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Book 1: The Rebirth of the Aztecs

Chapter 1 Part 1: Just a Little Piracy

Drake Stoneman lounged as only the tippity top tip slice of the upper crust of society ever could. There he was laying out on a luscious plump body length pillow on a fancy hand made wooden beach chair that could fold into several positions perfect for sunbathing. Not that Drake’s sun scorched skin and farmer’s tan needed any sunbathing, but the thought was appreciated.

There he was gazing out over the fourth and highest deck of the Ryujin Scuba resort ship resting anchored by a spit of sand and palm trees that though unfit for habitation made for perfect scenery. The medium sized yacht he sat his overworked underpaid loins on was designed specifically for high end curated diving, and five star accommodations in between dive sites on the multi week cruises.

Now that was the kind of vacation a vet without two shekels to rub together on a cold night was talking about. And this ship was all his. Even if she was a little worse for wear.

Drake nonchalantly covered up what looked conspicuously like a bullet hole in the fancy drink table next to his chair with a gold trim hand embroidered tablecloth. With a few more adjustments Stoneman got his plate of delicious ten out of ten hors d’oeuvres over the marred wood, and presto it was like nothing ever happened.

“Hey hotstuff! Get your new captain a refill on whatever this colorful slop is,” Drake called out over the gentle rocking waves reflecting the setting sun. The burning ball was creeping ever so slowly down into the ocean’s depths. The sight was beauty itself, but the vista paled in comparison to the eye candy that came clacking up behind the lounging captain in scarlet heels.

Appearing dutifully over Drake’s right shoulder was a smoking twenty out of ten blond with short cropped hair and furious blue eyes inlaid on a perfect face that was stone cold. So cold in fact that it could freeze a polar bear five miles away. They’d stuffed this smoking specimen in a red bikini two sizes too small, and her womanly top half was spilling out in every direction. Drake had a feeling he was being blamed for the lady’s current predicament. A woman’s ire was easy to read on the average lady, but Ms. Bueatris as her name tag on her ever so revealing swimwear did it better than most.

Lashing out like a furious cobra the blond snatched the empty fancy swirling glass from his table. Without a word more she turned on her heel with such a regal indignant air that an Admiral on parade in front of a crowd of drunk marines couldn’t have done better. Stoneman of course smirked, and made sure to take a very long look at the swaying backside being strangled by the string bikini that could get you arrested inland for public indecency. To be fair, if she’d walked around like that in a small town where there were more cows than humans like the one Drake had grown up in Beatrice over here would've already caused five accidents from all the drooling farm boys with far more trucks on their hands than common sense.

“Thanks hot titties! Be sure to waddle back here fast,” Stoneman said as he left a very red raised handprint on that swaying buttocks. Stung too if the tingling in his hand was any indication.

Beatrice stopped in her tracks. Not a peep escaped her mouth, but Drake raised an eyebrow as the woman proceeded to bend the ornate metal tray under her arm while somehow not breaking the glass in her other hand. Lady was stronger than she looked.

Sticking her nose so far into the air that an angel checked his seat in heaven the drop dead gorgeous woman stomped off. Or stomped as best she could while wearing stilettos she was clearly not used to wearing. It was everything Drake could do not to collapse laughing as he saw his red handprint bouncing, and swaying its way back to the bar. Amazing such eye candy came with any ship, even one as fancy as this.

“You are enjoying this way too much slacker,” Stoneman looked up at the sound of his old sergeant's voice. The gnarled vet might be retired, but his grizzly demeanor and eye patch gave you the impression that true retirement was unattainable for men such as him.

“You’re the one that begged me to join up with this pony show Sarge. I don’t see why I shouldn’t have a good time while I’m here,” Drake said while gesturing to a neighboring chair for his old noncommissioned officer from a time almost lost to the ex Lieutenant Stoneman. Every now and then, Drake would wake up in a sweat thinking he’d missed morning exercises only to remember he’d been unceremoniously booted from the Republic of Catalina’s Royal Ranger Marines two years ago.

“I remember you being more professional sir,” Ex Sergeant Reynolds said as he took the offered seat. He, unlike the shirtless ex-lieutenant, was wearing cargo pants, full battle rattle plate carrier, and a slung AN94 on his shoulder which he prompted up on the deck against the chair. The butt of the World War Three era rifle was only a few feet from a series of bullet holes and shredded fancy beach chairs off to their right which were now nothing but spread cushion filling and splinters.

Drake was wearing trunks with red flowers all over them that he’d scrounged out of one of the estate rooms. Wasn’t to his tastes, but the fancy shorts fit, and were way more comfortable than his serious operator kit he’d left in the suite he was laying his head down in tonight. That cabin was all together too fancy for a simple soldier boy like himself. Nonetheless, Stoneman could get used to the finer things in life if given the chance. He really could.

“Look, I’m actually retired, or discharged with angry looks from everybody but the King himself. You need to take a load off Sarge. I mean come on. I still call you sarge. Let’s stop that,” Stoneman sat up and pointed at his old friend,” I will call you by your God given name that your parents were inspired to give you. Don Reynolds, nice to meet you. You can call me Drake.”

The once sergeant rolled his eyes, and in answer produced a fancy box full of cigars that probably cost more than an average sized mini van a piece. With a flourish he pulled one out, savored the smell before offering the box to Drake.

“That’s what I’m talking about, Donni boy.”

“You call me Donni and not Don or Sarge, I'll break your neck, and let that blond bust your balls. Literally.”

“Fair enough. Got a light?”

“I do. Since you’re a Captain of a ship now I should get you a pipe,” Sarge said as he produced a platinum lighter with the crossed harpoon and rifle sigil of the Royal Ranger Marines engraved into its face.

Before Drake could respond a dainty, but firm female hand shot next to his face ripping the lighter out of his hand. Sarge went for his sidearm out of reflex while Stoneman had more control. Drake only twitched toward his falchion short sword bequeathed to him by the High King of Two Harbors Catalina, the seat of the Golden Kingdoms of the California Coast, rather than cutting Beatrice in half. What was blondie going to do with just a lighter anyway?

Beatrice, the curvaceous eye candy, seemed far more furious over the lighter than being forced into a revealing, too tight and too small G string bikini that her breasts could snap at any second. Drake was wondering how she was even managing to breathe in that thing let alone snatch lighters out of her new Captain’s hands.

“I did not agree to let you sully two thousand Ruble cigars with chemicals from a lighter country bumpkin! Now lean forward,” How blondie managed that sing songy voice while sounding absolutely furious was a wonder. Also two thousand rubles? Money was a complicated item in the decades after the war. These days the Ruble was worth more than the Yen which was the dominant global currency. Two thousand rubles went for something like five thousand American empire dollars before said currencies collapsed. The new Captain of the Ryujin Super Yaght figured he had best let the old first officer show him how not to ruin expensive cigars.

Drake obeyed the wrathful blond at his side with another raised eyebrow, and all his will power to look in the woman’s eyes with those curvy melons a foot from his face. He really had been out at sea too long.

Matches appeared in Beatrice’s hands after she almost smashed Drake's drink on his table. With a practiced flourish that only endless practice and experience could foster, the regal blond had the cigar smoking. The most delicious mouth watering soothing on the senses cigar Stoneman had ever tasted complete with a hint of whiskey, hickory, maybe a touch of brown sugar, and a glorious dose of rich high end tobacco.

This was also Drake’s first cigar so he might be a bit partial, but he doubted everyone got to savor something so fine for their first taste of smokes. Also, he knew the view was way better than average, and he wasn’t talking about the ocean. Beatrice noticed where his eyes were too. What could the young Captain say? He was male.

Blondie puffed out her cheeks in exasperation, threw the matches at sarge, and turned on her heels again. There Drake couldn’t help himself. He landed a matching hand print on the other soft plush cheek, and the resulting symmetry was a work of art to behold. This time the Stoneman got a furious snort as the eye candy stomped away, and threw the abused tray into the wall with a crash. Sarge was right. He really was having too much fun.

“Your mother wouldn’t approve,” Sarge said around his cigar as he lit the stoggy. His one good eye widened at the taste and aroma before the vet closed it in contentment.

“My mother would just be happy to know I was harassing a woman, and not gay like my grandmother declared since I wasn’t married before I was twenty.”

“A woman after my own heart,” Don said in between puffs. Drake just laughed in response, and took a break from his cigar to try his drink. The name was unpronounceable to his small town tongue and sensibilities, but it was delicious.

“About time we got to business don’t you think sir,” Sarge said a minute later. He spoke softly enough that Blondie couldn’t hear under her very loud and angry muttering back at the bar.

“That time already.”

“Yes sir.”

“A shame to make a mess on such a beautiful boat. Bring him up, and don’t forget to call me Drake Don.”

“I’ll try to remember that Stoneman.”

The Story Will Continue Every Monday

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Just a Little Piracy panel 6
Diary of a Postwar Pirate series cover
Just a Little Piracy episode cover
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Diary of a Postwar Pirate

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It’s thirty years after World War Three. The world has changed. Borders have shifted, nations have died, empires have crumbled, and now new peoples and kingdoms have risen to take their place. In the midst of the upheaval Drake Stoneman finds himself discharged from the Republic of Catalina’s Royal Ranger Marines, and soon chooses a life of piracy. Stoneman soon finds that business is good for a man with his skill set. However, after being hired by an aging Aztec warlord to recover a prize from an abandoned old world facility Drake will discover if he still has enough patriotic blood left to save his people against the rising Death Cults and reforming Aztec Empire. Will the Republic of Catalina survive her infancy, or be just another kingdom lost to the dried bloodshed of history?
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