Friends and Enemies
Chapter 4: Storm Brewing
Timeline: Day 1
Even considering the conditions the Steamhawke was sailing into the mist was bad. Even below the deck it seeped in through every opening, filling the entire ship with an eery haze. Something about the fog had Carol on edge, making her more irritable than usual. She sat on her bunk, alone after shooing her roommate out of the cabin. More than a bad mood, something seemed seriously amiss in her eye.
“They ain’t done nothin’ wrong by me so far, there’d be no point in that...” she mumbled to herself, almost as if conversing with an invisible entity. A bead of sweat trailed down the side of Carol’s face, her expression displaying a unusual amount of nervousness given her usual confidence. Her skin had gone pale, and she looked as though she’d just received some kind of horrible news.
She stared at the floor for a while and listened to the growing silence in the cabin. “I ain’t listenin’ to you, you got nothin’ good to say.” she growled, once again at nothing in particular. Once more silence was the response, only broken by Carol hurling a knife across the room and sticking it into the back wall. “Shut your mouth, I said!” she roared, standing suddenly as she did.
Her face twisted in anger as she headed for the door, undoing the latch and thrusting the door open. She slammed it hard behind her, almost causing the entire ship to quake. Carol leaned her back against the door and breathed heavily. Aside from the sound of breath there was still silence.
Daenelia had gone down below once more, as she had started to do a few times after they had landed in the water. The strip of sand was barely visible in the mist, and she kept feeling the need to hide. This time, though, she heard an argument going on. She followed the sound of the angry voice and as she came closer she saw Carol standing outside her cabin. But there was no one else there. Daenelia assumed her roommate must still be inside. For a brief moment the thought that Carol had killed her roommate fluttered to the surface, but she knew better than that. Or did she?
"What's going on?" Daenelia asked, sternly, like good old Captain Dubois. He was always stern, mean even. But his crew always respected him. Daenelia wanted to be respected. She deserved it! Didn't she? The doubt was clearly on her face, negating her stern voice.
Carol frowned at the intrusion. She had enough on her plate and didn’t need to be snapped at. Her face changed rapidly from the nervousness of before to one of irritation and anger. Even for Carol it seemed an irrational response. “Nothin’ is goin’ on! Maybe you should keep to yourself!” she shouted back.
She turned suddenly and punched the door to her chamber. Small specks of blood launched from the impact as the wood cracked beneath her fist. “I thought I told you to shut it!” she shouted through the door as her attention was drawn from the Captain and back to whatever invisible force she had been conversing with before.
Anger now rose in Daenelia. Who did this woman think she was? "Listen!" she raised her voice, a little. "You stop this right now! I will not have any fighting among the crew. We have a mission to accomplish and I need the pack leader to be level headed! Now if you can't be that pack leader, I will remove you from the position and find someone else!"
Daenelia squared her shoulders and straightened her back. She could lead the war dogs herself, she could steer the ship, she'd find the treasure. Then they'd see. She sneered, not so much at Carol, but in her direction nevertheless. Carol snapped her head towards the Captain and scowled. “I’m not fightin’ with your crew, leave me alone!”
Carol was getting fed up with this woman constantly interrupting her business, and with her it was never a good idea to get on her nerves. She rested her hand on the hilt of her sword, obviously a threatening posture. Perhaps her helper was right; maybe she did need to get rid of her annoyances.
“If’n you ain’t gonna leave me alone, maybe you’d prefer I force you out of my sight?” Carol growled, her tone noticeably deeper and with an almost demonic distortion. Her good eye flared slightly, almost giving the appearance of a glow as she gave forth her ultimatum to the Captain. Daenelia felt the tension rise, and in the back of her mind she realised this could escalate to a point where she'd have to fight to prove her point of no fighting among the crew. Jack would have cut this woman's head off with one swing. Daenelia instinctively rested her hand on her pistol hanging from her hip. Gun beats sword, she always said. It would just be a matter of being quicker than Carol.
But as Daenelia stroked the handle of her pistol, Carol casually gripped her sword hilt. That simple gesture reminded the Captain of the quick reflexes this woman had. Daenelia had trouble focussing and keeping her calm. All the taunts from Jack came back to her, about her lack of restraint, her rash decisions, her inabillity to think before reacting. "You will never be a captain, dear Daenelia, because you're too immature," he had said. "No one will follow you. Because you can't control yourself." Jack had stared at her hard, and she had laughed, saying she would not need to be captain, if he was in charge.
Daenelia removed her sweaty palm from her pistol. "Go to your cabin, Master Summers. That is an order. Sleep off whatever is troubling you. If you do not, I will ask the doctor to give you something to sleep on." The brief flash of Carol’s eye grew in response, and an intense murderous energy began to emit from her body. However, just as things began to truly get out of hand, Carol instinctively caught herself. Her eye seemed to calm, and the tension left the air.
Carol removed her hand from her sword and placed it on the cabin door, turning the nob and pulling the door open without another glance towards Daenelia. She quickly retreated into the still empty room, shaking her head to herself in response to something only she knew. Perhaps, she began to think, the issue here wasn’t the Captain; just maybe it was her ‘friend’. Pondering with how to deal with this unique problem Carol slammed the door behind her.
The air displaced by the door slamming blew Daenelia's hair into her eyes, and she squinted. She straightened and pulled her shirt straight. Then she turned abruptly and stormed off to the upper deck. This Carol Summers would be more trouble than she was worth, she was sure.