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  • Writer's pictureKL Forslund

NI3: Cera's Surprise

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

Cera kept her eyes on the prize. Her cannon fired and struck a sail. The top half toppled and she expected to close the gap in moments. The deck lurched beneath her and the enemy ship careened from just off starboard to port and then drew away from her. She knew in her bones, that it wasn’t their ship that changed course.

The first mate turned back and saw disaster, the Wreckless Abandon’s main mast lay flopped into the water, causing her to list on her starboard side threatening to topple cargo out. Crew already chopped at the mast and soon it broke free and the ship righted itself.

She stomped toward the gathered sailors.

“Where’s the Captain!”

Metri, the dimetrodon cabin boy pointed out to the mast, now drifting out of sight.

“Hey guys! Look what I found!”

Everyone turned to look at Juan. He held a familiar leather tricorn hat in his taloned hands.

He brought it to his head and wedged it over his finned crest. It didn’t fit. Everybody knows guanlong don’t look good in hats. From the galley, Rhona Bronto’s sonorous wail of despair filled the night as the crew stood looking at their new captain while the rain whipped around them.

“Right then, let’s stop standing around and get back to work.”

There was an egg-laying pause.

Cera’s voice boomed out, “You ‘eard the Cap’n. Angus steer into the wind. Set sail to quarter trim. You lot, you’re on pump, we took on some water. Quick to or I’ll shed the skin off ye sooner’n’ye’d like.”

The crew sprang into action, and soon the Wreckless Abandon, though damaged by fluke, was no longer foundering.

“Cera, might I have a word?”

“Aye cap’n,” she replied, keeping her eyes on the crew and not looking at the warped way the hat sat on Juan’s head crest.

“Now that I’m captain, I don’t need you barkin’ orders, undermining my authority.”

Her broad head crest turned and she lowered a horn to point at one of his eyes.

“You read the Book yet, cap’n?”

He sniffed, oblivious to the danger should Cera shake or nod her head. “What book?”

“The Pirate's Guide to Bein’ Cap’n, by Cap’n Venatorius J. Raptor. You know, the code by which we all swore to abide.”

“Ain’t seen it. And what’s that stupid book got to do with anything”

“Did ye swear t’follow the Guide like every ‘un of us or should I chuck ya into the drink like a stowaway?”

“Hey now, yeah I swore the oath. What’s that got to do with you bossing folks around.”

“The Guide says the Captain is boss in all things fightin’.”

“Yeah, I’m the boss.”

Cera leaned in close, the tip of her horn almost resetting the No Accidents in X hours sign.

“An the first mate be in charge of order an’ conduct o’the ship.”

Juan lurched backwards as a wave almost caused him to need an eye patch.

“Alright, so get this tub fixed and find me something to plunder.”

Cera turned back to the crew, her voice deep and threatening, “Aye cap’n.”


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