As Dunstana sits and watches the Brotherhood Awards go on and on, she’s starting to think that everyone is going to win an award. Or, in the case of people like her dad, several awards.
Honestly, after so many people have won so many awards, she’s starting to get bored.
As much as she admires most of the people here, she doesn’t really care who has the Shiniest Boots, or the Sassiest Parrot.
She’s starting to miss Kat, too. Kat can make anything fun. That’s usually because there’s something trying to eat them, but still.
The little pirate’s eyes wander back to the stage, where the Masked Commodore is concluding his acceptance of the award for Best Original Sea Shanty with a final salute to the members of the Brotherhood. As he heads back to his seat, Plaid Jack returns to the podium.
“Well,” he says. “What an eventful day it’s been so far. Looking out at this esteemed crowd of scoundrels and all their shiny, shiny trophies, I think we should all be proud of what we’ve accomplished this year. However, we are, unfortunately, approaching the conclusion of this year’s Brotherhood Awards.”
Dunstana doesn’t really think that’s actually such a bad thing.
“And afterwards, as always,” Plaid Jack continues. “There will be cake.”
That has Dunstana perking up. Unless, she realises cautiously, it’s carrot cake.
“To present this year’s award for Rookie of the Year,” Plaid Jack announces. “I’d like to call on a man who has been a cornerstone of the Brotherhood for years, and who has always been a great inspiration to my own piratical career.”
Flashing his gold tooth, Plaid Jack looks out over the crowd before his eyes settle on Dunstana and Dorian.
“Admiral Darkstone, if you’d be so kind?” he asks, pointing to the podium.
There’s a round of applause, along with some scattered hooting and hollering, most of it supportive, as Dunstana watches her dad rise from his seat and head for the stage.
Their eyes meet as he passes by. Dunstana notices that there is a mischievous light, more so than usual, in his eyes and a faint smile lifting the corners of his mouth beneath his beard.
When he reaches the podium, Dorian clears his throat and reaches into his shirt pocket to produce and unfold his speech along with his little reading glasses to read that speech.
“It always does an old sea dog such as myself good to know that the future of our esteemed profession is safe in the hands of such a promising next generation,” he begins. “But this year is a particularly special one for me, given this year’s winner of the Rookie of the Year Award.”
Dunstana is getting bored again.
She’s barely even paying attention to her father’s words.