On the crossing from the Port de Sade to Masoch the ship was captured by pirates. The old people and the children were shot and thrown overboard. The remainder, the fit and the firm and the fabulous drawn from every dazzling family of the islands, were slammed together in the hold of the ship. “Sleep well,” grinned the pirate captain, “and pray for ransom.” Their wailing was cut off by the slamming of the hatch.
Above, ladders were being lowered into the sea, and the bodies of the old and the young retrieved. The ship’s doctor, that dread medical pirate known only as Doctor Zygomatic, injected each pallid body neatly with a luminous pearly fluid. They coughed and spluttered back to life, then were locked without explanation into a hold far removed from their erstwhile companions.
“A fine day’s work, sir,” said the mate.
“Aye, Mr. de Groot,” said the captain. “Fine indeed. Raise the sails! Strike up the band! Give a double ration of rum to every man Jack aboard. Tonight we revel; tomorrow we sail for Nin Island!”
In the foetid darkness below the throbbing disco beat of the pirate orgy shook the prisoners in their chains.