[ Writing prompt via my arch nemesis: “Mage admires a rival pirate ship’s pillaging before sinking it” ]

“Damn, that is nice form,” Mage clucked appreciatively as she leaned over the Jolly Roger’s rail, admiring the furious battle taking place a few hundred yards away. “Look, see the way they slip around the side like that, come up from behind for a round before she can even fire back? That’s how you take down a galleon of that size! Give me speed and agility over brute force any day.” When a shot from the rival ship sent one of the galleon’s masts crashing down she cackled and slapped her hands on the rail. “Yes! Nice one!”

“Um… Captain….” Behind her, Tanim cleared his throat awkwardly, trying to get his captain’s attention without also earning her irritation. She didn’t seem to notice his presence as she added approvingly, “Nice cannon on her, too. Bet that cost a pretty penny. Someone elses, of course.” The second mast collapsed in a shower of wood and canvas. “Ooh, good shot!” Mage exclaimed. He coughed again, louder this time. “Captain? Hello?”

“Huh?” Mage glanced over her shoulder, eyebrow raised as if she had forgotten entirely that she even had a crew. “What do you want?”

“Are we going to, well… attack?” Tanim gestured toward the pirate ship currently sacking the battered galleon of its riches. “You know, flay them alive for daring to enter our territory and hunt our prey? That sort of thing?” Mage sighed and turned her back on the triumphant ship. “Oh, I suppose… Seems a shame to waste such a nice ship, but at least the best of her will go to bolstering the Jolly Roger. Ooh, maybe they’ve got some of those pitch barrels you light on fire and throw at people. I love those.”

“We don’t have any more?” Tanim asked as he followed Mage to the wheel. With a gesture of her hand the sails unfolded and the ship lurched forward. “No,” she replied with a pout as she steered toward the other ship. “I used the last on that port town where I lost at dice.”

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