Hell Hath No Fury Like...

Reserved for: Ariana and Malicia

"Oy! Lady! Wake up! You gotta pay if you wanna keep sleepin' here!" 

Groan. What time was it? What is time? Where even is this place? The Duchess rolled over to groggily regard the tavern wench through squinted eyes. 

"Here." Gold coins were thrown at the woman's face. "This should suffice. Now get out." She rolled over again.

She lay there motionless, listening to the woman leave. Her head was pounding so hard it threatened to break her skull open. How much did she drink last night?

Last night... she rolled over and stared up at the ceiling. Blurred memories sunk into her vision. Partying, brawling, drinking, Negaduck...

Her heart sank, but it quickly resurfaced with rage. Negaduck. He was in love with an enchantress. After all the Duchess had done for him, sacrificed for him! 

She was going to make him feel a pain like no other. He will suffer

Getting up slowly with a groan, she dug into her skirts to count her remaining gold. She had enough for a few days, but after that she would need to get more money, somehow. 

More pressing, she needed to figure out where exactly she was. 

She stumbled out of bed and made a rather haphazard attempt to tidy her appearance. Her hair hung loose and free, a feeling that left her uneasy. But there were no servants here to comb and coif it, so she would have to tolerate looking like a commoner. 

Finally, she made her way downstairs. It was mid-afternoon, but the tavern was bustling with business, and the noise caused her to squint in agony. 

Glancing around momentarily at the crowd she made her way to the barkeep. "You there. Tell me, where is this establishment of yours located?"

The barkeep, mid-pouring a drink, didn't even look up. "Ah, welcome back to the world of the living, Miss. This be St. Beary's, an yer standin' in the finest tavern this port has to offer."

St. Beary's... didn't sound familiar, but she would figure her way around it. 

"And the pirates." She began slowly. "Are they here?"

"Nope, no pirates 'round here today, Miss. Just us regular 'ol folks." 

No matter. She would figure a way back to the crew, back to him, eventually... 

    • DarkwingPsycho
      DarkwingPsycho

      ((OOC: Rawr!  I posted a long reply last night and hoped it saved, but apparently not.  The website totally died on me when I hit "comment."))

      A young blonde entered the tavern, looking haggard and thin.  Her dress was torn and dirty, and it was clear she hadn't eaten in days.  Anything of value was long gone from her person.

      She stumbled toward the tavern owner, looking pathetic and as desperate as she sounded.  "Please...I need work.  I can't...I haven't had anything to eat in...oh please help me..."

      The woman looked Ariana up and down briefly.  "Yer lookin' worse for the wear.  But if it's a job yer after, there ain't none here.  Not unless you wanna spend your time on yer back!"

      Ariana paled, but didn't answer right away.  Was she really considering?

      • Malicia Macawber
        Malicia Macawber

        "Well, well, well." 

        The Duchess chuckled darkly, looking the girl up and down. "Isn't this a fortuitous sight. And ever so deserving."

        She leaned back in her seat to regard Ariana with an expression of pure disdain. She hadn't forgotten their last encounter, nor the one before that when the blonde had pummeled her.

        "You're starving are you?" She toyed with two gold coins between her fingers. Enough to buy a feast.

        "Perhaps I should feed my poor, dear, helpless cousin." 

        She slammed the coins onto the bar counter.

        "If she begs for it."

        • DarkwingPsycho
          DarkwingPsycho

          At the sound of the familiar voice, Ariana turned and immediately recognized the flame-haired woman sitting at the bar.  She blinked, and her brow flickered as if deciding whether to narrow or rise.  She was inexplicably glad to see her cousin - someone she recognized - but she also felt the old hurt and anger in her.  She remembered how Malicia had fought off Negaduck, but after that she hadn't discerned what had happened to her.

          "Malicia..." she murmured.

          Impatient, the tavern wench walked off to attend to her duties.

          Ariana's silver eyes watched the coins hungrily, and she could feel her insides twist with agony at the thought of how much food they would buy.  While she couldn't stand the thought of demeaning herself to her already high-and-mighty cousin, she knew it was either that or agree to a lifetime of what amounted to sexual slavery.

          She felt tears welling up in her eyes, but she clenched her jaw and moved forward.  When she was a couple of feet from Malicia, she sank to her knees and bowed her head.  "Please...please, Malicia...help me..."

          • Malicia Macawber
            Malicia Macawber

            "Hmmm... how desperate you are now, when you were so willing to leave me to the pirates not so long ago."

            A coy grin.

            "I'll help you."

            Pause.

            "If you tell me how you ended up like this. I enjoy a good sob story." Especially one at your expense.

            She motioned one of the tavern keepers over and ordered the food. Hopefully the sight and smell surrounding Ariana would make her beg further. 

            "And you apologize."

            • DarkwingPsycho
              DarkwingPsycho

              Her jaw clenched tighter, and her tiny fists balled up in anger and humiliation.  Still, it would be more humiliation to resort to giving herself to any man who could pay.

              She wiped at her eyes, not wanting Malicia to have the satisfaction of her tears, but did feel a glimmer of gratitude that her cousin at least made good on her deal.  Any any point Malicia could rescind the order, however, so Ariana grudgingly took a seat and a deep breath.  Without looking up at her relative's golden eyes, she began.

              "A-after we were both left to be sold...and we fought them...I thought I was free from Negaduck and his men.  But he found me performing at an inn, and came backstage to taunt me.  Of course he wanted gold, but that wasn't good enough."

              She shifted on the stool, feeling heat rise in her face as she thought about the tumble in the sheets she had shared, and decided not to get into that.  That wasn't something her cousin needed to know.

              "He demanded a ship, and I made one for him using magic."  Her gaze went furtively toward Malicia, expecting judgment and shock.  Ariana had never been as reticent to engage her powers as Malicia had been raised to be.  "He took me aboard, and then...left me here."

              The tears threatened to rise again in her throat, and she swallowed them as best she could.  Thinking about that mallard filled her with anger, betrayal, and a distant longing that pulled at her heartstrings.

              It was a few long moments before she could continue.

              "I spent what I had left on food, sleeping under palms at night.  I ran out a few days ago, and I've been trying to dance for coins, but...that hasn't worked."  She wrapped her arms around herself and looked to the side, an utterly hollow version of the blonde Malicia had encountered in the past.

              • Malicia Macawber
                Malicia Macawber

                "HA!" She nearly choked on her drink at the mere mention of Negaduck.

                "So he used you up like a filthy rag and discarded you when he got what he wanted. How typically Negaduck of him."

                Their food had arrived, a platter of fruits, vegetables, meat, assorted cheeses. She plucked off a few grapes and popped them in her mouth thoughtfully.

                A thoughtful pause.

                "So you were the one who enchanted his ship, hmm? I should have guessed. Well, if it makes you feel any better, the enchantment wore off, and he got stuck with a frozen dessert vessel." 

                She was quiet for a moment. The wheels were turning in her head. Ariana had been wronged by the Captain, just as she had. Perhaps, it would be advantageous to share her own story...

                "Negaduck took everything from me. He is the reason Father married me off. And to add insult to injury, the filthy pirate made off with my dowry payment! If I ever get my hands on him again, I swear, that wretched sea snake will pay. He messed with the wrong Macawber..."

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  Ariana listened curiously but didn't immediately look up.  Not until the food arrived, anyway.  It couldn't be helped.  Malicia sounded like she knew Negaduck, more than as a hostage when they had been on that galleon together.

                  When Malicia started to eat, Ariana eagerly took a bit of the meat and cheese and stuffed it into her bill.  Immediately her stomach rumbled, and she couldn't eat fast enough.  She tried to be ladylike, but - well - it was difficult.

                  Through her bites, though, Ariana took a moment to finally look at Malicia.  "Your father...was going to marry you off?  But I thought that's...what you wanted...to be a lady of a good house."

                  • Malicia Macawber
                    Malicia Macawber

                    That stopped her mid-chomp. She thought she wanted that too but... something had changed. 

                    "The Commodore is... quite rich and powerful. And handsome to boot, from what I could glimpse of him as well. I would be set for life if I marry him." She drummed her fingers against the table.

                    "I... may still go through with the marriage. But not yet. I have a score to settle first. Negaduck stole my pride and I cannot let that stand."

                    Eyes back on Ariana now. "Surely you're not going to settle for being discarded are you?"

                    • DarkwingPsycho
                      DarkwingPsycho

                      Ariana nodded at the "cannot stand" comment, then she looked thoughtful at the question.  "Discarded" was the word for it, yes.  Abandoned, deserted, forsaken, sidelined...rejected.

                      She wiped at her eyes again, taking another couple of grapes to munch while she considered what she really did want.  What she had thought she had found and what she had really been handed were complete opposites.  And while there was that strange sort of craving for his presence that gnawed at her insides, mostly she felt betrayed.  She had loved him, given him the only thing she had had left, and left her behind like rubbish.

                      What a fool she had been to believe the word of a pirate.

                      "No," she said finally - definitively.  Her silver eyes narrowed and looked into Malicia's golden ones.  "No, I'm not."

                      • Malicia Macawber
                        Malicia Macawber

                        "Good, because I have a plan..." She leaned forward.

                        "I say we track him down and show him what Macawber women are made of. Make him beg for forgiveness. We'll take every last piece of gold on that ship and leave him threadbare. Tie him to the front of his ship and send him sailing! Not only will we have enough money to take care of ourselves, but he'll be left utterly humiliated!"

                        • DarkwingPsycho
                          DarkwingPsycho

                          She hesitated.  She had never been cruel-natured, even when wronged, but she did feel slighted to have been put in this situation.  Aside from leaving him helpless on the prow, she felt emboldened by Malicia's words.  He would know the devastation of loss at the very hands of those he had so wronged.  Things would be set right.

                          For the first time, Ariana smiled at her cousin.  "I'm in..."

                          • Malicia Macawber
                            Malicia Macawber

                            She smiled back. "Excellent."

                            "Now..." Moving in to speak in whispers, to avoid catching the ears of their neighbours. 

                            "We need to find him first. I say we lure him to us, set a trap. I hate to say this, but we're going to need to use supernatural means to do it..." 

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              Ariana felt a flutter of anticipation.  "A siren song?  Fool's gold?" she suggested.  "I don't think we'll be able to find him without sending out some kind of rumor that will reach him and lure him back.  Unless...you have another idea?"

                              • Malicia Macawber
                                Malicia Macawber

                                "He's powered entirely by greed and ego, which means we need something that he'll want, especially if it proves him to be the most fearsome pirate on the seas. A priceless treasure. Something so legendary that he would be a fool to turn it down..."

                                She tapped her bill. "That's where the magic comes in. We enchant an object to make it look like the treasure. Then we hide it somewhere, and make sure the map reaches him. He'll follow it straight to us!"

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  Ariana's eyes lit up.  "I know!  What about the Flor de la Mar?  The Scepter of Malacca was said to have been among it's most valuable and sought after treasures...

                                  "How will we make sure it gets to him and not into the hands of another pirate?" Ariana inquired, taking the chance to eat more of the food on the platter.  Who knew when she'd be able to eat again?

                                  • Malicia Macawber
                                    Malicia Macawber

                                    How indeed. "We pay someone. Money has a far reach, and will see to it that the map lands in his hands..."

                                    "Besides." She smirked. "He'll kill any other pirate who puts their hands on it."

                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                      "Well, I suppose a hex will make sure whomever we pay actually gets the map there and doesn't use it for themselves...  Where do we want him to end up?  Back here?"

                                      • Malicia Macawber
                                        Malicia Macawber

                                        "We'll need to pick a spot. I do have one location in mind... My father owns a vineyard and the surrounding land. I used to vacation there in the summer. It's not too far from the ocean, there are plenty of caves and tunnels. It would be the perfect place for a 'treasure' to be hidden away. We can set our trap somewhere there."

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          Ariana brightened.  "That's wonderful!  Should we add anything on the way to the treasure?  Sea monsters?  Or should it be a straight shot?"

                                          • Malicia Macawber
                                            Malicia Macawber

                                            "Hmm... don't want to make it too difficult, after all, we want to save the real fun for when he gets here." She cracked her knuckles. 

                                            "Once we have him trapped, we'll take him for everything he has. All of that gold will be ours for the taking. More than enough to live comfortably!"

                                            • DarkwingPsycho
                                              DarkwingPsycho

                                              Ariana didn't care about the gold, but she wasn't going to tell Malicia that.  Money was important to live on, after all, as she had so recently had to come to terms with.  She was more concerned with Negaduck feeling the same type of betrayal and despair he had laid upon her when he sailed away.

                                              "Where should we do our...work?" Ariana questioned, glancing around the busy tavern.  There was no way they could start creating and enchanting a map out in the open like this.

                                              • Malicia Macawber
                                                Malicia Macawber

                                                "We should travel to the vineyard. It'll take a few days to get there, so we'll need some food and transport... a ship would be the fastest way to get there. Once we're settled, we can get to work immediately." 

                                                And clothed. She wasn't going to sit around in this get-up forever. 

                                                "I have enough money for food. But... we'll have to get creative with the ship."

                                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                                  "Oh, I can do that," Ariana assured the redhead.  "I've already made one ship recently...I'll just need to rest for a while after."

                                                  A short time later, they were hiding on the dock, looking over their options.  "What about that dinghy?  It could be a small caravel, but there isn't much material there..."

                                                  • Malicia Macawber
                                                    Malicia Macawber

                                                    Her face twisted in disgust. "Hardly. I say we travel in style." She pointed at a moderately-sized cargo ship. Men were loading off crates and other items onto the docks and they looked about ready to take a break before moving on to their next shipment. 

                                                    "When they leave, I say we take it."

                                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                                      Ariana paused.  "Take it?  B-but how?  And what if they catch us?"  It wasn't only that, she didn't feel right about stealing a ship.

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