Chapter 6: Desperate Times
Timeline: day 6
Yorvlad was gone. Daenelia was fuming with anger. That no-good butcher had amputated a sailor's hand, and took off. The poor sailor had been drunk and passed out, but when he came to, he'd been threatening to kill Yorvlad. Daenelia guessed it had scared the doctor enough to run off. And Seaport was too big to go looking for a crewmember she didn't like to keep anyway. Still, he'd been a doctor, and every ship needs a doctor. Especially a pirate ship. She had ordered a cabin girl to send word that a position had opened up on the Steamhawke for a doctor. Any doctor. She was stalking the main deck, muttering curses at Yorvlad's insanity. "And where am I going to find a doctor...? Can we even leave without one??"
Avra had been walking around the port for the past half hour, looking for someone, anyone, willing to hire her. Half the captains she'd asked already had a doctor and the rest made some sort of comment about how a doctor with a limp couldn't be much of a doctor and brushed her off. It had been frustrating from the start but now the dull ache in her leg had grown into a sharper pain and her limp was even more pronounced than usual, making the chances of getting a job on any one of the ships nearly pointlessly small.
It was then, just as she decided to turn back and head to the tavern for the night, perhaps try again the following morning, that a girl ran past shouting something about hiring a doctor on a ship. Steamhawk. She liked the name and so limped slowly towards the ship in question, wondering what her chances of actually reaching it before someone else did were.
By some miracle or other, she arrived without the expected twenty-man long queue and carefully pulled herself up. There was a woman on the deck. "Ma'am?" She approached hesitantly, "I wish to speak with your captain, if I may."
"You may. You are." Daenelia was tempted to keep pacing and fuming, but she decided that she needed to give this young woman her attention. It would be rude otherwise. "What can I help you with?" She looked her over quickly. Not the typical rough woman who sails the skies. Probably just look for one of the crew, she thought.
"Oh." Avra paused, tilting her head as she looked more carefully at the woman before her. A female captain. Fascinating. She hadn't served under one of those for years. "I'd heard you were in need of a doctor? Providing you still are, I believe I could be of service."
"Well, yes," Daenelia said. "I need an .. experienced doctor." She cast a doubtful look at the young woman. "We're a ship..." she paused as she searched for the right words. "... full of, eh, in need of a doctor with war wounds experience." She smiled. "My crew is very... clumsy."
Clumsy. Huh. Evasiveness and a worry for war wounds, Avra knew what that meant. Although she'd never met a female pirate captain before. "I've worked on sky ships before, ma'am, since I was fifteen." Meeting the woman's smile with a smaller one of her own, she added, "And I'm well experienced with the more clumsy of crews."
Daenelia narrowed her eyes. She was sure this doctor understood the code she was using. Well, as sure as she ever was of anything. "Good. Good." She took a deep breath. "Our doctor... ran off. He wasn't the most gentle of doctors. In fact, two of my crew are in sickbay now, and not because of their own 'clumsiness'. He tried to cut someone open when they were drunk." Daenelia felt anger rising again. "He claimed he was going to fit them with a clockwork heart." Three mates had burst into sickbay while Ivan Yorvlad had stuck a scalpel in one of his victims' chest. When the doctor was overpowered, his scalpel had cut a long gash from mid-rib to right shoulder. It needed stitching and none of the crew were capable of doing that. Currently the wound was held together with clumsy knots and lots of bandaging. The other mate in sickbay was there after Yorvlad had thrown an acidic fluid into his eyes.
"If you would like to take a look... You can decide if you really want the job." Daenelia smiled again. "And I can decide if I want to hire you."
Avra stared in something between shock and horror as she listened to the other woman. That had...Not been expected. For a brief moment she considered changing her mind because, honestly, if that was the sort of person the woman hired, she wasn't sure she wanted to be on the same boat as them.
Then again, she doubted she'd get another chance at a job anytime soon. "Of course, I'll have a look now." She smiled, feeling a sense of relief that her voice was calmer than she felt.