Or… Bourbon & Rum Pt. II: Nell Shoves Off
Back to Part I
September twenty ninth 18xx
Babbage Canals, Lot #9
Nellie stands on the dock watching her crew as they move about getting the last of the preparations completed and double checking. Her day started early, very early, crack of dawn early. Excitement a big part of that, but also cargo not previously planned for. She had followed her crew here as they carried the coffin from her home to the ship. She ignored glances from some of her workers who were unaware of its contents, focusing solely on those carrying, making doubly sure they were careful. “Not so much as a single scuff…” she’d threatened all the way there. Not that what was inside was all that fragile, but she cared greatly for her co-captain tucked inside.
Captain Ward safely stored inside the cabin she now stood watch, waiting for time to set sail and thinking of the night before, an unpleasant trip, argument, hurt feelings…not her own, the outcome worked out in her favor…but her thoughts are interrupted by a cheeky urchin. Loki O’ Brien stands there rocking back and forth on his heals “Wouldja be hirin?” Nellie closes her eyes a moment wondering how long this will set her schedule off before she shakes her head “Done got crew Loki. We’re settin out shortly.”
He gives her a mischievous look she knows all too well “Really?” he says, “What port ya plannin ta visit?” Nellie knows that him knowing she’s not around is going to cause her grief, but she holds her assumptions for now “Dunno. Jus goin out there an seein…” She waits for him to say it, something to trigger her ‘don’t you dare’ glare…
“Aye, ya knew ya could keep me on retainer ‘n such, keepin a sharp eye on tha warehouse. I means’ were freinds aint we.” Loki has a plan, and she doesn’t care for it. Nellie chuckles at him “Ah dunno what retainer is Loki…but havin you watch my stuff sounds a mite counter productive.” He’s not done, he continues, his smile growing brighter “Hey, whatcha meanin counter productive, bettah than theives breakin in, ye go’ someone ta watch tha place?”
They continue this business meeting, working it out where Loki will be given jobs around the docks from those left in charge. Loki proudly stating they are friends and he’s the cheapest help anyone could find “Cheap maybe…til it’s figured in what ya pocketed while everone not lookin…” she smirks. They continue their conversation, touching several topics, places they’ve been, their friendship, the way time works…Nellie looks from Loki at an approaching figure. It’s nearly time to go.
The usual nods and glances are doled out before anyone speaks. Domino starts “How’s preparations?” Nellie had been prepared and done many times for weeks now, but always one more thing or one more change “Was headin off in a bit but had stop an have business discussion with Loki here. Managed get Bam down in bottom, an he’s nappin. Ashina somewheres I reckon…I seen some purple walk by earlier. Crews checkin out the sails an whatnot…then off we go soon as done with urchin business.” Domino says she’s ready, Loki says business concluded…and he ends up with jobs from Domino as well. A bottle of wine is left as a bon voyage present and Loki is gone. Nellie and Domino decide to board Nell’s ship for a bit before setting sail on separate vessels.
Domino gives the ship a glance over as the walk across deck “So, all loaded?” to which Nell replies “Yup…been checked over twenty times, got everthin needed, all special eatens thought of, crew loaded, whatnot.” Domino decides to make a double check “Sure you got ashina?” She wonders.
Nellie turns her head and looks down at the hatch doors and calls down below “Ashina ya down there?” She’s answered by a squeak and the telling thump of Ashina falling over “Yup…pretty sure ah got her.” Domino nods and smirks, her worries alleviated. Nellie goes back to ship prep “Ah ended up with more crew than ah’d started with. Had to take on two more since last night…my plans had a sudden change. Got jus those from the docks, whoever knew a bit bout ships or fixin or whatever.” Domino goes on to tell about her crew “Got my new gunner and engineer. Engineers a proper…” she pauses “What plan changed?”
Nellie hadn’t wanted to get into it just now, but Domino asked and it was bound to come up sooner or later “Well…what people eat for one. Ah know what human crew need, an the wolves…jus finally got worked what gettin an how much an everthin…an now got nother what don’t eat like the others…” she shrugs it off “Thas all…” Domino is unsatisfied with this answer, she nods questioningly. Nellie continues “Well, me an Bam an Iron we ain too picky…can eat jus near anythin. Ashina with her plant foods, humans not so hard. Actually reckon cover all three with bout same things…” Domino nods again “Yep. Got one of those weird veggie types?”
Nellie shakes her head “Not really. This one needs…not veggies, meat but gotta be alive…um…” she thinks a minute “This one eats kinda long the lines of a leech…” she scrunches her nose, she didn’t care for saying that “Um…or a skeeter…or a tick…or…” she shakes her head, she gives up and just stares at Domino’s raised eyebrow “Blood sucking type.” Nellie nods, Domino got it “Yea…not too many volunteers for that…specially on short notice.”
Domino just replies with a “Uh huh. Spose you got someone for the night watch at least.” Nellie sighs then nods “Yea…bound to be loads of fun. Your Ashina trippin off the railin an gettin munched by sharks, Alek a pile of ash when a cannonball flies through a cabin window…”
Domino stares at her a moment “Who?” Nellie goes on to explain how her new co-captain showed up in his coat and hat dragging a coffin up her stairs behind him “Him’s serious…but him never been on ship fore, not awake anyway…” Domino keeps staring “Down there now?” she nods toward the cabin doors. “Yea, sleepin in his box…” Domino just nods “Can do planning on my ship then.” Nellie’s eyes roll “Oi…” and Domino shifts the conversation “Best set off then. Meet out at sea for planning? Sandbar out about five miles, good spot to anchor up and work out plans.” Nellie shrugs “We’ll see how she goes reckon…let’s to it.” She follows Domino back to the side of the ship, pulling the board between ship and dock aboard after Domino has crossed it. Domino looks back “I’ll bring the good rum out. See ya there.” Nellie nods “See ya.”
Bourbon & Rum Pt. II: Nell Sashays Away
Or… Bourbon & Rum Pt. II: Nell Shoves Off