Charlotte spoke in awe as she walked off the Phoenix and onto the dock of the flourishing merchant city of Refrazzya. “This place is amazing!” The streets were filled with different vendors, and people all were billowing to and from, looking for the best produce and prices.
Someone whistled above her near the railing on the Phoenix. “It’s only amazing if you don’t live here.” Xavier was peering into the distance while scoping out possible people he may know.
“You lived here, Xavier?” the girl with hazel eyes looked up and asked while the man with the beanie stretched his arms up.
“I used to for a short time when Demeuillieu was in the middle of some restructuring, but ever since I joined the naval unit within the state, I haven’t seen a need to go back. This is also the city where I met Dean. It holds some fond memories.” He closed his eyes and enjoyed the cool breeze from the sea before turning a blissful smile to the girl. “It feels good to smell the metal, fish, and sleazy merchants trying to rip someone off.”
Charlotte chuckled at the last comment before looking back up at city. “Do you think our ship will be all right? It definitely stands out since it has Olivia’s flare.”
The Phoenix was a galleon vessel that was five times bigger than the normal vessel voyaging around. Charlotte remembered that the Division was smaller in size but tall in height. When she had asked Leo and Jakob about their previous vessel’s specs, they had replied that it was a hermaphrodite brig with added cabin space below. Further, instead of a human crew working on deck and in the galley, it was mostly filled with working robots and droids. They shuffled across the deck with supplies that still needed to be stored, sails that were packed neatly into crates as extras, and tool kits being pulled out to work on small minor problems that could pop up in their voyage.
“It’s not every day a ship this large comes into port, especially with those pirates running around. The robots are a bit much, but it should be all right,” Xavier replied with a smirk. “It might just mean more business in this section, which the merchants would be glad for.”
Olivia and Tyler started to walk down the ramp with the large Great Dane following them.
The girl with the lab coat had a long list of supplies they still needed and stopped in front of Charlotte. “I’m sending Cesium and Tyler to buy some supplies. You can either go with them or stay on board to work.” She handed the list over to her spectacled coworker and looked down at Cesium. “Don’t cause any more trouble than you’ve already had.”
Cesium barked to his master and nearly dropped the hat it received from Tyler from its head.
Charlotte smiled before pointing to the city. “I’d rather go shopping than work all day! Olivia, you should join us. It’s been way too long since we’ve actually hung out! We could get drinks or something!”
Olivia waved off her friend. “We talked all week over tea, root beer, and biscuits. Besides, I have work that still needs to be done in the captain’s compartment.” Clicking her tongue in distaste, she abruptly turned around to head back up onto her ship, easily maneuvering around Damien who was walking down with two huge bags filled with sand over his shoulders.
Xavier chuckled from his position at the top before rubbing his beanie up and down his hairline. “Sorry, bestie, you got rejected.” He noticed Damien snap his attention to him and back to Lionsheart.
“You asked someone out?” Damien asked quizzically, just catching the last bit of Xavier’s words. The lieutenant commander laughed harder.
Charlotte turned her attention to Damien before shaking her head; at least, she had the decency to properly explain. “Olivia is being stuffy and won’t join us. Would you like to come?” she posed him with the question, and Damien flushed at the invitation. Xavier saw him go red in the face and then whistled.
“Get it!” He laughed some more before receiving a death glare from the blond boy down below.
“Xav, get your ass to the galley and help the kitchen aides.” The man with the beanie turned to where the voice came from near the ramp and sighed.
“That effectively killed my mood.” He looked down at the blond and auburn before waving them off. “Have fun on your date, kiddos!” He laughed when Damien dropped the bags to the ground in embarrassment.
“Lieutenant, that was an order. Get moving before I have you cleaning the water cabinets,” Aden replied suddenly from where he stood. He was glaring his typical expression at Xavier, waiting for him to cease his teasing.
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Xavier waved a friendly one down to the trio with the dog before making his way down to the caboose.
Aden watched him until he walked through the door before turning his attention to Damien. “Where are you taking those?” he asked while Charlotte knelt and poked them.
“Cheric said to toss these two particular bags out while we are here. She said something about a bug.”
Aden walked down the ramp onto the dock before taking his knife out and grabbing its metal between his thumb and fingers.
Charlotte gave him a look of bewilderment from her position before he handed it, hilt first, over to the blond.
“Take this and accompany them to the city.” Aden bent down and slugged one bag over his shoulder, then proceeded to grab the other in his free hand.
Charlotte merely looked at him with a question lingering in her mind. She wanted to ask him if he’d like to join, but being the captain of the ship probably meant he couldn’t spare the time.
“What are you staring at?” he asked the girl when she didn’t relinquish her staring.
“Were you going to ask me to come along?” he teased, accurately guessing what she was thinking. He knew it was the exact thought she had because she immediately flushed a crimson red.
“Did you—” she started, but he immediately interrupted her.
“Nope, thanks for the invite. Damien”—Aden turned his attention to his brother—“be sure that she doesn’t wander too much.”
His older brother chuckled. “Aye, aye.”
“Hey!” Charlotte whined before turning on the balls of her feet. “You know what? Whatever. Let’s get going, Tyler and Cesium!” She began to stomp down the dock to the bustling roads as Tyler and Cesium went to catch up with her.
Damien stuffed the dagger in a small empty sheath in his belt before giving a two-finger salute to his comrade. “Thanks, Aden, you’ve made the princess mad. Join us if you find the time!” Damien went to chase after his entourage that left him.
“It’s really not that hard to do.” Aden merely slugged the last bag over his shoulder and walked to the opposite end of the dock where the water sloshed against the columns below the deck. Seaweed and kelp must have accumulated over the years since the dock first opened for operations years prior. Had it only been three years since he last came to this town?
He tossed the bags into the ocean before walking back to the ship. He had a meeting to attend with Cheric that he couldn’t postpone any longer.
۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞