare that makes you wish to stop drinking must have been quite the ordeal. Perhaps you would wish to share?" He said as he grabbed the bucket of drinking water he kept and placing it next to her.

"Feel free to drink as much as you need or want, it's clean." He grabbed his own glass and filled it with the water, taking a drink. He sat in a nearby chair before speaking again.

-Sheska-

She looked up at him with dull eyes and twisted her mouth into a pained scowl. "Not really. It was weird though, twisted.", she told him.

Sheska shook her head, sighing before she took his offer and filled the glass he handed her earlier with more water. She took a few long sips before lowering the glass and making a disgusted expression and sticking out her tongue. "I don't understand how anyone can tolerate drinking nothing but water, though. Clean or not, this shit is fucking tepid. It's disgusting.", she spat, setting the glass aside.

"While I'm here though, I have a... Favor to ask.", she said hesitantly.

"I wouldn't say that it was necessarily dumb George, you didn't expect something like that to happen I presume? Still, it could of been a lot worse, and the damage caused might not have been so easily repairable. Must of hurt like hell though, having a finger split in twain like that." Garrett said as he looked at his right hand. George looked happy, because of the response of Garrett. he had people laugh at him when he told that story.

"To answer your questions Garrett, no I did not expect anything like that to happen. And it could have been a lot worse yes... And the pain was unimaginable.." He said staring at his missing finger. He then looked up at Garrett again. "Garrett what is the captain like? From what I have seen so far she looks nice, but I was wondering if she had a certain reputation or anything. In fact what is the rest of the crew like? Are they all as nice and friendly as you?" George looked curious.

Wilhelmena

She was just about to step down the stairs, that lead to the cabin she had occupied. "Ms Heatherington-Portnoy I presume? Annis Baker-Cromwell, 2nd mate." The automaton placed itself between Wilhelmena and Annis. It wasn't made for carrying luggage, even if it was fine with the task. It was a bodyguard first and foremost.

"Aye, that would be me." She said, and wondered what she should do. The automaton carried the important things, but he wouldn't find the way without her. She'd rather not keep him from returning to Remmington, if she needed him. "Was there anything in particular you wanted, second mate?"

Adrianna

"Hello Admiral, how are you? I'm not sure if this is the correct time to meet with you, but it is as close as I could get without managing to locate a timepiece." Drustan said with a polite bow.

"That's quite alright Mr. Cynwrig but see to it that you get a timepiece. I expect all crew to start duty as soon as their shift begins; no excuses." she said, while shifting papers around in search of her pen. When she had round it she quickly added his and Mr. Malestom's names to the ship's registry. When that was complete, she looked back up at the mercenary.

"I like to know my crew Mr. Cynwring; to know what they can do and how they think. I have a few places that could use your aid, but I'd like to know where you think you should be placed." she said, trying to gauge the man's reactions and assess his abilities.

Exeter St. John

Exeter was laying in his cabin, reading and rereading the orders he'd taken from Lanester, trying to work out what was going on. He'd been told to keep an eye on Lanester because "her loyalty was in question", and to deal with any loyalty problems in the way he saw fit. But, the orders Lanester had been given seemed to be of great importance in there own right. As he saw it, there were two options. The first was that the Admiralty were divided; making political moves to deal with rivals for some yet-unknown reason. The second, and more likely, was that there really was something important to be discovered, and they couldn't risk Lanester turning on the Empire over the relic.

All in all he hated it; the Imperials were acting like pirate scum arguing over a treasure horde. It was disgusting.

He'd been continuing these thoughts when a soft knock came at his door. "Yes; give me a moment!" he yelled at the noise as he slipped the stolen orders into his pillow case and stood up; his uniform a crinkled mess. He walked over to the door - expecting either Annis or Lanester to be behind it, ready to yell at him for some perceived slight - and opened it. Contrary to his expectations, behind the door was an unknown face. "What now? he thought to himself before saying. "Can I help you?" in a tone he considered respectful, but most would consider condescending.

"To answer your questions Garrett, no I did not expect anything like that to happen. And it could have been a lot worse yes... And the pain was unimaginable.." George said as he looked towards his missing finger again, then back to Garrett for another question. "Garrett what is the captain like? From what I have seen so far she looks nice, but I was wondering if she had a certain reputation or anything. In fact what is the rest of the crew like? Are they all as nice and friendly as you?" George asked looking curious.

"Why thank you for saying that George, I think you and I are going to get along well. The regular crew can be a decent enough bunch, they found it a bit strange at first when the Rear Admiral brought me on board, but over time I think that we've bonded as well as it could be given the situation. You could probably make a few friends there." Garrett remarked nonchalantly, showing a brief smile before continuing.

"The senior officers are varied in their own way, but all loyal to the Empire, some more so than others."

"First Mate St. John has a skill for intimidation, some would argue that he enjoys it a little too much when it comes to interrogation, and will staunchly defend the Empire to its dying breaths if ever such an occurrence would happen. Also, be aware of his Misbegotten pet Capricorn, Exeter has him trained as an attack dog, which is loyal to Exeter only because he fears the punishment that would be brought upon him. Exeter has him locked up on most occasions, and well, I pity him, with all that suffering. You could almost make the argument that he is more animal than human." Garrett remarked, showing his disgust for the treatment that Capricorn suffered and regarding Exeter as a whole.

"Second Mate Baker-Cromwell, otherwise known as 'Black Annis'; a resentful woman who knows her life hangs by a thread after an incident with a Misbegotten and a poisoned quill, and is remarkably still alive thanks to a respirator that the ship's Doctor designed. To combat this, she literally throws herself into the task she has been assigned to. She is also a committed woman, thoroughly trained in military discipline and a strict training regimen."

"Doctor Vasco Roque, a man who could be seen as cold and calculating who prides himself on his skill as a medicine man and on finding out all the details of his patients. He may be overzealous with his diagnosis; he hasn't lost a patient yet. His actions maybe strange, but he means well really. My advice, don't challenge his methods."

"There is also the new Quartermaster, Miss Heatherington-Portnoy, and our new Engineer, Ciel Kriebel. Unfortunately I do not know much about them since like you and a few others on-board, they are recent additions."

"Finally we have the Rear Admiral Lanestar herself, a woman who takes her position serious, and won't accept failure unless it has a good reason behind it. Out of all the disagreements she has about the Empire, one of the most prevalent here is the class system. On her ships, she values a person's knowledge, skills, and actions; to her it is those qualities that earn you your rank; not that you were the heir to some highly influential lord. Whilst this hasn't been well received, it has certainly gotten her results. Lanestar likes to have every advantage to her disposal. Amongst all this, she is woman with a good heart, and if you do your job right, you'll see her good side. Though, I've seen a bit more." Garrett took a moment to pause and breathe.

"Haven't met an imperial that loves protocols too much yet..." James muttered, though Vasco caught it.

Vasco took deep, heavy breaths as he climbed the ladder to the infirmary and waited for the the latest arrival to follow. He rested on his cane and thought for a moment about the gala. If climbing a ladder reduced him to panting like a dog then... No, he would have to find a way out. If not, he would have to please his superiors and that meant being at their beck and call. This dog would have to perform tricks and wear a pretty bow tie. Pathetic. Hopefully the upcoming medical exam of Ms. Ciel Kriebel would be enough of a reason to excuse him from the ball. His eye narrowed, he would have to see the Rear-Admiral about that and he had a feeling that it wouldn't got too well. Seeing as the monkey's head was nearing the top, Vasco took his chance to reply.

"Then you have not met the Rear-Admiral yet." Dr. Roque simply stated, then quickly added, "And there's me."

"Then you have not met the Rear-Admiral yet. And there's me."
"Hm, I suppose I haven't before now." James shrugged. James was surprised the man was winded already, forgetting momentarily not everyone he knew was able to keep up with him.
'I am probably the most physically able man on this ship. Greeeeeeat.' James sighed.
"So, we can get this going soon, right?"

-Isaac-

"No please," Zach told him, beckoning him over "make yourself comfortable."

Isaac hesitated. He wasn't sure on the idea of spending time alone with this man just yet. Though on the other hand, Sheska was incredibly open about her past. Isaac had all but eradicated every trace of it. It would take a rare man indeed to spot his tells.
Do I even still have tells? I must do, everyone does. Hmm. I need to look into that.

"Sure." he said, swinging a leg over and landing in the nest. He wasn't entirely sure how to act, so he made do with sitting against the mast and looking out over the plains. He tended to come up here when they were docked just to relax. The view made everything seem... smaller. Less important. It was calming.

"And crawling on the Earth's face, some insects called the human race." he muttered to himself as he produced a small pouch of tobacco. It had been a while since he last smoked. The cravings were still there but he had a handle on them. Having self-discipline all but tortured into you had the occasional benefit.

He looked to Zach as he rolled himself a cigarette.

"Don't suppose you...?" it was only polite to offer after all.

-Annis-

"Aye, that would be me. Was there anything in particular you wanted, second mate?"

Annis scanned the woman as the automaton moved between them. A combat model. Interesting. She wondered if it had been simply assigned to the new quarter master or if she owned it herself. But all in due time. She looked at the luggage.

"Yes. The position you are coming into was formerly my own. There a few things I need to pass on, as it were. Each ship has their own quirks after all. I assume you have done this sort of work before?"

The last question, pointed. Annis had kept an incredibly tight ship, the least she could do is make sure her successor was competent.

Wilhelmena

On this very ship. She thought to herself, though they all looked the same after a number of years. They said time was worth more than gold, but she had had an abundance of both, or would have. Bloody hell.

"Yes, Mrs. Baker-Cromwell. I have years of experience and recommendations, if you want to see them." She gestured to the automaton, who was carrying important documents, such as her letters of recommendation and medical records.

No imperial doctor would touch her. However, she had procured documents about herself from a doctor in the employ of her associates, so it shouldn't be needed. She had killed the female doctor afterwards. No matter how discreet they claimed her to be, Wilhelmena couldn't leave someone like that alive.

At least the letters of recommendations were easier to acquire. Perform your duties with diligence, and they threw them at you. She had two, so not really. Wilhelmena lowered the box she was carrying, to show the silver star attached to her chest.

"I can manage. If you have other business to attend too, then I understand if you'd rather do them. Everyone needs their beauty sleep." She chuckled, when she let the remark slip out, but stopped when she realized that the second mate could take it as an insult. "Surely, we'll not be leaving tonight."

The automaton hadn't moved. It kept an eye on Wilhelmena, like Remmington had told it too, but nothing else.

"That's quite alright Mr. Cynwrig but see to it that you get a timepiece. I expect all crew to start duty as soon as their shift begins; no excuses."

Drustan shrugged in an acknowledging manner, realizing that that would come up. "Will do, ma'am; I'll be sure to have one before we set off."

As Adriana rummaged through papers on her desk, Drustan adopted a more permanent stance, with his feet wider than normal and his hands behind his back.

"I like to know my crew Mr. Cynwring; to know what they can do and how they think. I have a few places that could use your aid, but I'd like to know where you think you should be placed."

Drustan nodded at her request. "Very well, Miss Lanester. On many other ships I've been on, my primary purpose has been for martial support, and for good reason I may add. However, I can be purposed to do just about everything, from manual labor deadly to the average man to assisting in engineering or construction. I have even acted as a bodyguard at times, but I'm fairly certain you have that covered already. Out of curiosity, what are the positions you have or need filled?"

Zach looked at the tobacco, then up at Issac, and then shook his head. In truth, although Zach was careful not to let any such thing become a 'habit' of his, there were very few things he didn't partake in when they were on offer. Something held him back though, most likely his mistrust of Issac. Not that Zach was genuinely scared of accepting any consumables from him, it was more just on general principle. Issac was far more guarded the Sheska, and until Zach knew him better he wasn't going to grasp the other end of the olive branch. He compensated however by taking a rather large swig of rum.

"So, what's your story Issac?" he slurred, after letting the awkward silence continue for a while longer. After all, if he was going to tolerate the man's company, he wanted to be the one in control of the conversation, or perhaps it was just the drink loosening his tongue.

"Well those of us who don't drink liquor most of the time find the water refreshing and are ok with the lack of taste." Samuel said jokingly as he took another sip. He wasn't about to press her on what she had dreamed, if she wanted to tell him she would.

"Now as for the favor, I will do what I can. Though of course I can't do anything that would be particularly dangerous to you or unethical." He replied sitting back.

-Sheska-

Sheska stared at Sam for a moment as he replied.

"Well those of us who don't drink liquor most of the time find the water refreshing and are ok with the lack of taste.".

"Ha! Tell that to Izzy. He drinks coffee like I drink rum. I hardly have ever seen him drinking water. Probably because he'd rather some taste over no.", she added with a soft snort.

Then she turned to look at him properly, but her expression was far from comfortable.

"Now as for the favor, I will do what I can. Though of course I can't do anything that would be particularly dangerous to you or unethical.".

"Alright. I need my ears pierced. Not sure if I ought to be telling you this, since the Cap'n didn't say whether or not the crew needed to be told, but... Its for some shindig. Not sure when, but its while we're here, and I need to look like a lady.", she said with a disdainful sneer.

"Oh, and I'll need a hand getting in the damn dress.", she added quickly as an afterthought.

"...Out of curiosity, what are the positions you have or need filled?" Drustan asked, appearing genuine.

"We recently had an encounter with a Pirate vessel where we lost many of our Marines. Aboard The Invincible, many of those Marines pull double duty as Riggers - it keeps them in shape and active while outside combat. We lost our daytime crows-nest man in that battle and our chef as well. If you feel confident in your eyes, I'd like you to be our new scout in the nest, if you feel confident in your cooking I'd like you to be the chef, but otherwise you will be on rigging duty. Of course in all cases, you would still serve as a Marine." Adrianna said, explaining the needs of the ship.

"Of course, standard compensation applies." she added, just in case money was his prime concern; like most mercenaries.

"Of course, standard compensation applies."

"Very well, it seems like rigging or scouting is the way to go for me, as the last time I cooked a meal, I think it incapacitated more fighting men than an Imperial patrol." Drustan chuckled at the memory. "Also, please bear in mind to stick me at the vanguard whenever conflict arises, greased with alcohol as well, if possible. Standard payment is fine too, by the way, as money for me is hardly of the same value as other members of my profession."

That settled, Drustan moved on to his next question, pausing before he started. "If I am allowed to know, Miss Lanester, when is this boat leaving port, and is there anything I should learn or take note of until then?"

"If I am allowed to know, Miss Lanester, when is this boat leaving port, and is there anything I should learn or take note of until then?"

Adrianna smiled wiry and spoke up. "First, that's Admiral Lanester to you; or Ma'am in a pinch. I don't care that you're a mercenary; you will follow the command structure and respect the officers of this vessel." It wasn't a terribly important element to her, but she knew Exeter and Annis would show him the harsher side of Imperials protocol if he didn't follow the marching orders.

"Second, very well Mr. Cynwrig; I will include you on the boarding party roster and you will man the crows nest. First to see, first to board." she said, giving him his orders. Then she answered his questions. "This ship will leave after repairs have been made, though not before the day after tomorrow. Some of the Invincible have been invited to a Gala for the Imperial-Helium Tripartite Agreement tomorrow evening." she said, informing him of the state of affairs.

Almost as she said it, it occurred to Adrianna that - given Drustan had been living in Helium for some time, his knowledge of Helium affairs might come in handy. "I will be adding you to the Imperial security detail for the Gala; your knowledge of the city may prove helpful. Be sure to wear something appropriate." she said, finishing her thought.

"First, that's Admiral Lanester to you; or Ma'am in a pinch. I don't care that you're a mercenary; you will follow the command structure and respect the officers of this vessel."

"My apologies Admiral, I'll be sure to remember that." Drustan made a mental reminder to not get too close to this woman unless she herself did the opposite, which Drustan quite doubted.

"I will be adding you to the Imperial security detail for the Gala; your knowledge of the city may prove helpful. Be sure to wear something appropriate."

"Lovely, then. I guess of all the things I could be doing, searching for a cheap method of obtaining clothes to blend into high society with isn't the worst possible outcome, is it?" Drustan gave himself a chuckle at his own understatement. "Once again Admiral, I'd like to thank you for generosity in employing me on your vessel." Drustan replied humbly to her orders, with a bow for emphasis. "I have only two more questions before I go: One, can I go? And two: Is there any Imperial protocol surrounding saluting that I should be aware of?"

"Well if that's all, that won't be a problem." He said with a smile.

"Though I will say piercings don't necessarily need to be ladylike once whatever it is you are doing is over. Though to be fair I find piercings look good on most women." Samuel said as he got up and got what materials he would need for a safe piercing.

"Do you have the rings you will be wearing? It will make this a bit easier. As for the dress, I wouldn't be a proper neo-victorian gentleman if I didn't help when asked. By the time we are finished you will look like you frankly belong with the uppercrust of this city. Though I almost wish I could be there, just to see how well mannered you can act." Samuel said with a friendly smirk as he turned back to look at her.

"Though I always hated those damn neo-victorian parties. So I won't bemoan not being invited."

-Sheska-

She snorted at his reaction, particularly his comment about piercings being attractive on most women. "Ha, just my ears, Sam. I can't imagine why anyone would want anywhere else pierced. Eyebrows, nose, lips, tongue. I hate needles enough as it is in my arm, I can't imagine why I would want any in my face, or got forbid around my tits.", she said, shuddering at the thought.

She stood up and sighed, reaching up to clutch at her head as it spun for a moment. Then she looked over and glared at what he said next.

"By the time we are finished you will look like you frankly belong with the uppercrust of this city. Though I almost wish I could be there, just to see how well mannered you can act.".

"Well shit, Sam, what the hell did I do to deserve an insult like that? Why would I want to look like the 'uppercrust' of this city? I hate high-class types. I just want to look like me, but, well, classy.", Sheska told him.

But, she shook her head, knowing that any insult was unintentional. Sam was probably one of the most inoffensive people she knew, and she couldn't remember the last time he outright insulted anyone, on purpose or otherwise.

"Anyway, I don't have them on me right now, and I wouldn't want to be pierced just yet anyway. I'll likely ask you to do that whenever I get ready for it. And I get the feeling you might be able to go. I know I'm planning on dragging Izzy with me if I can.", she said with a shrug.

Samuel's eyes went up and to the left as he mentally pictured piercings in each place Sheska mentioned, and he couldn't help but chuckle a bit.

"They could work for you, though you are too much the practical type for it. They tend to be a hindrance in a fight. IF they don't become a target first."

He put the tools back on the table and laughed at the mention of being insulted.

"Now now, you forget my heritage. If I wanted to insult you I would have said you would look like the uppercrust of a Neo-Victorian city, and that's something I wouldn't say about even my own worst enemy." He laughed as he sat down and pulled out a bottle of whiskey.

"Besides, I know for a fact you got thicker skin than to be insulted by that." He said as he poured a glass, and taking the drink at the mention of being dragged along.

"Forgive me if I'm not excited at the prospect of going to something requiring we be classy. Had my fill of that but I'll go just to watch the looks on their faces when you pick up the wrong fork or spoon." He joked.

"But I'll be ready to pierce ya when you need it."

-Sheska-

The First Mate looked at him with a quirked brow and shook her head. "Sam, you're one of the very few people that have seen me naked on this ship. So please, don't imagine me with piercings like that.", she said, before frowning for a moment and nodding once, "Though I am flattered you think they'd work in my case.".

Then she turned and strode to the door, opening it and stepping out. "Thanks for the painkillers. Hopefully they'll kick in soon. I'm going to see where Beth is.", she told him.

She gave him an absent-minded wave before closing the door behind her.

Once she was out of his cabin, she sniffed the air and started to follow her nose.

"Why thank you for saying that George, I think you and I are going to get along well...You could probably make a few friends there." Garrett said showing a brief smile. George was happy to hear this, Garrett reminded him of the things he did miss about his home. He then listened carefully to his story, finding out more about your colleagues was a good thing.

"The senior officers are varied in their own way, but all loyal to the Empire, some more so than others...First Mate St. John has a skill for intimidation, some would argue that he enjoys it a little too much when it comes to interrogation...Misbegotten pet Capricorn, Exeter has him trained as an attack dog, which is loyal to Exeter only because he fears the punishment that would be brought upon him." Garrett remarked, showing his disgust for the man. George felt his stomach turning, keeping someone locked up like that was horrible. He made a note to watch his step around that man, types like him was what he hated about the empire.

"Second Mate Baker-Cromwell, otherwise known as 'Black Annis'; a resentful woman who knows her life hangs by a thread after an incident with a Misbegotten and a poisoned quill...Doctor Vasco Roque, a man who could be seen as cold and calculating who prides himself on his skill as a medicine man and on finding out all the details of his patients...There is also the new Quartermaster, Miss Heatherington-Portnoy, and our new Engineer, Ciel Kriebel. Unfortunately I do not know much about them since like you and a few others on-board, they are recent additions." It was always good to hear that there were a couple of new people, it meant he would be able to blend it more easily.

"Finally we have the Rear Admiral Lanestar herself, a woman who takes her position serious, and won't accept failure unless it has a good reason behind it...On her ships, she values a person's knowledge, skills, and actions; to her it is those qualities that earn you your rank; not that you were the heir to some highly influential lord. George looked very surprised, he hadn't except people like that actually existed within the empire.

"Whilst this hasn't been well received, it has certainly gotten her results. Lanestar likes to have every advantage to her disposal. Amongst all this, she is woman with a good heart, and if you do your job right, you'll see her good side. Though, I've seen a bit more." Garrett took a moment to pause and breathe. George looked at his new colleague, a smile spread across his face.

He wondered if he was misinterpreting but the way he spoke, especially the last sentence made him think he had something with her. "Thank you a lot for telling me all that, I will be sure to remember it. Though there was one thing that stood out from your explanation. So let me ask you one thing, in return for the story of how I lost my finger. Are you and the captain in some sort of relationship?"

"Thank you a lot for telling me all that, I will be sure to remember it. Though there was one thing that stood out from your explanation. So let me ask you one thing, in return for the story of how I lost my finger. Are you and the captain in some sort of relationship?" George asked, a rather Cheshire Cat like grin on his face, no doubt realising the connection between Garrett and Adrianna. Garrett adjusted his shirt for a moment, deep down he had always felt a little nervous with regards to telling someone about the relationship, but for some reason he felt he could trust George, and remained confident on the outside.

"Sounds... reasonable enough George. Although you have to promise me not to tell anyone afterwards, especially St. John, I just don't trust him to keep things quiet." Garrett said with a stern voice, almost fearful. He then took a moment to calm down and relax.

"To answer your question, yes, we are in relationship of sorts. The whole thing of me being a bodyguard to her, is sort of acting as a cover; though I was legitimately hired to protect her. The reason for all the secrecy, is that there could be some... complications, and potentially a whole lot worse if it was discovered that we were together, romantically that is." Garrett said, before a confident smile crept onto his face.

"However, the secrecy maybe coming to an end. Once we've ridden out this last storm, we can be free and together."

-Annis-

Annis stared hard at Wilhelmina. There was a pause as she fought her temper. It hadn't been meant as an insult, surely. Surely. Her eyes flicked to the automaton and the documents she had gestured to. Annis took them, providing there was no protest from the clanker.
"Of course. I am sure these are in order but it would be remiss of me not to check, you understand of course."

She thought for a moment.

"I suppose this can wait until you have finished getting your... things aboard the ship. I understand that you have done this sort of work before but I would feel more comfortable knowing that I had personally shown you the little things that make The Invincible different from other ships of its kind."
She turned on her heel and looked back at Wilhelmina briefly.
"I am retiring to my cabin, Miss Hetherington-Portnoy. I expect you to find me as soon as you are ready to begin your orientation. The ship is not due to leave for at least two more days so I believe I can forgive any... tardiness in that respect."

And off she went. Something was setting Annis on edge about that woman. She couldn't put her finger on it, but Ms Hetherington-Portnoy had a very uncomfortable air around her. Perhaps it was just paranoia on Annis' part but she didn't like it. Perhaps it'd be worth looking into, if she had the time and the discretion available.
She saluted as she passed the Rear-Admiral, addressing some merc they'd picked up to replace her- the ship's dead men.

She had some thinking to do.

-Isaac-

What's my story? Hah, glad you asked...

Isaac was used to this situation. If anything, he looked forward to it. Telling people about himself was one of the few times he was really truly comfortable talking to the other crew. And it helped remove that layer of suspicion from many of their minds, as befitted any pirate hiring an Imp.

"Hmm? Oh, IAN, as you probably guessed. I was a crewman aboard the Belinda, it went down... just over there-"
Isaac pointed out to a spot just clinging to the horizon.
"-actually, few years back now. Pirates picked us up, killed the officers and told us we had two options - defect and sign up or die like the officers. Didn't need asking twice."

Most of this was true, in a certain light. Isaac had indeed worked aboard the Belinda and it had indeed gone down. That both had been specifically arranged to provide him with a cover story back in the bad old days was beside the point.

"After that... travelled. Ship to ship, crew to crew. Learned navigation and here I am. Yourself? You're a trib- Neobedouin right?"

"I have only two more questions before I go: One, can I go? And two: Is there any Imperial protocol surrounding saluting that I should be aware of?" Drustan asked in a way that almost seemed disingenuous. Adrianna gave him the benefit of the doubt however, answering in earnest. "The official Imperial Protocol is for the lower ranked individual to salute before and after a meeting with a higher ranking officer. The lower ranked sailor holds the salute until the officer replies in kind or until he or she leaves sight." she said, explaining how it worked. "I don't hold this protocol in most cases; after you board the ship, the protocol isn't followed." she finished, letting him off the hook.

"And yes, you may go." she offered, before returning to her paperwork.

While Zach concluded that Issac was most likely telling the truth, he would have been able to tell that a lot was being held back even if he hadn't already taken Issac for an Ex-Ggun. Perhaps Issac knew less of what he knew as Zach had suspected, or perhaps he just didn't want to discuss it for one of any number of reasons. In a way, it was Sheska's fire that had given Zach the confidence to be direct with his approach. With Issac however, he felt that he would learn more by watching rather than speaking.

"In theory," Zach replied, sounding aloof to Issac's question. "but can you be a tribal without a tribe? That's the real question, and I guess it depends on who you ask."

"I don't hold this protocol in most cases; after you board the ship, the protocol isn't followed."

Drustan nodded his thanks to her, justifying his claim: "Thanks for informing me, Admiral. The reason I asked is because assuming and not asking beforehand has led me to be on the wrong side of the whip once before. There's an amusing story behind that, if you're ever interested." He stopped after the invitation, letting her catch up.

"And yes, you may go."

Drustan emerged from his long-term standing position while heading to the door in one fluid motion. "Thank you for your time Admiral. I'll be back later today, assuming that I've got what I need for this upcoming social affair. I appreciate everything you've done, Admiral. You won't regret it." With this farewell, Drustan exited Adriana's office, gently closing the door behind him.

Wilhelmena

She kept smiling to herself, when Annis left her. The second mate would need to be dealt with, though how and when were questions for another day. She wasn't happy about having to go through what made the Invincible unique. It was an imperial ship, they were largely the same. She found pleasure in flying, but the imperial ships didn't interest her that much. The skyfolk made fascinating airships.

"Come on." She said to the automaton, and went below deck. He followed behind her. They reached the cabin she had taken earlier, and once inside she made sure that nothing had been moved. She had taken to placing her belongings in the same spot, no matter how many times she used them or what the room looked like. There were similarities all rooms have a door and a bed, so those were of importance. The desk was used when she had been given a room, or cabin, with one.

She put the box down on the floor, and checked the corridor again, before she laid down on the floor and started to knock on the floorboards. Wilhelmena found a good enough spot. "Close the door and give me the crowbar." She whispered to Remmington's servant. He obeyed her, and she pryed the floorboard loose, making sure to stay as quiet as possible.

"Flashlight." He obeyed her again, and she got a chance to have a closer look at the empty space below her floor. It would do. She reached for the box Jennifer had supplied them with, and laughed inside her head. Bloody hell, second mate, I was afraid you might ask to inspect my luggage. She hadn't, and now she could hide it away until they got in the air.

She got back up, and put the floorboard back. "As good as new." There wasn't much else to do at the moment. Now she had to play the waiting game, until tomorrow evening. "You can put the rest down on the floor. If someone else than me steps inside this cabin, attack them. You are a bodyguard after all, should be easy for me to explain why someone got attacked if they intrude on me. Remmington didn't tell me when she wanted you back, but I guess it can wait. She has plenty of automatons."

He nodded in response.

Beth

She had stared at the facade of the tattoo parlor for a while, after purchasing her new clothes. A rose sealed in blood. It was a faint memory, something between a dream and a drunken haze. It must have been the latter.

Beth left when she got sick of her own thoughts. She needed to get back to the ship or find an inn to sleep in, but as she had bought new clothes; it would be another expense to rent a room. The captain may have more money to spend than her crew, but it wasn't supposed to be used on her alone.

She made her way back to the ship, even if she moved slower than usual. Beth wouldn't be going alone to that party tomorrow, but if he wanted her to be there, she would be. There might be imperials invited, but they were in Helium City. It couldn't be her group, some imperials and no one else. There would be neobeduin, skyfolk and the important people of Helium City as well.

It made her sigh.

Walking up the gangplank to the Mermaid, she headed for the wheel and pushed the button to the intercom.

"'Ello, boys and gals. I have been invited to a party tomorrow, by an old friend. Since I don't want to go alone, anyone who wants too is free to come along. I'm sure we'll have a swell time. There'll be booze and music. I don't know about other pirate crews, but some skyfolk, neobeduin and Helium City folk are to be expected." She considered mentioning the possibility of imperials, but didn't, believing that there'd be more willing to come with her, if she left it out of her message to the ship.

She went over to the railing of the ship, leaned over and looked down at the city.

-Sheska-

Sheska was on her way up from below when she heard the Captains voice over the intercom, making her frown as she stopped on the stairwell and listened.

"'Ello, boys and gals. I have been invited to a party tomorrow, by an old friend. Since I don't want to go alone, anyone who wants too is free to come along. I'm sure we'll have a swell time. There'll be booze and music. I don't know about other pirate crews, but some skyfolk, neobeduin and Helium City folk are to be expected.".

When the intercom clicked off, she shrugged and continued to make her way up to the top deck, before working her way astern. When she reached the helm, she saw the Captain leaning over the railing and looking down at Helium City's streets. Her outfit was different, though. Fancier, but more formidable. It had an air of both authority and class that made Sheska envious, and at the same time made her clench her teeth in frustration.

She was supposed to be getting over the damn Captain.

After looking at her back for a moment, she strode over and stood next to her, hand on her hip as she stared out herself. "Well, Cap'n, you can count me in. After all, someone needs to go with you to watch your ass.", she added with a forced smirk.

Sparing a glance, she reached over and gently tapped the front tip of her new tricorn. "By the way, nice hat.", she said lightly.

Garrett seemed very calm after he asked the question, though him fiddling with his shirt betrayed that he was a bit tense. "Sounds... reasonable enough George. Although you have to promise me not to tell anyone afterwards, especially St. John, I just don't trust him to keep things quiet." Garrett said with a stern voice. George nodded, he never betrayed anyone's secrets.

"To answer your question, yes, we are in relationship of sorts. The whole thing of me being a bodyguard to her, is sort of acting as a cover; though I was legitimately hired to protect her. The reason for all the secrecy, is that there could be some... complications, and potentially a whole lot worse if it was discovered that we were together, romantically that is." Garrett said, before a confident smile appeared on his face. "However, the secrecy maybe coming to an end. Once we've ridden out this last storm, we can be free and together."

George smiled in response. "Thank you for trusting me with this information, and don't worry my lips are sealed I will keep your secret. And I could never really understand the imperial rules on this matter, they are just too formal sometimes. Still I have to compliment you, she is a very beautiful and intelligent woman from what I have seen." His smile stayed as he kept walking, he wondered if they were getting close to the engine room.

"Thank you for trusting me with this information, and don't worry my lips are sealed I will keep your secret. And I could never really understand the imperial rules on this matter, they are just too formal sometimes. Still I have to compliment you, she is a very beautiful and intelligent woman from what I have seen." The smile that George had stayed as the carried on to the Engine Room, which was only a short distance further down the hallway.

"And thank you for the compliment. I can see the reasoning behind your comment regarding Imperial formality, they can be a little short sighted at times; not that I would say that in public. They could learn a thing or two from the other peoples of this world with regards to being a little more open minded, but sometimes you can't argue with authority." Garrett remarked with a shrug as they entered into the Engine Room itself, with each of the large engines being set to both sides. The two soldiers stood to attention as they saw the pair enter, but Garrett quickly signalled them to be at ease.

"Here we are George, the Engine Room itself, some would say that its the heart and soul of the ship, for without it, well lets just say things would unlikely be kept afloat." Garrett said, commenting on the nature of the room, before taking a look at a clock that was affixed to a nearby wall.

"It appears that I must be leaving you now for the moment George, there is a few errands I have to run before the Gala event tomorrow evening. Perhaps once I've returned, I can give you the remainder of the tour?"

"I would love that, don't let me keep you any longer now though." George said as he looked around seeing what engines the Invincible had; he looked as though he was going to enjoy it here.

"Thank you, I shall see you later then." Garrett said as he turned and left the room making his way back on deck, stopping by his room to pick up the money that was in his desk. He then went off the gangplank and into Helium City once again.

"Hm, I suppose I haven't before now." James shrugged and then said, "So, we can get this going soon, right?"

That was odd. Hadn't Ciel and company talked to the Rear-Admiral and had shown their pieces of paperwork to her? It would be folly to just let anyone in the depths of the ship, especially near the engine room. Nevertheless, the infirmary lay ahead. Vasco gestured for James to follow and began walking. He arrived and opened the door, glad to be in the familiar space. From a wooden draw he got some measuring tape and a notepad then put that in the metal trolley where his tools were kept. Vasco then pushed it inside the little office inside the infirmary. Shame it was close to the cold storage cabinets.

Dr. Roque replied as he turned to the wall-mounted sphygmomanometer and put on a stethoscope , "It will be over before you know it. Now please, roll up those sleeves of yours."

Beth

"Well, Cap'n, you can count me in. After all, someone needs to go with you to watch your ass."

She thought that Sheska had asked Beth to show her proper respect, yet here she was making indecent innuendo's and touching her hat. The last wouldn't have bothered her, if it hadn't been for the first. "I can handle myself, thank you. Furthermore, I do not appreciate your innuendos and don't touch the hat." She said, and righted it on her head.

Maybe she was a bit on edge. She kept looking down in thought.

-Sheska-

She blinked when Beth righted her hat and replied rather harshly.

"I can handle myself, thank you. Furthermore, I do not appreciate your innuendos and don't touch the hat.".

Sheska stiffened and her eyes went cold as she turned to face her properly. "I didn't mean it like that Captain. But if you'd rather, I can stay on the ship while you go. You only need to say so, Captain Beth.", she said carefully.

She would have strode off at that point, but the fact that the Captain seemed off, and not necessarily because of her, made her stay. "What's wrong, Cap'n? Regardless of how you feel about me, you can tell me what's bothering you. I'll listen.", she said more softly.

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