54 Unfinished Business
The Jackdaw slowed as it neared land, but more so as the crew gazed at the shattered remains of the ship floating in the water. Some bodies floated, others had already sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Or perhaps, they were still sinking.
One of the crew yelled to Thomas, noticing one sailor lying, barely breathing on a piece of wreckage. On seeing him, Thomas gasped, as if he was looking at himself, back in that storm where he first met Kenway.
"Captain!" Jemima called, helping Thomas to haul in a stranded sailor. "Here's one still kicking!"
"Who did this?" Kenway asked the man, standing over him as he spat sea water, heaving for air.
"It were a large vessel." He managed. "The Royal Fortune."
"Roberts." Kenway said, turning to the assassin, the pirate and his quatermaster.
"Offered no quarter." He continued. "Didn't say nothing."
"No worries, we'll get you ship shape again." Anne smiled, helping him to his feet.
Kenway stepped up to the front of the ship, judging the distance between himself and the island.
"Are you going after him?" Thomas asked, stepping behind him.
"Aye. We have some unfinished business."
"I'll go with you."
"No, lad." Kenway turned. "I'd rather you wouldn't. This is my mess and I alone must fix it."
Thomas took a step back before Kenway dived.
"We'll be waiting."
Anne began to holler orders once more, Jemima taking the wheel as they took the Jackdaw around to the other side of the island. They kept out of sight, obscured by the large rocks that decorated the island but just noticeable enough for Kenway to find them.
They waited, hearing gun shot and the clash of blades above them.
"That damned man." Thomas growled under his breath, pacing up and down the helm as Jemima stared unblinking at the branch above her, waiting for Kenway to appear. "If he'd just shaken off some of his pride and let me join him, he wouldn't be going up against them all on his own."
"He knows what he's doing, Thomas." Anne said, looking up like Jemima. "He'll be fine, not to worry."
It was a great relief to them all when Kenway did appear. He flew off the jutting branch, diving into the water nearby and the Jackdaw was kicked into action.
"Alright, lads!" Anne bellowed. "Let's get those sails up and out, full speed ahead!"
Kenway clambered up the side of the ship, racing across deck to the helm. Jemima stepped out of the way for Kenway to take the wheel as Anne called out further instructions.
"Captain's aboard! Man all canvas! Let's move!"
The Jackdaw burst forward, chasing the Royal Fortune onwards. As the ship cut through two jutting mounds of rock, it crumbled behind it, creating an unbreakable barrier between them and the Jackdaw.
"The way's blocked!" Jemima yelled to Kenway above the crash of the water as rocks powered into it.
"We'll have to find another path!" Anne shouted and Kenway spun the wheel, heading for a clearer way to reach their target.
The ship cut and twisted through the water, threatening to crash into sand banks and random rocks that surrounded them. The Jackdaw fired mortar shot, the sound rumbling around them as it found its target. But the Royal Fortune was not without its weaponry and sent its own rain of fire down upon them, the crew clutching the sides of the ship to brace themselves.
Roberts' ship pulled in ahead but the Jackdaw was close behind. Shot after shot was fired in hopes of destroying their opponent, as they avoided the fire barrels that were tossed out in front of them. Every successful shot was met with a victorious cheer from the crew.
But they hadn't won yet.
The ships flew on, out into open waters and into a storm. The grey skies matched the grey waters, the thunder matching the rumble of mortar fire and heavy shot. It seemed that this ship battle was a storm of its own.
"Edward!" Anne yelled. "There's crosstrees on the horizon!"
"Flying British colours!" Thomas added, shielding his eyes from the torrent of rain as he recognised the ship's flags.
"There's Spanish ships there, Captain!" Jemima called out, pointing to nearby ships. "This'll be a mess if we don't hurry!"
The Jackdaw powered on, bracing under the enemy fire, still thundering after Roberts. They had broken his defences enough, the Royal Fortune was weak, and with one last roar of heavy shot, the ship stopped, completely destroyed.
"Shall we sink his ship, Captain?" Anne asked Kenway. "We've a better than even chance!"
"No." Kenway shook his head and turned the wheel, bringing the ship around to board Roberts'. "There's a device with him that needs taking. I'll have to board her myself."
The ship's were now side by side and Kenway was the first to leap aboard, his three closest friends in his wake. They roared curses and threats as they flew onto the Royal Fortune, a rather apt name now that it was under attack. Any man that stood before Kenway, Anne, Jemima and Thomas fell, before even learning of the great legends that cut then down.
Jemima turned and saw Kenway standing over Roberts. The battle raged on around them, but these two seemed oblivious to it. Roberts passed up an obscure looking thing, a shiny skull it looked like. Then, his head thumped back against the deck and Kenway lifted up the body and carried it away.
She turned back at the sound of triumphant cheer. The surviving crew of the Royal Fortune fell to their knees and the Jackdaw's crew waved their swords and cutlasses in victory.
"We did it!" Thomas laughed jogging down the deck to her.
"Did we have any doubts?" She grinned, hugging him as he pulled her into his arms. As she stepped back, she turned to where she'd last seen Kenway, the body of Bartholomew Roberts over his shoulder. "By the way, where's Kenway off to?"
Thomas glanced up.
"To take care of unfinished business."