Skull and Shackles

Interlude: Reiko's Inquisition

Posted By DarkRose16

After her conversation with Mr. Hands, Reiko made a decision.

While she didn’t hold a specific hate for Scourge or Plugg, more a mild dislike, she was fully aware rather intense hatred that much of the crew held for these two, and the feeling that things would be turning ugly on the ship in the near future was a building pressure on the back of her skull. Reiko needed to get whatever information she could from Scourge before it was too late.

She approached Scourge and Plugg, flatly ignoring any looks from their groupies. “Mr. Plugg, Mr. Scourge, might I have a word with the two of you?”

“Regarding?” Plugg replied cooly.

“Regarding my reason for being here. Regarding what Mr. Scourge told me before I agreed to come aboard this ship.” Reiko looked pointedly at Scourge, who favored her with a rather contemptuous scowl.

Plugg, “Oh really?”

Reiko returned Scourge’s scowl with a bright smile before continuing, her attention back on Plugg. “Ah, yes. I would prefer, however, to speak with just the two of you.” Reiko shot an intimidating glare over her shoulder towards the groupies.

Tension russled through them like a light wind on the sails before Plugg waved them off. “All right. Follow me.” He climbed up the stairs to the poop deck closely followed by Scourge, still in mid-sneer.

With feigned concern, Reiko offered to have Grok bring some more Rum for Scourge, but with a glare from Plugg, Scourge shut his mouth before he said something uncouth. Smiling back at Plugg, Reiko began the story that led to her request of information.

“Well, Mr. Plugg, prior to agreeing to join the Wormwood’s crew, Mr. Scourge was able to describe a certain person to me, as if he’d met the person himself. I, of course, made the assumption, yes, I know what they say about assumptions, that I would be able to find out more information once I joined the crew. I do know, full well, that Mr. Scourge has no intention of keeping his end of the promise he made to me, but that is neither here nor there. The point is, even if he didn’t have this information first-hand about the person I’m searching for, he got it from somewhere. So I figured the best person to ask would be you, Mr. Plugg.”

Plugg, askanced, asked “Which person is that, Reiko-san?”

“Mr brother, Nakayama Tatsumi.” Reiko paused for a moment, then “Had Mr. Scourge not described him perfectly to me, I would not be aboard this ship… But he did. And so here I am. But I am still lacking the information I need to find him. And…”

Reiko took a breath before continuing, “at the very least, I want to know how Mr. Scourge knows of my brother, even if it is only to give me the person who gave him that information.”

Plugg and Reiko both turned their gaze to Scourge, waiting for his response.

“Yeah, I seen him.” Scourge paused a beat before continuing. “He was in the Formidably Maid the first night we was there, the night we grabbed Cusswell. We was in a pressin’ mood, an’ I thought a Tian fella would be a good get for us.”

Reiko raised an eyebrow as Scourge spoke. At his break, she responded questioningly, “And?”

AND he was with a crew already, an’ that ain’t how a hunter works. Ya pick off the ones that’re separated.”

Plugg interjected, “I don’t remember that.”

“What was your accounting of that night, Mr. Plugg?” Reiko asked, but the question passed over as if it were never heard as Scourge continued.

“It was that Andoren captian, Mr. Plugg. The one with the gold braids on his shoulders.”

Reiko narrowed her eyes as she tried to determine if it was a captain and crew that she’d heard of before.

Mr. Plugg scratched his chin thoughtfully, “He had a peg leg, yes?”

“That’s him.” Scourged snapped his fingers.

The lightbulb came on in Reiko’s head too as she realized who they were talking about. Merrill Pegsworthy: a Free Captain with several ships under his command. A human from Andoran, and he was supposedly ex-military. From all Reiko’d heard about him, he was relatively honorable, as far as any pirate could be considered honorable. But he had a reputation for taking hostages for ransom, treating them fairly, and letting those without means go free. No one was really sure where he kept port.

“Well, Mr. Scourge, can you tell me how you knew he was with Mr. Pegsworthy’s crew?” Reiko replied, and then almost under her breath, “You don’t seem the sort to bother learning about a person before press-ganging them.”

Scourge glowered at Reiko. “Pegsworthy – aye, that was his name – came t’ get ’im from the bar, and all twelve of ’em left together.”

“That’s interesting. Very interesting,” Reiko interjected thoughtfully.

“An’ mistakes get made when recruitin. Most of ’em work themselves out, one way or another.” Scourge was getting bristly, and Reiko knew her time on the poop deck was limited.

“I don’t suppose you heard them talking, then, if you were close enough to see Tatsumi’s birthmark, Mr. Scourge? You would of had to have been close enough to hear them talking, if you were close enough to see that.”

Scourge responded flatly, “Shaped like a heart, behind his ear? Yeah, he kept scratchin’ at it.”

Reiko knitted her eyebrows then responded, desperate for any last bit of information, “Really? How did he seem? Nervous? Cheerful?”

Bristling, Scourge snapped back, “I didn’t sit down fer tea an’ dumplins with him. I answered enough o’ yer questions, swab. Get back ta work.”

Reiko withheld a snicker as the flustered Scourge finished talking. She looked at Plugg and asked one final question. “Well, Mr. Plugg, is there anything that you would be willing to add from that night?”

“I don’t remember seeing your brother, no, but there were a lot of people there.”

Reiko nodded in agreement, “There usually are at the Maid.” She took a breath and then continued before smiling at Plugg, “Well, Mr. Plugg, Mr. Scourge, thank you for your time this evening. It has been very… enlightening.”

“My pleasure,” Pluggs words bereft of their meaning.

Reiko bowed to Mr. Plugg before heading back down to the main deck, pausing briefly at the top of the stairs to look back at the two. The two held looks of contempt for her. She turned and continued her descent.



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