The Privateer and the Revenge floated almost motionless on the flat sea, the thick sea fog providing them with the cover they needed for the surprise attack on the small island village. The cannons were prepped and ready to fire, the landing parties ready for their shore bound journey and the cannon crews waiting in anticipation for the captain’s signal.
“FIRE!” The good captain’s call echoed out over the deck of the Privateer.
Swords were raised in the air and the skeleton crew standing on the main deck of the Privateer repeated the captain’s call so that it could be heard on the lower cannon decks.
A mere second later the Privateer rocked to the port side as thirty cannons fired, almost in unison. Flames spewed out the starboard side as ignited gun powder forced the eight pound cannon balls westward on their journey. Within seconds the cannon balls would be hitting their targets, or somewhere in the proximity of those targets.
The captain of the Revenge had been standing at the ready awaiting his cue, that cue being the cannon fire of the Privateer. The moment he heard the blasts he counted to three then yelled to his own crew.
As the flames of the firing cannons aboard the Privateer died down to be replaced by smoke the thirty cannons of the Revenge all fired in unison, the three to four second delay a deliberate ploy on behalf of the captains to scatter their attacks. While the Revenge was rocking on the calm sea from the blasts of thirty cannons all firing together the Privateer’s crew were reloading and preparing round two of their own cannon fire.
While the good captain had been planning his attack on the small island village for many years it wasn’t until he’d acquired the second ship from his old, dead, nemesis Captain Morgan that he devised the plan he hoped would not fail, the scattered cannon attack of two ships at one time. His hope was that in scattering the two ship’s cannon fire, each consisting of thirty cannons, it would give the small village less time to retaliate before the damage was done.
The crews had been ordered to fire five rounds from each cannon and while it was difficult to accurately aim the cannons at the best of times, even harder in the fog, the captain was relying on strength in numbers. It was hoped that the three hundred cannon balls fired directly at the small island village would take out more than enough of ground defences for the landing crew to then storm the shores and take what the cannon fire didn’t.
The landing crew, three ships from each boat, had been waiting patiently on the port side of the ships, they’d been rocked gently in the wake of the rolling ships after the cannon fire but they remained at the ready and waiting for their own cue. That cue was the second round of cannon fire.
As the cannons fired for a second time the landing crew of the Privateer paddled their way out from the behind the safety of the large ship and headed straight for shore, seconds later the landing crew of the Revenge followed their counterparts. Both parties knew that once they were out of the shadows of the big ships the risk level increased dramatically but they also knew the rewards would be great when they succeeded.
The landing party’s job was simple, the moment the boats floated in on the white water and beached themselves the crew would leap out with whatever they could carry, push the boats and four crew members back out to sea for their return trip, then storm the walls of the village. By the time the crew were going over the walls the cannon fire would be over, the large ships moving to the safety of deeper water and the landing boats returning to get more crew.
Not one to send his own crew into battle while he watched on the good captain was aboard the second landing party, six more boats of twenty mean all prepared to follow their crew mates into attack. The fair maiden had pleaded with the good captain to be included in the ground attack but her plea was refused on the grounds that the Privateer needed someone of authority remaining on board for the worst case scenario, just like the captain of the Revenge remained behind on his ship.
The good captain’s plan had been, in part, a success, the cannon fire had taken the entire village by surprise and by the time his boat landed on shore the first landing party were over the walls. Gun fire echoed through the small village as the good captain’s crew fought their way through the village. Sword duels were being played out all over the village, the clang of metal deafening to those not quick enough to see the flash of the blade as it struck them dead where they stood.
There was three gun turrets still firing blindly at the sea fog where they assumed the firing pirate ships still were, the gunners too busy to realise the cannon attack had stopped. Pirates swarmed the gun turrets taking most of the gunners by surprise making their deaths quick and painless, those not surprised tried to fight, tried to defend but they were out numbered and quickly fell.
Because the good captain had limited knowledge of the village and how it was set up finding the king was not an easy task. It was however made easier by the fact that the village was so small and the number of houses was low but unlike many kings of the day the king of the small island was not pretentious, there was no castle, no extravagance, in fact every dwelling was identical, all part of the ruse to make passers by think the village held no wealth.
While his crew fought and fought hard on the beaches, in the streets and in the defending structures the good captain and five of his men went dwelling to dwelling clashing swords, firing weapons and killing all until they found the king, asleep and snoring in his own dwelling, the one furthest from the shore. The king hadn’t even woken up while all his villagers burned and died before him.
As thick reddish purple puddles of blood pooled in the streets and rivulets of the same sticky liquid dribbled along the paving stones the king was marched out to the centre of town. Just like the bad captain Morgan was beheaded upon his own ship the king would have his last breaths drained from him in the centre of his own town. There was none of his villagers left to see him die but it didn’t matter he would die alone and be left tied to the flag pole in the centre of town.
Unlike cranky Morgan who was had his head separated from his torso leaving an ugly, bloody stump of a body and a free rolling head, the king was lashed to flag pole and a single rapier used to pierce his heart. Blood dribbled from the tip of the rapier and stained the ground near the dead king’s feet, there was no last words, no pleas for saviour just one final blood gurgling breath.
Before the town was looted the crew gathered and tallied their losses. With only two men dead and injuries to no more than fifteen men the well planned attack had been a huge success and the good captain could afford to be smug, but he wasn’t.
Before the hour of midday the town had been looted and the loot returned to the ships, several times during the removal of the island’s wealth the good captain found himself wondering if there was enough room on the two ships to store all the booty or whether he’d have to bury what he couldn’t take and return another day. In the end he knew he was pushing the limits of both ships by riding them so low in the water but it was a risk worth taking.
They sailed away from the island not long after midday headed for home leaving the dead king still lashed to the pole, the bloody rapier thick with his gooey red blood still sticking out through his back.
As the sun set in the western sky on the first night of their homeward travels the two dead crew where given a final farewell. With the two ships stopped side by side on the dead calm sea the two bodies were laid to rest in smallest punt from the Privateer. As the punt was lowered to the water it was set on fire, when it hit the water the interior of the small punt and the two bodies that lay in it were well alight. Amongst the noise of the flickering flames reaching for the sky the crew all stood on the decks cheering and raising their mugs of rum to their fallen crew. The punt was then pushed off toward the darkening horizon.
Previous Pirate story here.