Pirates vs. Dragons: The Device

Pirates vs. Dragons by Marc Gunn
Day 58: “Andrew” and I walked into what was left of Murphy’s cabin on the wreck of the Irish Stout. I was a little nervous. The deception Andrew’s been living under could get her in a lot of trouble if she’s found out. Pirates live by a Code—and they can be an unforgiving lot. Just look at the legends, like Blackbeard and Calico Jack Rackham. They make Murphy look like Jack Sparrow. Her deception would have her keelhauled, if not worse.

“What do you want?” barked Murphy.

“Sorry for the interruption, Captain,” I answered nervously. “This is Andrew—”

Murphy sat back in his chair, like it was a throne, and looked at her with his head tilted to one side. “So, yer this ‘Andrew’ I’ve been hearing so much about.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Yer the talk o’ the shipyard, lad. They say yer the best gunner a cap’n ever had at their side—though a mite shy of the water.”

Jenny cocked her head, arms crossed, and sniffed. “Sounds like ye heard right. What’s it to ya?”

“I suppose ye want a job.”


“Fair enough. Can ye sign yer name?”


“Sign here, gunner.”

As she signed her name, I swear I saw that smirk creep across Murphy’s face again. Little did I know that Andrew was a renowned gunner specializing in harpoons.

“Welcome aboard,” said Murphy. “Now git yer arse out of here.”

And that was it. Didn’t have to persuade him or anything. It was a little weird.

She’s moved her stuff into the crew quarters and everything. I wonder if she brought the egg, or if she hid it somewhere else. I wouldn’t risk it being anywhere near Murphy if it were mine.

Once she was settled, we went back out to recruit more help.

As we walked down the plank, we could hear Murphy’s voice from two ships away. He was arguing with the man building the Lady Jean. The ship is almost completed, but Murphy wanted it yesterday.

But he’s not going to get it cheap.

We were curious, and walked that way to get a better listen to what was being said. I didn’t hear the entire argument, but I did hear Murphy shout, “You can’t be serious!”

And then the shipwright got quieter, but I did hear, “That’s my price. You’ve got a…” and then his voice got too soft to hear for a moment. He finished with, “You want the Lady Jean, I get the device.”

I don’t know what this device is, but it must be something incredibly special if Murphy won’t part with it even for the Lady Jean. He really wants that ship.

I’ve managed to sneak a bit of pencil stub from the ship’s doctor, and a few scraps of paper from the cook. I’m recording my thoughts with them so I can reveal Black Jack Murphy’s infamy when I finally return to civilization.

There’s a universal truth about pirates. They hunt treasure, and they don’t care who they have to rob to get it.

There’s a universal truth about dragons. They hoard treasure, and they really don’t like for people to try and take it.

I was kidnapped by the infamous air pirate Black Jack Murphy and his crew of the airship The Lady Jean. They wanted me to chronicle their dragon hunts. Little did Murphy know where my sympathies lie! So, this journal — and the resulting CD, coming soon from Mage Records “Pirates vs. Dragons” — tell the true stories of Pirates vs. Dragons. The CD combines rousing sea shanties about pirates being pirates with songs about the majesty of dragons, and the journal details the privations I suffered. There’s a little something for both sides here–and I bet you find a new favorite or two.