Heart of the ship
Posted on Tue Jun 19th, 2012 @ 7:08pm by Snot Rag Chops McGinty & Captain Daenelia Bradley & Master Brem de Berg & Mate J. Noone & Sailor Edward Marketh 2nd & Sailor Niles Oscar & Sailor Lorelei Loewe & Snot Rag Laudine Fortescue & Snot Rag Greyfeathre Romney & Mister Theristis Hill Jr & Mister Lleryn Aderyn & Mister Elliot Travers
Chapter 5: Into the Fire
Akito coughed, and there was blood everywhere. The young engineer was trapped under a fallen piston, and there was nothing he could do but watch as the strangers pushed through the thick black smoke. One of the men was huge, with an equally huge grin on his face which strangely stayed there even after one of Dottie's knives had found its way into his eye socket. It was just one pirate among many that had been defeated, and with the hatch having been blown off there was nothing to stop the rest of the boarding party storming the engine room.
It had taken a highly powerful explosion to break it open, and the damage had been significant on both sides of the doorway. The ventilation system must have been broken because the black smoke wasn't going anywhere, and neither was the jet of steam spewing from the hole in the ceiling where the piston used to be. It quickly became hard for anyone to see, and Dottie was using this to her advantage. The woman was darting in between the invaders, using her sword and her knives to great effect. But where was Brem?
He was stood looking at his engines, shocked at the damage the explosion had done to them. Somehow Brem found himself with a long pipe in his hand with a nut attached to the end of it, he let out a throaty scream which could have been pain or something deeper.
One of the enemy pirates appeared before him with a wicked grin on his face and a cutlass in hand, Brem swung high and was blocked. The two were close so Brem grabbed the man by the throat and threw him backwards.
-Gun deck -
Things weren't much better up on the gun deck. The hole in the side of the ship had grown even larger from the last attack, and a couple of the cannons had fallen out into the sky. The gunners were still fighting off a group of the boarders when the explosion had came from below. Finn didn't know what was happening, only that one of his brass arms was missing and that there was too much debris on the floor to find it. He did find Niles though, and lifted a plank of wood off of her with his remaining pneumatic arm.
Boatswain Faizel Naji had been pushing, stabbing and hitting enemies for what felt like hours on the gun deck. There were many bodies on the floor, not all of the breathing, and some of them screaming. When the explosion rocked the ship, some of the Steamhawke's crew had been trapped under heavy cannons, and a few cannons had been knocked overboard through a large hole in the site. He grabbed Finn's mechanichal arm and shouted. "Need any help?"
"No!" shouted Finn back. "I got her!" Niles had been quiet and Finn was worried she might be hurt. Faizel nodded and turned in time to kick a burly man in the stomach. The enemies seemed to heading down further into the ship. They must be headed to the engine room, Faizel thought as he saw the few crewmembers of the Steamhawke get to their feet or help fallen mates. "Follow me!" he yelled to those who could walk. "They're headed to the engine room! Let's attack them from behind!" Three men followed him as he stormed down below screaming.
Finn stayed with Niles. He stroked her hair, and pushed it back from her forehead. "Are you okay?" he whispered. "Please be okay."
The boom of the cannons, loud war cries and crashing of objects around the ship woke Niles up from her blackout after about a minute. She was surprised when she saw Finn and realized that she was lying in his arms. She had managed to hear his plea and replied, "I think I'm fine, thanks."
She scrambled to get up on her own feeling embarrassed that she was easily knocked out like that. She searched her surroundings and saw the missing cannons.
"What do we now?" she asked, "We have far less cannons than before now."
Dottie was kicking ass, she thought smugly to herself as she practically danced between men and women trying to kill her. She'd lost her throwing knives in various enemies a few minutes ago, and now used her cutlass to slice and dice. But as she danced into reach of a rather large woman, she found herself in a tight bearhug, unable to breathe as the woman crushed her ribs. Akito hit the enemy on the back of her head with a large pipe. She dropped Dottie immediately, who thanked Akito quickly as she tried to get some air back into her lungs.
"The pipes!" Akito said. "There are too many broken pipes! We are losing speed!"
A strange calm seemed to settle over Brem, he could see and hear his engines were in pain but there wasn't much he could help them with while there were people trying to hurt it more. "Akito!" he shouted without being heard, "AKITO! I'M GOING UP!" without knowing if he'd been heard or not Brem moved into the darkness behind the engines and started to climb. Among the workings it was dark and it was hot, and Brem sweated profusely as he climbed deeper and higher. Beams of sunlight were piercing through cracks in the hull, and suddenly Brem was looking out, with his one good eye, through the back of the ship. Ahead of him were the Steamhawke's rear propellers, and Brem could tell instinctively that one of them was not rotating as fast as it should be. He spotted the problem straight away, a giant cog had been dislodged from the rotor mechanism. He climbed out along the supports, at one point losing his footing and left hanging by one hand, the open skies below him. Somehow he swung back up and crawled towards the rotor mechanism. With wrench in hand, Brem physically hammered the cog back into place. The job done, Brem mopped his brow.
Outside the engine room, Faizel Naji and the reinforcements from the gun deck had arrived. They ran head first into the remaining handful of the Sky Tiger's boarding party, and with a wall of whirling sword blades prevented them from escaping the engine room. The strangers looked back through the steam-filled room, a blood-soaked Dottie stepping into view.
"I'm not trapped in here with you," the pirate grinned, "you're all trapped in here with me!"