Unlikely Heroes: The Devil in The Deep Blue Sea


James’s Note:
This is a micro fiction inspired by the historical fact that a Victorian gentleman, a disgraced Samurai, a wild west gunslinger, and an elderly French pirate could have all lived at the same time, and possibly gone on adventures. If you would like to read more about them, leave us a comment.


Emerson Battenburg III was sweating profusely under his top hat as his hands flew back and forth between the vault door and his roll of thief’s tools spread out before him. His lock picks twitched and jiggled inside the doors complicated mechanism.

“Sooner would be better than later, Emmy,” Cherokee Jack remarked cooly as he braced heavily against the barred door that he and the samurai, Masaski Kenshin, were vainly trying to hold shut against the battering ram being applied for the other side.

“Well , Mr. Jack, I have informed the tumblers of your haste, but they are quite rudely refusing to pop themselves open in spite of that fact,” Emerson responded, his voice prim, although his face showed intense concentration. After all, he fancied himself a proper English gentleman, and that meant never losing one’s cool.

As the door began to splinter, Masaaki took a step back and drew his katana. “Let them come. A hundred of them will die by my blade before I fall.”

Cherokee Jack rolled his eyes, and continued to brace the door. “While I would never dream of questioning your martial prowess, you will forgive me if I have no particular desire to test it.”

“If you had thought of an escape plan, we would not be currently stuck in this room, with no means of egress, trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea.” Emerson shot over his shoulder.

“While I do beg your pardon, even a stunning intellect such as myself cannot rightly think of everything,” Jack grunted, the door finally starting to give away.

“Will the two of you stop blithering, the guards are almost through,” Masaaki spat disdainfully as Jack was thrown to the ground, his cowboy hat knocked from his head, displacing the eagle feather he wore in it.

Jack didn’t bother to rise, but smoothly drew both his revolvers from where he lay.

Just as the two warriors were preparing to face down the overwhelming force of guards, the corridor outside the room was rocked by a series of explosions, forcing them to cover their ears

After a brief pause, the broken door swung open easily to admit the pirate captain, Jean-Luc La Croix, his hat perched jauntily on his long silver hair.

The old pirate quipped in his thick French accent, “I’m sorry I’m late, but you all seemed to have been having a bit of a problem. Luckily, it was nothing a few granados couldn’t solve.”

As he sashayed in, a pistol on one hip and an ornate rapier on the other, he had to step over one of the many strewn bodies that littered the corridor.

“Explosives are a coward’s weapon. It would have been more honorable to face them with your sword”, Moussaka said haughtily.

“I piss on your honor, boy. I am far too old for that nonsense. Although making men explode does give me an exquisite thirst.” Jean-Luc then proceeded to pull an enormous flask of wine from his voluminous coat and began a heroic effort to drain it.

Jack laughed aloud, rising and holstering his pistols. “I for one don’t give a damn what you piss on, I’m just glad to see you. Emmy here was just remarking how we was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

La Croix scoffed in a very French way, and waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t be silly boy, I am the devil in the deep blue sea.”

The samurai seemed about to respond, when he was cut off by a loud clicking noise and Emerson’s whoop of victory.

“I’ve got it! Now if you all are done fooling about, I propose that we get what we came for and vacate these premises before more guards arrived.”

“Hell, Emmy’s got my vote,” Jack smirked, and with that, the four of them, weapons drawn, entered the vault.

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