“Did they take the bait?” The First Lieutenant shrugged his coat back on, after their little playlet for the in-the-air scout. They’d pretended to ‘flee’ the barracoon, hustling each other onto Sathrise and the Blue Heeler. The First Mate had been naked and had ‘fallen’ and been dragged into the Sathrise just before they sailed.
“Might could be,” Captain Kupepah said quietly as the enemy scout wheeled away. They could barely see the Arkan ship on the horizon, but they’d been standing watch on watch since the storm ended. “Y’all did Miz Maibree’s Theatricals for Kiddies proud.They cain’t know thet the ‘coon’s already been emptied out. Perfect tah set up our trap here.”
Aymberkromy’s Heeler was already out to sea, the barqentine rig slower than Kupepah’s schooner. “There’s that flicker code o’ theirs.” The edges of the flashes were just visible and the sea had settled as if the storm had knocked the stuffing out of it. “Let us proceed, First.”
They had to run… and look like they were running with holds full because that was what that chase ship was all about. That was why they’d put on that little farce. Give the aerial scout an idea that they had slaves aboard.
“Come on, you boar-sow. Come on.” Kupepah murmured as if the other ship, the Arkan captain, could be lured by his will and his voice. The Sathrise danced, the wind right behind. The carron crews sat by their pieces, quietly dicing and waiting for when their alert should come and they had plenty of carron balls and gun-seed for ranging shots.
The Arkans couldn’t know that it was all a trap, a play, an empty barracoon to launch a surprise. Captain Buonson had everything from these two newest and smallest slave corrals and was settled in for a long siege.
“Y’all might be fast as a charging pig but I’m betting that you can’t turn worth a damn.”
“Twenty six knots, and holdin, Captain.”
Filarias lowered his spyglass and stared over the eyeburning bright sea. The storm had left them with that one repaired spar and the wind wasn’t quite strong enough to bring her best speed out.
“It is a picture perfect run,” he said. “Don’t you think, Sikas?”
“Almost too perfect.” A runner came dashing from the moyawa deck, paper in hand for the First Mate. He scanned it quickly. “Captain scout says people dragged on board. No sign of any occupation at the barracoon any longer. Going to make contact w’ main fleet, ser.”
“Muunas put speed under her wings. Mikas guard her moyawa. She told us that this was one of the emptied holdings.”
“It do seem too…”
“Facile?” The captain said and raised the glass. “Barquentine rig out first, schooner after, it makes perfect sense. I smell a trap.”
“Two ships, ser.” The captain stared out at the distant dots on the horizon, thinking.
“Assume each one with sixteen carrons then. I believe that these could be our trap ships.” He turned and felt the pressure of the wind. “Full lift sails!” He called to the bosun. “Take us up as fast as we can go, ser!”
“Full alert! Everyone to their mêlée station!”
Just to let people know, I have a few days work set up so I will be taking a short break and resuming the story on Friday.
See you then!