In a flap
Mission: Chapter 7: Going West
Harriet sat perched in the rigging, chewing thoughtfully on a fish that she'd just shoved whole into her mouth. There were an awful lot of people with that woman on the deck, and they were all laughing and calling her their captain.
"There's an awful lot of people with that woman on the deck" rambled Harriet while lounging on Daenelia's balcony. "And they're all laughing and calling her their captain."
"Mhm" replied Daenelia, ignoring the icari woman. There were too many charts on her table, too many charts to stare at and try to match against the yellowing map fragments in her hands. If only she co.... "Their CAPTAIN?" shrieked Daenelia, dashing onto the balcony and lifting Harriet effortlessly around the waist. The woman flapped her wings in surprise. From up on deck, Daenelia heard shouting and laughing and a shrill woman's voice, not powerful enough for her to hear it.
"What is that?" Daenelia asked Harriet through gritted teeth. Harriet managed a shrug.
"Can I go now? I need to find another fish. I only had a tiny one." She smiled at the captain, as she felt the grip on her waist lessen. As soon as she could Harriet lifted up and flapped her wings, ready to dive down to the ocean for another fishin' trip.
Daenelia turned around. A voice inside her head was starting to say wicked things. "This was bound to happen... again. You never keep hold of the reigns. You're always too lax." The voice sometimes sounded like Jack, sometimes like McGinty. "Cap'm, you gottem be more careful."
A full blown mutiny was never a pretty sight. Daenelia wondered how many friends she'd have to kill this day, and stormed out on deck with her pistol in one hand and a knife in the other. The sight that greeted her stopped her in her tracks, though.
There were no weapons drawn, no feeling of hostility from the crowd on deck. Instead, they were all laughing and trying to catch a glimpse at something in the middle of the circle that they'd formed. The adrenaline still pumping, captain Daenelia elbowed her way to the front.
Bridget Perry was wearing a golden eyepatch and standing on two legs again, only this time one of them was made of wood. She showed it off proudly, kicking the air and dancing tap for a few beats. It had a simple hinge with no articulation, but Bridget didn't seem to mind. Everyone was laughing at her antics. "I be captain Bridget of a the sky ship Splendour! Avast!" Upon closer examination, her eyepatch seemed to be a pair of embroidered undergarments. Daenelia stood with her hands on her hips. She was not impressed.
"Harhar, me hearties! Let's throw this here old captain overboard!" Bridget shouted at the men and women around her. Dottie was hanging on Nate's arm, tears streaming down her face from laughter. But when her eyes met the Captain's eyes, the real captain, she stopped laughing. From the corner of her eyes, Daenelia noticed Holland and Faizel move behind her. For a second she feared they would take the young woman's crazy order seriously, but they stood beside her quite calmly. Their presence was enough to silence the laughter.
Bridget was oblivious to it all, and kept dancing and shouting inane pirate phrases. "Shiver me timbers!"
"Where's your husband, Mrs. Perry," Daenelia said. "I think he should take you back to your cabin so you can... rest, while we deal with the crew." Faizel cracked his knuckles to emphasize Daenelia's words and intentions.
"Oh, you mean the first mate! He made me this pirate outfit. But I've locked him up in the brig, for bad behaviour!"
Daenelia didn't want to know about her passengers' love games. "He's not the first mate, and you're not the captain." With every word she spoke, the crowd was dispersing quietly.
"But... I'm just trying to get into the spirit of things. It's a pirate-themed voyage after all!"
"You don't even look like a pirate!" said Daenelia flustered. "Do you see anyone else around here with a wooden leg? What kind of stories have you been reading? And this... isn't... pirate-THEMED! We're actually pirates here! We kill people! Understand?"
Bridget's lower lip started trembling, and she sniffed. "Are you ... Are you going to kill me?" All the bravado had gone out of her now that there was no crowd cheering her on and a sliver of reality sank in. Not that Bridget could ever comprehend the kind of life most of the crew was living on a daily basis. But the stares of the Captain and her stern boatswain and the second in command made her realise she'd gone too far with her games.
Daenelia closed her eyes and sighed. "No. No, Mrs. Perry." She turned to Holland and said in a low voice: "Take her back to her cabin, find her husband and free him and stress to him that we have an agreement to bring them to their destination. But I will have no interuptions of the crew's work, or shenanigans of this kind on my ship. Their presence is already disruptive enough for my liking."
The Perry's money had gone a long way to fund the journey, without going after merchant vessels. Daenelia had thought it a good deal. With the passenger fees there would be little need to chase down sky ships for loot. She'd hoped that would mean they'd spend less time raiding ships, and get to the Old West quicker, if the crew could focus on traveling. But now she was wondering if it really had been the wisest decision.