|Sometime later.. (SteampunkAU)
||[Jun. 12th, 2009|08:03 pm]
From Korea to Hawaii -- A Musebox
"But that means...Master Edgeworth!"
But before the head maid could protest, a younger woman- no more than 18, really- pushed past the elaborate double doors, barreling down the hallway of the lavish VonKarma mansion. The behaviour was abhorrent, yes; but the message was urgent.
Mary Kohn held little privilege in the household, such as it was. Only having been hired a few years ago, she quickly rose to be one of the top maids in the Duke's household, and had been praised on more than one occasion by the Duke's wife before the lady took her leave- making her one of few others to receive such an accomplishment. Her job was hard, and she worked long hours, but she was proud of it.
Over time, she had grew to know the Duke's adopted son, Baron Miles Edgeworth. Never anything less than professional, of course, even if Mary harbored a slight crush on him (that didn't matter- he was beyond her league to begin with, in many ways). By some miracle, he was unusually open with her, and over time she realized that her duties tended to revolve around the Baron's living space- not that she complained, of course, but it was certainly odd. Many people spoke in no uncertain terms about how odd the Baron was (never in his presence, of course), but that fact that he seemed to take a liking to this maid was the start of rumors and much speculation.
That meant she was doing her job well.
She stumbled upon the stairs, almost tripping over her feet as she grabbed the marble handrail. After righting herself, she pressed on quickly, pushing her way rudely up the steps past scowls and looks of concern.
"Master Edgeworth! Come quick!"
One of Mary's morning tasks included the fetching of the Baron's mail to be delivered to the post in town. It tended to be normal correspondence- business inquiries, invitations to socials. Mary never quite understood the need for such formality, but she supposed that's why she wasn't nobility. They were meant to understand such things.
During one of these outings, a letter slipped from from a hastily sent and none too closed envelope. Mary noticed, and had picked it up- with full intent to put it back into the envelope, honest- until curiosity got the best of her, and she read it.
It wasn't until she noticed the intended recipient of the letter that she realized that it was far beyond a normal note to a lover.
She had told him the truth, and had begged to him, pleading to keep her job, promising not to reveal the situation to anybody. He certainly wasn't pleased by what she told him, but then something happened that Mary would never have expected.
He laughed, and she kept her job. The reason?
"You are honest," he had told her, "which is a quality that is severely lacking in these parts."
From then on, Mary handled this new, important task of being both a bearer of correspondence (such as she did earlier, when the Baron asked her to pass along a note to that cold first mate of his lover's ship), and curtailing rumors by giving the appearance of her being more than a maid to the Baron. He didn't specifically ask for the second part, and had apologized for dragging her into such a dishonorable situation, but Mary didn't mind. It really was the least she could do.
Finally, almost skidding past the Baron's door, she stopped, pounding on it as hard as she could.
"Baron Edgeworth! Please open the door!"
"What's the problem, Mary?"
She turned, looking worriedly at the footman- Marcus, a new hire.
"The ship that the Duke had sent out-- it's being attacked! It's all over Nimbus News on the telehubs!"
Marcus paled, and after quickly confirming this was so, bolted downstairs to take a glimpse at the scene. It wasn't just the Baron's personal life that was in jeopardy- that ship was rumored to be vital to the continued success of the VonKarma gentry, and if that went down, everything could be lost. Why else would the Duke hire such an odd cast of characters?
Meanwhile, Mary pounded against the heavy wooden doors again, exasperated.
"45 degrees, port side! I want this ship turned around, now!"
Phoenix leaped off the edge of the helm, rushing over to one of the girls- Yukiko? something like that- and helped her control the rigging of the left sail. A recent phaser blast nearly ripped it to shreds, which would be a large problem unless immediately fixed. Cursing under his breath, he turned to his right, barking out another order before facing the girl again.
Confident that she could handle it, he ran over to his own ship's weapons, watching repairs quickly being made to the side turrents, and more of the kids firing steadily at-
well, at clouds. They were in a thick patch of them, darkly gray and threatening to split open soon. He would have made a comment on the irony of this if he wasn't worried about the welfare of his ship and crew at the moment.
"Be careful on that! And stop shooting until we can see what the hell it is! William, get your ass over to that power generator and charge it- Yosuke, how long until those repairs can be made?"
It was as if their unknown assailant knew exactly where to target their attacks to do the most damage. That was impossible- no one he could think of would have access to the ship's blueprints aside from the crew, and none that ever boarded would have shared except--
The clouds gradually started to give way- but not to something that improved the situation. The entire sky was overcast, thick and heavy and drooping- there was no doubt that this storm was about to rip the sky right open. Phoenix could even see the approaching wind and rain ahead of him- far enough away to not immediately worry about it, but close enough that he needed to act quickly before any more damage was done. This was filed away, however, due to a much larger, much immediate threat finally making its presence known.
It was streamlined. It was colorful. It was modern, gorgeous- a true statement on technology and the genius of man.
It was stolen from the Imperial Guard, and could honestly use some improvements.
Phoenix gritted his teeth as the ship fully formed ahead of him. "Damn her!" he thought, and not for the first time did he wonder just what the Duke's true plan for this excursion was.
After all, she never chased after anything unless it was priceless.
Phoenix gripped the side of the ship, knuckles changing color, and waited for her to make her grand entrance.