Category: Creative Corner

December 10, 2013 Creative Corner

The Creative Corner is dedicated to displaying the artistic works of students around UAA. For a chance to have your writing, drawing, painting, photography or other art form featured, submit your piece to creative@thenorthernlight.org.

 

READ PART ONE HERE

By Johnnie E. Templeton Jr.

The hidden bay of Coro was his destination, but he knew the trade winds could at anytime bring trouble. The northern boundary of South America was still lightly patrolled, and bandits occasionally attacked passing trade ships. Her Majesty Queen Sunruy had sent him warnings of the fact, but he knew no fear. The Royal Navy had run most of them out though so his voyage should be safe.

Stopping halfway to dock at the Coro spit trading post, he hoped he could find out if the passage was safe. The news he heard was very disheartening. Costa Rica, which had been defending itself from attacks from the crown, had assembled a huge armada to counter strike. All able captains were being drafted into service to defend against the onslaught.

Jack walked along the cobblestone, heading towards the local magistrates office. He could not sail from the bay without a Letter of Marque. His trusty Quartermaster Duncan walked at his side. Their pace showed the urgency of their resolve. They entered to find several men waiting.

“Good evening gentlemen.” said the small plump man sitting at a desk near a door in the back. He had a quill in his hand and was occasionally jotting down this and that. He stopped as soon as he recognized who it was before him. “Sir Lucky Jack. You are the last person I thought to ever see, in this dreary little town.” He motioned to the back and they followed.

The door opened up into a smoke filled room. The magistrate could hardly be seen behind his desk smoking a cigar. “Ah gentlemen come in and sit. Ah Sir Lucky Jack, so good to see you again.” He immediately went to a window and opened it up. The smoke caught by a gentle breeze began to clear.

They sat down and looked at the magistrate who was clearly distraught. The wrinkles on his face were deep, and his eyes were swollen from lack of sleep. Jack broke the silence, ” I understand we are at war?” “Yes” came the reply. Jack continued, ” I understand your dilemma but I have a urgent mission, assigned by the Governor.”

There was a short pause. Then the magistrate spoke, ” I have no able captains in this town. If we are attacked we will surely fall.” Jack replied, ” Do you not have a garrison to protect you?” “Yes” he replied, “But they are leaderless.” “Leaderless, how can that be?” “He was killed a few days ago in a drunken brawl with some local pirates. The people here are too afraid to even leave their homes.”

Jack put his hand under his chin in contemplation then replied, ” Is there no Sergeant at arms?” The magistrate looked down, ” They all were killed. I had to take charge to send the filthy pirates back into the seas. I was able to capture one though.” A glimmer of hope crossed Jack’s face, ” You did? What did you find out?” He replied, ” Nothing he hung himself this morning.”

” Sounds to me like you do have a predicament.” ” Yes I do and do not know what to do. Plus this new war looming over the horizon.” Jack nodded, “Yes I’ve already encountered a Fleet a day ago. I sank three of the four ships but kept a small Frigate named the Killer Squid. They were a weak force, merely a trading fleet with a small escort. I have the captain detained.”

“Ah perfect maybe we can find out when and where the attack is going to be.” Jack with all earnest asked, ” Can I be about my business? I have a mission that must be completed. It is of the utmost importance.” After some time the magistrate answered, ” Give me the prisoner and I will find out what is going on, but without a captain of the guards I am defenseless.”

Jack knew what he was asking and didn’t want to agree but he knew it was going to be the only way of getting out of here and on with the mission. He agreed, ” You can borrow my master at arms. Shadow is his name and he is somewhat of a rogue, but will do till a replacement can be sent. In the meantime refit the Killer Squid.” The smile on the magistrate’s face was a clear sign of approval.

The magistrate had given a Letter of Marque to Jack, and he walked outside with the pair. They walked down the pathway to the dock. The Harbormaster was outside his office admiring the two ships moored. When he noticed them walking towards him he straightened up and saluted.

Jack continued down the dock and boarded Durango. He told his crew the plan and they set to stripping what they could off the Killer Squid. An extra mainsail, rope and some barrels of water and food. Jack left his Master at arms and a small platoon of marines. The shipyard across the bay was bustling with activity, as they prepared to refit the Killer Squid.

 

 

To be continued…

 

October 29, 2013 Creative Corner

The Creative Corner is dedicated to displaying the artistic works of students around UAA. For a chance to have your writing, drawing, painting, photography or other art form featured, submit your piece to creative@thenorthernlight.org.

 

By Johnnie E. Templeton Jr.

Since the beginning of the eleventh century piracy plagued the seas of the world. Many famous pirates, such as Sweyn Forkbeard, Stortbeker, Redbeard also known as Barbarossa, and Klein Hanslein also known as Little Jack, brought fear to many who sailed across the open ocean. During this time and up to the golden age of piracy of the late 1600’s, many struggled to end this scourge of the seas.

The newly colonized northern boundaries of South America had brought Spain much wealth. War with the natives eventually led to a split from Spain, and eventual peace with the natives of the land. A woman, whom the natives deemed was born from the spirits, led this new faction. England also offered support, in hopes of gaining another foothold in the new world. This is that story long forgotten in the pages of history.

Sir Lucky Jack paced the stern, as he sailed Durango out of the newly established port of Cumarebo, setting sail to his highness in Coro. He had to petition for funds to pursue his endeavors. He wished to capture the so-called Pirate cove, which was threatening shipping from and to Venezuela. Someone or something was building an unknown force, and the fort needed to be eradicated, to secure the safety of the area. The Governor had asked him on this dangerous mission only because, he knew a small fleet could sneak in. As Jack sailed west he saw a fleet heading south flying the banners of Puerto Rico. He swiftly sailed to their starboard and as the sun rose he tacked hard to engage the threat.

The maneuver worked beautifully flanking the unsuspecting victims. With the wind gauge on his side, he planned to split up their formation. His tactic was to first hit the transport ships. With nerves of steal, and break neck speed Jack maneuvered in between the two ships. His pep talk consisted of those famous words, “To Battle!” Coming from behind silently as the crew awoke groggy and slow. Jack ordered, “Fire!” Twelve Cannons of raw power, sliced through ships on either side.

Still heading south, his crew quickly reloaded. They began to chant, “Way hey blow the man down!” Again his well-aimed guns quickly took out two masts one on each ship. The sails fell like a tree. “Timber!” the men shouted with laughter. Quickly, he tacked starboard into the rising sun to blind his escape. Once well hidden he turned to await the two escort vessels. He again spoke, ” Make ready the silver ware!” He checked his sails and they were full of wind. Good speed would be the key here.

The two frigates were ready to board, knowing they were more than a match for the sloop. They just didn’t know they were fighting the young Privateer Sir Lucky Jack, the sworn protector of his majesty Queen Sunruy. Both of Durango’s batteries fired and decimated the men, as they flanked his sides to board. Yet the captain lived. His white handkerchief went up upon his saber. He waved it frantically. ” Go strike your colors and I will let you live.” Jack exclaimed. “Agreed!” Said the captain and he headed to retrieve them. Sir Lucky Jack commanded his crew to throw the hooks. They quickly came aside and he swung across.

Sir Lucky Jack looked, and barely missed the blade piercing towards his chest. A deadly blow it would of been. He parried as he drew his saber. With two strokes and a jab, Jack had the captain pinned against the stairs. “Sir! Do not kill me!” Jack replied, “What is your name Dog!” The shaking captain answered, “Captain Mercado” Then Lucky Jack ordered his crew to tie him to the mast and load the goods from the four ships. What was left of the crews agreed to join him, but only one ship was sailable back to the port. They quickly striped what was left of the other three ships and patched up one of the frigates.

The loot was good and he knew his hostage would make him a small bounty. He knew though he had to move. He ordered everyone to move west once again. Jack’s first mate entered his cabin and announced some great news, “Captain we also procured two perfect condition cannons aboard the frigate hidden in a secret compartment. His eyes lit up and he sat up walking out his door, “Ahoy that makes all I need for good old Durango. Now she has fourteen of the best. Shall we name them?” The crew agreed, “Aye!” He pondered for a moment then announced, “Let us name this one Miss Becky.” The men cheered.

He continued once the anticipation renewed, “She was a nice lass. She always tried to feed me bass. I’d take a swig of ale. She would hit me over the head with a pail. Till one day she pinched me flank. Guess what I told her? I told her to walk the plank!” Laughter resonated across the water and quickly silence over took them.

Durango with the frigate in tow continued on into the setting sun…

 

 

To be continued… READ PART TWO HERE