Latin: /'vɒks pɒpjʉliː/ VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Maiden Voyage" by David Berndt -Grade 8

The rusty crane towered proudly over the concrete dockside, as it stretched into the misty air, powerfully hoisting out the remains of the most futuristic ship ever built. It was cold and the moisture didn't help the fast-spreading rust as it consumed everything metallic.

The RSS Emerald was beautiful. She sported a racy bow that could be propelled through heavy seas at up to 55 knots, thanks to its hydromagnetotechnodynamic engines. These are supposed to be experimental, but were made especially for this magnificent research cruiser.

The ship had a length of 362 ft and a beam of 80 ft. That made her very fast, and a certified ice-breaker capable of ploughing through 11 ft of ice. It really was the perfect research vessel.

Launched as Simonstown harbour, Captain Hendrik Botha would take her on her maiden voyage to Buenos Aires, where the ship would take on her multi-million dollar submersibles.

The Emerald was breaking records on her voyage; she was setting a time record in arriving at Buenos Aires, reaching speeds of 65 knots on the glassy smooth water.

Captain Botha was a tall, barrel-chested man with piercing green eyes complimented by closely cropped blonde hair. He was proud, but also angry, because the South African dry-dock was slow and had caused delays in the build, so he had to make for lost time.

* * *

The dark figures moved like ghosts through the misty evening. They were good and quickly found what they were looking for. The turquoise bow of the Emerald stood proudly over the concrete dock pilings, an easy target for these experienced men. Even the Emerald's double hull didn't deter them.

They opened their duffel bags and donned the scuba gear inside them. They slipped in and out of the water, unnoticed.

* * *

Muffled explosions filled the cabins of the once peacefully docked ship. "Abandon ship!" shouted Captain Botha repeatedly. It was all unexpected to say the least, but at least the evacuation was going smoothly.

The helmsman's behaviour, strange and forced under such conditions did not go unnoticed though everyone had more pressing things on their mind.

* * *

It was cold and the moisture didn't help the fast-spreading rust from consuming everything metallic. The remains of the RSS Emerald rose steadily higher as the crane reached its load capacity.

"It's clear how it happened," said the short helmsman, "but why is another concern."

"It's competition from other companies," said Botha, "and you should know all about it." With that, Captain Hendrik Botha drew his .44 Calibre and shot the helmsman square in the head.

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