Staring around at the destruction that surrounded the small craft, Cassius could not help but wonder if he had made the right choice for his crew. He had made the right choice for himself, that he knew, but his crew, his…He had let them down. He had brought them to their deaths. He had killed them so that he could save a stupid ship. A SHIP! Just so one woman wouldn’t pull it apart. Why should he have cared, it was just a ship! He could hear Maria’s voice yelling out above the storm. She was still working the engine, even now with Greg lying at her feet, bullets riddling his body; she refused to stop the engines. Doing her duty until the end.
He could see James battling his way across the deck to her, rapier in one hand, blunderbuss in the other, men falling at his feet. He was covered in gashes and cuts; it even looked like he had a knife sticking out of his leg but nothing seemed to stop him. He was a wild animal let lose, clawing to the girl fighting with the engine leavers.
A bullet whistled passed him as a soldier stumbled towards him. Pulling himself upright, Cassius snatched up his own sword from the floor and ran the man though before he could fire again.
There was a screaming though the gale as Rosie threw herself against Durh, taking a shot to the arm as she protected the doctor. Cassius was half way towards them, as soon as he saw the shot fired but Cam got there first. Pulling his mentor to safety so that he could treat him, he drew his gun and blasted the oncoming soldiers with a hail of bullets; each found its mark and the men crumpled. Flashing him a smile and a thumbs up, Rosie flew towards the wheel, trying to gain control of it. The ship was diving down towards the Earth, steam and flames trailing behind it, Maria’s frantic efforts to close the valves doing nothing to slow the ship’s progress. Rosie pulled the wheel back, hoping against hope that the ship would bring its nose up. Ferrari Acerbi felt the ship slowly coming back under control and her eyes flashed as she saw the quarter master at the helm.
The Captain, again, swept his gaze over the deck. Remmirath was in his element. Guns blazing, the multiple barrels spewing out an array of different bullets and bombs, his crazed expression looking completely normal for once. Cassius couldn’t help but grin at the happiness that was displayed on the face of his weapons expert but this was cut prematurely short by an explosion of steam and blinding light on the starboard side. Ædelbert’s sun steam grenade seemed to light up the whole ship, illuminating the faces of the screaming soldiers as their skin burnt before their very eyes and the flashing of the scientist’s glasses, his face unreadable as ever, coat flying out behind him with the force of the explosion.
Castle was manning the crow nest guns, high above the battle, taking out the ships that came near. He could see the panic and destruction below him and wished he could help his friends but the captain had ordered that he protect the ship to the best of his ability, to give them as much time as was possible. Hands shaking at that the idea of the weapons aboard the other ships and the fact that he would be the first thing in their firing line, he gulped down some water, spilling most down his chin in his nerves. Breathing deeply he once again turned the gun turret to the sky he bared his teeth and fired.
The ship’s hull was ripped open, a gaping hole between the engine and the bow threatening to render the whole ship in two halves. The air around the Ingvar was full of military vessels, all armed from stem to stern and bursting with fully trained soldiers. The ships seemed to continuously appear out of the darkening clouds, the lanterns on their bow sprits casting ghostly shadows all around them.
The machinist hauled herself along the deck, her chest open, baring her mechanics to the world. One clawed hand grabbing the first rung on the ladder up to the helm. Grasping at the higher deck, her hand found Rosie’s ankle and she yanked the quarter master down to the floor.
Rosie felt her leg break as the vice like grip pulled her down. The cracking of bone and the involuntary scream she let lose as she fell, told her so. The tears of pain in her eyes blurred the vision of Acerbi rising up above her. Dragging herself back against the cabin door, Rosie tried in vain to find some sort of weapon but the foot coming down on her arm stopped her.
“I promised Duke I would pull apart his ship, but I will have to settle for pulling you apart.” Pressing down harder on the girl’s arm, she snarled dangerously, reaching towards Rosie’s heart. Her nails scraped the skin, drawing blood, causing Rosie to cry out again. She would take this ship even if she had to pull apart its crew to get it.
She shuddered. She never shuddered. She couldn’t, it was improbable. She turned away from her prey to see Cassius, standing there, the hilt of a knife in his fist, the blade having got locked immovably in her back. He had a bullet lodged in his shoulder and cuts adorned his torso but he was smiling like reptile. She lunged at him, raking her fingers across his face, droplets of blood dripping onto his shirt. Grabbing the machinist he pulled her away from Rosie and dove his hand into her chest, tearing out the steal heart that had kept her alive for far too long.
Gasping as she saw the heart in his hand, Ferrari Acerbi, moved her own to the hole in her chest just as the steam started to explode out of her. Collapsing to the floor her eyes weld up with black tears as the oil started to leak out of her veins. She lay there. Empty, but finally, after so many years, human.