Saturday, November 28, 2009

Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons Part II

(Intro and Part I linked at bottom)

Catalina Erantzo Journal entries for the ship ‘Rebellion’.

May 17,1522 9:30 am – Left Seville, Spain under cloudy circumstances. Ok…. I stole a ship. Not a big one! Well ok, maybe it was a big one. What was I supposed to do? The damned Franco family of Portugal killed my brother and fiancé! Besides, it was only one ship, its not like they are going to miss it.

10:30 am – Well apparently they count the ships in harbour. Who knew? My First Mate, Emilio, saw some guards pointing at us and running to the Commander’s office as we ‘test sailed’ this new Galleon. Maybe I should have picked an older model?

12:30am – As we sailed out of the Rio Guadalqulvir we discovered Ceuta!  So that’s where it is! Considering my navigation skill and that its only a two day sail away, I would have thought I would have known where it was, but apparently not.

May 20, 1522 – Docked in Lisbon, Portugal. The lion’s den. After storming up to the Franco residence it was quietly mentioned to me it might not be such a good idea at this time. Something about ‘training’, ‘proof’, blah blah blah…

Took a mission at the guild to deliver a letter to Genoa. Seven hundred gold. I have no idea if this is even going to cover expenses, but if it doesn’t me and this old man are going to have a ‘talk.

May 24, 1522 – Open sea. Discovered Palma, Majorca. Looks like a shithole.

May 28, 1522 – After and 8 day sail we entered Genoa. Delivered mail.  I was told I had to sail BACK to Lisbon to get paid. I am not happy. No one has heard of Cash on Delivery?

Picked up a rookie navigator named Alonzo Orieda who begged to come along.

May 28, 1522 – Sailed into Pisa and picked up 20 lots of silk cloth. I need to bring in some money somehow to build up a bigger fleet and trading seems a good way to do that.

Picked up another navigator named Miguel Solis. Seems a solid type. Orieda is annoying.

May 30, 1522 – Discovered Algiers. Another shithole. I think the dysentery has dysentery.

June 3, 1522 – I sailed, I saw, I conquered. Off the Cape of Trafalgar I spotted a British merchant fleet. In my single Spanish Galleon I took on these 5 ships and won! I captured 3 ships (Nao, Carrack, Caravela Redonda), while 2 escaped (both Naos). I bet this astounding victory will be remember for centuries as the brave battle where one Spanish ship destroyed an English fleet!

One ship was carrying a large cargo of cheese (thank you God it wasn’t Limburger cheese). Hmmm. Spending money to buy goods and potentially lose money trading, or ‘liberating’ cargo and capturing ships. I think I need to think about this some more.

June 8, 1522 – After some difficulty with my new ships I sailed into Lisbon harbour again. This might be a good place to set up our headquarters. This will also give me a chance to hire out some people to keep an ear out for gossip I need.

Finished the mail mission. Apparently holding a knife to the old man’s throat means we are banned from Woolworth's. I’m not sure if its just that one or all of them. Emilio thinks its all of them.

Introduction to New Horizons AAR

New Horizons AAR Part I

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons Part I

My name in Inigo Montoya, you killed my father! Prepare to… No no no. Wait! That’s not it!  *sigh* Oh God, this is going to be one of those days isn’t it?

My name is Catalina Erantzo and I am a pirate. I didn’t start out that way it just sort of happened. Shall I tell you my story? Well gather round children and I shall tell you my tale.

One fine spring day in 1522 I was walking towards the harbour in Seville to see if anyone at the dockyard had heard anything about my brother and fiancé's fleet. It was overdue and I was starting to get worried. It was common for other fleets to be late, but not with my brother Michael’s fleet. He was a fine navigator and sailor and was always able to edge a few extra knots that others couldn’t. Growing up I learned a lot about sailing from him and using that knowledge was able to get into the Spanish Navy, even though women were not usually allowed on ships. The navy was where I met my fiancé Hernan, who taught me everything he knew about gunnery. Ah… Hernan, I can almost feel that long gun he was so proud of… I mean… Never mind! Stop being so nosy! 

As I neared the docks a messenger comes to me and tells me I am summoned to Commander Ezequiel’s office. Hopefully word has been heard about the fleet! As I enter the Commander's office I know something is not right. Both the Commander and Lt. Emilio Sanude, my fiancé's best friend are there looking very troubled. Commander Ezequiel cuts to the quick and tells me the fleet is lost, wreckage has been found and he hands me Michael’s saber. I am in shock, I can’t believe it and I demand to know more, but there is no more news to be had. Lt. Sanude tells me to meet him at the tea house when I am able.

After aimlessly wandering around Seville, and after getting into a fight with a drunken sailor, thrashing a small boy begging for food and kicking a stray dog I head to the tea house. Lt. Sanude is waiting there for me. He’s tall, well build and handsome in a rugged way. If you like older men with a mustache that looks like a cats tail has been nailed there. As he tells me he is not going to rest until he finds out what happened to the fleet by asking at every town his fleet sails into, we overhear a few people speculating about what happened to my brother’s fleet. One said the fleet was attacked by giant sea monsters and another said that he had heard it was the Portuguese Duke Franco’s battle fleet that did it.

After hearing that I stormed back into the Commander’s office and demanded what he was going to do with this new information. ‘Nothing’ he said. Nothing? I could not believe my ears! I demanded a fleet to go and punish the Portuguese for daring to attack a Spanish fleet like this. Afraid that would provoke a war I was denied. I stormed back to the tea house to see Lt. Sanude chatting up the local whore and I promptly broke her nose. I told him he has no time for that we have to figure out what to do! Sitting down at a table he said he didn’t know what else we could do. Overhearing us was a man who was dressed in fine clothes, that looked as if they’d been worn for 5 years straight, but he said we should not give up and we should find proof that the Franco’s killed my brother and fiancé. After this masterstroke of genius I told Lt. Sanude to meet me by the docks.

An hour later I snuck up behind him as he was looking for me and put my gun to his back. You have a ship, I told him and I want it. He looked a quite shocked at this, then calmed down and asked me if I really meant that I would steal his ship. I am going to get proof that Franco’s behind all this and then take care of him myself I told him. He looked me in the eye and told me to put away the gun, he is with me, but if I am to do this, I am to be in charge, he will be First Mate, but not Captain. He even said there ‘may’ be some ‘leftover’ gold bars from the New World that ‘might’ have been stashed away to help us finance this little operation. I put away the gun and smiled.

We shook hands and he told me to call him Emilio, and I said he could call me Captain.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons

Ok, I haven’t been updating like I should, so here is what I’m going to start doing. There are things called AARs, which means ‘After Action Report’. This is a story based around video games, but that is not part of the video game story line. Its something you write to have and share with others. So this is what I’m going to do.

I’m going to use an old console game called Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons from the SNES. Its a great old game that has six different storylines you can play separately. If you have a Nintendo Wii, it is available to download for 800 Wii points ($8.00), I would highly suggest picking it up. More info on the game can be found here.

The story I am going to follow is this one:

Catalina Erantzo is a Spanish naval officer who believes her beloved and her brother were both murdered by the Portuguese armada. Vowing revenge she turns to a life of piracy and soon becomes a red haired scourge of the seas.

Its the only female lead character and I’m giving her a nice and heavy sarcastic side. In the time the game is set at (1522) any woman that might have been a crew member would have been pretty tough, so that’s the direction I am going.  While there are storylines I have never played, this is one I have played, but never finished, so I am going to start here.

Hopefully I can stick to a schedule of an addition every 2-3 days. I’ll throw in some more mother-in-law stories, since my wife seems to like those. lol

*edit* One thing to note is that there is a lot of geographical license taken in the game, and you are able to spot cities there is no way in hell of you spotting in real life, from the distances involved. Sailing times are also wildly off. So that's fair warning. I’m going off the game, not real life.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A few cool things

Just a few of the things I’ve seen over the past few days that have caught my eye.

This girl has smarts! I wonder if she’s available for adoption?

Now this, this is not only cool in how it works, but a damned good thing to do.

Could our energy independence be far behind? 

This could change automobiles.

Now I donno what people think about global warming or anything else, and really it doesn’t matter. I don’t think too many people would willingly live right next to a coal fired power plant, regardless of their views on global warming. If that’s the case I simply do not understand people fighting against making things cleaner for our environment. These last two links are pretty cool. I hope they end up working out, cause that would be great. Anything so we are not so beholden to foreign nations (oil) for our own national security.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

I remember back in elementary school every Rememberance Day (Veterans Day) that we would all pile into the gym and sit through a recitle of the above. If possible we had Vets come and speak to us as well. Its stuck with me these many long years later.

Thank you to all the Vets from every country who have signed on the dotted line to serve and protect your country.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

8th Anniversary

Eight years ago my wife & I were married. While we have had our own issues to deal with, and my problems with her family, I can honestly say I am very happy with my marriage.

My wife and I have great conversations, we really enjoy each other’s company. When we were first talking we spent a lot of time on the phone, as well as emailing back and forth. In some ways starting off a relationship as a long distance one helped us to get to know each other better. If we had met face to face the first time we might not have gotten together. Both my wife & I had different ideas on what our preferences were, however by being able to talk first we ere able to fall in love with each other’s minds.

We have yet to spend any length of time by ourselves. Her mother lives with us, and considering the problems her and I have, has been very difficult for all of us. Since we are planning a move back to my hometown, we’ll have to spend some time living with my family. Something neither of us wants to do for long. It will be a great thing to be able to finally get our own place. We have a plan to be able to get our own place one year after we are both working, and that mostly consists of living on the bare edge so we can save as much money as possible, then buying a duplex and living in one side of it and renting out the other.

If you’re wondering if we have anything special planned for today, that would be a no. We simply do not have the money. We haven’t even gone out for dinner in over a year. I would love to take her out for a nice meal and just spend the night relaxing and enjoying the evening with her. Heck I’d love to have just gone away for a night or two. But, that’s just not in the cards tonight. So we’ll have leftovers and just enjoy what we can.

All in all I am in a marriage with a good woman, regardless of anything else, I have that. And that's something to be happy about.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Democracy in the US

Is this democracy in the US? Is this what we are trying to push onto other countries? This is what men and women in our military are sacrificing their lives for?

Is there any wonder why I want to leave the US? Its not just my mother-in-law, its that politics here is so vile and so full of corruption and lies it might as well be a 3rd world country run by a dictator. Nothing gets done without honest debate, and we haven’t had that in the US for decades now, and its just getting worse, not better.

I’ve never hated the US, but every time I see shit like this, I start to, little by little.

If you don’t like what I’ve written, and think, ‘well if you don’t like the US get out’, donate money to send me away. Frankly the faster I get out the happier I’ll be.