Read and Mhaol

Our scene begins on a storm tossed sea, two frigates dance on the roiling waters, flames and cannon fire interrupting the endless howling wind. The crews are fighting a losing battle, as on such waters, even man-o-'war would struggle against the mountains of crashing foam that battered the hulls of the ships, till wood creaked and crewmen screamed into the unforgiving darkness. Two pirate captains, both alike in manner and speech, shrieking orders until their throats were hoarse and their sailors wild with fright, faced off in the flashes of blinding lightning.

Grainne Mhaol : Board us then, if you're a man! Come on and FIGHT!

Mary Read(to crewmen): Dont stop fighting! NO matter what, don't stop 'til these bastards are in Davy Jones locker!

Crewmen: To the locker!

Mary Read: Pirate queen you call yourself! Pirate FILTH! (spits) We will board your stinking lump of a ship before the night is out!

The fight continues until Mary Read's ship is overwhelmed and boarded. Her crew surrenders against her orders and she is bound and brought to the captain's quarters on Grainne Mhaol's frigate.

Grainne Mhaol: Feisty little squirt you are. Who would have thought a woman could fight so well…

Mary Read jerks back. Until now, no one has ever found out her true identity.

Mhaol: Your blouse. You wear it far looser than a man would. Your hair, far better kept than a pirate would bother at. Your movements , your mannerisms, everything. I hope I was a better actress. (smiling condescendingly)

Read: (chin in the air) No one's ever seen that before you know. I may have to… eliminate the threat of discovery.

Mhaol: Oh, I would love for you to try. Really, have a go. (Spreads her arms wide)

Read: (hesitates) Mhaol: (laughing) See? Half the man I was.

Read: Don't be ridiculous. A healthy appreciation for the feminine is not amiss.

Mhaol: Where'd you learn that fancy tongue, lass? Not on that ship of loud-mouthed deckhands I'd wager!

Read: My mother had some pride. Unlike yours, from the dirty tongue in your head!

Mhaol: Oh, insulting my mother won't have any effect on me, girleen, she was a bitch from the moment her eyes opened on this earth.

Read: (smirking) Glad to hear it. So was mine.

Mhaol: (Leaned on table) So how'd a lassie of England's fair shores (sarcastic) end up on her way to the Carribean on a boat full of slaves? And dressed as a man to boot!

Read: (sighing) what's the small talk for? Hanging or keel-hauling or which is it to be? Some new found torture for the first female captain to challenge the great pirate queen? (mocking curtsey)

Mhaol: Oh I like that. May have to get the crew to start at it. (pauses)

Read: You slaughtered a lot of good men back on my ship. Why can no one pass through these waters for fear that one of your fleet will scuttle them?

Mhaol: (exasperated) Woman, listen to yourself! How naive do you have to be? (stands, puts her face close to Read's)Money, lass. Gold, slaves, rum, all of it. You've got , what, three dozen good quality slaves on there. (rubs her fingers together) fair bit a cash in there for me!

Read: Dispicable. That's my money! My hard earned – you bitch, you!

The ship is tossed by the waves . Read tries to lunge at Mhaol but is thrown against the wall as a swell rises outside. Both women land close together at the foot of the cabin wall.

Mhaol: Now, now. Easy lass. (grinning) I think you're head needed clearing anyhow, so better luck next time.

Read: well, I'm looking forward to I time when I can welcome you to MY ship, m'lady.

Mhaol: (pulls a gun) There'll be no next time, lady. (cocks the gun)

Mary Read refuses to look away, even as Mhaol cocks the pistol. Her finger slides to the trigger and she goes to pull it.

Mhaol: (laughing) It's not loaded dear. I'm not going to kill an opportunity.

Read: (spits on the floor of the cabin)

Mhaol: Bad habit, that. You'll have to stop that when you work for me…

Read: What makes you think that I would ever work for a mongrel woman like you?

Mhaol: I do have the upper hand here. ( Indicates her extensive weaponry and Read's bare holsters)

Read: Not a problem. Real men go fisticuffs, you know.

Mhaol: You haven't even heard my preposition, lassie. You keep your slaves. I'll even let you keep your money after you've sold them. All I need you to do is to bring a little something of mine to a friend in Nassau.

Read: And what's the catch?

Mhaol: No catch. Unless you can't swim.

Read: (blanching) Sorry?

Mhaol: My crew won't take kindly to you waltzing off my ship like we've had a lovely heart to heart here, so I would recommend, for both our sakes-

Read: This is so you can keep up your image, Grace O'Malley, and nothing else!

Mhaol: Well… All right, but seeing as I am letting you live (her hand slides to a blunderbuss attached to her waist)… I think that is in order.

Read: What am I bringing?

Mhaol reaches into a wooden commode and pulls out a tiny wrapped parcel, faded brown leather. Read reaches for it bur Mhaol pulls back her hand.

Mhaol: One more thing… If you look into this, even unwrap a corner of the packaging, I will hear about it, and I will hunt you until you have joined your crewmen.

Read: How do you know for sure that my few crew left haven't fled?

Mhaol: I was planning on stealing your cargo, wasn't I? Your boat is anchored and the crewmen bound on poop deck for the gulls to feast on, or so I was told.

Read: How far a swim? How high the waves?

Mhaol walks to the door of the cabin, pulling it open.

Mhaol: Good luck…?

Read: Mary. Mary Read.

Mhaol: Nice name. And as a man you are…

Read: James Kidd. (smiling)

Read makes the swim through the sea back to her ship and brings the parcel to famous pirate Calico Jack Rackham. Both women built a firm partnership on this first encounter, fighting, trading and ruling the seas in both the Carribean and Irish waters.