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Setting the Story Straight Edit

The waters were choppy that morning. The desk swayed awkwardly, an occasional jolt causing even the most sure-footed people to stumble about, and the air tasted salty… it was unpleasant, but tolerable, Rin thought as he watched his crew run to and fro over the deck. Things would be better when they berthed from the dock and back out to sea.

“Captain, captain!” a voice called out from the deck below. Rin glanced down to see one of his engineers waving an arm to grab his attention, “Sir, the shore party says all cargo has been moved below deck. We’re ready to go, just give the word!” he called up, smiling wide before running off to see to something. Rin yawned wide, the spray-saturated air filling his lungs with an awful taste. He turned to the captain’s wheel, stepping behind it and taking a hold.

“Captain, sir,” someone spoke up behind him.

“What is it, Olan?” Rin sighed, releasing his grip from the wheel to turn and face the other crewman.

“Sir, the mainlander who came to see us last night is back, and he’s brought friends with him… I didn’t know what to tell him, so I sent them to your quarters,” Olan smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck, “You might want to go see them, they said it was urgent…”

“I thought we already told him no?” Rin huffed, aggravated. Damned Pryconians were always so insistent… he supposed he’d have to make things crystal clear this time, “Whatever… you watch the crew, make sure everybody’s aboard. And don’t take off until I say so!” he headed for the stairs to the deck below, “Much as I’d love to, I don’t want to have to throw our guests off of the side.”

“Yes, sir,” Olan nodded, waving Rin off as he made his way down to the captain’s cabin.

 

The door was ajar when he got there, and the sound of conversation echoed from inside. There were several voices, speaking in tongues and accents Rin didn’t recognise… who had the magister brought with him, thugs from the Coalition?

“You had better have a good reason for coming back after I told you… told…” Rin entered the cabin and blinked, staring ahead at the small party awaiting him. The Pryconian from the previous night stood at the fore of them, and behind stood four total strangers, three of one race he’d never previously seen, and a lone female of another, “W-what is the meaning of this? Who are these people?” he demanded, scowling at the magister stood before him, who simply smiled back in the same overly-polite manner he’d expressed the previous night… this one was strange, his very presence disturbing.

“Forgive me, sir captain,” he said, his tone as sickly-sweet as his smile, “These are my companions, those I told you about last-“

“You said you were travelling with three others, and you never told me they were… whatever on Aesira this lot is!”

“Forgive me once more, I meant do deception or disrespect; I had assumed a well-travelled Lutras such as yourself would be aware of the southern races; I, myself, was surprised when I first saw them. However, if you would give me a few moments of your time, I can explain everything,” the Pryconian sat down in the chair opposite Rin’s own desk, built for a member of the ship’s crew but not one as tall as he. Were it not for the rather serious nature of their meeting, Rin would have probably laughed, seeing a Pryconian man try to sit comfortably in what was, to him, a seat meant for a child.

“I don’t have long before we have to leave the dock,” Rin sighed, stepping around the group to sit behind his desk. He craned his neck to look up at those still standing, then lowered his glance to the magister before him, “I assume the request is the same as last night, you want us to ferry you off to the gods know where?”

“You would be well compensated for-“

“Coin can only get you so far!” Rin interrupted the man, sighing deep as he sunk back into his chair, “First, I want to know exactly where you’re going and why… and I want no lies! If I think you’re hiding anything from me, you’re out of here!”

“Well then, maybe I should start from the beginning?” one of the previously silent foreigners spoke up, a female dressed in leathery rags and bright bangles, “Though this may take a while to explain fully…”

“You have as long as I can stand to listen,” Rin waved a hand dismissively, “So try not to bore me, miss..?”

“Shima.”


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