Scottie and Sky leaned on the semi-circular counter at ‘Cuffs, Sky with the ledger and Scottie sipping at a glass of absinthe. Both stared intently across the marble top at the Captain of the Mermaid’s Song, one of the many cargo ships that docked in Port every day. The captain gripped the edge of the counter, his eyes boring into Scottie and his face flushed with anger.
“But you said I’d have two more weeks to pay off that debt,” he said calmly, trying to keep his composure. This captain’s temper was well known along the Port, and when he got a few drinks in him, it had a tendency to erupt violently. Two weeks ago he had chosen Scottie for a fight and Sky had used the man’s rage against him, causing him to bet far more than he should have. As result, he was now in a bit of a predicament.
“I know I did,” Scottie said coolly, “and that’s why I’m only asking for half to clear up the entire debt.” Scottie took a sip of his absinthe to let that sink in. It only took a few moments for the captain to ease his grip on the marble and cross his arms, his eyes shifting between the two curiously.
“Well, I should be able to get that if I…” the captain started before Scottie’s hand rose, cutting him off.
“I need what you carried into Port. The manifest says you have a supply of magnesium, is that right?”
“Well, that’s meant for Steamweaver Industries for the production of…”
Scottie shook his head, interrupting him again, “I don’t care what it’s for. I need five crates. That should be roughly half of what you owe and we’ll clear your debt completely.”
The captain furrowed his brows and huffed, “But I already told you, it’s going to Steamweaver.”
Sky sighed and rolled her eyes, leaning casually back against the inner ring of the counter, “Things happen. Pirates attack, crewmen go mad and toss cargo overboard, and crates go missing off the dock. Take your pick.”
The captain’s face, once just flushed, was now as red as a boiler about to blow. He had leaned over the counter, his modest gut digging into the marble as he wagged his finger at Sky. Spittle flew from his lips as spoke, “Now you listen here, missy! I ain’t never missed a delivery and I ain’t about to now.”
Scottie leaned over too, and the smash of his drinking glass was quickly followed by his powerful hand cupping the back of the man’s neck while the other introduced the jagged glass to within a hairsbreadth of the man’s throat, “Temper, temper, captain,” Scottie said, all too aware that his own anger was starting to well up. It seemed it came to the surface much quicker since the machines or ‘iron eyes’ had emerged.
The captain froze, careful not to move, his breathing heavy as he closed his eyes and began to regain his composure. Scottie relented his grip on the back of the captain’s neck and brought the broken glass away from the man’s neck slowly.
“It’s a good offer,“ Scottie said as he settled back to his spot within the circle, “and I’d hate for word to get out to your crew that there are at least three other ships hiring hands for almost 10% more than what you’re paying them…” He relished the look on the captain’s face, how his eyes went wide and his jaw went slack as he realized what this information would cost him.
Scottie left no time for the captain to recover, he needed the man acting, not thinking. Scottie swept around the counter and began to usher him out, “C’mon, let’s go get my magnesium.”