Back on the Dovetailer which had since moved 15 miles west, Victoria shouted at the top of her lungs “Land, ho!” as a small peak pierced the horizon. Gail and Jacob looked excitedly to the west over the bow as the peak grew in size. As they came closer it became apparent that this was not an ordinary mountain. There were grey-tan streaks running up the sides of the mountain, which easily surpassed 4 miles in height. It was not a steep mountain, at perhaps 10 miles wide, but it was still a very imposing sight. In the shadow of the mountain, a forest began to rise over the horizon. As they drew closer, Oliver took out his telescope to look at the shore. There, he saw a group of 10 men and 8 women, led by a man holding what appeared to be a telescope, looking back. “Fly the white flag! This is inhabited land and they know we’re coming!”
Hurley raised the white flag, a universal symbol for peace, as they drew closer to the island. Oliver looked through the telescope again. Now there were roughly 30 people on the beach, and 3 of them had telescopes. One of the children waved at them. “I think they’re friendly, we can rest here for a few days and map out the region, and perhaps establish trade routes.”
They were now a half-mile from shore. “Lower the canoes, we’re sending a greeting party to make sure we have permission to land.” Jason and Kato lowered the canoe down the side of the boat, until it reached the water. Bane rolled down a rope ladder after it. “Okay, I want Kato, Hurley, and Victoria on that boat. The rest of us will remain here until you come back with the go-ahead.”
Kato, Hurley, and Victoria climbed into the boat, and Hurley and Kato began to row while Victoria steered the canoe. As they came within a few feet of the shore, two of the native men helped them pull the canoe out of the water. “They seem friendly.” Hurley remarked.
Victoria then spoke. “Hello, we are explorers from Eupyrdiem, and we come in peace, bringing with us foods, knowledge, and culture from our native land. Do we have permission to come ashore?”
One of the men looked at the other and then said “Moa jai nehebati.”
The other one replied “Jai nehebati, maraseh.”
Hurley and Victoria exchanged sheepish grins, as they did not speak the native tongue.
Kato, however, stepped forward. “ Assa! Juha feh wohru. Kemito feh, seila verat, od jika fei fotila.”
The first native replied with a warm smile, “Yae, yae. Juha nura. Mei feh lanera, ‘kolia feh wohru od s’ourama ni fotila.’ ”
Hurley and Victoria were awestruck. “Kato, how do you know their language?”
“They speak the language of my people. I am guessing they are a colony.”
“Oh… So what did you say?”
“I said, ’Hello! We come in peace. We come to explore, trade goods, and share knowledge.’ And then he said, ‘Good, good. You come. We always say, ‘We love peace and the advancement of knowledge.’ ‘ Which is actually the motto of the International Relations bureau of my country, which is how I know they’re Feurun and not Khabae.”
Side note: Feura is much like Japan. Khaba is much like Japan before they modernized. The two countries share a common language, are neighbors, and are close allies, but their opinions towards the rest of the world are different. Feura is peaceful, and dedicated to the advancement of technology, the pursuit of peace, and the discovery of new lands. However, this hunger for expansion and development has left Feura with a small pollution problem and a very high population, and therefore, a need to colonize new lands. Feura is democratic and has a Prime Minister.
Khaba is much more isolated. While they don’t invade neighboring countries like Feura sometimes does, they also do not at all welcome outsiders. Only one country ever tried to invade Khaba, but they failed miserably, as Khaba has an advanced military. They didn’t even need any help from Feura. They have a very refined, culture, distinct even from Feura; and are ruled by an Emperor. Khaba has a medium population density. End side note.
Kato spoke again, “Shieh feh so muhra cressan?”
The native responded. “Ah.”
“Kato, what did you say that time?” Hurley asked.
“I said ‘Do we have permission to land?’ and he said ‘Yeah.’ ”
They got back on the boat, and Hurley and Kato began to paddle. “Ourah!” Kato yelled back to the shore. He then said, “Ourah means thank you. It is a very useful phrase, the Feurun people put much value in the showing of gratitude.”
Reaching the boat, they climbed up the ladder lowered by Bane and Jason.
“Okay, status report.”
“They’re friendly and we have permission to land.” Victoria said promptly, smiling.
“Follow my lead when we interact with them. They are Feurun, like me. We don’t want to offend them. This is the only civilization for hundreds of miles if we’re indeed where I think we are, so their hospitality is of great benefit to us.”
Oliver grew concerned and excited. “If there is no civilization except them here, does that mean we can claim a land perhaps 200 or 300 miles to the south?”
“Yes, as far as I know, and no one really knows much about the land down there. To the best of my knowledge no one at all lives there. If we go, we should take great caution; the land may not sustain us.”
“Understood, Kato. Thank you for your advice. Let’s go meet the locals.
Meanwhile, 200 miles to the north of them, the Jaywing and its crew floated out of an intense storm that had rocked them for 2 days. Its crew were in turmoil not because of the storm itself (they had weathered much worse), but because the storm had knocked their beloved captain into the raging sea 15 hours beforehand.
“I still can’t believe he’s dead…” Tracy looked out at the sea, which was now calm enough to float a paper boat on.
Zachary walked up and stood next to Tracy. “He was a good man… His life set an example we should all strive to follow.”
“There’s no way he died.” Gill said, confidently. “He’s a man of the sea through and through. How could the sea kill a man of the sea?”
“He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.”Murphy said with a sad, thoughtful smile. A few tears ran down his face as he said this. “Those were 8-foot seas. There’s no way anyone would survive being tossed around in there.” All of them were crying, even Grayson.
Zachary blinked and then glared out towards the horizon with a determined stare. “We have to get this shipment to Carial. It’s what we set out to do, and we’re already halfway there. Murphy? Aren’t we halfway there?” (Carial is much like Italy.)
Murphy scribbled a few things down on a piece of paper, looking up twice at the relative positions of the moon and sun, before replying “We’re about five-eighths of the way, actually. We have perhaps two weeks of travel left before we reach our destination.”
“Two weeks… We have to get the shipment there on time; if we don’t have any more delays and the seas stay calm we should make it.”
“We need to elect a new captain.” Victor said. “Two weeks is too long to go without a leader.”
“Okay, I’ll do it.” Zachary said.
“No… I think I should.” Tracy said, speaking with no trace of her earlier grief. “Tyler was training me for this very position when he died. His death must not be in vain.”
“You’ve only been sailing for what, 5 years? Your brother and I sailed for 15 years before you joined us.”
“GUYS! One thing Tyler would NOT want us doing is us fighting. We’re going to elect a leader the good old fashioned way… With a vote. All in favor of Zachary as captain?” Grayson yelled strictly.
Murphy, Zachary, and Grayson raised their hands.
“All in favor of Tracy as captain?” Grayson continued.
Gill, Victor, Francine, and, finally, Tracy raised their hands.
“Okay. That’s settled. The new captain is Tracy; no ifs, ands, or buts about it.” Grayson concluded.
Zachary swallowed audibly before asking, “Orders, captain?”
“… As captain, my first order is that we hold a formal funeral service to honor the memory of Tyler. My second order is for Francine to cook something. We haven’t eaten since the storm hit us.”
Later that night, after they ate and made the preparations (Lit candles, a cross, and a portrait of Tyler Gill had painted months ago. He refused to explain why he had it) the funeral service began.
It was led by Tracy. “All rise for a moment of silence.” The crew stood slowly and uniformly, their heads bowed in respect for their lost captain. “Be seated.” They sat the same way they rose. “We gather tonight in respect and remembrance of our captain, Tyler. He was my brother, and his loss is unimaginable in its magnitude. As Murphy pointed out earlier, his death is fitting in that he died the way he lived. We must do our best to carry on his legacy. Would anyone like to say anything?”
“Oh, me! Me!” Gill waved his hand in the air.
“Yes, Gill, go ahead.”
Gill stepped up excitedly while Tracy sat down. He carried in his hand a bible. “I would like to read a single verse from God’s Word.” He paused for a moment, either waiting for approval or building suspense. It can only be guessed at. “‘He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed.’ Chronicles 22:3.”
There was silence for a moment, before Gill concluded. “May he rest in peace. Amen.” He then sat down. The silence thickened before Victor finally spoke. “Sorry to interrupt the silence and all… But… what did that quotation have to do with Tyler? If anything.”
Gill sighed a deep, sorrowful sigh before replying “I knew you wouldn’t understand, Victor. I knew you wouldn’t understand either, Grayson.”
“I didn’t say anything.” Grayson said.
“Now Tyler” Gill continued, “he would have understood.” No one could really put up an argument to this, Tyler acted almost as an interpreter of Gill’s seemingly indecipherable actions.
Finally, Murphy stood. “Tyler was a strong, brave captain. Under him, we fended off three pirate attacks, and weathered countless storms. We made innumerable trade runs across the Hailoin Ocean, and we’ve seen virtually the entire civilized world. His legacy will live on in us. We must not fail him.”
Then a new silence began, this one in awe of Murphy’s sudden ability to completely shelve his persistent sarcasm in order to say something of great respect and truth. Then, Zachary stood.
“There isn’t too much to say that hasn’t been said already, but Tyler was my best friend. Every Wednesday we would get together belowdecks and he’d play the harmonica and I’d play my banjo. It always sounded perfect, like it wouldn’t sound any better if we both got thousands of times better. It was real. We shared so many little jokes, that I’d say it wasn’t funny. But I can’t say that because it was in fact hilarious. Not having you here is going to be really weird. But we have to press on to respect his memory. We have to do right by him. May he rest in peace, Amen.” Zachary sat down, his eyes slowly filling with tears.
Grayson stood. “I have been sailing with Tyler for 7 long years, and damn it, they were the best 7 years of my life.” He sat again.
Francine stood. “Tyler was an amazing man, and no one can replace him. …I loved him.” She sat again with tears flooding down her face. The silence that followed this statement was not one of respect, but one of shock. All on board (especially Tracy) stared at Francine with their mouths agape. “What? Why are you all staring?” Her question was answered by everyone averting their gazes.
Then, Victor stood. “I didn’t know Tyler for too long; a year isn’t long enough to really get to know someone. But what I knew of him, I liked. He was a good captain, and I’m hoping you’ll follow in his footsteps, Tracy. You have my support.”
“Thank you, Victor.” A new silence dawned. The silence began in shocked solemnity, then grew to a silence of mourning, and then changed to a sorrowful silence, punctuated by soft, sad sighs from some of the crew members. Then it grew pleading, with several of the crew members (especially Francine) staring upward hopefully. Then the silence gained heat as people began to look up with a new fire in their eyes at each other. Their collective determination to live up to the example set for them by Tyler grew.
Finally, Tracy stood up with her hands balled tightly into fists. She pointed southwest, over the bow, with a fiery passion. “Full speed ahead! We’re getting this shipment to Carial on time!”
The crew yelled in unison, “Aye aye, Captain!” as the wheel was manned, and the sails were dropped.