Lightning crackles through the night sky as rough waves swell over the sea’s dark abyss. Two large three mast ships sway across from each other, their heavy artillery glistening for display of power. Under a double wing flag, a medium size crew wearing white and light blue uniforms race over the top deck to their battle positions. Next to the captain’s wheel, a young man with a small scar across the top of his right cheek just under his eye. He raises a pair of binoculars to his eyes.
“Captain Julius, sir. We are approaching the Pyrus Dragon’s stern side, twenty degrees ahead. Should we attack?” A short man appears behind him with a slight bow.
Under a lite lantern, Captain Julius Lyberg, in a long black overcoat with golden buttons up the middle and white gloves on, waits a few moments. Calculations run through his mind on high successful strategies used to take down tough opponents. Observing the speed, pressure, and set up of the ship’s weapons, a frontal assault scenario plays in front of Julius’s eyes.
“No, wait for my signal.” Julius orders.
On the opposite ship, the Pyrus Dragon, another crew scrambles over the deck to their own positions, preparing countermeasures. Captain Ryo Astrals, a tall man, wearing a tricorn hat and red overcoat stands behind the ship’s wheel. His light brown hair sits just behind his shoulders and his bangs cover the top of his keen hazel eyes. Through his gaze, he watches the enemy ship change their approach.
“The Night’s Tempest is approaching now, everyone be ready!” Ryo barks out.
Down below the ship’s deck, inside the large captain’s cabin, a circular silver jewel glistens on a wooden pedestal. A shadow shifts along the wall with quiet footsteps, it looms over the jewel. A faint glow emanates from the surface, reflecting off the cabin windows. A hand cautiously reaches out but jolts from the sound of a loud bell echoing in the air.
Back outside, a panicked man rushes across the deck, glancing up at Ryo’s position.
“Captain Ryo, the cannons are prepped and ready for our counterattack!” John Alestin, the first mate, shouts up to him.
Ryo puts his own binoculars up to his face and smirks.
“Who will win this stand off?” Ryo places his left hand under the wheel, raising it up to the right. The Pyrus Dragon alters its course with ten large cannons aimed directly at the Night’s Tempest.
Rain pours harder cutting the visibility behind a cloak of water. Observing the new position for their target, Julius raises his hand up into a fist. “Fire!” He shouts in a thunderous voice.
The ship open fire on the Pyrus Dragon, bombarding it with a fury of metal. Each cannonball splinters the wooden planks on the ship’s lower deck and stern. The Pyrus Dragon buckles and shakes with each direct impact. Ryo plants his feet to steady himself, stiffening his arms to keep the ship stable.
“Now time to counter!” He shouts towards the crew.
Each crew member lights a large cannon in front of them to counter with heavy relentless attacks. Fire rises up from a small mast that takes a hit from one of the smaller cannons on the Night’s Tempest. The soldiers struggle to reach it the area with the flames growing larger despite the downpour. Smoldering wood splinters under the pressure with the threat that it will give way at any moment. Julius sneers, his patience running thin with the direction of the battle. Thunder roars from above, matching the moment when Julius jumps down onto the lower deck. He approaches a large tarp and throws it to the side. Underneath is a huge cannon looming over the side rails. There are three fuses behind it and two muzzles in the front. Many of the soldiers back away after its revealed.
“Sir, isn’t that just the prototype to the newest weapon? We don’t have permission to fire it.” A crew member speaks up.
“We also have orders to rest it when we can. I can’t think of anything better than to test it on this target. A target that we were ordered to destroy at all costs.” Julius confidence carries his words through the air. He grips the handle, cracking it to improve the accuracy of the first shot.
“Let’s see how you handle this.” Three soldiers dressed in light blue and white uniforms come out from the back with covered flames. Each one bends over, lighting the fuses one by one. Everyone from behind crouches down, holding their hand over their ears in anticipation.
The Night’s Tempest rocks violently after the discharge, the sound being drowned out by a large thunderclap. Under the cannon, some of the wooden planks break from the backlash, causing it to sink downward. It is unable to be realigned.
On the Pyrus Dragon, Ryo catches a glimpse of the incoming attack through the rain. His eyes widen.
“Damn! Intercept the attack!” He yells out to the crew below. Seconds tick by but nothing comes from the ship. Below John appears again, trying to shout through the rain. His words reach Ryo’s ears but then the world around him goes quiet. Each action in front of him plays out in slow motion, his mind unable to comprehend the words received from John. Moments pass before his snaps back to reality, without a suitable countermeasure.
“Brace for impact!” Ryo keeps his grip on the wheel and uses the other hand to grip the rail in front of him. Some of his crew grab the nearest item they can but others don’t heed his warning in time. The stern of the ship gets obliterated from the impact. Broken wood and metal shards explode outward. Huge waves crash over the remaining deck, sweeping unsecured crew members off their feet and into the ocean. Trying to keep himself steady, Ryo throws himself to his feet, trying to observe the damage from the upper deck.
“What’s the damage?! I need a status report!” Ryo shouts.
John stumbles below, trying to catch his breath. “It’s bad Ryo. There is a big hole in the stern and we are taking on water fast. There is no saving her!”
Ryo clicks his tongue; from the corner of his eyes, he catches the Night’s Tempest taking aim for a follow up attack. His crew tries to counter with a few of their cannons still in tact but their accuracy causes almost all shots to miss their target.
“We need to abandon ship!” He orders the other men to flee. “Drop what you are doing and prep the boats!”
John stands in front of Ryo. “What about the enemy? We are pirates! Are we just going to run away?!”
Ryo reaches out and grabs John by his collar. He yanks him close, his eyes unreadable. “We will fight another day. Don’t question my orders.”
John’s eyes fall to the side with his hands clenched tightly into fists. “I understand…sir.”
Ryo releases him then ushers him to a nearby boat. “Help led the others to safely, those are your orders.”
John moves to untie the first boat, glances back to see Ryo gone. Below deck, Ryo pushes through waist high water to reach the back captain’s room. Under great pressure, the door busts from his forward push releasing more water into the cabin. In the far corner the Silver gem gleams, however the faded light below has disappeared. His attention falls on his desk. With a careful hand, he reaches out, securing a flame shaped pendent in his palm. Water rushes in from the windows, causing the water to rise faster. The ship rocks from another cannon hit. He takes one last look at the jewel as it falls off the pedestal into the dark water.
Back on the Night’s Tempest, a few soldiers trying to right the large cannon to prepare for a second test but are unsuccessful. Julius watches the first spread on the opponent’s ship, the stern sinking lower into the water. He stands next to a cannon; posture straighten into a triumphant pose.
“We finally end this.” Julius says. He takes a glass contain with a rough small stick in the center. The container is whipped down by Julius, igniting the stick. He lowers it, lighting small fuse on the cannon text to him.
Ryo finally makes to back to the slanting top deck, rushing over to the side rails. Below his position, a few feet away in the water some of his crew waits.
“Come on Captain!” John shouts up at him.
Ryo puts his foot up on the rail but stops. A loud whistling approaches from behind that becomes a earth shattering roar. An explosion engulfs the deck with a wave of flames ravaging everything in their path. The floor underneath Ryo gives away, and he disappears into the darkness of the ship. John and the crew stare in shock with the flames eating away what’s left of their ship. Huge waves crash into their small boat pushing it further away from the wreckage and into the night.
Julius grins ear to ear at the destruction with arrogance. The soldiers around him continue with their efforts to put out the remaining fires.
“Time to report back to the higher ups.” He laughs. “The target is dead. Now we just need to retrieve the item.”
As the last of the Pyrus Dragon sinks into the dark abyss, the Night’s Tempest plows through the splinter wood. From above the rain breaks and from behind the clouds a full moon peaks out, illuminating the dark sea below.