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Description automatically generatedBeyond the Ocean’s Edge:
A Stone Island Sea Story

“No, sir!  Not that, sir!”  Hotchkiss was nearly beside himself in his fright, and it fast approached a full panic.  Odd, that such a slight distraction could affect Pierce’s friend that way.  Isaac had always been the cooler of them.

          Hotchkiss continued on.  “Ed! You didn’t see it?”  The use of his captain’s first name on deck attested to the first lieutenant’s growing apprehension and maddening confusion.

          “See what, Isaac, my old friend?”  Pierce recognized his shipmate’s state of mind and did not correct his lapse of quarterdeck etiquette.  Clearly, a more personal and comfortable approach was needed.

          “The stars!  The stars, Ed!  We weren’t just looking up at ’em.  We were amongst them.  There was the sea, and then there wasn’t.  An’ the stars were below us as well!  And we were there, right among them, like we were the stars themselves, or the moon, or….”

          “I’m sure you saw what you’ve described.  Unfortunately, I chanced not to see it, although I have had a strange feeling of timelessness.”

 

          In 1802 Royal Navy Lieutenant Edward Pierce is on half pay during the Peace of Amiens.  He gains command of a vessel searching for a lost, legendary island.  When found, Pierce and crew discover the island exists in an entirely different world.  Exploring around Stone Island, HMS Island Expedition sails headlong into mistaken identities, naval battles, strange truces, dangerous liaisons, international intrigue, superstition, and ancient prophecies.  Detained by the equivalent of Great Britain, Pierce struggles to free ship and crew.  Despondent over surrendering and possibly never seeing Evangeline again, Pierce’s discovers new friends working to liberate him and his crew.

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Sailing Dangerous Waters:
Another Stone Island Sea Story

The Gallician frigate had come out of the fog from windward, and had fired its first devastating broadside into the Tritonish frigate from near point-blank range.  They paralleled each other, mere yards apart, and made no effort to alter course or maneuver for an advantage.  With more sail set now, the schooner forged ahead and rapidly closed with the frigates.  “Ready the port battery!”

          “Aye aye, sir!”

          “Helm, steer as to pass between them!”

          “Aye aye, sir!”

          “Sure madness, Edward!” warned Hotchkiss.

          “But a method to it, Isaac!  When I give word, we must put into the wind, and as our guns bear, concentrate fire on the Toad’s starboard quarter.  Let us then fall off the wind and repeat with the starboard battery.”

          “Aye!”  Hotchkiss nodded with understanding.

          Fully awake and alert, his senses at their sharpest, Pierce watched the battling frigates grow larger.  The damp night air whipped past, mingled with spray thrown up by Island Expedition’s hurried dash through the sea.  Despite the apprehension in his gut, Pierce felt alive.

 

          Freed from captivity at the hands of the Tritonish Government, Pierce and the men of HMS Island Expedition want nothing more than to return to their own world and England.  Pursuit by rogue Gallician frigates, needed maintenance on the schooner, diplomatic endeavors on behalf of newly annexed Stone Island, and an encounter with an insanely jealous Tritonish frigate captain, all delay their departure for home.  In this world, a journey halfway around the globe is complicated by one powerful storm after another.  Disbelief expressed by those hearing of his voyage, questions concerning his sanity, an encounter with a mysterious French commerce raiding corvette, and a return to Portsmouth following the arrival of news concerning Trafalgar further block Pierce’s long anticipated reunion with Evangeline

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The Well-Read Moose, 2048 N. Main Street, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Darnahsian Pirates:
The Third Stone Island Sea Story

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Description automatically generatedA final broadside roared from the port battery, sending twelve-pound shot and massive clouds of musket balls and jagged pieces of scrap metal―langrene―into the Darnahsian Pirate vessels. Splinters buzzed through the air. Lines snapped, their freed ends slicing like whips. Mooring bitts, fife rails, handrails, and other deck furniture disintegrated. Bits and pieces of what had been human beings splattered the bulwarks and deck. “Get those lines across!”          Grappling hooks soared from the schooner’s port side and lodged in the pirate’s hull and rigging. The lines were drawn tight, and the two vessels lashed together. In the bows, the Kalish warriors continued their ungodly howl as they unleashed volley after volley of arrows into the amassed pirates. At Sergeant Lincoln’s order, blue-coated marines stepped to the rail, avoiding the seaman securing their guns. When he gave the word, they raised their muskets as one, and at the command, “Fire!” let loose a volley into the exposed enemy on deck. Then they fixed bayonets and prepared to board.

          “Boarders away!” yelled Pierce, springing for the rail.

 

          Having returned to England and reuniting with Evangeline, Edward Pierce once again sails beyond the ocean’s edge, accompanied by his beloved and two additional vessels.  At Stone Island, they despair to find her father absent.  Pierce now embarks across dangerous waters, leading a combined naval expedition charged with rescuing several Vespican governors held for ransom by the Darnahsian Pirates.  Among them is Harold Smythe, Evangeline’s beloved Papa.

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