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The Good Captain

“All hands man your battle stations!”

Cries rang out as my men ran to grab their swords. Our ship had been at sea for five days before a Kraken attacked our ship. Its rubbery arms lashed around the ship seeking to crush it in its grasp all so it could snag one of our men for its mate. Kraken attacks were actually fairly common in this section of the ocean. In fact every ship carries a full set of “Kraken Cleavers” blades specially designed to cut the Kraken’s rubbery tentacles. However, this time we were in trouble. This Kraken seemed quite a bit… bigger than the rest. I could feel the ship start to buckle beneath me as it made ominous creaking noises.

“Is there a problem captain?” A soft yet commanding voice called from behind me, cutting through the noise. I turned to find my cargo climbing onto the deck. It was a person covered from head to toe in a long black robe accompanied by a large man who was obviously used to battle. I had no idea who it, no she was, all I knew is that she was rich enough to charter a ship to the neighboring kingdom. This was no mean feat as we had been at war for several years.

“Yes. A rather large one. I’m sorry ma’am, but it looks like we might not be making land. The boys will try to fight the Kraken off as long as we can, but I don’t think we can win. Please prepare to abandon ship.”

The cloaked figure gave a hiss of displeasure which was followed by a small sigh of resignation. “I wouldn’t worry about that captain. This won’t take long. Frederick please take my robe.” With a small flick she released the silver catch of the robe allowing it to slide away and giving me my first look at my enigmatic employer.

She was a small and petit figure yet blessed with plenty of womanly charms and curves. She had a prominent nose which gave her a commanding air and with her blond hair and blue eyes was someone I recognized instantly.

“P-princess!!!”

“My, someone is up on current events. Don’t worry this shan’t take long” She raised her fingers towards the writhing mass of squid flesh and with a few words in a tongue I didn’t understand unleased lightning towards the beast. There was a great shriek and the tentacles vanished into the sea.

She smirked at me. “See that wasn’t so hard. Now Captain I must tell you something very important. I am on a diplomatic mission to Mardowan to negotiate an end to this war. It was a secret mission, or at least it was supposed to be. Please do make sure none of your crew talks otherwise I assure you that you will all have a rather unpleasant homecoming. Good day Captain.”

I had to pick my jaw up from the deck from this rapid change of events. Still even then I am the Captain. “Hey you scallywags what are you gawking for? I want damage reports NOW!”

XXX

Thankfully that was the most excitement we had on the rest of the trip. Although I couldn’t say the same for our arrival. Shortly after we docked an army unit arrived and prevented us from unloading. They created a living human wall their red uniforms and brass buttons sparkling in the sun. Their leader walked up with greased black hair and with a swagger that instantly said “I am a noble and don’t you forget it.” I instantly disliked the skinny bastard.

Imperiously he commanded me “You there, where is the ambassador?” The princess still in her cloak came to the side of the ship, but that wasn’t good enough for him. “Take off your hood. I need to verify that you are really the ambassador.”

The princess took off her hood her golden hair cascading around her shoulders. Boy did she look pissed. “You do realize this was supposed to be secret talks. Your impertinence has threatened the chance for peace between our nations. If this mission fails it will be upon your head.”

He gave a smarmy grin. “You’re right about that princess.” With one fluid he pulled out a magitek pistol from underneath his coat and shot the princess dead in the chest.

For a second time stood still. Then all hell broke loose as the soldiers tried to assault our ship. Thankfully the frilly bastard was the only one with a magitek weapon, the rest of the group was armed with swords. My sailors quickly armed themselves with the Kraken Cleavers. Thankfully they could cut humans down as easily as monsters.

I attended to our fallen princess. It was obviously a mortal wound. Her face became paler and paler as her life blood spilled out over the deck. Yet she still had some fire in her. “Take me to my cabin.”

I tried to protest that she was too weak, but she insisted. “Take me to my cabin. That’s an order!” Her yelling brought about a violent bloody fit of coughing as to demonstrate how serious this was. Well who am I to deny the whims of dying royalty? Thankfully we did not have to pass through the fighting to get to her cabin.

Gently I laid her down on the bunk. Unfortunately there wasn’t much I could do for her. Or so I thought. She shakily took a small key on a golden chain from around her neck. “Below the bed.” She weakly whispered “there is an iron chest. Inside it there is a green potion bottle. Give it to me.” I did as I was told and was asked to leave her alone. While I didn’t want to leave her I had my men to attend to so I was grateful.

Arriving on deck I grabbed my crossbow from my room. The battle was raging quite fiercely with neither side being able to gain an advantage. This was mainly due to the soldiers bringing insufficient numbers to take us down. Apparently, they underestimated how strongly we would fight. Don’t look down on us sea dogs you landlubbers! Of course this could not last long as they had an unlimited number of reinforcements. We had to drive them from the ship and flee, but lacked the manpower to do so.

It was just starting to look desperate when I felt the cold body of what was obviously a woman embrace me from behind. “This isn’t looking good is it?” was whispered sweetly into my ear. I admit that I squealed a bit and nearly jumped out of my skin.

Turning I found that it was the princess, but she had somehow changed. Her eyes had become a bright red and her skin was whiter then the white chalk cliffs of Douvres. In short she had become quite terrifying. Still it was good to see her. “Princess I am so glad you’re alive” I exclaimed.

She gave a little snort of laughter that was almost a bark. “I’m not sure I would call it that. Still I think undead is more alive than dead and far better then it. It looks like your men are having some trouble, so I think I shall be forced to lend a hand.”

Before I could stop her she had strode out into the middle of the fighting. Several soldiers tried to attack her but giant claws of ethereal blue light formed around her arms. She used them to grab the soldiers and toss them into the bay. No one was able to stop her and she was able to reach the enemy commander who was by now trembling in fear.

She grabbed him with her ghostly claw holding him so he would have to look down upon her. “My, not so cocky now are we commander? Let me tell you something” she drew him down so that he was staring directly in her eyes that were as sharp as obsidian “payback’s a bitch.” She clenched her fist and there was several sickening pops before the commander went limp. She dropped his body into the sea as if it were a piece of trash.

At that the remaining soldiers on the ship broke and fled either down the gangplank or jumping into the ocean to get away from the monster. Just at that moment reinforcements started streaming onto the docks, but with a wave and a word she lit them and the city on fire.

She turned to face us. With the burning city behind her she truly looked like a demon from hell. “Now then Captain it seems that negations have broken down and my mission is a failure. Please be a dear and start for home.” She walked toward me, but I was too scared to move. “Oh and captain, please be sure to join me in your quarters as soon as we have left port for a meal. I am starving.” What have I gotten myself into?