Less than a minute later the inky, dark waters of the deep ocean, broken only by the pelting rain, began to ripple as the shock waves blasts from the exploding barrels made their way toward the surface. Ripple after ripple radiated outward in a circular motion from what started out as a small bubble upon the ocean surface.
Quicker than any pirate’s eye could see the bubble expanded, outward and upward, larger and larger.
As the bubble grew the water ripples increased in their frequency. As the number of ripples increased the rougher parts of the water began to form little waves. As those little waves rolled towards the Revenge and the Privateer froth began to form. As the foam was pushed off the little waves by the wind they broke creating more ripples and white water.
The dark skies, which only moments before had been clear and blue, began to rumble loudly as thunder rolled towards the two ships. The storm, which was coming in all the way from the Arctic circle, was not unexpected, neither was the pounding rain that hit the pirate crews like bullets of ice, because they had faced similar conditions when they had last tackled the mighty Leviathan.
Murky white sea foam flew through the air driven by the howling wind then broken up by the driving rain. The exposed crew were wet through in a matter of seconds but none of them seemed to notice they were consumed with watching for the beast’s arrival.
Leviathan was seen from the crows nests of the rocking ships before she was heard. The large round squid head pushed through the formed bubble, then broke the surface. Water splashed in every direction as the beast broke through the bubble. Waves formed on the water’s surface, small waves quickly became large as they pushed away from the beast’s body. Large waves became rough water as the waves pushed quickly towards the two ships.
The main purpose of the multiple staged depth chargers had been to awaken the beast from her chthonic lair but from the crow’s nest, with the help of their eye glasses, it could be seen that they had also caused her damage. Her head, easily forty feet across, was scared and wounded but had it not been for the almost fluorescent liquid seeping out the wounds would easily have been mistaken for previous battle wounds, but that liquid was proof positive that the crew’s had not just woken the beast but injured her as well.
It was difficult to tell whether the roar that filled the ears of the crew was the howling wind, the driving rain, the thunderous clouds, the crashing waves or even the beast herself. However it didn’t matter to the crew it’s was simply a soundtrack to their battle. Cannons quickly added to that soundtrack as the crew began firing.
A raging torrent of smoke and fire emerged from the sides of the two ships as more than forty cannons fired simultaneously. The explosions of burning blasting powder as it exited the cannons flashed not unlike the flashes of lightning that streaked crookedly out of the black thunderous clouds above.
Thunderous volleys of thirty-two pounders struck the beast’s head. The crew’s new cannons with greater accuracy were paying off, not every ball hit its target but their strike rate was much higher than the previous attempt.
Leviathan’s first attack was savage as two of her long, almost transparent, tentacles circled under the hull of the Revenge. The first tentacle wrapped itself over the saturated front deck of the ship, while the second tentacle slammed down barely three foot from Captain Bildgepoole and his second mate.
Aboard the Revenge her front mast snapped under the weight of the large meaty tentacle, it immediately crashed downward towards the deck, sails and guy ropes being taken with it. Where the thick round mast crashed into the side wall of the ship it snapped cleanly leaving the two pieces hanging together by the ropes only. While the tip of the mast and the sails dragged in the water, almost creating a sea anchor and holding the ship steadier against the driving wind the crew fought for their ship.
More than forty crew members on the top deck began attacking the tentacles that thrashed against the deck. Swords slashed, sliced and cut into flesh, guns were fired at close range leaving powder burns as the small balls of lead pounded into flesh and flaming torches were driven into the open wounds scorching the meat and searing the innards of the beast’s tentacles.
Recognising that the jagged, speared slithers of timber left protruding from the deck where the front mast had snapped off had pierced the beast’s outer skin and left it pinned to the deck the crew continued to attack. It as only one single tentacle of many but they all knew that tentacle was vulnerable and the more damage they caused the more likely it was to release it’s grip on the ship. Sharp swords hacked their way through the tentacle, it was hard messy work, made even worse by the driving rain, but none of the pirates rested until the tentacle was two pieces and both of those pieces had disappeared into the sea.
On the navigation deck things played out in a similar way, swords were drawn, guns were fired and anything that could be used as a weapon struck the beast’s tentacle until it was sliced in two. As the thicker end of the tentacle slithered off the navigational deck, down the starboard side of the Revenge and into the murky depths of the sea the other end dropped dead and twitching into the sea on the port side.
While the crew on the top deck fought a hard and messy battle with the tentacles the crew below deck, almost oblivious to the top deck fighting, continually fired their cannons at the head of the beast. Strike after strike causing the beast to thrash about in the water.
At the same time aboard the Privateer….
Previous Pirate story here.