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Subject: Riverboat Captain at last! rss

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yegods
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Ship's Log: 01/19/2006

Captain John here, reporting of frigid weather on the docks, at the Mississippi Q Landing. The morning is foggy, but looks like it might clear up by mid. I've pushed my crew hard, to get off the landing quickly, and as we slide out into the deep dark, i look to my left and see the two other boats starting off just behind me. I blow the horn and nod to the other captains: Captain Mike, a swarthy fellow, and i would face tough competition on the river today from him; and Captain Chelsea, an untested yet fierce woman, careful and exact with her ship and crew.

The river always seems to bring something new, even to those who have traveled her banks for years. I elect to ignore the flagging passengers on the first couple islands, instead increasing my valuable lead to the first turn in the river. As we're just pulling around the bend, a sudden siren wails, and the judges boat is pulling alongside. One of them waves his arm in a circle over his head, instructing us to turn around. The race must be restarted. It appears that in our eagerness to get the morning off, we actually started down the river, instead of up! I curse silently to myself, and vow that that is the last mistake of the day.

[Player's Edit: as we were new to the game, we started off at the "finish" tile, placing the river sections on backwards. it soon became clear that we were unable to place new sections on without difficulty. we quickly started over. back to Captain's Log]

I am eager now to pass this river. i signal the engine room to throw some extra coal into the furnace, and the ship, well she moves like the lovely dolphin she is. we quickly build a big lead over the other two captains, who are maneuvering to pick up a quick passenger, and getting in eachother's way, i might add. I chuckle to myself, and ready the next starboard turn. The river seems wild and excited, as we are, and jigs and jags like a mad sea crone.

After i have built up enough of a lead, i decide to start scouting the shores for some passengers. None are to be found for a few bends, and i start to curse myself for hurrying away from the early bids. I look behind me, and through the fog i can see Captain Mike's boat coming on full steam, and it looks like he even has a full load. Arrgh, throw me to the sharks, rather than lose this race. A dolphin, i called to my ship, you are a whale! Get moving! Angry and excited, i commit to more speed than the ship can handle for the upcoming turn, and am forced to burn more coal to make it. I finally pick up a willing passenger, just as Captain Mike toots his horn as he rushes past me, like the windborn gulls. Indeed, he does have his passenger quota, and is now steaming forward at full speed for the win. The morning still has some surprises ahead. I hurry the passengers to the deck, and start the boat to churning the waters.

I catch a glimpse of Captain Chelsea behind me, and she seems to be having some troubles negotiating a few of the curves that i had luckily bypassed. Her passenger's going to make a mess on deck with all that churning about, i can't help but think.

I take the wheel, and focus ahead on the dwindling backside of my foe-captain's ship. I call for more coal to speed up, and also negotiate a couple last shoals, and then i'm in the straight and calm. I feel the engines pushing us, and we go fast, fast like the wind, down the straight. I can almost see the finish; the fog has started to lift, and the sun feels good off to my right. i am definitely closing the gap, and i start to relax a little, as i see Captain Mike take a bad turn. He will be forced to go around a large island, giving me time to grab my final passenger, and head for the finish.

I have pulled into the lead! I can see the finish, and it's quite a mess of shoals and islands to navigate. I will have to slow down too much, such that the other captains will have a chance to catch up. I will have a talk with the organizers surely, for such awkward finishing docks, i say. I sigh, and let out some steam from the engines. I will pull in carefully, and hopefully my timing will be good enough to be there ahead of Captain Mike.

We're there, but he's just behind me. I can hear him yelling to his crew, yelling for a quick turn. I think he won't catch me. I hope he won't catch me. This river, this day, has become a test, and i will overcome it! Almost there... i can see the crowds cheering us. My passengers are lining up near the exit ramps. --

-- Argh! The Bastard has bumped me! He's pushing me toward the docks, but i'm going too fast to land. I'll have to lose some speed, or crash. A wild glint enters my eyes, and i order up the last of the coal into the furnace, and charge at the foe-ship. Two can play at that game! Feel my bow, scoundrel! I can see the finish, and i think i may be able to slow down, and land without much damage. Captain Chelsea's ship is drawing near, but i still have time--

-- he's pushing me again! I see a little bit of red. I will see him in Davy Jones' locker this time. To the bottom of the Mississippi, he will be bound. In anger, as much as desperation, i again push my poor ship into his. Some of the railing has come off, and the proud painting of her moniker has been scraped off on one side. I apologize to the lady, and keep pushing... maybe, just maybe with the confusion of the three boats all in the quay, i can sneak in for the finish.

but just as my plans are starting, Captain Chelsea steams into the quay, and passes me. she passes me! I bow my head, and am ashamed. The skies are bright, but my soul is dark with the loss. I can see Captain Chelsea receiving the prize and the praise on the docks, and i grit my teeth, and cry afoul the dark birds circling. Another day, i whisper, another day i will avenge this loss.


 
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yegods
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VIEW ME! how can there be zero views?? robot
 
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Larry Tuxbury
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SHAZAM!
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I viewed you.
 
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yegods
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yay! i was beginning to think i was all alone on the river.
 
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