How The Whole Thing Started:
Isabela was pressed against the window of Citadel, her brown eyes huge, her mouth in the shape of an 'O'. She was practically drooling as her eyes scanned one ship after another. "So pretty. So many, many, many ships....soooooo little time." She said to her self, her lips curving into a smile.
"You are unbelievable, Bela!" said the diminutive woman standing next to her.
"How come you've never brought me here before, Kas? You know how much I Love Ships! So many, many, many ships!" Isabela said dreamily as her fingers flexed on the glass.
Kasumi Goto laughed at her friend. "You are something else, my friend."
All of a sudden Isabela's mouth fell open and an "O" escaped. "WOW!" she whispered. "Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?" she breathed.
Kasumi followed her gaze and smiled. "I know that ship" she said.
Huge amber orbs turned in her direction. "You?...know...THAT ship...Really?....How?...Spill!"
"That's Commander Shepard's ship, the Normandy." Kasumi replied nonchalantly, leaning one shoulder on the window. "I bet I could get the Commander to give you a tour."
Isabela had turned back to the window to track the progress of the beautiful frigate. "Normandy? Ewww. I'd name her something more fitting....like The Black Rose" she said.
"Black Rose? Really?" Kas laughed "Sometimes I wonder about you!"
"So when am I gonna get that tour Kas?" Isabela asked, not daring to believe. "I bet you don't even know this Commander Shepard!"
"Well," Kasumi pushed off the window and started to walk away "come on then."
Isable trotted after her friend, practically skipping. A huge smile on her lips, and a dreamy look in her eyes.
An hour later:
"Commander!" Kasumi called out as a trio of armored soldiers stepped out of the docking tube.
"Kas???" Commander Samantha Shepard asked with surprise as she turned towards the voice. "Staying out of trouble?" Sam asked with a wink as she shook Kasumi's hand.
"Mostly, Commander. You know how hard it is when a locked doorway just screams "Open Me! Open Me!"
Isabela watched the exchange with interest, studying the now famous Commander. She was tall, with a strong jaw, short dark hair peppered with grey. Sporting a long jagged scar that started at the corner of her left eye and continued all the way down her cheek, disappearing into her blue and green camo patterned armor. She had laugh lines creasing her amazingly turquiose eyes, whose color reminded her of the Caribbean Ocean back on earth. The beginnings of an intricate plan started to form in Isabela's head as she shook the Commanders hand.
Three hours later:
"So Isabela, what do you think of the Normandy?" Sam asked the exotic woman to her right.
"Ah M AAA Z I N G!!!" Isabela answered in a dreamy drawl, eyes huge as saucers, hands twitching at her sides.
Sam was watching her carefully. Wondering what the newcomer was thinking. 'Awe' was written all over Isabela's face. She noticed that Isabela's hands were twitching, as if she wanted to run her hands across every surface. They were standing in the empty cockpit now, and if she knew better, she would say the other woman was just about drooling. This woman is definitely striking she thought to herself. Isabela was a touch shorter then her, dark skin, long black hair covered by a blue bandana, and a gold hoop in each ear. Her face was extremely expressive with pouty lips and an easy smile. She wore white armor with black and blue highlights that somehow set off her big brown eyes, as if there was an inner light that made them shine. "Anything else I can show you? Questions?" Sam asked raising an eyebrow. Isabela turned and smiled up at her.
"I think I'm good at the moment. Tho I would love a ride when you have a chance?!" Isabela drawled.
Sam laughed "Sure...why not? But only if you are planning on staying on the Citadel for at least 3 weeks. Normandy is here for a quick refit, so my crew and I are clearing out and grabbing rooms on the station until the refit is complete."
Isabela pouted "Awww....3 weeks?"
"Raincheck?" Sam asked still smiling.
"Yes! Please!" Isabela answered excitedly.
1 week later:
"Bela! You are unbelievable!" Sam growled playfully at the card shark sprawled next to her with a goofy grin on her face. "You've got to be cheating! No one can be that lucky!"
"Jealous?" Isabela smirked. "Oh, I almost forgot....GIIIIIIN!"
"Oh come on!' Sam threw down her cards disgustedly and picked up the bottle of Rum. "I feel like I've been drinking the whole bottle all by myself." Sam grumbled.
"I've been helping you...a little, sweet thing." Bela drawled as she sauntered over to Sam and plopped herself onto her lap. "Drink up, kitten. We have a game to play."
"Commander? Commander?! Hey! Wake up!" Joker was shaking her.
"Jeff, I don't think you should be doing that." Edi reprimanded him.
"Joker?....Edi?....Wh..?...Oh...my head...." Sam mumbled as she slumped back onto the floor....Floor? She was groggy and her head was splitting. "What's going on?"
"Where the HELL is the Normandy?" Joker barked at her without preamble.
"Umm, docked in her slip at the repair yard. Where else would she be?" Sam replied with a shake of her head. "Why?"
"No....She....Isn't!!!!!" Joker spat out.
"Wha....What??" Sam's mouth dropped open. All of a sudden she laughed. "Oh good one Joker! You totally had me fooled for a minute! I'll try to remember NOT to play anymore April Fools jokes on you. HaHaHa!"
Joker looked to Edi, totally bewildered. "Show her."
Edi lifted the hungover Commander off the floor and carried her to the apartment window. Everyone looked out of the window at the empty slip where Normandy should have been. Sam just stared at the empty space...when all of a sudden Kasumi tapped her on the shoulder. "Did you happen to play any card games with Bela last night?" She asked with a ghost of a smile on her lips.
"Well...I think so. Things are a little fuzzy. I feel like I've been run over by a Mako." Sam replied touching her aching head.
Kasumi burst out laughing. "Thanks...a lot....Commander." She managed to get out between her giggling fit. "Now I'm gonna have to pay that rogue! We had a bet going that she could steal your ship! I told her "NEVER in a million years!" Now I'm gonna have to pay!" She kept laughing while all eyes were on her.
Then Sam snickered, and Joker followed suit. "Not a word to ANYONE!" Sam growled in between giggles. "Or someone's gonna get spaced....by accident of course."
1 Year Later:
As she slowly started to wake up, the first thing she noticed was that the ship was swaying instead of the steady humm and vibration that any spaceborn would recognize in an instant. This unfamiliar sensation of swaying, was completely wrong. She bolted out of bed and was immediately snapped back by a shackle and chain on her left wrist.
She looked around and took in her unfamiliar surroundings. She seemed to be in a dark wooden cabin, chained to an ornate wooden headboard. The cabin was fairly cramped compared to her quarters on the Normandy. Most of the space was taken up by a large wooden bed, a window, a trunk of some sort, and a wooden table that was covered in papers.
She reached for them.
She got her fingers on a corner and pulled, the resulting landslide of papers covered her.
She picked up the first piece and just ran her fingers over it. She couldn't remember the last time she had touched real paper. She looked aound her again. Not one datapad in sight. No computer panels. No keyboards.
What IS this place?
She looked back down at the paper in her hands and realized it was a map. Not like any map she had ever seen, but most definitely a map. There was something written on it. She brought it closer to her eyes and tried to make it out, but it was just too dark. She lifted her right hand and it started to glow with a blue biotic light, she looked back at the map. The words didn't seem to make any sense to her, something along the lines of "X marks the spot" and "dig here." She shook her head, and reached for another piece of paper. Another map. And another. And another. She stood up and glanced down at her clothes, or more like a serious lack thereof.
Ok, Sam, worry about where you are later. First things first. Get out of the shackle and then find some clothes.
She pulled with her biotic might and the shackle snapped. She rubbed her left wrist to bring the blood flow back and moved to check out the trunk. She flipped open the lid and started to pull things out of it. After a few minutes she surveyed her haul. There was a pair of leather trousers, a pair of soft leather boots, a white shirt, 1 long white scarf, a leather belt, several pieces of white ribbon, 2 sword sheaths on leather straps, and a huge assortment of knives, daggers, and swords.
She pulled on the trousers, then the boots, wrapped the white scarf around her torso, pulled on the shirt, she slung the 2 leather straps with the sheaths across her shoulders, and then she buckled the belt aound her hips. Into each boot she added 2 daggers. Around each wrist she tied another dagger with the white ribbon. Then she picked out 2 shorter swords and slid them into the sheaths on her back.
Ok, time to find out what the hell is going on.
She moved to the side of the window and carefully peered out. She gasped in horror and wonder, there was water as far as her eye could see. Not one little speck of anything other then blue.
WOW! A sea going ship! I'm ON a SEA ship!....Ok, guess I'll have to find out what's happening the old fashioned way.
She tore her eyes away from all that blue and moved back to the door on the other side of the room. She pressed her ear to the door and listened. Fairly quiet . She tried the door. Locked. She pulled out one of her daggers from her boot. Shoved it in the lock and twisted. She heard the click, and smiled.
Thanks Kasumi! I can't believe that actually worked!
She listened at the door again and then eased it slowly open. She waited until her eyes adjusted to the bright sunshine, and then looked carefully around. The first thing she noticed was the enormous main mast. It dominated the deck, rising high into the sky, sails billowing. Gorgeous! She slowly slipped out into the shadows and tried to remember everything Kasumi taught her about "sneaking" around. She pressed herself up against the wall by the door and listened. There was an overhang above her and she tried to remember what a seafaring ship looked like. She thought that the ship's wheel should be above. She heard voices and concentrated even harder.
"Oh come on big girl!" The voice was silky and smooth. It was almost sing song. "I found her fair and square. I get to keep her!"
"No way Isabela!" This voice was harder. Nothing silky smooth there. "Don't you remember what happened the last time you brought a "prize" home? Sorry Isabela, but NO!"
Several people walked down the stairs from the wheel house and into her view. One was a very short, balding man carrying an odd contraption on his back. Then came a child with very pointy ears, tattoos on her face, dressed in a robe, and carrying a staff. Then a tall, well built woman, with red hair, carrying a sword on her hip, and a shield on her back. Last, but most definitely NOT least was a woman that seemed very familiar to Sam. Long flowing black hair, kept in check by a blue bandana. Dark skin and captivating amber eyes.
"But....Griffon-lips....I want this one! This is MY ship! I'm the Captain here!" Said the dark haired siren with truimph in her voice. "I make the rules!"
"Wine-soaked pearl diver!" A defeated voice. "Just don't come crying to me when you break your toy!"
A bubbling giggle escaped Isabela. "Ha! I knew we'd get along....once you understood the rules on board The Black Rose!"
"CAPTAIN!" The lookout called from the Crow's Nest.
"Out with it!" Isabela called back.
"There's a ship approaching. I think it's a Qunari dreadnought." He yelled back.
"All Hands On Deck! Here comes the storm!" Isabela bellowed as one of her crewmen rang the emergency bell. "Hard to port! Drop sails! Lets try to outrun them!!!!"
That was the moment Sam chose to engage her cloak and step out onto the deck behind Isabela. She drew one of her daggers and snaked her arm around Isabela's neck, pressing the point of the dagger into the pirates jugular. "Isabela is it?" Shocked amber eyes tried to swivel to her face, as Sam disengaged her cloak. "I'm no ones property!"
Swords were drawn, bows were strung,
"Oooooooo. Aveline.....she's fiesty!" Isabela cooed. "I LIKE her!"
Aveline just shook her head. "I keep warning you about your acquisitions!"
"Ladies, ladies, ladies!" Cooed the short man with the odd contraption in his hands. "Do you think you 2 could put aside your differences for the time being? Both of you could always duel it out AFTER we defeat the big bad ship coming after us?
"Varric is right, sweet thing." Isabela reasoned. "What do you say? We could always play cards if you are squeamish?!"
"Something tells me never to play cards with you....UNless I want to lose!" Sam replied with a chuckle.
"Looks like she's already figured you out, Isabela!" Spoke up the youngster with the pointy ears.
"You think kitten??" Isabela answered with a chuckle.
"Qunari dreadnought for sure Captain! Getting awful close!" The lookout yelled down from the Crow's Nest.
Nervously, all eyes were on Sam....waiting. "OK!" Sam said as she withdrew her blade. "Survive now! Duel later!"
Isabela beamed at her "Who in Davey Jones's Locker ARE you, sweet thing?"
"Samantha Shepard at your service, and you are?" Sam inquired.
"Why, I'm Isabela. The Pirate of Thedas!" Isabela answered. "You've seriously never heard of me?"
Before Sam could answer, the Qunari dreadnought fired their cannons. Isabela's ship fired back in answer. Everyone cleared the deck and the exchange continued for 10 minutes, until the dreadnought drew next to the Black Rose. The Qunari lashed the 2 ships together and started to board.
Before Sam knew what she was doing, she was up on deck, both swords drawn, shimmering blue with her biotic power. She was on the attack and the odd looking creatures with the horns started to fall under the onslaught of her swords and her biotics. The fight lasted for what felt like hours, but was only 20 minutes. Sam and Isabela found themselves back to back. Swords moving at the speed of light.
"So what do you think, sweet thing? You, me, a bottle of Rum, a big bed, no clothes....?" Isabela drawled, as they fought.
"You, me, a big bed, no clothes......forget the Rum and we are ON!" Sam flirted back.
A Few Minutes Later:
The blaring alarm brought Sam out of a sound sleep. She sat up and went to swing her legs out of bed when she felt movement to her left. She looked at her bedmate, long black hair, and dark toned skin....Sam froze.
"Who did you expect to find in your bed?" Bela asked sleepily as she stretched, "Miranda? And the answer better be "Of course NOT!" even if that is who you were HOPING to find here." She growled.
"Actually, I thought you were a Pirate of Thedas!" Sam replied "I had the most incredible dream! Dreamed that you were a pirate on a sea ship."
"Ooooooo! A pirate....on a ship, you say? I LOVE ships!!" she winked. "Remember how i "borrowed" the Normandy when we first met?" Bela asked, fully awake now, with a rogueish smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye.
"How could I forget?" Sam grumbled "Especially since you keep reminding me every 5 minutes!"
Bela beamed at her "Soooo, what were you doing on my ship?"
"I was your prisoner it seemed. Pet? Slave? Sex toy? Something like that."
"Keep talking, mija! You've got my heart all a flutter!" *Wink* "A pirate you say?" *Wink* "MY prisoner?" *Wink wink*
"You're incorrigible Isabela!" Sam laughed.
"As much as I'd love to explore this "pirate" thing more....I think we'd better get our behinds to the CIC and find out why Joker pushed the little panic button. But don't think that we aren't going to explore this topic further! Since I'm already dying to try this "pirate" thing out!" Bela said, as both of them threw on their clothes, and jumped into the lift.
"Just absolutely DYING!" Bela declared as she pinched Sam's behind and they unceremoniously fell out of the lift into the packed CIC.
Sam immediately turned all red as all eyes were on them.
"Nice one, whore!" Miranda shook her head disapprovingly.
"What's the matter big girl? Jealous?" Isabela goaded Miranda, with a wink for the rest of the crew.