"Relax." David said with his feet propped up on his desk and his hood over his eyes.
"You want me to relax?"
"Yeah, you're being loud." He replied in a slightly whiny tone as he dropped his hood down around his neck. Ara stared for a moment at a human skull that sat at the corner of his desk. "That's Peter. He was the captain of this ship before I was."
"Where am I?" Ara crossed her arms.
"The P.A.S Nyctimene." She had remembered seeing the letters "H.M.S" crossed out in lazily painted red. "You don't need to be afraid, Porter." He added into the silence.
"What makes you think I'm afraid of you? What makes you dare to even imply it!" She yelled through a clenched jaw and scrunched brow. There was more silence.
"I want you to join-"
"You drugged me." She cut him off in a low tone. He sighed and glanced around the room. "You welded me in a room. You turned Chanter against us. You almost killed the one thing that's kept me safe all these years."
"Since when are you so intent on being safe? The Silver Widows never kept you safe, Arabella. Don't be delusional. From the moment we made contact with you, Charlotte Bennet was putting you in danger. You were press ganged. Do you honestly think that things could have been worse if we didn't use you as a meat shield that night?" Ara dropped her head in her hands. She couldn't let him persuade her too.
"Charlotte Bennet never tried to kill me. You did. You tried to kill all of us. If you wanted to leave, you should have left. You didn't have to knock us from the sky." She forced herself to suppress the desperation in her voice. "David, you dragged me out of bed by my hair and welded me into my room!"
"You were a threat at the time. What do you want me to do, apologize?" He asked rhetorically. She didn't respond. An apology was for stepping on someone's foot, not for intentionally trying to kill them. She couldn't demand an apology out of him. She didn't want to. "Now will you shut up and let me talk?" Again, no response. "She threw you away."
"And how do you know that?" She asked.
"We'll talk about it later. Anyways, I want you to join our crew. I don't have a first mate but we don't use any rankings besides Captain. I make a final decision based on group decisions and I facilitate discussions. I also make sure everyone is treated equally. Loot is split equally, meals are served equally, I sleep in the same room that everyone else does and we give everyone the same respect. No one gets special treatment here. You'll advise me." He smiled as though he were giving her a birthday surprise. She stared back with utter disbelief.
"I'll make sure to get you killed." She responded in a monotonous tone, her expression unmoved.
"Why would you go out of your way to do so? I'm not a threat to you. We're not enemies." He told her, setting his legs down and leaning forward on his desk. There was another long silence before he finally stood up. "Come one." He tugged her shirt as he walked over and opened the door, sunlight streaming into the dimly lit room. "I want to show you something."
She followed him cautiously but curiously, not being able to tell whether he had just convinced her into a trap or a job. He had been so keen on making sure she didn't survive the mutiny and yet now he was treating her like an old friend. They walked across the quarter deck and climbed down a set of stairs to the main deck where they crossed over to another quarter where they stepped into a doorway surrounded by two sets of stairs. Here they entered the galley. It was a lot different from the widow with booths instead of long tables and benches and the kitchen was cut off by a metal wall. But this wasn't there destination.
"Booths; fancy." Ara mumbled as she continued to follow him to an open doorframe that led to a five step staircase. They walked up and entered a fairy large room with hammocks set into...the floor? There were about ten hammocks set into floor with blankets and pillows. Each hammock had a shelf and a small cave within the wall of its section where each crewmate stored their belongings. There were ladders used to climb in and out. "This is quite creative." Ara said as she observed each hammock spot and then the spacious room around her. David stopped walking when he reached an empty hammock spot and gestured to it.
"This is yours." He said. She walked over only to find herself struck with another overwhelming feeling of shock. There, in the hammock, sleeping soundly, was a familiar grey furred face.
"Where did you find him?"
"Laz found him trying to claw his way into your room. He grabbed him and we've been keeping him captive on here. We make sure to get a good supply of eucalyptus leaves every time we're near a growing area." David observed the koala with a proud expression on his face, as if they were staring at a piece of art. "Ara, Jabber learned to forgive." David continued, "I was thinking, if he did, then you would too and we could be proper crew mates. I know I said a lot of things about you. After everything though, I realized that it was more in anger towards the dictatorship of Charlotte more than you and to be honest, it really sucked when some new kid became the captain's most trusted companion within a few months of being on board." He explained. "Arabella, I work with Captain Meiling of the Bloody Lotus." She turned to him with a shocked expression on her face. "I'm keeping a close watch on Charlotte to make sure she doesn't get a hold of the treasure. I need someone to assassinate Captain Cortez and his first mate. We need to scare Bennet out of this. Meiling wants her dead."
"You did too."
"I don't have any reason to hate her now. She has no control over me." He held his hand out, his palm tempting her. "Ara, I won't throw you away for treasure. We live a piratical lifestyle, not a greedy one." She was always moving on but there was sort of an awkwardness in this that she couldn't quite understand. Either way, she shook his hand.