PodCastle 348: Testimony of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events on Her Majesty’s Ship CONFIDENCE, 14-22 June, 1818, With Diagrams

by Ian Tregillis

Read by Ian Stuart

Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2014.

I joined His Majesty’s Royal Navy in 1808, and a man more grateful for the press-gangs you’ll never meet. To answer your question, Sirs, I spent four years in the service of
Captain Nares ere I beheld the tentacled Bride.

A brave and virtuous soul was the captain, never given to rage nor drink during my years with him.  And upon my oath, never once did he take the lash to a sailor’s back without just cause before she arrived. But he changed the moment that accursed creature slithered upon the deck.

Begging your pardon, Sirs?  I lost much of my hearing on the
last voyage of the Confidence.

Aye.  I get ahead of myself.  I’ll start at the beginning.

Rated R. Contains Violence (without diagrams)