Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sea Pizza

Sea Pizza

Instead of heading back to my room, I wanted to go over to the control room to check on what Carrie was up to. Aside from her strange visit, I had no idea what was going on. As we walked, I noticed that the Palace had undergone a bit of transformation. Gone were the casino games and sex couches. Most of the floor lay bare with only lighting standing up. The movie wall still projected exterior views and some Hollywood films, but the Pirate crew was mostly settled in one corner either laying around or working out in and around the boxing ring.

As I entered the control room, a couple people stopped and applauded, although Carrie just glared at me from her desk. She looked more disheveled than usual, her hair matted and unkempt, and her unpleasant scent filled the room. They had replaced some of the busted windows with boards, plastic sheets, or cardboard, making the control center look like a kid's play fort.

"Look at this," Carrie cried, pulling up the exterior views. All around us floated ships of every size. "I've had to reduce our speed in half to avoid them. And here." In the sky, hundreds of planes surrounded us, some private single-engine planes, some modern fighter jets.

"What's going on," I asked. "Where are we?"

"We're in the Mediterranean," replied Rod, showing me our route on the monitor. "We crossed through the canal last night. This morning, during our maintenance halt, a couple helicopters approached us, from news organizations. Apparently no government has told the press about us, simply crediting all our activity to East African Pirate activity. We decided to leave the helicopters alone, and then when we fired up the SMD and shot off like a cannon, all the European and North African news stations began featuring us prominently."

He called up grainy video of us ripping through the Sea, with our enormous rooster tail and huge cloud of steam behind us. Another feature I had all but ignored was our huge tsunami-like wake we generated near full speed. It had already crashed up on beaches and overturned small watercraft. I watched the incredible television reports. They chased us with planes, speculating about who we were and what we wanted. Nobody knew anything, although once word came out about the wake, hundreds of surfers ran out to catch "The wave of a lifetime."

Thousands of people in boats came out to catch a glimpse of us. So many that we were in serious danger of a collision. At full speed we covered a mile every fourteen seconds, and we could only turn a few degrees per mile without capsizing. The thick crowd forced our speed down to less than 100 knots.

"That's it," Carrie growled. "I'm going to blast them. Then the won't come so close." She reached for the controls that created the zombifying zap.

"Hold on," I said weakly. "Why not just alert the local navies? They could create a path for us, if we promise not to attack them. If you zap them, they might start laying out even more stuff to slow us down. If we collide with something it could rip a hole through our hull and sink us. Besides, look at all the coverage we're getting. The whole world is looking at us right now. You don't want the whole world turning against us by killing a ton of civilians. We could clear out the entire sea, but they might set up a line across the Strait of Gibraltar to stop us from escaping. We're not in the open ocean right now...there's no where to go. If they trap us here we'd have to go ashore at some point to get food. We'd be very vulnerable at that point."

Carrie considered for a moment, then withdrew her hand from the controls. She kicked a cart of food over, sending the meal flying across the floor. "I hate this fucking food," she screamed.

Julia set down her Gameboy and started cleaning up the mess.

"You," shouted Carrie, pointing at the girl. "What the fuck are you doing? I sick of this Asian shit. Can you make anything else?"

Julia cowered on the floor. "Yes, Queen Carrie. I can make whatever you want."

"Good. I want a goddamn pizza. Pepperoni. No Asian shit. You got it? Move it."

Julia bowed, quickly gathered up the rest of the mess, and trotted off to the kitchen.

"I better check on her," said Misty, rising to her feet.

"Sit the fuck down," Carrie yelled back. "I want you to record something. Someone get me a fucking camera. You're perfect for this Nguyen, with your English accent. You make everything sound official."

Misty sat back down with a dark look on her face. She clicked angrily on her console.

Carrie hurriedly typed up a script for Misty to read, then sent it over. Misty read it over, sniffing at a few passages. "You want me to read this straight?"

"If you would," replied Carrie. "You're now the face of the Clan of the Wise. Congratulations."


Down on the Palace floor, they brought in some lighting and a camera. They set up a smaller version of the huge flag as a backdrop. A couple of the prostitute women came up to the control room to apply makeup to Misty. Now up to this moment I had never seen her with makeup. After they applied the dark eyeliner, rouge, eye shadow, lipstick, and base, she looked like someone out of a movie set, simply stunning. They then dressed her in the finest Pirate Chic we had, pink and red flowing shirts and scarves, and gave her hair a bit of bounce.

While this process occurred, Rod helped me get down to the kitchen to check on Julia. We found her crying in the corner.

"What's wrong? Did someone hurt you? Was it Bo?"

She mumbled in Tagalog for a minute, then translated. "We don't have the right dough, we don't have pepperoni, we don't have mozzarella. I can't make a pizza out of this crap." She bawled loudly.

I tried to comfort her the best I could. Carrie would tan her hide if she didn't produce pizza.

Rod spoke, "you know, we're right off the coast of Sicily. Why don't we just order some bloody pizza?"

I stood up, speechless. "That is...brilliant! Some of those mob guys we have speak Italian. I'll find them and help us get an order in. We'll have to stop the boat and pick it up of course."

They sat Misty down to check her look in the camera. "Make her boobs bigger," ordered Carrie, peering at the monitor.

A man walked up to Misty. "Don't you touch me," she spat, then adjusted herself as best she could.

"I know a good doctor," commented Carrie, holding her own chest.

"I like mine fine, thank you very much," replied Misty crisply. "Now let's get this thing over with."

I approached the Pirate crew slowly. Xyllan sat up from his massage table, where a scantily clad woman rubbed his back.

"You think you're Captain now," he called to me.

I held up my hands. "Hey, that's just what a kid says. Do you listen to kids now?"

"What do you want? We're busy." He and his friends rose and surrounded us, fingering their weapons. We had always kept a certain distance on the ship.

"I need a translator. Italian. Maybe someone Sicilian."

Xyllan laughed at me. "Why should we help you?"

"It's for Carrie," I said. "She needs something off the Island."

Xyllan shrugged. "So let her deal with it. Unless we're boarding a ship, we do nothing."

"How does pizza and Italian wine sound," suggested Rod.

That caught Xyllan's attention. "I'd rather have Italian women. Can you do that?"

"Give us a translator and we'll see what we can do."

We grabbed the translator and made all the arrangements. I returned to Carrie. "We should stop the boat so there's not so much background noise." Carrie agreed, and I slowed the boat, and sent it on a new course, a small detour.

Finally Misty was ready. I went up to her to give her some encouragement, but then whispered, "stall as long as you can. For Julia. I'll give you an all-clear."

She nodded. The cameraman pointed at Misty to go.

"Hello. This is Misty Nguyen, speaking from the--hey I don't want use my real name. I might have relatives watching."

They argued about the name for about 5 minutes. I watched the external cameras closely.

"...I represent the Wise Clan. I mean Clan of the Wise--do you really want to say this here?"

Fortunately Carrie is a much higher believer in incompetence than in subtle delay. She yelled at Misty to get it right.

"Okay, I'm ready now. Our demands our simple. Create a lane for us through the Med--I'm sorry, I really have to hit the loo. And can someone bring me a water? It's quite hot under this lights."

"Fine," glowered Carrie. "Take ten and make sure you're ready when you get back. I should have just done this myself."

Misty returned after a long while, but of course had mussed her hair and makeup a bit. I thought Carrie would explode. I finally spotted what I wanted to on the monitors, and signalled to Rod. In a few minutes the operation was complete, and I signalled to Misty.

"I must warn the governments of the world to not approach the Queen Carrie One, or suffer the most dreadful results. If your government chooses to become our preferred partner, we'll share our new life-giving technology with you. Any governments who oppose us will be destroyed. This is Susie Cho, and I wish you all well."

"Finally," gasped Carrie, hopping off her chair. "Now where is my goddamn pizza?"

As on cue, Julie jumped out of the kitchen, presenting Carrie with a thick, succulent pizza pie, dripping with cheese and sauce and the finest Italian Pepperoni. Carrie devoured it like a madwomen. "Oh my god this is the best pizza ever. That girl is a genius!"

Xyllan walked over, eating his own piece.

"What the fuck..." Carrie scanned the Palace. Everyone had pizza. The whole entire Pirate crew was served pizza and had started in on a few large bottles of Italian wine.

"Ross! I know Julia didn't cook all that." She took a few more bites. "Oh fuck it. This is so good, I don't care right now. Let's get this boat moving again."

After changing out of her getup, Misty approached me. "How did you do that? How did you get all that pizza here?"

"We ordered take-out. I stole one of Carrie's credit cards. It cost like $200 per pie to be sailed out here. Let me tell you, when the delivery boat pulled up, it was all I could do to not jump off and take a ride back out of here."

"Why didn't you," she asked.

"Because you look so damn sexy today, I just had to stay." I winked at her.

"Yeah, right. You with all your bandages, you look like a bloody zombie. Now go get some rest, you might need your strength later."

I kissed her and finally headed back to my cabin. I guess everyone has started going a bit stir crazy in this tin can, and the pizza was just the thing to get everyone to relax a bit.

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 @ 11:29 PM

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