11 Staying True
"Not a bad take today." Hornigold said, admiring the Jackdaw's new upgrades that docked at Salt Key. "Keep this up and Nassau'll be first city where men and women may live as God made them, easy and free. All it takes is a few drips of blood, sweat and a swatch of cloth."
"We fly no colours here, but praise the lack of 'em." Thatch said, the five of them watching the Jackdaw's sails billow gently in the wind. "So let the black flag signal nothing but your allegiance to man's natural freedoms. This one's yours." He patted Kenway's shoulder. "Fly it proud."
"Hand over the docket I lent you." Hornigold said. "If we're to keep our republic afloat, we'll need guns as well as gold."
"That means attacking the navy." Jemima pointed out.
"So long as they're flying King Philips colours, we'll not offend our own monarch."
Kenway nodded and he and Hornigold stepped back aboard the Jackdaw, ready to sink and plunder all the ships they could find.
"You're a wonder, Kenway." Thatch laughed as the Jackdaw's crew repaired the ship around them, returning from their successful trip. "You've a knack for this kind of work."
"It ain't work if you love it." Kenway grinned.
"Ah! Ah! Tosh!"
"But I ain't doing this forever, lads." Kenway said, snatching a bottle from the air that Hornigold tossed his way. "Only until I get enough coin to buy some land and influence back home."
"Same here." Thomas said, taking a drink from his bottle.
"Jaysus, will you listen to your tripe?" Hornigold laughed. "Still dreaming on about that strumpet back in England, when you could have any Betty you wanted, here and now."
"Ah, such lofty goals for you gents." Kenway said sarcastically. "And here I thought I was in the company of scoundrels."
As he left them to speak to his quatermaster, Jemima turned on Hornigold.
"It's a good thing to be true to someone. Shows you've got some respect."
"Are you saying I've got no respect?" Hornigold frowned.
"I'm saying you should leave off those who do. Just because the only women you can get have to be paid first."
"Hey, now. Watch your tongue, lad." He said, slowly drawing his sword.
"As should you." She said through gritted teeth, showing her pistol on the inside of her jacket.
"Why do you care if I'm encouraging Kenway to indulge himself once in a while?"
"Because it's not just Kenway in that ship." Thomas said. "I've got a girl back home I'd like to marry, live happily and securely with all the wealth I've gained. I'm going to stay true to her, no matter what."
Hornigold barked a laugh.
"This commitment lark is spreading like the plague! I should be careful not to catch it."
Jemima slowly drew her pistol, a dark look in her eyes.
"Alright, lad." Hornigold gave in, catching sight of it. "I'll leave off."
"Make sure you do." She warned and Hornigold sat down on a crate, defeated, drinking his bottle.
"You truly are a child of Ed Thatch." Thatch laughed, slapping his daughter's back. "You gave me a scare there! Really thought you were gonna take a shot at Ben!"
"So did I." She grinned wickedly.
"Ah, one of these days you're going to have to look after me!" He laughed.
"Ahoy, lads!" Kenway called, stepping down from the helm. "I'm going to meet Kidd, he says there's an opportunity to rob a sugar plantation. Any takers?"
"Sugar plantation?" Thomas raised an eyebrow. "Seems pretty mundane."
"If you see it that way. Anyone else? Thatch? Hornigold? Jack?"
The three shook their heads.
"Nah, we're good." Jemima said. "But I want to know more about the Observatory. I want to see it."
"So do I, lad." Kenway nodded, ignoring her father's exasperated expression. "I need to find the Sage to find its location."
"Or we could kill him." Thomas suggested.
"Why would we do that?" Jemima asked.
"If the Templars find him first, I can't begin to imagine the effects it'll have on the Brotherhood. I can't take that risk."
"Oh, right, assassin." Jemima nodded, remembering. "But still, think of the gold, think of all the coin you can bring home to your girl! Do it for her."
He frowned, glancing from face to face, expecting a further statement, either an encouragement or a discouragement.
"Fine." He gave in. "Curse me and my greed. I won't kill him. Not yet anyway."
"Aye, there's a good lad." She grinned and patted his arm. "We'll make a pirate of you yet."
"Hm, nice try." He said, extending his wrist blades. "I'm not likely to give these up in a hurry."
"Alright, I'd better be off then." Kenway said, motionlessly signalling the four to leave the ship. "I'll see you lads later."
They waved goodbye and stepped off the Jackdaw and back onto the docks as it set sail.
"What do you think is in the Observatory, Thomas?" Jemima asked as Thatch and Hornigold left the pair standing at the docks, watching the Jackdaw disappear.
"Inside, I think it looks like a palace. A huge white wall where it shows where every man is."
"I think, it's a dark, gloomy cave, hidden underwater. I think there's a magical dome where you can see these visions, illuminating the cave like light bouncing off the water." She breathed, her eyes glassy as she gazed at the horizon.
"You're a funny kid."
"Am not." She frowned, snapping back to the real world.
"Are so. Dreaming of magical places under the sea."
"It's better than a fancy palace."
"At least mine's realistic."
"Ah, shut up you two!" Thatch barked, returning. "Bickering like children, you are. The Observatory doesn't exist. End of discussion. Now get your hides in gear, we're setting sail and if I hear any more tripe about this Observatory and the Sage, I'm throwing you overboard!"
"Aye, captain." Jemima sighed, rolling her eyes.
Thatch flashed a warning at his daughter and she, although reluctantly, bowed her head in submission.
"Get aboard, lad." He commanded and she did so, Thomas beside her as she stomped up the ship.
"Your father doesn't like you talking about all this magical stuff, does he?" Thomas whispered as they leant against the side of the ship.
"No." She grumbled. "I used to talk about it all the time back home, to my mother. She didn't listen much, she just kinda nodded and hummed. But at least it sounded as if someone agreed."
Thomas glanced over to Thatch.
"He's just a believer of what he can see."
"He'll see it one day." Jemima said assuredly. "And then he'll know things like that exist and maybe listen to me more often."
"That's the spirit." Thomas smiled and patted her back, leaving to help the crew as they pulled out into open water.
Jemima turned around to face the sea and closed her eyes. She could smell the salt of the sea and feel the warm sun on her face. They were drawing her closer to her prize, she knew it.