Mission: Chapter 7: Going West
Not often did the captain sit down on a random barrel on deck, to eat a quick snack. The cook had made a rolled up pancake filled with apple and raisins, the last of the fresh food. Daenelia ate the sweet snack and washed it down with the milk, which was starting to taste sour already, even after a two days out of port. As she chewed, she thought. And her thoughts went in circles. The passengers and how stuck up they were, how rich they were, and how the lady wouldn't miss her leg. She was in bed with her husband most of the time, anyway. The last bite was a bit too large, and it took Daenelia a long time to chew and swallow it. She stared off into the distance, not noticing someone walking up to her.
"Cap'm," McGinty grunted, as he rubbed the back of his neck. "I wamt to make a complaimt 'bout the engi..."
"Sh, McGinty," Daenelia said as she raised a hand. "I am thinking." McGinty stood next to the Captain and waited. Then he couldn't wait any longer.
"What are ye thimkim, Cap'm?" he asked in a whisper.
"We haven't had a good haul of loot in a while." McGinty nodded at that. "And I have some money stashed, for payments and repairs and so on." Daenelia looked at McGinty with a serious look on her face. "But we need more. Something tangible. Shiny. Precious." She nodded and looked at the old man from under her eyelashes.
McGinty was no stranger to the Captain's 'ideas'. They usually ended badly. "Ahhh!" was all he said.
"Yes!" Daenelia said loudly. "I have decided..." she looked left and right, and lowered her voice so McGinty could barely hear her, "that I shall confiscate Mrs. Perry's leg." She leaned back in triumph over this splendid idea. McGinty scratched his head.
"Ohhh. I have heard some of the crew talkim about that legm." The swabbie whispered loudly. "You might find it gome already, Captain!" At that, the Captain threw back her head and laughed heartily.
"Maybe I will!" She wouldn't put it past any of her crew to steal such a precious treasure.
“What are we confiscating?” Ashrieda asked, not bothering to conceal her nosiness, as she wandered on deck. Now that they were safely away from Seaport, she felt comfortable enough to stop skulking below. She hadn't been able to hear what the captain had said to McGinty, but she'd read the word confiscate on the captain's lips, and if it involved taking things from other people, then she was all in.
Daenelia's smile broadened into a grin. "A fine piece of machinery, inlaid with gold, and beautiful to look at, as well as functional!" She leaned closer to Ashrieda and said: "Mrs. Perry's leg. I don't have the particulars on how she lost hers, but the replacement she uses is.. well, it has to have been made by skilled engineers and decorated by great artists." She lowered her voice even further. "The Perrys are wealthy. Extremely. You wouldn't believe what he paid me for passage to the Old West!"
Ashrieda snorted. “Well, it’s not like she’s using it for much of anything anyway. Did you hear about what happened in the kitchen? A waste of perfectly good food too. I don’t see how you’re even eating that,” she said, staring at the captain and then at McGinty with a look of exaggerated horror.
Then she frowned, seeming to grasp what Daenelia had said she was planning to do. “Wait, what?” she asked, leaning towards the captain conspiratorially. “For fun or for profit? ‘Cos, I mean, if you’re just going to take it for safekeeping, or to con some more money out of them, that makes sense, but...” She trailed off, waiting to hear how the captain was going to go about it.
"Both. But mostly profit. We should first get the prosthetic in our possession," Daenelia said, fully aware that she'd have to at least share whatever she gained from this with Ashrieda. "They are rarely apart though. And Mister Perry could be a problem." Daenelia stared at a cloud, thinking. "What if...?" she said suddenly, "What if we, or I, invite them for dinner at the Captain's table, like they do in those fancy commercial skyships? And then I make sure that we serve them the strongest spirits and wine that I can find, until they both pass out drunk." Daenelia grinned at Ashrieda. "Then, being the helpful people that we are, we will bring them back to their quarters. Minus one leg."
Ashrieda looked doubtful. "Perry looks like he can hold his drink," she said. "Those upperclass snobs always do, when you least expect them."
Daenelia nodded seriously. "It would be a waste of good wine..." The two pirates looked out into the sky once more.
"Or!" Daenelia said loudly. "Or," she continued in a lower voice. "We serve them a special meal in their quarters, as a sort of honeymoon special. We can ask the doctor for something that makes people sleepy, put that in their food or drink and when they nod off..."
"We come in and get the leg!" Ashrieda finished the thought.
The two women looked at each other, each with a sligh smug look on their faces. Ashrieda's eyes twinkled, as Daenelia's lips twitched in and out of a smile. This was going to be fun.