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A Profitable Arrangement

Writers: AL, Devin, Cali
Date Posted: 24th November 2008

Characters: Jerroll, Lerra, Cervil
Description: Cervil, Jerroll, and Lerra have a chat on the deck.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 12, day 9 of Turn 4

"Morning Cap'n, Jerroll." Cervil, the Silver Sails Quartermaster, acknowledged the two as he approached them at the helm.

"Morning," Jerroll returned.

Lerra turned her gaze upon her Quartermaster and nodded cooly. "Good morning." She turned away from him, sharp eyes returning to the sea the rolled beneath them. "On course, I assume." Of course, if there had been trouble, Cervil would not have hesitated telling her.

"Aye," he assured her, "The watch kept a good eye last night. If we keep up this wind we'll be in port by tomorrow evening."

"Good. The sooner, the better." Lerra hoped that this venture would prove to have at least _some_ profit. She glanced over at Jerroll. She was doing him a favour and he realised that. Of course, she _had_ owed him a couple.

"And maybe we can spend a few days there?" Jerroll lifted an eyebrow at his Captain.

Cervil opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. He'd heard some talk, but sometimes talk was just talk. Still.. "Cap'n, I don't know if that's such a good idea."

"What's wrong with staying a few days?" Jerroll asked "We've been running light of late is all." Cervil explained, meaning light of smuggled and therefore more profitable goods. "If the men are given too much time on shore, their pockets could remind them of it."

Lerra snorted. "If the trip proves profitable, the crew will have nothing to complain about." She cast another glance toward her First Mate. "If not, then we'll leave port and look elsewhere." It was a favour to Jerroll, but that didn't mean she was going to lose marks over it.

Jerroll nodded. "Esper Bay is a busy port. We'll find plenty of good trade." It was good that there would be enough to pacify the crew while he helped Edele search for hints of her past. Maybe she wouldn't find anything, but they wouldn't leave with empty pockets.

Cervil nodded, he knew the two valued his opinions, but he also knew when to quit giving them. If the crew started to cause problems, the Captain would handle it. He'd done his job by warning her of the possibility. "I have a few contacts in Esper, I'll let you know if anything sounds promising."

"I'm sure you will." The Captain's hands played idly over the edge of the ship her mouth quirking up. "Just as I'm sure you'll let me know of any dissatisfaction among the crew."

"Aye," the quartermaster nodded again, "The men know you've been good to them."

Lerra smirked and leaned over the edge of the boat. "Something you should remind them of should they get discontent."

"They've been much happier with our little cook providing meals," Jerroll said.

"The way to a man's heart, his stomach." Lerra stated with a punctuated laugh. "But you're right, they are."

Cervil's report was given, he knew better than to hang about idly while there was still work to be done, "I'd best be gettin back Cap'n, enjoy your morn'n. Jerroll." he gave a nod and left the two at the helm.

Lerra returned the nod, then let her gaze wander out to the water once more. "I should have never said I owed you." The captain stated with dry humour.

"You said it several times." He pointed out with a grin.

"I'll probably say it several more before this trip is through." Lerra eyed her First Mate, but the hint of a smile played upon her lips. "Of course, you realise I'll hold you personally responsible if the trip is _not_ profitable."

"If we can't make any marks off this trip, I'll clean your cabin for a month," he said.

"I think that deserves a turn." Lerra quipped, glancing at Jerroll out of the corner of her eye. "At least."

"Six sevendays."

Lerra turned to face her First Mate, arms crossed over her chest. "A turn."

"You know, I didn't have to offer anything." Jerroll crossed his arms. "Two months."

"A turn and I don't make you walk the plank in the middle of the ocean."

"Two months and I won't start telling the crew embarrassing stories."

"Stories that have no truth to them." Lerra cocked an eyebrow. "A turn and I don't make Rekant cook your meals."

"Two months and you won't have to deal with me _pouting_." Jerroll smirked.

"A turn and I don't have to find myself a new first mate."

"Two months, and I don't find one of your clingy ex-lovers and tell them you've been _pining_ for them."

"Do that and you'll find yourself with a slit throat in the middle of the night." Lerra almost growled though her eyes twinkled in amusement.

"You'd have to find me first," Jerroll said, grinning. "You're going to fire me, remember?"

"I'll slit your throat and then I'll fire you." Lerra's stated with a chuckle. "A turn."

"When we get to port, I'll write letters addressed to your ex-lovers, with the instruction that if I die, they are to be delivered. Two months." He could hardly remember what they were arguing about.

"A turn." Lerra insisted, then leaned forward. "Or need I remind you about your own ex lovers, and to be sure you've had plenty of them. Remember Ridrei?"

He glared at her. "Are you going to go looking for her before or after you kill me?"

"Before." Lerra's grin widened. "I don't mind a bit of torture, you know."

Jerroll frowned. "You know, if I kill _you_ first, then I get to be Captain and I won't have to clean anything."

"I think you might have to deal with worse repercussions than you realise should it come to that." Lerra's eyes narrowed and she straightened up to her full height.

"Maybe we should call it a truce, and worry about how you're going to punish me _after_ we get to Esper Bay," Jerroll suggested.

"I suppose we could do that." Lerra stated, backing down for the moment. "Though I would enjoy seeing your face when I sicced Ridrei back on you."

Jerroll made a rude gesture at his Captain before walking away.

Last updated on the November 25th 2008

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.