The Caribbean

1715

Two wooden ships were caught in a crossfire. It was the pirate frigate known as the Black Hawk, its sails burning during an intense fight with its adversary. Another pirate ship, virtually untouched, was floating nearby. The Weeping Widow had taken the Black Hawk by surprise, having waited until the Hawk had finished pillaging a nearby port before making its move to punish it.

The crew of the Widow fired cannons and muskets at the Hawk while the crew of their ship, having already lost their captain and will to fight back, took the barrage of lead without so much as a shot fired back.

An old man in a run stained white tunic and a thick Irish accent stood along the rail between two cannons that were in the process of reloading. "Come on, lads, show those fools not ta mess with the captain!"

A hearty cheer from the men on deck before they let out another broadside into the flaming mass of burning wood and cloth. The Widow shook with the eighteen gun volley and the sound could be heard for miles, even onto the nearby island. Seamus saw the splash of water and another explosion from within the enemy ship. Being a former first mate in the British Navy he knew his way around a fight on water, and he knew by now that the Hawk was nothing more than a wasted hulk of wood and men.

The old man turned towards the helm above him and made his way up the stairs. "Captain, the Black Hawk is finished, sir. The men await further orders."

Standing next to the helm, a young man, half the age of the older sailor, had one hand on the helm and had his eyes out to the water. Dressed in a light blue captain's coat adorned with gold tassels over a white shirt. He was prim and proper, like he was dressed more like he was going to a banquet than a battle to the death. His hair, sandy brown and long was tied in a tail that trailed down his back. A pencil mustache and goatee went around his mouth, and blue eyes finished.

Captain Louis DeChant turned to his first mate. "Then weigh anchor and pull back the guns. We need to be back out to sea before the port authorities arrive."

Seamus had expected that answer but had wanted to hear it from the young man's mouth first. He had respect for Louis not just because he was the captain but because he had known the boy's father. Both he respected greatly. Yet even as Seamus called out to the deck men to do as the captain ordered there was one issue he had to address. One that could be potentially grim. "And what of the men in the water, sir?"

Louis walked to the edge of the ship. He placed his right hand on the wood railing while his left tapped the handle of the sword on his hip. There were men swimming in the water, survivors of the destruction of the Black Hawk, crying out for help and trying to find anything they could to prevent them from drowning.

Louis quickly came to a conclusion. "We either take them aboard and turn them over to the authorities, or we leave them to be taken by the sea. Either way, it leads to death." He took a calm breath and lightly smiled. "Drop the jolly boat for them."

"Sir?"

The jolly boat was one of four small row boats that were on the Widow.

While Seamus was slightly puzzled, Louis had reason for his order. "A bit of mercy, unlike how they showed to the townsfolk."

The older man nodded and made the call for the boat to be dropped.

Louis nodded before turning back to the water. The ship made good time and was sailing back out to the open water, soon leaving the remains of the Black Hawk behind and soon the island they had just left would be a mere speck on the horizon.

The guns were put away and the men started to gather on the deck. Louis addressed them from the helm. "Good work today, men. We sacked a ship and lost none of our number. I say we get as far out to see as possible and we celebrate a successful venture. What say you?"

Another round of enthusiastic cheers from the men, most showing signs of weariness and age, gave the captain the answer he wanted.

"Sir!"

That call came from the crow's next high above the deck. A lone man was up there by the name of Blind Eye Jacob. Though only able to see in one eye and nearly deaf, the man's eye was keen and could see for miles. He had served with Louis' father and was a veteran of many adventures on the high seas.

"Aye, what is it, Jacob?" Seamus called out to the man above.

"By the Lord above me, there is something heading this way, sir! Off to the east!"

Curiosity got the best of everyone and they all went to the railing, gossip prevailed among them.

Seamus and Louis looked out to the sea and saw a geyser of water off to the distance, getting steadily larger as it got closer to the ship.

"What in the name of God is that, Seamus?" asked the Captain.

The older man, with over thirty years of sea adventuring under his belt and thought to have seen everything, was speechless.

Louis wasn't silent though. "Prepare a broadside! Whatever the hell that is I want it nowhere near the Widow!"

The crew scrambled to their stations, both above and below decks, and within seconds of his order the cannons were ready to fire.

"Fire!"

Like with the Black Hawk the Widow trembled under the barrage. Water shot out of the air from missed cannon shot and though the guns came close they all missed the fast moving target.

Louis remained still at the railing. He wasn't held in place by fear or trepidation but because he could slightly make out a metallic figure approaching from the spray of water heading towards his ship. A man shaped figure running across the surface of the water, which he knew was impossible. Yet in his life he had seen many things thought to be impossible, and so he had given up ever being surprised again.

Now he was proven wrong.

"Small arms and cutlasses ready! This thing means to board us!" He knew by how close the thing was the cannons were useless. So, the men drew out pistols and muskets as well as any small weapons they had on hand. Many of them were beginning to show signs of fear, evident by their shaking in their boots while holding their weapons. Wanting to prevent a panic and to rally his men, Louis drew his sword from the scabbard. The blade was silver and thick unlike the thin bladed cutlass his men were armed with. A blue gem was attached to the end of the handle. "Stand firm men! I shall join you. Let us be brave in the face of the unknown!"

As soon as he finished his sentence, the thing from the water lept up in a sprout of water trailing behind it. It landed on the deck, shaking it and causing a couple men to fall on their backs. Most scurried back to get some distance.

Only Louis remained firm in his feet.

Of course that was hard enough to do as he finally got a good look at the monster that had dared to climb aboard his father's ship. A tall slender but muscled man clad in silver metal and yellow eyes, looking like a monster out of Greek mythology but real as the sky and the sea itself.

Louis wasn't afraid, he couldn't show fear other wise it would lead to dissent. He took one step forward, but then all hell broke loose.

Without ever giving the order his men fired their guns in a panic. There was no aim behind the volley and as a result they either wildly missed or worse hit some of the men.

The metal man got hit by a few of the shots by chance, but the metallic pinging and sparks flying off its body showed that the lead was merely bouncing off its tough exterior.

Then it moved. The men nearest to it tried to get out of the way but it was faster than them by a long shot. It attacked them with closed fists, sending some flying out over the edge into the sea while others went through the air like toys thrown by a child. Some were brave enough to use their swords but much like the gunfire before the blades bounced off.

Louis once again stepped forward, intending to get into the fight but was stopped by Seamus, "Captain you mustn't!"

The young captain wasn't having any of it, "It's killing my men, dammit! I will not stand by!"

He got free of his first mate's grip and with skill and precision swing his sword in a downward slash that caught the giant in the back. Though it didn't do any better than anything before it in terms of cutting into the flesh, it did leave an obvious scratch mark along its spine.

The creature turned around slowly, its face stoic and still as a statue until it laid eyes on the pirate captain. Then the yellow eyes turned a scary red and it hunched over slightly, raising its arms in an offensive stance.

"TARGET ACQUIRED."

That mysterious voice came from the creature, though it didn't have a mouth, and it sounded otherworldly. It made a small tingle of fear go up Louis' spine.

Still, he stood firm. "Get the hell off my ship."

Instead he was given a fist that he was barely able to dodge it by maneuvering to the side. While moving Louis slashed the monster's side, though knowing it did little to nothing he wasn't going to be defensive the whole time.

Too bad he wasn't fast enough to avoid the next attack. The monster spun and grabbed the captain by the left shoulder. It effortlessly picked him up off the ground and held him high over its head.

Between the shots fired by his crew and Seamus' shouting as he feared for his captain's life the blue gem on Louis' sword began to glow. Even the captain as he lost the breath in his lungs felt the surge of the ocean flow from beyond his ship. The power of Poseidon flowed through the sword and water shot up like clay and forced both the monster and the pirate from the deck and into the deep blue.

But as final as that would have been, the machine managed to do its duty, and both it and the captain disappeared just after hitting the water.