The two large ships sat side by side on the dead calm ocean, the sea below them was inky, almost pitch black, there was not a breath of wind and the sky was cloudless. The ocean was calm but the slight swell that was coming towards them from the rocky landmass they could see on their right was enough to make the two hulls rub together. Each time they touched the groan of timber was haunting as it broke the otherwise silence sounds of the sea.
The decks of both ships were lined with anxious men, they knew where they were and why they were there. They were there to fight the mighty sea bound pirate legend otherwise known as Leviathan. A legend known to pirates and handed down for generations. The legend of a beast 300 feet long from it’s head to it’s tail. The legend of a beast that had never been conquered.
The crews of the Revenge and the Privateer were planing to change that legend, for if they succeeded in taking the beast’s head they would be revered through out the pirating world. There was not a pirate crew in the world that had survived to tell the tale of a battle with Leviathan and there would not be a pirate captain in the world that would knowingly allow his crew to take on the crew that was responsible for the taking of Leviathan’s head.
The two captains, the newly promoted Captain Seawolf Bildgepoole and the good captain of the Privateer were standing on their respective ships close enough to each other to talk. According to the good captain they were in the exact location revealed to him in his dream and while there was no signs of the mighty beast surfacing for the battle both captains agreed that something felt out of place.
“What do ye think our next move ought to be?” Captain Bildgepoole asked his counterpart.
“I say we knock on th’ door ‘n wake ’tis beast up. Knock on th’ door ‘n let him be knowin’ were be out here waitin’.”
“’N how do ye propose we do that?”
“Ye be a cap’n now matey, how do ye propose we do it?”
Captain Bildgepoole thought about his answer thoroughly before offering it. He thought about asking if the good captain was sure he wanted to leave the plan of attack in the hands of such a green horn but quickly decided the good captain would not have asked if he did not trust him to come up with the right answer. Furthermore if his answer was wrong the good captain would surely override it.
“I be sayin’ we knock on his door by droppin’ a delayed charge right here, ” he pointed at the water between the two ships. “Before th’ charge fires we move th’ ships, 200 feet should do. We then wait fer th’ beast to rise ‘n spy wit’ ye eye how angry he be ‘n how well he’s prepared to battle.”
“Extra impressive me young cap’n!”
Dropping a delayed charge was the exact thought the good captain had had before he’d even left shore. It was nothing more elaborate that a barrel of gun powder set with a long burning fuse and dropped over the side. Slow burning and water proof fuses were still in their infancy, they worked but they were still remarkably unreliable, their burn time was little more than a guess but their ability to burn under water was not. Despite their reliability they were still an item carried by most pirate crews.
Because the reliability of the fuses were a known issue the good pirate captain had been testing them in the confines of his own castle in the air for some time. It appeared to him that no two lengths could be expected to burn for the same time either in water or out, but the one thing he could expect was that if the fuse was long enough he’d get at least five minutes of burn time, how much longer than five was an unknown.
Throughout the two days and nights they had been at sea the good captain had considered his options with dropping a delayed charge. Five minutes two get both ships out of the blast zone was more than enough, but he wasn’t sure if it was enough to get both ships out of Leviathan’s massive reach. However further thought left him thinking that 300 feet from the head to the tail was legend, no pirate had survived to tell the tale, what if the beast was bigger? Would 300 feet apart be enough?
After many hours he decided it was the unknown he couldn’t possibly hope to solve. If the Beast was smaller they could be too far apart to mount an effective opening attack when the beast surfaced. If the beast was in fact bigger than the legend the wouldn’t be far enough apart. Thinking about it was a no win situation so the good captain decided not to think about it from that angle.
Instead the good captain concentrated on how he would command the attack. They would drop the delayed charge and scurry both ships a distance apart and wait for the explosion, then when Leviathan surfaced they would begin with a flurry of cannon attacks from a distance and let Leviathan react before they made any further move.
It seemed to go against the legends being told but if Leviathan chose to sink back down to the depths of the ocean instead of attacking they would drop more charges in the water. They couldn’t afford to drop too many charges and waste gun powder but they would do what they needed to do. It would also be risky dropping another charge over the site where the beast went under but it needed to be done if they were to succeed. Once the beast was up and out of the water they would fight it to the death!
Within twenty minutes of giving the order to the crews the delayed charges we sitting on the decks waiting to be ignited. There would be one charge dropped off ether ship before they made a run for open water.
Both crews were briefed on the situation and the plans of attack were laid out before them so that none were naive to how things would go down. As the ships drifted apart the call was made by the loud roaring voice of Captain Bildgepoole.
“Light th’ fuses!”
Continues from here.