Two years later
The sun was rising over the Caribbean, making the water sparkle as the light hit it. There was a slight breeze, and so the air was peppered with spray. The Liberty was sailing on, her sailors awake and prepared for the coming day. Her captain was awake as well, giving out orders with clarity. The breeze rushed through the deck, and her long auburn hair- tied into a high tail- fluttered around her face. Her amber eyes glowed as she looked towards the horizon, her lips quirked up into a small smile.
Jacqueline Law was home.
"Black! Don't drop that!" She shouted, her voice booming over the ship. Heads turned and she rolled her eyes. "Nicholas!" Someone tapped the old man on the shoulder, and he turned, a question in his eyes. Nicholas was one of the few that had survived the attack from the Buccaneers Rift two years prior, and he had gotten older every day. They had come across his grandson, John Black, at one of the ports, and he had eagerly signed on.
At the moment, he was carrying a large, probably heavy, crate of goods- mostly guns- they had just purchased, and the box looked as if it was about to fall in his wobbly hands any moment. To be completely honest with herself, Jackie should've discharged him a year ago, when his age really began to show, but he was a part of the old Jackie, the Courage Jackie, and she was secretly afraid to give that Jackie up.
"I said," she repeated, taking a step forwards, "don't drop those. They'll be useless if they're broken, and they were rather pricy." The demand in guns had been high, with marauding pirates ransacking ports and taking prizes (commandeered ships) with them. Nicholas nodded, taking a shaky step forward. Jackie sighed. "John, help him." The other Black nodded, helping his grandfather with the crate. She pinched the bridge of her nose, breathing deeply through her nose.
"You look stressed." She turned her head, her eyes rolling before it was even completely facing the speaker. It was Charlie Sloan. People always told the pair they looked alike, though Charlie's hair was more orange than red, and hung near the bottoms of his ears, and his eyes were green. But people said they moved the same, both aware of their surroundings and always in fight or flight.
"Charlie, you wanna tell me what you see?" He turned, his eyes flickering around the ship. He was an observer, curious, and she could see the fears turning in his head as he snapped it back to face her.
"The Liberty, Cap'ain," he said, his face scrunching up and his eyes widening apologetically as he realized his mistake. It wasn't a big thing, not pronouncing the 't's, but Nathaniel Flint's haunting voice was a part of Jacqueline, he old Jackie, that she couldn't escape. She didn't wake on sailors with the habit, and usually discharged those who couldn't break it. The only reason Charloe was still on the Liberty was the fact that most of the time he managed to remember. But there were always slip ups, and Jackie's foul mood wasn't helping any.
Her amber eyes flashed dangerously and she clenched her jaw before turning away and taking a long drink from the flask at her hip, muttering something under her breath. Charlie watched, not moving, having learned to leave her be when she was in one of her moods.
After what seemed like an eternity of staring into nothingness, she sighed, turning back to Charlie. She opened her mouth, and then burst into laughter. Big, hearty laughter, the kind that one only hears once in a blue moon. A genuine laugh. When she was sobered up, she straightened, a wide smirk still on her lips. "I forgot what I was about to say," she informed him, obviously fighting to be somewhat serious. He smirked, inclining his head respectfully before walking away, muttering about redheads, which Jackie found rather hypocritical of him.
She looked out over the ocean, watching the waves sparkle in the sunlight. Taking another swig from the flask, she hooked it back to her belt, gripping the railing with both hands, as if the whole ship would disappear if she let go. That was an aspect of the new Jackie, needing a good grip on everything that was important to her. And at the moment, that was her ship. She sighed, glancing up at the sky. Nearly midday. Looking around, the deck was almost empty, the few that didn't care for midday meal the only ones still doing their jobs.
For the umpteenth time, Jackie sighed, leaning over the railing and staring at the horizon. Her fingers dug almost painfully into the wooden railings, but she ignored the discomfort. That was another part of New Jackie, Liberty Jackie. Ignoring the pain.
And at that moment, John Black ran onto the deck, screaming about something and pointing at the horizon, his grandfather hobbling right behind him. Jackie's eyes were drawn there, and she saw a ship approaching. She felt a sparking feeling in her gut, excitement. Apprehension. And a little bit of anger and fear from Jacqueline.
"Colors?" She asked, her voice carrying even through the growing chatter. John shook his head, squinting at the ship. Jackie withdrew her spyglass, fixing it on the vessel. She couldn't see a flag. She sighed, pushing her palm into her forehead in frustration. That type of situation entailed an extremely difficult decision, one that she usually had.... No, she chastised herself. Don't think about that. Think about now.
And so she did.
"All hands on deck!" She shouted, hoping against all hope that it wasn't a ship from His Magesty's Royal Navy, which would entail all sorts of problems. Jackie Law wasn't a merchant, no, and she wasn't of the Navy. She had a navy jacket, worn by... someone of her past... but that was the border. The Liberty wasn't a pirate ship either, however, and she wasn't looking for a reward for her head. 531Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡEP2OGyhH9i
The deck was suddenly filled with men of all sizes, shapes, ages, and races. "Alright," Jackie said. She had a voice that carried without her having to shout. "There's a ship approaching." Murmurs filled the air. "We haven't identified their colors." More murmurs. "So you know how this works." Some people nodded. "So get to it."
And they did.
Which mostly entitled preparing for a fight and hanging tight until the ship got close enough for Jackie to decide whether or not they were a threat. Which was actually pretty boring. ns 188.8.131.52da2