“Report, Mr. Owensen.”
“Aye, Captain. We remain at five thousand feet. Corrections made at 5 o’clock to maintain position.”
“Has there been any sighting?”
“Not as of yet, Captain.”
“Any word from the Hammer?”
“Not since last night. Shall I hail them?”
“Not right now. Thank you, Lieutenant. Back to your post.”
The captain looked off of the deck of the Cavalier towards another on the other side of a break in the wall of mountains. The Hammer was an impressive ship, appearing almost too large to be floating as gracefully as it was.
“Silence!” shouted the captain.
The crew fell silent. All that could be heard was the creaking of the ropes, straining against the wind, and the low hum of the ship’s engines.
THUD! THUD! THUD!
“Captain! From the port-bow! At the clouds!” shouted the man from the crow’s nest.
The captain rushed to the bow just to see a ship break through the lone cloud in the sky. He then looked to the Hammer. Smoke began to rise. As he watched, three small explosions erupted from its hull. The ship began to slowly fall from its post.
“The enemy is making a break for the pass,” came another call from the crow’s nest.
The captain had kept his composure, despite the Hammer falling. He immediately barked out orders.
“Hard to port! All hands to battlestations! Prepare to engage the enemy! They must not be allowed to pass!”
The ship listed as it turned sharply.
THUD! THUD! THUD!
Another volley came from the enemy ship and narrowly missed.
“Forward guns! Prepare to return fire!”
Four shots rang out from the bow of the Cavalier. None found their mark.
The enemy returned fire. The Cavalier shook. One of the shells slammed into the port pontoon, tearing the front quarter of it away from the ship.
They were gaining on their enemy.
Another salvo sounded out. This time, two hit the target. Smoke rose from the stern of the ship. A third volley was sent at the enemy. All four landed. One on the ship, disabling its engine, and three on the envelope, causing it to rapidly lose altitude.
Within moments the enemy was forced to land. The Cavalier had descended with the ship, but kept a safe distance away from them returning fire.
“Captain! We are close enough to the Hammer. They were able to land.”
“That is good news. Signal that the enemy has been forced to land and may attempt escape on foot. They should send search parties to contain them.”
“And what of us, Captain?”
“Prepare to land the ship north of their position. We cannot let them escape.”