The official memorial service had a few, somewhat estranged, relatives around that only eyed us with a mixture of misunderstanding and malevolence. They feared our usual piratical trappings amidst the abysmally formal surroundings. They couldn't understand why we refused to call their odd uncle or weird brother, one John Taylor, by his name and instead insisted on variations of "The Captain", or "Taddie, me bucko", or "McRaven". We didn't even try to eulogize him in their presence. We couldn't help but chuckle at their insistence on an open casket presentation. It had taken the help of the Captain's attorney to get the funeral home to agree to release his body to us without the knowledge of his rather strict family.
We held a true buccaneer's service at the edge of the Waterfront's Great Lawn. The weather was appropriately gray with storms on the horizon and so we had the copious green space to ourselves. A fine, strongly tempered wench of a grog was passed amongst us. We told tales of the Captain and his mistress that deep dark sea of data that haunted his sleeping moments.
We all knew that everything was going to be different. Already we heard the tremulous pattering of people seeking our heads on a platter for our actions, from a number of Tribes including "our own". On the one hand, no one could prove that the anonymous data drop box, whose address was blasted unto the sky, was one of ours. On the other hand few other groups had the data skills that we had to get the booty in the first place, much less the fact that people were slowly tracing the money trail of the bombes, those brilliant and powerful hologrammatic projectors of the Captain.
Under the bonfire of bright halogens, we finished our tales with the story of the Captain's last great exploit. We told of how the Captain spent many nights sweating about the rumors of local third shift employees, with loyalties to other time zone tribes, planning some sort of bombing. We told of the focused rage he had through the process of slowly pulling out concrete evidence of the plot. We told of his use of his technological information bombes, swapped for all of the real bombs, to not just solve the problem but to further try to help keep it from ever happening again.
For the first time in recent memory, and never before in such depth, concrete evidence of the clandestine wars between the time zone tribes (among others) was publically broadcast to the public. The Captain understood the usage of near-fraternal organizations for culling wheat from chaff, but he very much understood the difference between "brotherly play" and outright terrorism. The public, we knew, would have a field day of outrage. Politicians will have hell to pay. The Tribes will be changed, watched, perhaps legislated.
Our corporate neighbor, perhaps lead by the Captain's pal Rockhewn and perhaps due to the potential millions of dollars of commerce that may have been lost, took the gruff for the public usage of the bombes. The public were informed that this "global citizen" of a company cared about them and thus made the hasty decision to use their new marketing toy in such a disturbing manner. We appreciated the tactic... It wouldn't save us from the Tribes, but it would buffer us from vengeful politicians at the least.
The difference between a pirate and privateer is always in who benefits. The Captain was one of the most altruistic men I have known, and didn't have any qualms with being labeled a pirate by those that didn't share his beliefs. We could handle the Tribes when they came...
In the meantime, we finished our tales and then did just as the Captain had asked by spreading his cremated remains into the waters of the mighty Ohio. When we were finished, I could feel the spread of doubt like an actual force; the weakening of the story remaining amongst the men. I realized I knew precisely what I needed to do and snapped ever so slightly to face the men.
"First Mate Parrot!" I shouted with enough conviction and force that Parrot's salute was near instinctual. "Prepare to raise anchor, we set sail where the wind shall take us next."
"Three sheets to the wind!"