I tried to make myself heard over the cheering, but it was a fruitless attempt. Mind spinning, I ran through the numbers – there couldn’t be much more than about ten ship-lengths of chain and the wreck already so far below us…
Somebody smart must have had the same realisation I had, though, because the lower smallguns suddenly whipped round on their gimbals, the mechanical noise cutting through the celebration. Everybody fell silent in time to realise what the guns had suddenly started firing at – but the silence didn’t last long. Deck hands and gunners sprung into action, teams of men running for the topdeck and the access hatches leading out to the hull.
The first chain, hanging from a mag-anchor clamped to our stern, was severed by concentrated fire from both aft smallguns – the second chain fell away shortly after, cut by men on the topdeck.
The third chain snapped taut with an impact that rolled us halfway over.