“My condition is not improving, Anders.”
Skabswerth was hunched in the stern of the boat, optic lenses trained on his friend.
Anders turned away from the carvings on the whale skull to regard the clockwork crab. He whipped out a brightly colored handkerchief and began to dab at the brackish fluid leaking from Skabswerth’s joints.
“We will be making you right as the rain soon enough.”
The shuttle was riding low in the water, loaded to its fill with crew, treasure, fresh water and a scrimshawed whale skull. To the north, the Man’s Promise rested on the waves, repairs completed. Behind them, Bonewrack Island sat covered in the morning haze.
“Will the new captain reward you, Anders? For accomplishing your mission?”
Skabswerth raised his large right claw to allow Anders access to his stained undercarriage.
“Ha. I would not be thinking so.”
The gnome examined the stained handkerchief in the morning light.
“And I suspect Herr Plugg will not be the captain for much longer.”
Anders leaned over the edge of the small boat to rinse the small piece of fabric.
Skabswerth hooked his left claw onto the back of Anders’ belt, to prevent the tiny man from accidentally falling overboard.
Anders straightened, and wrung out the now-ruined handkerchief into the ocean.
“What the ship is needing, is a captain with…”
He paused, searching for the words.
“…a PIRATE captain, with some character, and principles.”
Skabswerth shifted his optics to the rest of the shuttle’s passengers, who were beginning to take an interest in this small talk of mutiny.
“A pirate captain should be a daring rogue, not some murderous scoundrel.”
He spit out the last two words like a grindylow curse.
“Anders, you are not a scoundrel.”
The crab’s insight provoked a round of badly concealed chuckles from the crew.
Anders drew himself up to his full height and straightened his hat.
“Thank you, Skabswerth.”
He looked to the Man’s Promise…