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Back on board the ship, everybody was keen to know what had happened, but Buzz kept putting them off by explaining he would reveal all later when they were heading away from N.Z. Now they were well out to sea and already had their evening meal, drinks in the ships bar was the order of the moment; Nat and Buzz had kicked back into the corner lounge with large brandy balloons, half full of their favourite liqueur, trying to stay out of the way.

Gradually, the area before them radiated out with the curious, all faces looking their way and some not so patiently.

‘So tell us what happened up there?’ Laurence finally asked

‘Yeah, who was that freaky old woman?’ added Jim

Nat was the first to answer ‘She says, she was once the Queen of the Southern Seas commanding many men and their ships.’

‘What, canoes?’

‘No, merchant ships that travelled here from China and all the ports in-between.’

‘She must have been a bit of a Dragon Queen.’

‘I’m sure she was because her father left behind ‘a mountain of wealth’ as well as all his ships.’

‘What was your impression of her Buzz?’

‘Awesome! She sucked me into her whole world and spat me out totally satisfied that I was the wiser for having bumped into her.’

‘Does she have the goods?’

‘You bet! She showed me her secret place, it was rimmed with jewels, bulging with exotic treasures and the gold, the big eagle we all desire, was glistening in its nest. In an ecstatic vision she gave it to me and all I had to do was get it off from where it perched on top and secure my load for a wild ride inside her cave of treasures, to where it gushed into the light as a dangerous river. I fought bravely against savage attacks firstly relying on the shield she had given me but eventually I had to resort to using my sword in such a ferocious way, thrusting, twisting, turning over and over, on and on until I went over the falls and lost consciousness.’

Everyone just sat there stunned by this description of his journey into the heart of darkness not knowing what to say. Buzz had anticipated this reaction, or lack thereof, and came up with the question on all their lips. ‘Where does that leave us?’ and then proceeded to answer his own question.

‘I know this was only supposed to be a fishing trip but I am now sure we are poised on the edge of an exciting discovery. Although many of you think that I may have gone over the edge in more ways than one and I don’t have anything more to give you at the moment; please give me some time to process it all and I promise to come up with the next step by morning. So let’s rig for silent running and chill out, while I retire to my cabin and come up with our next destination. Are you coming Nat?’

‘No, I think I will stay here for awhile.’

Buzz shrugged his shoulders, finished his drink and headed off to contemplate their future. After pampering himself with a hot shower and the balm of a big bed to himself, he drifted off and found himself back in the past once again.

Days alone on the raft gave him the time he needed to begin to feel at home in this new form he found himself in. He was much bigger and blacker than he ever would have thought possible; full of energy, testosterone and a desire to survive. His clothes had been shredded, leaving him in a near naked state, on a river with no signs of any kind of civilization. He could have been anywhere at anytime but because of the climate and the position of the stars at night he gathered he was where he was supposed to be; about to emerge out of a westerly flowing river into the Kawhia Harbor.

Although it was familiar there was no signs of modern life as he had remembered it, but just before dark, in the middle of the river as it was beginning to opening up into a harbour, he spotted a ship on the horizon and by the time he’d drifted to it, night had fallen. It was an ancient bark of the style Arabian traders had been using for centuries and he was prepared to take it by force if necessary. As he drew alongside, the onboard oil lanterns illuminated a small but dangerous looking crew that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Sinbad the sailor movie; so he tied the raft to the aft of the craft and climbed on board.

One of the sailors, wearing little more than a loin cloth, was leashed to the bow of the ship as if he were the ships dog. He waved to indicate he was friendly and did nothing to alert the others, twelve in all, gathered around a cooking pot in the middle of the main deck, looking much more like a hungry band of pirates.

The cook sat in the middle, wearing a turban, pantaloons and shoes that turn up at the tips; stirring a pot of fish head stew and occasionally adding colourful spices. The biggest man sat closest to the fire, playing with some kind of wooden toy; the smallest man had shimmied up the mast like the ships monkey, to a platform lashed at head height and was whittling away at a slab of wood. A half a dozen bare-chested, tattooed and pierced types stood around a barrel of rum, looking as though they were quite content to quaff the night away and Captain R. Sol, as Buzz had named him, was presiding from atop his soap box giving the others unreasonable orders in a menacing fashion.

He was undoubtedly the ugliest of men, with a head that was way too large for his flabby body and ears that were way too large for his fat head. To make matters worse, he had stretched his earlobes into large loops that hung down to make a trinity with his pierced double chin. He brandished his sabre several times and slapped the face of anyone who dared to speak back to him and when it looked as if he was going to spill the gizzards of a terrified sailor, Buzz swung from his hide with a rope that was strategically positioned. He landed smack in the middle of the fiasco and pinned the shocked despot to the mast with the tip of his sword; when amazingly enough, the monkey man smashed his carving onto the hard head of Captain R. Sol who staggered a bit; but didn’t go down. Instead he raised his sabre above his head and begun to swing it in the direction of our hero’s neck who ducked, weaved and ran the b-laggard though, dispatching him to Davey Jones’ locker before he spilled his guts all over the deck.


Natalie burst into the cabin startling Buzz, who leapt out of the bed naked and challenged the intruder with a non- existent sword. Her mood suddenly changed and in between bouts of laughter, managed to squeeze out a ‘what the…., hell do you think you’re doing?’

He immediately realized his error in thinking and sat back down on the bed, red faced and began to explain to Nat what had just happened in his alternative reality.

‘It was truly amazing! I felt as though I was trapped inside a virtual reality game fighting for my life and for some greater purpose yet to be revealed. All I want to do is get back to it and find out more about it; I can’t really say much more at the moment except I know where we are going to head, North East.’

She was quite amazed at what he had to say, began to understand better the line he was following and started to realize the importance of supporting him in the direction of his strange methods.

He asked her if she would mind helping him get back to where he was in his dream state and then give the crew a message,’ As we go past New Guinea keep an eye out for pirates.’

Nickolas pumped Elisha for more juice on her feminine cohorts but as that channel seemed to be running dry he decided to call a general meeting at the Octagon. Small planes flew into Dunedin from all directions and the old devil, St. Paul himself would have turned in his grave if he could have heard the conversations being had in his chapel. These were the people who were supposed to be running things on behalf of Nick’s family’s interests, in this part of the world, and what had they done for him when they were finally called into action? Absolutely bugger all, he wanted blood and by Christ he was going to get it; who was responsible? Who were these so called best in the business remote viewers? Why had nobody picked up this Dragon lady before and now that they knew about her, where was she? Did they realize the importance of the opportunity that had been squandered and why in the devil’s name, didn’t they secure the harbour when they had the chance?

There were still a few asses smoking by the time Nick’s transporter flew out of New Zealand’s south island and Elisha had her hands full just trying to get him to relax, but eventually he come around they both kicked back on the big bed and smoked some of the world’s finest weed.

‘You know Elly, you got to admire these assholes whoever they are. They have successfully fucked over a couple of Washington big wigs, on that Breastplate affair; laughed in our faces while acquiring some state of the art defence equipment and now we haven’t got a clue where they are, when we seemed to have had them in the palm of our hands.’

‘They are certainly spicing things up, Sir.’

‘But what is it for? Why are they taking so many risks?’

‘They are obviously not stupid.’

“Then what could be so big that they would risk coming out of hiding for?’

‘What about that old witch; I wonder where she’s disappeared to?’

‘Probably up her own fanny, I’m sure it’s big enough.’

Nick burst out laughing at his own joke, which was great from Elly’s perspective; it would certainly make the rest of the trip much more bearable if he got into a good mood and you never know, she might even get to sleep in and let Nick get up without waking her; that would be nice for a change, she thought to herself as she nestled.

By the time she had her next thought, it was many hours later and Nick was poking her into consciousness’ I’ve worked out a solution.” He announced with great gusto ‘While you’ve been napping, I’ve been hard at work. Remember that Collins class sub we acquired cheep last year?’

‘Yes.’ Murmured El

‘Well it seems, even though the things as noisy as hell, some enterprising young employee had the foresight to fit it out with some kind of experimental tracking device. They have located an Unidentified Submerged Object moving at high speed in a north-easterly direction away from N.Z; they can’t catch it but they may very well be able to follow it to where it’s going.’

‘So what can we do in the meantime?’

‘I thought a little R&R at your favorite Port Douglas resort.’

She immediately jumped on top of him and bounced around for ages, yahooing at the top of her voice.

Meanwhile, in his dreamtime, the big, dark and swarthy Buzz had successfully navigated his new bark and crew to within sight of land, for the fist time since he had decided it was up to him to pilot this ancient mariner’s dream adventure back to Persia. It seemed to him that the crew were well qualified to do their jobs and were happy to be working for him but since none of them could read the charts he had found in the old captain’s chest, they could all perish at sea unless he did his job well.

So it was cheers and the last of the rum when they left the big swells of the open ocean behind and ventured into the safety of a harbour, where they hoped to take on supplies of water and food. Buzz preyed there wasn’t any nasty surprises awaiting them as he dropped anchor and authorized the first landing party. Before night had fallen they had managed to locate clean water, capture fresh meat and everyone from the vessel whom had come ashore was enjoying solid ground under their feet and the warmth of a large bonfire.

It must have been the glow of the fire that attracted the wild life because before they had finished their dinner, they were surrounded by savages wielding spears and clubs, very much looking like they were interested in making our travellers the next course. Buzz grabbed for his shield and sword, jumped to his feet in front of the pyre and the other formed the second line of defence directly behind him; but as the awesome figure of our hero and his weapons came fully into view, the near naked warriors dropped to the ground and prostrated themselves as if before a god. The enormity of the scene unfolded as the whole tribe came out of the woods to join their warrior men in worship of their new found god; Buzz, the magnificent, contemplated the significance of the gifts the tattooed, bejewelled woman had given him in her cave and wondered to himself, who she really was.

Before the night was over the beach head had turned into a makeshift resort with all the hospitality the natives could muster, including their most beautiful women, nothing was to good for their divine visitors and by the time they were waving goodbye, days later, the whole crew had sated all their immediate needs and stowed aboard their vessel sufficient provisions to complete the next part of the journey. The goddess of the southern seas had shined upon them from a high and everyone was in a state of awe over how blessed they had been.

The wind stiffened from the correct direction pushing them back into the fast flowing currents of the open ocean, charts were checked, hatches battened down, sails trimmed and because they were heading into Indonesian waters, permanent lookouts were manned to keep watch. Every sailor whom has ever plundered an exotic spice from the equatorial islands they were about to pass by, knew about the boogie men who haunted their treacherous waters but never the less they were alert for the most dangerous of scenarios, Pirates.

Chapter Five



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  1. […] The name Lai Choy San echoed around his head as they sped off down the track towards the rendezvous with Laurence and Grant. Chapter Four […]

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