Chapter 6: Desperate Times
Location: Meeting room, Steamhawke
Timeline: Day 5
The crew was getting itchy, the Captain had noticed. They wanted to leave port as soon as possible. She had also noticed some of the crew were getting offers from other ships, who were about to take to the skies, and needed a few more good men. Or women. She was lucky so many of the crew were feeling a kind of loyalty to her. Or they just remembered the recent bonus they'd been paid, with Elias's money. Still, good crew and all, she felt the ship would benefit having a few more additions. There were still too many hammocks empty.
The door was thrown open and the swabbie McGinty stepped in. "Someone to see you, Cap'm," he said.
A man walked through the wooden doorway, clad in dusty clothing. The collar of his jacket was popped up hiding the lower portion of his face. He wore his newsboy style cap low to shield his eyes. He would have been inconspicuous if it weren’t for his left eye, which was blood red, clashing with the light blue of his left.
“He says his name is Davenport,” McGinty went on to say. “Says he wishes to speak to you.”
“Sebastian Davenport,” The newcomer announced as he tipped his cap slightly to the woman. “Seaport has nothing left to offer me. I seek passage on your vessel.”
Sebastian knew that the ship he was on was a pirate ship, hell half of the ships that dock in Seaport are affiliated with pirates in some way, but he was not expecting the Captain of such a large ship to be a woman. He had only a few encounters with pirates before, usually in the pubs and taverns and they were usually an aggressive and rowdy bunch. He imagined she must be quite the cutthroat to keep a ship full of pirates at bay.
"Oh. Oh!" Daenelia exclaimed. As she sat up and tried to find the crew manifest. McGinty handed a list to her. "Not now, McGinty. I need ..."
"The crew manifest, Cap'm." He then left the room. Daenelia looked at the door while wondering if McGinty even knew how to read.
"Right." She peered at the list. Administrative work was not for her, she knew. But even Seaport demanded some sort of list of crew and cargo, even if they accepted fake names and forged documents. "Well, we're almost at full complements, Mister Davenport." She looked at the young man. "What can you do?" Was it the light, or was his eye red?
"Of course Captain," Though Sebastian's voice remained calm and collective, his mind raced with information.
The young lad carefully observed his surroundings, looking for exits and items that could benefit him in case a fight or flight response ever became necessary. He noted the two doors, one from which he entered and the other on the opposite end of the room, most likely leading to the Captain's quarters. If he had to make an escape he would toss a few smoke bombs he held in his jacket and work his way back out the door he came, he had no idea what to expect from the other exit. If the need for violence arose, he always had his left arm, but the saber that lay on the table to his left would also be of great use.
"I have many skills that could be at your disposal," Sebastian went on to saying as his eyes finally came to rest on the Captain. "My arm here," Sebastian raised his left arm. Several gears could be heard and seen spinning through the gaps of the plating that surrounded his arm. A torch like flame, spewed from his index finger, sure to muster up a few surprises. The flame quickly rescinded as a one foot blade popped out from his arm just above his wrist. It was a sturdy blade used for close combat and was still a stained red from its previous use. The blade retracted and Sebastian clicked a button under his arm. The plate popped up revealing a stash of small tools such as pliers, wrenches, scissors, and a small hammer. He closed the plate again. "It has its uses. And you'll just have to take me up on my word when I say I know how to use all of my tools to their potential."
Sebastian wasn't the type of guy to trust anyone easily, so naturally he left many of his other inventions out of the discussion and out of view of others. He didn't know much about this crew, they weren't famous or notorious, they had no reputation and no distinguishable characteristics that would make them stand out from the crowd. It would be the perfect place to keep out of sight from the law and still be able to continue his search for "Lucky" Jack and the mysterious Amber Stone.
The captain was staring at the arm, a mixture of interest and horror on her face. She remembered someone told her Erm, the apprentice engineer, had been looking to replace his healthy arms with clockwork replicas. She blinked and focused on the young man waiting for her reply. "So... you are handy with tools? Do you have any combat experience?"
Sebastian nodded. "I am handy with tools. This arm started as a simple 'bare bones' model at first. I added all the additions as the needs arose." Sebastian spoke softly, carefully selecting his words. He was not yet sure just how much he could reveal to placate the Captain. He needed his secrets.
"I actually lost my arm in a fight." That sentence was only half true. 'Lucky' Jack was the one who had amputated his arm, but it wasn't so much of a fight as it was a one hit knock out. His combat training with Jack did prove useful though in the days that had followed. "This arm is made from reinforced metal, it could take a bullet if needed. And the need had arose once before. This arm is valuable for its inventive properties as well as destructive. I have experience in both it uses."
Sebastian felt as though the captain was cautious, a trait he and her shared. It was a trait that could cause him to be declined his request. He couldn't allow that to happen.
"If you need a demonstration, I would be willing to oblige." Sebastian's offer was a simple one, but it may be just the right offer to secure his position among the crew.
Daenelia was intrigued. Sebastian was confident, but not all that cocky. Yet his claims were quite extraordinary. Many men said they could make clockwork things, and do engineering stuff. Very few had the skills to back those claims up. After all, tinkering with mechanics and finding resources took both time and money. Not many who wanted to be on a pirate ship had both of those in affluence. "Proceed," she said and gestured to Sebastian to demonstrate what he wanted.
Sebastian nodded and asked if the Captain as well as anyone else could follow him outside onto the deck. What he wanted to show them was not possible from inside the cabin. No one seemed to disagree as they escorted the young man outside.
The cool savory air felt good an his face. The room they were in was far too cramped for Sebastian's liking. It was musty and stale, like that of a beached whale; it left a bad taste in his mouth.
Sebastian reached inside his jacket, pulling from one of the dozens of pockets inside a small copper tube, about the length of a pencil and twice the thickness. The tube was hollow and had many holes adorning the top of it. One of the ends was narrow, as if it had been flattened, but still remained open. The other end, was warped and twisted in a most strange looking manner.
Placing his lips on the narrow end and placing his fingers on top of it, Sebastian began to gently blow into the copper tube. A high frequency pitch started to resonate from the makeshift instrument. His fingers danced across the top of the copper cylinder changing the tone of the sound being emitted. Though it was a higher pitched sound, it was easy on the ears. This was due mostly to its range being just inside a human's ability to hear.
Not long after he started to play the music, a screeching cry echoed in the sky. Down from the blazing sun flew a bird, calling out as if singing along with the music. It was no ordinary bird. It was an owl, a rare almost endangered species. The owl landed on the railing of the ship, calling out to his master.
With a nod, Sebastian smiled and placed the flute back in his jacket. The owl jumped off the railing and onto his left clockwork arm, where he looked most comfortable. From the looks of the him, the bird was only part owl. His right wing was part bird, part machine. His left, was entirely mechanical. Attached to the wings and wrapped around his body was a small box with yellow lights. It housed a small fuel cell which allowed the wings to work properly.
"This is Gregory," Sebastian introduced the bird with a pleasant voice. A new tone hat had previously been missing from his previous conversations. "I found him last year with two broken wings. I rebuilt his wings so that he could fly once more. He now travels with me as my companion."
Sebastian knew that Gregory was a prime example of his ability to create and engineer. The two of them shared many adventures together and his relationship with the owl was the strongest he had built since before Jack had betrayed him. If you had to name one person whom Sebastian trusted over anyone else, it was Gregory.
Daenelia looked at the owl in amazement, not noticing the ship's cat Copper creeping up behind her and hissing silently at the owl. Copper had a clockwork leg, given to him by his owner, who had died recently. But his leg was not as complicated as the owl's wings. "Extraordinary...," Daenelia whispered. She shot a look at Sebastian. "And you made this?" When he nodded, she put two and two together.
"I can offer you a place as... war dog engineer." She straightened up and pulled her bandana tighter around her hair. "You'd be part of our fighting team, and you'd be helping them by creating and maintaining weapons, as well as using your skills to beat the enemy. How does that sound? You'd have a place to sleep, food to eat and an equal part of the loot... when we come across any." She folded her arms, trying to keep looking in Sebastian's eyes, and not stare at the owl for too long.
The offer was perfect. He would be able to blend in with the crew and keep his distance from the authorities while still being able to continue his own search. The prospect of some loot was a plus. It would be nice if he didn't have to worry about money for a while. If he was to accept the offer, his own loyalties would still lay with himself, he would aid the best he could, but he would let nothing stand in the way of his own goals.
"War dog engineer..." Sebastian paused for a moment before revealing a slight grin. "I like the sound of that."
A broad grin appeared on the Captain's face. "Well. That's great!" She clapped her hands together and rubbed them happilly. "Better get your things on board. Find Caro Summers, she'll be your boss. Get settled in! We will sail to the Old West soon." The sooner, the better, she thought.