NI20: Why You Shouldn't Say Naughty Words
Captain Raptor stood next to Angus as the Ankylosaurus helmsman guided the ship with rugged paws, his tail swishing back and forth. The wind whipped through Captain Raptor’s slicked back head feathers and his twice soaked and torn captain’s coat flapped in the breeze. He struck an imposing pose, holding the spyglass to his eye. Only the thought of catching his prey on his mind, and there she sailed in the distance, Tyrant’s Revenge lay due West, and his own ship chased from the east. Dawn was in an hour, and at current speed, Wreckless Abandon would be in her blindspot.
“Excuse me Captain, I believe this is yours.”
The captain turned to look at who was interrupting his thought, it was a ninja. They were as hard to tell apart as the Bronto sisters. This one held his pirate captain hat. He’d forgotten to find it when he got on board, and everybody just kind of kept following his orders anyway. Raptor reached for it anyway and perched it on his head. He still looked good in it.
“Thanks. I used to think I needed this.”
“It does make one feel a bit rakish. I borrowed it while we were in command of your ship. Sorry about that.”
“Well, our chance to really work together is here. Get your ninjas ready. Tell Cera to prepare boarding parties.”
“Yes Captain,” replied #27, and then the ninja turned and left.
“Full sail, Prepare to ram. Keep the rising sun at our back.”
The crew of Wreckless knew their duty, and they rushed to make ready. The ninjas also assumed position, ready to fire arrows to keep the enemy pinned down. Sora stood in their ranks, dressed as the other ninjas, indistinguishable except for her katana.
Cera looked around from the mid-deck as she motioned the crew what to do. She saw Tyrant’s Revenge draw close, the crew still unaware, still running on the night shift. Cera looked up at the sky as the sun was coming up, A red day, ‘ere the sun rises.
The silence broke as the prow of Wreckless Abandon slammed into the rear of Tyrant’s Revenge, breaking her rudder and smashing into the captain’s quarters. Splinters flew everywhere, and the air filled with screams. Cera yelled something unintelligible and her crew surged forward, throwing grappling lines and rushing to battle. The ninjas peppered the decks of Tyrant’s Revenge with arrows, but soon it was hand to hand action as her own Allosaurus and Pareiasaurs and even Juan, the Guanlong scrambled across the thrown lines to face the opposing ship’s sailors.
The crew crossed into the rear section of the enemy ship through the gaping hole where Wreckless’s own masthead had smashed through. Soon there was a thundering roar, one that rattled the bones. Cera’s boarding party began rushing back out of the hole. She took a step forward, wanting to help, but knowing she had to keep order on her ship. She saw a flash of movement, in the darkness of Captain King’s quarters, and then Juan was flung out, back onto the forward deck of the Wreckless. He tried to scramble back as the massive bulk of Captain King lurched through the hole and onto Wreckless’s deck toward Juan’s moaning form..
“Hey! Pick on somebody who can fight back you Barney!” a voice called out from behind Cera where the helm was. The captain!
The tyrannosaurus stopped, before it was about to step on Juan, squashing him, “What did you call me?!”
“Your dad was purple, your mom sucked eggs, and you’re nothing but a Barney!”
Captain Raptor swung forward on a rope hanging from the center mast, his coat flaring behind him as Captain King charged into the bright sunrise in a blinding rage. Captain Raptor’s feet talons poised and on track to tear out his foe’s throat. Sora, half drew her katana, as she waited near a side rail and some coils of rope. The sunlight glinted off her blade and Captain King turned sideways,to glance at it. The rex saw the velociraptor coming and he used his running momentum to raise up and bite at the swinging swashbuckler.
Captain Raptor felt the jaws of his nemesis snap down on the side of his head, crushing down from above and under his jaw. He let go of the rope and clawed at the rough skin of the larger dinosaur’s head. He felt the teeth grinding on his skull, and the immense pressure and the cracking sound, and that was all he remembered.
Cera watched in horror as her captain’s heroic swing climaxed in terror as he hung limp in Captain King’s jaws. A deep sonorous wail broke out from behind her, she glanced back, and saw Brenda armed with a belaying pin and Rhonda, out from the kitchen with a kettle on her head and a giant stirring paddle in her paws. Tears ran down her face as she broke ranks and stomped toward the terrible lizard that took down her captain with Brenda by her side. The ship shuddered with each ponderous step, her fury resonating through the very soul of the ship.
Cera’s own rage took over, screaming her war cry she lowered her horns. Somebody would lose more than an eye today. Metri, hiding inside the captain’s quarters, reached a paw out a window and erased the 1 from the safety sign posted outside the door.
Cera was the first to reach Captain King, he glared down at her with Captain Raptor still hanging from his mouth by his face. She didn’t slow down and her horns poked him in the belly in the way that nobody likes to be poked in the belly with sharp horns. He lurched backwards, trying to cover his injury with his paws, but his arms wouldn’t reach. He roared in pain, dropping Captain Raptor. Cera was about to step forward to shield her captain, when a chorus of shouts came from either side, a swarm of ninjas rushed out and flanked the fallen leader, pulling him backwards to safety. Between him and the tyrant, appearing in a puff of smoke was a lone ninja, wielding a glinting katana. She sent a flurry of sword strikes at the intruder, driving the big brute back a few steps.
Captain King used the few steps backward to recover some from the onslaught, the stinging gnat of a human gave him minor cuts. It was the triceratops that came close to disemboweling him. He had ignored the shuddering he felt through his feet on the decking. He heard the sound before it hit him.
Crack! Captain King’s jaw dislocated and he felt the world reel sideways as the blow also knocked him sideways off his feet by a giant soup spoon to the side of his face. Then Rhonda and Brenda began kicking and stomping on his prone form, driving him to the starboard railing as he tried to get back up. King needed to retreat. He lurched back to his feet, despite the powerful beating he was getting, because he was the tyrant of the sea, no one could take him down. The tyrannosaur fell back to one knee, not by another blow from Rhoda’s spoon, but by an explosion from his own ship reverberating across the hulls stuck together. What could be going on over there, he wondered.
Juan climbed to his feet, after watching Captain Raptor save him and fall so soon. A fierce hunger swarmed up to his heart, one of the two feelings carnivores were capable of expressing. He pushed that feeling down though, predator instincts kicking in and that sense of what needed doing that Captain Raptor had promised to teach him. He called out to the rest of the boarding party that had retreated and been left behind by the roaring battle.
“Cut those grapple lines and push us apart.” They needed to get Wreckless free before Tyrant’s crew rallied and tried to board. He hobbled over to the swivel cannon mounted on the forward deck, it was still intact. Juan only had his left arm to use, but the cannon was still loaded. Turning it around, he waited for the boarding party to untangle the ships. Juan trusted them to have his back, while he found his target.
Captain King snapped at the Bronto sisters, driving them back a step. Then he glanced back at his ship, a mere ten yards away. It was falling away and riding lower in the water. He caught the gaze of a guanlong, it’s head fin looking bent. It stood behind a cannon. There was a flash of smoke and he felt a sharp impact in the gut, as bad as when Cera rammed him and he fell over the rail, into the black waters below. He thrashed with his tiny ineffectual arms, but couldn’t keep afloat and with his breath knocked out by the cannonball to the chest. Captain King saw his chance in the form of a lifeboat headed from his ship to him, but would he survive that long?
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