Steam Raiders (Private: coolcoyote)

It had been 25 years since the end of the Great Air War where major factions fought for control of many large suspendium archipelagos far from the mainland and over the ocean. As such many were still recovering the long war waged from attempting to exploit the islands and trade ships began to fly again from scattered outposts delivering supplies. Unfortunately, the war left many ravaging scars on the mainland as well, forcing many to take undesirable life choices and for other undesirables an unexpected boon as easy prey now came by with little to no escort.

Along one of the more dangerous and less traversed routes a lone transport airship with minimal arms flew cautiously. The captain, an aged mouse air sailor, chose this heading in due part of the urgency behind what he carried below and his crew still kept a cautious looks about. The more present danger of making sure the large, singular suspendium balloon that held them afloat not be punctured from a jutting rock as they navigated through their route. Not many keeping an eye out for more then just a rock to puncture their balloon and half expecting air pirates.

Air Pirates. A recklass and dangerous lot who prey upon warry ships. Air to air battles we're harrowing​ with no room for air as their boarded and plundered ships from the very skies.

And right now their full anger was directed to Dylan. "N-now lads. I'm sure that if we be reasonable and talk this over…" The pine marten gulps as the monitor lizard advances, forcing Dylan to cower against the wall of his own Captain's quarters.

"Dylan you self serving /weasel/. After I get done cutting open your belly I am going to hollow out yet fat guts and wear your hide as hat. How does that sound for reasonable?" The lizard hisses.

"That...actually sounds rather disgusting come to think of it...and painful." The lizard grabs Dylan by his red sleeveless vest, hoisting him upward as he shouts, "You led us to our DOOM. We have been here for weeks with no ships to loot and not enough fuels to get us to Port! The crew has less than a week left of food and here I find you are ssstealing rations!" The lizard jabs a claw into Dylan's belly. Despite a few weeks of half rations there is still a moderate amount of flesh for the claw to sink into.

"Wot? WOT? I...I would...I resent that!"

"If not you then who?" The lizard demands. As the marten slowly reaches for the knife sheathed at his back the door to his cabin bursts open. "Captain! Ship spotted off the port bow!" Both pirates stare at Elena. The Arctic vixen is shorter than both of them wearing a leather vest that can hardly contain the rounded stomach hanging over her gun belt. There is a sort of awkward pause as she raises an eyebrow, "What?"

Arms crossed the vixen leans her weight to one side, "Are you both stupid or just hard of hearing. I said there is a ship coming." The pirates exchange glances before the lizard releases Dylan. "This conversation isn't over..." He says on his way out.

"Did I...interrupt something?" Elena asks.

"No, no. Although we probably should both lay off sneaking rations from the larder for a while." Dylan rubs his neck, he doesn't look forward to the continuation of that conversation. "What kind of ship is it?"

"The kind with food and fuel."

"Fair point. Ready the crew. We don't have the fuel to play games this time around. We attack immidietly..."

(My post is running long, I will attack next turn :3)

A critical eye told the older mouse they were nearing the end of the dangerous trek as he suppressed a cough with a wrinkled paw. Though he still looked fit for one of his age, those who worked under him knew the painful truth behind his coughs. Suspendium, while one of the greatest innovations the world has ever know, had unforeseen consequences in its use and weren't discovered until near the end of the war. What many not realized is that the longer one spent near the mineral, either a deposit or storage tank, small dust motes of it enter their body over time.

Eventually, once enough has built up the uncharged suspendium becomes active and the body reacts violently to its activation though varies upon each individual. Scholars discovered suspendium had another effect only found once inside a body, it had life draining effects that dramatically shortened the overall lifespan of those with extended contact and even minor contact. Not many knew the exact details, but the effects were understood clearly, those who worked with or near sources of suspendium would probably never see to have grey fur.

The captain as one of these afflicted individuals knew this would be his last run, not knowing of how true he was as the ship lumbered near the final stretch of the way.

His life span might be shorter than even he realizes as a ship appears around the bend. A smaller vessel with the Suspendium tank built I to the center of the craft. Small sails appear along it's side, bottom and top and if the barbed spikes decorating the hull were not indication enough then the jolly Rodger it flew should betrah it's purpose.

"I trust you remembered to load the cannons with grape shot this time?" Dylan peers through a telescope at their prey. "We kind of need this ship intact."

"I'm still going to gut you like fish Dylan." The monitor lizard hisses in reply.

"I'll take that as a yes." Dylan closes the scope, a ferral grin forming on the marten's lips. His order to open fire is drowned out by a barrage of cannade, launching small pellot projectiles like a shot gun towards the other ship

"Pira-!" A lookout started to yell out before a barrage of cannade shots pelted the ship and went down from taking pellets to the chest. Three other air sailors died from the barrage as well as the remaining scrambled about trying to take cover and return fire. The transport fired back with light rifle turrets on both sides of the ship at the closing pirates with somewhat rapid small arms fire. A crewmember took the captain below deck as he sustained a grazing hit and treat him as the battle began.

Another slavo of grape shot tears across the sky, bringing death to those with out cover. The pirate ship turns, gaining altatude over their victims. Twin harpoons fire downward into the vessel below, impaling it and keeping it secure.

A hatch opens on the bottom of the ship and six ropes fall from the belly of the Corsair ship. Pirates come sliding down in cackling and shouting. Dylan's crew is light but not lightly armed nor lacking experience.

Even so a few are cut down even before they reach the ship. Those who survive the decent begin tearing into the crew with swords and steamshot.

Dylan is the last to drop onto the deck after Elena and the monitor lizard. The reptile draws a battle ax while the vixen weilds a pistol with pistons in either paw. Dylan weilds…nothing. keeping his rapier sheathed as he marches across the battle shouting out orders, "Salt and vinigar lads! Don't forget to steal their salt and vinegar! Fight like yet lives depend on it!"

The second barrage killed less the the initial volley, but again more air sailors dwindled as the pirates boarded and swords were drawn as steamshots went off. Already at a disadvantage the air sailors fought valiantly for as long as they could as they all fell one after another and eventually the pirates would have their plunder after the fighting the ended.

What no one noticed was a small and sleek airship that seemed to have docked underneath the transport while in the midst of the fighting for an unknown purpose. After the fighting ended it undocked itself during the lull of the fighting and silently flew downwards through a small side passage unknown to most and only big enough for single occupant ships.

A few shots still ring out here and there as pirates flood into the ship. As for Dylan he makes his way to the Captain's quarters. "Search the ship for loot. Prioritize food and fuel." He says to one passing beast before coming to the Captain's quarters. He raps a claw against the wood door. "Helooooo~ is anyone hoooome~?" He steps back, giving the monitor lizard the go ahead to kick it in…

And as the door got kicked in it revealed a very unexpected sight of the captain and the sailor who helped him both dead in the quarters. Both had no visible injuries and yet quite obvious they were indeed dead as they lay still in the middle of the room. The state of the quarters also gave another story of being almost ransacked before the pirates boarded the vessel, with the few furniture broken and books scattered about with charts.

In the corner of the room a hidden hatch could be spotted and it looked as if it was broke open, it seemed to lead below deck into the cargo hold if one guessed.

"Well ain't this a currious sight." Dylan rubs his chin thoughtfully.  "Come on Jask, down the hole you go. We can loot the Captain's quarters afterward."

"If you think I'm going down their first into a big scary secret hatch ye got another thing coming." The lizard crosses his arms, "Sides…I'm too big to fit easy."

"Well I ain't going down first so you can stab me in the back!" At least Dylan is honest. The reptile still gives the marten's a heated glance until they turn to Elena, who is busy looking for things to steal. She pauses, "What?"

...

"I do not like this plan!" Whines the fox as she is shuffled forward down the hatch. "Hey now, I am gental beast pirate, and the gental beast thing to do is let ladies go first!" Dylan laughs even as Elena growls at him. She draws both pistols and heads inside, mumbling about cowardly marten's and lizards.

The hatch led into a small room within the cargo hold of the transport itself, the only light coming from above where Elena dropped down. Within the room were only a few crates and another body of sailor, a hare, though from he looked he seemed to have been dragged from somewhere else. His neck seemed bent at an angle which gave enough evidence to show how he died, but why was another question that came to mind until what seemed like a hastily covered hole could be seen to the side.

It seemed big enough for a lean beast to fit through and the evidence of the crates in the open slightly opened as if a seeker did not find what they were looking for here. It didn't take that much to put two and two together, someone had docked underneath as soon as the fighting started or during and made a hole underneath. Then killed a sailor who got curious while not finding what they were looking for and went up into the captains quarters who then killed the Captain along with another sailor, again searching for something and left little trace…until now that is.

"Well," Says the vixen as she holsters her weapons, "Ain't no way we are getting our fat but through there." She kicks the narrow opening with her paw.

"Obviously no part of the crew would kill their own. Whatyou reckon they they took?" Jask the lizard hisses.

"Something small," Elena replies, "Else they would have made a larger hole."

"A better question is did they find what they were after, or did the battle run them off." Dylan sighs. He hates the idea that someone had the gall to pull off a heist in the middle of his raid. That was just…bold.

He hates the thought worse of them being successful. "Elena. You're on inventory. We are tearing this ship appart peice by peice, wall for wall. In case it has any more secrets. Jask, prisoner duty. Round up any survivors and bring them to the top deck."

"And what are you going to do while we work our tails to the Bone?" Elena asks the pine marten as he walks away. Adjusting his feathered cap Dylan replies, "I'm going to be having a drink on the Captain's dime of course. He won't need access to the liquor cabinet now." He laughs, but in reality Dylan is heading back to the Captain's quarters to go over it with a fine toothed comb. If he is going to find any answers about what happened here it will be in the Captain's journal...

For survivors, there were unfortunately none to be found as each and everyone fought to the bitter end so none remained standing. Not even ones could be found hidden somewhere on the ship itself that mayhaps tried to escape the fighting itself.

It did not take long for Dylan to find a secret compartment holding the Captain's journal and an odd trinket, a small teal colored crystal wrapped in cloth. The journal itself looked to be in rough shape and upon opening it found the unknown thief had found the journal from how the pages near the end were ripped out, most likely pages talking about the current cargo.

This beast seemed to as if knew someone would find the journal and removed evidence to make sure no trial could be followed. A thief who knew what they were doing was one thing, a thief taking such lengths to mask their objective was another as generally it involved a hidden agenda of some sort and why they didn't take the trinket left another mystery as well. Why would a Air Captain have such a trinket hidden in a secret compartment?

Truth be told it worries even Dylan. He is hoping the their found what he came for. He doesn't want to meet the person capable of this if he were to come back.

Dylan takes the trinket, stuffing it into his vest pocket before leaning his rump against the Captain's bed, claws filtering through the pages of the log, looking for anything in particular that stood out as important.

(Sorry for the delay, took some Benadryll, forgetting about the umm…after effects as in falling asleep for 4 hours by accident. o.o)

The journal gave no immediate details of anything important, other then mentions of past routes used and what kinds of common cargo went where. Though one page does mention how the hidden hatch was at first made for a previous captain to "Taste" some of the more exotic cargo they sometimes carried without letting the crew see them. It was then converted into an ammo storage for the light armaments the transport had and for carrying other things of the sort in relative safety because of the metal door in place.

A footnote did mention he received a manifest for a future run and that future runs date was today it would seem.

(your fine c:)

"Facinating." Dylan closes the journal. He can go over it in detail later. "Alright lads!" The marten's shouts as he opens the door, "Don't get comfortable just yet. I got a lead on…" The captain pauses as he is met with his own crew thrusting swords and guns at his muzzle. There is a look of confusion in his face before he sighs, "Or we can mutany. Let's all just mutany like a bunch of backstabbing jackwagons..." The marten's yelps as his crew grabs him.

...

Down below Jask opens a door to the ships larder followed by a group of pirates. There is a somewhat awkward pause as they and the vixen with in exchange glances. Her muzzle full of biskets Elena quickly gulps down her meal. "Wot?" She pauses. Rolling her eyes she throws her paws in the air, "Ok fine, ye caught me. That's right. The portly vixen is a thieving glutton. What are you going to do about it?" She crosses her arms defiantly.

...

"This seems excessive...just for stealing food." Elena gulps, clutching onto Dylan as the the two are forced closer and closer to the edge of their vessel with their own weapons. The pirates surrounding them give them little hope of escape. They know it, the pirates know it, Jask knows it. The monitor lizard laughs. "Sorry luv, guilt by association and all that, you being the first mate. I hope you understand."

"I understand you are all making a terrible mistake." Dylan finds it hard to keep himself calm despite the circumstances. "Listen to me. I got a lead to something big that is going to make us richer than..."

"...Than our wildest dreams." Jask mimics. "We all heard it before. You always have a lead on treasure. Always scheming and plotting. You nearly got us killed this time!" The monitor levels Dylan's own blade under his chin, "So tell me marten...do you got a lead to get out of this one?"

The marten's sighs, reaching up to take his hat off, holding it close to his chest. "Alright Jask. You won. You don't need ta kill us. I surrender captain ship to you." He bows slightly, offering the lizard his hat. Jask laughs, "oh! Thank you for reminding me." He snatches the hat from Dylan, "I was hoping to rip this off of your head and crush it in front of you. I never understood what you saw in these cheesy wide brimmed H-"

The lizards eyes widen as a blade comes slicing through the hat and into his belly. A small knife it lacks true stopping power even as Dylan shoves it forward into Jask's stomach. I always find them to be wonderful distractions, and a the last place anyone would expect to keep a hold out weapon." Dylan kicks the lizard away and into the pirates behind him. A lethal wound for any beast besides a monitor lizard Dylan uses the distraction to buy himself some time, "Elena! The rigging!" The fox however is already in motion leaping onto the railing and off into the abyss. Her claws secure themselves into a loose rope dangling from the balloon above.

Dylan is moments behind her, grabbing onto her ankles as the two swing to freedom! Circling around the the ship and towards the hull Dylan already has a plan in motion. They would leap through a window, and then find a life boat to fly away on! It was brilliant! Brill-

They both come crashing into the hull, missing the window by feet and nearly falling to their doom.

Well, no escape plan is perfect...

(I just realized that in my boarding of the ship I forgot they had a giant balloon above them xD I assume they landed on the front most part of the ship earlier, or...something. Also you are free to spoof pirates if needed or wanted o.o since...my post doesn't give you much to do...sorry about that Dx)

(Lol, I just realized that as well. XD)

Thump, Thump

A whistling sound is heard as what looked like two cannon shots landed directly onto the deck of the pirates vessel and exploded, releasing billowing blue smoke that sparkled. What happened next sounded like thunder as another cannon shot flew towards them, but exploded just as it the cloud as electricity arced through the cloud. Any beast caught in the cloud got electrocuted instantly and left little chance if any a beast could survive it as the cloud dissipated after the charge faded.

As the deck became clear it showed a grisly scene of many dead pirates with telltale signs of burns and scars from the arcing electricity only moments ago. Eventually, a airship slightly bigger then the pirates came into view that looked quite different as it had no visible suspendium tank and it had a propeller on its back. Two large cannons were mounted onto its front and a third on the top deck that looked slightly different as beasts wearing gas masks with guns got ready to board.

No flag, but a painted symbol of a crystal could be seen on the side of the strange craft labeling it as a Crystal Lung ship. Many soldiers and few civilians exposed to suspendium directly develop as most call Crystal Lung, an affliction cause by suspendium dust building up in a beasts lungs. As those afflicted found out there was no cure and worse that it dramatically shortened ones lifespan, many after the war had no homes to return to and as such most turned to piracy. Well few have managed to get by lawfully, the majority consisting of soldiers hijacked military vessels they once served and left the mainland to make a living in the suspendium wastes, a stretch of islands were living things perished if they stay too long near the suspendium deposits.

Why a Lung ship was this far out from the wastes would raise many questions and worry many others to their intentions.

It is a small mercy that Dylan is not here to witness the destruction of his own ship. He put a lot of work into it! Or at least kidnapping beasts to put work into it!

As it stands Dylan can only catch a fleeting glimps of the battle above as he weasels himself through a window and back into what was once the merchants vessel. "Is that a…" Elena begins.

"Worry about that later." Dylan replies, helping Elena inside. "We need to find a way off this ship. You spent more time down below than I did, where do they keep the life boats?"

The vixen stands, perplexed as she tries to remember the layout of the ship. Her path took her from the cargo bay to the kitchen. Period. "Uhhhhhh, let's try down that way!" She points, taking the lead and heading for the cargo bay.

Meanwhile high above the pirate ship lists to one side as something important is exploded, caught off guard with the anchor still attached to their victims it will soon drag the other ship down with it.

Despite this the pirates left aboard fire a broad side at their murderers. Cannonade thunders across the sky as Jask pulls himself inside the Captain's Chambers. He is bleeding profusely from his stomach wound and his scales are a little toasty from the attack on the pirates. He is still smoking around his scales. "Dy-lan...Dylan...this is all...this is all Dylan's fault..." He begins to cackle as the stress gets to him

Thump…......Thump

Again, two shots fired from Lung ship as the pirates fired back though the return fire fell short due to the listing. The first shot landed again onto the deck as the sparkling blue cloud billowed out again, but this time the ignition shot right after it landed and this led to an explosive reaction. What sounded like thunder exploded on the pirates ship as the deck blew apart from the suspendium dusts magnetic reaction activated violently and the force nearly splitting the ship in two.

Meanwhile, the two would find where the "lifeboats" were as the explosion is felt from above, causing the transports hull to shudder from the force of the explosion. The explosion jogged one of the two "lifeboats" loose from its mooring and fall to the ocean below while the other still held on barely. The remaining "lifeboat" looked quite different from usual as instead of just relying on sails it had a small engine pod and one sail while big enough to seemingly fit three.

The Savage Chicken makes a loud moan as it splits in half, the sound of breaking timbers over shadowing the screams of pirates as the ship goes down. Still attached by anchor the merchant ship begins to list under the weight of the pirate ship debris.

As if the innards of the ship were not rocked back and forth as it was by the explosion. Elena stumbles, caught by Dylan before she falls. "I think the situation has officially gone to heck in a hand basket."  Dylan manages to laugh. It's nerves mostly.

"There!" The vixen points to the escape craft as it falls into the ocean. She points again, this time to the one with an engine. "There! We have no time to lose!"

The beasts make haste for the life boat. The fox is in the lead. She yelps as a large scaly beast drops down from the cieling above them. Elena sucks in her gut to avoid Jask's claws as Dylan pulls her backward. The pirates both try to then keep the other in front of themselves, niether wanting to be on the front line to do battle with the monitor.

Jask has seen better days. Burns, scratches and wounds dominate his scaly hide. A look of feral madness fills his eyes. "Dyyyyliiiiin."  He chuckles as he steps forward. He flashes the the very knife Dylan tried to stab him with earlier, "It's all gone Dylan. The crew…the ship. All gone. You led everyone to their doom."

"Really? You want to do this NOW? The ship is falling to peices! We can all escape this! None of us have to die!"

"Oh...but you do Dylan." Jask crouches low like a feral animal, knife still held with alarming steadyness. "I still got time to make you suffer...and then...and then afterwards I'm taking this boat and the fox. I'll make a proper rug out of her hide and-"

BANG.

The lizard steps backward, stunned as a hole appears on his chest just below his heart. He lets out a gurgle, staggering backward. As he does a peice of the roof caves in, crushing him as it breaks through the floor and carrying his corpse out of the ship and into the abyss beyond.

Dylan stares, eye twitching at both sight of Jask's demise and the vixen holding a smoking gun
"What?" She says.

. "But...how...why? You had that all along and...." He throws his hands into the air. "Forget it! Just get on the blasted ship."

The pair board the ship and shortly there after realse the clamps, dropping it free of the merchant ship. Silently Elena hopes the reason no one has taken the life boat yet is because the crew died valliantly and not because it simply didn't work...

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