Currently a short beginning of a story set in 1921 after an alternative ending to WW1
|The Full Exploits and Adventures of the Infamous Auto-Trader:
September 1st 1921
The red flag flew darkest green through the light enhancing goggles. Scanning down from the flag the goggles observed the tall masts, twin funnels ejecting black smoke into the endless twilight and the stick-figure sailors each wearing mirrored goggles to reflect the dismal night lights. The last few storm lanterns were extinguished on the far off freighter and shutters slide down to hide the light. The wearer of the goggles chuckled to himself and looked back across the deck of his own ship; smaller, faster, stronger. Staring back at him were the waiting, inhuman, bespectacled faces of his crew; with a sharp arm movement they sprang to life, venting the engine rooms, raising the bow gun, feeding the furnaces and with a groan of hulking metal fighting its way through the dark water the side paddle wheels began to slowly turn.
"You think we can take it eh?" The captain turned his head and stared expressionless at the short pipe smoking navigator at his side. The navigator calmly stared back into the reflective grey lenses and blew a thick blue smoke ring. "We'll have the whole red navy breathing down our backs."
The captain allowed himself a tight smile as he spun the wheel and brought his ship to meet with its prey. "It's not my decision to make old friend, times are tough, another few weeks and we won't be able to feed my beauties hungry furnaces. Anyway the Endurances is merely a shadow in the smog" The metal enforced wood beneath his boots vibrated and creaked in anticipation as it drew closer to the communist freighter. "Be patient m'dear," he murmured caressing the worn mahogany wheel.
By now the pirate steamer had been spotted and fear filled the body and soul of the Russian sailors as long barrelled rifles were assembled and loaded and cargo was strapped down. Sitting alone in his cabin Captain Markus Amir heard the alarm bells and, filled with a sense of dread, lifted his cabin shutters to the sight of the infamous rogue auto-trader: the Endurance. The captain turned back to his desk and pulled out his log book and scribbled upon the last page:
Followed by a list of coordinates. Closing the book he slid it into a thick metal pod around the size of the captain's head which he proceeded to drop into the seething waters below his cabin. Strapping his sword to his belt and adjusting night vision goggles beneath his thick brows he said a prayer to the saints and walked slowly and purposely onto the deck above.
The chase carried on for a few more painstaking hours into the dark next day. When the screens lit up on the bow gun - "target in range" - nimble hands flicked across the controls, spinning the gun round and calculating the trajectory of the shot, then, with a muffled crack followed by the hiss of released gas the rouge auto-trader skewered the Russian freighter with five metres of barbed hardened steel and began closing the distance between the ships.