The Salty Dog drifted through the harbor anxiously awaiting an opportunity to get back out on the open sea. He was a proud ship, defiant of the scuttlebutt around the fleet: the Salty Dog needs a little more rest between contests; the ole veteran was getting licked a few times more often these days; it was time. The crew heard the same gossip at port when they disembarked. While there was once a day the Salty Dog's very presence would instill a bit of fear in the locals during these port calls, the crew now found the witless among them taken advantage of. It is true, the book was out that the crew was working twice as hard to keep the Salty Dog afloat, out of pride.
The veteran vessel had performed admirably the last few voyages, silencing its foes and even unleashing the old battery of cannons. Once the pride of the fleet, the ships cannons were in desperate need of repair, repair that many thought perhaps too costly as the structure that carried them neared its last visit to the shipyards. The cannons misfired often and lacked the lightning-like explosiveness of their youth. Nonetheless, the ship's wiley maneuvering and headstrong will to win was its true calling card.
On this particular morning, the Salty Dog found itself on patrol near the rather progressive shipyard in the regrettably named land of Cleavers. Surrounded by swampland and getting the worst of the winter had rendered this poor city hopeless apart from its shipyard. The people had grown accustomed to having to patiently build with skills taught and learned from within without the advantages of a more diversified and prosperous city. Under the employ of Louis the Great, the Salty Dog had been sent to enforce an embargo on trade runs, while providing cover for passing trade ships of our own.
Arriving late to the embargo, the Salty Dog found himself chasing multiple trade ships on their way through the embargo. Adding to the already inopportune circumstances, the Kluber, a well known ship re-keeled by the "Cleavers" (I sympathize with those that would prefer to use less colloquial terms for our enemies, but alas, that is a conversation perhaps lost on the brave seamen of the Salty Dog), was seen portside striking our own trade ships with round after round.
Right away, our captain noticed the cannons were not firing with the precision he had become accustomed and, given the efficiency with which the Kluber was dispatching our own forces, he decided to refine his approach at the expense of time. We re-bored the cannons with all the haste you could hope for, but before the cannons had gripped the first balls to launch them starboard, the vessels were quite far away, close to the extent of our range, even in the most optimal of conditions. While we sent a couple rounds in hopes of catching a lucky burst, the Moss and Murphy were able to distract us enough with their own efforts to allow those first two ships, the Kipnis and Santana to score a successful blockade-busting run.
In the second, the crew begun to wonder if, again, we would be limping out of another tough battle as the Ramirez turned double cannons on our flagship! Unheard of for such a light-hitting ship, the Ramirez caught us by surprise to be sure. Once again, trouble was on the horizon as the Ramirez shocked us into distraction, allowing more ships to walk past our throttle point, their hometown. As they filled their path to the free trade routes of the open sea, The ole Salty Dog bore down and showed the grit that has exemplified such a storied career at sea, but the Kluber, all this time was sending our ships to the bottom with such efficiency, leaving us breathless and near despair.
I'm writing to tell you that despite the bravery and relentlessness typical of the crew on the Salty Dog, the ship, crew and accompanying task force have been lost, with no survivors. An enemy ship, the Kluber showed up with uncommon tenacity and precision, sinking ship after ship with nary a miss. I would like to write you to confirm that we will exact revenge on the Kluber specifically, but intel reports state that the Kluber sailed from port after the devastation. Rest assured, without the protection of the prestigious vessel, we will exact a swift revenge on those damn Cleavers and rock their world tomorrow.
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There was some drama about the balls being used, but Lackey settled down after the first despite any funny business. He was effectively wiley in maintaining the 2 run difference while Kluber was effectively unhittable. Little can be said or done in the face of such a remarkable performance except that you have to tip your cap and move on to the next game, whether because of pine tar, slippery balls or just fantastic pitching.
This being my third recap, I've intentionally taken a somewhat unorthodox approach to them. Please let me know if you'd prefer something more akin to box score regurgitation or whether you like the weird. Feedback may or may not matter when writing future recaps.