“The first vote is for…Mal!” Sandara shouts, showing the slip to all, and then depositing it in the empty bucket. She reaches for another slip.
“Mal…Grims…Grims!” she continues the process, pulling out one slip at a time, taking care to show everyone that she is only drawing one, reading it, showing it, then depositing it in the other bucket. This continues, with the count being kept by Fishguts Kroop, who records each vote as a mark in charcoal on a scrap of wood. There are 14 voting crew members, and shortly there are 6 votes for each man, leaving only 2 remaining slips. Will it result in a tie?
The tension in the air is palpable. Sailors share nervous glances. Conversation stops, leaving only the sounds of a light breeze and the ever-present lapping of water against the ship’s hull. Sandara reaches for another slip, unfolds it, and speaks as she displays it to the crew – a jagged ‘X’ is clear for all to see.
“Grims!” she states firmly, and then places the slip into the formerly empty bucket to her right. Only one slip remains, and will result in a new captain, elected by the slimmest margin possible for this crew, or a tie, and the uncertainty of another round of voting. The former promises an answer, albeit one weakly ground, should those who voted for Mal choose to not support Grims as completely as a new captain needs. The latter would result in another round of voting, and possible gridlock, which among pirates often led to a fight.
“May Besmara’s wisdom and boldness guide us as we draw this last slip,” Sandara intones, the weight of her words washing over everyone. She reaches into the bucket again, drawing out the last slip, and before opening it lifts the bucket with her other hand, displaying its empty bottom to everyone present, honoring tradition as the final vote is to be read.
Unfolding the slip she takes a moment to look at the mark on it and nods, a serious, perhaps stoic look on her face. The left side of her mouth turns up in a mischievous semi-smirk as she turns it around to show the crew: another X.
“Grims! Captain Grims!” she shouts, to uneven cheers from the crew. Some appear genuinely happy in the result; others seem happy that a decision has been reached; and a few look a little deflated. None show any negative response, but the small, closely divided crew cannot provide its new captain with the groundswell of support he might have wanted.
Sandara, in her last official act as the unofficially most-trusted non-officer member of the crew, silences the crew with a wave of her arms, and turns to Grims as he approaches.
“The ship is yours captain…” she begins, and is then suddenly cut off by the shouts of Arreta Bansion, still tied naked to the forward mast, and all but forgotten by the crew.
“Wooo!! Wooo! You gotta hotta cap’n! I swear myself to him too! Plugg’s dead! Harrigan’s gone! I’ll sail under yer banner, cap’n!” she yells, twisting around the mast as much as possible in order to see the others. An awkward moment passes before the crew begins shouting again – some laughing, some calling for her head, others urging her release.