“Now would be the time for questions then…”
Kelley sits up in his seat, showing sobriety for the first time in weeks. His Officer’s table is desolate only filled in by Golrick, Alara, Sinyr, Mathias and various proxies for his actual officers. He looks them all square in the eye having given these words serious thought. His heart pounded in his chest as he looked at the uncertainty among his men most of all when Lidda returned his stare and shook her head no.
“It’s settled then, whoever is with me cast your vote now, we move at dawn.”
“On the double men, we need to re-supply and rejoin the fleet!” Shouted the Bosun Copperton upon the weatherdeck of the Man-o-War class ship named “The Majesty”. Scores of naval sailors Were busily loading cargo upon the ship with the assistance of laborjacks. Dawn had just capped onto the horizon as the aging sailor took a moment after he was certain his orders sunk in.
From this distance the insanity of Five Fingers was nearly non-existent yet the spectacle of seeing dozens of naval vessels encircling the Port of Deceit captivated his attention all the same. It must have been literally every ship the King of Ord could have spared, the very notion of such an order seemed impossible to such a seasoned veteran of the Navy. But if glory was to be had his Captain would want it, of that he had no doubt.
A woman with elegant brunette curls, fine silken dress and fresh make up approached the vessel looking around in bewilderment. Copperton recognized the girl and sat up with a smile “Lidda?! is that you girl! Last I heard you left your brother’s employ how you been girl?! Looking mighty fancy!” He came racing over with a smile to her seeing young little tomboy Lidda develop into a proper woman in the span of two years was such a sight to him. He immediately opened his arms for a hug. Lidda paused for a moment and smiled fondly giving him a short embrace.
“I’ve done well Cerwin, you’re as robust as ever. Speaking of my brother… where is our fair Admiral? I was in the area and thought I would pay him a visit.
Copperton taps a finger to his chin and nods “He was down in the gundeck last I checked Darling. Shall I escort you? Fine young woma-” Lidda perked up and slapped his chest with a scoffing laugh. “You think a single man here could take advantage of me If I didn’t want them to? Even in this Dress? Cerwin did I inspire such little confidence in you?” They shared a mutual laugh for a moment as Lidda stepped toward the Promenade of the vessel. “I’ll be waiting in his quarters, let him know family is here.” Cerwin smiles and immediately blinks shouting to her “Oh Lidda! Make your visit quick we plan to head in toward the city heard it’s very dangerous, best you stay on Crab Beggar little miss!”
The interior Admiral Lucan McClay’s quarters were spotless, showing symbolisms toward his patriotism and naval career. Adorned on the far side of the quarters was an elaborate picture of the McClay family lineage grandfather against his son against his son with the setting sun against all of their backs. Waiting in silence she stared at the door her face twisting and stirring with emotions. The clear baritone voice of her brother was heard just outside the door. “Keep watch.” The door creaked open and slowly brother and sister meet each other’s eyes.
Lidda’s eyes shimmered with tears as her face broke and she restrained her tears. Lucan smiled trying to warm the room asking “Lidda, I feared the worst.Tell me you’re alright.” He walked in gazing around the room for a moment before scooping up his sister and hugging her tightly. Lidda hugged him back nestling her face into his neck as she regains control of herself her brother continues saying “He didn’t hurt you did he? Please… Lidda speak to me.” He pulls her away and looks her in the face pleadingly.
Lidda built up a daring to look her brother in the eyes as she smiled in a bittersweet way. And asked “Why… why did you do it?” Lucan tensed up and narrowed his eyes “ That scum, he told you did he?” Lidda slaps him “Why!? Tell me!” Immediately the Door opens as a naval rifleman looks in quietly before asking “Everything alright in here sir?” Lucan absorbed the blow well and merely looked to his soldier “Yes we are fine here sailor, you and Timolt can leave us now.” No sooner than the door closed Lucan balled his fists up and rose it back to strike his sister but faltered.
“He was going to get you killed. He got to you to get to me.”Lidda shook like a leaf as she looked at him pleading “…Why not come after him then… why not take me back?” Lucan may not have hit his sister but his tone turned venomous after that. “Because I am no traitor to my king, unlike you! You come in here trying to hide your torrid affair from me dressing up like some harlot of noble breeding rather than the earthy woman we both know you are. I did it for my family, I did it for you! And you can’t even thank me properly?!” Lidda recoiled from him and wiped her tears away slowly trying to compose herself before saying “Lu, please let’s don’t fight I don’t want that to be how it is.”
Lucan growls trying to restrain himself “Grah! Fine… the damage is done let’s no dwell on it. Kelley has learned never to cross me again.” Lidda sighed at that and frankly asked “But why his Family? How is that just?” Lucan glared at his sister before sitting down at his desk. “I’m sorry, didn’t you want us to stop fighting?!” Lidda nodded “So what.. anyone who crosses you kill their family?! Lucan when did this become who you are?”
An intense silence went over the room as Lucan stared at out to the rising dawn
“You think I enjoyed it? You think I just ordered that heinous deed out of spite? Lidda you know as well as I Kelley never put faith in the military again after Major Artuno died. He was convinced that whisking his family to an den for thieves and pirates was the safest place for them. I had done him a service for years never mentioning it to the chain of command. When he finally went AWOL I had a decision to make; disclosure the information of a possible piracy den or honor a friend’s possible memory.” Lidda looks repulsed by the statement, likely due to the logic it made. “ I was dishonest for the sake of a criminal, I made my peace with that as far as reputations for honesty i considered myself still clean comparatively speaking of course.”
Lidda looked baffled by that statement to which Lucan answered her silent question while he continued. “Many of my peers have secrets and lies hey would appericate to keep secret…” Lidda shook her head “Now it makes sense… how you were so quickly promoted.” Lucan shrugged and continued “The fact my peers had poorly guarded secrets is not my concern, the ability to help my country in the fullest capacity I could was my priority.” Lidda sighed and pleaded “What does this have to do with Kel?”
“Simple, very simple actually sister. After we all began to hear the reports, ‘The ship that never lingers’ the same disgraced naval admiral’s ship being used across the Meredius not as a privateer… but a pirate. I watched a good man prey on my generosity, use his birthright to trample upon the hard work of other sailors and become a burn out dredge of society who forsook his kingdom.” Lidda threw her hands down to his desk “He isn’t like that Lucan! You murdered innocent people on hearsay… about your best friend!” Lucan looked up to his sister and smirked
“Oh sweet sister, you really were too impulsive. So I assume you slept with him? Because this trend of accusations has become tiresome. You forget that the fact that criminal was a close friend is precisely the reason I knew these rumors were true. And then you had just had to come upon his ship….” Lidda’s eyes widened “You knew?… that I?”
Lucan chuckled “How could I forget? You think the lashing mother and father gave you about kissing him back only a few years ago is a distant memory… you throwing yourself at him was no surprise Lidda… Him accepting however; that was unforgivable…Born a Warcaster, handsome and charming, giving his own rank of a Captain and command of a vessel, disregarding Ordic royal orders… and then besmirching our family name by making you his. He was warned long ago to stay away from you…He took the final offense, not me.”
Lidda saw her brother for the man he was, someone who refused to accept the evil of casually ordering the execution of Kelley’s Family. The once fond and warm aura of him a faded shadow in only a few years, she barely recognized anything in the promenade as someone her brother enjoyed as a child it was sterile; it was false much like his smile. “Brother… you killed his mother, you killed little Sammie! You claim you’re a patriot, that this had to be done that Kelley was somehow less than you. He spared me, he has EVER reason to kill me to get even with you and he let me go…you’re nothing compared to him; at least he loved his family.”
Lucan was silent, the anger on his face melted away as he embraced the end of statement. “Then I shall have substantially longer than him to learn how. Hate me if you wish, but knowing you are safe is what mattered.” Lidda’s face seems to crack as she whimpers out “..t..Then this is goodbye.” Lucan gives her a strange look before nodding “Indeed, for now at least. Where shall I tell Father you are going?” Lidda looks to a corner of his quarters almost lost in thought. “Breck I suppose…Goodbye Lu.” She gives him a hug and sighs out “I still love you brother, forgive me.” Lucan is surprised to hear these words and hugs his sister goodbye “Thank you Lidda, This wasn’t easy for me… thank you for forgiving me.” Without another word she leaves the promenade.
Lucan sits in his quarters silent for a good long moment reflecting on what his sister said in the heat of the moment. “I half expected her to try and kill me for him.” he said aloud with a laugh reaching over to pour himself a drink. “ I’m nothing compared to him huh? Heh, well I doubt he thinks so.” He takes a long sip on his bourbon and watches the sun begin to climb into his window. “Essex, why haven’t you made your move yet?” he says to himself in the silence of the room.
“Because I wanted to know why.”
Lucan spits out his bourbon with a hefty cough seeing Kelley in his quarter holding him at gunpoint. He pulled back the hammer of his mechanika Repeater Pistol and sighs Lucan eyes him with a smile “What are you going to do sho-” Kelley without another word between the two empties the entire ammo wheel into Lucan without a single emotion crossing his face.*
Kelley smiles prying the glass from the spasiming hand of Lucan and ceremonially pours the remains of the glass onto the floor. “My family, is part of my crew.” With a snicker he plucks a cigar from Lucan’s stash inside his desk. “ Hell far as I see it, even some of your family is part of my crew.” He brings the stoogie to his nose with a smile and hears a clamoring stomp of heavy feet. He stows his gun and smiles waiting expectantly for the guest. In walks a broadly smiling Golrick Steadfast.
“She’s ours sir.”
Essex nods “Any survivors Mr Steadfast?”
Golrick just grins to which Essex lights his cigar offering one to Golrick closing the Closet to Lucan’s Quarters where he came out of. “Damn fine work Master of the Hold, Damn fine work. How’s Lidda taking it?"
Golrick snatches up the cigar looking for a match before asking “ Better than I would have thought. Well, where to from here Captain?”
Essex smiles to him stepping out onto his new ship’s weather deck seeing it coated in blood and dead bodies with a crew of his best men and a score of at least a hundred citizens of Crab Beggar Island. “Anywhere we damn well want Golrick, Anywhere we damn well want.”
Essex pulls out the Letter of Marque drafted up by Atticus and crushes it in his hand before runes incinerate it within his metal palm. A Large smile crosses his face as he shouts
“Who’s ready to be come fucking legends?!”