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Yo Ho Ho, A Pirate's Life (Closed)

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Note: The following are non-sequential excerpts from Melodia's past and are purely OOC knowledge as she keeps this strictly guarded ICly. It is simply to help folks enjoy a fun story and for me to get a better hold on her as a character. Please enjoy.


"Get yer arse up, ye shite! We've coin to pocket and yer beauty sleep ain't doin' ya any good anyway!" Melodia kicked the Hyur male sleeping near the wall of the ship's quarters. The dark oak wooden walls, offered little lighting and the musty air reeked of sweat and filth. The little sunlight that crept in made the dust visible in the air.


Melodia D'janz was a young Miqo'te Seeker, with dirty blue hair that hung loose around her shoulders, though she always did her best to attempt a ponytail to keep it out of her face. And what a face. Filthy, with dust that seemed to be etched into her skin, though no visible scars and a grin that was full of mischief and danger. Her attire was poor, with patchwork pants and a shirt she had stolen from some poor bastard some time ago. She'd cut the sleeves off and added some additional pockets to make it akin to a light tool jacket. Helped in her line of work. Captain always liked when she brought back extra coin and those pockets helped.


The teenaged girl stood with a hand propped against the wall and kicked the Hyur again, a little harder this time and he let and audible "oomf" escape as her foot had caught him in the stomach. "I said....GET YOUR ARSE UP!! Gods damn it! Yer lazy arse is gonna get me inna trouble with the Cap'n. Now get up!"


She stood up straight and clacked her teeth together in anticipation, whenever that lazay bastard partner of her would ever get up, of getting their coin today. She enjoyed being a thief, being a pirate, and being damned good at her job at such a young age.


It was a bright new day and she was eager to sieze it and kick its teeth in to get what she needed.

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The flames raged and the shouts were audible as the encampment burned. The girl was no more than a small child, and hid amongst a small stack of crates, just as her father had instructed as he grabbed his sword and ran to meet the attackers.




They'd come to raid the small seeker camp and when the Miqo'te had resisted, the raiders had decided to raze the entire camp with their superior numbers. The camp was a small one and had moved to the La Noscea area's outskirts in order to set up a new life, wanting to avoid conflict.


And now the camp was burning, and the tribe members were dying.


The little child Miqo'te with the short blue hair hid amongst the crates, shaking in fear and silently weeping.


"Not a peep, little flower. Not a peep." Her father had said the words as he departed. She did her best, save for the quiet sobs that escaped. Her breath stopped short as a young Elezen man stormed into the tent with his axe in hand. He was breathing hard and girl saw blood splattered across his armor, his hands, and on the blade. He stalked into the tent looking around and tossing items to and fro, as if looking for something. He pocketed some jewelry he saw, as she watched through the slats of the crates and she put a hand over mouth to keep all of the noise inside.


She watched as he tuned and moved to the crates, his figure growing larger and looming as he approached. And in an instant.....it was over. The crates were flung to the side and he shouted.


"Hold yer place and don' move!!" CAP'N!! We got us a wee one here!"


She kept the hand over mouth and stared up at the Elezen who seemed so tall to her small form, his axe held back, ready to swing forward at any moment. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she was sure he would swing at any moment. Then she heard running footsteps that were heavy and watched as a large Roegadyn woman entered the tent. She was tall and had icy white hair that fell to her shoulders and was heavily armored. She was carrying a sword that was far larger than the girl was herself.


"Aye, keep the bloody shoutin' down to a dull roar would'ya?" She spoke in a deep but silky smooth voice that commanded respect with its tone. She glanced over at the girl and while she had a hard face that terrified the little girl, it was one that softened a bit upon seeing the child. Stepping forward, she knelt down and looked the little girl in the eyes and with a large thumb wiped away the tears from the girl's cheeks. "No cryin' lass. That'll be the end'a those. They'll nae bring yer ma' and da' back. So save 'em for the things that c'n be saved." She said in a softer voice.


"Ought t' run 'er through Cap'n. Don' need 'nother damn mouth t' feed." The Elezen said flatly, still glaring at the girl.


She tilted her head back to the Elezen and nodded to the door. "We're thieves, Ramsay, not killers. Now, go get one'a the beds ready on the ship. An' some damned food. This one's likely not had a bite to eat all day." The Elezen paused a moment and she barked loudly "What th' piss hells are ye waitin' for? Get the job done'r I'll run ye through an' find soemone who will." The Elezen nodded and ran out of the tent. The Roe woman smiled softly at the child and nodded. "I'll nae leave ye here child. Nothin' left anyhow. Best ye come with us. 'Sides, I've work for ye on the the ship." She grabbed her small hand and inspected the fingers. "Work only a wee lass like y'rself can do with these little hands. Cleanin' and such. Ye'll likely hate it an' me f'r makin' ye do it. I don' give a damn what ye like or no'. I 'xpect ye t' listen an' do what ye're tol'."


She gave the girl's hand a gentle squeeze. "Do that....an' ye and I'll ge 'long jus' fine."


She stood, her large figure looming over the little girl and she held an outstretched hand. The little girl trembled but took her hand and rose.


"Ye'll need a name on deck. This life....'tis over, lass. So this name....don' matter anymore." The Captain spoke as she walked the little girl from the tent to a camp that was a wasteland of death and walked her toward the coast.


"I know." She grinned down at the little girl as they walked. "I'll call ye Melodia."

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They ran through the crowded walkways at full speed, trying to evade the damned guards. As Melodia and Tomas ran, they brushed past and ran into some, and scooted past others, as their footsteps were quick and agile. They were kids, no more than 11 years and they were getting good at their job. And their job was stealing.


It hadn't been so hard to rip the jewelry off the merchant's table, since Tomas had distracted the elderly female merchant by asking her to show him some wares behind her, and Melodia had snatched the jewelry right off and bolted. Tomas was to wait for a moment but that plan was botched the moment the guard shouted at them to freeze. He'd been unseen, and so the jig was up and they were sprinting to a hiding place to let things cool down before heading back to the docks.


Back to the ship and safety.


Tomas was a Hyur and her only true friend on the ship, the only one she could open up to. He was like her, a youth that had been taken aboard so the two had much in common and over the past 6 years the two had bonded almost as siblings.


As they rounded a corner, Melodia took a deep breath and stopped for a moment scanning the options available. He hair was long, and hung to her shoulders in a messy way, as the dark red turban she wore was dirty and showed signs of age. Her leather gear was also worn and she needed to be replaced badly with something more functional. The damned thing barely had any pockets and she had to hand carry some of the jewelry, which was a pain in the ass.


She glanced and pointed away from the two. Tomas looked and nodded.


"Aye....we head to anchor yard. 'F we get there wit'out the damn law seein' us, then we may be home free. An' you little bastard...how'd you not see the guard watchin'?" She smiled as she scolded him, her ears twitched as she spoke.


"You know, one day you're going to be the one doing the distracting....then you'll see how hard it is, Mel." He smiled playfully at her while he replied and then nodded. "Let's go before things go to hells again."


And they ran across the wooden planks toward the anchor yard. Melodia slightly ahead of Tomas, and she laughed as she ran, jewelry dangling out of her closed fist.

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-Age 19-


They were chasing her and she ran as hard and fast as she could. Her lungs burned as the climbed the slight hill and glanced back. She was absolutely terrified, and her heart pounded. Not so much from the run, though it definitely played a part, no, her heart pounded because she would be dead if the men giving chase reached her.


She was sweating furiously and her face was already swollen from the beating she'd received, with the bruises and cuts still fresh, blood caked on the corners of her mouth. The rope still bound her hands together and it made the run hard.


"Gods help me please!" The thought screamed aloud in her mind while her raspy breath burned in her lungs.


Her feet, bare and dirty, also bruised and injured, carried her forward but stumbled on  loose stone, common in these parts of La Noscea. She didn't cry out as she she was hoping still for an evasion that looked more unlikely by the second. Pushing herself back to her feet, the dangling, cut rope around her ankles whipped a bit as she began her sprint again, but she didn't even notice as she pushed forward.


"Inland...I need to get inland.....Twelve help me get away from the sea." Again, the thoughts buzzed and had she the time a rest, she would weep from raw fear. They were trying to kill her and she didn't even know why.


Her long hair was a mess, tousseled and sweaty and swung against her mid back, open and free as opposed to the braided ponytail she normally. They had ensured she was unrecognizable as they had beaten her.


"Tomas.....I'm..." The thought barely had any time to form, let alone register as she reached the peak of the small hill and stumbled again. Asshe raised her head, she felt the blade of the sword against the back of her head and heard the cruel laughter from at least four men and at least one woman.


"Well, looks like we've caught our stray." The voice a deep growl and she felt the sword point dig into her skull a bit, not enough to pierce the skin, but enough to hurt. "Get up, you little bitch!" The voice had turned hostile and the blade moved away as she began to stand. Running was no option. Not any longer.


She looked at the group. A small one...four in total. A Roegadyn male had been holding her down with the blade. And an Elezen male, elderly now, with white hair and scars from battle, strode forward and grabbed her chin roughly with a black gloved hand. "I wa'n't done wit' you when you decided t' scamper, lit'le one. Wanted t' pretty up tha' face o' yers more. The Cap'n's waitin' on yer return." His voice was the same deadly cold that it was so many years ago when he'd asked to kill her. Only colder and with more of a deadly edge to it. The man known as Ramsay grinned and gruffly pushed her face away, as he turned and gestured for the group to move out.


Toward the sea.


"Oh please no." This time the tears began to fall.


Toward her likely death.

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-Age 16-


Melodia'd finally gotten him up and they were sitting against the wall in Hawker's Alley, her and Tomas, watching the passerby, looking for a mark. She leaned to him, without actually looking at him, and spoke in a hushed tone, where he might hear hear just above the boisterous din of the crowds.


"Now keep yer eyes open an' alert you drunk shite. Prob'ly still nursin' tha' hangover."


Tomas grumbled. "Isn't a damn hangover. I'm fine."


She chortled and nodded mockingly. "Aye...maybe nursin' a broken heart 'stead, right? After that sweet lass left yer bed in the middle o' the night. Ahh....ain't love grand wi' the ol' whores." She laughed and gave him a friendly shove before refocusing.


"You know you're just damned mean at times." He smiled as he said it, a crossways glance at her indicating a dep affection for his his friend and partner. "And by the by....she wasn't a whore. She was just someone I met in the city. So be nice."


She nearly laughed aloud but stifled it, trying not to draw too much attention to them. "Aye, aye. She wa'n't a whore...if ye say so." She giggled and brushed the bangs out of her eyes as her eyes drew upon a young woman, an Elezen, who looked a bit lost, but well to do in her outfit. Melodia nudged Tomas and nodded her head toward the woman. "There's our lost lit'le lamb. We'll get the coin from her."


She clacked her teeth happily and felt her blood rush as it always did before a solid lift.

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-Age 5-


There were no toys.


The child, henceforth known as Melodia, held her arms crossed and tight as she was led aboard a ship that seemed too large for her senses. The Captain had led her aboard in the most gentle manner, almost motherly. They'd strode past the burning tents and the corpses littering the ground and each time Melodia was tempted to look, the Captain would say "Nay dearie.....keep the eyes straight on. Lookin' elsewhere'd only be pain."


And as they boarded the small rowing vessel that took them out to the ship in silence, Melodia did steal one small glance back to see the smoke in the air and flames that were dying out. She looked back and held her head down as tears fell. She felt a finger touch the bottom of her chin and nudge her face upward. The Captain was looking at her with a sadness in her eyes, but also held a tone of knowing. "I told ye not ta look, little one. Ye'd do best to heed me words going forward."


The rest of the journey had been cold and silent. Boarding the ship, she men and women about, bustling and working, loading the goods they'd seized from her camp. She said not a word and stared blankly as the Captain barked orders to the people and knelt down close to her and said in a hushed voice. "Now dearie, yer ta come with me. I'll show ye yer new home. It may no' be so much space...but we'll take care o' ye. Come now."


As they crossed the wooden deck, the Captain yelled back to the men, "Hey! Did the food and beddin' get put out like I asked? If no' I'll have Ramsay's head an' one o' yers as well stuck to the mast fer dec'ration!" One of the men bolted past her and shuffled down some stairs into the belly of the ship. The Captain led her down the same set of stairs moments later. Melodia noticed it was dark save for a few lights, and there were people down here as well, though not quite as many. She was led down a tight hallway and then into a large open area that was not quite so open anymore. So many crates and ropes, and tools littered the area. Some people were sleeping against the walls and coughed in their sleep. The Captain pointed to an empty blanket laid out against the wall. "Tha's yers. Make th' best o' it. May be yers f'r some time. 'Less you piss me off, an' I throw you t' th' men above."


Melodia looked at her and saw no smile, no humor in those eyes. She was deadly serious and she shuddered as she nodded. The Captain turned and began to head out as Melodia stared at the area. "With me, lass. Time fer a bite t' eat and yer first lesson." The Captain said it without gentleness, as she had back on land. She'd issued an order as she'd done with the men and women above. And before Melodia moved to follow, one thought echoed sadly through her mind as she looked at the sleeping area.


There were no toys.

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-Age 11-

She dumped the jewelry onto the table and grinned, looking hopeful at the elder Miqo'te man standing across from her. The table was an old scratched work made from oak and clearly had been through some rough times. The ship swayed in the waters slightly and the air was hushed beneath the decks. The rhythmic creaking of the ship was the only sound as the man looked down and then back up at Tomas and Melodia. Her grin began to fade as the man, known to her only as Tauric had a look she'd learned to know well over these past years; and that was one of displeasure.


His voice was gravelly and sounded gruff at all times. Again, something she was used to. "So this is what you bring back. Such a small grab. Tell me, young one....was it worth it?" His green eyes were set against a head of red hair and the Seeker looked every bit the feline with the narrow irises piercing her at that moment. He looked intimidating at most times, but especially so now with his arms crossed and the glare across his face.


"Aye! There be value there, sir! Only grabbed th' bes'!" Her voice was controlled and excited. A youthful expression of enthusiasm.


Tauric groaned, his mouth tight in a flat line as his eyes narrowed on her. "Pick that up off the table." He said it in a low, purposeful voice. She glanced at Tomas, who was watching Tauric as a student might a teacher, not looking at her. She looked back at the jewelry and did as she was told, her hand gingerly picking the pieces up and looking at Tauric with an usnure look in her eyes.


"When you leave you go toss that overboard because that's its value as you so perfectly explained." Again, his voice never lost control. The words hit hard and she looked confused.


"S-sir, I don' unnerstan'. We got -" She started and was cut off by him, his voice a bit harsher and a bit louder.


"Child! It's 'understand,' remember your lessons. And as for that so-called haul you've got, the value is now zero. You were chased by the jackets, had to hide, made your presence known, and now that area is off limits for a period of time. The cost was too high for so few." He paused and leaned in so his eyes were locked on hers. A teacher glaring at a poor student. "The value, therefore, is zero. So you'll toss them." He leaned back and glanced to Tomas and shook his head. "And you are supposed to keep an eye on her. Remember your instructions or I'll take you off of this."


Tomas nodded and his vouice sounded humble as he spoke. "I'm sorry, sir. It won't happen again."


Tauric chuckled and shook his head in disbelief. "That's a load crap and we know it. No, she'll do it again because she can't help herself." He patted Melodia on the shoulder and smiled warmly. "But gods damn it Melodia...if you're going to do something stupid, make it worth it." He shook his head again and held out an open hand. "Give me the damn things. Maybe I can try and resell the things. But mind the lesson, child! Every move you make has a cost...mind that the cost doesn't outweigh the value of the action iteself."


Tauric had been her mentor on the ship for years and his words were always valuable to her. She nodded and kept her head bowed. "Aye, sir. May I be dismissed." Her voice was low, a bit embarrassed.


He nodded. "Yes, child. Tomas, you stay. We need to talk. And child?" He looked at her sternly. "Stay out of trouble. Report back here tomorrow."


She nodded to him and turned to walk back to the deck. "Aye, sir."

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-Age 19-

She was being marched back to the shore and the col air from the ocean didn't relieve the sweat from her brow. She held her head downward afraid to see how close the beach was.


And yet like damned fool she looked.


And there she stood, adorned in her uniform and looking ever the part of a glorious pirate captain. She saw that the older woman with the short white hair was staring at her as they approached, a scowl across her face. Surrounding the Captain were a number of the crew, maybe a dozen men and women.


She heard a whisper in her ear. It was Ramsay. "Cap'n's gon' peel th' flesh from y' bones, I'd wager." His breath sank into her ear as he laughed at his own own cruelty. She attemtped to pull away and felt a strong hand, Ramsay's own, seize a handful of her hair and straighten her back to position as they walked. "Now now, lass, I don' wan' t' kill ye b'fore the Cap'n gets a chance t' see yer lovely face a'gin. so b'have!" The shove to the upper back hurt but she tried to hold her composure. She noticed the Captain hadn't moved, nor reacted. The scowl was evident.


As was the sword she held.


As they neared in silence, the blue skies contrasted the terror she felt deep in her heart as they were within yalms of the Captain. She finally spoke when they came to a stop before her, a light breeze blowing their hair about. The Captain's voice was loud enough for everyone to hear, older and with a rasp, but still as authoritative as always.


"Well.....look everyone. Our lost lit'le princess found her way home."


The men and women laughed as Melodia was now face to face with the Captain. A gloved hand grabbed her chin and squeezed roughly bringing her gaze up to the Roegadyn's face. When she spoke again, the older woman's words were cold and chilled Melodia to the bone. "An' I mean t' ensure tha' you never get off tha' ship again." As her face was roughly shoved backward, she saw the Captain nod to someone briefly and felt the sharp blow to the back of her head and the world went dark.

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-Age 16-

"Oh I'm sure of it madam, you've taken the wrong set of stairs. I've lived here my whole life and still get lost on occasion!" Tomas spoke in the most friendly of tones to the Elezen woman, a hand on her shoulder as she was pointing away the markets and back toward the planks headed to the docks. "I'm positive that the merhcant you need is back that way. Come on, I'll take you. I know that sly dog and he's likely to nab any extra coin he can so I'll make sure he doesn't take you what for." The two walked toward the planks and the sun was bright overhead.


Melodia watched as they turned to walk, she pushed off of the wall, her blood rushing and her heart pounding. If Taurin has taught her anything it was to ignore this racing impulse and to wait.


To wait for that one moment, when all the windows of time met in a perfect harmony, when the forces at work between the Twelve and those walking in the city met in a precise moment of time. That was when the lift needed to happen. Not because her damned heart was beating faster.


As she followed some paces behind, she could hear him scolding her in her mind. "Mind your distance, girl. Like a hunt, you don't want to spook the mark." She treated every lift as a hunt, a game in which she needed to win. Her vest was light and was in desparate need of coin. This Elezen had best be holding.


As Tomas and the woman headed down the more isolated plank she knew it was time. Again Taurin, always the teacher in her mind. "Now, damn you! NOW!" She moved, quickly, running, and yet looking a bit absent-mindedly and suddenly collided with the woman, both going to ground.


"Oh my...pardon me clumsiness, I din' mean ta....are ye hurt, I c'n call fer a healer." She was a stream of words, panicked and jumbled, her face a youthful nervous panicked expression as she was trying to paw at the woman to help her up. Tomas, knowing his role well, extended a hand to help the woman up. "Oy! Here now, relax! Madam, I apologize for this one's rude behavior." At his calming voice she looked to him and it was then.....that perfect moment.


And the small bag of coin she had felt when she had initially pawed at her was snatched and into her hand with the softest touch before she pushed down onto the woman to gain her balance. "Aye...ag'in me lady....I'm sor'y fer th'...." She began, pleading with her eyes, watching Tomas guide her to her feet.


"Well you ought to be more careful. Though I was young once....so I can understand." The woman was smiling gently and Tomas spoke next, harshly.


"Off with you!" He looked to the woman apologetically. "I apologize...the homeless kids around here...they like to cause trouble." He glared at Melodia. "Be off damn it!" Melodia nodded three times with her head lowered and bolted.


Once back in Hawker's Alley she waited. After a bit, Tomas approached and laughed. "She think's I'll be back...we better push off soon. And that rank amateur move...knocking her down? Tsk tsk!"


"Aye....she's in love wit' ye, th' charmer boy. An' look, she's a tall one...jes' used her size as'n added benefit fer us." She giggled and stood. "Let's head back then....she looked th' type'd be searchin' for us quick-like." The two then headed back into the crowd and prepared to head back.

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-Age 5-

The Captain had led her to her chambers, a large room, much bigger than anything the shy little Miqo'te had ever seen before in her short span of life thus far. There were fancy decorations and furniture adorning the room and the middle was a rectangular table. Upon it sat a feast. She had never seen so much in her days. The Captain smiled.


"Say what y'will 'bout Ramsay....th' man did fine work wit' th' meal." She motioned with a large hand to one of the empty chairs. "Sit, lass...yer hungry, I'm certain." she walked to her seat at the head of the table. Melodia looked around sheepishly and took a seat at the opposite end. The Captain stared at her with a glare and nodded. "Und'rstandable, child. Please...eat." She began to put meats and cooked vegetables onto her plate and ate as she watched Melodia still sitting silently looking blankly at the table. With a mouth full of food she spoke to the child, her tone stern, "I said eat. I'll nay ask ye again."


Melodia jumped a bit at the sharp rebuke and gathered a small amount of food onto a plate she held with trembling hands. As the ship lightly swayed she could hear the creaking wood and the bustle on the deck and saw the Captain, still staring at her as she began to eat. Melodia had no utensils and held a handful of meat to her mouth, unsure how she was to eat without a fork of some kind.


The table was slapped loudly by the Captain and she pointed at Melodia with angry eyes. "Y'eat like a bloody savage all th' time?" Melodia whimpered a weak reply, "I-I...there was no...no fork." The Captain sighed and stood, walking to her side and set a small fork next to her plate before walking back and sitting. "If there's no fork, ye ask f'r one."


The two ate in silence for some time before the Captain spoke. "Now listen here, lass. M'name is Captain Saerwyl. I run this ship. There're two simple rules here. Ye don' ask questions....an ye do what ye're tol'. Follow th' rules....and ye may live t' see another day." She stood and paced a bit. "Ye've a lit'le body, small han's. Ye'll be cleanin' where my larger crew can't. Show me ye can work and I'll let ye meet someone who c'n teach ye bet'er skills." She snapped her head back and glared hard at the little girl. "If ye disappoint me....well....ye won't disappoint me. I'm sure of it. Ye wouldn't like the alternative."


The Captain's grin was like a shark's and she spoke again, with a gentle tone. "Aye...now finish yer food. 'S time fer ye to be gettin' t' sleep. Long day tomor'ow I think."


Melodia looked down at her food and ate in silence wanting badly to cry but too afraid to even dare.

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-Age 11-


"I....I'm afraid, sir." Melodia's voice trembled as did her body, as the sea air filled her lungs.


"Don't let fear control you, girl. The moment you do, you've already lost." Taurin's voice was loud enough so she could hear as he was standing back on the deck, a few others curiously watching her. She was on the ship's bowsprit, extending out over the waters, her feet balancing a bit wobblyas she kept her face up looking forward, breathing quickly as she was terrified.


"Just keep yours forward. Observe the scene in front of you. Nothing good will ever come of you staring at your own damned feet. Remember that. Now girl....take another step forward." It was not a sharp command like the Captain's usually were. This was a caring one, akin to a father encouraging his child.


Melodia lifted her foot and then put the trembling limb back down."An' wha' if I fall off?"


Taurin replied gruffly, "You want the honest answer or the one you want me to give you?"


With a shaky voice, "Th' honest one."


"You'll fall. Hit the water hard. Likely injure yourself or become fodder for the fish. Either way it won't end well, so don't fall."  His words were crisp and clear, no sign of sarcasm, just facts. She sighed and then responded meekly, "Th' answ'r I wanna hear then."


He smiled though she couldn't see it. "You'll be fine."


She took a deep breath and walked one step forward, catching her balanceand calming before taking another step. Taurin, as per usual, didn't say a word and merely observed. She was used to his slient mentoring at this point. she knew the lesson had purpose but hadn't yet figured out the meaning just yet.


And every day, the lessons were getting harder.

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-Age 19-


The birds overhead were the first sounds she heard, before her eyes had even opened. The birds and the sounds of busy men stomping around on wooden planks somewhere. All around her. Her head was in pain, screaming from the blow she'd sustained. As her eyes fluttered open, the blurry world came into view and she saw she was below deck, in a dank, dimly lit cell. When Melodia moved to feel the back of her head she realized she was bound with thick rope that cut into her skin when she tried to move.


The voice from somewhere close cut deeper. "Ye'll no' be get'in loose again, lass." It was Ramsay, his cruel rasp cutting through the dim light though she had no clue where he was. He seemed to be nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and she wondered for a moment if maybe he was just a phantom in her mind.


"Ye know I've ne'er liked ye. Ye were jus' a lit'le brat....layin' puppy dog eyes t' th' Cap'n,  an' as kind as she is.....she fell fer 'em. I'd ha' burned ye...right nex' t' yer ma and pa....jus' a 'nother useless cat." His words were cold, cruel and he'd meant every single one of them. He had always....always...hated her, and that hatred grew more dangerous over the years as he'd risen through the ranks. Gods why couldn't the Calamity have taken his black soul from the world?


"I know yer awake, lass....I saw yer breathin' change. Do ye wonder where yer loverboy is?" His voice rasped.


Tomas! Her mind screamed his name and she gritted her teeth, fearing the worst.


"He's no' comin' fer ye again....he got no chance now. He ain't gonna be able to pull off his lit'le stunt again, so ye can stow tha' thought." His words were venemous and she felt her mouth corners turn just barely into a smile. Tomas was at least, for the moment still out there. Still alive. "Keep running ye damn fool...don' ye dare come back fer me. If ye truly loved me as ye say....ye'll no' come back." Her mind prayed Tomas heard her thoughts and stayed away.


"Ye know what yer lit'le teacher said 'fore he died?" Ramsay's words were cruel and layered with thick visciousness and she could hear he was smiling. He was trying to goad her now.


Her mind quickly flashed back two days.


She'd been running up the stairs to the deck, trying to make for the small boat Tomas had acquired, trying to get away before daylight while the men were drunk and passed out. Her gear had been light as they intended to start a new.....li...fe.....


The thought had been snuffed immediately as she got to the deck. The men were standing, watching her...the ones who were supposed to be drunk. Who were not supposed to be awake. Gods why were they awake and why were they all smiling and staring at her as if they knew the joke and she didn't. Her eyes had shot upward and then she saw it. Taurin's corpse hanging by the neck from one of the mast parts, clearly dead, and by the look of his bloodied body, had been so before the hanging. She screamed and tears began to runas her fear spiked, knowing this was a message for her and for Tomas. Melodia had fallen to her knees, still crying when Ramsay had stepped forward with a pleased grin, blood still fresh upon his clothing and hands. "Goin' somewhere, ye lit'le bitch?" He hadn't waited for an answer as his feet rose and his kick had connect with her, knocking her unconscious.....


She hadn't listened...couldn't have listened to whatever Ramsay had to say. She just knew that whatever hells she had wandered into, that they would mercifully be over soon.

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-Age 16-

The dinner was tonight and she was already behind. Melodia threw the bags to the side, trying to get her bedroll back to the wall in an orderly manner, trying to clean her area before the Captain arrived. Everyone had been required to clean their spaces, and even ones like hers, down in the bowels of the ship were no exception. She saw a rat and shooed it away, growling loudly at it and in her fit had missed the footsteps.


"Ye don' need t' be so angry at it....it's like us....lookin' fer it's own piece o' the world." Her voice like silk and cut through Melodia's bones each time. She froze and turned quickly, standing and took a deep gulp. She had always and would always fear the Roe woman, her imposing aura always powerful throughout the ship. The Captain was clad in a semi-formal military jacket and her thighboots and gloves made her look as if she were a commander of an attack rather than a woman preparing for a dinner. She approached Melodia's sleeping area and looked around with a stern eye.


"Pardon, Cap'n....I was....jus' startled was all." Melodia's voice was timid and she looked down to the floor, clasping her right arm in her left hand, a defensive posture of fear. One she had learned to take when the Captain approached over the years due to the beatings she had received.


"If yer so startled by a rat, then yer a dead woman in all other respects. Now stand aside an' let me see yer work." The command was flat and Melodia stepped aside a small shudder as the Captain passed by her, eyeing the bedroll and the small mess beside it. Her head craned back and looked with a narrowed gaze at the smaller Miqo'te.


Melodia began timidly. "I'm...I wasn' finished yet...still have some...."


The Captain held up a hand to silence her. The hand seen the side of Melodia's face a number of times and her instinct to flinch was one she couldn't control. "Shut yer excuses, lass. I gave ye an order t' clean yer area. This mornin', correct? And yet....it's still a great pile of shite. An' now ye give me excuses." She heaved a deep breath and with a single motion, placed her foot on the pile of her goods, kicking them to the side, spreading them around the area in disarray. Seeing a small box fall out she swiftly smashed it with her bootheel, not saying a word. "Clean this crap....an' there'll be no food fer ye tonight an' ye'll no' be joining us. Stay here an' think on this." She turned, walking past Melodia and bumping her to the side as she walked away without a word, her heavy footsteps echoing in the silence until she was gone.


Melodia began to pick her gear up and reorganize it with tears stinging her eyes and then came to the small box, smashed to pieces. She picked up two of the small wooden fragments and remembered the box as it was, a gift from Tomas after their first job together. He'd fashioned it after some time, carving it in a very fancy yet crude way, but it had been doen with care. "You can keep stuff in it. I mean...whatever you want really. Well..uhm...it's for you."  Gods he had blushed when he'd given it to her and had run off like a child. And they were children at that time.


She smiled and then broke down, holding the two splinters of wood in her hands and wept aloud for some time, alone in the hold of the ship for the box she would never have again.

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-Age 5-

The days were a blur.


People shouting, yelling, sometimes singing even. Large men and women who always brandished weapons and cursed, their accents foreign to her. She trembled often and wept daily as she did her assigned chores and tasks around the ship. And as promised by the Captain, her small figure and hands made her work in places that were difficult to access. She spent a good majority of her days below decks, in dank, wet areas smelling of old wooden planks, drying up wet spots, sanding and working to treat the wood. She would often be told by someone to scrub behind small spaces where she could reach.


And that was how it was today. She was alone, wiping down an area, on her knees and sweat dripped from her brow as she silently cried, wishing she was with her mother and fath----


"You know, child, there's an easier way to do that?" The voice was older but gentle. She turned her head slowly to see who'd spoken and saw an older Miqo'te or at least he seemed so to her. He stood with his arms crossed and looked squarely at her, as if evaluating her. she said nothing and scrubbed even though she was watching him.


"You can speak child. You needn't fear me." He appraoched slowly and knelt down on one knee next to her taking the scrub brush in his hand with  warm smile. "Save yourself some energy and let the brush do the work. Instead of the random circles you're doing here....just move the brush up and down like so." He pushed the brush in the way he'd described, the sound of the brush scraping against the wood. "And don't press so hard onto it. That's how you get tired so fast. Again...let the brush do the work, child." He smiled again, passing the the brush back to her and stood. "You do that and you'll be fine."


As he turned to leave he paused looking back. "Keep those hands in good shape, young one. You'll be doing more than scrubbing soon enough and you will want them in good shape." He smiled and turned to leave.


As she was alone again she began to scrub, in the way he had shown her and as she did, the tiniest of smiles touched the corners of her mouth.

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-Age 11-

It was a shore leave day and the men and women of the crew out enjoying themselves at the port, the Captain was on board, relaxing, and the sun shone down on the beach.


And Melodia was running. The sweat beads on her face and forehead were indicators of the heat and the toll the run was taking on her. She'd been doing sprints up and down the beach for nearly and hour now and she was winded. The sharp whistle from her left caught her attention and she pushed harder.


"Don't let the thought of fatigue wear you down, young one. In those moments....those ones most of all...you need to push harder and keep the pace up. Or you'll be snared faster than you can imagine." Taurin was smiling as he spoke aloud, coaching her....training her...as he'd been for months now. Melodia grinned and dug her heels in trying to get her speed up in the deep sands.


As she finished her final turnaround and went to the goal with little air left she fell to her knees and gasped for air, a soft laugh coming through the winded lungs. "You did well, child. If you can sprint in the sands, then the wooden planks or stone walkways will become easy." Taurin was smiling as he approached and guided her with his hand to stand before her. She was breathing hard but she still had the smile on her face. "Aye...." She could say no more as she was out of breath.


His voice was always gruff but the words gentle, as the Miqo'te man looked her over. "Learn to control yourself.....you would be easily taken now. Remember....the goal is to not get caught. That is your number one priority. If you're caught....." Taurin paused waiting.


With a labored breath she nodded. "Aye.....if yer caught.....yer dead."


He smiled in pride at her. "Yes, child. If you're caught, you're dead. The law will see to it that one way or another you are broken. Whether in spirit or in the body. So we want to be sure not to get caught. Ever." He grinned, a fatherly and friendly one. "Now....get cleaned up. And go enjoy the rest of the day. We will continue tomorrow...but for now, have fun child."


She beamed happily and started to run toward the area where the showers were laughing, a sudden burst of energy at the thought of being free, even if for the day. He shouted after her with a smile. "And stay out of trouble!"


She heard him but ran, free to be a child, even if for just a day.

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-Age 19-



It was a small formal dinner. The Captain had wanted to do something nice for the crew and had demanded they dress for the occasion. And dress they did,a dn Melodia was impressed. In all of her years she had not seen these grouchy, hard-working men and women ever dress in fine attire. And yet, that night they had dressed so wonderfully, she could barely contain her jubilance. She glanced around the deck while three of the crew members were playing some soft music on one side of the deck. She saw the Captain chatting with a few of the crew, always busy planning their next move.


She wore a fine dress she'd nabbed on one of her jobs and had been holding onto it for such an occasion, and her long hair had been done up neatly by one of the other ladies on the ship. In short, she looked like a beautiful young woman. Some of the crew members had stared a bit at her making her blush, but she was waiting for one and as she looked for him -


And there he was, coming up from below decks. Tomas. He was dressed in a fine suit that Taurin had acquired and he looked as handsome as ever, only moreso dressed that way. As he approached her with a grin, she blushed and smiled. "Well.....look at you....I don't think I've ever seen you dressed up....you look beautiful." His voice was nervous but he was still happily smiling at her. She laughed softly and nodded. "Aye...I've been holdin' onto this one....maybe fer ye." She winked and they both chuckled. Tomas looked about the deck and heard the music before flashing his eyes back at her. "Would you care to dance my lady?"


She went red in the face, overwhelmed by her feelings for him and nodded. "Aye, me love. I thought ye'd never ask." She rose and the two went to the open deck area and held each other close as they danced. Their relationship was no secret and they caught a few smirks and comments as they danced but they were left alone. In each other's arms. Together. "I love ye Tomas....ye know tha' right?" She said, her head against his chest as they danced slowly. "I love you too Mel. I always will."


"I always will....."



-Age 19-



The loud clang against the bards woke her and even in her bonds she flinched awake. The ritual was now a regular exercise in sleep deprivation as he did that every time she began to doze. Her blured vision and blinking eyes showing darkness still and her cracked lips and raspy throat tried to utter something. Anything. Her beautiful memory shattered by the cruel voice of her jailer and torturer, Ramsay.


"Ye'll no' sleep on me watch, lass. Wake yer arse up! Cap'n's comin' t' see ye."


She froze as she heard the words. She had no idea how long she'd been down here getting force fed tiny meals and little water with an occasional beating for good measure. But in all that time she'd not seen the Captain. Not one time. And now she was coming. A tear stung her eye as she thought it was finally time. Time to be done with the pain and the captivity. Or perhaps she was coming with news that they had found Tomas, something she did not want to hear.


Instead she heard the hevay bootsteps of the Captain, her large frame moving through the ship as though she were a part of it. Melodia heard a small voiced "Aye dismissed f'r now, Ramsay." Her voice was calm. Ramsay replied, "Don' worry....she's no fight left in her, Cap'n." And then his fading footsteps


And then silence. Cold cruel silence. And she knew the Captain was staring at her.


"Two days." The Captain's words were flat, devoid of any hate or caring. They were just facts. "Ye've two days t' make yer peace with th' Twelve. Then we head to a special place jus' f'r ye. An' then I execute ye."


The words hit hard and yet she smiled softly to herself, as a tear rolled down her cheek.


At least this misery would soon be over.

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-Age 16-

Everyone aside from the few on deck watch was sleeping. At this hour the stars would be out and Melodia would have a bit of peace, though was a bit inebriated. She crept up the stairs and out onto the deck and smiled. The night air was crisp and cool and the clear skies made for a beautiful scene.


And then she saw him from afar and smiled wide, quickly walking to the railing of the ship, attempting to sneak up on him. He didn't turn, but did speak in a hushed tone that also denoted a smile. "Given those footsteps, I'd wager it's either Mel or a herd of Goobbue arriving."


Tomas had always been a bit a smartass and she smiled behind him.


"Well, aint ye th' funny one." She approached the rail by his side and grinned. "What're ye doin' up s'late?"


"Getting some air. And you?" He replied looking over at her with a warm smile.


She blushed softly and nodded. "Aye....same." She had lied. She knew he was up there and had planned to be there at the same time, but he didn't need to know it.


Tomas laughed softly and nodded looking back to the stars. "Then I'm glad for your company. Can get lonely up here at times."


"Oh? A ladykiller like yerself? Lonely?" She made a mocking gesture waving dismissal but smiled as she edged closer to him.


He looked a little taken aback and grinned. "Byt the Twelve....you're drunk. How much, Mel? How much did you toss back this time?"


"Only a bit....a wee bit....maybe." With a giggle she made her fingers form into the shape of showing him a small amount, with the index finger and thumb very close.


"That is a lie, my dear. It's lucky we don't have a job tomorrow so that this won't be a problem."


She feigned offense. "I'll have ye know I c'n handle me liquor, love."


"Oh! It's 'love' now is it? I thought I was a ladykiller who only slept with whores." He jokingly said turning to face her.


Inching closer she giggled and tiptoed so she was near his height. "Maybe I do, silly boy...ye'll never be sure 'less ye make a move." She was red cheeked and moved her lips close to his and his eyes went wide.


"Tell me you are not trying to make a move on me while you are stone drunk?"


She backed away a step, truly looking hurt by his words. "But....I mean, I thought ye'd like...."


He sighed and shook his head. "Not like this, Mel....I can't with you....not like this." His own face went red and he turned to look at the stars again. "You should go back.....sleep it off."


She frowned and looked embarrassed. "Sl...sleep it off? Ye bastard!" She looked hurt with clinched teeth and angry, moist eyes she backed away a step, her index finger pointing from her hip in an upward motion. "I come here.....throw meself at ye...takin' a big feckin' chance.....an' ye turn me down an' tell me t' sleep it off?"


He replied with a calm voice, still hushed. "You're drunk, Mel....this isn't what you want."


"Why ye feckin' son of a bitch! An' how would ye reply had I been one o' them whores? Ye'd likely already be in the sack with her! I ask an' ye sen' me packin'? Who the hells do ye think ye are? An' HOW DARE YE?! I know wha' I wan'!" Her eyes were streaming tears and she was backing down the stairs. A couple of the tired men on deck were now staring. "Guess.....guess I'm jus' no' enough o' a whore fer ye Tomas."


She turned and began to walk below deck, tears streaming.

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-Age 5-

The cheers had bothered her and Melodia held her hands over her ears as she watched.


The man was being whipped on the deck by the Captain herself. The Hyur has been caught stealing extra food after breakfast and had been ordered to receive ten lashes for it. The Captain herself administered these types of punishments and it was common for the public discipline to happen a couple of times per week at some points. But it was the crew cheering her on...that brought chills to her, along with the loud crack of the whip. She had struck the young man across his bare back 8 times now. The man was silent but appeared to be weeping a bit. The Captain, her imposing Roegadyn frame standing over the small man, the whip hanging loose as she brought a gloved hand up to wipe sweat from her brown and a smirk on her face as the crew cheered.


Her lips were moving but Melodia couldn't hear as she watched the whip rise and fall, a muffled crack sneaking into her ears. The man's back was red, raw and looked to be bleeding in places. She tried to close her eyes but suddenly strong hands were pulling her hands from her ears and she turned and looked back to see the Miqo'te man who'd helped her with the scrubbing standing behind her. He knelt and looked her in the eyes. With a stern voice he leaned close and whispered.


"Look girl, you need to look. Need to understand who you're dealing with. Don't look away in fear. That's what she wants." He turned her back and stood to watch as well. The Captain grinned and shouted.


"This one.....aye he'll no' steal again. If does....it won't be lashes, aye Ramsay?" She laughed as Ramsay nodded as he stood nearby. She brought the whip up again and as it cracked hard the final time she heard the man's voice again and heard this for some time to come:


"Need to understand who you're dealing with...."

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-Age 11-

Taurin placed his two closed hands forward over the makeshift table and each dropped its contents with a small thud on the wooden surface. From the left fell a coin pouch with the clinking coins inside. From the right fell a key and a small notebook.


He stared at Melodia with a serious countenance and nodded. "Choose, girl. Which is the most valuable? Given the choice, what would you take first?"


Melodia stared at the two sides and gulped. Another lesson and one he'd told her would be a critical one. She looked at both side to side and her hand slowly crept to the coins. He grunted and shook his head.


"No, dear." He knelt down lifting her chin and staring at her intently. "Let me explain....you chose the coins and for the purposes of this ship and this Captain, you would be correct." He slid the notebook and the key forward.


"However for your own purposes, knowledge....information....this is a much more powerful treasure. Never place the value of the coin above information. With information you can do so much more. And never understimate those who have that information. You do so at your own peril." He nodded and stood watching her as her hand slowly retreated and then moved the notebook and key, swallowing them as she pulled them to her own pocket.


He nodded in approval.


"Wise choice, young one. Wise choice."

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