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Voyage of the Piquant-Part 3Aholl drove the ship by sheer force of will, studying the charts endlessly as he tried to anticipate the moves of his enemy, training his crew in the secret arts of maritime combat, sniffing the briny air for a hint of where his prey might be hiding. Never once did he take advantage of our seemingly endless array of entertainment features to unwind and get away from it all. Whether it was wisdom, instinct, or madness that drew him on, I know not. He was a man with a purpose on a ship full of cruisers, and we found ourselves infected by his unforgiving quest for revenge.
No matter who is captain on a cruise ship, routine is always the king. So adapting to this sudden shift in our well-lubed pattern took its toll on the officers and staff. Louis and his massage team pulled many a late shift, I can report, as we all scrambled to shape Aholl's militant orders to a palatable form for our passengers. Trying to make the effort of preparing for battle with a monstrous squid into a luxurious an
Voyage of the Piquant-Part 2Captain Wellington's only attempt to take back the ship ended almost as soon as it began. Reasoning that every man, even a mad one, had to sleep, the captain assigned us to watch Aholl all through the night as the gristly squid-hunter stood vigil on the bridge. It wasn't long before Aholl seemed to drop off in the sumptuous captain's chair, but when Wellington gingerly reached for the harpoon gun, one of Aholl's bloodshot eyes bulged open. The harpoon tip bobbed and pointed at Wellington's generous belly, and our captain let out a squeak and stumbled away.
"I think he is actually still asleep," I whispered to the shaky captain. "His eye never focused on you."
"Well you try and take that thing away from him, then!" Wellington hissed.
We retreated together to the officer's lounge to confer with the rest of the staff, leaving Aholl in sole possession of the bridge. Wellington delivered the news to our colleagues that our attempted mutiny had come up short. Everyone expressed t
Voyage of the Piquant-Part 1Call me Irving. The tale I am about to relate is a story of obsession, madness, the power of the sea, and other heavy stuff like that.
I was serving as Chief Activity Coordinator aboard the Piquant, a six-hundred foot cruise ship operating off the Pacific Northwest. We were late in the season, perhaps our last run along the Canadian coastline, when we found ourselves drawn into a nightmare of unspeakable proportions. It began on a normal day, during the normal routine, on a cruise that seemed no different from the hundreds I had seen in my career.
A seaman is supposed to be able to sense a storm coming, and I suppose I must've gained some of that legendary faculty for precognition during my years on the sea. I first felt a sense of dread as I was guiding my group of passengers through their early evening routine.
"And ready... now drain!" I checked my stopwatch, ticking off the standard seventeen seconds. "Good... now shake! Two, three, four. Now retract... and zip! Group three,
Twenty-three years before the crippling of Crown Prince James III
He was fourteen and she was probably aged about the same, give or take a few years. It had been an hour since he'd met her.
He hated her already.
She scowled behind him and likely shared the sentiment as they scampered up the hillside in a desperate attempt to escape the roaring mob that seemed to be growing perpetually larger and coming ever-closer. Gabriel would have liked to say that it was all her fault he was in this situation, though it was his careless nicking ofwhat was it? A chicken that started the first old woman running, but how was he supposed to know that she'd stumble and fall and everyone else would think he'd assaulted her?
He hadn't. He'd taken the chicken, snapped its neck and run, because he hadn't eaten meat in weeks and he was starting to feel the affects on his already weak limbs.
This is what happens, he thought. This is what happens when you live like th
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