NOTE: This story is purely fictional and comedic, there is no offense intended to any real characters or other literature devices.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The roar of cannons could be heard and thick smoke was in the air... "Ready the fleet to enter those rock formations!" yelled Admiral Matthew Blastshot. "But sir the ships might be torn asunder on the jags!" said Lieutenant Grimm. "Better then losing the entire fleet to these French scum! And get me a crumpet!" "Yes sir!" The British fleet was en route back to England when it had been intercepted by a massive French fleet near Cuba. The French had engaged the British near a treacherous series of rock formations along the coast of Cuba known collectively as Havanough Rock. The British force had been in a massive line battle until they realized that there was no hope that they could win with their current numbers and would have to wait for reinforcements. The British had already lost 2 fourth rates, a second rate and 6 frigates while the French had only lost 2 third rates and 3 frigates. The British flag signer started signaling the other ships to enter into the rock formations cove. As Matthew was standing at the helm barking orders, Lieutenant Grimm ran up to him with a plate of crumpets. "Your crumpets sir." said Grimm bowing. "Ah excellent, and the fleet is heading into the cove?" "Indeed sir." "Good, good." said Matthew as he took the plate of crumpets. BOOM! Just then a French cannonball flew right by him and hit the plate of crumpets sending them flying into the ocean. "MY CRUMPETS!" bellowed Matthew, "YOU'LL PAY FOR THAT YOU FRENCH SWINE!"
Admiral Matthew, Commodore Roberts, Commodore Jansen and Commodore Capbourg stood around a table with a map of the cove in the huge quarters of the HMS Victory. "We must find a way to hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive." said Matthew. "The French will be back." Just then a messenger ran into the room. "Sir, a letter from His Majesty King John." said the messenger who then handed Matthew the letter, saluted, and left the room. "Hmm, let's see here..." Matthew said as he began to read the letter out loud. "Dear Matthew, I understand you are in a fairly dire situation, a support fleet will be there soon but there is a catch. You will need to make sure that the fleet gets to you without any resistance as they have been packed with explosive shot, powder kegs and extra crates of Nitroglycerin. The fleet should arrive in several days. I wish you good luck and safe battle.
-King John Breasly" Matthew finished. "Alright, we need to think of a way to get the support fleet in here without the French knowing. Any ideas?..." The commodores looked around and shuffled their feet. Matthew sighed, "Will somebody get me some crumpets?!"
The quarters of the HMS Victory were now filled with every ship of the line captain in the fleet, Matthew had summoned them here but they did not know why. Matthew then walked into the room and all the captains snapped to attention. "Line up gents," said Matthew. The captains then formed a single line facing Matthew. "Gentlemen," began Matthew, "we are in a very dangerous situation. The French fleet is waiting merely a few miles away preparing to strike. They have completely blocked the bay, and we need it unblocked, if only for a short time. I have gathered you all here because we need a volunteer to lead a skirmish against their northern flank. The volunteer will lead a squadron of frigates directly into their line and attempt to take down as many of them as possible. The object is to try and get the line to move down to the north so that we can get a support fleet that is currently incoming through without damage to them as they will be carrying much ammo and explosives. I will warn you now though that it may cost you your life and your ship, now I ask you, who is willing to answer the call?" The captains looked at each for a few seconds then two stepped forward. One named Captain Alexander Smith and the other Captain Jeremiah Avery. Matthew walked up to Captain Smith first. "Captain Smith," said Matthew. "Aye sir?" "What is your ship?" "The 84 gun HMS Valiant sir." "Hmm, I'm afraid your ship will be too slow for this operation Captain Smith." "Yes sir..." Said Smith stepping back into the line. Matthew then walked up to Avery. "Captain Avery, what is your ship?" "The 64 gun HMS Brandenburg sir." "Hmmm, and what makes you capable?" "You can count on me sir, my crew is among the most disciplined in the entire Royal Navy." "Hmm, alright. You shall receive your orders tomorrow. All dismissed." said Matthew as he walked out of the room.
This had better work... Thought Matthew as he watched through his spyglass the flag signer on the cliff signalling the approach of the support fleet. "Crumpet!" he shouted while still looking through the spyglass. Lieutenant Grimm ran up and handed him a crumpet. "Sigfnal Cafhptaifn Afverfy to lfanuch flis fslip." said Matthew with his mouth full of crumpet. "Eh... Sir?" said Lieutenant Grimm. Matthew swallowed and said, "Signal Captain Avery to launch his ship!" "Ye-yes sir!" mumbled Lieutenant Grimm as he scurried away. Captain Avery watched as the signal was raised, he then walked down to address his crew. "Alright men, I want you all to obey my orders understood? This is not the time to mess up or I'll have you all hanged for treason!" There was then a chorus of frantic "Yes sir!" and then the men raced to their stations. "Ensign Fitzpatrick, make sure that Jenkins doesn't start giving orders, we don't want that happening again." "Indeed sir." Ensign Fitzpatrick got a scared look as Captain Avery said "Jenkins." Jenkins or "Deaf-Man Jenkins" as the Captain called him had a bit of a reputation of barking out commands that he thought the captain said but since he was at least half deaf the words would get badly jumbled. One time they had accidentally sailed due north which was the exact opposite of where they were supposed to go because Captain Avery had said "Go forth with courage!" and Jenkins had ordered the crew to "Go north to forage!" "Full sails!" ordered Captain Avery. "FULL SAILS!" shouted Ensign Fitzpatrick to the crew. The sails unfurled and the HMS Brandenburg sailed forward with the squadron of 5 frigates following behind it. As they came around a corner of a rock formation they saw the French fleet, there must have been nearly 60 ships all along the coast blockading the bay. Avery quickly scanned the ships in the area he would attack. There were 3 fourth rates, 1 third rate and 1 second rate. This is not going to be easy... He thought. He didn't notice Jenkins swaggering up the steps from below-deck. Ensign Fitzpatrick saw him though and said, "Jenkins, get back to your quarters." "You'll scratch my back if I give ye a quarter?" said Jenkins. "No, get back to your quarters!" "Sounds like a fair deal to me!" said Jenkins tossing Fitzpatrick a quarter which bounced off Fitzpatrick's hat knocking it off his head and landed at Jenkins' feet. "You bumbling oaf!" "Aye, I like pumpernickel loaf too." At this Fitzpatrick ran toward Jenkins to knock him off the boat when Jenkins said, "Hey a quarter!" Jenkins bent down to pick it up as Fitzpatrick reached him, Fitzpatrick tried to stop but realized his mistake too late and flipped over Jenkins and landed in the water. "Ensign Fitzpatrick?" said Jenkins as he pocketed the quarter. "Help!" shouted Fitzpatrick as he floated away from the ship. Jenkins shrugged and put on Fitzpatrick's hat and went over to the command deck near Captain Avery.
"What is zis supposed to be?" said Commodore Rousseau in a heavy French accent as he saw the approaching squadron. "Le ha ha ha! Ze do not stands a chance. We shall engage zhem immediately."
Captain Avery noticed action on the French ships, then the ships went into full sail. This is it... He thought, now or never... He then looked down at who he thought to be Ensign Fitzpatrick and said, "All braces to the front for deflection!" What he didn't notice was that it was Jenkins or that he said, " All guns to the front to prevent defection!" The crew scratched their heads in confusion then remembered Captain Avery's threat of hanging and they quickly got to work rolling cannons, kegs of gunpowder and ammo, and several crates of Nitroglycerine to the bow of the ship. There were so many guns that they didn't all fit on the top deck so they bashed holes in the bow on the gun and cargo deck for the guns to fit through.
The French fourth rate Ruben then started to turn to broadside the Brandenburg in the bow.
Captain Avery noticed this and ran towards the ship's wheel to turn in order to be able to return fire. But as he ran toward the wheel he knocked a lantern off it's post and it fell to the deck catching the deck on fire.
The Ruben was closing fast and it's guns were almost to bear, the captain had a smug grin on his face as two more French ships the Montstead and the Le Blurrs closed in to board the Brandenburg if something went wrong. His guns were in range and the Brandenburg had still not turned. Excellent... He thought. He was about to say fire when...
"Ah! Fire! Fire!" yelled Captain Avery as the flames danced at his feet. "Fire!" shouted Jenkins. BOOM! All the guns at the bow fired at almost the exact same time. The cannons were so close together that the cannonballs made a wall in mid-air and slammed into the Ruben so hard and so compact that it shredded the hull and detonated the powder magazine. BA-BOOM! The entire crew of the Brandenburg cheered except for Captain Avery who was frantically trying to put out the fire.
The captain of the Le Blurrs watched in utter shock as the Ruben exploded. "Prepare to board ze Brandenburg!" he shouted as the Le Blurrs closed in.
Captain Avery didn't notice the Le Blurrs grappling the Brandenburg, he was too busy putting out the fire. Just then gangplanks were lowered onto the Brandenburg and a sea of French sailors flooded onto Brandenburg. Captain Avery looked up for a second and not noticing the French thinking they were part of his crew he realized all the cannons were at the bow. "Get those turned around and bloody back in place!" he yelled then got back to the fire. "Turn the guns around and blast the Frenchies in the face!" shouted Jenkins. The crew then flipped around the guns toward the unsuspecting French and raked the deck with grapeshot. Not one French sailor was left alive, and that was the entire crew of the Le Blurrs.
"I zid not ordier to rake their deck while ze Le Blurrs was boarding!" bellowed the captain of the Montstead. "Zir, it vasn't us, it looked as zif ze rak-ed zier own deck." "Zhat is preposturios! Prepare to board zem!"
The Montstead was now side-by-side with the Brandenburg. Finally Captain Avery was finishing the fire when Jenkins noticed the fire and ran up to him with a bucket of seawater. "We need help!" shouted Jenkins and the entire crew ran from the bow to the decks. "I'll save ye cap'n!" said Jenkins tossing the seawater right into Captain Avery's face. "MY EYES!!!" screamed Captain Avery as he stumbled backwards. As he moved back he tripped over the fallen lantern and landed right on the side of the ships wheel sending it spinning to the right.
"Grapples at ze ready!" said the captain of the Montstead. "Boa- WHAT ZE?!" he screamed as the Brandenburg careened right towards the Montstead and slammed into it.
The Brandenburg was going so fast, and the wheel turned so fast that it's prow boarding spike went 20 ft into the Montstead. The Brandenburg stopped abruptly sending all the cannons, ammo and explosives located in the bow right onto the Montstead.
It was absolute chaos on the deck of the Montstead, cannons and cannonballs were raining down on the crew and powder kegs were crashing onto the deck but luckily not igniting. Then the captain saw something, it was a crate that was about to fall onto the Montstead. The captain tried to read the lettering on the side of it... Nytrogl... "Someone catch zhat crate!" One of the crew members was running around the deck saying "I got it! I got it!" Then, THUNK, the crate landed right into the crew members arms. The captain breathed a sigh of relief. But then a French woman walked up to the crew member and slapped him in the face. "Chauntal I have had zit vith you!" said the crew member throwing down the box in anger. "NOO-" was all the captain had time to say.
BA-BOOM!!! A huge chain reaction occurred in which the crate of Nitroglycerine exploded which set off the powder kegs which set off the powder magazine. The entire crew of the Brandenburg cheered again except for Captain Avery who was still trying to get the salt out of his eyes.
At the sight of all three fourth rates being taken out without even so much as an engagement with the rest of the British squadron the French second rate Magnifique and third rate Cleusoix started to approach the Brandenburg. Captain Avery finally got his eyes cleaned out then noticed it was Jenkins not Fitzpatrick. "Jenkins what the bloody do you think your doing?!" "Just relaying your orders sir!" "Blast it Jenkins! Order the frigates to engage that second rate!" "Yes sir!"
Captain Richard Bullen captain of the frigate HMS Poplar looked at the flag signals coming from the Brandenburg oddly. "We are to not get engaged in a heated debate?" he said confused.
"Turn to ze starboard!" shouted the captain of the Cleusoix. The Cleusiox was going to line up behind the Magnifique and then they would both broadside the Brandenburg. The Cleusiox was aiming too far ahead of the Magnifique at the moment and needed to turn more. "I zaid turn to ze starboard!" "Sir we would hit those rocks to ze port!" said the Ensign."No we zould not! Turn!" The Ensign then turned the wheel to the right. "Zee, what zid I tell you?" said the captain. CRASH! The stern of the ship had scraped against the rock. "Eh... It is not a problem." said the captain taking the wheel and turning it harder right. SCRREEEEEEAAPPPPP!!!! CHA-THUNK, SPLASH. "What vas zat?..." said the captain. He then shrugged and turned the wheel more. Then he noticed something, the rock that was to his left wasn't moving farther left anymore...
"What happened to all the guns?!" shouted Captain Avery back aboard the Brandenburg. "Sir we lost all but three while ramming the Montstead." said a new Ensign in replacement of Fitzpatrick while Jenkins was playing with the tassel on Fitzpatrick's hat. "Then get them on the deck and get them firing on that second rate!" "Three guns sir?" "Yes the three guns!" "Against a second rate sir?" "Just do it!"
"Why is ze Cleusiox continuing it's course? It would hit us at it's current zpeed." said the captain of the Magnifique. BOOM BOOM BOOM! Just then a cannonball from the Brandenburg took off the captain's hat and sent it into the water. "Socreblur! My hat!" said the captain. For the next 12 minutes he had the crew fish it out of the water not hearing the shouts coming from the Cleusiox.
"Ahh, zis is much bettire..." said the captain of the Magnifique. Then, CRASH!!! The captain fell to the deck. The Cleusiox's rudder had fallen off and while the Magnifique's crew was busy getting the captain's hat the Cleusiox had tried to warn the Magnifique but to no avail. The captain got up and started swearing in French to the captain of the Cleusiox, then CRUNCH... Now both the Magnifique and the Cleusiox were stuck because the Cleusiox had pushed the Magnifique right into a rock formation. The captain fell down again as the Magnifique lurched to a halt against the rocks. He got up again and started swearing again.
Admiral Matthew watched intently as the entire French line sailed north to close the gap. Now was the time. "Send up the signal flare! And get me another crumpet!" Next he trained his spyglass on the Brandenburg "What the?... Where are it's guns?" then he noticed the two arguing French captains with their ships stuck against the rocks. "What in the name of..."
Captain Avery heard a SCREEECH then a BA-BOOM! He looked up in the sky and saw the red signal rocket. "That's the signal gents!" He said, "Full sail back to the bay!"
The two French captains had stopped swearing and starting firing pistols at each other. They were terrible shots though and they didn't even come close to hitting each other. They were so terrible that the captain of the Cleusoix had hit a sailor half way across the Magnifique and thus the crews of both ships took cover as both captains fired in the other's general direction.
Matthew watched as the support fleet made it through the blockade. Thank goodness, he thought to himself. He then watched the squadron of frigates sail behind the support fleet back into the cove. Wait, he thought, where is the Brandenburg?
"You heard the captain! Full sail around thata way!" "JENKINS!"