Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: Sick bay
"Why is it always me?" Dottie grumbled quietly as she walked over to the sick bay. She liked Nate, considered him one of her best friends on the ship, but she hated doing his dirty work, especially since she was holding up Akito on that drinking contest. She could still hear Nate ranting about it earlier in the day.
"So I caught Chago kissing the new girl. How dare he cheat on Miyra like that! I bet the new girl doesn't even know about her. What do you women see in him anyway? It's not like he's got anything I haven't got! I should go tell both of them. That'll show him..and maybe one of them will see what great toff I am! Hey, Dottie, could you check out the new girl for me? I mean if I approach her the wrong way I won't get another chance. Besides you owe me."
Dottie certainly didn't care what Chago did, but it was obvious how Nate would look at Miyra. It sort of made sense to her as just about every male crew member whined about her own lack of femininity and Miyra was clearly the most feminine of the crew. It wasn't like the guys had much options, both she and Ashrieda weren't interested in any relationship or one night stands for that matter, Daenelia, well she's the captain, and any attraction one might have had for Carol would end the second he talked to her. That left Miyra and the strange new girl, Mel something...Melanie? No, that wasn't it...Melissa? No, it was some odd name from the Europan mainland...Melisande, that was it! Though what Nate saw in someone who seemed so frigid and could easily kill him, she didn't know. Normally she would scratch someone beating Carol in a fight as dumb luck, but Dottie was on board to see Melisande dragging Carol and those bandages around her knees suggested precise cuts. She found her odd before, but now Dottie just found her creepy.
Opening the door, she found the woman asleep on the cot near a wall. She grinned as was ready to walk out when she remembered one of her favorite decks of cards was lying around in the sick bay somewhere. The drinking contest would be more fun by adding gambling to the mix. As Dottie began to search around, she heard Melisande begin to talk in her sleep, "Daissatz me tranquil! Stamata!"
The first phrase seemed to be some kind of Romance based language that Dottie couldn't quite place. It made sense with her name that she would probably be Merovingian or something, but the second phrase, stamata, sounded Elladian with an accent that sounded native to one of the islands. Dottie looked at the woman tossing and turning across the room and saw the incredible amount of pain she looked like she was in. Part of her wanted to wake her up, but she might strangle her or something, besides she was holding up Akito.
Turning back to search for the cards, she knocked over a canister. She didn't think much of it, until she heard a sudden gasp. Quickly turning around with one of her knives, she saw Melisande pointing a gun at her with an expressionless look on her face, "Why are you here?"
It should have come to no surprise that the woman in front of her was quick, and a gun with a finger on the trigger was certainly faster than throwing a knife. Dottie sighed and put her knife away, "Just looking for my favorite deck of cards."
"I found five decks. They are in that drawer over there," Melisande pointed to a small cupboard on the left side of the room, "I have seen you around. Dottie was it? I am Melisande."
Smiling as she found her deck, she looked at the woman more closely. Nate was right, when she wasn't covered in blood she was conventionally attractive even with that bruised and scabbed cut on her cheek. The thing she noticed most though was the sad pained look in her eyes. It seemed whatever bothered her in her sleep decided to stay.
"Yeah, everyone knows who you are. The slayer of Carol the Craven. We didn't think that was possible," Dottie grinned. She heard Melisande didn't like to talk about this, so she figured she might have a little fun with her.
"It wasn't like that. I---"
"Oh right, she fell into sharp plants. I was on deck when you pulled her up. If she fell, there would have been scrapes and cuts other than those behind her knees. Why are you even protecting her?"
Melisande crossed her arms defensively, "You would not understand."
"Is it because you feel sorry for her?" Dottie mocked, "Because I'm also from Brittania and left home at fourteen. I've probably faced a good chunk of the same things she has and you don't see me getting drunk and picking fights."
"And it bothers you, does it not?" Melisande smirked, "That she is of higher rank than you. Though why it would, I am not sure. I was informed that those in the warfare division were Ashrieda, Carol, Ivan, and Mei-Xui, though I have yet to formally meet the other two."
Dottie's small hands formed fists as she felt her rage build. It did bother her and it bothered her to no end. Why did the captain see Carol as more useful than her, especially with all she did for her? She saw Daenelia as almost the aunt she never had; someone who understood her. That was why it was so painful to be dropped as First Mate, and why she was still here. She toyed with joining the War Dog division so Daenelia could see how useful she was, but she'd seen Ashrieda and Ivan's shooting abilities, Carol was an amazing fighter, and this strange new girl who defeated her...she simply felt outclassed. The thought of having to answer to Carol and that authoritarian Jefferson didn't help matters.
"So what if it does?! What about you, huh? Don't think you're so great because you beat Carol in a single fight, tinker with all those weapons, and speak Elladian with an accent," Dottie yelled, she didn't realize her bottom lip was beginning to form a pout.
Melisande looked at Dottie in horror, "Elladian? I have not spoken Elladian to anyone."
Dottie looked at her confused. This certainly wasn't the response she was expecting, but interesting none the less, "You were talking in your sleep. We were in Mypos a few months back and it sounded familiar. Are you Merovingian or something? You said something else too."
"I am from the mainland of Europa," the brown haired woman seemed to relax, "I was in a military exchange program on one of the Elladian islands to improve their weaponry, and picked up the language there."
"You know Faizel's Elladian? I mean he grew up there. Have you hung out much with us deckhands?"
"So I've heard. No, sadly I have not met the engineers and all of the workforce yet. I need to as I must inspect everyone's weapons." Melisande answered in a neutral tone.
"What do you think of my mates so far?" Dottie figured it was about time she got around to the reason why she was here.
Melisande cracked a smile, "Well, Herring is very nice. I enjoy his company including his horrible chess playing. Chago and I seem to have a lot in common, and I believe Harriet is technically a deckhand and she's absolutely fascinating."
"Hmm...Herring I've found can be pretty gruff and you don't want to anger him," She tried to figured out how to address the issue without being obvious, "Chago is nice though. Have you bumped into his girlfriend Miyra? She's the lookout."
"Oh, he has a girlfriend? It did not come up," She shrugged, "I'm glad he is happy. Miyra? The very thin girl? I have seen her, but haven't been introduced."
"Well, you'll meet us all eventually," Feeling the conversation begin to wrap up, Dottie got to her last point, "Speaking of which, I need to go see Akito about that drinking contest. Maybe afterwards I'll pick myself up a guy as victory. You like non commitment fun, Melisande? I mean us girls have needs too."
Melisande looked at the blonde in confusion over her lie, "I cannot say that I have done that. I am not that sort of person. Um...enjoy. Try not to catch anything. Let me know who wins."
"I know I'll win! See ya around." Dottie waved as closed the door behind her and leaned against a nearby wall.
"Such a strange person," Dottie thought, "She didn't even get angry at me when I yelled at her...and Elladian...she looked pretty scared when I told her that. I wonder what comes out in her sleep. It doesn't sound like Nate was right though. I mean if she knew about Miyra or did anything with Chago, surely it would register on her face like Elladia."
Just as she was about to go find Nate, the timer on her pocket watch went off, signaling she had to leave for the contest, "Aww, shite! I just hope you don't do anything stupid while I'm gone, Nate."