This will be an ongoing feature.
If you find a snippet you particularly like, please nag me about it. I will finish everything eventually.
This is an untitled steampunk piece, currently in progress for Samhain. Work Safe.
He moved fast, but cautiously. Henry had never been in a pirate attack, but he'd heard about them from other aeronauts. He knew if he hid in one place, they'd find him. It was best to keep moving. He needed a weapon. They'd probably kill him as easily as they had Gideon, but he intended to sell his life as dearly as possible.
He made the armory, a small, understocked room, designed more with brawling passengers than pirate attacks in mind. Every Winchester and Springfield in the place was gone. Even the old Tredegar and Sharps had been taken. He checked the hand weapons. A single Bowie knife lay on the bottom of the cabinet. When he drew it, he saw why. The rusting, broken blade tested dull against his thumb.
It was still better than nothing. He hooked it to his belt and grabbed a whetstone and oil in passing. Knowing his time was too short for safety, he sharpened it as he walked. The upper crew decks were empty. He looked out over the main deck and saw the passengers lined up and prodded a long by the pirates. Each waited his turn in line and dropped whatever he had into the large sacks three of the bandits carried.
A man in a long black coat sprawled in a chair clearly dragged from one of the salons for him. Henry watched a moment too long, taking in the careless dangle of one booted leg over the arm, the gleam of the moonlight on his flying goggles. Smart, dangerous and utterly arrogant, he lounged watching the wealthy folks rid themselves of impediments to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Henry checked on the other side of the deck and saw the bridge and upper level crew, disarmed and under heavy guard. The chambermaids and cooks had been separated out from the men and stood in a tight knot, some clinging and weeping, some with looks of grim determination on their pretty faces. The black crew had been cordoned off as well and stood under heavier guard than the white. Henry shook his head. Guarded as if they were dangerous or had any loyalty to Captain Richardson. Richardson treated his white belowdecks crew as servants and his black crew as fixtures of the ship.
Henry counted forty pirates. He could not possibly take the ship singlehandedly. He would stay alert, watch what happened and try not to get captured. It didn't look like this pirate crew went in for butchery. Out here, they could have slaughtered the entire roster of the Star and dumped their bodies in the badlands of Deseret, never to be seen again.