Lost Hemisphere and Skull Island Expeditions present an excerpt from the story:
“The Better Part of Valor”
By Douglas Seacat
Wherein a pirate and a privateer captain learn of an
opportunity for profit and revenge
The sleek, predatory vessel Talion exchanged cannon fire with its prey before sliding alongside. Grapples arced between the ships, and the two hulls cinched tight with a grinding protest of wood and metal. The battle-ready crew filled the air with yells and pistol fire as men leapt across, cutlasses in hand, to cut down any defenders.
Captain Phinneus Shae strode to the Talion’s rails to find, with satisfaction, the initial boarding of the Mercarian League vessel Lasting Promise well underway. Shae drew his pistol and took a bead on a league gunner crouched behind the railing on the poop deck. A squeeze of the trigger sent the man tumbling and his rifle clattering to the lower deck. Shae holstered his pistol and drew his mechanikal saber Squall.
First Mate Hawk appeared at his side, blades ready, and they shared a look. Without a word they grabbed ropes and soared across to the deck of the enemy vessel. A shout went up from the Talion’s crew as the pair waded in. Hawk landed three quick thrusts for every one of Shae’s powerful cuts. Shae signaled back to the Talion. A crewman operating its crane swung out a dangling Mariner warjack on a creaking cable and dropped it to the deck of the Lasting Promise. It landed deftly despite its size, splintering deck boards under its feet. Shae touched its cortex and mentally urged the ’jack into the thickest knot of the defenders. Its anchor swept in an arc and shattered Mercarian League marines like dolls.