I woke in the ally, it couldn’t have been much longer than a few minutes since i’d lost consciousness: I was still intact and I had my belongings. My knife was still clenched in my fingers, glinting silver in the weak light. My head hurt abominably and my vision was blurred. I staggered to my feet, still holding the knife in case anyone I passed would get any ideas about a dizzy female alone in an alleyway. This wasn’t a good part of town after all.
It took me some time but eventually I made it back to the ship unscathed. Staggering up the gangplank, mercifully unnoticed by my crew. I took a detour by the kitchen to get a cold compress, and retired to my cabin.
Life settled into a pattern for a few days. I stayed in my cabin mostly, until the giant purple mark on my forehead had faded to a paler mark that I could cover with my hat. I kept an eye out for the Devils, but saw no sign of them near the ship. I didn’t leave the ship for a while, preferring to keep an eye on the girl. She seemed to be settling into ship life well,
We ate breakfast together on a daily basis, then she went to train with the kitchen staff and deckmen. She ate lunch with them, I could see that they were all starting to warm up to eachother, and she taught the ships boys their letters. I could see them reading now around the ship, and practicing their letters, so I gathered that it was going well. I was still nervous however, expecting the mercenaries to show up for the girl at any moment.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to happen.
I woke early the next morning and went on deck like usual. The watchmen were relaxed, waiting for the next shift. They snapped to attention when I got on deck, then a look of alarm rippled across all of the men’s faces on the starboard side of the ship, next to the docks. I looked to the side of the ship where, standing at the foot of the gangplank, looking rather casually up at the ship, were two black-clad figures. One was tall, the other shorter. I recognized the shorter one as the woman who had attacked me a few days earlier. The Devil Twins. I stepped back from the rail.
“ALL HANDS ON DECK!” I yelled, my small voice echoed by the louder bos’n. “RAISE THE PLANK, LIFT OFF IN TEN!”
I ran to the helm. Those two were here for Molly, and I wasn’t giving her up without a fight.
“NINE!” I shouted, continuing the countdown. I wrapped my hands around the wheel, the helmsman standing back to let me take control. I saw Molly at the bottom of the steps, ready to come up to see what was happening.
“EIGHT!” I yelled to the crew, then i looked at the helmsman. “Get molly, take her to my cabin and lock her in. She needs to be kept away from those two!” The large man nodded. He ran down the stairs, wrapped his arm around Molly’s waist and hoisted her over his shoulder. I heard her protesting as she was taken to my cabin, then I had to concentrate. The gangway was up, but I knew we weren’t out of reach yet.
“SEVEN!” The ship started to move.
“FIVE” I turned the wheel sharply as the ship began to lift off, then heard a scream from one of my men by the rail. I looked over to see him on the deck, holding his hand that was pouring blood from where his fingers used to be. On the railing, with a bloody knife in her hand was the woman. Another man screamed and I saw the man come flying over the railing a large knife in one hand, and the mooring rope in the other. The ship had been detached from its moorings completely. Now we were in the air, two mercenaries on the deck and no where to go. We had no other choice but to fight them.