Posted on Sat Jul 28th, 2012 @ 7:35pm by Snot Rag Chops McGinty
Chapter 6: Desperate Times
Timeline: Day 1
"We've lost another piston, captain" Erm reported to Captain Bradley. Daenelia sighed and looked up at the engineers swarming over the side of the Steamhawke. Every time they tried to fire up the engines one of the pistons would misfire, or the furnace would overheat and burst a valve. It was half a miracle that they had managed to reach Seaport before the propellers cut out, and it would take a complete miracle if the engineers ever managed to start them up again. Unless money for new parts materialised from somewhere, the crew would have to keep trying to fix the parts that were so badly damaged in the battle.
The encounter with the Sky Tiger had taken a lot out of everyone. Between the losses suffered during the fight, and those that had abandoned the Steamhawke as soon as it landed at the port, only a fraction of the crew remained with the captain. Daenelia needed money and she needed people, but right now what she needed the most was rest. Before leaving the docks she grabbed Dottie, her ever-reliable deckhand. "Dottie, I will be back first thing in the morning. Please tell the crew to take whatever rest they need. We don't want to lose anybody else."
Daenelia Bradley had a long-lasting understanding with the owner of Barnacle's Bar. Whenever the Steamhawke was in town, she'd have free lodge, and always in the same room. Daenelia received a knowing smile as she stepped into the Bar, all the indication she needed that her room was ready.
She didn't expect to find Elias Ambrose waiting for her. Daenelia recognised him immediately, even though he was wearing a clergyman's outfit and was stood facing away from her, staring out of the window with his gloved hands behind his back.
"I got your letter" Daenelia spoke softly. The man turned to face her. Elias was wearing dark glasses which masked much of his expression, but his smile seemed as genuine as it always had. "You don't seem surprised to see me, Daenelia. Do you often find old lovers in your quarters?" Before Daenelia could think of a good enough response, Elias stepped closer to her. She was not used to seeing him dressed lke this, although she had heard about his joining a religious movement. Despite this, Elias was every bit as handsome as she remembered, with high cheekbones and a strong chin. As ever, his speaking voice was quiet, yet with a sharp Londinium accent, but this time there was an edge to it that Daenelia didn't recognise. She felt almost hypnotised as Elias continued to speak to her.
"I often come to Seaport to think, to reevaluate my existence. The free board and lodge was for the both of us, or don't you remember?" Elias had stepped even closer to Daenelia by this point. He was so close that she could feel the unusual warmth of his breath, of his body. "I'm not a rich man any more, Daenelia, not since the... 'accident'. But I am a generous man. I want you to take this money that strangers have pledged to my cause. It was going to be spent on rebuilding an orphanage that was earlier this year burned to the ground by bandits. But for some reason I feel compelled to loan it to you. Think of it as a starting point for the Steamhawke's repair funds. My only condition is that you don't tell anyone that I gave you it. I would hate it to be known that a follower of the Way has funded piracy. In any case, I know you'll pay me back some day."
A quiet fell upon the room. Daenelia didn't quite know what to say. Picking up on this, Elias made to leave, concealing his greying blonde hair by placing a rounded hat atop his head. "Just one more thing..." Elias began, slowly removing his dark glasses, his eyes closed in thought. "I always knew you were trying to con me, Daenelia. But there was something so alluring about you that the more we made love, the more I wanted to live in the fantasy world that you created for me." Elias opened his eyes and looked at Daenelia, and she caught a glimpse of what the man had become. "Before you took everything from me, you gave me everything, and for that my heart will be with you always."