This is inspired by a story segment I wrote a while back (which itself was partially inspired by the video to Dio’s All the Fools Sailed Away) and probably more than a little Treasure Planet, despite not having watched that movie in years. The story was written to hide the fact that the ship was anything but a regular old sailing ship, for first part of it. I envision the “straits” to be large stargate like devices that can transport entire ships to various worlds. Story below, for those who want to read it.


The ship was running dark. Unusual, in the middle of the afternoon, but dark clouds blocked the sun, from horizon to horizon. A clear night sky

would have been brighter under a half moon. The winds were intent upon pushing them away from the safety of the straits, and tacking was going


“What was that?” The captain thought she heard a sound above the wind and rain.

“Captain?” The first mate was a mountain of a man, with a gruff, weathered voice.

That was when the first shot impacted the stern-castle. Everyone on board instantly knew the slavers had found them.

“I think our friends want their cargo back. We have to make for the straits.”

“They’ll be on us before we get there, Cap’n.”

A distant flash of lightning revealed a jagged island. Part of an undersea mountain range, poking through the waves..

“But, we can get there!” The captain pointed. “Hard t’port, and full sail for those rocks!”

There was the familiar wood on wood creaking of the old ship’s timbers, as the helmsman wrenched the wheel over. The deck lurched beneath their

feet, as the sails lit up, with drive energy.

There were sparks from the top of the main mast, as a shot grazed it. The second slave ship had come into range.

“Head for the deck, man!” The first mate bellowed. “Let their gunners shoot the mist and the rocks.”

Dutifully, the helmsman put the two masted schooner into a crash dive. He masterfully leveled the ship out, with the keel sail just out of the

water. The slavers’ two modified brigantines had missed the turn and the dive, and were arching around to continue their pursuit. The maneuver

had bought the smaller ship much needed time.

New, small lights appeared off the ship’s starboard flank. The captain instantly knew what they were, but disbelief kept it from properly


“Skimmers!? In this weather?” It was as if the first mate had read his captain’s mind. The pilots would have to be suicidal.

“Swivel guns!” The captain barked. She’d never cut an imposing figure, but always managed an almost supernatural authority in her voice, when

she wanted to. She manned the closest one, herself. A beam of cutting energy erupted from the bronze barrel, as she squeezed the trigger. She

hit the water to one side of her target, and simply swept the beam across the tiny speeder. The skimmer’s pilot was skilled, and dodged the

beam, with apparent ease.

The other gunners were having similar difficulty, with the other skimmers. They were getting close enough to disable the ship’s steering. One of

the more proactive crewmen down on the gun deck fired one of the ship’s cannon, bulls eyeing one of the skimmers. The resulting explosion

knocked a second craft out of the air. Its sails went dark, as it impacted the water.

The captain took more careful aim on her previous target, and fired a short shot into the one man flyer’s cockpit. The skimmer went wild, before

finally spiraling into the waves. “Got you now, you slippy, jumpy bastard.”

A cry rang out, on deck. “Skimmers off the stern!”

The second brigantine had launched its skimmers, while everyone was distracted the with the first ship’s flyers. Now, they were close enough to

be a real danger. The lead skimmer was already lining up an attack on the schooner’s rudder.

“CAPTAIN!” The helmsman cried out, in terror. All the color had run out of the man’s face, he was staring straight ahead. Seemed this world had

sea dragons, and the commotion had awakened one, right in front of the embattled ship.

“Full sails, astern!” The first mate yelled.

“B’lay that!” The captain countermanded. Hard t’starboard! Fire bow thrusters!” The captain had already made it to the wheel, and was starting

to yank it to the right, before she’d even finished giving the command. The dragon missed the ship, but it did take care of part of that skimmer


“Back t’port. Get us into the rocks. Their our only chance!” Even as the helmsman followed the captain’s order, one of the big brigantines was

looming above the schooner’s flank, and her big slug throwers were starting to find the range.