EnRoute to Karkarham

Originally posted 20-JUN-1990

Log of the SS High Rhodes
Mar 13 Continued south following the bed of the dead Thoth-Karkarham Canal. I have decided that Karkarham would be an interesting town to see - the very center of the mystique of the Cloud Captain.

We made decent time yesterday with a reaching wind. Good thing too, as I can see the mountains rising up in our path. Even though the dead canal follows a rough valley (possibly cut for the canal bed), its bound to slow us up.

3:30PM: Spotted two ships moving slowly. Decided to investigate. Saw 400-ton Skyrunner screw galley named Red Fly towing a 600-ton kite, apparently a recent prize. The kite (the Blossom of Shekel) flew lowered Meoris Lacus colours. The galley gave a brief fight, then cut loose the kite and flew off into the wind, leaving three Martians aboard. I sent Freedy and the marines (less Dundee and Hawkins) to board the kite.

After a brief skirmish, they captured two pirates, freed the crew and passengers, and collected three wounded. Discovered the pirates as disassembled an Englishman and taken two French women as hostages, leaving their maid aboard. Apparently, they had not gotten her to the pirate vessel when we arrived. Sent Ching aboard to provide medical aid.

Hove-to for the night. Will escort the Blossom of Shekel to Karkarham.

Mar 14 Slow going through the mountains. Dr. Goebbels is not sure if the canal valley was natural or manufactured. Passed a vessel towing another smaller one. Chose not to investigate.

Mar 15 Arrive Karkarham. Colorful town, beastly administration. I waited over an hour just to go see the port official. Any number of marshies got processed first. I believe the desk clerk wanted a bribe merely to allow me to carry on normal business!

Delivered our two captured pirates to the Karkarham authorities - then came upon an idea. I bribed the officer to take one prisoner. The other bugger I shall offer his life if he leads me to the Red Fly's lair.

I shall study this matter while we rest up in port - our wounded could do with the rest. Put the maid, Maria in a decent enough hotel with her mistresses' belongings.

Copyright 1996 by Mitchell K Schwartz

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