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(WHNWC) 1 <Entry by Wildbob >

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posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 01:27 PM
The Oracle

The wind howled through the rigging. The small ship was being tossed about by the huge storm. She rode up one side of a wave then plummeted down the other side.

“Captain, rocks off the port side,” screamed the first mate. “We need to change course or we’re doomed”

“Four points to the starboard,” ordered Captain Rogers to the two men who struggled with the wheel.

“It’s no good,” one of the steersmen screamed back. “She’s not responding”

The rigging for the masts was strained to its limit and the wind rushing through lines made a strange thrumming noise. One of the main lines snapped under the strain. The forward mast visibly jerked and a cracking could be heard over the noise from the wind.

“Captain, she’s gonna snap,” shouted the first mate.

“Go below and get the crew prepared to clear away the debris if she breaks”, ordered Captain Rogers to his first mate.

Another line snapped from the strain. It sounded like a rifle shot.

Captain Rogers, an English Privateer, though back to the strange tale that the captain of the Spanish frigate had told him.

It was yesterday that Captain Rogers ship, the Intrepid, had closed on the heavily laden Spanish ship. He was so proud of his gunners. Their first broadside had completely destroyed not only the gun deck on the Spanish frigate, Hidalgo, but had disabled her steering as well.

The Captain of the Spanish frigate struck his colors almost immediately.

His crew transferred over twenty chests of gold and thirty chests of silver to the Intrepid. They also took almost 50 cases of Madera. It had been the most successful action of his mission so far.

The captain of the Hidalgo invited Captain Rogers down to his cabin for a drink. The only thing that he asked was that his crew would not be mistreated. Captain Rogers agreed to that request. Captain Vasquez sat behind his small but ornate desk and had his steward bring out some Madera. Periodically one or the other of the first mates interrupted the meeting, between the two captains. The Spanish ship was in a sad state. It was taking on water and a great effort was underway just to keep it afloat. Many men on the gun deck had been killed or severely injured by the first broadside from the English privateer. Captain Rogers had his surgeon come aboard to assist with treating the wounded. The English crew was busy transferring as much of the provisions as they could use from the well stocked Galleon.

While all these efforts were underway, Captain Vasquez told his story to Captain Rogers.

“I knew we were doomed,” he started. “It is this cursed devil, that I allowed to be brought on board,” he said as he pointed to a strange object on his desk. It was a crystal skull contained in an ornate cage of silver and gold. It seemed to glow softly from within.

“The soldiers that brought that thing on board told me that it was cursed. They stole it from some native tribe that lived far up in the hills. It is beautiful to look at and if you ask it a question you shall have the answer come to you. It always tells you the truth but the price that it charges for the truth is too much. It brings doom to whoever remains near it after a question has been asked.”

He took a long sip from his wine glass, then continued “The natives kept it in a cave far from where they lived. When one of the priests needed to ask for guidance, they would leave as soon as they received their answer. Our soldiers thought this was just superstition. Only four of them survived the trip out of the mountains. Captain Sanchez, the commanding officer, had asked the Oracle a question and had received an answer. The four who had survived been sent out to scout the best trail to use for the mules. They were only gone for part of the day. When they returned, the men and animals were all dead. It looked like they had been torn apart by wild animals. The four men took what they could and made their way back to the port city.”

Part 2

He took a large swallow of wine and gazed out the window. “ That’s when I made the mistake of purchasing this piece of devils handicraft. I sat it on my desk. I thought the story was just help push the price up. I was not a superstitious man. It is beautiful to gaze upon. I was staring at it and found myself asking if I would ever see my wife again. I heard the answer in my head almost as soon as I asked the question. That was when I knew that my ship was doomed. The wind died almost immediately. Then you came with the sun at you back. You first volley disable my ship and killed or wounded many of my crew. They had to pay an awful price just because I missed my wife”

He looked directly into the English captains eyes. “Whatever you do, do not ask the Oracle a question,” he said in a pleading voice.

The Spanish ship was still afloat when the Intrepid sailed away. Captain Rogers had put the Oracle in a box and had it stored in his cabin. He didn’t believe the story. The Spanish captain was just a superstitious old man. An Oracle that answers your questions then brings you doom. He put the box away and kept himself busy with the details of getting his ship ready for the voyage home. The day before yesterday, he made the mistake of opening the box containing the Oracle. He took it out and sat it on his desk. It really was beautiful to gaze upon.

His first officer and come into his office and they had been talking about details of the voyage home. That’s when he made his first mistake. He pondered out loud “I wonder if the weather will hold for the voyage home?” Instantly he knew the answer to his question.

Within an hour the wind had picked up considerably. Now they were in the middle of a gale.

The forward mast cracked suddenly. This brought Captain Rogers back to the present. Other ropes holding the huge mast started snapping. The mast fell slowly as the guy lines gave way one at a time. Once the mast hit the water, the little ship started to wallow.

“Cut the mast loose,” shouted Captain Rogers. The crew knew that their little ship was doomed if they could not get free of the mast and rigging. They set to work like mad men with axes and knives to free their only chance of survival from the mass of wreckage that had once been their mast. The ship was no longer sailing, it was just being tossed about by the storm. A huge wave washed over the deck. Amazingly most of the sailors had managed to hold on and were back at work.

Captain Rogers knew what he had to do. He dashed to his cabin. He looked directly into the eyes of the skull. “Can my ship survive this storm?” he asked. Instantly in his mind he clearly heard yes. “What must I do?” he asked. In his mind once more he heard “Get away from me.”

He grabbed the skull and it’s golden cage, scrambled out of the cabin and through it over the side. Minutes passed slowly as the crew worked feverishly to clear the wreckage of the mast that was still hanging on to the ship. Finally, one last line was cut and the mast slipped past them in the water.

The ship came about and once again headed into the waves. The crew cheered.

“Looks like we’re going to miss those rocks,” shouted the fist mate.

The long voyage home had begun.

Part 3

350 Years Later

Investment broker Ian Murphy was deep in thought when the fed ex package was delivered to his desk. It had been a terrible year in the stock market and it looked like the slide would continue indefinitely. Just to take his mind off the gloomy prospects of the future, he decided to open his latest acquisition, a crystal skull. He was a well know collector of occult artifacts and one of his agents in the Caribbean had alerted him to this most unusual find. Most likely it was a fake. He had acquired the piece at a most reasonable price, almost like the seller couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Supposedly, a native diver had found the piece on the bottom of the ocean.

He gingerly removed the protective bubble rap and was amazed by what he saw. It really was a beautiful piece. A crystal skull enclosed in a gold and silver cage. The silver was black from being on the ocean floor. To his eye it looked like it was very old.

He sat in on the corner of his desk. The phone rang. More bad news, losses everywhere. As he hung up the phone, he pleaded out loud “What do I need to do so my business will grow during these economic time.

Almost immediately, the answers appeared in his mind. He started typing instructions to his subornates. See this stock short. Invest in Real estate in these areas of the country. Buy options for this stock. Sell other stocks. In a little over half an hour he knew that his future was going to be bright.

He called for delivery boy and started to repackage his latest acquisition. Bob the bicycle messenger came into his office. “Take this across the street to my appraiser,” said Ian.

“You mean McDougal in the other tower?” asked Bob.

“Yes, he’s the one that I always use for this type of thing.”

Bob headed for the elevator and slipped his headphones on just as the express elevator arrived.

Ian Murphy sat at his desk with his back to the window. His view of New York was magnificent from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

“Yes, this would be a year to remember,” he thought to himself “and September 11, would be a day that marked his company’s turn around in the world market place”

Bob the messenger boy was in the express elevator headed down, listening to an oldies station when he felt the elevator shutter. “Dude,” he said out loud. The elevator continued its journey. He jumped on his mountain bike and peddled furiously across the street.

He dropped off the package at the appraisers office. McDougal, the appraiser was there and opened the package immediately after signing the required paperwork. Bob was on his way out when he heard McDougal say “Well, what have we here?”

edited 3 parts onto 1 thread

[edit on 18/12/06 by masqua]


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