"The group was brought back to Hamburg to stand trial, where they were sentenced to death by beheading. Resigned to his death, Stortebeker struck up a bizarre deal with the mayor. His pirates would be lined up in a row when he was decapitated. The mayor promised to free as many men as Stortebeker’s headless body could walk past.
This must have seemed like a raw deal for the pirates, who had doubtlessly witnessed the effects of multiple beheadings in their adventures. However, the story goes that after the executioner chopped off his head, Stortebeker’s body stood up and began walking, making it past 11 men before the enraged executioner tripped it." -- Anon Guest
The story is whispered throughout the Edge Territories, though when Erik's old crew tell it, they tell it loudly and with laughter. Enlarged and embellished by retellings, it has only enhanced Humanity's reputation as Space Orcs.
Captain Erik had been a Space Pirate. Like many living in the Edge, he and his crew chose to make a living off of others who were living there. Few trader vessels were safe and he insisted that killing a ships' crew was a very bad move. After all, dead traders don't ever come back. They were caught, of course, as many before him were caught. Sentenced by the outpost's governor to execution by beheading.
The Edge Territories prefer the simple ways, sometimes.