A new story for the release of TLOPOEdit
It's 1750, British Soldiers have just returned to the Caribbean.
A detachment of British Regulars has been sent to Cuba.
Their mission is to maintain law and order within the settlement.
But with a peace between the major nations causing privateers to go rogue,
The British Soldiers are forced to keep a vigilant eye out for pirate attacks.
And something else is also threatening to rip their small garrison apart,
From within the swamps...
Chapter One: "Look out lads, I saw something in the water!"Edit
The old longboat that they had been given by the Navy had certainly seen better days. It was a leaky old vessel with it's paint begining to chip away from the wood. It was hot and humid, the mosquitos were buzzing about and sweat slide down the brow of Corporal James Garside. "Eh Sarge, pass us the water!" he gave a lop sided grin and put his hand out to the grizzled Yorkshireman in the stern of the boat who was sweating under his faded scarlet jacket and black shako, his Sergeant's stripes were the only thing that kept the six soldiers in the boat from teasing him, that and the scar on his nose from a Spanish Dragoon. Sergeant Jimmy Rose passed the water canteen over to Garside, who began to guzzle it down hungrily, before he got a slap on the side of the head from Jimmy. "Save some for the rest of us poor buggers? or at least try to?" he gave a faint chuckle and took the canteen back, pouring water down his throat. Garside looked around, they were passing through the thick swampy waters of Cuba's inner bayou, the sun beating down upon them mercilessly, fading their scarlet uniforms and sending litres of sweat pouring down their faces and backs.
As the other soldiers pulled at the oars, James was casually looking out at the waters around them, when he spied a dead tree floating in the water. He shuddered and looked away, it was blackened from whatever witchcraft had kept Cuba hidden during the past two and half years. He looked over the larboard side of the longboat and saw another black shape in the water, twice the size. He scratched his head and looked amazed as it was slowly moving towards them. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief and looked again, it was definantly moving towards them then it suddenly disappeared underneath the water... "Look out lads... I saw something in the water!" he said earnestly. The other soldiers looked at him and laughed, "It's just a log Jamey, relax." James looked out again and saw the ripples of where it had disappeared, then suddenly saw a dark shadow in the murky, shallow water. "Sarge..." he looked at Jimmy Rose, who was quietly smoking a pipe of tobacco and who looked at him with an annoyed expression on his face. "What lad?"
"I saw something in the water... it was moving" he blurted out. Jimmy looked at him, grinned and went back to smoking. "That'd be one of the famous bayou alligators Jamey, naught to worry about if you leave em alone..." he didn't finish his sentence as suddenly the boat was sent reeling wildly by some unseen underwater object, the soldiers went sprawling into the bottom of the boat and began to panic in the two inches of water that had leaked in. Jimmy Rose, looked around and took his pipe out of his mouth, a grim look on his face. "I hate this place..." was the last word he said before they were all thrown into the shallow, murky water as the boat flipped upside down, sending soldiers, muskets and Jimmy Rose's best pipe into the cold, murky water.
The soldiers were foundering around in the water, when one of them screamed and disappeared under water, a bloody pool left where he was standing just moments before. The water was about waste height and Jimmy had managed to keep a hold of his musket, though the powder was spoiled by the water. He had also somehow managed to keep a hold of his pipe. "Get to the shore lads! Just Bloody run!" he yelled at them and began to half wade, half run through the murky waters towards the shore, which was about five hundred meters away. The other soldiers abandoned the old boat and oars and began to do likewise. A few people on the shore were watching the affair, James Garside however did not see them, his eyes were focused on the water as he ran towards the shoreline. Suddenly Jimmy Rose gave a yelp and toppled into the water, tripping over a dead tree underwater, coughing and spluttering. "MY BLOODY PIPE!" he exclaimed as he came back up. James didn't stop to look for Jimmy's pipe, merely grabbing the old fella's arm and dragging him towards the shore.
Suddenly Private Jenkins screamed and disappeared underwater, another pool of blood staining the water and his black shako floating amongst the blood. "I HATE THIS ARSE OF A PLACE!" Jimmy began roaring as he stumbled through the water and finally reached the shore with James. The other soldiers kept running, further up the beach and stumbled and fell into the hot sand. Jimmy and James looked out over the waters, still and calm apparently, the only ripples came from their journey, the boat could still be seen out in the bayou.
Suddenly the waters seemed to explode on the shoreline and a monster appeared from the depths coming directly towards Jimmy. Jimmy looked at the giant of an alligator and gave a dejected sigh before exclaiming, "YOU SON OF A..." and spearing the creature in the eye with his bayonet, before jumping back as it smashed at him with it's mighty jaws. He leaped forward and stabbed again with his bayonet, the blade going deep into the eye socket and causing the monster to suddenly withdraw from the conflict and disappear into the water. It's tail could be seen sliding through the water, before disappearing on the otherside of the bayou and into the jungles.
"My best pipe... teach the bastard..." was the last words Jimmy Rose said before falling unconscious into the sand, exhausted. James Garside looked at him in amazement and then looked at the other soldiers, who were all lying lazily on the beach. He sighed and kicked on of them, who grinned at him. "Three cheers for lucky Garside"
James looked at him with a sarcastic frown and walked away towards the tavern and towards a tankard of rum and the possibility of the company of a fine young lady. While he left Jimmy Rose and the rest of the lads to cook in the hot, Caribbean sun.