Thursday, September 11, 2008

Admiral Hopstadt Stands Alone

Admiral Hopstadt needed no counsel; he would face these jackals alone armed only with the truth. Imperial Sea Lord and Admirals I present myself to answer these slanderous charges; Count One: Hazarding Imperial Ships on the high seas, Count Two: Dereliction of Duty in regards to the dreaded Driss Khal-al-Waw Dey: Count Three: Failure to destroy the pirate’s sanctuary.

As Admiral, I alone decide which storms to sail into! Thirty two years of sea service qualifies me, not you, to ponder on the efficacy of such circumstances. As for the dreaded Driss Khal-al-Waw Dey, the man I hanged certainly looked like the portrait presented to me in the mission briefing. None of you landlocked geniuses even hinted there may be a twin brother. Furthermore, the scoundrel never denied his identity even as the noose lifted him from the deck of my flagship. As to Count Three a description of the battle should resolve that matter.

Two of the three 42-pounder emplacements in the Presidio were knocked out by our initial volley. The Presidio guns returned fire, but without the heavy batteries their efforts were futile. After 20 minutes, four of their six 32-pounder batteries were also out of action. A mishap or lucky hit from the bombardment resulted in a fire outside the main magazine which resulted secondary explosion that sealed the magazine and silenced all of their guns.Ordering the squadron to weigh anchor, we sailed close up to the chain blocking entry into the harbor and began firing on the city. The nearly two dozen shallow-drafting xebecs in harbor, passed over the chain and attempted to close and board our ships, but were driven off. Over half of these vessels were smashed into splinters by our heavy guns.The harbor gunboats and bomb ketches attempted to return fire, but were unable to do any damage, and were destroyed over the next hour. Our squadron bombarded the city proper for another two hours. Fires were seen along the waterfront which shrouded the entire city in a haze of gun smoke. As night fell, the glow of the fires in the Kasbah guided our fire on the towering minarets of the Ketchooup Mosque. A series of salvoes from all three ships brought down the minarets, and I ordered cease fire! All this was achieved without the loss of one man.

Instead of receiving the Order of Maria Theresa, I am brought here to defend my honor. Gentlemen, your deliberations are of no further interest to me. I refuse to serve such ingrates. The Admiral removed the medals and decorations from his uniform and placed them on the table along with his sacred sword, a gift from the Empress herself. The Admiralty Chamber was deadly quiet as Admiral Graf Rupert von Hopstadt departed.


Herzog Ignaz said...

I fear that such fashionable novelties as his perriwig may have undermined Adm. Hopstadt's authority in the eyes of some of the more traditionalist members of the Admiralty.

Martin said...

We noticed that the Admiral returned only his "Court Sword", yet kept his pistols and boarding cutlass in his possession. Although far from the sea, Raubenstadt always has a warm welcome to men of courage and daring.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I'm thinking that he may have hanged an insufficient number of pirates . . . and the room was certainly full of enough of them . . . perhaps he should have brought his crew and a gibbet.

-- Jeff

Frankfurter said...

Ah, but court intrigue is court intrigue. I'd bet that the admiral is as gifted in navigating those turbulent waters as he is the Middle Sea ...
I'm betting on surprise events ... possibly even a direct intervention from the Empress?

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