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”By order of His Majesty, King Christopher, Son of Charles IV and First of His Name…This Decree Hereby Summons Captain Elizabeth Porter to the Royal Court…. You are Hereby Commanded to appear In Person… before the High Court at a time no later than thirty days from the date of this Royal Summons. Failure to show shall result in Harsh and Exacting Punishment. Anyone aiding or abetting Captain Porter in disregarding this Royal Summons shall join in the Imprisonment of one Alice Pieszecki until such a time as decreed by His Majesty, King Christopher. May all who read this Obey and Act Accordingly.”
Still seething as the ship set sail, Bette paced the captain’s deck, chewing on her anger, her mind racing with the implications of where they were going, what was being ask … demanded…. of her. A Kingly Summons. Her long black coat trailed behind her, muscular legs eating up space as she went from one end of the deck to another.
“That little boy King, that… that… petulant child dares to summon me? Me, Shane?” she spat, Shane leaning on the rails to look over at the water as the ship navigated into deeper water before building speed, the sails billowing above them. “What could he possibly want from me? From us?”
“He has Alice. I can’t believe he has Alice…” Shane said softly, shaking her head and Bette came to a halt, realizing the bigger significance in The Whisperer being a captive in Kingsport.
The things Alice knew, the people who might wish her harm. Alice had never been in captivity before, not like this. Usually, Alice saw any attempt at imprisonment a mile away, the whispers raising alarm. Bette’s crew had enemies, many of them, and Alice was a big part of the reason why given her proclivity for rumors and gossip. She would not be a popular cellmate or prisoner.
Running her hands through her thick hair, Bette swore. “Fuck, Shane. I have no earthly idea about how to approach this. How to win over a fucking King. I can barely stand to be in the same room as the nobility let alone enter fucking Kingsport. All that kneeling and posturing. What am I supposed to do, waltz in there in a corset and silk? Wave a fan and bat my fucking eyelashes like a damsel in distress? Yes, my Lord… please, my Lord…”