So this is a story that I took over from a user called 'Lemon Nightmare' (thank you! :D) So the first… Five chapters belong to her, and the rest is on me, with a lot of help hopefully :) Anyways, hope the continuation lives up to the beginning!

They had been sailing for days now. The seas had been calm, the winds fair, and so far they'd only met with a mild storm that had left the Mary Rose battered but intact.

It was Arthur's first time at sea, and while he had quickly adapted, he still hadn't overcome his sense of wonder at this completely unfamiliar world.

He was fascinated by it all; the swish and thud of the waves against the ship's hull, the salty tang of the wind on his skin. And most of all, the emptiness of this unending turquoise ocean, blurred into azure at the horizon.

As the ship's carpenter, Arthur was well respected and left to himself as he had asked. After all, the crew's lives did depend on how well he did his job. Still, as much as he wanted to visit the New World, there were times when he wondered about his decision to spend long weeks on a ship with a group of drunk Dutchmen.

And then there were those few moments that made it worth it - moments such as this one.

It was evening, and most of the crew were in the galley; eating, laughing, and generally getting as drunk as possible on the cheap rum they seemed to have copious quantities of. Only Arthur had chosen to remain on deck.

This meant that Arthur was left relatively undisturbed. He leaned over the side of the ship, hypnotised by the foamed sea. For a while the sound of the wind and the waves drowned out the sounds issuing from the galley.

Arthur glanced at his pocket watch, and saw that he still had a little while longer to himself. Closing the watch carefully, he looked back out across the waves.

A faint shape loomed through the dark, and Arthur squinted, trying to make out what it was.

It was another ship, slightly smaller than their own - a sloop. She was moving much faster than the Mary Rose could, which was a ship designed for long journeys rather than the fast pace of battle.

Probably pirates, Arthur guessed. The question was, what should he do? It would be a waste of his time telling his fellow shipmates. They would probably laugh it off, drunken idiots that they were. Even if he was wrong about them, it wasn't as if there was much they could do about it. No matter how well they fought, they would inevitably be defeated.

He sighed. If there was one thing Arthur had always believed in, it was that he would go down fighting, or not go down at all. Maybe these Dutch fools would have some of that same spirit? It was worth a shot.

He turned and padded back across the deck to the galley.

Francis examined the ship they were drawing close to. It was a carrack, slower than his own ship and, judging from the sounds of drunken uproar carried by the wind, the crew were in no position to fight.

He nodded to his quartermaster, Antonio.

It was time for battle.