"Did you honestly think I wouldn't know, Sarvus?" Ethan asked, displaying his trademark smirk. "I know everything that happens on this ship, and a man with your responsibilities shouldn't be-"
"Alright, alright," the gunner's mate hissed. "They warned me about you. I shoulda listened. What's it gonna cost me to keep this quiet?"
Ethan was a man of average height and slender build, thanks to a childhood illness that forever compromised his constitution. He was neither handsome nor hideous, but it was the fire behind his eyes that drew your attention. He stepped closer to the taller man who was built like low sink hive muscle and straightened the lapels of his dirty work uniform. "You're new here, which is already a strike with the indigenous crew, so I'm going to help you out, Sarvus, that's what I'm going to do. I'll forget that you ever got First Gunner's Mate Mikkelson's secret lover hooked on obscura, for the low, low price of thirty percent of any future sales. How's that sound?"
"THIRTY?" the man cried out.
"It just went up to thirty-five for the heads you turned with that little outburst. If I informed the captain, you'd be lashed and bounced off the ship at the next port. If I told Mikkelson... Well, fatal accidents happen all the time on a ship this size."
The larger man scowled and gritted his teeth, but nodded. "Thirty-five. Can I get back to work now?"
"By all means, and I do hope you have a nice shift." He watched the man stalk off, fists clenched, and his microbead pipped, informing him of the staff summons. With a smile, he made his way to the closest lift.