Chapter 4: Storm Brewing
Timeline: Day 1
It was not a good day, although exactly why was difficult to pin down. Perhaps because of the fog, maybe it was being cramped on a ship but for whatever reason Carol was in a bad mood, even for her standards. Unfortunately for everyone else she still had things to do, and irritated or not she had to get them done.
Carol was performing a series of swordsmanship drills on the deck, keeping her mind occupied while she waited for the new War Dog they’d picked up in Mypos. Ostensibly responsible for the people under her, she supposed it was her duty to inspect the new man and make sure he was up to snuff.
With that in mind, Carol had gotten one of the various cabin children (Of which she mostly had yet to remember the names of) to find this “Wren” fellow and send him up to the deck. Carol secretly wondered whether she’d remember not to chop that poor man’s head off, at least not in their first meeting.
Carol's rough demeanor had been one of the first thing Wren had heard about when he had come on board the Steamhawke. She was his commanding officer or something of the like, after all. But if the stories had been meant to set him ill at ease, they had clearly not done his job. He'd had every intention of hunting Carol down. Of course, the issue was that he always found himself with something a little more interesting to take a look at or tinker with. Daenelia had told him to go and meet up with Carol, but it hadn't been until some cabin boy hunted him down that Wren finally sought her out.
The cabin boy had warned him about losing his head, and it was that warning that still amused Wren even now as he approached Carol. The blond stopped a fair distance from her, hands held up in a sign of peace as she slashed the air in front of her with the naked blade.
"Wren Tamryl reporting for duty. And hoping to not get my head chopped off," he stated cheerily, giving the woman a facetious salute. Carol found herself annoyed already, but held off on killing him this early. It would look bad considering the short time she’d been on the ship.
Carol ended her practice mid-swing and planted the tip of her sword into the deck, leaning on it as if it was a cane. She got straight to the point. “Right, so what do you do? I heard somethin’ about gadgets but I didn’t listen much because it really don’t matter none.” Carol’s good eye was half shut and staring off into the distance, the woman being clearly uninterested and unimpressed with the young man. “You won’t be much help but I ‘spose it’s my job to know this kinda thing.”
Well, she was quite the downer. But Wren just grinned, shrugging his shoulders carelessly. "You never know, maybe I'll surprise you. And if you do find me useless, you've got my permission to go and toss me into the ocean somewhere." The young man stuck the thumbs of his hands beneath his belt, slouching slightly as he smiled absentmindedly in Carol's general direction. "But from what I understand, the captain brought me on board to see that you do better at your job." There wasn't even a blip in his carefree expression as that potential half-insult slipped out. "I can do weapon modifications. Like maybe a sword with a blade that vibrates so fast it cuts more easily." Theoretically it seemed a sound idea, though Wren had to stop a moment and already his mind was racing with how to actually make it a reality. "And if you need explosives or a birthday present gizmo for your niece, just come to me."
Carol half heartedly listened to the man’s spiel on his abilities, still barely even acknowledging the man in front of her. Her disinterest was so that she gave the appearance of having fallen asleep standing up, and only her yawning reply proved she had, in fact, payed attention. “Still don’t sound very useful to me, but Captain hired you. ‘Sides, this sword cuts well enough already.” She gave a minor cough, though whether it was intentional or not was unclear. “I’d show you but, eh, I don’t think I’m supposed to get rid of you yet...”
The young man just smiled at that, sticking his hands in his pockets casually, not all that alarmed by the subtle threat. It wasn't like Carol would really do anything, after all. "I'd probably be even more trouble like that. Imagine having to pick up all the pieces."
The explanation of Wren’s abilities vaguely reminded Carol of some other member of the crew, though she couldn’t remember his name for the life of her. She hadn’t seen him much anyway, and he seemed to be particularly invisible lately. She almost wondered what happened to him before remembering that she already had Wren to think about and didn’t care to begin with.
“If nothin’ else I suppose I can throw you at some fool and make you feel like you’re doin’ somethin’ before I finish up.” Carol spouted to give the recruit some, in her mind, well deserved jeers.
"Oh, I've got plenty to do," he responded easily, still grinning at his superior. "If you don't particularly need me, I can just get back to work then. Captain is gonna have us check out that sand bar at some point, and I've got something in mind that might be handy." Well, if this irritating fog didn't render all of his gadgets useless, of course. Wren was not easily annoyed, but the heavy air was starting to get to him in that regard at least. Between that and the short amount of time he had to put this thing together, he was already beginning to wonder if it would be useful at all. But he was not a man to show his doubts and just continued to smile blindly forward, a light laugh always ready.
Carol gave a brief nod and shook her hand in Wren’s direction, clearly inviting him to leave. “Don’t let me keep you. I’m sure you’ll be more useful anywhere but next to me.” she sneered, turning her back on the new recruit and pulling out her sword once more. She briefly considered striking the man before he left but decided against it, instead quietly beginning her drills once more.