1117: The Pirate and the Peasant – Chapter 1Posted: July 24, 2015
Title: The Pirate and the Peasant
Topic: Frozen, Rise of the Guardians, Brave, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Peter Pan, Percy Jackson and The Olympians
URL: Chapter 1
Critiqued by Ghostcat (with special guest Syl)
Welcome to the beginning of a new fic, dear Patrons!
This short-ish offering comes from the same author of that Cinderella knockoff I worked on a few weeks ago, and features the author’s OTP of Jack and Elsa. According to the fic summary, this fic is set in a “pirate!au”, which is just a little outside my area of expertise – so I’ve called in a favor from Kanai-san. She’s got a friend who I think would really help out with this fic :looks around: they should have been here by now, actually…
:with a deafening boom, the ceiling collapses:
Bloody hell! :dives behind console:
:A figure dressed in worn doeskin breeches and a much-patched canvas waistcoat drops down through the dust, landing with a soft thump on the desk, bits of plaster crunching under her bare feet. Bracelets of bright glass beads and leather cords circle each bare sun-browned arm at the wrist and just above the elbow, adorned with tiny silver bells that chime as she moves. A wide sash woven from strips of garish cloth is wrapped twice around her waist, a long fringe of blood-red silk swaying as she straightens and a heavy ring of oddly shaped metal devices jangles at her hip:
“Did I miss anything?”
Umm, no. I was just wondering where you were.
“Ah, perfect timing, then!”
Just a quick question – was there anything wrong with using the door?
“I like to make a memorable entrance, darling. It’s my style.”
:Ghostie sighs: SHINOBI-SAN!
-ONE BRIEF CLEANING MONTAGE LATER-
:looking up at new ceiling: “Wow, those little guys are good.”
Unfortunately, they’ve had a lot of practice. Now that you’ve made your entrance, I suppose you’ll need to be introduced.
“Of course! Where are my manners?”
Funny, I was thinking the same thing when you BLEW UP MY CEILING!
“That’s all in the past, dear. Move on.”
Anyway, this is Syl. :Syl removes her tricorn hat and sketches a curtsey, holding invisible skirts out wide: She’s the navigator…
…Navagatrix for the airship Zephyr, a pi… Is that what I think it is?
“Do you think it’s a very large skinning knife pressed against your windpipe?”
:holds very still: Yes, that’s what it feels like.
“Perhaps you should re-think your word choice, then. The Zephyr is a Free Trader.”
Look, do you want to do this or do you want me to?
“Oh, no – I wouldn’t dream of hijacking your little …” : makes vague gesture with knife: “Whatever it is you call this. Please continue.”
I would really appreciate it if you would put that away.
“No doing. I wouldn’t want you to have another unfortunate word choice error.”
:sighs: Anyway, the Free Trader Zephyr has had many, many run-ins with pirates over the years – almost as if they were purposefully attracting them for some reason.
“Can we help it if they think we’re a tempting target ripe for the harvest? We are merely defending ourselves, quite aggressively, from those ill-kempt swine after they attack us.”
And I suppose the fact that cargo seized from pirates is considered legal salvage never enters into the equation.
:Syl shrugs: “I see it as a free lesson in the dangers of preconceived notions.”
Careful, you’re starting to sound like a captain.
“Me, in a position of authority? Bite your tongue, woman!”
Now that we’ve gotten completely side-tracked, let’s get started on this fic. And what better place to start than with the summary? That’s an easy way to break you in, Syl.
“The way you smile when you say that reminds me of my brother, Dine. It is very unnerving.”
Pirates didn’t usually take the nobodies. They normally stole the jewels, maybe capture a princess or two. But never has Captain Elsa Jane wanted a nobody this badly. After all, Jackson Overland wasn’t your usual peasant. He was gold. And he would be hers. Jelsa; pirate!au; multi-crossover.
:Syl snorts in a very unladylike manner:
You have a problem?
“This child has a very misguided idea of what a pirate does.”
Are you saying pirates don’t steal jewelry and the occasional princess?
“Jewelry, maybe – but only what’s carried by passengers. The thing about treasure ships and nobles is, they are very well guarded. There’s usually a convoy providing layers of defense. It can be tempting plum, but a dangerous one not worth the effort for a single ship. A pirate fleet, they might chance it for the right reward, but not a singleton. Better to stick with merchant ships; trade goods are less likely to bitch and moan about how they are treated, and don’t require melting down to disguise their origins.”
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Okay, I’m stupid for posting another story, but this idea has been eating me alive. So I hope you enjoy it!
We haven’t even gotten to the fic proper and the author’s already trying to lower our expectations. That’s a good sign.
“Does this person have no pride in their work? Are all of these authors such milk-livered cowards?”
…I’m guessing you haven’t read many of our riffs.
He was gorgeous.
:Syl and Ghostie look at each other:
Are you hiding a man in your pockets?
His hair was the brightest of whites, with the roots shining a brilliant brunette.
“Poor bloke’s been in the sun too long.”
No, I think that’s supposed to be Jack.
“Looks like the fun kind of trouble, but a bit young for my tastes. He is in want of a good combing; that’s not a cowlick, it’s a herd-of-cowslick. But I don’t see any brown hair, brilliant or otherwise.”
Not really sure where the author got that from. Jack’s hair is brown when he’s a mortal, but for most of the film it is shades of dark grey fading to silver at the tips.
From what she could see, Captain Elsa had concluded that he had blue eyes. Beautiful, sparkling, shiny-
“We get it, he has nice eyes! Surely there are more interesting features on a boy.”
Not according to some modern novels. :gives Syl the Library doorstop: Take a look at this.
:Syl flips through pages:
“By God. It just keeps going and going… Does this boy sparkle?”
Snap out of it Elsa.
No idea. According to the summary, she’s the captain – but nothing’s been established thus far.
Staring at him from the safety of the bowsprit wasn’t going to do anything. All it was going to do was bring trouble.
:Syl snorts again:
“The lass is on the bowsprit and thinks no one will notice her making calf’s-eyes at this boy? Unlikely.”
I don’t know what that is.
“Where are the little fellows in the black pyjamas…” :whistles sharply: “Oi!”
:Syl shouts something in Japanese: “And make it quick!”
Are you sure you’re not a captain?
“Nah, too much responsibility.” :ninja delivers a roll of paper: “About time!”
“This is the bowsprit.”
Oh! It’s that pointy bit at the front of the boat.
:deep sigh: “Yes, the pointy bit at the front. It’s exposed to everything, so it isn’t a good hiding spot to spy on this mystery boy.”
Elsa was supposed to have already set her mission underway, her mission to steal the crown jewels in Corona. Originally, she had been planning to send Kristoff, Astrid, and Merida.
“This Elsa, she’s sending three people to steal the crown jewels of a country?”
That’s what it looks like.
“How? it takes more than three to man the rigging, never mind the actual fighting.”
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Kristoff and Astrid were her looters.
This isn’t a job I’m familiar with.
:Syl shrugs: “Never heard of it. I can guess what they are supposed to do, but I’ve never seen designated looters before. It’s a working pirate vessel, not that odd game with all the strange dice and those bits of paper and little figures I saw the mouthy lizard playing with the skeletons.”
Crunchy’s still playing that campaign with the Darkwraiths? They must be taking their time exploring the dungeon.
“I think there was some discussion over the lizard’s desire to simply burn the place down and collect the treasure once the ashes cooled.”
That does sound like Crunchy.
They were the ones who led the raids when she had to stay on the ship. Merida, while she wasn’t a looter, was a weapons expert. She could provide the extra protection, in case of an attack.
“I have the sudden urge to hit my head against something.”
Try the desk.
“Oh, lovely! What do you call it?”
“…You’re not very good at naming things, are you?”
Nevermind that. Why are you headdesking?
“Nothing about this situation makes sense. It is as if Elsa is sending off her crew to burgle the crown jewels rather than stealing them as plunder from a ship.”
So pirates don’t burgle?
“Not their style. They aren’t against acquiring wealth via non-traditional methods, but burglary requires subtlety and skills that a smash and grab pirate wouldn’t have.”
Not that you would know anything about that.
“Of course not.”
Let’s just assume that the pirates are special burglar-pirates, or we’re never going to get anywhere.
Of course, that plan had backfired. Hiccup and Tink, her blacksmiths, had to make all new weapons, since the last set had been stolen back on Berk. Hiccup had warned Elsa it would be a bad idea to head to his homeland.
And he had been right.
“I’m sorry, does that say that the ship has not one but two blacksmiths on board?”
And I think one of them is Tinkerbelle.
:Syl headdesks: “It’s a wooden ship! I know water-ships are different from airships, but there’s still a significant fire hazard with all that wood and cloth and oil. A large wooden ship is a tinderbox with sails.”
We’re assuming it’s a wooden ship, but it might not be. There’s quite a lot of Formless Void around here.
After a sincere apology, Elsa and Hiccup made up, and the captain offered to make amends by giving Hiccup a Stygian Iron dagger she had picked up on one of her solo travels to the Greek Islands of Blest.
“The fickle wench already has a man?”
It would appear so. That’s strange for this author, she’s a diehard Jelsa shipper. They’ll probably breakup shortly.
Hiccup prompted to name the dagger Toothless, which was fitting.
“That’s a terrible name for a blade.”
Good name for a dragon, though.
“I thought your dragon’s name was Gumdrop?”
:sighs: I miss sensei; at least he gets my pop culture references.
The blunt end of the knife looked like a sharp tooth at its finest, even if it couldn’t cut the mere fabric of their clothes.
“Is this supposed to be a description of the hilt? Because it is terrible.”
Of course, the sharp end, well that was a different story. Sharp, painful; the perfect weapon.
Wow. That end’s even worse.
“A piddly belt knife is the perfect weapon because it is both sharp and painful? What nonsense is this?”
It’s actually pretty standard for the fics we find. We don’t have a very good track record in the Library when it comes to descriptions of arms and armament. Or descriptions of anything, really.
Elsa shakes off her thoughts. She heads to her captain’s quarters, striding over to the bookshelves full of her guides.
Running her fingers across the spines of the book, reading the titles as she went along.
“She has open bookshelves in her cabin?”
Hey, a lot of people like to read.
“I take it you haven’t done a lot of sailing on the open ocean. There’s big storms that can spring up suddenly, lots of movement.”
Oh! That would be a problem.
I wouldn’t mind one right about now.
It’s a kind of … Nevermind.
She pulls the book out, flipping through the pages. “Yadda, yadda, magic flower dying queen. Blah, blah, blah, AHA!” she exclaims, her finger holding her place.
“Is this Elsa consulting a book of fairy tales during a raid? How has she managed to retain her captaincy?”
Isn’t she just … the captain?
:Syl gives Ghostie a look: This isn’t the Royal Navy, dear. It’s a pirate ship. They are all criminals; they only follow the captain if it is in their own best interests. If she’s gone soft in the head then she’s heading for a slit throat.”
She walks out of the quarters, her crew turning to face her.
“GET BACK TO WORK, YOU WANKERS!”
Dude. :Ghostie rubs ears: Tone it down.
“Sorry, force of habit.”
I didn’t think a navigator…
I didn’t think a navigatrix issued orders to the crew?
They don’t. :caresses blade of knife:
Suddenly I find myself not caring.
“Alright, Kristoff, Merida, I need you two to sneak into the castle to steal the younger princess, Anna.” She says, looking down at the book as she walked.
“Only two? They must be fierce warriors or clever thieves.”
If it’s the same characters I know of, Merida is a teenaged princess and Kristoff is an ice farmer in his early twenties.
“That’s who Elsa chooses for this dangerous and frankly suicidal mission?”
“Maybe these are other people with the same names.”
Don’t count on it; many of these fics think that using the name of an established character means that the author doesn’t have to bother describing them.
“Son of a shrimp-swivving seadog!”
The heels of her boots click-clacked as she walked.
Oh, that’s bad.
Nothing been described at all except Elsa’s footwear; that could be a harbinger of wardrobe porn.
“…That sounds less fun than the regular kind.”
It is significantly less fun.
“Astrid, I need you to stay on the ship and continue to test out the weapons.”
“The daft twit brought untested weapons on board and has decided to test them now, while she’s sending crewmen out to kidnap a princess? IS SHE MAD?”
Jury’s still out.
“Captain,” piped up Kristoff, “Shouldn’t we also try to steal the older princess?”
“Sure, why not? Pop a few dukes in your duffel while you’re at it!”
Hey! Sarcasm’s my thing!
“I wasn’t sure if you all were aware, but the older princess has been lost for many years, almost 18. We can forget about her.
“If it’s been that long, why does she still refer to this Anna as the ‘younger’ princess? This older princess is likely dead by now, so Anna should just be the princess.”
I sense an upcoming plot twist that you’re not going to like.
As for myself, I will steal the crown jewels. Got it?”
“Is it too much to hope that her crew waits until she leaves on her insane mission and raise anchor?”
Far too much. If past fics are any indication, everything will go off without a hitch.
“But it’s so poorly planned!”
It’s a badfic; that’s how they work.
The crew saluted and got the work.
“Pirates, saluting? What the bloody hell?”
“It’s not the bloody navy – THEY ARE CRIMINALS! CRIMINALS DO NOT SALUTE!”
Do I need to turn the hose on you?
Elsa takes off her cap, heading into her captain’s quarters and hanging it up on its hook. She grudgingly pulls off her coat, hanging it up as well.
“Is this that porn you were speaking of?”
It’s “wardrobe porn”, and it is possible. SInce she’s only taking clothes off, it could also be the other kind.
She glances down at her black baggy pants and loose blue shirt. They would have to go, if she was going to pass as a peasant.
“How is looking like a peasant going to help her steal the Crown Jewels?”
“What does a color have to do with anything?”
Seriously, you need to read up on our memes.
She opens her closet and pulls out her blue dress. It wasn’t much, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to be.
“Oh, so it is because of blue.”
…Okay, that was weird.
“I have a question.”
“What’s a ‘closet’?”
Ummm… It’s like a tiny room where you keep clothes.
“There’s a separate room inside the cabin used just for storing clothing?”
“That’s a waste of valuable space; how many articles of additional clothing can one person have? Three, maybe four?”
Modern people tend to have a lot more than that. A lot more in some cases.
“Your seamstresses must be worked to the bone. And what’s wrong with keeping clothing in a cabinet?”
That would make more sense.
She quickly changes, tying her platinum hair back into a bun. She steps out of her knee-high boots, stepping into a pair of simple flats, like most of the female peasants wore.
“If her boots were loose enough that she could just step out of them, then she’s better off without them. I’d rather be barefoot anyway; most of the crew go barefoot on-ship. Makes it easier to climb, less chance of slipping.”
Depending on the era and season, most peasants went barefoot as well. Too bad neither season nor approximate era has been established thus far.
She grabs a dagger and stick it into her belt, tucking it in between the folds of the dress.
“This dress has a belt?”
“What else does it have?”
:shrugs: whatever it needs, I guess.
“That’s not very helpful.”
Neither is this narration. I seem to have a knack for finding the most nondescript wardrobe porn ever. And that really pisses me off; clothing styles vary greatly from country to country and over time so it is a good way to inform the audience of the setting without beating them over the head with it. This “blue dress” could be anything from a medieval smock to a modern maxi-dress.
She pulls on a cloak, happy that it could hide the dagger furthermore.
“Is there a reason she doesn’t want to advertise the fact that she’s armed? Does this Elsa enjoy getting accosted in dark alleyways?”
I can think of a couple of reasons, but all the scenarios I can come up with require more information than this fic has given me. She could be avoiding the attention of guards, or it could be illegal for peasants to carry weapons, or illegal for women, or any number of situations. The narration is just too vague to narrow it down.
She walks out of her quarters, smiling brighter than she’d done in a long while.
“New clothing does put a lift in my step, but I think she’s over-reacting. It wasn’t even new, she already had the outfit laying around.”
At least she isn’t whistling.
She gives a two finger salute to her crew, jumping off the deck and landing on the dock without a problem. Thankfully no one seemed to pay her any mind.
If it helps, you can give the fic a one-finger salute.
She fiddles with the ends of her sleeves, not paying any attention to where she was going.
No one is paying attention to her, she isn’t paying attention to them, the audience isn’t paying attention to the fic…
“Ghostie isn’t paying attention to her surroundings…”
Yes, I am! … Wait, where did that bottle come from?
:sips bright green liquid from a cordial glass: “That cabinet over in the corner. I must commend you on your fine selection of liqueurs.”
That was locked!
“It’s so cute that you think that would make a difference.”
Of course, she was going to crash into someone, or something at that rate, but a hand grasping her shoulder yanked her back. She closed her eyes, waiting for an impact with something, anything, but all she felt was arms holding her up.
But she did run into something; that hand that struck her.
“It didn’t strike her, it grabbed her and pulled her backwards. I’m impressed that she managed to keep her feet in the crowd.”
“Surely she would be leaving her ship at the docks; harbors are quite busy and crowded.”
:shrugs: Could be. I can’t tell anything with all this Formless Void floating around.
She dares to open her eyes, meeting with the eyes she’d spotted earlier, the beautiful boy she was spying on.
Yeah, that’s not contrived at all.
“It is a stroke of luck for Elsa; she can tie him up with her belt and then nip back to her cabin on the ship with him.”
And then continue on with her ill-advised scheme?
“In a day or four.”
“You should be more careful. Judging by the fact I’ve never seen you before, you must be new to Corona. I’m Jackson Overland, please call me Jack, and you are?”
A bit overwhelmed by that sudden rush of exposition.
“They are at the docks, aren’t they?”
Maybe? There’s not much in the way of setting.
“Docks are busy places, lots of people coming in and out of the area. It would be impossible for anyone to recognize every single face in such a crowd. I doubt half the people around them have been to that country before.”
It could just be his way of flirting with her.
“Assaulting her on the docks and then spouting this nonsense? That would never work.”
Elsa almost formerly introduced herself, before she managed to get a grip on herself. “I’m Elsa, Elsa Ja…mes.. Elsa James.”
“What is she doing?”
I’m going to assume that was supposed to be “formally”, not “formerly”.
“Even with that, this is ridiculous. How did she become captain if she can’t manage a simple little lie?”
Never underestimate the power of an OTP.
“Is that some kind of new-fangled weapon from that cute Kraut?”
They are responsible for destroying large swathes of canon, so … kinda.
Wait, you think Bifocals is cute?!?
:shrugs: “I like the accent.”
“Nice to meet you Elsa. I suggest you keep an eye on where you’re going.” Jack laughs and lets go of her. “Well, I hope I’ll be seeing you around.” He bounds off with a quick wave.
“Jackass! You are the one who assaulted her! She should be giving you your hand back in pieces!”
You’re a lot more violent than sensei.
“Who is this ‘sensei’ you keep blathering on about?”
Ishi-sensei? :Syl looks puzzled: He’s Kanai-san’s husband?
“Oh, him. He makes you call him ‘sensei’?”
It’s a sign of respect.
He’s a doctor!
:Syl snorts so hard she starts coughing:
Elsa reaches out to stop him, before it hit her. The crown jewels.
You know, those sparkly things that are the entire reason for you to be in this section of the Void.
“Personally, I think the boy is a better idea; there might be an increased chance of catching a new social disease, but there’s less risk of summary execution by angry guards.”
Okay, she would have to hire someone to do this if she wanted to go after Jack.
“Doesn’t she have an entire crew to choose from?”
She should, there’s still loads of characters from all the canons the author is mining for names. I thought you were upset that these pirates weren’t qualified to burgle the jewels? Maybe Elsa’s going to hire a real burglar to finish the job while she goes boy-hunting.
She frowns to herself, before walking off in a huff, hoping to find some tough looking guys.
…Or she’ll just hire the first people she finds.
:Syl headdesks: “This is very satisfying, but quite hard on the cranium.”
That’s what the pillows are for.
She then figures that criminals wouldn’t be caught dead in the heart of the kingdom, so she heads toward the outskirts of town.
That is some seriously flawed logic. Typically the seat of government draws the rich and influential, and thus the criminals who prey upon them, rather than repulsing them.
“How has this woman remained out of the hangman’s noose until now?”
And what is with that “outskirts of town” business? A kingdom and a town are two very different things.
Finally spotting some promising looking men, she waltzes over, a wild look in her eyes.
“What exactly does a promising burglar look like? I have made the acquaintance of many disreputable men in my time, and there is no set of physical traits that reveals the larceny in their hearts.”
Your backstory sounds so much more interesting than this fic. Are you sure you don’t want to share … Again with the knife to the throat?
“I’m a deeply private individual.”
“What do you want?” the bulkier of the two snaps.
“A young man with improbably hued hair.”
And some sparkly gems.
“Those would be nice, too.”
“Well, first, I’d appreciate if you don’t talk to a potential boss like that you idiot.” Elsa sasses.
“And then the thugs clouted Elsa over the head, stole her worldly possessions, and violated her corpse. The end.”
:Syl falls backwards: “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!”
Lyle doesn’t like it when we try to end the fic early.
“But, I am Captain Elsa Jane of the Arendelle Ice. And I have a job for you…. I’m sorry, what were your names?”
“We go by many names, but our last name always sticks. Call us the Stabbington Brothers.” The smaller of the two finally says.
“There’s a name to inspire trust.”
To be fair, if they are criminals then that’s a pretty good name to have. It’s free advertising. Like a policeman named Copper.
“Well alright…. Stabbingtons… I have a job for you. I’ll be paying two bags of gold each, so as you wish to take it.” Elsa offers.
“That depends, can we bring someone else into this, and what the job is.”
“Sure, bring whoever the hell you want, and the job… well I want you to steal the crown jewels.”
“There are just so many things wrong with this, it’s hard to know where to start. Soliciting random strangers, offering unknown quantities of gold, letting these men bring in yet another unknown party into the scheme without even understanding what the job is, these idiots believing her – there is no way this can work.”
It kind of reminds me of the criminally inept noodlings of AbR in A burning Rose.
“That’s a pretty tough job, the castle is swarming with guards. We’ll do it, for three bags of gold each.”
Sure thing, dumbass!
“Why not make it four bags each? And a pony!”
No, a unicorn! A unicorn made of gold!
And a cotton candy machine!
“Now you’re just being silly.”
I will get one – someday.
“Deal, now go get that friend of yours, and speak nothing of the money I have offered. Make him believe he can keep the prize.”
“Why the sudden subterfuge? What does Elsa care if this stranger knows of the gold she has offered?”
I want to know how she knows it’s a man. The Stabbington brother only said they wanted to bring “someone else” in, he didn’t specify the person’s gender.
No numerals in the narration!
“Nice crowbar. Can I take a look…”
We look with our eyes, not our hands.
nods, but the second brother looked confused for a moment. “What are we to do when we have the jewels?”
“Shag off, pawn the trinkets, and live a life of idle luxury for the rest of your days?”
No, that’s what you would do with the jewels. These guys are morons under the spell of a Sue so they’ll probably do what she tells them to.
“Head to the harbor, look for the Arendelle Ice. I would like you to ask for Hiccup, then hand him the crown.
“I thought Elsa was after the crown jewels, plural, not a single crown.”
Who can keep track of something as minor as that when there’s characters that need shipping?
“Fine, but don’t forget to poke a few air holes in the crates.”
It’s not that kind of shipping.
Tell him what I have offered to pay you, and he will give it to you. Then go on your way.”
:Syl snorts again: “Does she really expect them to walk up to a stranger and hand over the jewels they have just stolen because another stranger offered them gold? Are they that stupid?”
The brothers nod and head off, while Elsa smirks to herself. She pulls the hood of her cloak over her head.
Looks like they are. :takes roll of bolt-tape out of desk drawer: Can you excuse me for a second?
“What are you doing?”
Taco has rather strong reactions to characters smirking. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a giant three-headed sheep about a Librarian.
“I’m not familiar with that euphemism.”
It’s not a euphemism.
“This I must see.”
—SEVERAL MINUTES LATER—
“You didn’t say it was sparkly! What is it with this obsession with sparkles?”
That’s actually Eliza’s fault, she really likes glitter.
“Idiots. Don’t they know to never trust a pirate?” she cackles, before staring off toward the entrance to the town.
“Fool. You deliberately disguise yourself so you do not look like a pirate and then gloat when your disguise fools others?”
When you put it that way, it just sounds stupid.
“Now, time to claim my prize.”
In the name of Spain!
“I don’t get it.”
I really miss sensei.
She grins wickedly and heads into the town.
“You will be mine Jackson Overland. All mine.”
“Because a pretty boy she saw once is more important than her intended mission.”
I told you, never underestimate the power of an OTP.
Until next time, Patrons!