The two huge ships sat end to end at the private dock, men scurried around both ships. Each man knew his job and did it without question. Despite the short time in dock both ships already flew matching ensigns from the poop deck. A black flag with a yellow cross in the top left corner, a cutlass and pistol cross in the bottom left and six stars to the right. Without too much imagination one could tell that five of the stars traced the shape of an inverted star with the sixth star, also inverted, being the centre point
The priority job was to ensure the Privateer was ready to sail at all times, that meant making sure the hulls were stocked with weapons, ammunition, whatever was needed, making sure the sails were intact, the rigging set and the ship sea worthy. The secondary job, but equally as important in the long term, was the cleaning up of the newly named Revenge, the ship they’d commandeered from the dead Captain Morgan. Ten guys were in charge of cleaning up the Revenge, their orders were to salvage what was useful, burn what wasn’t and make the ship sea worthy.
The good captain walked along the docks with his fair maiden beside him, they were holding hands and looking proudly over their flotilla.
“’Tis a sign ‘o thin’s to come me darlin’,” The good captain said, “ One day thar shall be an entire fleet moorin’ at these docks.”
“I look ahead to th’ day wit’ anticipation me dear cap’n.” the fair maiden replied.
At that moment a call came from the deck of the Revenge, it was from Mad Dog Rivers. “Aye, cap’n, you need to be seein this!”
“What be it me laddie?” The good captain said as he walked up the gang plank with the fair maiden two steps behind him.
“’tis in th’ Officers Quarters, follow me.” Mad Dog stated.
The good captain and his fair maiden followed Mad Dog Rivers as he walked towards the door to the Officer’s Quarters. The captain knew he wouldn’t be being called to inspect something trivial or unimportant so his interest was piqued but he chose to say nothing.
Inside the Officers Quarters Mad Dog walked up to a small desk and pointed at a leather bound ledger. “We found it stashed under what we believe be th’ First Officer’s bed.”
“What is it?” the fair maiden asked.
The good captain stepped up to the desk, opened the ledger and began to read it. He read the first few lines before explaining what it was he was reading.
“ ‘Tis th’ ledger ‘o Morgan. It don’t appear to be a full ledger more a recount ‘o once particular event.”
“What event?” The fair maiden asked, then she heard a loud gasp as it escaped the captain mouth.
The captain was skimming the pages, not reading everything but looking for stand out words, it was one of those words that had him gasping. The mention of his own name.
“ ‘Tis be not just any story. ’tis be a recount ‘o th’ day Morgan ordered we battle th’ Stolen Kracken. We were severely outnumbered, out gunned ‘n out ‘o our depth.” The captain kept scanning.
After a second audible gasp, this one louder than the first the fair maiden knew something wasn’t right. “What is it my dear?”
“Morgan was sendin’ us to our deaths. He knew we couldn’t defeat th’ Stolen Kracken but he still made us fight. Read fer yourself.” The good captain paused then pushed the ledger towards the fair maiden.
She opened the book at the beginning and read it aloud in her best pirate voice.
“I saw th’ ship approachin’ ‘o th’ starboard bow, a look through th’ spyglass told me it was th’ Stolen Kracken one ‘o th’ most feared ships ‘n crew in all the land, a true terror of the high seas.
We had a wee chance against a ship like th’ Stolen Kracken, we be outnumbered ‘n out gunned. Challengin’ such a ship to a fight would surely mean th’ end ‘o us all. We still had a chance to flee. Save th’ boat, save th’ crew.
But alas if I sacrificed th’ crew, sacrificed th’ ship, proved myself a cap’n that holds to his convictions perhaps th’ cap’n Shortbeard would take me under his win’. It be a long shot but it be worth it.
I called across th’ decks, “The the hour to fight, the hour to strike, be nigh.” Th’ crew all heeded me words. “Draw ye swords, load th’ cannons, prepare fer attack they gunna rue they day th’ crossed us.”
As th’ ships drew closer we fired th’ first round. th’ blast ‘o 10 cannons lit th’ darken skies ‘o evenin’ like lightnin’ from a storm. Th’ Stolen Kracken did not back down but thar was no retaliation, no cannon fire. I ordered th’ gun fire to stop.
When th’ ships came up side by side I ordered me men to fight. Wit’ swords drawn they took th’ deck ‘o th’ Stolen Kracken. Wit’ th’ clang ‘o swords rin’in’ in me ears th’ two crews fought.
In th’ blink ‘o an eye thar was fifty men heading for Davy Jones’ treasure chest, th’ were all mine! I knew we’d be defeated but to be defeated so quickly?
It was at that moment I realised cap’n Shortbeard would not be takin’ me under his win’. Me crew had failed as I predicted but not even I foresaw how quickly they would fail.
Cap’n Shortbeard claimed victory ‘n called his crew to stand down.”Stand down me men!” He then addressed me men, “Should ye not wish to die wit’ th’ rest ‘o ye crew be off me ship immediately.”
Like th’ scoundrelly beggers they be me crew fled a hasty retreat back to th’ ship. th’ last ‘o them barely steppin’ on th’ deck before th’ Stolen Kracken was pushed free ‘n sailin’ away.
I looked upon me crew, defeated ‘n down trodden. me beratin’ ‘o their attack was vicious. I vowed from that moment ’til th’ end ‘o me days th’ crew would suffer. ’til their final breath they would wish they had died on th’ decks ‘o th’ Stolen Kracken. “
A shocked and stunned fair maiden looked at the good captain as she finished reading the ledger. “You were doomed from the outset. He wanted you to be defeated. He wanted you all dead.”
The pirate captain nodded solemnly. “Aye! ‘n he still had th’ nerve to lay th’ curse on us when we over powered him.”
“I guess we now know why the Huntmaster removed the curse, he knew that your crew was pushed to the edge, driven to do what you did by a captain with little regard for the sea and even less regard for his crew.” The fair maiden said in a quiet voice as she put her arm around the good captain’s neck.
“Aye! Certainly puts thin’s into perspective. I be needin’ to speak to th’ crew!” The captain said as he walked out of the Officers Quarters and out onto the deck of the Revenge.
Previous Pirate story here.