Captain Bildgepoole and the crew of the Revenge were on the run and headed for the Strait of Gibraltar. They’d rescued the Princess of Iceland from the evil dictator of Nuoro but in a twist they did not see coming the dictator was able to convince the Italian Navy to give chase. The Italian Navy themselves were of little threat to most pirate crews, unless in the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea where the fast cruisers could hunt down prey and maintain a relatively good attack until the destroyers caught up.
The Italian Navy was struggling to make a name for itself outside its own waters and whatever the evil dictator had told them was enough to convince them the fight was justified. Captain Bildgepoole knew there was no negotiation with such a force desperate to gain recognition, he also knew that with only two ships in pursuit the chances were good that they would be victorious, but getting out of the straits and avoiding a fight altogether was a much preferable idea. However it was clear to Captain Bildgepoole not long after passing the coastal town of Chia that the preferable idea was not going to be the option.
“Attack on th’ starboard side cap’n!” came the call from Eagle Eyed Eddie when the first shot was fired from the cruiser. “Brace yaselves fer impact.”
Almost immediately after the call from above came it was followed by the call that a second round was headed their way. Rapid firing was one of the few abilities the Italian cruisers had in battle and Captain Bildgepoole knew that his attack needed to come swiftly, he had to sink the cruiser before the destroyer had a chance to gain on them for they could out run a destroyer.
Seconds after the call came down from the crows nest the Revenge was struck on the starboard side. Only one of the four cannons that fired the first round from the Italian cruiser missed its target but before the second round landed the helmsman had began to bring the big pirate ship around and it was time for the Revenge to live up to its name.
Thunderous explosions rang through the air aboard the Revenge as thirty of her cannons fired from the starboard side in unison. The ship heavy on its keel and sturdy in the water rocked slightly from the force of the exploding cannons as they fired and the men prepared to load them again.
Above the deck the fore topmast staysail was ripped to shreds as a cannonball sailed through it unimpeded, rigging towards the front of the ship was ripped from its ties as the knots failed before the thick hempen rope and spanker sail at the rear of the ship flapped wildly with it’s anchor points snapped.
As the Revenge came around further to the starboard side and faced the Italian Naval cruiser head on the cannons were firing relentlessly and by the time the pirate ship’s side was facing the cruiser all sixty cannons on three decks were firing one after another.
Explosions of flame and sparks filled the air between to two ships as a flurry of cannonballs, those not lucky enough to make their final target, hit each other and exploded into thousands of tiny pieces of shrapnel.
The Revenge was taking fire but the smaller cannonballs were posing little threat without hitting vital targets but Captain Bildgepoole knew their luck would not last forever sooner or later one, or more, of those enemy balls was bound to hit their exact target.
“Brin’ out th’ big guns.” he called to the second mate who would then pass the message below.
It took only a minute for the message to make the lower deck and for the men to prepare what Captain Bildgepoole had requested. To some the call might have been slightly misleading but to the crew of gunners on the top deck bringing out the big guns did not mean bringing out bigger cannons it meant bringing out the powderkegs. Small kegs blended with the Good Captain’s special mix of explosives made to kill Leviathan and adapted to fit the upper deck of cannons. They proved lethal to the mighty beast Leviathan, what they would do to a ship was unknown, but Captain Bildgepoole was going to find out.
Using his own eyepiece Captain Bildgepoole watched as the first of the powderkegs were fired. The thunderous roar of the cannons firing from the below decks was replaced with an even louder roar as the powderkegs left the cannon barrels leaving the hardened steel and iron red hot. Each cannon would need to cool before it was fired again but with what was headed towards the cruiser Captain Bildgepoole wondered if they would need another round.
A flaming tail forty feet long trailed the powderkegs as they flew, surrounding each were the faster flying cannonballs fired from the below decks. When they hit the Italian Naval cruiser the cannonballs cracked the rails, splinted timber and tattered ropes, it was a hit any pirate captain would have been proud of but it was nothing compared to what the powderkegs did.
With flaming trails even the powderkegs that missed their mark sliced through the sails of the naval cruiser easily leaving them in flames and burning quickly, but those that hit their target destroyed whatever they hit.
The center mast of the cruiser snapped at the base and immediately caught afire taking it with it the main sail and the rigging. The foremast exploded upon impact with a powderkeg and thousands of splinters shot away from the blast many spearing crew on the deck trying to douse fires and keep their ship afloat. Those that hit the hull of the ship exploded and broke apart, where they did not enter the ship they fell into the water with the blend of dangerous ingredients creating a wall of fire reaching up from the water and licking the ship’s wooden hull and hungrily eating whatever timber it could.
Although the Naval cruiser was sinking in the flaming water and it would be a loss for the Italian Navy it had served it’s purpose because the destroyer was easily within striking range and Captain Bildgepoole knew the that while the Revenge could outrun it, it would not get around in time before the Destoryer struck it’s first shot.
Previous Pirate story here.