The process was simple, mostly we won our shares of the country over a throw of the dice. The barkeep provided the dice, and they were thrown onto a map. We each staked our claims on the pieces of the world and whoever rolled the highest number on the dice won that area, if more than one captain won a roll, they tried again.
It was the fairest system we could have come up with, though I'm not sure who's idea it was originally. There are some tales where is was two brothers squabbling over territory and both were avid gamblers so they believed that they could throw the dice they way they wanted to. I'm not sure if it takes great skill or great luck to win at what you want but I've found that it never hurts to have a great deal of both.
The pirates scowled at me as I won the second best area in the realm. The golden shores of Italy were my territory this season. The southern seas had gone to Patricia, and with the great trade in that part of the world, she would have the best territory and the best spoils, but I would have my share. I stood from the table, finished with the bidding, there were only the smallest of places now, with little in trade or spoils, and I didn't want any of it. I needed to go check on my parcel.
I nodded to the captains around the table, some of whom nodded back, others scowled. I knew that some of the poorer souls would kill me right now if it wasn't against the code, but I was safe for the moment. It wouldn't hurt to get to my ship quickly though. I strode out the door and into the dark London night. I nearly tripped on a man lying in the alleyway, stepping back I looked at him a little closer. He was moaning and a puddle of some dark liquid was coming from ... I took another step back. He was muttering now, I was ready to turn around and leave when I heard something interesting.
"Those ugh,.. Devils.... Twins... Gugh..." Then some choice language cursing them for what they had done, the evidence of which was quite obvious, and dirtying my shoes. "Gonna kill them..." Then some more cursing. I'd had enough. I drew one of my pistols from my belt and pointed at the sniveling rat of a man.
"I would rather you shut up, and go get help. Or I can just send a shot through your skull, that would put you out of your misery." I said, my voice quiet and dangerous. The man whimpered again. I rolled my eyes,
"I should just leave you to your misery, the Devil Twins are notorious, they're mercenaries. But you must have deserved it. You cheat on your wife? That's usually what they deal in, personal matter hah. I'm surprised you recognized them, that's not usually the way they roll." I looked around, no sign of another should, but it didn't mean the twins weren't watching. Tucking my gun back into my belt I headed back for the ship, I moved a little faster than I might've knowing the Devils may be out there, even though they were probably accepting their payoff for the job well done.
I made it back to the ship safely but jittery. I took a moment to admire her. The Epsilon was an airship of the highest caliber the envelope above the decks carried the air in little balloons so that air could be let out a little at a time for gentle landings. And my landing were stellar.
I went below decks to the small cell at wasn't occupied by cargo or other people, I opened the door to see the girl awake and curled up in the corner. A strange grinding sound was coming from her, I walked forward, she just looked at me, her one eye bleak and hopeless. Her skin was pale and glistened with sweat. I looked closer, her eye, the one that wasn't real, was a glass bulb that looked like it had been broken recently. I cursed under my breath. Curse me for trusting pirate mates with a priceless item such as this. I sat next to her on the floor, listening to the sound she was making. The sound seemed to be coming from her head, it was the sound of gears out of sync. Her eye was glassy and she stared off into space, the grinding eager asks in her head were doing no good. I stood up,
"Where's my tool box? The nice one I use to fix those watches we get from Sloan?" I called into the hallway, a small man appeared carrying a golden chest where I kept my good tools. I took it from him and turned back to the girl.
I looked at the side of her face where a gold plate was fastened to her skin. She didn't move, so I took off the plate to see what was happening inside the girls head. The gears inside were grimy and out of sync. They had been jostled when her eye had been mangled.
"This is some delicate clock work..." I muttered, putting a small swab in the end of an extendable stick to clean out the dirt. "How did you get into such a mess little robot girl?" I didn't expect an answer, but I over the clanking gears I heard her trying to speak. She had a beautiful voice, slightly melodic, I wondered if that was enhanced as well as most of her body.
"I ran away. I couldn't stay... Had to... Get away from.... Him..." She whispered.
"Ok don't strain yourself honey, let me see, aha!" I managed to clean off the gears and they slid into their proper positions, the clanking stopped, turning into the gentle click of proper clockwork. I nodded.
"That oughtta do for now." The girls eyes closed and she looked a little better.
"Can you eat normal food?" I had to ask. She nodded and I resolved to get her a good meal, after she got some sleep. I picked her up, though she was almost my size she didn't weigh much at all, I assumed because of her mechanical parts, they might be hollow, I put her on the cot in the room and covered her up with the blanket. She wasn't going to get better unless i got some help. I had no idea how I was going to fix her eye. At least the clanking stopped.
Stupid pirates, they ruin everything. I shook my head at the thought and left the room locking it behind me.