Captain's Association Duo: Nürnberg & Wicher!
Guten tag, Kapitän!
It’s been quite a while since we last saw you, Kapitan. We hope you’re in good health!
This Belle Duo we have brought for you, well…
...perhaps it is best left to the reader.
It stars me, so it has to be a winner, right?
Ah, to have your self-confidence, Nürnberg.
I could give you self-confidence lessons while the Kapitän is reviewing today’s story.
Only if you allow me to give you humility lessons once you’ve finished.
That sounds like a real drag, but I guess we’ll need some means of passing the time.
Then it’s settled! Kapitan, we do hope you enjoy yourself.
Belle Duos: Nürnberg and Wicher
Captain: Nürnberg? What are you doing in the galley this late at night?
Nürnberg: Ack! Kapitän… fancy seeing you here.
Captain: What are you up to?
Nürnberg: You know of tomorrow’s gingerbread contest?
Captain: Tomorrow’s what now?
Nürnberg: Gingerbread contest.
Captain: No. But I’m usually the last to hear about anything, so I’m not surprised.
Nürnberg: A few Belles and I were discussing the merits of our nations’ various gingerbreads. The conversation became heated when they refused to acknowledge the superiority of the German variety.
Captain: A conversation about… gingerbread became… heated.
Nürnberg: I’m very passionate about my lebkuchen.
Captain: Of course you are.
Nürnberg: Lebkuchen is the best of all gingerbreads, and I won’t rest until every other Belle admits as much!
Captain: Simmer down, Nürnberg. I’m not arguing the matter with you.
Nürnberg: … Perhaps. As I said, passions ran high. It was decided that the best way to settle the matter would be to hold a gingerbread contest. Several Belles are participating.
Captain: I suppose that explains this sheet of gingerbread on the table, here.
Nürnberg: The Soviet effort. They worked on that gingerbread together.
Captain: The icing on the top reads, “Proletarians of all countries, unite!”
Nürnberg: Moskva did the lettering.
Captain: At her sister’s behest, I’m sure.
Nürnberg: Who can tell where one Bolshevik ends, and the other begins?
Captain: And is that… more icing on the floor? It’s awfully slick. Where did it all come from?
Nürnberg: You know how [Redacted] is with sweets.
Captain: I should have guessed.
Captain: And you opted to make your gingerbread in the middle of the night?
Nürnberg: Heavens, no. I wouldn’t dream of presenting anything other than freshly baked lebkuchen to the judges.
Captain: … Then why are you here?
Nürnberg: I am here to cheat.
Nürnberg: Aha! I found what I was looking for. If you’ll excuse me, Kapitän, I’ll be on my way…
Captain: Stop right there.
Captain: Hand it to me.
Nürnberg: … Fine.
Captain: What is this? A recipe card? For… Toruń gingerbread?
Captain: That’s a traditional Polish dessert.
Captain: I take it Wicher is participating in this little contest.
Nürnberg: I warned her! I told her anything other than that blasted gingerbread. You must understand, Kapitän, Toruń and my namesake have history.
Nürnberg: I’d sooner eat lekach than allow my lebkuchen to lose in a contest to Toruń gingerbread.
Captain: If lebkuchen really is the best of all gingerbreads, I’m not sure why you’d be so threatened by Wicher’s entry.
Nürnberg: It is clearly the best of all gingerbreads… but there’s no telling how biased tomorrow’s judges will be, and I refuse to allow lebkuchen’s good name to be sullied!
Captain: Good Lord.
Nürnberg: Was I yelling? I was yelling, wasn’t I?
Captain: A little.
Captain: If you’re this passionate about the contest, I’m surprised you’re only taking measures against Wicher. I mean, the Soviets’ gingerbread is right there.
Nürnberg: Leningrad and I signed a nonaggression pact.
Captain: For the love of all…
Nürnberg: Well, well. Look who it is.
Captain: This bodes well.
Wicher: Dobry wieczór, Nürnberg. Kapitan, that wouldn’t happen to be my recipe card you’re holding, would it?
Captain: I’m afraid so.
Wicher: I’m disappointed in you, Nürnberg. I was really hoping we would be able to have a fair competition tomorrow.
Wicher: Unfortunately, you’ve shown yourself to be not-entirely trustworthy.
Nürnberg: What are you going to do? Keelhaul me? Not likely as long as the Kapitän’s by my side.
Captain: I would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t bring me into this.
Wicher: I would never stoop to such a level, Nürnberg. I hope you know me that well, at least.
Nürnberg: Then, what? What can you do? Ha!
Wicher: Alone? Nothing. But I know how much the competition means to you...and now, you’re going to have a few more competitors to worry about.
Nürnberg: … Who?
Bulldog: Captain. Nürnberg.
Wicher: Bulldog has consented to making the English gingerbread parkin.
Nürnberg: Oh, no, I’m really shaking in my heels.
[Redacted]: Bonsoir, Capitaine. Tricheur.
Wicher: And [Redacted] is going to make pain d'épices.
Nürnberg: … Scheiße.
Wicher: When I told Bulldog and [Redacted] of my concerns, Nürnberg, they were adamant that they participate as well. That we not allow German underhandedness to win the day.
Wicher: Their support means the world to me.
Wicher: Your actions have consequences, Nürnberg. You need to learn that.
Nürnberg: And so what? I’m not afraid of your cronies, Wicher. You’re my real competition...and now I have the upper hand.
Nürnberg: I saw your recipe card - it was just a glance, but enough to tell me everything I needed to know.
Wicher: Give me a little credit, Nürnberg. I’m not an idiot. I wasn’t about to leave my real recipe card here in the galley, where it could be easily found.
Nürnberg: So, you mean it’s…
Wicher: A fake? Of course. You’ll never find the real recipe card.
Leningrad: Please. I found it taped under your desk after five minutes of searching your quarters, so…
Nürnberg: Ha ha!
Wicher: Leningrad? Why? Why would you align yourself with… with her?
Leningrad: You’re all well aware of my views on private property by this point.
Bulldog: Give me a break. We don't have a quarrel with you.
Leningrad: Maybe I’m just an agent of chaos?
Captain: That does sound more up your alley.
Leningrad: Either way, Nürnberg wasn’t going to stop until she got her hands on this recipe card. I figure, once she has it, we can move past this drama and get on with the competition. Yum!
Nürnberg: I’ll take that card.
Wicher: Not if I have anything to say about it!
Bulldog: Right. [Redacted], attack!
[Redacted]: Just a moment s'il vous plaît- I am not quite prepared...
Wicher: Give it to me at once!
Bulldog: Say, give me back my pipe!
[Redacted]: It seems our opponent is ready for a fight!
Captain: I blame you for all of this.
Leningrad: As if that’s out of the ordinary.
Bulldog: Why is this confounded floor so slippery...whoops! *crash*
[Redacted]: I cannot keep a firm footing at all..aaah! *bam*
Nürnberg: I’ve… GOT IT! The recipe is mine. Victory is assured...once I deal with one final matter, that is...*smash*
Wicher: You've smashed the Soviet gingerbread?
Nürnberg: Ho ho ho. What an unfortunate accident...but then again, they were just asking for it, leaving it out in the open, weren't they?
Nürnberg: With the Soviet gingerbread out of the way, there will be no problem defeating the paltry British and French offering before any American Belles even learn of this contest!
Nürnberg: Not that lebkuchen has anything to fear from their disgustingly sweet and decadent offerings.
Leningrad: Remember that nonaggression pact we had?
Bulldog: LADIES, LET'S GET BAKING!
Captain: Hold it!
1: Whatever comes next, I want to get it on film for the disciplinary hearings.
2: First Belle to resort to violence cleans everything up! Everything!
3: Before this goes any further, I just need to be sure that [Redacted] isn't in a diabetic coma somewhere.
4: I just want you all to know that I'm pulling rank and choosing who the judges will be. Your behavior in the next five minutes will strongly influence my decisions.
5: I need somebody to point me to wherever the popcorn is. Then you can have at it with my blessings.
6: Somebody please tell me that I didn't personally sign off on a requisition order for seventy cans of icing. That's all I ask.
...but if I’d done something excellent, why wouldn't I telegraph everyone I know?
...ah, I believe we have the Kapitan’s attention, once again. Thank goodness.
Kapitän, you would not believe the way Wicher’s mind works. It’s something else.
Oh, for goodness’ sake. Did you enjoy the story?
As always, you’re welcome to vote for your preferred ending to the story in the forums.
*Sigh* It seems as if I won’t be mastering excessive self-confidence any time soon.
And I’m not certain how humility would be useful to anyone. But who knows?
Perhaps if we are in a Fleet together, I can reap all the glory and you can get all the humility.
Until then, take care of yourself, Kapitän!