RESTART 2012

A story of vampires, shape-shifters and American Indians

 

©2014

 

 

Charles W. Bird

thehomeplace1@earthlink.net

 

 

This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may not be copies, transmitted or used in any manner beyond reading for enjoyment without the express, written permission of the author.

 

 

PROLOGUE
Sydney, Australian Hegemony, September 6, 2569 –At long last, we have our funding, a ship and crew, scientific staff and dig specialists. The University of Sydney finally issued the needed permits and signed off as sponsor for our expedition to the ruined lands of North America. I am James Callaghan, Cartographer and designated records keeper for the expedition. We plan to enter North America through the Gulf of California and stopping for provisions in the Kingdom of Hawaii. The best information available tells us the entire west coast of North America is geologically unstable, earthquakes and active volcanoes populate the landscape, making it a place of great danger. We expect the trip to take 45 sailing days to Hawaii and another 20 days to the entrance of the Gulf. There are no known maps or charts of the Gulf of California since that Great Cataclysm of 2012 – almost 550 years ago!

Our Expedition consists of: The Sailing Schooner Queen Alexi
Ship’s Captain Donald Voorhees
First Mate Alfred Dorn
Second Mate Robin Fellows
Third Mate Carl Lansing
Sailing Master Able Franks
23 sailing hands including 4 cadets
Chief Scientist Dr. Robert Loring
Archeologist Dr. Alice Loring
Cartographer Dr. James Callaghan
Chief Dig Specialist Dr. Bobby Loring
Photographer Ansel Gorham
16 Dig and Archeological Specialists, including 4
Students.
We set sail tomorrow as the first known scientific expedition to North America in over 500 years!

THE AUSTRALIANS

We reached the Kingdom of Hawaii in slightly less time than we had anticipated. They welcomed us as brothers and insisted on having a festival in our honor. This delayed our departure, so we did not sail from Honolulu until November 10, 2569! It was an easy sail to Baja California, which we discovered was now an island instead of a peninsula shown on our antique charts. We felt that it would be safer sailing to sail between Baja Island and the mainland of Mexico. The west coast of Baja appeared to be very rugged and we could see active volcanoes north along the coast.

We anchored off the southern tip of Baja Island, where our old charts indicated there was a major city, Cabo San Lucas, on December 1, 2569. We went ashore only to find deserted ruins, most of which had been washed by at least several tidal waves. It was eerie, there was absolutely no life of any kind, not even vegetation! We spent two weeks sifting through the ruins, but found little of historic value.

We decided to sail northward along the coast of Baja, hoping to find some worthwhile locations to explore.

December 25, 2569

We have located some major ruins at, what we think, is La Paz. There are a few primitive people living here speaking a kind of guttural Spanish. They tell us a fanciful story of how the Mountain Gods took a broom and swept the land clean of the “evil ones”! It must have been a fair sized city as the ruins are quite extensive.

I have been making new charts as we travel up the Gulf, the coastline is much different from what the old charts show. The Dig crews have recovered plentiful art objects – ceramic tiles, metal artifacts and some machinery we believe was used in a weaving process. We will sail in a couple of days to continue our trip northward. There isn’t enough here of historical value to make continued digging worthwhile.

January 1, 2570

We set sail from La Paz on December 26th, it had been a rather disappointing stop as there really was little of value to be learned there. The few natives in the area were quite primitive and had little oral history to contribute. We are continuing up the coast, checking likely bays that could or might have supported a village that survived. So far, all we have seen is desolation.

January 9, 2570

We are at anchor in a rather large bay, a headland to the bay is connected to the mainland with a narrow isthmus suggesting that the headland might at one time have been an island. It is too dark to go ashore tonight, however, there is an interesting stone structure on a hill above the bay that warrants closer inspection.

January 11, 2570

We believe we have discovered an archeological Jackpot! We went ashore yesterday and discovered the well preserved ruins of a village of about 500 people. It is obvious that it had been built or greatly enlarged AFTER the cataclysm that destroyed much of this hemisphere!

The stone structure we observed is some kind of signal tower and had a storage cavity in the base that had been blocked and sealed with great care. Dr. Alice Loring opened the cavity and found a bound ledger book of obvious pre-cataclysm machine manufacture. It had been carefully sewn into a tanned cow hide and coated with a protective layer of animal lard.

The writing begins in pre-cataclysm English and has entries for approximately 40 years, ending in a mixture of English and Spanish. It gives recognizable directions as to where the people went. We will sail tomorrow morning in an attempt to follow their path. This is a stunning discovery and will hopefully lead to a better understanding of what happened here.

January 20, 2570

After several false leads, we are now at anchor in the harbor of an incredible city, the inhabitants call Mariposa! Since I am the only member of our party fluent in Spanish, I was elected to make first contact. The sailors rowed me ashore, where a large group of inhabitants had gathered. Their language contained words of Spanish, an Indian dialect and archaic English. I detect no hostility, in fact, they appear glad that we have FINALLY come!

Their Ruler is someone titled, “El Jefe Bobby”. The military leader of the well organized force of spearmen and archers is Andrea. El Jefe Bobby made me to understand that they have been expecting us for over 300 years!

As it was getting dark, he suggested that in the morning we move the ship to a permanent anchorage near a light dock on the south point of the harbor. He said that there would be boats and men to assist us in the move. As a sign of surety, he accompanied me back to the ship alone and said he would spend the night with us. During our evening meal, we questioned Andrea as best we could, with me doing the interpreting. He told us that “El Jefe Bobby” was a traditional title going back to the great earthquakes, as was his own title, “Andrea” He told us that, when Either “El Jefe Bobby” or “Andrea” died, there was another of the same name already in training. It is not heredity, as the candidate is adopted by the current understudy.

It is common for the Andrea and the El Jefe Bobby to be mates. He apparently means a homosexual relationship. When I asked him about this, he said that his people have no problems with such relationships, in fact, they are quite common.

There are 9 major Family groups and they have approximately 200,000 people living in 4 large cities and numerous smaller communities. He then told us that both he and El Jefe Bobby spoke English, but not very well. It was a requirement of their office. At that, Captain Voorhees asked him, in English, how many men did he have as soldiers.
Andrea thought for a while, and then replied in broken, but perfectly understandable English that he had a standing force of 10,000 warriors and a reserve of another 25,000. Not all his warriors are men, both men and women serve. He continued that to the south of them is a shallow sea and volcanic islands and then the broken parts of another large continent. There are people who eat other people (cannibals?) on the islands. To the north are primitive people who raid their communities to steal cattle and women. That is why they keep such a large group of warriors.

I then asked him if he was any relation to the Andrea in the record book. He smiled and told us that he was a “historic” descendent, that all Andreas and Bobbys were chosen and adopted by their predecessors. Theirs is not a hereditary government and that each candidate for “Little” Andrea and “Little” Bobby had to undergo rigorous examination by the Council of Elders before they were adopted.

By now, it was getting quite late, so Captain Voorhees escorted Andrea to a cabin where he might sleep. For myself, sleep did NOT come easily that night.

January 21, 2570

At first light, we were awakened by 20 rowing boats, all with tow ropes. Captain Voorhees ordered the anchor raised and the towing ropes were fastened to our ship. The rowing boat’s crews then towed us to an anchorage where we would have beside the ship access to a pier, eliminating the need to use boats to go ashore.

Waiting for us at the head of the pier was a large entourage of officials, including about 50 pike carrying men! The Scientific party, headed by myself, and accompanied by Captain Voorhees and First Mate Dorn walked ashore to be met by the Mariposans. The impressive man in the front of the entourage identified himself, in English, as “El Jefe Bobby”

After greetings and introductions, he said, “Andrea and I would like to invite you to our home where we may talk comfortably”. He then asked us to follow him and we soon arrived at a modest, but well appointed home. We were invited in and served cool drinks and fruits. El Jefe Bobby then spoke to us, “I am the 8th El Jefe Bobby, we have been waiting for you for over 300 years. It was foretold you would come, we welcome you to our land and hope we might establish relations and trade with your home country. We understand you are explorers, but we also hope that, at least one of you has ambassadorial powers.”

I spoke up and said that I did, this was something that my fellow expedition members were not aware of. El Jefe Bobby told us that his land had many minerals, metals and agricultural products to trade. He showed us iron and steel objects that were made from iron mined in the mountains, he presented Captain Voorhees and Dr. Donald Loring, each, with a silver necklace on which was hung a faceted ruby the size of a child’s fist.

To Dr. Alice Loring, he gave a necklace with an emerald of the same size.

The rest of us received necklaces with somewhat smaller rubies. He gave Captain Voorhees a cloth bag of smaller rubies to be given to each crew member.

He went on to tell us that they raised corn, barley, fruits, coffee, cotton, vegetables, pineapples, sugar cane, coconuts, cocoa along with cattle, sheep, goats, ostriches, swine, chickens and a few llamas. All of which his people were willing to trade for manufactured goods, medicines, educational materials, teachers, doctors and firearms/ammunition to combat the wild tribes and the cannibals. He said that the first things they wanted were Doctors and Teachers.

First Mate Dorn asked what religions were practiced in his country, El Jefe Bobby said, “We have a religion native to our Indian people and also Christian groups; Catholic, Mormon, Baptist and Methodist. There no priests of the Christian Faiths here, but our people would like some to come. We do not discriminate against anyone’s religious faith.”

He then turned to me and said, “Mr. Ambassador, before you leave our country, we would like to contract a treaty of friendship and trade with your nation”!

I felt like I was getting in over my head, but I told him we could write a treaty subject to approval by both our governments.

He smiled and said, “I AM the government!”

Andrea told us that Baja was now an island, all of South California was ocean as far east as the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which were heavily volcanic and in constant eruption. He continued, they had sent search parties north, most of what was Texas is underwater and they were told that there is no river flowing through central North America (Mississippi River?) The central part of North America is a desert and uninhabited. They did not know anything about the far north or the eastern coast, anything east of the mid-portion of the continent.

The large land mass south of the volcanic islands (South America?) is mostly covered with fresh lava and there are few places that are not are inhabited by cannibals. As far as he knows, there are no civilized cities on the broken remains that continent.

They know of no other civilization in what was Mexico, other than their own. There are a few fishing tribes on the eastern coast and they occasionally trade with them for pearls. The central part of Mexico was ravaged by volcanoes that remain active.

After spending nearly a week in company of El Jefe Bobby and Andrea, we met with merchants from the city who wanted to send trial amounts of their goods with us on consignment. We told them it would be a long time before we returned; sailing ships do not travel very fast.
They still wanted to send goods with us.

February 15, 2570

We are finally loaded for our return trip, El Jefe Bobby completely resupplied our ship with food, water and fresh fruits and vegetables for our consumption.
The merchants filled both cargo holds with goods on consignment, precious metals, copper, gemstones, sulfur and cobalt. All their contracts were written in English, I surely hope we can fulfill our part of the bargain! We will sail in the morning, direct for Sydney. Captain Voorhees expects a trip duration of 55 days.

Just before we sailed, Andrea and a group of Warriors came running down the pier. With them were two young men who he introduced as Little Bobby and Little Andrea! El Jefe Bobby was sending members of his own Family as his Representatives to our government. Captain Voorhees promised he would take great care of these two young men, it was obvious, by the way they held each other’s hand, that they were a couple. We worried about how our own people would take to these two boys.

May 7, 2570

We made excellent sailing time and our arrival at Sydney Point was exactly on time. We stopped at the Naval Quarantine Station and telegraphed the Prime Minister’s Office that we had Two Ministers Plenipotentiary of the Government of Mariposa on board in addition to a signed Treaty of Friendship and Trade. By the time we warped to the University Pier, the crowd was being held back by the National Guard!

Queen Alexis and Prime Minister Milton were standing on the pier waiting to greet our passengers. They Greeted the Queen and Prime Minister in good English, which nearly floored our government, and presented gifts from El Jefe Bobby to the Queen and Prime Minister.

June 1, 2570

The Queen’s Government appointed me Ambassador General to The Government of Mariposa and all surrounding nations, countries and tribes.

The goods sent by the Mariposa merchants on consignment were auctioned off, generating enough cash to purchase a 3 mast sailing cargo ship, hire 20 teachers, 20 doctors, 60 tons of books and another 60 tons of medicines. An assortment of pharmacists, nurses, miners, mechanics and weavers were also retained. Captain Voorhees and many of his crew resigned from University service to sail the Mariposa Trader back to Mariposa.

To accompany us was a new Hegemony steam Warship, WARRIOR, and full crew. Little Andrea and Little Bobby were to remain in Sydney until relieved as Ambassadors to Her Majesty’s Government.

September 10, 2570

We sailed into Mariposa Harbor, the WARRIOR’s siren bellowing out our arrival! It was a carnival atmosphere in Mariposa, El Jefe Bobby hugged me like I was his lost brother, while Andrea stood beside him grinning. It was a new era for our two countries and a relationship that would last lifetimes.

The merchants were astounded at what their goods purchased and immediately began planning for a return voyage! El Jefe Bobby, caused to be constructed a magnificent building as my home and Embassy. It was to be a lifetime appointment, one that brought great honor and new wealth to our two nations.

The cannibals south of Mariposa were wiped out, with the assistance of the WARRIOR, they no longer plague Mariposa settlers on the southern border. The primitive peoples of the north were sent teachers, food and goods and they eventually became herders and cattlemen benefiting themselves and Mariposa.

Little Bobby and Little Andrea eventually returned to Mariposa and, sadly El Jefe Bobby died suddenly of cancer. Andrea outlived him by less than a year.

Little Bobby and Little Andrea were elevated to leadership of their country and the new Little Bobby and Little Andrea play regularly with my Grandchildren.

March 5, 2591

CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE, MARIPOSA – It is with great sorrow we report the death of Dr. James Callaghan, Ambassador General of the Hegemony of Australia to our country. Dr. Callaghan served Her Majesty’s Government as Ambassador to our Nation for 21 years and was greatly admired in both countries. El Jefe Bobby has declared a week of National Mourning to honor Dr. Callaghan. News of his death was transmitted to his Home Country on the new underwater telegraph cable, that Dr. Callaghan fought for so gallantly, between our two countries. His death brings great sorrow to all Mariposans. Dr. Callaghan will be buried with High Honors in Mariposa Memorial Park by his own request.

TBC


 

 

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