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**Warning: Wall of text** At sea, communications from home where rare. Even more so on Cocovia, far from established shipping lanes, and the crew had not seen a letter for months. In fact, some had jested that they feared losing the ability to read… However, recently an old tub of a packet carrying despatches and mail had skirted by, only lying to long enough for a boat to exchange mail. It was a meagre chest, and between them, Montoya and Cooke only received two letters and a message addressed to them both. Montoya had excellent news from his man of business, and Cooke had a pleasant letter from his family. However, these good news were quickly overshadowed by the third message in which a very public affront to them both was detailed by a close friend of theirs. As gentlemen, they could only make one reply, and they quickly put together a note demanding satisfaction, unless a full public apology would be offered. Both expert duellers, in their rage they both went directly to putting an edge on their skills, practising with sword and pistol. Their cynical practice was at its highest point of intensity as young mr. Baker came running up the hill with a bundle of letters. He had heard about the insult, and the new bundle was topped by a newspaper in which he had circled a notice on the front page. "Sirs... sirs!" he yelped, short of breath from the run. "A despatch cutter arrived just after that horrible old tub! Judging by the date of the newspapers, it left Bellson almost a month after the packet , but has already almost caught up with it! There is a full bag of mail as well as some official despatches! And in the paper something that will definitely interest you! A full apology!" Mr. Baker smiled broadly, relieved not to risk losing one of his benefactors to a mindless duel, and Montoya and Cooke both lowered their weapons. "Sir Dee offers his full apology - it was only a misunderstanding! I believe there is also a letter from him in the mail!" Montoya looks up from the paper with a relieved sigh. "And it would seem the other party to the insult was a religious figure. Surely, we cannot duel a priest?" "I am much at ease, my friend…" Cooke said. "I had not much liked to return home only to expect a duel." "Although it seems you are still perfectly able to hit your mark, Sir!" Baker added enthusiastically with an impressed look at the target, bullseye shot out. Montoya cut him short, somewhat jealous, not being praised for his, although somewhat less obvious, still excellent double parry and stab on the practise dummy: "That does not make him invincible to bullets, Mr. Baker. A duel is always a cruel thing - Never feel too confident." "First, hand me the despatches, mr. Baker. Official business first!" Cooke said, ever dutiful. "Afterwards, we better write a reply to Sir Dee…" Baker handed one heavy, sealed envelope to Cooke, and another to Montoya, who looked somewhat perplexed. Why would he receive official correspondence? As he recognised the seal of the Society of Natural Philosophy, he smiled and opened it with great interest. For a few minutes, they read in silence. The admiralty had long held Captain Cooke's skills in hydrography and naval tactics in high esteem. Further, it had recognised the need for a naval base in the new world, as the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine must be maintained, provisioned, repaired, and a have a safe port in the event of tropical storms. Without such a port, Corrington's interests and further expansion into the east is in danger, as the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine are the most important tools at the Crown's disposal. Thus, Cooke's sealed despatchcame at an opportune moment. The elaborate sounding charts of the natural harbour, the detailed description of the tactical situation, and the maps of the surrounding landscape made the situation so clear that not even the bureaucrats could delay the decision of the First Lord of the Admiralty: A naval base was to be established at this very spot, and this at the highest possible dispatch. The first order was to assign a battery of the Royal Navy Artillery Corps to the location to set up initial defences. They were to travel at all possible urgency, bringing with them the Royal Charter for the new settlement, named King's Harbour after Queen Anetta's farther and predecessor. Bellson, March 616, the Admiralty To Captain Jno. Cooke, The Admiralty hereby appoints Captain J. Cooke, Master and Commander of the sloop the HMS Athena, temporary military governor of King's Harbour to set up a naval base of operations in the location specified in the attached maps. He is to assume this responsibility with all possible dispatch, and is required to use his discretion to act such that he finds most fitting in furthering the interests of the Crown. Further, he Admiralty considers cordial relations with the locals of highest priority. Failure to do his duty is subject to punishment as determined by a court martial. Signed The First Lord of the Admiralty The Society of Natural Philosophy had too recognised the need for a secure base of operations, in order to explore the new world and all its scientific opportunities, and had thus set up a designated foundation to support all entrepreneurs wishing to set up relevant businesses in the new settlement. To Don Isaac Montoya, Fellow Your most generous donation to the Society has been duly noted, and the Society is most grateful. The Society believes that such an extraordinary sum should be immediately employed to improve the basis for future scientific exploration. Therefore, the Central Executive Committee has decided to establish a foundation for King's Harbour, and decided to appoint you manager of this Foundation. (See attached charter). In much the same perspective, it has been determined that the new horizons of the New World warrants the establishment of a New World Branch of the Society, and we hope that you will accept a position on the Executive Committee of this branch. The New World Branch will take over the Society's properties in Arlinsport for headquarter, including the staff there employed. Best regards Central Executive Committee The Society of Natural Philosophy Finishing their reading, they both looked up with an enthusiastic smile, eager to tell each other of the news, and spoke in unison. They both broke off, and went: "You go first, my friend." After a few gentlemen-like objections, they spoke in turn, each taking great pleasure from the good news. "What prodigious good news, my friend. We shall have this base up in no time!" Cooke concluded. "But now, let us finish this ugly affair with Sir Dee. It troubles my mind so." "Certainly, my friend. Give me a few moments to collect my mind, and I shall read it out to you." Montoya said, and turned to pen and paper. Dear Sir Dee Your gracious apology has reached us on this fair island recently named Cocovia and added to the Crown. It has found both Cooke and I much relieved, as none of us have any wish to risk to prematurely end the life of a respected gentleman such as yourself, nor risk the same upon ourselves. Both the nature and publication of your response entirely satisfied our request for an apology, and we are pleased the affront was but a misunderstanding. You may consider our challenge withdrawn. As a way of repairing relations, it is our hope that you will accept an invitation to dine together, next we are in the old world. Sincerely Don Isaac Montoya "A very handsome letter, upon my word, Isaac. I do hope it will be received in the same spirit in which it was intended. I should much deplore to have made an enemy of such a respected gentleman, based on a mere misunderstanding…" __________ I hope you will excuse me the mass of text and the small size and scope of the accompanying builds. I have only three medium sized set to work with, and a lot of story to tell. I am slowly fleshing out the Society of Natural Philosophy, of which you will hopefully see a lot more in the future, as well as King's Harbour, for which I will very soon post its own thread. Comments and critique is more than welcome.