"Where's Sabre?" barked Jaws to the nearest crew member. He was met with a look of momentary shock, and then a backwards thumb-point to the upper deck.
The shark-man scaled the steps with gusto, taing them two or three at a time, before landing just shy of the captain's cabin and spotting his old friend on the bough of the ship, seagazing. Aye, what a rube. The guy had absolutely no sense of impending doom, or self-preservation. Jaws hiked up his wet suspenders, which had become slack during his swim, and sidled up to the one-eyed swordsman.
"Oy, dreamboat. We got some company in these waters..."
"Jaws? Hmph, you startled me," Sabre took his hand off of his namesake, and the weapon remained sheathed at his hip. "Company? You don't mean--"
"Pirates, it seems," he finished, cocking an eye-ridge at Johnny's trigger-happy sword-hand. "Warn the captain here, or ride it out...see what happens? Heh."
In response, Sabre nodded and swiftly turned, making for the cabin that he had just left. A moment later, Johnny was grabbing for the door. Jaws squeezed into the room behind him, feeling as tightly-packed as a clam's pearl. The shark grinned a guillotine at the captain's sudden look of shock upon their entrance; the old man's beard was positively electric with all of this sudden activity.
"Aye? What can I do ya boys fer?"
Sabre took a breath and then stepped forward. "My aquatic friend here has alerted me of some other presence in these waters. We fear...pirates?"
"Pirates!?" The captain huffed, a wooden pipe nearly falling from his jowels. "Don't joke with me, son. The lookout woulda told us iffin' somethin' was comin' our way. Can't miss another big ship in these waters, can we lads? Pirates?! HAH. Who would bother with Arian waters."
"Listen to this salt-brained old fool..." Jaws muttered under his breath, turning to the corner of the cabin and crossing his arms.
"I think it would be a wise choice to circle around to the south-east, and wrap around Aria. Put some land between us and them, perhaps dissuade them from pursuing us further..." Sabre calmly rationalized, trying to illustrate his plan with a finger in mid-air.
The Captain shook his head. "I ain't keepin' my hungry, tired crew on this ship more 'n necessary."
A thunderous crack pierced the stagnant air, and the great iron ship lurched. Jaws and Sabre exchanged a look, and the shark offered an exaggerated shrug. A cacophony of voices sounded from the deck; Jaws looked out of the viewing port and saw several rugged men on the floor, either knocked down from the turbulence, or, if they were more experienced sea-hands, taking cover.
"Sir!" Johnny implored, staring at the Captain compellingly with his one eye.
"Hold onto yer britches, boys!"
The older man nodded, and reached to the control panel next to the ship's over-sized wheel. Sabre raised his brow, curiously, as the Captain slammed down on a large red button. At once, a roar from underneath the vessel silenced any further pirate-borne cannon-fire. Seconds later, the ship began moving forward at an incredible pace! They were flying through the waters, a hot knife through butter. Jaws was knocked off his feet and hit the floor of the cabin hard. He saw Sabre take a sturdy stance and stare out to the deck. Jaws grunted, and pulled himself halfway to a standing position. Out of the viewport, he was nearly blinded by a blur of blue and white, the skies and seas moving at a breakneck pace past their speeding ship. The sharkman couldn't help but grin--this was incredible. They could run right through the horizon, a big bullet on the open seas.
"Impressive, ain't it!" The captain yelled over the mechanical roar coming from the ship's innards. "Marvel o' technology an' magic! Never thought I'd see it in my life, much less pilot it! Eahahahaaaa!!"
Jaws looked from the Captain, face cracked with glee, to Johnny, who remained impassive. It was as if this type of absurdity was commonplace for him! Jaws shook his head and saw the shores of Aria quickly approach. A huge mass of green and brown on a canvas of lightspeed blue. The ship slowed, and swerved to the side. Men on the deck went sliding and slammed into one another, captained by the ship's momentum. Something was wrong. The ship was no more than half a league from Aria's docks, yet the old man was still piloting them around the isle. They spun around the rocky shores, orbiting Aria like a small moon, and then it became clear.
Sabre was interrupted by another blast of cannon-fire. There was a moment of silent hang-time before a wooden crash alerted everyone aboard of the projectile making deck-contact. Bodies scattered, taking cover or seeking weapons, as a fiery cannonball smoldered on the ship's surface, a depressed crater in its wake.
"...Magic, eh?" Jaws nodded, and bolted out the door, followed by Sabre.
The shark saw that they had been cut-off by a single ship, small and pointed, almost like an arrowhead. It too had an armored shell, and was hovering several meters off the water like a phantom, green waves of magic circularly undulating under its comparably tiny metal frame. Soon, it was joined by two others, who swiftly cleared the distance from the horizon. Pirates, indeed. But a breed that Jaws had never before seen. Such advanced magic, and these boats were positively ridiculous. His grin curled into a snarl, and he saw one of the farther vessels ready another blazing cannonball. The acrid scent of ashy magic hit his nostrils, and the shark jumped down on deck. He swiped a discarded cutlass on the wooden floor, and held it at the ready. Another ship narrowed in on them, and sped towards the Iron Dame. It ascended ever so slightly, and then hovered over them all, half as tall as the mast. Startled cries rippled out from the crew below, as a squadron of rogues descended from the magical fly-ship from above.
"Protect the crew! The cargo is secondary!"
"Speak for yourself, patch-eye," Jaws taunted. In truth, he would be more than happy to ram his cold steel through a pirate's unwitting torso, priorities be damned.