try_corsets: (Captain)
Captain Elizabeth Turner ([personal profile] try_corsets) wrote2007-08-16 10:53 pm

(no subject)

To Elizabeth's surprise, none of her crew elects to stay behind in Shipwreck Cove and sail with one of the remaining ships on a later tide.

She'd been certain she'd lose one or two. Tai Huang informs her there's some prestige to be gained in sailing with the Pirate King, and while she accepts his explanation as truth, Elizabeth is aware that the crew feels a certain loyalty to Sao Feng's dying wish. As much loyalty as a pirate can inherently feel, at any rate.

Additionally, her mid-battle marriage to the man now captaining the legendary Flying Dutchman hadn't hurt her reputation any. Will is an unknown force, but stories of Davy Jones are almost as hard to kill as the old pirate himself. Everyone on board knows well what is in the chest their new captain had stowed safely in her cabin.

Their first day at sea, Elizabeth stands beside Tai Huang at the helm and endeavors to learn as much about the Empress as she can in a relatively short amount of time. One by one, her first mate introduces the crew. They stare, wondering at the tall, willowy woman who had assumed command and given them pretty speeches, and Elizabeth returns their stares with interest, refusing to look anything but confident. Some sneer. Some approve.

When she sends Tai Huang to collect charts and solemnly walks to the prow, eyes fixed on the horizon, they let her be.

After supper, Elizabeth orders an extra ration of grog for all who want it. (Later she'll discover that the pirates help themselves whenever they wish, but it seems like a good-faith gesture.) She takes her cup to the quarterdeck stairs, content to watch the movements of the unfamiliar sails and let the deepening shadows slowly hide her from view.

She's not there long when voices raised in anger reach her ears. The words are rapid and entirely unfamiliar, and Elizabeth again regrets that she hadn't learned more Chinese from Mal. Sounds of scuffling follow, and before she has time to blink, she's up and pushing her way past several pirates avidly watching the fight. A moment later, she has her knife to the throat of one man bent over another. "Stop," she growls low in his ear.

But Elizabeth is too late. The man -- she's already forgotten his name, though she thinks he's one of the lookouts -- straightens, revealing a bloody knife in his left hand. The other pirate slumps to the deck, and doesn't move.

Elizabeth sucks in a breath, fighting uncertainty. She doesn't know what to do, doesn't know what to say, and most of the crew is watching her expectantly.


Suddenly her chin snaps up, and she glares at those assembled. "Listen to me!" she shouts, baring her teeth. "I will not tolerate such behavior on my ship! If you wish to kill each other off, I'll save my deck the bloodstains and leave the lot of you on a deserted island with only a single pistol to make one lucky person's death a bit more pleasant." Eyes narrowing, she jerks the man closer. He grunts as the knife nicks the vulnerable skin of his neck. "And if you even consider mutiny, I swear to you the results will be much the same.

"Tai Huang, take this bilge rat to the brig. I'll deal with him later." She shoves the pirate aside and snarls, "The rest of you, get back to work!"

It's not what you say, so much as how you say it.

Their audience slowly disperses, and Elizabeth, more shaken than she has any intention of letting on, crouches beside the fallen pirate and checks his pulse, then clasps her hands together. He's unquestionably dead.

At sea.

Elizabeth lifts her head and casts an appraising glance at the red glow of sunset on the horizon.
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-17 04:00 am (UTC)(link)
Tai Huang had reemerged from below deck to see her shoving into the fray as though these were still normal men. Her shoulders tense and her lips tightened with that cold anger that was the only reason none of those men could be sure of their own assumptions of her.

Her chin snapped when she caught herself and began yelling --the half leer, half smirk concealed by his hat-- as he came to her side. He took the man making no aim to be gentle and threw him below, behind the bars, not taking even the effort to listen to the pleading insults about their new captain.

Returning to the deck, he motioned to other men to take the wasted body away, before stepping up near her.

"The fèifèi de pìyăn is below."

It was an obvious comment, if not the smallest prompt not in the words.
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-21 03:12 am (UTC)(link)
She was a strange woman, but the time had felt stretched since the moment he'd walked in on her crouched over Sao Feng's body and he'd grown used to the fact her constant was her strangeness.

He thought sometimes she was a boat foundering in the sea, and other times, like now as she brandished the knife, causing most eyes to follow her in her strange, intimate, courses of action, that she might be more like the sea than any ship upon her.

"The men won't begrudge you getting your hands dirty, instead of them," Tai Huang said darkly, moving to position his hands so he could grab it (already a thing and not a person) under the armpits.

There was something in it though, too. They watched her because of it. Because it was not a task Sao Feng, or any of them, would have chosen to do.
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-21 03:41 am (UTC)(link)
He nodded and lifted with her once she'd finished. He'd shouldered heavier things alone and so it wasn't too problematic once she knew the weight of her end.

The body went over tumbling and crashed, with thick sound, into the ocean.

As she lingered even a second to look (perhaps to hope?) he looked back at the men, letting his back rest on the ship side. It might look to any still watching like she was still giving him orders.

"You should not be entirely shorn by the time we reach Port Royal."

There would be other dead. More until they truly knew the steel that lay behind her golden facade. Food, fights, disease, weather.

His beady black eyes looked at her as he turned his head, reaching up to brush away a fly buzzing before him. The was no threat or reprimand in his words.

"Unless part of the plan is to rule through perceived insanity."
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-21 04:26 am (UTC)(link)
"Smaller crew with fewer loyalties and royalties," Tai Huang said, as though the notion were a dirty thing. The stories he could tell of Jack Sparrow.

"Neither would he be so-" He allowed his gaze to drop on her, but only to her shoulder and upper arm, to prove the point. He was brash but not fool hardy. "-agreeable."

And with a leer that was still more chiding than serious. "Though insanity would lead to easier, more widely known, habits to use to the advantage of overthrowing you."
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-21 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Tai Huang nodded his eyes darting seaward, then back to her face.

"Any orders of preparations for the arrival in Port Royal?"
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-23 02:52 pm (UTC)(link)
The men milled around them, at work on the boat, and he nodded at the first set of things he said, considering the dicey nature of who would or wouldn't and was still stupid enough in her regard.

And those who no one was safe trusting.

"What is the reason for it? Treasure? Revenge?"

Or one of strange other reasonings for which she could not be called ignoble?
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-23 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
That was right close enough to a justification for stealing that it would make easier greasing the minds of those who were coming with her.

"No. Is it another port or city?"

The next destination to prepare for already.
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-23 08:15 pm (UTC)(link)
A hand rubbed at his belt absently, as he considered the idea of this 'pirate port' and getting another weapon to replace the last.

Tai Huang found himself in intense ire over his lost treasure.

"She does need it," he said about the ship, his dark eyes narrowing to look around them. "More hands and better supplies will make the work go quicker."

Even if the rum and whores and fights and what-not would not.

But all those would make for a better crew.
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-23 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
He waved a hand in a dismissive manner, as though saying a handful was normal with the rotating crew, with a frown forming.

"The problematic ones will not be those, but the one's coming." His voice was fast, but very firm. "You are the bounty of the sea at the healm of The Empress, with the crown of the pirates, and the ring of the Dutchman."

"Stories will reach all places before you. They will try and judge you on them, decide to hide or gain the banner of your fame, or come simply to try for your life." He was watching her from the side of his vision still looking at those fixing things.

"The infamy you'll have is larger, but larger still would be the man who could douse it."

bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-25 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
There was within it a greater quiet of his tiny black eyes. It had taken years to become accustom to Sao Feng's underground fashion and few had been here this long, this close. It was not a loss properly felt yet even.

But she had displayed herself worthy of many people's respect.

And there were few positions higher than his at the moment.

And none would simply open up because he walked away.

"And allow someone else to plot your greatest doom and destruction, Captain? That would be entirely unsportsmanlike." There was a half leer, if betrayed by the quiet dark thoughts in Tai Huang's eyes. Adding a half smile to his expression as he stood up from the rail he added.

"I'd have to protect your back for years until your guard is true and properly down, so that I might consider the promotion to be my own."
bringmethatnpc: ([Singapore] Temple)

[personal profile] bringmethatnpc 2007-08-26 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
There was no other place now that he would than with The Empress at sea, but those are word for a more eloquent mouth and a more trust-filled life.

Of which he had neither.

Instead, he simply tipped his head with an expression that was semi-grave understanding.