Captain's Note: This concludes the ambitious project undertaken by a spirited crew of Spoofers who write simply for the joy of writing. For those of you who tried to follow along, we salute you! For the Crew, I applaud you!
Maybe we'll do it again. Maybe not!
Now Hear This: The Smoking Lamp is Lit, and Shore Leave Now Commences!
God Speed till we sail again.
The ship was deathly quiet as Morse sat pensively at his desk, the log book open, as he prepared to write the final chapter into the HMS Buggerall's Journal.
Six months had passed since the ship and it's crew had narrowly escaped a double torpedoing from Dead Pirate Roberts, himself blown up from an errant missile fired by the dreaded National Geographic Sub, the Nautilus, meant for the Buggerall.
Fast reaction on behalf of the crew, steering away at the last moment, exposed the treasure laden pirate ship to a mortal blow. And just as the Buggerall lay becalmed due to the sudden shift in direction,with all the winds taken from it's sails, a giant Octopus arose from the sea, disturbed over the sudden explosions, wrapped it's 8 tentacles around the Nautilus and took it, the infamous captain Nemo, AKA Beano, and the infamous Engorged Cocksman Bargis Tryhol, down to 3500 feet on the ocean floor and a watery grave.
Morse remembered with distaste, but also satisfaction, that no quarter was given to the crew of Dread Pirate Roberts, he who had no mercy for others, received no mercy that day. For within the multi national crew of the Buggerall, were brothers, cousins and even a sister of victims of the Pirate's Cruelty. "Justice was finally done, this Bloody Day, " Morse Mused Morosely.
The Salvage crew worked quickly to save the Treasure. A ton of the magic Portuguese Sponges taken in an earlier raid by the Buggerall, were transferred to the bilge of the pirate ship, and immediately began to soak up the intruding water rushing into the hold. Some were immediately drawn to the shattered holes in the hull, effectively plugging them. Others, noted for their absorption, 5000 times their own dry weight, wicked the rising water away and stabilized the doomed ship.
"Hurry Men, we have 45 minutes to carry the Treasure away, and it wouldn't hurt to raid he galley either for some decent food!", Morse astutely commanded.
Instantly the crew formed a human chain and the untold treasures of ill gotten gain, under the watchful eye of CPA Hal A. Peno, came aboard the Buggerall, was inventoried, and stored under guard by Roy Turse, while religious Icon Deacon Birbee blessed each God Given Treasure.
Mountains of rubies, chests of gold Doubloons, diamonds from Africa, platinum from Macedonia, emeralds from South America, indeed baubles and hard currency from around the known world was carried in abundance aboard the now wealthy Buggerall and it's nouveau rich crew.
Once the treasure was secured, Morse retired to his cabin to decide what to do with the 3 talking heads that had so rudely intruded into his cabin, and disturbed his romantic interlude with Dora Piebottom, the darling of the Ship, and who also was responsible for baking the ship's weevil laden biscuits that provided needed protein to the crew.
First came Admiral Lowton who had never left his desk in the Admiralty, and had not even sent dispatches to the crew after they risked life, limb, and distain from amongst the disengaged populace of the realm.
Then there was Hornblower, already a legend with 42 successful sea going novels heralding his sea going exploits, a veritable legend in his own mind.
Lastly was the irascible Cook Skoob, who once said after a battle on the Pitch (hence a Pitched Battle) "I never met an enemy I couldn't eat if he had a good leg on 'em!)
After a moment of silent prayer led by Birbee, Morse addressed the heads.
"Hornblower, you and Lowton will be cut loose and given a life boat and enough cheese and other provisions to get your selves to safe harbour. I think a fortnight or more in the same boat will do you both good and maybe if you ever get another command, you'll be more compassionate to the crew who risked their lives for you."
"Skoob, you have proved your worth many a time, despite some of your ungodly chow, but you did keep the crew alive. We're passing the great Hebrides in less than 12 hours, and I am putting you ashore with a share of the treasure and all your cast iron pots and your Mum's recipes. I hear there is a need for a Chip Franchise on the island and I know you will do well and Prosper. God Speed, and don't forget to change the grease once in awhile."
All three heads started to talk at once, but the Captain cut them off, but not literally. " Enough...sentence has been pronounced and the carpenter will commence freeing you from your dilemma, and you will be cast off forthwith!"
Morse gazed around his cabin in silent reflection. Under a glass bowl was an example of Spotted Dick that Botanist Earl Grey had been given by Dr. Nicholas after an especially hideous amputation from a sea man after a disastrous shore leave. Next to that was a dogged eared menu, the last printed up by Scoob the Cook before their final battle: Sticky Buns, Head Cheese, Cock-a-leekie soup, Toad in the Hole, Smergus's favorite, Jerk Chicken and a PieBottom special, Frosted Buttered Crumpet.
He smiled in fondness of the memories., as he prepared to leave the ship for the last time, still thinking how it all ended.
After dispensing with the talking heads and they were no longer aboard, Morse called together the now silent crew, each wanting to know their future now that they were rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Under sunny skies and a fair wind, Morse told them of his secret plan, and left it up to them on what their decision would be.
Men, "he said," you have fought, long, hard and well for the good of the ship. While others gained the fruits of your labours and sacrifices, you continued to do your job despite little recognition and sometimes outright ridicule.
I know you were never in it for the "points", but to do your duty for your shipmates, so I have come up with a plan to reward you and make you independent and wealthy for life!""
After a period of "hoorahs" etc, Morse unfolded the plan.
"Within 2 days sailing there is an uncharted paradise known only to me.
Land is cheap, the natives are willing and democratically inclined. Yea, they even invite foreign investment. I propose we make landfall there and form a Realty Trust, build our future, and never have to answer to no tyrant again!
War is outlawed, propagation is encouraged, and we will be united as Brothers to live our lives in Peace and Prosperity!."
Morse continued," Men, if you vote to do this, it must be unanimous, for there will be no going back, and once there, no way to leave, for we will cast the good ship Buggerall adrift to sail off into the mist of historical mystery. What say you all?"
Without a moment's hesitation the crew decided in the affirmative. And that is exactly how St Thomas in the Virgin Islands was brought into the 19th century where it was to go on to be a vacation paradise in the 20th.
One Hundred and fifty years later, a lookout on a Cunard Cruise ship spotted what appeared to be a floating 18th century ship of war, still afloat, but bleached from the sun and salt. A boarding party was dispatched, and they found the still proud remains of the Buggerall. In the Captain's cabin, a journal was found, wrapped in oil cloth, in remarkable condition.
The last entry was dated October 18th, 1816 and read as a prophesy of what they had found:
The Ship spun slowly on the placid green sea
It had neither sails or a rudder
Lacking sails it made no progress'
Lacking a rudder, in had no direction;
Having neither it made no waves
It just spun in Aimless Circles
Once upon a time it was a proud, fierce ship
its decks gleamed, the brass fittings were brilliant
people came from miles around to see it launched
Champaign bubbled on its bow
the people applauded
the waiting water supported it's graceful prize
Those were the good years
of running before the storm
slipping into strange ports
feeling the thump of many feet on it's deck
hearing the bosun cry "all hands aloft"
Then there was a purpose for it's existence
Soon the ship noticed a drag to the feet that
trod on it's decks
no longer did the bosun's cry blend happily with the wind
there were sharp commands and surly replies
it heard the beating of the drums and the snap of the cat
the ship crew listless
At first the crew tried rocking the boat to achieve their ends
but it did no good
Gradually, one by one, the crew left the ship
till, finally, the ship was abandoned
under the sun the sails rotted and were torn away
the wind and the waves caused the rudder to be lost
Now it's decks were silent
there was no rigging for the wind to sing through
the brass fittings were tarnished beyond repair,
sea gulls fouled it's once sparkling decks
the ship continued to spin slowly on the placid green sea,
crying as it turned; heartbroken
But what are a few more tears to an Ocean.
It was signed simply, Morse
The leader of the boarding party turned to his mate in wonder,
" I bet there was a hell of a story beyond what's left here!" he said in awe.
And So There Was.