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 Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story

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Pierre Gringoire



Join date : 2009-07-24
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PostSubject: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Wed May 25, 2011 2:04 am

I realize that I've only posted one snark since I came back to this wasteland of delights. To correct this, I'm reporting this piece of crap. Goodness knows the Master and Commander section on the pit isn't an active one, but it still deserves better than this, Goddamn you! This is a long one so bear with me.

Quote :
"Oh, bollocks! Watch where you're going!"

Lookie, a Britishism! See it, take a picture of it whatever. It's the only one we'll see.

Quote :
Thomas had just bashed into a pretty little thing in a yellow dress with chocolate hair pinned back as messily as he'd ever seen and an armload of vials and bottles of all sorts. Admittedly, some of those were now gracing the ground and not a few of them broken and leaking.

Chocolate huh? She better stay away from Aubrey. She'll be bald within the hour.

Quote :
He smiled sheepishly and stooped to help the girl clean the mess with his own handkerchief in hand. "What is all this?"

"Well, this one was laudanum," the girl was clearly annoyed, "and that one you're holding used to be essence of witch hazel." They finished cleaning the glass off the dock boards and walked toward the Surprise, Thomas with the broken bottles and the young miss with the intact ones.

"And the third one was something the Doctor called 'Gamma radiation' but I don't think it's that important. You're not easily angered, are you?"

Quote :
"Thomas Pullings." They stepped up onto the deck.

"What?"

"My name. Thomas Pullings, First Mate. And you are…?"

"Maddie. Madeline Braddock, The Doctor's mate."

There are two things wrong with this sentence. The first person to figure them out get to read the rest of this chapter. The rest also get to read the rest of this chapter because I'm a masochist and if I have to suffer, so do you!

Quote :
"Thought that was a man by the name of Higgins?"

Thomas opened the door leading below deck. Maddie replied, "No, Higgins is an actual naval doctor, but he's just finished his mateship and is shadowing Stephen to learn how to do it on his own. I'm his assistant."

....

Quote :
They turned into the sick bay and Maddie lined up all the bottles and took the broken ones from Thomas to dispose of. "You seem a little young for this. How old are you?"

"Didn't your mother ever tell you never to ask a woman's age?" Maddie was turning all the labels outward. Without much more pause for an answer, she said, "Seventeen. Hardly a child."



Quote :
She was fiery. While Tom was amused by her, he was also a tad intimidated. After all, wellborn ladies he spent his time with were delicate and quiet, never saying or doing anything to suggest they were more than a decoration for the gown they were wearing. Maddie seemed not to much care if she was looking perfectly attractive or not, her hair was not pinned in the most attractive fashion and she didn't bother to wear an ounce of makeup on her face. She was fascinating.

Maddie was fiery. While Tom found her fascinating, he also wondered why Maturin thought she was remotely qualified to be a Surgeon's Mate. He then remembered that he hadn't been laid since 1803, she was the only woman on board, and there was one naval tradition he didn't feel like indulging in. She was fascinating.


Quote :
"God damn the French." Maddie was still working feverishly in the surgery with Higgins while Stephen and the captain were having a post battle drink before the meeting with the officers. "Fucking French pirates."

"I have had it with these mother fucking French in on this mother fucking ship! Time to open some windows!"

Quote :
"They're not pirates," Thomas said as he walked behind a curtain to find Maddie covered in blood and wiping sweat off her brow and lay down the scalpel she was holding, turning to him. "Have you seen this mess? Besides, privateers, pirates, where I grew up they're all the same thing." Higgins was vomiting into a bucket again. Maddie rolled her eyes and turned back to him. "You're going to have to get used to repairing innards Higgins. Stop vomiting and when you're done move him to the sick bay. I think there's another bed open."

If he's still vomiting at the sight of blood, maybe, just maybe, he should still be the Surgeon's Mate and you should be off in POTC where you belong you anachronistic harpy!

Quote :
Higgins nodded and gagged again. Maddie stepped away from him and stood nearly front to front with Tom in the narrow corridor. "What can I do for you?"

Do you want the honest answer?

Quote :
"My arm is burning."

Oh right, it's Pullings we're dealing with here. Get to it man! Hollom would have seduced her by now.

Quote :
Maddie smiled softly. "I know they're not pirates. They're worse. Employed by the government to behave as such without the consequences."

"How would you know what pirates do and don't do?"

I don't like where this is leading....

Quote :
"My father was a pirate. When I was growing up I sailed with him, until he died. I was fourteen. I was brought back to England and left in an orphanage. I escaped and started begging because I honestly could not stand being told what to do. Stephen picked me up after he watched me tie off a drunken sailor's bleeding femoral artery. He stumbled and fell into a wood pile, partially severing the fucking thing. Stephen was there for a drink with your captain, I think. That's when he picked me up as an apprentice. I've been living with him ever since then."

What. The. Fuck? I just-what? Pirate's daughter? Orphanage? Hate being told what to do- Femoral Artery? Adoption? MARY SUE FUCKIN' TRIFECTA A BAT CREDIT CARD
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EileenK98
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Wed May 25, 2011 5:26 am

I wonder if this Suethor bothered to read the books, or just saw the movie and doesn't even know the books exist?

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Movies » Master and Commander » Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story

Well, that answers that question. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Chris91
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Wed May 25, 2011 9:06 am

I question if she even saw the movie, let alone read the original books.
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Pierre Gringoire



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Wed May 25, 2011 11:20 am

Alright, I'm better now. A good night's sleep took care of my little episode last night. Now let's dive back in:

Quote :
Thomas scarcely knew what to say for a moment. When he recovered, he said, "Madeline…you participated didn't you?"

No, she just sat in her cabin and drew pictures of dogs and rabbits in her journal while fantasizing about-wait, that's the other Master and Commander suethor that came out this month. Jesus, what the Hell is wrong with this fandom?

Quote :
Maddie wasn't smiling anymore. She redressed his wound and asked, "You think I'm a terrible person, don't you?"

If it's any consolation, I thought you were a terrible person before I found out you were a pirate.

Quote :
Thomas drew his brows together. He took her hand as she pinned the gauze in place. With his free hand he raised her chin and looked into her eyes. "I think you're fascinating. Your past is your past. Your future is what you make of it. I personally don't give a damn about the decisions you made then. See this?" He traced his fingertips over the scar on his left cheek. "This was given to me when I was set against a pirate on a voyage near Spain ten years ago. I'm not sure if the man who gave me this ever turned his life around, but I know you have. It's the ones you make now." He rubbed at a smudge of blood on her cheek. "And speaking of decisions to make now, I think you should probably have those boiled and change into new clothes."

Oh, of course Pullings forgives her. He hasn't been laid since 1803, remember?

Quote :
Maddie looked down at her blue dress, which was covered in red splotches even though she wore and apron over herself. Her sleeves were ruined for sure. With a nod she stood and helped Tom up, keeping him balanced. They walked together back to the captain's cabin for the meeting, and when the door closed before her, Maddie sighed, turning her back to the conversation. After she returned to the cabin she and Stephen shared and changed into her dressing gown and chemise for the night. After she braided her thick brown hair and fastened it with a tie, she went to check on Higgins and her patients before retiring. Higgins was done throwing up but was as green as a sea turtle. Maddie sent him to Killick for ginger root tea while she checked on those few injured who had managed not to die yet.

I hope she enjoys her roommate's penchant for laudanum and vivisection! I'd rather follow Killick.

Quote :
There were plenty of patients who would be back to work in another day, at most two, and only a few whom she was desperately worried about. One was a young lord and midshipman by the name of Blakeney. His arm had been splintered to bits from large pieces of wood shrapnel. He was feverish already. On Stephen's orders, they were to wait as long as they could to stave off infection where normally they would get rid of the arm and be done with it. When she asked why, apparently the captain had been close to the boy's father the former Lord Blakeney who died at sea himself. This boy was only nine. It would be a real pity for him to die.

Let him die now, before he grows up to be Augustus! You'll be sorry then!

Quote :
Two beds over was Joseph Plaice. He had a skull fracture and while breathing had not been awake since it happened. Stephen was sure he would die. Maddie on the other hand would have bet money they could fix him. During the discussion she recalled the case of a horse she worked on some two years before, where the owner had wanted to shoot her for a bum knee.

The owner wanted to shoot Maddie, or the horse? I love how precious human life is to her that she wants to bet money on whether people live or die. I like it when characters are that gleefully amoral. Too bad she's supposed to be sympathetic.

Quote :
It turned out the nag had been kicked by her mate in the same stall and it had cracked the patellar in two. Maddie had an idea and went straight to a blacksmith, who found for her a spare piece of steel roughly the size of her palm. After smoothing, shaping it, and making sure there were no bumps of snags, she paid him for the piece and went straight back to the stables where she opened the horse's knee and detached the tendons from the broken fragments. Once she placed the steel plate where the broken bone had been she repaired the tendon she removed over it and made certain all the ligaments connected, as they should be and closed. The horse to this day had a very slight, unnoticeable limp and was still able to work for its caddy.

Maddie thought she could do the same for the depressed fracture in Old Joe's skull. Stephen, however, pointed out this was a man's skull not a horse's knee and bet her three guineas she couldn't manage it. If he lasted the night, they would certainly see.

Shocked What?

Quote :
She sat up re-reading from a pamphlet she kept with her since purchasing it earlier in the previous year. It was an account of infamous pirates and buccaneers. Everyone knew the tales of Henry Morgan and William Kidd (though they were somewhat mentioned in this mammoth of a collection of recollections), but there was a brief mention here of Jack Braddock, the scourge of the Caribbean, before his capture and hanging before the crew were extradited back to England for trial. It was precisely five lines long in the Caribbean chapter, and it was all she had of the only parent she ever knew.

Wait a minute! Go back a bit! I don't give a crap about this!

Quote :
Maddie had once asked why they did what they did. Her father had responded, saying, 'Sometimes, we do things we don't want to because we have no other choice before us. Do we commit sins against God and His Word to keep our children and ourselves alive or do we let starvation take us to him on the backs of a government bent on keeping the rich rich and the poor dying in the street? We all make choices Maddie, and I made mine for you.'

Pick one plot point and stick to it!

Quote :
What her father had been doing, what she had been doing, was deplorable. But given the choice on her own, Maddie was quite certain she would choose life over death any day, regardless of the consequences. She would ask forgiveness from the Lord in her own time, perhaps when she was old and gray and living in a cottage by the shore, unable to do anyone anymore harm, maybe then she would make her penance for her selfishness in wanting to experience living while she still could.

And he'll send you straight to Hell. Who's viewpoint are we following exactly? Pullings' or Maddie's? Is this supposed to be an omniscient third person? Where's Aubrey? Where's Maturin? Where's anybody!?

Quote :
She replaced the book under her pillow where it belonged, and blew out the candle on the shelf between her cot and Stephen's. In her mind's eye that night she dreamed of the warm breeze and blue waters lined with white sand beaches. Jamaica was calling her home.

Yeah yeah yeah, she's homesick, she wants to live her own life, she wants much more than this provincial life, blah blah blah. GET ON WITH IT!

Quote :
Maddie had just attempted to repair Old Joe's skull fracture with a flattened coin to cover the place where the bone had shattered. It was anyone's guess if it would in fact work. There had been numerous crew members, all crew members in fact, watching while she cleaned out the wound. They were most fascinated to view brain matter before being shoved back to work by the quartermaster, who then proceeded to watch the procedure himself.

Oh Hell no. You did NOT just give Maturin's awesome moment to the Sue so she could stand out. That's Mary Sue Writing 101 you stupid, stupid git! Bad author! No cookie for you!

Quote :
Higgins and a midshipman brought Joe back down to the sick bay and Maddie, standing beside Stephen held out her hand for payment. "Oh no," he said. "Let's just wait until he's spoken, then we can agree it was a success."

"Fine."

I love how she doesn't bother to name the midshipman who helped out. It was probably Hollom. He kept his involvement secret so he wouldn't get anymore grief from the crew.

Quote :
Stephen left to make his rounds in the bay below and Maddie stayed above, taking in the fresh sea air. While she sat upon the bow maiden, Thomas approached. "I heard the operation was successful."

Maddie turned. "I think so, but Stephen refuses to pay up unless the man speaks. We'll see."

Maturin! You're supposed to be better than this!

Quote :
Thomas pulled himself up onto the maiden to sit with her. "My arm is feeling much better."

"I'm glad."

"Is this how you used to sail on your father's ship? Helping the injured?"

Maddie laughed. "No, good heavens, no. I was a mate. He let me stand at the helm, he let me hoist the sails, he let me fight alongside him." She paused for a moment before saying, "I miss that. I miss feeling important. Like my opinions matter."

"I miss robbing and murdering innocent people. It was so empowering. Saving people's lives? Meh."

Quote :
"And what would you tell the captain if he were to listen to you?"

"Lose some weight, fatty ding dongs. I'm a Suethor. I dare you to flog me!"

Quote :
"The Acheron is closer than he thinks. Just because she can outrun us doesn't mean she will. My feeling is that she is staying just enough ahead of us to remain hidden, but no so far ahead so that she'll lose us."

"Lose us?"

"We're not the only ones on the hunt. Just as we're going after them, they're after us. That's how my father's ship…well his first ship sank when I was about eight. We were marooned, and the crew was dead. Rumrunners picked us up thankfully and brought us back home. The ship that caused that was one we had been chasing. She made for an inlet; let us get ahead and then shot us down from behind. It was a privateer; French. She could have run us out, but she destroyed us instead, because she knew she could."

Well who better to advise Aubrey on naval strategy than a female 17 year old ex-pirate? I'm sure the Admiralty would love that!
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Thu May 26, 2011 5:29 am

Pierre Gringoire wrote:
I love how precious human life is to her that she wants to bet money on whether people live or die. I like it when characters are that gleefully amoral. Too bad she's supposed to be sympathetic.

That’s the way surgeons talk, I suppose. They see people suffer every day and thinking about life and death in cynical ways is one way of dealing with the stress. I thought it was pretty realistic and I wouldn’t blame her for that.

Just for the record, I strongly doubt that this chocolate-haired ex-pirate anachronistic runaway chick could have been of any use in the sick bay, besides the one that Pullings apparently has in mind. Heck, women were considered bad luck at sea for a reason! I wonder if the sickness rate shot up after the crew found out about the Stephen’s new lady assistant!
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Thu May 26, 2011 7:08 am

Oh my God. Patrick O'Brien would be so proud to see his most famous works butchered in such a heartless manner.

Quote :
...Acheron...

Proof, as if anyone ever needed it, that she hasn't read any of the books...she had to set the story in the time period encapsulated by the film alone. You know, it may shock you to learn that Captain Aubrey wasn't made Master and Commander for the sole purpose of chasing one French frigate, and then forced to resign his commission.

Now repeat after me: There are other French ships. The Acheron was captured in the film. You did not hold the post of Doctor's Mate when this happened. You did not advise Captain Jack Aubrey - a highly experienced and decorated ship's Captain - on how to do this. He is good enough at his job to not need your advice. A man becomes Master and Commander for a reason; that reason being the Admiralty believe him to be good enough to make such decisions without the intervention of a 17 year old girl.
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Pierre Gringoire



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Thu May 26, 2011 12:36 pm

Cunovendus wrote:
Oh my God. Patrick O'Brien would be so proud to see his most famous works butchered in such a heartless manner.

Quote :
...Acheron...

Proof, as if anyone ever needed it, that she hasn't read any of the books...she had to set the story in the time period encapsulated by the film alone. You know, it may shock you to learn that Captain Aubrey wasn't made Master and Commander for the sole purpose of chasing one French frigate, and then forced to resign his commission.

Now repeat after me: There are other French ships. The Acheron was captured in the film. You did not hold the post of Doctor's Mate when this happened. You did not advise Captain Jack Aubrey - a highly experienced and decorated ship's Captain - on how to do this. He is good enough at his job to not need your advice. A man becomes Master and Commander for a reason; that reason being the Admiralty believe him to be good enough to make such decisions without the intervention of a 17 year old girl.

I don't know why, but authors in this fandom, at least the ones who post on FF.net, are frickin' lazy. I can't begin to count how many fics are 'insert girl in film plot'. Do something else! ANYTHING ELSE!

Quote :
The storm seemed as though it would rip the Surprise in two. The men in the hull couldn't bale water fast enough and to make matters worse she was tilting dangerously to one side. All spare men were hanging on the side to balance her out. Against Stephen's wishes, Maddie had gone and wrapped herself in a flannel blanket and gone to watch the waves. She hadn't counted on it being quite so violent as all that. The ship was tossing this way and that and it made it very difficult to make one's way across the deck.

Awkward transition ahoy!

Quote :
She stumbled once when there was a giant wave that rose so high before it crashed upon the deck it seemed to pour from the sky. The force of it knocked Maddie to her knees and she could not stand back up under the pressure. Not until someone dragged her to her feet. Before she knew it Maddie was clinging steadfastly to Tom's coat and felt his strong arm holding her close by her waist. His other arm was holding onto a rope.

"Are you all right?" he called over the wind. Maddie nodded and buried herself close into Tom. She wasn't sure how much time passed like this, but there came a huge jerk of the ship that knocked Tom and Maddie over together. By the time they scrambled back to their feet, the cause was apparent. One of the masts was splintered and had fallen over the side. The jerk was the waves pulling at it while the mast was still tethered to the ship by its ropes. Keeping a strong hold on Maddie, Tom made his way over to the captain, calling out that the mast had to cut loose. There was a pause and Maddie could not understand why until she looked back and noticed there was a man in the water with the wreckage.

Don't jump in after him and save him, don't you dare...

Quote :
An hour later, the immediate danger had passed, the storm began calming, and everyone who had been on duty was taking a well-deserved rest. Stephen and Higgins were passing out spare blankets to the younger boys to keep them warm and helping the men find dry clothes where they could. Stephen had insisted that Maddie stay in their cabin and warm up. She'd stripped down to her bareness and quickly pulled on a fresh chemise. After wrapping herself in the quilt from her cot, Maddie made her way down the corridor toward the great cabin at the stern, and took a left to the next cabin over. She knocked lightly, and at a soft, "Enter" she opened the door and let herself in.

Well thank God for small favors. Wait. Since when did Pullings have his own cabin? IIRC, the only people with their own cabins are Aubrey and Maturin.


Quote :
Maddie took a seat in the spare chair and Tom got up and crossed the cabin, opening a chest and reaching in. He tossed a balled up pair of wool stockings in Maddie's direction. She pulled them on while Tom started pulling pins from her hair. "You'll get salt caught up in it if you leave like that to dry."

She let him work through her curls and unpin her locks. But as Tom started to attempt to comb through it, he found he could not undo some of the knots within it. He said quietly, "If my mother was here, she could oil it and work it out, but out here…"

Just cut it. Mary Sue will probably do it herself and she'll still be gorgeous...

Quote :
Without a word, Maddie reached toward the knife sitting on the edge of the desk. She held it over her shoulder and responded. "Go ahead. Cut it. I owe the sea a few locks anyway."

Tom took it and as he worked he asked, "What do you mean?"

...I hate it when I'm right.

Quote :
"That was how my father died. He fell overboard in a storm. Pirate code set down by Morgan and Bartholomew says that anyone who falls behind is left behind. Tradition says I should have cut my hair in mourning, but I didn't get the chance. Two days later English naval officers looking for my father caught us while we were trying to make dock in Jamaica again. That's who sent me back to England to live in an orphanage, your navy." A moment of silence went by. "What was the boy's name?"

That's a lenient punishment for piracy, considering this was the era when you could get transported to Australia for stealing a handkerchief. Used the pregnancy defense, did you?

Quote :
"William Warley."

"Did he have a family?"

"A wife, at least."

Maddie fell silent and didn't say anymore. When the hair was gone, she walked to the window and tossed the locks into the sea. Eventually she fell asleep in the chair while watching Tom scratch out notes. He moved her to his cot when he was finished and redressed himself for the next duty.

See Sue pretend to give a damn about a sailor she likely never had contact with, outside of him trying to get her to examine a burning sensation in his crotch.

Quote :
"God I almost wished I had jumped ship in Brazil."

I wish you did. No almost about it.

Quote :
Maddie and Tom were standing at the helm together, braced against the wind that was blowing. Tom excused himself and got orders from the captain to set course due south, as far as it took to get out of the wind. When he returned he answered, "Why would you jump ship?"

"To work my way back to Jamaica. I am so tired of all this proper stuff. I will never live my own life as long as I return to England."

It's 1805 sweetheart, and you're an unmarried 17 year old girl with no family and no money. You're screwed no matter where you go.

Quote :
"What do you mean?"

Maddie looked around and then pulled Tom behind the mast they were standing in front of. "Listen, I am not here of my own free will. I don't know how to do anything but what my father taught me. I can't make a life for myself following the law, but I'd rather take my chances racking up my debts to society and die young than walk about pretending to be a demure little lamb like other women until I'm old and gray and my life has been as dull as bread without jam."

Oh, for Christ's sake, enough with the 21st century faux-feminism already! She's just here as a love interest for Pullings, so don't pretend she's some model for women's rights in the 19th century navy! You're not Jane Austen, don't even pretend you are!

Quote :
There was such sadness in her face; Thomas could hardly say anything beyond, "Is there nothing else you would rather do? Surely there must be something."

With tears in her eyes just about ready to fall over her lashes, Maddie looked up to Tom and said, "No." With that she retreated from where they stood and Tom stepped from behind the mast to watch Maddie disappear below deck.

"Christ, what a whiner. Hollom can have her and they can be emo together."

Quote :
Things got worse before they got better. They sailed so far south that there were snowdrifts on the deck large enough to support snowball fights among the men. Being one for warmer weather, Maddie retreated to the cabin she shared with Stephen day after day, covered in quilts and blankets, bundled like an Inuit and reading from a vast array of books from the doctor's library. When on occasion Stephen would have to work in their room she would remove herself to Thomas' quarters and make herself comfortable in his window seat.

Sissy.

Quote :
He smirked at her. "I know what you're thinking. There are lots of travelers who stop there for fresh food and water for free. You're not going anywhere out of my sight when we get there."

"Keeping me from jumping ship, now?" Maddie drew her knees into her chest, making room for Tom on the window seat. He settled himself beside her and sighed. "I want to find a solution for you, Maddie. I want you to have the life you want as well as a long productive one. I know there's a way you can have both and I promise you I will help you find it, but you need to stick around until I do."

Maddie raised her brows and slumped back against the carved wooden frame around the window seat. Arms folded, she said, "Be my guest, Tom. I have thought for four years on a solution and have not come up with one. If you can, more power and my eternal thanks to you." She paused and added, "Just don't turn me over. I was supposed to be turned over to the courts in London; instead the captain of the ship brought me into Portsmouth to an orphanage. From what I hear he lied and reported me dead in London."

Our heroine ladies and gentlemen. She doesn't want to be a docile lamb like other women, so she whines at the nearest hot guy and he comes up with a solution for her. She was forced into piracy by her dad, saved at the last second by a captain, plucked from the streets by Maturin and now being protected by Pullings. And yet we're supposed to buy her as a fiery free spirit who doesn't want to be a docile lamb like other women. Right. Give me Diana Villiers any day. At least this is a somewhat plausible explanation for why she's not transported or dead.


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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Fri May 27, 2011 2:52 am

Diana Villiers? Who's she now? She's not in the film so she doesn't exist. At all. Anywhere. And if she did, "Maddie" would soon put her in her place, because she's actually a pathetic whimpering idiot and not a cunning and manipulative person at all!

You know what would be REALLY interesting, and make a refreshing change from all the cliches? A self-insert female in such a story who IS a demure, proper lady, DOES spend time trying to make herself look attractive, DOES conform to all pre-1900s feminism standards, DOESN'T suddenly acquire martial arts skills that men take many years to master, or education that can only be gained by years of formal study, and has a similar level of skill and abilities to every other female in the whole world at that time. Now that would be an interesting change!
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Fri May 27, 2011 6:42 am

But research is haaaaaard! And it's fiction so I can do what I waaant! Waaa waaa waaaaaaaah!

Fanbrats. Gotta love em.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Fri May 27, 2011 7:36 pm

Pierre Gringoire wrote:

Quote :
It turned out the nag had been kicked by her mate in the same stall and it had cracked the patellar in two. Maddie had an idea and went straight to a blacksmith, who found for her a spare piece of steel roughly the size of her palm. After smoothing, shaping it, and making sure there were no bumps of snags, she paid him for the piece and went straight back to the stables where she opened the horse's knee and detached the tendons from the broken fragments. Once she placed the steel plate where the broken bone had been she repaired the tendon she removed over it and made certain all the ligaments connected, as they should be and closed. The horse to this day had a very slight, unnoticeable limp and was still able to work for its caddy.

Maddie thought she could do the same for the depressed fracture in Old Joe's skull. Stephen, however, pointed out this was a man's skull not a horse's knee and bet her three guineas she couldn't manage it. If he lasted the night, they would certainly see.

Shocked What?


Shocked Shocked Shocked WTF is this a robotic horse or something?! Horse anatomy =/= human anatomy, and a horse's "knee" is far harder to get to than a human's, never mind the simplistic "open" and "close" like a damn trap door. I hope this Suethor has no delusions of veterinary school...

You know, technically she's not a bad writer, the sentence structure is decent...it's just the complete lack of thought, characterization, and rather nonsensical narration which makes this story horrible. Not exactly small things to overcome, but at least there's potential. Although sometimes it's doubly disappointing to see such potential wasted. Dry
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Sat May 28, 2011 3:26 am

Owlish wrote:


You know, technically she's not a bad writer, the sentence structure is decent...it's just the complete lack of thought, characterization, and rather nonsensical narration which makes this story horrible.

And imagination. The story is basically a re-write of the film, with this super tough, super intelligent, super educated ex-pirate woman (who for some unaccountable reason turns into a delicate little flower the moment she's in the arms of her Twu Wub) inserted into it.

Seriously, the character could (with some toning down) work in Pirates of the Caribbean, but not in the Jack Aubrey series. A female Doctor working on a frigate commissioned by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars is stretching credulity just a little bit too far.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Sat May 28, 2011 12:14 pm

Quote :
Maddie smiled softly. "I know they're not pirates. They're worse. Employed by the government to behave as such without the consequences."

"How would you know what pirates do and don't do?"

Psst, I haven't studied pirates or the 1800's that much.... but didn't most of them have backing from a ruler until very recently? Or did that stop in the 1700's?

Quote :
but there was a brief mention here of Jack Braddock, the scourge of the Caribbean, before his capture and hanging before the crew were extradited back to England for trial. It was precisely five lines long in the Caribbean chapter, and it was all she had of the only parent she ever knew.

She laughed, thinking of just how she had fooled the courts into thinking that Maddie was with child and her escape.


Oh wait, she's a Mary-Sue. They took one look at her and decided that she was not guilty and she didn't even give a shit that the entire crew was killed, including her father.

And just HOW did her father die? Was he hung, did he drown? Did he drown, they got captured, and then the courts decided to hang thim again just to make sure he was dead?

Quote :
A self-insert female in such a story who IS a demure, proper lady, DOES spend time trying to make herself look attractive, DOES conform to all pre-1900s feminism standards, DOESN'T suddenly acquire martial arts skills that men take many years to master, or education that can only be gained by years of formal study, and has a similar level of skill and abilities to every other female in the whole world at that time. Now that would be an interesting change!

Or better yet, a real picture of just what a woman who wants to play with the boys would act like. There were a few, they just had to be tougher then the guys and not take any crap (or dress like a guy.... or take a high up lover on the ship before getting on.) None of this "Whhaaaa!! Pity meeee!!! I lost my daddy!!!"
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Sat May 28, 2011 1:03 pm

bleachedblackcat wrote:
Quote :
Maddie smiled softly. "I know they're not pirates. They're worse. Employed by the government to behave as such without the consequences."

"How would you know what pirates do and don't do?"

Psst, I haven't studied pirates or the 1800's that much.... but didn't most of them have backing from a ruler until very recently? Or did that stop in the 1700's?


Privateers had permission from their governments to attack any ship that bore an enemy flag. Pirates attacked whoever they damn well pleased. That's about as much as I know, since I haven't studied the subject that much myself. I fail to see how a privateer is any worse than a pirate.

Well, here's another chunk to get through. Christ, couldn't she have broken this up into chapters?

Quote :
The Galapagos was everything Maddie's father had told her it was: nothing. It was barren. Aside from tortoises there was very little that could be used to replenish an empty larder, but then there were very many of them and plenty of ways to cook one. And there was water that appeared clean and drinkable. But the land was flat and appearances made it look almost desert like and barren beyond the rocks of the shore. Maddie stood on the deck and passed the lead she was looking through back to Tom. "Don't worry about me running off," she said. "Even if I did there wouldn't be anywhere for me to go to. What a useless place. Beautiful, interesting, but useless. What are we looking for again?"

"This is BOOORRING! I wanna go to the MAAALLLL!"

Quote :
"A whaling fleet. The Acheron is a privateer and if she's worth her salt she'll have come here to go after our fleet's cargo."

Maddie turned around and squinted out onto the oceanic horizon again, bored with the stagnation of the ship and wanting to just take the Surprise and run her aft.

She wants to run the ship backwards? It's not a car you know.

Quote :
For the remainder of the day Maddie, Stephen and Higgins busied themselves with patching up the Albatross' men while names and information was written into the ships books. Tom was so busy he hadn't left his quarters all day. When evening descended upon them and he still hadn't emerged, even for dinner at the captain's table (which considering the argument between Stephen and the captain over a promise for Stephen to explore the island was going to be in very scarce company indeed) Maddie collected some bread, cheese, and ale from Killick's stores and went to Tom's door. She knocked twice, balancing the tray on one arm, and entered to find Tom slumped over the books at his desk, still writing feverishly.

Just what was Pullings doing that was so important that he neglected his post? He's a first lieutenant. He has responsibilities on deck he has to see to. Poor Mowett and the Mids.

Quote :
Tom had come to visit the surgery after his watch. Maddie was sitting in Stephen's chair, book in one hand, feet propped on the desk and the ship's cat at her hanging hand, walking two and fro with an arched back and purring incessantly. Maddie smiled without looking up and said, "I don't think Gabriel was ever cut out for hunting. He fears mere insects, what is he to do with a rat?"

The Hollom of cats.

Quote :
Tom shrugged at this and sat on the desk. Maddie finally removed her gaze from the pages and met Tom's prying eyes. "Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Pullings?"

"Actually, I think it's the other way around." He took her book and rested it pages down on the desk before taking her hands, standing and saying, "Come, there's something I want to show you."

He led her onto the deck and up to the helm. After dismissing Bonden, Tom gestured to Maddie to take his place. "You said you used to steer for your father."

Pullings? What are you doing?

Quote :
Maddie stepped up and placed her hands upon the great wheel. Something came over her, where she could almost swear she was standing with her father once again, sailing out to the horizon. Keeping her course, Maddie looked above her and saw the hundreds of thousands of stars winking in the night sky overhead. Then she looked out and saw the light of the full moon glittering off the ocean. Everything was so clean and crisp, it reminded her so much of home. Her real home.

...You do know it takes more than one person to steer, right? And that helmsman had to have a good deal of upper body strength right?

Quote :
Without realizing it, Maddie's eyes began to well. Tom looked to her where he stood. "Something wrong?"

Maddie was silent for a moment. Then with a sigh, she said, "If you were truthful in your wishes to help me lead a good life, then I would like to start with bringing me home to Jamaica, to Kingston. Whatever life I end up living, I want to live it there, the only home I ever knew."

So save up enough money to move there yourself, you little whiner. If you're tough enough to steer a ship and smart enough to be a surgeon's mate, you don't need Pullings' help to get to Jamaica!

Quote :
Maddie was distressed. Seeing her despair was loosening her grip on the helm, Tom stepped up behind her and placed his hands over hers. Maddie rested her head against his chest and gazed out to the water, imagining that the breeze that rifled through her hair was the warm sweet winds of the cape and for a moment she could almost swear she was sailing around the island with her father again, just to admire the beauty of the white sands that lined the shore.

And no one commented on this? The captain, the other officers, the crew? They had complete privacy?

Quote :
As though she had conjured it, the wind was lost the next day and the cloud cover deserted them. The HMS Surprise sat in the ocean unmoving for almost a week before all productive activity all but stopped. The only thing left to do was clean, and to be honest there was hardly anyone who threw their backs into that either. After a few days and plenty of complaint, Tom found some spare dungarees and a boy's shirt for Maddie, which she wore beneath one of her corsets. Finally more comfortable and more able to move about the ship, Maddie picked up plenty of slack that was about.

I'm sure the crew was very happy about this development.

Quote :
One afternoon while Maddie was checking the ropes on the mainmast under Tom's watchful eye, there was a commotion on deck. Apparently one of the carpenter's mates pushed past the midshipman Hollom without making his obedience. Te captain had him locked up and had ordered a lashing for six that evening.

Oh boy, here we go. I can't wait to see how Maddie changes this event. What follows next is the most shameful, lazy padding I've yet to see in this fandom:

Quote :
"What would you have me do Stephen?"

"Tip the ship's grog over the side."

"Stop their grog?"

"Nagle was drunk when he insulted Hollom, did you know that?"

"Stop two hundred years of privilege and tradition? I would rather see them three sheets to the wind on occasion than have a mutiny on my hands."

"See, I'm rather understanding of mutinies. Men pressed from their homes, their chosen occupations, confined for months aboard a wooden prison-"

"Stephen, I profoundly respect your right to disagree with me in this cabin but I can only afford one rebel on this ship." The captain was taking on a stern voice now, losing his temper. But the temper did not last long. Instead the captain dropped his voice back down, adding, "I hate when speak of the service in this way; it makes me so very low. Do you think I want to fog Nagle? The man who stood beside me and hacked the ropes that sent his mate to his death under orders? Under my orders. Do you not see it? The only things holding this little wooden world together are hard work, discipline-"

"Jack, the man failed to salute."

"For God's sake, there are hierarchies in nature as you've often said yourself."

"There is no disdain in nature. There is no humiliation."

"Men must be governed," Jack raised his voice again. "Often not wisely I'll grant you, but they must be governed nonetheless."

"That's the excuse of every tyrant in history, from Nero to Bonaparte. And I for one am opposed to authority-"

"Your opposition is not my concern."

"-it is the egg for misery and oppression."

The captain threw down what sounded like a stack of paper, probably maps, saying, "You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy, brother."

That's right. She copies the conversation from the movie, word for word. The worst part? This is the most we've seen of Aubrey and Maturin in the whole damn story. And it's taken directly from the film! God Damn you Suethor. God Damn you to Hell.

Quote :
Rumors ran amok through the ship the longer they stood still. The men were saying Jonah Hollom was the cause of all their bad luck, citing the bible story of Jonah. Maddie was not familiar with the irony, she while she sat with Tom on the night watch at the stern of the ship he detailed the story for her from the bible. "It's thought that any sailor named Jonah is bad luck on a ship," he concluded.

Wait, what? WHAT? The author thinks that Hollom's actual first name IS Jonah? WHAT? I know that Hollom's first name is never stated in the film or the books, but author, it would take a man with massive balls to join the navy with the first name Jonah. If Hollom had those sort of balls, he would have made captain by now.

Quote :
"But they're not calling him bad luck, Tom they're saying he's calling the Acheron to us on purpose, causing these horrible things to happen out of spite. It's ridiculous!"

"I agree," Tom said in a calming voice. "But we're hardly in a position to push the buttons of anyone aboard this ship right now. Cabin fever does strange things to the mind."

Pullings, you are the goddamn first lieutenant. The only officer who outranks you is Captain Aubrey himself. If anyone is in a position to get the crew to fall in line, it's YOU.

Quote :
Maddie looked him up and down and smiled. "What?" Tom asked.

"When you're not all dressed up in your jacket and the baubles and the hat…you look like someone would have met on the island."

Tom was confused. "I…look like a pirate?"

Maddie laughed out loud. "No! You look relaxed. We're not all pirates in the Caribbean you know. You look…handsome."

"Handsome?"

"Very."

Well, I guess Maddie doesn't care about Hollom as much as the last paragraph may have led us to believe. Just like with Warley, Hollom's important only as a way to showcase Maddie.

Quote :
Tom took Maddie's chin on his fingertips and lifted her face to him. Stooping slightly, he grazed his lips on hers. The softness of them sent shockwaves through his body. He wanted to touch her, hold her. But he had only known her mere months, and she was a former pirate. She was a con artist, able to lie at the drop of a hat if necessary. Somehow Tom thought that's what he found so attractive about her. Before things could get out of hand, Tom parted from Maddie and stepped away, leaving a confused look on her face.

"Believe me, if we were on Tortuga I would give you everything you ask for. But this is a ship of his majesty's navy. You must understand…it's not proper."

Okay, seriously? Go back to the Pirates of the Caribbean fandom already. It's obvious that you didn't come here to write about O'Brian's world and characters, so just go back to ogling Johnny Depp and leave O'Brian out of it.

Quote :
Maddie nodded and forced a smile before abandoning Tom, leaving him cursing himself at the stern. As she crossed the deck however, Maddie heard a splash, and William Blakeney yelling. She crossed from port to starboard side. Jonah Hollom had picked up a cannon ball and jumped overboard.

The strangest part was that the next morning they got their wind back.

Hollom finally got sick of this shit and jumped ship. It's okay though. I heard he got a nice gig as a knightbus conductor in Harry Potter.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Sun May 29, 2011 2:15 am

Pierre Gringoire wrote:
Okay, seriously? Go back to the Pirates of the Caribbean fandom already. It's obvious that you didn't come here to write about O'Brian's world and characters, so just go back to ogling Johnny Depp and leave O'Brian out of it.

But PotC already has a female expert in maritime tactics and kickass soldier, so "Maddie" won't be speshul in any way...it's far more radical to put her in a story that is much closer to real life, and where there are currently no kickass super-skilled females present. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Tue May 31, 2011 2:54 pm

Alright, now for another chunk of fun. I can't wait until I have a job, that way I won't have time to read and snark this shit.

Quote :
Maddie was sick. She was feverish and coughing. Stephen had decided to confine her to the sick bay to rest it off. On the second day of her illness, there were well away from the islands and hot on the Acheron's trail. Maddie was taking a nap in the afternoon when she was awoken by some shooting above on deck. There was an officer walking by in the corridor and she called out to the man, who stopped and pocked his head into the room. "What's going on out there?"

"It's the ghost of Hollom! He's come back for revenge!"

Quote :
"There's a bird above, miss. Mowett's trying to shoot it down."

So that explains where he's been for this entire story. I thought he'd managed to escape.

Quote :
The officer went on his way and the shooting continued. When it suddenly stopped Maddie thought he had shot the poor thing, but there was a riot of footsteps and moments later Peter Calamy and Higgins were carrying Stephen into the sick bay with blood streaming through his shirt on one side. Maddie sat up and watched as Higgins stripped the doctor's vest and shirt off to examine the damage. When he finally finished he stepped over to the captain as he waited just at the curtain and said quietly, "The bullet took in a piece of shirt with it and unless it's removed it's going to separate and fester."

Um, author? The officer who shot Maturin was Howard, not Mowett. Jesus, she can't even keep the characters straight! What was she doing during the film, besides masturbating to Pullings?

Quote :
The captain paused before asking, "Are you equal to the task?"

"I'll have to read up on the doctor's books like, study some pictures he has."

Maddie pressed her heel into her forehead and let her head swing back and forth shaking it in frustrated shame on behalf of Higgins' lack of knowledge.

"Study some pictures?" the captain repeated.

"It's just to get my bearings, that's all. It would be a lot easier if we were on dry land. You now, you wouldn't have the-" he gestured with a hand to simulate the rocking of a ship at sea, and at a cold look form the captain, he stopped and concluded, "I'll manage, you'll see," before returning to his chair beside Stephen and rubbing his scruffy chin with his bloodstained hand.

Here's a thought: why doesn't the speshul Sue do it? If she could perform miraculous surgery on Plaice (Which MATURIN should have done), surely she can remove a bullet. I'm sure she'll be glad to volunteer-

Quote :
Maddie couldn't stand to watch Higgins blanch time and again at the pictures in Stephen's books, so as night came upon the ship, Maddie wrapped herself well, and ventured onto the deck. Watch had been doubled since the Acheron was near, so there were plenty of men on board. It took little time for her to find Tom however, as he stood at his, and her, favorite spot at the bow. Tom considered his company for a minute before saying, "You should be below deck."

"He's going to kill him. Higgins isn't prepared for this."

"He's a doctor, I'm sure he's more than capable-"

"Higgins has never performed surgery. On anyone." Maddie was verging on tears. "If Stephen dies I become a ward of the government until I marry or I come of age in another year. They'll find out who I am and hang me."

I guess not. Once again, it's all about MADDIE. No concern at all about the man who took her in and who gave her a second chance, it's all about 'ME ME ME ME!' I've never seen a more self-absorbed OC in all my years of being in this fandom.
Quote :

Tom turned to Maddie, took her shoulders and made her face him. "He will not die." Then Tom considered what Maddie had just said, "And if he does, I'll make sure you're on a boat to Jamaica before you ever set foot ashore in England."

Again, if there are such severe doubts about Higgins' capabilities, why doesn't Maddie volunteer? Why is the author only now deciding to stick to film canon?

Quote :
"Who am I fooling," Maddie sighed shrugging her bony shoulders. "England controls Jamaica. I'm going to be locked up and hanged no matter if I'm here or there. I'm known in Jamaica all too well to be able to hide."

"There must be somewhere safe you can go." He dropped his voice. "Pirates must gather safely somewhere in the world."

Maddie turned away from him and gazed onto the horizon again. "Reprehensible as it is…Tortuga is still safe."

Not for you missy. Tortuga's already reached its Sue quota thanks to POTC. You're flat out of luck.

Quote :
"A French colony?"

"Doubtless anyone would look for me there in these times, right?" She smiled now. "I don't care where I am, I'll be moving all the time for a while, but I want someplace safe on land to know I can go to. Someplace safe where I can make a start."

"A piratical start, you mean."

"Maybe. If you're ever tired of the naval life, look me up. Could use a strong sailor like you."

She turned her back on the bow and returned below deck, leaving Thomas to his thoughts. He had agreed to help her find a way to a productive life, now she wants to go back to piracy? He didn't understand. She would risk everything all over again for that life?

Now that the initial lustful period had passed, Tom was only now beginning to realize that Maddie was a bit of an idiot.

Quote :
Actually the more he thought about it the more it made sense. A nonsensical life as a wife and mother didn't suit Maddie. All through the night watch Tom thought about this. Then at dawn the crow's nest had a sighting on the horizon. A French ship was before them, or so it seemed. The captain was called to deck and as they drew closer it was determined that it was indeed a French ship of war. The captain did not call a beat to quarters, and instead ordered a complete turn around, back to the Galapagos. He was choosing his dear friend over the quarry.

Being a wife and a mother is nonsensical, but being a pirate and surgeon's mate in the early 19th century is completely within the realms of possibility. Way to spit on 19th century women, dingbat.

Quote :
Tom sat in his cabin, reviewing some letters he had picked up from their last port. One was a letter from an old friend of Tom's father's, who had recently come to be the governor of St. George in north Jamaica. He wrote of the troubles he was having with French pirates in the area. The straights were filled with warring buccaneers. Tom read the letter once again, and as he was putting it back in its box with the others, a thought came to him. An idea. Maddie could have her cake and eat it too, under the right circumstances. And he had the connections to open the proper door for her.

Because she's obviously not capable of doing anything for herself, the silly girl!

Quote :
As it turned out, Stephen operated on himself and was going to be fine. As soon as they got the word on board, Tom began to supervise the move to shore. Men, food, fresh water, Stephen's affects, books, the tents were all brought ashore. The last men on board clambered into the lifeboat and were lowered by the few men commissioned to stay behind and mind the ship. Bonden and a man Maddie was not familiar with rowed, and when they reached the shore, the men began to file out. Maddie began to toss a leg over the side but Tom caught her at the elbow. Without having to even ask, Maddie turned to Tom and rested her hand on his, and said, "Don't worry." She placed a chaste kiss on Tom's cheek. "I'm not going anywhere." Tom let go and Maddie stepped out of the boat and helped him tug it onto dry sand.

Oh good, Stephen's alive! I was in a lot of suspense there. And yeah, of course you're not going anywhere Maddie. It's the Galapagos. There's no where for you to go.

Quote :
The captain decided they were to stay on the island for a week and then head home. While the seamen were busy playing stickball and making their own ale, Tom and Maddie spent a lot of time sitting among the rocks along the shore, talking about what to do.

"I can go back with Stephen," Maddie admitted, "But after this trip I'm not sure I want to. The older I get the more I'll be pressed to lead a proper life."

"We wouldn't want that," Tom joked.

Considering Stephen's taste in women, I don't think he'd be the one doing any pressuring, you ungrateful little sod.

Quote :
"I have an idea about what we can do with you. You can live how you want and legally." He didn't elaborate, adding that it had to be kept a secret until they were on land and in his friend's home. "I'll have to go with you to set it up."

"And then you'll leave, right? Return to England and marry some dainty little thing with white skin and rosy cheeks and sitting daintily in a pretty gown with other dainty looking girls chattering about the weather over tea."

As opposed to marrying an ungrateful, entitled, self-absorbed git who acts like she's a strong woman but whines at attractive men to solve her problems for her? I'd marry a dainty girl who chatted about weather. At least she's not misrepresenting herself.

Quote :
The specificity of her comment struck Tom in such a way that it coaxed a grin out of him. "Actually, I was going to ask if you would mind if I stayed." Maddie propped herself up on her elbows. "Maybe I want to see what some time in the Caribbean air will do for me."

Maddie all but leapt into his embrace and kissed his lips a thousand times in the orange glow of the setting sun.

Wouldn't your lips get chapped after 50 kisses or so? Poor Pullings.


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PostSubject: Re: Looking Toward Home: A Master and Commander Story. A Sad Story   Tue May 31, 2011 3:01 pm

Quote :
"And then you'll leave, right? Return to England and marry some dainty little thing with white skin and rosy cheeks and sitting daintily in a pretty gown with other dainty looking girls chattering about the weather over tea."

Yeah! Fuck those dainty women and their whole tea shit!

Let's ignore that a couple chapters ago she was

Quote :
Thomas had just bashed into a pretty little thing in a yellow dress with chocolate hair pinned back as messily as he'd ever seen

Guess it's only bad to be small and female when you're not and OMFG AWESOME PIRATE OF THE SEAZ!!
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