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Updated: Transfer Window Ship’s Log

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Now 20 days in, the captain and crew aboard our ship grow weary and desperate. When will the transfer window bring news? Will the swirling rumors produce new heroes?

What follows is the ongoing account of the crew of the Orca and its voyage into the uncharted waters of the 2017 summer transfer window. As the journey of the Orca continues these stories will reveal themselves to them that ply the seas of green. Most will not believe this tale to be true, claiming it to be the work of a mind bedeviled by sun, salt and sea. Those who have sailed with us will understand the stirring of hearts at the beat of the oarsman’s drum and the rising of voices at the sight of the blue and green banner…*

watercolor of ship
The voyage of the Orca
MLS watercolorist

Transfer Window ship’s log, day 1: As we sailed down the Duwamish and into open water I prayed silently for all 74 souls aboard. May the wind be at our backs!

Transfer Window ship’s log, day 2: On watch last night I heard voices on the wind; “Crewmen, crewmen everywhere but not a sailor to sign.” I am haunted.

Transfer Window ship's log, day 3: The crew are becoming restless. Food & water should last the week, with rationing the grog a bit longer

Transfer window ship's log, day 4: The chickens ate the rations. The rats ate the chickens. The dogs ate the rats. Soon, we'll eat the dogs. The first mate has succumbed to scurvy. Unceasing babbling about a DP winger. I will stab him soon

Watercolor of a ship through binoculars MLS Watercolorist

Transfer Window ship's log, day 5: Swedish cruiser Zlatan came alongside but we were not to be rescued. Her captain made us gift of perfume. Gunner's mate thought to wear the foul oil. We could not bear the stench. The enlisted men tied him to a stone. We are drinking the perfume

Transfer window ship’s log, day 6: Windless, our sails now bear the words "Announce Derlis" painted in tar. Adrift, we pray for a signing. Mr. Henderson departed in the lifeboat some days ago. His expedition was to find a route beyond these waters. He is strong, he will return.

Transfer window ship’s log day 7: A Scuffle below decks -- Keller & Costigan. As Keller slit his throat I heard him say 'simplest of finishes'

Transfer Window ship's log day 8: attack in the night from vessel flying rose banner. Ax-wielding raiders repelled. We burned their ship. In the flames we could hear their screams. "Allocation order! Allocation order!" they cried. We danced a jig until all had gone quiet

Transfer Window ship's log day 9: The black spot was given to Billy Bones. He tore it in half and Ben Gunn threw the waste bin over the side. Thems that dies by Garber's orders'll be the lucky ones

Watercolor nautical map and telegraph MLS Watercolorist

Transfer Window ship's log day 10: Having sighted a New Englander astern the cannon are loaded with grapeshot, close combat is afoot. The helmsman, Mr. Lagerwey, insists our course is true. I would swear he has Flint's treasure within his foot locker. I mislike his bearing

Transfer Window ship's log day 11: The Dutchman is swiftly rising in our ranks. "Never mind maneuvers," he says, "always go at them." We are a crew of most curious complexion. How wonderfully strange to be upset by this trifle; yet I am upset. The helmsman is in his cups

Transfer Window ship's log day 12: Seaman Jones says he can hear the men singing underwater. I have taken the political officer's wrist band. I've seen a mermaid once. I've even seen a shark eat an octopus. But I've never seen a phantom Russian DP.

Transfer Window ship's log day 13: In the lifeboat I caught a great, beautiful fish. I wrestled with him to my last. "Rumor," I said, "I love you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends." In the deep a new rumor lurks, unseen. Adrift, albatrosses mock us. The crew's hearts are parched for thirst of a new hope. Upon the helmsman's cup is one word: 'parlay.' But he is drinking seawater. We will not eat our own but we will not hesitate to feed him to the cat o'nine hot takes if he fails us. The crew will sink or they will swim but no matter the gale or swell we will sail together.

Transfer Window ship's log day 14: Day after day after day, we stuck, nor breath nor motion; as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean. The crew grow evermore restless for relief. Mr. Hands is the worst. Hold fast, says he, but he would sell his soul for a new DP.

Updates:

Transfer Window ship's log day 15: A night of revelry on the beach led by our midshipman, Cristian. He will make a fine captain one day. The Dutchman discovered treasure on that beach while the black & blue gang of pirates we encountered paid the devil's wages. Below decks the crew grumble that salted herring and rum are not enough. I've no better rations to offer lest our helmsman proves true. Silently upon the wheel his hand guides the ship to promises of fresher seas. We doubt not but await word of new men to stand our watch.

Avast! Drop your rosters and grab your lobsters, she's a-headed for another swell o'rumors! Make ready the watch party and secure the tifo! A whip of spray blown by chinook wind spilled the gunwale. The foredeck's awash in rumor. Derlis, says I.

Transfer Window ship's log day 16: Toil and misery, our lot is cast to crumble and burn in the sun's hot breath, aground on a shoal of doubt. But here the waters deepen, Mr. Henderson has been sighted in the East! The crew begin to believe as our lines are hauled and fathoms gauged.

Transfer Window ship's log day 17:Tit is said the crew of the Orca invented this manner of sailing, with one mast askew and another asunder. Not first were we to land so great. a fish as he, but none were more civilized in bearing & regalia. We must go on because we can't turn back. For those among us pressed into recent service it might seem unnatural. But to dive overboard is our custom. The Paraguayan will swim!

Transfer Window ship's log day 18: In awe of our young Ensign as he sealed victory over the islanders our crew raised a huzzah! The songs and dancing and drinking have now given way to a quiet on the sea. To which horizon for the watch? A sharp eye to the wind we keep. None but the helmsman knows our course, tho I fear his cups will never dry. The coxswain mumbles 'Kiyv,Kiyv' as he readies the landing craft

Watercolor of leviathan shadow MLS Watercolorist

Transfer Window ship's log day 19: There is a mutinous scent on the air. Some of the crew are plotting to relieve the helmsman of duty. The master-at-arms has posted guards to protect the grog. Mr. Savvik marks time since our last sighting of land, hours seeming like days. As I stand atop the forecastle, spyglass surveying the waves, I sense a great leviathan just beneath our keel, yet unseen but ever lurking.

Our former captain has taken command of a new vessel. To the last we will grapple with him and his ship. From hell's heart will we stab at them. For hate's sake we will spit our last breath at the Angelenos. He will hear us once more & remember.

Transfer Window ship's log day 20: The sea all around is glassy. Nary a whisper of cloud above. On the gun deck the crew load heavy cannon. All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. And when our enemies come alongside to take the treasure and leave their wreck alight. Today the Orca will meet our old adversary, the Angelenos. And when we are finished with them the only sound they will hear is our laughter. Much blood and treasure have been spilled in the transfer wars. Damn the torpedoes Mr. Henderson! Full speed ahead Mr. Lagerwey! To arms!


*May contain excerpts either inspired by or lifted directly from Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Old Man & the Sea, Master & Commander, The Hunt for Red October, and Treasure Island. May not.

The Transfer Window Ship’s Log was originally shared via Liam the Murse’s twitter account and is augmented here by MLS Watercolors. Further installments will be made as necessary.