Within an hour all the boats were gone and Maze was left
with nothing to do until the fleet came back in the late afternoon.
Maze had plenty to do with inventory and preparations for the boats coming back,
but it wouldn’t take up all of his time. He retreated to his shack filled out
the right paperwork, filed it away and told Charlie to “get lost” Maze spends an
hour jogging up and then down the shoreline.
Afternoon came and Maze spent a few hours making sure crews were beginning to get ready at the fish prep areas, everything was going smoothly as a light rain continued to fall
Maze still had a good set of USMC rain gear, snug fitting hooded poncho and trousers that had a few expert repairs to it and was water proofed now with seal oil. Another of the trade items the Japanese fleet had a hand in was Elephant seal blubber and meat. But that wasn’t Maze’s “department” The seals were matting and calfing right now and and there was a whole other arm of the Japanese Fleet that looked over the breeding and birthing grounds. Five years ago there had been a pretty heated war with the Chinese over the territory, mostly ending in a stalemate draw with each holding their own colonies. There was still a DMZ to be looked after as the seal colony had to be harvested correctly to ensure that the resource would always be there. Maze had seen a little action in this “war” mostly sniping at poachers who came in the dark, and a lot of setting up emplacements and “commanding” stuff. Of course this was when Maze’s uncle had run the show. He used skilled people in correct positions to thwart the the Chinese smash and grab tactics. Now Yasuda manned the lines with old men and boys in large numbers, most armed with sticks and knives.
The seals would be just about done mating and those who controlled the colonies would select the very young males, females who hadn’t mated, old or weak to harvest, letting as many healthy pregnant females return to the sea. Late February would see the colonies disappear, reappearing months later to molt, loosing their Arctic fat that would be harvested.
So rain in California was no problem for Maze, even in “winter” it rarely dipped below 50. The nuclear winter that was predicted produced a few harsh winters right after the war, but the normal weather patterns had returned, some may even say the earth had returned to “normal” as mankind had decimated itself and industry. No more contrails from jet planes or carbon from cars and factories, no more chemical run off from large scale agriculture.
Maze had finished his run on the beach and all the corresponding paperwork with the fleet. A short nap at his desk to ensure his senses were sharp and it was time for the fleet to return. He heard pier boards creak as someone approached the door to his shack, hand always moving to his pistol butt instinctively he said “come in” before there was a knock. The door swung inward and he saw Charlie, “Bout time boss, boat come back now” Charlie said as Maze rose and began pulling on his poncho as he could see the light rain still falling through the open door. “Alright Charlie let’s go,” Maze and Charlie moved to welcome back the returning fleet