Ah, welcome back friends! It’s been a while, but I’m here again, and you’re here again! And I imagine you’re here for another story, eh? Well yer in luck! Because I happen to know the next part of the story of the Farthest Shore….
Capitán José Miranda loosened and straightened the collar of his shirt. He knew Almirante Garcia-Fernandez would notice, but it was an unusually humid day, and besides, this was no public appearance or meeting. Yes, Miranda may be a Capitán of the Royal Armada, but he was a simple sailor at heart, and all this military business was becoming a burden he had neither anticipated nor wanted for. And besides the private meeting had been set up two days ago by Almirante Garcia-Fernandez, for all available Capitáns and higher ranking officers. His uniform, while respected, did not need to be ready for a full Royal Inspection; just tidy enough to go unnoticed.
All hopes of avoiding the meeting through active duty were dashed when Garcia-Fernandez ordered a temporary, yet mandatory lockdown of all military vessels. Miranda would never suggest it, but it almost seemed like paranoia had gripped the Royal Armada’s leadership.
The sound of hurried footsteps behind him gradually getting closer made the Capitán check who was approaching. A fellow officer, Capitán Daniel de la Vega, was all but running to catch up to Miranda.
“Buenos dias, Capitán,” Miranda said with a slight smile. De la Vega nodded in acknowledgement, but kept pace, passing Miranda with a simple, “We’re late,” in reply.
The doors to Almirante Garcia-Fernandez’s meeting room opened, and Capitáns Miranda and De la Vega entered, slightly out of breath. They looked around with growing embarrassment at the room, realizing that they were the last two to arrive.
“Ah, welcome gentlemen,” Garcia-Fernandez spoke with a calm, but clearly irritated voice. “Please join us. We were about to begin.”
The two Capitáns took their seats, and the Almirante began to speak.
“As some of you are aware, English and American naval activity has doubled in a matter of days. Their sailing patterns match a prediction that myself and the other Almirantes feared. It seems that they have also discovered the Farthest Shore.”
At this remark the Almirantes and some of the other higher ranking officers began talking to each other in hushed whispers before Garcia-Fernandez silenced them with a cough.
“With all Pirate activity vanishing from our waters, and from the territories nearby, it is safe to assume that they, too, are directing focus to the Imperial Navies, in hopes of stealing what they can from them. Gentlemen, there is only one course of action we can take: We must reach the Farthest Shore before the other world powers.”
In the hushed discussion among the officers, Capitán Miranda whispered to De la Vega, “What’s this “Farthest Shore” he’s talking about?”
De la Vega shook his head, clearly unsure, himself.
The gathered officers fell silent once again, and Garcia-Fernandez continued his speech.
“This mission will be overseen by Almirante Jaime de Titán,” a large, bald man stood forth from the line of Almirantes, and nodded to Garcia-Fernandez. “Going through reports of his military history, Almirante de Titán is best suited to head this quest. Any man who commands a ship will be working alongside him for the duration.”
At the Almirante’s introduction, Miranda got shivers. He’d heard of the madman, and his unrelenting “negotiation” tactics. Holding the record for both most prisoners executed, and most collateral damage in combat, it was a surprise that Garcia-Fernandez would entrust Almirante de Titán with a matter of such import. Capitán Miranda swallowed nervously as the Almirantes explained the plans for the armada. A new fear slowly crept upon the young Capitán as he realized who he’d be reporting to from this day onward; and how deeply involved he had become in the hunt for this Farthest Shore. His days as a simple sailor were behind him now, whether he wanted them to be or not.
And that be the end of this part of the story. But come back soon for the next part; the story’s almost finished. And I’m sure ye don’t want to miss the ending.
-J. W. Darkhurst