A girl is born into a patriarchal world and seeks nothing more than the love of her father. This one mission in her life leads her into a world she wouldn't have dared have nightmares about.
Zechariahs appeared through the doorway to her bedroom with a face like thunder as he pointed an accusing finger at Oria.
"You were the one who sunk the Whirlwind weren't you." It had been a week since she had arrived and they had only just discovered the wreckage of the ship floating off coast.
"Aye." She placed the book down and regarded him calmly.
"You can't just go around sinking ships for no good reason Oria. That was carrying supplies for us, last one before the hurricane season." Oria waved her hand absently.
"Then some of the fat pigs up at the fort will have to go hungry." Zechariahs slammed a hand down on either side of her chair.
"That's not the way it works here, the rich get the food first, then the poor folk. We could starve Oria if no ships make it through the hurricanes this season. If they do the charges will be horrendous." Oria pushed him away and stood up.
"They deserved what they got." He laughed.
"They were innocent men." Oria rolled her eyes.
"No man is innocent." Zechariahs shook his head.
"Who the hell are you? You're not the Oria I knew. The Oria I knew wouldn't kill without good reason." She met his gaze.
"No she died several years ago, say hello to the new one. I don't take abuse from anyone so watch your mouth. I wouldn't want to have to kill you too." He watched her as she moved to leave the room.
"You wouldn't dare hurt me, we're friends." Oria threw a dagger into his arm.
"If we were friends you would have understood, you're just like the rest of them. Can't see past your own nose at what's going on. You don't care about me, no one does except me and that's the way I think it would be best. We're through." He stared disbelievingly as she left after buckling her cutlass and pistols about her hips and slamming her hat onto her head; she pushed past Cordell harshly and headed out of the door to her shouts. Zechariahs pulled the dagger from his arm and watched the blood flow down his shirt to drip form his fingertips, Cordell appeared and nearly fainted.
"What the hell happened in here?" He shook his head.
"The inevitable. She's gone, we won't see her again." Cordell shook her head.
"What are you talking about?" He met her eyes seriously.
"The war between father and daughter is about to end. We'd best be prepared for a new age of pirates, in some ways I fear it would be best if Hellion won. She's gone loose, been pushed too far, betrayed too often, she's lost her faith in all mankind. She has no regret, she's a killer Cordell and if she wins... I don't want to think of the consequences of her Captaining that ship. The strongest pirate ship in the ocean, if she wields that... I can't think of it. Not of her, she used to be so sweet, such a beautiful character, fierce as a lion but with honour and pride... now... the devil incarnate resides in her. God help those on board on that ship." Cordell glanced out of the window following his gaze fixed on the slender frame swaying away towards the docks in search of a ship every mans gaze following her.
Oria plaited her hair roughly and pinned it under her tri-corner hat letting a few rough straggles dangle down to help hide any feminine traits in her face. She watched the Captain of the Gorgon quietly from the corner of the tavern, he turned as if a sixth sense had told him he was being watched and met her gaze arrogantly. She loved arrogant men, they were so easy to trick all that was required was the briefest stroke of their ego. He rose from his table and strode over; she knew he had a penchant for bonny lads.
"You've done nought but stare at me all night lad, might there be something I can be helping you with?" Oria shuffled backwards so she could meet his gaze.
"Maybe, maybe not. I'm looking for work and I hear you're the best pirate in these waters to serve under." The man grinned and puffed out his chest pride fully.
"Aye, that be true. I be the best pirate in these waters without question, welcome aboard lad. Here's to many fine... years." The man held his hand out and grasped Oria's tightly.
"Look forward to it Captain, with much... anticipation." Oria rose smoothly ensuring that she brushed just enough against the Captain to keep her in his mind all night without giving away that she was female. His eyes darkened perceptibly as she stalked out adding a slightly more masculine sway to her walk. Eyes burned into her back hotly and she smirked knowing she had achieved her goal. Sure enough the second she had stepped out of the tavern a firm grip settled on her wrist and dragged her down a side alley.
"Well lad, we seem to be all alone. Care to learn one of your new duties?" Oria turned around with a grin to face him.
"I have enough practice at the duty I intend to take over from you." The man frowned at her, "See I'm not too good at following orders so what say you to offering me your ship and crew in exchange for... I don't know... your life?" Her blade was immediately at his throat with a quick spin of her fingers and the quirk to her lips was firmly in place with her amusement.
Her information and instinct had been correct, the man was a complete and utter coward, his bottom lip was trembling and fear reeked from him as if he had fallen into a pigs sty. It sent adrenaline rushing through her veins, fear was something she could feed off, it bolstered her resolve, this man was worth nothing because he was nothing.
She pressed her body against his softly, "Such a fool for flesh. You are weak, you do not deserve to live and you certainly don't deserve to call yourself a pirate. Lust is all that runs your ship, not you." She chuckled and leaned forwards so her lips were millimetres from his ear, "How could you have ever been a successful Captain with such material... lusts and desires for nothing more solid than flesh. Don't worry I won't kill you, you're not worth the energy." She stepped backwards, "You're just going to give me your clothes now and be on your way... in the nude."
The man nodded numbly and stripped down to his underclothes, Oria nodded towards his hat and he slowly removed it from his head and handed it to her with a wistful sigh. Within a few seconds she looked more like him than he did.
"See you around Captain Failure." She tipped the hat and stalked away mimicking his swagger easily. Oria glanced into the tavern as she pretended to fall against the doorway with a drunken laugh.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha! Got the lad down the side alley, didn't know what to do with himself. Hands all over the place!" The crew began laughing well aware of their Captains' antics with various lads and the amusement they brought him. They watched as 'he' fell over face first in a drunken stupor, they laughed and chortled and after several more minutes carried 'him' back to the ship to sleep off 'his' drink. One man watching from the dark corner of the tavern a pipe hanging from his lips lazily, coils of smoke hiding his face.
Oria watched the spray break on the prow of the ship, the Gorgon was like its' namesake, ugly from every angle but armed to the teeth and ungainly in anything but a port side wind. She turned the wheel steadily knowing from instinct rather than a direct navigational direction exactly where the Tigress was.
The crew still hadn't realised the switch and failed to question their destination, they had been at sea for nearly a fortnight and it amused Oria to no end. A brisk wind suddenly swept up and snatched at the sails which flapped angrily at it for disturbing their resting slumber. A crew man appeared.
"Captain you've been at that wheel for nearly twelve hours since sun rise, let me take over." Slowly Oria nodded.
"Keep her steady till I return." The man nodded and grasped the wheel tightly watching the Captain with a suspicious eye; 'he' had never shown any interest in the ship before or sailing, just the young lads aboard. Yet this trip 'he' so far had not even glanced at them despite several advances. Oria locked the door behind her and tossed the hat towards the desk before collapsing wearily into the bed and letting her eyes slip closed. The briefest touch tickled across her cheek and her eyes flew open to meet a set of azure blue.
"Hello pet, what you doing here?" She recognised the crew man.
"Jacobs get back to your post, I'm Captain of this ship now." The hand crept lower and cupped her right breast.
"I won't tell anyone if you let me..." He stopped abruptly when a dagger tip pressed into his crotch.
"I don't care if you tell anyone or not, I Captain this ship now and I'd like to see you try and stop me from achieving my goal. I'd like to see this whole crew try; you were nothing before I came along two weeks ago. You weren't pirates, this wasn't a pirate ship... it was a transport for male whores and misguided male youths. Now are you going to leave or do I have to show you to the sea?" The man nodded slightly startled by the aggressive nature of the girl; slowly he stood up and stepped towards the door. Oria watched him suspiciously till he had left; after the door had slid closed she primed all four of her pistols and latched her cutlass onto her belt before buckling it around her hips. She stood still for a few seconds to collect herself and sure enough the call came.
"Captain, there's something you should see out here." With a knowing smirk Oria slammed her hat onto her head and headed up the steps out of her cabin.
"What is it you scurvy land lubbers?" She pretended to act startled when her eyes met the entirety of the crew stood in front of her their cutlasses drawn, "What you playing at you scabrous dogs?" Jacobs stepped forwards.
"I told the rest of the crew and they're not happy with being told what to do by a woman." Oria grinned and removed her hat.
"So you figured out my little secret. Congratulations. Now... tell me what you are going to do about it." Her eyes scanned the group, something had changed, the plan was more complicated than she had believed. The grin was quickly replaced as the group advanced menacingly and she drew her pistol primed it and pointed it to her right apparently blindly.
"I suggest you stop now or I will shoot." Immediately the crew halted as they realised somehow she had singled out their leader. A man chuckled and stepped forwards.
"How did you know it was me planning your demise?" Oria met the mans eyes with a sideways all knowing grin.
"Because, firstly, you are not pointing a cutlass or any other form of weaponry at me which tells me you have no intention of lowering yourself to nothing more than a mutineering crew man. You intend to stay above the rest of the group and assume captaincy after I have been removed. Secondly, Jacobs is not the brightest of men and would never have seen through the disguise without a big push in the right direction, that is why you and him have been immersed in conversation for a week. Thirdly and this I think is the best clue of all... I'll always know you, no matter how much you grow your beard... Zechariahs." The man frowned realising the girl was smarter than he had anticipated, "Now what are we going to do about this my old 'friend'?" He pushed his way further through the crowd to stand directly in front of her; she placed the pistol to his temple.
"I am going to throw you overboard and claim Captaincy of this ship. I will not let my fathers' ship aid in the destruction of Hellion De Monara." Oria pouted.
"Then you will have to die." Her finger closed on the pistol and it fired its' shot straight through his head, he fell to the floor dead his eyes looking thoroughly shocked as he lay there lifeless.
The silence on the deck after the shot was eerie, the only sounds being the slap of the ocean against the side of the ship. An evil snarl slipped into place with the glare in her eyes, "Anyone else want to join him?" The crew stepped back warily, without any warning Jacobs grasped her around the waist and threw her overboard.
The crew heard the splash and cheered as she came up cursing them and scrambled back to grasp a rope and climb up, the ropes were quickly withdrawn and pistols primed and aimed down every set of rungs to climb up. Oria stared up in disbelief.
"Let me up you fools of sons of whores!" She screamed her annoyance and swam backwards a way as the ship began to move off slowly. Treading water she watched as it sailed away into the horizon and cursed, there was nothing but water around her, nothing but the wide imposing blue.
A wave almost sucked her under but failed as she spluttered back up and caught sight of the storm clouds coming accompanied by more monstrous waves. Grasping a dagger tightly she tugged back her sleeve, spluttering every time a large wave attempted to drown her, she remembered the legends, the tales of the immortal pirate.
She dug the dagger into her wrist and watched as the blood stained the water around her. All she had to do was wait as the salt stung the wound and the blood continued to flow freely, rain began to pelt down icily and the storm clouds swirled. She floated absently for nearly half an hour before she felt her strength begin to wane, it was a gamble, all she prayed was that it paid off.
The icy water woke her several times when she drifted under it and she gasped back up to the raging surface for the fifth time only to find herself in the eye of the storm and looking at a large ship floating barely twenty feet away. The gamble had paid off as hands grabbed her and dragged her onto the deck. A man looked down at her intently.
"You are the first to call on me in many years young Oria... De Monara." Oria grinned up at the man.
"I come with a proposition for you... Captain Davy Jones." The man grinned, the beginnings of his tentacles writhing slightly on his chin.
"Oh really what pray tell would a young girl want from an old sea dog like me?" The grin spread to her eyes.
"Revenge." The man looked impressed.
"Really, against whom may I enquire?" Oria shuffled up slightly onto her elbows.
"Hellion De Monara and the pirate ship Gorgon." He chuckled.
"A demon after my own heart, tell me what do I get in exchange?" Oria felt the evil grin spread further and her confidence swelled.
"All the souls on both ships, except my fathers, I want the pleasure of destroying him myself." Davy Jones leaned back away from her and rubbed his chin with rough crab like fingers.
"That is a tempting offer Miss Oria. I suppose that includes your mothers and brothers' souls also?" Oria nodded.
"Yes. In return I keep the Tigress and sail on my merry way, both of us happy." She scrambled to her feet and held out her bloody hand, "Do we have an accord?" Davy Jones clasped her hand and dragged her close.
"We have an accord. Get us within range of the Gorgon men. Welcome to the Flying Dutchman, Miss Oria De Monara." The tentacle lingered over the wound and it healed under his touch.
Oria smiled as he strode away from her before glancing around at the crew, she recoiled slightly. They were not men as she had assumed but crustacean encrusted shapes, bits of sea life clung to a humanoid frame but bore no semblance to its' origin. Oria stalked up to the helm and watched Davy Jones as he guided the ship towards the Gorgon which had been forced to lay anchor shortly after abandoning Oria and was now being battered by the storm ruthlessly.
The eye of the storm left them and they sailed peacefully towards the floundering ship, Oria watched as the ship bucked and tossed one sailor over board, "Run out the guns!" The heavy clinking of chains, metal wheels and groaning wood echoed over the noise of the storm, "Fire!" Heavy bangs echoed over the sound of the storm and the crew cheered and whooped as the cannon balls found their mark and began to demolish the Gorgons' port side. They pulled level with it, Oria watched as the crustacean crew poured over and began to murder ruthlessly, it was over within the hour the sea stained crimson. 6