The Flight of The Draykes
The marks on the horizon grew bigger and bigger before they solidified into the vague shapes of warships.
The sailors were rowing half-heartedly, allowing the warships to catch up to us for we intended to fight.
The only question was, how?
Our question was answered when the lookout, squinting as hard as he could, yelled out, “They’re flying the black flag! They’re pirates!”
Silence answered this before a muted roar was heard from everyone on board the Sea Drayke.
Raising his hands, Captain Saylor barked a few orders and then we were all busy, doing as he said.
I went to Faust and gazed at him for a long time before I took off my shield and placed it on his body.
Then, sighing, I went to the deck and got myself another shield that already had a dent in it from the previous user’s unfortunate demise.
Soon, the pirate warships had spotted our limping Sea Drayke, and they changed course, veering toward us like hounds who have scented prey.
Not knowing whether to be amused as to the fact that we weren’t their initial target, our sailors kept rowing slower and slower - as though they had run out of energy.
Finally, when the pirate ships, two on either side, came closer - we put on a burst of speed and sprinted ahead for a minute before the tempo dropped and we were dead in the water.
We could hear the cheers of the pirates as they too sprinted and then slowed as they approached our battered ship.
It was then that Sea Drayke bared its fangs.
Our ‘exhausted’ rowers suddenly leaned forward on the roars with a roar and Sea Drayke leaped forward before turning to starboard hard, and as we took the turn, the Captain roared out to unfurl the sails and the wind which had been leeward was suddenly windward for us and we rocketed forward in our turn and straightened and ran ahead.
Straight through the oars on the starboard side of the rightmost pirate warship.
Our own oars pulled inside, we shattered the pirate ship’s starboard side and left it reeling behind us amidst the splinters of oars and the cries of wounded men and women.
Then, as we pulled ahead of the ship, we swung in another starboard arc, again leeward to the wind, and came up behind the leftmost pirate ship as our rowers bent to the oars with a will.
Crashing into the pirate ship from the side and scraping by, our harpoons flew and gripped onto their railings, mast, and sails - before our marines and knights leaped aboard.
Carnage followed then.
As men and women let loose their most primal instincts of slaughter and the marine complement on the enemy pirate ship was destroyed in mere moments and Sir Faaris ran the Captain of the pirates through.
Then the sailors of the enemy pirate vessel were grabbing weapons only to sit back down as 6 gold rank auras flared and bladeglows left splinters on the deck that they were standing upon.
Gasping at the quick and efficient slaughter, the pirates on the vessel that was dead in the water could only watch as their fellow brethren surrendered.
Then it was our turn, and we quickly ran aboard and looted their supplies, a task that took but mere minutes, and then we were aboard the Sea Drayke and this time our rowers held nothing back as they lustily pulled the oars, leaving the shell-shocked pirates behind.
Pulling far ahead and finally relaxing when there was no sail in sight, nor any ticks against the horizon, we let out a cheer.
Then excitedly, we all gathered together to count the spoils.
Grinning widely, Captain Saylor bellowed out, “We have enough to get us to the next island and then some lads! When we get ashore, a portion of wine for all of you!”
A cheer rose at his words as the Knights also grinned lopsidedly.
Then, sobering up, we stood solemnly as Captain Saylor coughed and spoke. “The problem we face now is men. We don’t have enough hands to go around on the oars.”
Then, with a wicked gleam in his eyes, he said, “I have a proposition here,”
And all of us huddled together and as we heard his proposition, we all looked wide-eyed at the man before we nodded together while thinking, “Evil. This man is evil.”
Looking at us innocently, Captain Saylor smiled and said, “So it’s agreed?”
Unanimously we chorused, “Agreed.”
“You heard that, lads? It’s time to start fishing!”
And with that, we began fishing.
Soon enough, we caught a big one.
A really big one.
One that we couldn’t wait to reel in.
Two hours later, a drifting warship with the sails almost completely torn with broken oars lying twisted in their oarlocks rose and fell with the flow of the sea.
A huge pirate ship slowly crept up on the wounded ship, and thinking it unawares, sprinted forward and pulled up beside it and harpoons with ropes and grappling hooks were launched and the ships were tied together.
Then the pirates boarded and facing them were just 8 trembling men and women, clad in rough clothes and looking poorer than dirt.
“Hand over your money and women,” thundered the pirate leader.
“Hand over your pants or your life,” One of the men shouted back.
Digging their ears furiously, the rough-looking savage pirates glared at the lion eyed man who glared at them back.
“Do you know the situation you’re in?” The pirate captain thundered again.
It was the turn of the lion eyed man to dig his ears as he replied casually, “Do you?”
For a long moment, the pirates were actually puzzled, and they took a step back while looking at each other with an expression that said, “We are pirates, right? We haven’t turned into benevolent priests or anything like that, yes?”
Then confirming that they were, in fact, pirates - they again stepped forward menacingly.
“Last chance,” the pirate captain growled.
“Last chance,” the lion eyed man returned.
Howling, the pirate captain charged at the man, his gold rank aura flaring terrifyingly high.
Only to skid to a stop as 6 gold rank auras higher than his own flared to the sky and then with a roar, the charging pirates, who were right now slack jawed, were charged into and boarded by the rough clothed golden men and women.
A few minutes later, a few lives later, and the pirates were obediently kneeling down and proclaiming their allegiance, while also furtively looking at their pants in fear.
Another few minutes later, and the ‘battered’ warship left with a burst of speed, conveniently provided by very willing rowers who had a career change just a short while ago. Upward mobility of the finest sort.
Laughing after a long time of fighting as I told all this to Faust, I gazed at his face, wondering if he could hear me.
If he could, then I hoped he was laughing as much as I was.
It’s been a week since he was injured.
It’s been a lifetime for me.
But I’ll wait.