Sorry this letter took so long in getting to you. After graduation, the Captain was eager to leave, and Chinn did not offer any postal service for me to write you sooner.
Being on board the Gorizilla these past few weeks had been a useful learning experience. The Captain has been an excellent instructor as he has allowed me to sit in on negotiations and examine the products before taking them on board. Luckily we haven't run into any pirates, although the Captain assures me the crew is well prepared.
Tomorrow we stop in Durnkin, then back home to Neo Paris. I know we have previously discussed me starting my apprenticeship for you immediately upon my arrival, but I would like to request a week off before I begin to settle myself in Neo Paris after being at school for four years. I await your response upon my return.
Adrien Agreste paused in his writing, trying to figure how best to end the letter. The letter to his father came off rather professional, more akin to a letter to his future employer.
Sincerely, your son,
Adrien sat back satisfied with his writing. He folded the letter and sealed in a pre addressed envelope. He stepped outside the small cabin the Captain had instructed was for him, the cold night air a welcome relief. Hardly anyone was out, except for the helmsman, the navigator, and a look out in the crows nest.
“Young Master Agreste, what are you doing out,” asked the Navigator, glancing away from his sextant to the youngest member on board.
“I have a letter to mail at Durnkin,” Adrien responded.
“Give it to the Captain, he'll give it to someone to deliver it for you,” instructed the navigator. Adrien nodded and proceeded towards the Captain's quarters.
“Lovely night out isn’t it,” commented the navigator. Adrien paused a little distance from the rail to see the stars sparkling over the silver clouds that separate their ship from the Wastes below.
From what Adrien had learned in school; years ago people had fled the Wastes to the skies, re-creating cities and society on floating islands. Why though he didn't know. Adrien had heard war destroyed the world below, toxins too dangerous to allow people to live. Or the world ran out of fertile soil for food. Or nature had made living conditions impossible. Those who couldn't make it to the sky stayed behind, mutating into unspeakable horrors.
You were already a dead man if you fell off a ship or city, dying in the poisonous gas beneath the cloud surface.
“Yes it is,” Adrien responded as he pulled himself away and headed towards the Captain's quarters. As much as Adrien had enjoyed this trip, he was eager for dry land again.
He knocked on the door.
“Enter,” the Captain's firm voice commanded.
Adrien opened the door, to find the Captain going over the ships expenses with the ship’s accountant. The Captain was a large burly man very fitting for his ship’s name, and had been a long time employee of his father. Adrien was practically a dwarf compared to the Captain.
“I have a letter for my father that needs to go to mail tomorrow in Durnkin.”
“Leave it on my desk and I'll see that it gets sent,” answered the Captain, more occupied with the ledger.
Adrien nodded and left the letter on his desk. The moment he put his hand on the doorknob, a gun shot rang out. A second shot quickly followed.
Pirates thought Adrien as the Captain stormed out of his chair, followed by the nervous accountant.
“Wait here,” the Captain ordered, trapping the accountant and Adrien in his quarters.
Adrien looked out the window, able to see through the marbled glass the intimidating captain approaching the commotion. A person fell down, revealing a sole figure the cause of the commotion.
“Get away from the window young master, a stray shot would be most unfortunate,” the accountant hurried Adrien away towards the back of the cabin behind the desk. Another shot fired, breaking the window and hitting the accountant in the shoulder, send the man toppling onto the desk, collapsing on the floor.
Adrien froze at the sight as blood began to drain or of the body. He didn't even remember the accountant's name.
“Sir,” Adrien whispered, taping the man on the shoulder.
Adrien moved forward enough to roll him over, believing the accountant falling on his face may have cut off his ability to breath. The face had already pale, eyes wide open in shock.
Everyone froze on deck, the Captain cautiously glancing towards his quarters. This allowed the pirate to knock the Captain's sword out of his hand, snatching the cutlass, both weapons now trained on the Captain.
The crew lowered their weapons.
“I believe my Master's letter made it clear payment was overdue,” snarled the pirate, the gas mask over their face muffling half their words.
“All matters of personal payment Mr. Agreste will deal with directly,” rebuffed the Captain.
“And Mr. Agreste knows my Master isn’t a patient man. He insists I collect now. Either payment or something of equal value,” the pirate looked around at the grand fluyt, eyes eventually coming to rest on the entrance to the cargo hold.
“This way,” the Captain instructed, leading the pirate to his quarters. Taking whatever money left in the safe should appease the pirate, they would have to trade more goods in Durnkin to make up for the financial loss.
The Captain opened the door, revealing the dead accountant and a frightened Adrien huddled against the wall.
The pirate poked the back of the Captain pressuring them toward the safe stored in the bottom of a closet.
Adrien looked from the Captain to the pirate, recognizing their red and black gas mask to be Ladybug, one of the deadliest and daring pirates. Capable of taking on full crews by herself, the saber held at the back of the Captain well known for bringing a swift death if one were to displease her.
The captain opened the safe, revealing a few stacks of the New World Paper currency.
Ladybug stabbed the captain’s desk with his cutlass in frustration, Adrien jumping in his position at the force which the sword clung to the wood.
“I’m afraid this won’t due captain,” she flicked the sword mounted to the desk, emitting a shallow hum as she glanced around the room. "Looks like Agreste decide to finally follow the rest of the world's trashy currency."
Ladybug paused her search around the room, her attention on Adrien.
“So it was true,” she breathed.
She swooped down to Adrien, placing him under her arm as if a bag of flour.
“I’ll take this. Tell Agreste my master demands double his payment to ensure the safe return of his son,” Ladybug carted Adrien out of the room.
“Young Master!” The Navigator raced forward to save Adrien, Ladybug cutting him off with a quick slice to the stomach, blood splattering on Adrien’s face as the man keeled over, his midsection spilling onto the deck.
“Anyone else who attempts to follow will meet the same fate,” warned Ladybug as she wiped the blood on her sword on to the navigator's jacket, then continued to the edge of the boat.
“I trust you will deliver my message Captain,” the pirate taunted as the crew glared helplessly at the pirate who had stolen away the young master.
“Gentlemen, Adieu,” and with that, Ladybug jumped off the ship, taking Adrien with her.