There's something to be said for fear. It's one of the most powerful forces in the world if you tilt your head a bit to think about it. For example, when a pirate aims a weapon in your direction, it's not the gun itself that forces your hands to slowly move above your head. It's that feeling that you could lose everything, and not just what you have at present, if you don't do as they ask. People who are afraid are also obedient to those who shoot the fear into them before actually shooting the bullet. But what's even more powerful about fear is that there's nothing it can't touch. Even the pirate making you afraid can be shot by this weapon with a single, strong breath on the only candle in a windowless room or the flicker of a light switch. Fear is like a parasite that works from the inside out and when used correctly, pulls truth out with it. 

      "The password to your fucking safe!" Emerald held the silk merchant by the the hair, a middle aged woman who used to wear expensive silk dresses but was now stark naked and tied to the mast of her airship. The captain's was being juggled by Fink right in front of her, blood staining his hands. While the captain smiled with a squint behind Emerald. 

      "six…five…" The woman blubbered, "eight..eight…one" and those were her last words as a bullet hit the silk merchant right between the eyes. Dominique, who had been sitting on the side of the ship, blew the smoke on her pistol. 

      "Six, cinque, huit, huit, une." She repeated quietly and hopped down to stand next to Ara as the blond sky pirate clicked the safe open. Gold and silver pieces sat inside, along with pounds, yen, dollars, francs, and other forms of money that Ara hadn't seen before. "We can take this to l'homme d'argent in the black market in London." Dominique pointed out. The money man was a currency exchange that sat among the thieves and sellers of the black market in London. Word had it that there was no kind of money that he couldn't exchange. The once crying woman's head limped forward and if you stared at it long enough, it felt as though she would snap her head back up, still crying. Blood ran between the cracks of metal and wooden boards that made up an upper deck. 

     "Everyone gets equal share of the money in this safe once we exchange it!" Ara called around, holding up a gold piece. "The gold and silver pieces will be distributed equally now and then when we get back to London, everyone gets their fair share of quid!" 

     Back on the Widow, everyone marveled at the riches they brought back. Dominique and Ara barged into their cabin giggling like school girls. Ezra and a few others were taking silk by the yards and moving it into storage for later sale. Morality was low and enthusiasm was high. There was no doubt about it that everyone got what they needed out of the looted ship. The night's dinner would be some sort of asian stir fry with bok choy that the cook had been chopping vegetables for. In the captain's study, charlotte looked over the new food, sale, and supply inventory with Raphael. 

     "No one is looking for silk on the black market right now." Charlotte sighed, speaking quickly, " We should look for wealthy buyers who don't ask questions. We'll set Natalie and Michelle out to sell. Maybe a brothel seamstress or a desperate trader, And for fuck's sake, where's my first mate, oh, speak of the devil." Ara closed the door behind her. 

     "You'll never guess who's here to see us." Ara said, keeping her hands on the door as it slammed against her. 

     "Let me in you little brat!" Ara swayed forward a bit as the door pushed forward, a man's muffled voice trailed in behind Ara's smirk. 

     "He's angry." the smirk pushed into a grin before a look of shock as Ara thrust forward drawing her pistol and aiming it to where the door slammed open against the wall.     

      "Who's angry?" Charlotte stood with a drawn sword but wondered in curiosity.  

      "Captain Cortez is outside with his new first mate and apparently they want to discuss the gathering you missed that captain Alfonso of the airship Monstro-" She grunted to keep the shaking door shut. "that captain alfonso held in Singapore. We left a week before I suppose and I guess there was a business deal that we had forgotten and-" shouts grew louder from outside and the door slammed again. 

      "For fuck's sake, let him in!" Ara released her grasp on the handle and flew forward immediately when the door swung back and hit the wall as a thick black curly hairs spaniard rushed in with his hands slammed on the table. Raphael stepped into the corner quietly reading something on his hand and seemingly unmoved by the sudden eruption. 

      "what was this letter about going back to the old ways? Send my first mate to the talking while I just sit there and say yes or no? And we had a deal, Bennet! Alfonso goes down! That was our plan!"  He yelled in a thick accent and then muttered something in spanish.  

      "Captain, shall I fetch Dario or Michelle?" Ara asked and Charlotte shook her head. Cortez spoke perfect english there was no need for other spaniards unless something got lost in translation which Charlotte was confident, wouldn't happen. 

      "Did you go through with it?" Charlotte asked calmly, putting away her blade and sitting back down at her desk. Cortez continued to stand, a man with clear dark bags under his eyes and a hooked nose. 

      "Of course we didn't! Not with your part of the deal thrown away! We couldn't go through with it! What happened?" He yelled. 

      "I decided that I liked him." Charlotte netted her hands together and rested her weight forward on her elbows when suddenly, a tall woman with light brown hair and a cocoa complexion swayed into the room. 

      "We can't do business for a fickle captain." She said and then said something in spanish to Cortez. 

       "who's this?" Ara asked, circling the new addition to the room. 

       "I am Emiliana. First mate to La Azura." She answered like a sex kitten with malicious intent. 

       "I don't like you." Ara came face to face with the woman and almost a bit too close so much so that she could taste the spearmint on Emiliana's breath and hear her heart beat. There was a challenging look in the eyes of both first mates. 

       "I'm sorry to hear that." The señorita said insincerely back. The two women drew their attention back to the captains when charlotte cleared her throat suddenly. 

      "Listen, come to London in ten days and we'll see what we have then, alright? We'll have a little heart to heart." 

       And that was that. When La Azura vanished into the distance, Ara looked to Captain Charlotte, the girl's short blond hair being wisped around by the wind. 

       "I didn't know that you were working with Captain Cortez. What happened to no secrets?" Ara asked angrily. Charlotte glanced down to the deck boards and crossed her arms.

       "I'm sorry." 

        "What is this about trying to take down Captain Alfonso of the Mostro?" 

       "We wanted his ship and his treasure." 

        "Treasure?" 

         "It doesn't matter. It doesn't concern us anymore. alright?" 

         "I need to know." 

        Ara turned and stared fiercely at the captain of the S.S Silver widow. "I need to know." she said again, "That you won't keep things like this from me again. What treasure?" 

        "Three of the high pirate lords have treasure hidden somewhere. We've been looking for it and covering up the fact by pretending that we're bored with our usual looting areas."  

       "So the middle east," 

       "Was all a mistake." 

         And that was that. 

            

     

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