Chapter 83:

First Contact - Part 1


Another hour and a good deal of unproductive discussion went by at the captain’s quarter after Anna made sure her knight could still fight. The original idea was to set their plan of action after arriving at the destination, but it wasn't going well.

Making plans with almost no information to go with was sure hard.

At least they had the assertive insights Minako would sometimes bring to the table, but that was that.

In the end, it was decided the same as before. Their cover would be pretending to check for remnants of Kahn’s smuggling operation while also verifying if the ley lines at sea had artifacts too. And to be fair, they somewhat had to do both of these things anyway.

A very textbook definition of two birds with one bullet if Annabeth could say.

Not having a clear plan of what they would do beyond their cover was somewhat troublesome, but it wasn’t anything major. Most of all Anna ever did was improvise at the moment either way.

The fact that the four girls were lazing around now that they lacked anything other to do was more of a problem, though.

“We kinda lost focus ‘ere, didn't we…?” The gunslinger building a ‘domino’ chain with her bullets commented as she looked around the room. “I know the captain won’t let us below deck, but there must be somethin’ better to do than wait.”

There wasn’t much in this room. It didn’t even have that much space, even if it was surely much bigger than the quarters of any sailor.

The bed was a nice hammock set on one of the walls. There was a writing table and a single couch close to each other. Some cabinets with writing utensils and a single bookshelf with lockable doors, all of which were bolted to the ship. But these were all amenities the room had.

“If you have any ideas, be my guest,” Karim answered with a random book she had borrowed from the office in her hands. “I would love to have anything decent to do…”

“Would I receive divine punishment if I used the Black and White Deck as trump cards?” The kitsune added as she kept shuffling her deck of magical cards. And, in the redhead’s eyes, what she was proposing sounded less outrageous than using spell bullets as dominoes, so it should be fine.

The remaining member of the group didn’t have much to add as she was, in fact, napping at the captain’s hammock. Col was very good at waking up if necessary, so it was fine too.

“It would be good if our Mr. Turtle at least gave somethin’ fer us to do… He even kicked me out of the bridge now that we in deep waters.”

“If the tooris are the most traditional of the four factions, then the navy is the most disciplined of them.” The cop said while closing her book. “Getting them to ignore protocol and rules will never work.”

“I guess we won’t be seein’ below the deck and neither we’ll get some activity to do then…”

Anna had some good theories as to why they four couldn’t wander around the ship freely, but she had no reason to ignore the orders for now. Banning some random guests from walking around the sailor’s working stations made sense too, so it was likely better to follow the orders.

They could wander on the deck, though, but there wasn’t much to do there too. That was, unless the ship entered combat, which was as unlikely as it could be. They were too close to land, to begin with, and a sole ship, even if a warship and one with a decent size, would be very hard to spot.

“By the way, what were you readin’ while we were roamin’ ‘round, fox? Ya never told us.”

“Oh, that… Since this would be a safe trip, I was using the chance to verify some personal worries of mine.” Minako answered without taking her eyes off a certain white card in her deck. “You could call it a one-woman strategy meeting if you will. Explaining it would be a little too shameful though…”

The kitsune was blushing lightly as she remembered whatever she was doing before. It was likely to be nothing good either way, though, so dropping the matter was probably the best. It would mean killing the last hope of activity, but that was that.

“’Aight… Whatever ya say, I guess… Wait... WHAT?!!!”

In a sudden change o tone, Annabeth jumped to her feet as a group of spirits entered the inquisitor's sight, but the sudden impact that came right after made her actions backfire.

The sound of crushing metal filled the room and the four occupants were yanked around the place, some even crashing upon others. It was a strike strong enough to open the doors of the enclosed bookshelf and destroy the line of bullets on the floor.

It was a miracle that none of them were set off even.

“Who the fuck woke me up?!” Col shouted as she tried to untangle herself from the hammock. No one could answer her right away, though, with a certain kitsune seemingly unable to answer anything at all even.

“An attack?” The lightest of all members of the group asked without acknowledging who she was using as a seat. “Wasn’t this whole travel the safest path?”

“I don’t know, but this ain’t good…”

“General quarters!” As if to answer their questions, the ship’s intercom came to life again, spouting orders to the sailors in a hurried manner. “Pirates inbound at three, eight, and eleven o’clock. Engage in anti-boarding actions at double.”

“You’ve got yer answer it seems, although I didn’t get mine,” Annabeth answered while still laying on the floor. “Now, if you could please…”

“Oh… Sorry.” The skirt-wearing cop moved away from her partner’s chest, with said partner getting up again right after. The soft-on-soft feeling was still lingering, but she shook it off right away and turned to what mattered.

In a hurry, the self-proclaimed leader of the investigation squad looked around the messy room, checking on each of her companions in a moment. Col was in the last stages of getting herself away from the thick cloth tangled on her body and Minako was staggering after hitting a cabinet, but they both seemed fine enough. She would still ask to be sure, but none seemed to need immediate treatment.

“Anyone wounded?”

“I just… just have to get… get away from this fucking thing.”

“I’m dizzy…” The kitsune complained as she patted the wooden splinters from her head after leaving a mark on a nearby cabinet.

“My fall was… well… softened... Anyway, I’m fine.”

“Good. Move on then.” With all worries cleared, for now, Anna drew her pistol and hurried to the exit.

From what they had heard, the ship was being boarded, so it was only reasonable that they would fight too. And likely with the same logic in mind, the other three girls followed suit, each with their own equipment already set.

Having left first and being the one with less to worry about, Anna was obviously the first one to reach the deck, though. She was quite ahead of the others even.

The captain’s quarter was located close to the cruiser’s stern, and so, she left it almost at the same place that one of the contacts should be.

And even if it wasn’t the only thing in there, what she saw was as troublesome as it could be.