NI1: Pursuit of Prey
Updated: Sep 22, 2019
Captain Raptor was the model of what a pirate captain should look like. With one taloned foot resting on a crate to keep it from sliding in the storm, his pirate captain coat whipping in the wind, and his jaunty pirate captain hat perched just so on his head. His claws wrapped around a telescope and raised to his eye. Even the rain respected his station and streamed just so off his snout and down his bare scaley chest.
It was important for the crew’s morale, to see his brave profile gazing to the horizon during the storm, showing little regard for his own safety as the ship tried to make its way in the gail. At least, that’s what his grandfather’s book on being a pirate captain claimed. It was hard being a role model, and Captain Raptor wondered what he needed to be thinking about while he held this pose. He hadn’t had time to read the book, figuring the knowledge passed down by genetic memory. At least he got the pose right.
“She can’t take much more of this Captain!”
That was Angus, the helmsman standing next to him. His broad back unmoving, only his spiked tail swishing back and forth showed his concern.
“E’s right Cap’n! We need to lose weight!”
The captain sucked his belly in and glanced down. He could still see his groinal folds, but maybe he needed to cut down on the mammal meat, they were greasy. He shook his head, “No, we need the ballast. Keep on, I know she’s out there.”
Cera nodded, her horns bobbing up and down, almost poking the captain in the eye. She barked more orders at the crew while the captain brooded.
The ship rocked as another wave struck the side. There was a cry from the crow’s nest. The crew relayed the message to Cera the first mate. “Captain, one of the Bronto sisters.”
“What? We’ve only got one of those left.”
“No, we got a replacement, the Brontos are triplets and the new one spotted sails in the last lightning strike. 20 degrees to port.”
The captain held his left paw in front of him and circled his fore claw to his middle talon, It formed a P, confirming what he suspected, port was to his left. He pivoted and fixed his spyglass on the horizon. His keen vision panned until he saw the dark silhouette of sails. He tapped his toe claw on the crate. Marking time as he waited for the chance to catch The Tyrant’s Revenge, Captain King’s ship to be in his grasp..
Cera gave the order and Angus tacked the ship to keep her on a close enough bearing to pursue the vessel. The spars of The Wreckless Abandon groaned, but they held fast, as steady as her crew. With each turn, the huntress drew closer to her prey.
Now Captain Raptor was in his element.
“Cera, man the forward cannon, chain and nails. Take out her sails. Prepare to lower ours if they go down. Ready boarding parties,”
“Aye, Cap’n! You lot! Fore canon! Chains and nails. Step lively you! Boarders! Form up!”
Cera barked her commands, and the crew took to them with little complaint. She took her place at the fore cannon. Her bulky build wasn’t fit for jumping across ships.
Captain Raptor took his place on the center deck, surrounded by boarding parties, ready to toss grapples and climb over to whichever side of the enemy ship they pulled up to. The front cannon fired, the sound carried back by the wind from the storm. A few moments later there was a crash and screaming. The captain tensed, waiting for the ship to come about, instead The Wreckless lurched sideways as his own mainmast splintered. The wind had broken it, and the massive beam was toppling down to starboard side.
Sailors screamed. The fallen mast pinned two Allosauruses under it. The crow’s nest crashed into the water and there was a scream. One of the Bronto sisters had been up there. He barked out, “Cut this mast free!” and leapt onto the fallen mast. He raced along, his talons digging deep into the treated wood.
There she was, her head above water. Good thing she had a long neck. He couldn’t remember which sister she was, but it didn’t matter. He stuck the handle of his boarding ax into his mouth and reached down for her. The ropes entangled her, but his sharp claws made short work of them. She floundered and almost went under, but he got her arms up to the main mast. The mast lurched, and they rose in the air. The crew cut the end connected to the ship free, and it crashed into the water. The axe fell from his mouth when he yelled “Hang on!” They slammed back down into the water and the captain’s head struck the mast, ending his ability to pay attention to the exciting fight for survival going on.
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