“She’s taking on passengers, looks like,” said the bosun, straightening up, then contorting to stretch his back in the stout compartment.
“Of course he is,” the captain took a drag on his misshapen cigarette. Reaching for the air tube, he said, “He thinks I’ll hesitate with civilians on board.” Smoke leaked from his lips. He exhaled into the tube.
The bosun leaned into the bulkhead, then looked forward to the captain at the cramped prow of the boat. “He doesn’t know we can see him, does he?” He blinked sweat off his lashes.
“Figures we’ll try to board, get nervous with folk about. As if I were ashamed to kill him. Moot anyway,” he patted the mainbolt, welded through the nose of the sub. The other side of that bolt, in the brine, was a long iron spar ending in a spheroid mine. It would blow a belly wound in most any ship, but no sub, and a mere few crews, survived the blast.
“Captain,” said bosun. “Let’s board. He—”
“I’d burn an orphanage if he was inside.” A smile. “But let’s see where she goes.”