Sink or Swim

A droubble by richardh

"Are you serious?" The captain's face flushed with fury.
"It's an expedient maneuver but it could work. We've nothing to lose now have we?"
"It's an offence."
A voice called out, "Try!"
"Sink the ship?" The captain bellowed.
"No! I said we could try a partial scuttling. It's been done before I'm sure."
"No, it hasn't."
"Well let's be the first."
"Aye! and the last!"
"We can free the seacock if we turn hard to port."
"That will quench the fire but how do we re-seal the valve before she sinks?"
"I'll dive below and close the shut-off." suggested Dulcas.
"And what if you can't?"
"We drown instead of burn!"


Dulcas was lowered over the side. He wrestled with the valve as the ship turned hard against the wind. The hull filled with ocean and the flames quickly quenched. Ducas disappeared beneath the water for a long minute. Finally, he surfaced and sucked in air hungrily.
"Done!" He shouted triumphantly.

"I admire your innovation." said the captain with a weak smile. He moved so close that Jack could smell the fumes of his breath and hissed in a low menacing tone "Question my authority again and I'll kill you."

Published on 26/01/16