A week passes by and Draven works to get used to the schedule on the ship. He learns how to use the knives appropriately and has worked at the various workstations in the kitchen becoming very adept at the art of cooking. One day Draven gets lost on his way to the kitchen and arrives late. Twise, upset that after a week of good performance the best helper he has had in a while gets lost when he shouldn't have, tells Draven that he has to butcher a full sized cow as well as clean the kitchen after the midday meal. Draven, thinking that he has to miss his midday meal, sighs softly and gets to work on butchering the cow. It takes him nearly two hours to get the full cow butchered and stored away, by the time he is done the rest of the crew have left the kitchen.
Getting to work on cleaning up the mess that was left behind, he puts the roots in the storage below the floors, the scraps in the waste buckets to be dumped in the sea, and as he turns around he sees what appears to be a large rat that was bred with an equally large dog. The tail is long and thin, hairless and the snout is narrowed like a rats features, but the large stocky body and the sharp teeth are clearly canine. It growls and snorts at him and he stands on the opposite side of the large butchering table. He raises up his hands and tries to pacify the animal, but it only seems to anger it more than it already was.
The beast launches itself at Draven, rearing up and aiming its claws at his chest. Draven calls for his swords, but he reacts too late as the claws tear through his shirt and gouges into his chest. Stepping back quickly Draven takes one of his swords and aims it at the animal, swinging for its side. The sword grazes the thick fur and infuriates the animal. It launches itself at Draven's legs, but Draven leaps onto the table and vaults over it. As the animal turns, it scrambles under the table once more and gets stuck under the low height. Firming his lips into a tight line Draven takes his sword and stabs the animal repeatedly until it dies in a flurry of dark silver dust.
He cleans up the mess from the fight, and adjusting his shirt he walks to the mess hall. Twise and the rest of the crew are no longer there so he sits and eats alone. When he stands he feels disoriented and he stumbles across the mess hall. The rush of feet sounds as if it came from a distance and as he falls to his knees the door to the mess hall bursts open and the Captain comes striding into the room looking furious. He can hear her shouting commands and more feet hurry to obey her orders and someone lifts his body up and rushes him out of the room.
He wakes up a week later in the Healer's room. Frowning in confusion he looks around at the many odds and ends of the mans' room. Seeing jars of things that he prefers to not know the description of, he tries to rise up only to be held down by a strong yet old looking hand.
"Not yet young man, let me take a look at those wounds."
Draven looks to his right and sees a mid-aged man frowning over him. "How…how long have I been out?"
The man hums as he continues to look at the bandages on Dravens' chest. "Oh, 'bout a week now. Good thing you pulled through though. Guardian poison works fast and is in their nails and teeth. If the beast had scored a hit on you with both you would have died." The man replaces Dravens' shirt and looks at him. "Now, did you kill the beast or is it roaming the ship?"
Draven frowns at the question before rising unimpeded on to his elbows. "I killed him, the thing attacked me and I killed it. I…. Are you saying that that THING I fought was a Guardian?"
The man nods and turns away, gathering up bits of pottery and lengths of cloth and placing them in a basket. "Yep. That was one of the creatures that ensures that everyone is where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to do. But if you were attacked then that means that particular Guardian was rogue. Good thing you killed him, otherwise he would have been looking for revenge and may have come after you."
Draven sits up fully and winces as the room seems to spin. A small groan escapes his lips and the Healer turns around quickly. "Whoa young buck. You can't be sitting up so soon. You need your rest."
Before Draven could protest a feminine voice sounds from the doorway. "I agree. That is why he will be in his room for the next week until the poison works its way out of his system."
"Aye aye Captain." The Healer takes the basket and hands it over to Draven. "There are ointments to help with the burning, creams to hurry the healing and bandages to keep the wounds covered until they heal."
Draven reaches out to take the basket but before his fingers can even graze the woven material the Captain's hand reaches out and snatches the basket. "As he was injured by one of my creatures, I'll see to it that he is returned to health. Personally." She steps back and a large man enters the room and scoops Draven up and carries him out of the Healers' room. Tossing her head back she calls out to the healer, "If things get too bad I'll send for you, thank you for your quick aid Healer."
The man who carries him is extremely gentle, but when they arrive at the room, Draven is feeling so tired that he is nearly asleep when the crewman lays him down on his cot. The Captain sits the basket down on the table in the room before settling down on a chair. He falls asleep as she turns towards him and looks at his sleeping form.
All he feels is heat, heat and the touch of a cool hand. Whispers that he can't understand fills his ears and calms him as he tries to fight the heat that seems to surround him like a thick blanket in the middle of a tropical summer. He tries to complain, to voice his desire to not be covered as he feels a thin sheet like material cover his body. Another week passes before he wakes and sees the Captain lying on the cot beside him. Her sleeping form shows shadows under her eyes and her cheeks look wan and hallow. He leans up on his elbow, reaching out slightly he caresses the skin that he hasn't seen since the moment of his arrival on board.
The scars on her face were raised slightly, woven together with thin spider-web like lines that crisscross her flesh. She wakes up as soon as his fingertips touch the unscarred section of her face. She sits up sharply, narrowly missing his jaw with the top of her head though her fist connects with his ribs; causing him to gasp in pain.
"Oh, I am so sorry! You're awake!" She looks at him and frowns before slipping off the cot and turning quickly away from him. "Why were you touching me?"
He rubs his jaw and looks at her thoughtfully. "You were asleep, and I have never seen you with your mask off. You're beautiful you know."
She shakes her head and replaces the mask over her lower face, turning to look at him he can tell that she's upset. "I'm not, and compliments won't get you anywhere with me. Stronger men and more charismatic men than you have tried and failed."
He chuckles and sits up, feeling stronger than ever before. "And here I thought waking up with a beautiful woman in my bed was a good way to wake up."
She glares at him for a moment before waves her left hand nonchalantly. "Let me see your wounds. I got to make sure you are healed enough to go back to work. You've been out for two weeks now with fever."
His face shows shock at her statement as he speechlessly pulls his shirt up. The Captain kneels down in front of him and removes the bandages as gently as possible while looking at his chest. Nodding silently she rises to her feet and walks to the table. "You are healed enough to go back to work in the kitchen, light duties though, I don't want you to reopen those wounds now that they are healed up some." She packs the scattered supplies on the table into the basket and turns to watch him as he sits on the bed.
"I … was out for … two weeks?"
She nods and leans against the table, her legs crossed at the ankles though the slits in her dress opens and shows him the full view of her legs. "You developed a fever and were out of consciousness for a while. It got so bad that you would throw yourself from your cot, the only way to keep you on the bed was for me to lay down beside you and act as a buffer. Even then you didn't sleep well."
He continues to look at her in shock for a few more moments before he slumps his head down to his chest. His chin rests on the bones of his ribs while he looks at the floor. She rises from the table and gathers the basket onto her arm. Turning away from him she walks to the door and opens it. "Report to the kitchen once you are cleaned and in clean clothes."
He doesn't pay any attention as she walks out and gently closes the door behind her. Sitting on the cot for what seems like hours he finally rises and goes to clean up. Walking out of the shower Draven feels like a new person and dismisses the fact that he was sick for nearly a month from just a few scratches from one of the Guardians. As he arrives at the kitchen, he is told by Twise that he has been demoted from butchering to root preparation. Draven does his job as quickly as he can and once the cooking is done he goes with the rest of the crew to the mess hall to eat the evening meal.
When he arrives he takes his place at a table away from the rest of the crew and settles down to eat, only a rather mild argument between the oldest man on board and the feminine dressed man erupts to a full-fledged heated argument. Draven stands and steps between the two when he sees the elder man has a sharp dagger in his right hand, the blade aimed at the younger man. He tries to calm the situation but it doesn't work and he is quickly sandwiched between the two trying to disarm the elder man.
The Captain enters with her sisters and the Second in Command. Looking at the group, Draven notices that her eyes seem to grow angry when they see that he is in between the two men.
"What happened here?" Her voice is cold and distant, a tone that he has never heard before that moment as he takes a deep breath.
"I don't know what the fight was about, but I saw the knife and stepped in to try to defuse the situation before someone got hurt."
At his words the Captain looks at him with an angry expression. Her green eyes are flat in her anger, as she looks him over and steps to the men who stand shamefaced to the side of Draven. She doesn't even appear to look at either of them as she then coldly asks, "What. Happened."
The elder man spoke first, "He… he refused to … return to my room Cap 'in. All's I wanted was what he was offerin'."
The younger man spoke up fervently, "You know I don't fancy men you old coot. I just dress like a woman because it's comfortable and reminds me of home!"
The Captain holds up her hand and both men stop speaking, even though they do look at each other with anger and hatred in their expressions. Continuing to look at Draven the Captain motions her pointer finger forward. The female with the band over her eyes steps forward and takes the elder man out of the mess hall and as the two leave Draven speaks up. "Wait. Where is she taking him?"
The third sister, one that is covered from head to toe in brightly colored veils steps up behind the Captain; who with a curt nod steps back and allows the female to speak. "Our sister is taking him to be punished for attempting to force someone to a sexual act without provocation." Draven can hear the soft rasp of her voice, the tone and pitch that of one who used to have a beautiful voice that has been ruined by outside forces and not from lack of use.
"So what? He's going to be sent to his room without anything to eat?"
"Oh no young Draven. He is going to see the Dungeon Master to suffer his punishment for his crimes."
Draven looks at the Captain and then at the female in shock. He takes the comment that was made and then lifts his hands up and steps back. "Very well. I guess. I mean, it IS your ship and it IS your right to punish those aboard as you see fit." The Captain nods and leaves the room, her sister reaches out and gently touches Draven's elbow. Leaning forward she whispers softly towards him. When she looks up at him all he can see is her eyes, a color that is the same as the Captains' eyes.
"Do not judge her too harshly Draven La'Fon. She does what she can to keep order here on ship. If she was not forced to remind Cal that rape is not tolerated then he might decide to try again and again until it gets to the point where no man on board will feel safe. She really is trying her best to do what is right."
Draven shrugs and walks back to his seat. He doesn't hear the soft sigh, nor does he see the veiled sister turn and leave the mess hall to return to her own meal and her sister. He eats quickly, not even tasting the food that rests on his plate, nor does he taste the liquid that is in his mug. Dispite the rapid pace of his eating though, the rest of the crew quickly finish before him and leave the mess hall before he is done eating. Used to being alone Draven just finishes his meal and walks out of the mess hall to return to his room so that he can rest. The excitement of the situation beforehand having tired him out and caused the wounds on his chest to hurt.
As he walks he doesn't notice that every door is shut and that no one is around him until he hears a door open and shut loudly. The sound echoes down the hallway and turning to see who had left their room he sees that there is a large man standing behind him. The man stands as tall as the corridor and is as wide as the hallway, which is tall considering from floor to ceiling is seven feet and there is five feet of space from wall to wall. He sighs softly as he turns and faces the larger man who has his feet spaced apart and his fists are clenched tightly at his sides.
"Can I help you mate," he asks softly, fatigue tugging at his body and causing his words to come out slow and carefully. The man just stares at him before he charges at Draven. Draven, still a little excited from the showdown not too long ago, tries to step to the side, but as the larger man raises his hand and aims for Draven's jaw Draven ducks to the side and feels his cheek bone break as the fist grazes his jaw.
Ducking down to his knee he aims a punch at the giant's groin, grazing the thigh as the larger man steps to the side. Using his smaller size Draven aims another punch to the center of the mans' chest, wincing as the giant scores a hit on his arm and breaks the upper bone. However, due to the other mans' distraction at beating Draven to a pulp, he doesn't protect his chest and the hit that Draven aimed there hits with a forceful thump. The giant collapses, his heart fluttering from the impact that would have killed a smaller man, but still alive.
"So, you think your tough just because you defeated a Guardian and now you have laid my friends' friend there on his back do you?"
Draven turns and sees another man with dark brown hair and a brimmed hat sitting on his head. He leans against a sword that stands nearly as tall as he does and the jacket that he wears shows off muscular arms. He sighs softly at the man and lets his hands rest at his sides. "I am just curious as to why he attacked me and who I managed to piss off this time."
The other man chuckles drily as he lifts his sword up and starts to put something mechanical on the base of the blade, "You messed with a situation that you had no right to interfere in," he starts saying while working. "That boy was ASKING for Cal to show him the pleasures of the bedroom, everyone there knew that he was. Otherwise he wouldn't have dressed in a way to attract the old man's notice. You shouldn't have stepped in and gotten Cal in trouble for merely wanting to take what was being offered. Just because the boy negated on his offer doesn't mean he shouldn't have been forced to follow through with it." Finally finishing with his meddling of his blade, he lifts the weapon and points it at Draven, allowing the other man to see that he had attached a gun that was the length of the blade onto the bottom of the sword. Taking aim the man smirks at Draven. "Now, just stand still and let me kill you for being a prick."
Draven stares at the gun, but before he can do anything a sharp voice rings out. "What in the name of all that is holy do you think you are doing Renit?"
The man lowers the weapon and looks behind Draven, who winces visibly as he recognizes the voice as the one that belongs to the blind sister. "I'm not doing anything Adnama. Honest. The boy here just attacked Ruffus unprovoked and I was telling him he needed to back away from the body so that I can make sure Ruffus was still alive and that if he had killed him then I was going to bring him to the Captain's quarters for judgment."
Adnama frowns at Renits' words and leans down and touches Ruffus' shoulder. She growls loudly and snaps her fingers. At her snap the Captain and the veiled sister appears. "It appears my dear Elder Sister, that we have a few rouges on board. Ruffus here attacked Draven for interfering with the situation between Cal and Peter, Draven stood his ground and defended himself but when he knocked Ruffus down, Renit there thought to step in and kill Draven instead of allowing Ruffus to do it instead."
The Captain looks at Renit and frowns fiercely. She snaps her fingers and everyone there can hear the growls of the Guardians as the animals walked behind Renit. "Adnama, take Ruffus to the Dungeon. The guardians will make sure that Renit follows not too far behind."
Adnama nods and the body of Ruffus appears to float up from the floor and proceed her down the hall way. The Guardians could be seen lowering their bodies so that the body could pass over them and then Renit followed angrily afterward, though not quickly enough as one of the Guardians nipped his thigh and huffed at the bleeding wound that bled more and more as Renit made his way to the Dungeon.
The Captain turns and looks at Draven. "It appears that trouble follows you where ever you go. And you seem to have more injuries than before. Is it your habit to look for trouble so that you are too injured to work?"
Draven shakes his head and groans softly. Placing his head on the palm of his uninjured hand he whispers softly, "I never mean to cause trouble, it just seems to come to me. I think I'm cursed."
The veiled sister laughs softly as she shakes her head and takes his elbow in her own hand gently. "Nonsense, no one is cursed unless they wish to believe in those things. Come with me and the Captain will send the Healer to come and look at your new injuries in your room where you can rest and relax."
Draven nods softly and allows the sister to lead him away. Her actions causing him to think that despite the appearance of all the women and their different personalities, the three of them might be younger than his twenty-three years of age.