Death From Above

In the town of Abosam, the destiny of several strangers is about to intertwine. Captain Edmund Harper, commander of the privateer gunkite HMS Menace have landed in town to reprovision. His crew, including Chief Gunner Tim MacCraig are getting some leave time. In the center of the town, Father Lars Dietrich is eating at a cafe, waiting to find transport for the next leg of his journey to Gorklimsk. And in the historical archive building and museum, Juan Carlos Escobedo and Nigel Reddington research stories of old martian technologies while Wayland Dashwood does the same.
Out and about on the town, Captain Harper hears the sound of an approaching ship's propellors, but overlaid with a loud buzz he has never heard before. Heading for the noise, he sees an Endtime class screw galley come over town. It is painted an unusual shade of dark grey, not commonly used on martian ships, and flies an unknown flag; a white two headed eagle on a blue field with a superimposed black bow and arrow. It sails over the dockyards and a bomb bay opens on the bow, dropping bombs on the Menace, then heads towards the center of town.
In the museum, Nigel and Wayland hear the explosions and head outside to investigate. Father Lars sees the ship pass overhead and follows. Nigel, Juan and Wayland emerge from the museum as the ship hovers over the courtyard. Wayland recognizes the buzzing noise as electric motors. Townspeople flee the square and more bombs fall from the ship. Wayland is injured and the three take cover in alleyways. Father Lars rushes forward to help the injured. Ropes fall from the bomb bay and four humans in mechanical armored suits drop to the square and advance on the museum. Juan fires the shotgun concealed in his guitar, but does little damage, then draws his sword and strikes his armored opponent. The armored warrior punches Juan and sends him flying across the square, barely conscious. Nigel exchanges shots with the attackers, who smash their way into the museum. Father Lars arrives and he pulls Juan to safety with Wayland and Nigel.
Captain Harper arrives at his berth, the remaining crew is putting out the fires on the ship's deck. Her masts and rigging have been disabled, but she can still lift, so Harper takes control of the crew and gets the ship in the air, trying to get her high enough to fire on the attacker. He gets enough altitude and yells for his crew to open fire, the gunner at the bow 5" fires and strikes the Endtime, hitting her lob gun. The unknown ship comes around and returns fire, hitting the bow of the Menace and killing two of the forward gunners.
The armored invaders emerge from the museum, carrying a roll of parchment, and one fires a flare into the air. The Endtime turns away from the Menace and sweeps across the square so the troops can seize the ropes. Nigel, Wayland and Father Lars snipe at them, but do little damage and they are drawn into the ship which flees to the West. They reenter the museum and follow the raiders' path of destruction to a map room, they find a discarded scroll tube labelled "Meroe Badlands".
Captain Harper lands his ship and gathers in his crew who were in town, they begin temporary repairs and take care of the wounded and the dead. Harper sends his manservant, Hobson, into town to look for a doctor. He returns with Father Lars. Father Lars tends to crew and Captain Harper makes a donation in thanks. Father Lars returns later and asks if he can buy passage on the ship, he has heard they are going to Karkarham next, which would simplify Father Lar's trip to Gorklimsk. He offers to pay passage with the money Harper gave as a donation, and suggests he could serve as a doctor aboard the ship. The captain agrees to carry father Lars as a working passage for now. Later on, Juan, Nigel and Wayland show up, also wanting to buy passage, they have heard the captain has sworn revenge against the mystery ship. They sign on and the four passengers are housed in the marine's quarters. Once the crew finishes jury rigging a mast, the Menace departs Abosam for Karkarham and arrives three days later. After a cursory inspection by a local patrol ship, they land at Karkarham's landing fields.

Smart remarks:
Raleigh: "I've got a vacuum rated kilt!"
Konrad (as Captain Harper to Father Lars): "You're a priest and a doctor? That's convenient, because I have both dead and wounded."
Mike to Raleigh: "I haven't seen that vein in your forehead in a while."
Konrad to Mike: "That's enough of your Juan-liners, Mike."