Fleeing the persecution of a rogue admiral, Captain James Hartwell must reluctantly embrace the life of a pirate if he and his crew are to survive on the Caribbean Sea. Unfortunately, England has just declared war on piracy. Regrettably, Hartwell has two crews on one ancient, rotten galleon, some of whom don’t agree with his principles. Alarmingly, some of his crew are developing inexplicable powers after accidental exposure to advanced technology. Disastrously, a silver woman has fallen from the sky and landed on the captain’s heart.
Hesitant of his new role in life, afraid of the emotions that Lady Mechatronic can stir in him, and uncertain who in his new crew is trustworthy, Hartwell must navigate the Caribbean Sea, human intrigue, and cyborg attraction.
Can Hartwell avoid the mutineers, the navy, rival pirates, and his own feelings? Or is he sunk whichever way he turns?
The second book in a brand new steampunk/pirate mash up.
At first glance, it seemed that Brough was right. Hartwell’s crew was outnumbered, Brough’s cannons had blown yet more gaping holes in the upper decks of the galleon, and Nani and his followers appeared to be trying to bribe the enemy rather than fight them.
Fortunately, Hartwell’s closer inspection revealed that Madrigal had knocked his opponent unconscious and now had free use of his hands, while behind them, the door to the rear cabins had opened and Madrigal’s brother, Anatole, had stepped through. On his own, Anatole was large enough to give any invading crew pause for thought. Behind Anatole came the second reason for any invading crew to turn and flee. Mechatronic had emerged onto the deck.
The invading crew gasped in horror as the silver woman stalked haughtily through the lines of brawling men. Cries of “It’s a mermaid!” and “It’s a demon!” echoed out over the ship.
“We will take your surrender now,” shouted Hartwell over the mêlée. He would prefer to end the confrontation without bloodshed, especially when the blood in question was that of his own crew. He looked over at Captain Brough, whose bravado had deserted him somewhat.
“Kill them!” screamed Brough eventually. “Kill them all before they curse us!”
Hartwell rolled his eyes in disbelief—why couldn’t anyone just run away or surrender on seeing the silver figure of Mechatronic? Why the innate urge to kill her and all her associates? It was something to ponder over but later, when he didn’t have someone trying to slice his head from his shoulders. “Madrigal, their sails,” he yelled.
Madrigal lifted his hands and pulses of bright green energy slid out from his fingers, burning the flesh and making him yelp. He forced his hands to stay on target as the pulses flowed outward to Brough’s ship, striking the side and blowing chunks out of the deck and rail. The rigging and masts exploded under the onslaught, the sails catching fire as sparks flew left and right.
Brough and his pirates screamed in terror, some running back to their ship, others trying to kill whichever crewmembers they happened to be facing.
One lunged at Mechatronic, who parried the blow and punched the man on the nose, dropping him, while another headed for Anatole, madly waving a small axe over his head. He never made it. Susanna ran out onto the deck and flung her arm out toward the man. A whip of fine metallic strands erupted from her skin, slicing through the pale flesh as it shot forward and entwined the pirate round the legs, tripping and concussing him on the hard, wooden deck. The whip retracted and the skin healed in Susanna’s wrist, leaving nothing but a faint white line.
“I do worry that whip is not entirely ladylike,” murmured Susanna to herself as she rubbed her wrist, feeling the pain quickly ebb away to nothing.
Soon, only Brough was left standing. He watched as his last two men, who had been fruitlessly attacking Hartwell for fifteen minutes, grew ever more despondent and tired until one made an error and Hartwell neatly disarmed him. The second man, seeing that Hartwell was still fresh, dropped to his knees and threw his sword away in supplication.
“What manner of cursed demons are you?” gasped Brough in fear.
“We are not demons,” replied Hartwell.
“Though we may be cursed,” muttered Fitch, darkly.