"There's a fucking ghost on this ship!" yelled Charlotte, stamping out the whispering hum of the galley in saying so. Ara nodded, arms crossed, legs crossed as she leaned against the wall, slightly aloof from the crowd.
"What made you change your mind?" She piped in, feeling a bit cocky. "You were so unsure before."
"Shut it, Porter. Don't you say a word. Your boyfriend showed his machine wrecked face last night before I went to bed and if we wanted to give him what he wanted, it would be either to A. throw you overboard so you'll both be dead, or B. probably chain you into his white Chapel flat so you can't leave him again."
"He was homeless, he didn't have a fucking flat." Ara snapped at Charlotte.
"Well why don't you tell your creepy boyfriend to get the hell off my ship?" Charlotte yelled.
"I didn't know he was going to show up!" The first mate yelled back and pushed through Raphael and Natalie to come face to face with Captain Charlotte. There were three knocks of a sturdy wooden cane on the floor boards of the galley and Ezra stood aside, letting the man through. the two girls turned their faces in perfect synchronization to see him.
"I'm not a-"
"We get it," Mercurian said, interrupting Ara's interruption. "Whether it's anyone's fault or not, we obviously have a problem here. The only deal is how do we get rid of it?" There was a long silence and the tapping of fingers on a keyboard as Raph stared down, looking through his hand archives. The australian scratched his head with his typing hand, blue light reflecting off round glasses.
"Are you looking into it?" Mercurian asked the young man who steadily typed on the brass keys that welded into his seemingly human arm, leading up the the screen on the back of his hand. "He's busy in his research. In the mean time, I want to see you two in my lab." The two women looked at each other, charlotte shoving Ara slightly in the shoulder and ara shoving back as Mercurian turned to leave the galley. "None of that!" the man cooed without looking back to see what they were doing. The crew was dismissed and Ara followed her captain to Mercurian's lab.
Meanwhile, Marlow and Ben went back to their jobs cleaning the showers along with Natalie. The showers looked like any other bedroom from the outside except instead of wooden doors, they had metal doors. They stood next to each other along the residential hallway and there were four of them, each with insides of cold metal and a mirror under the shower head and above the water control for shaving. In one shower, Ben knelt down, his backside could be seen from the open doorway as his face lumped into a disgusted frown.
"I never got used to this," He whined. Natalie giggled from the shower next door and stuck her head out to see speak to him while she rinsed off the walls from scrubbing the mildew. She watched as he threw a damp, recently soapy ball of hair into an empty bucket.
"Says the pirate who's used to bloodshed and guts." she laughed.
"Well," chimed Marlow, now sticking his head out farther to see the two of them, "to be fair, blood has sort of an aesthetic to it. It's liquid and yeah, it's bodily fluid but besides the smell, it could be quite pretty."
"It's blood," Said Natalie,
"No, I know, but when you touch it, it doesn't feel like poo and it's red not some disgusting shade of God knows what." That's when there was a sudden slam of the metal door and Ben's shower was closed. "Ben?" Marlow called and walked out to see why the door had slammed so suddenly. Natalie, who had jumped when the door slammed, stepped back a little.
"Do you think we upset him?" she asked. Marlow knocked on the door with raised eyebrows,
Back in Mercurian's lab, Ara fiddled with her thumbs, glancing around excitedly. This was next to impossible, getting a glimpse of the inner world of Mercurian. This wasn't next to impossible, this WAS impossible, until now. Nobody except for captain Bennet had ever been inside Mercurian's lab before unless you counted the mutineers who had somehow broken in and Ara was not on any mean disappointed. The floor was made up of some sort of fireproof, transparent substance that wasn't glass but revealed gas lamps underneath each tile, making the floor light up. shallow metal chandeliers clung to the ceiling and lab tables took up the entire space with files and papers and test tubes along with formulas that had been scratched into the chalkboard wall.
"so are the walls-"
"shh" Mercurian silenced her,
"It's just my first time in-"
"Shhh" The captain and Mercurian both hushed.
"Listen, you don't understand how amaze-"
"SHHHH" The captain and Merucrian both hushed her loudly now. Ara held back her words and tucked them in for later questions while she continued to look around.
"I'm fine! it's just dark and there's a lot of water that wasn't there before, filling up the floor." Ben called through, his voice loud enough but still a bit muffled from the metal door as Marlow and Natalie remained with their heads against the door.
"So is the shower flooding?" Natalie asked,
"Oh bullocks," Marlow said through a sigh and stood away from the door a bit, giving Natalie a worried look.
"The water will just spill out the door right? There shouldn't be a problem. It won't be easy to clean but at least it's just wat-"
"No, Mercurian designed the showers so that if there was a problem, water would not escape. It was all to prevent water damage." Marlow held his forehead in his palm. "Meaning,"
"that the shower," Natalie finished for him, "will eventually fill with water." Marlow nodded his head slowly with a hint of panic in the gleam of his eye.
"Find anything we can use to crank this door open, there must be something on the ship." He ordered her and she nodded, running off and down the stairs to look for a crow bar or something of the sort. "Ben, mate, you all set in there?"
"Why isn't the water coming out of the shower head though?" Ben asked from within. It was dark inside, pitch black even and Ben fumbled to find the plastic box that protected the light switch from water damage but couldn't seem to grasp it as cold water reached midway to his knees. "Thank heavens I'm tall." Ben thought, taking a hair tie off his wrist and gathering straight brown, shoulder length hair into his hands, twisting it into a bun.
Think blood is pretty? you ain't seen water. blood ain't pretty. I died in blood.
Ben's eyes went wide and his mouth cracked open into a gawking wonder at what he just heard. "Well that's just bloody brilliant then." he mumbled and then chuckled a bit at his accidental pun.
"what?" Marlow called in from outside.
Back in the lab, Mercurian had a notepad out while Ara sat on an empty lab table, the Captain pacing around.
"We need a way to dismiss his being, probably like an exorcism." Mercurian grumbled, "I hate theological solutions but I've seen an exorcist at work and it's quite convincing. I'm sure we can do the same with your Leander." the quartermaster looked up at Arabella who sat biting at her nails.
"But aren't exorcisms for demons? Leander's not a demon, he's just…angry I think. He might want us to do something to settle him down so he can move on." Ara argued. "Just, hearing about exorcism, it always sounds so painful when you read all the penny dreadfuls." Mercurian let his head fall on the desk.
"Then what should we do, talk to him? communicate with the ghost to-" A metaphorical lightbulb glowed as Charlotte and Arabella turned their heads to Mercurian as he lifted his head.
"Wait what?" Ara raised an eyebrow to Charlotte upon realizing that they had roughly the same idea, just different methods. "We have a Ouija board on the ship?" the first mate hopped off the lab table, circled around Mercurian, and stood next to Charlotte who was now still instead of pacing.
"No," Charlotte said, turning back to Arabella, but I know where we can get one and considering you live close by, I think you know too. She looked her right hand gal in the eye until she knew.
"I didn't know you knew White Chapel that well." Ara whispered with an impressed smirk.
"Go tonight and see if they have one. Take Jon with you, he's wired to fire at any shadow he sees now and I want to be here in case the ship starts burning down." The Captain ordered.
"Marlow, I think you should apologize!" Shouted Ben through the metal door, water now up to his waist and rising fast. Marlow shot a confused expression at the door.
"I'm sorry that Io stole your socks yesterday but I don't want you talking like this now. We're going to get you out of here, you're not going to die."
"No! Marlow! to the ghost!"
"I don't understand why I'm apologizing to the ghost!" Ben scrunched his hands and glanced frusteratedly at the ceiling as water reached his chest and he began to tread water.
"Ara's ex boyfriend died a really bloody death and you called blood pretty!" Ben shouted,
"What?" Marlow shouted back, not understanding the muffled voice through the door.
"Just apologize! pretty blood! dead man with bloody death! blood death!" Ben cried out.
"Blood death! right, of course blood death! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to be insensitive!" Marlow called around the hallway. "Please accept my apology!" Marlow called. At that moment the door swung open and with it, a room full of water that carried Ben into the wall. Ara's boot stepped in a puddle upon leaving Mercurian's lab and as she looked up to see where the new indoor lake was coming from, she saw Marlow and ben, on their backs, Merlow on the floor laughing and Ben breathing heavily, sitting against the wall.
"What in the fucking hell happened here?" Ara asked with arms and eyes open wide, gesturing to the pool.
"bloody death, death water." the two men sighed about as Natalie came from behind with a crow bar.
"I got it!" she squealed excitedly and then stopped when she saw the giant mass of water, covering the floor. "right," she let the crow bar drop to the floor.