Flushed, nay ecstatic, with their unprecedented success at the siege of Berwick, and having extracted guarantees of future good conduct from the pirate captains, the Kittens of Chaos reassembled upon their waterborne battle craft and headed back out to sea. The Destroyer of Worlds wallowed south on a mission to reap havoc amongst the Tyne ports. The hours crawled slowly one behind another like zombies queuing for a brain handout at an NHS Autopsy Surplus Store. As autumn turned to winter the weather deteriorated and seas rose. The Kittens retrieved their buckets and retreated to their couches. Tovarishch-Matros Petrichenko readied his mop and pail.
As they passed the citadel of Bamburgh flares went up ashore and signal fires followed them down the coast. Warnings of their progress dogged them every fathom and league till they were pitching some way off the Fiercely Independent Pirate Republic of Craster. Braving the mounting swell a flotilla of sturdy cobles, tiny piratically decorated vessels, churning foam and bucking the waves, swarmed from the fortress harbour intent on surrounding the monstrous ekranoplan. Kittens manned the ZU-23 Sergeys, prepared to sell their honour dearly. Consuella took the helm and began to turn the Destroyer of World towards the oncoming fleet. They had a jolly good ramming coming to them.
“Hold fast, señora,” said the Tovarich-Starshina, putting down his binoculars and turning from the cockpit window, “The lead craft is displaying a flag of truce.”
“Parlé!” came the cry.
The Destroyer of Worlds heaved to and Consuella Starcluster stood by the Starboard paddle box, flanked by two heavily armed Kronstadt seamen, to receive their visitors. The lead coble was approaching the wing stub a little too quickly.
“Gan canny or we’ll dunsh summick,” a sturdy corsair addressed his helmsman from the bow and then called out, “Hoos ya fettling, hinny? Hey ya git the
Kittens aboard? We waad leik te hev a crack wiv t’wi bairns.” He heaved the boat’s painter to one of the Kronstadt crew. Consuella did not move.
“Stay een hyourrr boat. Eef hyou want to talk hyou can shout frrrom therrre.”
“Wi heerd aboot they rumpous in Berwick. There’s a hiring on offer fre they sonsy kiddars ashore heor. Can Ah na come abooard? Hit’s aaful rough oot heor in this wi booat.”
“Hyou’ll do fine as hyou arrre, señor. Speak hyour pieze.”
“Oh bugger! Give ower, y’a kiddin. Ah weel a’s ney huffed… They’s a bit o’ sorta cabaret woerk. T’Alnwick Empire ay putting on a performance o’ Les Miserables on Ice, bun th’entire chorus o’ revolutionary virgins hez gan doon wi chicken pox. Wi wore hoping ter tice yer lasses in te standing in fer a few weeks.”
“I ham not so surre about that, meesterr. I hwould haff to come along too, as chaperrrone.”
“Tha’d be fine, canny lass, the hintend o’ Dobbin hez bin caal’d fre jury duty, so wi’s getten a job fre yee sel tee.”
There were squeals of, “Please, please, miss, miss please, señora,” from the doorway behind Consuella.
“Hokay meesterr, hyou haaf ay deal. Lead the way.”
Thus the bobbing flotilla turned to escort the Destroyer of Worlds into port and yet again the Kittens of Chaos disappear from our tale to pursue adventures of their own.