They say that with a new day, there comes new strength, new life. But as Esme stared at the sunrise, leaning her arms against the beams of the ship, alone, she felt nothing but weak. No new power flooded through her veins and there was a certain tightness in her muscles that sent a wave of pain through her arms if she made any move to stretch.
Esme could now say that though the sunrise was beautiful, it did not mean that things would be better. She shook her head, gritting her teeth as a gust of wind sent a chill crawling down her spine. That's when she heard the light footsteps of Morrow Tately behind her.
"Any luck with interrogating that captain?" Esme asked. Morrow had been in the Captain's Quarters of the Godspeed, with a girl by the name of Robyn. It slightly irritated Esme that Morrow hadn't brought her down to the brig; she suspected that he knew the captive, at least enough to care that she wasn't drenched by staying below deck.
Morrow shook his head, collapsing down onto a barrel near the masts. "She will not talk, not even to me. And I gave her a pretty good deal."
Esme snorted. She was only on the Godspeed because a privateer had had the nerve to attack. Esme had gotten away when Morrow decided to swoop and save her, as though she was some damsel in distress. The least he could do was be polite around her, but Morrow was still his annoying, conceited self. His annoying, conceited, handsome self. With dirty blond hair cut short, and deep green eyes, he was likely the most handsome thing she'd seen.
Esme blushed, before saying, "I still have no idea why you brought the girl on this ship."
"Because she's the Captain of that merchant ship we just blew up. I wasn't going to leave her to die," he said, coughing. "I may be a pirate, but I can be a gentleman as well. And besides that, she can get us into ports, e t cetera." Esme turned around, cocking an eyebrow.
He smirked, raising his own eyebrows. "As I said before, it's odd that she's not co-operating. The deal was fair. She becomes part of our crew, gets us into ports, and she doesn't die."
"I can't believe that you think of yourself as a gentleman," Esme snapped, her orange hair flying into her face. "I cannot wait to get off of this Godforsaken ship!" Morrow pulled himself up from the barrel, tapping his fingers on the mast.
"Now that I've answered your question, I guess I'll look further into that comment." He took a step forward. "Why so angry, sweetheart?" Esme ground her teeth together, and she, herself, took a step forward. They were nose to nose.
"You have a sorry excuse for a crew, love." Esme hated when he challenged her opinions. She hated when he called her sweetheart in such a taunting way. She hated when he looked her straight in the eye, his green eyes flashing. Sometimes, Esme thought that she hated him. But she knew she could never do that.
She continued, "And nevermind the rest of it. You obviously have more important things to deal with; for instance, training that quarter master of yours to respect another captain." Esme leaned forward, and whispered in his ear, smirking, "I'd be that other captain."
Morrow cleared his throat. "You're right. I do have more important things to deal with." Esme pulled away, slightly wounded at his willingness to get away from her. That's when she noticed that he'd drawn his sword, and his eyes were no longer focused on her. His eyes were narrow slits, glowering at the sea.
"Morrow..." Esme said, slipping backwards. "Why is your sword out?"
Morrow whirled around, his eyes now wide. "We've got an unidentified ship!"
"What?" A loud bang sounded from behind her, and Esme tilted her head to the side just in time to see a wooden plank slam against the deck.
It was just like any old day, below the deck of the Godspeed, for Rebekka "Nightingale" Tately. Her eyes shot open to hear Morrow screeching like a banshee about an unidentified ship in the distance. Nightingale rolled her eyes, clenching her fists around the cloth of the hammock that she shared with Esme (there wasn't enough room to have her own). Esme, however, was gone, and Nightingale was alone.
This was a regular occurrence, aboard this ship. Morrow always suspected that a ship was following them, and he'd call for the crew. Just in case they were attacked.
But something was different about Morrow's yells than usual. Nightingale tilted her head to the side. The others were still in the hammocks - Arverly sat on a flour sack, his mouth open and an empty bottle at his feet; Toro was sleeping with his foot in Wren the medic's face; Gweyn was sitting in the brig, her skirts wrapped around her tightly; Caterina - urgh - was likely up at the fighting top, feet dangling from the ratlines; and everyone else were finally stirring.
Nightingale threw her feet over the side of the hammock, flinching at the cold, damp wood against her toes. Brushing her black hair behind her ear, taking a stiff step towards the stairs.
That's when the stairs creaked... and a man that Nightingale didn't recognize stumbled down the steps, yelling, "They're all down here! Get the ropes!"
Morrow's voice echoed down to the hull, panic rising with his volume. "Run!"
Nightingale took one look at the man, at his shaggy brown hair, at the scratches and scars that marked his face.... and she ran for the stairs, shouting over her shoulder, "Get up! Get up, all of you lazy-" He seized her by the hair, lifting her from the ground.
Nightingale shrieked as she felt her hair tearing away from her scalp. "What the actual HELL are you doing here?" Nightingale struggled in the air, grabbing her attacker by the shoulders to lessen the pressure on her skull. He yanked her hands away, switching his grip from her hair to her waist.
Nightingale knew that this man was not a pirate - likely, he was a privateer or one from the Company. If Nightingale could talk quick enough, she could come up with an excuse to get she and the rest of the crew out of this. To get her brother out of trouble.
He slung her over his shoulder as she screamed, "I AM A PRIVATEER FOR THE KING OF ENGLAND!" She pounded her fists against the man's back. "The captain will be calling a judge for justic-"
"There ain't none here, sweetheart," he whispered into her ear, throwing his hand over her mouth. His gaze flicked to the crew, who were stirring in their sleep. Please wake up, please wake up. But they didn't move. "There isn't any justice. Because..." he continued his sentence in a sing-song voice, "we like to get the trial over with quickly because it's the sentence that's really the fun!"
"I have some freaking OBJECTION-" He traced his knife over Nightingale's throat. She quickly silenced herself, eyes following his movements.
"Is this enough justice for you, bad girl? You're not dead yet."
"I have news for you. If I'm a bad girl, then you can't kill me. Because bad girls can't DIE!" She slammed her foot into his knee, running as fast as she could up the steps.
Meanwhile, Esme had drawn her sword, slashing at the men. Fifteen pirates lay around her, injured or dead. She was losing; with over forty men swarming her, she had only gotten fifteen. She had cuts and scrapes everywhere, and she was losing blood quickly. Oh, so quickly. She was falling into the darkness, pain taking over.
"MORROW!" she shrieked... but he wasn't there. He'd been taken. She collapsed, buried in the commotion of fighting. But there was nothing left to fight for; the crew had either been killed below deck, or they'd been injured. It was only her and Morrow on deck, as far as she knew.
She gave up.
And everything went dark.