Death Hulk (Tomes of the Dead)
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Orders to chase down the French frigate Elita off the Cape of Good Hope came as welcome news to Captain Havelock. Stranded with the rest of the fleet at Spithead while waiting for France to initiate hostilities was an unwelcome duty for any up and coming officer. Here was a chance for glory - and prize money! The duel between the Whirlwind and its enemy would prove to be far from easy though. Very soon, Captain Havelock would come to realise that theirs were not the only two warships in the southern ocean, and an enemy long since thought to be vanquished would return from the dead to exact a terrible vengeance!
night sky, tore the darkness apart and the familiar smell of spent powder filled the air. Already, Havelock could hear Hague's order to reload float up from the gun deck and then the Whirlwind's speed had carried it past the smoke cloud of its guns and he looked eagerly at the enemy ship to see the results of his surprise attack. The windows of the great cabin had been shattered by the assault and large sections of the stern had buckled under the weight of the frigate's metal. Havelock was
absence and orders from officers were obeyed without comment or argument. Stunned by their supernatural encounter, each member of the crew tried to assimilate, in his own mind, just what had happened, even as he mourned lost shipmates. Having been ordered by their Captain to make good repairs and return the frigate to fighting fitness, the crew of the Whirlwind found their ship to have suffered only superficial damage. The sporadic firing of the French vessel had failed to do much more than
over a wide area, though it represented only a few hull planks and hatches. Presumably the rest of the stricken ship was already at the bottom of the ocean, though he had already caught sight of several bodies floating in the sea. A commotion from the main deck caused him to turn and he saw Corbin order the Bosun to fish something out of the water. Kennedy hoisted a long hooked pole over the side of the ship and lowered it downwards into the water, his skill and strong arms belying the unwieldy
the ropes, straining as he hoisted himself up, hand over hand. As he ascended the side of the ship, the French sailor reappeared above him. Instead of crying out for help again, he grinned at Havelock as he produced a knife and proceeded to make a great show of slowly cutting the rope. Swearing, Havelock redoubled his efforts, the muscles of his arms groaning in agony as they protested the exertion. As he shot up the rope, the expression of the French sailor slowly turned from glee to anxiety as
terms, Brooks gave up trying to free his weapon, satisfied that the Frenchman could not use his chain either. Lowering a shoulder, he threw himself forward, catching the sailor completely off guard. He ran into the man, who tripped as he back pedalled, trying to keep his ground. They both experienced a brief second of weightlessness as they fell over the stairs behind them, before landing with a heavy crash on the wood of the main deck. The French sailor was obviously winded by the fall and