Excerpt: Peregrine’s Flight

The rising sun cast a blood red glow against the sky. Ahead, the Storm Rider lay silhouetted against the dawn sky.
Luther Wylde stood at the bow of the Peregrine, the sea breeze blowing through his long blond hair. He turned and raised the lantern in his hand, and waved it from side to side. In response a light flashed briefly from the bridge. Luther gazed towards the island on their starboard side, spotting another light in the crow’s nest of the Redwing.
Luther Wylde looked over his band of pirates gathered behind him, ready to board the Storm Rider.
A cloud of black smoke arose from the stacks as the Peregrine surged forward. Deftly. The pirates waited in anticipation as they drew closer to the Storm Rider.
Luther raised the lantern again, signalling to the bridge, and the Peregrine put on another burst of speed.
Shouts arose from the deck of the Storm Rider as some of the crew saw the Peregrine approaching out of the dark.
With a crash of metal, the two ships collided. Many of the Storm Rider’s crew were knocked off their feet by the collision. Luther Wylde leaped deftly up to the bowsprit and across to the deck of the Storm Rider, followed by his crew. The Redwing approached from the other side, ready to begin boarding.
Sailors of the Storm Rider were running to the deck now, with their swords and pistols drawn.
A sailor slashed at Luther, who ducked, and then parried the back stroke. He stepped into the next attack, and struck the sailor on the chin with the pommel of his sword.
Luther Wylde turned to meet the next attack. He parried, and then counterattacked, driving his opponent back towards the railing. His opponent lost his footing, and fell over the railing into the ocean below.
Pirates from the Redwing were now pouring onto the deck of the Storm Rider. Luther Wylde looked around for the Storm Rider’s captain. Spotting a man in a crisp white uniform standing at the helm, Wylde made his way through the fighting on the deck towards the captain.
“Captain Allene,” he said, drawing his pistol. “I thought I’d find you in charge.”
Captain Allene simply glared at him as Luther Wylde aimed his pistol at Allene’s head.
“There’s no need for further bloodshed, Captain.” Luther Wylde gestured towards the deck, awash in bodies and blood. “I suggest you order your crew to lay down their arms, and surrender your cargo. I’m feeling generous today. I may even let you and your crew serve me. The Storm Rider would make a welcome addition to my pirate fleet.”
Captain Allene nodded, and hung his head. He pulled a whistle from his pocket and blew it. The shrill blast pierced the noise of the skirmish down below. Some of the crew of the Storm Rider looked up, ceasing their fight. Gradually, the rest followed suit. As they ceased to fight, the pirates from the Peregrine and the Redwing sheathed their weapons, and gathered up swords and pistols from their captives.
In short order, the captain and the sailors from the Storm Rider were gathered together in a corner of the deck. A few pirates emerged from belowdecks, leading more sailors to join the group.
Luther Wylde looked over the gathered sailors. “Sailors of the Storm Rider. As you can see, you’ve been defeated. In a short while you will be asked to transfer the cargo from your ship to the Peregrine and the Redwing. Afterwards, you have the option to join our pirate fleet.” The sailors looked at each other, murmuring.
“If you choose to join us, you will be rewarded handsomely. You certainly know our reputation, and you know our success. You will have a share of all of the plunder as long as you remain with us. If you choose not to join us… Let’s just say it will be better if you do. Now, let’s get some cargo moved.”