Their game went on for the better part of an hour, the exchange leaving Nialy exhausted and unconscious while leaving Kasa charged and refreshed. She used the water basin in the room to clean Nialy’s sweat and lust from her body and brushed her teeth. Kasa stopped and admired herself in the mirror and contemplated getting her own nipples pierced. She got dressed and armed herself with all three of her companions, Widowmaker, Dragon’s Breath, and Blood Biter.
She opened the door to her cabin where she knew Elie was quietly waiting.
“Elie, take Broen and go over to the Nymeria. I need you to find a lodestone. It should look like a large black pearl. You’ll most likely find it in the captain’s quarters.”
“As you wish, Captain,” Elie said.
“Briarbeard, you old perv, keep an eye on her.”
The specter of the former pirate king appeared sitting at the desk. “I have told you before I am no servant.”
“Do you have anything else to do?” Kasa asked.
“No, but that is besides the point,” the shade said.
“Will you please watch her?” Kasa asked, loathing in her voice.
“Was that so difficult?”
“Actually, yes; there is only one other person on this sea that I have to put that much effort into getting what I want, and Elie usually just says, ‘Aye, Captain.’”
The large spectral titan laughed. Kasa stepped out of her cabin and willed the door shut and locked.
Her crew was hard at work; the ship had been prepped and was already in route for the Hawk’s navy. Kasa walked up the stairs to the stern. She joined Kleine and Kritis by the navigation station. They were looking over maps similar to the ones Kasa had spread across her dining table in her cabin.
“You just couldn’t contain yourself, could you, Devil Slut?” Elenoren asked, amusement in her voice.
Kasa stared down at the sword on Kritis’s hip. “I am what I am, just like you are still a bitch in a sword.”
“Ladies,” Kritis said.
“Kleine, place a marker right here,” Kasa said, pointing to the location of Winston’s town according to Nialy’s directions.
“What is this, Captain?”
“This is where we find that bastard Winston,” Kasa said. She relayed to them all that she had learned during her session with the dwarven captain of the Nymeria.
“How do you plan on gaining access to a hidden town in a mountain cove that happens to also be full of pirates that don’t particularly like you very much?” Kritis asked.
“How else do you get a predator to flee its home? You send in a bigger predator,” she said. “Right, now I have Elie and Broen searching the Nymeria for the lodestone. Once we reach the fleet, I’ll talk with Captain Breshear. I plan on sending the fleet right down the slimy bastard’s throat, and when he tucks tail to run we’ll be waiting for him at the second entrance.”
“What’s going to stop him from ghosting ahead of time?” Kleine asked.
“According to Nialy, there is only a single lookout tower. I figure we drop a ground crew to take out the tower and set up on the southwestern side of the entrance, hidden. Once Crimson Widow appears, we take her down.”
“It’s a simple enough plan, with lots of room for improvisation. Look at that, the devil sult can think with more than her crotch,” Elenoren said.
“Elen, you know she pays us, right?” Kritis said.
“It’s fine, Kritis, I’d talk a lot of shit too if all I had was a mouth.” Kasa walked over to the stern railing and stared at the towed ship. “Kleine, please have Captain Nialy escorted to one of the row boats, give her a day's provisions, and drop her onto the sea.”
“Out here, Captain? We are leagues away from dry land.”
“I know. I may have fucked her, but she still was a part of the mutiny. I will not kill her as I did the others. I will give her a chance to save herself.” Kasa smiled a dark smile.
“Should we not wait until we have met with the fleet, just in case?”
“I suppose you are right. OK, right before we meet with the fleet.”
“Aye aye, Captain.”
Minutes later, Elie and Broen returned to Devil’s Reaper. Broen handed Kasa the lodestone with a smile before he returned to his usual post in the crow’s nest. Kasa instructed Elie to escort Nialy to the brig.
By sea it took them a
/day and nearly half of another to reach the Hawk’s naval fleet. Kasa had the crew swap her flag, which was of a reaper’s scythe on a field of crimson red, with Hawk’s sigil of a white hawk over a checkered field of purple and black.
Two escort ships flanked them and lead them closer to the main fleet. Blue Eagle, the flagship of the fleet, joined them. Kasa’s crew dropped the gangplank to the grand blue ship with grey and gold trim. The regal Captain Breshear appeared at the plank. Kasa stared at him with a hungry smile.
“Permission to come aboard, Captain?” Breshear asked.
“Granted. Welcome aboard,” Kasa said
“Thank you, Captain Brace.” He slightly bowed, removing his hat. “I see you have brought me a present. Interesting, I figured the lord’s stipend would have been sufficient.”
“My coffers do not suffer, neither do the pockets of my crew,” Kasa said, guiding him to her cabin. Kasa waved to Elie, who had become little more than Kasa’s shadow, to join them. This was a safety measure. Captain Breshear was a fantastic lover, but indulging in such pleasures was not an option at that moment. Once inside her cabin, she poured them both a drink. As she did, Kasa recapped the chase, the air battle, the ambush, and the capture of the Nymeria. She did not mention that just an hour before they reached the fleet she had sent Nialy on her way. All in all, with a few questions in between, this took the better part of an hour.
“That sounds like a good plan; are you sure the information can be trusted?”
“You know as well as I do how good my charms are.”
“All right, Kasa. Let me return to my vessel and speak with the other captains. I’ll have to relay this to the admiral as well. Ultimately, going ahead with this will be his decision.”
“I understand. I do believe this is time sensitive. Winston may have abandoned one of his ships, but after it does not return, I imagine he will send scouts out find it.”
“You are likely correct; let's not dally then. I should have the go-ahead in the next hour.” Captain Breshear rose to leave. “My men will take the pirates in your hold and relieve you of the Nymeria.”
“Thank you, Captain. We will do our minor repairs and prepare for the operation.”
Kasa and Elie escorted Captain Breshear back to his vessel. As Captain Breshear departed, Kasa extended her senses. She felt the position of each member of her crew. She felt the damage to the outer hull and the small leak in in the food storage. They had taken on water but not enough to be a problem. There was the damage to the main deck from the harpoon, and she could feel the the stern did not come out completely unscathed. The blue crystals pulsed with radiant energy and she could sense the ship was working on its own repairs. Maybe the crew would not have to patch that hole. Kasa and Elie joined Kleine and Kritis overseeing the ship transfer.
“Captain, the crew of the Nymeria has been transferred to the Blue Eagle, and the ship herself is being transferred to Maiden Annie. What did Captain Breshear say?” Kleine asked.
“He likes the plan but has to run it up the chain. We should hear back in about an hour. Prep the ship and get the repairs done. I want us in the air the moment we get the go ahead.”
An hour passed and, as Kasa should have expected, the admiralty had its own plans. These, of course, did not include Kasa and her privateers, regardless of the fact that it was Kasa that brought them the information and it had been Devil’s Reaper that has been most effective in their effort to quell the growing piracy problem. Kasa was pissed, and so was the ship. The riggings rattled, the sails fluttered despite the absence of wind, the masts groaned like swaying trees in a fall breeze, and the blue crystals that grew out of the very planks of the vessel pulsed with annoyed energy.
“This is how they want to play it?” Kasa asked, her annoyance clear on her face.
“I’m sorry, Kasa. The admiral wants this to be strictly a military mission. You have license to work under the lord’s protection, but the admiral cannot control you. I believe they still only see you as a pirate yourself,” Captain Breshear’s image said from the glowing communications orb.
“When are they planning to launch the attack?” Kasa asked.
“You know I can’t tell you that.”
Kasa narrowed her eyes and restrained herself from threatening the captain. “Then we are free to do as we please, then.”
“Kasa, I...” Captain Breshear started to say.
The crimson captain closed the connection. Kasa stormed out of her cabin in a huff.
“Man your stations! Strap on!” she commanded.
Shouts of “Aye aye, Captain” filled the air. Kasa looked over to Blue Eagle some forty yards away. Captain Breshear had come on deck and was staring in her direction. She smiled back, her eyes glowing brightly with her fury. Kasa willed the lift sails open and lowered the flight sails. Devil’s Reaper lurched skyward, its bow first, salt water cascading from her exposed hull as she rose. Kasa kept eye contact until Captain Breshear was out of sight. She turned the ship and took to the skies leaving the fleet behind. She headed southwest before turning north, flying overland. Faded Forest airspace was tricky; there are a number of flying creatures that could assault an airship. This, however, did not stop Kasa. She was a she-devil scorned and her vengeance would not be denied.