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Return of the Pirates (M) Jabba x Kreed

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Offline Kreed

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If the captain intended to capture her before she'd left the dock, he was to be disappointed. She had taken up the rear of the flood, making sure all captives had leave before her, and guided her flock up the ladder.

The alarm sounded before they'd reached topside, but a sharpened mind could move faster than any one man's legs could run. She knew that she'd been seen by more than one sailor, and that her colour made her a bright beacon in the dark. She knew that it would be easier to grab one woman than several slaves, and that a scantily clad ill-meaning woman in the hands of many angry slavers would not bode her well.

These thoughts and many more, much darker, swam through her skull before she was topside. With the captives free from the bottleneck, she departed from the crowd and charged for the port side; they were on their own now.

Where others would have run to the alleyways and warehouses lining the docks, she knew that a couple lanterns per search party would shine in every window down the beach and catch her hair like fire. No, she had to go where the light could not.

With a deep breath, she jumped off the side of the ship in a dive and hit the water with a quiet splash. The waves were pitch black and lukewarm, and she cold not tell which way was up for her eyes could see nothing. She brought her hand against her chest before snaking it up to her face. She blew a quick bubble and felt with her fingers which way it floated. There was up. She averted her eyes skyward, and except for a light sting they were used to the brine and were painful no more than a moment.

From deep under the water, she used the light of the moon to swim back toward the ship, grabbing the hull and using it to guide herself around the stern and to the docks other side. She made it to the back of the ship before she felt the tingling beneath her scalp, demanding fresh air. With a quick gulp, she plunged back under and found sanctuary well within the maze of wooden piers of the marina, among the barnacles and crabs, to watch the ship's men from safety.


Offline Jabbathejack

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Beckett led the group of armed men, marching away from the marina and down the winding streets until they came to a stop outside the shop where he had encountered the strange, beautiful, white haired woman. Of course, at this time of night, the building was dark, with no signs of life, but Beckett knew there must be someone there, hiding.

Taking the sword that he had bought here only the day before, Beckett slammed the hilt against the door. Three times he struck.
"Open up there." He growled.

He had split his men into three groups; one was scouring the town for any runaways from his brig, one was with him now to try and confront the thief and the last was back on board his ship, keeping guard.


Offline Kreed

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Beckett had indeed reached the right shop, for upon knocking, the little dog from that afternoon - Scurvy, his name was - set to barking. A light sprung up in the upstairs window above the store and slowly but surely, travelled down the stairs with an audible step-thump, step-thump. Before long, the curtains fluttered in one of the front windows, although the person inside was there and gone before a proper glimpse at them could be had.

The latches were undone, the keys turned, and the door opened to reveal a groggy, disgruntled man - absurdly tall at nearly six and a half foot tall - in his nightgown and robe. He was neither old nor young, but precisely in the middle in his late thirties or early forties, though he appeared to be well-built. His skin was olive and somewhat sun-leathered, and his short and tidy crop and beard, once jet black, was liberally salted with silver and white. In his left hand was a wooden cane to support a right side weakened by a missing limb, cut off at the knee or higher. In his right hand, he held a small candle on a brass holder. From underneath his robe, the flame of his torch caught the gleam of a pistol, likely grabbed and stored on the way down in case he was to be burgled. Steel blue eyes - calculative but almost unnervingly calm, if tired - scanned the faces of the captain and his men with a cursory glance.

"A bit late for a visit to the shops, lads."


Offline Jabbathejack

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If Beckett was surprised by the height of the man who greeted him at the door, he did not show it. He noted the presence of the pistol and he hoped that he would not have cause to reach for his own.

"Where is she? I know she works here."

His eyes scanned the dark room behind the tall man, just in case he saw her trying to make a break for it.

"A white haired young woman. She attacked my men and stole my cargo. I have witnesses."


Offline Kreed

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The man tilted his head ever-so slightly before recognition lit up his face at the mention of white hair. His chest swelled with a steady intake of breath and he released a tired sigh. Any light that had suddenly shown in his face had fled, and he was looking very much the part of an exhausted, grey man.

Scurvy appeared in the gap between the man's stump leg and the doorframe, his little tail wagging steadily in recognition of Beckett and his first mate. The man in the door glimpsed at him briefly and grunted, and the terrier glanced up briefly before returning back into the darkness of the house.

"My daughter." He grumbled. He looked back toward the men. "But it's not like her to do anything of the sort." He made no attempts to hide his skepticism, but it was more confusion than accusation. The man kept his tone even and passive as he continued. "I don't know where she is at this hour. Normally she'd be in bed, but if she were, she'd have gotten to the door well before I." He shifted his weight, setting the candle down at the counter out of view just inside the shop before reaching up to scratch his beard in thought. He paused after a moment, brow furrowing.

"What kinda cargo?"


Offline Jabbathejack

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Now that the shopkeeper was proving to be reasonable, despite the hour, Beckett's expression relented somewhat.

"Prisoners." He replied quietly. "My name is Captain Beckett, of the Plague. I am a privateer in the service of the King, I have the papers to prove my legitimacy. Not an hour ago, as I said, my prisoners were released from my ship and some of my men were assaulted."

He paused before continuing, his voice remaining calm and even.
"I like to think that I am a reasonable man, but I do have a ship and crew to maintain. I would be willing to discuss terms of repayment rather than to involve the authorities needlessly."

Penalties for thievery could be harsh, even for a first offender. Beckett sympathised for the older man, especially as the culprit was his headstrong daughter.


Offline Kreed

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The man was quiet as Beckett introduced himself, and gave a short, low hum in quiet agreement. Quite a predicament indeed. This Beckett fellow wasn't a bad fellow; he was a law-abiding businessman on the open waters, trying to come by his pay to care for his crew and craft. An unfortunate victim to a young woman who chose to dispose of his rightfully accumulated profit.

"Denver Hammond. Retired Captain meself." There would be more time for pleasantries later. Given the circumstances, it would do best to be civil but most brief. They had other matters to attend to which were far more pressing.

"She of age. How you would choose to pursue matters would neither benefit nor hinder me. Rather, I have done my damnedest to instill within my children a sense of honour and justice. That she would receive a punishment most deserved would only reinstate what I sought to teach. That said..."

He sighed audibly, and his imbalanced  body shifted with the weight of the air in his lungs. "I do offer my greatest condolences on her behalf. I have little to offer you in ways of cold, Captain." He shifted his weight as he stepped outside to meet the men, closing the door behind him. "Forgive me for exposition, but I am at your mercy. I am decommissioned, as it were, and this store is my sole source of income. My daughter sails to bring our goods to port, as I am bound to land these days.  Sales are not terrible, but my health is poor and I have no wife or sons to aid me. We break even, but no more."

"I would offer you her service. It is all I have to give."


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Her service?" Beckett raised an eyebrow. Was this man really offering what he thought he was? If he was, then it was something that Beckett found highly distasteful.

Then he remembered that the girl apparently sailed the ship, trading for her father. Had she even mentioned as much when he had bought the sword from her? Beckett hoped it was the latter rather than his initial thought, for her sake.

He shook his head with a grimace.
"We can discuss reparations at another time, Mr Hammond, but I think the more pressing issue at the moment is where your daughter is right now. Do you have any thoughts?"


Offline Kreed

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"Ah. Fair enough." But therein lied the rub, didn't it? Where would she be? She certainly wasn't at home in bed. Scurvy was a little fellow, but he possessed a piercing bark and a keen pair of ears. Denver bit his lower lip and shifted his weight in visible thought. After a few moments, he clicked his tongue and the terrier's ears pricked, and he moved to sit expectantly in front of his master. Denver's eyes softened and he smiled gently at the eagerly waiting pup before looking back to Beckett.

"I can come with you, but I'm going to slow you down significantly. Otherwise...Scurvy here is a good tracker if you can keep up with him." Regardless, the man was pulling his robe closed and grabbing his keys to close up the store. "My guess is she could be hiding out on her ship on the docks, but the crew answer to me and they would give her up soon as I waved their pay over their heads. Otherwise...could be anyone's guess. The girl's clever. Odds are she knew you'd come to talk to me tonight."


Offline Jabbathejack

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"That's possible." Beckett nodded grimly, thinking of the overturned table by the brig. "She was not exactly discreet."

"We should head to your ship." Beckett deliberately addressed Hammond as the master of the vessel as the man who clearly held the purse strings. "When is she due to sail?"

He nodded at the small dog.
"We'll keep up." Beckett threw a glance at his men, ensuring that they were ready.


Offline Kreed

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All things considered, Denver would have argued that his daughter had - in fact - been incredibly discreet. Otherwise, she would have been unbelievably crafty (or had incredibly stupid victims). One would find a difficult time in boarding a ship and freeing an entire hold of prisoners without some semblance of discretion. They could have argued all night about whether or not stealth had been involved in the heist, but it would have lead nowhere, least of all, to the troublemaking white-haired woman who had grabbed Captain Beckett's cash cow from under his nose.

With a quiet grunt, Denver stepped off of his front stoop and closed the door behind him, locking it one of the many keys he held on an iron ring before securing the ring to the chest holster where his pistol lay hidden underneath his robe. "Les pactes de loups is not meant to sail again til the end of the week...at its most hasty."

The merchant spoke the truth. It would take more than a day or two to sell enough of the haul that had been brought in the week before; the upkeep up the vessel didn't pay for itself, let alone for the crew and the provisions for a travel of great distance. Exotic fabrics, strange weapons, and other otherworldly oddities did not come without an often equally otherworldly cost. That was ignoring the fact that the sailors would be exhausted upon return and would need time to rest up before setting out again.

"Scurvy, find Lucy."

So prepared was the little border terrier for his master's command, that without looking over his furry shoulder, he dashed forward and then back with a bark, before lunging forward once more- not too quickly that the one-legged man who cared for him could not keep up - but fast enough to display his eagerness. Every so often Scurvy would get - in his mind - too far away from his master and the men that followed, and the terrier would turn back around and return to Denver's side just long enough to make sure he was still leading the expedition before surging forward once more.

To perhaps no one's surprise, the procession of irritated men was lead back toward the marina. Denver slowed significantly as he moved from solid ground to the wooden planks of the docks, and he glanced toward Beckett with an ambiguous expression that might have been anything from disgust to a concealed cough. Whatever the face was meant to portray, it was clearly not an emotion that was favourable.

"The minute my cane gets catch between two slats, I'm toppling into the water... but it looks like Scurvy has a good idea of where she's gonna be. He seems really confident about his lead. I'll be right behind, but I'm going to slow down..." What choice did he have? It's not as though he'd find himself having an easy time swimming. He did already, yes, but getting out of the water and going home after potentially breaking his cane...that was a fate Denver wished to avoid.


Offline Jabbathejack

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Les pactes de loups? The wolf pact? Beckett frowned, but the ship name was no more ominous than his own was. Whether or not its mistress would defy her father for a chance to avoid his wrath was another matter entirely.

He turned to watch the dog as is bounded forwards. Whether the dog was following a recent scent trail was a chance that they had to accept, but right now it was the only lead that they had.

Motioning to his men, Beckett hurried after the small dog, feeling more than a little ridiculous. As they reached the marina, he paused, frowning; his own ship was not far away.

Hammond had slowed down, understandably, given his disability. Beckett nodded and left him behind, wondering how much obstruction they would face without the master's presence at his ship.

After this merry goose chase, they had better find her, yet it almost felt as if the small dog was leading them back to his own ship.

Beckett paused, turning to look back towards Hammond.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 08:55:29 AM by Jabbathejack »


Offline Kreed

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For Beckett's trouble, all the older man could do is shrug and lightly shake his head. "Dog is an excellent tracker, and he knows Lucy well. I don't think he'd lead you astray."

The Captain was not, however, wrong in his observation. Ahead, The Plague loomed overhead like a thundercloud. Scurvy confidently trotted onward, his stiff little tail straight up like a flag as he lead the procession toward the boat. Where Denver had slowed before knowing their destination, now he stopped at the edge of the dock, giving a low hum in quiet admiration for the quality of Beckett's ship. Under better circumstances, he might have gone into conversation about the ship, but as it were, they had other matters.

"Is there any possibility she's still on your ship? Scurvy seems to think she might be aboard." And frankly, he was more inclined to trust a dog over a man, particularly as the terrier was trotting back and forth along the length of the boat with the intention to board.


Offline Jabbathejack

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"None." Beckett growled. Did Hammond take him for a fool? Yet in the turmoil of the escape, none of his men had been able to pinpoint a direction for the strange white haired young woman's escape.

His frown deepened as he turned, his gaze travelling over the inky black water.

"Can your daughter swim?" If she had taken to the water, it would explain why the dog was unable to find her scent.

"This is ridiculous." He snapped, rounding on the merchant. "Why should I be chasing around this town in the dead of night searching for a thief? You have until tomorrow night to see that your daughter is brought to my ship. If not, then I have no choice but to speak to the authorities and have them settle the issue."

His voice lowered, a dangerous light in his eyes.
"Have I made myself clear, Mr Hammond?"


Offline Kreed

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"Depends on what she was wearing." Not that they really had a lot of time to get into that. Or at least, Beckett made it very clear he didn't have any time. Gowns were heavy. They held a lot of water and stuck to limbs like tar. Corsets prevented proper mobility and deep breaths. A bustle turned into an anchor. The finest swimmer could be stuck in the latest fashions and find themselves at the bottom of the ocean in record time. Denver knew his daughter, however, and knew she would have thought that through.

As the Captain lost his temper and turned on him, the merchant drew himself up to his full height best he could with one side of his body reliant on a cane liable to slip through the planks on the dock. Denver let the young man speak and did not move to interrupt. His blue eyes wrinkled in a genuine little smile as he stood quietly and patiently waited for Beckett to finish.

"I did offer to wait for her to return. If you recall, looking for her was your idea. If time was of the essence, perhaps you will also recall that I only have one leg." He shifted his weight as if to punctuate his sentence more profoundly, clearing his throat before he continued, even-toned, amicable, but particularly articulate and matter-of-factly. "We let the dog track her and he did. To your ship. Where she very much was. The dog has not failed you."

"It is likely she took to the water. Where no one could hope to find her, man nor beast, at this hour. I can't swim. Would you have me go down there, Captain?" He did not wait for a response. "You come knocking on my door in the middle of the night, and I so kindly oblige you, risking my neck out here on the docks in the dead of night, with cane and nightclothes, as fast as one tired leg might carry me, regarding a grievance you have with my daughter, whom, for all intents and purposes, is an independent woman and should be held accountable for her own actions."

"You are in no state to ask anything of me at all, sir, and I imagine the authorities would agree with me should you choose to act so rashly, but I am not an unsympathetic man and I will acquiesce to your request. Should you be ever so kind as to change your tune."
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 04:57:08 AM by Kreed »