Formendacil wrote:They ate dinner, went to bed, and the first thing that they heard the next morning, rudely awakening them was the call of:
"Navy vessel to the port bow, Captain! She's flying King Robert's colours, right enough!"
"Oh no," groaned Adrian. "Not a Crusader naval vessel!"
Location: Fell Sea
Hans sat up too fast in his hammock. It rolled, and he toppled to the wooden deck.
“Ouch!” he swore.
“Just our tyco luck…” Adrian was saying, pulling on his trousers.
“What’s going to happen now?” demanded Cate, slipping out of her hammock delicately.
“What else?” snapped Adrian, fastening his belt, “Battle!”
“Ooh!” Hans stood up, “Sweetness!”
“Sweetness?” Adrian gaped, “You can’t be serious, Hans! Do you really want us three -- two teenage scholars and a rich heiress in the middle of a sea battle?”
“Do we have a choice?” said Hans, “We can’t swim out of this…”
“ALL HANDS ON DECK!” bellowed Captain Broadside, topside.
“Does that mean us?” said Cate. She was now looking worried.
“Don’t worry.” said Adrian, “The Crusaders won’t harm a woman.”
“Yeah!” said Hans gallantly, reaching for the nearest weapon -- a crowbar, “We’ll protect you!”
Together, the trio ascended above deck. Captain Broadside was at the help, his face pale.
“I’m afraid, ma’am,” he said, “That we’ll be having to take a quick detour.”
“What? But we need to reach Fell Isle!” cried Cate.
“We’ve got a bloody Crusader vessel on out tails.” said Broadside, as if that explained it.
Adrian squinted into the morning fog.
“I don’t see anything.”
“I don’t either…” said Hans.
“She’s out there.” said Broadside in an undertone, “Watchmen spotted ‘er in break of fog….curses…”
“You know Adrian…this is kinda like the Misfits.” said Hans, still looking out into the fog, “You know, when Reno had been kidnapped and the rest of them, on the Shadow
, was seeking out Burtrand Storm-Rider…”
“Yeah…” said Adrian, “There they were…Bjarn, Willem, Graygon, Drakko and Aros -- Barbod had already floated off to attack the Crusaders -- searching, searching…and then --”
“Wham!” interrupted Hans, slapping his hands together, “The Shadow
and the Hornet
At that moment Cate screamed and Broadside swore as something black loomed out of the fog.
“Ship off the starboard bow! Brace!”
Everyone on deck were tossed down as the prow of the Crusader ship smashed into the broadside of the Bombardier
“We’ve been broadsided!” sword Broadside, the irony not escaping anyone.
“Dude.” said Hans, “That was, like, prophetic, what we just said…”
“Fine.” snapped Adrian, “I prophesize we will all escape harm and get to Fell Isle with little damage as possible. Now let that come true!”
Hans stood up gallantly (perhaps a better would be foolishly) and cried, “Arg! Pass over a cutlass, will ya?”
The pirates looked at him for a moment, amused, before turning back to their more pressing problem: the other Crusader ship. The two ships had separated now and were floating listlessly apart. Both ships and crew seemed a little stunned by the blow, but neither ships had been mortally damaged. Broadside knew this, and he knew that since the Bombardier wasn’t sinking, he had a fighting chance.
Almost as in response to Hans, the pirate captain bellowed, “Arm ev’ry last man on board! Prepare for boarding! Hold ‘em back! Send ‘em overboard!”
Instantly weapon racks were looted. Hans found himself holding what he requested - a cutlass. Adrian had a battleaxe and Cate a vicious-looking grabbling hook with a length of rope. Hans looked at his weapon. It had old bloodstains on it.
“Holy tyco.” he murmured.
Adrian dropped his axe.
“I’m a megablocks scholar from Tols.” he cried, “How the buildit did I get myself involved in a sea battle onboard a pirate ship!”
He turned on Hans and Cate.
“This is you two’s fault!”
Hans and Cate were prevented from a vehement denial by a sudden whiz. The Crusader marines were firing crossbows. Hans, Adrian and Cate screamed. They were all the same, high pitch.
“Here they come!” bellowed Broadside.
The Crusaders began to swing and leap from their ship to the Bombardier
. The clash of blades filled the air as the pirates and Crusaders engaged. Soon men were dead, dying and wounded.
“This is not so
good…” whispered Hans. He was very pale.
“We’ve got to get outta here…” said Adrian. He, too, was pale.
Cate was also pale, but she was staring intensely at the grabbling hook in her hands.
“C’mon.” she said suddenly.
She raced up the stairs to the poop deck. Hans and Adrian looked at one another and followed, Hans still holding the cutlass.
“Either of you have a decent throwing arm?” she said quickly.
They can’t been noticed yet by either battling party yet -- but it wouldn’t be long before they had.
“I can’t aim to save my life.” said Hans, “Though I can throw a decent pitch.”
“Good aim, okay distance.” said Adrian.
“Fine, then, Adrian,” rushed Cate, “Throw this over there!”
Adrian took the hook.
“What, to the other Crusader ship?”
“Just throw it!”
Adrian did, underhanded. The hook went high but not far -- it caught in the rigging of the Crusader ship.
“Ooh, nice!” cried Hans. Suddenly he was all swashbuckling again, “Let’s go!”
“At the same time?” said Adrian, eyeing the rope, “I don’t think --”
At that moment, a pirate -- who apparently had forgotten the trio had paid for passage on the Bombardier
-- charged them, wielding a bloody saber.
Cate shrieked, Adrian yelled and Hans swore -- and all grabbed the rope. And as a tangled mass they swung out over the water, screaming. The tumbled onto the deck of the ship, at were at once surrounded by stern-looking Crusaders. Hans, his spectacles crooked, looked at them and groaned.
“To paraphrase a cliché -- Out of the fire and into the frying pan. Methinks this is your cue, Adrian…”