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The Seven Seas of Rhye
seas_of_rhye
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August 2006
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Recruitin', Lootin', an' Generally Ootin'.

Her new employer having needed to run some small errand before getting the drink they'd just agreed upon, Viv has come to Tinie's again ahead of Jack. More confident than last night she's got a ship to sail on now, even if it's not hers— she enters proudly into the tavern, takes off her hat to reveal her bright red hair, and approaches the bar immediately. "Rum, if you please." She wonders if she should get two, but she has no idea when her companion's really going to get there.

Things are less busy tonight, so she gets her drink quickly and finds herself a table. Hopefully, not having Zenith with her tonight, she won't accidentally befriend any more of Tinie's clients, since one's been enough for now. Viv proceeds to wait, eyeing her rum thirstily but still having some sense of etiquette. As the minutes pass, no one shows.

Olivia hates pirate towns at night; if it's at all possible, they're even rowdier than they are during the day. But the innkeep had said Doe-eye Jack or whatever the guy's name was would be here tonight. Finding a quiet nook, she stands back and surveys the room. No one here had taken a bath in ages! At least there was a seat left. She moved to the table, remembering how much her feet ached. "Oi. This seat taken, mate?" Or matey. Too late to correct it now.

Viv looks up, getting a funny feeling from the newcomer. "Well, yes and no. I've got a friend coming later but he isn't using the space right now." She looks him up and down very carefully, noting some tell-tale signs simply because there was a time when she would have tried to do the same thing that she thinks this... person... is doing. But she doesn't voice her thoughts, being inclined to bluntness but not intentional humiliation.

"So you mind if I sit or not, mate? I happen to be waiting for some people too."

"Well, there we go, then." Viv pulls the chair out with a sudden, friendly grin. She still hasn't touched her drink. "What's your name, son?"

"Oli, mistress." She fell into the chair, as ungracefully as she could manage. And she had to hide a grin over how fun it was to simply fall into a chair. "What's your name then, mistress?"

Oli, short for Oliver, I'm sure, Viv almost responds, but she holds out a heavily freckled hand and says, "Viv. Viv Greenbird, though I don't have the green bird with me. He's flittin' around." After a moment, she adds, "You don't seem like the sort to hang around Skayport."

"Lookin' for a ship to take me near Bruscia. There's a captain who's supposed to be lookin' for a crew somewhere." Olivia waves her hand breezily around the room. Needless to say, it had never occurred to her that playing a homosexual male might require work. "Doe-Eye Jack or somesuch. Crow-Eye Jack. With the Magpie." She looked at Viv, more than a little eagerly. "You don't happen to know if he's here, do you?"

"As a matter of fact..." Viv lets the pause hang tantalizingly, then finishes, "I'm his new first mate. And we do happen to be looking for a crew." She looks at Oli again, carefully. Would this young chap pull her weight? She's known these kinds of masquerades to happen for more than the reasons she had.

Olivia takes a moment and successfully keeps from hugging herself. "Right. I just got off the Rawlinna. I do good work, mistress. Odd jobs, and such, but I can do more if you put me on your ship."

"You might very well need to do more. We've about a dozen pairs of hands so far, and that's enough, but more is better, and we're still likely to have scarce numbers. By odd jobs, d'you mostly mean jobs like swabbing the deck or waving a sword around?" Viv drops a look to Oli's hip to check if a blade hangs there.

"Swabbing decks," Olivia says, trying hard not to blush. Someone has to do the task, but it isn't a very respectful job to do. She runs a hand through her short, dark hair and shrugs with a grin.

"At least you don't have a bloodthirst. If time comes when you need to learn how to use a cutlass, I'll show you, but while the Magpie flies under a black flag, the cap'n and I aren't without honor. I get the feeling you're the same."

"Yes, mistress. I'm the same. Prob'ly the best-mannered pirate on the seas," she said with a small grin at her little joke.

Viv grins right back. "Just call me Viv, I'm no one's mistress, in any sense of the term." And she leans across the table a little, feeling daring though she hasn't even had a drop of rum yet. In a very low voice she asks, "I won't make it my business to ask at the present why you can't show your true face to the rest of the world like I do, but... mistress... I'm sure you've got a good reason, and I only found you out because I know another woman when I see one. I won't breathe a word, not even to the captain."

Olivia turns pale and stares at Viv for a few minutes before slowly running a hand through her hair. "Thank you," she says calmly, not trying to affect her voice or accent at all. She leans back and stares at the table as she thinks, absently shaking a foot. "What gave me away?" she asks at last. Her voice, still unaffected, is actually more melodic than when she is trying to behave like a pirate.

The doors bust open as the man that Viv had said might be good for the crow's nest comes flying through, rolling on the ground until he knocks his head against the leg of a table. Jack stomps in after him, hand on the hilt of his sheathed cutlass and his other hand pointing an accusing finger at the prone man. "An' if'n ah see ye on th'Magpie e'er 'gain, 'll keelhaul ye all th'way t'HELL!" he says, kicking the man in the ass and sending him scuttling back through the doors.

The pirate proceeds to clear his throat, adjust his hat, and smile at the patrons. "Evenin', mates."

Viv, just about to answer Oli before the interruption, gives her an apologetic smile and then gets up and goes over to Crow-Eye. "And what the shite was that about?" she asks coolly.

"Caught him tryin' t'pluck one o' Pip's tail feathers," the pirate says, a dignified grimace on his face.

Olivia stares. In all her time with pirates, she is now at her most taken aback and confused. "Rum," she calls weakly to the bartend, lifting a finger nervously.

"Bloody cad. I shouldn't have recommended him, he weren't ever on my crew anyhow. My apologies," Viv tells Jack sincerely.

"Naw, 's okay," he says, walking over to the table he'd seen Viv at with the other lad and grabbing a chair from another table, dumping the younger man sitting on it to the floor with a quick movement. Then he straddles the chair and raises a hand to Tinie. "Tinie-" But Tinie interrupts. "Aye, aye. Rum. Stop beatin' m'patrons."

"Hey there, that's a friend of mine you just tossed about now," Viv remarks sharply, immediately going to help Oli to his feet.

Olivia stares at the man cautiously. "Greetin's, mate," she says, ever-so-warily. Gods, don't let this be the captain.

"So, 'nyway, we're'n need o' a crow," he says matter-o'-factly. "An' despite m'name, ah ain't doin' it."

"Well, cap'n..." Viv sits down again and glances back and forth between him and Oli. "Cap'n, this is Oli, who's looking for work on a crew. Oli, have you been crow before?"

"Uh, no. Sure I can do it, though." How do they drop so many letters and syllables when they speak? Egads, etc!

Crow-Eye Jack looks at this Oli with a narrowing of his eye- his right one seems to be slightly deformed, and it's rather obvious where he got his name, as his pupil stretches over into the iris on one edge, making it look like a crow's head. "Y'got good eye-sight?" he asks, stretching an arm to pay Tinie without looking at the bartender, and grabbing his bottle of rum in return.

As the rum arrives, Viv finally raises hers in a silent toast before drinking.

"I ain't never had trouble seeing nothin'," Olivia says, quite pleased with her lingo and rather looking it. She pays the man for her rum as well and follows Viv's example.

Jack clashes his bottle with the other two's, and takes a long, deep draw of his bottle, hissing as he puts it down on the table. "Righ' than, Oli. Y'll b'th'crow. 's good position f'r a young'un. Gives y'strength o' character- an' if y' get hit, y'll likely fall'nto th'water, so's we don't 'ave t'worry 'bout proper rites an' stuff."

Olivia's grin disappears. "Get hit?" she echoes.

"Y'know. By pistol fire?"

"Wha' ye think th'navy shoots with? Slingshots?"

"Cap'n, you're scaring the lad," observes Viv before taking another swig.

"Fear's good. Makes ye strong an' wary," he says, leaning over to Oli with a mentor-like grin. "Courage ain't not bein' 'fraid, boy. 's shittin' yer pants an' fightin' anyway."

Olivia frowns. "If I get shot," she swears, "I'm going to take care to land in the middle of your deck, captain."

He shrugs. "Suit yerself- but ah'd think y'd rather not get shot at all."

Despite herself, Viv can't hold back a short burst of laughter at Oli's remark.

"If'n he falls on m'deck, yer swabbin'," he says, waving a finger at Viv and taking another drink of his rum.

She can't resist a small grin. "And I'll consider myself doubly lucky if I land on you," she thinks to herself of the captain. She takes a small swig of rum. "So when do I start?" she asks, changing the subject.

"Soon as we cast off. Day 'fter t'morrow. Still got t'finish some business."

Olivia nods to herself. Personally, she thinks the sooner they can leave, the better. "An' when can I move in?"

"Well, I don't see why you can't come aboard after we're done here for the night," Viv offers, glancing at Jack for confirmation.

"Whenever ye want," he replies, dragging his rum again.

"Excellent. Tonight, then." She grins at them both and takes a long swig of her rum.

Wryly, having noticed a tavern wench here and there, Viv adds to Jack, "Of course, I'm assuming you are heading back while it's still night, otherwise you'll be all worn out on the morrow and I'll have to do all your business for you."

He raises a brow a little bit and then coughs, pulling out his pipe to stuff tombacco into it and light it, puffing the smoke out through his nose. "N'need t'get jealous, luv," he says, winking his crow-eye.

"Jealous? Cap'n, I can't summon any kind of dignified response," she returns with heaps of sarcasm. "Oli, ignore this drivel."

"Course nah, yer a pirate. Ah'd be insulted if'n ye could!" He replies, and then offer her the pipe.

Olivia ducks her head down and does as she's told. She's figured out that obedience is a very good thing in a world where the smallest pirate could easily serve her her own backside on a pirated platter.

Viv actually twists her face into the grimace of a petulant little girl, sticking out a pointy tongue, but accepts the offered pipe and takes a puff. "Oli, don't take me so literally, either. Here, you want some?"

"Er. Best not," Olivia says. The women where she had lived were usually protected from pipes and things, unless they were really old and eccentric. "Already had too many today. Don't want to upset my stomach."

"Suit yourself." Viv won't press the issue any further than that. After another puff she gives the pipe back to Jack. "Where're you from, Oli?" she asks, changing the subject and wondering if she'll be getting a straight answer or not.

"Bruscia," Olivia says, a story concocted for this already. "Worked in the DeHavil household till I got sick of it and turned pirate."

"DeHavils? Ah took a ship o' theirs apart last month," he says, puffing smoke. "Easy as takin' candy fr'm a baby... nah, wait, easier."

"Was it really?" Olivia said, her fingers tightening around her rum. "Was it a good take, then?"

Suspicious of Oli's story, of course, Viv stiffens just a little at Jack's statement but relaxes as she sees that the young 'un kept mostly calm.

"Bloody lovely. They 'ad this sweet lass on board who begged m't'take her with me. Didn't think she'd last, though..." he says, smirking. He doesn't say whether he was thinking about her lasting on his ship... or his bed.

Olivia's eyes widen. "That doesn't sound like any of the DeHavils," she says cautiously. "One of the other servants, then?" She forces herself to take a sip of rum, which seems to have turned horribly dry.

Feigning nonchalance still, Viv finishes off her own rum and leans back, hoping that like most men Jack will get tired of wagging his tongue eventually.

"Nah- pretty sure sh'wasn't nah servant. B'then, ah don't know if she was actually a DeHavil. Mayhaps she was a passenger." Jack grins and takes a draw of his rum, passing the pipe to Viv again.

Olivia smiles thinly. "Could'a made a fine story, I'm sure, Cap'n. Coulda been. Falls a bit flat, doesn't it? Not really much substance to it."

"No offense, of course, sir."

"Ne'er said it was in'erestin'. If'n ye want in'erestin', ah c'n tell ye 'bout th'time m'entire crew was gutted like salmon..." he says, turning incredibly serious in an instant, his hand gripping the neck of his bottle tighter.

A gutsy one! So she's got more spirit than I guessed. Viv feels, maybe for the first time, a maternal instinct warming within her, though at Jack's words she leans to him and says carefully, "We'll take care of that in good time, cap'n. We will."

"Aye. We will." Then he takes another drink.

Her eyes widen. What the hell is it with men and their thinking gore is exciting? "Um. So. Anything I need to know about the Magpie?"

"She's old," he says. "An' she's got th'best cannons 'round. Was a navy vessel- last one o' its class 'fore the navies started buildin' their new fangled shit-boats."

"Where's she headin'?"

"Wherever th'booty is, mate." A simple answer. A pirate answer.

Damn. She'd hoped for something more concrete. "She's fast, I take it."

"Very."

Viv nearly added their actual first destination, but not knowing how secretive a captain this Crow-Eye might be, she's decided to keep mum. After some more puffs on the pipe she returns it to him once more. "How many knots would you reckon, cap'n?"

"Forty, sails half-mast. Full mast..." Jack pauses, taking his pipe back and drawing on it, inhaling the smoke and speaking as it drips from his nose. "... 've always been busy when tha' kind o' speed's been needed, never measured it."

"Aye, indeed," replies Viv. "Forty or more, that's lovely."

"Very," Olivia agrees.

She wonders how boring the crow's nest will be and decides she'd rather take boring over getting shot.

"My Bloodstar, may she rest in peace, did thirty-six at best, otherwise we might have outrun the storm that wrecked us," comments Viv. The rum's now running warm and pleasant in her veins.

"Anyway, shifts'll pro'bly b'short, since we've managed t'gather quite th'crew, so everybody'll be well rest an' what not," he mutters, smoking some more.

"Quite the crew?" Viv mutters herself, but doesn't argue.

Olivia tries to put together this bit of information with what Viv had told her about having a dozen. It doesn't make sense to her, really, but that's pirates for you. She fingers the bottle, but now that she's heard this kernel about the DeHavil ship being taken, she doesn't much feel like talking. She needs to sit someplace and think. "I see," she says, feeling she ought to say something.

"All right there, lad?" asks Viv cautiously, eyes glinting from the candlelight, which at this point in the evening is all that's keeping the room lit.

"Oh! Of course!" Olivia quickly tosses her back against the seat and takes a sip of rum, one that looks bigger than it actually is. She can't press the matter of the DeHavil ship right now, but damn it, she wants to!

Current Location: Skayport