Chapter 3: Mypos or Bust
Timeline: Day 3, Early Morning
It had been nearly a day since Edward's brief chat with Nicholai about his troubles and the situation was little improved. After almost a full two days of sulking he had decided to venture forth from his self imposed coffin to speak with someone about his impending doom. Having mostly resigned himself to his fate he was less looking for advice or help and more planning to inform someone that someone might soon be storming the ship to kidnap him.
Edward lethargically made his was up the stairs, sliding his body against the wall for the support as he did. The sun was beginning to rise over the horizon, the red glow of the sun giving only now starting to poke over the clouds. The coloring somehow made Ed even more melancholy than he already was.
He stumbled quickly across the near empty deck towards the Captain's quarters. She seemed like the most appropriate person to inform of his predicament. Upon reaching the door he rested his head down onto the surface with a thunk, and without lifting it rapped three times with his knuckle.
As it happened the Captain was standing right on the other side of the door, with a mug of coffee and whiskey. She opened the door immediately and looked into a face full of misery. What she did next was so instinctive that all her barriers were left down: she opened her arms to hug Ed, spilling her drink in the process. He was quite taken aback by the sudden contact, but given his state did little to show it.
"What's wrong? What happened? I heard some things here and there, but no one seems to know what exactly is up with you!"
It was true, she heard gossip in the mess hall about explosions and gunfire in a tavern. And some mentioned that Ed was being chased by a little lady. There had also been laughter at that, and innuendo about paternity suits or angry ex-girlfriends. No one seemed to quite know what had happened, and every one told a different story. And to top it off, Daenelia had been unable to talk to Ed top get the full story. Off all the people on board, it was the cook who gave the impression to know something. He had looked at her from time to time, while drawing on his cigarette, but he never volunteered any information. Only Ed could tell her. And then she could decide what to do next. She just hoped it would not mean giving up the hunt for treasure.
Ed's face was shoved into Daenelia's shoulder from her embrace, muffling his words. "Can I come in?" he asked quietly, although he'd already began shaking himself loose from his hug and entering the cabin. He took a seat at the table and nearly slammed his head down before even waiting for a response.
He stared down at the rough wooden table grain for a while before building up the courage to speak. He decided to simply put forward the situation as completely bluntly as possible. "My father has hired an invincible assassin to kill me." In any other situation even the monotone Ed may have gotten a chuckle out of the phrase "Invincible Assassin" considering how silly it sounded. However his predicament was anything but silly. Even considering his usually deadpan voice the seriousness of the way he spoke made it obvious how certain he was.
"So I thought I'd let you know that I won't be able to do any more work for the Steamhawke soon.." he continued, fairly obviously implying something other than quitting.
"Invincible assassin?" Daenelia raised both eyebrows in disbelieve, at both the invincible part as well as the assassin part. Who'd be after a brilliant young man, who may blow stuff up now and then, but otherwise means no harm? Was there more to Ed than she had realized? The other shocking part of the statement hit her just then. "Your father wants you dead?" Daenelia turned around and started to pace. A member of her crew was being hunted, and that was actually not uncommon among pirate crews. She'd dealt with this before, just not from such an unexpected angle.
"Do they know you're here, do they know the ship? Can you give a detailed description of your attacker, this invincible assassin? We'll find them, we're not just a soft merchant crew waiting to let one of our own be taken." Daenelia turned to face Ed again, and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Ed was silent for a moment before responding. "She was in Mypos by the time we arrived, I can only assume she knows the ship" He let out a sigh before continuing. "She'd be easy to spot, I'm sure. She's just under five feet and carries a gun nearly as big as her." Ed paused briefly. "But... don't go after her. Don't look for her. You'll just get people killed. I don't know if it's even possible to hurt her." Ed contemplated adding further details, but decided that they weren't particularly relevant at the moment.
"Can we contact your father? Maybe we can strike a deal?" She avoided the obvious question about why Ed's father would want him dead. That just seemed too... sensitive. Ed groaned in response, even without any probing questions.
Finally turning his head from being face down to look at Daenelia Ed responded. "I've known both my father and Elizabeth long enough to know that he wouldn't recruit her unless he was sure he wanted someone gone. In his eyes she's probably a bigger disappointment than me, but he begrudgingly respects her ability to remove his problems." he stopped in thought before adding something else. "Not that he could get rid of her anyway."
Ed returned his gaze to looking into the table grain and brought his hands to rest on the top of his head. "Besides, even if he did call her off, I doubt she'd listen. She's having too much fun."
Daenelia was disturbed by the way Ed seemed to have resigned himself to the inevitable outcome. He seemed to think himself dead already.
"I should probably go look for her myself. Maybe then she'll at least make it quick."
"Quick?" Daenelia raised an eyebrow. "I am not prepared to lose my brilliant handyman, Mister Marketh. You will not go out and get yourself killed, do you hear?"
Ed looked forlorn, still.
"I do not leave anyone behind, ever." Daenelia said sternly. "You're surrounded by some of the most dangerous pirates alive. We'd never give up one of our own. And with your skill you could device a weapon to defeat her, right?" She sounded hopeful.
Ed looked up slowly, then stood. "A weapon..." he mumbled to himself. He'd been thinking of the subject in relation to Elizabeth for a couple of days now, ever since Nicholai had suggested something similar. He suddenly began pacing around the room.
"Maybe I could..." he continued murmuring to himself. "If it draws from her..." his pacing abruptly stopped and he made his way to the door, preparing to leave just as suddenly as he had come. His mood was seemingly back to its original moroseness as opposed to depression, having switched so fast it could be called a whiplash.
"Thank you. But don't go after her, not yet."