A Sea of Misfortune (Pirate 1x1, Kuroh and Everly)

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Kuroh, Mar 9, 2015.

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  1. Character Sheet (open)

    Name: Lukas Vega
    Age: 22 or 23 (he isn't entirely sure when his birthday is, so isn't sure if he's hit 23 yet)
    Ship: The Winding Ghost
    Face:
    [​IMG]


    They shouldn't have kept going. It had been a bad idea all around, and every sign had pointed to a monstrous storm in the near future. For once, Captain Lukas Vega of the Winding Ghost should have listened to his smart ass of a First Mate and anchored off the coast two days before. They had already had a string of bad luck, what with the death of their most successful rat killing cat, followed by near discovery mid-smuggle, and a whole host of other minor problems that had really begun to stack up against the crew. Perhaps Lukas had been tempting fate, because what else could possibly go wrong? Clearly, those words should never have even been thought. Anders was right. This whole endeavor was a terrible idea, and everyone was going to die.


    With a wry grin, he said so, loud enough that Anders could hear, and Anders alone. There was no need for anyone but the Captain and First Mate to be panicking. "We're all going to die. This storm is going to kill us all and I'm sorry I ever doubted your expertise."

    "Damn right you're sorry, you daft -" his man shouted back, the howling wind whipping the end of the disrespectful commend away. Lukas let him have that one. After all, he truly was fully apologetic; well, half apologetic… Anyone could have changed his mind if they'd really cared to stop him.

    From his position on the ship, Lukas stared out at the boiling tempest around them. It was black as pitch, and with the driving rain and screeching wind it was impossible to see where they were, let alone what direction they were facing. His ship was lurching, her floors creaking and moaning in time with every god forsaken wave. The Winding Ghost was a mere spec in an endless storm, being tossed about as if her sturdy hull were nothing more than a tiny raft. A few of the less sea-hardened sailors were looking green around the gills, and more than one had succumbed to a bout or two of sea-sickness.

    The usually cheerful crew was silent as they worked to keep the Winding Ghost above the menacing waves, shouting only when necessary, the effort taking all of their concentration. Most words were stolen by the tempest anyways, and speaking was just a waste of much-needed energy. Unless it was an emergency, of course, like the one appearing at their starboard side all too quickly.

    Lukas's string of swears was torn from his lips before anyone could hear them, not that his crew would notice or care, not when a ship near their own size was on a direct collision course with the Winding Ghost. "Ha! And you thought the sea had hit us with her worst!" he shouted, a wild look in his eyes as he shouldered his First Mate off of the wheel and gripped the slippery spokes in an attempt to steer his ship out of the path of the other. It worked to some degree, but the storm had gotten the better of them this time, and they could do nothing but stand their ground as the two ships collided.

    The noise was atrocious, a splintering, groaning sound that only added to the wailing storm. Ghost shuddered, pitching aft to starboard and back again. Lukas and his crew could only prey that their ship had evaded the brunt of the damage, that this wasn't to be their last night on an Earth that had had it out for them since the start. At this point, he didn't give a damn what happened to the other ship, not when his own was at risk of falling prey to the ever hungry sea.
     
  2. "If you don't get a firm hand on those sails, I'll cut your damned throats and toss you overboard myself! Lousy, useless, sons of.."

    Charlotte was at the wheel, both of her hands grasping it tight as she set her entire weight against the pull of the waves. If she gave it even the slightest leeway, they would heave so far over that they would lose what little cargo they had left. Already they had lost several barrels of rum stolen from a royal frigate, plus a cannon and two fishing nets. Still, they had not lost any men, and for that she was grateful. This storm was something that they had been expecting, but the ferocity was greater than she had imagined. A passing shower, some lightning, that would be nothing. But the swell of the waves that threatened to send them all into the depths? She would have waited it out. Now she had a crew cursing her for bringing bad luck aboard - not that it was the first time she had heard it. Being a female captain was nearly impossible, and she had to fight every day to maintain respect from the men she had working her ship.

    She grimaced inwardly and ignored the way the wind whipped her sopping wet hair around her face. Even a bandana did little in a storm like this. Not that it mattered. Hair in her eyes or not, she couldn't see a damn thing and she had only a compass strapped to her wrist to give her a guiding. Thankfully the seas were clear because nobody else was mental enough to be out in this downpour. All they had to do was strike north until the storm ended. By her estimation, they would only be hours from port when dawn broke. She was hoping that the skies would be clear by then, because she had no desire to crash into the harbor and end up cracking a deck.

    "I swear, Davies, if I see you tie a loose knot one more time, I'll-" she began to shout furiously at her first mate, but her threat was lost in a sudden thunderous crash. Yells from the deck and the groan of splintering wood shocked her to still silence for a moment. Another ship?! Out here?! Were they insane?!

    "We're taking on water, Captain!"

    That got her attention. There was no point in giving herself bruises at the wheel any longer - they had to start to bail. She grabbed a rope and quickly tied the wheel firmly in place, then jumped down the stairs and ran across the deck. Already they were listing hard, the sails cracking in the wind as the ship began tipping closer and closer to the black surface of the water. The crew was in a panicked frenzy, arguing among themselves until a wave slammed into them. Several men were swept overboard and Charlotte had to grab the railing to keep from losing her balance on the soaked deck. Something had to be done. Men were vanishing before her eyes and she had no hope of saving her ship on her own. She refused to let the Silverlight go down without a fight, but at the same time, she was not sure what she could do at this point.
     
  3. "If she sinks I'm dragging you all down with me so stabilize her, you stinking, sorry wretches!" Lukas could feel his ship listing, her masts creaking as the ship threatened to be overcome by the waves. Underneath the thunder he could hear shouting from the decks of both the Winding Ghost and her fellow ship. "Anders, take the damned wheel." With a snarl he was leaving his first mate to the job of keeping the ship steady, and making his way across the heaving deck. It appeared as though a few of his men had gone overboard, their screams lost to the sea. His only comfort was that at least it was them and not him.

    "What about the other ship??" Lukas had no idea who'd shouted the question, the driving rain had him half blind, but he squinted as best he could to see how the other vessel was faring. It appeared to be doing far worse than his own. At least Ghost was beginning to stabilize, an impressive feat given all that had happened in such a short period of time.

    "They're sinking. We're not. If they want our help they can ask for it, seeing as we've just had a few spots open up in the crew." He was shouting as loud as he could, but even then not everyone heard him. All he could do was hang on to the starboard railing, staring down as men were washed overboard by waves that couldn't be kept at bay by the steadily tilting ship. At least it's not me, he said to himself again, this time more with of an attempt to convince himself than anything else.

    A rogue wave splashed up against the side of the Ghost, and Lukas choked on the wall of sea water that soaked him to the bone and stung his eyes. His soaked clothing clung to his skin, his hair plastered against his head. Lukas swore again, clutching the railing to stay upright. A sign from his first mate told him the ship wasn’t going to be sinking, not just yet at any rate, and he smoothed a hand across the familiar, worn wood of his one and only lady. She'd held out again, this time against not only a storm but a collision with another ship just as large as herself. He sent a quick thanks to lady luck before glancing back at the still sinking ship. At this point, there was no reason to do anything but help, and he shouted to the nearest shipmen to "toss them a line. They can come aboard if they want to and we can decide what to do with them once we're in the clear!" At this point, it was too turbulent to tell what type of people the crew of the other ship were, so Lukas figured that they could save them now, and throw them overboard if they were more trouble than they were worth.

    A few of the crew who weren't tied up keeping Ghost upright scampered across the deck on steady sea-legs, tossing the lines usually used to board other vessels out to the shouting men across the divide. If the men didn't get the message, all the worse for them; Lukas was only going to take those smart enough to find their way without orders.
     
  4. There were not many morals that Charlotte stuck to, but there was one bit of honorable code that she would defend with every bit of her life - and that was that a Captain either went down on their ship, or saved it.

    The Silverlight was half in the water, the deck beginning to disappear on the starboard side. Still, not all was lost. Crew members were still scrambling, trying to find something to cling to while others were trying to make a swim for the other ship. Charlotte scowled and glanced at the other ship, mentally cursing them for being in the way and for being cowards. She didn't see any hint of movement to assist at all. Just as she turned to grab Davies, she felt something hit her back. A line. She grabbed it out of instinct and tied it fast to the highest part of the railing. It was wavering and bouncing at best and any wave could slosh over it, but it was something.

    "Move! Move! Go! Board the other ship! Go!" she began to yell, half running and half sliding across the deck as she grabbed everybody who was left. She shoved them toward the lines that were coming across and the one she had already secured. Not many had survived at all - she counted four, plus Davies, who was helping her gather survivors. Finally they were the only pair left. She pushed him on his way and started cutting the spare lines - no point damaging the other ship when the Silverlight was dragged down. Her only other thought at the moment was that she was going to be very pissed off if they were being rescued by the royal navy.

    She ran to the last line and grabbed hold of it just as something started cracking. With a twist of her head, Charlotte saw that the main mast was breaking. It snapped with a roar and crashed down into the foremast, sending splinters of wood flying in every direction. The ropes and sails made a tangled mess in the air and both masts slammed into the ship at the same time. That was all the poor Silverlight could handle. The deck plunged into the water and Charlotte was pulled under the black surface. Despite already being soaked, the sea was like ice and she felt a stab of fear before she realized that her fingers were still tightly curled around the line.

    "Captain!" Davies shouted from the railing of the new ship, staring into the water in shock. He hadn't expected the masts to go in such a violent manner, and now there was nothing in the water except for debris.

    Charlotte forced herself to climb the rope, ignoring how the waves sent her against the side of the ship again and again. The wind tossed her around like a ragdoll once she was above the surface, but she had felt the same sensation before when climbing the shrouds to the crow's nest. She kept going until she felt the railing, using almost all of her remaining strength to heave herself over and onto the unfamiliar deck.
     
  5. It was absolute chaos, the remaining few members of the other ship scrabbling to grab hold of the line, and to climb aboard their one and only chance at salvation. Lukas was captivated by the scene, watching as what appeared to be a woman, though surely his eyes deceived him, pushed the other crew members towards safety before she even got close to the rope. One of Ghost's crew members tried pulling him back from the railing, shouting that he was going to get swept overboard if he stayed where he was. Instead of following, he slapped at the grabbing hand and turned back to watch the progress of the female crew member. Silently, he egged her on, unable to tear his eyes from the scene as she finally ran for the line.

    Too late. She was too late. Despite her attempts, she wasn’t going to make it; the ship was splintering beneath her very feet. Lukas gripped his ship's railing so tight his knuckles turned white, and he heard the cry of "Captain!" from one of the other vessel's crew. Captain? She was the captain? His thoughts were torn from that sudden, shocking realization when he noticed she'd disappeared beneath the waves, along with the sad debris of a ship torn apart in a storm. He felt an odd sense of disappointment, having seen the last desperate attempts to survive, and watching her fail.

    Lukas was about to turn back to face the unfamiliar men when he heard cheering, and looked overboard to see the steadfast efforts of a woman clearly driven to survive. Her men were triumphant, and for some reason so were a few of his own, despite the distrust his crew members usually held for anyone not of the Winding Ghost. Finally, she made it aboard, collapsing onto Ghost's glistening, soaked deck to the happiness of one of her crew mates in particular, it seemed.

    "Alright, shows over. Get back to work!" he ordered, sending a few of the men who'd just been standing around running with a glare. Before they could disappear to do other work, he grabbed a few of them to stand nearby, just in case the rescued crew decided to try anything. Once that was done, Lukas was leaning over the other captain and holding out a hand to help her up, if she wanted to take it.

    "Welcome aboard the Winding Ghost, you may know me as Captain Lukas Vega" he cried, the storm still whirling around them, though it appeared to be slowing down, if the somewhat gentler rocking of the ship was any indication. "Glad you could make it aboard!" And truly, he was, though having a woman on his ship was sure to counter whatever good luck he'd gained in the lives of the remaining crewmembers of the unfortunately sunken vessel.
     
  6. The deck of the new ship was warm in comparison to the sea, and that wasn't saying much. Already Charlotte missed the familiarity of her own ship, but she refused to dwell on that now. She didn't need to be having a bout of the questionable 'womanly feelings', especially in front of whoever they were now on board with. For crying out loud, if it's the Navy.. Charlotte turned and looked up, seeing her remaining crew. Her first mate and three others. One had apparently fallen from the line into the waves. Idiot. She had done all she could. This was all that was left. Her heart ached for the lives lost, but there was no time to mourn as her brown eyes found focus on the man who was obviously the captain of this ship. She hesitated, then took his hand in her right. Even in the dark of the storm, it was easy to see the myriad of tattoos across her arms as she stood before him. As soon as she was up, she dropped his hand and took a step back to eye him properly. Definitely not the Navy.

    Good.

    "A pleasure, Captain," she said, her words rather rough thanks to swallowing more than her fair share of the ocean moments before. She coughed and shook her head. "I am Captain Charlotte Makoby. This is my first mate, Davies, and this is-" she began, gesturing to the others before one of them stepped closer with a scowl.

    "You can't be serious, Captain!" he exclaimed, his anger obvious. "Small talk? We just lost our ship! We should at least attempt to take theirs, not just stand about and act like we haven't lost twenty men to the depths! I'm not going to just sit and act as though everything is alright when it's their fault that the ship is gone! You can prance around and slut yourself out to this Captain, but I refuse!"

    Davies had turned a rather ugly shade of red during the tirade, but Charlotte seemed amused. The other crew members were silent and wary, being sure not to stand too close to the aggravated sailor. Instead of responding verbally, Charlotte simply walked over to him and shoved him over the railing into the water, ignoring his sharp cry that was suddenly silent when he was lost beneath the waves. She glanced at the rest of her crew, silently challenging them one by one to be rude to the men who had saved their lives or to question her further. None dared speak up, so she gave a satisfied nod and turned back to Captain Lukas.

    "I never liked him. I don't suppose you have any rum or whiskey on board?"
     
    #6 Everly, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  7. The captain had lost almost her entire crew, a mere four men at her back to show that she'd ever held any standing aboard a ship as large as the Ghost. Lukas felt a brief flash of sympathy before his mind began working to find any possible advantages to him and his crew from this situation.

    Before he got very far in his thought process, the fellow captain was introducing herself and her crew. Captain Charlotte. It had a nice ring to it. Of course, then her idiot of a crew member had to go and speak. If he'd kept his mouth shut, he probably would have survived just fine and gotten off at the next port. As it was, his comment had Lukas about ready to run him through with his sword. He never got the chance. It was with an amused grin that he watched Charlotte shove the loud mouth off the side of the ship to join his peers in it's murky depths. It seemed his was the final sacrifice the sea desired, for once he'd disappeared beneath the waves the storm truly lost its bite, driving rain turning to drizzle, and the howling wind dying down in mere moments. Lukas nodded appreciatively; already, the woman had earned his respect.

    "Anders, we've lost a few men. Their bunks are now empty. Please ensure the relative comfort of these three poor souls. They have the option of either joining my crew as paid members - seeing as I just saved their lives that shouldn't be too much to ask - or they can get off at next landfall, in which case I'm afraid I won't be paying you. But the trip will be free."

    Without looking to see his orders being carried out by his first mate, he turned to Charlotte once more. "I have some of the best quality whiskey in my quarters. If you wish to talk in the quiet of my rooms, I'm sure you have much you wish to discuss. I certainly do." There were the issues of where she was going to sleep (Lukas couldn't very well send her to live with the slovenly crew, now could he?), what exactly her next moves were, and more. It was all business that could be discussed over his best whiskey, in the relative peace of the captain's quarters. Anders would surely insist on another crew member to accompany them if he hung around much longer, so Lukas avoided his over-protective friend (the two men had climbed the hierarchy together, and that sort of bond was a strong one) and instead gestured towards the entrance to his rooms. "Captain?" he added, a wry grin on his face. It was going to b one of his more... interesting voyages.
     
    #7 Kuroh, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  8. Answering to a captain of a different vessel was not something Charlotte thought she would ever have to do again, yet here she was. It wasn't as though he was ordering her around, of course, but it was still odd. She glanced at her crew and saw that they were lingering, awaiting some sort of permission from her. Or perhaps they didn't want to leave her alone. As if she couldn't handle herself. She gave them a bit of a nod and they walked off after Anders. They would all stay on until the next port, she knew. It was unlikely any would choose to stay on this ship for hire, but then again, perhaps they would. Personally she did not care, though the thought of possibly losing Davies was a bit painful. The man had saved her ass more than once and she owed him a great deal. Still, she knew that he harbored feelings that were far outside the realm of a typical first mate and captain, though he was wise enough to never once speak of it even while drunk.

    "Much obliged, Captain," she said to Lukas, her expression nearly as amused as his. Two captains on one ship. This could turn into a major headache, or perhaps it would be pleasant. At least he was polite. He hadn't even scoffed at the fact that she was a female captain. In fact, he seemed to be taking it in stride, which she found remarkably interesting. Yes, perhaps this would be quite pleasant after all.

    "I do apologize for our part in this mess. Though you didn't go down, I am certain there was some damage and I know you lost men," she said as she stepped into his quarters. "The damn storm didn't help either of us, but I didn't think anybody else would be so stupid as to be out here. Guess we were both guilty of that," she added with a bit of a smirk. Stupid, stubborn, call it what you will. Her shortsightedness had cost several lives tonight, as well as her ship. That thought made her smile fade and she frowned to herself, brushing water from her arm as she tried not to brood on the dark situation.
     
  9. The crew, little though there were left, still appeared loyal to Charlotte alone. Lukas wasn't surprised, but he did hope they left the ship at the next port. He didn't want to have crew members who didn't answer to his orders before anyone else. He'd had that particular experience before, and having to send your own friend off the plank because he decided to raise his own little mutiny wasn't something Lukas wanted to be reminded of.

    Though, at the moment, he should be more worried about his fellow captain. The situation could go one of three ways. Either she submitted to him, the easiest option for Lukas but also the least likely, or she refused, and he would have to have her thrown off the ship; given her status he would give her a rowboat, rather than leading her straight off the plank. The third option was decidedly unusual, and involved some sort of sharing of power. Whether that was truly feasible or not was yet another question, though it would have to wait. For now, he opted to continue the act of hosting.

    "Ah, you shouldn't need to apologize. My ship, while damaged, still floats. I'm sorry you lost your ship and crew like that. I only wish we could have avoided the situation entirely." Once Charlotte had entered his quarters, he shut the door behind her, gesturing to one of the few seats and sitting in his usual spot at the tiny table. "Think of it this way. My stupidity saved you and three crew members! It may have gained me more loyal followers, unlikely as that may be. I like to explore every option available to me." With an almost serene smile he was leaning back in his seat, propping his heals on the chair Charlotte didn't take. Within reach was the bottle of whiskey, along with a few tin glasses (though they had all tipped over in the storm), and after pouring a liberal amount in each, he offered the woman one of the two.

    "Now that we have some whiskey to warm our stomachs, how's about we get down to business." Despite the calm smile, there was a glint in Lukas's eyes. This was his ship, and he wanted to make that clear, no matter what was decided between them. She was a female captain, so clearly she was chalk full of brains and brawn, but was she really the type he wanted at his side? If there was even the slightest chance of her overtaking his ship, she was gone, no matter how much Lukas liked her smile or her bravery.
     
  10. Charlotte sat in the offered seat and nodded once. Three more loyal followers, she doubted severely, but she knew that her men would not cause trouble here unless somebody else instigated it. They were all good men who knew better than to cause an issue, especially now with the idea of being thrown overboard fresh in their minds. A half smile touched her lips and she accepted the offered whiskey. The scent of alcohol was strong before the glass even touched her lips, and the welcome warmth was soon spreading through her body as she took a large swallow. Ah, that was better. Alcohol to clear the mind and warm the soul. Now she was better prepared to do dealings with a pirate. She glanced up at him, easily recognizing the look in his eyes as he mentioned getting down to business.

    "There is no need to be defensive," she assured him, a bit amused. "I've seen that look before. I have no interest in your ship. My own was swallowed by the sea mere minutes ago and I have no desire to replace it with yours. Taking over a well-crewed ship with three men of my own would be nigh impossible, though I don't doubt we could take out quite a few of your men before we were stopped if we really wanted to. Your ship is nice, but not nice enough for me to be half as stupid as that."
     
  11. The other captain was a sharp one, he'd give her that. With ease she had caught on to his trepidation, and said exactly the right things to calm an authoritative, fidgety pirate down. He clasped his hands together behind his neck, leaning further back on his chair, boots squeaking against the smooth wood of the chair. "I'm impressed, and suddenly I have no problem envisioning your rise to power." The comment was made with a touch of admiration, but he was also clearly amused. "Not to sound condescending, of course," he added as an afterthought, taking a burning swig of the whiskey and feeling warmth curl from his stomach outwards. The chill of the storm had already begun to melt away.

    "Of course, I'll still have your men watched for the first few days, as a precaution, if you have no complaints. I can't go underestimating someone such as yourself, or your crew." It was a reasonable choice, given the actions already shown by the crew of the Silverlight. If they were going to stay loyal to Charlotte, then he was going to have them watched. It was all very give and take, in the end.

    "As for you, well… I haven't a clue what to do with you. I can't say I've ever been stuck with another captain before, so I have no experience that'll push me in the right direction. I'd rather not just be rid of you, not after your stunning efforts to survive. Your mind would be a nice addition to the crew, as well." The difficulty with the whole situation was that Charlotte was intelligent, brave, and exactly the type of person Lukas had often wished on his side when the crew were being particularly difficult. He was an educated man, one of only two aboard the ship, but it was nice to have someone whose ideas were actually feasible, and who he could play a good game of chess with without winning instantly. If she enjoyed chess, that was.
     
  12. Rolling her eyes, Charlotte finished off her drink and set the tin glass aside. She knew that his comment about her 'rise to power' was fairly innocent, but at the same time she had no doubt that he was curious as to how a woman came to command a ship of twenty men. With a nod, she agreed to his terms. It made sense. She was a pirate and one of her crew had already proven unstable. The men would dislike being watched, but they would not complain or get violent about it. Just another thing to adapt to in order to survive. She crossed her legs absently, unlacing the leather vambrace on her right arm to allow it to dry out as she listened to her fellow captain speak of her as an addition to the crew. A small laugh escaped her and she looked up at him with a cocked eyebrow.

    "As flattering as that is, you're damned crazy if you think a captain is going to join up with a new crew as nothing but fresh meat like some idiot boy without his sea legs," she pointed out, shaking her head. "We are not far from port, depending on which way you're headed. I have no issues sleeping with the crew and helping out on the ship until we get there, but I do not intend to stay aboard. I will take whatever men choose to stay with me and depart once we dock. The rest of the crew can be replaced, given enough time and rum," she added, grinning as she thought of how many men she had gotten to sign up for service with her simply because they were drunk off their asses and thought she was trying to get them in bed. What a shock that must have been the next morning..

    She knew this was an odd situation. Honestly, she wasn't certain what she would do if the roles were reversed, so she attempted to picture it. His ship went down, he and a few of his crew were left standing on her deck. Drenched with nowhere to go in a storm, but two out of the four are commanding officers and it's obvious the men are loyal. Faced with those facts, she realized that she would have likely locked them all up to keep any potential bloodshed from happening from the unknown men. Perhaps it was a bit of a paranoid train of thought, but she knew that she would not have taken the chance of him attacking her crew. It was a bit foolish in her eyes that he was allowing her and her men to be comfortable instead - not that she was complaining. Spending time locked up below would only piss her off to no end, and then she really would want to run him through.
     
  13. Lukas sighed in mock disappointment as Charlotte made it abundantly clear that she was never going to become part of his crew. The disappointment was, unfortunately,not entirely in jest. He had been hoping that his assumptions about her were wrong, that she would happily join up with a new crew. As it was, he had probably made a terrible mistake, and half his crew was going to be torn from under his very feet. The likelihood of that happening didn't seem too far off, especially not with the grin Charlotte sent his way. "You see! This is what trying to be courteous does to me. Anders is right, clearly I'm far too soft for my position." That wasn't to say Lukas was a soft man, far from it, but he did have an unfortunate habit of letting his heart get the better of the more logical decisions. In this case, either locking the other ship's crew up or leaving them to die would have resulted in far less of a hassle. With another sigh, he was finishing off his whiskey and staring rather forlornly into the empty cup.

    "I can't say I agree that it's a good idea for you to sleep with the crew, though. I run a tight ship, but I can't control what I'm not there to see. I don't doubt you can protect yourself against some of my… less savoury men. But that there is part of the problem. I'd rather not wake up one morning to find any of my men dead because they thought it was a good idea to lay a hand on a shipless captain." It was a completely legitimate fear. Charlotte was clearly more than capable of taking down the majority of the men on his ship individually. Granted, Lukas wouldn't mourn any man who dared touch her, either. It was just another source of conflict in the young captain's mind.

    "If you are truly set on sleeping below decks with the crew, then go right ahead. I have no desire to force you into anything. But if, say, I were to temporarily clear the first mate's quarters until we reach land, would you take the room for yourself at my request?" Ohhhh Anders was going to murder him if Charlotte agreed. It was a good thing he happened to be Lukas's best mate alongside his second in command, otherwise he was sure he'd be long dead by now. There was no way any man would tolerate the amount of shit Anders put up without from his captain on a near daily basis without snapping.

    "Think on it. And I'll leave you with something else to mull over as well. Should you change your mind about leaving my ship, ill welcome you with open arms. You're sharper than the sword at my hip, and I admire that. Plus, you're calm under pressure, given how you're taking loosing your ship and the vast majority of your crew before being taken aboard an unknown pirate ship."
     
  14. Charlotte said nothing as she listened to him. She didn't know about being soft, but he certainly wasn't as hardened as some captains she knew. Giving him a bit of a smile, she listened as he voiced more concern for the wellbeing of his crew than for her safety. That made her laugh a bit. He was a smart man. She decided that she liked him more the more that he talked. Instead of underestimating her and assuming that she would fall prey to some lecherous sailor, he was worried that he'd wake up short ten men. It wasn't an unfounded worry, either. She wasn't one to hesitate to slit a throat if some bastard was trying to treat her like some port whore. Some men just needed to be taught a lesson, that was all. She thought on that as she watched Lukas, continuing to listen in silence as he offered up his first mate's quarters for her and continued on to compliment her once more on her wit and mental stability in the face of all that was occurring.

    It was true, she wasn't curled up and sniveling on the floor like some helpless maiden. Her pain ran far too deep for something like that. While she could sit and jest with him easily, her mind was evading a darkness that she knew was apt to take over as soon as she was alone and away from prying eyes. There was more to that ship than just some simple vessel she had taken as her own, but she wasn't about to tell Lukas that. Her past was her own, and she wasn't going to share it with somebody she hardly knew. Besides, nobody really knew how she came to be a captain. They only knew rumors. Davies knew the most, but he would never say anything.. unless he was drunk.

    "Thank you," she said after a few moments of silence when he finished speaking. She tilted her head and gave him a smile. "You're much too nice to be a pirate. Where's your black heart?" she teased, poking at him in the same way she imagined his first mate did. "I will accept your offer of your first mate's quarters, if only to spare you the labor of finding new men in port once half of yours are slaughtered by my blade," she added easily, giving him a bit of a smirk.
     
  15. Charlotte's question was indeed a good one. Where was his black heart? Had he lost it somewhere along the way? Had he ever had one to begin with? Was it Charlotte herself who had lost him that? Well, he certainly had had a black heart somewhere in the beginning, he wouldn't have reached where he was without one. But, perhaps he had been lulled into a sense of complacency with his crew, some men loyal to a fault, and more luck than not on most days (the current week being the exception, though they had survived the storm and collision with relative ease, given how the other ship fared).

    "I like to think my black heart is buried somewhere deep inside and will show it's ugly face when I need it to, and at no other time." Lukas's face crinkled into a more genuine smile than his previous ones when Charlotte agreed to his offer, and he sighed a little in relief. "You've saved me some crew members, so thank you for that. I don’t doubt one of the dumber ones would have tried something stupid and lost his life." He frowned briefly, however, and winced at the thought of telling his first mate. "I may have just temporarily lost the loyalty of my first mate, however." Ah well, Anders would forgive him. He always did, in the end, and it was probably only going to be a few days.

    "So, now that we've got that decision made…" Lukas trailed off, shifting positions so he could sit straighter and look the other captain in the eyes questionably. "You've put a wrench in my usual daily routine by showing up, you siren," he laughed, scrubbing a hand through his pale blond hair and wondering just what he had done to Lady Luck for her to put him through such a rocky few days. And now he had a woman aboard his ship. He wasn't the most superstitious captain in the world, but that didn't mean he had his worries. Plus, some of his crew members were sure to feel badly about the situations. As long as they didn't try to act on their own all would be well. If they did...well, he'd put his role as captain to good use. He had no place on his ship for idiots.
     
  16. "I am certain he will forgive you. You don't strike me as the sort of captain who would have a disloyal first mate," Charlotte said, amused as he brought up the potential wrath of his first mate. She knew he'd be fine. If not, she was willing to let him sleep on the floor if he kept his distance from the bed. The thought made her grin, made all the wider as Lukas called her a siren. Well. It wasn't the worst thing she had been called in her life, and it was not terribly inaccurate at this point. She was on a ship that was not her own, surrounded by men. There were worse situations to be in, surely. Her mother would probably faint if she could see her darling daughter now. If only.

    "I have no plans to disrupt your routine. I have offered my men and myself to you for the duration of our stay," she reminded him. "You are free to ask them to do whatever you need. I know that you lost men just as I did and you can use the hands. Plus I can help - I may be a captain, but that does not mean I don't remember how to work. I don't ask a member of my crew to do anything I don't know how to do myself," she added with a bit of a shrug. She knew the additional bodies were a burden, but she wasn't about to have them just sit around and be in the way. It wasn't something she would tolerate on her own ship and she certainly wouldn't force Lukas to deal with it on his.

    She was about to say something else when Davies opened the door without knocking. Well that was rude, even for a pirate. She stood up and was about to snap at him when he held up a hand and quickly began to explain himself.

    "Forgive me, Captains.. But John's got himself in a fistfight already and I figured you'd want to deal with it since he's ours.."
     
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