The Let's Play Archive

Sid Meier's Pirates!

by FirstAidKite

Part 5

Arr, little we could do. The crew was growing anxious, demanding more coin by the mate. We were far away, the wind was not on our side, the crew was well fed though small in numbers. It was time to search for Rackham's treasure.

We set sail the 28th of March from the French port of Tortuga with the intention of sailing all the way back to St. Martin. A quick stop there would be for preparations to hunt down Jack's treasure. A slow and arduous journey it was as I fought tooth and nail to keep my mutinous men from stealing my ships.

It was one of the crew's longest and harshest journeys as I found even the most loyal of my commanders beginning to question me.

Their lust of blood and gold was great indeed. No finer fighters could be conceived. These were not tame men, however; they wished to turn. I had to distract their near-feral instincts with other, greater bounties than I.

So great it was that they focused too much on hand to hand, almost always refusing to reload the cannons. The wind continued to twist our ship around in circles.

Was my fate to be that of King Leonidas? No, his soldiers were loyal in the most vile of situations. If I die, it shan't be rear end a martyr but as a scoundril of a captain.

My gun served me well in these times of need.

Managing to disable the enemy with a bullet before dumping them overboard was critical to satisfying our nigh carnal need for gold. A sick and twisted addiction for which none of us could ever truly hope to satisfy given what we had.

So little gold managed to hold off the scum beneath my feet for a month.

The seas were empty, the men were once again whispering various ideas of assassinations. More gold was needed.

And yet we were barely out of Tortuga. Tortuga was quite visible from the stern and the crow's nest. This trip would no doubt end in failure, the death of me. I was, with no doubt in my mind, going to die. There were no dramatics about the whole thing, for numerous times had I heard the men whispering outside the captain's quarters of De Terreur, which the ever faithful Thompson loaned me.

Numerous days later, we encountered a party of three Indian war canoes. Commander Hermetian bid us to leave them alone, but I knew Hermetian well. He too had spoken of jumping ship for life at Aztlan. A traitorous, murderous, unfaithful dog. I said little to him, simply giving the order to attack the ships and ransack them for anything of value. Kill everything on board, every man, and check every part of them for loot to plunder.

To show my power as the captain, I ordered that Hermetian join me on these raids. He was to fight the Indians along with me, a punishment for his easily altered opinions of me.

Every last one of them surrendered, jumping ship before we could pop aboard. They contained little more than a gold pieces. They were, after all, Indians; savages who focused not on currency but on apples and corn. Pointless dregs of the sea, I'd sink them all!

Once again, there were but petty amounts of gold. Useless savages! In the name of God, gold was needed to keep the blood cool!

The final war canoe disliked what we had done to their small trio of ships, wishing instead for us to sink. They'll never fight as long as we crash the ship into them! This canoe didn't want that, the filthy vermins!

Darker and darker still it drew, the moon being our source for the night. The blades of my men I feared would soon find themselves not in the enemy's ship but in my back.

This ship had no more gold than the rest. I was but the dead captain, sailing a ravenous crew of demons across these filthy seas.

We sailed on through that night on what I believe was May 25th. Hermetian never again spoke of me in a sharp tongue after the days I spent sinking the savage ships. The whispering did not halt, however. It only augmented. The morning of May 26th, a longsword was laying in front of the captain's quarters, piercing the floor. This frightened me enough to lead to a quick rest at Louisville.

Things did not go well.

We were perhaps halfway through the horrendous voyage when I awoke in the middle of the night to sounds of metal clattering against the door. I had taken to sleeping with my pistol under the pillow and my rapier at my side. Gripping both, I went to investigate. Through a knothole in my door, I spied a small fire burning outside my door. Someone had destroyed a lantern. I feared investigating further and hoped that the soaked wood would not burn well.

It was the sixth of August. One of the final straws was plucked from the hay stack that is my sanity. Being cooped up in that room with fear to leave due to death drove me mad and ill. I grabbed my gun and sword and opened the door for the first time in a month since the lantern incident. There lay a knife, dug into the same spot the sword created months before, and in that knife was a piece of paper with a single black dot upon it. I immediately shut the door and planned to give all orders in the form of parchment passed via the knothole.

[Ship Lessons 101: The black spot never actually existed. All it was was a plot device in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, a piece of paper with a black spot on it signifying that the receiver, a pirate, is to be executed.]

A parchment arrived through the knothole from Thompson, stating that a Spanish trade galleon had been spotted. I gave th order to attack, readying the rapier once again. The only time I could feel safe outside of that room was during a raid.

In the mean time, I allowed Thompson control of the ship until boarding could occur.

The familar rumbling beneath my feet signified the raid. The initial shouts of met soon subsided, leaving in the distance. The door was opened cautiously before I sprinted across and jumped for the other ship.

I was safe, or so I hoped. I fought the other captain.

I knocked him overboard.

I gave the orders to Commander Thompson to write up the gold they had found. I made a hasty retreat back to the captain's room of De Terreur.

When he finally informed me of the cargo of that ship, it was not nearly enough to satiate the men for long, though much longer than I had originally thought. My grip slipping, I had begun contemplating various forms of murder upon the whispering backstabbers. I asked Thompson to not be so quick to sailing away from round shot.

Along the way, there were numerous ships that Thompson outright refused to attack. I knew he was correct by not doing so as fights of such scale were nigh impossible for such a puny, disloyal crew. The notion that Thompson was still trusting me to be captain was as insane as myself at that point.

Thompson alerted me to a simple Dutch merchant ship being fired upon by English privateers. Again, we did nothing as we could do nothing.

It was clear to me now that we had two major enemies. We could not trust the Spanish and we could not trust the English, despite my own life being in the hands of Thompson. Was he trustworthy?

We finally arrived at St. Martin on this journey only describable as what one would find on the river Acheron.

[Ship Lessons 101: Yes, I'm just using my Wikipedian Trivial Trivia powers to acknowledge things I feel someone like Goonham would. Acheron in Greek mythology was one of the rivers leading to Hades, along with 4 other rivers (the most famous being the river Styx). The mythological Acheron was seen as being the stream of woe. I doubt the real life Acheron is all that woeful, though.]

Leaving my room for the final time, I entered into the town of St. Martin and made way for the governor's mansion. Having not seen him in over a year, it would be nice to catch up on things.

He promoted me, he did! I wasn't just a captain by name, but an official one recognized by the Dutch as a powerful privateer! A great feeling it was, despite his use of a sword by my neck to promote.

Along with that, he gave me rather huge tracts of land. However, before telling me where this land was located, we found ourselves interrupted in catching up.

A beautiful young woman in blue had entered the room. Having only been told of the stories of me by her father, she had wanted to meet the man who had taken over Hadd's ship. She was impressed. I decided not to explain the rough trip over.

The barmaid was impressed with my shoulderwear. It was relaxing to feel as if you weren't about to be skinned alive.

That night, I opened up Rackham's map and found myself studying it greatly.

Just southeast of St. Martin. I had to find it as I was going to enter that death ship once more for no doubt a voyage of many months in search of the signs.

The ship set sailed with me forced to stand on deck. The quarters were torched, along with everything it it. The captain's log was gone. Only my gun, sword, and map were safe from the fire as I never left them there. The rest of my stuff was back on the Eenhoorn, though I knew not of Commander Dini's status. He may have already betrayed me. He may have orchestrated the torching. Either way, I had no way to record the important information that I hadn't memorized. I was now out in the open around mutinous dogs. There was no way I could possibly survive more than two months.

Having found the Skull shallows, we docked close by. I kept my front to the ship in case the crew was still contemplating traitorous thoughts even while anchored.

Everything seemed in check, so the search party turned around.

[Great hiding spot, Rackham. Great spot.]

The treasure! The savior of my life! It was right in front of me! Immediately the men went to dig!

With great enthusiasm they dug through that dirt, pouring their blood and sweat into the ground for the prize.

They found the chest! I hopped down into the hole they made and opened up the chest in hopes that what I found would be worth the trouble.

So much disappoint I had. Oddly marked coins were found within that were nearly worthless to my bloodythirsty cutthroats.

There was not telling how long they would stay entertained. I gave the order to dock at Marianna for a short trip to the tavern.

And a tavern trip we did take, to which I found myself changed by the harsh voyages taken so far. I had changed in some way that I just couldn't for the life of me put my finger on.

I told the governor that I would escort him as far as St. Martin. We sailed northwest towards St. Martin, passing the various islands as I studied my unhappy crew.

Simply unhappy, I could deal with them. The damage had been done, and yet I still rewarded the rascals with gold.

I noticed a yellow flag in the distance. My telescope confirmed that it was a Spanish ship of raider variety! It was destroying that much smaller Dutch merchant ship as well as firing cannons upon St. Martin!

A new rage dwelled within me! I shouted across the various ships the order that De Terreur was going into battle and to go dock at St. Martin in the meantime to check on the damages.

That Spanish ship launched every shot it could at me, most missing. A new found strength in my atrophied muscles as I commanded Commander Thompson to rally the crew at the guns.

Day forsook us, allowing only the dark night, stars, and moon to guide us! The wind not entirely upon our side either gave us gentle pushes from time to time! We waited numerous precious hours reloading the cannons with only 7 crew, constantly sailing in and out of the round shot fired upon us!

The ship's explosion lit up our vision greatly. Bodies of the horrible monsters lay in the water, dead, drowning, seafood, or wrecked. The explosion cleared my mind. Things dawned on me. This trip above all of the others changed me in a way I couldn't exactly describe.

We joined the other ships who had not been docked entirely. My entire mind was clear.

I, Captain Bartholomew Bonneyread Goonham, a Dutchman who is enemies with both the Spanish and English, am not a privateersman!

I, Captain Bartholomew Bonneyread Goonham, known from this point on to enemies as the Demonic Dutch, am a pirate!

Captain's Log
Status: Burnt, governor of St. Martin gave me a new book to write in.

1602: I am a pirate. I am the Demonic Dutch. Personal war against Spanish and English announced.

The Choice

Today's choice is not sponsored by anything as pirates are not sponsored like privateers are.

I am a pirate who has enemies found in the English and Spanish and is friendly with the French and Dutch. The crew is unhappy. Choose our next action.

1. Search for Jack Rackham
2. Search for Baron Raymondo
3. Escort governor to Florida Keys
4. Bomb San Juan