Tayliana Winddancer Dahtaligaar found Captain Lafitte sharpening his machete inside his captain’s quarters. It had been a few hours since the Calinda had taken off from the Port of Kledy, and the crew had instructions to follow closely to Peino and the Daughter. As such she had conjured a strong gale to keep the ship in close contact with it. She technically wasn’t supposed to be here. Her talents were needed to guide the Calinda to their destination, but she had to. All through the previous night, she had tossed and turned wondering what could’ve happened with that card, and why her captain had risked her life so.
It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him. He had proven himself an able Captain, and even a friend to her since she’d signed onto the eorman’s crew. But she had a nagging question running through her mind. Why didn’t he tell me?, she thought.
“Got somethin’, on your mind Tayli?” he said. She’d never quite understood his need to go by informal names, ‘a eorman thing’ was all he’d said when she asked him about it, but after awhile she’d grown used to it.
“Yes, Captain, I-uh,” she wasn’t exactly sure how to put this. She didn’t want to anger or insult him, it wasn’t her nature, but she couldn’t quite come up with words to express it that didn’t sound accusatory.
“Spit it out, chère,” Lafitte said with a smirk and a slight chuckle.
Tayliana sighed, putain de l‘enfer, she thought, using one of Lafitte’s own expressions she’d picked up over time. She sighed again and decided to just follow his advice. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked, just stating the question point-blank.
“Tell you what?” he asked in return.
“About the card, why didn’t you warn me about what you were doing? I know you needed information, but–” and she broke off her words mid-sentence, if he was going to blow up now would’ve been when he’d do it.
“Listen,” Lafitte said, holding up a hand, and reaching in his pocket, pulling out his cigarette supplies. “Listen, I’m sorry for what I did, it wasn’t fair to you, but I needed a genuine reaction. When I first picked up the card, I had no idea what it did or what its effects were. I needed you to do the same,” Lafitte said as he lit up. “You were never in any real danger though, if I do say so myself. Had it done anything overly negative, I’d’ve destroyed it then and there. Further I brought along Beau, and although we were outnumbered, the guy’s an assassin, from a very powerful Crime Syndicate where I’m from. Believe me when I say you had the best protection in Kledy that night,” Lafitte said with a sort of wry smile, but there was something tugging just at the edges of it.
The Winddancer nodded at his words, though she noted with some curiosity a bit of fear when he spoke of his own First Mate. Weird, that, she thought. Still, at least she had her answer, and she did trust the Captain enough that she believed he would’ve stopped that infernal playing card before anything untoward had happened to her. Then again, I trusted my parents too, she couldn’t help but think bitterly in the back of her mind. A depressing pang hit her in the gut at the thought, but there it was. She didn’t want it but she couldn’t avoid it. Holding back an itch for a tear she decided the best course of action was to simply not repeat that mistake to her current employer.
“Thank you Captain, I hope you’ll pardon me on this matter,” she said with a bow. “Think nothing of it Tayli,” Lafitte said, reaching over a hand on her arm. “I owed you an explanation anyway. It is you who I beg to pardon me,” he said. “Anything else I can do for you?”
She smiled. Now that was something her parents had never said to her. “No, thank you Captain, I should get back to my post,” she said, bowing once again, though she was a bit annoyed at the nervous habit among her superiors.
“Don’t worry so much, fille…” she heard Lafitte say as she exited his quarters to the smells of the salty seas, and the sounds of the Calinda in action. The sounds of her home.