The Magpie and the Handmaid are heading back to Vesten. Enzo has the Handmaid drop off the former crew on an island near Arisent. Before Doctor Lund boards the lifeboat, he appeals to Enzo regarding Captain Jespersen, who is being held hostage on the Magpie along with Lt Lorentzen. Enzo assures him the Captain and the Lt will be safe. After the prisoners are gone, the Handmaid makes good time in catching up with the Magpie, sighting them within two days. During that time, Enzo makes himself useful by going through Captain Jespersen’s logbooks. He learns a significant amount about the Handmaid’s part in the Odynsee Package Company’s business; most notably, regular routes and cargoes that will have to be fulfilled by other ships now that the Handmaid is out of regular rotation.
Signe confines Captain Jespersen and Lt Lorentsen to Enzo’s quarters, and keeps someone on the door with a gun at all times. Other than that, they are afforded all appropriate courtesies. The Captain is pleasant and polite, all things considered. The Lt is sour-faced and laconic.
The Handmaid catches up with the Magpie, and Ulfgar tells Signe that Enzo has information for her. They drop anchor and Signe goes to confer with him. In addition to the information that Enzo discovered, Signe is able to identify which of their potential targets are the most valuable, and thus they have a plan of attack, with at least four viable targets:
- The Whitby: Usually makes runs between Vendel and Carleon, Avalon. Commanded by Captain Torben Birch.
- The Kingfish: Usually makes runs between Vendel and Arisent, Montaigne. Commanded by Captain Mikkel Laursen.
- The Visenda: Usually makes runs between Vendel and San Teodoro, Castille. Commanded by Captain Lina Fisker.
- The Allegiance: Usually makes runs between Vendel and Mondavi, Vodacce. Commanded by Captain Ingeborg Lange.
Enzo is apprehensive regarding the prospect of captaining a ship of his own, but Signe does her best to encourage him, reminding him that they all studied for this at the Academy. Eric has already taken to addressing Signe as “Commodore”. She does not make an attempt to stop him.
Know Your Enemy, Part 2
The crews of both ships spend some time fishing, and prepare a sumptuous meal in the Magpie’s galley. Even the Captain and the Lt are invited. Signe abandons her disguise, but instructs everyone to simply call her “Captain” and not refer to her by name. The Captain continues to be pleasant company. Signe converses with him regarding innovations in ship design. It turns out that this is something of a passion of his.
Attempts to draw the Lt into the conversation are difficult. However, Enzo is able, by way of a lewd joke, to make him drop his facade, if even for only a moment while the rest of the room erupts in uproarious laughter.
Several weeks later, the Magpie and the Handmaid pull into Klorhulg. It’s early evening when they arrive in port. Enzo is the first off the ship, and immediately goes to speak to Blind William. He pays his respects and says he’s going to be looking to hire a crew he can trust.
Rooms are rented at the inn, and Eric makes sure they’re secure before the Captain and the Lt are led off the ship with hoods over their heads and locked up. The presence of Ulfgar is enough to ensure the locals pay them no mind. The Captain is provided writing material in order to draft a letter of ransom to the Odynsee Package Company.
While bringing breakfast one morning, Signe leaves a copy of her notes with the Lt. When she returns in the evening, she finds his demeanor drastically changed. He has obviously read her notes, and more importantly, understands the implications. He demands to know who she is, but she politely refuses. They discuss Odynsee’s apparent scheme, and Signe is able to determine that the Lt is sincere in his expression of desire to do something to avert disaster. She tells him that the Captain already wrote his ransom note, and she will give him the night to decide if he wants to write one for himself or not.# NotPirates