Wednesday, May 13, 2015

124 - ""Thirteen Knots! Dropping!"

“What on the God-King’s little green Earth are they thinking?” Captain Eysak Leweston lowered his far-lookers and squinted at the ship trailing along behind his beloved Dixabelle. “Slap my brow, Mis’er Kayruthers! They’re sending a wallowing pig after us!” He turned to his first mate.

“Weem doin’ sixteen knots, Cap’n.”

“Well, it do look like they’re a fast wallowin’ hog, suh.  Speed?”

“Looks like fourteen, mebee fi’teen knots, massuh.” Kayruther’s grin was very white against his skin, a half-dozen shades darker than the Captain’s.  “She gone for t’stern chase and weem got ‘er beat.”

“No sign of their air support?”

“Nah, suh.  They probably got the shit shot out of ‘em, taking Ifry.”

“Well, then, perhaps a few of the sailors would care to express their opinion of that wallowing sow?”

Kayruthers grinned wider.  “Yassuh!” and raised his speaking trumpet.”

“Mis’er Kayruthers!” The man paused and turned to Leweston, eyebrows raised. “No tossin’ cargo tah express theirselves!  As it is we only got a half-pack and I do want to finish this voyage with a profit.”


The captain turned and raised his far-lookers again.  “Daym, they’re goin’ balls tah the wall tah even keep that close!”

The ship wallowing along behind the Dixabelle was nearly lost under her red spinnaker, sails straining, a bank of rowers on both outer hulls. She’d a bronze ram on the centre hull but it was actually raised out of the water as she plowed along.

A bunch of Fehinnan sailors, both sexes, gathered at the stern rail below, jeering and whistling, waving their genitals or bare asses at the Arkan ship, even one or two pissing into the wind to make their point.  One fellow had a red and gold banner he’d seized from somewhere and trailed the gold eagle in the water, upside down.

“Why on the the God-King’s own Earth don’t you just give up?” Captain Leweston repeated as if the other captain could hear him.


“How are we doing, Sikas?” Captain Filarias bellowed down into the main hull where rowers drove the stern screw, almost to the point of collapse.

“Can’t do it much longer, Cap!” The first mate called up. “Even swapping out!”

“Fourteen knots!” Came the cry from the stern.

“Diras! Deploy the up-sails!  Get us up on our feet or we’ll lose them!”

“Aye, Sera!”

“Fifteen knots!”

“Shut up and get those sails deployed NOW!”

The Captain bounced up to the bow pulling out the eyeglass, looped an arm around a stay as the trumpet rang out behind.  The inventor was nearly flattened onto the main deck, clinging hard as the Hound crashed along in her passage.

“Bosun! Give her legs!  LEGS DOWN!”

"Legs droppin' Now! Haul her down boys! Haul her down!"

“Thirteen knots! Dropping!”

It was rough enough a sea that the water legs of the ship might not work.  A thump and a shudder from below and the flat, glossy daggerboard-like panels cranked into the water from the main hull and the ship juddered and slowed again.

“Twelve knots!”

The sails between the hulls opened, thundering, cracking as they spread. “Where are the Niah?” Filarias gritted between clenched teeth, then raised the glass to the Fehinnan. “Fek them. They’re waving their sex at us. How rude!”

“Sprint! Sprint lads!” Diras's bellow from below decks.

“Ship side oars!”

“Thirteen knots!”

“Stand by!”

The two outer hulls shipped oars with a crack that shook the Hound.

“Fifteen knots!”

The wing-sails bellied up, lifting the hulls and all three gently, majestically, rose out of the water, dripping, leaving only the thin dagger boards and the main hull drive screw breaking the surface.

“Yes! Yes!” Rikam stood up, gloves raised, from where he’d crouched on deck as Dimae’s Hound picked up speed. Rowers were being carried up from below where they'd collapsed on their benches.

"Raise the screw!"

“Seventeen knots! Rising!”

“Eighteen knots! Rising!”

“Twenty knots! Rising!”


  1. Am I reading this right? Did they honestly adapt wing technology and make a hovercraft?

  2. Hydrofoil! I'll have to see if they can hit forty knots!