A Way Out of Wayville

The last month of Eliza's life had been easily the worst she'd ever had.  In that time, she had gone from being the star of the Mayor's security staff and basically a local celebrity to becoming the laughing stock of the whole town.  Worse still, Eliza couldn't get a job anywhere, she was running out of dirt fast, and her parents now refused to bail her out...

It had all started when a few of Mayor Richard Conningham's advisors bemoaned to her the decline of Wayville's prosperity under said mayor and confided in her that they believed much of his poor judgement was the result of the influence of the Mayor's wife, Winnifred Conningham (a woman whom Eliza had never seen eye-to-eye with anyway), over him.  Eliza had then made the mistake of asking how she could help, after which the advisors unveiled a scheme they'd come up with to have Eliza lure the Mayor away from Winnifred's influence and supplant it with her own, highly capable judgement.  Flattered as she was by their confidence in her, Eliza hadn't been able to say no.

Seducing Richard Conningham had been a relatively easy feat, as the man had already been struggling to keep his eyes off Eliza anyway, a fact that probably contributed to Winnifred's animosity toward her (hey Eliza couldn't help it that she wasn't a cranky old hag).  All Eliza had to do was dress for success, accidentally brush up against him, hint that the feelings were mutual, and take advantage of some alone-time moments with the Mayor arranged by her fellow conspirators, and Eliza soon had Richard Conningham wrapped around her finger.  From there, Eliza was able to get just about whatever she wanted; on occasion she even saw fit to use her newfound power to reward the advisors when they were good to her.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon came to an end once Winnifred discovered the plot.  She quickly put the fear of god back into her old man then proceeded to show everyone who was really in charge of Wayville by forcing her husband to publicly denounce Eliza and fire her, and even got the traitorous advisors to deny her once the saw which way the wind was blowing.  The official story became that Eliza had taken advantage of the Mayor for personal gain and that only the timely intervention of the Mayor's loyal wife and supporters had saved the town.  Thoroughly humiliated and discredited, Eliza avoided criminal prosecution solely because her father was the Enforcer of Wayville.  Still, her career had been ruined, and nobody, not even her father, would hire her.  Changing her spending habits proved to be difficult to do, and soon Eliza found herself having to pawn off her belongings to pay her debts...

Which brought her to her present situation.  Nearing destitution, Eliza finally heard back from someone willing to interview her for a position onboard his boat.  The captain was some fellow named Murdock who was apparently not from around town, which suited Eliza's purposes perfectly.  Her father had advised her to stay away from the man, but he also refused to give her a job or dirt to live off of, so he could take his advice and shove it up his...

Anyway, Eliza had heard of and communicated her desire to apply for the position through mutual acquaintances and was eager to finally meet the man in person.  A lot was riding on this interview, as she was running out of things to sell off.  If this didn't pan out, she'd have to get the pan out, and Eliza was too pretty to beg.

The place Murdock had agreed to meet her and presumably the others applying for positions was a dingy bar in one of the rougher parts of town.  Seriously, the area reeked of fish, excrement, and poor people, granted, most of Wayville had started smelling that way after the Great Storm took out a third of the town a few years back, but still.  That this Murdock would be willing sit in such a place said something about his lack of standards.  Eliza was feeling optimistic that she could add some class to the team the man was assembling.  Dressed in a formal jacket and skirt, she stood out like a stormcloud in a clear blue sky.  Or maybe she stood out like a ray of sunlight through a storm... yeah, that latter one sounded cooler.  Either way, she was drawing attention, and her hand gravitated toward the nightstick in her coat in case anyone decided to get a little frisky.

Thankfully, Eliza managed to locate the tavern without incident and marched in, carefully squeezing past a man who was heading out.  Another tight building filled with poor people.  Such structures had become ubiquitous in the aftermath of the Great Storm, which had forced all of the survivors whose homes and business had been destroyed to cram into the parts of town that hadn't been washed away.  Eliza had hoped to use her power to fix this situation, but if these people didn't want her, they could try to figure out how to fix their own damn problems.  Hopefully there was at least one person in here that wanted her, if not at the moment, then soon.

The whispering began shortly after Eliza entered the establishment, the very same kind of whispering that had followed her all month.  All the peasants, judging her as if they thought they were somehow better than her.  She was sick of it; it would be good to get away from the blighted town, her home for so many years that had turned its back on her.  Murdock would rescue her from this, and if he didn't, Eliza didn't know what she was going to do.

Eliza approached the barkeep and inquired, "Hello, do you know if there is a man named Murdock in here perchance?"

The barkeep looked at her with an appraising that likely meant he had identified who she was.  "I might," he replied, "but first let me ask you something."

Eliza was sure she wasn't going to like where this would go, but nonethess she responded with, "Shoot."

"Was his manhood as wrinkly as his face?"

Eliza flushed.  "Do I have to grace you with a response to that?"

The barkeep said nothing and smiled.

Rolling her eyes, Eliza sighed, "Yes, yes it was," provoking a fit of laughter from the mischievous lout.

"God, lady, you must have been desperate."

Eliza gritted her teeth.  Nobody would ever understand.  "Where. Is. Murdock." she growled.

The barkeep gestured in the direction of a scruffy grey eyed man between giggles, a man who was looking their way intently over a glass of hydro.  Great, if she didn't end up getting the job because of that nosey bastard's antics, she'd probably kill somebody...

With her future on the line, Eliza cracked a fake smile and approached the sea captain, pretending to shrug off the incident as if it were no big deal.  "Hello sir, do you happen to be Captain Murdock?  I am here about a job opening aboard your vessel..."

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