((My apologies but I am going to assume that MacTavish is a man...))
Nicole stood up hand placed gently upon her blade as three proud looking men approach her.
"Oui monsieurs? May I help you?"
Introductions were made and Nicole sat, knowing the men wouldn't till she did. With intent looks, the questions started flying from the three handsome men and Nicole laughed and waved her hands before her
"Wait! Wait monsieurs! I will answer your questions! An ale around the table, or rum should you prefer, then let me spin you a tale as to why and how I came to speak with your Magistrate in regards to my entering your society."
Nicole sighed knowing she had better explain herself as she has done many times, to men doubting her rank as a Naval Officer in the French Navy. Three drinks were placed on the table ((whatever you three drink)) and Nicole's ale is topped off with a good head of foam. She doesn't argue when Captain Namo Larken ((assuming name is 1st & last)) pulls forth his pouch and drops some dubloon into the maids hand, enough to make her smile.
Nicole sighed. "Monsieurs I was born of both French- my father, and Brethern- my mother. I spent the first twelve years of my life with my father who sought to raise me a proper lady of the French Courts. He did fail miserably and after all that trying, and perhaps because of his longing love for my mother, he took me at great peril to Tortuga. Well, perhaps because of his bravery, and his good soul, he was accepted after much scrutiny, as you give me now, and we settled into a wild life with my mother.
My mother was feared amongst the Brethern. Not for her sailing, for she did none, but for her iron hand upon a skillet while she commanded a respectable inn and tavern- if there can be anything respectable in Tortuga."
Nicole bows her head in sorrow for her mother.
"I do no mean disrespect for her. She was fierce in her love for me and my father. I do not know if she still lives or no. Anyway", Nicole looks back up and wipes a tear from her eye angerly, "it was through her insistance to one of the captains, who commanded a tri-decker of some sort, I was too young to know, that I learned my skills as a captain."
"I grew up with calloused feet, rough hands, a blade bloodied and a fierce hatred for the damn British. It was in my eighteenth year that my father fell to those dogs and I will n'er forgive them. As it was, the Brethern could not organize, but fought their own internal battles, and I could find no relief of my loss from them. It was my mother, who in secret did let me in on a plan." Nicole looked down again but this time with embarrassment. She coughed once, shook her shoulders lightly and continued, "My mother taught me to strap my breasts tightly, cut my hair, walk with a firm stern and keep my voice low and course. From doing this, I entered the service of the King of France, one step above a cabinboy- which would have given my ruse away immediately." She blushed at the thought of what captains used their cabinboys for.
I quickly grew in rank, although I sailed on a Privateer's ship. I was going to gain little satisfaction with the British. I applied to the Naval Academy, and by dint of bribery, my fists, and a curt code of conduct, I was accepted and I strode my first time upon the deck of a true warship. I knew then that I could repay the British for what they had done to me and mine."
Nicole beconed the tavern maid over and she filled the round in haste, knowing there were four important persons sitting in discussion. Nicole waved off Captain MacTavish and drew her coin forth. She wispered to the maid and dropped a sizable count into her hand. The maid nodded and with quick feet left the table for the kitchen.
"So monsieurs? Why do I wish to join company with Freetraders and Merchants? Aach. I have traveled far, fought many, loved and lost others and done more listening and watching of societys to fill my crew with. Some were so stuffy and rigid that they made the British Navy seem a swimming vacation in the tropics. Others spoke only French- and sorely I did not learn my father's language more than to ask for food and a bed. They and I could not dwell together enough in peace for me to consider them for a true home. I would no return to my mother's life or the Brethern for they cause pain to everyone- something I did not see as a young girl."
Food arrived; almost raw lamb, steaming in its juices. Fresh baked bread with crust hard enough to break teeth on, minced pie- wafting the oder of currants in hard liquor and a basin of gravy. "You look hungry monsieurs. Reach you for some sustanence se vous plait."
"To continue," Nicole smiled softly as the men reached for food and set too. "I have sailed beside a few of you. Watched your actions when our ports were threatened by those bloody, pasty faced, snob-nosed British and did I like your actions? Aye! Thar be a company I could sail with as the sun rises and then sets. I do no... I do not profess to know much about making of things. My skill comes from the deck of a warship and meth... I think I would serve the Highlanders well."
"So be it monsieurs. I have no spoken this long since my Admiral found I was a woman and demanded explanation. I am still an officer so you can see he did put my deeds beside my being a woman and saw neither was lacking. He is a good man albeit a bit too caught up in court intrigue."
Nicole sat back silent, too afraid to drink or eat. Waiting for the men to decide whether she would find a home or would once again sail against the enemy... alone.