Domino leveled her rifle, lining up her sights on the mast of the sailing ship beneath her, one of the ones that had been harassing New Babbage’s cargo fleet for the last few months. She had tracked the vessel, a light cutter, from Babbage waters to the open sea, keeping her “borrowed” airship hidden in the suns glare. They were almost home, having entered Riff territory about half an hour before. Close enough to make a statement.
She pulled the trigger. With a sickening crunch, her shot splintered the mast, bringing the rigging down around the crews ears. Smiling darkly, she cocked her weapon again, this time aiming for a stress point in the ships hull.
The crack of her shot was met by several from the boat as the crew mounted a defense and, even as she saw the join between hull planks shatter, bullets tore holes in her balloon. She looked up and cursed, the holes were too big to fix on the fly. She’d have to land somewhere in enemy territory to make repairs. looking around, she saw an island off in the distance. Turning the ship towards the rocky outcrop, she glanced back to see the Riff ship sinking quickly into the choppy sea, men scrambling to get off before she went down. She cranked her engines to full.
Sunken ships passed beneath as the island drew near. A mountain dominated one end of the landmass, with a flat, open area and what looked like a cabin at the other. She didn’t get a chance to pick a landing site though as with a loud tear, the fabric of the balloon gave way, sending the small craft tumbling downwards to crash on the mountain-side.
Domino cursed as she pulled herself from the wreckage. She couldn’t see or feel anything broken, but she definitely wasn’t getting anywhere in the mess of wood and fabric strewn across the rocks. Salvaging her gear from the wreckage, she began to climb down to the flatter ground below.
Mid afternoon sun scorched the rocks, shining in her eyes and slowing her progress. A loose rock shifted as she put her weight down, almost sending her tumbling the rest of the way to the bottom. Taking a deep breath, the pirate picked her footing carefully, managing to avoid a rocky demise.
At the mountains base, Domino found herself standing near a stone plinth, topped with sharp spikes. Looking closer, she saw each bore a rotting severed head. Turning to look ahead, an altar was visible with a post on top. Aimed at the post were two canons. She advanced slowly, silently cursing the crazy tribals whose territory she was stranded in.
As Domino neared the altar, the wooden cabin she’d seen from the air came into view from behind a jagged outcrop. Beside the weathered structure was a rough stone path leading to a beach. Relief spread through the pirate as she spotted three dingies hauled up on the sand. Her excitement was short lived.
Voices, several of them coming from the beach and echoing off the rocks. Domino frantically swiveled her head looking for somewhere to hide, but too late as two figures rounded the corner. They halted as they saw her, four more coming into view behind them. They were armed with curved swords and clubs and dressed in what looked like middle eastern desert garb, head scarves and sashes. Words Domino couldn’t understand were exchanged, then the lead figure stepped forward. A tall, strong looking man with tanned skin and a scarf over his face.
“Why do we sail?” he asked in a broken, heavily accented voice. The others began to spread out, encircling her.
“uh.. to feel the wind in yer hair?” Domino asked hopefully.
The men drew their weapons. Drawing her sword, Domino span, trying to keep them all in view. It was no good. They circled like wolves, one getting closer each time she turned to face another. A lump started to rise in her throat. She had to get out of the circle.
Kicking off her back foot, Domino lunged for the leader, sword pointed for his belly. The man began to raise his own blade, but before she was even in arms reach she felt a hard crack to the base of her skull. Blackness..
Part 2 coming soon