The New Lookout
Chapter 7: Going West
Timeline: Chapter 7's day 1 or 2
If only the wind could blow these dark thoughts from her mind. Daenelia kept going over and over the details of what happened in Seaport. The words exchanged with Rosita, the violence and how she was cast out. She looked around for something to distract her. Her eye was caught by a figure sitting in the kitling's nest near the top of the main mast. It was a boy... or girl! One of the cabin girls? Daenelia left helmsman Canus at the wheel and deftly climbed the ropes up to the kitling nest. Some of the crew were pointing and laughing at their captain, but not too loudly of course. Only McGinty the Swabbie stared up in silent disbelief. Then he shook his head and went on swabbing the deck.
"What are you doing here, up in middle of the facking kitling's nest?" Daenelia shouted at the scrawny young thing. It was a girl under that mop of hair, she noted, who was staring off into the darkening sky. As though the sky followed thought with her mood, a crackle
"Cap'n!" One hand wrapped around a coil of the rigging, she swung her feet to face her new employer. "Ready and reporting for duty, Ma'am. Aye aye, I'm-" She faltered, running out of words she'd heard the pirates shout from the docks. "Land ahoy?" She muttered, and gave a small burst of laughter. "I...be...uh..." How did a pirate introduce himself? Or herself? She wasn't exactly the highest in the pecking order, and coming from a different part of the world, she had little idea of how she should present herself.
She stuck a hand out, unaware of how inappropriate she must have seemed. "Snot Rag Miyra Althena Blackbird, the new Lookout, at your service."
Daenelia raised an eyebrow, then looked at the hand. "Oh." Holding on to the rope with her left hand, she freed her right to briefly and firmly shake the young girl's hand. "Welcome aboard, young lady," she added with a stern face. She felt a little embarrased at not remembering that Faizal had told her he had hired some new people, while she was unavailable. Of course the lookout was supposed to be in the kitling's nest. She'd just assumed that it would be, well, a kitling sitting here. She sighed and looked out at the clouds with a frown. "Carry on then." She made a start to climb down again. But below on the deck several crew members were looking up and pointing at their captain. She changed her mind. Talking to a new fresh face might be better than facing her crew right now.
"So," Daenelia said. "Been sailing long?" Stupid question, maybe. Miyra looked young. Then again, Daenelia had been around boats since she was 13 or 14. And sailing the skies since she was 18 and a half.
Miyra shook her head. "Nae, but as I told the man hiring, if he could find someone more willing and with a better eyesight I'd work for free." It was a jest, and she laughed nervously. "I'm finding a new life for myself. The life my parents chose for me... it didn't turn out too well. I'd rather make my own choices, and I'm willing to bet I'll be better out at sky than any stupid job someone chooses for me." She gave a small shrug, and tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear.
Daenelia smiled a small smile. She didn't know enough, but Miyra seemed to be an independent person. She would need to be, Daenelia remembered what it was like being 18 and on board a pirate ship. Fighting to be recognised, sometimes even fighting for a place to sleep or a slice of bread to eat. Of course her current crew had proven to be much more tolerant of young people than when she started out.
"It can be," Daenelia said. "Doing what you like often beats doing what you're told." She paused. "But... keep in mind to follow orders on the ship." She nodded at the clouds. "Keep an eye out for other ships. Even if they seem far away. Just yell. Someone will hear you." Daenelia slapped her thigh. "Well, that's enough of a break for me." She looked down. The sailors had returned to doing their jobs. "Don't stay up here too long though. Gets cold rather quick. Make sure you get someone to take over in an hour or 2."
She started to climb down.
"When- when are we next stopping, Captain?" She revised how juvenile it sounded. "Not that I'm in a hurry to get off the ship, but one-" She cursed inwardly at slipping from the role of a pirate. "But I ain't too keen to bump into me Ma' again, if you get me meaning."
Daenelia stopped mid-climb. "Well, we're off to the west, we may stop at an island in between. But I plan to sail straight through to Columbus Province. We need to drop of some passengers there," she said. She climbed back up again. "Would your Ma' be there?" She had no idea why anyone would want to avoid their mother. To be perfectly honest, deep in her heart Daenelia still missed her mother. She had a feeling she would have turned out ... different, if she had been around longer.
"Columbus Province?" Her eyes widened a fraction. "Ma might very well be there. I doubt she'll have moved; ah well." She tried to shrug it off. "I won't be spending much time ashore, and anyways - I doubt I'll even look simular by the time we've sailed all the way."
A shout from below attracted the Captain's attention. McGinty was hopping around on one leg, while his bucket lay on its side, spilling water all over the deck. The poor old swabbie yelped as he slipped on the slippery deck and started to wail like a wounded pig. "Oh no." Daenelia sighed. She shot an amused look at the lookout. "Well, you don't have to go ashore, if you don't want to." She almost reached out to the girl. "But you never know... Maybe your .. Ma? Well, she might be happy to know you're alright. Think about that." She looked down and saw the Doctor Merrick rush to McGinty's side. "I better get down there. McGinty can make a fuss." She clambered down the ropes and yelled back up: "Just keep a look out!"
"Aye aye, Cap'in!" She danced through the ropes to get to a higher position. Now she thought of it, going ashore might be an idea. No one would recognise her, not now - she'd be free to do whatever she wanted. Assuming she made it that far. "Oh, Mother." She murmured quietly, and returned to watching the horizon.