Their flag was silver, — a silver similar to the waxing-gibbous moon, hours early to its shift so it could catch the sky while ’twas still blue before the orange that was already creeping up from the horizon could steal it all, steering the purple tides — & emblazoned on that silver was a white snowflake with a golden crown on top.
This flag fluttered like a spring heron in the lite wind & ocean waves; but by this point those who ran the ship found themselves far stormier, for they had spied a ship following them for nearly an hour now, & had now realized that ’twas not only closing in on them, but was also armed with cannons & helmed by men holding assault rifles & wearing suspicious all-concealing red, blue, & green suits & face masks.
& @ the top o’ this ship’s mast was a flag that was nothing but black. But to any seagoer who knew the ropes round the Pacific Ocean nothing was mo’ threatening, for they now knew that these were seashinobi, brilliant pirates notorious for paralyzing a ship & robbing it o’ its goods, & then slipping ’way unidentified, like the snap o’ a finger — that is, when they weren’t hired as assassins ( as was their most common role during their heyday o’ 16th-century Japan, usually gainst political rivals o’ their patron ), which is when they would obliterate a ship & all its crew in 1 smooth stroke, like the slit o’ a throat.
Most o’ the crew scrambled below deck for protection, while the driver & her assistants worked to steer & speed the ship ’way & the security team stood in a line ’long the edge o’ the ship toward which the hostile ship was headed with their guns out.
With an edge o’ dread, the man handling the telescope said, <They already have their guns aimed @ us>.
Security looked ’mong themselves with contorted frowns.
<Their machine guns will shred us before our pitiful pistols have a chance to shove hardly a shot out>, 1 said in a hushed tone.
But ’nother said, <There’s no use trying to hide below. It’d only delay them a li’l. Better die fighting than die hiding>.
So they stood there staring straight @ their assailants like prisoners in front o’ a firing squad.
The cap’n stuck his head back up from below the deck.
<There’s no way the sea police will be able to reach us before our stalkers>.
Without turning back to the cap’n, the security lead said, <There’s no way we’ll be able to o’erpower them>.
<Put your weapons ’way>, the cap’n said with a tinge o’ urgency. <You’re right: there’s no way we’ll be able to fight back, so we’d best surrender & hope they only take our goods>.
The cap’n walked up to the flagpole & lowered their snowflake flag with a wary eye aimed @ the shinobi ship so close, knowing any second he could become a fleshy pincushion if they thought he was on a plot, or e’en if their temperament stirred them. Then he pulled out a white sheet, tied it round the pole, & began raising it, stumbling on the white string with his sweaty palms in his haste.
Howe’er, before it reached halfway up, his ears were rocked with the racket o’ gunshots, & in the corner o’ his eyes he saw his security team explode with orange light. Without thought, the cap’n dropped on his knees & positioned himself ’hind the pole. There he could see his security collapse in a pile o’ cries & a puddle o’ blood, ’long with the driver & her assistants. Bullets continued to zip by like furious wasps. The cap’n was breathing hard, as if the wind were clogging his throat & choking him, his face drowning in tears & sweat.
Then he heard a throaty boom, followed by an elongated screech, & crouched e’en lower when he saw a cannon fly toward the ship in an arc. His thoughts ’bout what would happen were cut short when it hit the ship, releasing a blast that spread its arms long past the cap’n, tossing his body @ the ship’s wall like common debris, sapping it o’ its sentience & sapience, as well as shreds o’ its face & skin.
The ship shattered into wooden shards & sank. From its dying heart spread a white liquid, foaming like cauldron water from the quakes round it. Then the other ship turned & disappeared in the distance & the fizz died down & the white liquid was devoured by the purple sea till there was no sight o’ it any longer.