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'Boating' Part One - The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak

Posted by StarMountainKid , 08 August 2011 · 150 views

'Boating'  Part One  - The Adventures of Zarkor and Zerak Sure enough, as soon as our Alien friends landed back on Zerak's private planet, Zarkor set up plans to cross the ocean to the nearest continent in his boat. Here's how that Adventure went:

Zarkor hovers above a warm sandy beach looking out over the vast blue ocean before him. Floating nearby alongside a make-shift dock, gently bobbing in the waves, is his boat. Zerak approaches from behind, and seeing the boat for the first time says,  "Zarkor, that doesn't look like a very big boat to sail across the ocean to the next continent."

"It'll be okay, Zerak," Zarkor states confidently.  "After all, I'm the Captain. What could go wrong?"

"If you say so," says Zerak doubtfully.  "At least you'll have Cloney to help in any emergency."

Zarkor frowns. "Lot of help he'll be."

"But he's you!" says Zerak.

"Yeah, but without all my experience!  He'll just swab the decks or something. I've calculated the size of the ocean relative to the size of the boat, and the ratio falls within safe limits. It's a new theory I've been working on. "

"Well, the weather looks good, anyway," Zerak says, changing the subject.  "How long do you think it will take to get to the other side?"

"I don't know. Couple of days, maybe."

"Do you know how big this ocean is?" Asks Zerak. Well, I suppose you have your charts and sextant."

"Nah. Don't need those," answers Zarkor.  "My sense of direction is far superior than any stupid chart.  It's infallible. I'm going to navigate by dead reckoning."

"Somehow I don't like the sound of that," Zerak says doubtfully.

Just then Cloney passes by supporting a number of huge boxes. "Say, Cloney, get all that other stuff into the boat," commands Zarkor. "Don't dawdle, we don't want to start late."  Zarkor turns back to Zerak.  "I just hope Cloney doesn't get in the way all the time like he usually does. And he's always asking questions. I told him since I'm the Captain of the ship to only speak when spoken to, and to address me as Sir or Yes Captain. You have to have discipline on a ship, you know."

"That's right, Zarkor. You wouldn't want a mutiny on your first voyage,"  Zerak says in dismay.

Later, with Cloney already in the boat and Zerak hovering on the beach watching, Zarkor drifts aboard importantly, hovers onto the deck and yells, "Cast off!"

Cloney hesitates and looks to Zarkor.  "Don't you think we should start the engines first, Captain?"

Zarkor, annoyed, yells out to no one in particular,  "Start engines!" He then turns to Cloney. "You should have started the engines already, Cloney! What have you been doing?"

"I've been stowing away our gear, sir. By the way, I put your box of toys in your compartment and Teddy is on your bed propped up against the pillow."

"Good," says Zarkor, "at least you've done something right. Now, look sharp and start those engines!"

Cloney goes down into the engine bay and starts the fusion engines. "Engines running, Captain!" he shouts up to Zarkor.

Zarkor, now in the pilot house guns the throttle. The boat lurches forward momentarily, then, still tied to the dock, crashes into the little dock and stalls.

"Should I cast off now, sir?" Cloney asks, picking himself up from the deck.

"Err, yes, cast off!" orders Zarkor, regaining his balance.

Finally, moving easily across calm waters, the little boat is running smoothly toward the distant horizon leaving Zerak behnd on the beach, a familiar concerned look on his face.  Zarkor is at the helm and Cloney is hovering about, securing various useless items Zarkor insisted on taking with them.

After a few short time, Zarkor seems to be bored with piloting, and shouts to Cloney. "Avast there mate! Come here and take over the wheel!" Cloney drifts over to the pilot house and hovers next to Zarkor.  Zarkor says, "Look here, Cloney, see this needle on the compass? Keep it right on that mark right there.  I'm going down to my cabin and take a nap. Look sharp, now!"

Cloney moves over, takes the wheel and looks down at the compass and the mark indicated. As Zarkor turns to leave, Cloney asks,  "Should I wake you up when it's your watch, Captain?"

"Umm, yes," Zarkor replies,  "but if you don't get tired too much let me sleep. Just let me know if there's bad weather or something. When I do wake up, you can make some lunch...or dinner. Then after I eat you can take the next watch. You know how sleepy I get after a good meal."

"But, what if I get sleepy, sir?" Cloney asks innocently.

"Then put it on auto pilot for a few minutes. We have to stay alert!  Remember, we're in uncharted waters!"

"But we have charts, Zarkor. You just didn't bring them with us."

"I'm the Captain of this vessel, Cloney, don't question my authority, just obey orders! We don't want any mutiny's aboard ship now, do we?"

"No, Captain," Cloney says, a little confused.  "How long do you think it will be 'till we get to the other side of the ocean, sir?"

"Leave everything to me," Zarkor says imperiously. "You just do what I tell you, that's your job. I thought I explained it all to you before we left.  Asking a lot of foolish questions wastes time and upsets the Captain." Zarkor looks at his watch,  "Now, see, you've made me late for my nap. Just stay on course and speak when you're spoken to. That's how a disciplined, well-run Navy operates. Remember that."

"Yes, Captain," Cloney says, looking doubtful.

Zarkor drifts out on deck, hesitates, and turns back to the pilot house, "I don't suppose you've set out my cookies and milk, have you?" he shouts.

"Sorry, sir," replies Cloney, "I was so busy stowing our gear I forgot. Want me to get them now?"

"Don't bother," Zarkor says.  "I suppose I'll have to do it myself. You don't expect me to do everything, Cloney, do you? You're going to have to help occasionally, you know. You just can't hover around aimlessly and enjoy the voyage like a passenger. We're all in this together and we each have to do our share of the work." Zarkor turns and drifts toward his cabin again. "And don't forget to make lunch before I wake up!" he shouts back to Cloney. "Oh, and don't forget your other chores, and report to me if anything important happens!...after I wake up, I mean."

"Yes sir, Captain!"  Cloney turns back to the wheel and looks at the compass. "I doubted this boating trip was a good idea before we started," he mutters to himself. "Now I'm sure of it."

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