After the Bore
I stand at the helm, the cool wind of the night blowing against my face rather refreshingly. I’m not at all pleased with forking out my loot, even if it in ransom. I suppose if it helps the quest I kind of have to. The contract was clear. I am completely at their service. Those royal sisters sure know how to exploit that.
The interrogation went on for ages. I can’t believe how long it took, but it seemed to work out in the end. I wish I had gone back though, to oversee the deal. I have a bad feeling about the end result. I bet they left a gaping loophole in the terms. Those things are best left to professionals.
The Bore was a breeze, as I expected it to be. I’m pleased with the time we’re making though. I will have to thank Fren later for the effort he’s put into the speed. I haven’t seen him in a while. I wonder where he could be. He sure is entertaining. I wish he’d join me on the bridge. I shouldn’t get so attached… but I already am. Might as well have fun with it.
As the night drags on, I leave the deck. I want to get better as a duelist rapier. I should train while we still have time on the sea.
I head down to the old storage room. I know I’ll be left alone there to train. Sometimes I get excited with my swords. I don’t like to train in front of the crew. It’s just a thing I do. I light a few lanterns in the open space of the hold and begin the warm-up. I spend a good eight hours training before I take a break.
I’m not very strong, I know. That’s why I need to train harder, to make up for the lack of strength with skill. The night still feels young to me, so I head to the kitchens for a snack. I begin to wonder what Fren could be up to. He’s usually come to find me by now. I have a late night snack, leftover stew and a stick of roast lamb. Gorgon knows just what to have ready for me on nights like these.
“Where be Fren?” He asks as he covers the second meal he had ready.
“I’ll be damned if I know. Haven’t seen ‘im all night. ‘Ave you?”
He shakes his head. “You a checked the helm?”
“Aye. Started there,” I sulk. “Per’aps I should search the Starfall,” I smirk. That should be an adventure.
I leave the galley and begin with his cabin. I rap on the door a few times with no answer before I let myself in. I do have the keys. His rooms are empty. He works late into the night, he rarely uses his rooms. I’ve found him on more than one occasion sleeping in his lab. Must be a wizard human thing.
The room smells like him though, and it’s strangely comforting. I find myself lingering despite knowing he’s not there. I let my fingers brush over the fabric of his clock hanging on the racks.
I remember back to the time when he didn’t know I was a woman on this ship. It was fun to tease him like a young street urchin. He’d blush at any mention of an innuendo. Bob and Bill often had to haul me away before Fren would burst from the pressure. Ahh, the good old days. They just got better.
When he did find me out, he turned even redder! I remember that day well. We were fighting for the mutant, my loyal friends and I. Fren was a little torn but the brothers convinced him of the right side. When I stuck the captain and took his hat for mine I tore my own rag off and let my hair fall loose. At first, I’m certain he thought I only have long hair, but then I tore the front of my shirt to reveal the wrapping of my bust and he gawked, turning redder than the sea lobsters of the east coast.
Bob and Bill told me how he would watch me when I wasn’t looking, and how he confided in them that he felt strangely attracted to me. They snickered at that and teased him when I wasn’t around they said. So, that first night I called him to my new cabin after the fine feast and drinking we had. I showed him things, like maps and gear. Then when he was most confused I threw him to the bed and teased him about watching me without saying so.
While reminiscing about out coming together, I’ve left his rooms and searched more of the ship. The lower decks are barren. The deck also so. I called up to Sen in the crows nest but she hadn’t seen him anywhere for many hours. I approach his lab door with a frustrated growl. “Be you in there, Fren!? Come out now. No more hiding.” I call. I press my ear to the door but hear nothing inside. I fumble with the keys at my belt and find the one for his lab.
I enter, slowly. He doesn’t like others in his lab. Sometimes not even me. I don’t mind myself entering when he’s not here but the others… he’d dislike that. I prefer a wizards favour rather than their fury.
I hope to find him asleep but the room is empty, the counters are strewn with bottles and things magical and somewhat terrifying. Once I confirm he’s not here I run out and lock it.
I call a meeting, asking any of the others when they might have last seen Fren. No one’s seen him for nearly 18 hours!
“And what ‘bout this wind Cap”n? We can’t be a moving by rowing the rest o’ the way, can we?” The crew pipes up. I know it’s hard on them. I send them back to work and have the other’s on rounds just in case and head to my room. Now we’re losing pace. We need Fren to recast the spell on the breeze. We have a deadline. We can’t be drift like the crew says. Where is he?
While I wait in my room I de-robe, laying on the bed while reading some old logs about the last time I’d been ’round this way. I find myself waiting for him to come slipping through my door any minute so I can ravish him.
I jump when a knock comes at the door.
“Hello?” I sing, smiling, sitting up expectantly.
“Uhh, hello. Is everything alright? May I come in?” Keara’s voice calls from the other side. I jump in surprise, suddenly aware of how naked I am.
I leap from the bed looking for my clothes. “Just a moment!” I call a little shakily.
“I can come back later,” she responds.
“No no. It’s fine,” I trip over a chest as I fumble with my leggings. I fall a little into the screen and watch as it slides sideways and crashes to the floor.
“Are you alright?” she asks.
“Yup! Just fine!” I call back. I dash through the door, fluffing my hair a little before I pull it open. “What can I help you with?”
“I thought I could help you. I did a reading, on Fren,” she says.
“Oh, please come in,” I gesture her to the table as I right the screen and lean back against the footboard of the bed. I only have one chair in my room.
She looks around curiously before she faces me.
“Well, it would see he was in his lab making something when something startled him and caused him to drop whatever he was working on. There was a blinding light I couldn’t even look at in the vision before he suddenly vanishes. The vision went dark and the-“
“He just poofed?!” I interrupt.
“Well, it would seem he’s back there,” she says pointing to the back of the boat.
“Where? Can you be more precise? ” I ask angrily.
“Back the way we came. On that island,” she says looking at me.
I frown. “We can hardly go back and get him. There’s no time! And there’s no wind! That would take us at least 5 days to head back, retrieve and get back to this position, with a good tailwind. We don’t have time for a delay like this,” I huff.
“No, not really. What if we asked for help?”
“Like who? The druids have left to speak with ‘captain my captain’ I jest, and the only mage we had that could possibly conjure up a transportation spell is the one missing,” I hate to point out the obvious.
Keara opens her mouth to speak when I hear giggling coming from behind the screen. I frown, listening to the chuckle. I point silently to the screen but Keara seems oblivious to the sound. I gesture that someone could be there, so she continues as is nothing had stopped us.
“You’re right, but what about the she-goblin,” Keara suggests.
“Boomah,” I say, taking a step toward the screen.
“Yes. She’s talented. Perhaps she’d know how to find the wizard,” Keara smirks as she watches me.
I jump behind the screen as the laughing stops to find Boomah crouched there, hiding. I plant my fists on my hips. “And what do you think you’re doing hiding in my rooms and eve’s dropping on my conversations?” I chide.
She smiles up at me. “I was spying of course.”
“Spying? In my cabin? You’re not allowed to be in here. You were spying on Fren, weren’t you? How did you get in?” I ask, looking at the door.
“I have my ways,” she smiles.
“It be naughty to spy on others, especially aboard my ship,” I accuse her.
“Naughty? You shouldn’t accuse me of being naughty unless you plan to reprimand your wizard too! He was just as naughty for stealing and messing with things he shouldn’t!” she says smugly.
I growl under my breath. “You did something to him, didn’t you!”
“Did not! He did it to himself. I am a goblin. You got something against goblins?” she quickly shifts to an accusatory tone.
“How could I? If you haven’t noticed, my crew is multiracial. I don’t have a goblin problem. Only you. There be rules to follow here, you know. I be the Captain and you be the crew, just like everyone else. You ‘ave to follow the rules,” I grunt.
Boomah fumes, crossing her arms. “Well, you’re no fun.”
I cough. “What?”
“She’s way more fun! Aren’t you?” she winks at Keara.
Keara’s jaw works soundlessly.
“I heard you last night. Had a little too much fun, didn’t you?” she grins evilly.
“You didn’t tell me what it would do!” Keara accuses.
“You weren’t supposed to drink the whole thing! I told you, two drops is all you need,” the goblin retorts.
“Well, whatever. You should have warned me,” Keara pouts.
Am I going to have to put a new guard on this ship for too much fun?
“Anyways, we need your help,” Keara says.
“And why would I help you? You could just order me to, cuz I have to follow the rules,” she mocks me.
I glare hard at her, about to speak when Keara cuts me off.
“But only you can help us. You were there, weren’t you? You were spying on Fren too. You spooked him and caused him to drop whatever he was doing, which made him disappear,” she says matter of factly.
“Well, yea. I was just watching at first, But then, when I saw what he was making, I couldn’t help but laugh. He had it all wrong. But then he heard me and dropped it. He shouldn’t be messing with things he doesn’t know. That’s how accidents happen. He should have left it to the professionals, you know what I mean?” she leans toward Keara and winks. Keara seems to blush three shades of red. wonder what that’s about.
Keara coughs. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, sure sure. Well, Maybe I will help you, but it’ll cost you.”
“Cost? He’s your superior officer! And you’re a member of my crew! It’s your job to-”
“It’s not my job to clean up messes wizards make. I’m an alchemist. If you give me access to his lab, I’ll help you.” She smiles smugly.
“What? I can’t do that. It’s his lab!” I flounder.
“But you just said you’re the Captain. what you say goes. Everyone has to follow your rules. Just tell him you gave me permission,” she smiles her wide toothy goblin smile. I frown back.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it. He’s my second in command. I gave him that room and only he can say who goes in and who doesn’t,” I say.
“Well, I can’t help you if I can’t go in. I need to be where it happened. You’re no fun. See?”
I fume. I can’t believe her! She’s a crew member! How can she get me so flustered? “I am too fun. You just have to get on my good side,” I start.
“Good side? You don’t have a good side.”
I gasp. “I do to! You just haven’t seen it yet! And you won’t if you keep this up.”
“Good luck getting your boy toy back,” she turns to leave.
“Wait!” I call. “He’s not my boy toy, but besides that… I’ll give you anything you want… except his lab,” I say, giving in.
“Anything?” she grins.
“Wait!” Keara stops me. “You have to be more careful with your words. She’s a goblin remember? You shouldn’t offer anything,” she whispers.
Boomah’s ears twist and she leans closer. “You know I can hear you two? Goblins have excellent hearing.”
I turn, baring my teeth. “Alright, alright. I’ll… give you your own lab, if you ‘elp us get the wizard back,” I say through gritted teeth.
Her face splits into a wide smile. “Fine! It’s a deal. I’ll help you.”
What have I gotten myself into?