Pirate Game Fan Fiction


Hench (wo)man for Hire by Esperanza Devereaux

Part One – I Lose a Ship

The disaster happened on a lovely spring day. My crew and I were sailing in my Marleybonean galleon, Dauntless Traveler, testing and checking that all was well before returning her to her bottle.

“Sail ho!” bellowed Birgus from the crow’s nest.

The crew on deck dropped what they were doing and readied their weapons; when you have a price on your head, any ship in the area is automatically suspect.

“Where away?” I shouted.

“12 points a stern us.” came the reply.

Ratbeard took a spyglass and pointed it toward the ship.

Warf Rat sails and she bearin’ down awful fast on us Cap’n.” He reported. “Could be an enemy, ye think?”

“Best to be ready. BATTLE STATIONS!” I ordered.

My crew manned their stations, long practice had made them quick and efficient.

“What the devil? She goin’ to ram us!” exclaimed Ratbeard, “Is the pilot crazy or blind? Turn the wheel larboard, Cap’n, NOW!”

Too late; with a grinding groan our ships scraped against each other then rebounded in the opposite direction. (Yeah, don’t tell me this never happened to you.) We were thrown to our knees by the impact. The wheel spun crazily but I speedily recovered control. The wind spilled from our sails and we lost speed.

“Conrad, down below with you, check damages. The rest of you, any injuries?”

Upon receiving negative replies, I turned to Ratbeard.

“Ratbeard, the other ship, are they coming about to attack us?”

“Sailing merrily away, the lubbers,” was his reply. “I’d like to give them a piece of my mind. Let’s pursue.”

Gracie Conrad had returned from below deck. She overheard his comment.

“Sorry, but that’s not going to be possible, we’ve been holed and surrounding planks have been strained. If we don’t make port soon, we’ll founder.”

“To Jonah Town, then” I said, “We’ll need a shipwright.”

We got to port safely and disembarked. I bottled Dauntless Traveler and went in search of a shipwright. Sarah Steele, my first mate accompanied me.

Caleb Jenkins, Master Carpenter, examined my poor vessel (still within the bottle) through a pair of powerful magnifying lens.

“Ayuh, that’s quite a bit of damage she sustained, but I can fix her all right. You’ll be sailing again in no time at all.”

“How long and what will it cost?” I asked.

“Of course, you realize that the structure was compromised, the area around the hole and strained planks will need replacing. Two to three weeks at most and the cost, well, oak timbers from Albion ain’t cheap,” he mused, “Thirty thousand gold should do it.”

Sarah gasped aloud, I was somewhat floored, also.

I tentatively asked, “Is there a more, er, frugal alternative?”

Mr. Jenkins sneered and looked at me as if I were a weevil.

“Ayuh, I can hammer the strained planks into place, re-caulk them, and throw a patch over the hole, and the first time you try to go through a stormgate, it’ll bottom out. Cheap methods don’t work and I won’t do it. Go to Scrimshaw if’n you want that kind of shoddy job.”

I took the bottle from him and placed it in my pocket.

“Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Jenkins. I’ll be back when I have the money.”

In the private cellar of the Golden Fin Tavern, I discussed the situation with my crew.

“So that’s how it stands,” I concluded, “we’re dry-docked at the moment. No ship, no funds. I have a plan but I would like to hear your suggestions first.’

Tricky Vinnie spoke up, “Go to Frogfather for a loan.”

A unanimous group negative greeted that proposal, of course, the Frogfather would give us the money; but then we would be stuck in his sticky webbed fingers for eternity.

“Perhaps Captain Avery would help ye oot,” suggested Bonnie Anne.

Again a group veto rang out. Well, she could hardly blame them, Captain Avery had not been completely honest with us in the past.

“Very well then,” I said. “Here’s my idea: I’ll get a job and earn the gold.”

“Cap’n, ye don’t mean ter go legit!” exclaimed Ratbeard.

“As legitimate as it gets in Skull Island.” I grinned.

To be continued...


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