At least he got the ink off his face.
Zainab followed behind her boss, stopping two steps behind him when he stared at the tied and blindfolded pirates lying on the dock, fox eyes glittering. This was always the tricky part. Cassim had a vicious streak on his good days. And these wharf rats had gone out and killed some of their people, and enslaved more.
But so far Cassim was just stalking along the bloodied line of them, examining the damage with a professional’s eye. Nodded, and headed back onto the solid stone of the street, raising an eyebrow at Alibaba. “So?”
Not what Zainab would have started with for a question, given Alibaba was still stained with smoke, face pale as ashes. But this was the boss’ call.
“I plan to dump the mate in the dock-master’s office.” Alibaba glanced over where Aden’s crew were talking to some of the merchant survivors they’d pulled off the pirate vessel. “With a copy of the ship’s log. It’s… sketchy. I don’t think the captain read a lot. But there are,” he swallowed dryly, “enough details.”
“Oh?” Cassim drew out the word, dark brow arching higher.
Alibaba took a breath, and handed over leatherbound pages.
Scowling, Cassim took the log, and started reading. Stopped, almost immediately. “Does he have to be alive?”
“The message might get through better if he is.” Alibaba didn’t flinch. “I want word spread everywhere. I want people to know this is what happened to our ships. Our people.” Knuckles clenched, pale with fury. “Spent the trip here copying out the past few months…. We’re going to leave enough evidence that the dock-master knows exactly what this scum did. And what happened to them when we found them.”
“Heh.” Cassim’s smirk had an eager edge. “So either Shahidi gets off his fat butt and does what a dock-master’s supposed to do with pirate slavers… or he doesn’t.”
Either way, Zainab knew, there’d be more blood in the streets. Which suited Cassim just fine.
“The rest of them… I think we killed most of the ones with any guts,” Alibaba said flatly. “Now we’ll see if Shahidi has what it takes to follow the law. If he lets them go….” The blond’s smile was still friendly, but it had that same edge of steel. “Then they’ll be on your turf.”