“Damn that insolent seraph!” The rapid thud of heavy boots and the sudden slamming of the door to the captain’s quarters heralded Mage’s return to the Jolly Roger. From behind the heavy oak door burst the clatter of drawers and cupboards being ransacked, several especially large shattering sounds indicating that this was with no special regard for the preservation of said cupboards’ contents.
Upon their captain’s wrathful return the two men standing on the ship’s deck exchanged knowing glances, then shook their fists three times in unison. The taller of the two grimaced as his paper was cut by the other’s scissors, then took one last drag from his cigarette before heading belowdeck. He approached the captain’s quarters hesitantly, not wanting to find himself on the receiving end of any of the paint-blistering curses which accompanied the racket of falling debris. When the commotion inside seemed to quiet for a moment he knocked briefly on the door, then pushed it open just a crack and stuck his head inside.
“Welcome back, Captain. I take it things didn’t go… oh.” His words trailed off as he stepped into the disaster which had once been a rather impressive and organized study. Bookshelves were overturned; cupboards hung open, empty; drawers had been yanked from their slots and tossed carelessly to the hardwood floor. Mage stood in the midst of the wreckage with her back to the door, intently riffling through a large chest of rolled parchment. When she did not turn to acknowledge her subordinate’s words he repeated a little louder, though with much more uncertainty, “welcome back, Captain. How did it go?”
She heard him this time.
“Go? How did it go?” She whirled around, scowling. “How do you think it went?!” If her usual rage was a frightening thing to behold, and indeed it was, the bloody gash which ran from over the Captain’s right eyebrow and down her face to the line of her jaw made her a doubly terrifying sight. The man flinched and inched back subconsciously.
“Oh good Lord. Uh. Captain, you might want to, er…” He mimed wiping the jagged wound but Mage’s eyes skewered him with a frozen, bloody glare and he backed away nervously. “You know what, I’ll just go get you something for that. Yeah. Just be a moment.” With that he turned and fled the room, seeking the relative safety that was anywhere other than the current eye of the storm. When the door had slammed shut behind him, Mage returned her attention to the chest. “Where are you? Where are you?” One by one she impatiently tossed the rolls of parchment to the floor, angrily muttering, “no, no, no!” under her breath as she did.
It was beginning to look as though her efforts would be in vain when suddenly she dug up a tightly wrapped and much faded parchment fastened with a red wax seal. “Aha! Found you, you bastard!” With one sweep of her arm the Captain cleared her desk, sending its contents crashing to the floor, and eagerly spread the parchment out across the empty surface. It had been so many years that she had nearly forgotten about this old schematic, and she chuckled now in recollection of the day she had rescued the document from a pile of soon to be discarded papers in Tivius’ study. Back then, of course, she had merely admired the intricacy of the blueprints and had not wished to see such art go to waste. Now, however, the paper would serve her in a much more practical and deliciously ironic manner.
Mage grinned savagely, causing a drop of blood from the wound on her face to splash down onto the detailed lighthouse blueprints.
“I didn’t want to do this but you’ve forced my hand, Inno. Yes, we’ll see just how long that lighthouse of yours will stand.”
She drew the stolen hook from her coat pocket and slammed it down onto the draft, its curved point chipping into the wooden desk. Flecks of dried blood still clung to the slick metal and around the hilt were tangled several strands of long, dark hair and a single white feather.