by Alphaville Herald on 08/01/07 at 11:22 am
by Tiny Newt
[Editor's Note: When last we heard from him, sea captain Tiny Newt had lost one pirate ship and then recruited the presumably fetching Robin Sprocket to crew his next foray into the dangerous waters of Sanchon. . . .
Parte the Thirde: In Which We Are Totally Immersed
An expert in both weaponry and sailing, my old friend Robin Sprocket joined me as I sought my revenge against the pirates of Sanchon, but a new battle had already been joined, and there was no time to instruct her.
My “sit on the deck” command was lost to her: She sat on a cannon. This is common with other equipment — and, of course, in other contexts in Second Life. But the ship, because of her scripting, came to a screeching halt. It took me precious minutes to understand what had just happened. Before I could say “Bluebeard” we were sitting on the bottom amidst smoke and ruined sails. Robin couldn’t understand what had happened. “We’ve been sunk!! That’s all. Ha-ha,” I said with a sneer.
Back at the dock, everyone gathered for the final battle. The sexy Robin had stirred up the interest of the salty dogs assembled. As the time was short, a new battle plan was implemented. We changed corners and crews, but Robin stayed with me.
Within minutes, cannons were blazing away and chaos resumed. A musket fired. It sounded as though someone had broken a brittle stick behind my left ear. The zing of a white-hot musket ball whizzed by my forehead. This must be what real warfare is like: total immersion.
Total immersion. I had my hands full steering the ship, which had become unstable because I carried too much sail for the wind conditions.
We were taking savage broadsides. Black holes opened up along the rail. The sea rushed in. Thankfully, Robin had learned the cannon. She was firing the guns on both sides of the ship but complaining bitterly about not being able to see.
“WE ‘RE HIT!” Robin shouted. The ship had slowed but had enough headway for one more turn into the wind. Our sails looked like Swiss cheese.
“FIRE!!!!” I commanded. We heard the cries of anguish from the other ship over the roar of our cannon. The acrid smoke billowing from our burning decks mixed with theirs. “WE ARE GOIN’ DOWN! ABANDON SHIP,” we heard JonyBlade Codesmith yell. Their masts disappeared beneath the waves. All that remained was smoke. “YOU DID IT, ROBIN,” I cried. “YOU BLASTED THEIR ASS!
I heard a very unladylike “YAARRRRGGG!”
Back on the dock, Admiral Speculass thanked everyone for their participation, although he did grouse that it was akin to “herding cats”. He promoted Nox Chamberberlin to Captain on the spot. Chase (if I may be so bold to refer to the admiral by his first name) awarded prizes to the winners of four different engagements. Each received a sailing ship of their choice, though one of somewhat obsolete technology. All heartily agreed it was the best skirmish to date, then flew off to rejoin their lives in the “real world.”
I invited the few remaining people to join me on the deck of Endeavour. By the time we got back to the ship, the sky was dark and the stars had come out. My lieutenant, Classico Cassini, had left several lanterns lit. The ship’s crew was asleep. Three or four of us gathered on the weather rail to rehash the events of the afternoon’s battles.
Now we were no longer pirates but simply tired and happy pals. Chase Speculass was animated and talkative. I watched him pace the deck, holding forth on some technical matter. I had marveled at his ability to play at such a battle. Chase told us that it had taken a year to make it all come together. I recalled that almost everything in the world of Second Life flowed from it’s inhabitants. So indeed, it was Chase who had scripted the ship’s abilities to react to the wind and obey the laws of physics so realistically.
There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but as in real life, just when you arrive in the company of greatness, everyone gets tired and goes home. I blew out the candles in the lanterns, de-rezzed the ship, shut down the computer and went to bed. As I lay there in the darkness waiting for sleep. I ran my hands through my hair and I caught a whiff of something from on my fingers. What was that I smelled? Gunpowder??
Read Parte the Fourthe