The sea softly doused the beach Athena laid upon.
The town buzzed with it's lively, often illegal, merriment. Leather brown men with mugs of beer and pipes of tobacco walked up and down it's tawdry streets, hollering and cat calling whatever woman they might see. Except for one who laid on beaches and wore a handkerchief stained in blood.
The Captain of Neptune's Revenge found serenity laying on the sand. After often weeks to even the occasional month, there was something to be said about feeling land hold her body to the ground. The sea was an easy dream to fall into, and many a pirate or Navy man would find themselves trapped in it's embrace. She sang her song and all the problems you'd find back home were but distant memories.
Tonight, serenity would be interrupted by the shrieking cry of a seagull. She winced as it flew far too comfortably down close beside her, letting out another petulant screech.
What? No food? It's small black eyes seemed to say, as she dusted herself off and let the sand fall from her clothes.
"Nothing for you here, except a nice bullet for interrupting my rest." She grumbled but made no actual move for the pistol on her hip. She was quite tall for a woman, but was neither muscular nor particularly dainty. Her long blonde hair was braided in two plaits, the tips teaching down just above her back side, the ends pointed just like a wasp's stinger. She was born with fair skin, but years under the sun's harsh light at sea had left her tanned like most other's.
The bird waddled away, picking up speed before it flapped off and she was left alone once more. Grumbling to herself, she made her way towards a path that lead off the beach and towards the city center. It did not take long for the smell of the ocean to be lost and Port Royal's filth to take it's place. Though she was used to it, anyone who was not might find the aroma of rotting garbage, ale, meats, and a variety of other things to fill their olfactory senses.
It took some getting used to.
Her nose wrinkled in familiar disgust, but her attention was soon grabbed by a familiar, booming laugh. A particularly round, jolly bar keep stood outside of a weathered pub. Time had not been kind to the sign that hung above it, and neither had it's patrons with numerous bullet holes shot through. However, if you squinted and looked hard enough you could make out the words The Loose Cannon in faded lettering.
"Barny, " the woman greeted, letting the corners of her mouth rise up with a grin. "Not enough business? What are you doing lounging about out here?"
The red cheeked middle aged man chuckled, and rubbed a hand up through a mess of quickly graying blonde hair. "I wish it was so, lass. I'd kill for a break." He glanced over to a set of seemingly drunk patrons, one of whom was laying on the ground, leg and arms spread open like a star fish. His friend had a dribble of vomit down his shirt.
"I see they enjoyed the drink," she teased, watching as the man on the floor began to wiggle his arms and legs, a delightedly drunk expression on his face. Barnabas snorted, shaking his head and turning his body to head back inside. "Come in, come in, " he called out to her, waving a hand to usher the woman to follow.
Carefully and with some amusement, she lifted her long legs over the lad and followed her longtime friend into his bar. Immediately, she was met with nearly having a full tankard of beer thrown quite close to her head. It hit against the wall, and a thunderous bout of laughter spread throughout the rowdy, age worn tavern.
"YOU BLOODY LOT, I'LL WRING YOUR FUCKIN' NECKS DRY, I WILL." Barnabas's neck and face turned a familiar bright red and he seemed to forget Athena all together as he moved to find the culprit who threw the mug. There were a few open tables still, and one at the very back of the tavern that seemed remote enough she felt she wouldn't be bothered. A few glances were cast her way, even a few tips of a hat in respect before she found herself seated on a wooden chair close by the fireplace.
It was unlikely she would be bothered. One rarely bothered a pirate captain unless they had a particularly good reason.
SednaSedna found human children incredibly revolting.
They leaked constantly, from every orifice. Were known to cough with wild abandon, and more often than not they had fingers stuck deep in their noses.
Despite this, they were the only tolerable part of their kind. She watched as a group of them appeared, having finished schooling or work. She found how quickly and erratically humans bred disturbing. A gift wasted on creatures whose main purpose seemed to be bent on destroying whatever they felt like. Oceans, forests, tundra's, anything that was not theirs to destroy.
The sun was getting ready to dip deep into her home, leaving behind it's warmth to let it's colder twin join the skies. Their tiny little mouths let out the highest pitched screams of amusement as they made their way to the pier she languidly swam around in her free time.
The mermaid woman gave a small sigh, swimming towards the edge of the pier. Long black hair spread across the top of the water, tendrils fanning out behind her.
She whistled, and quickly the group of brats moved to join her at the waters edge. Most were commoners sons, wearing threadbare coats and hand me down shoes that were two sizes too big. They scurried towards her, leaning in familiarly.
Their tiny bodies would have been the easiest to yank into the water. She'd have at least three pulled into the waters, before the rest realized what was happening. Not one could outswim her or out win in a battle of strength. She ignored the familiar hunger and instead let a small smirk play across her plump lips.
"So, who has the best news for me? Don't keep me waiting, I don't like to be bored." She wrapped a single lock of hair around her claw, her eyes lazily passing over the children's faces.
The oldest, a thin boy of eleven named Tim excitedly began to speak. "My Ma works in the kitchens, she says there's a new man gunning for leadership in the company. She said he committed paterhide to get his Pa's position."
"Patricide, " she corrected, chewing on her bottom lip thoughtfully. "Why would I care about that?"
His little face lit up mischievously, and he ushered the rest of his group to lean in closer. The only sounds between them were the waves lapping towards the pier and ships docked nearby.
"Because he's coming here, missus. To meet the Governor and work with getting rid of more pirates." Her dark eyebrows raised and her curiosity was piqued enough for her to probe him further for information. "Did you catch his name, Tim? Or when he'd be arriving?"
The boy beamed with pride, nodding his head. "I dunno his name, but she said in a weeks time. They've got my Ma working until the sun rises." She gave him wider smile. "You've done well, I think you've more than deserved a bit of coin for your time." She lifted her hand, and inside several coins lay in her palm. She popped her body up high enough, and he held his hand out hungrily. This would likely feed them for a few days.
Once she dropped the coins into his palm, Tim swatted some of the other boy's hands away when they reached for the money. "Tim," she called, tilting her head to the side and waiting for the boy to make eye contact with her again.
"Have you ever seen anyone like me?"
The question hung in the air between them, and the boys all shook their heads as well. "No, miss. You're the only mermaid we've ever seen."
She smiled, and leaned in once more. Her smile no longer held the same amusement, but was replaced with a dangerously vicious intent.
"I've seen so many of you, " she began, her voice barely a whisper that gently bounced on the sound of the lapping waves, "so when I tell you that I could throw you into the water and drown you in seconds, I hope you believe me. You see, there's lots of poor little boys. The world won't remember you much."
Their small, pale and malnourished faces became white with fear, but she continued.
"But we won't have to worry about that, will we? You're good lads. You'd never tell anyone you saw me, would you?" Tim shook his head erratically.
"Good. Enjoy your coin. I'll see you soon. " The threatening mermaid swam backwards, lifting her tail up in a goodbye and flicking a good amount of water towards her little spies.
Everyone had their uses.