53 The Legendary Ship
The Jackdaw sailed through the water, slicing along the sea as the ship in the distance grew bigger. El Impoluto was a magnificent vessel, with a mighty ramming strength and more guns than Jemima could count, she swallowed, knowing this would be quite the match. It's white sails billowed in the wind, pulling the ship along and the lion rampants decorating it were a foreboding blood red. There was little light, only the smudge of grey of the moon behind the clouds illuminated the scene, but they could still see clear enough to tell that El Impoluto drew nearer at an alarming rate.
"What's she doing?" Jemima said, narrowing her eyes.
"She's coming straight at us!" Thomas exclaimed. "Damn it, we were meant to take her by surprise!" He turned his head to the captain. "Kenway!"
Kenway gave Thomas a brief nod, before calling out the orders for mortar fire. The crew watched as the shots whistled through the air before crashing down into the vessel with a deafening rumble echoing about.
With Anne at his side, Kenway powered on, the Jackdaw barrelled right towards El Impoluto. The Jackdaw spat at the opposing ship, round shot thundering into their defences. Kenway called out, "BRACE!", and the crew bent their knees, gripping onto anything secure as El Impoluto sent a flurry of heavy shot of her own. The two ships crashed headlong into each other and Jemima squeezed her eyes shut as the ship jolted, throwing any crew member that didn't hold on into the writhing depths.
As the ships drew side by side, Kenway shouted the order for numerous amounts of heavy shot to be buried into El Impoluto's defences, wounding the great beast. Thomas ran to the guns and fired at any weak point that presented itself, breaking through the holes in her armour.
El Impoluto slid by in an attempt to escape, but Kenway brought the Jackdaw around, sending mortar fire after the fleeing vessel. They chased after the ship, all the while bringing mortar fire and heavy shot crashing into her. She was weakened and began to slow and the Jackdaw pulled alongside her once more, splintering the sides with further attacks.
Mortar fire thundered down upon them, cruelly tearing apart the deck. Thomas winced as he saw a sailor crushed beneath the onslaught, his scream cut short by the mortars that buried him. He glanced to Jemima, gripping to the rigging as the two ships battled on. Her eyes were shut but her face showed no sign of fear. A brave young woman.
The Jackdaw sent another set of heavy shot slicing into El Impoluto's body and the sides looked about ready to rupture. She was nearly beaten.
With a cheer from the crew, El Impoluto slowed and stopped, the vessel unable to go any further.
"Let's bring this brig around, lads!" Anne bellowed and the set about arming themselves, ready to board.
With a roar, the crew swung aboard El Impoluto, curses and threats rumbling around as the soldiers made an attempt to defend themselves from their attackers. It became clear very quickly who the main problems were. The soldiers could battle against the sailors without much of a hassle, their training had seen to that, but these four individuals made them fear for their lives.
Like devils they fought, two men and two women, the latter a strange sight upon the seas but they weren't about to start asking questions. Both men wore smart outfits with hoods dipping over their eyes to mask their faces while short blades, barely noticeable sliced from their wrists, swords twirling all the while. One woman had soft red hair, decorated with flowers, her chest prominent as she grinned, cutting down each man that was distracted by it. The other woman was as beautiful as the first, her hair as dark as night with a hat balanced on her head, threatening to fall off every time she spun to send a pistol shot through the belly of an unfortunate soldier. These were the four the soldiers feared.
Then, almost as quickly as they descended upon them, the pirates vanished. But the soldiers knew they were around, they knew they were being watched. Eyes burned into the back of their heads as, wide eyed and shaking, they searched the night, wishing they were gone for good. Wishing that they could survive another night.
The only sound was the heavy breath of fear before the breathing ceased altogether. The captain spun, the remaining soldiers following his gaze as the four pirates stood from the corpses, as if they had materialised from thin air. They gave a smile, a wicked smile and the soldiers swallowed, raising a shaking sword.
They burst forward, slamming into the soldiers, sending corpses to the floor and souls to the afterlife as their weapons slashed at any soldier that couldn't defend himself. With a wink, Thomas crouched and Jemima flung herself over him, rolling off his back as a pistol in each hand fired, taking down two soldiers that ran in an unfortunate direction.
Back to back, Anne and Jemima fought, their swords flashing in the moonlight, that light being the last thing many soldiers saw.
"Ready?" Jemima yelled above the clash of blades.
"Sure!" Anne replied.
Jemima spun, knocking her opponent to the ground before pinning his body to the deck with her sword. Without drawing it out, she linked arms with Anne and leaned forward as the Irishwoman kicked out, causing the soldiers around them to stumble or fall back. Letting go, Jemima snatched her sword, yanking it from the corpse and with Anne, finished off their adversaries.
In a battle of their own, Kenway barrelled forward, swords swinging as he ducked, kneeling as a figure burst into the flurry behind him. Thomas jumped, using Kenway's back as a springboard and flew through the air, the wrist blades catching the moonlight, before he slammed into two soldiers, pinning their necks to the decks. Kenway sprang up and plunged his sword into the nearest soldier but another leapt at him, sword and voice raised. Edward's sword was still firmly embedded in the soldier's belly and panic alighted on his face.
With a 'bang!' the soldier's skull erupted in bone and blood as he collapsed in front of Kenway. He glanced back, relief flooding him as Jemima lowered her pistol with a wink.
The four stepped away from the corpses and turned to the cowering captain, his face as pale as the moon that observed them, a sword hanging weakly in his hand as he quivered in his boots. They stepped forward and he stepped back, tripping over a body and falling to his back with a yell. Shaking, he scrambled back as they approached.
With a small cry, he realised that he had reached the back of the ship, that there was nowhere else to run to. The four towered over him and with a smile, Anne crouched and tilted her head to one side.
"Now, now, now..." She tutted, her voice playful. "What are we gonna do with you?"