“There’s still no sign of The Damnation, Captain.” Stryker informed her. Anne stood on the bridge still fuming. She took out her spyglass and scanned the horizon around her. Damn him, she thought. This time she would ensure Harrington, Captain of The Damnation, would be dispatched to Davy Jones’s Locker, once she caught up with him.
“I’m pretty sure he’s headed this way. Hold this course and keep scanning the horizon.” she ordered the First Mate.
“Aye Captain.” Stryker replied. Anne went to her cabin. Sitting down her eyes strayed to where her jewelry box would have been, if Harrington hadn’t plundered it. There were items of personal value that he had callously taken, and she vowed she would get it back, even if she had to personally send him to the very Gates of Hell.
It had been all due to their recent sojourn at Port Royal. Anne had let the crew go spend their ill-gotten gains in the port city, however they wished. She herself had decided to play cards at a tavern, and Harrington was there among others at the table, his ship also moored in port. He spent the evening smoking cigars and grinning at her with his grey and black teeth. That night luck was with Anne, and she walked away from the table with a considerable fortune. After leaving most of her winnings in her cabin, she decided to spend the night onshore in a decent room. The next morning she noticed The Damnation had sailed away. Returning to her cabin, she found it had been ransacked. Her winnings, that she had hidden away, were gone, though it was her missing jewelry box that hurt her the most. There was a piece of rolled up parchment on her table. Unrolling it, she read the message: Thanks for the plunder girl. Harrington. She immediately called for all the sailors to return to her ship, The Red Dagger. That afternoon they set sail on a setting she had been told Harrington had taken.
Now it was several days later and there was still no sign of his ship. She was sure Harrington had headed this way, from what she knew of him. The man clearly had no honour, and she would eventually hunt him down wherever he had gone.
“Captain!” she heard above. She went back on deck and grabbed her spyglass. There in the distance were some black sails. She had found him.
Anne looked through her spyglass at the ship before her. They were catching up with the Damnation and would be in cannon range within a few hours. They had spent the night following her and it had been good to see her black sails in the morning light much closer than the evening before. Anne knew her ship was more swift than Harrington’s as they sliced through the brine. She listened to the rigging straining and the sails filling with wind. The Damnation hadn’t altered course at all and seemed to be leading them on to some unknown destination. Stryker, her First Mate joined her on watch.
“We’re catching up with her. We have the wind to our advantage. Though Harrington doesn’t seem to be at all concerned we are chasing him.” Stryker observed.
“Yes it’s almost as though he wanted me to find him.” Anne agreed. She left Stryker on the forecastle so she could get a few hours of sleep, though once she was in her cabin, she instead found herself thinking about the coming confrontation. It was obvious Harrington didn’t think that Anne or her ship was a threat to him, or he wouldn’t have goaded her. He knew she would chase him, so why provoke her? Was it for fun? Or did he have some darker intentions? She intended this to be the last time Harrington would ever inconvenience her. While she thought about this, she drifted off…
“Captain! The Damnation seems to have slowed. We’ll soon be on top of her!” A crew-member alerted her. Anne quickly awoke wondering what time it was. She got up and staggered to the deck. There before her ship was The Damnation looking as menacing as a dark storm. She immediately went to the quarter-deck. They were almost in cannon range now. She noted the sky had clouded over and the sea was getting more rough. Then The Damnation began to turn.
“Turn to port! And prepare the cannons!” Anne commanded. So this is where Harrington wanted the battle to be. Maybe he had guessed she was getting some rest and had chosen this time to attack when their response would be slower. The Red Dagger turned, both ships now faced each other. “Fire a broadside!” All the cannons on the starboard side fired at The Damnation. Anne watched Harrington’s ship get punctured by cannonballs. Then The Damnation returned fire. As The Damnation’s cannons were higher up compared to The Red Dagger’s, the cannonballs hit the upper decks and masts.
“Captain, the broadside from The Damnation damaged our mizzenmast. Another attack like that and we could lose it.” Stryker informed her. She nodded in acknowledgement as she watched The Damnation sail past.
“Turn to starboard and keep firing!” she ordered. “We need to get closer so we can board her.” As they turned to starboard, The Damnation turned to port and the ships faced each other again. Another broadside hit The Damnation further damaging the ship, then another round of cannon fire hit The Red Dagger. This time cannon fire hit the quarterdeck where Anne stood. She found herself lying on the deck.
“You okay Captain?” Stryker asked helping her up. Anne nodded.
“Sail right for her. We need to ram her!” Anne commanded once she stood up again. Their ship made right for the middle of The Damnation. Everyone was jolted off their feet as the ships prow smashed into The Damnation. After the deafening crash, there was a brief moment of silence…
Anne drew her cutlass and grabbed hold of a rope. In one move she swung over to The Damnation while urging her crew to follow. As soon as she landed on the deck of her rival, her crew also began boarding the ship. She was immediately attacked by several of Harrington’s men. Fending them off she looked around for Harrington, but couldn’t see him. Was he skulking below decks? She signaled to Stryker to lead the assault while she looked for Harrington. Stryker nodded back at her as she went below deck.
Anne went down a narrow passageway that led to his cabin, but found he wasn’t there. She came to a door that was locked. Breaking the lock she opened the door to find, to her surprise, a young woman with long dark hair who looked terrified. She was chained to the bed, while on a table sat Anne’s jewelry box along with other treasures. Anne stood there wordlessly while the sound of fighting above got louder. They stared at each other in confusion.
“You looking for me girl?” said a familiar rough voice behind Anne. She spun round and parried Harrington’s blow.
“Harrington!” she spat out. “Interesting company you keep. I didn’t realise you had a guest staying.”
“You’re welcome to join her.” Harrington replied as he swung his cutlass at her again. She parried it and drove forwards forcing him into the passageway. Anne then swung her blade at him, which he dodged.
“I’d rather set her free.” Anne told him as she launched another attack. This time he parried her attack. He grinned at her with his rotting teeth.
“No girl can be a pirate.” He stated as he sliced at her with his cutlass. She dodged out of the way while grimly smiling at him.
“But a woman can.” She replied as she swung at him again, this time cutting him across the forehead when he failed to get out of the way. Blinded by the blood streaming into his eyes his next attack was a wild swing that Anne easily dodged. She then smacked him in the head with her blade and he collapsed onto the floor. Finding some rope, she tied him up. She went back into the cabin. The young woman there still looked terrified. Anne sheathed her cutlass.
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
“My name is Anne. I’m captain of The Red Arrow. I’m here to free you.” Anne said. The woman looked at her uncertainly.
“My name is Katherine, though everyone calls me Kate. That man attacked the ship I was on. I’m the only survivor. He’s kept me in here for days. I don’t know how long. He kept bringing jewels every time he came in here…” Her voice trailed off. She looked away while tears began to fall. Anne understood.
“Don’t worry, he’ll never bother you again.” Anne told her. Stryker, her First Mate, appeared.
“His crew has mostly surrendered. Their morale was rather low.” He informed her.
They freed Kate and took what gold and jewels they could find. Several of Harrington’s men joined her crew, while the others were put into her ships brig to be released later. Anne and a few others deliberately scuttled The Damnation. They all watched the black ship sink below the water.
“Davy Jones can have that cursed ship. It belongs in Hell.” Anne stated once the ship had fully disappeared under the waves. “How’s our ship First Mate?”
“We are quite damaged Captain, but I reckon we can limp back to Port Royal. We can always do some repairs on the way.” Stryker replied. Kate had joined them on the forecastle and had watched The Damnation sink with quiet satisfaction.
“Have you anything left of your own belongings?” Anne asked Kate.
“No. Most of my things were left aboard the ship when Harrington sank it.” Kate replied. Anne brought out her jewelry box and, after taking a couple of things out of it, gave it to Kate.
“Well this is a start.” Anne told her. Kate accepted it with gratitude.
“Is he truly gone?” Kate asked.
“Yes Harrington is with Davy Jones now, along with the remains of his ship.” Anne replied. She smiled darkly at the water. “You’re welcome to join us you know.”
“I’m not sure if I’m a pirate, but thanks for freeing me.” Kate said. Anne nodded.
“Set a course for Port Royal!” Anne called out.
“Aye Captain!” Her crew replied.
This was a story I posted in three parts a couple of months ago.
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