His last real raid had been, in fact, when he’d acquired this very ship.
                Near the shores of Victum, he and his crew had approached the barge. It began as a chase, and then as if the merchants had given up, they stopped. That should have been his first clue.
                His corsairs threw grapple hooks and made their way over. 
                That was when the merchant’s guards sprung out from below deck. It was a bloody scuffle. They were armed well as opposed to his own men’s old iron, yet his corsairs were a tough bunch. In the end he’d cut down four good fighters before his men had overpowered them. They tied up the merchants and went below deck to see what they’d earned this day. But something hadn’t felt right. It had been far too easy.
                Simeon passed by all the spices, leathers, gold, jewels and tools to look around the ship. When he reached the belly of the ship, he noticed the pools of water and searched around for an answer. There was nothing obviously wrong. But as he reached the end of the ship, his leg had gone straight through the floor. Simeon had looked down and seen that the ship had been sabotaged. She was sinking.
                He had ran then, across the belly, up the stairs, yelling as he went for his crew to grab what they could and get out. As he reached the deck, the ship seemed to judder and dip.
                Down went the prow.
                It took all his strength to keep upright as his world span round.
                He’d managed to reach the side and clambered over to his own ship. It was over. He was safe.
                Well it could have gone worse, he’d thought.
                So he went to his cabin and placed a fine, steel dirk upon the desk with some fresh supplies of rum and dried meat. Food he’d found was more precious than any jewel. Then he’d gone back to the deck to check on his crew. He took the merchants on board and herded them below deck. They were struggling and squirming as Simeon had them tied up to the various support posts, which confused Simeon somewhat. They had fought less on their own ship. In fact many had chosen to dive overboard than be captured or fight alongside the guards.
                A short time passed, the crew piled the booty together and he shared it amongst them. It was a good haul, a very good haul that could have seen them well through a few years.
                It was his desire to assemble the money for a larger crew and more ships. If he had the sea power, he could carry out raids on small ports and earn some real loot.
                Then he felt it.
                Something was wrong with his girl.
                He’d already cut the ties to the other  ship, now but a piece of jutting wood in the waves. He’d already begun moving onwards. Yet there was an almost imperceptible movement accompanying their forwards. Down.
                Simeon had felt his stomach lurch as he ran down the ship, just as he had the merchant’s ship. When he reached the lowest quarters, the storage, it was filled with water.
                The bastards had sneaked aboard his ship whilst they were distracted and wounded her!
                He went to the next floor up and grabbed the nearest merchant, smashing the man in the face.
                “What did you do?” he had roared. Never had he wanted to see a man suffer more.
                “What did we do?” the man had laughed at him then. “What did you do. What do you do when you roam around, taking what you want, not thinking of the consequences?” he didn’t care much for an ethical conversation with them.
                “You can all fucking drown.” He spat at the man and then rushed above deck, once more yelling, as if the day had turned into the end time.
                Away, they had to get off the ship. He was only fortunate in the fact that he was close to the shores of Victum, though he knew not where.
                Some of his crew clung desperately to their treasure. He threatened to cut off their hands if they didn’t let it go. Men were more important to him at this time than trinkets.
                They went overboard as his beloved ship of ten years went down with the merchants. There he floated, grieving.

The End

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