Disclaimer- this is purely a work of fan fiction I don't expect anything out of it and did it for fun. Anyone can use any part of this and I hope it's enjoyed
"Years ago our world had as much land as water but that was years ago, long before anyone alive today was around. Now all we have is the sea. Exactly what happened is unknown, lost to the years, however what is clear is it was the ship captains who saved what they could and brought us to the islands. Now in all that sea that is the world we are a scattered bunch of islands, a few thousand inhabitants each. They call the Captains pirates, I call them our last chance."
"Our first Howitzer, fully operational it will defend the entrance to our island from all threats and pose as a deterrent to anyone who would think to challenge us." The island's head captain said looking up at the bases newest commissioned defensive weapon.
"A complete waste of money, Captain." Someone said walking through the crowd
"Senator Michaels, your opinion was well noted and it was out voted, as the way of the island the majority leads." The captain said with a broad smile.
"Captain, how long has it been since this island was attacked, by anyone?" Senator Michaels asked raising his arms getting people's attention.
"There's always a first time, Senator"
"I could believe that Captain, but how long has it been since you own Marauder has seen combat." Michaels said looking over at the Captain's own ship sitting in the docks the Marauder, the biggest ship of the fleet, was one of the survivors of the great floods and rarely put to sea instead leaving it to the newer classes that had been developed over the years. "How long Captain?"
"Many moons Senator, much that you know, however there is always a first time and we must always be ready. The Howitzer will safeguard us in the immediate future, we should celebrate this."
"You mean the Captain's should celebrate still remaining in control." The Senator said this time smiling himself.
"We are only here to protect this island and it's people as we have always done, as our predecessors did."
"As your predecessors did, the Captains keeping the power destined for Civilian authorities…" Michaels began before the Outpost's sirens began "what is that?"
"The Emergency sirens" the Captain replied "Operations, what do we have?" Moments later the Captain turned back to the Senator "one of our Longboats is coming in, on fire, perhaps you civilians will excuse me."
"Were they attacked?"
"There's always a first time!" the Captain shouted back grimly running down the dock at the outer marker the inbound ship was coming in. The Longship was smaller than the Marauder-class however it was still a solid vessel, more often than not the Longship class was used as a miner gathering resources for use in the base and in new ship development.
Reaching the docks the Captain watched as the Longship moved into the shipyards on autopilot, it was too dangerous for a ship to manoeuvre in island's narrow channel under its own control. As soon as it was in range of the docks fire fighters opened hoses on the ship's structure allowing the first rescuers to get aboard. Charging aboard the Captain headed for what remained of the ship's bridge the ship's hull was thankfully intact but it would take days just to remove the damaged armour and weapons before repairs could begin. The bridge was all but destroyed only a single member of the ship's crew a young Lieutenant remained holding onto the ship's main wheel, the Captain ran to his side pulling the young man to his feet "Lieutenant, what happened out there?" He demanded seeing the man was awake "what pirate attacked you?"
"Not a pirate, something new." He struggled out "in mining fields" he said before passing out.
"Get a medic over here!" The captain shouted, moments later as the medics arrived he rose to his feet looking around at the devastation. Touching his hand to his ear he tapped the communicator there twice activating the Marauder's communications system drawing himself up to attention, as if that made a difference, he spoke loudly and clearly. "This is the Captain to all hands of the Marauder. Fuel the engines, arm all ripper cannons and prepare to put out to sea." He said marching off the wrecked Longboat back onto the pier there stood Senator Michaels and his civilian following.
"Captain, what do you intend to do?"
"I'm going to find out what is going on out there, I'm taking the Marauder out to the mining fields to find the cause of this damage."
"That will leave us defenseless!" Michaels protested "you have a responsibility, all the Captains do!"
"My responsibility is to the sea; you have the Howitzer that and the sea wall will protect you."
"When the first attacks occurred we thought it was other pirates however it was really the Draconians. Appearing from nowhere they set up bases, almost overnight, around every mining cluster in the sea. The initial attacks caught everyone by surprise the Draconians travelled in fleets of up to five ships some of them massive. There was no communications, no visible contact instead we had to try and match them developing new weapons, new ships and new defences. Although this helped us match the Draconians it also brought the attacks from other islands, ambitious ship captains, ruthless pirates so starting the never ending cycle of war.
The old Marauder took to the seas as easy as a new ship it's hull cutting through the growing waves a storm brewed on the horizon. At the bridge the Captain stood like a statue staring out to sea, it was midafternoon you could see for miles and miles. "Set a course for the mine, the longboat crew were mining at."
"Aye Captain" the crew replied, the Marauder turned away from the Island heading east towards a nearby metal mine. Despite the sea covering almost all the land of the planet the Islanders had been able to find areas of land too small for a town or base but large enough for a small crew to mine minerals at. They'd also found some rundown but operational wind farms floating on the ocean still anchored to the bedrock as they had been for centuries surviving even the raising tides giving them an energy resource to run their outposts and work their machines. Over time the pirates had constructed new oil rigs and tapped the Earth's oil reserves for the first time in decades giving them access to lost resources and another lifeline to recreating their world.
The journey towards the metal mine was a short one but before they even reached the mine the Captain could see a difference, ahead in the middle of a mining area a huge metallic island had risen from the sea. Although the Marauder hadn't been to sea in many years the Captain often joined mining and trade missions and he knew this was something new. "What the hell?" The Captain whispered
"Sir, incoming vessels from the… that thing" a crew member warned stumbling over the words. "To the east sir."
"Helm, slow to dead slow" the Captain ordered raising his telescope scanning the horizon. Suddenly he saw them six ships moving in close formation five vessels forming an arrowhead in front of a cargo ship. He didn't recognize any of the ship designs only that they moved fast, were large and they didn't appear to have any open deck areas. "They aren't coming any closer to us, prepare to dock with the mine, we'll test the ground see if anyone approaches us and if…" Before he could finish his sentence someone shouted a warning.
"Incoming fire!" moments later machine gun fire raked the Marauder from long range, most of it missed landing in the sea but some tore into the ship's hull.
"Helm, come to port thirty degrees! Ripper Turrets fire at targets as they come into range!" The captain screamed looking at the incoming ships three small ships no larger than a scout ship employed by the Outpost. Moving in close formation towards the single Marauder. As they closed all three ripper turrets opened fire positioned fore, centre and aft the three cannons tore into the closest enemy vessel first tearing it to pieces before switching targets to the second vessel. The captain smiled glad to see the crew had not forgotten their training and concentrated their fire. Moments later the Marauder was hit again causing more damage.
"Communications out sir!" Someone reported
"Understood, continue turn aft gun volley fire both remaining targets. Forward and midships reload prepare for second round." The Marauder continued to turn the aft gun now picking up the slack of the other guns firing into both remaining vessels.
"Sir they are trying to put us between them, flanking us!"
"Continue turn! Forward midships rippers prepare to attack target designated Alpha." the captain said activating his own console indicating which target he wanted hit. "Aft gun continue volley fire at Beta target."
There was some "aye sirs" but they were droned out by the Marauder taking more enemy fire the Captain grimaced his beloved ship had served for years and years how long would the repairs be this time. The forward and midships guns suddenly opened fire together tearing into their target the deafening roar of a pair of Ripper Machine Cannons was something to behold, not the most advanced weapon of the old world it was one of the few weapons completely understood by the Outpost's scientists and it had become standard fit on all the Outpost's ships. After today the Captain thought perhaps it was time to invest in some new weapons research, and some more Howitzers…
Two more impacts against the Marauder's hull brought the Captain back into the real world and the continued battle. Suddenly the ship in front of them exploded in a ball of flame, whoever these people were their ships weren't built to last in a fight. "Helm bring us to starboard bring forward guns into play against target bravo" the captain ordered, the last ship must have realized that it was useless to continue and was turning to run but there was no chance the captain or her crew would allow that now. The Marauder continued it's graceful turn brining it's guns on the target, suddenly all three rippers field's of fire merged on the single remaining damaged target, it stood no chance the three machine gun turrets tore the ship to pieces. As the last ship appeared to begin to surrender something exploded inside the ship blowing up whatever remained of the craft.
"B*******" the captain swore seeing the destruction of the vessel "they don't want us to know who they were… all crew this is the captain well done." he said congratulating the crew, their first combat in years and a victory. "Commence repairs and salvage operations we need to find out who these people were." He said dishing out new orders "Commander, you have the bridge." He said to his executive officer before heading below to his cabin, there was much to think about.
Hours later with its battle damage repaired the Maruader began to sail home to the Outpost, from the destroyed enemy ships they had found crates of metal ore that their crews had mined before attacking the Marauder, a couple of weapon fragments but no sign of the crew only a name "Draconian" a name completely foreign to the captain he wondered who they were and what their presence meant to the Outposts continued survival only time and the people's reactions would tell.