Collab by Capt. Blu Capt. Blu and Fox of Hearts Fox of Hearts



Escape meant survival. Cedric didn’t need a second hint. Seeing the colourful mosaic embedded in the glossy steaming eggy exterior proved that Jack meant business. He shoved the plate back hastily into Jack’s hands, spun around and left the kitchen. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with that. Not this morning, not ever. Jack knew better than to try and bait him when he was half asleep.

Chester yawned. He gave his owner a green eyed stare not too pleased by the uneven steps vibrating up the bony shoulder. He hissed and looked away. He should have gone looking for the white haired woman. She was more pleasant in the morning.

“No glaring,” Sid admonished.

The younger brother had more to say but his current companion was in no mood to listen. His cat was so similar to him that he knew a long time ago not to prod his sleeping cat. They weren’t morning people. His ears picked up soft footfalls. Cedric froze. Who? Jack?

Annoyance roiled in his stomach. The nerve of that man! He thought it was painfully clear that he didn’t want to partake in that nightmarish mess on a plate. He thinned his lips to bite back the snark heavy on his tongue. It was a good thing he did because it didn’t take long for him to realise the footsteps were coming in the wrong direction. Someone was heading downstairs.

“Mew!” came a chirpy greeting.

Chaos’ ears pricked up when she spotted her owner but she didn’t bother leaving her spot on the shoulder. The black kitten stuck out a paw and patted Runali’s cheek playfully. She purred to inform the woman that they had company.

“Tais-toi!” He shot back at the kitten feeling a little miffed at her sunny disposition. He couldn’t remember when was the last time he ever saw her sulk. She really wasn’t the cat for him in the morning. (trans. oh shut up!)

“Mew?”

“Fine. Pardon, mon chère. Be as you will.” She was a little manipulator. He couldn’t believe Chaos could make him feel so bad for snapping at her. (trans. sorry my friend)

Sensing it would be rude to ignore the woman, Cedric gathered whatever cheer he could muster and gave Runali a lazy smile. “Ah good morning, Captain! Sorry I didn’t address you before Chaos. She has a habit of hogging the limelight.”

He guessed that worked as an apology. Truth be told he wasn’t as comfortable around the Stardusk as he had been with the Tankards. He lacked anonymity here given their tiny membership. He would run into someone and conversation happened. It was a small wonder he didn’t start lurking around the kitchen more often. At least Jack appreciate a companionable silence wherein the two brothers would ignore each other and worked on their own separate projects. IF only Jack would drop the issue regarding his meal preferences …

He was beginning to wonder if he would ever have that sort of stability with other people on this ship. Ms. Vilimar seemed to be the most likely candidate. She was quiet. First Mate Tashigi was quiet too but she had a certain aloofness about her that didn’t encourage him to stay too long in her presence. That much he gathered on his first few days. He could be wrong.

Runali was slowly but surely getting used to the cat- Chaos she remembered finally- but she wasn’t used to the fact that the cat constantly wanted to ride on her shoulders. Runali was barely used to Coral's rough landings on her shoulder. Though with the bird, she was much larger with much sharper claws. “I dunno why you're so friendly cat, but you seem to fit right into the crew. I'm not giving you anything though. Unless you eat fish then maybe you'll get one or two when I go fishing. But Coral gets first share. Captain's pet priorities.”

She looked up when Chaos patted her cheek, spotting Chester and Cedric coming towards them. Her brow raised, seeing the obviously forced smile. It made her chuckle a little and waved his apology away. “Don't worry about it. I don't know what I did to deserve her being in my face anyway.” Runali looked a little curious and almost a little teasing. “Something wrong? You look a little tired. Don’t tell me you’re not a fan of sea travel?” She reached up, showing her typical cheery disposition as she gave Chaos a light pat. She pointed at the mass of fur on Cedric’s shoulders. “Is this something they do often? Shoulder resting?” She never had a cat before, not including the tiger that roamed through the forests around Hawa Temple back at her home. But that was no lap animal, nor was she even close to being a pet- so her experiences weren’t very broad.

Sid ignored the question concerning his “tiredness”. He didn’t feel like confiding in the captain over such a trivial matter. His issue was with Jack and he was determined to get his point across one day. “They trust you if they are willing to sit on your shoulder. You won’t see her being this affectionate towards Ms. Masu, Makachi, Ms. Vilimar or Aracdius.”

His hand drifted towards Chester’s head. The cat rebuffed him with a swift, aggressive bite to the fingers. “This one here is too proud for his own good. He would only grace you with his presences if he feels you are worthy of his respect. Of the entire crew, he only tolerates you and First Mate Tashigi. I hope that answers your question.”

Sid didn’t relent. He tried to pet his grumpy cat’s head again. Annoyed, Chester winked out of sight after hissing. The little lion reappeared at Runali’s feet. He sat down huffily surveying the woman with narrowed eyes. Cedric’s glare didn’t faze him at all. His bushy tail brushed against the floorboards at random.

“Captain, before I forget,” Sid trailed off as he pulled out a beautifully carved wooden box and held it out to Runali. He planned to return it earlier but he became too invested in decorating the outside of the box. He hadn’t done any wood carving for awhile. He found it soothing.

“Jack insisted I pass this to you personally. It’s your necklace.”

He waited patiently for her to inspect his handiwork. He hoped she would be pleased. He knew he was. The necklace looked exactly the same despite him reinforcing the string. He hoped it last the next battle at the very least.

“Please let me know if you ever plan to take up my offer. I believe a WG Captain should look the part.” He smiled a little more genuinely this time. His pride in his own abilities shone through. “I’d be more than happy to assist you with that.”

Runali looked a little amused, moreso when Chester appeared at her feet. “Glad I can be good enough for… magic cats?” She was tempted to try patting Chester too but her attention was caught when Cedric presented a beautifully crafted box. Her eye widened ever so slightly when she opened it to see her necklace. It looked the same, as she inspected it. It looked a little cleaner and almost like new. “Ah,” Runali started and carefully put it back, closing the box. “Thank you very much. It's… important to me. I appreciate you fixing it for me.”

“You’re welcome, Captain. I’m glad to be of assistance,” he replied. Now he was intrigued. She was the first person to ask about the cats. He was starting to wonder if the rest knew what they were or they simply didn’t care. He’d rather it be the latter. Jack wouldn’t be happy if anyone made the connection. Sentiments Sid shared. “Magic cats? My friends are as normal as they can be.”

He exchanged a knowing look with his ginger cat. Green eyes blinked then turned away. Cedric saw the slightest pause in Chester’s eyes earlier. He couldn’t shake the feeling that his Maine Coon was more intelligent than it let on. “I haven’t figured out why they come and go like the winds. I suspect it must be a feline trait.”

It was a half truth. He had suspicions for the actual reason they could teleport but he no longer had a mentor to explain things to him. He had been fumbling around blindly for a year and a half. It was frustrating even when he made progress. He hoped Vadoma or Belvedere would make good on their promise to him soon. He needed those references. “So about that outfit …?”

She offered a smile that turned into a raised brow. “Oh, you mean a new outfit? Well,” She couldn't help but shrug. “I suppose I do need a new look. I don't see how it could hurt. And I did say I wanted to know what you could do.” Runali stepped around Chester and gestured Cedric to get the supplies he needed and head to her cabin so he'd have room to work. “Show me what you got.”

“Gladly.”

Cedric stepped into a hoarder’s treasure trove. The mess was starting to give him ahead. How could anyone find what they wanted down here? It wasn’t the lack of organization that got to him but the haphazardness of the “system”. He had no other word to describe what he saw. Squashing down his annoyance, he stepped around carefully gathering a few bolts of cloth and an long forgotten coat. He didn’t expect to find such a good quality piece here. With a little modification, he bet it would suit the captain.

“I’ve got all I need.”

Idle chatter happened every hour or two as Cedric set about working on a new blouse and pants for Runali. He allowed his model to leave for a quick lunch around one in the afternoon but he refused to follow. Food didn’t matter to him. He was too invested in his current project. Dinner would have been missed as well until it was pointed out that the captain would need to sleep. The young man bit back a protest allowing himself to be nudged out the door. His two cats didn’t follow. They were contented where they were.

Cedric continued working by candlelight out on the deck. He was minutely aware of surroundings although his empty stomach went ignored. He opted out of dinner after seeing what was served. His stomach wouldn’t be able to take food that rich or spicy after an eighteen hour fast. Was it twenty now? He wasn’t sure.

He heard the crew changing shift. For a moment he looked up, his brows threaded in confusion. Then he relaxed remembering he wasn’t on nightwatch duty today. He closed his eyes for a while to take short break. Sleep was beckoning when he sensed Jack walking over. His eyes snapped open, as his older brother stood over him with a plate in hand. Chaos sat on his shoulder nuzzling his cheek. Chester was nowhere in sight. Sid suspected he had gone to look for Alicia.

“Merci, frére. Ne devous pas être dormi?” (trans. Thank you, brother. Shouldn’t you be asleep?)

He appreciated the thought but food was the last thing on his mind right now. A faint pink tinted the horizons when he finally stood up. He leaned back and stared at the brightening sky. His attention finally on the food. Runali’s new clothes lay folded neatly at the side. That was fast! he admitted. He expected to take at least one more day. He saw a hawk, Coral Pearl Jack called her, launching herself from the eagle’s nest. Cedric removed several sardines from inside his uneaten sandwich and offered it her.

His gift was accepted but she didn’t linger long. She flew off towards the person approaching them. He waved at Runali. “Bon jour, Captain! I need you to try on the clothes. Please let me know when you’re ready.”

He felt a warm body brush against his back. Chester had decided to rejoin him. His eyes met green ones. Was the grumpy cat glaring at him? He guessed that meant Chester tried finding him in bed last night. His Majesty usually slept on a pillow beside him. That was his scheduled cuddle time, apparently.

Cedric got to diligent work. Time ticked and Runali was questioned and measured much more than she was accustomed to. In fact, she didn’t think she ever put this much attention into her clothing, accept during festivals and ceremonies back home. Most of the outfits she wore were baggy and loose sleeved enough for comfort. They didn’t have much significance as she was always rushing about and getting into trouble. Though, the longer she stayed in the rather quiet realm of tailoring with Cedric she started to wonder just how much her appearance mattered to those around her. After all, Alicia was always cleanly dressed in her Yula Feian attire- which she figured was just a customary thing. Then there was Sara and Zilia who were always so meticulous about their hair and being cleanly. Thinking back to all of her encounters with other pirates- at least the women, it was a similar trend.

At some point during, Runali could only huff and run fingers through her hair, continuing to ruffle it then smooth it down. At another point, she was thankful to be distracted by lunch, using it as a moment to escape.. A few times, she pestered Cedric about taking a break for food, but he was just as stubborn as his brother so she let him work.

What she thought would be quick and easy became a full day process- not that she knew how long it took to make clothes. The next morning, Runali was up early as she normally was, ready to get the day started. She wasn’t exactly expecting to see Cedric so early, but the way he worked before made it less surprising.

“Morning to- Oh? Have you finished already?” She looked a bit surprised but gladly took the folded clothes. Absentmindedly, Runali tilted her head slightly as Coral landed on her shoulder. The bird tapped her head against Runali’s in greeting and Runali returned it with a light scratch and a soft ‘g’morning’. “Yeah I’ll try these on now, no problem.” She gave a nod and walked off with the bird in tow.

The others began to start their day, making their way to the deck of the ship or going to find breakfast by the time Runali returned to show Cedric. The intrigue hadn’t left her face when she put the outfit on. The pants she wore were black and cut off just under her knees, flexible enough for her to stride towards him stepping as light as she normally did. Instead of a regular blouse, now Runali was in a black vest with a golden buckle at her waist. The vest itself had peculiar red and gold off the shoulder short sleeves showing off the tattoos on both her arms a lot easier than before. Runali’s hair was pushed back, showing off an eyepatch with the Stardusk symbol on it. However the most notable thing about the entire outfit was the long red and gold decorated pirate coat that went below her knees. It was only slung over one shoulder at the moment, and yet it still managed to tie the outfit together.

Outfit Reference of Outfit (obviously not exactly)

“Y’know Cedric…” Runali gave herself a look over again, turning a bit before Coral landed on the shoulder the coat was draped on. “I feel... Important.”

Chester walked around Runali. He tilted his head and purred. He didn’t need to say it but he seemed to approve of her new look. The snobbish cat was sitting a lot closer to the woman than before. Not too close, though. He liked his personal space.

“That’s acceptable for someone your status. I want you to make an impression on outsiders when you first meet them. It’s an important lesson you should embrace. His Majesty would agree if he could talk,” the tailor mused.

Sid was glad it fitted very well. He knew his measurements were accurate but he didn’t like trusting in blind faith. He wanted tangible proof. He leaned back against the wall allowing fatigue to wash over him. This won’t be the last outfit he’d be making for the captain. That won’t be enough. She needed more options in her wardrobe. An attire for formal events for instance. He had some designs in mind given her style preferences. In fact, he had an interesting bolt of cloth in mind for a decorative sash. He had no plans of returning it to that rat’s nest. He was worried he won’t be able to find it so easily next time.

Or maybe he could?

“Captain, I have one request. I’d like permission to organise your … store room.” He didn’t mean to sound so offended. Just thinking of the clutter made him irritated all over again. This was the reason he insisted on having his bedroom untouched. There needed to be order so that he could remain sane.

“Tidying up the place will free up more space for future use. The room is much bigger than it looks.”
 

Capt. Blu

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Location: Out at Sea - Around a month from Finnigan Island

After breakfast, the crew planned to enjoy the clear skies and sunshine-y weather they had been graced with for the past several days. An island would have been approaching soon and Runali was accustomed to the times they’d be eager to stretch their legs. However, unlike hours before, it had suddenly began to grow foggier. It didn’t seem too out of place and nothing out of sorts was happening, so the crew went about their day.

It wasn’t until earlier afternoon did Runali call for her crew’s attention. “Time for a quick meeting!” The captain hopped on the ledge of the ship, idly balancing and walking back and forth waiting for the crew to gather around. She left her new coat in her cabin, since it wasn’t cold enough for it. “We don’t do crew meetings very often, no?” She started when all of them gathered. “I was thinking about something. Plans, ideas, you guys, uh captain stuff. All that.” Her hand waved back and forth for a second before she continued. “Waaaay before a few of you were even part of the crew, there was always this goal. An idea to find the Black Compass.” She paused in her pacing and leaned on Luro’s shoulder since he was closer- and tall enough for her to do so. “For those that don’t know, the Compass was known to be in the hands of the last Pirate Lord. A Compass that leads to a treasure fit for the gods. We’d be set for life!” She pushed off of Luro to continue pacing back and forth on her makeshift balance beam. “But it’s not so much the treasure I’m concerned with. I’m more eager to prove we can do it. The last pirate crew that tried seemed to disappear in thin air. There’s plenty of different rumors like greed over took them or something got to them, but no one knows really.” Runali shrugged. “They just vanished. It was during my dad’s time as a pirate and from the old papers he had the Navy confirmed there was nothing left but the remains of their ship. Which, it’s the Navy. That’s hard to believe.”

She paused once more in her movement. “It’s said that the Compass is to the north where the sea starts to freeze over. We tried once, but we were a little… less than prepared. But! I say we try again! We’re tougher now and we’ll be able to get supplies and prep for it plenty of time before hand. And hey, if it gets too rough we could always just turn around and try again some other time. Think of it as another goal. First priority, Pirate Lord status. Second, lesser priority when we get bored enough- Finding the Compass. What do you say?”

During her spill, she hadn’t noticed the fog beginning to thin out abnormally quick. It seemed to fluctuate between unbearably thick and too hard to see to almost not existing at all. Before she could get an answer from her crew, there was a shrill and indescribably high pitched noise that was loud enough to echo around despite coming from nothing insight. Coral took to the skies to find a source and while she did, Runali started to step back on to the ship. “Doesn’t sound like a cry for-”

Something flew in between Runali and the crew, much too fast to see. The force alone made Runali stumble back onto the ledge, but instead of regaining her balance she was pushed backwards. Backwards and off the ship. Her one eye widened in surprise and she reached out to grab the nearest thing she could but only grabbed the air.

Above, Coral squawked for their attention and used a wing to point out towards the thinning fog. Much too far away to see clearly was a ship in the distance. And if one took a closer look via telescope, they'd spot a distinct pirate flag waving in the wind. Based off distance alone, they were much too far away to get such a clear shot to knock the captain off the ship, but after everything the crew had seen being in and out of the Stardusk crew, anything was possible.
 

SilentxChaos

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Jack cooed at Chaos as the crew congregated for the captain's meeting. He'd been entertaining the kitten all morning with a loose canvas string he cut from a fraying sail. He managed to capture Chaos afterwards and busily scratched her chest as she chewed on the ends of a dreadlock.

When they settled down, Jack found himself next to Sid. He grinned down at his brother. The first couple of weeks found an awkward space between the brothers. Over a year had passed since they last met, much less communicated, and the relationship they originally had changed. Jack continued being secretive, but whatever caused his emotional reaction when Cedric first appeared, seemed left behind it. The last two weeks showed the pirate cook happier than he'd ever been since joining Stardusk.

As the captain started talking, Jack leaned over to Cedric. "I noticed you actually ate your food this morning. Congratulations, you actually ingested something green." He winked at him, and left him to wonder what green thing he actually ate.

"This sounds more reassuring with every word," Jack said sardonically to Runali's Black Compass proposal. He glanced at Sid while Chaos rolled in his arms to get scratches on her back, wondering if his brother would be appealed by the mysterious object. The tale of the Black Compass loved to be told on every ship Jack ever sailed on. He was familiar with it... and the tragedies that surrounded it. Runali's speech inspired zero confidence regarding their own chances.

As the fog dissipated again, Jack looked up. He frowned. Since when does fog fluctuate like this? he mused to himself, glancing around them, his attention drifting away from the crew's talk.

His distraction caused him to miss the thing that pushed Runali overboard.

"Runali!" Jack cried, dropping Chaos to go to the captain's rescue. He reached for a loose rope line and placed a hand on a banister, prepared to jump over. Suddenly, a gust of wind sprang around the ship. It buffeted the crew, pulling at their clothes, twisting the fog around Lady Luck. Jack gasped. He gripped the railing tighter to prevent from falling over. His eye raised and belatedly he saw the flag of colors on the ship before them. He squinted in an attempt to make out the symbol, but it was too far away, too obscure. He gritted his teeth and heaved himself overboard after the captain.
 

Mizos

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Luro spent most of his time in the lower half of the ship during their voyage, with the L.A.D.D. and gloves adjusted a bit, he put them aside to work on later, deciding to add the changes to the ship he had promised the Captain. He had already taken care of a bit of the interior, just to better brace against attacks, the cannons had already been modified but he added a few extra ice generators to the top ones since most of them were below deck. Putting his tools to the side Luro climbed to his feet wiping a bit of sweat from his brow, with a smile he looked at the small sphere in his hand. He had been messing with the object for a few days and had finally built a small holding place for it. The space would help with holding it but he wanted to use different materials to protect it, he remembered the Nova’s ship as he was building, the small room that housed Pandora, he didn’t have enough materials for that so this would have to do, but he knew if they went up against that ship now, this was nowhere near enough.
“Well that’s something I’ll just have to solve later,” Luro said sticking a nail into his mouth.
He wanted to use other materials but there just wasn’t enough, he had plenty of wood but he knew better than to waste that resource given their past accidents. If he could help it he wasn’t going to let another situation like Nyiri happen, that still ate at him.
When he finished he had a small makeshift altar on the lower deck, it was far in the corner and setting the sphere onto it he took a few steps back bringing a hand to his chin. Raising his hands he peered through them taking in the surrounding area with a small nod.
“Yeah I can build around this…” Luro mumbled. “Hehe it’ll take a bit longer but I’ll get it done.”

Luro munched on a piece of fruit while the Captain explained their future plans, he stopped mid-bite at the mention of the Black Compass only to continue after being used as a makeshift wall. The Black Compass had never been far from his mind, it was one of their original goals. Luro’s eyes lowered a bit wondering how much sincerity was in him to search for it back then, but he knew at the very least the Compass was important to him, it was one of the first things they had been unified over, he took that at least a little seriously.
His eyes moved over to Zilia who was squeezing the bridge of her nose as the Captain spoke of the item, mainly at the part where they had tried to get it before and failed, she put her head in her hands as the Captain mentioned leaving and trying again later should things mess up again. It was pretty clear Zilia wasn’t wholly for the idea but as always she raised her head not adding to the discussion. They both knew once the Captain fully set her mind to something that was it.
“Sounds good Captain! We’ve already done the impossible multiple times, Kadi to blame for one of them. May as well add something else to the list, I mean no sense stopping at Pirate Lord."

Zilia held a note up though she wasn’t too enthused about the whole situation there was one particular thing she couldn’t deny.
“I’m not too keen on searching for such a dangerous object…but admittedly I wouldn’t mind adding such a chapter to the Chronicle.”
Zilia wanted to comment on the Pirate Lord part as well but put that aside as the strange shift in the fog was currently a bigger concern. She hugged herself a bit not liking the feeling that was starting to creep into her, this generally only happened when something bad was about to happen. The moment she noticed Luro having trouble finding a bottle of rum her eyes widened, that was a bad omen.
Almost as if in response to her silent fears the shrill sound echoed through the area, Zilia flinched at the sudden noise and Luro stopped digging in a nearby barrel. Just as he was opening his mouth to comment something passed between everyone, Zilia stumbled backwards and caught herself only to see the Captain fall over the edge. Eyes widening she sprinted after her only to be stopped by Luro who grabbed her by her hood, she looked over at him only to see him pointing at something and watched as Jack leapt over the edge. Luro’s attention was focused on Coral before moving to the ship in the distance. Luro trusted Jack to help the Captain he was concerned about what almost hit them and why the Captain fell in the first place.
“What is it?”
“I would have trouble getting a shot like that in this fog…I hope I’m wrong but they either missed on purpose or that was a warning...I kind of hope it's the first one…I’ll help Jack please keep an eye on them.”
Zilia noticed the grin on Luro's face as he stared in the direction of the ship in the distance, but it didn't last long as he
headed over to the side of the ship to help Jack get the Captain back on board, Zilia kept her eyes on the ship in the distance.
 
“Did I?”

Cedric hoped Jack was kidding. Green usually meant leafy vegetables, the kind that shouldn’t last this long out at sea. He wrinkled his nose in distaste. Jack’s teasing only made him more determined to figure out what his brother slipped into his sandwich during breakfast. It had been soft but firm. A little chewy. The earthy taste of greens oddly absent.

A water plant? He heard of seagrass and sea grapes before, but he doubted Jack had gone for a swim yesterday. He hadn’t seen signs of agricultural activity on board the ship either. Cedric was stumped. Trust Jack to come up with such an underhanded surprise. Sid shot his brother a withering glare as he vowed to check his plate more thoroughly in the evening. He wasn’t going to let Jack trick him again.

His dark mood lifted temporarily. He listened politely to Runali but didn’t comment on her goals. The Black Compass was … a myth. He wasn’t convinced it existed without concrete evidence. Attaining the status of Pirate Lord was probably more achievable in his opinion. Feeling bored, his eyes drifted around the group. His gaze lingered a little longer in Zilia’s direction. The weird fog finally caught his attention. A feeling of unease prickled inside him.

He crossed his arms as a way to distract himself. His mind was already straying from the group. Cedric’s head whipped around quickly when he heard the shrill noise. His jaws clenched tightly as his ear kept ringing. Failing to spot the source of the sound, he braced himself. His fingers reached for one of his summoning cards. Chester, who had been sleeping nearby, was awake and alert. Chaos was oddly quietly. Her ears flattened against her head. She was nervous.

Chester hissed suddenly but his warning was too slow. Cedric’s heart fluttered erratically as his eyes darkened. He scanned the area for signs of another attack. His mind slowly catching up and informing him that the Captain had gone overboard. The message only became clearer when he saw Jack leaping after her. His breath hitched again. Oi, Jack!

He darted to the edge while pointing at the person closest to him. “Watch the rope! Don’t let it snap!”

He wasn’t sure if Alicia had given the same orders. His mind was frantically offering a dozen suggestions at once. There had to be something he could do to help! He gripped the top of the rails tightly suppressing the urge to jump after Jack. He cursed under his breath. The fog was not helping at all! They could barely see anything despite the fog thinning out.

Light! The thought was never fully articulated. Only an image of lighthouse lingered in his mind. Cedric felt inspired all of a sudden. He whipped out two cards from his pouch and threw them in the direction Jack jumped. There was brief flash of heat and light. All that was left of the cards were shimmering cinders slowly disappearing in the mist. Light gathered on the Jack and Runali’s skin. The patches knitted into a thin layer making them glow softly. It wasn’t very bright up but it was enough for Cedric to spot them.

“There! I see them!”

The feeling of unease returned two-fold. At the back of his mind, Sid wondered if he did the right thing. He made it easier for everyone to spot the two. That included their enemies. He sucked in his breath as he became even more vigilant. That was when he spotted the ship.

“Merdi!” he swore.
 

Capt. Blu

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Location: Out at Sea

The fog started to thicken again, obscuring first Runali, then Jack. Coral seemed to get more ruffled by the second, before flying downward and onto a barrel. Even Chaos and Chester seemed to wearily take steps back.

For those that searched for their captain and cook, not only could they not be seen, but there was never a splash heard, despite the quiet becoming more and more eerie. Cedric’s light flashed and flickered long enough to see the two for a brief moment, but the fog seemed to consume it and muffle the light enough to hide them once more.

When Runali fell, the sudden surprise of it made her voice catch in her throat, but she braced herself for the fall in order to quickly be able to swim to the surface. However instead of hitting the water, she felt something- someone grab her hand, only for her to abruptly stop falling. The sudden forceful tug of her arm made her suck in a breath, but she heaved a sigh spotting Jack as the one that grabbed her. She noticed the rope he was holding and soon they were both being pulled up. Looking down, Runali noticed how close she was to the water and when she squinted, she could have sworn she saw a fin circling where she would have landed… But when she blinked, it was gone.

The light caught her attention next. It was bright around her, but she was in no position to be alarmed despite the sudden tensity of the situation. Instead she could only watch as it became harder to see in front of her. She only held on a little tighter as they were being pulled up.

They were pulled back up by Luro, as he was the closest one to the ropes at the time. Runali reached up, taking Luro and Jack’s hand to be pulled back onto the deck of the ship. “Thanks.” Oddly enough, she realized she hadn’t said anything during the fall nor during when she was caught. Almost as if she couldn’t until now.

Once more, the fog seemed to fluctuate and thin out. However this time, with all eyes on the ship ahead, the moment they blinked, it was suddenly a lot closer than before.

“What the-”

This time a bright white flash passed their eyes, almost forcing them to look away or blink. And suddenly, the ship was sailing up to them- much, much easier to see and much closer than before. This ship didn’t look like a typical pirate ship. The sails were a deep red that looked like chiffon curtains much like ones that were used in theatrical performances. The ship was higher than Lady Luck, but it was easy to see what looked like parts of a stage on the deck of it. The cannons were painted a golden color and there seemed to be more spots of decoration on the ship, like red bows that matched the sails. The jolly roger was no different, matching the sails, the symbol inside however- instead of a skull was an anchor with music notes wrapping around it.

There was an uneasiness in the air that seemed to slowly disappear with the fog. Runali stood wearily by Luro’s side, gesturing for him to prepare for the worst. Although the moment she told him to, her eye widened a bit and she raised her hand to stop him. “Hold it!”

Across the side of the ship, as it slowed to a drift by their side, read the word ‘Valhalla’ in a white decorative script. Runali had only heard rumor of them- and knew little about them even when they were mentioned, but there was no mistaking the jolly roger and the name of the ship.

“Another Worst Gen- the Court of Miracles.” Runali looked back at her crew and then to the ship. “The third- no fourth Worst Gen group.” She clarified. “The ones we happened to knock down a peg.” Unlike before, where there seemed to be a forced uneasiness put on them, things seemed to slowly return to normal. Coral flew onto Runali’s shoulder and the captain started to take steps forward. “Well,” Runali glanced back at her crew and gave a small smile as if the tension from before never existed. “This should be fun, no?” Before the more recognizable ‘distressed’ faces could form, she added. “I’m gonna guess they were the ones that attacked me… I don’t know how, but I’m gonna get answers. Can’t just let that happen and be okay with it. What kinda pirate would I be? Besides, they’re slowing down- and the cannons are being pulled in.”
 

SilentxChaos

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He made it. Just in time.

"You okay, captain?" Jack called down to Runali as they swung against the ship's port side. She didn't answer, which worried him, until he witnessed the fin of a shark dashing away below the fog. He swallowed and tightened his grip on her wrist. The light shined around them. It made him tense up, at first, not understanding or remembering where it was coming from. But as Luro started pulling them back on deck, he thought he saw Cedric's silhouette looking over the rail through the fog. Jack smirked. Worry wort.

When they got close enough, Jack heaved Runali up so she could grasp the railing. Luro offered his hand in help as Jack hauled himself over. He gave a grateful grin to Luro, and patted his brother's shoulder with a nod. With everyone safely aboard, Jack turned his attention to the ship. Like Runali, he recognized the pirate insignia immediately. A hand rested on the pummel of a butterfly sword, the cook noticing the bared cannons and wondered if the ship would attack. "I wonder how they feel about that?" he muttered when Runali mentioned that Stardusk had stolen the Court of Miracle's ranking.

He didn't know much about the Court of Miracles. He recalled a thin stack of old bounties on Hoshi's desk, out dated, unclear as to what crimes warranted those numbers. No one who talked about the former third Worst Gen gave a straight answer to how they earned that status. He suspected Hoshi had known, from when she served as a naval general. She never did bring it up during her endless who-and-what were the Worst Generation drills.

His head snapped towards Runali, looking down his nose at her with one eyebrow raised. "I hope you realize, captain, this won't be like with the Novas. They may hold a grudge against us. Or..." he considered then shrugged. "Or maybe not. I confess, I don't know much about them in terms of their piratical history."
 

Eastwood

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"I'll get my weapons." Sara sighed, before going below deck. She wasn't the biggest fan of fighting at sea, she preferred to wage combat on solid ground that was stable and not-moving. But she had long-since accepted that the luxury of choosing a battleground was gone. She returned with her gladius and pistols strapped to her side, her shield on her back, and her spear held in her hands.

"So... Do you know anything about these guys? Aside from having a very decorative and fancy-looking ship?"