End of the Easy Life
Chapter 3: Mypos or Bust
Location: Steamhawke, crew quarters
Timeline: Day 4
It was quiet. The chink of a bottle hitting a glass and the sound of smoke being breathed out the only distractions of a card game in progress. Dottie was holding her hand of cards close to her chest, while a cigar was stuck in the corner of her mouth. Julian Robinson was sitting opposite her, brow furrowed in concentration. It was hard to focus on the cards, as he did not see them so clearly through the alcohol haze.
"You're playing?" Dottie said in a low voice.
Robinson groaned. "I don't know." He threw his cards on the table. Dottie smiled around the cigar and raked in the winnings on the table.
"That was too easy," she said through clenched teeth. Her eyes shot an amused look at the man across from her.
"As easy as finding a new hammock to sleep in tonight?" Robinson retorted. "Because that gypsy will be sleeping in your bed?"
Dottie's smile faded. "What is your problem, Robinson? I thought you didn't think me qualified as acting first mate?"
"I don't. Doesn't mean I like having that Getmecoatal gypsy in charge." Robinson snorted. "Can't believe the way the Captain is hiring all this ... riff raff. How are we supposed to run a tight ship, when all...?"
"Well, she hired you," Dottie took the cigar out of her mouth finally. "I thought that that set the lowest standards to begin with."
Robinson opened his mouth, but the brandy he'd been having was befuddling his brain, stopping him to come up with either a good response or finishing his original train of thought. Dottie grinned as she lifted the glass of whisky to her lips. "For what it is worth, I think he is capable." She swallowed a mouthfull of her drink. "He has a reputation, and when other ships learn he is on our crew, that will give the Captain a better standing."
"Could hardly give the Captain a worse standing. She is the laughing stock already," said Robinson. "I heard, in the tavern, that they called this ship the 'nursery', on account of all the little kiddies running around."
Dottie cocked her head and raised an eyebrow. "What kiddies?"
"Well, the runaway girl. The clockwork thin..." "Hoh, wait, she is no longer on board, mate!" "Oh. That Oriental girl, she's what? 11? Erm, the kitling, that other girl, and .. How old is that Ed guy?"
Dottie thought hard. "I think he is not a kid, mind you. And Kanya is 15. Hardly a kid." Dottie stood up, swaying a little. "Scuseme, I need to lie down."
Robinson grunted, and laid his head on the table as a way of answer. "You know sooner or later we're going to get our arses kicked!" He mumbled into the table's surface.
"I'll kick yours if you don't shut it!" Dottie laughed as she fell into a random empty hammock. True, it was not as comfortable as the feather bed in the First Mate's quarters. But she also did not have any of the responsibility anymore. She kinda missed it, not being the first the Captain would call out for. But she also felt free to do what she was best at. Just being the best damned pirate she could be. Maybe... transferring to the War Dogs would be a good idea, she though as she slowly drifted off to sleep.