Today I want to tell you a story of my life, which is not even honorable for me. It is the story of how I learned what true loyalty is and what it means to those to whom you are loyal or disloyal.
It is the story of as I left Captain Lessnya to join Captain Rin. Even now, more than two years later, I still get tears in my eyes when I'm thinking of Captain Lessnya's face when I asked her to release me from her services. Even my end at Captain Rin still makes me sad, though I'm now seeing Captain Rin not only through rose-colored glasses.
I'm not able to tell the whole story at once, here is the beginning, as I met Captain Rin and left Captain Lessnya.
When I was only a few months a slave of Captain Lessnya, she took me one evening into a pub witch had the beautiful name Drunken Mermaid.
Captain Lessnya stepped briskly through the door into the pub, while everything cramped inside me when I tried to follow her. There was sitting a number of pirates and sailors at the tables, men and women mixed, one looking more bloodthirsty than the other.
Captain Lessnya unreservedly marched to a table where two female pirates and one male pirate were sitting, and was loudly welcomed by them. Unsolicited she took a seat and when I kept standing behind her uncertain, a pirate asked me to sit down.
To sit down! I, as a slave, should sit at a table with my Mistress and other pirates! In my opinion, I belonged to the feet of my Mistress but not next to her and to the band of pirates. I had far too much respect for the present visitors, and so I sat down on a chair, while at the table, but as far away from everyone as possible. Captain Lessnya briefly looked up and then said to me that I should kindly sit down beside her, finally I was her slave and not someone foreign.
She told the pirates at the table briefly, that I belonged to her, and she used words that indicated that she was proud of me and that she would sell me in no way. Besides, all could see clearly my leather collar with the iron ring that I wore, since I had come to Captain Lessnya. And this collar meant a lot to me. Captain Lessnya had let me choose it by myself and it showed that I served her and at the same time was under her protection.
A female pirate at this table very often looked at me and was particularly friendly, and she proved to be good friends, if not a close friend, to Captain Lessnya. I was told that this pirate was the owner of the Drunken Mermaid.
She stepped behind the counter and came back to the table with a dress she handed to me. I asked Captain Lessnya if I were allowed accept this dress, and she said yes.
The dress was much better and prettier than the somewhat tattered that I was now wearing, and, to the delight of all present, Captain Lessnya ordered me to take off my clothes right here in the room and to put on the new dress.
The pirate and pubs owner, who had given the dress to me, was introduced as Captain Rin, the other female pirate and the male pirate at our table as Captain Kim and Mate Ben. With both Captain Rin had a relationship, as I learned and could see by myself during the evening.
The rest of the evening passed with the fact that I danced for Captain Lessnya and her friends – often they also danced – and that tons of pitchers were emptied until all were almost drunk at the end. Only Captain Lessnya and Captain Rin still seemed to be reasonably sober: they could walk, while the others had fallen asleep with the head on the table or some lying under the table. For goodbye, Captain Rin kissed Captain Lessnya, and then to my great surprise even me. "A faithful slave is almost worth gold," she said, and then she retired to her room, while Captain Lessnya went back to her ship with my supportive accompaniment. The other pirates in the room Captain Rin simply left as they were; she only pushed each Captain Kim and Ben Maat a pillow under their head and covered them with a blanket.
"Rin will be my doom," Captain Lessnya said when we arrived at the Pearl and I brought her into her cabin.
In the next time Captain Lessnya several times visited the Drunken Mermaid together with me. I learned Captain Rin know better and liked her very much, she had a fascinating personality. She told a lot about herself and of her deeds and achievements, which impressed me very much.
One day, Captain Lessnya said that she needed to go away a few days for a secret mission, and in that time Captain Rin would take command. While still some details were discussed, Captain Rin whispered to me secretly "I love you". I blushed and said nothing. When it came to goodbye, she whispered to me again "Believe it or don't believe it, I love you."
The next few days while Captain Lessnya was absent, were very nice for me. Captain Rin applied herself exclusively to Captain Lessnya's ship, including the crew, and it seemed to me she almost would even neglect her own. She had during these days no contact to Captain Kim or Mate Ben, as far as I could tell. She employed the crew in the same function that they had had at Captain Lessnya. So I was at this time her personal slave, just as I was apart from that to Captain Lessnya. I started to appreciate Captain Rin very much. But she always kept her distance and always pointed out that she only was Captain Lessnya's representation, but no more than that. That she had whispered to me that she loved me, she seemed to have forgotten. But I had too much respect for Captain Rin to ask about this or even just to mention it.
She led many conversations with me, told me about her; in the meantime I liked Captain Rin very much and had great confidence to her. Finally she told me, quite surprising for me, that I should not be a slave, but a free woman. I felt queasy at these words, I had got used to Captain Lessnya and did not want to be free, but I could not make understanding this to Captain Rin, and she even insisted that I was unsuitable as Captain Lessnya's slave.
Captain Rin had had, as she told me, a number of male and female slaves, now she had none because she did not want any more, but she knew very well to assess male and female slaves. That meant to me that therefore she was able to tell what I was and what I was not.
In further conversations Captain Rin convinced me that I was not only unsuitable as a slave of Captain Lessnya, but unsuitable as a slave in general. I am a free woman, maybe I'm hurt inside and just thinking I would be a slave, but I should do what I wanted. She will be happy to help me to find my way, but my way is not that of a slave, I was not born a slave.
Slowly I realized that obviously I only had conceited my loyalty to Captain Lessnya, and that I had therefore all the time only played to be her faithful slave.
My world had collapsed.
In fact I was not at all like I always had believed I would be, I was a liar, I just had played without noticing it, I only had myself persuaded to be happy as Captain Lessnya's slave, even totally as a slave. I had all the time lied to Captain Lessnya without being aware of it.
The day of Captain Lessnya's return arrived. Captain Rin handed ship and crew back to Captain Lessnya. She smiled at me once more before she left the Pearl.
The same evening I pled Captain Lessnya for a talk. Even though I was her slave, so Captain Lessnya always had had an open ear for my problems, and so this time she also retreated with me into her cabin, where we could talk undisturbed.
I immediately asked Captain Lessnya to let me go. She almost broke down and had to sit. I tried to explain my reasons: I am not so, as we always had believed. I only had feigned her to be her faithful slave, and I did not want to go on with this. I did not want to lie to Captain Lessnya any more, that would not be right. Although I still could stay with her, but I only would play the loyalty to her, in fact I always had just played the loyalty, but now I had become aware of that, and I could not and I did not want to stay with this lie at Captain Lessnya. It sounded quite confused what I said; Captain Lessnya probably did not understand me. But she wanted me to be happy and dismissed me without any questions or limitations.
She took off my collar from me and suddenly I felt completely naked. Even when I had been naked before often, I had always worn my collar, and I had never felt naked like now, without collar, though I wore clothes; it was absolutely unaccustomed wearing no collar. It was even terrible not to be allowed to wear any more.
"Go to Rin," Captain Lessnya said in a broken voice to me. As well that was the only thing I could imagine now to do. I let Captain Lessnya alone.
When I left the Pearl the first tears began to run down. I missed Captain Lessnya as soon as I had turned my back on her. Only now I realized what she had meant to me. But it was too late to return.
The next days and weeks I spent with casual work in the port city, such as washing dishes, cleaning, or dirty work. Again and again I grabbed my bare neck. Often I was asked why I was crying almost constantly. I never gave an answer.
From time to time I met Captain Lessnya, but we always exchanged only a few insignificant words, if we said anything at all, there was nothing more between us, what we could tell.
As often as possible I went to see Captain Rin; and we had hours of long conversations. She promised me again, wanting to accompany me on my new way and to help me to find myself, as best as she could, but I just simply was no slave; slave born have the natural need to subordinate themselves. This confused me even more, because with these words she had exactly described my feelings and desires, but when she decided that I was incapable, she was probably right with her assessment, because she had said that she knew all about slaves.
She also told me that she did not go well; she was seriously ill and had only concealed this fact from all; only Captain Kim and Mate Ben knew about it, even towards Captain Lessnya she only had given some hints, but explained nothing more. This confession of weakness deepened my affection for Captain Rin further more.
Once when I was at Captain Rin, Captain Kim also was present, and Captain Lessnya came over as well. She complained that she obviously was not a good captain, because she had lost me. After me, she had been left by several of her crew. It seemed to me as if my leaving had somehow released a wave of abandoning, to which Captain Lessnya now faced helpless, and I felt guilty about this.
While Captain Kim unabashedly alternating said sweet words to Captain Rin and was cursing incoherently, and in this way demonstratively ignored that Captain Lessnya had turned for help to Captain Rin and so really had enjoyed to talk with her alone, Captain Rin tried along with my support, to explain Captain Lessnya that my desertion nothing had to do with a lack of suitability as captain. But Captain Lessnya apparently did not understand Captain Rin, yet my arguments and explanations; she said she wanted to give up the Pearl and join Captain Rin to learn from her. She knelt down, put her head on the floor, took Captain Rin's foot and placed it on her head. Captain Kim laughed uproariously, while the surprised Captain Rin took away her leg immediately. Only later I realized how embarrassing this action to Captain Rin had been. It nearly took her an hour to dissuade Captain Lessnya from this.
I did not understand why Captain Lessnya, who had always been a good Mistress to me and an excellent Captain, could have such self-doubt; I insisted again and again that all really was my fault. Finally Captain Lessnya and I almost quarreled about the matter of who of us is the less valuable, until Captain Rin gave each of us a slap. I apologized and said nothing more, while Captain Rin further insisted on Captain Lessnya.
But this slap gave me a deep sense of satisfaction. At this time my heart already had devoted to Captain Rin, and this slap proved to me that I meant something to her. Concurrently this slap also connected me with Captain Lessnya, since we had both received it at the same time and by the same person. Unfortunately, this could not conceal that Captain Lessnya stuck in a crisis that I had caused.
When we finally said goodbye, Captain Rin promised to me to help Captain Lessnya as much as possible. But my bad conscience for what I had done to Captain Lessnya remained.
Nevertheless, I was still happy when there was an opportunity to talk with Captain Rin and especially to be together with her; she was unique. She was a Queen. Her words were to me like water to a man dying of thirst. And according to all this, what she had done for me and even more had promised to do, I now wanted to help her; not only because of her illness, but in general, even in principle. I wanted to support her as much as possible; I wanted to be there for her.
So I asked Captain Rin how I could help her best, and she replied:
"You know me, and you will know what to do."
I froze. My knees went weak and I felt in my chest a strange feeling. My hands were powerless. If I had something held in my hands, I would have had to put it down so not to drop it. I could barely move. I lowered my eyes and said:
"As long as I exist, I will serve you, Captain Rin."
She was silent for a while, then she asked "Hard for you?" and I shook my head and replied, "No. Wonderful."
from Captain Lessnya to Captain Rin
(Von Käpt'n Lessnya zu Käpt'n Rin)
(Translated into English 2016-09-07)