There Be Pirates!
What Happens When Letters of Marque Expire?
The idea of a Pirate Republic tickles the popular imagination. Historically, a Republic of Pirates was established in Nassau, Bahamas, from 1705 to 1718, free from the oversight or control of the ruling British Empire, which was too preoccupied to deal with the high-seas bandits during the War of the Spanish Succession. It was not until the watershed moment of the King’s Pardon delivered personally to Nassau by Woodes Rogers that the Crown’s hegemony and the Rule of Law were re-established after an extended period of absence.
In our story, our hero Luthmann contends with the Ruling Elite from the Isle of Staten, which can appropriately be characterized as the Pirate Republic situated in the Narrows Sea. The entire Island functions through a series of Letters of Marque, formal and informal, issued by the Ruling Elite. There is no Rule of Law to speak of. Instead, privateers and corsairs strut the streets, the chambers of commerce, and the halls of justice of this Pirate Republic, lining their pockets with treasure, totally legal and guaranteed by the Ruling Elite’s proclamations.
But like the Pirate Republic in Nassau, the Isle of Staten and its Ruling Elite are in for a rude awakening. Under the King’s Pardon, those who would not accept were put to the blade by the Crown’s enforcers like Woodes Rogers. A similar watershed moment is in store for the Ruling Elite.
In our story, the enforcers are known as the Feudal Bureau of Investigation (or FBI). Very recently, these enforcers were known as the Futile Bureau of Investigation, and there are definite calls for an institution-wide equivalent of a proctology exam. Such an overhaul may very well be a political reality after the upcoming elections. For years, the Ruling Elite and their allies were spared from the blade while their enemies were run through.
Now, the enforcers are preparing for the inevitable seismic power shift. And they are doing this by beginning to cannibalize the Ruling Elite, and their privateers and corsairs in the hopes that come January, the guy with the rubber glove will be surprisingly gentle.
Those who, to this point, were privateers and corsairs will be left out in the lurch. They will be no more than dirty, weathered, blown-out old pirates. And Luthmann has identified some people to watch on the fictional Isle of Staten. Get your popcorn ready.
The North Shore’s Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh
Queen Elizabeth I of England ruled for a period of 44 years. Her political ally Sir Walter Raleigh was the Queen’s favorite privateer. The popular imagination has the two romantically linked. History records (probably with great dramatic license) that on an occasion of a Royal Excursion, Sir Walter Raleigh saw mud that stood in the way of the Queen. Raleigh immediately took off the valuable and expensive cloak he was wearing and lay it down on the mud. The Queen was astonished and asked with great surprise why Raleigh had placed such a valuable cloak above the muddy spot. Sir Walter Raleigh responded by saying that “it is better for Raleigh’s coat to be spoiled than the Queen’s shoes to get dirty.”
The Isle of Staten has its own Queen of the North Shore, but her projected period of rule is only two years because she will be primaried by a real Democrat. And the Queen of the North Shore has her own Sir Walter Raleigh who, from the shadows, keeps the Queen’s feet – and hands – clean.
The North Shore Walter Raleigh made promises and handshakes around town in 2017, when the Queen had her first run. For example, a known political consultant (no, not the one who got in trouble with the CFB – he got paid) agreed to a $14,000 fee to provide services for the Queen’s campaign. The Consultant performed the services, the Queen’s campaign ran out of money, and the Consultant never got paid. Needless to say, the Consultant was unhappy. Enter North Shore Walter Raleigh, the man who made the handshake to save the day. The Salty Sea Dog offers the Consultant 10 cents on the dollar. You can imagine how that conversation went (mainly because the Consultant is from Red Hook, and wouldn’t think twice about leaving a spineless scallywag in a puddle of his own blood, piss, and puke).
Things would have been quiet, except the Queen started badmouthing the Consultant to a local community leader and Tenant’s Association President. Now, everyone is wondering why the Queen’s campaign and North Shore Walter Raleigh haven’t been fined or prosecuted. Is there a Letter of Marque in place from the Ruling Elite? The Taxpayers’ gold has been used to fund political vendettas for much less.
Maybe the issue is more significant. When you call upon the Feudal Bureau of Investigation and ask about a specific case they aren’t working on, they respond: “No comment.” But when you call the Feudal Bureau of Investigation and ask about someone they have in their cross-hairs, they say something different: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations.” Luthmann tried it, and he was amazed at what he heard.
So, is North Shore Walter Raleigh under investigation? That would make sense. The allegation is that he was selling access to the Queen from the day after she won the primary election. Talk about keeping the Queen from getting dirty. Is this fictional Feudal Bureau of Investigation looking to hit North Shore Walter Raleigh with racketeering, attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, and using interstate commerce to facilitate an unlawful activity? If the Queen and North Shore Walter Raleigh’s Letter of Marque has been canceled, then the enforcers already have the template.
No-Show Jobs and Political Contracts
The Ruling Elite is a fickle bunch. And that goes doubly for the First Family, who drops its loyal soldiers after years of dedicated service because of a change in the political winds. Usually, the Ruling Elite on the fictional Isle of Staten rewards favored pets with Patronage Positions and No-Show Jobs. This is the prevailing Political Contract.
And this was no different for the patriarch of the First Family. According to a former feudal District Leader, a particular loyal soldier was all lined up for a No-Show Job in the local Feudal Prosecutor’s Office. But the soldier’s loyalty came into question because of his unauthorized friendships. In the fictional world in which we are operating, the Ruling Elite gets away with giving No-Show Government gigs with impunity. Up until now, this wasn’t theft of taxpayer money because the enforcers looked in the other direction. On the Isle of Staten, these were valid Political Contracts. But have the Letters of Marque all expired? We shall see.
Widows and Orphans
One of the great Feudal Magistrates on the Isle of Staten is the Magistrate who rules over the Court of Widows and Orphans. There is plenty of gold, silver, gems, and other riches on the table, and the owners of these valuable items are all dead. The Feudal Magistrate at the Court of Widows and Orphans attracts a camarilla of privateers and corsairs seeking to dip their fingers into this tasty pie.
Enter Doctor Dolittle, who single-handedly has turned “Monkey Mayhem” into “Money Mayhem” for the Ruling Elite. According to signed, sworn, and filed court documents, Doctor Dolittle bragged that he could have the Feudal Magistrate in the Court of Widows and Orphans “fix” cases for him. Typically, this behavior goes unchecked on the Isle of Staten. But as a red wave builds in the Narrows Sea, the enforcers know more and more about the Dr. Doolittle affair. The question is: what else do they know? Are the enforcers coming? If they are, who have they wired up, and who have they flipped? And are the Magistrate’s robes made of Teflon?
All that can be said for sure is that the former privateers and corsairs foresee the dissolution of the Pirate Republic on the Isle of Staten. Former allies are scattering in every direction like rats fleeing a sinking ship. The enforcers are on their way. Who will be left standing? Luthmann’s prediction: a sad pack of dirty, weathered, blown-out old pirates.
Is there more? Of course, there is more. Luthmann is armed with many weapons in the Great Troll War.
For those following, the Feudal Courts canceled the showdown scheduled for April 7, 2022. Luthmann will have to wait until April 28, 2022, to dispose of the first Special Schmuck if Luthmann can get a fair shake.
But there will be many more Enemies to come. What new Enemies will show their faces in the Feudal Court and elsewhere? Which members of the Ruling Elite should be worried? What other persons may become collateral damage in this story? And what magical weapons does Luthmann have to slay his Enemies?
Stay tuned. Much more to come.
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