USS i-bmw. A parable.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a sailor with a curiosity for what lay beyond. He would sit at his oars and wonder, are there others who would like to share adventures and boldly go where no man has gone before. To dream, as Leonardo did, of flying without wings. To be free of land and travel the world in this new vessel. He built the ship, and they came. He expected 6 at the first sailing. There were about 70. So he made the ship bigger. Stronger. Quicker. And yet, they came.
We joined this ship in 2002. What a magnificent vessel. We had often seen her from shore, the passengers and crew dancing and reveling in the salty air. Cries of “They are unkempt” could occasionally be heard, but the pull was strong. We were assimilated. There were no regrets. As time passed some of us became officers on the bridge. Others, content to just be a part of this magnificent journey.
Oh, the lands we have seen. The travels that have been shared among new friends. The tales of mastery of shipbuilding and sailing are legends to this day. There was not a finer vessel on the seven seas. We fk’ing ruled. It was a magic time to be alive. And then, the clouds formed on the horizon.
At first it looked like just a ripple or two. No big deal. We asked the Captain what we should do. He retired to his cabin. We knocked upon the door and asked again, “What can we do?” Crickets. Then the door opened and we expected a plan of action. All he would say was that they were stealing the ship. “Give us a plan,” we shouted. We would have conquered the Spanish Armada in a canoe if only we had orders. There were no orders. The Captain retired to his quarters.
As the clouds grew darker there were occasional breaks in the clouds. We approached the Captain with a plan. He would pay the gods the treasures they asked and the clouds would part. Perhaps it was rum, perhaps just a strong will, perhaps a plan so brilliant that it could not be shared among us, the most loyal of his crew, but the Captain started arguing with the gods. We trembled with fear. “What will become of the ship?” we asked. “What is to become of the crew? What of the 8700 passengers?” So this became our battle cry, “We cannot abandon them, sir! We will do ANYTHING you ask of us, except abandon them, sir! We WILL NOT do that. We will not. We can not.” It became or battle cry. Any yet, we prayed for a plan.
We would have done anything. We would have sailed anywhere. We would have fought legions. Anything. Just one command. We pleaded. We begged. All we got was, “They’re stealing my ship. Fk ‘em.” But sir, “What is our plan?” we shouted.
The gods offered us a new vessel. It was modern and sleek. They had intended it for our Captain, but something had gone terribly wrong. Our captain did not accept this ship. Without it, we were all to be cast into the sea. The gods had turned wind from our sails once as a show of urgency for their request of a plan going forward. They gave us a date, join us and let us take this journey to it’s next phase, or be cast into the sea.
It was a fine vessel that we had, they told us, but it requires too much maintenance. We have tried to bring your Captain over to our new ship. We offer it to him for treasures. It was built for him. For you. He will not abandon his own ship. Even though it means the loss of 8700 souls. He is a strong willed Captain.
This was not a choice as much as a change of wind. How could we be disloyal to our captain? How could we cast 8700 people cast into the sea? These are our crewmates, our friends. We are their only hope of survival. We advised our Captain that we would not allow them to be sacrificed. We would, if need be, run the new ship in order to give them a chance. We were called traitors. We felt like traitors. But 8700 souls. There was no choice to make.
We would have done anything for you, sir! Anything but that. We can not, will not, allow you to sacrifice these fine people. We wish you well. You are our friend. We owe you everything that we have. Everything that we are. You, sir. You did that. We depart on Oct 21st.
On the evening of Oct 14th the Captain scuttled his ship. Many are still adrift. Some seek the Captain for his help. They cannot believe that he could have averted this disaster. He can have no blame. That is for them to decide in their hearts. They reject our offer to save them. We wish them well.
For those of you who came aboard, it is for you, our friends and crew, that we offer refuge on our new ship. It is our ship. It is your ship. She is magnificent. Long may she sail the seven seas.
And to our Captain: Sir, you are our friend. Battles won and lost will not change that. We may disagree with your actions, and you ours, but we will not disgrace you. We will not allow others to speculate on these decisions. It is done. We continue. Hopefully we will meet again one day. You will always be our friend. You will always be my friend.
May the wind always be in your sails!
Last edited by CABNFVR; Oct 15th, 2005 at 11:43 am.