Ron floated through the cotton fields, marvelling at how an ocean of fluffy white surrounded her. She had to move rather quickly to keep up with the brisk pace of the glowering captain. Veronica felt rather sorry for Jackass and his sidekick, but they had it coming, sneaking off like that. Bloody rascals.
The sound of muffled voices made Cotton stop midway through the cotton, holding a finger to her lips. She gestured silently towards a thick line of trees, giving cause to the five-or-so crewmates to shuffle forwards anxiously. Cotton let her hand drop and they all barrelled through the foliage, knocking over whatever unfortunate bodies lay in their path. Veronica had only hung back, uninterested in the dirty work, and watched as Jackass and his pal were restrained and brought before the captain.
Cotton nodded her head and her men pushed the fugitives to their knees, oblivious to the foul string of curses coming from both of them. Her famed rapier was instantly at their necks, blood beading along the edge.
“Now, boys,” she started in a dangerous voice, “I suggest you tell me what the hell it was you thought you were doing, abandoning the ship and stealing from Isabel Cotton.”
The two men looked at one another, their frustration almost amusing considering their ruffled states. Jackass was the first to talk, shifting to what was presumably a more comfortable position.
“We were scouting, as a matter of fact, for rations.”
Jonin’ nodded eagerly, his mouth hanging open as if unable to add to the statement besides his great will to do so.
Veronica chuckled, strolling forward with her sword bouncing against her hip.
“Captain,” she started, her voice dripping with amusement, “I trust that you will not accept the lies of fools?”
Cotton gritted her teeth in anger, the blade in her hands being pushed further back. Jackass sent Ron a poisonous look that made her smirk in satisfaction. She didn’t normally go looking to get on the nerves of others, but this idiot was too much fun to pass up. The captain’s hair flared around her face like a storm, only surpassed by her smoldering expression.
“I. Want. The. Truth.” she said through a clenched jaw, eyes narrowing.
Jonin’ shook his head as if shaking away accusations.
“It is tha truth, ca’tin! I swear!”
“Then why leave in the middle of the night,” she shot back, “Without so much as offering an explanation?!”
The two men were silent in response, unable to deny the bizarreness of the situation any longer. Veronica considered adding another shot of acid to the conversation but, seeing the severe bitterness on Cotton’s face, decided otherwise.
“Fine,” the captain started after a long period of silence, pulling the rapier away from their throats, “I’ll give you bastards another chance. Lead us to the rations you’ve found.”
They were allowed to stand, released by the burly crewmembers and rubbing their hands in pain. Cotton flicked her rapier up once more, dead serious.
“And make it quick.”