A Woman Driving a Boat?
Chapter 1: The Sea and the Port
Location: Barnacle's Bar
Timeline: Late afternoon some November day
It was late afternoon and Captain Daenelia had been sitting in Barnacle's Bar for a long time, waiting for potential crew members to announce themselves. She'd already had 3 cups of coffee and some lemon cheesecake, while going over her notes again. The map she had been studying was rather unclear about some points. There were islands on the map she'd never seen before and yet she thought she knew the area rather well. She knew a good mapmaker in Port, and she planned to visit him. Just as soon as she had hied at least one person.
The door opened and a gust of cold wind came in. A shadowy figure stood in the doorway. Akito stopped and looked the tavern. Earlier that day he heard about an unknown captain looking for an engineer. His eyes scanned the bar in search of the pirate, but found nothing beyond the usual faces. Except for a woman sitting at the bar. She could know something, or don't. He had to try, that was the only chance he had to run away from that city and perhaps find something about his past.
Daenelia felt a could non-human hand nudging her back while a strong husky voice asked her something. She turned to see better who was bothering her in this weak day. She found a young man with a big scar on his face and a rough mechanical hand. Maybe it was too much for his age. But she had no time to think, he asked again with the same severe husky voice: "I heard you're hiring engineers".
"Oh yes". She answered with a big smile. After all this day wasn't completely useless. "I'm Captain Daenelia Bradley, and you are?"
The man stayed some time looking her before say anything. He couldn't believe a woman can drive a ship. Or do anything else except cook and clean. He thought she was just some assistant of the captain and now wasn't sure if he want to be commanded by a female. Meanwhile the madam kept waiting to him say something. After few minutes, or hours, Daenelia couldn't say, he finally spoke something.
"My name is Akito. And I didn't know a woman can drive a boat." With this affirmation the captain's smile flowed from her face. The last thing she wanted in Terra was a sexist on board to influence her entire crew. "See, I normally wouldn't accept orders from you but I need a job and you need an engineer." Daenelia noticed that finesse wasn't Akito's strong but he was right: she definitely needed for a engineer.
"You didn't told me your last name, Mr...?" At that moment the man was quite impassive, however now she noticed a drop of humanity in his face. "I don't remember." He said. "I lost all my memory. I was encountered at the bay few months ago."
"And how can you ask me for the vague, possibly one of the most importants in a ship if you can't even remember your last name?" The whole thing now looked like a joke for her, someone was trying to make fun of her face. Nut that idea quickly faded from her mind when she saw the unknown's expression. He spoke very seriously and wasn't a man of games.
"Very well" The Captain continued, completely tired of all the tension. "If you're such a good engineer, show me some of your work."
"You're already looking at it. In fact, you couldn't remove your eyes of it the entire afternoon." Akito pointed to his arm. "This was the only good thing I made all these months since I woke up in pain at the beach, in that fateful day. It was built with the material given from the people of the nearby villages whom took care of me all the time. As you can see I made a great useful arm of second hand pieces. And until now I've been working on small mechanical jobs for the same villagers. It's not that much, but I know I can handle with a ship."
Now her impression about Akito changed. He wasn't a rude man desperate for money. He was just a rough man desperate for a past. On the other hand, all that could be a lie. But until now she had hired all kinds of people. Besides, she was really impressed with his work on that arm.
"Well, welcome to Steamhawke crew, Mr. Akito. But before you get to know my boat and hit the job details we need to decide some issues." She took a long deep breath before continuing. "I don't like the way you treated me and even though this is part of your personality, know that I'll be your captain now and I demand respect." She stopped and waited for him to raise up and go away. However he only agreed with her.
Akito was tired of that city, tired of have no money and depending on others feeling sorry for him to live. And to him it was better be commanded by a woman and travel the world than sleep in the street.