“Set the anchor down here,” Lucky’s voice called across the windswept deck of the galleon to the faces of her crew and friends below. They did as she bade and with three jarring clunks the anchor plunged beneath the whitecapped swells that crashed against the Calibur’s mighty bow.
Lucky watched from the helm as the four-member crew stumbled away from the opening in the mahogany wood of the ship where the chain that held the anchor disappeared over the edge and out of sight into the waves as the vessel slowed to a halt. The refreshing smell of brine filled her nostrils as Lucky stepped away from the massive wheel that commanded the ship and descended the simple wooden staircase down to the main deck, careful to step around the patchwork of rigging and lines that sprawled across the floor. Her crew—her friends—greeted her with small, weary smiles that shone through the dim moonlight that loomed over their hunched and exhausted figures. She mirrored their smiles and gave each of them a dismissive nod, though they didn’t leave her side as the five of them walked in silent unison toward the wall of wood that concealed the stairs leading down to the lower decks. Lucky’s hand reached out for the small knob of the door that blended into the wood when a gentle grip found her wrist and pulled her hand away.
War Bashrai’s faint grin met her gaze as she turned to him. His fingers uncurled from her wrist and fell stiffly to his side, his knuckles worn and bloodied. She gave him a questioning look and he replied by shaking his head, leading her back to where the remaining three had ended their pursuit and were now leaning over the side of the low railing that surrounded the deck. She felt a twinge of guilt as she rested her elbows on the smooth mahogany of the railing and pulled her face over the edge, her sensitive ears perked. They were filled with the sounds of the ocean: the roll of waves as they crashed against the hull, the cry of the seagulls from a far-off shore, the low whistle of the breeze as it played with her hair. Her gaze was lost in the ocean, unable to bring herself to look at the others, who had slaved away all day under her command and owed her for their bruised hands and bloodied features.