Pirates and Sirens and Bears, oh my!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Special Doodle, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. Silas Davier was not a patient man. He was many things; an adventurer, a sailor, a well respected captain, a fearsome enemy... But a patient man was not on that list of titles, self proclaimed or otherwise. He stood by the docks where his ship was tied for the time being. The smelly little port town he'd been forced to make rest in for the night was not on his intended list of stops for this trip. But an offer he couldn't refuse had come by, some two weeks ago, and the cash offered was not something that he could refuse so easily. For the better part of the last hour, he stood by his ship, impatiently checking the time with the gold plated watch chained to one of his belt loops.

    He was growing tired of the waiting. This... George, or perhaps it was Greg... He couldn't recall the name of the man who'd sent him the offer. Something bland. English descent, most likely. He didn't remember, nor did he care. He only cared that they made good of their promise. A hefty sum of gold in exchange for a ride to someplace on their way to their next destination. Silas thought the request a strange one, but he had no qualms about the conditions of it, which stated his newest passenger would work for their keep among the ship during their travels. That, he could make use of. And he intended to. Poor sod was paying to work for him. It was naïve. It was cute. And it was the kind of foolhardy thirst for adventure he looked for in new recruits.

    But the lateness. That irked him terribly. Poor fellow would need to step up their game, if they hoped to earn any sort of place amongst the crew. Still, he waited. And waited. And waited.
  2. Gretchen didn't need a timepiece to know that she was dismally late. Her gut, the sun's height, the labored breathing of the horse beneath her - the poor creature was near collapse at this point - all screamed that she was well past due for her appointment. If she could actually call it that. Meeting with a pirate captain really wasn't something respectable enough to be labeled as an appointment, was it? It wasn't as if there was a guidebook for this sort of thing: a young lady using the sea as a getaway from a marriage that she wanted no part of.

    She thundered through the streets of the little town where she'd arranged for her unusual meeting, using the glimpses of masts over rooftops as navigation. If the Lord was good, the ship she'd arranged passage on would still be there, and not disappearing over the horizon. That was part of the reason she'd offered such a high payment - money was the best way to catch someone's eye, and more money was the best way to keep it. Slowing her mount when she reached the docks, she surveyed the area from her perch. None of the ships were - ah, there! Breathing out a sigh of relief, she swung down from her horse to walk over to the waiting captain, but nearly collapsed when her rubber knees initially refused to take her weight. It seemed the hard ride hadn't affected the horse only.

    Fighting to regain her dignity, she managed a stride that would be categorized as "slightly drunk" as she closed the distance between herself and the waiting man. He didn't look pleased, but he at least hadn't left, so she would count her small blessings. "Captain Davier?" She addressed him, pitching her voice to the tone that she had practiced and believed was a suitable male timbre. "I'm George Harding."

    Gretchen had prepared herself for this. Though it was a completely foreign experience, she had worked from guesses and the adventure tales she'd read as a little girl. Her flaxen hair was cropped short, and her average breasts were so tightly bound that drawing a deep breath was difficult. Her clothes were loose to hide the curves that she couldn't bind, and she had tutored herself to speak in a lower tone and to walk with the longer and wider stride of a man. This was her one chance to escape, and she was taking it seriously.

    "I apologize for being so late," she continued, gesturing towards her horse, "but my mount threw a shoe." It was one of the oldest excuses in the book, and she knew it, but it was true. She'd ridden so hard that she was lucky that the animal hadn't broken a leg and left her to walk.
  3. Silas heard the pounding hooves against the docks before he saw them. When he saw the overworked horse barreling down the docks, its rider equally distressed, he knew without a second doubt that this was the lad he'd been waiting on. He could see very well that the man was a runt. Up close, the observation was even more prominent and, frankly, disturbing. He didn't look strong enough to hold up himself. His posture on the horse was horrid, like he'd never taken proper lessons. While Silas himself had never received lessons, he still knew how to ride without throwing himself into such a drunken spell of dizziness. The man raised a brow when the boy got down from his mount. He wanted to slap his face with his hand, to tell the poor drunkard- who hardly even looked old enough to grow his first chin hairs, to get on home.

    "George." Silas repeated. "You're the man who sent me this." He dug about in his pants pocket, procuring from it the note that contained the offer. The coin encased with it was already stashed away. "Let me get this entire thing straight. You contacted me, with this offer. You will ride with me on my ship, working alongside my men in exchange for a ride somewhere away from here. A destination of my choosing. You even paid me for this, in addition to the work you'll be doing during your travels. Am I correct?" Before George could answer, Silas continued. "Let me tell you something boy. I don't give a damn what excuses you have for being late. I don't care if your mount threw a shoe or if you came down with the plague. When you make an offer like this, you damn well uphold to it and you do it on time. This. This mess. This was inexcusable and if I didn't need more men, I'd have you killed on the spot for wasting my time, do you understand? I will not tolerate it. You work for me and you work my way. You get things done on time." He wouldn't hesitate to make an example of him for the rest of his crew.

    "Count your blessings for now. You're going to need them." And with that, he directed the man aboard.
  4. Stunned into silence by the man's brusqueness, Gretchen could only stare. There was already a deep sense of dread building in her gut. This was the man that she had essentially sworn herself to? She had known his reputation, but hadn't expected this. First impressions were everything - he was quite apparently not impressed by the one he had of her, and she didn't think she would like him very much. Of course he would have to be authoritative to captain a ship, but he could have at least tried a proper greeting. There was a part of her that screamed to stand up against him with all the fierceness that a woman could muster, but that logical little voice whispered that she was a man now and that she had to obey to stay in disguise and alive. So she gritted her teeth and bowed her head with a quick, "Yessir."
    Shouldering her single pack of possessions, and grateful that she had packed sparingly, she let him direct her onto the ship. You can do this, she reminded herself. You have to. At least she wasn't entirely naive about ships and sailing. Her family was relatively well to do, thanks to her father's business as a merchant. When she was younger, he had smuggled her out from under her mother's wing to let her join him on his shorter trips. So she knew the basics of sailing. Enough, she hoped, to keep this disdainful captain from throwing her overboard.
  5. Silas offered a curt nod to the man and turned his back on him, fully expecting him to follow and keep up the pace. If he wanted a place amongst the ship, he had to earn it. The captain was as rough with him as he was all new members, temporary as his place amongst his ranks was. Silas ran no passenger ship. Space was scarce, accommodations were not deluxe. But surely, Silas figured, George knew that. He shoved the gangly little man off to someone else to show him around. "Vetis!" Silas glanced over at a burlesque man hauling supply crates from the deck to the lower levels of the ship, "Show our guest around. He'll be staying with us for some time."

    Vetis looked up from his work and slowly, carefully set down the crate he was carrying. It landed with a heavy thud, in spite of his efforts to be careful. Silas was gone by the time he approached to introduce himself. His skin was dark and caked with dirt- a thick layer of grime covered the heavy tan he'd acquired working under the sun for hours-- days-- months on end. "You. You are new member to team." He spoke with a heavy accent in broken English. "Captain Silas make many mention of you. Is not good to show up late. Very lucky man." He nodded. "Also very stupid." Vetis laughed. "To pay for work, here. Very stupid indeed."

    After he'd gotten over his laughter, Vetis introduced himself. He was the second newest member amongst the crew, second only to George now. "I lift the heavy boxes. Now you lift boxes too. If boxes do not crush you first." That sent him into another fit of laughter, but he calmed down from it quickly. Vetis showed George around, barely offering him time to speak before calling him stupid or laughing at a joke about him getting hurt. "This. This is where all sleep." There were about six cots, each of which bolted to the ground. There were even more blankets and pelts scattered about the dirty floor; makeshift beds where there were no more. "Sleep wherever. But cots is not for you."
  6. Gretchen felt as if she was facing the Biblical Goliath when she was essentially handed over to the towering Vetis. He was lifting crates that likely weighed the same amount that she did with ease - she was almost certain that she would not be able to do such manual labor without help. She had to pray that she would be put to other tasks. His words made her cheeks flame red with embarrassment. It certainly had been silly to pay as well as offer to work. But she had hoped that securing her passage twofold would ensure her safety, and if it did, she would be able to take the mockery.

    She followed Vetis around quietly, partly due to focus and partly because the big man wouldn't let her get a word in edgewise. He seemed to find her amusing, and she wondered if this would continue throughout the voyage. With any luck, the novelty would wear off in the first few days and she could fade to the background. The less notice she received, the better - her disguise was good, but not foolproof. Nothing ever was.

    Her resolve wavered slightly when she was shown the sleeping quarters. The thought of spending every night in such conditions - on the floor, surrounded by men - made her face burn. She could pretend to be a man, but she was still very much a woman, and it was looking like she would be hard pressed to ever have a moment to herself. She would have to be very, very careful. Dropping her satchel next to one of the cleaner looking pallets on the floor, she turned to look at Vetis. "What do I need to do?" She asked, pitching her voice to its masculine tone. The sooner that she threw herself into working and becoming one of the crew, the better.