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The Tale of the Shameless Sloop (RGRE) (Pirates/Anon)

Oct 31st, 2020 (edited)
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  1. > You are Captain Bad Apple, airing out your cot AGAIN
  2. > You still don’t understand why your morning dew is so much heavier on the Sloop than on the shore
  3. > You better not have an unawakened fetish for ships or the waves
  4. > That’s how the sea claims mares, you are pretty sure
  5. > You open your cabin and trot out onto the deck
  6. > Three Sheets is already up in the rigging, the tauress’ teats gently undulating in the wind
  7. > “Morning, Captain! It’s going to be a lucky day, I can feel it in my nips!”
  8. > You roll your eyes
  9. “You said the same thing the day we got chased out of Port Outsbutt.”
  10. > Three Sheets grins
  11. > “And I was right, I got to buck the governess’ son before we had to leave.”
  12. “Which is why we had to leave. Get chummy and you’ll be chum, got it?”
  13. > She salutes
  14. > “Aye Aye cap’n!”
  15. > You sigh and head to the mess
  16. > Hard Tack ladles you a bowl of oatmeal and dried berries
  17. > You nod your thanks to the unicorn mare
  18. > As you dig in, you ask,
  19. “How are we doing on rations?”
  20. > Tack sits back on her thick flanks, rubbing her chin in thought
  21. > “We’re good for about two months, longer if you let me bake biscuits.”
  22. > You nod, that’s about what you figured
  23. “We should be making port before then. And do I really need to tell you not to bake again?”
  24. > She frowns
  25. > “I think I figured out where I went wrong, if Keg would just let me use her flour stock…”
  26. > You shake your head
  27. “Experiment with your own bits. We don’t need culinary armor plates right now.”
  28. > Hard Tack sighs and goes back to stirring the pot of oatmeal
  29. > You finish your bowl and leave it in the bucket to soak
  30. > Powder Keg wanders in, and you still can’t get over her appearance
  31. > Built like a Canterlot noble, tall and slim, but her tail cut indecently short and yet still singed at the ends
  32. > You tune out their bickering as you head to the back of the Shameless Sloop
  33. > You haul the anchor up, grinning as you bring all of your earth pony strength to bear on the winch wheel
  34. > It’s always a relief to really exert yourself in something and not risk bucking a hole in your ship
  35. > You slow down as the water bulges under the chain and the anchor begins to break the surface
  36. > When it is fully out, you pull the brake on the winch and trot up to mare the helm
  37. > Sheets gives you a nod, and you call out mostly for the sake of the other two of your crew
  38. “Unfurl the main and head!”
  39. > Sheets undoes a few knots in her web of ropes and pulleys, and the two sails billow out and boom as they catch the wind
  40. > The Shameless Sloop jerks forward, plowing through the sea
  41. > Let’s see what the new dawn holds
  42.  
  43. > A fussy merchant vessel, it would seem
  44. “Keg! Fire a warning shot across his bow!”
  45. > The unicorn grins, her horn lighting with a baleful red
  46. > The cannon thunders as it launches the iron ball, just barely clipping the rails of the merchant ship
  47. > A moment later, they answer with a shot aimed at your deck
  48. > You gallop to where it would hit and pivot, leaning forward
  49. > Your hind legs bunch up, hooves close together and waiting for…
  50. > With a metallic clang, the cannonball hits your hooves just as you buck, sending it back into side of the merchant vessel
  51. “Keg, clear their deck!”
  52. > A dozen clay pots arc across the water and shatter across the barque’s deck, covering it in a haze of flour dust
  53. > Then Keg’s fuses ran down and fire bloomed
  54. > Not much later, the merchant runs a white flag, and you bring the Sloop along side and swing across
  55. > You land on a sooty wasteland, still warm and embers glowing along the edges
  56. > The stench of burned fur fills the air, but you ignore it and the groans of the injured as you approach the grim-faced captain
  57. > You come to a stop before her, your hardtack vest clattering dully
  58. “I’m glad you have come to see reason. Now, let’s see your cargo.”
  59. > The captain nods and trots down below decks
  60. > You follow her down, keeping an eye out for any-
  61. > The wall by the stairs splinters as a bullet bursts through it and shatters a hardtack plate on your side before clattering to the floor
  62. > You grunt at the impact, then buck the wall down
  63. > Among the splinters and shards of wood, you find a dazed mare, barely grown from a filly into a mare
  64. > You kick the pistol away from her and glance at the captain, who has grown quite pale
  65. > “Mercy, good pirate. Please...spare my daughter, this is her first encounter on the high seas.”
  66. > You take another look at the fallen mare, and you can see the resemblance
  67. > You frown
  68. “She broke your flag of truce, I should make an example of her to keep such underhanded dealings at bay.”
  69. > The captain begins to sweat
  70. > You look her in the eye
  71. “You are a mare of honor, are you not?”
  72. > She swallows
  73. > “I am.”
  74. > You nod
  75. “Give the filly a good birching, once I leave. And we’ll be taking your entire stock of flour, among other things.”
  76. > That should make Tack happy
  77. > The captain untenses
  78. > “I’ll see it done myself.”
  79. > You nod, and start sniffing around the cargo hold
  80.  
  81. > The haul is decent, a few cases of rum, plenty of spices, a gilded jewelry box, and some useful maps
  82. > Most of their hold is full of iron ore, which you leave alone
  83. > Still, nothing that would qualify for Sheet’s forecast of Discord’s Luck
  84. > Leagues later, the smell of flour being tortured into ceramic fills the air, and you are beginning to get nervous
  85. > The next trade route you want to hit is still a day’s travel away, with nothing but the open ocean between you and it
  86. > You glance up at Three Sheets
  87. > She’s wrapping her teats down, a grim expression on her face
  88. > “Cap’n, I swear I didn’t buck anypony’s son this time. Clouds starboard, and I bet my last bit that they aren’t natural.”
  89. > You turn to stare at the horizon, and the dark cloudbank looming, small black specks flitting around it
  90. > Your heart drops
  91. > You had thought you were keeping things low-key, hitting small targets and keeping on the move
  92. > But it seems the Crown has decided to nip you in the bud
  93. “Trim the sails! Batten down the hatches!”
  94. > You grip the wheel grimly
  95. > A normal storm, you could heave to and ride out
  96. > A Pegasus-driven one…
  97. > This may be the end for you and the Shameless Sloop
  98. > The winds rise, whipping the brine into the air
  99. > A great hiss fills the air as rain sheets into the rolling sea
  100. > You steer as best you can, angling into the wind
  101. > The rain splatters against you, instantly soaking you to the bone
  102. > Thunder begins to roll as the Royal Airforce builds up charge
  103. > A pale blue light glows from the top of the mast
  104. > Then everything goes white as the sky’s wrath comes down
  105. > You close your eyes and hold the wheel as strike after strike comes crashing down
  106. > The mast groans and topples over, then more and more of your precious ship is blasted apart by lightning
  107. > Then one bolt touches off the gunpowder, and the last thing you hear is a deep bellow of rage and loss
  108.  
  109. > You are Squadron Leader Cross Winds, and today is a good day
  110. > The intel on the movements of the Firestorm Pirates was spot on, and the storm is making quick work of their ship
  111. > You start to give the orders to breaking up the clouds, but then you hear a deep, distinctly male voice roar
  112. > Your heart drops
  113. > There was a stallion on that ship?
  114. > Was he a hostage, crew, stowaway?
  115. > You dive through the clouds and pull up at what you see
  116. > What parts lightning blasted away are now restored in pale green fire
  117. > The Shameless Sloop’s cannons turn of their own accord, rising-
  118. “Evasive maneuvers!”
  119. > Your squadron scatters as the skies erupt with ghostly fireballs
  120. > You punch through the cloud and streak back to the rendezvous point
  121. > You aren’t looking forward to explaining this to your superiors
  122.  
  123. > You are somehow the very alive Captain Bad Apple
  124. > You come to as the last of the storm dissipates to the aft of the ship
  125. > Speaking of, it’s a bit different than you remember
  126. > You poke your hoof near the green wheel of flame that used to be the helm
  127. > It’s warm, but not hot
  128. > “Oh, you’re up.”
  129. > You turn to see a translucent figure, some sort of minotaur bull?
  130. “Ah, welcome aboard my ship?”
  131. > He grins
  132. > “The other way around, actually. It’s so nice that you can finally see me.”
  133. > You blink
  134. “Are you the spirit of the Shameless Sloop?”
  135. > He shrugs
  136. > “Insofar as I’ve been haunting it these past several decades, yes. So! Your crews alive, the ship’s… working, what do you want to do next?”
  137. > You rub your face
  138. “I need a drink.”
  139. > Anon laughs
  140. > “Good choice.”
  141. > You head into the mess to find the rest of your crew had the same idea
  142. > Three Sheets grins at you
  143. > “I see you met our good luck charm! I told you today was a lucky day, I don’t even have to do the rigging, he can do it all with a thought.”
  144. > You raise your eyebrows
  145. “I guess that means we don’t need you at all. That is some good luck.”
  146. > Sheets sticks her tongue out at you
  147.  
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