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The New World Empty The New World

Post  Admin on Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:07 am



The men of the ship Widow were in dire straits. A tempest was raking the Caribbean with winds of over one hundred miles per hour. The Captain at the wheel was Xavier Sanchez, standing at his side, holding the rails against the driving gale were his two most trusted men, Jacob and Charles. All three were huge men, well seasoned sailors and privateers.

They and their good ship Widow had weathered many a storm, but none like this. The sails were being torn from their rigging as the seas boiled into huge waves that towered high over the ship. The ship would go almost vertical, riding up the sheer wall of a wave, then drop into the valley with sickening speed, plunging down bow first.
It was only a matter of time before she buried her nose beneath the water and was driven to the bottom.

“She cannot take much more of this!” Xavier shouted over the fierce wind, “We should be near land!”

A huge wave broke over the ship sweeping Jacob off of his feet toward the stern, but Charles caught him by the ankle with his huge, bear-like hand. They rode over the crest of yet another towering wave and again plunged into the deep trough on the other side. A flash of lightning revealed the reef exposed as the water sucked away, they braced themselves.

The impact of the ship on the reef was incredible. Timbers smashed and the sea flooded in. The ship was tossed sideways as yet another wave battered the Widow against the coral. She broke up completely as the men were thrown into the violent sea. Rising and falling, being slashed by the coral, they all struggled to stay afloat.

It seemed like a lifetime until they finally were thrown up onto a sandy beach. They shouted out for their crew members and found that only the three of them had survived. Running together against the wind, they made for the tree line as the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled. Reaching the relative shelter of the palm trees, each one of them held onto the trunk of a tree as the wind howled like a banshee.

Many hours later, the sun finally made its slow appearance through windswept skies. The rain was subsiding, but the clouds were passing overhead with unbelievable speed. They surveyed their surroundings as the wind diminished.

“Where do you think that we are?” Jacob asked.
“I have no idea, and I do not care. We are alive.” Xavier answered.

They began walking down the beach, the surf was still rough but pieces of wreckage were beginning to wash up on the beach. “Look Xavier!” Charles said pointing down the beach. Four ships rode on their anchors. It was obvious that many anchor lines had been set out in anticipation of the storm. Even though seaweed hung from the railings and some damage had occurred to the rigging and yardarms, they had survived the storm relatively well.

A group of men emerged from the jungle dragging several longboats with them. They noticed a very tall, muscular black man dragging one of the boats by himself.

They approached the men and were soon spotted. The men dropped the longboats and walked toward them. They were a strange looking group, the man leading the way was obviously a Spaniard, but walking with him were black men and one man very neatly dressed with long, curly red hair and a neatly trimmed beard.

“Who are you, and where did you come from?” the leader of the men asked. They studied him for a second, he was a rugged looking man with a long scar on one side of his face that ran from the corner of his left eye to his jaw line.
“I am Xavier Sanchez of the ship Widow. These are my shipmates and friends, Jacob and Charles.”
“You can call me Jake.” Jacob said stepping forward shaking hands.
“And my friends call me by my last name Rooney” Charles said. “Our ship was caught in the tempest and we were dashed upon the rocks. You can see some of our belongings being washed ashore now.” he pointed at the beach littered with wood planking, bottles, jugs and other debris.
“What is your profession, and what nation do you serve?” Felipe asked them.
They looked at each other for a moment, “Well,” Xavier said, “There is no need to lie, we are privateers but we are independents, we serve the highest bidder.”

Smiles broke out from the men as Felipe stuck his hand out, “I am Felipe Montoya, this is my Uncle Andreas and these are my friends. We also are privateers” Introductions were made all around as they all shook hands.
“Do you need help readying your ships?” Xavier asked.
“Yes, that would be good. But first, are you hungry?”
“Starved.” Rooney said with a smile.
“The ships can wait, please, follow us.” Felipe led them back along the shoreline then followed the river into the jungle. They saw a large pavilion surrounded by cabins, all had lost their roofs but the structures were soundly built out of stout logs. A large group of children and women were cleaning up and dragging fallen limbs away. They all stopped working as they saw the men approach.

Felipe introduced them and told the women that they had been shipwrecked and were now hungry. The women went to the fire and began ladling out stew into bowls which they gladly accepted. As they ate, they told about the intensity of the storm, the height of the waves and the ferocity of the wind. All agreed that it was amazing that any had survived.

Rooney stopped eating and stared past the crowd gathered around them, “Who is that?” he pointed.
Felipe looked, “That is Maria, Juana’s twin sister.”
“There are two women as beautiful as that? Is she betrothed?”
Felipe smiled, “No, she is a widow.”
“That was the name of our ship.” he said with a smile, “What a coincidence.”
“There is no coincidence, fate brought you here.” Andreas said, “The fact that she is a widow and that was the name of your ship is the hand of destiny.”
“I would very much like to meet her.” Rooney said.
“Come, I will introduce you.” Victoria said smiling.

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Post  Admin on Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:24 pm



After eating a hearty meal, the three castaways helped Felipe and his men clean and bail out the holds on the four ships. The hatches were opened to let them dry and repairs began to the rigging and yardarms. Xavier dusted his hands together when they were finished. “How, pray tell, did you come to be in possession of four Spanish Galleons? They do not look harmed like you won them in battle. I see no new planking.”

“It is a long story, we will tell you tonight by the fire.” Felipe said. “Now let us go and see what we can salvage of your belongings along the beach.”

They all walked down the beach picking up whatever could be used. Many sea chests were washed up and they were amazed to find all three of their chests, among others. They brought the chests back to the village, then assisted everyone in the repairs of the roofs. Everyone worked all day, even the children helped with the massive cleanup. As the shadows grew long, they began to gather what wood had dried in preparation for a large fire.

The evening was falling fast when Victoria asked, “Where are Juan Carlos and Neo?”
“They said they were going into the jungle to gather papayas, they should have been back by now.” Shayla said with a worried look. “It is almost dark, the jaguars will be prowling soon.”
“Everyone spread out and call out to them.” Felipe said, “You new men, stay off of the trails, there are man traps.”

Everyone got up and hurried to the edges of the clearing calling out for Neo and Juan Carlos. Xavier, Jake and Rooney walked together toward the edge of the clearing calling their name when they heard a shout. Neo burst out of the jungle at a full run with Juan Carlos hot on his heels. “Run!” he shouted to them as he shot by. They looked toward the jungle and a large jaguar burst out of the brush chasing the boys.

“Hey!” Xavier said, waving his arms and stepping into its path as the rest of the men ran toward him. The jaguar did not break stride, it leaped from fifteen feet toward him. He did not have time to draw his sword as the huge cat arced through the air with it’s talons out. He managed to grab the jaguar by the throat and struggled to hold it’s head back as the talons dug deep into his back.

The beast was trying to bite his head, pulling Xavier’s head toward it’s mouth and was getting closer. Xavier twisted the beast’s head and bit deeply into it’s nose. The jaguar screamed in pain and fury as Jake and Rooney began thrusting their swords into its side. The cat roared out in pain but would not release Xavier. Finally after being stabbed over a dozen times it succumbed to it’s injuries and lost its grip. The jaguar rolled to the side, dead.

As the rest of the men approached Xavier and his friends, Xavier pointed and shouted, “Look out! There is another one!”
The all turned to see Nakita running out to the field. Xavier drew his sword as Jake and Rooney stood beside him with their swords ready.
“Wait!” Felipe shouted, “This one is our pet, he is tame.”

The three men still walked away as Nakita approached the dead jaguar. Nakita sniffed at it, then looked into the jungle. The large cat slowly walked into the jungle and disappeared.


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Post  Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:33 am



Andreas was treating Xavier’s wounds with a salve, the bleeding had finally stopped. “That was a very brave thing that you did.“
”I could not very well have let him eat the boys.“ he said smiling.

“Still, it was very brave of you to face a jaguar without a weapon. “ Felipe commented, “We have two extra ships and you have lost yours to the storm. Tomorrow, you can choose the ship that you want as a thank you for saving our sons.”
“That is a very generous offer, but I require no thanks or reward. You would have done the same thing, I am sure.”
“No, I insist, as I said, we have two extra ships They cost us nothing but a little blood, tomorrow you will choose your ship. The other one goes to the boys.” Felipe said, nodding toward Juan Carlos and Neo.”

“We are getting our own ship?” Juan Carlos said jumping to his feet.
“Yes, you boys are getting old now, you know how to sail.” Felipe said.
“I am the Captain!” Juan Carlos exclaimed thumping his thumb to his chest.
“No! I am the Captain!” Neo shouted.
“Boys,” Andreas said waving his hands, “You can both be the Captain.”
“No ship can have two Captains!” Juan Carlos said.
“You can take turns being the Captain.” Felipe said.
“That is fair, I am the Captain first!” Neo smiled.

The debate was solved with the flip of a coin with Neo winning the right to be the Captain first. They sat to the side talking excitedly about adventure on the high seas.
A full moon rose slowly in the evening sky and soon they had a roaring fire. As the sparks flew up into the night sky, drums could be heard from the mountain top. Not a rhythm, but beats strung together at certain intervals. There would be a pause then they would resume again. “What is that?” Xavier asked.

“That is the tribe. They live on the mountain and all through the jungle here. They communicate with their drums and are probably checking on the outlying tribes as to how well they weathered the storm.” Felipe told him.

Soon, the drums from the mountaintop stopped and they were answered by drums from a different location in the jungle. This went on for quite some time as each tribe responded, then the drums began to play in a rhythmic fashion. “It appears that our friends did well.” Batu said with a smile.

As the night passed, they drank rum and told the three men the long tale. They told of the murder of Felipe’s father, the capture of the princess, the kidnapping of the boy and his rescue. They told about being discovered here in Belize and the battle with the tribe coming to their rescue. “That is quite a tale” Xavier said smiling.
“It has been quite a life.” Felipe said, smiling back at him.

Andreas motioned with his hand, Look at this.”
Nakita was walking up with a jaguar cub in his mouth, he gently placed it at Victoria’s feet as she bent down smiling to pick it up. Neo and Juan Carlos came close smiling.
“The jaguar that we killed had a cub" Victoria said. Nakita left but soon returned with another and also placed this one at her feet. "Twins." she smiled picking it up and examining it, "A male and a female." Again Nakita left, then returned with yet another cub, this time he looked at Victoria, then walked over and placed the cub at Xavier's feet. Xavier sat there with a stunned look on his face while Nakita looked at him.
“It looks like you have been adopted.” Victoria smiled.


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Post  Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:43 am

That was a short chapter, so I'll bore you with a little more, a little longer chapter...



Early the next morning Juan Carlos and Neo came back from the shoreline, they had been looking at the ships and dreaming of adventure. “We want to talk to you.” Juan Carlos said.
“Alright, talk.” Felipe said looking at the young men.
“We want to move back to Tortuga, we both like the tribe but it is boring here. The river is full of crocodiles, the only place that we have to swim is the small pond that you dug and it is always full of kids. We both miss the waterfall and the jungle there is not as dense, there are a lot more places to go without the mantraps.”

Andreas looked at them, then Felipe and said nothing, he knew there was more to come.
Felipe pondered this for a moment, “We are safe here, after the attack by Chavez and his men I do not think that the king will risk trying to attack us again. The jungle is too dense, as you say and our allies are too many and powerful.”

Juan Carlos looked at him,“I am tired of being safe, I am tired of hiding from this king. He has dogged us all of my life, even before I was born he killed my grandfather and has sent an assassin and many men to try to kill you, us. I too want to make my mark, I want him to know that I will not live in fear. We want to come out of hiding, we have a ship of our own now.”
Felipe looked at them, “What are you saying?”

Neo spoke up, “The king thinks that we are here now, he will not continue to look for us. It would be safe to move back to the island. Juan Carlos and I grew up there, it is home to us. Everyone was happier there. Besides that, we want payback ourselves. We do not want to live our lives out in hiding. We also want to sail the seas and sink the king’s ships, we want him to know that we exist and we will not cower here in this jungle being protected by the tribe.”

Felipe looked at both of them, “We have more gold than we can possibly spend in a lifetime, why risk your lives being pirates?”
“It never was about the gold father.” Juan Carlos said, “It was always about Vengeance, the very name of your ship. They killed your father, my grandfather. I never even got to meet him, they took him away from me as well as you. I will make the king suffer for this, but I want your blessing. I think that you, of all people understand.”

Felipe looked at Andreas who was smiling, “This pleases you? You are smiling?”
“Felipe, you can no more talk them out of this than I could have talked you out of taking your revenge. The boys have a point, several in fact. One, Tortuga, we were all much happier there. I like our new friends here but we are inland, we are both men of the sea. I like smelling the salt air, tasting it when the spray hits my lips. And yes, even at my age, I miss the roar of the cannon and the sound of steel on steel, the excitement of battle. We were both made for this. I groomed you from an early age to fight with every weapon there is. The sword, dagger, lance and bow, just as we have been teaching these boys.

They will follow their own destiny and at this point in their lives, they too want vengeance. They do not want to hide in this jungle. If the king still intends to kill us all, which he will given the opportunity, they want to take the fight to him. They are growing up, you cannot stop that.”

Felipe thought about this as he looked at the boys. What Andreas had said was all true, he could not debate one word of it. Both of the boys had grown strong, Neo was very large like his father. Felipe looked at his son who was now a mirror image of himself at that age. He looked at the broad shoulders and strong, muscular arms. They were both very good with swords and practiced most of the day.

In a way, he knew that this day would come. He and Andreas had taught them all of their lives to fight because the threat of the king always loomed over their lives like a black cloud. Hiding here, now that the king knew where they were did not make sense any longer.

Actually, Tortuga would be a better place and he knew that the other things Andreas had said were true. They would not be content to hide, they were young and brave. The king had started this and yes, they wanted the freedom to roam the seas as he had done all of his life. If the king wanted their blood, they wanted to take the fight to the king rather than to hide. Just like he would have done, just like he did.

Victoria and Shayla had said nothing during this conversation, they just listened. They too knew that the boys would never be content to hide in this jungle. They too missed Tortuga, the mosquitoes here were terrible, there were none on that windswept island that had once been their home.

Felipe looked at Victoria, “What say you?”
“Andreas is right, we cannot stop them from following their hearts. I do not want to see my son go into battle, but he is a young man now with his own mind. I cannot expect them to hide in this jungle forever, they yearn for the open sea. It is not fair to try to contain them here. They are young, full of daring and adventure. The king and his men started this, we ourselves have never been one to run from a fight. They have their own ship now, you gave them that ship for a reason, not to sit in the cove.”

Felipe smiled at her, “You and Andreas are both right. I cannot expect them to hide here forever. I too miss Tortuga and want to go back there. As has been said, the king thinks that we are here, he would have to start a new search all over again and he would never think that we returned to Tortuga. He will think that we will stay here where we have a lot of allies. I am for returning to Tortuga as well.”

Smiles broke out on everyone’s face so Andreas stood up and rang the bell.


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Post  Admin on Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:09 am



Supplies for the voyage were needed so Andreas and Balsala boarded Yon Zack’s ship for a trip to Catocha to purchase what was needed. Arriving in Catocha, they bought the needed goods then went to the tavern for a drink. Balsala was sitting at a table when he felt a strong hand grasp his shoulder in a friendly manner from behind.

Turning, he saw the farrier Miguel standing and smiling at him, “Balsala, my friend! It is good to see you again.”
Balsala rose shook his hand then embraced him, “It is good to see you also Miguel, have you been well?”
“No.” Miguel said shaking his head, “I have lived in regret that I ever let Juana slip away from me. I have thought of her often and wished that I had sailed with you, perhaps I should have tried harder, but I did not know if she liked me as well.”
“She has spoken fondly of you often, she gets a misty look in her eye when she speaks of you.” Balsala said, looking at him.
“Is this true? She misses me as well?”
“It is obvious to me.” Balsala said.
“As it is to I also.” Andreas agreed.
“Will you take me back with you so that I can see her?”
“We can take you back with us, but we are leaving. We are relocating back to an island far from here.”
“I will sell my business, I would love to see Juana and to live on an island. If she would have me be with her.”

Andreas smiled at him, “If she will be with you? She speaks often of how you showered her with attention, she says it is like the rest of the world ceased to exist for you, that when you were together, all you thought of was her. The way that you defended her when she was accosted, the way that you are such a gentleman to her, yet so manly. It has been many years since she felt like this about any man. Her emotions often give her away, she is after all, a woman. I know that she too misses you.”

“I will sell my business immediately! Can you wait for me?”
“How long will this take?” Andreas asked.
“As long as it takes for me to walk down the street, a wealthy business man has been trying to buy my business for years. My employees can take over for him immediately. Could I bring several of my horses? Is there room?”
“Oh yes, there is room, we have four ships beside the Marianna. She is just a fishing vessel. We will wait for you here.”
“Thank you! I will be right back!” Miguel said then ran out of the room.
Balsala laughed and Andreas said, “They are a good match.”

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Post  CruiseJunkie on Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:27 am

You are a romantic at heart. Smile

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Post  Admin on Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:30 am

CruiseJunkie wrote:You are a romantic at heart. Smile

Thank you Ma'am, I didn't know anyone was actually reading this. Being as you are, here goes...



Juana was overjoyed at seeing Miguel again, they began spending all of their time together. It was obvious just how taken he was with her as she was with him.

Batu went to the interior and told the tribe of their plans. They all came to the village on the river to bid their friends goodbye. The ships were laden with supplies, ready to sail. They brought their drums and food, a large fire burned long into the night as they said their final goodbyes. Dances around the fire with colorful headdresses of bright feathers took place as they all watched.

Jengo, who Yon Zack had freed announced that a lot of his men wanted to sail with them and fight on the open sea. They too wanted revenge for being captured so they and their wives were also wanting to join the men of the Vengeance. Xavier, Jake and Rooney also needed sailors and men so those who knew how to sail were divided between the four ships.

Andreas suggested that they leave most of the gold there as it was more secure with the tribe living there. The tribe could be trusted, no doubt so they began digging it up and loading it onto a small, stout wagon. Pulling the narrow wagon down the trails by hand, they went back to the temples in the jungle. A smaller temple was standing to one side of the arrangement. They carefully removed the blocks starting from the top on the north side until they had the opening all of the way to the bottom. Inside was a statue of Chac Mool, the Mayan Rain god made of solid gold. Also there was a statue of the Jaguar also made of gold. They stacked the wooden crates along the wall taking only enough to get by. They then replaced the wall with a thinner layer of bricks picked up from around the temples and spread a layer of mortar over the face. They let the mortar dry, then carefully replaced the blocks as they were. You could not tell that the small temple had ever been disturbed.

The dawn broke over a clear sky, the tribe was retrieving the skulls that had been blown into the jungle by the tempest. They moved the boundary of skulls down to the shoreline. They drove stout poles deep into the sand them mounted the skulls on them. The skull nearest the beach bore a patch on the eye, it had a sign under it that read “Death to all who enter here.”

The ships weighed anchor, unfurled their sails and turned slowly toward the mouth of the cove. The tribe stood on the banks waving at them and as the Vengeance, which led the convoy turned, they fired a thunderous volley from all sixty of their cannons in a farewell salute.

Passing through the mouth of the cove they formed a line. Juan Carlos and Neo were beside themselves with joy feeling the salt spray and the wind driving their ship as it cleanly cleaved it’s way through the waves. They loved feeling the ship rise and fall, lean into the wind as the sails tugged them forward, the sound of the water swishing past the bow.

Yon Zack stood with Lisa at his side shouting orders to his new men, teaching them the ways of sailing. They were strong and very agile, they learned quickly. The trip went without incident and on the morning of the fourth day Tortuga came into sight. “That is a wonderful thing to see.” Victoria said as she surveyed the lush, green island.

“I cannot wait to go to the waterfall.” Angelica replied, “I am going to stand right under it and let it thunder down on my head.”
“It will knock you down, do you never grow up?” Victoria asked smiling.
“I sincerely hope not.” Angelica said, looking at the shoreline.

One by one the ships slipped into the sheltered cove then dropped anchors. The longboats were lowered loaded with people as Victoria and Manuel jumped their horses over the rail landing with a mighty splash. The horses began swimming strongly as Batu prodded the others over the rail. The remaining horses jumped in and followed Victoria and Manuel to the shore.

They walked down the trail to what had once been their village. All that remained was the black burned out shapes of what had been their cabins and pavilion. “We have a lot of work to do.” Andreas said.

They again began chopping trees and clearing the underbrush. They worked happily together for weeks. The men sent the Marianna out to fish during the day and they ate well at night. After three months, the village looked just like it did before Chavez burned it.

They had dug traps and once again had hogs in a pen as well as the chicken coop had been rebuilt. Ham and fresh eggs were a welcome meal every morning as Carlos hummed and cooked. The women had the gardens growing again and soon fresh vegetables were abundant.

One morning they were talking and laughing as they ate breakfast at the long table under the pavilion when suddenly Victoria put her hand to her mouth and ran to the side of the pavilion. She vomited, then wiped her mouth and returned after a few minutes. “Excuse me, I did not mean to spoil your appetite.”

“Are you alright?” Felipe asked with a concerned look as he brushed her hair away from her face.

She smiled, “Yes, I was going to tell you today anyway. I am with child!”

Marianna jumped up and clapped her hands together, running to her and embracing her while Felipe sat there with a stunned look on his face. Andreas smiled at him and said “Congratulations old man.”

Batu slapped him on the back and said “Well, I had better get busy. I cannot let you out sire me in the children department. Shayla! To our cabin!”
Shayla looked at him with half lowered lids. “It is breakfast time, go away and play with your friends now.”
“Silence woman!” he shouted playfully at her.
“You will not make more babies with that tone, perhaps you should go and gather her some flowers.” Felipe smiled at him.

The women were all fussing over Victoria when Felipe finally gently elbowed his way to her, “What are we going to do with two children?”
“Love them.” she said.
“I just hope that it is another boy, I do not think that I could handle two of you.”

Slowly the conversation turned to the need to recruit more seasoned sailors and fighting men. The decision was made to go to the settlement on the other side of the island the next day to recruit new men. Xavier, Jake and Rooney were pleased about this.

They fished all day then had a huge celebration feast in anticipation of the new child. As the sun finally hung low on the horizon, Batu came and sat beside Shayla, then handed her a huge bouquet of flowers he had picked which made her smile.

“Oh you big romantic buffoon.” Felipe smiled at him. Shayla smiled back at Felipe, took Batu’s hand then led him toward their cabin. Batu turned and stuck his tongue out at Felipe as he left.

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