The Story of a Seafarer
From The Chronicles of the Uhra, Part 4
Harv Kesser and Arthur Finnebaker rushed out of the barracks with all the available men that could still be spared. “How are we going to make this work?” he asked Arthur. “We’re still going to need something to lure the Pyrakestrel in place.”
Arthur tried to smile in reassurance. “I’m not entirely sure myself. That Geodamo fellow who commands the regional forces said he had a plan and rushed off to the harbor. All we can do is play our role.”
While they rushed down the burning streets of Carbas, Geodamo’s men had followed the canals to the massive harbor. Most of the ships had either left their mooring or burned with the surrounding buildings.
One in particular was still in sturdy shape, however. It was a beast of a galleon, painted in bright gold, orange, and scarlet hues. Countless rows of cannons adorned the ship’s broadside.
A greying man rushed down the gangplank and saluted the group. “Wheelhouse master James Tallis, at your orders, sir. The Mussick is fully armed, but we sacrificed some men to control the fires around the harbor.”
“Can we move the ship down the main canal into the reservoir lake?”
The man thought to himself. “It’d be a tight fit, but yes, we’d have just enough leeway. Are we to engage the Titan there?” His voice was edged, but calm.
“Tell the remaining men to unload all but the top port row of cannons from the ship as quickly as possible—dump them off the ship if you have to, we need to sail quickly,” said Geodamo.
As the Mussick was being lightened, the ground team had reached the crashed Uhra. “It looks like the cannon survived the crash, but can’t reload the chambers,” Arthur reported.
“Alright, level the basket. We need to manually aim,” Harv said behind the cursor. The cannon slowly turned until he saw the target.
The dam over Carbas.
By then, the Mussick had grounded against the base of the great dam, shooting the remaining guns at the Titan. The creature suddenly regained clarity and spotted the bright ship.
“That’s enough men, get off the ship to the safe point!! Are the powder magazines ready, Mr. Tallis?” Geodamo yelled.
The seaman grinned. “A shame the ship has to go this way, but…yes. Let’s move!”
The Titan swooped in, lashing at the ship. Yet once the cannon team saw the empty ship…
Harv let the last two rounds go straight into the side of the Mussick.
The explosion shattered the dam, crashing stone and water alike upon the Pyrakestrel. The water flowed through Carbas, extinguishing most of the Titan’s fires. Slowly, the civilians emerged from the safe houses. The ethereal phoenix stirred no more.
Harv sank into the seat of the cannon and passed out. Arthur smiled, figuring letting the poor man rest was well-deserved, considering today’s events. “Rest well, friend.”
Geodamo shook Tallis’ hand as they watched the ruin below. “I’m sorry we had to sacrifice the Mussick, wheelhouse master. But…thank you.”
Tallis sighed. “Well, It’s still not enough to make me retire, not yet,” he said beaming. “I’m still a seafarer, through and through.”