Friday, September 5, 2008

My Cousin, My Brother and I Against the World

The fires raged throughout the night all along the waterfront of Bizercca, and into the adjacent warehouses and bazaars. The slave casernes were emptied, and the city's thousands of Christian and Guinean slaves laboured shoulder-to-shoulder with the Dey's own bodyguard ocak to haul and pump water from the harbour to the various blazes sparked by the Imperial bombardment.

The Dey, who had been taking his siesta in his seraglio at the commencement of the bombardment, armed himself rapidly when awoken by his agha--commander of militia--with the news of the attack.

"Banatiano, what news?"

"The Franj, effendi. It seems the Empress has launched a fleet and announced the news with an unprovoked and infamous attack! Thanks to God they came without gunships or mortar ketches; the roundshot alone cannot endanger the entire city." The agha, an intense-eyed renegado, seemed to the Dey to spit out the word "Empress" with a particular venom which the Dey resolved to himself to examine more closely at a more opportune time.

"Miserable wretches! Allah will rebuke them surely. Summon the Taifat-al-rais immediately! We will efface the shipping of the Empress from the seas."

"The captains' council is already assembling by the customs house, but there is already more unfortunate news from there. As you know, your twin brother Amazigh put out to sea in his xebec earlier today, bearing, as you instructed, your personal seals and gifts for the beleaguered Khalifa of Mooerisco and his divan to conclude the alliance between the Khalifa and yourself. Xebec captains of the Taifa alerted by the fires and now returning to harbour report that his vessel was spotted being stalked by Franj men-of-war. Your lordship must prepare himself for whatever savage treatment Amazigh may have suffered at the hands of these treacherous and barbaric Franj."

"By the sword of the Prophet, if they have harmed one hair upon his head I shall visit my vengeance on the guilty unto the sons, brothers and nephews of those responsible!"


Capt Bill said...

Maybe that should be "My cousin and I against the world", since your brother was hanged as the pirating scum he was!

abdul666 said...

you and Capt Bill are adding very interesting events of a type not so common here!

A J Matthews said...

A stirring account! The Empress' fleet had no bomb ketches - this time. But in the future? And the pirate's brother won't be caught napping in his seraglio a second time, perhaps.

MurdocK said...

Hmm, seems to me many on the 'middle sea' may want to watch their horizons more closely these days...

Frankfurter said...

One: Who says that the Local Day was "sleeping" in his seraglio?
Frankly, being interrupted while,ah, awake would be much more irritating!

Two: The Malted Islands, lying somewhere south of the Adriatic ans west of Crete will be very alarmed at developments ... especially considering that their forces are rather antiquated and their few galleys are old ... most of their resources lie in small "fishing" craft which are constructed to facilitate quick beaching and offloading ....
The Holy Order of the Horse Pistoleers, however, under the leadership of their Cafe, Lord Choco Latte will be considering the situation carefully ...