Change of command
Mission: Chapter 9: Steam City
Daenelia stalked off to her room in the dormitory. Why had she ever accepted the unstable Maraea to be first mate over the clearly more level-headed Jefferson? What had she been thinking? She threw her hat in the corner and kicked open the door to her room.
"Captain?" a soothing voice called out behind her.
"Faizel." She turned around. The boatswain walked over to her casually. She looked ready to kill, so he kept his distance. The captain was not one known for her stability.
"Are you...?" He changed his mind. "I was wondering, how long we are to stay here." He shrugged. "Food is scarce, the militia is a pain in the butt. People have been worried since Chago's escape."
Daenelia blinked and tried to think. "I ... I have tickets, Faizel. The train leaves in about 2 weeks, I think."
"And then what?"
"We... we drop of the Perrys, collect their fare, and we're off ...," Daenelia's voice broke as she realised how much time had been wasted, and how hard the journey to find the treasure had been so far.
Faizel nodded. "Captain, there is no much left of the crew. It may have been a mistake to leave the skies." He looked behind him, seeing some of the crew sleeping or playing cards. He leaned in to whisper: "They're bored. I... I am bored."
Daenelia looked him in the eye. "You know, bosun, you have been the only one to tell me the truth about the crew. You have demonstrated time and again that you have our best interest at heart."
Faizel did not know what to say.
"Come, we have something to discuss," the captain said, as it all clicked in her mind. Faizel followed her into her room and sat down opposite her.
"You're very competent," Daenelia started. "The crew like you, they like your booze," Faizel smiled at that as he looked at his hands, "and you have shown your support for me."
The captain and the boatswain looked at each other. "I have a proposition to make," Daenelia said finally.
The man looked uncomfortable. "Captain," he said. "I ... I am flattered, but ... I though Colton...?"
"Colton?" Daenelia laughed. She felt tension flow away from her. She smiled. "Colton is my bed-mate. I am looking to make you First Mate."
Faizel felt the blood drain out of his face. It was not a coveted position. The captain lost more first mates than hairs on her head. But he looked at her and, in his mind anyway, saw something vulnerable. He was a pirate, he had done terrible things, but at that moment, he felt he wanted to do right by her.
It helped that he realised the First Mate gets a bigger share than the rest of the crew...
"Alright," he said, as he extended a hand. "Does that mean I can call you 'Nelia?" he winked.
"Not if you value your life," 'Nelia said through clenched teeth.
At that moment the door burst open and Colton and Brem stood in her room. Colton's eyes flashed as he saw the pair holding hands.
"Captain," Brem said quickly. "Colton has something to tell you."
"Oh thanks, bud," Colton said sarcastically.
"What?" 'Nelia said.
"We ... lost the key." Colton said.
"To the ship's engines."
"There are no keys to the ship's engines," Daenelia said as she looked at Brem, who looked at his feet. The engineer nodded.
"What? How.. why?" Daenelia asked the two men.
"Brem thought, it was a safety precaution. He didn't feel good about leaving it like that." Colton clapped Brem on the shoulder to show support, while at the same time distancing himself from the problem.
Daenelia looked at Faizel. "Well, there is your first misson as First Mate." She ushered Brem and Faizel out the door. Then she turned to Colton.
"And... do you still have your key?" She asked playfully. Colton rolled his eyes at her awkward attempt at dirty talk. "Wanna find a lock where it fits?" She was really taking this too far. Still, Colton shrugged and allowed himself to be dragged off to the bed. He sighed.