"Suit yourself." Zach replied "If you ask me though, it'll be worth it just to see the looks on the Imp's faces when they're forced to play nice with the likes of us."
He caught the coin one last time before dropping it back in his inside pocket, and making his way back down the rigging to the deck. Where he joined the rest of the crew who were ready to leave.
"Yes, the party that the Captain announced. What are you, deaf? Or are you not coming?" Sheska asked flatly.
Roy couldn't help but smile a bit at the deaf comment.
"Party? I guess I must have missed the announcement," he said, shrugging, "Not that it matters much. I'm not overly fond of parties and such and even if I wanted to come I wouldn't have anything to wear."
All Roy had was a second shirt that was only slightly cleaner. Besides, keeping track of conversations between four or more people was a real headache, especially when alcohol was involved. He'd much rather stay behind and fix some guns or work on the mechanical arms some more.
The previous day
"So far, yes. Tell me; who exactly did you meet. Apologies, but I need to know your history. For medical purposes."
James eyes narrowed. He wasn't an idiot, and the doctor was hardly subtle. A suspicious doctor was bad for any young stowaway. His actions proved either he was thorough, or he was stalling, watching James for mistakes.
"Ciel, obviously. I'm pretty sure the rest were non-radioactive, and quite clean. I believed that was usual, no?"
Vasco sighed, and noted down another value on the piece of paper in neat handwriting. The monkey's heart was beating fast. He was lying or it was just stress. The doctor considered asking more question but prying anymore wouldn't help matters. Best to present his findings to the Rear Admiral and get on with this. "I apologize if I have offended you." Vasco began, moving the stethoscope to the middle of the chest and listened to the gentleman's breathing. Nothing as bad as his own there. Afterwards he put the stethoscope down and addressed James again, "Nevertheless, your confidence is backed up by these measurements. Now shall we start on getting you something a little more... refined?"
James raised an eyebrow, uncomprehending for a moment, before looking down at his grey vest and black slacks.
"OH, clothes. Yes, is it measurement time then? Hopefully boots come with it, as I'm actually quite surprised how I haven't gotten a splinter yet"
Vasco walked over to the tray and picked up the measuring tape. "It is." He said, stretching out the tape as he did so. "Please, raise your arms above your head."
James complied, deciding to not tune out again. He didn't want to be at a disadvantage if the good doctor attempted conversation again. He made sure to keep his eyes on him at all times, just in case...
Vasco ran the measuring tape underneath the arms and around the fullest part of James's chest. "Lower your arms please." He said, sighing.
James complied once more, stretching his arms. This seemed routine, and a tad bit boring. Probably best for the life of a stowaway. He decided it was a tad late to endear himself to the doctor, so it was best to leave this in silence.
Vasco noted down the value and gathered the tape back. Starting at the back corner of one shoulder, he ran it across the top of them, behind the neck to the back corner of the other shoulder. Then, he measured the waist, but did not bother to measure the inseam. That would be stretching his patience. He quickly noted them down and handed the suit meaurements to James, "There is chest of drawers over there containing uniforms from... D.O.A. patients that were in good enough condition to keep." Dr. Roque said, indicating it, "The drawers are labelled; go take your pick." Vasco walked out of the infirmary, leaving James by himself. He had a piece of formal wear to brush down and iron, after all.
James turned around and found the chest easily, and began rifling through it for a uniform. He chose the one with the least amount of damage done to it, the sleeves were a bit short though. He left the room, looking for the barracks and a nap.
The Previous Day
Vasco returned the vial of liquid to the hollowed-out book and began to work out the kinks in the suit. It was an old thing that his parents had bought him for select occasions. Nothing would part him from it. He had taken much from his parents, but he would never throw it away. Vasco owed them that much. Even he found the waistcoat detestable...
Here and Now
It was tough removing the mask and all that came with it. But, as long as the upper-ups kept themselves off his back because of its absence, it was a small price to pay. He combed his hair and made sure that all was well. With a heavy heart he strolled up to the deck and quickly spotted the small gathering of officers. He walked up to them and said his greetings quickly in order to hide his nervousness.
Isaac hadn't slept a whole lot, but that had mainly been down to the tablets. He thought about asking Sam if they were safe, but that conversation could wait for a later time. He spent most of the day going about his chores and making sure everything was ready for the night. He was still uncomfortable about this. He hadn't socialised in a very long time and being out of practice would only make him that much more suspicious. But some things were inevitable, he'd have to make the best of the situation.
But there was no point in not being cautious. As Isaac dressed for the evening he spent some time with his old disguise kit, carefully hiding his distinctive crescent-moon scar with make up. His crewmates may or may not notice - he was hardly the centre of attention aboard the ship - but the scar itself would be a dead giveaway as to who he was to anybody from the Ggun that had known him (or just heard of him). Yes, he was being paranoid. But paranoia had kept him living this long.
After sorting that piece of business out, he checked over his suit. It wasn't the most elaborate or expensive of dress-suits, but it did what it needed to. Which was provide a number of hidden pockets and interior spaces for bits of gear. He didn't like leaving the ship unarmed, regardless of where they were going. He decided on his standard selection; a sleek gravity knife up his sleeve, a garrotte wire concealed in the lining of his tie, a collapsed dart projector hidden in both his pockets and his gloves, and of course his pocket watch. He left his room and was ready to go.
He approached the rest of the gather crew and nodded politely to the captain, before falling beside Samuel. No point in putting the question off...
"Sam, I was wondering if you could take a look at something?"
The night of the gala. Annis mentally steeled herself for yet another evening of dull conversation, inane armchair generals telling her what to do and passive-aggressive exchanges between the pirate scum and the nobility. She had thought joining the navy would save her from social events, but evidently there were just some aspects of Neo-Victorian life you could never escape.
She buttoned up her dress uniform, chose her most expensive-looking decorative sabre and strode out on deck, glowering at crew members.
She approached the Rear-Admiral and the rest of the gathering party, saluting sharply. She noticed that the Rear-Admiral had been conversing with Corvus as she interrupted, but thought nothing of it. After all, the man was her bodyguard.
She turned and saw a young man she hardly recognised.
Was that... Vasco? She couldn't remember the last time she'd seen the doctor without his mask. He cleaned up well if you were into that sort of thing.
"Present and correct, ma'am." she said to Lanester, before nodding politely to the other officers, saluting to Exeter.
She hoped tonight wouldn't be too dull.
She noticed as Roy smiled when she asked if he was deaf, making her arch an eyebrow, but she let it go.
"Party? I guess I must have missed the announcement. Not that it matters much. I'm not overly fond of parties and such and even if I wanted to come I wouldn't have anything to wear.".
"It was hard to miss, actually. Anyway, I suppose someone ought to watch the ship and keep Eddie company. Keep him from trying to take the ship out himself just to get away from a port.", she said with a careless shrug.
Then she noticed Isaac stride up and take a place next to Sam. "Ah, there you are, Izzy. You look... Good.", she decided with a nod and a small smile.
Eddie continued to pace on the beam, weighing the good and bad of leaving the ship. Although the party would be full of Groundling and Imp bastards, there would be food. Food that would save half the crew a few days rations. Staying would mean smelling the stale dock air, and he'd already had enough of that. But then he'd have to smell Groundling perfumes at the party. But food....
"Oi! Before you start running off Cap'n, hope you've got room for one more!"
Eddie dropped from the rigging in his normal outfit, not even bothering to dress or clean up before melding into the back of the group. Although he did splash his hands in a barrel of water standing in front of a ship flying Imperial colors, couldn't have them dirty, gunpowder, oil, and food didn't mix well in his opinion.
He looked over and noticed the fact the scar was covered up. Were it not for the fact that they were standing right next to each other and that Samuel was a meticulous note keeper when it came to patients he probably wouldn't have noticed.
"Of course Isaac, what did you want to ask about? Good job on cleaning up and covering the scar by the way." He said the second sentence a bit quieter than the first, he didn't exactly want to call attention to it if the man was supposed to be hiding it.
Her officers and other crew members began to arrive one by one, until she had a smaller crowd of twenty people surrounding her. He may have wanted her to come alone, but he could have fucking specified it in that case.
"You definitely look like you'll fit with a high-class crowd. But I mean that in a good way."
She nodded at Sheska, who appeared before her, dressed up and looking pretty. "I find it hard to think of a context where it wouldn't be insulting. However, you look like you'd fit in as well."
"We'll be leaving soon enough. That is a nice suit, Hector." She said, wondering if he had gotten it cheap or stolen coin like Sheska had suggested he should. "Yes, Samuel you look very presentable." She answered Hector and Samuel at the same time, trying to keep up with everyone that was bugging her for her attention and approval.
Why did they think she knew anything about these things? Even if her family had been able to attend parties, and she wasn't sure they had, she had never been to anything resembling something formal. Partying with your crew or neobeduins was something different, but much preferable.
Well, it was the reason she brought her crew.
"Of course we do, Eddie." She said, when he announced he wanted to join them as well.
Sheska was talking with another new member. Beth thought about mentioning how dressing up wasn't neccessary, but seeing as a few of those in the group who were planning to come with her, hadn't dressed up, she thought it was unnecessary.
The imperials would hate on anyone they met, who wasn't part of the empire, anyway. It didn't matter whether they were dressed in rags or riches.
Farthing waved at her from behind the wheel, with a bottle in his left hand and a cigar in his right hand. He'd not come, but someone needed to stay behind.
"I suppose that'll have to be everyone."
Beth kept her hand on her hat, as she headed down the gangplank and the stairs of the tower. They made their way through the streets of the city, in the direction of the president's manor. It was easy to tell which one it was, as quite a few people were on their way towards it. She didn't see any imperials yet. There were several dressed-up helium city inhabitants though, and a large amount of guards, both human and automaton.
She felt insecure, as she stepped up to the gate, but appearance was everything. She couldn't look weak to her crew, so she bowed to the guards at the door and they let them in without any objection.
Once inside there were two things which caught her attention, the smell of food and the bizzare, but uplifting music. The first room was a medium sized hallway, and the rest of the mansion was filled with people. Some were talking, some were dancing and others were just enjoying the food.
Beth didn't get far, before a middleaged woman stepped up to her. "I do say, it can't be easy avoiding detection with those..." She pointed at her wings with a cigar holder. "Wings. I must ask him if he thinks me a fool, as he gave me a much more detailed description."
The woman gave Beth her hand in greeting, and she shook it. "I am Jaqui Remmington. I welcome you, Beth, and your crew to my humble party."
She would have given her name, but Jaqui already knew it. "Thank you, Mrs. Remmington. It is a pleasure to meet you."
The woman inhaled some smoke from her cigar, then turned to the side and made a smoke ring. "Likewise. Feel free to take part in the food, and the rest."
She noticed how Adrianna took notice of DT. He should have kept his mouth shut, and not rose any suspicion, like she tried to do. Maybe dressing him up had been a bad idea after all. "Oh, this is just a tool which Remmington borrowed me, so I could transport my belongings yesterday."
James rolled off hi bunk, snoring as he sailed to the floor.
"Fack!" He yelled, waking with a start on the floor. One second he was chased by a bear through his childhood home and now...
'Right, stowaway in plain sight.' James sighed, people were already up and about, speaking of random things. A few were dressed up, others were getting ready. James guessed a gala, and looked through his rucksack that he found on his way back to bed. He was glad nobody else found it.
Inside was the rest of his suit, just in case of this exact event. He also had a stuffed bird of some sort, and some food. He pulled out his suit, pinstripe pants, a plain grey vest, brown dress shirt, purple sash, and his black tailcoat. No tophat, unfortunately. He started getting dressed and ready for whatever was going to happen.
Slowly but surely, the other officers and crew began to arrive. Vasco, Exeter and Annis all arrived in good haste. That Exeter wasn't the last to arrive came as a slight shock to her; he was rarely so prompt. Adrianna couldn't help but hope it was a sign that he was beginning to respect the Imperial order and chain of command finally. On the other hand, many of the newer recruits were running behind. Her new adviser - George - had yet to appear, as well as the new security person - Drustan - and the new Engineer Ciel. Where were they all?
"Excuse me ma'am, but I don't seem to recognize you. My name is Drustan Cynwrig, and I've been trying to get everybody's name since I was only just hired by the Admiral. Do you need any assistance, and would you mind please giving me your name?" an unfamiliar voice said from behind her. Ciel spun on her heels to see the source of the voice, but given her awkward movements, the spin almost ended with Ciel face flat against the floor. Fortuitously, her hand happened to grab hold of a nearby bat, preventing the accident.
Once her balance was repaired, she looked up at the source - a sailor in formal wear with a rather impressive axe. The name "Drustan Cynwrig" rang a bell; the name must have been mentioned to her though she could not remember precisely when. Remembering her manners, Ciel grinned and - given her state of dress - curtsied. "It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Cynwrig; I'm Ciel Kriebel, the ship's new chief Engineer. I don't need any assistance - I'm just going to find my assistant James - but if you'd like to tag along, I would be happy for the company." she said, smiling the whole time.
What better way to make James a proper, indispensable, part of the crew then to help him build a reputation with the other crew-mates? Regardless of his answer, Ciel continued on her way; she was just a few paces from where James was anyway. when she arrived at his small cabin, she rapped on the door lightly, calling out "James, it's Ciel. Are you ready?"
"I find it hard to think of a context where it wouldn't be insulting. However, you look like you'd fit in as well.".
She had to smirk at the Captain with her remark, and she sighed softly. "I know, but you look good. Betting you'll look more dangerous than most of the other guests though.", she pointed out.
"I suppose that'll have to be everyone.".
"Yep. Alright you lot, keep close, we don't want anyone getting lost. Lets go.", she said, nodding once before turning to follow the Captain as she started to head out.
She made a point to keep just behind the Captain herself while she casually scanned the crowds that were heading in the same direction they were. The trip to the President's manor was, overall, uneventful. The streets were occupied mostly by those going to the gala, and as unusual as their group was, they didn't garner all that much attention. Not until they reached the gate.
Beth bowed at the gate, then led the way inside for the rest of them as the guards let them in, though they and Sheska exchanged suspicious looks. She only gave them a nod before striding in, making sure to maintain an air of confidence about her as she followed behind the Captain. The moment they were in, she smiled at the smell of what promised to be good food, and the sound of some pretty decent music, lack of an accordion playing notwithstanding.
But, it wasn't long before they were approached by a white haired woman who introduced herself as Jaqui Remmington. As she and Beth shook hands, Sheska put an instinctive foot forward, but didn't say anything. She simply nodded respectfully, while keeping calm eyes locked onto Ms. Remmington's.
"Likewise. Feel free to take part in the food, and the rest.".
"We will, and hopefully there won't be any trouble with the other guests. And that there's enough food.", she added quickly with an amused glance at Eddie.
"James, it's Ciel. Are you ready?"
James kept fidgeting with his sash, opening the door with his free hand.
"Good... Morning, I think. I guess as ready as I'll ever be. Who's your friend?" James got a good enough look at him. Looked like a tough bastard, at least. Ciel looked good too, uncomfortable but good.
"There's a gala or something, right? I heard some people talk about it earlier."
... but if you'd like to tag along, I would be happy for the company.
Smiling amicably, Drustan decided to accompany her. "Sure Miss Kriebel, I'd be happy to come along." They didn't travel that far, actually. By the time Drustan finished his sentance, Ciel was already knocking at James' door.
"Good... Morning, I think. I guess as ready as I'll ever be. Who's your friend?"
Glancing at his watch incredulously, Drustan made both his introduction and reply. "If you don't mind me correcting you, we're a good bit into the evening. Anyway, I'm Drustan Cynwrig, associate mercenary and general violent muscle. Good to meet you, James. Say, did you get cleared to head to that fancy shindig that's happening tonight? Ciel and I were going, and I figured she was coming to get you."
"Yep. Alright you lot, keep close, we don't want anyone getting lost. Lets go," Sheska said and the crew begun to move out.
Roy hesitated for a moment. He didn't like parties but being left behind on the ship didn't sound too fun either.
"Ah sod it..." he muttered. He took off his tool belt and stashed it under the stairs, ran his fingers through his hair a few times to smooth it down and then hurried after the crew, catching up just before they would have disappeared out of sight.
"Yep. Alright you lot, keep close, we don't want anyone getting lost. Lets go."
Jason quickly did one last patdown to ensure he had his usual repertoire of tools. A wrench hidden in his right pocket, some other miscellaneous tools in the various other places.. and his revolver, loaded and strapped to a holster in the inside of his jacket. It was a little trick he'd picked up in the years he'd been a pirate - jackets and the like weren't meant to fit too tightly, so a sidearm could be easily concealed if the holster were placed carefully. He doublechecked to ensure the safety was on before striding out to follow Beth. From the corner of his eye, he saw Roy quickly pat down his hair before rushing to catch up with the crew, still in his oil-stained workclothes.
Jason slowed down a bit to help keep their group in his sight, pleased he decided to tag along. 'Good. Maybe I can have somebody to talk to aside from thugs and feather-brained nobles after all...'
They eventually made their way to the manor - an opulent building in the center of town - and were greeted at the gate by one Jaqui Remmington, taking a moment to address Beth. Jason quirked an eyebrow - if Jason didn't know any better, he'd think they somehow knew each other. But that was absurd - what reason would the president of Helium City have to consort with lowly pirates?
"Likewise. Feel free to take part in the food, and the rest." Jason nodded politely and cast a brief look around, looking for a bar. This boring ordeal might be more bearable with a healthy buzz...
"Of course Isaac, what did you want to ask about? Good job on cleaning up and covering the scar by the way."
Isaac began to reply as they started leaving the ship. He smiled nervously.
"Thanks, hope you're fine with... not mentioning that? Anyway-"
He produced the pill bottle.
"A man in the markets gave me these today, stimulants I think. They keep me up longer but I don't want to find out that they're gonna make me start eating my hands or something, you know? So I was hoping you'd have an idea if they were legit."
The unspoken statement of course was that I'm having trouble with dreams again and I don't want to cause a fuss.
As they entered the building where the party was taking place, he took stock of the surroundings.
"Well." he muttered to himself "food smells nice."
The previous day
He had reached the engine room quite fast."And thank you for the compliment....but sometimes you can't argue with authority." Garrett said with a shrug as they entered the Engine Room. George stared around the room, both of the engines looked very beautiful. A wide smile spread across his face, he couldn't wait to start working on them. "Here we are George....for without it, well lets just say things would unlikely be kept afloat." Garrett said looking at a clock on the wall. "It appears that I must be leaving you now for the moment George...I can give you the remainder of the tour?"
Garrett seemed to be in a hurry. George didn't want to keep him any longer, especially not after he had been so nice to him. He turned around and said "I would love that, don't let me keep you any longer now though." He then turned back around and moved his hands over one of the engines. He got out one of his tools and fastened a loose screw he saw, he was a bit saddened that this was the end of his conversation with Garrett. He then yawned loudly, it seemed the trip had taken more out of him then he would have liked to admit. He walked further downstairs and after asking directions twice, finally found his own room.
He enter to see two beds, it seemed he was sharing this room with someone of the same rank. He had slept in much worse places, and he didn't mind a bit of company. He placed all of his stuff on his side of the room, and then jumped into bed. He had never been one for nightwear, and tomorrow would be an early day. He quickly fell asleep, his dreams once again filled with visions of the sky.
George had stood up quite late, by the time he got out of bed a young imperial was looking at him. "Good morning roommate, the name is George." He said shaking the man's hand, who seemed to be surprised by the lack of formalities. The man introduced himself as Bob... something. He then told George about some kind of gala, he looked less than pleased. He hated formalities... and suits... and parties, he sighed loudly. Well at least he still had a suit... somewhere. He thanked Bob and then turned to his bags, he began emptying them one by one looking for his suit.
He quickly kicked his normal clothes off and changed into his suit, only to find out his roommate had already left the room. He then remembered he had no idea where to go...But then again he was sure everything would work out if he just started walking. And so George headed up the stairs, eventfully arriving at the gathering of the officers. He was sure that most people outranked him, so for now he stayed quiet and tried not to catch anyone's attention...If only his suit didn't itch this much..
"...Good to meet you, James. Say, did you get cleared to head to that fancy shindig that's happening tonight?"
Ciel chimed in as quickly as she could. "He's my assistant Engineer. He was cleared by me to go. Call him my... +1 I suppose." she said, putting her finger to her chin as if in thought part way through as she tried to remember the term for an added person to the group. She opened her mouth, intending to add a side note to the statement, when an obnoxious ringing sound manifested from somewhere in her dress. A moment later, a small spider shaped automaton crawled free from the confines of her sleeve, a gold and mahogany pocket watch in its claws.
It looked up at Ciel with its one large mechanical eye, as if glaring at her. One of its many legs tapped impatiently on the watch face, which was adorned with a number of odd, not at all watch-like symbols in addition to its standard watch symbols. Ciel merely glared back at her little drone, a little annoyed at the distraction. She remained that way for a long moment, before eventually rolling her eyes.
"Fine, have it your way." she muttered beneath her breath then turned to her two companions saying "We had better hurry or we're going to be late."
"Of course Isaac, I figured you didn't want it broadcast to the ship anyway." Samuel said quietly to the man before looking over the bottle.
"Well just looking at the bottle I'd say they were normal caffeine pills. But since I don't exactly have the tools for a chemical analysis I couldn't really tell you much more. If you are dead set on using them then I would say just tell me of any ill effects you may have. Though as a doctor I would say that trying to chemically avoid sleep is an infinitely bad idea. Dangerous to yourself, the ship, and the crew." He said before they walked to the party.
Once there he found a waiter carrying a tray of drinks and calmly grabbed one before setting out to find a lounge where most of the people at the party would be at so early on in the festivities.
"If you don't mind me correcting you, we're a good bit into the evening. Anyway, I'm Drustan Cynwrig, associate mercenary and general violent muscle. Good to meet you, James. Say, did you get cleared to head to that fancy shindig that's happening tonight? Ciel and I were going, and I figured she was coming to get you."
"He's my assistant Engineer. He was cleared by me to go. Call him my... +1 I suppose."
"Yeah, that one. Premonition she would be by, I suppose." James winced at the sight of the mecha spider, skin paling, if it wasn't for the obvious robotic parts, he would've began flipping out already. He'd have to talk to Ciel about them later. Maybe they could be butterflies?
"We had better hurry or we're going to be late."
"YEAH, yeah, that sounds good to me. Let's go! Lead the way!"
"YEAH, yeah, that sounds good to me. Let's go! Lead the way!"
After noting the exchange between the two, more specifically how Ciel covered for James at the first opportunity in addition to James' unquestioning agreement, Drustan was suspicious/curious, but decided to keep his mouth shut about it. He'd seen trivial conspiracies evidenced from far more obvious signs, so he decided to pass on the investigation unless something that justified paranoia happened. He also liked the mechanical assistants Ciel had; he should look into that. When the engineering pair headed up to the Admiral, Drustan went along with them, keeping pace in the back while keeping a sense of urgency. He didn't want to be late for the Admiral.
"Feel free to take part in the food, and the rest."
Roy felt his stomach rumble at the mention of food, he hoped no one heard it. When had he last eaten again? Oh right, a bit before he joined the Mermaid. He should really get a watch. Not that it would stop him from working throughout the night - he wouldn't bother to check it while working.
Roy waited until the lady, a Mrs. Remmington, 'That name shouldn't be hard to remember', had walked away and strolled over to the buffet.
Adrianna stared at her pocket watch, tapping it occasionally, as she waited for the last of the crew to arrive. Specifically, her new engineer. Everyone other officer had arrived early or on time at the latest but her. Adrianna tapped her watch impatiently again, growing annoyed more and more annoyed at the lack of engineer. She resolved that, after the party was over, she would have a painfully long discussion with her regarding promptness.
Before she could begin writing out her speech however, the door to the lower deck opened and her new engineer appeared, flanked by a pair of crew in formals. She recognized Drustan in the dim light, but could not make out the other.
"Very well, now that we're all present, lets get going. Remember that we are representing the Empire tonight; I expect you all to behave with the same dignity and respect you would give to the Emperor himself." she said, giving her warning to the crew. She had the distinct feeling half the crew would be ignoring her before they even left the ship, but then that wasn't the point. if they did act undignified, she had warned them and they would have no excuse when it came to the worst jobs the Invincible could offer.
With her warning complete, she lead the small group down to the rows of carriages that would take them to the Gala - provided for by the Imperial Embassy.
30 min later
The carriages rolled to a stop in the light rain of the early storm before a massive building. The lights, sounds, and movements of the gala were apparent through the doors and windows, indicating the gala was already in full swing. Before Adrianna had a chance to open her door, a servant had already beaten her to the task. Similar servants were already taking care of the other such carriages; all dressed alike and to the T. Adrianna had to admit, Helium City knew how to handle affairs.
She stepped free of the transport, ignoring the hand offered by the servant; she was more than capable of climbing from transport of her own power. She took no time walking forward along the path of stone, intent on speaking with President Remmington before anything else.
Soon after she spoke and looked back at Eddie, a few of the crew broke off from the group to do exactly what Mrs. Remmington suggested and enjoy the food. She blinked once, then sighed and smiled wryly at Mrs. Remmington herself. "If you'll excuse me, I may as well keep an eye on them. Captain, Mrs. Remmington.", she said, nodding respectfully to both before heading after both Roy and Sam.
She didn't hurry, mainly because she wasn't too worried about them causing trouble this early on, but as the Gala continued, all but Izzy and Eddie were guaranteed to be drunk as skunks. Possibly including herself. Though, depending on how the gala went, she may need to be drunk to really enjoy herself. By the time she reached them, she had snagged a glass of wine from one of the roaming waiters, and sat across from Sam. "Well, this is certainly a fancy do, with plenty of the Empires 'finest'.", she said, letting herself sneer.
After she took a sip of wine, she smiled just slightly. "By the way, thanks for helping me get ready. Only having the one arm is killing me, and even though I'm not looking forward to having the new automata arm slapped on, I'll be glad to have it once it is.", she told him.
She took the time then to scan the slowly growing crowd of guests and watched as the other members of the crew mingled. "So, how long do you think it'll take until there's trouble?", she asked with a smirk.
"Of course, who else would show up to one of these parties? A bunch of scruffy pirates? How preposterous would that be?" He asked jokingly in reply. He took a drink and continued.
"And of course it is no problem to have helped you out. Ignoring any personal feelings of friendship or camaraderie, it is my job to help when needed. As for how long it will take for someone in our group to start trouble...I'm not sure I know a small enough unit of time to express my feelings." He laughed a bit at his own joke.
"So what do you plan on doing with this fine night?"
She had to snicker at his remark about scruffy pirates. "Hey, I take being a 'scruffy pirate' as a complement. Better scruffy than stuffy, right?", she asked with a grin.
Then she sighed at what he said next.
"As for how long it will take for someone in our group to start trouble...I'm not sure I know a small enough unit of time to express my feelings.".
"True, especially seeing as Jason is getting drunk faster than I would've thought.", Sheska added as she glanced over at the bar, where their Lead Engineer was currently drinking himself under the table without any outside help.
She took another sip of wine and frowned thoughtfully when Sam asked what her plans were for the evening. It took her a few moments before she answered, and she shrugged. "Well, mainly eat and drink. Maybe dance with a few of the crew, brush off any Imps that try to do the same, and hurt anyone that gets too handsy. Not all that different than what I usually do, really, save the dancing.", she told him.
Then she looked at him directly and smiled slowly, and it wasn't pleasant. "If I'm lucky though, the swine that took my arm might arrive, and I can figure out a way to draw him off someplace private and kill him. Or at the very least, threaten him creatively.", she said in a low purr.
"Perhaps, but try not to fixate on the arm too much. It's bad for you." He knew it wouldn't be much use to say it, but he felt he should try and say it anyway. If only to try and get her to calm down on the idea of revenge.
'I may as well be Sisyphus in this endeavor, but such is the life of a doctor.' He thought sardonically.
He held his glass up to Sheska.
"To a stuffy party, and the scruffy band of pirates there to liven it up." He toasted.
"Perhaps, but try not to fixate on the arm too much. It's bad for you.".
She nodded and huffed irritably before taking another sip of her wine. "Yea, yea, I know. But either way, I'm going to kill him and his pet for what they've done to me. It may take some time, but it will happen. And I'll start by returning the 'favor'. An arm for an arm...", she murmured darkly, before shaking her head and forcing a smile.
"To a stuffy party, and the scruffy band of pirates there to liven it up.".
Sam held up a glass for a toast to their crew, and she easily bumped her own against his. "To the crew!", she said, finishing off her wine.
As soon as a waiter moved past them, she set the empty glass on his tray carelessly, standing up and shrugging. "Well, I'm going to check on said crew for now. If you wanna dance, lemme know.", she said with a thoughtless wave.
She decided that the first person she'd check on was Jason, particularly since he was drinking so heavily. She made a beeline to the bar through the crowd, ignoring offers for dances as she swaggered over. When she got there, she promptly leaned against the bar and quirked an eyebrow at him.
"You know, you keep up at this rate, you're like to start a fight, and I'd rather not see you dragged out by the guards for either beating up a guest to a pulp, or after being beaten up yourself. I'm not sure which is more likely.", she said half-jokingly.
Jason had wasted no time in making his way to the bar and slamming down a handful of Helios. "I'm opening a tab. Get me some of your stronger stuff - I don't really care what." The bartender jumped back a bit, surprised at his impetuousness, before tentatively accepting the money. He ducked under the counter and produced a thick brown bottle. As he uncorked it, Jason could smell the alcohol on it from where he sat. An aged whiskey, the bartender claimed.
Jason took up a shotglass and poured himself a drink. And then a second. And then a third... or was that his fifth? He didn't really care, because the alcohol was starting to work its magic. A warm buzz creeped into the back of his mind, pushing out the boredom that had entrenched itself there.
Sheska eventually made her way over, shooting him an amused look. "You know, you keep up at this rate, you're like to start a fight, and I'd rather not see you dragged out by the guards for either beating up a guest to a pulp, or after being beaten up yourself. I'm not sure which is more likely."
"Hm. I've been a pirate for five years, Sheska. You don't last that long in this line of work without being tougher than you look." His voice was even and unslurred. Despite his average build, he was better than most at holding their booze - an acquired skill, given his profession.
He took another shot of whiskey, shuddering a bit as he downed the harsh liquid. "And let's be honest - if I'm angry enough to attack somebody, it won't be with my fists." He pushed the bottle of booze Sheska's way. "Want some? It's on me."
She was surprised when he answered with a clear voice, only to end up scowling at him for what he said last.
"Hm. I've been a pirate for five years, Sheska. You don't last that long in this line of work without being tougher than you look. And let's be honest - if I'm angry enough to attack somebody, it won't be with my fists.".
She leaned a little closer and narrowed her eyes shrewdly. "If you're telling me you smuggled in a gun, I can't believe you didn't tell me how.", she said quietly enough for only him to hear.
But at his offer of booze, she nodded and sat next to him, pouring herself a shot and drinking it.
"Anyway, I would've smuggled in my revolver, but it wouldn't fit in the goddamn garter like I was planning. So, I don't suppose you managed to sneak in two, did ya?", she asked hopefully in the same hushed tone.
"Anyway, I would've smuggled in my revolver, but it wouldn't fit in the goddamn garter like I was planning. So, I don't suppose you managed to sneak in two, did ya?"
"Not enough room, I'm afraid. That's the thing with jackets - if you know how a gun is weighted, it's real easy to convincingly hide one, but only one." He took a look at the bottle and frowned - it was already half-depleted. Well, a sign from the Sky-Mother to tell him to stop drinking, if he ever saw one.
Good thing he didn't give a sod what the Sky-Mother thought. He took the bottle and poured himself yet another shot. "Not that an upstanding lady of the court like yourself would ever think of visiting violence on her fellow man." He raised the shotglass in a toast, staggering slightly as he did so. The booze was really starting to set in, and even his acquired constitution wouldn't be much help against more alcohol. "To revenge well gained. If I ever see the cowardly son-of-a-whore that took your arm, I'll be sure to warm him up for ya."
"Not enough room, I'm afraid. That's the thing with jackets - if you know how a gun is weighted, it's real easy to convincingly hide one, but only one.".
She frowned and made a disappointed sound before motioning to the bartender for another bottle, then pointing at Jason to signal that it was on him. After all, he said that he would foot the bill in this case. "That's a damn shame. I'm really wishing I had a weapon of some kind.", Sheska told him.
"To revenge well gained. If I ever see the cowardly son-of-a-whore that took your arm, I'll be sure to warm him up for ya.".
At that she shook her head, but she tapped her shot glass against his. "Thanks, but no. He's mine, and I want to torture him to death myself. Besides, as much as I'd like it, there's really nothing saying that they'll show up here.", she said with a shrug, only to look at him with a smile.
"Speaking of warming things up though, I was hoping you could do me a side favor. If you could, could you get some of your boys in Engineering to make me some of those firebombs you used in that last fight? A few of those, and a way to light em quick would be handy when we do meet up with those filthy swine again.", she said.
"A few of those, and a way to light em quick would be handy when we do meet up with those filthy swine again."
"Oh, that'll be easy. Just some clay and oil and a welding stick and then BOOM!" He made an exaggerated waving motion with his arms, nearly losing his balance and stumbling in his seat as he did so. "I's particularly useful cus' it's made of stuff you'd normally consider junk on a ship. Took a while to find the right shape so it doesn't blow up in yer hand..." Jason trailed off, his voice starting to slur. That eighth shot may not have been his brightest idea...
Prior To Leaving The Invincible...
Garrett could see from his spot near the gangplank, that more and more of the invited crew were arriving up on deck, all dressed in some of the finest clothes he had seen. For a moment, there was a man he did not recognise, but after thinking through all the faces that he remembered on-board, the solution presented itself to him.
"It can't be... Vasco? So that is what you look like underneath the mask, I must say you clean up rather well. Face looks rather pale though, but then again, no doubt given all the years you've spent hiding behind that mask of yours, it is to be expected." Garrett thought to himself as Adriana stepped forward to make an announcement.
"Very well, now that we're all present, lets get going. Remember that we are representing the Empire tonight; I expect you all to behave with the same dignity and respect you would give to the Emperor himself."
"You may be representing the Empire my dear, but for the most part, I'll representing myself; though I'll be sure to act proper." Garrett said to himself as they headed down towards a small handful of carriages that would be taking them to President Remmington's estate, and of course, he would be sitting next to Adriana. As the carriages trundled their way along the cobblestone path, thoughts entered his mind of what he wanted to do, but given they were sharing the carriage with others, his fun would have to wait.
30 Minutes Later - Arriving At President Remmington's Estate
As they arrived, Garrett could see that there was quite a few people already entering the estate. Servants came rushing to the carriages to open them up, and soon everyone was making there way up the stone path, where there was a few people waiting to greet them.
"I'll go on in Admiral, procure some drinks, help us enjoy the festivities more." He then added, before smiling towards Adriana, then heading into the main area of the Gala.