Steamer Troubles

Cast: Dante Pierce III, Jenny Cresswell, Jewel of Orient, Victoria Harker
Premise: On her return trip to Maracaibo from Havana, the SS Betty comes under attack of greedy pirates!

rating: +1+x

Dead of night. The SS Betty is one of the many vessels currently traversing the Caribbean Sea, somewhat slowed down due some temporary engine troubles and atypical misty weather. Visibility's poor, and the seas are calm. Not much going on, really, and most of the passengers and crew are asleep below deck. The deck itself is sparsely patrolled by bored sailors, stuck on their night shift without much to do but their dull jobs.

The night resolves onto a pair of boots, boots to legs, legs to talent. Talent unlike any that had ever set foot on the SS Betty in all the history of mankind, and perhaps womankind, though the history of women is somewhat sketchy, since they're rather more impossible to tell apart beneath the neck and Dante Pierce has never looked a woman in the eyes in his entire life. His face to the front of the ship, he has insisted on staying awake through the night watch, keenly anticipating an attack at any moment, a fact of which he has reminded the crew constantly, "I am certain of two things, Pirates and French bathing habits!" he reminds them with a shake of his fist towards the dead seas ahead. Himself, he sort of spears the mist, parting the world in two even halves.

Snowhite is walking on the top deck, despite being so deep in the night. She does not sleep much anyway, and she enjoys the silence and the fresh air. She's wearing a coat over her shoulder to keep her warm, and a fedora style hat, with a manly cut.

Victoria listens to the man on her deck, marching around and setting the crew's nerves on edge. A simple milk run from Havana down to Maracaibo shouldn't have anyone on edge, they've all been through far more hazardous runs, yet something about the passenger still has everyone jumping at shadows. She puffs on her cigar, the red glow from the cherry illuminating her face with each puff. "No pirates out tonight. Maybe we could order up some if you are too disappointed."

It's not long before, out of the mist, come quiet, black, tiny motorboats. Not more than four men on each, and they'd be hard to spot against the dark surface of the nightly sea. The skies aren't clear, so there's no moonlight either. The boats' mothership could be less than half a kilometre away as the crew of the SS Betty wouldn't realize, thanks to the thick, inconvenient fog. The tiny vessels soon thump against the comparatively huge hull of the steam, and ropes are stealthily hurled up.

Snowhite leans onto the railing and looks into the mist. She becomes like hypnotised by the slow movement of the mist and starts to see images of her past in it, completely oblivious of the surroundings.

Victoria listens to the man on her deck, marching around and setting the crew's nerves on edge. A simple milk run from Havana down to Maracaibo shouldn't have anyone on edge, they've all been through far more hazardous runs, yet something about the passenger still has everyone jumping at shadows. She puffs on her cigar, the red glow from the cherry illuminating her face with each puff. "No pirates out tonight. Maybe we could order up some if you are too disappointed…" She frowns as her voice trails off and she calls out, "Ahoy!"

Generally speaking, ugly women are smarter than pretty ones-scientific fact, and so he might have been persuaded after maybe an hour of such arguments from the captain. But then his eyes settle onto the figures in the distance, and a sword fairly leaps to his hand, whips two solid arcs of steel in the air and he charges to the rail. "Make yourselves ready you bandy-legged louts!" he calls out.

The sailors that had come across Dante during the evening had grown tired of all his pirate-spooking. However, there's certainly something different in this last warning, which causes a handful of them actually snap out of their drowsiness and start looking down railings and such. However, they aren't too perceptive, and soon a man clad in black clothes hops onto the metallic deck near the bow. And then another, and another. The set of boats that had approached the stern was harder to spot, and now at least three other men were on the rear end of the ship's deck.

Vic leaves her whiskey behind and steps into the wheelhouse. "Radio to Maracaibo." she instructs her second mate as she turns and slaps the big button to sound the alarm over the entire ship. Then over the speakers, "Battle stations! We have pirates on board!"

The fanatical and overzealous waving of his sword is practically an art form, if it weren't for the showboating and constant flipping of the weapon. Talent like this really has never been seen on the high seas before, but only because it is singular in its insanity. The flash of silvery liquid steel on his face and against the mist is constant even as he lowers the weapon down to a dangerous angle perpendicular to the deck and advances at a break neck pace. "Buck up boys, the night has just begun!" he practically cheers and comes at them, sliding the last few feet, "One two! One two! And through and through! The vorpal blade.." he begins, but even Dante Pierce occasionally realizes that there is a time for poems and a time for .. blood.

Snowhite rises her head and comes back to her senses, startled by the sound. She murmurs to herself in chinese "What the hell? Why it has to happen just now…" She was hoping to not remain inconspicuous on this travel. She looks around the top deck to see if there's anyone else there, then leans again over the railing and looks down at what's going on, wondering if the crew will be able to repel the attack on their own. Anyway, she places her hand on the chest of the coat to make sure she's carrying her throwing knives…

So much for stealth. Moments after setting foot on the ship, the pirates are greeted with blaring alarms all over the place. By now eight pirates clad in black have managed to make it onto the Betty's prow section. Greeted by angry yet under-equipped sailors, the pirates further disrupt the previously quiet atmosphere with sub-machine gun fire, which pins their opponents and leaves them no choice but to take cover. Without guns of their own, they'll certainly be overwhelmed within minutes.

Astern, however, things appear to be different, as an even larger force of pirates is making its way onto the deck. Twelve pirates manage to climb onto the steamer in that area before Dante comes swinging his sword. The rope's still noticeably wiggling, meaning there's probably more baddies coming up! Their comrades on deck are somewhat startled and intimidated by the nimbly approaching fencer, but their leader soon commands them to attack, "Get rid of this clown, maggots! We've a job to do!" He yells, and all the other eleven men open fire at Dante, though not with much in the way of coordination.

Snowhite looks around looking for a good place from where she can look down at the pirates boarding the lower deck, but remain covered and a bit hidden, with the help of the night. Finally she ducks down on a spot next to the stairs, so she will be able to attack by surprise anyone trying to climb up.

Victoria watches the action brewing out the front windows of the wheelhouse. She can't see the stern but she can see the prow. She calls out over the loudspeakers, "We've got at least eight pirates on the forecastle boys! They are heavily armed, looks like submachine guns. Keep your heads down, fight smart! We've all been here before. No one be stupid. The Betty is on our side, not theirs!" Having given all the info she can she calls to Pretty Boy, her Second Mate, "Keep your head down Wilks." Then she's out the door, keeping her head down as she tries to get a look at the back, a pistol in hand.

Jean peaks her ahead above decks, then down, cursing at her luck. She was awoken from a sound sleep by frantic loudspeaker calls, yells, and the report of various firearms. And she didn't like that. She had some /real/ money, now, after sneaking out of Spanish Cuba with a roll of pesos, and /damned/ if she was going to let it get nicked before she could find a place to set herself up. Another second, and she pops up again, heaving herself up to the deck, her Webley in her hand. The first pirate she saw was getting shot in the belly, and then the next one, she's deal with in turn.

"HAH-HAH!" The Daring Dante Pierce half-laughs, half-shouts as he plows forward, sword before him to cleave a path to that rope. Somehow managing to slip under, over, and through the bullets, as easily as the mist itself. Even as he advances he finds himself swinging out his sword in deadly arcs only meant to keep the pirates off balance and then lashes out, as quick as a candle flame, his blade licking a clean line perpendicular to the deck and cutting the rope through and through, so much for the Jabberrope! "Not today!" he calls out at the leader of the pirates. Continuously weaving blankets of steel around him, and laughing the whole while. As he hits the edge of the boat, he puts a foot to the rail and literally flips backwards through the air like an acrobat. Manages to land on a man's shoulders, stab two of his compatriots and then the poor dolt himself. "I offer you a chance to retreat, you foul breathed cretons!"

Dante's masterful swordfighting disrupts the stern pirates' formation once he starts leaping and looping about. Their climbing comrades fall to the water with a loud splash and stop being a concern for the people onboard. Seeing three of their mates quickly dispatched makes the bandits hesitate for a moment, but their leader sics them on the fencer while discretely taking up a safer position behind his men. More SMG fire on Dante, similar to that going on at the prow, where the eventual procurement of weapons to the sailors has transformed the situation into a static stalemate. Both Jean and Victoria would be able to choose whether they support daring Mr. Pierce or the sailors up front, either jointly or individually.

"I am Dante Pierce the Third! The most daringest deviledest bastard swordsman who ever sailed the Caribbean! You have picked the wrong boat, you and your limey mother of a leader!" the dainty swordsman declares, and continues to dodge rapidly, actually pulling one of the pirates into the line of fire, sliding his cutlass between the man's ribs and turning him into a meat shield, twists the man through the air and then launches him off the side of the boat in a spray of blood. Even as the idiots continue to shoot at him, he lashes out, cutting open another of their number, leaving him exposed for the moment, but with a broad grin on his face. Up onto the rail to the deck below he proceeds, simultaneously balancing and keeping the pirates on their toes. "Die and die again, and let not a single drop of your blood stain my boots, or I will follow you into hell and kill you again!"

Snowhite notices the attack seems to be under control. She stands up and walks down the stairs and walks towards the prow to get a look of those attackers and find out what's going on. She looks completely calm, and tries not to call attention while she moves through the dark.

Victoria heads to the rail, keeping low, but since this was a milk run the ship isn't wearing the normal added beef it would if they were going into danger. There's not a lot of cover to be had. She quickly assesses the situation then yells out, "Johnson keep you fool head down! Peters! Starboard ladder! Chow, where did you learn to shoot? Are you trying to hit the guy with the sword or the pirates?" She pops off a round, but it's not really aimed, she's just trying to add to the pressure her crew is putting on the pirates. She watches Dante carve them up and adds, "Try not to get yourself killed over there fancy pants!"

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