Rough waters were nothing compared to the swells that rolled off the coast of the Stormpoint docks. The storm was left in the distance, thunderhead clouds echoing their anger that the ship had made it safely through their wrath. The three masted clipper, dubbed the *Starstruck Siren*, for the picture on the main sail as well as the masthead - a woman in silent song to the skies, one palm clutching a star, the other a sword.
"A life on the ocean wave,
A-home on the rolling deep!
Where the scater'd waters rave,
And the winds their revels keep...."
The Captain, soaked but smiling at the sounds of her crew, rounded the starboard side to the bow. Her bootfalls were heavy, each step marking her whereabouts to the crew that shouted over the dull thunder. Wet strands clung like stranded rays of sunlight to her tanned skin, bright eyes befalling the port only a few moments away.
"Prepare to dock starboard side!"
"Aye, Aye Cap'ain!"
"Round about 20 degrees North north west, helmsman!"
"Aye, aye Cap'ain!"
The echoing footfalls paused as sinewy limbs drew muscles taut and the main sail line was being lowered to allow the ship an easy slide into port. She joined into the rhythym of the men, laughter tumbling off her lips as she quietly joined in the slow song.
"Like an eagle caged I pine
On this dull, unchanging shore.
Oh give me the flashing brine,
The spray and the tempest's roar.
A life on the ocean wave,
A-home on the rolling deep!
Where the scater'd waters rave
And the winds their revels keep.."
Silver rose, brushing slender, albeit calloused hands onto the thighs of her doeskin pants. A brow arched as she peered down at her wet hands, chuckling quietly to herself. That was one mighty storm they had maneuvered through, and she thanked the Goddess the second they were out of it.
"Trade off watch every three hours hence n'enjoy the gifts of the tavern's about!"
A hearty cheer arose as the men began to disembark, the footfalls like a gentle thunder upon the decks. Within moments, the docks were deserted again as the men had each chosen their taverns for the time being. The lady Captain curled her fingers around the rail at the bow of the ship, silver webbed blues looking off into the distance of the Port. It had been a while since she docked within Stormpoint. What to do now?
Ogrek leaned against the railing of the Stardancer's forecastle. Though his head was tilted back towards the heavens, his eyes were closed as the fading sunlight warmed his sea-moistened face. His normally mussed hair was slicked back and wet, as was the simple white silk shirt and dark pants he wore. He had ridden out the storm on the ship's deck, a fact which Withers would surely scold him for later. Breathing in the salt-filled air, Ogrek deemed that the act would be worth whatever Wither's had to offer, as he truly hated to be trapped below decks during a storm. He chucked softly, realizing that he would be safe for some time yet, as Withers hates to be at sea during rough weather at all and was, in all likelihood, still curled within the safety of his bedcovers.
Safe then, for now, Ogrek took another deep lungful of the ocean breeze and opened his eyes. He was greeted with the sight of a small clipper coming into the harbor. ~A beautiful ship.~ Realizing his mistake and feeling the jealousy of his own vessel, he caressed the Stardancer's railing, ~Not a beautiful as you, but lovely nonetheless. ~~ Having appeased her resentment, Ogrek found himself envying the captain of the nearing clipper. There was nothing like the feeling of facing a storm on the seas, braving the sheer power of nature, living each second for the sake of living. At times like that, one was truly alive.
As the ship crested the waves and drew closer, the skills of her captain became apparent. Not only had he brought the ship unscathed through the storm, but was maneuvering the Starstruck Siren, for that was her name, with great ease through the harbor before bringing her to rest at a close-lying dock. Looking for further excuses to avoid returning to affairs of state, Ogrek decided that he would like to meet this fellow captain. Smiling when he heard the cheer of the crew as they were released to liberty, he waited until the last hand had disappeared into the city before calling out"HAIL STARSTRUCK SIREN!"
The shout had roused Silver from her short-lived reverie. Silver laced blues were raised across the docks. The other ship caught her eye, as well as the figure leaning against the forecastle. A gentle cadence was created by the sound of her boots on the wood as she crossed deck, draping her arms on the rail.
"Hail Cap'ain o' the Stardancer!"
The name of the ship brought a smile to the lady captain's lips. Seemed the two already had something in common; an interest in the heavens. Silence grasped her as she allowed her eyes to roam over the beautiful ship. Long fingers lovingly stroked the cherry wood rails of the *Siren* in assurance that of course, Silver thought her ship was the best.
"Cap'ain Silver Starblade, recently docking back in Stormpoint. And yourself?"
The man was one she had not seen in her travels to Stormpoint. Yet, none-the-less, it was always welcome to meet a face that she could associate with a name, and perhaps later on, a friend. Her lean was comfortable though she raised a hand in a gesture of allowance for him to come aboard if he wished to do so.
"Permission to board if you wish, Cap'ain, so we don't have to keep up this yelling."
The dimples marred her countenance once more in a childish fashion. What a sight she must be for starters, all rainsoaked and just having maneuvered through the storm that was making it's way southbound. A light chuckle was given as she draped her arm across the other and shrugged off the thought, waiting to see what the other man wished.
© 2001 Stormpoint Writers Guild
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