RP Pirates of the Cloud Cutter


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It was morning, and he’d had a terrible night of sleep. Despite the medicine numbing the pain on his thigh, the bandages itched and the fever wouldn’t stop coming back, no matter how many cold towels were placed on his forehead, in failed attempts to lower his temperature. God, Alys would pay for this.

“Hello?” He called out, but he was alone in the clinic and there was no immediate answer from outside the door. He rang the bell by his bedside table, hoping whoever showed up came in with food and an extra blanket.
The night before hadn’t given Argent much of a chance to sleep, though he had grabbed what winks he could after the excitement had passed. Being relatively new to the crew he hadn’t been told what the commotion was about, though he had gathered enough from the shouted voices and the fair elven girl that had scrambled close enough to the port hole near his bed that he could have touched her. It was uncharacteristic of Aamir, the man usually kept a level head and knew when to avoid confrontation. Argent had stayed put, though his hand rested on his sword until the shouting faded.

He had been on guard after that, sleeping lightly enough that even the slightest creaking of the deck would have sent him into action. Some sleep had been gained, though, before the bell tore him from his dreams and back into the waking world. On his old ship the infirm were written off almost as soon as they were injured, good physicians that could actually save lives were few and far between and they had never been able to bring one aboard. Though the Cloud Cutter was currently suffering a similar predicament the previous medic had been diligent in his work, the bell that had stirred Argent an idea of the cranky physician’s so that the injured crew could be attended at all hours.

None of the other crew seemed to acknowledge it, though. Snoring soundly in their hammocks that left Argent to answer the call, begrudgingly as he slipped his boots on wearily. Anyone who was stupid enough to be bed ridden should at least have the decency to sleep in, like any good pirate in his opinion. They didn’t have any reason to greet the rising sun, particularly while they were in port, and yet the patient above rang his bell as if the sun sat high in the sky and servants would be waiting with wine in hand to serve them.

Argent sighed as he scooped up a cup of water from one of the barrels, a few quick swallows taken to freshen his own bleary eyes before he filled it again to bring to the idiot in the clinic. Everyone knew how Sky had ended up there, by now, even if the story had become more rumor than truth as it passed through each crew member’s lips. It was usually the same story, easily summed up by the phrase “Sky being Sky,” that seemed almost the Cloud Cutter’s catchphrase at this point. Aamir had earned a lot of respect as Argent’s captain in the time he had spent with him, but Argent could never figure out why he kept the changeling around.

He rapped upon the door to the clinic lightly, a formality that he followed without pause by opening the door and tossing the heavy blanket he had used overnight over Sky’s face.

”It’s too fucking early for a bell.” he said harshly, though the gentle way he set the cup of water next to Sky was at odds with his words.
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Sky lifted up, leaning on his elbow to see who had entered. Winter if he had been lucky, but luck hadn't been in his favor now for quite some time. It was that quiet kid with silver hair. A disappointed groan escaped his lips as he laid back down, simultaneously getting hit with a blanket that he welcomed, despite the carelessness to which it had been tossed.

“It’s too fucking early to-” He sniffed the blanket, grimaced and tossed it back to Argent. “Did you rub it in your balls? Gross!” A bit of an exaggeration, but it did smell like a man’s sweat, which Sky didn’t appreciate. “You didn’t spit on my water, did you? Bring Winter here, she knows how to take care of me.” He adjusted his pillow to sit up with support on his back, dragging his injured leg up.
Another heavy sigh fell from Argent’s lips at Sky’s response, the reaction too swift to suppress. He caught the blanket and folded it carefully, a slight frown the only other sign of his displeasure. Had the changeling been a fresh face on the ship Argent might have told them exactly what he thought of their demands and whinging, but Aamir had chosen Sky to be his second and Argent had little argument against the appointment. Sky’s ability to change faces was invaluable, and they knew their way around a ship as well as Argent at least. They were a good fit for the position by their ability alone, though their disposition was another matter.

”Tsk,” Argent clicked his tongue, another slight crack in the facade he was trying to put forth as he reached for the cup. ”I would really rather not. If she isn’t here now she doesn’t want to be, with all of that noise.” That was truly only part of his reasoning. Winter made him nervous, in the way a predator might be wary of another. His skill with a blade was nothing to scoff at, but the blind woman possessed an ability that was simply uncanny, even if her eyes were more than mere decoration. Waking her to deal with an injured, and frankly whiny, changeling seemed like a good way to end up on the swordswoman’s bad side, and Argent felt no reason to find his way there.

Argent looked to the blanket in his hands and back to Sky with a stormy expression. ”I was just trying to be nice,” he said with a slight edge of offense to his voice. ”But I can leave you here to wait for someone else.” Given the lack of response to Sky’s initial summons it seemed unlikely anyone else would show up. If they did it was less likely they would come bearing fresh linens and a silver cup.

”Sir.” Argent tacked the word on quite late, obviously little impressed by their position. He adhered to the hierarchy of the ship to a fault, but every member of the Cloud Cutter knew that Sky’s position usually came with an expiration date. In the end it was only a matter of time before Argent had to defer the same respect to someone else; likely someone with less of a tendency to cause trouble, at least by pirate standards.
Commotion before tea made for a rather dreadful way to begin her morning, so Winter decided Sky could wait at least until she had finished her cup. He didn’t sound like he was dying, and she could hear boots down on the deck below, one of the newer crew by the sound of them. Was it the one who was fair with the blade or the one who was complaining about needing to chop onions? Pondering that got Winter to the bottom of her cup, which was regretful but unavoidable.

Winter slid off her bunk and up to her feet, pausing a moment to pick up a thinner cane which she tucked under her arm as she stepped out of her room. She contemplated checking in on Aamir, though the thought was scrapped about as soon as it had come. She doubted he’d be awake yet, and there was still some time before they needed to go to the Last Meal so there wasn’t yet a reason to rouse him. Which just left Sky and the short walk to the clinic.

Winter tapped her heel against the doorframe twice as she arrived, though she wasn’t really concerned with announcing herself. She listened for a moment, then entered. “Agnet is it? Winter asked, moving past the two men. She ran her hand along the counter, giving it a few taps of her knuckle as she went.

Sleep well Sky?” He hadn’t, but that wasn’t much of a guess was it? She reached up and grabbed a roll of bandages. She looked back over her shoulder, her pale eyes focusing on nothing between the two.

I’ll need your eyes for a moment. Tell me, how do the bandages around his leg look? And is the water in the basin clean?” They’d need to find themselves a new cutter before leaving this port.
As if summoned by her mention the blind swordswoman appeared with light taps serving as her herald. Argent stepped to the side to give Winter a wider berth in which to reach Sky, though she stepped to the changeling’s side easily enough without the room.

”Argent, ma’am. Argent Klein.” He corrected her casually as he surveyed Sky’s condition, assessing the questions she posed. ”Basin’s full and clean, bandages are starting to show a bit.” His pale eyes settled on Sky’s chosen face for a moment without expression. ”Looks a bit flushed, though. I’m not sure he will be in fit condition to make it to the Last Meal.”

Argent laid the blanket over his arm and waited, unsure of whether he should say more or not. He wasn’t an officer, and though he had a modicum of respect with the crew he still hadn’t quite found the boundaries for this particular Captain. Cautiously he cleared his throat before speaking.

”Are we sure that we want to deal with the Nox at all? If the worst happens we might be out of our depth.” In some crews that was tantamount to mutiny, and Argent was well aware of that as he spoke almost conspiratorially. As if to make up for the seed of disobedience Argent added, ”The Captain has a plan, right?”
Mm, Argent.” She was quiet for a moment as she tilted her head, her lips dipping into a small frown. It wasn’t really much matter, but being wrong was what it was, even if it seemed the man always aimed to scurry away. Disliking having fresh blood promoted over himself or…? It didn’t matter really. “Well, let’s clean and dress the wound again. The wise woman mentioned some teas that were good for inflammation, I’ll brew some once we’ve finished.” From a drawer she produced a blade for cutting cloth, and with a flick of her hand she held it out for Argent to take, the blade held neatly between her fingers and the handle towards the swordsman.

Once taken, she moved on to find some clean cloth for washing wounds and wiping sweat. The soap made that simple.

If need be then I’ll go, though given how resentful the Nox’s second is of our dear Sky, perhaps that is for the best.” There was a faint quirk of her lip at that, though it came and went quickly. She dipped a clean cloth into the water. Winter did not respond immediately to Argent’s next question, save for a small hum, instead she wringed out the excess water. It fell back into the basin with a pattering and Winter looked at Argnet, almost as if she were studying him though she hadn’t the foggiest idea what the contours of his face even were.

Perhaps it would be a dangerous thing to ask about one of the lord-commanders in the empire’s army, or of a captain far more paranoid than Aamir, but the captain was Aamir, and concerns were concerns.

The captain has what he wishes to do, so we’ll do as he asks. He’s not one for an uncalculated gamble.” Which was true enough, even if Aamir was fickle. As to the question of the Nox, the swordswoman shrugged. “The Nox has what we need and in return the Nox asks for what we can offer. It’s as good and trustworthy a deal as you can ever find between pirates.

Which was, of course, just a nice way of saying not at all.
Sky couldn’t help but smile upon Winter’s arrival.

“No, did you?” He answered with a weak smile, shifting on the cot so Argent could better take a look at his bare thigh. He was wearing a short trouser, that was far from being adequate to wear in the presence of a maiden, but that maiden couldn’t see so he supposed it was fine.

“Careful with that.” He said, when her blade began cutting through the bandages. He furrowed his brows at the mention of the Nox’ second, upset at how his latest encounter with Alys had been. The thing about leaving a relationship early, without letting the other person know it was over, is that he only retains the good memories, which is good for him and not so good for the other person, he’d found out. Knowing Alys, he should’ve seen it coming. It was stupid to think they could’ve started back from where they’d left off.

“You two should go on my behalf. Alys will kill me if she sees me again, if not her, her captain and I’m not exactly in the position to defend myself. Make sure Aamir doesn’t sell us for a penny.”
"Sky, you're not worth a penny." The banter was far too cheerful for the morning, but that was Aamir. They were probably used to it. He'd appeared in the doorway a bit behind the others, though undoubtedly Winter had heard him coming. "Besides, I tried to sell us for two pennies, but, you know, new Captain over there and all, and apparently he doesn't do the thing. Bit of a bummer. So! Alys, is it?" That would be Sky's mystery girl, who he apparently still had feelings about. From what he was saying, this Alys still had feelings about Sky, too, although more of the murderous sort.

That probably meant she was a smart girl. He'd have to keep his guard up, or as up as it ever was. Aamir hadn't gotten where he was by being paranoid. He'd gotten there by being friendly, cheerful, and letting other people be paranoid for him. Argent and Winter would probably fit that ticket just fine.

"You two up for a little excursion, then, since Sky's decided to be a lazy bastard in bed all day?"
Nodding thoughtfully Argent took the blind woman’s blade in his hand and began cutting away the old bandages as instructed, slowing only slightly when Sky expressed concern. When it came to a blade Argent was as sure of his hands as anyone, and he took the comment in stride as the conversation continued. There was a slight knotting between Argent’s eyebrows as he worked, and if the history between Sky and the Nox’s second was of any surprise to him it was indicated only by a short grunt.

Pulling the last of the binding away Argent looked up at the Captain’s entrance, stepping away from Sky once more to give Winter room to work. ”That might depend upon the capacity, Captain,” he replied cautiously, dipping his head slightly in deference.

”Do you want us to advise you, or stand around and look menacing?” Argent hooked a thumb through his belt where his pistol would have been tucked and leaned against the nearest wall. ”You might be willing to sell us for a whore’s coppers but I think I can speak for the entire crew, save Sky, when I say we are worth at least a few good gold.” A small quirk at the corner of his lips and Argent added, ”If it looks like you’re going to do wrong by your crew I can’t say I won’t knock you all the way back to your cabin, Sir.”
Mm, dreamt of the stars myself.” Winter said. She turned an ear towards the door at the sound of Aamir’s approach, though she didn’t speak a word of warning for the others. No point in ruining a perfectly good entrance, was there? Instead Winter stepped around Argent once it sounded like he had finished the cutting. She dabbed the wound, gently enough, listening to the conversation. Aamir’s request was no real surprise, though Argent’s response brought a frown to her lips.

Rather bold for one who seemed to have done his best to remain skulking away from the daylight, wasn’t he? Though, perhaps she simply had a wrong sense of who he was doing his best to remain unnoticed by? Odd thought that. Winter dabbed the water away with a clean cloth, before reaching for a fresh roll of gauze.

We’ll need to see about getting another medicine hand after the meeting, I’m not suited for this line of work I’m afraid.” Winter said, applying fresh dressing with a careful hand. Satisfied that it was probably over the wound, she tied it off before wrapping a measure of cloth over her own eyes. “Perhaps the wisewoman can share with us some medicinal knowledge as well as old folk tales, hm?
Winter might have claimed she wasn't suited for medicine, but she did it well enough. So did Aamir, for that matter, half the time. It would be good to get another medicine worker on the ship, if they could, but attracting the right sort was problematic. "Maybe we'll just kidnap her again," he offered, not entirely serious, but he wouldn't turn down the opportunity either. For now he'd let Winter handle things, though mostly because she would have considered it an insult if Aamir took over for her halfway through. He turned his attention to Argent instead.

"Advice, menacing grimaces, a good kick in the ass... Hmm. Now, I won't lie, I could probably use a good kick in the ass, very tempting offer there, Argent. But I think I'll just have to go with one of the other options, just for today. Let's go with cheerful advice - you can do cheerful, can't you?" Aamir looked over at perpetually stoic Argent, debating whether that one was a lost cause. Probably.

"I figure that boy Captain doesn't have the faintest fucking idea what he's doing just yet. And, well, not that I'd ever undermine another Captain or anything, but if their wisewoman happens to see our best and their worst, she might not even need another kidnapping! Easier on everyone that way, isn't it?"
Sky regretted mentioning her the moment Aamir walked into the room. But did he, though? She had shot him after all. Even if Sky had had feelings for her in the past, that wasn’t the same Alys he’d shared a bed and multiple bottles of rum with.

He was in his head, not paying much attention to Argent after he had pulled the last bandage off, or even Winter, despite her soft touch on his leg. It was only when Aamir brought up kidnapping that he was pulled back into the room, situating himself on where that conversation was headed.

“I think his eye, or lack thereof, is a soft spot. He shot me for it.” Sky added to the conversation, laying back down when Winter finished applying the medicine. “Thank you darling, you’re too good for us.”
Aamir might have been one of the scant few people who could evoke a visible reaction from Argent, and in this case his words elicited the faintest of smiles to play across the edges of his lips. It might have been less a smile outwardly than the humor Argent felt, perhaps more of lack of a frown. Regardless of his outward reaction Argent nodded at Aamir with, if not cheeriness, then an open acceptance.

”Perhaps I will sing a jaunty tune as we are sent to our graves. Just for you, Captain.”

He pushed off from the wall and brushed his hands over his trousers. ”Well, if I’m going to join the party I should be sure I am dressed for the part.” The way he patted his side, the notable absence of saber or sword, would be enough for Aamir at least to understand his meaning. ”I’ll meet you on deck in my finest.” By his expression he might very well have been speaking of clothing as he turned abruptly and headed back toward the crew bunks.

What an odd one.” Winter said, as she listened to Argent’s footsteps meld into the middle distance of the ship. The blind woman stood, and returned to the basin to clean her hands. A few tools to boil, and the water would need changed, she could trust Sky to pass that along at least to whoever came to bring him a cup of water next. “You know, if I didn’t know any better I’d say that Argent has been avoiding me.” A small smile touched her lips as she dried her hands.

I don’t know if you’ll be so lucky with just a show of competence, from our short chat Emer seemed very loyal to the Nox.” Winter picked up her cane, before giving Sky’s shoulder a pat. “Still, stranger things have happened. Now, you stay out of trouble while we’re away.” That last part she turned her head to Sky and after a moment she took her hand from his shoulder.

Shall we be on our way?