Mizos

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Luro noticed the others as they made their way back to the ship and waved to them, at least as much as he could with arms full of wood, some of it scorched. He slowed down a bit waiting for Zilia who had apparently noticed Jack on their way back. Once they were all reunited Luro’s attention moved to the Captain as she brought up the locales, he offered a nod in agreement thinking back to the actions of the few people he encountered.
“They weren’t friendly on our outing either,” Luro said. “Even before I accidently blew up his shop that guy was unfriendly."
It was normally the opposite even when they were pirates, first friendlessness even if it was forced, then generally after a few minutes to an hour, a few things get blown up, lives are lost then the anger and hatred comes. This town was a little backwards and it would have been uncomfortable if he wasn't used to the feeling by now.

Luro closed his eyes as the Captain brought up their posters. He didn’t notice any of them up during his walk either but they were infamous now, being recognized by their faces was probably going to happen once or twice, he could count when they were attacked because people knew who they were. This whole thing seemed more like caution than fear, though he did see mixes of that as well. There was little time to press on the matter as CP returned along with a large group of people including a tall woman.
His brows arched and he looked over at Zilia wondering how exactly she felt about this matter.


This screamed trouble.
She wasn’t sure how they managed to attract the most unsavory characters in a particular area but at this point it was almost a gift. Zilia knew that it was rude to judge someone purely off their appearance, but in their line of work it came in handy and no part of this looked inviting, especially when the lady dressed in green appeared. At the very least they were learning more and more about what was going on, and about this place. This island was apparently owned by the Tankered Pirates, her gaze moved over to Luro and for a moment concern showed on his expression, she had a feeling he was thinking about Yakone. This wasn’t the first time they were at a place run by pirates and seeing his body tense up a bit showed he immediately went on guard hearing they ran the island.
He returned to his normal relaxed stance eventually but at the very least she knew he was more on guard, even if it didn’t show in his smile anymore.

Seeing the Captain of the Tankered step forward Zilia turned slightly and adjusting the wood slight made a fist giving a firm nod as she could basically see eye to eye with the Captain and turned her attention forward again.
“Wow he’s smaller than I thought he’d be.”
She glanced over at Luro as he stared at Abram tilting his head slightly watching the man walk away, his people leaving shortly afterwards. At the Captain’s comment she looked over at Luro and nodding he spoke.
“Z’s concerned and I can’t say I’m too partial to being in a place run by pirates…seeing as last time you were kidnapped and almost blown up,” Luro said offering a small nod. “However…it’s not pirate like to turn down free drinks so let’s go anyway."
“Do you have no sense of self-preservation?!” Zilia stared wide eyed over at Luro causing him to shrug.
“There’s no need to worry Z. Let’s enjoy them while they’re friendly. Pretty sure once they find out we blew up one of their places that’ll change so let’s make the most of it. If they try to kill us we'll just do what we normally do."
“You blew it up! Don’t you dare add me to this and please consider this for a moment longer.”
Zilia narrowed her eyes at Luro disliking the fact she couldn’t reach for her notebook but her anger dissolved against Luro due to his natural carefree guard.
"The cost of being popular Z."
 

SilentxChaos

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"Captain, I feel they're more afraid than... contemptuous," Jack started answering Runali's observation of the island's inhabitants. His gaze wandered around the group as they walked, a small stack of wood under his arm that he relieved from Zilia at one point. He managed to catch sight of the wood worker's shop- or, what was left of it- and decided not to ask questions regarding it. He was about to continue when the lanky woman appeared.

Like Luro, he tensed, gaze shifting rapidly as he saw the other pirates slinking from the woodwork of the town, more than 50 he suspected. His jaw clenched but otherwise, his body relaxed. He maintained a guarded, half-smile while the Tankered pirates introduced themselves. Then their captain stepped forward.

A squat man, Abram Johann glittered like a noble with his many rings and gold teeth and vivid purple coat. He smiled at them, offered them free drinks. On an island they supposedly owned. Something tells me they are the source of the locals' fear.... the thought crossed Jack's mind as his face fell into a glower. This man reminded him all too much of his previous captain; he detested the Tankered captain instantly.

Jack came up behind Runali. "Captain, if you tend to drink with these men I'd suggest being weary of what's in the cup," he muttered darkly. "In other words, be cautious. I don't trust them."
 

Eastwood

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Sara, at the sight of the portly short man who called himself a captain, raised her eyebrows in quiet surprise. So this is what a pirate-ran town looked like. She had to admit that she was rather disappointed. She was expecting a lot more open looting and general lawless-ness, not this depressing perpetually gray landscape. Sara decided that, out of all the ports they ever stopped at, she disliked this one the most. At the offer of free drinks, Sara was skeptical and somewhat suspicious, but willing to give it a chance. Once the Tankered Pirates were out of earshot, she said.

"What are the odds that maybe, just maybe, this isn't a trap?"
 

Capt. Blu

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Location - Finnigan Island - Tavern

Runali’s eye practically lit up when Kadi spoke and she whirled on her toes with a grin. “I know, right! Even to locals!” She laughed and cleared her throat, trying to play it cool once more. The reminder of Yakone, from Luro no less, made Runali pause in her excitement. Her gaze cut to the side for a brief moment before she sighed and smiled at Luro. “No worries! I also was unconscious most of the time and couldn’t defend myself. I’m perfectly capable now.” Jack’s comment made her laugh a little. “Yeah, I’ll pick my poison carefully. And if it is, a trap,” Runali raised a brow at Sara and smirked. “Surely you’d be ready for the fight, yeah?” She jutted her thumb behind her towards the tavern. “Anywho, yeah free drinks and a moment to…”

“...Be festive? Real festive I guess.”

The crew had set their extra items on Lady Luck and took the stroll to the the tavern. The tavern itself didn’t have all fifty plus Tankered Pirates in it, that would be absurd. However, that didn’t mean they didn’t linger outside while a good chunk remained inside. There was a band playing. Their words slurred but somehow the music still seemed pretty decent- for a pirate shanty at least. Drinks were shoved in the Stardusks’ direction the moment they walked in, and if they turned it down another different drink would take its place in offering. If they weren’t offering drinks, they were offering friendly conversations or even a dance.

Runali took one, tasted it, and then raised it in thanks so the pirates would stop trying to offer. “No fights unless they start it.” She told her crew before making her way to a bar stool next to Johann. “So… what’s the festivities for?”

“Life. Celebratin’ the little things. Can’t be too sure when you’ll croak, y’know?” Johann downed his rum and slid it to one side, only for another to replace it. “Why? You the type that need somethin’ to celebrate? I mean, fourth gen crew and all, don’tcha just snap yer fingers and bam, ya won? That’s worth celebrations.” He bellowed at his own joke.

Runali only hummed and sipped her rum. “Something like that.” If that was the expectation of a fourth gen pirate, surely they were slacking a bit behind. She wondered if the three above them could just make problems ‘disappear’ that easy. They probably could- well Cutthroats and Novas at least. Before her thoughts could pull her too far away into planning, Johann slamming his empty bottle down made her look up.

“Ya look like Davy himself struck you down! Come now, cheers to a good time!”

“Hah, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth.” She murmured.

“What was that?”

“Oh, uh, nothing.”

Johann raised a brow and frowned a little, but it was hidden by him drinking. “Tell me Lev. What’re you planning on doin’ with that power, huh? Stories spread y’know. All that talk of Stardusks’ rise to fame. And now you’re in the big leagues? Tch... sounds too good to be true really.”

There was a subtle tone to his statements that Runali couldn’t quite read. But, she knew she wasn’t too fond of it. “And… what exactly are you implying Johann?” Her brow furrowed and she set the drink down to face the man.

“Ahaha, don’t mind me rambling away like the drunk I am.” The Tankered Captain laughed and used his hook to adjust his hat again.

“Drunks usually are much quicker to tell the truth.” Runali’s arms crossed and she waited for his answer.

A brief smirk crossed his features but it was replaced with a mocking yawn. “All’m saying is, I think in a real fight- a real competition even, you all wouldn’t stand a chance.” It was almost as if it was rehearsed or planned out, but the moment Abram Johann sat his drink down and slowly stood off the stool, a hush went over the tavern. The music stopped. The chattering ceased. And all eyes went to the Tankered Captain standing in front of Runali. “I mean, what battles have you faced that were really your own?” Johann’s voice was still playful though dangerously close to the edge of taunting. “Wars have armies. As do royals. But! I could be wrong. You can prove it to me, even! How about a friendly competition yeah?” He stepped onto a chair and then to a table so the whole tavern could see him. “A challenge from Tankered to Stardusk! A davyback fight!”

The offer was posed and the pirates and their captain all stared at Runali with looks of anticipation. Runali’s expression however was… uninterested. “Hm…” She turned back to face the bar and grab her drink. She took one sip and then over her shoulder she called out, “Absolutely not.”

This caught all of them by surprise. “Wh-?! Whaddya mean absolutely not?” Abram’s shock caused him to shift too far onto the edge of the table and his crew scrambled to keep it from teetering and disturbing his speech. “You can’t just say no to a davyback fight?!”

“Just did.” Typically, in the face of adventure or danger, Runali was one of the first to jump at opportunity. It was hard to read anything other than disinterest from her while she spoke.

Abram frowned and puffed up a bit before stepping off the table. The chair had long since moved so his crew scrambled again to catch him, effectively becoming step stools. “What are ya? Scared?”

“Far from it actually.” There was a faint smirk that crossed her face with how quickly Abram closed his mouth at the statement. Runali stood, leaving her drink on the bar and met Abram half way. “I’d bet... my eyesight that I could take you down in a fight. It’s not worth the effort and it’s more than unfair for you.”

He didn’t like the threat. It was evident on his face. His hook hand twitched a bit but instead of acting on impulse, he raised his opposite hand and one of his crew placed a lit cigar in it. He smoked, paused, and then barked out in laughter. “Bahaha! No, no! You misunderstand me Captain Lev! Not a fight. Well, not quite a fight you’re thinking of. A davyback fight. It’s a group of games. Four games to be exact. Five if necessary.”

“A… game?” Runali looked a little more interested now. They were always wrapped up in fights. Not once had anyone offered them a game. This was new. This was...different.

“Mhm. Just a friendly competition between pirates. Nothing lethal. Nothing soul binding.” He gave a hearty chuckle and rolled the cigar between his fingers. He watched Runali’s expression go from mild interest to curiosity. “Aye. Rules are simple. Winning team gets to pick who gets to take the challenge and-”

“The catch.” Before Abram could question, Runali flicked his hat upward. “You’re a pirate looking for what most want. Money, fame, blah blah blah. What’s the catch?”

“Hm… Well the entirety of it is that if a person loses, then the opposing captain can pick a crew member to keep from the other side. But if the opposing side wins the next challenge they can take their pirate back or pick someone else. Winner takes the whole crew and pirate flag. Heh, so… you’re betting your entire crew on these games. Which shouldn’t be a big deal for hot shots like you all, right?”

“So you’re telling me, we play these games and if you lose I get to take your crew? Hm. Stakes are pretty high don’t you think?”

“Well that’s the fun of it. The motivation if you will.” Abram gave a toothy, mischievous grin, waiting for the answer. “So? Challenge accepted?” He held out his jeweled hand.

Runali glanced back at her crew and then at Abram. Her face was contemplative for a moment as if debating the options. “What are the games?”

Abram’s outstretched hand didn’t move. “Oh you know, just a spar, quick card game, target practice, and a climbing match. Nothing fancy.”

It didn’t sound too bad, nor did it sound like something that her crew couldn’t handle. This man didn’t look very trustworthy, so she expected it to be a trap nonetheless. If things went south, they could easily escape. She had looked over the pirates that surrounded them but none of them were all that special and more or less could easily be knocked out with one hit. The captain however seemed to be hiding something, and Runali guessed she’d probably figure it out the longer they stayed. Runali looked at the man in front of her, down at his hand, and then proceeded to shake it. “Challenge accepted.”

The moment the words left her mouth, the Tankered Pirates let out an uproarious cheer and began filing out of the tavern in excitement. One passed Runali and handed her a slip of paper, directions to where the pirates were running off to. “Perfect! Find us there within the hour. Let’s have some fun.” Abram walked off with a wide grin, nodding his head towards the rest of the crew.

“Oh, Johann?” Runali waited until he stopped. When he turned to face her she gave an innocent smile. “Should probably keep a more careful eye on your belongings.” One of his rings rolled through her fingers and her smile was a little more devious. “Within the hour, got it.” She watched his face go from surprise to slight frustration until she tossed his ring back. He let out a final ‘huff’ before walking out.

“Alright. Who’s ready to play some games?” She stepped back to let a waitress hurry past and clean up. “It’ll be a nice change of pace! I mean, besides the sparring, it’s not even a fight. Besides, I’ve walked into worse traps.”
 

Mizos

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“It’s more than likely a trap…at least we’re willingly walking into this one.”
Zilia held the note towards Sara and went to follow the others.
Admittedly she wasn’t pleased at the idea of staying here but she couldn’t deny wanting to walk on land for a just a bit longer, a part of her just wished it wasn’t with overly friendly pirates and a town that had something against them.
After putting the stuff away and entering the tavern making a mental note that their friends were waiting outside she took a seat at a table near the crew, turning down drink but unable to turn down the friendly conversation. She ended up having to talk to multiple people who didn’t take into consideration that she had to write a response to each of them before asking more questions.

She wasn’t sure what to call the music but having something in the background was nice at the very least, though she couldn’t help being a bit on edge about all of this. Somehow in some way Stardusk always found a way to get into trouble even when things were calm. It made her nervous in moments like this when everything seemed okay. She took another quick look around and noticing that no one had pulled a knife on them yet, her shoulders relaxed slightly and letting her breath out allowed herself to relax a little. She keep her guard up and her eyes open, her eyes moved to Luro making sure that he was behaving and keeping his eyes open too, he seemed bothered just moments ago after all.


The moment a drink was put in his hand Luro clashed his mug against the other pirates and downed it before quickly asking for another. A laugh escaping from him as he accepted the invitation and started to dance to the music, spinning with a few of the wenches and a few of the men, refilling his cup whenever it emptied, hands clapping in the air, drink on the floor and music in his ears, this was his second home. He sung terribly along with the music feet tapping against the floor finishing with a spin before holding his mug up for another drink.
When he lowered his gaze he noticed Z just had her head in her hands trembling silently in anger; for some odd reason he felt he was somehow responsible.

When Abram stood and the tavern went silent Luro was still dancing and singing to the music until Abram spoke again Luro realizing the festivities had stopped. He arched a brow lowering his mug and looking over at the man, reaching over he took another mug from one of the pirates since it seemed he wasn’t going to get anymore drinks now. Luro downed the drinks in his hands and picked up a nearby bottle.
“It’s time to get started already?” Luro said breaking the bottle on a nearby table. “Was kinda hoping we’d at least make it to the next song.”
Luro started reaching towards his rifle since the Captain himself had just challenged them to a fight, which per the Captain’s order they started. The smile on his face faded however when Runali declined Luro coming to an abrupt stop and turning to her.
He pouted a little before tossing the bottle to the side seeing they weren’t about to brawl; he supposed the Captain wasn’t interested in fighting.
Zilia had stood up herself the moment the tavern had gone silent but her gaze fell on the Captain waiting for her movements, and admittedly her brows arched seeing her decline a fight.

Luro listened to the Abram’s explanation folding his hands behind his head at the kind of thing he was proposing, his eyes moved to the people around them as he explained the rules and the cost of the games.
He moved between the faces of the people his eyes narrowing a little.
“I mean…is there anyone we can take that’s not…these guys,” Luro said pointing at the Tankered pirates.
Zilia meanwhile squeezed the bridge of her nose, she knew Runali’s ‘interested’ face by now, they were already stuck this was happening.
“…I’m not good at a majority of those games…wonder if there’s a fill in option?” Zilia thought glancing at her crewmates.

Looking over at Luro he started grinning the moment he heard ‘target practice’ on the list, she shook her head knowing his ‘interested’ face as well, that was already one vote in their favor.
The moment the Captain accepted Luro pumped his fist in the air cheering with the others.
Watching the people leave Luro grinned and gave his rifle a small pat.
“This is going to be great…it’s been too long since I had a proper marksmanship game,” Luro said a bit of laughter escaping from him. “That and I can’t exactly let that insult stand, even if it’s a trap.”
Luro glanced toward the door his eyes narrowing a bit as his grin formed into a smile.
“Battles that were really our own...I almost shot him for that one alone. If their fates are in our hands then they can’t complain about what might happen afterwards.”

Zilia pat Luro and pointed at him, he blinked a few times before laughing and rubbing the back of his head.
“Ah sorry Z thanks for reminding me,” Luro said before coughing into his hand. “I mean let’s win this competition fairly and justly then the Captain should let me kill Abram.”
Zilia hit him again and Luro spoke again.
“I mean let’s win and decide their fates together….such as killing most of them including the Captain.”
Another hit which caused Luro to throw his hands up.
“Z I don’t know what you want from me here, someone has to die at the end of this they insulted everyone.”
“I’m not keen on being treated like a piece of coin either or pleased at their insult but we’re better than that. Let’s just beat them and go from there. Let’s approach this cautiously as we don’t know what they might be planning.”
“It is funny you added me into that but I’m just presenting it as an option Z. This is a discussion after all. I’m just saying we should work hard, win this game then gather them all, find out which ones among them are really close, make them dig their own graves, then have their loved ones put a bullet in the back of the head and repeat this process in a steady line until they don’t exist anymore…if that’s what the Captain wants I’ll follow whatever she wants to do. I’m just putting it out there. I also have a few ideas with sharks; we could make it a group effort I already got ideas. Oh but we can leave one alive so he can tell his friends what happened, we can deal if they come at us again.”
Zilia blinked a few times as Luro smiled at her, he seemed the same but she could see he was barely holding in his bloodlust when she stared into his eyes. She quickly scribbled something down holding the note up.
“Loathe as I am to admit it I agree with Luro, not the killing part but the other one. I don’t like someone talking bad about all Stardusk have done. Treating what we’ve managed to survive as baseless rumors. I wouldn’t have accepted the game myself as I feel little need to prove myself to a man like that, but since we’re in it already, we may as well show them they’re wrong…just don’t pick me for any of the sparring things and please don’t lose.”

“Nothing lethal or soul binding. I’m fine playing nice for most of the games long as they do but I really want a reason to get into this Captain. I’m not about to work for a guy like that, I don’t want to lose anyone else either. I clean the ship in the evening because Masu sweats from her workouts, what do I do if Alicia isn’t there to counteract Jack’s manliness, and speaking of Jack what do I do with my mornings if I can’t search for his hidden snacks, and without Kadi we’d end up stranded and I couldn’t explain in explicit detail his relationship with Belen to random people on the street…I’m tired of being stranded. Without Z I can only let myself get shot six times instead of seven, and we need you as well Captain. Who am I going to stare at the ocean with? My entire day would change if one of you went missing.”
“…there have got to be other reasons you want us to stay? Also how do you do that Kadi thing daily when we’re on the sea?!” Zilia narrowed her eyes at Luro and he offered a nod to her question.
“Well yeah but you guys already know those reasons no sense mentioning them, and I write letters to people explaining it. Actually I should write Oz when I get the chance I do need some additional details for part four.”
“Apologize to Kadi, I don’t know the reasons and don’t get shot at all!”
“…have you not been paying attention Z and we're friends Kadi talks about me all the time too,” Luro questioned tilting his head slightly. “Also Z getting shot is part of being a pirate.”
“…I almost hope we lose you. Just…just in this moment.”
 
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Mizos

*Insert quip here*
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
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Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
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Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Historical, Fantasy, adventure, romance, anime, action, etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.


Time: A little bit ago

Shortly after Luro’s return he ended up moving about the ship messing with random parts of Lady. This was a normal occurrence as he always checked the ship but recently he’d been working longer in some areas than others, he made an effort to do it when no one was around, especially when it came to the main deck, the sound of his work spreading throughout the ship, sometimes pausing when someone got close only to continue once their footsteps left the area. This continued for a few days until Luro suddenly returned back to his normal routine, walking the ship as he normally did, but there was a grin on his face as he did some of his checks before he’d make his way below deck.
One morning Luro made his way to the main deck and throwing the door open quickly ran over to the Captain, grabbing her by her shoulders laughter escaped from him before he held a finger up to her.
“Captain! I finished! Let me borrow you after lunch! I have to show you something!”

When Luro returned, Captain showed her relief with a pat on his arm and a smile, but left it at that. She eased Jack’s mind and let the two of them return to taking night watches again, or at least most of them. There were a few times she traded them with Jack or Luro, but she decided to spare them why. Over the first few days, things were relatively normal. Routines were set back in place and Runali carried on her own lazy routine of resting on the main deck until there was something more interesting to do while they sailed. It wasn’t hard to notice the sudden shift when Luro wandered off to work on things more so than others, but it seemed like he didn’t want people to get in the way so she left him be. And before she knew it, things were fine again. It did make her wonder, and she debated if she’d ask the shipwright, but Luro’s sudden excitement when he burst onto the main deck caught her by surprise. “You… finished? Wh-” Runali shook her head and waved his arm off her to get him to calm down slightly. “Alright, alright, alright. After lunch. Got it.” Before he could start again she added. “Is it a surprise or do I at least get a hint of what’s got you so excited?”

A grin formed on Luro’s face as he took a step away from the Captain and moving his hands to his hips he gave a shake of his head. He wanted this to absolutely be a surprise, that and if the Captain hadn’t noticed the change then that made it all the better.
“Nope just wait till after lunch it’ll be great. I guarantee it.”
With that Luro turned and made his way back below deck, he took his notebook out and started scribbling in it, looking back in the Captain’s direction before chuckling a bit and immediately focusing back on his book.

Shortly after lunch Luro called the Captain over to him and immediately made his way to the main deck jogging but trying not to run ahead. Heading over towards the cannons and turning towards the Captain once he arrived. Clearing his throat he puffed his chest out before turning and motioning towards the cannons with both hands as if he was unveiling a recently built ship or a master work of art, waving his hands to try and give his reveal a bit of extra flare.
“It is done Captain!” Luro said with a grin. “Take a look!”
The cannons looked pretty much the same save for a small red sphere resting on the side of them, easy to miss since they were relatively small.

The fact that she had to wait made her hyperfocus on what the surprise could have been. It was a distraction to say the least. All through lunch she went over near every part of the ship he had been in but couldn’t think of any changes she had seen. He worked on a lot of things, so she considered smaller spaces or even someone else’s room. The anticipation of it made her finish lunch faster. When he called her over, she was practically a few steps behind with a more curious look. Her eye wandered around him for a moment, only to focus on the cannons when he flaunted them off. Her brow raised. “Um,” Maybe she didn’t see what had him so excited, so she took a few steps closer. Runali didn’t want to sound disappointed after how happy Luro was earlier, but even after her closer inspection, she couldn’t find anything. “They are… cleaner?” Standing back to face Luro, Runali leaned against the cannon. “Alright I’ll bite. What’s the difference?”

Luro slowly lowered his arms seeing the Captain wasn’t matching his excitement, his brows arching at her response. Though taking a moment to think about it giving her a hint might have been a good idea as he was just showing the Captain a cannon. Luro kneeling down opened the end of the cannon messed with something inside, standing up he gave the Captain a pat so she’d get off it and walked to the side after closing it.
“Hmmm maybe I should have just showed you,” Luro said. “I added some stuff to the Cannons, mainly this.”
Luro pressed the small red sphere on the side, the moment he did a glow came from it and there was a mechanical sound inside the cannon before it fired though nothing was inside it. A large ball of flame shot out of the cannon and flying far into the distance hit the water, steam flowing upwards form heat before Luro pat the cannon.
“I added my L.A.D. to some of the cannons, smaller versions anyway,” Luro said. “By doing so I’ve expanded on our offensive capabilities. The cannons up top shoot out fire, while the ones below can shoot out ice. They can fire normally of course but if you press this little sphere on the side they’ll adjust the mechanisms inside and they’ll shoot out…well things like that. Figured that’d help give us an edge. If we were to hit a ship with that, especially their mast it’d bring a pretty quick end to the fight. At least they’d be distracted by the fire consuming their ship.”
Luro grinned tapping the sphere.

“The fire ones are easy to manage too, they’ll let off this glow when they’re full and will go dark when empty kind like a lantern. By firing the cannon normally it’ll ‘refill’ the generator, after that if you or Jack use your armament on the sphere it’ll allow the sphere to shoot fire out again.”
Luro looked over at the sphere with a smile motioning to the cannon.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to refill the ice ones without a quick replace of a spare generator and with a little bit more time and I’ll make it so we can shoot out other stuff too. I’m focusing on the elements at the moment though.”

She moved off to the side when he told her too and stood slightly behind Luro. “Oh, that’s new.” She commented when she finally noticed the red sphere. The moment he mentioned adding the L.A.D to the cannons, her eye went wide. The excitement grew as he explained what they could do, only for her to repeatedly tap on his arm. A familiar tick she shared with her mother. “That’s so cool! Is that why you were so secretive these few days?” She didn’t really give him a chance to answer because she was going towards the cannons again. Normally, she wasn’t the one to man them, seeing as she had a crew who was more than capable of it, but now she wanted to. “Luro! Can I test it?”
Her one eye lit up with obvious intrigue, much different from before. “C’mon, you can’t show me and not let me try!”

A sheepish grin found its way onto Luro’s face at the Captain’s mention of the last few days but he offered a nod to her before patting the cannon. It took a bit of work to modify the cannons and add the L.A.D. but the end result was absolutely worth the effort, and the response from the Captain was just the one he was looking for. He couldn’t help but laugh a little happy to see the Captain was excited, taking a small step to the side he nodded and motioned to the cannon.
“Sure we can test it out,” Luro said. “I put them on all the cannons though the one over there is empty. Besides I’m not so mean to show you something new and not let ya mess with it. That’s like promising a first round and only covering the fifth, its mean.”

Luro motioned to the sphere and summarized how it worked again before tapping it.
“So long as it’s full all you have do is press this button when the cannon is empty and it’ll handle the rest. If you do it while the cannon is loaded it’ll still fire but it’ll take longer as the mechanism will take longer to activate.”
Luro took a step back and motioned to it to let the Captain mess with the cannon.

She started to question his comparison, not completely sure what it meant, but decided to opt for firing. She leaned over the cannon, looking around to see if there was anything but seawater around. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on perspective, she’d be firing at nothing. “So, just press,” Her fingers went over the red sphere on the cannon and she pressed it. “Here.” Sure enough, like before it started to glow. Curious, she put her hand close to the cannon to see if it ran hot, though before she touched it, she figured it was safer to use her armament. Feeling it was warm rather than burning hot made her hum, and then her attention was on the large ball of flame that came next. She could picture it hitting an enemy ship, first on the side, where waves would stop most of the fire damage, and then the main mast. Luro was right, that would do the trick no doubt.

“This is cooler than the regular cannons!” Runali laughed as the light dimmed and faded after the flame was fired. “But of course we have to have cooler cannons. Lady’s gotta be tough as us when we get to that number one spot.” She sat on the edge of the ship and looked up at him. “I’d ask how you did it, but I can probably guess that I wouldn’t understand half of it.” She laughed. “The ice ones below, they work too yeah? No chance of them,” She mimicked an explosion with her hands. “Or, freezing the ship over for that matter?” She recalled the first time she experienced the icy weapon and shivered, remembering nearly falling and sliding into the mast. “And other elements sound wildly impossible, but!” She laughed. “You’ve done a pretty good job at making the impossible, possible this far. I don’t have any doubts… And we saw a ship fly before so I’m sure you can make it work.”

Luro watched the Captain give the cannons a try his eyes following the ball of fire as it flew through the air towards an invisible target. He knew what his own shots could do to a ship if he got a good one off, amplifying that power would help them in fights to come. He had wanted these kinds of defenses on the Coral and he wanted to do what he could to ensure they didn’t lose another ship. If another sea monster reared its head he’d make sure it went down properly this time, he had to improve what he could to ensure they’d make it back.
He was pulled from his own thoughts as the Captain spoke and offered a grin at her excitement.
“Aye we’re fourth generation now; I felt a few improvements would help. After all that happened I wanted to add a few things as well. This is about what I can do, ensure that we have a way home and explosive power,” Luro said with a small nod.
When the Captain brought up and explanation Luro rubbed the back of his head.
“I’d love to explain it but no one seems to understand me for some weird reason,” Luro said. “Probably best not to attempt it again.”

When the ice cannons got brought up, Luro waved his hand in front of his face at the very idea that they wouldn’t function.
“Haha I made sure those ones worked especially, I don’t want to turn the ship into Yakone again and that’s our job as Stardusk Captain. Making the impossible possible, I’m just making sure to do my part in it as well,” Luro said with a toothy grin. “You give me another few months and I’ll have Lady in the air as well. I’m already building the generator for it. I just wanted to get this setup first.”
Luro pat the cannons for a moment a smile resting on his face seeing his finished work.
“Oh right currently only you and Jack can refill these without replacing the generator. I’d better at least teach you that.”
Luro pointed to the sphere and gave brief explanation that ended in focusing Armament into the sphere and not the cannon, the generator would handle the rest.
“You only really need to do it when the glow fades as I mentioned before. If you guys aren’t nearby I’ll have spare generators nearby and it’s as easy as just taking this out and popping another in. I can’t make a bunch of these without using Brass Cape materials so…they’re finite and there’s more ice ones since those are harder to refill. The fire ones are easy to get ready though and unless we’re bad at aiming we should be able to do enough damage since every cannon here has one, give me time to harness the wind and storms and that’ll be next.”
Luro grinned a bit as he already had ideas how to do so.
“Oh there is one more thing I did need from you Captain….well aside from telling everyone we have these now. Tonight meet me in the training room...alone. There’s something I got to show you.”

Runali was tempted to tease him about not making sense to most, but she laughed instead and left it alone. He’d figure it out one day. She was also going to make a face at the mention of Yakone, but the very idea of having her own airship pulled her attention. Being on the Novas ship, flying through the air was incredible. The fact that they were the only ones with a ship that could fly smoothly was more of a challenge. “Novas have a flying ship… Cutthroats have a paradise thing going on… From what I heard the Pirate Lord’s got an army that could rival the Navy’s…” She was mumbling to herself, ticking off some invisible checklist of things. It looked like she was planning something, but whatever it was got pushed to the side when Luro explained how she’d be able to use her Armament for the cannon. Runali gave an affirmative nod, messing with her haki, before letting it disappear completely. “Well, should I ever man the cannons- or need to at least, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Can’t wait to tell the others about it.”

Runali hopped to her feet, only to stop and give Luro a more curious look. “Training room…?” She echoed. “Hrmm, no cannons in there so that checks that off the list.” She was more curious about how he asked though. “Sure, I can meet you in the training room… Alone. Although without the odd emphasis of that I would have more than likely gone by myself anyway.” She turned away, glancing over her shoulder. “Tonight it is… I guess?”

Luro brought a hand to his chin wondering if he should add cannons to the training room, it might be good training on dealing with them, he made a small note to himself to consider additional obstructions before raising his attention back to the Captain.
“Yep see you tonight Captain,” Luro said waving to her.
Luro left the main deck his thoughts going back to the Captain’s mentioning of the other gen pirates. A day would come when they’d go up against the Nova pirates, then the Cutthroats and eventually the Captain would stand at the top of the chain as Pirate Lord, that was one of the things he was working towards. He chuckled a bit at the idea of going up against the Nova’s, they were really strong and he couldn’t help feeling a little excited eventually going against Caleb, he intended on showing that the Lady Luck was the best ship on the seas.
Though these thoughts came to him, it also made him wonder what else he wanted for the future.
He shook his head deciding not to let his thoughts wander there for the time being, he was barely handling the present, he’d deal with that soon enough.

Luro ended up taking night watch first wanting to get everything set up as quick as possible and he found it was easier to walk the ship that way. He realized it was strange to wander in front of doors for hours on end at night if he wasn’t on watch, even if it was to find proper measurements.
In the training room a few sounds echoed from within, no particular voices or anything of that sort but more the sound of something hitting against the wood inside repeatedly. Shortly afterwards the sound came to an abrupt stop and door to the training room opened. Zilia walked out wiping her forehead with a cloth and reattaching her hood, she breathed a bit heavily before rubbing her wrist. Luro was nowhere in sight as the doctor made an effort to return to her room as fast as possible.

Any time she anticipated things, time seemed to move so much slower and this was no different. Runali spent most of the day playing with CP and getting the bird to stealthily nab things from the crew, only to return them later. She’d quickly shoo away their complaints with the excuse of training. When night fell, she was rocking back and forth in her hammock, watching her bird get comfortable and perched for bed. “S’pose he’s lucky I’m not tired.” She mumbled to no one in particular before getting up and heading out her door. Making her way to the training room, she could have sworn she heard a noise, but decided to leave it be when it stopped. Of course, if it wasn’t one thing it was another.

“I feel like I should question, but you look like you’re in a hurry.” Runali’s hands went behind her back when she spotted Zil walking towards her. She offered a smile and tilted her head a bit when she spotted her breathing heavy. “Then again, late night training isn’t the oddest thing you’ve done.”

Zilia froze up when Runali spoke, a red tint filling her cheeks as she averted her gaze from her witness. She crossed her arms brows furrowing slightly at being caught, a silent sigh escaped from her however and looking at the Captain she just brought a finger to her lips before continuing on her way, though she bumped into Luro on the way out. Luro smiled at her stepping to the side to let her through before walking up to the Captain.
“Haha Z’s so embarrassed,” Luro said walking up to the door. “Can’t wait to bring that up later. Anyway thanks for coming Captain, let’s head inside.”

Opening the door he entered making a motion with his hand for the Captain to follow before making his way into the large room. There was little sign anyone had been there though Zilia had just left. Moving towards the far edge of the room he pushed on the wall causing it to open, the shipwright walking into a hidden room before walking back out moments later the wall closing behind him. He had a pair of black gloves in his hand and with a smile he tossed one of the gloves to the Captain before slipping the other one on his right hand.
“I figured it’d be easier to show you than explain. So if you could do me favor could you summon your armament on the hand with that glove and let it run up your arm, preferably past your elbow, disable your armament then ‘grab’ something.”
Luro held up his own gloved hand.
“Make sure your armament is no longer active then pretend like your picking up something invisible, like a piece of bread or something.”

“Fair enough.” Captain mimicked Zilia and put a finger to her lips before the doctor hurried off. She debated asking later, but Luro was making his way to the training room so she followed. “No need to thank me. If I didn’t, I’d see you on the ship still. Not like I can really say no.” She joked and watched him move around. Seeing the hidden room, Runali idly mumbled. “Huh, maybe I should train here more often.” She caught the glove and examined it before placing it on her left hand.
“Ah great, because my next question would have been ‘what’s this for’.” She started to follow his instructions, only to pause for a moment. “That’s the oddest and maybe some of the most specific instructions I’ve ever gotten. But, sure I guess.” She began to do as she was told, letting the armament go all the way to her shoulder.
When the armament disappeared, she pretended to grab something. “Why bread? Is that apart of this, or was that just the first thing that came to mind?”

Luro brought a hand to his chin noting there was a few times he had wished he considered that he’d have to see the person on the ship afterwards. Going off one of his more recent escapades it stood out a bit more but he decided to deal with that if it came up, which so long as Jack didn’t open the second drawer form the right it never would. Luro put that issue aside watching as the armament flowed up the Captains’ arm, smiling a bit at the mention of instructions, he was kind of happy he could actually give specific instructions this time.
“It wasn’t the first thing that came to mind but your mom might get mad at me if I said that one out loud to you,” Luro said with a small nod.

He decided to leave the matter at that as the moment the Captain followed the instructions a red glow came from inside the glove, a moment later fire exploded from the glove, a ball of flame hovering above the palm of her hand before the fire trailed up her arm to her shoulder, continuously circling around it, the flames flaring but never touching her skin. It was fire but it was warm, most of the heat being diverted elsewhere, the glove making it so she couldn’t feel the flames focused around her hand.
A laugh escaped from Luro and closing his left hand into a fist grinned as the fire continued to rotate around Runali’s arm.
“I was right! It does shift! I knew it’d work!” Luro said pumping his fist into the air.
Luro smiled and holding his right hand out pretended to grab something causing fire to burst out of the glove though unlike Runali’s the flame focused above the glove.
“Hahaha that went way better than I expected,” Luro said. “I’m glad the worst case scenario didn’t happen.”
Luro grinned and giving his hand a small shake caused the flame to go out.
“How do you like it Captain, borrowing fire? Just uh…don’t throw it at me that’d be appreciated.”

“What do-” The glow caught her attention but the moment her hand caught on fire she stumbled back a step. “Lu-! ..It…” She moved her fingers and watched the fire go up her arm. “It… doesn't hurt?” For a moment, she stared mesmerized by it, moving her arm around and testing to see if it’d stay. “Whoa…” Unlike when she saw the cannons, her excitement was much more contained as if one slight movement would mess up the process. “This is really cool Luro.” In the moment, almost as quick as she could snap, Runali frowned at him. “You didn’t think it’d work?!” Her voice was hushed, not wanting to disturb the entire ship, and for the most part there wasn’t any anger behind her disbelief. Even when she shook her flaming hand at him. Instead, she sighed and rolled her eyes, using her free hand to pull her eyepatch around her neck. “You’re lucky I like you Luro or I’d hit you with this.”

“Wait… I can throw fire at people with these?” Runali mimicked Luro to get rid of the fire and inspected the glove a little more. “That’s so much cooler than just hitting people with it… Well,” Runali laughed. “If my aim was a little better. Still, nice to have the option.” Once again, she was staring at the fire going up her arm before letting it disappear. “Does the other glove do the same thing?”

Luro grinned as he watched the Captain’s expression, he was admittedly surprised when he got it working himself, he couldn’t help but laugh a little as she slowly realized it wasn’t hurting her. If it had this kind of effect on the Captain he couldn’t wait to eventually show this to the others, though before he could let the image play in his mind the Captain seemed to pick up on his earlier comment, he leaned away holding up his hand as she shook the flaming glove at him.
“No no I got the glove to work I just didn’t know the full effect Armament would have on it that’s all,” Luro said waving his hands. “The worst case was it’d explode worst case.”

Once the Captain seemed to calm down he offered a grin and nod at throwing the fire, he personally like the idea of hitting people with it but it was a nice extra function.
“Yep though mainly you and Jack can, it’s a flamethrower to anyone else. At least until I make more modifications,” Luro said staring at the glove. “Now that I know the flames can be manipulated in that fashion it’ll make it easier.”
He returned his attention to the Captain as she brought up the other glove and he gave a small shake of his head.
“It requires Haki,” Luro said. “In order to manipulate the elements in that fashion it requires that. Both of them have the same generator implanted but this one can only summon the flame. It’s a limitation I can’t pass myself since I can’t use Haki in any form.”
Luro smiled a little bit.
“That’s why I’m glad I have you guys, I’d still be stuck without your and Jack’s help, Z helped me too. Thanks to you guys I was able to experiment with Haki a bit more, I know Armament can alter the natural state of an object, bullets are especially effective but I owe you guys for this realization, it’s not something I could have done on my own.”
Luro stared at the glove summoning the flame to it as well.
“Alicia is able to manipulate the wind so I believe I could take extra steps if I spoke to her…but I’ll have to earn a bit more of her trust before I go talking to her. Until then I’ll keep messing with it. At the very least I can control it to a degree…not good enough to use it freely.”
Luro smiled a little before looking back at the Captain.
“Z, Kadi, Masu and myself aren’t able to use Armament, least as far as I can tell,” Luro said. “It’s not something we can learn in a day either. So I wanted to figure out a way to help us out. We can’t just leave the heavy lifting to you, Jack and Alicia you know. You guys can use Haki really well, if things get bad I can’t just sit there and let you work harder because I can’t pierce Armament.”
Luro closed his hand into a fist his eyes narrowing a bit.
“I can summon flames…and thanks to Ray I know how to summon ice. Bit by bit I’m going to make it so we can support each other all the better…I mean I’m not sure if they’ll even want these things…but it's only going to get harder from here so I have to try. Each time we survive a close call I think back to how we could have gotten through it better, what could have helped?”
Luro blinked realizing how long he had been talking and looked back at the Captain.
“Ah sorry Captain…I kind of went everywhere with that. Uh no this glove can’t do that yet. I would need you or Jack to use your Armament first. If I put that glove on now it would work though.”

Runali watched Luro explain himself, quietly admiring how thoughtful he was being. It was one thing to put so much work into the ship, but every step of the way he reminded himself and others that he couldn’t do it without the crew. Even if he didn’t realize it, he put the crew on such an amusingly high pedestal and never included himself. He was almost too humble. When Luro realized he had gone off on a tangent, Runali smiled in earnest. “You’ve studied Haki more in depth than any Haki user I know and in the process I’ve even learned more about what it can do thanks to you. You’re always thinking forward, ready to tackle the next challenge so the crew’s ready for the next fight.” She fiddled with the glove on her hand. “The crew might end up being the toughest pirates out there, but,” Runali took the glove off and handed it to Luro. “Without you we’d probably be at a much, much slower pace. It’s one thing to be mean and scary, it’s another to be able to adapt and be as… tactical as you are.”

There was a moment where she realized something, but Runali mentally pushed it aside and gave a small shrug and pointed to the gloves he had. “Think that can pierce through Armament?” With a laugh she rolled up her sleeves and let her own armament go up one of her arms. “Or is that something you haven’t tested yet?” Looking around the room, Runali added, “Playing with fire here may not be the best move though…”

Luro stared at the glove his thoughts moving to what he could do to increase its effectiveness only to raise his head as he noticed the Captain speaking. He blinked a few times not sure when he really helped but Z was the one that knew more about Haki, he’d be stuck if she hadn’t explained it to him, though he smiled glad he was able to help the Captain with what he knew.
He wasn’t sure how much he believed about helping their pace but he appreciated the compliment, he knew Kadi was pretty good at finding new things too, he could think of a few times he had helped keep everything together but he put that aside deciding to push those thoughts aside for the moment.

At the Captain’s comment on testing Luro smiled and flexed his hand causing the flames to reappear though he remembered that he hadn’t actually had a chance to test it against Armament. His eyes twitched a bit remembering what happened at the fortress, it was probably better not to take the risk and he shook the flame off before he turned and started looking around the room. His eyes landed on something and he made his way to the corner of the room grabbing a ball at the corner of the floor.
“Let’s head to the main deck and try this out,” Luro said. “Since your armament won’t fade off whatever you put it on immediately I can test it if use this ball, we’ll just throw it over the side.”
Luro tossed the ball into the air and smiled as he caught it.
“That and if it did work I’d have to somehow explain how I ‘accidentally’ caught you on fire,” Luro said. “I mean I’ve practiced it a few times but I’d still rather not have to say it.”
Motioned to the door as he tossed the ball to the Captain.

“And you were so sure it’d work before.” Runali teased, catching the ball. This time, she was leading the way out and up to the main deck. She stood off to the side, just to steer clear of the main mast and tossed the ball between her hands. “And practiced? Really? I’m almost positive I could handle a fiery punch.” She thought about it. “Fiery clothes… not so much. And jumping in the ocean in the dark sounds like a dumb thing to do… Bah, details.” At some point, she’d have to stop being exasperated by the redhead, but that wouldn’t be any time soon.

She looked down at the ball and then at Luro who wasn’t too far away from her and couldn’t help but crack a smile. “Feels… a little too familiar.” As if reminding him, Runali tapped her head and pouted a little. “You still owe me a crown you know.” The last time she had a sort of ‘standoff’ with Luro to test his skills, it was her throwing a bottle for him to shoot. She couldn’t help but laugh again. “Maybe Nolan was right…”

Runali tossed the ball in the air and caught it. “Want me to toss this in the air or at you? Pick your poison.” When he called it, she transferred armament from her hands to the ball and tossed it. Waiting to see where he stepped, Runali stepped in the opposite direction to watch.

A small chuckle escaped Luro at the Captain’s observation; he learned the hard way that it wasn’t good to take chances when it came to Haki, especially when it came to another person.
Jack had shown him what his Haki could do to a bullet, there was no way he’d risk throwing something like that at the Captain even if she was strong. He followed the Captain out removing the glove off his hand and shoving it in his pocket. His fingers ran over his strap as he looked back at Runali, his brows arching a bit before he smiled folding his hands behind his head.
“Here I thought I got away with that…guess I’ll have to add a crown to my list next time we meet some monarchs,” Luro said grinning at the Captain.

Once they were on the main deck Luro pointed towards the air over the side of the ship though he made sure to retrieve the glove she had and put it on his hand first. With a nod the fire exploded from the glove running up his arm, his eyes narrowed as the ball went flying into the air. Luro immediately turned and pointed the glove at Runali, though he smiled and held his other hand up to her.
“Just kidding I couldn’t resist,” he said before turning it back towards the falling target.
His eyes followed the ball and the flames circling his arm pulled back towards the glove, the fire building before the flames shot out of the glove in a concentrated sphere and flew forward. Luro’s eyes narrowed as the fire collided with the ball which was still a few feet in the air. The fire enveloped the ball and a moment later apop filled the air and Luro grinned seeing the ball break apart.
“Yes! Captain it broke! The ball bro-”
Luro pointed towards the ball but stopped speaking as the fire flared before exploding outwards, Luro slowly lowering his hand as the fire formed a large hovering orb rotating a few feet away from the ship. He brought his fist to his mouth watching the slowly spinning globe that was roughly the size of the ship more than happy that they chose not to do it downstairs.
“...that uh…I didn’t expect that reaction,” Luro said looking at the glove. “I…should probably take into account the effects of stronger Haki…and it did collide with Haki too so…yeah that response makes sense now that I think about it.”
Luro cleared his throat crossing his arms at the makeshift sun resting in front of them.
“Still this is progress…thanks for this Captain.”

She was leaning on the edge of the ship after Luro pretended to aim for her and then proceeded to shoot his target. “Direct hit, nice.” She complimented. Hearing the ball explode, she smiled. “It worked. I hope no one wanted that ball back.” Suddenly, a much larger explosion happened, making her take a step back. “Oh… that would have been bad.” Runali looked out at the sea and squinted a little. She fiddled with the eyepatch around her neck, debating if she should put it back on but decided to leave it be for now.. “Alright, a little less confident I could take a hit from that. But only slightly.” Towards his thanks, she punched his arm, although not hard enough to hurt him. “Thank me after you get rid of that. And also, that was for earlier.” She leaned over the edge to see if the problem would fix itself and the fire was lowering into the water. It was hard to tell, so she gave up on that idea and rested her head in one hand. “You’re gonna wake up the whole ship.” As pressing as a giant ball of fire could have been, Runali found it a little funny. “If you make mistakes like these now I’m sure the only thing that could kill you is you.”

Luro rubbed the side of his head staring at the large ball of flame; it would be a good idea to deal with this before it woke up the others, that was a long explanation he wasn’t really in the mood to give. He could see a little how bad it would go if they found out this was almost done inside the ship, he shivered a bit thinking about it before deciding to just get rid of the sphere.
Just as he was about to reach for his rifle he felt something hit his arm and looked over at the Captain offering a smile and rubbing his arm, pretending to be hurt.
“I thought you of all people would understand my sense of humor Captain,” Luro said bringing a hand to his chest before laughing a little. “Consider it done.”

Luro started to turn forward but stopped for a moment as Runali rested on the edge of the ship, he blinked staring at his captain illuminated by the warm glow, bathing her features in a soft light.
Something echoed in his mind for a moment and his hand slowly fell back to his side.
Luro’s mouth opened but Runali spoke first which seemed to break him out of whatever had captured him for a moment. Reaching up he slapped his cheeks and rubbed his wrist.
“Yeah that’d be bad,” Luro said taking his rifle off his back.
He decided not to think too much about what just happened and messed with his rifle for a moment switching between the spheres, stopping as it landed on a green one. Flipping a switch a burst of wind came out of the rifle before it started to pull backwards towards the rifle, the fire responded to the pull as a vacuum pulled the fire into the opening Luro immediately shutting it off the moment the floating sphere was taken care of. He flipped to another switch his eyes widening a bit as smoke came out of the rifle, he waited for a moment gritting his teeth and closing one eye holding his gun out a bit. After a brief moment the gun settled and Luro let out a relieved sigh, his body relaxing.
“…well being a threat to myself isn’t a bad thing,” Luro said moving his rifle to his back. “If I’m my worst enemy than taking on the world will be easy…though I’d rather not go down that road again. Also that didn’t explode so that’s a nice little extra.”
Luro removed the glove returning it to his pocket; his eyes moving to the Captain then back out towards the sea.
“I think that’s enough of that for one night,” Luro said shaking his head. “I think I’ll just take it easy the rest of the night and mess with my partner here.”
Luro put his rifle with a small smile.

“Huh,” Runali took a small step away from Luro as the fire got closer. “Not quite how I imagined that going.” She returned to her original spot just to look at the smoke coming out of the rifle. “Can’t say you don’t know how to clean up your messes.” She straightened up as he put the gun on his back. “Most of them at least… A good chunk of them.” Runali laughed and waved her hand in front of her. “The ones that matter. But anyway, taking on the world sounds like fun especially when you have a crew to back you up.” She offered a shrug and patted his shoulder when she started to walk past. “This was fun. And I guess thanks for the cannons- though those are just as much yours as it is… everyone’s I guess?” She wasn’t sure where she was going with what she was saying so she opted on leaving it as it was. “And,” She turned on her heel to add, “One of these days, when those gloves don’t create a small sun, I’m gonna borrow them. Definitely just to see how much damage I can cause.”

“Well once you blow up half a castle and blame it on a hat wearing dog successfully you learn how to take care of normal problems...sometimes,” Luro said crossing his arms.
When Runali brought up the crew Luro smiled and looked towards the door, there was more truth to that then he could say with mere words. He could only call this ship home thanks to the others and he was reminded of that every day.
“It does get a little tiring taking it on yourself, having friends to blame stuff on does make it easier,” Luro said before chuckling a little.

Turning towards the cannons he placed his hand on them moving his hand over the sphere, these were meant for everyone just as the gloves would be when he found out how to keep those kind of explosions controlled. Sometimes they returned with everyone…and sometimes they didn’t, both possibilities played in his head more than he wanted. He turned back to the Captain and pat the glove in his pocket with a grin.
“That’s thinking like a pirate,” Luro said offering a nod. “I’ll make sure they work great since it’s for you guys….hmm actually…maybe if I created multiple chambers…”
Luro popped the L.A.D. out of his rifle and sitting on a nearby crate grinned as he opened, possibilities running through his mind as he was pulled back into his own world.

“By the way I wanted-” She watched as Luro almost instantly drifted into his own musings. Runali watched for a moment before turning with her fingers laced behind her back. “Better for another time.” She mumbled. After all the explosions that went on she decided that was enough excitement for a single day stuck on a ship and left him be walking back to her cabin.
 

Arcadius

Bunch of neurons riding a meat mech

The Navigator joined the conversation, spinning around the captain with two tankards in his hands, splashing beer around him. He slammed those on the bar and gestured towards a nearby bowl of salted nuts. The bowl jumped into his hand through the air under very suspicious circumstances. "Now, Boss and assorted chums, I have several notes to say about the antecedent exchrehnge of ideas." He tried his best, but the slurring and needlessly florid language betrayed him as drunk.

"First, foremost and of utmost importance. Recall plse that half of my persona has been under dry spell for five annums. During which it was inadequately equipped for any kind of physical copulation. I propose and swear to all things holy and unholy, next time we meet, she will call me an utterlly depraved, perverse and depraved pirate-person!"

"Second, about this challange. Due to my current state of inebriation, I feel overjoyed and overmotivated towards proposed jolly challenges, and I am absolutely certain we shall win. However, I have zero intentions of seeing these people on my... I mean our... I mean your ship, cap'n. We should inquiry if there's a pig farm nearby. Alternativelly, ask of whereabouts of a nearby shark gam. I always wanted to make someone walk the plank."

"And third, a note and an afterthough, though no less of importantance. We'll cheat. They sure will. What's the point of being a pirate if you can't cheat?"
 

Winter

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Perhaps it was paranoia that kept the swordswoman from accepting any of the drinks placed in front of her, though if she'd learned anything from her time on this crew it was that trouble followed them like it were attached to their shadow. She wouldn't have been surprised if they were trying to get them jolly so they'd be easier to suddenly ambush with an attack in favour of opening up a new position in the worst gen. Despite that she still remained polite and would consistently repeat herself as she refused to accept drinks so that she may be ready in case her suspicions proved to be correct.

Having remained close to Runali it wasn't heard for her to overhear their conversation and while she didn't have a clue what a Davyback game was, she could only imagine it'd be the trouble she'd been expecting since the Tankards had approached them. "Captain" she would speak softly, her soft and gentle tone quickly drowned out by their surroundings as their conversation continued, "Captain..." she repeated, her brows furrowing for a moment before her expression grew slightly more worried when she was once again unheard amongst the noise around them. "CAPT-" it was already too late and Alicia merely released a small sigh as she stood from her seat.

She walked up beside Runali as Kadi articulately worded his enthusiasm for the games ahead, the swordswoman merely letting out a small sigh to accompany her small groan, expressing her displeasure for such an agreement, especially since the chances of something underhanded not being planned by their opponents being almost certainly zero. "I would say that I hope you know what you're doing but I'm afraid to learn the answer... so, let's make sure we don't lose" she replied, watching as the Tankard captain walked away. She rested a hand on the hilt of her sword idly, letting her mind wonder for a moment what the games would consist of, though casting the thought to the side after a moment.
 

SilentxChaos

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Effortlessly, Jack slipped into an old role as Stardusk mingled with the Tankered pirates.

His trademark half-smile turned to a full smirk as he laughed, drank and mingled with these pirates. It's like someone ripped out his previous paranoia and replaced it with a half-drunk stupor. Not an ounce of drink touched his tongue, however. His talk with the various members that approached him left them roaring and humored, even though he barely shared two words. He merely incited the conversation and then sat back to listen, accumulating information on the Tankered pirates through their stories, arguments and actions. As the cook figured, they were a familiar group. He knew their type all too well.

When the tavern went silent, Jack didn't react immediately. He sipped at his empty tankard and carefully set it down. The mention of the davyback fight snapped his eyebrows together in a frown. He was too far away from Runali to voice dissent. In any case, he dared not, not in front of an opposing crew. Jack decided that a show of conflict could prove ammunition to the Tankereds if they decided to cheat-- something Jack agreed with Kadi completely.

Tipping his chair back after the other pirates left, Jack meticulously rolled a cigarillo. "I hope you know what you're doing, Captain," he said, "Davyback fights tend to be a double-edged sword. The games' seem simple but there's usually a catch within the catch... or the inciting crew using the games to their advantage." He shrugged. "It's like Kadi said-- expect cheating. Especially since we're a fourth gen crew, they'll use whatever they can to make sure we lose."

If their captain's little show hadn't been proof enough, he thought privately.
 

Capt. Blu

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Location - Finnigan Island - Empty Clearing/Field

“You’re not killing anyone Luro. Especially not the captain.” Runali commented without sparing him a glance. “And no worries Z, it’s just a game like captain said. Nothing lethal, nothing soul binding.” A short laugh followed. “I don’t think we have enough souls to just pass out at this point.” Her laugh got a little louder as Kadi spoke his enthusiasm. “Especially not him. Not when he just got his back. But! I like the attitude, of course we’re gonna win.” The idea of cheating did make her pause for a moment. “Wh-? Why would we need to cheat? Where’s the fun of winning something that way? Much more fulfilling watching someone lose to their own game. I dunno, I don’t think it’s a need, but I’m not gonna stop you if you do. They might try to anyway.”

She held up the directions. “Alicia have a little faith! It’ll just be some games we play. Win and then we can leave the island.” Runali smiled. “Trust me, even if we lose they’d have to take our flag by force and sizing ‘em up, they’re not much of a threat. If it comes down to it, I’ll let you and Luro clear them out personally.” Runali skimmed over the directions. “But for now, it’s a simple game and seeing what happens from there.” Jack echoed Alicia’s sentiments and Runali couldn’t help the small huff. Was it so hard to trust her judgement?

Instead of questioning them, she gave an affirmative nod and gestured them out the tavern. Before they headed to where Abram directed, she let the rest of the crew do what they needed to before they all reconveined once more and Runali was leading the way.

The crew ended up in a large clearing that seemed unusually prepped for the occasion. The field itself was oval shaped with three white lines splitting it apart equally and a circle drawn in the very center. “Planned maybe?” The Tankered Pirates were scattered around the side closest to the Stardusk as they approached, sharing drinks and continuing to be as merry as they did when they were in the tavern.

“Not planned! Prepared!” Abram seemingly appeared out of nowhere as he wafted through his own crowd of pirates. “We made this space so we don’t ruin our towns, you know? No use having this quaint little place if their money is being dried up due to rebuilding constantly.” Seeing Runali’s unimpressed look made him clear his throat and gesture them to the field. “Anyway, I’ll run down the rules again. They’re real simple. There’s four games to play. The first match, we both get to pick a person from our crew. Whoever wins not only gets to pick the opponent for the next match, but they also get to take one crew member from the opposing crew should they want to. Whoever wins the most games gets the entire crew and they fly under their new flag. Unless of course the winner is nice and let’s them go.” He led them to the side of the field. There were a few wooden benches propped around along with stray chairs for those that wanted to sit and a few barrels of rum that the Tankered pirates were helping themselves to. Some of them already seemed much too drunk to participate.

There was a chair on higher legs that Abram hopped into that made Runali suppress a snort. She knew she was shorter than most of her crew but she didn’t have a complex about it. Well… She thought she didn’t… Did she? Abram’s voice pulled her attention back. “The first game, like I told ya, is a spar. There’s only two rules going for the spar. Ya can’t have weapons and it’s no kill, knockouts only. Simple as that. So Captain Lev,” He looked down at her from his chair. “Who’s gonna be your pick?”

Runali raised a brow and turned to her crew. Without a moment of hesitation she looked over at Sara. “Alright gladiator. Time to show off.” She gave a mischievous grin. “I’d say with all your sparring and attempting to use my swordswoman as a punching bag this should be a piece of cake but…” She stole a glance at the Tankered Pirates. “They’re hardly a match for you. So it’s basically a warm up.”

While Runali encouraged Sara, Abram let out a low whistle. “Reiner! You’re sparring!” A man well into his thirties, sporting a somewhat cleaner look compared to the wilder pirates, walked to the chair’s side. It could have also been the fact that he wasn’t drunk that made him stand out. His dark hair was long enough to tie in a sash, with a stray braid hanging loose and he had a short beard. He didn’t seem as overly enthusiastic as the rest of the pirates either, and when he walked up his most noticeable feature was his the wooden left leg he had.

“It’s about time I’ve gotten to do something interesting.” He looked over at the Stardusk crew before giving a nod and going towards the center of the field. Passing them, if the Stardusk were paying attention, he began to unravel his sleeves and hide the sleeve of tattoos on one arm. One particular tattoo was a jolly roger that was crossed out and under it was the Tankered’s.

“When you’re ready,” Abram got comfortable in his chair. “I’ll fire off for them to start. The rest of ya feel free to get comfortable. There’s drinks and I’m sure there’s food around somewhere. And my crew won't bite, not to worry!”
 

Eastwood

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Location: Middle Field

Runali watched Reiner with a curious gaze, but eventually turned back to Sara. “Alright, you heard the man. Just a fist fight so hand over your weapons.” When she did, Runali gave the woman a thumbs up before nudging her off towards center field were her opponent waited.

Reiner stood in a readied stance, with his arms up. “May the best pirate win, yeah?”

From the side of the field, Abram yelled out. “On my mark!” And then seconds later, a gun fired to start.

Sara passed her weapons, including her pistol strapped to her hip, to Runali before winking at her and stepping into the arena. “Don’t worry boss, I think we all know who the best pirate here is.” She started to stretch, flexing her arms and legs, before the fight began.

At the sound of the gun firing, Sara dashed forward, leaving a brief after-image in her wake. She had no intention of fighting seriously so she aimed to finish the fight as soon as possible. She lashed out for his chest with an open-palmed strike, aiming to knock him off his feet in a single decisive strike.

Sara’s strike hit true and sent Reiner stumbling backwards, but with a careful step he planted his wooden leg back to keep himself from falling. “A good thing I waited to drinking.” He mumbled loud enough for her to hear. As he gathered his footing, he lunged forward attempting a low punch to her gut and follow it with a kick to her side. “I respect that title of yours, fourth gen and all. And normally I wouldn’t go pickin’ fights but captain’s orders and all. So, no hard feelings.” As he spoke, he kept his guard up in order to avoid getting hit in the face- or too badly damaged for that matter.

With an ooph as the air was knocked out her, Sara took the blow to her belly and a step back. However, as she anticipated the kick, his next strike was blocked and caught as Sara wrapped both of her arms around his leg. Pivoting, she delivered an explosive kick of her own, aimed at his exposed and defenseless woodenleg.

Reiner let out a small ‘hmph’ noise when he realized she wasn’t going to respond and focused on the match at hand. He looked a little surprised when his leg was caught and quickly figured what would come next. When the impact hit his wooden leg, he didn’t try to go against it, in fear that it would end up damaged. Instead, he let himself hit the ground and twisted to bring the wooden leg up and across her arms. The gleam of a blade poking out of his leg was barely noticeable, up until it managed to graze across her and leave a scratch. Reiner used the small distraction to hop to his feet and attempt to kick her with his good leg.

Sara caught the glint of steel and felt a band of white-hot pain across her arm. “Bastard!” She swore, taking a few steps back and putting a fair distance between the two. “What happened to no weapons?” She shouted, over her shoulder, glaring daggers at her opponent.

Reiner started to say something, but Abram was the one that yelled from across the field. “It’s not bringing a weapon if its his leg!”

“Ah, if it makes you feel any better,” Reiner got back into another readied stance. “I didn’t mean to cut too deep if I did. Just trying to escape was all.” Sara’s glares seemed to answer whether he was convincing or not, so he heaved a sigh and ran towards her, moving a little faster than before. He wasted no time launching a barrage of punches, attempting to keep Sara on the defensive until he could get the upper hand and knock her down.

“I’ll put it bluntly; you fucked up. Before, I was just going to give you a love-tap and call it a day, but then you fucked up , and now I’m going to break your leg over your thick head. You thought your hidden weapon would save you? It has only doomed you!”

He may have been fast, but Sara was faster. Empowered by the same feeling that let her rip and tear her way through an entire fortress, she easily dodged his strikes, standing back and watching his pattern. Unlike the fortress, this time Sara was somewhat in control. Seeing an opening, she pivoted around him, shoving hard on his back before reaching down and anchoring his wooden-leg, lifting it up and knocking him down. She cursed as she shook the leg, struggling to free it from the straps that held it in place.

“Oof, you’re kinda scary. But, ‘it’s doomed you’ made you less so. Work on that.” He took her threats in kind and expected the worst. And the worst is what he got. He found himself suddenly on his back and he hissed in pain when he felt his wooden leg being tugged. “Quit it! It was a pain in the ass when the psychos bolted it through me, it’s not coming off!” He grunted and slammed his other leg against her arm to get her to let go. He kept his arms up while the back and forth went on, struggling to break free as he continued to try and kick at her and break free.

Sara snarled as she continued to pull and tug at the leg. “If I can’t rip it out of you.” She said, now holding it still. “Then I’ll just have to break it!” With a downwards strike with her elbow, she snapped the wooden prosthetic in two at the thigh. Wielding the leg at the foot as part of a makeshift club, she grabbed his shirt and dragged the bigger man up to his remaining foot. Then, holding him still, she swung the leg across his head, breaking up on impact and leaving Reiner knocked out. She at least had the sense to hold back a little bit. Sara then let go, both of him and the remains of his leg, and then snarled again at his unconscious form.

“Next time, follow the fucking rules!”

Runali stood on the edge of the field right next to Abram, seemingly unphased by the fact that Sara’s opponent had a knife hidden on him. She was more interested at just how angry Sara got when said knife cut her. It was… interesting to say the least, and something she figured she’d have to bring up eventually if it got out of hand. However, Sara stopped when Reiner was out cold so it was a question for another time.

“Stardusk wins!” Abram yelled. He didn’t seem as deterred by the fact that his crew lost the first round. “Ah, before we go off on the next challenge and before you decide which of my crew you’ll take, we’ll take a few minutes to make sure our parties are still in working order.” Though despite him saying that, he didn’t move. Instead, several of the Tankered crew rushed out to collect Reiner, one dumping water on him to wake him up. Runali on the other hand, put fingers to her mouth and whistled to get Sara’s attention. “Alright no need to beat him up anymore, you won!” She let out a soft laugh and waited for Sara to come back before patting her shoulder. “See? Wasn’t so bad! Now go ahead and get patched up then you can have your weapons back.”

Off to the side, not too far out of, Reiner had woken up enough to glare up at Abram. “Don’t look at me like that. Sacrifices are sacrifices and you’ve made yours.” The Tankered captain chuckled and shooed him off to go sit down, and possibly get fixed.

Sara walked past Runali, angrily flicking her hand away, feeling whatever energy that was building up fizzle away. “Don’t touch me, and next time don’t whistle for me. I’m not your fucking dog.” She stomped past away from Runali and the rest of the crew, breathing heavily and with tightly clenched knuckles, off to a quiet place where she could calm down.
 
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SilentxChaos

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In Sara’s quiet spot, a plate with a sandwich pushed itself into her field of vision.

“Found the food they have,” Jack crouched in front her, holding it to her with a half-smile. “It’s ham. Surprisingly good meat for this island. Also brought salted jerky if you’d prefer something… not from them.”

A canvas bag dropped at her side. Jack cleared his throat, smoothing the dreadlocks with a hand. “May I sit?”

Sara had found a small clearing in the trees among a creek and a few boulders to sit on. She didn’t seem as angry as she left, but more depressed. It took a moment for Sara to register the plate that was being presented in front of her but once she noticed, she reached out to take a bite. “No.” She said, with her mouth full. “Ish good, thanksh.” At his request to sit, Sara with stuffed cheeks, the only answer that she gave was shuffling across the boulder to give him room to sit.

“Thank you,” Jack inclined his head to her silent acceptance.

He perched on the boulder and started rolling a new cigarillo. From their spot, the two crews were easy to observe. He watched silently, sparing only a glance at Sara. She’d been an obvious choice for this match and he thought she’d be pleased to finally flex her newfound prowess that he heard of ripping through the Renegade fortress. The look on her face- the rage that spat out, and now- suggested otherwise. He wanted to know how she was doing… but like Kadi, and Alicia, he hadn’t quite learned how to talk to her yet, even after the months sailing together.

He cleared his throat again and looked at her again. “Where did that rage come from?” he asked not unkindly.

Sara, unsurprisingly, devoured the rest of the sandwich in three large bites. She didn’t realize it until she started eating, but tapping into her inner power reserves like she had done had left her ravenously hungry. “Thanks.” She thanked him again as she wiped her mouth clean of crumbs with the back of her hand. “I needed that.”

At his question, Sara turned away and sighed, staring down at the ground. “I don’t know. I mean, I do know why I was angry, but I don’t know why I was so angry. Rule-breakers and cheaters always pissed me off, the whole point of a competition is to be superior to your opponent within the set rules and guidelines of whatever the competition is. To go outside of that is a form of cowardice and self-weakness because they’re too weak to fight fairly or too stupid to bend the rules. Rule-bending is fine, I’ll even applaud it if it’s creative enough. But there’s nothing creative or bold about establishing rules and then immediately breaking them.”

Jack nodded with understanding. “These men I doubt have enough honor to fill their little finger. I should know. I’ve sailed with them before. Well- not them specifically. A crew like them. Except with more...thievery than cunning.”

Dragging on his cigarillo, there was a pause as Jack’s eyes unfocused on the crowd of two crews. He fidgeted, his mind taking him back. The smoke lowered in his hand as he continued staring. After a moment he shook himself out of it. “But that’s getting beside the point. You’ve been training with Alicia, no? I imagine that has something to do with your reaction.”

“... Yeah.” Sara replied, her nose wrinkling at the smoke. She hesitated for a moment, then reached out, wordlessly asking for a puff. “Ordinarly, I would’ve just been really pissed off and probably beat on him far harder than I would have. But here… I just went mad. Fortress mad.” She idly brushed her hair away from her forehead and sighed. “I thought I had it under control. I thought I had myself under control…”

He lifted an eyebrow and handed her the cigarillo. "I didn't know you smoked."

Eyes trained on her, Jack listened. He took the cigarillo back when she was done and considered it for a moment. "Well, from the looks of it, since the fortress you've gotten incredible control. I saw the damage-- when I wasn't wrestling with an unconscious giant. Reiner over there doesn't look obliterated. Has to count for something?"

He leaned back on the boulder and helped himself to jerky. "Alicia's power... comes from her haki, yes?"


Sara took a puff, held it for a second, and then exhaled with a few gentle coughs before passing the stick back to Jack. “Old lho stick habit.” She explained. Lho sticks, consisting of a thin rolled brown paper tube and filled with a scented plant that was easy to grow. The tube itself is then lit and the smoke inhaled from lot, causing a mild if pleasant narcotic sensation. Mildly addictive in nature, they are a common export of Tilea and is very popular among laborers and menials. It is especially common among gladiators as a means to relax before, during, or after a fight.

“Yeah.” She replied in agreement. “I did have more control, but it wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough. I guess… I’m just more used to fighting with my head rather than my heart. A fight was a problem to be solved, to be broken down and understood. Things always made more sense that way. Now? Now, I have to fight worrying about myself and those around. What if I get too angry and hit someone too hard? Reiner got off lucky, I could’ve easily caved in his head if his leg didn’t break off.”

“I’m not pretending I know how the power Alicia’s teaching affects you,” Jack began slowly, after mulling what she told him. He raised a hand and summoned his armament haki. He turned it this way and that, observing it with distant eyes. “But I do understand haki. It can be no different than the gladius in your hand. Both are an extension of yourself; both can maim or kill; and both are directed by your head and heart. It’s still nothing but a puzzle, Sara. There’s just… a new variable added to your side of the equation. Granted, it’s a more volatile variable than most people have to adjust to.” He flashed her a teasing grin.

“Mhm, you’re right. Just yet another problem to solve.” Sara seemed to be a little bit brighter when she stood up and patted herself down. Jack could see that she had at least bandaged the cut on her arm, using a torn-off sleeve that was cut during his sneak attack. “Now that I ruined yet another outfit, I can expect another lecture from Zillia for not being careful enough.” She turned to face Jack, smiling softly. “And thank you. For the food, and for listening. It’s nice having such a good cook as a good and trusted friend.”

The cook laughed. “Most likely--” he stopped short at her compliment, blinking several times. It caught him off guard. “I didn’t...you’re most welcome,” he said in a softer note. He stood as well, mimicking Sara as he brushed his pants off, looking down to hide his face. He cleared his throat. “Anyways. I just want to look after my crew, you know. Speaking of…”

Reaching out, Jack grabbed her arm to keep her back for a moment. “Do me a favor, now that you’re out of the pickings, if you’d be so kind. Keep an eye on the crowd. Reiner isn’t the only one with hidden weapons. And,” Jack paused as his eyes narrowed on the Tankered pirates. “I feel there’s...something off. Almost like...someone doesn’t want to be seen.”

Sara stopped and turned around when Jack grabbed her arm. She listened patiently to what he said and when he was done, she nodded in affirmation. “Got it. You’re probably just being overly paranoid, these pirates are more like pussy-cats then anything I’ve seen, but I’ll still keep an eye out, just in case.” She made her way back to the crowd and her crew, her built-up anger having long since faded away.

“Hey boss.” She took her place back, idly watching the proceedings. “I’m sorry about biting your head off back there, there was a few things I was going through. Although for next time, I would very kindly appreciate it if you didn’t whistle for me.”
 
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The moment they made it to the field Zilia brought a hand to her face, 'prepared' her left foot she hated where this whole thing was going. They were willingly going into an arena made by these pirates to play a game where they would probably cheat. It was like walking right into a circle with a sign hanging above it that said ‘trap door’. She started to write something down but stopped when Abram brought up rebuilding, her gaze moved over to Luro who had moved away the moment he heard those words.
Watching Abram stand on a chair her eyes twitched remembering when she used a chair to reach something on a shelf not too long ago, much as she disliked this man a part of her felt a pang of sympathy towards him. She made sure to listen to his announcement and the reminder of what they were going to be doing, she wanted to understand the ‘rules’ as much as possible in case they ended up broken at some point.

The first person up seemed to be Sara and it was a spar with a rather large gentleman.
If it wasn’t for the fact she had watched Sara decapitate people twice this guy’s size on an almost daily basis she’d be extremely concerned. Though she couldn’t deny being at least a little worried as it was hand to hand and they didn’t know what these pirates were up too; she also doubted she’d leave the match without some kind of wound. She turned to check on Luro making sure he wasn't going to do anything to interrupt or get in the way, seeing he was already drinking with the other pirates she shook her head, turning her attention back to arena.
The only other person with hand to hand experience that she knew of was the Captain so the pick wasn’t a bad one, and with her new hairstyle she was ready to take on the world, especially with those bangs, bold and fierce just in case her face wasn't enough to get the point across.
Putting her own concerns aside they were already here and it was agreed it was happening, there was little to do but keep an eye out and try to avoid any particular complications. Zilia decided to take a breath and watch with the hope nothing bad would happen.


“Masu's bleeding.”
Zilia put her face in her hands wondering why she even tried to wish anymore.
Luro glanced over at Zilia not sure why she was upset but chose to focus more on the fight, Sara seemed to be handling her own for most of it, the two exchanging a few blows but the moment the guy decided to pull a weapon out Sara seemed to lose it. He arched a brow at her sudden switch tilting his head as she suddenly got faster; he raised his drink cheering for her as she started beating the one legged man down.
“Yeah! Tear him up Masu!”
Luro laughed standing up when Reiner was brought to the ground, he grinned a bit as she grabbed the leg trying to rip it off, he wondered if she’d let him keep it once it was removed, but after she broke it that dream died quickly and in the next moment the fight was over.

Under normal circumstances he’d approach her but Luro’s eyes twitched as he took a good look at Sara. She looked beyond anger at this point, he could almost feel it where he was standing and seeing her response to the Captain made it abundantly clear. Zilia started to walk after her but Luro grabbed her shoulder and motioned to Jack who was already en route. He waited until Zilia’s shoulders relaxed before he removed his hand.
“Just give her a sec Z,” Luro said. “Jack’s got it handled.”
Luro looked in the direction of Reiner only to notice the glare at Abram, he didn’t pick up what they said but it was clear the guy wasn’t happy at his Captain. Luro looked at the other Tankered seeing they were mostly fine and rubbed the side of his head. There wasn’t too much time to consider it as Sara was back and Zilia was already running over to her digging in her medical bag.
“Next time I see a lass upset I’m going to get you Jack,” Luro said elbowing the man with a grin. “Thanks for that though Z was worried…and that big buy was pretty mad at...uh...what was his name...uh...Stubbs? Yeah I think it was Stubbs. He was made at him for some reason. I mean if you lose you lose, I’d blame myself more than the Captain.”
 
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Capt. Blu

Fake it til You Make it
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A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
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Fantasy, Adventure, Scifi, Anime, Steampunk, Heroes and Villains



Mystery Person???

Location: Side of the Field

The sudden venom she got from Sara made Runali narrow her eye for a short moment, but she turned away before anyone could really notice. Instead, she waited a bit, wondering why intermissions were taking so long. She watched the pirates being as casual as ever, feeling something a little off about the group. It wasn’t the fact that they were all low life pirates- that she could deal with. But there was something else… Though whatever it was, Sara’s return made Runali stop trying to figure it out. Towards the apology, the captain raised a brow. “Yeah, sure. Okay.” She sounded a little uninterested, mostly distracted and ended up standing almost right as Sara sat down. “No whistling. You’re not a dog. Got it.” Runali gave a simple shrug before walking off.

The pirates around her grabbed her attention, not intentionally, as they moved to and fro on the side of the field. There was a lot of them too, so it was hard to say what was really going on in their jovial chaos. However, a few more refined and quick movements caught her eye. A small group of five scrambled to Reiner’s side, two with doctor kits similar to something she had seen Zilia possess, and the other three with supplies she couldn’t quite make out.

Johann was happily chatting with someone, honoring the intermission period to check on the two injured pirates. So, curiosity got the best of Runali. Quietly, she made her way towards the small group, practically unnoticed until she pushed past them. At first they planned to yell or shoo in protest, but immediately straightened up when they realized it was Runali. Still quiet, Runali eyed Reiner over, inspecting the damage Sara did to him. He didn’t look too bad, though she didn’t acknowledge the fact that one of the doctors had started to place a rag between his mouth. “Hm…”

“You got a problem?” He spat out after he removed the rag. His calmer more relaxed mood had vanished and he held a deep scowl as Runali continued looking him over. When he tried to shift away, he winced and placed a hand on his knee and the joint that connected his now broken prosthetic. Realizing Runali wasn’t paying him any attention, his frown deepened. “What do you-”

“When did you lose them?”

It was an innocent question, but by the looks the small group gave, it held a lot more weight than they wanted to admit. Reiner’s scowl turned into mild surprise, and for a moment, the two stared at each other. He tried to find the mischief in her eye, but only found himself to be more surprised when he realized she was being genuine. “I, uh…” Reiner coughed. “I lost my leg a long-”

“Not that.” Runali leaned a little closer to the pirate, making him lean away slightly. Her gaze went down to the tattoo he had tried to hide earlier. “When did you lose them?”

A cold chill went down all six, including Reiner, of them. Some wearily glanced in Abram’s direction, but relaxed a little when they realized he wasn’t paying attention. Even Reiner showed a bit of caution… But there was something about the Stardusk captain that he couldn’t quite read- and yet he suddenly felt compelled to sit up and speak. While he did, one of the doctors inspected a bolt in his leg.

“Eight months… and two weeks... And counting. Lost them all at once too. Execution style after we tried going against the loss.”

Silence fell between them again, though this time, Runali’s gaze went to the five helping Reiner. Each one looked a little uncomfortable when she stared, but did nothing more. "Hm." Eventually, she stood up and nodded, quietly heading back to the bench she claimed nearest the other Stardusk that hadn’t wandered off.

“-- just helping a friend, and I think his name’s Reiner. Though I suppose Stubbs is appropriate,” Jack was saying to Luro as he came to the captain’s side. His eyes were constantly flicking across the crowd, and his jaw was tense around the half-smoked cigarillo between his lips. He sat next to Runali with his ankle crossed on the opposite leg and leaning back in a relaxed, but measured posture. “I saw you talking to Stub-- Reiner. Did he give any good insights?” he asked nonchalantly.

She gave Jack a short glance when he sat next to her and then crossed her arms. Her expression was unreadable. “There are several here who follow Johann rather blindly. They follow whoever can pay them. But there’s more than a handful that have played his game and are under him by force.” Runali gave a small shrug, debating a few things but opting to stay silent about it for now. “It’s something we can avoid, easy. But I still want to see the game through… For a reason.”

The two weren’t given much time to converse because Abram was up and yelling to get his crew’s attention. “Alright, alright! It’s only fair that the Stardusk get their chance to pick their prize as the winners of the first game.” He looked at Runali with a mischievous grin- Runali was starting to think he just didn’t know how to look sincere. “So? Which of my crew will you steal from me?”

“Eh… I don’t really want anyone from your crew…”

***************

“Not taking Reiner? You seemed so interested in him earlier. Good thing you aren’t.”

The speaker wasn’t expecting Runali to hear him as he was standing far from her. His lips held a wry smile as he remained hidden at the back of a group Tankereds on Abram’s left. He brushed away the raven strands covering his eye but the respite was temporary. He let out an annoyed huff.

Piercing emerald eyes narrowed to slits. The owner, a large brown Maine Coon, was offended because his perch disturbed his perfect afternoon nap. He lifted the front half of his body until his paws rested on the man’s shoulder. “Mrrrow,” the cat complained.

“Chester, about time you got up,” the master chided. His hand reaching up to rub the nub behind his cat’s ear. “Find Chaos. She wandered off to find him. Bring her back without letting him know.”

The brown cat yawned loudly while his tail swished agitatedly. The man persisted. Reluctantly, the cat leaped down. Chester turned around to face his master and wrinkled his nose. Not a single apology came his way.

“Go now,” the man ordered.

As his cat disappeared amongst the drinking men, Cedric glanced down at his rum. He doubted he’d finish his drink today. He only accepted the tankard for the sake of blending in. Probably with a lot less success than he hoped for. He was often mistaken for one of Abram’s “prettier lasses” until he opened his mouth. As much as he hated to admit it, his brother was right. Growing out his hair wasn’t the best idea. Neither was wearing a collared shirt that hid his adam’s apple from sight.

He brushed away his fringe again. His long eyelashes fluttering, as he blinked in frustration. He tried unsuccessfully to tuck the stray lock behind his ear. “Merde!”

***************

A tiny Cornish Rex stood behind an all too familiar human. Her black tail flicked happily. She knew this scent and she missed it oh so much. Mewing happily, the kitten darted between Jack’s feet and rolled belly up onto his covered feet. Her innocent blue eyes were round with adoration.

“Mao!” she cried batting at the air. She continued waving her paws frantically as she tried to get his attention.

Growing impatient, she rolled onto her feet and jumped. Her front claws dug into the cloth of his pants just below the knee. Her back claws dangled an inch above the ankle. She kicked inward on instinct and her feet were secured. She didn’t wait a second more before she clambered up his leg.

“Mao! Mao!” she cried louder than ever.

So busy concentrating on Runali and the Tankereds, Jack missed the kitten at his feet until prickly claws bit through the thin leather of his boots. He stifled a yelp and looked down. His face softened. “Well. Hello little one. How’d you come to be out here?”

Jack reached down and petted the kitten as she made her way up his leg, just as Abram questioned Runali on what crew member she wished to steal. The question itself drifted from his attention when the kitten popped her face above his knee. The whole world grew hazy; fading from sight and mind, pulling away from his consciousness until only the cat remained the center.. A gasp escaped as his hand froze, shaking, above her head. Of all the things to be on this small, insignificant island, these blue eyes had be the ones blinking up at him.

Frère.” The foreign word slipped beneath his breath.

The moment lasted only a few seconds. His hand shot out to the captain’s wrist, catching it in a vice that hurt. She could feel the faintest trembling against her skin as Jack raised his head as if to meet her eye. But his wandered, not meeting her face, desperately flickering across the crowd. He didn’t dare turn his head or let it be known he was looking for the person hiding among the Tankereds. Then again-- how much did it matter? He didn’t know. His mind raced. What do I do?

Long seconds passed before Jack actually spoke to Runali. His voice was calm, cool, like a still pond frozen over by a thin veil of ice. Ready to crack in the next warm wind.

“Cedric… Langley,” Jack licked his lips and finally met her eye. “Cedric Langley. You want to ask for him.” His fingers dug into Chaos’s fur, not enough to hurt, just to keep her there in his lap. Without realizing it, his fingers flexed to her favorite scratching spot.

Abram and Runali were talking, or rather, Abram was talking and Runali was barely listening. “So, ya sure you don’t wanna pick? Even just a useless chump to keep the decks clean? I mean, you’ve got a pretty small crew.” Something about how he said it was almost antagonizing, but Runali ignored it.

“I mean I don’t-” The sudden grasp around her wrist cut her off and she instinctively started to pull away. “Oi, what giv-” Her narrowed eyes turned into a curious expression as she watched Jack’s sudden behavior. Slowly, she moved her hand from his grip. “Ce...dric?” A question was about to follow, but Abram perked up in response, clasping his hand to the base of his hook.

“Aye! Well you said it yourself! You don’t want anyone from my crew. Guess we’ll go on to round 2!”

“Wait a minute-”

Abram ignored her. “The next challenge is much less of a tussle. No one’s at risk of getting injured this go round. All it is, is a simple card game. You even get to pick the players since you won.”

Runali’s brow furrowed but she looked over at Jack with a simple shrug. “Hope you're good at cards.” She didn’t wait for an answer however, and she tapped Jack’s arm. “Jack will play. Annnd… His opponent will be Cedric… Langley. Yeah, Cedric Langley.”

Abram’s brow raised, silently questioning how they knew anyone on his crew. But then again, he had taken so many he couldn’t keep up with who had been apart of what long dead crew. “Hm… Very well Captain Lev. Jack and Cedric will play the game.” Abram eyed Jack over before gesturing him to the field and taking his place in his tall chair.

“I dunno what that was about Jack, but-” She realized there was a cat in his arms and looked confused. “When did you get a that? Wait, more importantly who is that? And I guess who’s is that?”

“Hurry it up over there unless you’re calling a forfeit!”

Runali sighed and rolled her eyes. “Game first. Answers after.”
 

SilentxChaos

Vivid Imaginings
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Fantasy, magical, modern, medieval, horror, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, adventure, action, anime
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Realistic fiction, romance



Cedric Langley
Captain, don’t--” Jack sighed as Runali called Cedric Langely as his opponent. It would’ve been safer for the man to automatically join Stardusk, before Abram could formulate why one of his own held peculiar interest to the opposition’s cook. Jack grounded his teeth and slowly stood, Chaos in his arms. It couldn’t be helped now.

Taking a deep breath, Jack walked to the field. He kept his focus straight until they neared the table being set up by the Tankereds. Warily, he let his gaze drift to his supposed opponent.

Jack’s opponent showed no signs of recognising the man before him. Cedric looked indifferent overall. A little bored in fact. He turned towards Abram. “That’s my opponent? I expected more when you called for me.”

The sneer was obvious beneath those words. Sid broke eye contact abruptly and turned back to Jack. A lazy smile formed on his lips. His curled hand flattened as he gestured to the wooden chair closest to Jack. “Please have a seat. Such a simple game is not worth forfeiting.”

As he took his own seat, Sid added. “The Captain ought to give his guests a fair chance, yes? It’s in his generous nature to do so.”

Still polite but sarcastic. Cedric couldn’t recall when this started. All he knew was that he was waiting for the day he would get called out for his rudeness. Today wasn’t that day. Hopefully not. A Davyback fight usually occupied Abram’s full attention. He unstrapped his crossbow and quiver placing them beside him. No point being uncomfortable when playing a game of cards.

Three new of cards were placed at the edge of the table close to where the two captains stood and Abram explained the rules of the poker game briefly. The winner would be the first person to win two games out of three. He would be the one shuffling and distributing the cards for the first and third rounds. The Stardusk captain would shuffle and distribute the cards for the second round.

Johann picked up the first pack and began shuffling. Sid watched him closely. He had a sneaking suspicion why the captain insisted on a new pack of cards. It was a common trick in cheap gambling dens. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes. The Captain wanted this win, didn’t he?

Cedric picked up the five cards in front of him. As he examined them, he watched Abram out of the corner of his eye. “Fait long, Frére. Non tombre dans la pan, oui?”

“Pas assez de temps,” was the quiet reply. Jack remained wordless as they met, and sat together. He observed Cedric with a face created from blank slate. “You’re looking well.”

Sid leaned back into his seat, reached out and swept his fringe back. A futile gesture but one familiar to the Tankered. Confidence. “Luck favours us, no? That’s a popular saying back home.”

The same gesture meant something else to Jack. His eyes flicked to it, the faintest curiosity pinching his brow. Cedric was telling Jack to let him win the first round. It was one of the many signals they used to send to each other while attempting to make a living in the various gambling houses in Trovale. The simpler days before Charlotte came into their lives.

A smile returned to his lips. It was a lot warmer than the one he had earlier. He kept his eyes on his cards knowing that the slightest eye contact might rouse even more suspicion. “Aside from the fact we will be playing three rounds of poker, your rules aren’t that clear,” he informed Abram. “Could we discard our entire hand for instance? Some circles limit the number of cards to three. Four if we have an ace or a wild card.”

Hesitation then confirmation, Sid noted. He was on the right track. The ability to discard an entire hand to get a better one meant that Abram arranged the cards in a particular sequence. Cedric knew that if he managed to see eight of the next ten cards he would be able to guess the order of the entire deck. Trust the Tankered Pirates to resort to such a cheap trick. Jack would probably realise this the moment the man saw his winning hand. They encountered this trick several times in the past.

Sid couldn’t help wondering how the previous crews lost despite the obvious cheating. He turned his attention back to the game when he realised it was his turn to decide which cards to discard. He placed three cards face down on the table and slid them towards Abram. “Change these.”

Cedric drummed the table as he waited for his cards. His eyes turned towards the furry traitor nuzzling Jack’s hand. “Chaos, du ai rien a foutre.” He lectured. “Mon, l’Captain arrête pas faire l’adou, n’est-ce pas?”

“I told Chaos she knows better than to mix with riffraff. Neither you nor I approve of this behaviour,” Sid informed Johann. He was aware that he mistranslated. “Felines are fickle friends. Their fancies changes like the seas. She will be better trained in the future.”

His deep purple eyes finally met Jack’s. “Friend, do you wish to change your cards? It’s your turn.”

Reluctantly, Jack turned his attention to the game. So many things swimming beneath the surface. Too much to say, none is a space watched by enemies all around. He readjusted Chaos to sit on his shoulder as he considered his cards. They were less than ideal. A smirk played on Jack’s lips as he selected two cards and traded them in.

“Meow?” Chaos leaned forward. Her furry ear brushed against Jack’s cheek. She cocked her head to the side as she studied his hand. “Purr…”

“You’re supposed to be dead… friend,” Jack spoke casually as he reviewed his new pair. Eyes narrowed above the cards at Cedric. Of the three people he hoped not to meet, Cedric was on top of that list.

Sighing, the cook stubbed out his cigarillo and flicked it to the ground at Abram’s feet. “Why are you here?”

“A good question. You’ll get the answer after you answer mine. Focus on the game for now,” Cedric replied. “Thanks for taking those two cards. The next five cards are my winning hand.”

He placed all five cards faced down on the table. Swiping up the replacements, he smirked. His hunch had been confirmed. He placed the cards face down on the table. “Game? I’m ready to show my hand.”

Chaos placed a single paw against Jack’s cheek. She continued tilting her head, as her eyes tried to capture his gaze. She turned back to look at his cards again. The Cornish Rex purred. This strange game puzzled her.

“You’re assuming I have an answer to give, frére,” Jack made to retort but it came with less bite than he intended. He threw down his hand, seeing it worthless, and gazed at Cedric while Runali to her turn to shuffle the deck. Arms crossed with one hand scratching the kitten at his shoulder. A shadow fell over his face as he thought when he took a good look at the cards Sid laid down. That was...far too easy. He internally sighed, eyes sliding to Abram. Cutting the deck no doubt. I’d be mad if it wasn’t…. He looked back at Sid.

“Tu’s de retour, Chester?” Cedric asked without glancing down at his feet. He guessed that meant that his objective was safe. He was relieved to know his backup plan was still an option. “Merci, mon ami.”

Jack snatched up his next hand and forced all attention to the game. It wasn’t easy. Through the entire round, his gaze flicked back to Cedric, taking in his well-kept clothes, how long his hair had grown, the large cat at his feet. The round lasted longer than the first with Jack making certain calls to keep in the game. No matter who he faced, he had a crew to pull through for. Thinking of them made Jack glance at Runali. Something flashed across his face; quick and nearly unnoticeable, a mixture of regret and shame.

He placed down his hand. The half-smile returned. “I think I win this round.”

“A tie. Who would have thought we would proceed to round 3?” Sid placed his cards face up on the table.

He managed to acquire two aces. It was one of the lowest hands possible. He decided to withhold the fact that he discarded several good cards just to force a tie. Keeping his cover wasn’t worth it anymore. Jack had more at stake than he did and he’d prefer lightening that burden in his own way.

“Let’s see which of us would make the bigger gamble,” he mused out loud. “You looked conflicted earlier.”

“Did I? Must be something in the air.” Jack met Sid’s dry tone in equal measure yet their eyes didn’t meet. The longer the game took, the more agitated Jack grew, torn within. He should focus on the game; Sara’s win didn’t guarantee Stardusk victory and the evidence of Abram’s cheating assured the next rounds would be harder to win. Drawing the round out was the best he could do at this point.

Cedric appeared to be stalling the game as well. He would discard cards at random. Finally, the deck was down to the last seven cards. The winner would be the person who claimed the top five cards. Both of them knew it was going to be a Royal Flush. It was Cedric’s turn.

“Should I tempt fate again? I could always keep this hand and see if I win.” He looked Jack in the eye as he tried to convey his hidden message. “I don’t think we should drag this game any longer. I have cats to feed. My little lady wouldn’t be happy if I kept her waiting too long.”

He gestured to the black kitten sitting on the table between the two men. Chaos hopped off Jack’s shoulder during the start of round three. She appeared to be observing the two captains standing on opposite her. His eyes flicked back to Jack’s face.

“Allons-nous dire au revoir?” He asked.

He was willing to let the older man decide his fate. His priority was to retrieve his mark and deliver the man home safely. Even if he won this round, he doubted he could linger around too. Johann would be looking for people to blame if this ended badly. Simply put his mark wasn’t safe here. Cedric drummed the surface of the table as he pretended to think. He hoped Jack would answer soon.

Jack’s head snapped up from behind his cards. Shall we say good-bye? That’s what Sid said. He didn’t answer. HIs face was blank but his voice was lost, lost in a turmoil beneath the skin. Sid couldn’t know-- or,maybe he could?-- what an easy solution that would be. His eyes strayed to Sid then the tapping of his fingers. His eyes closed in a long blink.

“Take the next cards,” he ordered, wanting to be finished.

“You shouldn’t be encouraging your opponent,” Sid chided. “What if this was the winning hand?”

Cedric blinked twice. He agreed to look for Jack later. It was obvious the man didn’t want to let him go just yet. His brows knitted with confusion. They could have talked a while even if Jack won this round. If it was information that Jack wanted, he wouldn’t have any to give. He had only witnessed the final round of the previous davy back. Abram had given him a task to complete that day.

At the round’s end they threw down their hands; Sid’s was the winner. Jack gazed at them without seeing them, making a quick tapping in turn on the table. He stood up as the Tankered exalted their fanfare. Turning to leave, he made a quick glance at Runali. “I’m sorry,” he whispered without looking at her. There was no denying only half his heart and mind had concentrated on the card game. The world was drifting away again, and it felt like his past was coming to consume his thoughts. He rubbed his shoulder. “I’m sorry I failed you. I’ll make it up later.”

Jack started walking away as his opponent observed him leaving. Chaos didn’t follow Jack but Chester did. As the Main Coon walked passed Abram, he trodded on the man’s feet then threw him a withering look. Sniffing slightly, the cat continued on his way completely ignoring the other captain. Cedric raised an eyebrow. Chester knew the game was rigged? He shrugged when Abram looked in his direction.

“I’ll be taking my leave now, Captain.”

He gathered his crossbow and quiver before walking off in the opposite direction. Chaos leaped off the table and trotted along side her master. Occasionally, she would turn around to look at Runali. Her last look lingered a little longer. Then rather reluctantly she disappeared amongst the rest of the Tankereds.

While the game persisted, Runali had only half heartedly watched the card game in front of her. She shuffled when asked and raised a short brow when the two opponents began to speak in different language. It sounded vaguely familiar, something her father might have picked up during his merchant work, but she couldn’t understand it. However, that wasn’t her focus. Her focus was more on Abram’s giddy observation of the game. She opted to stay silent however up until the game ended. “Hm?” Runali registered what Jack said and continued. “Ah, one loss won’t hurt anyone. Besides, there seems to be a bigger issue that’s been found.” Her voice was low enough that the other Tankered’s couldn’t over hear unless they tried hard enough. “Make it up over dinner.” She cracked a small smile and gestured him back to the others before turning to Abram who was collecting the cards. “Alright. You won… I suppose fair and square, yeah?”

Abram scoffed.

“Of course it was fair and square. Well, rules are rules. You can take anyone from my crew.”

Abram gave a hearty laugh as he walked towards the Stardusk crew. Runali’s expression remained rather calm despite the situation and she followed behind him. “I guess I shouldn’t get too excited, since it’s only the second game! But it’s always a fun time!” He eyed each and every one of the Stardusk over before a finger decorated in almost too many gold rings pointed right at Alicia. “That one. Your swordswoman.”

“You want my first mate?”

“Might as well gamble for the big leagues.” His constantly devious smile grew wider as he whistled a tune and walked over to his chair. “And we’ll be taking a brief intermission again for the next challenge! Gotta set up the targets for the next round.”

Runali paid Abram no mind after he left and gave Alicia a small nod. “Rules are rules.” She gave a small smirk and gestured her over to the Tankered’s ‘side’ of the field. “Try to refrain from injuring your temporary crew.” A Tankered pirate scurried over towards the two of them and handed Alicia a black armband with the Tankered’s Jolly Roger on it, a skull and a barrel of rum. He didn’t say anything, but he nodded and hurried off. “S’pose it’s better than a tattoo.” Runali commented.

“As for the rest of you,” Runali looked her crew over. “We’ll get it right the next round.”
 
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Mizos

*Insert quip here*
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Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
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Modern Fantasy, Historical, Fantasy, adventure, romance, anime, action, etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.


Zilia wasn't entirely sure what to make of what seemed like the last hour, giving the strange tension that was the card came that had just occurred.
Jack had been acting strange beforehand but she hadn't paid too much mind to it until that cat had suddenly appeared. Since that moment he seemed more tense than usual, though it was obvious in this case. She had already thought something was off especially given the look on some of the Tankered faces when Runali had spoken to Reiner but this was different. Something was clearly bothering Jack and she wanted to approach and question him, but Luro for some odd reason put a hand on her shoulder stopping her. When she looked at him she found his gaze staring into the Tankered pirates, though he occasionally took a drink from his mug he had been oddly focused on something in the crowd for the last few minutes.
"What's going on?"
Zilia had to jump up to show him the note since he wasn't paying attention but it was enough to catch Luro's attention, offering a small smile to her he gave a small shake of his head.
"Ah it's nothing just...this odd feeling," Luro said crossing his arms. "Anyway it seems Jack's talking to the Captain, might want to wait before heading over there."
Luro seemed to be acting strange or at least stranger than usual but she offered a small nod and looked over at Jack; she regretted not approaching when the opportunity presented itself after watching the end of the match.

"Alicia was the first mate?" Luro asked scratching the side of his head. "When did that happen? Kadi do you remember that happening? Was I not around for one of those meetings?"
"That's the only part that surprises you?" Zilia held the note up to him glaring at him. "Not what just happened or the fact Alicia just got taken?
"Hmmm I guess she can be a little bossy sometimes, First Mates are normally like that..." Luro said bringing a hand to his chin. "Do we have a second one...well not like it matters to me I guess, I'd rather someone like her have the job anyway. Still I could have sworn-"
Luro was cut off from his thoughts by a kick from Zilia on his leg causing him to bend over and rub the spot as she stared up at him, Luro noticed his smaller comrade was clearly in disarray at Alicia's departure. Luro looked in the direction Alicia had gone and rested his hands on his hips.
"It's not a big deal Z, all we have to do is win and we get the whole crew, including Alicia back. I mean there was cheating so of course Jack was going to lose. Just focus on winning the next round and get her back if you want. We need her manliness to balance out the ship so I'd prefer her on the Lady. Also I'm used to getting yelled at by numerous people, if one suddenly vanished everything would feel off."

Zilia blinked as Luro arched a brow at her before turning his attention back to the depearting Tankards, she had a mess of questions but instead of bringing any up just smiled at Luro's simple but correct answer, she admittedly envied that in situations like this. Winning back Alicia was the easy answer and Zilia was sure the Captain would retrieve her at some point, though winning was the easiest course of action. She still didn't like the idea of Stardusk walking over to that side, her eyes narrowing as the Tankard's brought Alicia their mark.
"It's not over until the game's over," Zilia thought closing her hands into fists. "We can't let Alicia stay over there. She's one of the sensible ones."
Speaking of sensible her attention moved over towards Jack only to see Luro walking in his direction.
"I'll go check on him," Luro said walking after Jack.
Zilia gave a small nod since the intermission was active and handed a note to Kadi as she made her way over to the Captain.
"Make sure that aim of yours is steady enough Kadi. I'm sure you're not too pleased over one of the Old Guard heading over there."
With that Zilia walked over to the Captain to inquire on any plan and the return of Alicia.
 
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Winter

Queen of cold.
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A bit of both, honestly. I like a bit of balance here with my partner.
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Sci Fi, Fantasy, Fandom, Anime, Sometimes Horror. Survival, Romance, Furry, Magical.
Genre You DON'T Like
I'm not entirely sure. I don't like playing canon characters already defined from shows. I also don't like any genre utilizing a roll system for combat.

Alicia watched closely as Sara handled her fight with her opponent, her brow slightly furrowed as she watched each movement of both fighters intently, her arms folded while wearing an unreadable expression. However as the fight continued she'd release a small exhale, feeling a little disappointed that Sara had allowed her temper to get the better of her. She couldn't place too much blame on her however given the circumstance and that she was still rather new to her recently acquired power.

She watched as Sara stormed off after biting at Runali and thought to walk after her to see what was going on, but after seeing Jack she decided to give them both some space, confident that Jack was more than capable of giving Sara piece of mind. Instead she turned her attention back towards the Tankards, her eyes narrowing a little as things appeared to have already transitioned from fair play into cheating. She briefly cast her glance towards the captain as she approached the Tankards fighter, wondering how this was all going to end.

The next game saw Jack going head to head in a game of cards and admittedly Alicia had no real idea what was going on, given she couldn't really grasp the language they were speaking in and the game itself wasn't something she was familiar with. Because of this she'd taken to keeping an eye on everything else, expecting that at any moment something would go wrong and a fight would break out. They had a habit of running into a fight so she was honestly just waiting for it to happen, although she hadn't yet seen anything or anyone that'd be threat to them.

When the game met it's conclusion she raised an eyebrow in surprise having not expected Jack to lose, though he seemed different from his usual self as he stood and walked away, causing her brow to once again furrow as she looked back towards the one called Cedric for a moment. Her thoughts however would soon be interrupted as the Tankard captain approached with Runali, her jaw firming at the thought of one of them being taken over to the other side. Her hand subconsciously rested on the hilt of her sword as he looked between them.

Alicia blinked in surprised as he pointed at her and then her eyes widened slightly when Runali mentioned her as first mate, opening her mouth to say something before closing it again as she found herself unsure what to say about it. Eventually however she'd speak up, "First mate? since when and isn't that something you're supposed to.. you know.. tell me?" she replied, "I didn't even know we had one!" she added before then realising what just happened. "And now you don't... because I have to go over to their side?" she pinched the bridge of her nose and exhaled a frustrated sigh.

"You are without a doubt the most frustrating captain at times... " she commented before looking to Runali with an expression that told of a serious talk coming her way when all of this was over. "You better win the next games or you're in big trouble" she muttered, her tone conveying it more casually like how an older sibling might warn the younger that they were in for a good talking too. She took the arm band and looked at the others before resisting the urge to release yet another sigh before making her way across the other side where the Tankards were hold up.
 

SilentxChaos

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Part 2

Jack crouched at the base of a tree, the closet to be found in the large and vacant clearing. He sat on his toes with his back to the crowd, pinching the bridge of his nose between both thumbs. The big, long-haired cat hovered nearby while the cook moved his lips in a silent argument with himself. He rocked back and forth. I should leave. I should leave now. He’s too close, if he…

He unfolded his hands and pressed his face into them. Have I stayed too long? He wondered and shook.

Eventually, Jack scrubbed his face dried and removed his hands. He looked down at the cat that followed him. “I’m guessing you don’t miss me as much as Chaos, do you?” he asked half-heartedly. “Your owner should be showing up by now.” He lifted his gaze to look for the man.

“Don’t worry Alicia, you won’t stay with them for very long.” Sara said, resting a hand on her friend’s shoulder and smiling. She seemed to have calmed down and gone back to her usual egotistical self. “Worst comes to worst, I can be the one that wins you back.”

Turning around, she noticed Jack slip off to be by himself. Curious, and even a little bit surprised that he lost, she turned to quietly follow and observe him. After all, he had come to her in her emotional time of need, what kind of friend would she be if she didn’t do the same?

“Well, I wouldn’t know about owner, but if no one wants that cat, I’d gladly take ‘em.” She appeared when he looked up and then she sat down next to him. “Hey.” Sara said, her voice softer and quieter. “What’s up, buddy?”

A flash of a smile. “They wouldn’t stay with you, sadly.” He held his fingers out for Chester to sniff, and arched a brow to Sara. “Ah. So it’s your turn now?” He smirked and moved his fingers towards the cat’s forehead. The humor didn’t last. It slowly drained from his face as he stared out towards the field and crews.

“Sara, what is the worst thing you’ve done in your life?” he asked quietly.

“Ah, unfortunate, he is a beautiful animal.” She also reached out with her hand, first to sniff and then gently stroking the cat’s head. Cats, even strays, were beloved in Tilea, not only as an efficient and cheap means of pest-control but as a form of respect for their quick intelligence. Businesses, and even the colosseum that Sara lived in, would open their doors during cold winter nights, to provide a warm and safe place for the beloved animals to rest in.

Still, even with a cat distracting her, she noticed the sudden change in Jack’s demeanor. “In what way?” She asked, keeping her tone neutral, already knowing exactly what he meant.
Jack gave her a cold smile. “That answer says enough. The kind that you don’t want to talk about… a simple act, disastrous.” He shook his head, his speech showing the wayward direction of his thoughts. “When you think about it, did you do it for yourself? Or for someone else?”

“... I haven’t thought about it in a while.” Sara exhaled softly from her nose as she turned to look away. “I don’t know.” She answered truthfully. “I don’t know if I did it for him, or just to make myself feel better, but what was done is done. The only thing I can do is move on and deal with what comes up the best I can.”

Jack whispered, “Then you are far wiser than me.”

Hands rubbed together as he contemplated what to say next. The easiest would be smiling, and sending Sara on her way. He didn’t have it in his heart to do so. This crew, and every member in it, had given him more than they could ever know. The practical part of his mind whispered he should’ve left Stardusk long ago-- the moment they discovered they were Fourth Gen. Perhaps even before that. Kept moving, never stay in one place too long, never get attached. That’s how it’s done when you’re running away. Instead, he stayed. Worse he got the emblem on the part of his skin he could never hide. His finger grazed along the Stardusk tattoo on his neck.

“I’ve stayed too long,” he finally murmured. “Long enough for him to find me. The last person I wanted to see in this world, right now. My own brother.”


Sara had never seen him so melancholic, and it bothered her to see her friend in such dire straits. “Well, I don’t know about wise , but if you want to talk about it and get it off your chest, I’m here for you.” She smiled reassuringly and gently rested her hand on his shoulder.

He moved away from her hand. “If I wanted to tell you, I would have.” he said icy softness. It immediately followed with a guilty look. “No, that’s… I can’t. I can’t tell you. I’m sorry.” Groaning, he fell onto his backside and sat against the tree. He looked up at the sky. “Are we...friends, Sara? Do you trust me?”

She looked at the cook, her head tilting slightly when asked if they were friends. She wasn’t following what was going on, only that Jack had a brother that he didn’t want to see for whatever reason.

“Of course we’re friends, Jack. I trust you, not only as a chef who cooks for us all but as a valued comrade. We live together, we spill blood together, and we might all end up dying together. Everything else is ultimately irrelevant.”

Despite himself, a smile formed. Jack chuckled as he wiped a hand over his eyes and shook his head at her. “That’s a simple way of looking at it. But you’re not wrong. You’re definitely not wrong. I’m glad we have someone like you here, Thorn.”

What he found so amusing was unclear, but the answer brought obvious relief. He seemed to internalize what she said and relaxed because of it. His eyes flashed back down to the large cat-- he hadn’t lost track of the cat since Sara arrived-- and gave it a considering look. “Can I count on you to help me get him away from the Tankereds?” he asked Sara, but didn’t take his eyes off Chester. “My brother, I mean. I’m not letting him stay with them...or any of our crew who may get pulled over.” The icy tone returned, hinted by loathing as his face pinched with loathing. “They cheat and steal people from where they belong. Someone deserves to pay.” He seemed to be referring to the Tankered pirates yet the way he talked suggested whatever in his past bit at his heels, was the source to his offset mood.

At the mention of her old stage name, Sara smiled and rolled her eyes. “Hah, no one’s called me that in over a year. And sure Jack, you don’t have to say anything else, I’m a hundred percent with you. Although, if you think about it, it is a self-correcting problem. We just have to let Alicia go, and then stand back and watch her single-handedly slaughter them all, and then sink the island to boot. We’re Stardusk! It’s not like anyone is going to stop us.”
 

Capt. Blu

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Location: Field, Round 3 - Archery

Runali was planning to turn away and go figure out when the next game would start, but she raised a curious brow towards Alicia’s confusion. “What do you mean since when? You do everything a first mate should?” She watched the realization and the sigh, something all too familiar from Alicia and yet the captain still looked on, now a little more amused. “What are you talking about? You haven’t quit. You’re only there temporarily don’t get comfortable.” Alicia’s look pulled a challenging smile from the captain before she gave a mock salute as she left. “Consider it a short break.”

Abram hadn’t paid mind to the Stardusk interaction, too busy grabbing a rum bottle from one of his crew. This intermission was much shorter than before as it didn’t take the Tankered pirates long to push two red and white targets into the center of the field. “Alright!” Abram bellowed. “This is the second to last game! Stardusk one the spar, but chose no one to take. And the Tankereds won the card game, taking the swordswoman Alicia Tashigi! It’s still anyone’s game!” This created an uproar of excitement from the Tankereds. “This next game, a personal favorite of mine, is as simple as it looks.” He made a wide, grandiose gesture to the targets. “It’s a simple game of target practice! Easy right?” There was a brief pause for the ‘drama’ he wanted to create. “The only real catch here of course is that you have to use bow and arrows and not guns!” One Tankered used that as a cue to bring two quivers and two bags that each consisted of three arrows. “Closest ones to the bullseye gets the win. Best out of three. Easy as that.”

He grinned and skimmed over the Stardusk from where he stood. “And since I won the last round, I get to pick who gets to go and I piiiick, the one eyed one over there from Stardusk. The navigator if I’m not mistaken? You trust a near blind man to navigate the sea for you, I don’t suspect you’ll doubt him now?”

“I expect him to do the best he can? Why would I doubt my crew?” Runali looked confused, and even more so when Abram frowned at her answer.

“Hm. Very well… Your navigator against one of my own, Samuel.” He gestured towards the younger crew member that brought the equipment out.

The Navigator raised eyebrow of his missing eye. He got up and removed his coat, throwing it over the backrest of his chair. “Well now, can’t have Alicia running with another crew for too long, can we. Don’t want to explain to her parents why is their daughter running around in skimpy outfits and swears like a sailor. Bad company, I say.” He walked up to the bow and quiver and pulled up his sleeves. He smiled at Samuel and nodded his head in a friendly gesture. “I apologize beforehand. It’s not really fair, I fear. But as a compensation, please feel free to have the first shot.”

“Hm… seems they’re both ready then.” Abram started and watched the opponents walk to center field and ready their bows.

Samuel didn’t speak at first, deciding to wait until they were on the field. “That’s pretty confident talk.” As he spoke, Samuel aimed the arrow at the target. “I hope you’re as skilled as it though, or you’ll be apologizing to your captain.” He quieted down as his fingers released the string and a hush fell over the crowd’s earlier cheering while the arrow soared towards the target. And when it hit just above the center, they cheered again. Samuel gestured to the navigator so he could try his hand.

The Navigator nodded and joined in on the cheer, politely clapping his hands. It was a lovely, skilled shot and Samuel deserved every bell of the noise, he could see. “That was solid,” he said without a hint of sarcasm or jibe. And he felt like crap for what he was about to do.

He picked up the bow and chose an arrow from the quiver. He never held a bow in his life before. He knew he was a decent shot with a crossbow, but just by trying to pull the string he realized how downright alien was the weapon in his hands. He awkwardly notched, and pulled back. He readied, feeling how the arrow trembled in his grap. He let go, feeling the bow smack painfully against his forearm. He sensed every moment of the arrow sailing through the air, and made precise minute adjustment to the inertia. He perceived how it cut the straw of the target and hit the bullseye. He felt shame for cheating, and getting young Samuel in trouble.

“Your captain has no idea what he's toying with. When shove comes to push, keep your head down,” he hissed at Samuel.

There was the slightest hint of surprise on Samuel’s face when his opponent’s arrow struck true. It was replaced with a furrowed brow when he was spoken to. “My captain has done this time and time before. This will just be another trial… another pirate crew that comes along.” Samuel caught a glimpse of the Tankered captain frowning in his direction and he quickly turned and raised his bow. “And another one lost to a challenge.” He pulled the string back with a much more concentrated look before firing the shot and hitting the bullseye. “But I’ll admit that was a good shot.” He took a step to the side, giving the navigator as much room as he needed before examining his arrows for his final shot.

“Yes, yes, of course. Until the luck runs out, until he meets someone more than his match,” he answered, just loud enough for Samuel to hear. He notched the arrow, this time with slightly better grip and more confidence, as he knew what he was dealing with. He aimed the tip of the arrow towards the target, only to suddenly wrench it upwards and towards the sky. He let loose, and focused. The arrow sailed in a lazy arc, and struck the straw target from the top, sinking just enough to touch the tip of the one already in the target. “I’m not asking you to give up on this competition. I’m just asking you to run away when you hear screams and explosions.”

There was a way the navigator spoke that felt as if his fate had been sealed before the match had started. It was almost foreboding. Seeing he had gotten a second bullseye made his fist tighten around the bow he was holding. The cheers from the Tankered pirates turned into loud murmurs amongst themselves. Abram’s frown only deepened at the sight of the Stardusk navigator getting two bullseyes in a row. Samuel inhaled, raising the bow in hand. Before he fired, he glanced over at Kadi with a solemn expression. “Not all of us are that lucky.”

The arrow soared directly towards the target only for it to hit a little lower than the bullseye. Samuel mumbled a curse before sighing. “S’pose you won this round.” He straightened up and turned to walk back to the sidelines, but before he passed, Samuel added, “If you all claim to be his match, you’d be wise to be careful in the fourth match. Ties aren’t something the captain… believes in.” Samuel didn’t watch the end of the match, considering he missed two of his three bullseyes. It was obvious he lost this challenge, and judging by the disappointed look from Abram, he’d have to deal with that later.

“Neither do I. Keep your head down, Samuel. Life is too precious to lay it down for someone else’s dreams.” That was more than enough humiliation for the man. Arcadius picked up his last arrow and simply stabbed it into the ground. Sam’s failure was complete, but not even bothering to shoot it would humiliate Abram in front of his crew, as Abram’s challenge was not even worth completing.

The challenge came to an end and the Tankereds seemed a little less enthusiastic about the results. With three challenges complete and two going to the Stardusk there was a higher risk that their captain would lose. It was clear many were a little more worried than others, but they all stayed relatively quiet. Samuel walked past Abram, only for his arm to be grabbed. Abram spoke in a hushed tone keeping the conversation between the two of them. But by the look that flashed across Samuel’s face, it was easy to see that it wasn’t anything pleasant.

“Ahem. Well, all’s fair in that. I suppose the Stardusk win the third challenge.” Abram announced with his head held high. “There’s one more challenge left. Two, whe- if we tie. But, as the rules state, you win and you get to take one of my crew.”

When Kadi walked back to the crew Runali grinned and raised a hand for a high five. “Piece of cake, yeah?” She chuckled and looked back at her crew. “And you guys were worried.” When Abram offered to take one of his crew Runali started to speak up. “Well obviously I’m taking-” then she paused. She tapped her cheek and looked over to where Alicia was amongst the Tankereds, some trying to indulge her in conversation while others tried poorly flirting with her. “Oh… I’m not gonna hear the end of this one,” She mumbled a little too loud. “The one my cook played cards with. Cedric, was it?”

A moment of surprise fell over the crews. And even Abram looked surprised. “You want... hm. Alright.” Abram cleared his throat. “That’s your final answer! You get Cedric Langley! The next match is a capture the flag deal. Your pick Captain Lev. Simple as it comes. A red and green flag will be tied to two dogs. Red is ours, green is yours. Whoever catches their flag first wins. Easy as that. But, you can pick your choice of players after the intermission of course.”

With hands behind her back, Runali gave a content smile and nodded. When Cedric was placed on their side, she grinned. “Welcome to the Stardusk crew. I don’t know who you are, but my cook sure does.” She left it at that before turning her back to him and facing her crew, preparing for the ‘backlash’ of not getting Alicia back after winning the match.

"By the way Luro, you get to do the next challenge."
 

Eastwood

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The first words that came from anyone's mouth at this stunning announcement was Sara. "Runali, what the hell? What the hell?!" It was a simple statement, but one that summed up her reactions to both Cedric being taken instead of Alicia, and that it now all depended on Luro to win her back. Arcadius did a good job of winning that competition, even if Sara didn't fully understand how, so taking Cedric was a waste of that. She understood how important Cedric was to Jack, but she did not understand the logic of Runali's decision. It is illogical to trade a queen for a rook, anyone could see that. It would have made far more sense to aim for Cedric in the next round.

And the fact that it all came down to Luro now who, while competent, was easily distracted and might deliberately lose just so he could see Alicia tear the Tankered Pirates apart when she has to make a forcible exit. Even if Luro had calmed down significantly as of late, Sara still didn't fully trust him, and probably never would. She knows, or feels like she knows, that that part of Luro was still there, lurking in the dark places of his psyche and his soul.
 
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