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Book 1: The Rebirth of the Aztecs

Chapter 8 Part 3: Global Ramifications

“Captain, I have one more addendum to add before we come to the main course of our meeting,” Drake lifted an eyebrow at Beatrice. Her getting that formal always put him on guard. The pirate had learned fast she tended to get all stiff when the lady was drop dead furious, and usually about something he or his men had done on the ship. This time Drake was fairly sure he wasn’t the object of feminine fury today. Or at least he hoped so. His granddad always used to say you were in the most danger when you thought you were safe.

“Go ahead mamacita,” Drake said, making sure to use as none formal a tone as his pirate Captain rank allowed in meetings. She was less likely to let the wrathful assassin out when being informal. Most of the time. Beatrice for her part thundered on ahead in full ice queen mode.

“Given the ethnic cleansing of seagulls that will take my waiting staff and crew a good several hours to clean and sanitize before the guests can use this deck I have a policy suggestion,” Beatrice roving eye settled on Don the ex sergeant with a blazing fire that made napalm strikes seem cold. Safe. She was mad at Donny boy over there for the seagull slagging not his Captain for letting it happen for laughs. Dodged a bullet on that one.

“I propose,” continued the irate first officer,” We limit all cruises with guests, especially ones of certain repute, to no more than five days as ten days seems to have worn down our ‘security’ detail over here.”

The unabashed wave of hope that rippled across the small cadre of pirate officers for a moment before their professionalism kicked in like a French noble being led past the guillotine rather than to the dread device was pure and hilarious. Drake did his best to clamp down on his humor, but only managed to limit things to a strangled chortle that he covered with his drink as best he could. Beatrice gave him a side glance with those blazing blues of hers telling him she wasn’t buying his act, but had bigger fish to fry. Also, she knew he’d been staring at her ass the whole time she was talking. Which was a given, but still needed to be mentioned for the health of their relationship. Had to remind the lady she was involved with a red blooded male.

“I find the idea reasonable and actionable, " Drake said after getting a hold of himself and slapping Beatrice’s hindquarters to make his point. His First Officer didn’t make a sound she only glared at the gathering pirates, daring one to make a cat call. None did. Drake figured that was his que to move the meeting along,” Does anyone object from our ‘security’ team?”

To no one’s great surprise, there were none. Ten days had been ambitious to say the least for their first cruise with actual guests. Not only did the shear time wear on men who were used to killing freaks rather than wrangling them around their equipment and operational space like cats around a bed of spikes laced with catnip, but the length of the cruise ensured only the most spoiled trust fund kid had the time and money to join up. Inevitably, they brought their entourages as well which just complicated things further. It was a miracle only one of the myriad of pet drug dealers and other wannabe weirdos had been disappeared this trip. Still, as much as Drake wanted to agree with no caveats the captain in him knew he couldn’t. Even in a life adrift from responsibility it seemed the marine in him just couldn’t help finding some form of complication to cling to like a drowning man with one arm on the boat and his body being tugged into the depths by gorgeous sirens named folly and party.

“I’ll add the addendum to our official charter, but with a few notes for everyone to remember,” Drake saw the boys stiffened. They knew when an officer was compromising, and they usually understood they wouldn’t like the compromise. Things had to be done right even on this fancy tub. Life couldn’t be a complete carnival, or at least not for long.

“Given emergency situations, or jobs of extreme importance this addendum will be waived for the betterment of our enterprise. Afraid that sometimes you just got to earn your pay gents. Don’t worry though, I’ll give you fair warning, and only when absolutely necessary.” Drake could see no one was happy about the idea, but there were no objections either. Should be a rare occurrence anyway. The Pirate Captain didn’t see many jobs or opps needing guests aboard for long. In most cases the extended time actually hindered jobs to the point that the added cover given to them having patrons aboard wasn’t worth the hassle.

“Alright, with that done, let’s start our meeting proper like. Unless you need to vent more stress on our flying sea rats up their Don.” Drake pointed up at the high flying seagulls for emphasis. There was a wave of chuckles as the ex sergeant cracked his neck and patted his sidearm with true affection written all over his face. Beatrice snorted in response, crossing her arms which due to her top heavy nature made her more distracting to the male gaze rather than intimidating. Sarge noticed too, and made sure to look very forcefully at his Captain who gave him a knowing wink. Don wasn’t amused.

“Like I said,'' Donny said getting the meeting back on track,” Pisani’s tech weenies are going to need time to wade through the mess even with new guy’s help, but we’ve already uncovered intel that would be valuable to sell as well as to use to our advantage. The real crux of the matter comes to the inevitable conclusion of the summit in Singapore that to one’s surprise has been rigged from the begining with a mess of blackmail and strong arming.”

Drake nodded. No real surprise there. This peace summit was supposed to be an answer for the violent city state like warfare ripping through old Mexico and the now defunct empire. No one actually expected a solution. There was going to be an overweight load of the usual B.S. and high born talk while everyone maneuvered for extra bonuses and diplomatic wins for their pets and puppets in the regions. But for Don to get this serious things weren’t normal about this latest mock peace summit.

“China is officially recognizing the Tenochmari warlords as the legitimate state of old Mexico, and they’re recognizing their proposed borders which look a hell of a lot more like the Spanish empire during the 1700’s, and yeah Catalina is colored very red on that map. Russian leadership has been bribed into abstaining from objecting, but is still recognizing the Catalinan Republic as a state. They’re the only ones besides New Rhodesia, but they still aren’t recognized by half the countries in attendance so though welcomed they won’t have much sway.”

Drake closed his eyes at the news. This could only mean they were picking a favorite to win the Mexican “civil” war which was neither civil nor fully Mexican. The regions under the Tenochmari Alliance was the heart of the Aztec human sacrificing death cult. Till this point the eastern Chinese states who had become strongly Christian in the wake of World War Three had succeeded at limiting aid to the Maricoatlic worshiping hellspawn as a result, but something had changed. The Middle Kingdom was overriding that perspective in force. This meant only one thing: military aid via arms and equipment to ensure the “rightful” government dominated the other warlords. A nightmare scenario for a tiny island kingdom on the edge of those borders which apparently now found itself a part of this new fledgling empire without prior warning or consent. Typical, but still shocking.

Things were about to get heated for this privateer’s homeland, and the thought made his blood boil.

The Story Will Continue Every Monday

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Diary of a Postwar Pirate series cover
Global Ramifications 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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