• “Don’t touch that.” Came the stern male voice that had Clowesia whipping her out-stretched hand back to her side. She refused to turn, however, to the portly male that had entered the room. Instead, she let her lone cobalt eye affix itself to the shimmering gold astrolabe she had been eager to touch.

    Right arm tucked horizontally against the small of her back, she turned swiftly to face the man. The rather dramatic action sending both her hair and coat cascading out in a frill of colour and delight. The man was not pleased as the collection of delicate books Clowesia had disturbed with her flamboyant actions tottled dangerously on the edge of their shelving.

    “That’s from Nautilus Raiment, correct?” She inquired, her ever present smirk hidden behind her charred, and tattered scarf. “Those are awfully expensive.” She finished, not even bothering to wait for the man to confirm what she had already known.

    Her pursuit of a small conversation was denied, however, as the stout yet short man made his way towards his large, rich desk. With a roll of her single eye she stalked towards the desk. She ignored the lush finery around her, the exquisite decorations only a wealthy and powerful merchant would be able to posses. That was exactly what he was, as well.

    Ricard Dufontinai, the head of the Dufontinai Shipping Corporation. They basically owed the spice trading routes and all the boats in them.

    Including Clowesia’s.

    As she stretched her body to its tallest height, she waited for whatever the man had called her in for. She was not disappointed. The man didn’t even wait to sit down before he snatched a handful of tawny, rustic papers from the top of his desk. He whirled on her then, stalking around the edge of his desk to waves the papers in Clowesia's rather non-plussed face.

    “What is the meaning of this!?” He boomed, his aged features turning bright red and he continued his tirade. Clowesia was lucky if she caught a word or two of his mumbling rant; she wouldn’t have faired well even if she could read lips, the mans bushy moustache leading each side of his mouth before they curled under his chubby jowls to meet up with his heavy sideburns. Sparing a moment to look at the mans furred face, before she cast a look to the mans thinning hair.

    ‘I wonder if all the face migrated to his face,’
    but as Ricard turned around, his back towards Clowesia, she had to stop herself from recoiling in horror ‘I think it’s gone to his neck and back as well.’ She bemoaned in disgust as her eyes caught sight at the ginger nut coloured hair matted around the mans fat neck before disappearing down the back of his regal, Vice Admiral inspired coat, vest and shirt combo.

    “It says in these finance reports that gold has been going missing, gold carried on your fleet! Money earned from the Oondari ports, which was counted before it left the harbour, has seem too gone missing between the Islands of the Juri Straight. The Straight which is known for its gambling, illegal activities and piracy! But none of your reports ever said anything about being invaded by pirates! The most eventful thing that has ever been described in one of your reports was when one of the crewmembers spotted a turtle!”

    It was by this time that Clowesia droned her employers rambling out. With a sigh and a slightly roll of her neck, Clowesia reached into the small, hidden pocket stitched into the inside of her fine jacket. As her fingertips scratched over the familiar yet odd feeling of cork, she gave a quick grin. Plucking the tiny glass bottle out from its hiding place, she raised it up to her face to gaze at it in the light. She felt her grin c**k just a bit as the light caught the pearlescent liquid, its shine was disturbed, however, by the worn and old adhesive label that had curled from near corner to corner. Using her thumb, she unrolled the what-seemed like, ancient parchment.

    Her smile turned truly wicked as cracked onyx ink struck bold in its skull and cross bone formation.

    With a flick of her thumb, she uncorked the small bottle with not even a sound; the cork stopper bounced against the side of the bottle as a small gold chain tied around the neck of the bottle kept it from falling to the ground. With a nonchalant air about her, she rested her arse on the edge of the desk, her left hand pressing into the surface of the desk as he reclined ever so slightly.

    Lifting her right hand, she slowly begun to pour the poisonous liquid into the merchants decadent red wine. Once the last drop of deadly ambrosia dropped from the mouth of the bottle, Ricard turned towards her. Hiding the bottle under the palm of her hand, Clowesia propped herself up on her right hand as well, effectively concealing the bottle.

    “You know what this means, Clowesia! If there was never any robbery, than it can only be one thing,” He paused at that moment, his chubby sausage like fingers reaching for the delicate stem of the wine glass. “One of your crewmembers has been stealing for the company, from you. That gold could be going anywhere! Into pubs, or hookers, maybe even piracy! We have to catch him, Clowesia, for the good of the fleet and the company!” And with that, he sealed his fate with a deep draw from his glass of wine.

    Pushing herself off from the desk, Clowesia tucked the small vial back into her chest pocket. It was about that time she heard a cough and a splutter as Ricard’s eyes bugged from their sockets. “You’d be wrong about that, Ricky.” She spared not even a second glance as she made her way to the window; Ricard’s gasping was excellent background music as Clowesia opened the window pane. “It wasn’t just one crew member, twas all of us. I must say, with those funds you gladly handed over to us, we had a lot of fun visiting the old Red Houses, and killin’ our livers, that’s for sure, but, we’re much more interested in that last option now. There’s more fun in piracy then running merchant goods.” She finished her confession with c**k sure smirk.

    Gazing out of the window she was met with a delight full view. Ricard most surely had one of the most excellent panoramic views of the harbour. It stretched all the way down over the fanciful and wealthy village of Devon Port, all the way down to the slum-like docks. And there in the docks was Clowesia’s pride and joy, the Vulgarian, its white sails blazing, the light blue brand of Dufontinai Shipping Corporation announcing who the ship belonged too.

    But not for long.

    Lifting her cutlass up and off of her belt, she raised it into the sunlight. Letting it hit just, so she created a glint that shone all the way down to her beloved vessel. Twisting her wrist back and forth, she cast off sardonic flashes of light. She wasn’t disappointed to see her signal had been listened too, as she saw the white sails fall from their masts.

    With a smirk, she turned from the window and stalked towards the door, not even the sound of a glass of wine splattering its contents across the floor or the following flurry of papers cascading around her regal form stopped her long and confident strides. Not even the softest tugs on the end of her coat caused her to cast a look over her shoulder. It wouldn’t have mattered even if she did. She’d only be looking at a corpse. And as she closed the door on the cold-hearted murder scene behind her, the crimson sails of the Vulgarian ripped through the days sky as they were raised to announce the change in ownership.

    But later as Clowesia stood under the now crimson stained sails of her vessel, she would have one regret.

    'I should have grabbed that bloody Nautilus Raiment.'