Last night was a revolution. From this day onward, The Red Nightmare will be under a new command. For a year I had been tying the crew to my strings, and them willing! Such an act could not have been easier, I dare say. Our dearest captain – a title used as loosely as possible – had not expected a thing. I had watched the log and listened in on her drunken mumbling. Not a word of suspicion.
Last night was the moment of greatest opportunity. In the dark of the night, as usual for our operations, the crew (every last soul) and I struck. Captain had already passed on to the place drunkards go while their unconscious bodies are left to the mercy of true reality. The quietest of the crew members, including myself, snuck upon her. Not a creak came from the ship, as if to aid our scheme.
From there, I lament, my carefully crafted plan had gone sour. Anne – such a kind name for such a devilish fiend – awoke with the dagger of her end poised over her. I admit, her reflexes are astounding for one that can barely stumble a straight line, bottle forever in hand. Even so, she easily killed two of the men before both feet had touched the floor. I knew she carried the knife at all times upon her person, but had hoped to end her before it could be drawn. The men knew the risk of rising against their captain, and they did not die in vain.
“Mutiny?” she had spat coldly with the quick discovery of my presence. The surprise quickly changed to a smug annoyance. If looks could kill none of us would have survived the night, but unfortunately for Anne the only thing to be drawing blood was our cold steel. I shall always cherish the flicker of panic when she saw our number and must have instantly known the end was near. Still, the fight was long, leaving dead among us and innumerable injuries. The ship surgeon, Snippy, shall most definitely be earning his keep now.
The fight fell out onto the deck, an advantage to us. The entire crew, one hundred or so hands, the remaining engineer especially, had been against her. She held her ground, quite skillfully too, as we all knew she would, but one body against so many created an inevitable outcome.
Seven stabs, countless cuts, undoubtedly every rib broken, and two gunshots to the right arm, an injury for every wrong done to us. Most of the crew consisted of slaves, forced into labor on our ship, and I admit to having partaken in that, but silk words easily moved all their anger onto Anne, and I the key to their supposed freedom. Stubbornness and a fiery will were the only means that had kept our former captain standing. I wished to carry the finishing blow, but the ship’s railing had been broken from a previous fight with another ship. She fell into the lightless waters below. Still, I do not worry. Even with the ship rested upon the sea, creating a shorter drop than any of us would have desired, we are certain that no man could survive such a state.
Our acts have marked a new age for all trade routes. The Red Nightmare shall sail, and will remain the fear of all sailors and pilots alike, but Captain Bloody Anne will be but a distant memory, for there is a new force at the helm. Let all who hear it now fear the name Captain Thomas ‘Hawkeye’ Frik.
Chapter One (coming Saturday)