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The Hijacking of the Sea Spirit [Closed: Ajax only]

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New Kvenland
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The Hijacking of the Sea Spirit [Closed: Ajax only]

Postby New Kvenland » Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:41 am

Aboard the Sea Spirit
June 13, 2021
2:43 PM


The Emerald Islands. Maria had heard that name for Fuyang more times than she could count, and now, finally in the Pirate Republic itself, she could see why. The country was like a smattering of green paint on a blue canvas, tropical rainforest-covered islands surrounded by crystal blue seas. It must have been the most gorgeous place in the world.

And right now, the most boring. Maria had not come to Fuyang to snorkel, or hunt megalania, or relax on a sunbaked beach, but to work. Someone had to captain the Sea Spirit. One of the world’s largest cruise ships, the Spirit was 220,000 gross tons of luxury and decadence for the world’s elite. With a water park, a theater with four Olympic swimming pools for seating, and parks full of tropical plants, you’d think Maria would be paid more than $65,000 a year to pilot the beast. But hey, at least she had free reign to the perks too.

Right now, though, she was lounging in an uncomfortable desk chair in her quarters, half-surveying their navigational map, half letting her mind wander. The whole system was automated, it wasn’t like she needed to be present at all times. There was very little she would need to worry about on this job. Low pay notwithstanding, it was one of the cushiest gigs she’d ever gotten.

Well, there was the problem of pirates. That other nickname for Fuyang, the Pirate Republic, was based on its historical status as a nation run by pirates, but was proving to be an accurate moniker recently. A new emperor had been elected, someone named Wan -- a further left, salt of the earth, man of the people type, and the bourgeois elements of the navy had been less than pleased. They’d been expressing their displeasure first through protests, then through strikes. The emperor kept his course all the same, and they had turned to covering navy ships in black flags and shaking down fishing boats for cash. It was an odious thing for a national navy to do, but they were making their point. The emperor was nonetheless unswayed.

But that wasn’t likely to be a problem. The Spirit was already one of the most secure cruise ships sailing these seas, and it had only become more secure with these recent attacks. Security on the boat had tripled, and arms were hidden in inconspicuous spots throughout the ship. The master-at-arms, a beast of a man named Hoi, could’ve told Maria he’d wrestled a bear and won and she’d probably believe him. There was nothing to worry about.

Her mind drifted off pirates to the passengers, since she'd never before escorted such a high-profile audience. Most prominent, of course, was Avelina del Villar, a Gran Aligonese actress Maria had never heard of, but had been assured was a very big deal. She didn’t need convincing; half of the other passengers seemed to be press here for her. She had made sure to watch one of her movies before the trip, but wasn’t impressed.

Two other passengers were more her speed, a retired Pulaui official and a current Unionite athlete-turned-official. The Pulaui, a woman named Amehan Leano, was a former councilmember, much beloved in her home country, and a favorite of Maria’s when she cared to follow Pulaui politics. The Unionite, a man whose name she’d ashamedly forgotten, had started life as a professional wrestler, and a very good one, before his heart was set on public service. A very honorable man, in her opinion. She was looking forward to a conversation with him.

Her thoughts came back down to earth as she stared out the porthole. A small island, untouched by man, was drifting by. She thought she could see something breaching near the island -- a pod of dolphins, maybe.

She smiled. This wouldn’t be so bad.






Iho, Layo Province
June 13, 2021
6:13 PM


The smell of grilled tuna drifted through the air. A slight breeze blew it toward Mik, and he drank it in. He swayed in his hammock, sunlight warming every inch of his body. It was a great day to be alive.

Anjo wasn’t having such a good time. He paced across the deck of their fishing boat, hands drawing imaginary shapes as he thought. “You have any ideas, or are you just gonna lie there?”

Mik slowly raised his head. He hadn’t been listening. “Huh?”

“Unbelievable. We’re losing this country to communists, and all you can do is sleep.”

Politics wasn’t something Mik enjoyed thinking about, but he tried to recollect as much as he could in his stupor. Anjo must’ve been talking about Wan, the new Emperor who had been screwing over the Navy since he’d taken power. The rest of the country, too -- the man was a bleeding-heart liberal, not that Mik cared too much. He just wanted to do his three years of service and get his government benefits for it. The rest of the Navy cared, though, so Mik was obligated to too.

“He isn’t a communist, he’s a… social… social democrat, yeah.”

“Same thing!” Anjo walked over to Mik’s hammock and swung it until Mik fell to the deck with a loud thud.

“Ow, fuck!”

Anjo laughed. “You can sleep after we’ve gotten rid of this Wan asshole. Now, come up with some ideas.”

Mik glared from the ground. “I don’t know, how about the crab trawlers out in Bugnaw?”

Anjo shook his head. “They hired security.”

“Uh, those Pulauans in Sipon?”

“Sure, if you really wanna piss off Pulau, but don’t get me involved.”

“The sardine ships in Kawatan.”

“You really think they have money in Kawatan?”

“Well at least I’m coming up with ideas! What do you have?”

Anjo’s eye twinkled. “Well, I have one, but you’re gonna call me crazy.”

“I already think you’re crazy.”

“Crazier.”

Mik rolled his eyes. “Fine, shoot.”

“You know the Sea Spirit?”

“No.”

“It’s this massive cruise ship from Belisaria, coming to Fuyang for the first time. It’ll be about a mile north of here in a few days.”

Mik stared at Anjo for a beat. There were crazy plans, and then there was this. “You intend to hijack a cruise ship?”

“It crossed my mind.”

“How the hell do you plan to do that?”

“C’mon. If we got the entire Navy behind it, we could take that thing. Do you know how rich the assholes on that ship are? They’ll fold instantly. You know Avelina del Villar is on that ship?”

“No shit.”

“Yeah. Probably some other high-rollers, too. There’s nothing stopping us from taking that thing but ourselves. And if we did, you know what that would tell Wan? ‘Give up, or lose your country.’ No one will want to set foot in Fuyang if they know he’s still in power, since that means we’ll still be around.”

Mik thought for a beat. He knew he might fight people in the military, he wasn’t stupid, but he hadn’t imagined anything like this. He thought he would be going after the pirates, not becoming one. He wasn’t entirely opposed, though, especially given that it was for a good cause. Even still, this was going a great deal farther than he’d ever planned to. “Anjo, you’re sick in the head.”

Anjo grinned. “I don’t hear any arguments against my master plan.”

“I mean… I don’t… ugh.” Mik stared into the sunset. “It could work.”

“Yeah it could.”

“Not if you burn that tuna, though.”
decay exists as an extant form of life

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Communist Xomaniax
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Communist Xomaniax » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:09 pm

The heavy drumline was interspersed with bouts of crunches and wet pops. An older man, skin like dark leather, contorted into a position one might scarcely recognize as human. He held the position for some time, only slowly coming uncoiled as he transitioned to another pose. After several minutes he decompressed, his whole body falling limp. Beneath him droplets of sweat pitter-pattered across the ground. The man’s chest heaved up and down as he lay there on the cabin floor. Just a few years ago it seemed he’d been able to hold that position longer, go even farther. What was it his teachers had always told him?

“Father Time is undefeated.” Gelek Bhutia said to nobody in particular. He chuckled hoarsely to himself as he slowly rose up, hands desperately clutching at the bed frame for purchase. Never more than then did that feel more true. Flexing into the mirror with all his might, Gelek admired the blows of father time. In his youth Gelek had been a bull of a man, with powerful limbs and a barrel chest. Even now the general outline of muscle was there, though complimented with a sizable paunch and a softness around the edges that hinted of yet more fat to come. Moments later and the cabin room was awash in the sound of running water as the man known to the world as “Lion Mask” sank himself into the wash.

The year was 1985. A quarter million people filled the seats of the Palace of Proletarian Culture Stadium. A giant sporting a pair of pig’s tusks and an Arthuristan-flag printed singlet, charges wildly into his smaller masked foe and tackles him into the turnbuckle. The audience goes quiet as it seems like their square jawed hero has been vanquished. But then the masked man rises, his arms wrapped tightly around his opponent as he suddenly heaves the giant high into the air. A moment later and the giant comes crashing down onto the canvas, his body limp. The referee rattles off a three count as the lion masked hero, battered and bloody, stands triumphant over his fallen foe. It’s over. A belt is secured around his waist as Lion Mask is hoisted high into the sky.

The wrestler awoke with a start, splashing water everywhere across the floor. How long had he been out? Eyes lazily drifted off to the clock and, in an instant, the elder Lion Mask jolted to his feet. He’d been in the bath for far too long. Soon after he was once again in front of the mirror, moving from angle to angle and drinking in the way his fine silk clothes clung to his frame. A moment later he slid himself into a pair of vibrantly green snakeskin boots. Gelek gave himself one more once over and nodded in approval. A moment later and the retired wrestler was out of his cabin and merging among the crowd.

Gelek threw his head back and let the brandy tumble down his throat, savoring the fruity taste. One hand clutched a cigarette that the elder man puffed relentlessly between mouthfuls of drink. It wasn’t his first time on a boat, yet his feet seemed unsure of themselves beneath him and every gentle rock of the ship seemed to send his belly into a tumult. He’d always had a strange reaction to the sea, never quite managing to get his sea legs. Gelek chalked it up to his upbringing; there were no oceans in the Shingcha mountains.

He cast his eyes out to the ocean to take his mind off of it, letting the liquor ease the seasickness out of him. Somewhere out in the distance, amid the watery void, was Fuyang. Gelek didn’t know much about the place and had little interest in learning, knowing that it was some kind of pirate haven and being comfortable to leave it at that. Even so far away he felt the tiniest twinge of paranoia, the feeling niggling away in the back of his brain. Best to get another drink and flush the thought from his mind. He finished his brandy and stood back from the deck railing, flicking the remains of his cigarette out into the void and returning to the bar.
Last edited by Communist Xomaniax on Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
MT: Union of Socialist People's Republics (Jhengtsang)
FT: Ozun Freeholds Confederation

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The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.

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Enyama
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Enyama » Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:37 pm

Aboard the Sea Spirit
June 15, 2021
1:21 PM


Fuzzy rabbit slippers barely held on to her feet as she sat slumped like a sack of grain on the fancy mattress, which idly listed side to side as all on such abominable ships did. Fame, what you need you have to borrow. But Avelnia, despite typically relegating her more arduous physical demands to her stunt double, had at the very least grown up on the Archipelago, so she was no stranger to swaying seas. Nevertheless, combining such an ebb-and-flow with several successive Schnapps cocktails had never been the most effective strategy when it came to press junkets. The previous night? Hardly rememberable. Perhaps hardly worth remembering - she'd noticed an above-average amount of patronizers onboard the vessel. Not that The Sea Spirit hadn't been a good idea. After all, it was a unique type of tour for a unique type of film. The Sinless, despite the protests of her agent, had been a somewhat radical departure from the earlier action-adventure fare she'd typically been cast in. Her first dramatic role, of course, had required quite a bit of...refinement. And refinement was stressful. Hence the cocktails.

Her head throbbed idly, more like the nagging of a neighbor than a mother. Drunkeneness wasn't part of the industry, but it did certainly feel industrial. As industrial as the rest of show business at least. Mostly, she'd done it just to get through the film. For all of her flaunting of fancy dresses and fancy heels and fancy lipstick and fancy last names, she sure didn't enjoy seeing herself on-screen. But now, to get to the point. She needed to get out of bed, and for that, she needed not to barf the sixteen truffle pastries she'd eaten last night. A diet cheat day, a drink cheat day. Half the ship was only on-board to accompany her on her press tour, so she needed to play it safe. With a groggy and heavy turn of her head, she looked to her phone, set on a wireless docking port on her idly swaying end-table. The time was a nightmare. 1:21 PM.

"Carallo!" she cursed. She was supposed to have shown up for the day's events two hours ago. So she staggered to her feet and braced for impact as waves of nausea impacted her, but she needed to go, needed to go now, before the papparazi caught wind of whatever the hell she'd done last night. To her bathroom, then, she went. It was a roomy suite in a spacious room, on the highest level of the ship, above all of the workers and swimming pools and restaraunts. With an incredulous blink she looked in the mirror, gazing wordlessly towards her heavy eye bags. Makeup! she thought. I've gotta fix this fast.

Five minutes later and she stumbled out of the room, wearing the lightest nonformal clothing she could manage and a pair of low sandals. Now wasn't the time for stumbling around in formalwear. A mental flash overcame her for a second, a smiling face. Verucio's face. Those days were long-gone, and yet she felt something in his old antics had rubbed off on her. The carelessness? Or perhaps, lack of care. Either way, unlike the former noble, she hadn't totally forgotten her responsibilities despite her stupor. As she headed towards the agreed meeting-place of her entourage she found her costar Enzo Valderon looking quite a bit the worse for wear himself, albeit dressed in a three-piece suit.

"Where the hell have you been, Avi? I've had to do two press junkets without you entirely."

Avelina gulped and sighed. "Had a bit too much. Too much." she mumbled, embarrassed, though all Enzo did was chuckle and herd her towards the press junket. Nothing else remained on her mind, not her home, not her film, not the Emerald Isles. Just surviving the week.
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Pulau Keramat
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Postby Pulau Keramat » Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:52 pm

Aboard The Sea Spirit
June 15th 2021
11:30 AM



To some, the greatest trial of retirement was boredom; Adaptation to idle hands and a restful mind, after a legacy of ceaseless work that accompanied rising voices and shuffling paper. Amehan was familiar with quite a few former Dewani councilors who had expressed this very hunger for work in their periods post-service. One was a fair acquaintance of hers, Hui-laue from Ado’umo, who had sat with her for coffee, and reminisced for hours about what it meant to sit on the council. A thought drifting of waking up with such a purpose and conviction, in bustling halls of work that spoke endless languages, each of them following a path forward. Idyllic remembrance, and Amehan remembers that her response in the moment was to laugh. She recalls specifically her response, that ‘The position is important, yes my friend, but it’s far from paradise.’ A simple laugh was all that was returned, an assurance that she would understand when she stepped down. And now she was away from the council. Three years, spent away from the chair of the Solustheris, and five since that peaceful meeting at a coastal cafe. Even half a decade later, Amehan still doesn’t feel it. No sense of overwhelming nostalgia, or reminiscent ache; more than likely because despite her retirement, she still has a labor Hui-Laue never had. An investment staring at her from the other side of the computer screen with an anticipatory eyebrow raised.

“Mom, did you cut out? If you answered you’ll need to repeat it.”

A frown, to the almost impatient inquiry of her daughter. When she had called, Amehan would have hoped it would be some questions about the vacation she was taking, even in a basic, passing question of, ‘Oh, how’s the cruise?’ Before the analysis began again. But no. Instead, she was back in another conversation of political intrigue and international foray. Still the council
member in the eyes of her only child.

“Sorry baby, you’ll need to repeat yourself again. I didn’t catch the question.”

Zoraya huffed- possibly at the nickname, possibly at having to repeat herself- and posited the inquiry once more, not bothering to slow it down. “I wanted you to answer more on the M’birunan peace talk settlement. The twelve year plan is reaching its peak, and discussions of legitimized separation or unification are like, pretty much happening now. Is the Council gonna intervene even more, or are we finally going to let them be their own thing?” There’s a hint of annoyance in her question, and Amehan knows that it’s looking to lead into another debate about the Pulaui presence in the West Ozeros. Zoraya has been a constant source of scrutiny to the extent of foreign presence, and whilst Amehan traditionally enjoys the discourse, it rings bitter in her mouth today. Not because of the topic itself; certainly, with her spearheading the energy provision programs to Agysimba, she was invested in the inevitable conclusion to the post-war period there, but because it was at this moment.

“Zo, we were at home together for five months when you got back from uni. Do you really need to ask me now, when I’m trying to decompress? I would have been happy to answer something like this at any point over dinner at home. Or at the library events I tried to get you to come with me with.” Of course, she was never successful in getting her daughter to attend them. Every instance had been some refusal or a prolonged thought about it, before something else took priority. At least she had the honor never to lie about prior plans to attend; just flat out expressed a constant disinterest in attendance, the thought of it clearly a discomfort in the face of her daughter across the screen.

“I don’t like those kinds of events Mom. You know that. Constantly being hounded and having photos taken comes with being a political figure. Have you seen how they hound that Fahrani claimant?”

“Hazea, and yes. But that’s because she lives in a world that’s used to looking at the role of political authority and social celebrity as being the same thing. A wretched relationship, that thankfully, doesn’t exist in Pulau. Half of the people I talk to don’t recognize me beyond the woman who reads at the library, and those who do don’t mention it beyond a passing note of interest. When you’re a public servant with actualized, temporary responsibility, suddenly the actions of your kids and how you look in public events matter much less than if you wear a silly crown and have a number as your title.” Amehan chuckles, and is pleased to hear her daughter respond in kind, despite the frequent delay that comes with trying to video call on a cruise ship. The moment is fleeting however, as Zoraya gave a brief smile, something that ached in Amehan nostalgically for when she was still young and laughed constantly, and returned to her questions.

“You still didn’t answer the question you know.”

Insistence- a quality Amehan had to begrudgingly respect, but out of a peer in a meeting, not her daughter an hour before the top-deck painting class. “There’s not a good answer I can give you honey. I haven’t been a council-member for three years now. I don’t know what’s changed; especially with everything going on in Fahran right now. I’m confident the rest of the Dewan Emas are making the most rational and well-thought out choice they can, given the circumstances. Zo, didn’t you call for anything else?”

The young researcher frowns at the last inquiry; and Amehan is patient, waiting for the composed, semi-apologetic response. “You know I always care how you’re doing Mom. I’m sorry I didn’t ask first; but it’s a cruise in Fuyang. I have to expect you’ll be laying by the pool, drinking decently made ‘Kopiona Krush’s’ throughout the evening, and will probably go to some single’s event and realize that a cruise liner isn’t the best place to meet a new boyfriend.”

Amehan bit her lip for a moment- and mentally made a note to cancel her plans on the Meet and Greet lounge party going on that evening- before sighing in concession. “You know me well. How is your father by the way? Is he still with that one lady, Hawis?” The divorce was amicable, a separation from before she was even a council member; and perhaps because of her journey into office. Her former partner was less than pleased with the political atmosphere she embraced herself in, and before letting that tension embroil, a more than pleasant resolution came in separation and flexible custody scheduling. Comfortable enough that she still felt comfortable in making jests towards his rather quick and rapid love life.

“Mm. No, they broke up a year ago, remember? He’s with this new guy, Moh. Met him at one of the Farmer Market’s he got a stall at.”

“...Didn’t he date a Moh before?”

“Two Moh’s before this actually. Strange, because there’s not a lot of Moh’s.”

“Oh, the name sounds weird now. Moh. Ech. Regardless, as long as he’s happy. As long as you’re happy, Zo.”

Another warm, more reserved smile, almost embarrassed if the digital screen’s low resolution was enough to display such a subtle emotion. “I am Mom. You know I just..care about this stuff. And when you’re literally like, one of the people that made the same policies I’m studying, it’s hard not to want to pry your brain constantly. I still think Miss Leekpai’s opinion on the transit program in Zanzali deserves more conversation, you know.”

At that, Amehan can laugh a little. She remembers the conversation; a layout of the cross-Karaihe bullet train, and the insistence on the part of the oldest councilmember on building room for secondary local transit station spacing throughout it’s voyage through their southern neighbor. It wasn’t a popular opinion amongst the Council; especially given how difficult the various city-lords had been in the first place about the location and placement of the train stops, but she could admit that Leekpai was seldom irrational in her opinions. “I know you do. You tell me every time we see her on the news, or hear her name on the radio. You know I could set up another meeting. She thinks you’re a very bright young woman.”

Even with the shaky connection, Amehan can confirm entirely that her daughter is clearly flustered at the thought. “You know I want to be able to earn that conversation on my own. I’ll have a chance to meet here if I win this fellowship position.” An opportunity to work on policy support and development amongst the various Emas was no small feat, and in true mannerism of their technocratically emphasizing system, Amehan has spent many hours working with young prospective scholars who had tested into such an internship, and been given the opportunity to further specialize and provide the insight they worked so hard on presenting. She had no doubt her daughter would make it.

“Your paper is excellent, dear. Believe me; I’ve only read it, what, ten times now? You can stop calling it a rough draft in your emails, you know.” A response is awaited upon by her daughter, but then a crash in the background, accompanied by the sound of a cat yowling. Zoraya groans, and looks to her mother. A smile, soft. “Sorry, the cat's probably trying to get into the Chicharron again. I’ll call you later- and stay safe. Those pirate reports are probably gonna make the cruise have to delay it’s schedule by a few days.”

Amehan chuckled, shaking her head. “How strange, to have a few days at sea be an issue. I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for some of the more decadent passengers. I hear there’s another actress-royalty fusion on board somewhere. Go get Yuti; she’s probably onto the second bag by now.”

A quick ’Pamit’, and her daughter is gone, replaced with the soft blue of the computer background. A soft hum, accompanying the click of her laptop closing, and the gentle sway of the ocean upon a tropical seascape that stretched infinite beauty. Amehan pressed gently on the side of the table to help herself up- a wince internally, at how much heavier her feet felt on the open water- and grabbed for her handbag. She had been asked to attend a luncheon with the captain, and for a moment, it reminded her of the many political meetings she had attended over a bowl of curry or ’Nasi Goreng’. There were some things she missed about the job, in earnesty; and perhaps today would be a gentle, kind reminder of it. A calm afternoon, without the stress of the world burning around them. Certainly, Amehan could get used to that.
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