Feb 03, 2023 8:17 AM
The Agile Centenarian has a bet to win, and needs a ship to sail on
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"See you when we get back, then," she says with a smile.

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The Acrobat waves, then she takes her Skipper's arm and they stroll out together, heading further into town.

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The Figurehead leads the way out, trusting the kids who work as haulers and runners at the Exchange to find their way to the dock on their own.

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After they've walked for a bit, the Centenarian turns to the Figurehead, subdued.

"There was something... rude isn't quite the word - that I wanted to tell you. I mentioned the ship like you who had an ugly time? His shipwright-captain could coerce him. And most people don't think too much about what rights he or you ought to have, so no one interfered until it ended in violence. I didn't do anything to stop that, not soon enough. Which I regret quite a bit."

"So, I don't expect this, you and the Skipper do seem actually fond of each other as people - but if it goes sour, if you break up badly or a different captain seizes command or anything, I'm someone you can call on."

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For a moment, that brings the Figurehead up short, briefly twisting her face into a flicker of a snarl before she reminds herself that the Centenarian isn't accusing her Sable of such a thing. It's such a horrible thing to happen, and she hates that it happened to that other ship, who could arguably be her cousin in a sense.

"We can't go against each other like that. My soul formed alongside hers, before she even laid down my keel, before she even started collecting the timber and steel to build me. We're each tangled up in the other, to the extent that neither of us could want to harm the other. The closest we can come to real coercion is using our connection in play, but one of us truly forcing the other to do something she doesn't want at all is impossible."

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"Good. Much better to not need it."

She waits a beat.

"Why 'Fierce'? Hasn't been the first word that would jump to mind for you, so far."

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A small, wry smile turns up her lips. "Well, you've not given me cause to demonstrate it, have you?"

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"Should I? Might be fun."

(To someone who knows her well, and isn't from her crew, this would be instantly recognizable as her teasing, and flirting. That's not a terribly large group of people, though, and no one from the Heart's Handbasket is in it yet.)

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"Depends how well you like explosions, I suppose."

The Figurehead would not normally be best placed to recognize a comparatively subtle social cue, that being more her Captain's specialty, but she's been lightly flirting as well, so it's fairly clear.

"I'm sure we could find an excuse to show off at some point."

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"At close range? I'd have to skip it. But I'd love to see you show off. All three of you, really."

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She nods and smiles. "The Skipper and the Acrobat do try to make time for a good spar most days, and I doubt they'd mind an audience. As for me, the zee is a target-rich environment. I'm sure an opportunity will present itself."

Presently, they arrive back at the Handbasket, where the small squad of teens start carrying enormous sacks of coffee beans into her hold.

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"Oooh. I knew I liked the look of you."

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"Oh good. You certainly have a certain interesting presence as well. Something about the way you talk, I think."

She sits down on a wooden bench with a good view of the teens as they continue loading.

"Do you have anything you'll need to fetch aboard before we pick out quarters for you?"

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"I've just a suitcase, I travel light. I could go retrieve it now?"

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She nods. "Up to you. I'll just be watching over this process until everything's aboard, and then I can help you pick out your quarters."

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"Probably I should do that soon, while there's less going on. Before the other two get back from whatever they're up to."

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