1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Come What May...

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by uknemesis, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Captain Thomas Edwards smiled as the sighting of land was finally reported. His ship had fallen far behind the rest of the fleet without its main mast, and now he could finally put into Cape Town and repair.

    He knew the rest of the fleet was probably already near Madagascar, where they were to challenge the French rule, but this would be one battle his ship would sit out, after losing the main mast in the last battle.

    It had been just south of the Ivory Coast, where the fleet, numbering nearly thirty ships, had come across a French fleet of about ten, and annihilated them. But Thomas's 74 gun ship, HMS Spartacus, had been caught in the thick of it, in between the two second-rates which had commanded the enemy fleet.

    Second-rates - 84 guns apiece, Edwards shuddered at the memory.

    If it hadn't been for Admiral Spencer's flagship, HMS Royal Sovereign firing a broadside that raked (firing along the length of a ship from the stern or bow, rather than at the sides) both ships as it passed, the Spartacus would surely have been boarded, or worse, set alight.

    But now that was a distant memory, as Cape Town became larger and larger on the horizon.

    And so did the smoke that rose from so many buildings in it...

    * * * * *

    More to come, possibly today.

    Sorry not to have finished so many stories before, just not got into them, this one I hopefully should lol!

    Btw, back now when it comes to writing, but I can't get into NESs again really, not enough time and everything in the forum's changed lol.

    Hope you like this opening, and comments are appreciated.

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  2. Jason The King

    Jason The King Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Messages:
    12,050
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    very well done. Short, but sweet.

    Hope you keep writing here so at least we can benefit from your writing since you won't be playing an nes's.

    Jason
     
  3. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    "Battle stations! Man the guns!" Edwards roared, and the beat to quarters was sounded two seconds later.

    The Marines rushed onto the deck to take their positions, as the crew rushed around to clear the decks and ready the cannon.

    Within five minutes, the well drilled crew of Spartacus were ready for action.

    The ship sailed slowly towards the docks, and Edwards realised what was missing. The only other big ship in the port, a frigate of about 24 guns, no longer carried the flag of the Royal Navy.

    Instead, suspended from the aft mast was something that looked like a dried up prune.

    Edwards put his telescope to his eye, and saw what it really was.

    The sun-dried head of a human, the eyes pecked out by gulls.

    Worse, it was a head that he recognised - his old First Lieutenant before the man was promoted to command his own ship.

    Peter Oxford, Captain of His Majesty's Ship Atlantis.

    Edwards checked the name of the ship, and it merely confirmed what he already knew.

    "Someone has taken over Cape Town, and they aren't friendly," he told his First Lieutenant, Jim Brown.

    "How shall we act, sir?" Brown asked.

    Edwards thought for a second before answering. Spartacus was already almost entirely out of rations, and however quick they still were, his crew were in desperate need of food, and weak. Also, his gunpowder stores were running out, after the last battle and flooding caused by the damage.

    "We're in no fit state to fight. The only thing we do have is money, and maybe they give us the supplies they have taken for that and a promise to leave them alone." Edwards sighed.

    "Aye." Jim nodded as he began to dictate the orders to the lower officers.

    Spartacus raised the white flag of truce on her foremast, and began to slowly approach the harbour, where a crowd of Africans waited to meet them.

    They weren't cheering like people about to be liberated from the French, and Edwards could see no white people amongst them.

    "A revolt, it must have been," he spoke quietly to Jim. "The fleet must have passed through here to pick up supplies less than two weeks ago, and it would take quite a few ships to carry enough soldiers to take this place - more than could be squeezed between us and the fleet."

    Then he pointed to the head. "Plus, that looks less than a week old, give or take a few days." Having grown up in a fishing village, Edwards knew about the effects of the sun.

    "So how do we approach a people who want to be free?" Jim asked.

    "The same way we would approach an enemy who hopefully no longer wants to fight, but to be left alone." Edwards moved towards the gangplank as the Spartacus reached the docks, ready to be the first to meet the natives.

    At least there haven't been any shots yet, he thought. Well here goes nothing...

    * * * * *

    More to come tomorrow or sometime soon!

    Thanks for reading, and comments appreciated.

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  4. EQandcivfanatic

    EQandcivfanatic Zailing Captain Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,578
    Location:
    On the Zee
    awaiting more
     
  5. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Edwards stepped onto land that a few weeks ago had belonged to the British Empire, and swore he could almost feel the difference.

    A well-dressed native stepped forward to welcome the British Captain, and Edwards saluted him to show that he considered the natives equal.

    He was in no place to make threats - at least not until the fleet was on the way back.

    "Welcome to Cape Town, once British Imperial territory, but now independent and free by the law of the gun." It quickly became obvious why this man had been chosen to meet them - he spoke perfect English. Edwards guessed he had probably been the servant of a British officer or gentleman here.

    "May I be the first to congratulate you on your freedom," Edwards extended his hand.

    Much to his relief, the native shook it, and the crowd cheered, thinking it meant that Britain approved of Cape Town's independence.

    Edwards knew differently - Britain had in the past been fair and given independence or self-government to most of those colonies who had asked for it, but they had never done so to a colony that had rebelled - save of course the United States.

    I wouldn't like to be in this place when the fleet does return... Edwards thought with some sadness.

    "Quentin Hope," the native spokesperson said as he shook the Captain's hand, not able to read the other man's thoughts.

    "Thomas Edwards," the British officer answered, after a moment's hesitation. "So where are my land-based friends then?"

    * * * * *

    More to come another time lol, not got much of that at the moment!

    Comments appreciated as always!

    Thanks

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  6. erez87

    erez87 Lord of Random

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    Messages:
    13,450
    Location:
    Lod, Israel
    Good stroy, continue...
    It's becoming more interesting...
     
  7. Ancient Grudge

    Ancient Grudge Its all in this life

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,306
    Location:
    (S)hatfield,England
    :) nice to see you back and writing are you ok now? nice story keep writing at your own pace
     
  8. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    14,397
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska USA
    Looking good, Chris! :goodjob: Glad to see you back!
     
  9. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    “They’re dead, all that were left, and good riddance, they were evil.”

    Edwards nodded. He knew Peter Oxford had been known as a racist, a bully and a devil when angry, and he had known that he was one of the main stooges of the Governor of Cape Town, where his frigate had patrolled the coast, and reportedly “taxed” many passing ships - foreign and British.

    Then something clicked.

    “What do you mean, all that were left?”

    “Anyone who disobeyed the Governor, the Colonel of the Guard or the Captain of that ship, or any officer, would instantly be killed without court martial.”

    “That’s criminal!” Edwards exclaimed.

    “Yes, as were many other things the Governor was doing - I mean slavery is illegal in the Empire, is it not?”

    “Of course, no civilised nation would practice such evil these days!”

    “Well tell that to the Governor - the ship was used to transport slaves to America, where they were sold. Also, all work done here was done by slaves, and we were all forced to become slaves to be fed - otherwise you starved or worse, were killed.”

    “So the Governor was pocketing all the money sent from Britain to pay the workers?!” Edwards was astonished that such a huge scam had not been discovered.

    “Yes. Don’t look surprised, he hid it well. He even had agents to assassinate those who discovered his secret. You remember the visit by the wealthy tycoon, Sir Richard Lambert?”

    “Yes, wasn’t he, his family and his bodyguards were ambushed by rebels just outside the town, weren’t they? The Governor cracked down on the rebels and was praised by the Queen for it if I remember right.”

    Quentin shook his head. “Sir Richard discovered what was going on here, since he hadn’t given prior notice. Usually the Governor made everyone act normally, and anyone who dared to say anything taken away and tortured until they die, and what they say explained away as some rebellious rant. When Sir Richard found out, he was furious, and marched right up to the Governor.”

    Seeing Edward’s look at how well informed the native was, Quentin explained himself. “I was the personal slave and secretary of the Governor. Anyway, the Governor warned Sir Lambert to forget everything he had seen, but the tycoon would not forget his principles, and so the Governor had him executed by his hit squads. Then, through the Times reporter, who was being paid by the Governor, they sent pictures back of black “rebels” that had been hung, but they were in actual fact poor natives picked at random for the “honour” of being murdered.”

    Edwards shuddered as the full implications sunk in.

    “I must tell Admiral Spencer what happened here when he returns with the fleet,” he said after a few minutes thought.

    “Will he grant us our independence?” Quentin knew of the dangers of rebellion, even if it had been justified.

    “He cannot grant it, merely request it for you from the Queen via the Prime Minister.”

    Quentin nodded and looked downcast, then brightened up. “Well we’ll see what happens. Now, would you like to dine with us in our Independence Feast, and tell us what you are here for?”

    * * * * *

    More to come another time! Comments appreciated as always!

    Thanks

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  10. Plexus

    Plexus Architeuthidae puericomedentis

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,011
    Location:
    S. Calif., U.S.A.
    Looking great UK, comming back to NESes any time soon?
     
  11. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Three weeks passed, in which the natives helped the crew repair their ship, gave them food and gunpowder from the many stores that were left by the dead garrison, in return for gold, the officers and literate seamen giving lessons to the native children and illiterate adults, and the ragtag militia being taught how to use the many weapons which were now in their hands.

    This is the way a colony should be, Edwards reflected as he watched new rigging being tied down to support the new mainmast. Them giving us what we want, in return for us giving them what they want, so we both benefit.

    He just hoped that would last, with Admiral Spencer due to return soon, unless the fleet had been defeated - which was unlikely. He guessed Spencer would let the matter go to the Prime Minister, as he was supposed to be a decent person as far as officers went. Would the Prime Minister order the colony to be brought back under control, or would he take the matter to the Queen, for her to decide?

    And what if Spencer wasn’t as decent a man as everyone said? What if he ordered the colony brought back under control right now? No one would be able to stop the fleet levelling Cape Town if it came to that…

    “Fleet sighted, sir!” shouted the lookout from the crow’s nest.

    “All hands on deck!” Edwards ordered. “Prepare to salute the Admiral!”

    The men rushed around, throwing on their uniforms, mostly having gone bare-chested for the hard work in the hot, baking sun.

    Royal Sovereign soon came into view, and many still gasped at its beauty. The first rate ship, 100 guns in total, cruised with a speed and grace that seemed impossible from its huge size.

    One of the best ships in the Royal Navy, ranking alongside Nelson’s Victory.

    “Salute!” Edwards shouted.

    Spartacus shook slightly as a cannon fired a blank salute for the Admiral.

    Royal Sovereign began to enter the dock, and Edwards noticed the crew were at battle stations, despite the Spartacus’s signals.

    I suppose you can never be to careful, Edwards thought, his opinion of Spencer rising yet further. He wasn’t an officer about to get caught by an ambush.

    What if he understands from our signals what happened, and intends instead to blow us out of the sky for supporting rebels? a nagging voice in the back of Edward’s mind asked him.

    Edwards walked down the gangplank towards the next dock to meet the Admiral, hoping that he wasn’t leaving his ship to be obliterated instead.

    * * * * *

    “Yes, I can see their point. I will give their application the Prime Minister when we reach Britain. Until then, I will leave one second rate and two third rates to guard this colony, since it is still valuable enough that we do not want it to fall into French hands.” Spencer smiled warmly over the table at Edwards. Quentin clapped with joy, and translated it to the other Africans around the table.

    Some of the captains from the fleet assembled around the table looked less than happy at the news, but none dared to question the Admiral’s decision.

    Edwards sighed inwardly with relief as he heard the Admiral speak. The natives would finally get the independence that he thought they deserved, or at least some autonomy. He had already discussed that with Quentin, and knew that the natives would accept British protectorate status, and trade with Britain as they always had, in return for self-governance.

    The feast soon came to a close, amid many contented sighs due to their full stomachs from the Captains who under Spencer’s orders had eaten the same as their men. It was well known that Spencer did the same, and therefore they had not complained.

    The sighs of contentment also came from the ships in the fleet, as Spencer had decreed that he and his captains would only enjoy this meal if enough decent food was sent to each ship to give them the same kind of meal, having paid the natives generously for that surplus.

    Edwards slowly left with the other captains, and began to wander back to the Spartacus, glad he wasn’t as drunk as many of the others.

    * * * * *

    Edwards threaded his way through the many crates that lined the port, having already passed the port’s sentries.

    He felt happy knowing the fleet was back now, the thought of safety in numbers making him less fearful for Spartacus, even if the natives did seem nice enough.

    It was this feeling of safety that caused him to miss the first sign that something was amiss - the sound of a pistol being cocked behind him.

    It was the lookout from the Spartacus, his eyes adjusted to the darkness, who spotted the assailant and shouted a warning.

    Edwards, suddenly totally awake, threw himself to the floor as the pistol fired.

    The ball smacked into the bow of Spartacus, and the assassin cursed, and seemed to mumble something about not knowing the damned ship was that close, and cocked a second pistol.

    But not before the lookout had raised his musket. Edwards had recognised his voice as Alex Williams, the best shot in the Marines, and thanked his lucky stars that it was him.

    Alex fired, and the would-be assassin fell, a bullet in his forehead.

    Within a minute a squadron of Marines, led by Jim and Alex, who had had another Marine take his watch position, was swarming out of the ship to rescue their Captain from any other attackers.

    As Edwards was helped to his feet, he saw the man who had attacked him.

    “Bring him aboard as evidence,” Edwards ordered, his voice shaking.

    It was Lieutenant David Hawkins, a relative by marriage of Admiral Spencer, and known as one of his top right hand men, the one who did the dirty work.

    The cogs were whirring in Edward’s mind, and he realised that it meant that Spencer didn’t want the natives to be free, and worse, that he most likely knew about what was going on here, and didn’t want to see it interrupted by some unruly captain. Crew could be told stories to make them fight, once their captain was removed, but an unruly captain could make his crew revolt.

    And worse, he knew now that by surviving, he had placed his own ship and crew in mortal danger, from their own fleet.

    * * * * *
    More to come soon! Hope you enjoyed this, sorry it took so long!

    Comments appreciated, as always.

    Thanks

    Chris AKA Nemesis

    PS: Plexus, I may soon, with summer holidays only a month away, but it depends on the amount of time I have. Also, if I do, it will probably be only dropping in once every day or so.
     
  12. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    HMS Spartacus cut loose from the docks, and halted by the stern of the Royal Sovereign.

    “If I’m not back in five minutes, rake the Sovereign and get the hell out of here, or surrender, accept a new captain and obey the Admiral, whichever you decide to do.” Edwards told Jim Brown, knowing that the crew would take the first option, but decided to leave the second option open just in case their position became untenable.

    “Yes, Captain.” Brown nodded, knowing that if the Admiral didn’t accept Edward’s proposal then all hell would break loose, and escaping would be hard. He also knew that Spartacus wouldn’t leave without its captain, even if they had to go one on one with the Sovereign to get him back.

    Williams threw the rope ladder, hooking the hoop on the end of it onto something on the stern of the Royal Sovereign that Edwards couldn’t make out.

    Edwards grasped hold of the first rung, and slowly clambered across.

    The Spartacus had already raised a white flag of truce to stop any lookouts shooting at Edwards, and as expected, when he finally set foot on Sovereign, there was a party of Marines waiting to arrest him.

    He was hauled into Spencer’s cabin, where the Admiral sat behind his desk, two Marines standing in front of it, one either side.

    “Captain Thomas Edwards, you are hereby charged with murdering Lieutenant David Hawkins, while the victim was delivering an order to stand down to your person and ship. How do you plead?” Spencer said in a judge’s voice.

    “If your idea of an order to stand down is a bullet in the head, then I plead guilty.” Edwards growled. “But I’m not here to argue about you trying to have me killed, or about what you have done here in Cape Town. I am here instead to offer you an opportunity, an opportunity to put right what you have done wrong. If you make Cape Town a normal colony again, I will gladly serve you once more, and no one will ever find out what happened here. However, if you continue on your current path, one day you will be found out, and the consequences will be severe.”

    Spencer glared at Edwards, and then his eyes softened, giving the Captain faint hope.

    This was dashed two seconds later when Spencer burst out laughing.

    “You hear that?! He demands that I make this little dump back into a normal colony or else!” Spencer said to his men, grinning. Then he turned serious again. “I would not presume to make such demands in your position, Captain. Sentence has been passed, and you have been found guilty of murder. The penalty is death.”

    “That’s unfair; this hasn’t been a true court martial!” Edwards protested, remembering the other unfortunate souls who had defied the Governor or Spencer.

    “You’ve had more of a court martial than any other person I or the Governor, god rest his evil little soul, have sentenced to death, so consider yourself lucky!” Spencer barked.

    With that, Edwards was dragged out of the room, and up onto deck, Spencer following.

    The noose was already waiting, and Edwards shivered slightly as he was led towards it.

    He had no weapons, knowing that they would have been taken off of him when he came aboard Royal Sovereign, and now he wished he did have.

    Spartacus lay dormant just beyond the stern, and now Edwards could see two second-rates heading towards it, obviously as the threat not to attack the flagship.

    Sovereign herself was beginning to move, slowly turning to show her broadside to the Spartacus, her guns loaded probably just like those of the Spartacus - with double-shot, since at such close range the powder could hurl two cannon balls without losing any power.

    The rope was put over Edward’s head as he heard the crack of muskets and the huge seven-barrelled naval musket that the biggest Marine on Spartacus carried.

    “Hang him, quick!” Spencer ordered, drawing his sword.

    The box which Edwards was standing on was kicked out, and he felt the rope bite into his neck.

    He tried to slowly control his breathing, and not panic.

    At least having a sailor’s neck means my neck didn’t snap, Edwards thought, remembering some of the public hangings he had seen in London and comparing them with those he had seen as part of the fleet.

    He watched the fight below him, not feeling as if he were awake and part of the action, but detached, a spectator in the battle of life and death, of good against evil.

    He saw Alex Williams take aim at him, and felt a jolt of terror. I’m not in pain, don’t shoot me to put me out of my misery!

    Williams fired, and the musket ball tore through the rope above Edward’s head.

    He fell to the deck with a bump, and was quickly pulled to his feet by Brown, who dragged him back towards Spartacus.

    Edwards soon saw how his crew had crossed onto Sovereign. While the crew of the flagship had been watching his execution, they had attached more grappling hooks and rope ladders, and then come across very quickly, most being adept at climbing due to climbing the rigging so often.

    He was about to climb onto the rope ladder when he was picked up by Scott Devon, the huge Marine that carried the seven-barrelled gun. Scott threw him over his right shoulder, had his huge naval musket slung over his other shoulder, and was carrying his usual musket in his left hand, and his sword in his right.

    Then he jumped onto the rope, and walked calmly across, as quickly as any experienced sailor. Edwards made a mental note to promote Devon.

    Then all at once, everyone was back aboard Spartacus, and the ropes were cut. The Spartacus began to pull away, just as Brown shouted “Fire!”.

    HMS Spartacus shook as she fired her double-shot broadside into the stern of the slowly turning HMS Royal Sovereign.

    The flagship kept turning, and for a second Edwards thought she had easily soaked up the damage, until the smoke cleared and he saw the massacre on the top deck, and the damage done to her.

    But as he had feared, such a huge ship had soaked up the damage, and she kept turning.

    He knew Spartacus wouldn’t survive a double-shot broadside from the Sovereign, and he gave the order to put speed sails up, rather than the slower but harder to hit battle ones.

    Spartacus completed her turn, only to find herself heading straight towards the two seconds-rates.

    Here we go again, Edwards groaned inwardly.

    And behind him, there was a roar of cannon.

    The Royal Sovereign had just fired a double-shot broadside at the stern of the Spartacus.

    Edwards waited for the inevitable metal hail of death, humming God Save the King.

    * * * * *

    More to come later! Hope you enjoyed this bit!

    Comments appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  13. Padma

    Padma the Inbond Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    14,397
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska USA
    Ah, Chris. It's a joy to read your words. Excellent so far.
     
  14. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Edwards and the rest of the crew braced themselves for the impact of the broadside, but all they heard were splashes, and a few thuds on the wood of the stern. One cannonball managed to hit the windows, which smashed.

    We’re out of range of a double shot! Edwards thought happily, looking back in the gloom to see the Sovereign slowly turning, nowhere near fast enough to hurt the Spartacus again.

    But now came the problem of the two second-rates in front of them, and the rest of the fleet out to sea.

    Edwards was determined not to make the same mistake as last time, being forced to go through the middle. But he didn’t really have enough space left to turn either.

    “Weigh anchor!” Edwards ordered. The ship slowed as the anchor hit the bottom, and as Edwards grabbed the wheel and swung it left, the ship began to turn sharply, putting strain on the anchor chain. Once the turn was half completed, the crew immediately began to haul the anchor back up.

    The strange and dangerous manoeuvre worked. The ship turned sharply, and cut across the bow of one of the second rates, which Edwards recognised as HMS Mars.

    Now he realised that despite the audacious manoeuvre that may have put his ship in more danger than it had been in before. The Mars was bearing down on the ship now, and seemed quite prepared to ram them.

    “Fire!” Edwards roared, praying for a miracle. The starboard (right) side of the ship shook as the double-shot on that side fired, raking the Mars. Edwards just thanked God that he hadn’t gone right, in which case the port (left) side would have been firing, with only the single-shot that had been reloaded.

    The hail of cannonballs smashed into the bow of the Mars, and kept coming until the broadside was complete. The ship seemed to shake them off, as Edwards had feared, and knew that a broadside damaging a ship so much that it stopped was almost impossible.

    But something else wasn’t.

    The Mars blew sky high, lighting up the night sky as a cannonball, hot from its push through the air resistance, hit the powder store.

    The explosion rocked the Spartacus and showered it with debris, and Edwards saw the flaming hulk of the ship still heading for them.

    But he breathed a sigh of relief when he realised it had slowed dramatically.

    Now the Spartacus swung round, past the wreckage, with the other second rate firing over it to hit them.

    Spartacus returned fire, now on even terms, 74 guns against 84 at long range - not enough to cause serious damage before the Spartacus could escape.

    But now they had the rest of the fleet to come.

    * * * * *

    Thanks for reading, more to come soon.

    Hope you enjoyed it, and comments are appreciated as always.

    Thanks for the nice comments already btw :)

    Nemesis
     
  15. RoddyVR

    RoddyVR Veteran Board NESer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    4,210
    Location:
    Russian in US
    finaly! one without a MAJOR clifhanger, lol.

    waiting for this one was excrusiating. hurry it up a bit.
     
  16. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    The Spartacus cut through the waves, speeding out to sea with a lot less damage than Edwards had expected.

    The rest of the fleet, now alert to an enemy, and knowing who the enemy was due to lamp signalling, was now moving to intercept them, but the Spartacus had a good wind, and was showing the true speed of her design.

    A few shots hit the Spartacus as she slipped past the front of the fleet, with some ships in pursuit.

    But she was well away, and Edwards smiled, knowing that she would not be caught on the way to Portsmouth now.

    * * * * *

    The entire fleet had mobilised to track down the Spartacus, and on the way to Portsmouth she had had to duel with a number of smaller ships, and Edwards was glad that no ship of the same size or bigger, except the Royal Sovereign, which was now hastily repaired, but only just catching up the fleet, could catch his ship.

    “Land ahoy!” the lookout shouted as they neared Portsmouth, and Edwards sighed with relief.

    He knew the date, June 1837, and knew it was the time of the Grand Fleet Review, which he had heard about when they quickly stopped for supplies in Gibraltar. The Review was to mark the coronation of Queen Victoria, the niece of the dead King.

    He knew that removing Spencer would not prove easy for the Prime Minister, with Spencer being able to control the news that was sent to his fleet, to make them think that any fleet that tried to remove him was a rebel one.

    Also, all of his Captains were under his control and on his payroll, and he had informers on every ship, one of his tactics for keeping discipline.

    Basically, it would take another fleet to hurt Spencer’s fleet and remove the Admiral to stop him.

    But at the Review would be at least twice the number of ships that Spencer had, and Queen Victoria, Prime Minister Redfield and the aging Admiral of the Royal Navy Horatio Nelson, who had achieved fame crushing the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, where he had lost his best friend, Thomas Hardy, who had been shot by a Frenchman on the Redoubtable who thought he was the Admiral, after Hardy switched their coats without Nelson noticing.

    The Review was a day away, and you could tell. Portsmouth looked like a forest of masts, with gaudy bunting everywhere.

    Edwards stepped off the gangplank as the Spartacus docked, able to see the masts of Spencer’s fleet. It would probably take the Royal Sovereign about an hour or two to dock, time he was determined to use well.

    * * * * *

    More to come tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed that bit!

    Comments appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  17. General Brown

    General Brown Go Boston Sports!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Great job!!!

    P.S. are you going to ever finish Family Affiar
     
  18. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Probably, but not until this one is finished.

    Nemesis
     
  19. uknemesis

    uknemesis The Nemesis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,291
    Edwards sat in the Prime Minister’s hotel room, shocked that he had been let in.

    “These allegations are very serious indeed, but we have had several suspicious reports concerning Spencer before. Therefore I believe you. Spencer will be brought in for questioning.” Prime Minister Redfield finally said.

    “How? It would take an entire fleet to bring him to justice.”

    “Yes, and we have one here, and how much of a bet would you put on a fleet commanded by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, hero of Britain?”

    “But he’s seventy nine now!”

    ”Yes, and itching to get back to sea. He hasn’t lost anything in his mind, it’s just his damned limbs that keep getting blown off.” Redfield grinned. “So, what do you think of Spencer’s chances?”

    “I’d say he’s going straight to the gallows sir!” Edwards smiled back.

    “Then go back to your ship Captain, and go out with the fleet. We need every ship we can get.”

    * * * * *

    The Spartacus put back out to sea after quickly taking on supplies, and Edwards was relieved to see other ships following them out.

    Try as he could though, he couldn’t see HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship, meaning that Nelson was expecting Spencer to give up without a fight, and hadn’t formed a plan for battle yet, else Victory would be at the front.

    Spencer’s fleet was only a short distance out now, waiting at anchor, seeing the fleet heading for them.

    The Spartacus settled into a mid-fleet position, heading towards the front as they neared Royal Sovereign.

    Then the worst thing possible happened.

    The ships to the side of Spartacus fired, as did the Sovereign, now right in front of the Spartacus.

    At first Edwards thought it was simply the beginning of the fair battle.

    Then he realised that all the shot was aimed at his ship.

    “Hard about!” Edwards roared.

    * * * * *

    Short little bit today I’m afraid, more to come probably Sunday.

    Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it.

    Comments appreciated.

    Chris AKA Nemesis
     
  20. RoddyVR

    RoddyVR Veteran Board NESer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Messages:
    4,210
    Location:
    Russian in US
    argggg. there you go with those dang cliff hangers again.

    and its WAY past sunday too.

    great story so far. keep it up.
     

Share This Page