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Pirates of Atlantis

Published by Mark Whitney at Smashwords


Copyright 2013 Mark Whitney


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CHAPTER ONE

“Captain, they’re striking their colors.”

“Vast firing!” William Roberts shouted over the blast of musketry and the clash of steel on steel. He stood in the waist of a Spanish galleon, wreathed in acrid gun smoke, gripping a loaded pistol in his left hand and a bloodstained cutlass in his right. The terrified sailor cringing before him dropped his sword and backed away back with his hands held out from his body, palms open. He had a look of naked fear on his grimy face. Up on the quarterdeck, another Spaniard was hauling down the bullet-ripped white banner marked with a red Burgundy Cross that hung from his ship’s ruined mizzen rigging.

“Cease fire,” Roberts’ quartermaster roared, his bull-like voice cutting through the din.

Gunfire came to a ragged end as dense clouds of gray smoke slowly drifted away. All around the ship, Spanish sailors dropped their weapons to the deck and raised their hands in surrender. In the sudden silence, all that would be heard were the groans of the wounded and the creaking of the hull and rigging as the galleon wallowed drunkenly in the swells. Her fore and main masts had been shot away and floated off the port side, still snarled in the ruins of the their rigging. The battered mizzen mast loomed over the quarterdeck, but what remained of its rigging was a fouled mess. The lateen sail hanging from its long spar had been shot to ribbons. Only the small, Bonaventure mizzen mast, set farther aft, remained relatively unscathed, though its sail was also ripped and torn. The ship’s decks littered with fallen blocks and ropes, broken spars, and the bodies of her dead and wounded.

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