In the howling gale and the teeming, almost horizontal rains of the northern ocean the two ships, the Revenger and the Privateer stood their ground against the massive beast Leviathan.
On the Privateer the fuse burnt it’s way slowly towards the rear end of the cannon. Protruding out from the front of the specially made cannon was a replica Poseidon’s trident, aimed at it’s target and ready for fire. All that it was waiting for was the ignition of the blasting power.
For everyone standing around the cannon, the Good Captain, the Fair Maiden and eight of the crew, watching the slow burning fuse felt like time was rolling in slow motion. None of those present knew how the Poseidon’s trident would fire, it was untested, no one knew how it would fly, or if it could fly, and they had no idea what kind of damage it might cause. All they had was hope, and the ancient Greek tales of the weapon that Good Captain had had replicated.
When the burning tip of the fuse disappeared into the cannon each one of those watching on took a large gasping breath. Had it not been for the howling wind roaring through every pirate’s ears, the entire crew aboard the Privateer may have heard that gasp.
A fraction of a second after the fuse disappeared the blasting powder ignited in the base of the chamber and began pushing the Poseidon’s trident out of the barrel. The exploding power of the blasting powder as it pushed up the barrel shook and rattled the cannon on it’s solid timber base. Had the captain not had the specifically designed base reinforced it would surely have shattered to pieces and dropped the cannon on the deck.
The trident rocketed forward out of the cannon and towards it’s target. Although its size and shape where different to that of a cannon ball the trident showed no initial signs of misfiring. It was a thing of beauty for the Good Captain, seeing his design, his weapon, his hope, firing out of the barrel of a specifically designed cannon and heading towards it’s target.
However none of them had time to marvel at the successful firing of the untested weapon or the flight of it as it was thrust forward pushed by the exploding force of Barrett’s powder, they had other things to contend with.
Almost as if the mighty beast from under the sea could sense she was being fired upon mere seconds after the trident left the cannon’s barrel one of Leviathan’s mighty tentacles broke the choppy water beside the Privateer. In an almost identical attack to that which happened on the Revenge only moments before Leviathan was wrapped one of her tentacles around the ship from underneath.
The tip mighty tentacle slammed down onto the top deck of the Privateer, smashing barrels, breaking the railing along the port side, tangling ropes and narrowly missing three crew members. The ship was already rocking due to the rough water and the continued cannon fire coming from the lower decks but that was nothing compared to the rocking that Leviathan delivered as she wrapped her tentacle tighter around the ship. Unlike the previous attack where Leviathan appeared to be holding the ship ready to drag in down into the murky depths of her lair this time her intent was unmistakable, rock the boat, thrash it across the waves and destroy it above the water on which it sat.
The crew of the Privateer knew they had to be quick, knew that whatever their response was it had to be without remorse and they wasted no time in retaliating. Twenty men almost immediately descended on the translucent jelly like tentacle as the timbers of the ship creaked under it’s weight. Swords were drawn, knives unsheathed, and anything that could be used as a weapon was brandished as the crew fought for their lives and for their ship.
While the crew fought hard aboard the top deck of the Privateer the Poseidon’s trident flew true and straight. Lightning flashed across the bow of the ship lighting the storm darkened sea around them. A hundred yards from the ship a forked streak of lightning came from the black clouds and hit the tip of the trident, sparks and flames exploded into the sky, but the trident’s course did not alter. Just like the attention of the crew did not waiver as they fought the beast and missed seeing the trident charged with the explosive power of lightning.
Loose chunks of squid tentacles covered the deck of the Privateer as the men fought, slashed, chopped and stabbed at the meaty flesh. Jellied goo oozed across the deck and the some of the men struggled to stand up as their boots slipped and slid across the slipper surface, not unlike what had happened aboard the Revenge only minutes before.
The trident continued on its path, the only one still watching it was Rabbit Rattlebones up in the crow’s nest. He saw the trident as it was struck by lightning, he saw the flames, the sparks and he watched as the trident flew. He knew it was flying both straight and true and he knew it was going to hit its target. The only thing he didn’t know at that time was how much damage the trident was going to cause.
The Poseidon’s trident entered the beast just inches above the water’s choppy surface. Rattlebones watched as the three pronged fork, glowing from the heat of the lightning bolt, punctured the beast’s bulbous head. Even over the thunderous roar of the weather, the crashing noise of the waves and the howling wind he thought he could hear the death throes of the terrorsquid. Whether he could or not didn’t matter because what he did know was that the doom of Leviathan was definitely near.
Wounded and sliced the tentacle that was wrapped around the Privateer suddenly released the ship and slithered back over the port side where it had come from, leaving a path of broken timber and a trail of slithery ooze in it’s wake.
Cannons were still being fired relentlessly at the beast from both ships but with neither ship being attacked the crews on the top deck all instinctively looked around at the same time, almost as if controlled by some invisible force. Each one of them looked directly at Leviathan’s exposed head, they hadn’t been quick enough to see the Poseidon’s trident enter the beast’s head, like Rattlebones, did but they were quick enough to see that same head explode.
It was at that moment, the same moment as chunks of squid flew into the air, that the crews of both ships heard what Rattlebones himself thought he had heard only moments before.
A final ear bursting, screech of terror filled the air. Every crew member, even from a quarter of a mile away and over the roaring noise of the wind and rain, immediately put their hands to their ears to muffle the noise.
It wasn’t until the noise stopped that the crews knew they had finally vanquished the beast for all of eternity.
Just like with their previous unsuccessful attempt to defeat Leviathan as soon as the beast disappeared below the sea the water turned to glass, the wind stopped howling, the thunder stopped roaring and the rain ceased.
Previous Pirate story here.