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Simon had managed to keep them ahead of the storm. They had made it over the mountain when the rains hit. They gently sailed into a large grove of trees that grew on the side of the Orox forest. They had a little ways to get to the mountain region where their shipment was to be delivered. Silver Fox was tying the lines securing then in place. They would have to wait for the rain to end. Everyone would have to get their sleep tonight. Tomorrow would be a long day sailing making up for lost time.
Karina surveyed her crew as they busily took care of what needed to be done. She just hoped that they would not have any trouble from Naiad again. Karina knew she would not give up and word now would have spread about what cargo she was carrying. That would attract other thieves.
Simon was still working on the air engines. Karina hoped at least they would get them to their destination. Once they were paid, she would get the ship fixed up right there. She would be set then. Silver Fox came scampering over the rail, tail swishing. “Everything is secure for the night. I will take the first round of being on guard.”
“Very good,” replied Karina. Off he went.
She was very happy to have him on board. He was a sly fox that got them through some tight fixes. She could see some of her other crew member, Tabius, a rogue mongrel from the Falklan region, and her shapeshifting cat Milo who was an elf. She was an expert with a bow and arrow.
Now they were all tucked in for the night. The rain was coming down livelier. In some ways Karina was glad as that would keep trouble away. She hoped anyway.
Sitting on a large tree limb, Karina and Milo sat and watched the rain for a while. “You should go rest Captain, we have a busy day tomorrow.”
“I know but we will get there and make our delivery. We can stay out of the pirate’s way. We know how,” she grinned.
“That we do indeed. I will go do a check.” She jumped down onto the ship’s deck but didn’t make it across when a flying arrow landed in front of her. Karina jumped down instantly. The Silver Fox howled. More arrows came. Karina cursed under her breath. So much for the rain keeping trouble away.
When Karina landed on the deck, chaos had ensued. Large Mothdogs had landed and where fighting with Silver Fox and Milo was perched on a rung firing arrows at them. The other arrows were coming from a rogue ship, pirates.
Karina took out her knives and started slashing her way through the mothdogs. Finally the captain of the rogue ship landed on the deck scattering the mothdogs. He roared and everyone stopped. He towered over Karina. He was even bigger than Tabuis but Karina held her ground. She had faced the like of him before.
“Let me introduce myself.” He tipped his hat off to her. “They call me the Red Saber but you can just call me Red.”
Karina sneered at him. “Well then Red, you can get off my ship, now.”
“Oh come now, can’t we strike a deal. Word has it that you have the rare sapphire ice on board, no?”
“Don’t believe everything you hear, Red.”
He narrowed his gaze at her trying to tell if she was pulling one over on him. He glanced back and one of the mothdogs came forward without him saying a word. “Go look down below and sniff it out.”
“If he goes near the deck below, my mate will shoot an arrow through his skull.”
Red roared with laughter. “Then you do have the precious cargo on board.” He glanced back at his ship. “Let’s take it, now.”
His ship’s crew came pouring out of the portals of the ship like ants. Karina had to do something and fast. Her crew was now fighting them as they landed. Karina’s knives were meeting whoever came near. But this was a losing battle. They were outnumbered.
Suddenly a loud crash of thunder erupted and lightening lit up the sky. The rain now was turning into a mad downpour. It was a real storm now but that didn’t stop them. They relished in the bad weather.
The ship started to rock. The wind had gotten up and was pulling at the ship. The ropes were being stressed. Karina knew that if this kept up they would be air born in the middle of a lightning storm. She did not need that. The need to get rid of these thieves were greater than ever.
Milo fired a ball of fire at their ship. It hit its mark and burst into a large ball of fire. Red cursed and ordered his crew to go back and safe the ship. The mothdogs were jumping overboard to get away from Milo’s fire breathing arrows.
But by the time the rogue crew jumped back on to their ship, The Arsinia was being pulled by the storm. The first rope snapped and it wasn’t long until they all snapped, one by one. The storm now had Karina’s ship its grip and it flung it out into the open where the rain pounded on them and the sails were being whipped and torn.
The other ship wasn’t faring any better and if fact, the ball of fire that Milo sent over there had spread. The storm had grabbed them as well and now they were off in the storm and out of sight. She was relieved but they had a battle on their hands to gain control of their own ship.
The mountains were too close for comfort. They could be thrown and smash up against it if they didn’t steer away.
And if things couldn’t get any worse, those rolling dark clouds were coming straight for them. It was do or die.