|But What Was the Real Treasure?|
A quick pan wipe and our heroines are crouched behind some cover near that sailing vessel. Mimi looks at Felicity and deadpans, "I still have no idea how you managed to convince me to do this."
"Oh hush, Mimi, it'll be fine," Gemma says though her sweaty palms say otherwise. Even though she agreed to it in the first place, she still can't keep the nervousness at bay. "We'll have to get past this man if we are to get inside," she says, speaking of the uniformed man who must have been severely punished for something or other to be stuck here while the other ones are in the restaurant, eating and having fun.
Felicity is alive with their mischief. Crouching behind several crates, she peers around the side to get a head count. "Five. There are five of them, Gemma. It will take more than a distraction to get by all of them. You know what you must do," She says, staring at her friend meaningfully. "Go on. Use the magic."
Mimi Valroon keeps her head down for the moment. Yes, she has her pistol on her, but if worse comes to worse, she's more likely to use a knife for more silent takedowns. She whispers, "Five you can see, you mean. We can't see what's below deck on that thing."
Indeed, it looks like there could be two or even three floors below deck. What look like gun ports line that first deck below, but they're all closed, hiding whatever weaponry may be there. Prominently painted on the side near the bow is the ship's name: Bigby's Bonzai Blaster. And the guy at the foot of the gangplank in fact looks both bored and indignant. "Drawing lots my ass, he totally rigged that..." and other such muttered complaints can be heard. He doesn't want to be there. At least the trio on the main deck are able to chat with each other. By the sounds of things, one is trying to get another's confidence up in his ability to man the helm, but the other isn't really helping with how he manages to bring up the 'last two times' the helmsperson hit something. The last seen is up on the crow's nest. It's quite possible she's asleep.
Five. How could she have missed them? Gemma was so focused on the man near the ramp that she didn't even pay attention to the rest of her surroundings. Her cheeks redden and she chastises herself internally. This might be mostly a practice run, unless they encounter something out of the ordinary, but she should treat it with all the seriousness of a real infiltration. "The... magic?" She answers as if it were the first time she hears about it. It's been a while she's needed to use it for anything more serious than very small illusions on one person at a time, but there's no time like the present and she nods, her brow knitting in determination. After observing a little longer, she turns to Mimi and Felicity. "Follow me and stay close, but just behind me, on each side. With that, she waits until nobody is looking in their direction and gets up, striding straight toward the man guarding the ramp. What he will see, and everyone else except Felicity and Mimi, is the ship's Captain heading to get aboard and flanked by two of his men, the awkward boy who had an eye on Fee as well as his wingman.
Felicity 's face is fit to split for all that she is smiling. She is surely the cat that caught the canary now. The magic! The glorious magic! Ah, it's been such a long time since they were up to their old tricks. Now it's so close that she can taste it! Quickly, she scampers to the spot Gemma chooses and waits for her to work her magic- literally. Soon, the familiar old feeling to comes upon her. It isn't what one would think. IT doesn't come on like a bolt of lightning, though there is something about it that makes the air feel charged somehow. It's warm, like slipping into a bathtub and just as intoxicating. Just like that, Gemma's illusion is cast over them. They haven't changed, of course. It's simply a trick of the light but it still leaves that zing in the air. Felicity practically WHOOPS, "I can feel it! You've really still got it!"
Mimi Valroon is quick onto her feet and following up. She stays quiet, not knowing the nature of what's actually happened with The Magic in this situation. The guard, however, yawns before noticing the three approaching. "Oh! Captain! Back already? Thought you were going to wait it out and make sure Moravik didn't get himself into trouble again." The guard doesn't, however, let himself be in the way of his 'captain', instead stepping aside.
Quick, think of something to say? "I'm not his nanny" Gemma says with all the indignance she can muster. To her companions, it will sound as if it is just her speaking, but to those under falling prey to the illusion, they hear the voice of the Captain they know. "I got tired of dealing with children. The rest of the crew is there to watch over this delicate flower and they will face my wrath if they behave in a way that impairs my reputation. Are you questioning me, soldier?"
Whatever the soldier's response - something very humble and respectful, no doubt - Felicity nudges Mimi lightly and quips, "Such a ball buster, our captain." Oh yes, modern slang for our Victorian girl. This is what comes of hanging around modern day people for as many years as she has. Suffice to say, she find's Gemma's performance amusing. She whispers again, "I thought she might use the magic to make us invisible, but this so much better, don't you think Mimi? Oh I say?" Another nudge. "I do believe that gentleman fancies you...whoever you are now. Not terribly uncommon, though my father would never speak of it, mind. One would never. Oh, but it happened." The soldier she's referring to does seem to be looking in their direction but whether its due to any attraction is anyone's guess.
The guard takes a step back and holds up his hands. "Woah, woah! Sorry, captain! Jeeze, what did he do to get you this pissed off?" ...Apparently Gemma may have overestimated the militaristic nature of this particular ship crew.
Mimi, already facepalming over the error in judging the nature of this crew in general, says to the guard, "Don't ask. Just... don't ask." She lifts her head to look in the direction of the soldier in question that Fee seems to be alluding to. It's pretty hard to tell, considering the helmet's visor makes his upper face pretty much impossible to make out. Mimi shrugs, instead.
"Eh, I'll just ask Brines when she gets back what happened with Moravik," says the guard as the trio make their way onto the ship's deck itself. The other three in conversation on deck look up, offer quick but sloppy salutes to Gemma, and continue their conversation.
Gemma offers a polite nod in return but continues without stopping, walking decisively toward the door heading inside. Once they are all in and the door has been shut behind her, she feels safe enough to chance a whispered question. "Where should we go from here? Lower floors?"
Felicity grins, enjoying the thrill of being precisely somewhere she shouldn't be. Nothing quite gets the blood flowing like a naughty little venture. Now that they are passed the first obstacle, her confidence swells just a touch. "Anywhere we bloody want! We could look through their drawers, if we wanted...though I can't say I fancy thumbing through dog-eared pin-ups encrusted with god knows what. I say we go straight to the hold to get a look at their cargo."
Mimi Valroon lets out a breath once they're behind closed doors. "Yeah," she says quietly. "If they have what you're fearing they have, they're going to be in the bottom hold. Farthest from any way outside. But keep on guard, there may still be some left down here."
Pan wipe and the trio are in front of a door near the bottom of the ship with the word 'Treasure' proudly emblazoned on it and a padlock or three holding it shut. "Seriously? They were all up there on the deck?!" Mimi asks through gritted teeth. "They didn't even notice when you tripped over that cart with the commemorative dishes."
Gemma's cheek darken anew at the comment. "It wasn't my fault, who thought it would be a good idea to put it in the middle of the place right around the corner anyway?" She huffs and then brings her attention to the door ahead. "Huh, it must be the same person who wrote this note if you ask me. This is akin to having a flashing sign telling thieves to come in and treat themselves."
Felicity giggles at Gemma's expense. To Mimi she says, "See her parry? Deflection won't save you, Gemma dear. We know you're a bull in a China shop." She's always been the clumsy one in their little group and that apparently hasn't changed after all of these years. "Oh honestly, they couldn't be so stupid, could they?" Felicity pokes at the sign, as if doing so might compel it go divulge its secrets. "What do you suppose is -really- behind this door? Gold? Stolen artifacts? Contraband of some sort? Oh perhaps our stolen maidens are there." BAM-BAM Felicity raps on the door with a fist, "Oh hello! I say, any nubile young women taken against their within these walls say - AY! Mmm?" She presses an ear to the door and then dissolves into a laugh. She obviously thinks this is one great big joke. "Oh go on, Gem. Do something about those locks. Let's have a look at what they're hoarding back there."
There is no response to the knocking or the calling from behind the door. If there are indeed stolen maidens, they are unconscious or otherwise rendered unable to speak. Of course, they'd also hear Fee as one of the crew members, anyway, assuming Gemma's spellwork is still up. Mimi had nearly put her own ear to the door before Fee did the knocking, but thankfully not quite. Instead, she's just listening alongside her fellow blonde. "Locks look normal to me. A good old bobby-pin should be just fine if you ask me."
"In this case Mimi, dear, why don't you do the honors? Trying to keep up an illusion isn't small work and I don't want to overdo it should we need it later," Gemma says before turning to Fee. "I thought this was going to be a team effort, or am I expected to do all the work in our future endeavours?"
Felicity arches a brow and, while still eyeing Mimi with something like admiration, says, "No, I simply didn't know that our righteous, innocent little Mimi was in possession of such guile." She moves aside, motioning to the various and very stubborn looking locks. "Have at it." In spite of her cavalier attitude, she is clearly keenly interested. She'd very much like to see Mimi manage this.
Mimi has produced a small knife out of a pocket somewhere and a bobby pin out of her hair before Gemma has even said the word 'honors.' It's not a normal looking bobby pin, if anyone looks closely at it: It's been flattened somewhat to more easily fit into a lock. "Hold the padlock steady for me, could you?" Because she needs both hands to try to do the actual lockpicking. Oh, Fee. Never doubt the Golden Sparrow's ability to deal with any mechanical problems the group may come across. Tumbler locks are most definitely mechanical.
Gemma obliges and holds the lock in place while looking back. With Fee's and Mimi's attention on the lock, someone needs to look out for signs of trouble as where they are now is as good as a death trap with no other exit than the way they came. Should the actual captain make his way back onto the ship, the lookouts will no doubt realize that they were fooled and come looking for the culprits. Oh well, if it should come to this then Gemma's invisibility trick might be what the occasion calls for.
Felicity offers her services a lock holder, enabling Mimi to work disrupted. Hopefully Mimi can work quickly or else the complaints will begin.
Mimi Valroon is trying, but the lock is awkwardly positioned. She crouches down, then says, "No, try to turn it, like... Oh, for crying out loud, don't you both clamber over it!" There's no click yet. It takes another bit of work on Mimi's part before that first lock clicks open. "...One down, two to go..." Of course, the second lock pops open almost immediately in her fingers. "...Seriously, skeleton keys still?" She finally gets to work on that last lock... But now there's some loud talking heard abovedeck.
Gemma's head snaps toward the ceiling and her heart starts pumping faster. "Hurry, Mimi. Just get us in, I'll take care of the rest but it'll be easier if we aren't found standing around here."
Felicity keeps her composure, but her eyes also turn towards the sounds overhead. That unsettling feeling that they may have just been found out is quick to pounce, but she is prepared to dive straight away into a backup plan. She holds the lock steady and looks towards Gemma. She says nothing but the pressure for Gemma to make good on her magical gifts is most certainly going to be felt.
It takes just a little longer than the first lock did, but there is that audible click when the lock opens. "Open," she says simply. "Shall we jump on in? Can you illusion up the locks being back in place?" Because yeah, there's the sound of someone walking down the steps. Luckily they had to double back to get here, but... Mimi decides to just go ahead and open the door. "Was afraid it'd creak loudly," she mumbles before darting into the room. Inside are, well, treasure chests. The classical pirate looking ones, four of them. They do look large enough to possibly hold a person each, however... perhaps two if they're bundled up tightly.
"Yes, that's what I was thinking of," Gemma says and as soon as the door is open, she picks up the lock, gets in and closes the door behind them, concentrating hard on the illusion she's trying to conjure. The steps are coming closer and she holds her breath as they stop on the other side. The newly arrived will see the door just as it should be, locked with everything in place.
Phew! Just in the nick of time! As the sounds moved closer, Felicity's own heart was starting to pound. Through gritted teeth she'd started to urge Mimi to work faster with a quiet but increasingly urgent, "Come on, come on!" Now safely out of the hall, she can take in the grandeur of the riches within. "Dear god!" She says in a frantic whisper, her face splitting into a devilish grin. "Oho, I think I shall like being a pirate very much." Felicity strides over and immediately begins to put her her hands all over everything in the damned chests. Moment's later she's sporting a beautiful emerald ring. "Darling, can you believe the Granmama left her fortune to Penelope and all I got was this trifle? Tsk."
Sure, one of the chests has gold and jewels. The one Mimi opens, however, is filled with Star Wars action figures. Mint in box. With bubble wrap. "What the heck?" Sure enough, none of the chests have people in them. One of the chests is empty but has the phrase 'Friendship and Memories' written on the bottom of it with quite flowery lettering. Yeah. This ship's crew is a little weird.
Sounds are heard outside, including the voice of the guy that had come over to talk to the trio. Clear as day, he's saying, "Well, they're clearly not there!" and then he and the two other voices are moving on.
When the coast sounds clear again, Mimi asks, "Uh... so now what?"
"Well, clearly there are no maiden in distress here. Say, Fee, this was your idea in the first place. What do you wish to do now? I'm of the opinion we should make our getaway now. We've proved that we can, and there's no one in need of saving. Doing anything more than leaving might bring us a lot more trouble than is worth now," Gemma says though she does look around at the strange clutter around.
Felicity shushes Gemma, putting a finger to her lips. She wants to be sure the coast is truly clear before she starts to celebrate. For the moment, the silence on the other side of that door seems a pretty clear indication they have, indeed, moved on. Still fingering the treasure in the one half way dependable chest Felicity considers the question, chewing on her bottom lip as she does. "I suppose. There doesn't seem to be anything worth noting here. Hm. " It doesn't stop her from pocketing a little bit of that treasure. What's a ring and a handful of gems? "Oh very well. Lead on then." If one didn't know any better, they might think that Felicity is actually disappointed at the prospect of such an uneventful adventure. They'd be right.
Mimi Valroon steps over to the door and opens it slightly to look. "So are you going to magic up a new way for us to sneak through?" she whispers upon seeing the coast being clear. "Or are we going to have to do this the old fashioned way?" Nope. Hand isn't getting close to her pistol right now. Time now is for silence. Not the hand-me-downs she got from her 'Granmama'.
"Indeed I will," Gemma answers without hesitation. "This little trick was a good laugh while it lasted but I think leaving unnoticed is the better option now." Turning to look at Felicity, she grins like the cat who caught the canary. "They'll never know what happened. My guess is the captain will assume they were drinking on duty. Come now, stay close to me and make as little noise as possible, it's easier when I don't have as much to conceal."
Felicity follows Gemma's lead, leaning in close to get a sneak peek out of the doorway too. For now, it seems like they are still in the clear. Her eyes flick back to the chests one last time and she can't help but muse, "What an eccentric crew. I wonder what on earth they are planning to do with all of those things. It makes no sense."
Mimi Valroon creeps forward, whispering one last, "I'd like to be a fly on the wall when they discuss what happened today," before she clamps up for the time being. Mimi is... surprisingly good at moving completely silently when she wants to. The crew is looking around for intruders, and in doing so... they aren't completely blocking the doorways. They're on the move as they look... sure, someone's keeping an eye on the exits, but what good does that do when the intruders are invisible?
The way back to the deck is mostly uneventful except the one guy that nearly bumps into them. Gemma might not usually be known for her grace, but she gives this sneaking task her all and her quick thinking allows her to strongly suggest to him that he turn the other way and inspect the room nearby. Before long, they are off the ship and she keeps their cover up a little while longer until they are out of sight, for a trio of girls appearing out of thin air would surely raise suspicions. Finally, she stops and turns to the others. "We've made it safe and sound, ladies."
Well now what would be fun in leaving without having any little fun with invisibility? Gemma may be content to have it this way, but not Felicity. As the trio takes every care not to draw attention to their movements, one member of this trio chooses to defect. Now, she isn't fool enough to really start any sort of real trouble, but mischief...oh there's always time for that. So then, as they disembark, Felicity spies a pair of guards looking about as unenchanted as one might imagine being stuck on guard duty might make them feel. As she passes, she gives one of the guards a quick slap on the the rear then hurries to safety with the other girls. Naturally this has the guard turning sharply to see who has the -cheek- to do something like that (hehe) but he's met with only his fellow guard's man. Chaos ensues, much to Felicity's delight.
Mimi Valroon leans against the convenient cover they reappeared behind. "Couldn't leave well enough alone, could you, Fee? Honestly, I think that crew didn't deserve what we did to them. Actually, they're a little... pathetic, in a way. I feel sorry for them. But they look like they're having fun?" She looks back to the two guardsmen who have begun... making out? Mimi blinks at that a few times in surprise, then looks back to Fee for a second before shrugging. "...Eh. They'll be okay. I think." She glances back at the ship again and adds, "Maybe." She looks back to Halberd now before she says, "Well, uh, you two ready to go, or do you have more mischief in mind?"
"Oh my god," Gemma manages to gasp in between giggles at the whole scene playing out nearby. "Well, it looks like you made them a favor, Fee, you naughty girl. Honestly, this whole endeavor was worth it just for this. I will cherish this moment until the day I die," she says then laughs some more before wiping a tear of the corner of her eye. Taking a deep calming breath, she adds, "Yes, I think it is time to go back."
Felicity laughs, though it comes out nearly a scoff. She can scarcely believe it. That certainly didn't go as planned but now that it has, she can't help but gawk, taken by an uncontrollable case of the giggles. "Dear God! They've really gone for it, haven't they? Hah! From pirate to match maker, well. At least someone found treasure." She turns to Mimi, a wicked little smile on her full lips, "Are they giving you ideas, Mimi? Would you fancy more....mischief?" She sidles up to the girl, licking her lips with a predatory sort of hunger.
Mimi Valroon nods once to Gemma in agreement with the vote to go back, then looks back to Fee. And blinks in confusion. "Uhhhh... I'm more for heading back home for now, honestly," she says carefully since she's not sure what the heck Fee is going on about this time. Them giving her ideas for mischief? It's Fee that's the mischief maker, not those two... And why is Mimi blushing now? She lets out an exasperated sigh, then turns towards Halberd. "Let's... let's go. I'd rather not go so long out here as to test the sleeping arrangements on Halberd." Because it will be cramped. Mimi was unable to find a way around that.
In turn, Gemma sidles up to Fee and links her arm with hers. "Oh, it's all right, Fee," she whispers conspiratorially. "We can always find some mischief in town if you like while Mimi is taking her rest, or petting her metal lover."
Felicity laughs full on now, utterly unrestrained. Yes, Gemma's right. It was worth it. Admiring her pretty new, shew nods her assent, "Yes, veery well. I am nearly satisfied as it is. Off we go, then." So to the flying machine it is. Still, she muses "What an unusual afternoon. That ship! Aren't you curious about them? I see no point in their cargo, save for a few odd trinkets."
Mimi Valroon glances at Gemma with a sour look at first, but then smirks and says, "I'll be petting Halberd, yes." She looks to Fee and shrugs. "I think they're just raw adventurers. In it more for the adventure than the treasure." She pauses, then amends, "The physical treasure." Yeah, she remembers that one chest with just 'Friendship and Memories' written in it. Drawn, really. "Honestly, I kinda think I get them. They're a bit cheesy for my liking, but I get them."
"I suppose they do look like a lively bunch? I prefer our arrangements however." Gemma says, though the unspoken is that she would not want to travel with such a big crew. But this little adventure has given Gemma a taste for it and to really put in practice what she and Felicity have schemed about under the influence of alcohol. "Fee, I think it's time we try to find our way into the Realms again soon."
Though she doesn't say it, the thought does cross Felicity's mind that they too may have little to show for their first pirating caper. After all, the only thing they've come away with now is a bit of jewelry and some quality entertainment. Ah, but when Gemma says the magic words, all thoughts of anything else simply vanish. Felicity's smile threatens to split her face in half, it's gone so wide. "Ohhh yes! Gemma darling, NOW you're talking!" She pounces her friend, bestowing a big kiss on her cheek, then throwing an arm around her shoulders. "I can't wait to see it again. Oh Mimi, you will love it. Just you wait! Anything you could possibly dream is there for the taking. All you have to do is want it and its yours." NOW Felicity is fully satisfied after all.