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Book 1: The Rebirth of the Aztecs

Chapter 6 Part 1: Babes and Barons

Baron San Tiro’s personal amphibious transport was more yacht than military landing craft, and a good deal more fancy than the usual hovercraft aboard the normal airship detachment. As the sleek craft hovered close to the Ryujin, or The Troy’s Folly as the ship had been rechristened back in port, the deck became visible. The craft was shaped like a swift arrow rather than a square like most hovercraft which would’ve allow for a proper ramp for beach landings, and instead of the usual military camouflage the exterior was given a polished marble white paint job with streaks of scarlet red sprinkled throughout the design that marched the satin colored leather seats in the rest area around the wheelhouse. There wasn’t enough room for a tank or even an armored personnel carrier in the belly behind the fancy angular ramp, but there was plenty of room for an armored SUV with a few hidden features or any larger “toys” taken out on excursions. She was a beauty for sure.

The austere professional marine wanted to sniff in derision at the sight of the design frivolities in the craft, but the pirate captain side of him wanted one. Besides, a practiced eye could see all the tools of destruction hidden amongst the comforts of the decadent. There on port and aft were the outlines of gun ports for the ample amount of smartly dressed house guards who, though attired so fancy with their scarlet plumes and half cloaks, were the elite of House Brothdrovian. 

In some houses that meant a concentration on security and mostly against espionage and cloak and dagger scenarios. Some were even getting lax of late after two decades of no solid wars and only raids. House Xenodraxen with their rolling vineyards tucked deep within the interior of catalina with the walls of rock and mountain between them and the sea came to mind. House Brothdrovian of the San Clemente Island Fortress on the other hand was still waist deep in blood if not neck high during the raiding season when the storms died down and the new aztec wannabes dared take their leaky tubs out on the open water.

The airships bearing the sigil of the black dog with burning scarlet eyes ripping off the skull painted head off Maricoatlic, the new snake Goddess of the rising death cult consuming the old Cartel strong men ruling what was left of Mexico, was a regular fixture along the coast of the islands and mainland alike. Every year the youngest Baron of Catalina pushed those patrols of Black Dogs deeper and deeper inland, or south toward the gates of hell itself. 

Drake had heard the High King say he’d given the reconquered mainland provinces that were brought into the auspices of the Republic of Catalina’s sovereign territory some twentyfiveish years ago to Baron Harald and House Ulmsoulisti since if he’d bequeathed his youngest brother-in-law, Black Baron as some called Santiro, territory on the mainland he’d have the borders halfway to the Atlantic in a month, and where was a monarch to find enough settlers to fill all that vast desert?

A resounding guffaw that would put a freight train to shame spread out over the waves and rushing air from the military grade industrial fans under the military craft disguised as a luxury ship. Drake already knew the sound of his old liege lord’s laugh before he’d matched the deep bellows to the Baron’s wild flowing blond beard and bald head tanned from the sun and fury of the battlefield. He was easy to spot since that pillar of wild energy stood a head above the crowd. The man had a presence that radiated out over throngs, and made the party goers rush toward him like water to a hurricane. Hurricanes were probably jealous of the thirty six year old giant’s wind capacity.

There was the man of the hour with no less than four drop dead gorgeous model types in his oversized bachelors’ arms. The Pirate Captain let a half smile form on his lips at the sight. He’d grown up around the Baron’s antics, but Drake would be the first to tell you the residents of the island fortress put up with the party boy because when the moment counted the Black Baron delivered. The man still led the airships on patrols at times. This could be seen as reckless self endangerment of a high ranking commander, which it was, but thepeople saw him as a man who took the riskes he demanded of his men. A shield with never ending enthusiasm, and ferocity. 

Besides, unlike many command structures Catalina’s was design to absorb shock. The last time a beloved admiral was killed the desire for revenge within the ranks was so strong the officers had a hard time convincing the men not to overextend themselves as they tore into the enemy. What the captains and admirals couldn’t handle was holding the titan dwarfing nobel from the battle. The Black Baron was a hound war, and one didn’t just release him and expect him to go back on the leash.

Rumor had it that the King had made headway by ordering the bull headed Baron to allow the younger men to earn some honor, and it seemed in the last few years the wild aristocrate had grudgingly agreed. None-the-less party girls used to spoiled foreign elites creepier and softer than a pedo in solitary found the overwhelming warrior irresistible, especially since he was under direct decree to find a wife and make some heirs. The gold diggers were as thick as fleas and swarming like locusts.

“The invitation is open if you want to come along hotstuff,” Drake yelled over the tumult to Beatrice who was a little busy trying to keep her short dress from being overwhelmed by the hovercraft’s torrent to care about nobles or geopolitics.

“Nope, too much clean up after the party, and I saw what happened to the Hiendenburg. No thanks,” The first officer said with her hair now beyond repair for the evening after both her Captain’s attention and the abuse of the yacht hovercraft hybrid.

Drake laughed and slapped her shapely posterior one last time as he sauntered over to his Baron, the one who had recommended him for King’s service and fought in his corner when the other Barons and officials on the royal council were set on execution rather than just banishment. The Black Baron also just so happened to have hired them on their first pirate contract. 

The late Benjamin Cohen the pedo might have thought he’d snagged a nobody when he’d snatched the daughter of a maid in Baron Santiro’s entourage during a diplomatic summit in Honolulu, but the Baron of the Golden Kingdom of the isle of St. Clemente knew his subjects by name. Also, that maid just happened to be the daughter of the Chief of House Brothdrovian’s house guards. No one touched the High King’s subjects, but you had to be a special kind of imbecile to transgress the Black Dog’s personal domain.

Drake smiled as the giant waved with mad abandonment at him, and led the party onto the waiting hovercraft. His security was close behind, and half the cruise guests seemed to have already been invited aboard The Hammer of Heaven for the after party which was their cover for retrieving Don’s team while the guests were distracted. Not to mention giving over the intel to the Inquisition who had an inquisitor aboard already.

The Baron may have seemed to be a charismatic clown in public, and a wild stiffed necked bore in combat, but he was crafty as a fox and twice interested in knowing everything about his enemy before ripping them to pieces. The Inquisition had their second largest headquarters situated right up against the Baron’s palace. The Black Dog had built the impressive fortress for them himself.

Needless to say, this Pirate crew was going to make one heck of a payday on this job. San Clemente was the main producer of airships and artillery in the Golden Kingdoms of the Republic, and as they were at war or under constant raids from the mainland and the interior of the bones of the old Washington Empire for their entire existence meant Baron Santiro was a rich man. He was also very generous when it came to intel sales. So Drake smiled and followed the crowd onto the ship without complaint. Some of the house guards knew him personally, and after a nod ushered him right into the Baron’s private booth next to the wheelhouse much to the annoyance of the golddiggers left at the door. Sorry ladies, tonight was both business and pleasure for the rich bachelor.

The Story Will Continue Every Monday

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Babes and Barons panel 6
Diary of a Postwar Pirate series cover
Babes and Barons episode 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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