Alvarez: Well, don't you have an interesting personality. I never realized there could be so much depth and complexity and genuine empathy in a pirate! I almost bet we'd be friends if you weren't trying to kill me... Please, tell me all about your "tragic" backstory before you bore me to death with talk about how you're going to grind me to a pulp.
This Maria was officially trying too hard.
Ghant: You Starfleet are all the same. You think your training, your "mission" gives you something over the rest of the universe. A disgusting piety that underscores your profound arrogance. I MADE myself. FOUGHT to become something more than just another bought and traded courtesan of cruel royalty. As my chains broke, I broke others, gaining respect and riches by the end of a blade and deeds in battle. Not with words and naked expansionism. You and I are actually the same, my petal. I just have the clarity to see the work for what it really is. Bloody and driven by self-interest.
As she finished speaking, Maria Alvarez suddenly pitched and yawed her body, lashing out with a more directed but unpowerful volley, almost herding her into the access corridor of the Bay. It was then that Ghant started to realize what she was REALLY doing. She was not trying to keep distance between the two of them. She was trying to KEEP her from something. Or get to something deeper into the Bay.
Again their eyes found one another.
Alvarez: Even if I did believe any of your story, I'm still going to take you down and evict your motley crew off my ship. Almost everyone comes through adversity and hardship, that's no excuse to become a gleefully violent thug.
Ghant: You say "violent". I say I have "perspective".
Ghant grew tired of this game. Of the pantomime of it all. Maria Alvarez bent to try and spring upward again, but as she did, Ghant caught her with a vicious backfist, meeting her cheek and chin at the point of her arc. A sudden, pained shout belched from her lips. With any luck, it would stop her nattering, but Ghant was not about to count on that. She tried to follow up with a few quick jabs and mid-kicks, but again her defense stance impressed (but was noticeably slower at this point). The blow had stifled her spark and now was the moment to snuff it out
She could see now that effort it was taking from her to try and stay between her and whatever her quarry in the Bay was. Maybe the still discarded phaser or some kind of control panel access? Ghant could not say, as she did not have eyes in the back of her head quite yet. But she did know that she was tired of this Maria's game and tired evermore still at the oppressive and falsely superior air of the Starfleet tub. Before she had thought it to be her next trophy and now she only wanted to see it turned to dust to float among the dead black stars.
oO Such a difference a few hours can make...Oo
Alvarez: Yeah? And what makes you think that?
Ghant: You think this a dance. But I know it for what it is. Life and death.
To accentuate the point, she jumped suddenly, crashing both feet hard into her chest sending Ghant falling to her back and the Ensign spilling back into the Bay with an audible crash. As quickly as she fell, Ghant kipped back up, displaying her OWN dancer's grace and effortless movement. Her eyes instantly found the Ensign, spilled into a puddle of elbows and knees on the flooring.
She knew she needed to be off the ship. She knew she needed to get back to the Edge to try and salvage something from this failed "sure-thing". But she also knew...that she wanted to take her time with this one. She took a step forward, but a newly familiar voice cracked the Bay's soundscape.
Wilde: ::theatrically.:: Well, well, well. If it isn’t Captain Hook?
She craned her neck hard toward the sound's owner and was given her latest surprise. It was The Pretty One! Now turned...Slightly Pummeled One. But still his beauty (for a humanoid/mammalian) shone through the fresh pops and shots. Her rage seemed to...temper at the sight of him. Brighten into something far more pronounced than it was before then. She could not articulate it. Nor would she ever truly understand it. But it was there all the same.
And was more than ready to be poured into these fragile birds of Starfleet. Her teeth bared into a hideously ravenous smile.
Ghant: AH! My Pretty! Have you come to see your admirer off, Pretty?
Wilde: You know, I asked myself when you first came aboard what fitting human pirate name you'd have if you lived hundreds of years ago. We had Blackbeard. I rather fancied Greenscalp, for you. But I like Captain Hook better. How's the wrist?
She sucked her teeth slightly, turning now to approach The Pretty One, pointing her still stinging and now slightly scabbed initial wound in his direction as she stepped lightly in a slight arc toward round the side of him.
Ghant: It still ever so hurts, Pretty. Perhaps I should make you kiss it better.
The Pretty One swept their arms and bowed mockingly. At least he was taking ownership of the damage he had caused. It was more than she could say for any of the others. But even that would not stay her hand once she got to the end of her arc.
Wilde: You’ve hurt a lot of people today, Hook. I underestimated you in the transporter room, and in the briefing room. That was my mistake. Your mistake was to take your eyes off the prize. Captain Hook famously hated and chased the boy Peter Pan - the boy who never grew up - in revenge for taking his hand. Well Pan's right here, Captain. Take me!
She growled mightily as she lurched, granting his request. In seconds she had scads of his signed and now well worn uniform in her hands, pulling him closer to her, mere hair lengths from his ear.
Ghant: This. Is. Not. A fairy tale.
Hammering home the lesson was a savage headbutt, crashing her foreskull into the bridge of the Pretty One's nose. She would normally have hated destroying something so beautiful but when it's very existence ran counter to you, it tended to color one's experience and appreciation. She started forward but was keened to a nearby hissing sound. She darted her eyes wildly around the Bay, but was too late.
As quickly as she had clocked it, the sound had suddenly intensified and then resolved with a heavy POP. A nearby bulkhead cover junction had been blown, flinging the heavy cap metal from its housing and sending it flying drunkenly through the air, pitching hard off of Ghant's midsection and left flank. The sudden blow hit bone deep and sent her sprawling just like Maria Alvarez had previously.
She was raising to try and work feeling back into her arm.
Ghant: Blowing bulkheads now? Your spineless Captain must be panicking now, eh?
Ghant: It matters little. I do not need that much time to kill you.
To Be Continued...
MSNPC Captain Eru Ghant
Corsair Captain of the Razor's Edge
Privateer-at-Large and In Exodus
As Simmed By
QUENTIN COLLINS III
U.S.S. ARROW NCC-69829