48 Shake-down Run
Although the Phoenix was equipped for 130 berths, there were currently only 115 sailors on board. That was more than enough for a Shake-out Run. Pon, Sharl and Jun Li had each taken a ship out while Nix was below deck.
"How can you do that so fast Sir?" Captain Delphi was wearing a sharp-looking red overcoat with red pants and a white shirt. In a relatively short period of time, he had made the crews uniforms as well. They wore red pants that stopped at the knee with a white shirt. He had added a swim component to the pants and an AC (Armor Class) component to the shirt.
Description: + 100 to
Cooling Effect. + 5
Description: +100 to
Cooling Effect. Underwater
One by one the crew put on their new uniforms, the cooling effect was immediately popular. Nix had put the same effect on Delphi's uniform.
Nix smiled at the three empty berths, "looks like they got the jump on us. How about you show me what the Phoenix can do?"
Captain Delphi smile, she wore a red bandanna over her short hair instead of a hat. Her perfect smile was marred by a slight chip on her front tooth. "I'd love to Sir."
"Just Nix is fine Captain."
Jun Li and Semmi were at the front of the ship, enjoying the sea breeze as the Crane cut through the waves. To the right, they were kept pace by both the Scimitar and the Venture.
Jun Li was watching the competition since the ships were the same they weren't able to gain much ground. Pon was the closest on the Venture while Sharl seemed content to bring up the rear on the Scimitar.
"Maam! A ship has appeared behind us, it's gaining fast." Captain Hoki's deep voice carried from mid-ship.
"Gaining on us? Are we being attacked?" Jun Li and Semmi both trotted to the stern of the ship, one of the crewman handed them an eyeglass.
"Bastard." Semmi cursed under her breath and handed it to Jun Li.
Jun Li couldn't quite make out the ship. "Looks like a frigate. Why is it so fast?"
Semmi shook her head, "She couldn't be in our wind yet could she?"
Captain Hoki was a rail-thin man with a bald head. His skin was dark brown from a life spent at sea. "No. She's not in our wind, she's just faster."
The trailing ship started snaking in the water, quickly gaining on the Crane. Semmi watched as it continued to close, after a moment she scowled. "That's the Phoenix!"
Jun Li stomped her foot on the hardwood deck. "What kind of f*cking sails are those? How come we don't have them?"
Captain Hoki was staring at the Phoenix Sails, snow-white with a bright Phoenix emblazoned on it. "Custom sails, I have no idea where they would have got them."
Semmi shared a look with Jun Li. "I know exactly where they came from."
The Phoenix moved into their wind, effectively putting the brakes on them before coming broad-side to them. Most of the Phoenix crew had moved to the rail to wave.
Captain Delphi nodded her head to Hoki, before shooting a smile at Nix. "Permission to give them a proper greeting Sir."
Nix shrugged, "Whatever you like."
Captain Delphi yelled to her first mate. "Have the men greet them, Louie!"
Nearly a hundred sailors who had been at the rail waving turned around and gave them a half-moon. Nix roared with laughter when he saw them.
Semmi sighed heavily from the deck of the Crane, "not even a full moon."
Jun Li's face had turned bright red, "that's kinda rude! Even for Nix."
Captain Hoki took it in stride, "those uniforms are very sharp."
Just before sunset, all four frigates returned to Glory Island. Nix grabbed Mina and walked quickly toward his shop. "We should move fast before Junie pesters me about uniforms or sails."
When he arrived at his shop, there was a middle-aged woman waiting for him. She stepped forward and introduced herself. "I'm Nova. Would you be Mr. Nix?"
Nix nodded, "Are you the shopkeeper hired by Semmi?" As Nix recalled, Nova had been one of the names on the list of people she had hired.
"Yes, Sir." She looked relieved to finally meet him. All the people who she had been hired with were already assigned to a shop.
"Just call me Nix, please. Do you have a place to stay?"
Nova nodded, "I'll be commuting from my daughter's house in Espana."
"That's going to get expensive. You may stay above the shop whenever you like, to cut down on the portal prices." Nix gave her one of the keys and then unlocked the door to show her in.
"Oh my..." Nova glanced around at the products on display. "These are amazing Nix. You made all of this?"
"Yep. I'll make you some comfortable work clothes." He glanced over at Mina, "Could you see if Kyla has a minute? I'd like to talk to her."
Nix walked in back and started making a comfortable work uniform for Nova, while he was at it he made a few dresses and several sets of cotton undergarments. He was just finishing up when Mina came back with Kyla.
"Making me a new dress Nix?"
Nix returned her smile, "I'll make you a dozen nice dresses if you can take on an ultra-secret mission for me."
Kyla raised an eyebrow. "Ultra-Secret? Is there danger involved?"
He chuckled at her, "sure, you could drop something on your foot if you weren't careful. I want to hire you to customize my guns."
Kyla nodded, "Sure Nix. Another rifle then?"
Nix shook his head and walked toward the front door of his shop. He opened the door slightly and peeked out. "Follow me, Kyla, be quick."
A moment later he trotted down the dock toward the Phoenix, both Kyla and Mina followed him closely. He stopped at the gangplank and walked carefully toward the deck.
The first mate was standing nearby watching him, he was a short muscular man covered in interesting tattoos. "You only need to ask permission once a day sir."
"Oh okay. Could you ask Captain Delphi if she has a moment to talk?"
Louie nodded and then walked off. Nix brought them closer to the hold door. A few moments later Louie returned with the captain.
Delphi still wore the bright red uniform he had made for her. "Got something else up your sleeve Nix?" She was already getting a good understanding of his personality.
"Yep, take me to one of the 20-pounders, I need a standard firing crew also." They followed the captain below deck and exited into the cannon alley.
Nix was looking at 28 cannons, each of them was on a rail and mounted on a pivot. They could fire in either direction merely by flipping them. One deck lower was a mirror image of this one, bringing the total to 56 guns. "Two-person crews for a cannon?"
Delphi had two sailors with her. "That's correct, a loader and the fuser."
"In a fight, are the cannons assigned? Or do they just grab the first one they come to?"
"They aren't assigned to a specific cannon."
Nix glanced at Kyla then back at the Captain. "What if they were?" He stepped closer and inspected the cannon.
Steel Cannon: Twenty-pounder
Description: Fires twenty pound
projectiles. Max Range: 250 meters.
Effective Range: 100 meters.
Accuracy 3/10, reload 15 seconds.
Kyla admired the cannon, she liked the smell of new guns. "Why am I here Nix?"
"Could you customize this cannon to the fuser?"
Kyla's freckled face showed her surprise. "Customize a cannon?"
Nix nodded, " it's really just a big gun right?"
Kyla looked doubtful, "I'm not sure Nix." A small smile crept on her lips, "I really want to try though."
She spent several minutes inspecting the cannon after she was done she had a list of items she needed. Most of them were basic metals. "I have all of these in stock Nix. You're a crafter so I don't need to tell you how spendy experimenting can be."
"That's only for the first one, after that we'll be home free. Go get what you need, I will cover the credits." Nix waited, sometimes the cost of crafting new items bordered on ridiculous.
Kyla returned a few minutes later and set up the first cannon. "Every attempt is 51 thousand credits."
"Twenty attempts to start then." Nix crossed his fingers as she began to work. Too soon she glanced up at him.
"That's twenty Nix." She smiled when he transferred more credits to her.
Halfway through the attempts, her face broke into a big smile. She looked up at him, "Take a look!"
Steel Cannon: Twenty-pounder
Customized to Fedor.
Description: Fires twenty pound
projectiles. Max Range: 450 meters.
Effective Range: 200 meters.
Accuracy 5/10, reload 9 seconds.
Captain Delphi stared at the specs. "Holy Shit..."
Kyla laughed at their expression. "I never even thought to do heavy armaments."
Delphi glanced at Fedor, "from now on this is your cannon. Go roust the other fusers."
"So..." Kyla gave Nix a sly smile. "That's a dozen dresses. Don't be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. I like orange, but nothing pink, please. Oh, matching underwear too."
He nodded at her, "I'll get to work on it, you stay here and finish up. Remember... Ultra-secret."
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The next morning Nix sat on the rear deck of his Houseboat with Sharl, Pon, Jun Li, and Semmi. They were all reading the Sea-Farer Quest interface options. Since they had come to the aid of Broyan, the Inferno guild had aligned themselves with the Sea-Farer Faction. There were dozens of Quest options to advance through.
Jun Li had read through all of the options the night before and had stayed up late discussing them with Semmi. "I think we should take on the Bellator Quest Line. It eventually offers additional ships and the option to upgrade our Guild Town."
Nix had seen the quest, although it was unreasonable, he refused to touch anything with the Bellator name on it. Madrid Bellator had been one of the primary companies responsible for dumping toxins into water tables and burying barrels without proper insulation. "Sorry Juni, Inferno won't be doing the Bellator Quests."
Semmi was watching him carefully, Nix didn't wear his emotions on his sleeve. "Which one then?"
Nix pointed to a singular Quest. "This one." He activated the Quest and displayed in on his Guild Hud.
Description: Take 3-5 ships and scout
the small island of Veshu.
Reward: 5000 Sea-Farer faction points.
Jun Li read the question description, "it might be a good place to start. I like the choice."