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Subject: Captain Hart's Revenge Part III rss

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...the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
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Continued from Captain Hart's Revenge Part I:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/14082136#14082136

The Swiftwind raced back to Val Justinia from the Black Canyon. Never had the skies been so empty of Air Pirates. With the Antikythera Captain Hart was able to avoid the treacherous Arkadian weather. They had stopped again in Easley to refuel and take on some supplies and spoke with the local hangar master.
"Aye, a whole cloud of them passed by Thoia and then Costa just the other day I'm told."
"They're headed along the coast?" Captain Hart was incredulous and yet also tense with fear. She knew what they could do, and what they had in place in Val Justinia. It's coastal location confirmed in her mind that the Air Pirates were part of the Clockwork Cabal's attempt to overthrow the Emperor. Not only did she have to warn the Emperor, but she wanted in on that fight.
As they reached Val Justinia, it looked as peaceful and dreamy as it's ever shifting streets ever had from above. Boldly, Captain Hart put the Swiftwind down as close to the Imperial palace as she dared. The courtyard outside of it seemed a nice open space to land. The Imperial Guard met her at the gangplank.
"The Swiftwind? You are Captain Hart then."
"I am."
"Are you loyal to the Emperor? We've heard that tale change several times in the past months. Speak now!"
She held up the assembled Antikythera and said, "I bring the Emperor a gift and a warning that an Air Pirate fleet is headed this way down the coast. Take me to him now."

The grand spectacle of the Imperial throne room was lost on her as she stood before His Majesty.
"Captain Hart, you are a most resourceful and ruthless fighter of pirates. I need that kind of captain in my Aether Navy. Our corsair the Peakhope has just lost her captain. You have demonstrated your loyalty to our person and to the Empire, will you join and captain this vessel against the Air Pirates."
Stunned by such an opportunity Captain Hart was left with fewer words than usual.
"Yes your Majesty" was all she could get out.

Alarm klaxons sounding the flagship, the HMS Dauntless rose slowly above the city. On her port side was the HMS Dominion and on her starboard, the HMS Peakhope.
No sooner had they got into formation then the Air Pirates came whizzing and shrieking out of the skies over the sea and surrounded the Aether Navy's last best hope.

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The fire belched from their guns and tore into the Aether Navy's hulls. Fires broke out and the wounded and dead quickly removed to the medical deck.
Revenants attempted to swarm onto the ships with each attack. The Aether Navy's marines were kept busy on all sections of the ships repelling the Air Pirate's hideous shock troops.


Captain Hart whipped her crew into a frenzy and they drove back the Revenants time and again. The Peakhope's guns blazed and brought down pirate after pirate. Her engine was shot away and repeatedly boarded. A Brass Dagger class pirate attack zeppelin kept her from being able to move at all. They were an easy mark but not without teeth of their own.
The Dauntless was pummelled relentlessly from both sides and the bridge was hit critically. It became almost impossible to repair other parts of the ship.
Suddenly an orange glow lit the port side of the Peakhope. Captain Hart had her back to the Dauntless but saw the reflection on the opposite wall of the bridge. She turned from barking orders at her gunners to watch in horror as the Dauntless burst into flames from many places and slowly descended towards the city, which was itself littered with the fires started by the downed Air Pirate ships.
She watched then as the swarm which had surrounded the Dauntless went for the Dominion like sharks in a feeding frenzy. To this point the Dominion had had only fighters to contend with, and not the Brass Dagger class ship that the Dauntless had had. Now it had more and to spare. Still, the Dominion had fared lightly and the Dauntless had given as good as it got, so the pirates were weakened where the Dominion was not and they fell from the sky under it's withering fire.


The Dominion began making it's way over to the Peakhope to help in finishing off the pirate attackers. Captain Hart saw this and saw that victory was at hand and pushed her crew further still.
"Let 'em have it ye dogs! Don't let those slouches on the Dominion think that we need any help!" With that the Brass Dagger and the remaining pirates fell from the sky.


Epilogue:
Captain Hart stood with the other Heroes of Val Justinia on the Grand Rotunda in the Imperial Hall. It's splendor was not lost on her now, and even her pride was somewhat quelled in this palace of palaces.
Grand Admiral Sanders stood before her. His arm, head and torso were bandaged from burns sustained in the Dauntless' crash landing. His skill had brought her down in a relatively unused area of the city. He came to her at the last.
"Captain Isabella Hart, for your bravery and skill at the helm of the HMS Peakhope, as well as your tenacity and fervor against the enemies of the realm as captain of the Swiftwind, I hereby bestow upon you at the request of our Emperor the Golden Order of the Aether Navy."
She bowed her head as he and an attendant placed the medal over her head.
The Emperor stepped forward to compliment her as he had done for each of the Heroes. "You shall continue as captain of the Peakhope, though I don't doubt that that won't last long as there are bigger, more powerful ships for you to command, and doubtless you shall earn that right if you continue to fight as you do."
"Thank you you Majesty, Grand Admiral. I will do my best."
The End?
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