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PostSubject: A Rose By Any Other Name....   A Rose By Any Other Name.... Icon_minitimeThu Jul 31, 2008 8:47 am

It will be a fine day Captain for the hunt. The wind is at our back and British shipping undoubtedly ahead. These waters are teaming with the heretics.” Johan wiped his face as a bit of sea spray flew over the bow of the ship. Cathern nodded at her first officer, also, wiping some of the same spray off. The seas were a little bit choppy but started smoothing out as the first rays of sunlight peeked over the horizon.

“I heard the heretic Rose Temple was patrolling these waters.” Cathern turn to Johan with a look of interest. Johan continued, “When we last stopped in port there were a few bedraggled merchants who claim she took their boat as a prize. She was sailing one of those small frigates.” Cathern twisted a bit of her light gold hair that never stayed under her hat. “They say she is an inspiration to the British. They say she’ll sail where others fear to venture. Of course, “they” say lots of things don’t they Captain?” Cathern didn’t respond for a moment, thinking on what she herself had heard about this Mlle. Temple. Something deep inside her told her that today was the day she would see Mlle. Temple’s sails sink under the sea.

“They do indeed say a lot of things. I have heard she was Irish. Why she would help the English out is beyond me. Maybe she is truly a heretic and has turned her back on the one true faith, may the Lord forgive her heresy. Perhaps that is why she sails for them. Or maybe she isn’t Irish after all. What ever the case, reports of her tenacity and bravery might inspire the British. We can’t let that go unchecked. No, that wouldn’t do at all. I too have talked to survivors from ships she has drowned and I know her markings. If we see her we will catch her. And if we catch her it will be her ship that is drowned.” Johan laughed a little bit. “Hopefully not before we take every scrap of cargo off of her ship before it goes down. Do you think we could capture her alive?” Cathern considered for a moment. “We may that but she reminds me of myself in some ways if the scuttlebutt has any merit at all. No, she’ll either die fighting or put to in a longboat to get revenge later. If she survives or dies, I’ll leave it in God’s hands but I won’t see another proud woman in chains.” Johan didn’t think this wise but uttered an “Aye, aye Captain.”

The hours ticked by. A galleon of some sort was seen on the horizon but it was soon lost in a fog bank. This Rose Temple was never reported to have sailed one though. A short time after turning back to their original course the cry rang out “Ship spotted on the horizon, four points off the port bow!” Cathern had been lightly dozing in her captain’s chair but snapped wide awake when the lookout’s cry rang out. Cathern barked orders to approach slowly at first but be ready to go to full sail at her command. The cannons were made ready aside from running them out. The decks were sanded. Muskets were issued to sharpshooters and the whole crew went near quiet, the drill well known to them by now.

Cathern and Johan both peered through their spyglasses at the vessel they were closing on. As the two ships drew ever closer both Johan and Cathern spoke at the same time, “It’s her!” Johan turned and looked at his Captain while she still looked through the glass. “You either have the favor of God or you are a witch in league with the Devil with your instinct.” Cathern snapped her scope shut. “It’s the heretic that is in league with the Devil. To your post and have the guns run out.” Cathern then shouted for more speed as the gun ports on the heretic’s vessel opened and her guns run out. The heretic was going to get a chance at a distant bow rake on her ship but it mattered not.

Cathern ran to the helmsman and began issuing commands to veer off to bring her cannons to bear. Just then a volley of bar shot tore into her rigging, the report of cannon fire right behind the impacts of the shot. One of sharpshooters positioned in the rigging fell, mortally wounded but the sails and rigging were largely intact. The turn finished and the ships began to run parallel. Cannon fire echoed back and forth, great clouds of smoke drifting behind the ships. The ships danced on the waves, twisting and turning, seeking advantage over the other. Soon the heavier guns of Cathern’s ship began to knock out the smaller frigate’s cannons and put large holes in her hull. It was only a matter of time.

The enemy vessel struck its colors and the crew had lowered its remaining undamaged longboat. The British crew dove off their vessel into the water. Cathern’s crew boarded the enemy ship and began transferring cargo as fast as they could as the sinking vessel took on more water. Johan reported the ship as unsalvageable. The damage had been too great and the pumps were not able to keep pace at all. “Don’t risk the men, carry what you can over but do it in safety. Greed isn’t worth one unneeded death.” The crew had managed to transfer a good bit of cargo but evacuated the ship when the pump teams were up to their chests in water.

Recovering all her boarding party, her vessel slipped away from the sinking hulk. It had indeed been Mlle. Temple’s ship but she was not found among the dead crew left on board. In a matter of minutes the enemy ship slipped below the waves. Cathern ordered the helmsman to take them near the longboat then did something curious and ordered some of the crew to the rails.

The longboat was crowded but in the midst of them was a red haired woman. Cathern barked for the crew to render a sailor salute as the passed by, to honor the defeated crew. As they went by, Johan had some men kick over a small barrel of water and a barrel filled with provisions overboard on Cathern’s orders. Cathern whispered to herself. “May the Lord open your eyes heretic and the Virgin watch over you till you reach shore.”
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