2009-10-07: Take No Prisoners!


We are under attack. Well, not really, but it is fun to think so. We
just finished a two-day conference with the villagers and five Fijian
Governmental ministries. This experience, in addition to sitting
cross-legged on a concrete floor for two days, has decreased blood
flow to my appendages, and possibly brain, causing unnecessary
reactions to seemingly normal events. I have also been reading a lot
of Michener novels lately and sometimes find myself imagining I’m a
lone settler defending a prized port on a the frontier of some new
territory in a tiny wood shack.

Well, back to the attack. It all started when my afternoon siesta was
rudely interrupted by a clanking chain sound that resembled that of a
large vessel anchoring in the calm bay. Alerted, I scurried to the
garrison, my rear window, and peered through the safety and security
2” square hurricane mesh out across the calm waters and immediately
spotted the hostile craft. It was a two-mast yacht waiving the colors
of a most formidable foe, the French.

Immediately I knew the fate of this peaceful land was at a crossroads
in history. We could send a flotilla delegation of warriors to
cautiously investigate the reason of their portage or commence a
bombardment of mature coconut and raw dalo. I knew the latter
decision would inflect heavy casualties and may cause a spontaneous
feasting to occur among the villagers, but thus decided the fate of
the island was too important to risk on peaceful negotiations.

The pre-battle air was heavy with anxiety, and 120% humidity, and
delayed my recollection of reinforcements scheduled to arrive later in
the evening. Thankfully this realization came before the dalo mortars
where launched and I halted the invasion. The tourist vessel, the Tui
Tai, was scheduled to arrive at 7pm and was a formidable sea going
clipper battle ship known to spare no victims in its legendary South
Pacific sea battles against the Suliven Ferry.

I instructed the islanders to man their coconut cannons and await my
orders to fire once our reinforcements had arrived. Later that
evening the scheduled arrival of the allied ship was delayed due to
its crew taking a snorkeling excursion off the South coast of the
island. I knew this was probably in preparation for a subterranean
attach on the French ship so counted the delay as good fortune.

Alas, the mighty ship sailed into the bay prepared to engage the enemy
with full vigor. Upon its arrival in firing range of the enemy ship I
ordered the troops to commence the bombardment. However, to my
surprise all the firing posts where unmanned. Uncertain as to the
cause of this unfortunate development I frantically searched the
island. To my surprise I found the villagers in the community hall
performing a fatele, traditional dance, and selling the ruthless
invaders handicrafts.

My opportunity for glory faded quicker than the setting South Pacific
sun as I meandered my way back to my humble shack in defeat.

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