Voyage of the Colonel Darvish

Levi Goes Shopping

Levi returns to his home and gathers up some of his ample provisions, he could live for several months without rationing with what he’d stockpiled and had many scrounged items for trade goods. Levi stuffed his pack full of items and stowed his MP5. The market was in a safe area and he felt that his sidearm would be ample protection.

The Market was bustling on Friday afternoon. Fish had been brought in yesterday and caravans from surrounding areas had arrived to barter and move goods in and out. Levi was looking specifically for candy and toys, items that were usually in abundance as the necessity of living had made food the most sought after item for children.

In the middle of the market at a stall full of dry fish and a few dozen pre war items Levi found the object of his desire, a bag of wrapped candies. The merchant was surprised when the gruff looking Samoan asked for the candy. Levi reached to his belt for a Geiger counter as the merchant handed him the bag, a series of rapid clicks from the counter let Levi know that this candy was HOT. Too hot as he shook his head and continued his search.

Eventually he’d found a half dozen matchbox cars and non irradiated candy for a minuscule amount of traded fish. And returned to the area where Jose’s new house was located. Still with only his sidearm he thought it better to not be a scary heavily armed big man…just maybe a scary big man.

The street that Jose’s new house was on was quite deserted when Levi returned. A few laps around the block and Levi found an middle aged man scraping a hoe across the small backyard plot that extended into the neighboring yards. He is at the rear of the house
about a block away from Jose’s new home.

Levi slowly walks toward the fence, scanning the area he at first sees the middle aged man tilling the soil with a hoe, cutting even rows down the length of 3 backyards. The next thing he sees is a woman in a rocking chair on the back porch looking at him, she has put her knitting down and her hands have gone to a hunting rifle, not threatening with it, just cradled and loosely at the ready.

It appears that the family has taken up residence in a middle home and barricaded the two nearby homes. This is a typical urban home area with houses close together, small front yards, barley enough room to walk between homes and roughly 30×30 rear lots, mostly car ports, concrete slabs or sheds, behind the yard, only a few actual garages. Their little compound offers reasonable security and Levi makes a mental note as to the possibility of doing this with Jose’s home, securing the home on either side.

Levi’s hands come up off his belt showing no intention of going for his pistol which is clearly visible in a standard army belt rig. He smiles at the woman maiking eye contact. The man has stopped hoe-ing as Levi approaches, Levi notices he too is armed, the butt of a small revolver protruding from a belt holster.

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Can I see you after class?
Diego confronts Delores

CLANG CLANG CLANG the school bell announced 3pm, 1500 hours. Most of San Francisco went by military time, Diego still used the older civilian time of AM and PM

Diego had already set up behind his desk, anticipating a spirited lecture but also ready to talk to Delores after class. He was going to speak directly to her and ask her about herself. He knew the students in his class, he had picked them. Taught most of them for several years, but she had just appeared.

There would be no more fooling around. After the lecture Diego was quick to excuse students and announce that he needed to speak with Delores. As the others moved from the room Delores approached Diego who had stood and moved from behind his desk. “Yes Diego,” she seemed to bat her eyelashes as Diego felt a lump in his throat….

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A 3 hour tour
The Yacht's voyage

The Yacht slows as is nears the spot where the Sea Horse incured the damage. The expanse of the Bay Bridge still intact looms just ahead. Off to the west Maze could see what was supposed to be the area where the new Giants basball stadium was supposed to be built, the war got in the way and it was just a large flat area of earth.

You are just under a klick offshore, once a commercial shipping lane. The obstacle is some where around here. The Fecund tells the divers to finish gearing up and orders the Sea Horse captain and Maze out of the wheel house, she climbs up into it as they depart.

The yachts motor rumbles quietly as the yacht begins slowly moving inshore, slightly zig zagging. The Sea Horse captain climbs to the bow, then returns yelling to the pilot and the Fecund aside her, “WE ARE VERY NEAR YOU SHOULDN’T RISK STRIKING IT.”

“Be quiet, we are prepared,” The Fecund’s voice is stern in response. Maze is aware of the Fecund looking down into the dash of the yacht. He places a hand on the captain’s shoulder “I think they have a working sonar” he says softly. Back in the day, most every boater could afford a sonar set for about $500-$1000, before the war that is. Almost every one was wrecked by EMP and the few that survived were litteraly priceless.

Maze is quiet as he takes a step up to the pilot house, peering in on the Fecund. She indeed has opened a protective cover up and is gazing into a screen, her hand is moving as she directs the yachts pilot. Maze decends the stair and nods to the Sea Horse Captain, mouthing quietly “Yes Sonar”

Within a half hour the boat zig zags toward the shoreline and back, its motor humming, waves slapping against its sides, no talk except for occasional directions from Fecund.

“Anchor” is heard from the pilot house, and the boats motor goes to idle, chains clatter as an automatic anchor splashes down in front of the yacht. The Fecund descends the stairs as the one of the divers emurges from below.

The Fecund talks quietly with the one diver then call below for the other one. Both young woman are in complete diving gear including wetsuits. The water in the bay is as cold as it will get all year at just over 50 degrees. Wetsuits are good down to just about this temp, letting a thin layer of water in that your body can warm. It would be a cold dive until the girls bodies could warm that water up and not very plesent even then. They were just on the temperature edge of needing a drysuit.

The divers don their tanks and drop over the side, complete with the red and white “Diver Down” flag run up the mast, as if this was a recreational dive from before the war. The Fecund and the boat’s pilot are silent, the Fecund staring and watching the trails of bubbles as the divers move below the surface. Maze and the Sea Horse captain are likewise silent, letting Maggie’s Chart Chicks do their work.

Within a half hour the girls have returned, Maze listens as the girls tell of the bow of a cargo ship just feet below the surface. It has apparently shifted, possibly due to recent seismic activity. Maze remembers the tremor felt in the bay a few days ago that raised waves and shook the shore. The sunken cargo ship’s stern has settled significantly, thrusting the bow upward. Like a fat kid sitting heavily on a teeter toter sending a smaller child skyward.

“Pilot,” yells the Fecund, “the marker buoy please.” The pilot comes down from the pilot house and moves to the lower cabin. “You two go help her” The Fecund orders Maze and the Sea Horse Captain. Maze again is not used to this ordering about, but relents to get the job done. The three of them pull a scarred pre-war orange and white cylinder buoy with a heavy length of chain attached.

The buoy only weighs about 75 pounds but is unwieldy as most of the weight is contained in the base to keep it upright. The chain has a large clasp/clamp the divers will need to secure to the wreck. The buoy is thrown overboard and after another half hour the divers have secured it to the wreck’s nose. Now secured it bobs easily visible to keep boats away.

The divers return and are hauled on board. Fecund orders Maze and Captain into the pilot house, “start the motor, raise the anchor, hold position.” she says to both of them. They climb into the pilot house and Maze motions for the captain to take the helm, he notices the sonar unit’s cover has been fastened back down securing it from damage or theft.

The starter whines, the motor coughs to life, adding the whir of an internal electric motor raising the anchor..several minutes go by, there is a commotion on the rear deck that turns Maze’s attention. All 4 women are on the rear deck. The Fecund and pilot have pistols drawn with their backs to you. in front of them are the two divers, both facing the Fecund and the pilot . One diver is suited back into the dungarees that she came on board with, the other still in a black one piece bathing suit.

Maze takes stock of the situation noticing that the bathing suited female is the target, her eyes are wide with fear. The other dungareed female is clearly not comfortable either, but she is slightly off to the side of the boat, the bathing suited female is the one with the guns pointed at her. The Fecund yells over her shoulder “There is NOTHING here that concerns you!” which Maze assumes is directed at himself and the captain.

Maze quietly unfastens the strap on his Beretta’s holster and rests his palm on the butt, he can have the pistol out in an instant if the need arrises….

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Still looking for a lockpick

Jose has returned home and let his family know about the new home. The children are excited about the move asking if there are other children nearby, Joses wife is more pessimistic but he reminds her the Coast Guard station is closing, there will not be people here to protect us, the future is uncertain.

They have a discussion about the pros and cons of moving, most notably all the work they’ve done to establish this home. In the end they both feel that the family will be safer within the MilGov controlled area on the other side of the bay. This area will cease to see MilGov patrols, their neighbors will no longer be soldiers and if Jose wants to keep working he has to take the meager job that MilGov has given him, “Mine is not to wonder why….” he thinks to himself

Jose’s wife begins thinking about packing up items to move, arranging transport for their animals and possessions, Jose kisses her goodbye as he heads to the Coast Guard Station, gotta find a locksmith, or a thief who can pick a lock. Plus he has some paperwork to do, mindless requisition stuff and assigned busy work in preparation for the base closing. He is hoping to piggy-back some of his possessions onto the Military move to ease the transition, maybe he can find help with that as well.

The Station is bustling with activity there is already a fair amount being packed up in the few days since the announcement that they would be closing it. Jose starts and finishes his paperwork quickly and starts asking about someone to open a lock.

He is policing up some people to help him move some office equipment when a civilian model ambulance painted over olive green with a huge red cross on the side rumbles by outside. On of the men he is with says to him “hey that meat wagon that rolled by usually has a medic on it that is good with locks…heard you are looking for someone. Red haired guy helped a buddy of mine out with getting into some storage units a few months ago.”

Jose thanks him and excuses himself outside to see where the ambulance has gone

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Yacht takes off

As the helms(wo)man spins the wheel and applies power to the engine. The yacht’s engine sounds wonderful, clearly well maintained. This is a big boat with a small engine, so you are making about 5 knots as you pull away from the docks.

The Fecund and one of the two dungareed females emerge from below. The rear deck is cramped with Maze, and the two women, The small pilot house in from and slightly above them is also cramped with the pilot and the Sea Horse captain.

The Yacht has a slightly aftward middle raised pilot house that could fit 4 cramped but is made for 2. A rear lower deck that could fit 6 cramped but is made for 4
Spacious lower cabin designed to sleep 6 in forward wall bunks, and the forward outer surfaces are walkable

Main room is currently taken up by diving gear with several charts and maps laid out on a middle table

The Fecund watches as the younger woman unfurls the sail. Previously an automatic pulley it is now just an external rope that hoists the sail. “Prepare to go about” she shouts up to the pilot who cuts the motor as the wind catches the sail billowing it out like a pillow and swinging the mast hard to one side.

Maze instinctively notes wind direction and how the mast will track, making sure not to get in the way he was just along for the ride right now. He moves toward the small set of steps that lead up to the pilot house, along side them the steps leading down into the cabin. The other dungareed girl is down there pulling items out of a tied canvas rucksack. Brightly colored flippers, snorkel and mask, she is unrolling a wetsuit as Maze climbs up and squeezes into the pilots house.

The Sea Horse Captain is looking through a set of binoculars out of the front angled window, a few drops of rain speckling its glass. “Heading Oh-Four-Oh” he says then removes the binoculars and looks at a large compass mounted before him. The Yacht has cleared the docks and is into the open bay. The pilot spins the wheel to port slewing the boat over and pointing it north.

After 15 minutes of travel they are clear of the old commercial runway of San Fransisco Airport that juts out into the bay. The Sea Horse Captain informs the pilot “Dead North” The pilot makes a small correction to the wheel and the yacht heads due north. Close enough to see the ruins of the old airport.

They would make 12 Kilometers of open water before Candlestick park jutting out before them made them change course again. Back at 040 they tack by Hunters Point Naval base. As usual a few MilGov catamarans are in the area and move on intercept courses, but don’t get really close. Another 8 Klicks and the ruins of the Golden Gate are in sight. It has taken just over an hour to reach this point.

“The spot is another klick ahead,” the Sea Horse Captain states…..

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Shopping for a locksmith
Jose and Levi part

Jose and Levi part ways just afternoon.

Jose asks Levi his thoughts on picking the lock, which he knows mostly about
blowing them. Jose says he thinks he knows a few spots to look for someone who
would have the skills. Jose heads to the docks to catch one of the MilGov boats
that will go back to the other side of the bay. The sky is overcast but no rain
has fallen as he flashes his military ID to get aboard one of the boats
returning him to his home.

An uneventful sail across the Bay has him home early afternoon, the children run
to great him and his wife hugs him tightly. “Got some good news, the house is
in better shape than I previously thought, it’s gonna be perfect.” Jose tells
his wife every detail over diner, leaving out of course the fear he felt of
being awakened out of sleep and the men who were on the porch, or the potential
danger of the booby traps.

Levi polices up the C4, detonators, pull wires and 2 claymores and heads back to
his home. After the explosives were put away he loads up some trade goods in
his pack, jar of his fish sauce, dry fish, goverment script and heads over to
the market. He knows a catch came in yesterday, and would be delivered today.
Even though he did not need fish, when the catch came in, all the vendors came
out. The market would be bristling with activity.

Levi hoped to locate a few toys, or sweets, his plans were to head back to the
house area and hopefully make some friends. Gifts could be looked on as
suspicious, but Levi felt that any early suspicion would go away once Jose and
his family moved to the area. He hoped for an ambassador type roll, helping a
family move into a neighborhood.

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Suzuki's Yacht
Maze boards the boat

As Maze and Charlie walk Maze questions whether Charlie is okay, Charlie responds with his usual funny quips “my cat like prowess” Maze inquires about the scene at the Rock Twins place. Charlie goes into as much detail as he can but adds that it happened real quick.

Charlie speculates that he surprised the killers, both in a bad and a good way. Maybe those killers thought my dead body would help the frame up. Maybe when I showed up they thought they were in luck to add another piece of the frame. Whoever was supposed to discover those bodies finds me and your knife…pretty open and shut case who did it…you.

Maze listens to Charlie and starts to feel that makes sense. Toss the place make it look like a struggle of which only Maze survived. Charlie’s body left there would be pretty convincing that Maze did it.

Maze had enemies, Yasuda could be one, but he couldn’t fathom him risking a gang/turf war with the Koreans. The Great Tim surely, could he be stupid enough to potentially start a gang war? Could this be a frame NOT specifically aimed at him, but a frame aimed at the family? Who would benefit from that?…the Chinese

If the Koreans and Japanese got into a spat that would be a way for the Chinese to take over business as the other two ground each other up. There were a few other organizations who would also benefit from two of their rivals in an open fight.

Maze continued to think on this as they swung by his place to ready for the baot ride they were about to take to find the obstacle that put the hole in the boat ‘Sea Horse’ Cool weather gear, poncho, sunglasses….his regular on the water kit

Maze told Charlie to stay at Maze’s house. Charlie wanted to come along, but Maze wanted to make sure there was a guard at his place due to the recent happenings. Plus Charlie could rest his hurt ankle and would be extremely safe at Maze’s protected home.

Maze wandered to the docks alone (pistol, kabar, baton) It was just after noon as his boots thunked down the wooden dock to the Sea Horse. There is what would have been a VERY expensive 40 foot yacht moored behind it.

Dr Suzuki is talking with the Sea Horse’s captain as several fleet workers bustle about. Margaret acknowledges Maze’s approach with a glance. Maze nears ans Suzuki sternly says “LATE” to him. Maze politely bows without saying anything. “We will take my boat,” Suzuki says shrugging toward the yacht, “the captain is coming too.”

Suzuki spun and moved toward the yacht. Maze looked at the Captain, knowing he had other things to do. “Tell your bosun to grab another crew member form the pool and take command, you are coming with us. 10 minutes…” “FIVE MINUTES!” Suzuki yelled. Maze closed his eyes and breathed “as soon as possible” quietly to the Captain.

Maze boards the yacht and is mildly surprised at the whine of a starter turning over. The yacht has a single mast with a secured sail, Maze had expected it to be unfurled, yet as would be ordinary in pre-war here was the whine of a starter and the ‘cough-gurgle-hum’ of a inboard boat motor.

There are two dungareed females in the cabin below and two at the pilot’s station. One appears to be the ‘Fecund’ as she is pointing at a small chart and saying something to another dungaree suited female.

Maze follows the Sea Horse’s Captain on board expecting Doctor Suzuki to follow but she does not. The Fecund comes out of the pilot house and nods at Suzuki then turns to the Sea Horse’s Captain “You will instruct my pilot as to where you found the obstacle.” She then turns to Maze “I will prepare my divers you may do as you wish”

Maze was rarely dismissed so casually, yet he really wasn’t in charge here, just an observer to make sure everything gets done. The yacht’s motor hums smoothly the sharp smell of alcohol exhaust wafts by as it turns and motors slowly into the bay.

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Sea Horse and the Yacht
Maze heads to the docks to meet with Maggie

As Maze and Charlie walk Maze questions whether Charlie is okay, Charlie responds with his usual funny quips “my cat like prowess” Maze inquires about the scene at the Rock Twins place. Charlie goes into as much detail as he can but adds that it happened real quick.

Charlie speculates that he surprised the killers, both in a bad and a good way. Maybe those killers thought my dead body would help the frame up. Maybe when I showed up they thought they were in luck to add another piece of the frame. Whoever was supposed to discover those bodies finds me and your knife…pretty open and shut case who did it…you.

Maze listens to Charlie and starts to feel that makes sense. Toss the place make it look like a struggle of which only Maze survived. Charlie’s body left there would be pretty convincing that Maze did it.

Maze had enemies, possibly Yasuda, surely The Great Tim Yasuda’s nephew, but he couldn’t fathom Yasuda risking a gang/turf war with the Koreans. Tim was stupid but even he wouldn’t risk it, would he? Could this be a frame NOT specifically aimed at him, but a frame aimed at the family? Who would benefit from that?…Maybe the Chinese?

If the Koreans and Japanese got into a spat that would be a way for the Chinese to take over business as the other two ground each other up. There were a few other organizations who would also benefit from two of their rivals in an open fight.

Maze continued to think on this as they swung by his place to ready for the baot ride they were about to take to find the obstacle that put the hole in the boat ‘Sea Horse’ Cool weather gear, poncho, sunglasses….his regular on the water kit

Maze told Charlie to stay at Maze’s house. Charlie wanted to come along, but Maze wanted to make sure there was a guard at his place due to the recent happenings. Plus Charlie could rest his hurt ankle and would be extremely safe at Maze’s protected home.

Maze wandered to the docks alone (pistol, kabar, baton) It was just after noon as his boots thunked down the wooden dock to the Sea Horse. There is what would have been a VERY expensive 55 foot yacht moored behind it.

Dr Suzuki is talking with the Sea Horse’s captain as several fleet workers bustle about. Margaret acknowledges Maze’s approach with a glance. Maze nears as Suzuki sternly says “LATE” to him. Maze politely bows without saying anything. “We will take my boat,” Suzuki says shrugging toward the yacht, “the captain is coming too.”

Suzuki spun and moved toward the yacht. Maze looked at the Captain, knowing he had other things to do. “Tell your bosun to grab another crew member form the pool and take command, you are coming with us. 10 minutes…” “FIVE MINUTES!” Suzuki yelled. Maze closed his eyes and breathed “as soon as possible” quietly to the Captain.

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Noon Class
Diego at class

Diego’s afternoon class was a bit more of a task for his brain. He liked the
young teenagers and wathcing particularily the gifted ones thought processes
grow. Diego was much revered in some of the community for teaching one of the
most important things in life communication. Launguage barriers get people
shot, and prevent people from getting jobs.

Diego liked to call this class of mostly 12-15 year olds “Communication” He had divided it up into semester long works with children starting with what he still called “101” and progressing
through semesters of 201, 301, and 401, which was about 2 years of study. You
had to get his approval after successful completion of Communication 401 to
advance to his advanced class later in the day.

There were no grades per se’ Deigo was the arbriter everything. Pass and
advance, or fail and do it over. Diego was a man of strong principle and had
deniged many a student entry into the advanced class, several had taken 401
again and again, but once they reached 17 or 18 years old Diego told them they
just did not possess the skill needed to advance.

He also did not take bribes, although many were offered. “I will galdly accept
these meat bearing rabbits as gifts, but your son is as ready as he will ever be
to go into the world.” Parents and students would beg and cry, curse and
threaten but in the end Diego was a community figure who had more freinds than
enemies.

The children filed in and Diego worked their brains over for a couple hours.
When the bell rung he had already dismissed them, preparing for his late class.

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Did the Corps Do it?
Maze hires Charts and divers

Maze is working on an obstacle that has holed one of his fleet boats. He has sent Charlie to acquire the services of two divers known as the Rock Twins to investigate the hazard. He then went to see Dr Margaret Suzuki who was the foremost expert in the bay area on the shoreline and topography of it’s bottom. She was free lance chart and map maker who had a “school for girls” run like a convent.

Unfortunately for Maze, “Maggie” Suzuki has decided to bring her own divers to investigate the obstacle that is not on her chart.

Maze bowed and backed from Doctor Suzuki and out the door he came in. The dungaree dressed girl who had escorted him in followed him to the edge of the compound, not speaking, only the occasional clatter of the submachine gun she clutched against her belt, their footfalls and the cry of gaviotas (seagulls) breaking the silence.

Maze headed across town to the Korean sector, hoping to catch Charlie still at the Rock Twins compound. About halfway there he felt someone watching him and approaching, his old Marine combat sense twitching at danger. His hand moves to the butt of his pistol as he hears Charlie’s voice behind him.

“Ah where you going boss?” Charlie spoke in a mock asian accent sounding like a character from a Charlie Chan movie, Maze removed his hand from his pistol butt. “I was going to check on my idiot of an assistant who I sent to hire some divers”

Charlie answered now in his regular voice, “I asked them but they didn’t want to do it.” Maze spun to look at Charlie who had drawn near. Maze’s eyes widened as he saw Charlie had a nasty bruise on his right check, the collar of his shirt was torn and there was blood splattered about his person.

“What the fuck Charlie?” Maze questioning his appearance, Charlie was smiling and returned to his feigned Asian ‘Engrish’ accent " Rock Twins, ah they be dead and you killed them."

Maze shook his head and tried to make sense of the statement as Charlie continues, " I went over, dingdong the doorbell and they lower that elevator they have to let you in. No one there to meet me, I walk inside and there are the Rock Twins…all cut to pieces, and you left this behind." Charlie reached to his belt and pulled out a Marine Kabar combat knife and handed it butt first to Maze

Maze looked at the blade, this WAS his knife, his other hand went to his belt and found his knife in its sheath. He looked at the blade of the knife Charlie had given him, Maze’s unit insignia under the Marine Corps logo engraved in the blade. “Not as good as the real one” Maze pulled his own Kabar and held them side by side “almost an exact replica” Charlie quipped “Someone trying to frame you for Rock twins death, this could start gang war with koreans, bad news boss….”

“Well ain’t that a bitch Charlie, I rather liked The Rock Twins, shame I had to kill them.” Maze held out the two Kabar knives so Charlie could see the similarity. “I don’t suppose it was me who punched up your face?” Charlie replied “No, some body else, but I didn’t get a good look at them.”

“As I bend over one of Rock Twins bodies, and pull the knife from his ribs, somebody hits me from behind. I kind of felt him coming and I stab him in the stomach with your knife….then someone else starts shooting BANG BANG BANG.” Charlie is pointing his finger like a gun and mimicking someone shooting. “I think the bullets hit the guy who punched me, I kind of shoved him off me and jumped off the balcony, and ran, wasn’t gonna stick around and catch any lead.”

“We got to meet Maggie at the Sea Horse about noon, and to tell you the truth, Me killing the Rock Twins actually solves a problem…..Come on we gotta get to the docks and to The Sea Horse, we are gonna go out and investigate why she has a hole in her.”

Maze and Charlie set off toward the docks, Charlie was limping a bit from his leap off the porch

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