The Supreme was the fastest and most well equipped ship in the entire British Navy. All the lamps onboard were dead as the ship moved cautiously through the fog. Fletcher the ships boy, a young, scrawny pale man leaned anxiously against the rails trying to make out any shapes in the distance, but he could not see a thing. His mind was on edge waiting for orders from the Captain. He wondered if the captain could see something no one else could, as he had been gazing intently on the starboard side of the ship for a long time now. At last the captain reached in to his pocket and retrieved a small shiny golden compass.
He turned around to the first mate, a short stocky man with a small beer belly and said quietly, "Change course east."
The first mate scurried along and relayed the order at once. Fletcher hoped that the captain would finally inform him of what was going on, as this had been the strangest voyage he had ever been on. Being the captain's servant usually enabled him to know the details of every expedition.
The ship had been built specifically for this one trip. Fletcher found it odd that they were being accompanied by a very large detachment of marines under the command of General Flengton a decorated war hero. Before leaving home an extra dozen long-range canons had been fitted aboard, he wondered how such an endeavor could be afforded, as England was currently in financial ruin thanks to the French and Indian War. The marines seemed to be the only ones not intrigued or anxious by the whole ordeal.
Whenever Fletcher asked someone a question of the location he was met with stonewall silence. He felt left out, like everyone knew something he did not.
Gripping the rail tightly he remembered the last time they'd set foot on land, two days ago. It had ended in bloodshed. General Flengton and a squad of marines went ashore to acquire food from the natives, who were unlike any Fletcher had seen before. They were savage and covered in war ink, they were also not intimidated or use to the threat of force, which lead to an attempt to kill the general and his men. The marines opened fire on their attackers and retreated back to the ship with a bounty of supplies. Fletcher saw the men shoot down their assailants, who were armed with self made weapons.
Lachlan the first mate came to relay a message in an unfriendly tone, "Fletcher, the captain wants to see you immediately," he said, as he turned away.
"Yes sir," Fletcher responded to deaf ears.
As he approached the captain's quarters, the two marines that stood statue like in front of each door came to life, standing aside to let him pass. The captain sat behind a large desk, his eyes were thoroughly analyzing an old tattered map. Fletcher glanced intriguingly at the map; he had never seen such islands before. The captain quickly flipped over the map hiding whatever destination was etched in. Fletcher noticed that the map was one large rocky island. Unlike other land maps it looked as though it was entirely rock.
"You called for me," Fletcher said, quietly as though he was disturbing the man despite being summoned.
"Yes. Go below deck and make sure all the canons are occupied. Then go to the armory and arm yourself you're coming ashore."
Though confused by the orders he knew better than to question the captain's authority. Fletcher made his way below deck at once, passing on the order to the men waiting around stagnantly by the canons.
The guard unlocked the door to the armory and let Fletcher in to equip himself. It had been well stocked with standard marine muskets, pistols, knives, swords and ammunition. Fletcher looked around not knowing what was needed for a land exploration, so he grabbed a pistol with two additional shots, a sword and a rifle. Not being much of a marksman - in fact he was probably the worst shot on the ship - he hoped that any potential combat would come down to crossing swords. He was very competent with a blade. Fletcher resurfaced on deck to see the captain and General Flengton surrounded by subordinates, once again peering into the fog. Fletcher found a spot for himself and sat down on the damp floor and withdrew a journal from his shirt and began to write.
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Short Stories - Volume 1Short Story
Short Story 1 - The Captain's Orders - Follow Fletcher, the ships boy as he embarks on a mysterious adventure under the orders of The Captain. They are accompanied by war hero General Flengton and a large squad of marines. - Short Story 2 - Heinric...