8 Ashan, Arc 716
"Oh Chrien she did go wild with rage
A'grieving for her mother
Immortal heart it couldn't cage
Feelings what wouldn't smother
And she drowned our mothers and she drowned our fathers
A'pulled them deep and down
So full of hate, at dead Feis fate
That none dared leave the towns
And she twisted the corpses and made 'em anew
Brought back as sharp-toothed Mer
but she weren't pleased and they'd not do
Her hate they too incurred
And she'd have brought us all back
All finned, twisted and tailed
Were it not for good U'freks attack
When all else who tried had failed
He pulled us back up
Right from the cusp
And breathed back the life to our lungs
And we pledged as his daughters and sons
So sail your ship and steer it proud
And fear not the stormy sea
Upon our decks theres none can cow
We don't care if they disagree
Cause we're Biqaj born upon the waves
And here we're no mans slaves
Y'can fight if y'like,
all th'way to Chriens embrace
deep in a watery grave!"
Nivasis voice called out over the sound of waves and spray, keeping time as she hauled in her net. No great artiste she, her voice was only ever heard here, upon her own ship. It was rough and uncultured, but then, this was no delicate song. It was a sea shanty sung by Biqaj as they worked or drank. Or both.
"Hoyah! I may get to keep you yet Bravi'os."
She exclaimed with joy as her efforts were rewarded by the net reaching surface. Some stray fish of other types, but it looked as if she'd cast into a school of Halibut. It was the right time of year for them, and the waters around Rynmere were the right temperature. The ugly, flat, almost rhomboid fish usually sold well, and why not, it was good for cooking, fresh, smoked or salted. There were none of the true giants, but since her current net likely couldn't have held them anyway, this was fine. There were some of decent enough size.
Which left her with a decision.
They'd need to be cleaned immediately either way. She could either smoke them and keep fishing, or cut it short and head back to the bay to sell her catch fresh. She'd have less in total to sell, but she ought to be able to get a better price, from those who were more interested in dinner than stocking up their larders. It wasn't like it would really set her back. She wasn't going home after hitting the docks. The Bravi'os was her home. She could sell and them immediately turn around again and head back out to another fishing spot. If she happened to spend the night out of harbour, well, that was fine.
The weather looked as if it would hold, she was too small to be a worthwhile target for pirates or the like, and mer were unlikely to bother her. In fact, she quite liked catching glimpses of them. For all that they were generally seen in a negative light, one had saved her life, and they shared the oceans with the Biqaj. Plus they could usually sense each other. If Chrien was their mother, and U'frek was the Biqajs Father, and he two Immortals were siblings, then it stood to reason that Biqaj and Mer were cousins.
She realized, as she finished pulling the net and her catch in, that she'd already made up her mind. She was heading back in to Cyrene Bay. First though, the least glamorous part of her job. Head and tail off, slice from the anus up. Guts out in a quick even movement with the knife. She kept some of them in a bucket. It stank, but it would make good bait for when she went back out. The cleaned fish went in a barrel of sea water, it was cool and dark, and would keep the fish fresh for longer than if it were allowed to lie in the sun. She'd not have her reputation tarnished by bad fish.
It was messy, smelly work, but she'd done it a thousand times before, and in truth she enjoyed it. It was honest and straightforward, and while she'd wrinkle her nose at a pig pen or cattle yard, there was no ocean scent that truly offended her. As long as she was on her boat on the ocean, she was happy. The constant rocking was comforting. Still, for all that it was routine, it took her several breaks to clean it all alone, throwing back a few she judged to be too small early on.
"Aiee, wait for the salmon run Bravi'os. We're doing all right now, but wait for that. We'll fish day and night you and I, and we'll be free and in the clear."
She murmured to her ship, as she headed in to port. This was not unusual. On land she was silent, watchful, controlled. At sea she was free, at peace, and in the habit of talking to her ship since there was no one else around.