Well the good news is the Jalapeño Fleet is here. The bad news is, they’re dead.

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Detective, Rookie
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AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
035096
Tenchi is sleeping soundly in the early hours of the morning. Though to him if the sun is down, it’s nighttime. A small child is on her way to see him and gracefully makes her way to his office. She was wearing a chartreuse yellow shirt with grey stripes, and a light blue denim pinafore dress. Tenchi sleeping and thinking up new inventions in dreamland is half awoken by what he thinks was a knock on the door. But the girl was standing next to the bed with a worried expression on her face. Tenchi opened his eyes and met her eyes; full of worry and wear, and asked her who she was.



The girl said, “My name is Sofia, and I need your help please!” Tenchi now strangely regretted installing a bedroom in the wall of his office. Though done in secret it was to keep him close to the Lab at ACME… and the ice cream in the fridge. It went fast and to make matters worse it was first come first serve. Tenchi figured that Sofia was a jr. detective that had snuck in to either ask about getting ice cream, or a bedtime story. He told her, “Dinner comes before desert which is a long time from now, so off you go back to bed. And if your pillows are missing, it was probably my little assistant that took them.”



Sofia shook her head and said, “No, there’s another problem I need you to help me with. I’m not a jr. detective, I came here so you could help my daddy. He’s in trouble.” Tenchi reassured her that the ACME Detective Agency would do all it could to help her father. She then silently pointed towards the ocean where Tenchi’s smart glasses zoomed in on a fleet of ships on the horizon. The ships were mostly wooden with a few metal vessels dotted throughout the loose formation. Tenchi remembered a commercial for an upcoming spice convention and after checking nautical records said while scanning the vessels with his glasses, “Hey the fleet carrying a huge supply of Jalapeño peppers for Jala-Con is out there, I think.”



The jalapeño faithful clamored to the windows to see the ships that would bring spicy joy into their lives, while Sofia told Tenchi her daddy was on one of those ships. Tenchi responded once he realized what the ships were by saying, “Well the good news is the Jalapeño Fleet is here. The bad news is….. they’re dead.” Thunder rumbled as it strangely did whenever a scary realization was had. Tenchi said sonar scans indicated ships had been sunk and radio contact with the Jalapeño fleet had been lost. The adult and jr. detectives were horrified to see what this fleet really was: A Ghost Fleet! All kinds of wrecked and lost ships from eras gone by were sailing towards the coast. Something had to be done before they got to shore.



Tenchi understood this was a very bad situation and formulated a plan. He wasn’t going to use brute force against already dead crew and any ships sunk by conventional means would rise again and continue onward. This was being confirmed by the coast guard who were attacking ships only to see it do little to no damage. Skeletons with eyes glowing red and armed with swords and blunderbuss alike would leap from their ghost ships and board the coast guard ships to attack them. The Coast Guard radioed in for reinforcements but it was of no use ACME had messenger the proper authorities to inform them of the situation. All assault plans were halted in lieu of Tenchi’s strategy: Mass Ghost Fleet Exorcism.



Tenchi explained to the ACME board of directors that the ghosts could be stopped by sealing them and their ships away. But they had to know the ships name in order to wield power over it. If the name of a ship was correctly spoken; That ship would be capable of being exorcised. But the detectives would have to do their research and find out what ships were out there. Tenchi reassured everyone the best way he could by saying, “Basically its like playing Ghost Battleship!” Kylie sighing said, “Its fine if you compare this to boring family games but must you pose while doing it?” Tenchi stopped posing and while taking a more serious tone said, “Electronic Battleship is not boring, regular Battleship is. But that’s why were going to win.”



Naval officers were still confused and not sure what to make of what Tenchi was saying, but ever the optimistic genius he continued on with his plan. The Ghost Fleet ships are not showing up on radar and we cant rely on sonar systems to get a continuous read on their locations. But all we need is data from the NOAA. Confused but trusting Tenchi, an operative brought up NOAA data on the display screen. And to everyone’s amazement the image started tracing a grid design between the tsunami buoys that were positioned in the ocean. Their job was to help detect tsunami waves so evacuation orders could be issued as soon as possible. But Japan had learned to use the tsunami buoys to track ships by the waves they made while moving through the ocean. It was now being used to track every ghost ship that was heading toward them.



Everybody saw the grid looked like a game of Battleship and Kylie was holding back a smile; which for her wasn’t a hard thing to do. She began explaining that any affected buoys would turn red and show how much water was sweeping over them. That would mean a ship was sailing by and of the older wooden vessels there were Sloops, Schooners, Brigantines, Square Rigged, Dutch Fleuts, and Galleons. The newer so to speak metal ships were ranging from the 40’s till today. The main goal was to exorcise integral ships that were anchoring the spiritual energy on this plane of existence. So not every ship had to be correctly guessed which was good. The bad news was that Captain Morgan wasn’t going to make this easy.
 

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Detective, Rookie
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AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
035096
Sofia had told the detectives that the infamous Captain Morgan was leading this fleet and he was not to happy that her daddy interfered with his plans. Sofia tugged on Tenchi’s shirt to get his attention and told him, “My daddy is way better than Mr. Morgan he’s mean, and can’t navigate as well as my daddy can!” Tenchi responded in an encouraging way telling Sofia, “I’m sure your dad is fine honey and soon we’ll be able to get him back to you okay?” Sofia feeling reassured went to play in Tenchi’s office. The jr. detectives were warming to Sofia as she was all about the Agency. They would look over their shoulder and suddenly there she was. They would ask about her parents and she would tell them all about them especially her mother.



Kylie called Tenchi aside and introduced him to a little boy. She said he had suddenly shown up in her office and wasn’t speaking much. She asked him his name and after awhile he said, “Herald Whaler” So knowing what this meant, the two detectives felt this would be a good learning experience for the jr. detectives. Herald of course was more interested in playing however when he saw Sofia she responded coldly by saying, “Oh… its you.” Herald replied, “Yes… its me, and I wager your going on about your mad dad. Mine is far more accomplished as you must know.” Sofia upset retorted, “Your daddy is just a skipper! And my daddy isn’t crazy!” Herald shot back, “My dad is shipmaster of his vessel! That’s the same as any bloody captain and more spiffing to boot! We even went through the northwest passage! Which is more than your mad dad can say!”



The argument was broken up by Tenchi and Kylie and the two were made to shake hands and play nicely. Though Herald said he felt cold from time to time he was otherwise enjoying sailing on a ship with his mom and dad, until Captain Morgan took them prisoner. The jr. detectives asked him about where he was from and he said our last home was 250 miles from Barrow, Alaska. Angela; who found Herald to be rather fetching plotted the direction on the screen showing a map data and noticed it was in the ocean. Angela surmised while her cheeks flushed red, “He must be quite the worldly chap to live on a small island and not think much about it.” Sherry giggled as it was clear she liked Herald and saw Sofia as possible competition. But Sofia insisted they were friendly only when he wasn’t talking about her daddy. Angela a little more focused saw that he must be referring to the last ship coordinates of his parents boat 75N, 160W.



Sofia was running around mostly with Angela Ashford and Sherry Birkin and they had decided to sing songs from a famous girl group whenever they could. Tenchi meanwhile was meeting with the commanders of the ghost busting operation for final planning. During the briefing Tenchi said this could take a few days of investigation as a murky mist had covered the ocean for miles in all directions visual identification was no longer viable. The only option they had was tsunami data from the NOAA. But trying to tell the jr. detectives the dangers being faced wasn’t exactly easy. The idea of a ghost party didn’t seem all that bad. Mostly excuses for telling ghost stories were being thrown around and the kids had learned that when they said the spooky phrase “On a dark and stormy night” thunder would always seem to rumble in the sky. Rules were erected so as not to keep repeating the phrase and “making it boring” The kids would say relevant information and if they so chose add “On a dark and stormy night” to hear the thunder and see flashes of lightning.



Hearing the time it would take from the adults was going to be possibly days was the children’s cue to plan spooky slumber parties. But not to be outdone by the kids vying for attention, Sofia chose to talk with Sherry and Angela saying in a touching tone that made it clear how much she longed to be with her family, “It’s hard to remember, a summer or winter that she hasn’t been there for me. She’s a friend and companion I can always depend on, that’s my mommy guys.” Sherry added, “It’s nice to have a mom mine isn’t alive anymore but I want Claire to be mine now.” Angela in classic fashion said, “Mothers are quite overrated and its more about biochemical levels being properly maintained with genetically related individuals. Endorphins are the key after all you see-.” But before she could continue Angela noticed she had caused familiar looks of confusion on the other kids faces.



Sherry slightly frustrated asked, “Why cant you just say you miss your mommy Angie?” To which Angela replied, “I just did say that. Its not my fault you don’t pay attention in biology class.” As the kids discussed the goings on as of late the conversations centered around all things scary. And living up to their “Genius Class” reputations they were able to surmise the “Battleships” of Captain Morgan must be his flagships from when he was alive. He was attacking California because it was a former colony of the Spanish Empire; which Captain Morgan was not too fond of. But he was on the other side of the planet now and not the Caribbean. Plus analysis of photos indicated that the majority of the ships were of the same shoddy make.



Sherry concluded from the markings on the ships that they were of eastern origin. And though made of wood they were implied to be modern. Tenchi told the jr. detectives those particular ships were from a famous ghost fleet in Asia and that discovering the identity of the other key ships anchoring the fleet was all they had to do. So armed with this knowledge they set about trying to solve this mystery and getting Herald and Sofia’s parents back as soon as they could.


(To Be Continued...)
 
Last edited:

Tenchi Masaki

ACME Detective, Rookie
Best answers
0
AMA
findcarmen.com
Known Aliases
Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
Color #
035096
Just as things were looking up for ACME Captain Morgan revealed he had an ace up his sleeve. The captain was not known for taking losses lightly and thus chose to reveal his red glowing magic jewel, Deus ex Machina! He opened his rotting maw and swallowed the jewel whole. It dangled in the exposed upper torso just below his ribs for all to see like a glowing heart. Kylie commented that so far Captain Morgan had been as terrifying as mayonnaise. Tenchi reminded her that she was quite gothy and shouldn’t expect him to match her dark standards. Kylie simply shrugged her shoulders and responded, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts Tenchi. Blame my other boss for that.”



Captain Morgan used the power of the jewel to unseal his Battleships and massed his remaining forces preparing to charge forward. Tenchi saw that now was the time to call in reinforcements. He yelled confidently at Captain Morgan, “Two can play the dead pirate game Morgan! So allow me to introduce some friends! The illustrious pirate captains One-Eyed Willy; and Captain Backen!!!” Captain Backen proudly yelled, “It’s time to send you back to Davy Jones Morgan! And allow us to kindly introduce an old rival of yours, Captain Francis Drake!” The Golden Hind appeared from the left of Morgans forces glistening in the winds as she made way straight into the heart of Morgans Battleships. Morgan furiously caught off guard tried to order his crew to face the captains three, but it was too late to prevent their circling maneuver. Morgans ships were bombarded with a hail of cannon fire and successfully exorcised one by one.



Captain Morgan disintegrated leaving only the magic jewel behind and was sent to Davy Jones Locker. This meant the ghost ships would now return to their resting places and the detectives began cheering as they saw that the battle was over. Tenchi told a relieved crowd that the jalapeños could be recovered from the sunken ships, though they would be salty from all the seawater being dried off them by the “Jalapeño Dryer Mk.4.” Angela felt now was a good time for a certain boy to make an excuse to spend time alone with her. However Herald said he had to go as he started becoming more and more transparent. Sofia too was fading away and they both started to drift toward the beach where their parents were awaiting them. Sherry started crying and Angela also starting to cry shouted, “No!, Don’t go, I want you to stay!” But Herald told her he had to go back and she shouldn’t worry he would always be watching her.



Sofia told Sherry and Angela that she would miss them and would visit when she could. Which was a little surprising to both of them but welcome news nonetheless. Sofia bid farewell to Tenchi and Kylie who of course knew they were ghosts of the two lost children of the Mary Celeste and the Octavius. They waved goodbye to everyone they had become friends with and ran to their parents to tell them about their adventures Herald proudly stated, “That Angela girl fancies me dad! I’m a right lady killer I am!” Sofia retorted, “Oh please, she just took pity on your poor soul is all. Though you do look rather handsome in the right light.” They kept chatting excitedly as they walked off hand in hand, across the water into the sunset.



THE END.
 

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