Jessica Plankwrecker (Daughter) (1742)
Haytham Plankwrecker(Son) (1747)
Jennifer Plankwrecker, formerly Jennifer Scott, left Ireland for the British Colonies at an early age, where she married her husband, Peter Plankwrecker soon after. At sixteen, she traveled with him to the West Indies, and the pair arrived in Nassau in April 1741.
While at Nassau, Peter tended to spend his time with his former girlfriend, Jennifer. Although they were enjoying their time together, Spanish threats were constant, due to the tensions between them and Britain at the time. Even though Peter was worried that something might happen to separate them, "Jenny" as he called her, was always there to have his back and reassure him that the Spanish would not get in the way of their traveling plans. As Peter grew to know her better over time, he was sure that Jennifer was the one he loved, and he finally decided to propose to her in Nassau.
He asked, "Will you marry me?", while presenting a gold ring, and she heartily answered "Yes!" Preparations were made for the wedding in advance, and each of them spent some of their gold to pay the expenses. Everything seemed ready to begin in a few hours, when Peter checked the box for the ring. His heart skipped a few beats when he realized, to his dismay, that his precious golden rings had disappeared! He knew that this would make Jenny upset and ruin everything. Also, he understood what he had to do. As he hastily walked out the door, he angrily muttered "You mess with my rings, you mess with my wife." Peter grabbed his sword and his throwing knives and stuffed them in his pockets, considering using them since he was off duty. He scouted from the roofs of the nearby villas when he noticed a quiet conversation taking place in a secluded courtyard. He knew it-it was those bloody Spaniards. Not only were they sent to spy on him, but they had the audacity to steal his prized rings! And at this time!
Full of rage and anger aimed at the Spaniards' actions and the inconvenience of the situation, he dove down from the roof and took out one soldier with his knife. He scoured his body for the ring, but apparently it could not be found. Meanwhile the other two Spaniard scouts were considerably frightened by his actions, and they ran out of the neighborhood so as not to blow their cover and fail the mission. Only one other person could be in possession of the ring, and it was revealed to be the Spaniard leader. He brandished a broadsword in one hand, and in the other, the ring. Peter prepared himself in case if he made a sudden move, and his senses were proven to be correct. The man lurched at him in one quick slash, which was barely deflected by Peter's trusty cutlass. As they locked swords and exchanged glances of malice, Peter noticed a weakness in the Spaniard's heavy armor. Peter let go of one hand and tossed a throwing knife from the other, promptly killing his opponent with one swift stroke. Feeling relieved that nothing had compromised the safety and quality of the rings, Peter promised to himself that he would not utter a word about this to his wife, at least not soon.
Just as the ceremony was beginning, Peter stormed into the back of the church, careful to give no accidental hint of past events to Jenny. He fixed his hair up, made sure that his fancy suit looked neat and flawless, and of course, handed the rings to the priest to be given to them later. Peter saw his wife for the first time since the morning, and in her silky white wedding dress, she looked beautiful as she had ever been. Peter, at that moment, knew he had made the right choice. The events following their ceremony flew by, as family relatives and British officers came to congratulate them at the party and with each following day. Within the next few weeks, Jennifer was confirmed to be pregnant, with the baby's gender undetermined. Whether or not it was a boy or a girl, Peter had faith that they would one day grow up to serve the British well. Those times were some of the best of Peter's life, besides the recurring conflict between the British and Spanish. Peter and Jennifer eventually bought a manor for themselves and his father to live in, appropriately named Plankwrecker Manor. Peter made sure to visit Ishmael's wife Caternia occasionally, and he appreciated the company of friends like Chris Warhawk, who chatted about foreign relations and escalating war. In those few years before 1745, all was well.
There was no time to waste. The Spanish would be arriving with the hope of taking some prisoners, and Peter understood that this situation required a sense of alertness and mobility if he was to survive. He already knew the plan: He was to board his ship, hidden amidst the trees in the opposite harbor, and sail off with a secret convoy of five ships, all while under cover of darkness. As he ran along Kingshead's docks, swarming with confused British men, he noticed Adewale waiting for him behind the wheel. Even in such a tense situation, Adewale seemed cool-headed, confident, and prepared, just like he always was. With a feeling of anticipation and with awareness of their mission, Peter exchanged a glance with his first mate as he stepped back and let Peter resume his duty at the wheel. Peter always liked how his brig's sails unfurled and opened up, leaving themselves to the mercy of the wind. However, now was not the time to concentrate on his ship's gracefulness. He loudly ordered for his crew to unfurl the sails completely because they had the tremendous aid of the winds, which on that day were heading in a northeast direction. The crew readied themselves for a speedy retreat, and a speedy retreat was what they received. At the very moment that the Drago and the gunships had sped away from Kingshead, the Spanish approached from a distance, ready to meet them head on. Although Peter was genuinely concerned about the safety of his fellow comrades, he was well aware of the sheer amount of weaponry and firepower the island held in the armory, and understood that they would need no assistance in fending off the Spanish.
After an uneventful hour at sea, Peter's curiosity finally got the best of him, and he abandoned the wheel to figure out what exactly their mission entailed. He scoured the ship for any hint of Adewale, and surprisingly, could not locate him. He took the pleasure of asking his crew members, who all in an unaware manner responded "I afraid we don't know, sir." Peter began to realize the possibility that Adewale could have fallen off the side of the ship or been kidnapped by Spanish spies. Adewale was never that clumsy though. A second thought soon approached Peter and gave him an idea. "Maybe he's in the cargo hold. He's likely hiding there than anywhere else." On most occasions, access to the cargo hold was restricted due to the regulatory conduct and safety laws associated with the hold. However, with Peter being captain, and Adewale his first mate, they were allowed unimpeded access to the ship's holds. Besides, Adewale had snooped around down there before, during cargo retrieval sessions, in the hope that he would find something worthy of keeping. Peter wasted no time in finding his way through, and as expected, found him right at the table. Adewale, with a look of surprise, noticed the silette of his friend, and asked him "I guess you want to see where we are headed." He took out a map, previously visible on the table, and handed it to Peter. With a look of anticipation and thoughtfulness, Adewale begrudgingly responded, "It's Pearson."
As the wind passes through the sails and beyond, so did the days at sea. Peter had been routinely watching for the other five warships, all of which were a short distance behind, moving steadily over the waves. Adewale, in banter, commented, "I'm surprised that our companions back there have lasted this long, especially during times where vigilance is required." Peter heartily answered, "Well, you see, we are allied with loyal, honest men. Men, who in any instance, will respond to their orders dutifully and honorably. I truly appreciate the loyalty that they have shown thus far." Adewale began to ponder the thought as Peter returned to the wheel once more. Whilst doing so, Peter focused his attention on achieving their objectives. The entire crew and company would need to be prepared for attack, and the cannons readied with fire and lighting shots to ensure a pathway into the fort. However, in terms of stealth, he knew for sure that Pearson would not be expecting a convoy this big, or any for that matter. That was the entire point of the Kingshead infiltration: The majority of the Spanish forces would be so entirely occupied with the British who had drawn them there (via false rumors of a large shipment of gold and valuable weapons) that they would immediately throw aside the possibility of a convoy attacking directly at Pearson's fort. Those Spaniards were always ready to take the prize, no matter how risky. However, Peter's last objective was oddly similar to theirs. As a prize (or a ransom if it came to that), he and a group of superior officers, directly aided by a group of brigadiers and warriors, would demand that Pearson stand down and give them his fort's share of the gold, a good percentage of the Spanish navy's budget money. By law, Peter was directly unable to take any pickings for himself, but as soon as they were returned to a British trade center, he and participating officers would receive a small sum of the riches.
By nightfall, the ships were only a few miles away from their destination, and so far, remained undetected by the watchful eye of Pearson's surveillance boats. On the dark, distant horizon, Pearson's fort could be seen by the crew's pondering eyes. Simply from the look of it, and also from British intelligence, it appeared to boast a large arsenal of cannons, by the dozen. Reports also indicated that a small force of approximately 350 men resided in the fort itself, and this was eventually proven true by Peter himself. Even though 350 men was definitely enough for Peter to handle, the sheer size and looming, behemoth walls of the fort made it appear much larger from the crew's perspective. While he was thinking, Peter wondered if, perhaps, the gargantuan size of the structure was merely a defensive tactic used to discourage opponent ships from attacking even before they moved into range. However, he knew that he and his crew were stronger than that. He was not about to be relieved of his opportunity to get close to Pearson-his crew and company were mentally and physically ready as a band of brothers, not just a convoy. In his heart, Peter knew that if his crew succeeded, the rewards would far outweigh any casualties.
With that very thought, the alarm bells rang angrily, and the high-pitched sound of cannon fire pierced the air like a knife. Within the chaos, Peter advised his crew to continue the onslaught of firepower while he engaged diversion tactics that confused nearby enemy frigates. Cannonball upon cannonball fired upon the fort's slowly-crumbling walls, but the fort was able to return the favor with their own barrage, a dangerous combination of grape shots and a few fire cannons. Ships of war like Peter's war brig were able to withstand an immediate attack, but given time and continuous fire shots, the ships would eventually become critically damaged. It was only a matter of time before their ships would become worn down, so Peter ordered groups of men, two per mast on each ship, to fire rifles at the men stationed in the fort. Overall, the result of the long-range conflict was bloody, with men in the fort lying on the ground in red pools, and a few men dead on Peter's side. Because of the crew's efforts, the cannon fire had been significantly reduced, and now, with cannonballs out of the equation, Peter was more determined than ever to break through and a prisoner and plundered gold for the British.
The result was quite explosive. The lighting shots, purposefully saved for the last stages of the raid, howled in the dark sky and descended with brilliant sparks, lighting up the fort like a star. Once the light had at last faded, the men spared a good moment to recover their eyesight. Peter, in awe of their own attack, passionately administered these orders: "Give them no quarter. The only man I want to see alive is Pearson. Now...CHARGE!!!" The shaking walkways and planks swiftly smacked the ground, giving no mercy to the shattered stone beneath. The crew screamed not with agony, but with viciousness, as they wiped out what was left of the devastated Spaniards with their battle-deprived swords. As he climbed up several rows of stairs, Peter made it a point to light up the torches and station his men at the flags with each deck he ascended, signaling the imminent capture of Pearson's smoking fort. When he finally reached the top room containing the main office and a courtyard, Peter prepared to knock down the door, and readied his brigadiers. With wood splinters gliding in the air amidst a thick, loud thud, the door broke down. Thankfully, there was no need for explosives, which could have possibly killed Pearson. Before confronting him, the group heard a screech, almost a "yelp" resonate throughout the smashed fort. Peter willingly prepared himself for anything, even the worst, and headed through the door at last. It certainly was a good thing Peter steeled his nerves, because he remained utterly shocked at what he saw. Pearson was gone.
Simply put, Peter was almost on the verge of screaming. Even though he managed to calm himself down and loosen his nerves, he was anguished by the inconvenience and irony of the situation. As the crew watched him stand in front of the table, he wondered "Why now, at this time? Everything was going fairly well, even better than I expected-yet there's no way that I can possibly follow him. I wasted my chance!" Eventually Peter came to realize that Pearson was still alive, even after the battles and tribulations that he endured, simply because he had spies. Some were known to be sneaky, and some spies proved to be clumsy in their handling of the situation. Pearson, unluckily, had command over some of the best in the entire force. However, to Peter's relief, something slowly dawned on him that he hadn't thought of previously. When he had been studying the map in the cargo hold, he remembered a particular list that held, in writing, records of planned naval routes. According to the map, in about half an hour, another warship convoy would be making its trip through the ocean, somewhere to the west. Because Pearson would need to head in that direction to enable full speed and travel to the next Spanish fort, a possibility of capturing him was still existent. As Peter walked out of the office, he called upon Adewale and his crew to travel west to those coordinates.
His ship, the "Black Dragon", soared much like a dragon, as in those short, desperate moments, it sailed the fastest it ever had. With a combination of willpower and fury, supported by the pushing of western winds and the strength and determination of the crew, Peter could finally lay his restless eyes upon Pearson's spy war-frigate. Surrounded by several galleons trudging behind the distant ship, Pearson would prove to be a very difficult opponent to catch. However, Peter was not alone. He knew he never truly was. He waited out the minutes in anticipation as he gained on the ship slowly but steadily, and the crew prepared the ship for firing should the galleons change course and form a wall, protecting the damned frigate. With a glimmer of hope in his eye, Peter knew that he could indeed take out Pearson if those ships arrived in time. And in the next minute, right on cue, the frightening convoy appeared out of the murky fog, as if they had been waiting for the Spanish the whole time. At that moment, Peter could only imagine the look on Pearson's face. However, he would soon find himself frozen with sudden surprise as he scoured the British boats with his spyglass. He looked through the glass and aimed it at the back of the main boat, until he abruptly noticed something that he hadn't seen for a long time. He read the ship's name to himself: Red Stallion. It couldn't be, but it was. He had found his old friend, Ishmael.
As the Red Stallion and the Black Dragon drew nearer to each other, both British ships were ordered to steer side by side, likely so each captain could have the pleasure of viewing the other again. Peter and Ishmael quickly greeted each other with friendly faces and shared determination to defeat their opponents. In the wake of battle, Peter accordingly called upon the Brigadier General to steer his ship to the right side of the frigate, while Ishmael called upon the Colonel to steer to the right side. Once both ships cornered Pearson in between, both crews knew there was no going back to where they previously were, and they also knew that some justice would be served on this day. The shrill cry of "FIRE!!!" roared through the air, as a mythical beast roars to assert its domain and power. Pearson's top-notch group of men didn't even have time to respond as flashes of smoke and fire burst in their direction. In the chaos that was Pearson's slowly disintegrating ship, the Spanish men could only commit to jumping overboard as their instincts told them. At least, among the trials and tribulations that come with war, Peter was certain of one thing in that victorious moment:" Some justice will be served in the world, whether or not Pearson dies."
Epilogue to Peter's RaidEdit
After the smoldering remains of Pearson's ships had passed by the British convoys, and the men had defused any tension in their minds, Peter began to concentrate on leaving hostile territory and transporting the cargo to a safe location. Eventually, Adewale, with the aid of his sea charts, managed to sail the Dragon back to the crumbling, desolated hideout once again. Economic negotiations were made, conversations regarding the division of rewards were also made, and Pearson's hefty store of gold found its way into British hands. The fort was abandoned, and left at sea for British officials to claim, while at that time, Peter and Ishmael's convoys made their way back to Kingshead. In the chaos and troubles that Peter had experienced within the last few days, Peter had nearby forgot about the dangerous infiltration at the fort, and he hoped that Spaniard soldiers wouldn't be waiting there for their return back. To the crew's great relief, the only faces there were familiar ones, the faces of British soldiers. Whilst Peter was waiting to prepare the Dragon and sail home for a well-deserved reunion with his wife and daughter, the talkative men found time to chat about the outcome of the war and other results, specifically casualties. Thankfully, all Peter heard within the racket was: "Ah no, we're all fine. As soon as those Spaniards ran up to us, we were easily able to dissuade them with the sheer force of our men and weapons, so not many casualties occurred." The good news was all Peter needed to hear. Although he was eager to depart, he searched for Ishmael and upon locating him, wished him a worthy farewell.
During another strenuous three-day trip back to Nassau, Peter's island of residence, Peter easily found time to talk to Adewale about their life goals and next courses of action. To Peter's surprise, Adewale decided to mention that he was hoping to relocate himself in Nassau and find himself a ship and crew under his own command. Jokingly, Peter responded, "What? You don't like sailing with me?" Expecting a sarcastic response, Peter gave Adewale a moment to reply. Instead, with a serious tone, Adewale told him, "Yes, of course I have enjoyed my time alongside you as your first mate. However, I've been considering following my own destiny." Peter listened carefully as he explained that he was aiming to set more slaves free in the hopes of bringing salvation to his people. Understandably, Adewale had a duty to do so, especially since his dark past reflected the pain that he needed to diminish in himself. As a final response to Adewale's revelation, Peter calmly said, "I truly wish you the best. You have my full support, and besides my support, I'll see what my British superiors can do to mold together a good crew for you." And with the end of that meaningful conversation, their own personal fates were sealed.
The setting sun above Nassau shined as a last beacon of hope as Peter collected his possessions and readied them for transportation back to the Manor. Anticipation had been building itself up in Peter's mind as he continued to long for a reunion with his wife and daughter, both of whom he hadn't seen in a good while. He wasn't necessarily expecting them to have arrived at the docks already, but it was a thought that calmed him while also stirring excitement within him. As one last preparatory action, Peter took two exotic flowers that he had previously found in the fort's courtyard, and carefully slipped them into his pocket, planning to give them to his family. As he slowly trotted out and gave his regards to Adewale, his heart suddenly leapt with joy as he set his eyes upon his beloved wife and daughter. Speaking of his eyes, he was already beginning to tear up, and he caught himself for a moment to repel them. As he had planned, he then kneeled down in front of his daughter, and handed her the flower while greeting her, "Hello Jessica, I missed you so much." To his daughter's excitement and his own, she lovingly ran to him and gave him a hug that warmed his heart. However, Jennifer's reaction was even better. While beside her child, she gave him a heartfelt hug followed by an unexpected kiss, confusing Peter. Caught off guard, he blushed and whispered, "Not here, honey." As Peter began to provide details of his emissary to Jennifer, his little daughter stared up at the masts of the Black Dragon. Her awe of the boat's immense size certainly correlated with its size in real time, as Jessica was only visible as a tiny speck compared to the hull, and even after that, the masts. Considering her immense craving for adventure, her curiosity quickly became the best of her. She figured the best way to convey her emotions would be to ask her father a question. Hesitantly, she asked Peter, "Daddy, can I drive the big boat?" Even while slightly confused by the question, it only took him a second to respond. "Umm...maybe later."