Fully stocked up with rockets, missiles, and pirates, the 282-foot mega cruiser known as the S.B.S.S. Princess Nabila charges at the pirate fleet, the breakaway rebels who have sunken to new depths in their craven desire to separate from the throne of Santa Barbara.
Or, should I say, are about to sink to new depths after they are all destroyed.
After Abby and I were able to attack and sink one ship, the fleet now stands at four ships, two on each side of the shore but fast converging on our position, as well as one capital ship, a massive former cruise ship known as the MS Zaandam. The Santa Barbarans seized it early in their war for independence and made it their main vessel for large-scale war. the Princess Nabila is gargantuan for a cruiser, but the Zaandam is the kind of ship one uses to take down whole cities.
Delta, wearing a full pirate getup (she looks adorable) and pointing a scabbard forwards into the air, screams at her pirates. “Don’t let them create a blockade! Get right in the middle and ram the Zaandam before the other ships can get close!”
I have no idea if that is sound naval tactics Delta is spouting. Somehow, I don’t think she has any idea either. But with the great confidence she possesses, I am confident that we will pull through.
Unlike the paltry cannonballs that these pirate ships are equipped with, the Nabila has bunker buster missiles captured from the Vanenberg Air Force Base, and each one launched can destroy a whole city block.
And fire off these missiles do—
Except that they all burst in the air, uselessly, deflected by some ultrasonic force field or some other Earth magic nonsense I have no ability to understand.
“Dammit! Santa Barbaran technology is too strong,” says Abby Faulkner.
“What was it? Why did they explode in mid-air?” I ask.
“The Zaandam is equipped with top of the line anti-air weaponry. It’s almost completely impregnable except by direct invasion. After we stole the ship from the company that owned it, we outfitted it to be the greatest warship on the planet. And it looks like we were right.”
“So what now?” I ask.
“Well, the Nabila also has top of the line offensive capabilities, since it came from the spoils of the Trump Succession Crisis. The thing was designed to take on armies by itself. Even at close range it might be able to hold its own against the Zaandam. Might.”
“I don’t feel confident about that amount of uncertainty. What then, must we do?”
“We have to keep charging it and attack head-on.”
“Many will perish that way. The four ships approaching us will ensure that much.”
“Then we will live and die by the glory of the surf.” Abby salutes. “As you order, my King.”
“If that is the only way, then I order it. We charge and we conquer.”
And we conquer.
It is one of the most epic battles I have ever participated. Missiles flying through the sky, ships ramming into each other, pirates boarding enemy vessels and taking them over from the inside out.
I see Delta swinging from a rope, brandishing her scabbard in a feat that truly proves her power, but I do not have time to linger on the admiration it evokes, because I am on a mission of my own—leading the charge and clearing a path for the Nabila.
Abby and I tear through the surf ninjas that roam in the space between the cruiser and the capital ship. Dozens, if not hundreds of men, women, and other humans perish as we reach the height of our power and concentration. Two warriors fulfilling the great holy throne of Santa Barbara with our deeds of suppression against this fruitless rebellion. A former King and her successor, fighting together. We are dynasty warriors, in that way.
We now approach the MS Zaandam at top speed. The cannonballs, gunfire, and, yes, even hurled insults of our shoobie nature shouted through megaphones, increase with each passing second that we grow closer to this massive structure. There must be a thousand pirates on that ship alone.
Two is all we need to board it.
Two is all we need to let the cruiser behind us begin its ultimate attack.
And, most importantly, two is all we need to rescue Francis Bacall, my greatest ally and dear friend.
Together, perfectly in unison, we use the momentum of our current speed to jump up from our surfboards and land on the second-lowest floor of this skyscraper-sized ship.
Immediately, we begin our attack. Me with two bows, one in each hand, and Abby, slashing away with her boomerang scythe and occasionally throwing it.
We stand back to back against the army of mooks who fall incessantly.
I am getting SO many Destiny Points today.
All of this fighting makes me realize something that I had mostly forgotten in all my time on Earth, in all my time even with Team Fanghook back on Mystix. It makes me realize something primal, something buried deep inside me like a [Demigod] just roaring, trying to escape:
I love fighting. I love bashing heads together and defeating foes.
I love getting stronger, whatever the cost.
With a grin that seems impossible to erase from my face, I finish off the last of my foes here on the deck of this floor, and Abby and I advance deeper into this floating dungeon.