The Pines of Rome was a ship with a body of oak though the crew in possession of her had no way of knowing that; the only reason they had a name at all – none of them could read the words painted on the side – were the now lost to the breeze whimpers of the men that’d just been tossed overboard. According to them The Pines of Rome was a special vessel, the purest love of their lives, to conquer the waves on so magnificent a construction had surely been worth dying for – why else would they have sang its praises on their way to the ocean floor? Their words, which by a miracle of circumstance were breathed into bubbles that gurgled to the surface, popped into the air but went unheard by those capable of comprehending them; the crew was busy sawing off the gladiator figurehead and claiming their portions of booty.
To an outsider’s eye the civilized conduct of the men who dressed like, acted, and called themselves pirates would seem out of place but when fortune smiles upon people they smile upon each other, regardless of occupation. Also helping their relations was the fact that the new crew were, as a splinter group recently defected from a notorious outlaw fleet, not yet sick of each other’s company; they still shared the fondness and mutual respect always born out of a battle with a common enemy.
Though their escape had been a long time coming the ship they’d found themselves on when finally able to flee on was not one of the best, and as such had been seriously wounded in the escape. They had been lucky that the former crew of the Pines had been naive enough to approach a strange ship in deep waters, but, most of them conceded, they’d have been lucky if drowning with their independence was as far as they’d gotten; the leader they’d chosen was more of a listener than anything else but a majority to alter what’d worked could not be reached.
They did, however, come to the conclusion that the only reason they’d gotten as far as they had was not because of the captain’s orders but because they, the crew, had acted as a unified entity in response to them. Each man heard the few simple words, interpreted what that meant in relation to his position at the time and took what he deemed to be the appropriate action; they had formed a symphonic system, an operation that didn’t need a conductor but could have one all the same.
So they brought out the cage holding the parrot of their previous captain and, just like before, asked it what to do next. The parrot repeated their question back to them and they thought on it.