If the crew of the Slingshot knew what was beneath them, it was already too late. The tunnel had been extended, the hull punctured, and the pressure equalized. Arampour stood with his hand ready to push aside the carved-out portion of the hull, smirking wickedly at his crew itching to board the freighter.
“Alright, fellows, same score as always. We take as much as the rich old lady can handle in as few trips as we can manage. Don’t kill any seamen, but if it’s between you killing him and him killing you or your mates, that ain’t any choice at all. If somebody gives you trouble, you give him over to me.” He drew a gargantuan revolver from his hip and opened the breach. “Go to work.”
A dozen men flooded into the cargo bay from underneath, shouting and waving their weapons. One of the boarded ship’s crewmen was foolish enough not only to have been carrying a firearm, but to brandish it at the invaders. The First Mate broke the man’s jaw with a swipe of his handgun. There were no troublemakers after that.
The Slingshot’s Captain inevitably came below, demanding his equivalent amongst the boarding party.
“Nobody sees Captain Enos. I’ll have to suffice. First Mate Bixpee Arampour, at your service.”
“I therefore surrender my ship, the H.M.S. Slingshot, to you and the crew of the – what’s your vessel called?”
“The Dowager. But there’s nary need for such formality, old-timer. I politely refuse your surrender. We don’t want your crew. Hostages make for too much mess. And we only want for what’s inside your boat. That’s why we’ll leave it good and scuttled. Hope you sent up a distress signal already.”
The Captain glowered. “I suppose the world flooding was the best thing to happen to piracy in centuries.”
“Wouldn’t know, sir. I’m a privateer. This is all perfectly legal. Turns out China pays quite the livable wage to a bunch of scabs floating around in a misplaced nuke sub. Bon voyage, Mr. Former Captain of the Whatever,” Arampour said with a wave of his hat, departing the scavenged cargo ship with the last of The Dowager’s crew.