For the pirates of Nassau, preparations were chaotic. A massive buildup of armament was needed if they were to have any hope of defeating the British. Wench oversaw the logistics from Nassau, her advanced pregnancy limiting her from assisting on the frontline. Even so, King fussed over her. "At the first sign of any trouble, you double back to the cave under the fort and wait for me there. Understood?" He frowned. Time had gone by so quick between now and when Wench entered the fray. Piracy was less and less common as escorts picked up, and hunters were sent out to find them. Many hunters were ex-pirates and knew how to blend in, and where to look. It made hiding and operating difficult. And as evident by the swollen belly, Wench and King were expecting shiplings. "I know King. We've been over this a hundred times." Wench rolled her eyes. "I know. I know. I just worry. You're my precious Pearl… I've already lost one love. I can't bear to lose you too." She leaned into him, tired of lugging the extra weight around. "I know. That's why I'm careful." She replied. She winced as her young did a twirl about her womb, poking and pressing on it. "They're impatient." She grimaced. "They're eager to meet you." He chuckled, licking her. "Clearly." She grunted. "Because…" She winced again. "King, my water just broke."
No time was wasted between that claim and Wench being fussed over by nearly every ship in Nassau. "Back off, all of ye!" Morning Star hissed. Wench gave her friend a grateful glance. She didn't need everyone up in her face. Star nodded her understanding, backing up only to allow King access. "How are you feeling, My Pearl?" "They are very impatient." Wench replied, grinding her teeth together. King pressed his bowsprit to her flank softly. "Be easy and gentle, little ones. You're hurting your mother." Wench hissed through her teeth, sharp cries escaping her as contractions hit her. "Breathe. Push." Morning Star instructed, ready to receive. Wench's jaws were parted in a pant as she fought against the pain. "Come on!" She hissed as the first shipling began to emerge. Morning Star pulled her out, and immediately something was off. There was no crying, and Star seemed to be panicking some. "What? What is it?" Wench herself was getting frantic which affected her ability to push the other shiplings out. "She's not breathing." Came the gut-wrenching reply. King rushed over as Star tried to get the baby to take her first breath. "No, no, no!" Wench wailed, shrieking in agony as her remaining unborn shipling made its presence known! "Star, get the other child! I'll take over... this." King choked, taking his stillborn daughter and desperately breathing into her. Star had to hold Wench down as the mother writhed in pain as she struggled to push her remaining shipling out.
Finally, it emerged. A big, beautiful male. This one let it be known that he lived. His cries pierced the air over Nassau. "It's a boy. A beautiful boy. A brig!" Star sniffed, happiness somewhat shot by King's cries to the Ancients. "Jackdaw, his name is Jackdaw." Wench panted. She looked at her mate, eyes dark as they rested on her lifeless daughter. "I would've named her Britannia." She whispered. "I think, I think she would have liked that." King sniffed, placing their daughter in a makeshift berth crib. Wench tucked Jackdaw to her side. He immediately began to suckle. "Star, thank you." She said. "I don't deserve it. But you're welcome." She sighed. King moved over so Jackdaw was between them. Wench buried her bow in her mate side, her sobs muffled. He held her, looking at the distant horizon as his own tears fell down his cheeks. He looked at Jackdaw. "We have to be strong, my love... for him." Wench could feel it when Jackdaw started suckling. The shipling had a strong grip. Both King and Wench licked him lovingly. "He's beautiful." Wench said, nuzzling him as he blew a milk bubble. King sniffed, "He does have his mother's looks, aye." "I was referring to you. He has your hull." Jackdaw's colors matched his father's, right down to his eyes. "My colors, perhaps. But definitely your attractiveness. Girls will want him all the time." "I hope not." She muttered. "I don't want to deal with that possibility for a long time!" King chuckled light heartedly, glad that the gloomy thoughts of before were being suppressed... for now. Wench, exhausted as she was, simply leaned against her mate, cradling her baby to her side as she slept. King watched over them protectively well into the night. Only when he heard Wench murmur for him to sleep did he obey and let unconsciousness claim him.
In the morning, Wench was woken as Jackdaw started wailing for food. She sighed, rolling over to allow him access to her teets and he happily latched on. King was already up and organizing the harbor, dealing with concerns over defenses and petty traders wanting to sell certain amounts of things for a certain price. "He's being extra precautious now," Morning Star said as she prepared for her month long hunt, "He's already lost a daughter. He won't let anything come close to you or Jackdaw." Wench nodded. "Tell him to be careful himself. I can't lose him as well." She said. "I don't think anyone needs to tell him that. You know how he is." She smiled. Wench nodded. "Then you be careful." She said. "You're my best friend." "I'm old, and well armed. I can take out most, and run away from bigger. I'll be fine." She chuckled, setting her top sails. Wench nodded and let her go, focusing her attention on her growing shipling. He was precious. He made barely any noise as he fed, eyes closed happily. Wench smiled. She liked a quiet baby. "Congratulations." Came Reader's voice. "Thank you." Wench sighed tiredly. She was still exhausted. She pressed her muzzle to the top of Jackdaw's head. He mewled for only a second before he continued to suckle. "Good boy." She said, rolling completely on her side both to allow her shipping full access and also to get some rest herself. As she closed her eyes she found exhaustion taking over. She had not gotten a good sleep. So she was out quickly... drifting into the dream realm…
She found herself back in Port Royal. It seemed deserted and the only ship there was unfamiliar to her. She was indescribable in her horror. Green eyes full of hatred, leaking tears of despair. Jaws reminiscent of a sea monster. And a hull that looked as though it rose from the bottom of the sea itself.