Opening Day, release Date or however you wish to call it ~ Camden’s Follies 2nd series is here!

The second series of Camnden’s Follies begins…
The Empire is reeling. James and the Dragon Helm have become the largest threat in the eyes of the Emperor and his new cronies the Amanor. Attacks by the Garinthians have stepped up anmd increased in ferocity as newer ships are brought to bare and a new more frightening device, a siege engine that can decimate planets from orbit, are being produced with the aid of the Amaonor. The family is divided and politics rule the roost as Cynthia and Sha’l Ter head to run a new base on Varloon 4 in the heart of the Dragon Helm’s latest allie, the Orlans.
Trust is at a premium as Ackban is desperate to make this new united Pirate Clan work. James is working tirelessly as the Dragon Helm’s best raiding captain is taxed to his limits!
So stow your gear, man your station and get ready for more Follies!!!

~ YES! The new book is here…

Til next time
~The Pirate Poet

Finally, I’m able to blog again and do a little self literary promotion!

So, I’ve finally gotte around to shrinking the physical size of my book in this second edition – so to speak. I may be able to put together a box set in the future, maybe. We’ll see, yeah?
Anyway this will fit the other three now :

All are now in the 6″ x 9″ category. And for those new to this sort of story let me illuminate you a tad ~

This is a steampunk/science fiction series that begins at the turn of the 20th century. Dr. James Camden is a general practioner of medicine heading to Africa to study to become one of the burgeoning or pioneering members of the forensic science or medical examiners. Little does he know that for the last 4 years he’s been being spied on and scouted for an expedition into the hitherto unexplored last frontier – Outer Space! Operation Endeavour Space had begun a decade prior after Dr. Karl Verstein and his colleague Dr. Haimish McTavit made a fantastic discovery in an old Mayan temple. It would seem that aliens DID visit earth and bequeathed the Mayans highly advanced technology to some unknown end. Tomes were discovered that discussed travelling the far reaches of space with perils undreamt of and scientific wonders to die for.
And now, James finds himself in a whole new galaxy, facing terrifying creatures, an evil empire and an ancient group of alien scientists bound and determined to achieve immortality at all costs!
From fantastic discoveries to space combat and follies in alien cultural understanding we join our intrepid former soldier of the crown and physician as he gallantly saves the day … and maybe himself in the process.


Cheers, Happy Reading and may this be a great new year for all!

Yours truly,

~ The Pirate Poet

Ah, the end of February. Shall I march in with hope?

The world today is just a tad beyond the usual madness. However, as the Mayans predicted for 2012, the changes have come home to roost as what once was the norm has been tossed in the bin; For good it seems. It was never about the planet blowing up, that was a load of tosh and waffle.
That simply said, the ways we did things, the constant swings would come to a screeching halt or begin to. Nature and centuries of idiocy then produced the horror that was the President of the United States in 2016 with the piece de resistance being the pandemic of COVID19.
We’re still learning, taking extremely painful lumps and coming to grips of not only what went wrong, but why and how – while being smacked or kicked in the head by it – we should be doing what was required as opposed to what sounded good that got us landed with more headaches and heartaches than a generation should endure.
But I suppose the expression Nature would use is; Humanity had it coming. And so far, she’s been spot on. So, until change becomes permanent and people start thinking and being more considerate, we’re stuck with this nonsense.

Okay, my thoughts and vents are over for now… On to something more to the theme of this blog.

Poetry

So as I dream, to the heavens a wish
If it were so simple
My heart wouldn’t be in tatters
Could I be so close, yet light years away?
Is the human heart such a puzzle
A mystery wrapped in an enigma
Do I, as the cold runs to my hands
Could there be a way?
Is it destiny, the will of the fates
Did I cross the fine line between the warmth of the living
To the cold isolated realm of the departed
Do I wait till my final mortal breath?
Or will the answer avail itself unto me ere long?
I could wish, but why?
I stand at the curtain
My final act is upon me and my audience is awaiting a grand finale
Shall I alight the stage with soliloquy
A requiem?
Shall I, as I have declared myself before the universe
Or will I be, but a whimper
Shall the light fade
Or will I blow the candles dark?

Publishing Note:

I await, for the umpteenth time in my career, the decision of a publisher. I know, this is the writing field we’re discussing. patience is more than a virtue and rejection like leaves in the wind scattered here and there.
Anyway, it’s for the long awaited follow up anthology for Scales and Hearts. Dragon stories never go out of fashion, just out of sight and mind for a bit.
I’m through with the formatting of the first book of the second series on Camden’s Follies. yay. It’s a pain, true, but worth it!

Anyway, I now await the one who will be my cover artist.
Wish me luck folks – I’m going to need it!

For now, yours ever so truly ~

The Pirate Poet

Christmas/Chanuka/Kwanza ~ Book promotion! Get your copies of these wonderful Authors ~ Today!

This lovely lady comes from the land down under ~ Australia. She’s a best selling author and marvellous human being. Please, if you haven’t looked into her work – Do so today. You won’t be disappointed!

And now, from E.J. Dawson! See her author page for the full line of her works ~

From a good friend of mine’s talented wife …

All these books are marvellous gifts for someone in your life or … yourself! Treat your good friends to the best of the theatre of the mind and igniters of imagination ~ * bow * ~ This is one of two pages appealing to the readers and writers of the world.
Books! The greatest weapons against boredom, narrow mindedness and limited travel.

Cheers!
~ The Pirate Poet

Pre – Halloween Blog – Sorry, no chocolates, I’m afraid.

So, alls quiet on the western front… unless you count political rants.
Anyway, on to somthing relevant ~ Books and writing.
Bucking up the courage to re-format my first book of my Camden’s Follies series. I’m still working on cover art – I’m waiting for some artists to realise that the majority of us authors aren’t independently wealthy * sigh *.
I’m thinking of using a less complete cover for book 1 – From the Diaries of Dr. James Camden, lunar physician and pirate.
I will, despite the delay after delay, get the 2nd and final installment of Elder Offensive out. Now, for getting with actor and director friends to put together something for my short stories and action/horror piece I mentioned earlier.

Now ~ A poetic moment…

Feel the winds, cold and bitter
Upon the lands they whisper
Leaves rustle, the trees whip and bend
All moaning a quiet lament
A mist rises, swirls and disappears
Retreating with moon behind the horizon
Earth is hard, but not enough
Let the stirring of the restless begin!
Undo the light
Shadows to the fore
Come one and all
Walk the land once more
A thing that stalks
two legs or four
Death awaits his charge
Spoke the Raven
Silence

So, as always, here are my and my colleagues works for your consideration ~ Enjoy!

https://www.amazon.com/Sapien-Days-Deception-T-Burnett/dp/1693719746/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Sapiens+by+T.O.+Burnett&qid=1602001912&s=books&sr=1-1

A wonderful YA series!
The next in a very intense series!

There are more artists of the page that I’d love to list… However, until I get some links or book titles ~

Till next time ..

~ The Pirate Poet

Poetic dive and link share… again.

Empty © 2020 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

Let me lay here knowing
Not of lies, nor indiscretions
Shall I see thee honest and brave
Was there a treasure hidden, beneath my very nose
Could it be that I, was never meant to have
A farthing to my name, nor a heart to call my own
Oh love
Where, did I, go wrong
Is the morning light calling
Or is it from the other side?
Did I, in my haste
Find nothing for my time, but waste
Oh life
Was there too little
Did I lose the divine grace
Is there something in my way, that I can’t face
But for now, I fade
Like yesterday’s dream
Never meant to be
Oh I
Am just, taking up space
I’ll retire like dust
Never a trace
Empty

And now for my book links, till I get permission to post and recommend others ~
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1723354139 – Elder Offensive

James is now a Captain in the Dragon Helm Clan as more Follies ensue!
Now, the Empire is fighting dirtier and the Amanor are more active!
The 4th and final book of series 1

More Camden’s Follies! To whet your appetite…

Here we go… the first chapter of the Second Book of Camden’s Follies! Please enjoy.. ~ * bow * ~ Yeah, this is me throwing people right into the action sans preamble.

Part 2

War comes from the Stars

© 2018 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except where permitted by law. This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously.

The Garinthian empire rises to battle

The present…

“ Cut to port on my mark. Damn it man hold together!”

I yelled over the howling winds of the now open cockpit to Cynthia and a slightly ill McTavit. The shock-wave rocked the small craft and sent it plummeting towards the valley floor as a second energy wave started up behind it. The cruisers took off the tops of both mountains as the shuttle sped, almost helplessly, on what appeared a collision course for the canyon wall. Rock and debris flew in odd chunks in the air and through the sky. The wireless crackled in the background in a guttural language as Cynthia fought with the controls. I fought the flames on the interior of the passenger cabin as McTavit steadied himself with aid from mister Cafar as all struggled to maintain their balance. My thoughts were to Cafea and the other vessel. Four Garinthian cruisers in low orbit watching the same activity, two for each shuttle.

“ Now! Hard to port!”

We used the downward momentum and avoided being smashed to bits on the rock wall. I fiddled with the communications set for a moment.

“ … pinned down… need assistance.. James? Can you read me?”

“ Aye Cafea, I can and am on my way. Germain and company may be doing a permanent clean round at this rate… Be there shortly, hang on the the three of you….”

We sped off back in the direction of the fireballs that were warships a short while ago. Some simple raid this turned out to be!

Three Days prior…

“ All right you scabrous dogs, look lively!”

Captain Ackban cried with captain Germain standing just behind and to his right. Dr. Cuthbert looked a bit taken aback while he was holding onto Cafea’s recovering Liondarg cub. The rest of us ignored him and miss Longgrave who was assisting him with mister Canery.

“ Not you three!”

The old pirate yelled at part of our science staff.

“ Take the cub back to the pen or to the ward, we’ve got business to attend to… The rest of you lot, attention!”

I distinctly heard confused mewing from the cub as the three expediently made their way back over to the lifts, miss Longgrave struggling with the majority of the Liondarg burden. Mister Canery was nursing his arm and watching the cub warily as doctor Cuthbert made sure to stay far opposite the creature.

“ Mister Camden, I’ve need of you and your raiding parties. We’ve been eaves dropping on the Garinthians and it looks like we can do a bit of skulduggery on ’em soon. The dreadnought is busy on the other side of the planet doing some sort of survey of the area looking for us. That leaves only three cruisers and a nearly finished base. We’ve kept quiet long enough men! Misters Cafea, Azfar, Cafar, McTavit, Fizbark, Belle – Anderson front and centre! You and mister Camden will be using the two shuttles for the dual purpose of destroying their energy supply and raiding for supplies. There should be no problems, mild resistance and so far no orbital support, emphasis on “should be”. What we need from them are engine and weapons parts on the main, maybe food packets if ye can wrangle them.”

He began to pace.

“ If there be signs of that monstrosity coming back for support, with or without the plunder, you will leave in all haste.” He hesitated then added, “ Captain Germain and I have decided that that would be best course of action. We’re thin on the crew side and can’t afford to lose our best… that’s all for now, get back to your stations.”

Very brief, non informative and to the point. Then again, since the good captain Ackban has asserted himself as the more dominant captain most meetings have been roughly this way. We knew what it was he was trying to get across to us, however, it just seemed as if he preferred to be in the thick of things with the rest of us as opposed to waiting in the wings. We, meaning Cafea, Cynthia and I, all felt this might not change for a good long while. At least nothing new seemed to be coming on that horizon for certain.

So, to summarise, he wants us to hit the base, steal some items we’re running low on and then get the hell out. Brilliant, in an overly simplistic fashion that fails to take caution into account. Later that day I went with Cynthia on one of the shuttles to do a reccie of the area. I was quite impressed by the scope they had, those Garinthians.

An entire valley was now a vast sea of mechanisms. Plants, manufacturing areas, mobile mechanised heavy weapons like cannon and such were being produced or repaired on a grand scale.

There had to be thousands of troops here, if not around a million. I could see where they were placing their fuelling or refuelling sites. There were even mines by some of the nearby mountains we could see from our vantage point above it all.

I had the impression this was more of a city in the making, sans market areas. This admiral Tack – So was going beyond all out for us. I also counted three massive hangers or dry docks, especially the one in the centre of the centrally located complex. That had to be the one for the dreadnought. The other two looked large enough to for a dozen cruisers laid out end to end. I finally saw what appeared to be a launch area that I didn’t see back on the planet. It resembled one of the super cannon the German lot were working on before I left on this crazy adventure.

The only difference was, this was far larger and you could fit an alien cruiser into it. Well, that explained the bullet shape to the outer hull any way. Our stealth mode kept us off their radar ( as mister Azfar would say) for the most part. There were moments when I swore a few of the troops looked straight at us, or possibly they were looking through us?

We returned post haste back to the base and reported on what we saw as we had no cameras to record anything and mister McTavit insisted on not putting anything else on the shuttles other than the wireless despite a very good argument by Fizbark to the contrary. Personally, I just thought it was because mister brilliant hadn’t thought of it first and Fizbark did, but that’s just me, Cafar and Cafea’s thinking… so far. Speaking of one of my wives, Cafea seemed to think that our reconnaissance went too easily and we should exercise a great deal of caution. Tack – So, as she would say to us, was a crafty old fellow and his sub commanders and subordinates weren’t far behind. She did also theorise how this could be just the Garinthians way of establishing a new fortified position as part of their support group initiative. Apparently, they were keen to never be caught short handed or out gunned if they could help it in any way. I called the two teams together the day before and had a final chat.

“ … so you see, we can’t do this the same way as before. I’m certain that our opposition may be counting on us to try, thus the overkill of soldiers in one area along with the accommodations for so many small ships. I also don’t like the ease of the spy mission and I tend to think if I were them I’d have some sort of artillery or big ship support. My thinking is if they were to have anything, it would be in radio range and if it were a ship or two it would be on our alternate side. Anyway, we should keep our eyes open and ready for any thing at any time! Anyone have anything to add?”

Azfar looked at Cafar while Fizbark seemed to be studying me for a moment. McTavit also seemed riveted to both me and Azfar as he kept looking between us for some odd reason.

Azfar seemed to take a thinkers smirk before talking.

“ So you think Tack – So is winding us up and trying to lure both the Bernoulli and the War Dragon Fire out?”
I nodded yes.

“ Thought so. He could be testing his underlings out on us and just hoping we’re weak enough afterwards to pick up the clean kill without a great deal of effort.”

“ Full camouflage is what we’ll be using till the last second no matter what. We can use the mountains as part of the escape route in case I’m right about the support they may have waiting in the wings. I hate being outflanked…”

I got a hug and kiss of reassurance from Cynthia at that point.

“ Anything else folks? If not, meeting over and see you in the morning… oh, and good hunting to us all! I want everyone going out to come back in one piece, yes?”
“ Aye, aye captain!”

Fizbark, Cafar and Azfar said together. McTavit just saluted before leaving with the guys.

I awoke the next morning, not exactly in anything shy of subdued spirits, and with a little assistance got dressed and headed down to the dry dock and the Bernoulli hangar bay. Everyone else was there, including, surprisingly, captains Ackban and Germain.

“ Captain Ackban, captain Germain.”

I saluted and had a polite, but curt return.

“ What are your plans mister Camden?”

Germain asked first before Ackban could speak. The alien captain looked at Germain long ways briefly before turning his attention to me.

“ Basically, we go in camouflage mode. Mister Fizbark, myself, mister McTavit, misters Azfar and Cafar will be part of the raiding teams to get the requested supplies and possibly plant explosives and other traps along the way to cause confusion and mayhem to set back their progress and buy us extra escape time.”

I paused ever so briefly to take a breath and continued before anyone could interrupt.

“ My alternate goal is to make them believe that the shuttles are the only ships available to us or we’re acting independently of the Bernoulli and War Dragon Fire. In case of an emergency we’ll lead them through the mountains to the north of this position and use the cruisers bulk and lack of atmospheric manoeuvrability to our advantage. Despite the lack of evidence to the contrary, last count there were 3 fleets and from what I could view there was room for all of them in that area. I know scans haven’t picked up anything, but I’d rather be safe than sorry, act is if everything in their arsenal was there at their disposal. In other words I’m treating this as if they know we’re coming and are fully prepared for any assault.”

Both men nodded in approval or at least understanding. Out of the corner of my eye I caught Cafea nodding in the affirmative and looking both captains in the eye. An awkward pause followed until Ackban spoke, his voice sounded a tad distant and his face was hard to read.

“ Very well then, off you go and good luck, Magda protect you all.”

He and captain Germain walked off silently and looking straight ahead. That was not a good sign for this mission…

When we were airborne I radioed Cafea and let her know to have mister Azfar scan above in the upper atmosphere and keep an eye out for in coming cruisers or the dreadnought. Cafar would be on the look out for anything from ground level coming at us.

The best laid plans…

As soon as we made the airspace of the Garinthians, alarms started going off all over. Nothing showed up on scans immediately, but I saw movement below near the hangars. Not one, but two cruisers launched and barely missed us as they ascended very fast from the hangars, had they been launched from the cannon like device I had a feeling we’d have been either dead or close to it! I noted we were in line with the device and staring down its muzzle after the two ships just missed us.

Cafar and I, along with mister McTavit looked over the readings and the plans of the other bases we destroyed before for similarities. It was roughly the same, just larger and with a couple of new wrinkles. One of which was the launching area for sending vessels into space, the command centre and the energy plants.

Fizbark mentioned that the energy producing plants utilised geothermal energy or heat rising from beneath the moons upper crust. They used this to make electricity to run the plasma gas producing machines. If we were to succeed, we’d have to blow up at least one of those.

I coordinated with Cafea via our old wireless radios and decided to hit the hangar we could get spare parts from and the armoury at the same time. Something about the lingering lack of activity was really starting to bother me and I didn’t know why. I chose the armoury as our target and had Cafea take the hangar.

We entered our destination via a roof level entrance. McTavit, using a device that suspiciously looked like mister Fizbark’s handiwork “hacked”, not sure why it was called that as the machinery was left intact, the computer coded lock and we swiftly made our way down. It wasn’t until we were on the level of where the weapons were kept that we ran into soldiers. Oddly enough there were only roughly 50 of them in the area and one subordinate officer.

Now I was getting paranoid. This place should have at least a full legion of troops and this was it? We went with stealth as the troops went about their security rounds. When we opened the armoury doors is when we finally figured out why so few troops. A pair of giant sized robots stood on either side scanning with a light beam over the arms lockers and walking about with heavy steps along the perimeter. I motioned for my two compatriots to follow me to an area just out of their sight.

“ All right, now what? We need explosives and such and we have two dirty great robots between us and an easy haul! Someone tell me something we can do to alleviate this dilemma and quickly!

McTavit rubbed his beard and raised his eyebrows.

“ Your radio lad, the one from the Bernoulli, let me have it so I can attach it to my scanner.. no time to explain… just hand it over lad…”

I did so and dawning recognition came over Cafar’s face.

“ That ought to work, if the frequency is the same as the one our spider robot uses…”

I was about to ask what, when, with one final twist of the knob that controlled tuning, I heard the two metal behemoths stop cold!

“ Yes! Success…thanks lad! That should buy us an hour before they start up again… now let’s get cracking before we have to fight them off shall we?”

“ Shouldn’t we tell Cafea and the others? They could be up against it right now!”

McTavit’s eyes nearly popped out!

“ Blast it all! Radio. Now. You two get the items we need…”

I didn’t stop to ask I just followed Cafar out to the nearest locker and watched as he picked it in seconds. I held the bag open we brought with us and he emptied whatever was important in to it.

I have no idea how long it took, it felt like forever, but out of the blue, I heard the radio and the sounds of energy fire coming over it.

“ DAMN!”

McTavit practically screamed as he made his way over.

“ Too late boys, we have to get out of here… NOW!”

We took the bags and pulled out our weapons and made a run for it. I’m not sure who was more surprised, us or the group of Garinthians who marched into us. Awkward moments like this, in hindsight, can be hilarious – just not in the moment when your life flashes before your eyes. I have no idea who shot first, but I just recall seeing a bright light and a group of soldiers fly backwards dead! We ran for the staircase as an alarm started to sound, blasted through the roof door and sprinted into our shuttle.

“ Went well as usual I see…”
Cynthia grinned at me as she hit the throttle to get the ship to rise and move forward. In front of us a large ship, one of the cruisers from earlier had gotten in front of us and was making for the hangar! I saw Fizbark, Azfar and Cafea running and shooting as they went, Fizbark was carrying the parts and they managed to make it to the shuttle just in time as another ship floated up from behind the hangar and started shooting blindly. I must explain at this point that we kept the camouflage on while we were looting and this was the reason why! We had nearly no time and I decided to hang the sense of it all and just blast the first ship and give ’em something new to think about. Just my luck as Azfar got on the radio and Cynthia put him on loud speaker.

“ Damn! I wish someone would have mentioned guard robots.. why the Verilda did it have to be giant guard robots ?!?”

Cafea got on right after with some not so welcome news.

“ Oh Magda! Incoming! Two more from the atmosphere… you were right captain, they had ’em on our blind side!”

I had no idea how I did it, but I managed to get to the radio.

“ Quit talking and get moving! Head for the mountains as planned, we’ll split at the first gorge and meet up later… NOW!”

Back to the present….

“ Cynthia, get the cannon, I’ll take the wheel… you and Cafar are better at the big guns than me….”

I then whispered loudly to myself, “Hold on Cafea we’ll be there shortly as I said we would!”.

We barely missed more flaming wreckage from the destroyed cruisers as we made our mad dash to get the other shuttle. McTavit informed me that we were a few minutes away at current speed, so I increased it a lot! As we came upon our comrades I saw something in the sky above…

It was the dreadnought with two cruisers for support! There was smoke coming from the other shuttle as we came along side her. Cynthia and Cafar laid down a wicked fire on the two cruisers and McTavit launched a grappling hook to snare the the weakened craft.

The radio came alive…

“ I know you’re there! We can’t pick you up just yet on short range scanners, don’t worry, our guns will be charged and ready momentarily and then we’ll incinerate the entire area… and you, once and for all…”
Oh damn….

One more detail…

As the year progressively seems weird, I guess, since fall is approaching faster than I imagined, I could vent or pontificate a tad.
Is it me or are the youth movement being more and more inclined to inherit and incorporate the worst of the previous elder generations?

On Twitter and other platforms, the norm is to start a fight by launching partial conversation threads and asking specific questions of the quote. Then, they only turn around and make it sound like it was something else they were looking for. They seem to think you’re a mind reader.

Oh well… that’s just one example post 11th century arguing breaking out. I mean, honestly, do they really want change? Do they want to solve reocurring problems or just keep them till there are few standing who could help? Change the way you look at things and things will change.

It sounds overly simplistic, but as you analyse it and apply it. The method has merit and works. As sits, anyone of the youth movement gives the impression of wanting to fight – not solve or resolve. They are determined to be the incarnation of General Phyrric and his hollow victory.
What sense or good is there if you destroy all – even that which you have been charged to defend? Or perhaps by convincing those on the fence that supporting or helping you with your cause is folly?
I know, those of us who were about to be more forward with our support and lending of resources see some of these insidiously divisive arguments and turn around and don’t bother with it.

Between the row with Rowling and the Cancel Culture – I just can’t become involved with it. An article in the news periodical called ” The Irish Times “, who are as about pro British as I am a Chinese person, had a reporter note what I’ve typed. And she’s in the same age group as this bunch of yahoos!

I know, I’m an author and a poet. However, I wasn’t always and I hope to not go back to my old profession. Part of my old profession was to read people and situations. I stuck to facts, not hyperbole. I debated on a level field and never tried to ” dumb down ” the conversation.
I find it almost insulting how many offence sensitive people seem to want to assume their way through everything, start a ruckus, be divisive and then run and hide behind somewhere far away.
That doesn’t count trying to reinvent language – making it vague, confusing and frustrating! They want to use over simplified bait lines, tag lines and catch phrases rather than communicate – right down to punctiation and grammar. Then they want to make it all a grand joke as all the while things get worse, the divides greater and the possibility of a unified people more and more implausible than achievable.
I know this rant probably won’t go far, but I do hope some day that someone catches on and puts an end to this madness before it’s too late and the next world war takes hold and more lives that shouldn’t be are lost!

Till next time,
~ The Pirate Poet

News? Beyond the average or just? Anyway, here’s where I’m at and a couple of stories already published.. or teasers…

So, the written word goes on… Or so I’ve been led to believe. I’ve been working on the more fun of two projects and kicking around another one becuase I need a publisher to do more than give me lip service or just ignore me.
Sound impossible? Could be. Probably, it’s a lot more likely as I gain steam. It’s a numbers game and I may be winning with quality over quantity. But I digress…
Scales and Hearts Vol.2 is WAY behind in getting a publisher. I refuse to give up or in, though it has crossed my mind.
Now for a story interlude before I get overly sappy or angry and vindictive!

From the Dragon tales book ~ Scales and Hearts – Get yours from Amazon, B&N or Kobo!

The Sea Dragon

by
J.Nathanial Corres

© Jon Corres Pirate Poet 2018
all rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except where permitted by law. This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously.

“ And when the sky grows dark, the wind howls and the waves become choppy it is said you can see a creature. A great beast of legend and myth, sounding from the depths.”

Longfellow Phineas Eustice read the placard slowly, as if he wanted to memorise it for some reason. His eyes danced over his half – moon bifocals as he did so. He made to straighten himself out when he noticed that he was alone on the pier on the isle of Mann. It was a mid October and the tourist season had long passed. Why he thought anyone was with him was truly a mystery. He leaned on his walking stick as he got his barrings and began to walk parallel to the railing. His gnarled hand pulled his pocket watch out, which informed him that it was four in the afternoon.

His mind began to wander, as it did often in his declining years. After all this time, all the adventures he’d partaken, you’d think that he may have better recollection than this. As he put his timepiece away he noted the inscription on the back;

“ For our Longfellow, though not of our blood – our son none the less! You did us proud dear boy!”

It was signed Henry and Alice Flattery. Longfellow sighed as the fond memories of that old couple came to mind. He was one of 14 children in the Eustice family of Holmfirth, Yorkshire. He was the youngest and easiest to forget. Even his father, Jacobi, would think him merely a friend of the family – and he helped deliver him into the world! The only people who ever paid him any mind were a middle aged couple. Alice Flattery ran a boutique and Henry was a part – time inventor, barber and farmer. Of the three, he was best at being a barber sadly. Mind you, it was Henry who managed to light the fire of curiosity in Longfellow and encourage him to finish school and go to college in London to study to be an engineer.

The old man just smiled as the images of him in his dorm room doing homework and revision at all hours, being nagged by Alice to eat before he wasted away… ah, those were the days!

The only down side was when his two estranged siblings; Paulette and Prudance wrote him in his third year that their parents had died three months prior to them sending this letter. Their excuse for the late correspondence was that they didn’t want a contested will. Longfellow never read the letter completely and could have sworn that there were remnants of a cheque in the ashes of his stove when he cleaned it out, but he didn’t care. Those two shrews could have the lot, for all he cared!

He did recall, after a bit, that an old paper mentioned a freak accidental drowning of a near entire family when a ferry to the Isle of Wight got hit by a sudden wave and washed said family overboard along with around twenty other people. Prudance and Paulette were mentioned by name as the survivors. A notice a week later declared them sole heirs to the Eustice estate and all the accounts there in. He never thought anything of it as Henry and Alice were his true family now – not them.

As Longfellow stopped to wipe his glasses he recalled that the one time he did see his slightly older siblings was two years after the Flattery’s died. They were being served notice of eviction for outstanding debts. Both women looked like dirty great rodents wrapped in black mourning dresses.

He was glad they never recognised him as he passed, let alone hear him laugh over their just deserts! Longfellow stopped as he nearly walked off the end of the pier. He found himself staring into the cold black water of the Atlantic Ocean looking at his reflection. What he saw truly made him shudder with bitterness. He was old! How did that happen?

There was nary a sign of his brown hair as it had turned mainly white with obvious signs of thinning. His good jacket, waist coat and trousers looked threadbare and well worn. Even his prize pocket watch and chain appeared to have seen better days. The lines on his face and the bags under his eyes – atrocious! Longfellow wanted to cry, it was that awful to him. He looked out on the horizon and tried desperately to remember why he decided to come here in the first place.

It was at that moment that he heard something, like a song, being carried over the waves.

Slowly, he scanned the waters around the pier, but saw nothing. A few moments later the sound become louder and clearer; It was a voice calling his name! The water before him roiled and frothed before a sleek and serpentine neck attached to a remarkably sleek body the colour of electric blue appeared before him. The head was the size of a small auto-mobile and the eyes were the same as sapphire crystals. Longfellow blinked and the creature was gone!

In its place, however, was a woman – young, beautiful with caring crystal blue eyes and raven dark hair wearing a woman’s blue tartan kilt with white, red and green, white blouse and blue wool coat .

She seemed to be weeping as she gazed upon him. The woman collected herself and spoke to him in a Scottish accent. “ Oh Longfellow! What’s happened to you? It’s me Naikeeah! Don’t you remember?” Her voice was urgent, troubled and conveyed not a little hurt. “Oh my one, it’s been too long hasn’t it. I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to leave you in a lurch as I did. You were always the one, the faithful one, my gadgeteer and hero… please, let me…”

Longfellow noticed he was teetering precariously on his walking stick from shear shock and amazement of the moment when the woman took his arm and helped steady him. He looked into her eyes as a memories cascaded over him like a giant wave. It was almost fifty years previous, on this very spot. The vision of a woman that looked identical to this one dived into the surf as he sat, wounded on the pier as police and others rushed to the spot. It was an adventure, the likes of which he’d never taken before or since. He managed to steady his breath and stand without going faint or feeling dizzy.

He looked her in the eye and spoke the words he longed to all this time. “ So, it wasn’t a dream, was it? You and I, the trip around the world… Is it time already?” She took his hand and nodded with a smile and a tear in her eye. “ Yes. Yes, it is. I… your leg? You told me it was all right and yet I can smell the bronze gears and such…” Longfellow put his hand up. “ I thought it was. However, we both know what a dragon’s poison is capable of. The good news is; It only took out part of my leg – there, at the knee. Besides, until I met you my dear, I never believed in such things as your people or magic. I only knew science. True, that was foolish on the whole, but then again I’d only met you when I was on the ferry between here and Glasgow. That was two human generations ago…. remember?” She put her arm around his shoulders and kissed him, leaving the elder Englishman a tad breathless and smiling.

As he felt himself being taken off his feet, Longfellow’s mind seemed to drift of its own accord to a day in late November of 1928. The ferry from Glasgow to the dirigible port on the Isle of Mann. The sea was calm and the sky was clear. The only thing bothering him were the flies that seemed to accompany a group of farmers and the bratty children running around the deck.

He tried to pay close attention to them, the skiving little sneak thieves. They tried to half – inch at least 4 wallets while he watched. If it weren’t for the adults around them, they might have gotten away with it. However, they seemed to be trying to make up for the fact that they couldn’t get any quid by being obnoxious enough to knock people over. Longfellow had just turned to be sure of where he was standing when two of the larger ruffians caught him in mid stride and sent him sprawling, as they laughed, over the rail. His last vision was an off duty constable, who had it up to his teeth with the lot of the children, grab the two bullies by the ears and haul them somewhere – possibly the captains office.

Longfellow couldn’t believe his rotten luck! They were just going to leave him to drown! He knew he was a good fifteen miles from shore and all his things were back on the ferry in a storage area. Worst of all, he couldn’t swim! As he resigned himself to his watery fate a surge came from below him. Oh wonderful! He thought to himself, not enough to drown – but to be eaten by a shark or Orca now. He braced for an impact that never came. Instead, he found himself sitting on something large about ten feet out of the water! He looked down and saw a pair of sapphire coloured eyes looking at him quizzically. It tilted forward, whatever it was he was sitting on, and he started to slide off.

Before he hit the water, he found himself hanging in the creatures jaws. Longfellow was astounded, frightened and speechless. He slowly turned his head to see he was in the jaws of a very large reptilian creature and heading for the ferry. “ Oh, great maker, this isn’t happening… this isn’t happening!” He ranted to himself as they closed on the vessel. It would seem that the passengers were too preoccupied with the punishment being inflicted on the young miscreants to see what was coming up to the boat. The creature gently placed the stunned and wet Longfellow on the deck and seemed to disappear instantly. Quietly and with great care, Longfellow made his way to the storage area and got some dry clothes and then made for the W.C in order to change. He made it about as far as the door to the loo when a woman coughed to get his attention.

She was breathtaking! Sapphire blue eyes, raven black hair and dressed like woman of high society in a blue dress and low heeled black shoes and spoke with a strong Scottish accent.

“ Greetings mister…” He politely interrupted her by raising his hand before speaking.

“ May I be of service madam? My apologies, I’m not at my best…” She silenced him with a smile. “ I know, I just wanted to be sure you weren’t hurt.” He was taken aback – how could she know unless… NO! That was impossible! However, when he got his wits about him, he noticed that his clothes were dry. He mouthed like a fish out of water. “ Who are you? I didn’t see you on the ferry earlier. Wait a moment, you can’t be, can you? That, uh, that..”

Dragon? Or sea monster? I know. However, who’d believe there’d be independent flight on such a scale with you humans? You’re smarter than you look it seems, or in your case, handsomer than first thought.” Longfellow simply decided not to attempt to argue logic with this woman.

The idea that this would even be transpiring was enough to make a sane person think they’d gone mad. He decided to just quietly walk her up to the snack bar and get a cuppa and simply try to calm down. It isn’t everyday that something from a fantasy novel occurs in your life! It would be another hour or so before they reached their destination. Longfellow had many questions for her and she him. By the time the young English graduate student got off the ferry, he felt a lot more at ease around his new acquaintance.

He still wasn’t sure about her being a dragon, as she professed. However, based on her knowledge, she seemed to be well versed in the sciences – at least the natural sciences. Longfellow discovered her name was Naikeeah and she was a native of Scotland – Inverness to be precise. She told him of how she was told by a seer that she would meet the man of her destiny off shore in her parents old hunting grounds. Longfellow believed that she was given a rather dodgy fortune from one of the ladies who ran questionable stalls near the carnivals that travelled the countryside – at least initially. The more he listened, the more it made sense for some reason. Something told Longfellow that this woman was being completely honest with him.

After checking in for his flight, he noted that he had a good two hours before his dirigible to Berlin would be taking off. The good news was, he would be getting a luxury suite for his troubles this time. Longfellow almost forgot about his companion when the ticket agent asked if his wife would be travelling with him and jogged his memory a tad. It seems she was just content to observe Longfellow while he made certain that he had all his travelling credentials and student paperwork.

Naikeeah was that quiet as he became engrossed in being ready. She just laughed at Longfellow and told the agent she would, indeed, be with him for his business trip as they had some catching up to do. The gent gave Longfellow a sly wink and proceeded to give what he believed were newly-weds a complimentary ticket for their honeymoon present.

The young man became so enraptured in his conversation that he nearly forgot he was going on a week long excursion to visit professor Max Von Klible, a noted mechanical engineer and pioneer of the ether powered automaton and prosthetics for veterans and victims of horrible accidents. Not to mention, after they hastily boarded he nearly missed the steward’s knock and ticket request. Like on a train, they still had to present their proof of paid passage before leaving the station or port as the case may be.

Mind, he also forgot about the sleeping arrangements for himself and his new lady friend – despite the fact that the two of them had been taken for a newly married couple – plus the idea of wardrobe for Naikeeah. Longfellow was raised a gentleman after all! All throughout his ordeal, Naikeeah watched him with keen interest and found his human manners quite endearing, if not entertaining. Thankfully, there was a shop or two in board, as they later found out, that catered to the female passengers clothing needs – and saved Longfellow a great deal of embarrassment, even though it cost him a pretty penny.

It wouldn’t be till dinner time that Longfellow finally got his wits about him and not do an impression of one of his favourite comedic silent film stars. As he and his new lady friend spoke, the more fascinated he became – even more so than earlier, not to mention enamoured. He discovered that she was of an ethnicity of dragons that were referred to as Sea Dragons; A sort of cousin or sibling to Cold Drakes and Ice Dragons. There was still a matter of whether or not she was an eccentric woman of wealth – say a dowager countess, for example. However, everything she said had a ring of truth to it. How he knew or understood this was beyond him.

Longfellow only knew this was the age of discovery and enlightenment and considering the wonders that the world has produced so far, why should he be cynical? There was no reasonable way to explain how he was carried back to the ferry, for one point. True, he could have been under the influence of oxygen deprivation, but on the other hand, how could he discount the speed of him drying out, let alone the fact he was whisked out of the ocean and carried above the water to safety.

There was also the matter of trust. He couldn’t put a finger on it, but this wondrous woman just exuded credulity, a level of comfort and ease of speaking to. It definitely made the week go quite fast – not to mention the sleeping arrangements less awkward.

When the duo arrived at Berlin, they were met by a rather abrupt, if not rude, greeting party.

Instead of going to the University as he’d thought, the two were taken out of the city heading towards Munich. One found, to his painful woe, that Naikeeah was far from a weakling or push – over. He and two of his compatriots got the stuffing knocked out of them when they tried to escort the Scottish lass to somewhere else on the property and the other three were highly hesitant to jump in! Mind, Longfellow wasn’t a wuss by any stretch as his immediate escort found out. The leader changed tact quickly to one of a more open and honest approach and led the two to professor Von Klible.

An elder gentleman sat looking warily around the room in almost paranoid fashion. When he saw young Longfellow, he nearly cried tears of joy behind his bifocals! He stood, dressed in a simple suit and waistcoat that looked practically off the rack new. His tie was looking as if he had been fiddling with it constantly. In a very rough German accent the old man spoke to Longfellow.

“ Mister Eustice!You have no idea how worried I was. You are the only man I can trust with this latest finding of mine…” He stopped and rummaged around a desk covered in file folders and note book binders. “ … this is the biggest breakthrough yet in Ether Technology. Please, take it and keep it safe! Don’t try and read it here. Hurry! I have no idea how long I have till the secret police arrive…” BANG! Gunfire rang out from the front of the building as Dr. Von Klible motioned for the duo to follow him to the other side of the room.

As the sounds of struggles and weapons fire got closer the old man picked a book on the third shelf from the bottom of the bookcase and pulled it. He motioned for Longfellow and Naikeeah to follow him with all due haste. The false book shelf closed silently behind them as the good doctor stopped about half way from the exit. Longfellow looked at him pleadingly as Von Klible put up his hand.

“ Now listen to me, carefully. Keep going until you smell the wharf and the nearby lake. I cannot go with you! No arguments! I have unfinished work to do and another way out. It’ll be a few hours before the new regime’s watch dogs find the secret exit from my study. By that time I will be long gone – as should you! Now remember, wait till you are safely away on the dirigible before looking at those papers. Keep your eyes and ears open – the both of you! Now hurry! HURRY!” He waved the two out as Naikeeah had to practically drag her charge to the exit.

When they got outside they discovered a motor boat awaiting them. Silently, the two got on and Longfellow got their escape vessel started. Behind them, smoke plumes rose into the air just beyond the tree line that separated the lake from the estate they left behind. It took them almost an hour to get to the nearest town. Longfellow hardly spoke, but he did make some odd purchases.

Naikeeah noted he got a soldering iron, some gears, two small vials of Ether fuel, string and a pair of automaton dolls – the kind children would use or rich families would have to assist with the baby sitting said children. Each doll was the size of a toddler – around 2/3 of a metre tall.

Longfellow then bought some wine, rubbing alcohol, flexible hose pipe and some copper tubing – around 1 meter’s worth plus cutting tools. The human formed sea dragon was perplexed to say the least. When she attempted to ask him about this he merely put up a finger and stayed angrily silent till they made the zeppelin port in Berlin.

Naikeeah noted by the scent she recalled back at the estate that there were more of these secret police positioned around the port. When she looked around she saw them discreetly watching for anything they deemed suspicious. Both noted an official distributing leaflets to boarding and disembarking passengers that described two people; A man and a woman with instructions to notify authorities immediately as they were tied to the disappearance of one Doctor Max Von Klible – a suspected traitor. Longfellow absent mindedly took one and noted their descriptions were vague and not a little bit off on the look.

It would appear that Von Klible’s men were loyal and true to the end – to all three of them! He silently prayed that the men either died a quick and painless death or were spared for their cooperation and released on their own recognizance. Either way, he and Naikeeah made their way on board the New Excelsior – one of the newer models of dirigible. The balloon was slightly more compact, but was strong enough to carry up to 200 passengers safely at the same speed, if not faster than the older models.

Naikeeah let Longfellow know that about a half – dozen of those secret police had come aboard. She overheard them discussing their orders that included keeping an eye peeled in case the two fugitives they were looking for had changed their appearance in an obvious fashion. Longfellow merely nodded and never looked up from a newspaper he acquired in the lobby of the dirigible.

When the entered their cabin, Longfellow let out a sigh of relief and began to sit and work on the automaton. Naikeeah watched in amazement as he opened the backs of the small mechanical wonders and replaced a few items and added a couple of others. In a matter of minutes, the gadgeteer extraordinaire had fashioned what appeared to be matching fuel tanks – except made of the bottles that held the rubbing alcohol – and ran the copper tubing so it would be hidden behind the mouths of the innocent faces of the dolls. Longfellow turned to her after opening the bottle of wine and pouring each of them a glass.

“ I know this looks mad. However, when I was in university I made a few of these. We called them battle – bots. We would have contests to see who could out – do whom the fastest and most cleverly. Basically, I’ve created an artificial flame thrower. Mind you, they can still communicate if needed to and no hint of the surprise behind their artificial smile. You see, the copper piping is set to deploy and act like a nozzle to spew fire! A bit like a flame thrower, but smaller, understand?”

Naikeeah merely smiled and surprised him with a warm kiss. “ You mean you’ve made artificial dragons – mechanical ones at that! Brilliant! Are those for defence or attack?” He smiled at her as he recovered. No woman had ever kissed him so tenderly or warmly before and it took him a moment to recover from the pleasant shock.

“ Both Naikeeah. Thus the string. If those secret police chaps try to rush us,well, these little beauties will give them pause or set them alight to buy us time to escape or take them out and make it look an accident. Those brutes didn’t exactly strike me as the type to be anything, but blunt. I’m just hoping they make their move when we’re near a custodial room or near the engine room – for example. It would make sense for them to try and shoot their intended targets in an effort to make it appear that they had no choice except to use lethal force – for propaganda purposes. ” He reached into one of the boxes the dolls came in and handed a clunky sort of box with 4 buttons and a toggle.

“ This will control…” He looked at the number on the underside of the controller quickly. “ … the one with the brunette hair and beret. Keep it on you in case we have to discreetly put my plan into motion. I’ll have the other one in my trouser pocket. So, for now, we can nap and possibly have enough time for a shower before we make for dinner in the restaurant on the lower deck and promenade.” He smiled wearily before collapsing on his pillow.

Naikeeah gave a half sigh and half chuckle before cuddling up. She kept her ears peeled for any shenanigans in the corridor, but thankfully only families and children were active on their deck.

She mainly watched Longfellow as he slept peacefully and felt better and better about their chance meeting. If this was the love foretold to her by her grandmother, then she knew she was truly blessed by the all mother dragon! Later, the couple got a fair few strange looks – mainly from children as the parents were bound and determined to ignore the strange young couple with the boxes in their arms. Most muttered about newly-weds and how young people were developing odder and odder habits these days.

Out of the corner of his eye, Longfellow noted that 3 of the men sent to keep watch for him and Naikeeah were sitting catycornered to them, around 5 tables away. They pretended to look at the menu and eat, but one was on the radio speaking with the other three presumably and eyeing the out of place couple. Naikeeah made to go to the ladies loo when two of the secret police followed a moment or so after. The one with the radio seemed to become frenetic as he noted he was alone now and so was Longfellow! Within minutes, the missing trio of the band of thugs came in as if they were being fashionably late. Longfellow looked at his watch as this part of the observation and apprehension squad sat to his left two tables over.

After what seemed for ever, Naikeeah waltzed in looking refreshed and quite ready to order dinner. Longfellow noted that she was clean and no sign of being waylaid or attacked! Mind, the duo that followed her never returned and the man with the radio wound up excusing himself as the meals were being served. An odd thing Longfellow noted was, all the men had armbands with a symbol on them. If they were any more obvious, it would be comical. On the other hand, none of the other passengers even remotely hinted that they could see this. It was as if whatever the men stood for was someone else’s problem or they felt that if they didn’t notice, it wouldn’t draw undue attention to them.

As soon as Longfellow finished his main course he made a subtle bee line for the exit at the other end of the room. Naikeeah was perplexed about this as he came back almost as fast, just as their would be assailants noticed he had gone and just returned. From the other end of the dinning room, the radio man made a fast march to the trio at the table and began a heated, one sided conversation. Occasionally, he’d point at the pair from behind his left arm as if he was trying to be sly and clever about his report or trying not to be noticed by anyone else.

Naikeeah observed that Longfellow’s box with automaton was missing. He barely looked at her and gave a covert wink as he casually looked over at the four men at the other table. All three that were properly seated would, as a group, look at Naikeeah and then give the hunched over apoplectic speaker a pitying look or a shake of their heads. By the time the secret police were able to finish their own meal and check in on their suspects – the duo was gone!

One of the seated men grabbed the one hunched over and said something in his ear to make his eyes bulge out before taking the shocked man roughly by the arm and escort him out with the other two. Near the back of the room, Longfellow popped out silently from behind the exit door to watch the four men make for the elevators. He took a silent breath of relief and then politely escorted Naikeeah to a hallway just down and to the left of the corridor they were in. In German, a series of doors were marked “ Maintenance”, “Engineering”, “ Custodian” and “ Engine Room – Authorised Personell Only!”. Longfellow guided Naikeeah into the one marked “ Engineering ” . Inside was a tinkerers dream! Spanners of all sizes with all sorts of screwdrivers, wire clippers, Ether canisters and enough machine tools to make Longfellow think he’d died and gone to engineering heaven.

The young female sea dragon could see the appeal of choosing this place for whatever plan Longfellow had in mind. Longfellow made stealthily for the door and attached a string to the doll while occasionally cocking his head to one side listening for anything going on in the corridor before going back and sitting with Naikeeah.

“ All right then, I know you think I’ve lost my marbles, but hear me out. I have no idea how much time it will be before they discover we’ve not gone back to our suite. It will be, maybe 15 minutes before they or their harried comrade in arms realise the connection between me and this part of the ship. Note; I’ve got my automaton positioned near the door, but not on top of the Ether or other highly flammable gas… yet. It would take quite a bit, such as one opening up one of the valves on the containers to cause a near disastrous combustion or a powerful enough explosion…”

Naikeeah rolled her eyes and shook her head signifying that Longfellow was going into boring engineer speak. “ Sorry! Anyway, I’ve placed some rubbing style alcohol bottles over the door on a precarious shelf. With both our dolls in action and a quick knock down of the shelf, the alcohol should provide enough flammable liquid to give our would be killers quite the awful burn…”

Longfellow caught Naikeeah quietly laughing till she noticed that he saw her.

“ I’m sorry! It’s just you keep forgetting I’m still a dragon! I’m a sea dragon, most certainly, but still a dragon! You want them fried so they can’t report in or send for reinforcements – even in England – then, you should have said something! Mind you, I like the idea of using your skills to hide the fact I exist. Now quit doing an impersonation of a cod fish for a minute!” She kissed him squarely on the lips for emphasis. After another moment of blushing, looking confused and bewildered, Longfellow recovered and gathered himself.

“ Okay, so, can you fly as well? No? Fine, don’t look at me like I insulted you. I know little of dragons and just wondered if I needed to knock – up a personal flight device for us in case we needed a quick getaway. I’m sure you saw the emergency doors for the miniature dirigibles? Anyway, it was something I was working on before I met you and… are you crying? I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings… * mmmf! * ”

Naikeeah gave him a sly grin and whispered. “ You are too easy to get wound up! It’s what I love about you, you’re a gentleman through and through. Now, let’s just worry about getting your marvellous contraption working and then tell me about your artificial flight devices for non – flying types. I’m sure my mother would find it a hoot!” He nearly asked her about the last remark when he heard the men from before outside – they were systematically checking the doors and rooms and were now making their way towards them!

Longfellow muttered something under his breath, at least so it sounded, about women in general and how confounding the lot are as he activated the doll by remote control via radio waves. Just as the door was being tested to see if it were locked, the magnificently resourceful Longfellow grabbed a handy spool and prepared to hurl it through the air at the shelf after finding the end of the string on his belt attached to the doll.

Naikeeah sat looking as if she were watching a very entertaining street magician, not a care in the world as four men made to rush in yelling in German for the duo to give up or come out so they could be shot without fuss!
In one fluid motion as two of the thugs drew tommyguns from out of their coats, Longfellow threw his spool sending a buckets worth of alcohol onto the surprised quartet whilst pressing the activation button and toggling his automaton forward. In the confusion, he pushed the talk button for the doll and pulled the string that activated the flame thrower!

WHOOSH! “ AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!” and “ AAAAAIIIIIIEEE ”
“ DUCK NAIKEEAH!”

The good and bad news was; It worked! Good because Longfellow routed the thugs. It was bad because they shot their weapons out of panic and pain! Naikeeah didn’t seem half as concerned as her human counter part.

In fact, the Inverness woman didn’t even have a hair out of place as Longfellow grabbed her hand and made a mad dash for the doorway! They jumped over the burning, rolling would be assassins and made a break for the emergency life boat area. Alarms began in earnest as the crew rushed to the source of the small explosions and fire. Emergency medical people rushed passed the duo along with several pyjama clad onlookers moving to see what the fuss was all about.

It was pure luck that the duo achieved the hangar deck where the mini dirigibles were kept. Longfellow made to breathe in relief when he realised he left the papers doctor Von Klible entrusted him with back in his stateroom! He left Naikeeah sitting, looking politely quizzical as he dashed like he was on fire back to their room.

He just reached the door when a hand grabbed his shoulder and spun him around! It was one of the two waylaid gents that Naikeeah had taken care of. “ You will come with us now… Herr Doctor, preferably resisting all the way as I look forward to letting you know how much trouble you truly are!”. The one with his hand on Longfellow’s shoulder said as the other half of the pair limped over with a club raised over his head and began to swing when out of nowhere, a female hand caught the man’s arm and …

BANG! SLAM! SMACK! BONK!

Naikeeah stood over the unconscious pair of thugs as Longfellow looked on stunned and once again acting like a fish out of water for a moment. “ How did you… oh never mind! Give me a moment and let’s put these two in the stateroom while I get what I came for…” Naikeeah smiled and chuckled quietly as she picked up both men as if they were mere small children! Longfellow nearly broke his neck doing a double take barely believing what he just witnessed!

This time, he used the remaining string to bind the two blackguards before taking Naikeeah gently by the arm so they could make good on their escape. They chose the stairs to get to the emergency area. It took Longfellow less time than he imagined to disengage the moorings and silently slip out the back of the massive zeppelin.

Almost as soon as they got two ship lengths away from the zeppelin their radio went haywire with French landing personnel and the crew of the air ship hailing them. The Germans were wondering if this was an act of sky piracy, an accidental launching or panicky passengers. The French were simply trying to be sure that whomever was flying the mini dirigible knew what they were doing and if this was an emergency try and talk the pilot and passengers down as safely as possible.

Longfellow did a cursory look through the windscreen of the flying machine and reckoned they were somewhere near the English Channel! He shut off the radio and began to work the controls to get them as close to the ocean as possible.

The young engineer just took a moment to catch his breath when a humming sound of engines caught his ears! He peered out the side portal and saw a small squadron of Germain fighter planes coming their way. Longfellow cursed under his breath and made for the controls again. He motioned for Naikeeah as he set the life raft mini dirigible on an angled dive towards the ocean.

“ Sorry Naikeeah, old thing! When we get near enough to the water we’ll have to dive in…

probably from around 100 metres at best, 1500 more realistically… When I nod my head, we make for the main hatch and jump! I’m certain those Fokker tri – planes of theirs can’t pull fast manoeuvres while trying to shoot us …”

RAT – A – TAT – TAT! RAT – A – TAT – TAT! RAT – A – TAT – TAT! RAT – A – TAT – TAT! BRRRRP! BRRRP! PING! PING! PING!

Suddenly, bullets were cutting through the cabin and seemingly, indiscriminately hitting anything, but the two escapees! Longfellow took Naikeeah by the arm and crawled across the floor littered with broken glass, bits of wood, plastic and metal before arising and kicking open the hatch impressively.

As he looked down he saw water coming towards them! Before the mini dirigible hit and exploded the duo leapt for their lives! Longfellow felt himself being pulled by gravity at least 100 feet or more before he passed out. When he awoke, he was on the head of a.. sea dragon!

The beasty just winked at him as he passed out. When he awoke again he found himself on pier in Bournemouth! Naikeeah was standing over him looking a tad worried. Longfellow recovered just in time, coughing and spitting up water, to see if his precious cargo was safe.

“ Oh heavens! Did I lose it? Where is the.. you have it?” Naikeeah smiled and nodded.

“ Indeed my one! You truly are resilient and are a lot tougher than I could imagine. No need to worry, it’s night time…” Longfellow finally got his wits about him to notice that it was late at night and the pier was definitely empty.

“ So, it was you? You rescued me after I botched saving us?” Naikeeah merely shook her head in the negative. “ No, you succeeded! It was a good thing I know water spells well enough to protect your precious paper! Now, my bold one, I got us a taxi a few moments ago, so if you’ll please stand up…” Longfellow did as he was bade and had the quietest ride to the train station he ever had. It was a good thing his money was still in order, or was that because of his dragon girlfriend?

He made to lay his head down for a quick nap in the cab before deciphering doctor Von Klible’s paper after boarding the train to Glasgow, when, a thought occurred to him; What sort of discovery could be so monumental that the Germans would risk open warfare, yet again, with England or the rest of Europe for that matter? He took a thinkers sitting pose as he caught his Scottish companions facial expression, breaking his train of thought. Naikeeah, looked at him in a concerned fashion as he then realised he had no change of clothing and more than likely very limited funds till he got a chance to stop in London before going north.

Longfellow quickly checked his wallet and emergency money pouch he kept on the inside of his shirt – a minor invention he and a French student came up with in college. He breathed a sigh of relief before they made the ticket counter and got their boarding passes. Naikeeah, hung close on his arm, she seemed worried about him for some reason.

After they got seated in their billet and he was able to take his jacket off, he noticed a tear in his shirt. Naikeeah became a little nervous as it looked like either a large scratch or a slash mark.

Longfellow looked at the female dragon for a moment confused. The wound didn’t hurt, but it didn’t seem that long for it to heal up as much as it did either. “ Could you possibly explain this? Naikeeah?” She looked away for a moment blushing. “ Well, my one, I was too weak to heal you further you see. A dragon such as myself can only do so much in one day and you took quite a jolt and got pretty cut up from your fall – or I should say after I retrieved you before you drowned!”

He looked at her incredulously. However, that changed as he recalled the fall was from quite a height and as the first time he met her, Naikeeah, he had seen the same blue dragon or serpent taking him towards shore! This was far from a coincidence. There were no other logical explanations, were there? He seemed struck dumb for a good few moments that felt like hours.

When Longfellow found his voice, it was with some admiration and bit apologetic.

“ Naikeeah, please don’t cry. I wasn’t completely sold on you being a dragon till now and that was my problem. You’ve been nothing, but forthright and honest with me since we’ve met and you saved my life. You professed nothing, but the truth to me and despite the overwhelming evidence I still found doubt over belief. In other words, I’m very sorry!” Naikeeah blushed and gave him a very big hug and whispered in his ear.

“ And one day, I’ll tell you about yourself – things that will astonish and amaze you! For now, let’s get some rest and when we get to London, you can buy me something for breakfast, maybe. That is, if you and I aren’t detained over the incident over French airspace. I’m sure that I saw some English fighter craft in the air coming to the aid of the French air control tower.” Longfellow made a face and hugged her back and even kissed her cheek.

“ After this whirlwind affair of sorts, I think I can handle questioning by my government. Now, let me see to this mysterious paper on Ether gas!” They lay together on the small bed reading all 50 pages of the findings of doctor Von Klible. It was astounding! Apparently, the good doctor was working on transference of conscience via Ether gas. The results weren’t permanent, but they lasted long enough so that the donated mind of the subject could utilise an automaton body for a good 24 hrs! The pair looked at each other as the conductor came round to let them know that Kings Cross Station was coming up. Naikeeah spoke up after the awkward silence.

“ This is the closest to alchemy I’ve seen in over eight centuries! Not to mention spirit transference from body to body – or possession if you will. If this is viable, this will change the world in ways neither of us could imagine! A nearly indestructible body with a human mind in control; No pain or suffering, a more efficient automaton. You could rescue miners, divers, the whole lot without risking human life. No wonder the Germans wanted this! In the wrong hands, this could mean an army of mechanical warriors with faster reflexes and no need for a conscience – ghastly to say the least!” Longfellow nodded slowly before they disengaged and cleaned up to make for the nearest café. As they made their way from the train station, they could hear the calling of the newspaper people on the street.

They were announcing an emergency session of parliament and the German consulate being dragged before the session and the prime minister to answer for their actions against their own zeppelin over French air space! There was also a massive search for him and Naikeeah on. It would seem that the French figured that whomever it was on the mini dirigible was fleeing for their lives for fear of the German secret police, who were identified as the ones who called for the Luftwaffe to fire on the life boat style dirigible. Longfellow and Naikeeah weren’t named specifically, but they were shown falling from the burning air ship.

There was another photo of boats scouring the channel. It would be days before the English could acquire even the passenger list, let alone be able to search the zeppelin. This meant that, to Longfellow anyway, they would have a week before they would have to reveal themselves to the local officials and then be prepared to answer many awkward and pointed questions.

More than likely they – meaning the government – would be at his flat back in Holmfirth in an attempt to discover what he, Longfellow, was on to in Germany. Longfellow felt a hand on his shoulder and he glanced to see Naikeeah had become worried. It was as if he’d stopped breathing for a bit. He smiled, half – heartedly, and gave her his best reassuring look.

“ I’m all right. Honestly! I just, I realised the enormity of the last few hours. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found Scotland Yard in my flat looking over my work from the last couple of years or so. No worries m’love! They’re more concerned with dousing the fires of war than they are with putting me through the ringer, yes? So please, finish your breakfast. At least I don’t have to stop at my bank and we could even do some shopping – I’m sure you won’t mind helping me find something less ragged and maybe an outfit or two for you?” Naikeeah seemed to revive again. The colour came back to her face and she took a deep breath. “ Thank you. I’ve never been formally shopping in London before! Could we visit Herrods? Or maybe Selfridge’s? What I appear to be wearing is, in fact, a part of me – my scales you see – and I think It would be wondrous… if… I … Are you sure you’re all right?”

Longfellow was taken aback by the admonition that when she transformed into a human part of her was her clothing?! Naikeeah patted him on the back as they finished their meal and made for the shopping district.

True to his word, he did buy her two outfits. One of the latest from the new summer wardrobe complete with ankle high shoes, hat and parasol plus something for the explorer type with a pith helmet, tweed ladies jacket and riding trousers with knee high boots. When Longfellow went to try on his new wardrobe he discovered that his wound was not only fully healed – it looked like only his shirt got ripped!

The two ate lunch at Piccadilly Square before going to the train station and heading north. The duo stopped in Holmfirth and Longfellow showed Naikeeah his work lab, living area and garage where he kept some of his more adventurous inventions – including the personal flying machine replete with fold – away metal wings and steam powered engine behind a porcelain back plate.

He even showed her his version of a Caver Ship! His only dilemma was how he was going to launch the thing into space. Two days later, the government did come calling – someone from the ministry of Foreign Affairs plus two of Scotland Yards finest met him as he was attending to his post.

A mister Havershime, Ronald Marcus Havershime to be precise as he presented himself, was astounded at how he and his Scottish girlfriend were able to survive a perilous fall and make it to Bournemouth without any assistance. Longfellow was a tad sheepish as he answered. “ Well, mister Havershime, I’m just a really good swimmer and we did – Nikki and I – caught the odd lucky break. So, I’m sure you’re curious as to the reason why we were in such a predicament?”

Mister Havershime and Longfellow then got to the point of it all. Having memorised the material, he told the agent of the ministry about the formula he was entrusted with by the old professor and world renowned inventor. Both the men from the Yard were particularly riveted as Longfellow recounted how he managed to escape – leaving out the bits about Naikeeah being a dragon of course.

Havershime shook Longfellow’s hand after the meeting and assured him that if he needed to testify before the parliament that he would be contacted officially by Ronald himself! He then went on to tell Longfellow and Naikeeah to consider themselves conscripted in her majesty’s service.

The young inventor was somewhere between sacred to death and elated by the sudden news. He went to bed with Naikeeah hugging him for all she was worth, but just as he nodded off – his eyes snapped open. He was back on the pier at the Isle of Mann! It was a dream. But such a realistic one! He then became aware of the fact he was in the arms of … Naikeeah!

She looked at him with a warmth and kindness that made him forget he was in an embarrassing position. He put his face in his hands when he noticed something miraculous; They looked young and vital! There were no liver spots or signs of ageing what so ever.

Naikeeah put him down gently as his clothes now seemed too big. He looked at her as she smiled invitingly at him. For what ever reason you could imagine – he kissed her! He kissed her as warmly and lovingly as he could. If this was the after life, then it could only be heaven. When he broke his romantic embrace and caught his breath again, she spoke.

“ My gift for you my love! Your youth.” She bowed before wrapping her arms around him. All he could do was hug her back before speaking. “ All these years and you never forgot! I thought I’d lost you… I….” She silenced him with a slight cough. “ There is another reason my love…” She turned to the ocean and whistled. From just beyond the pier a small figure leapt out. It was a little girl! She had his eyes and smile. Naikeeah turned back to Longfellow.

“ Yes, Longfellow, this is our daughter! And she really wants to hear about our adventures – all of them. ”

The next day, the local newspaper led with two stories; One was about the disappearance of a known inventor and war hero who apparently fell off the pier, never to surface and a highly suspect to outlandish article about sea monsters – a family to be precise – seen by the same dock briefly before apparently heading towards Scotland… but that’s another tale, as are all of Longfellow’s adventurous endeavours in the name of the queen and country.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten my promo out of the way and my publishers probably giving me the evil eye…
To conclude on my future ~
The soonest that Camden’s Follies Series 2 is available will be in September. And YES! you WILL have to read the first 4 BOOKS – no skimming! – to keep up with the story… NO CHEATING!
The proposed Cable series or Nettflix deal is yet to be reached, though YouTube is still on the table with some of the others…
Just not Sy – Fy and their idiots.. EVER!

So, you’re caught up. Elder Offensive 2 is on its way… maybe…

Till next time,

~ The Pirate Poet

Okay, revisiting a short story because, well, why not?

From a Submission, ages ago…

Lor’afa

© 2015 Jon Corres Pirate Poet

The Hoverat or hover chariot stood motionless over the sand dune. A trading and space port stood pristine and vibrant over the spot that once held a stone keep. The fortress fell a decade prior, and at a cost that young princes Lor’afa felt was too dear. Her eyes stung with bitter tears as the vision of the captain of her guard lay dead before her in the burnt out rubble crossed her mind.

Silently, she cursed herself for being so callous, unfeeling and cruel to such an honourable young man. Despite Jora’l’s consistent efforts at being kind, considerate and loyal she had treated him worse than a slave. That tragic day, it had dawned on her as she was being led away from the battle. Jora’l had saved her from a great support beam from falling on her after a cannon round found the inner citadel. He laid her down between her other personal guard after running her through near white hot fire to get her to safety. He declared the others to stay with her until her father could arrive with relief and then only move if the structure began to weaken. Jora’l then ran back into the inferno to buy time for the small group to be rescued.

That was the last time she saw him alive. He chanced one final look in her direction. Was it resignation in his eyes did she see? For what seemed an eternity the princess saw a glimpse of the inner pain that her protector carried within. Then, he disappeared and she found herself being forcefully held back and carried in the direction of the delivery doors.

The rest, as she adjusted her Hoverat, was a blur of activity she thought she’d never should have survived. Admittedly, it was a small raid by an overly ambitious prince. On the other hand, it was a diversion for a larger force of arms that her father, King Olan’m was grimly prepared for. Skiffs and other craft arrived within moments of her being escorted from the besieged fortress.

She was covered in soot and was coughing for all the smoke, but still she held out hope for Jora’l. There was a lot between them, but the least she could do was be sure she thanked him properly. It never occurred to the pampered princess just how deep the captain of her guard felt for her till after the siege.

Lor’afa ignored the pleas of her beleaguered remaining guards and made for the ruins. She could see her father’s advanced guard and his personal battle wagon coming across the desert sea as she carefully made for the citadel that Jora’l had made for. Near the top that was now sitting five stories lower in the sand she found her gallant knight.

His eyes were fixed upon his right hand as his left lay across his lap. It was clear he had passed some time earlier. His quarry, the power mad prince was pinned against the wall with a sword through his heart. A permanent look of shock, anger and fear in his eyes. Then, slowly, as she leaned over to see if Jora’l was dead she noticed what was in his clenched right hand. Gently, she removed the item and found to her shock and amazement that it was a favour she herself had given him years ago! Lor’afa stayed frozen as the memories, mostly bad, came flooding back to her.

All the recollections of times she acted like a pompous twit and treated him worse than a mere slave assailed her like darts hurled by an angry hunter. What crushed her was when she looked into Jora’l’s dead eyes.

There were tears! He knew his time had come and all he could think of was her. That was the sadness and resignation she witnessed before he died. This scared veteran, a man who looked much older than his years, had cared so much for her that he was willing to take the mistreatment and cruelty just to be at her side. It had never occurred to Lor’afa to see him such a light. His bravery, honour and courage – all devoted to her out of unrequited love.

All that price paid and all he had to show for it was a kerchief. This was the lesson her mother spoke of and that Jora’l had hinted to in the past. She found herself gently kissing his cheek before sitting back on her feet and crying like a baby for what seemed for ever. Some time later, Lor’afa knew she had been helped to her feet, to meet her father who was concerned for her.

She steadied herself and ignored hand maids, her weak fiancée and the doctors to walk directly to Olan’m. The conversation was brief and Lor’afa had it burned in her memory. She thrust the bloodied and lightly burnt favour at him.

“ Did you know this? All this time? Why didn’t you tell me?! WHY?!”

The king locked eyes with his bereaved daughter. He shifted in his own blood stained and charred armour uncomfortably before waving aside his attendants and quieting the throng around him and answering as calmly and gently as possible.

“ Some lessons must be learnt the hard way. We both tried – Jora’l and I, as did your mother, but you wouldn’t or weren’t ready to hear it or learn it for yourself. Your stubborn mentality, borne from me I believe, was never really tempered with your mother’s kindness. There were times when Jora’l and I would have loved to have shaken you or do something to awaken you to your plight. However, I, as he knew, couldn’t force you to do something or acknowledge anything you were against doing.”

He paused to quell his urge to both cry and scream. “ As a parent, I had to let you make choices – decisions – for yourself. They were your problems and you had to grow up to see the solutions for what they were. I could never have helped you and it wouldn’t have been fair to you if I had. I have to say I am as devastated by the loss of Jora’l as you are; More so as he was the finest protector of your personal guard. Not to mention, he was the closest to a son that I had ever had! Yes, I knew he loved you – deeply. That cloud over your eyes, it worried us both to death. All I am going to say is; If you really did or do care about Jora’l, then you’ll become the woman and leader he, your mother and I all know you are! Don’t let this sacrifice be in vane! Now go and let the healers and doctors see to you. There are many who lost their lives today and as much as I’d like to mourn, I am a king, first and foremost.”

Ten years and those words still stung and haunted her. Ten long years and finally Lor’afa had found the courage to come back. She wanted to scream to the heavens for the divine pantheon to give her back her true love. Once more, as a decade prior, she found herself on her knees in tears. She never married the popinjay. Her heart had found what it sought and would never let it go till she passed on. She found her strength once more, stood and as she looked up she could swear she saw Jora’l standing on a nearby dune. His coal black eyes were softened by a kind smile that played over a well cropped beard. The image nodded sadly at her and pointed to its heart. Before it faded from view, the spirit of Jora’l bowed one final time and disappeared.