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.

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