The wood shards flew in every direction, and one of them drove right through Hendricks’ head, the poor bastard. Another went right into my leg, and I went down hard and found quite a lot of blood coming out of me. I saw her, you must know. I saw Ingrid start to run toward me, but with a word Lambert stopped her dead in her tracks, and she never stopped singing. We stared at each other, and for the first time in years, the world faded away and it was just me and her and her song. I felt the water rise up between us, and I heard the wood breaking, and the men screaming, but it was distant. Like it was a dream I was remembering, while Ingrid and I were sharing the only piece of reality left. She was crying, God, I’d never seen her cry like that before, and I’d slice open anyone that could make her cry that way again. The water pushed our ships apart, and the few surviving cannons on the Heretic let loose, and my ship buckled under the strain. The storm bore down on us with all its might, and as the distance between our ships grew I reached out for her, and she reached out for me. Then Lambert was there, his hand on her shoulder, a bloody grin on his face as he watched me.
Our cannons unleashed once more, and I saw parts of that ship shatter all around Lambert and Ingrid. I raised my pistol and fired again, and I hit him, but only on the arm. I tried to reach for another shot, to reload my gun and try again, but the wood of the ship broke under me and the piece that broke away tore me up something fierce. I screamed and dropped my pistol from my hands growing wet and numb in the cold rain, and when I looked again, Lambert and Ingrid were nowhere to be seen on the Heretic’s deck. I pulled myself onto a more solid piece of deck as best I could, and felt a nail bite into my side and tear a line straight down as I forced myself past it. The ship leaned, and I knew it was going down. My crew were scrambling, and as I heard lifeboats hitting the water I also heard gunshots and lightning strikes. I knew they weren’t going to make it, not if Lambert could have them.
I threw every curse I had at him. I swore on Heaven and Hell that I’d be back, that I’d turn the sea itself against him if I had to, that nothing short of God Himself would keep my Ingrid from me. I continued to curse as I felt the water reach me, the salt searing in my wounds and screaming in my mind. I continued to curse as the ship went out from under me and the Heretic began to limp back toward the cove. The last bit of breath I had was hurled at Lambert, and then the water took me.