100 A First Mate in Disgrace*
Ewan had slept late. He hadn't meant to. Usually without fail he would rise with the sun and report to the docks to work. Working on and around the sea had been a part of his life since before he could remember, and he'd always had great pride in his abilities.
But that had all changed a few months before, when Midas Token had come along. Ewan had never experienced defeat before Midas. He'd always been a great success in whatever he was tasked with doing. So great was his talent that he'd earned himself a place beside Jeremiah Token, one of the greatest Captains of the known world. It had both thrilled him and scared him. The aura of Jeremiah Token was something to be feared and admired, such a presence that one was often rendered speechless in his presence. Struck by awe of the man. Not even age had diminished his reputation. If anything, it had added to it. Being named the great Captain's First Mate was an honour, and Ewan had sworn that he'd work hard to be worthy of the title.
At least, until a certain adoptive son had shown up.
There had not even been a fair competition to decide the First Mate. Midas had simply taken the position with the authority of Jeremiah and the Token name. Ewan was demoted, as if all of his efforts up until that point had been for nought. Midas may not have been a blood relative, but weren't great powers always good at claiming other great things as their own? Apparently, Ewan had not been great enough.
But he was never one to take it lying down.
All he'd wanted was a fair fight. A true test to see who was better, who truly deserved the position. But in his bid to convince the great Jeremiah Token, he'd been seen as nothing more than a mutinous dog.
As if Ewan would take that.
It had taken him months to finally catch up to Jeremiah. To finally have The Miranda back in his sights once more, but now, at Port Lovolon, it had finally happened. Finally, he had the opportunity to fight using his own abilities, and if necessary, take the position he deserved. He would not be ignored any longer.
It may have been months since Ewan had seen Jeremiah, but the great Captain hadn't changed. Perhaps a few more wrinkles, finally showing his age, but nothing that would stop the Captain from proving that he'd earned his position and the respect that they all afforded to him. What was so wrong about Ewan doing the same?
"Captain Token," Ewan began.
Jeremiah's gaze fell upon Ewan for a moment before he glanced at Hargreeve, "What're we carting to Rouke?"
Hargreeve cleared his throat, "Fruits and a few other trinkets for the Trader's Festival".
Jeremiah nodded, "Get them loaded as quickly as you can. I'd like to sail tomorrow morning if I can manage it".
Hargreeve looked down at his notepad, "I'm afraid you might not be able to leave until the following day, Captain. We're still waiting on the last harvest to arrive. As I said, you were earlier than expected".
Jeremiah looked none too pleased from that, but had no choice but to accept it, he looked over his shoulder at his Cabin Boy, "Go arrange the room".
The Cabin Boy bowed his head respectfully, then jogged off towards one of the larger Inns of the Token Disctrict.
"Token," Ewan repeated, sick of being ignored.
"If I had the patience to talk with you, Ewan, I would have addressed you already," Jeremiah stated, then he turned his back on his ex-First Mate.
Ewan's eyes narrowed, "Why won't you give me a fair chance?"
Jeremiah didn't even pause as he threw back his answer, "After what you pulled on my ship, I don't think you deserve it".
Rassa watched from the side as the Captain walked away, Ewan fuming as he stood on the docks. Aegin nudged Rassa, and the hooded young man turned to his friend. The question was clear in Aegin's eyes.
Rassa shook his head, "Not our business".
Aegin's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing to refute Rassa as the call rang out over the docks.
"Break's over, back to work!"
The three of them rose and moved back to their stations. As then did, Ewan stormed past, them, knocking into Ebony roughly. She stumbled back, right into Rassa. Rassa flinched, but made sure Ebony was stablised before he stepped away from her, his eyes moving to Ewan.
Ewan paused as he met Rassa's gaze. Something in him screamed to run, to back off and just run away. Those dark eyes, they were familiar to him, but he couldn't recall from what, and as he turned and left, doing his best to keep his subconscious fear from showing, he decided he didn't care so long as he didn't run into them again.
Ebony turned quickly, "Sorry".
Rassa stepped around her without a word, headed towards the crates still stacked on the side of the dock.
Ebony didn't pursue him.
Aegin sighed, following behind Rassa.
"What was that look for?"
"What look?" Rassa asked.
Aegin rolled his eyes, "Don't dodge the question".
Rassa sighed, "I invited him to dinner last night. Evidently it wasn't as forgetable as I intended".
Aegin's eyes widened, knowing exactly what Rassa was implying.
"R-Phil, you know what happens if-"
Rassa lifted one of the crate as he turned to Aegin, "Yeah, I do know. Better than you do actually, so don't lecture me on it".
Rassa walked away, Aegin breathing out his rising frustration.
The three of them worked through the afternoon, and at the end of the day retrieved their pay from Hargreeve. Ebony disappeared with most of it to go and buy some supplies, mostly food. Aegin and Rassa walked down the main docks in silence. As they did, Rassa couldn't help but spot Ewan talked in the shadows of a stall to a few other men.
"...so we're all set for tonight then?"
"Meet in the square at midnight then".
"You got it".
Rassa and Aegin passed them, and Rassa shook his head.
Not his business. Whatever they were up to, it was not his business.