"Nanami." Takumi's voice was barely audible over the waves, the wind, and the rapid, fearful heartbeat in Nanami's ears.
"What?" she whispered back. Her eyes were locked on their captor. She kept her sword pointed at Nanami, but she looking at her Frankenboat, waiting for the baseball-bat-girl to come back. Or... something. Nanami's hands were raised well above her head, just in case.
"She's distracted. Should I stop her?"
"From what? Only threatening to hurt us?"
"I can't just let her hold up the boat," he said. "It's an insult. And she's alone now."
"But if we cooperate, she won't hurt us!"
"What if she does? What if she just wants us to point her to shore, then kill us?"
"The leader said for the baseball bat girl to go check on someone else," Nanami said. "Because she thought, uh, Maggie was going to--"
"Ahem," said the swordswoman.
"Nyeeep!" said Nanmi.
"I heard Maggie's name just now." She spoke slowly. "So maybe you know a little more English than 'please don't hurt me.' Tell me. What's your name?" She looked at Nanami now, right down the spine of her sword. She raised the tip as if sighting the blade between Nanami's eyes.
She gave it her best: "My... name... is Nanami." She pointed (awkwardly, refusing to lower her elbows below her ears) to her husband. "His... name... is Takumi. We are married. We are ... good people."
The swordswoman smiled. She flicked the butcher knife through a loop in her belt and lowered the sword. "Then let me introduce myself." She closed her eyes, and went into an exaggerated series of flourishes. "The lady you see before you today, on this glorious day of days, is none other than Her Royal Satanic Majesty Frannie Ducat, Captain in Perpetuity of The Island Nation of Satanistan, known across the lands of Earth for her beauty, her strength..."
In the midst of her speech, Takumi crept across the boat as hastily as he could manage. He slid past Nanami. When she was behind him, out of harm's way, he abandoned pretenses of stealth and crossed the remaining distance in two steps, fist raised--
Without pause, or bothering to open her eyes, she flowed under the punch and struck him in the throat with the heel of her palm. Takumi stumbled back, grasping his throat. Frannie drew her sword and rammed the pommel into Takumi's gut in one lightning-fast moment, knocking him over. He landed on his back, wheezing and groaning. Frannie planted her foot right where she'd just pommeled him and returned the sword to its sheathe. "...her wisdom," she continued, "and her ludicrous skill in battle."
Nanami whimpered, "Please, please don't hurt him!"
"I shan't," Frannie said. "Merely making a, pardon the pun, point." She stepped of Takumi. "That's done with now. Ah! I daresay I see Sally! Excuse me." She walked over to the bow of the ship and waved.
Nanami sped to Takumi's side. "Are you alright? Can you breathe? Please, please..."
Takumi coughed. "This close. I was this close." He pushed himself up. "This time!"
Nanami gave him a light slap.
"Pleeeeease?" he said.
"Not on your life," she said.
"Alright, alright." He glared at Frannie.
"She's not your ancient rival from a past life," said Nanami. "She's just a weirdo with sharp objects. She said she won't hurt you anymore if you behave yourself."
"But what if she gets to shore? What'll she do?"
"What's the worst she could do?" asked Nanami. "Take over Japan?"
* * *
"Today," said Frannie, addressing her crew and three prisoners, "is the first day of the War to Claim Japan."