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Book 1: The Rebirth of the Aztecs

Chapter 5 Part 4: The Hammer of Heaven

Drake had to say he was good at poker, but when it came to his first officer he broke down everytime. They’d only known each other for four months, and she could read him like an open book. Today was no different. Drake burst out laughing before grabbing his startled officer, and pulling her forward into his lap. She slapped him good, but a smile was already sailing across her face.

“Morris is handling the problem. You’re going to be mad, but you can trust him to handle things. He’s one of my best, and you trust me right?” Drake said with an innocent air. The once assassin pursed her lips and glared down at the captain for a moment. Before she could complain Stoneman exploited her weakness to tickling eliciting a feminine squeal, and another few slaps before the shapely woman escaped her Captain’s trap. She needed a mirror to fix her hair now. Oh well, you paid when you played.

Drake might have gone in for more if Beatrice’s demeanor hadn’t changed in an instant. A delicate finger went up as her hand went up to her ear piece while her posture went rigid and professional. Business was back, and the Captain really hoped it wasn’t Morris reporting early.

“This is Denmother go ahead OneEyedWillie,” Drake perked up at his old Sergeant’s call sign. They were checking in early. Which meant things had gone horribly wrong, or were better than perfect. This Pirate Captain knew which one he wanted to hear.

“Roger that OneEyedWillie, patching you through to FisherKing now, Denmother out,” Beatrice pointed to Drake who nodded, and put his own earpiece back in his ear. It was about time they learned if putting up with these party boys and wannabes had been worth the effort.

“OneEyedWillie this is FisherKing give me some good news,” Drake said as he turned back to the party, and the ocean beyond. A man’s wits slowed when a beautiful woman had her full effect on him, and Pirate Captain Stoneman had been Lieutenant Stoneman of the Royal Ranger Marines too long to not go hardcore on the job. Mostly. Or at least when a poor or even simply slow choice could get a man killed.

“Roger FirsherKing, we have primary and secondary packages in tow. Target has been swept, and parked in the nest. Payday is green.” Drake grinned like a mad hatter on his favorite acid trip. That was the good news he wanted to hear. A new ship with all the fancy tracking gizmos and techi gear they needed to ferret out targets and gather intel. That was something old Blackbeard never had in his pocket, and unlike the pirate of old Drake was planning on living to retirement. Not because he had anything special to do besides harass Beatrice, but because that boy inside him who demanded to be the best was still alive down there. Back on Catalina that meant being the youngest lieutenant in the High King’s personal hatchet marines. These days it meant being the kind of Captain who not only dared, but won. 

When that wasn’t enough motivation Drake only had to remember his crew of marines who had followed him over the edge on the request of the King whose hands were tied by the red tape and endless politics of a small nation surrounded by enemies. He owned them a goal, and an ending to this ride that didn’t end in a morgue. At least not for all of them.

“Nicely done OneEyedWillie, I’ll pour the rum myself when you rendezvous.”

“Roger that FisherKing. Tell Denmother to pull out the stops and break out the stash. We're riding high. OneEyedWillie out,” Drake felt his eyebrows raise as he looked up at the moon through the panoramic windows. They’d hit a gold mine. His old sergeant would share the details when they weren’t using unsecured broadcasts, but his subtle hints made the Pirate Captain’s imagination run wild. What had that spy ship stumbled on that was going to make them rich enough to burn through the priceless very fancy booze they were never to touch on pain of death by enraged first officer assassin babe?

A shadow passed over the moon catching Drake’s attention. There in a ponderous yet graceful motion the shape of an airship that dwarfed even the mighty Hiendenburg itself sailed into view. Shaped like a two pronged fork with a massive bridge jutting out ahead the sky whale was an impressive sight that swallowed the sky when flying low. She was bristling with enough guns, drone hangers, and missile ports to make a military man swoon.

Even as the Pirate Captain watched the beast splashed into the sea sending a chorus of cheers and cries of glee from the party goers below. Not everyone got to witness a Catalinan Baron’s personal armored airship make seafall. Today they wouldn't see The Hammer of Heaven submerge, but she was perfectly capable of diving two hundred feet beneath the waves then resurfacing where she pleased. The Catalinan fleet was small, but they were the only ones so far to have completely militarized airships. Most of the big powers thought the creations quant, but pointless in a real war which was all the better since the High King had no desire to share their armored creations with the world or see them develop their own.

Would they? That depended on when the great ships made their debut in the grander stage, and how affective they were in that fight. To be honest, they had too few to do more than terrify the Mexican and wannabe Aztec raiders or level a cartel stronghold, but they were impressive. Drake should know. He’d been stationed on the High King’s personal battlewagon on his first tour with the ranger marines. She was a monster, but even legendary beasts can be overwhelmed. 

The thought mellowed the awe the wonder engineering brought to the pirate. His homeland had far more enemies than friends, and no matter how he told himself it wasn’t his concern anymore he knew he cared. Also, seeing the ship reminded him of his unfinished business. The Baron’s ride was here so they best get the bonus they promised for so thoroughly enacting revenge on that perverted sewer rat Cohen. That first job just kept on giving.

“Denmother this is KingFish,” Drake buzzed through his headset.

“This is Denmother go ahead KingFish.”

“Send for the Baron, and our good scotch. We made gold tonight.”

The Story Will Continue Every Monday

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Diary of a Postwar Pirate series cover
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Diary of a Postwar Pirate

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It’s thirty years after World War Three. The world has changed. Borders have shifted, nations have died, empires have crumbled, and now new peoples and kingdoms have risen to take their place. In the midst of the upheaval Drake Stoneman finds himself discharged from the Republic of Catalina’s Royal Ranger Marines, and soon chooses a life of piracy. Stoneman soon finds that business is good for a man with his skill set. However, after being hired by an aging Aztec warlord to recover a prize from an abandoned old world facility Drake will discover if he still has enough patriotic blood left to save his people against the rising Death Cults and reforming Aztec Empire. Will the Republic of Catalina survive her infancy, or be just another kingdom lost to the dried bloodshed of history?
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