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Into the Mists of the Orinoco


TheShammySocialist
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[b][OOC: Apologies about the lateness of our start here, if you'd like to be involved in this roleplay, please contact me via PM or IRC.][/b]

Diego Obradors cursed loudly as he picked himself up from the attic floor slowly, feeling a pain in his right wrist, which the twenty-nine-year-old rotated to see if anything was broken. He then looked back to see what had tripped him up in his late grandfather's stuffy, stifling attic; he noticed a bag of golf clubs behind him, and he frowned as he slowly stood up again. His eyes had been plying the dim depths of the large attic for a chest, not a set of golf clubs, and in his inattentiveness, he had certainly not noticed the strap of the bag laying out in the middle of the walkway of the path through the midst of piles of memories past. His grandfather had outlived his father by a full twelve years, having gone off to war to support the crumbling Imperium, he had never been seen or heard from again.

It was because of his grandfather that Diego was now where he was now, both presently in the attic and in life, his grandfather had instilled in him a strong sense of adventure from a young age, and Diego had molded those life lessons from his grandfather to suit his own needs. He had pursued linguistics and anthropology in school, having earned both a masters and doctorate in the latter, and he was well traveled. He was well acquainted with the jungles of the Amazon, having spent numerous trips with his grandfather into the interior of the country, some as early as the age of four, despite the objections of his parents. With the death of his grandfather only a week before, Diego was still grieving emotionally, but his elders' words to him were clear as day.

[i]'Your fate lies in the sea chest, you will pick up where I left off, what you choose to do with what I give you is your own choice, but tread carefully, do not-,'[/i] Simon Obradors had said quietly in his ear, as his death came to him, with the presence of only Diego in the room. The old man had known when he was going to pass, and had chosen to speak to Diego privately before he did so, but the old man had clearly misjudged how many minutes he had left. That said, he had left a clue for Diego to follow, and following an emotional week of burying the most prominent figure in his life, Diego had sought out the old sea chest in the attic.

Diego turned a corner, as he moved deeper into the large attic, and saw what he had come for; the sea chest, standing amongst a pile of assorted mementos, a birdcage sitting precariously on top of it. As he moved to close the gap between himself and the sea chest, Diego knew it had seen better days, there were a few holes in it, and its' finish was in need of a serious repair. He quickly knelt down in front of it and grabbed the handle that adorned the front of it, and pulled upwards, but the chest would not open. He looked at it for a moment, noticing the keyhole and quietly cursing for a moment, the chest was clearly old, and thus the key was clearly going to be of a similar age. His grandfather would not make something that was clearly important to him inaccessible to Diego, but frustration was quickly mounting in the still-emotional Venezuelan, his mind quickly jumping to the possibility of breaking his way into the chest. His frustrated thoughts suddenly dissipated when he remembered the key that his grandfather had given him for his eighteenth birthday, and his hand fumbled into his pocket for his set of keys, where he kept it, producing it, and an old-style key, which he held up.

[i]'Keep safe this key, carry it on your person at all times,'[/i] his grandfather had told him.

He inserted the key into the keyhole in the front, and opened the sea chest, after sweeping the birdcage off the top of it, sending it clattering to the floor, the scent of musk entering his senses and he coughed as he looked into the old sea chest. It appeared that mice had gotten into the main compartment through a hole he could now see in the back of the chest, and he grimaced, as he picked up what looked like a more recent envelope to him from his grandfather, and paper shavings fell out of it, its contents torn apart by the mice. He then picked up one of the smaller chests inside of the sea chest, and opened it, a well-preserved leather-bound book looking up at him. It had not been touched by the mice, and it looked relatively clean and well-kept, he carefully picked it up, and flipped through the pages, his eyes resting on a map in the front of the book. He recognized it from the maps of Venezuelan Amazon, Puerto Ayacucho, the map's starting point, and realized that the journal was a travel journal. As he scanned the first entry, the words "El Dorado" popped out at him, and his eyes widened, and he shut the diary quickly, his senses becoming very heightened at what he thought he held in his hands now, and how much it needed to be protected.

[center][b]*** *** ***[/b][/center]

A week after Diego found the journal, a notice to various archaeological departments at many universities and colleges would be put out from a source in Caracas, Venezuela, detailing a coming expedition deep in the Amazon. Similar postings were made on various credible temporary job websites across the world would be made for experienced individuals with navigation, tracking, experienced brown-water sailors, that had experience in extreme environments. The pay offered was considerable, but hinged on a successful expedition, all applicants for the expedition were asked to provide a resume and credentials to an email source attached to a website dedicated to what was called the "Orinoco River Anthropological Study Team". Diego had put his name on the website, along with his own credentials, and any online searches for him would bring up what was the background of a career academic, with a few books and journal articles to his name, along with some news snippets about his classes, travels, and involvement in archaeology.

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A pair of heavy boots walked across the street in Caracas to where Diego had set up his Anthropological Study Team headquarters. The boots were worn by a pair of thin legs which curved up into a toned muscular body with ragged hands, broad shoulders, and a stern face with long black hair down a strong back. Catalina de Suarez made her presence in any town she came across, she was born in the jungles of southern Columbia and had seen the various horrors that plagued South America. This had not stopped, however, her Spanish father and Indian mother from installing a strong sense of self-righteousness and brutal work ethic into the girl who eventually inherited the family fishing company.

Business and political turmoil had not been kind to the people of the southern jungles and having seen her father's work flounder on the Amazon, Catalina had come to the city looking for work. In a cantina in Caracas was the first time the Mulatto had discovered Diego's company seeking to head up the river on an Anthropological Dig. The money was supposed to be good and Catalina was broke, if her luck didn't change soon, she'd be out on the streets and from Heaven her parents would look down in disapproval. She could sail, she could navigate, and she could use a gun; probably better than the bookworm kid who was footing the bill for the expedition.

Pushing open the doors of Diego's headquarters, the Mulatto placed her hands on her hips after she gained the attention of those inside. "Which one of you is Diego. I heard you're looking for a navigator."

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The day was like any other day, with a Raimund Côté siting at his desk doing his homework for the Department of Archaeology at the university he went at, being Memorial University. He was hoping that after he was done, he could go to one of the hunting areas he knows very well of, and maybe bring back another moose. That would be fun, he thought. Maybe some Caribou and fox aswell. But, that would have to wait for later, as he was doing some research on some old Viking colonies in the area. As he was finishing his homework, he noticed a notice that was attached to his university website, tagged with Archaeology. Raimund was sorta interested in this, and he always wanted to venture into the Amazon. Raimund would believe he even had some of the experiences needed for such a trip. Having been a hunter, he would have learned a good deal of tracking. Having lived in Birchy Bay, he learned to trap, and living off the seas that surrounded both the town and island, he knows how to fish. And with the smell of wealth, he knew he would have to complete the mission for it, he had to. He could buy a new gun and ammunition for said gun, and pay off his student loan. He would later call the department who would later allow him to venture on his trip, which would be paid for by the university.

A couple of plane rides and a taxi later, he found himself in Caracas, Venezuela. He would enjoy the differences in the area, however the climate he had to get a little used to. Once again, the doors of Diego's headquarters would be opened, and he would speak in his Canadian french accent after he caught their attention. "bonjour people, is there a Diego here? I've heard you need someone with some experience in tracking, and being a hunter, I have knowledge of such. Having lived in Newfoundland, I can also be of some use for when the weather decides to be unfavorable, or when you guys are in the mood for some fish."

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[u][b]Background[/b][/u]
Born in 1944 Milton Hershey III mostly grew up in the prosperous post war environment and knew nothing of a world at war or turmoil. Growing up he was being groomed to follow his father and grandfather's footsteps in running the Hershey Corporation. In 1951 his father temporarily gave up control of the company to fight in the Korean War and came back a hero. Young Milton wanted to emulate his father's service to his country but wasn't given the opportunity so he kept up with his schooling. A veritable genius he graduated high school at the age of 16 and was accepted to Penn State soon after. Majoring in Business and Chemical Engineering he graduated as Valedictorian of his class.

His opportunity to serve came during the Vietnam war where he served as a young Lieutenant after going through the ROTC program at Penn State. Shipped off to Vietnam he led his platoon through the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley where he received the Silver star for single handedly wiping out three NVA machine gun positions and the purple heart for being seriously wounded doing so. After recovering he was transferred the the US Army Special forces where he served continually until the wars end in 1975 receiving a medal of honor, two more silver stars and six purple hearts.

Milton's experience in Vietnam haunted him for a long time and was compounded by the death of his father a year after he left the army, leaving him to take the rein of the growing Hershey Corporation. A brilliant businessman, his leadership ensured the rapid growth of the Hershey Empire and a huge leap in his personal wealth which he used for various charitable efforts. Retiring at the age of 56 he had amassed immense wealth before turning over the company to his own son and even though he still maintained his philanthropist activities he still felt a void.

This void coupled with a yearning for adventure led Milton to begin traveling the globe and exploring. His first venture was climbing Everest for the first time which he managed to do despite almost being killed by a storm that unexpectedly rolled in. He then personally funded an expedition into the Congo in the hopes of discovering new creatures and plants (specifically the mythical beasts that were said to roam there). While they failed to find any mythical creatures Milton felt that the adventure itself was worth it and so he went on dozens of these trips and expeditions around the world through all types of environments from the jungle to deserts and everything in between. Many of these expeditions were recorded and given to travel networks for the world to see granting Milton much recognition around the world for his efforts.

[u][b]Present Day[/b][/u]
Milton's jeep came to a stop and he stepped out looking at a fairly large mansion, the smallest of the three mansions that he owned. The former CEO of the Hershey Corporation and two of his friends began to unload equipment from the jeep that they had used to climb Mount Everest several days ago. This was his 14th time ascending to the top of the highest mountain in the world. Even though he was 68 years old he'd lived a fulfilling and adventurous life and that wasn't going to stop because of a silly thing like old age. The only thing that was going to stop him was death, which he'd come close to many times in his life and didn't really bother worrying about too much anymore.

After they unloaded their equipment they went inside to enjoy lunch and one of Milton's secretaries arrived to hand him a letter from the Smithsonian Institute. Written by the Secretary of the Smithsonian, a personal friend, it detailed an upcoming expedition into the Amazon but said that the overall goal of the expedition was still unclear. [i]Still[/i], thought Milton. [i]The last two times I tried to get into the Amazon I nearly died. Maybe the third times the charm?[/i] This was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

After lunch he bid his friends farewell and proceeded to his office where he began to make some calls and prepared his jet to head down to Caracas. Before he left he submitted his resume and credentials detailing his vast experience in exploration, zoology and some medical experience. He arrived in Caracas less than 10 hours later in the company of his friend Gaje Thapa, a Gurkha he initially met on an expedition in Nepal and now one of his closest friends. While their equipment was being unloaded from the plane they decided to visit the headquarters for this "Orinoco River Anthropological Study Team" and size up what was happening. Wearing khakis, shirts, sunglasses and sports coats they wouldn't stand out as much and their attire allowed them to maintain their concealed weaponry. Milton carried two Colt 45 Pistols from his time in Vietnam and Gaje carried a Glock and his family's Kukri knife.

Their rented sedan took them to the building indicated by the emails which they entered looking for this Diego Obradors who was supposed to be heading this expedition. "I'm here to meet with Diego Obradors?" Hershey said fairly loudly hoping to gain the right person's attention.

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[IMG]http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/iKrolm/Carl_Brasher.png[/IMG]

Carl Brasher was born to a poor black family in Tonieville, Kentucky where he grew up and lived until he turned eighteen. The middle child of three, Carl was raised by his single mother and never knew his father. He attended church in Tonieville where he learned of Jesus and school in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where he earned a high school diploma, surpassing his mother's formal education by three years. At the age of fourteen, Carl began working part time as a dish washer at a local franchise restaurant and at eighteen he moved up from dishwasher to cook's assistant.

Now twenty years of age (barely), Carl Brasher stood at 180 cm and 70 kilos when he arrived in Venezuela in search of a too-good-to-be-true job offering he found on the internet. It was good too good to be true, and Carl soon found himself penniless and alone in a foreign country. Desperate for a job and perhaps not learning from the last try, he turned to an odd listing for boat crew.

Thus he arrived at Diego Obradors' Caracas headquarters, 'Carl Brasher, Ship's Cook' on his application.

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Alexander Duane was not a loud man, nor was he verbose. In fact, those who knew Alexander knew in fact he rarely spoke at all. He didn't really need to. His presence spoke for him. A veritable giant of a man, at well over six and a half feet tall with a solid build. A build like a tank, many said--appropriately enough, considering his background.

Serving for twenty-five years in the former Australian military, black ops for almost a decade of that, he had the scars and the experience to prove much of it, including some of the taller tales he told in his rare moments of garrulousness. Those years served him in good stead, the combat and survival skills easily applying to hunting and tracking as well, and though usually tending more toward the two-footed sort of prey, he could easily turn to tracking for food or simply pleasure. It mattered not to him. He also had the equivalent of a medical degree, and was a crack shot with any sort of rifle.

Of course, he had hated every minute of his life in the military. But he was good at it. And if he hadn't done the job, who would have? Someone who enjoyed it too much? Someone who got a kick out of killing, or worse, outright cruelty?

He didn't put his thoughts into the resume. Instead, he detailed all his skills, and the fact that he'd accompanied more than one such expedition into various wilderness areas, from deserts, to outback, to frigid wastelands...even the jungles they were currently heading off into. He made sure to put everything relevant into the e-mail before sending it off. That way, the moment he actually arrived, he barely had to say two words--his name--and they would know whether to hire him or send him away.

Which is what he intended on finding out. He stood across the street, his hand shading his eyes from the sun, as he studied the building he had been told to come to. But there was not really much to be learned without heading inside and meeting his employer. So with a shrug, he shouldered his bags and pack, containing various medical supplies and equipment, an old but still serviceable battle rifle from his time in the special forces, a pair of desert eagles, and an even older rifle from an era almost forgotten. Ammunition for each, of course. he grunted a hello to any he saw as he pushed through the doors, and though he seemed to casually ignore them after a moment's glance, he took in every detail about the place...and the people in it.

Edited by Subtleknifewielder
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Jimmy Ricardo, a bald Colombian man in his early 30's entered the building. He wore camo pants and a camo shirt, and around his kneck was a Bandana. He was a criminal, though any searches on his name would show he ran tourist escort group to provide protection in the Amazon. Underneath those lies however, he worked for a big time drug dealing operation. Profits had slowed with drugs becoming harder to smuggle less business was coming in for his group and they had to make profits some how, and hearing about the considerable pay he could get for this expedition, he just couldn't let it pass. He approached Diego. "I hear your looking for trackers and sailors. Me and my men know the amazon like the back of our hands, and have sailed in the amazon many times. Not only that but we can offer your expedition protection, anything from a crocodile to a tank, we can handle it all." He said with a slight smile.

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Christofor Boerio di Firenze had lived nearly everywhere, and hated it there. The only city that gave him comfort was Florence, but now Athenian soldiers would probably shoot him on sight if he so much as set foot in Athenian Italy. They had good aim, too, so that was enough of a deterrent. Fluent in English and Italian, he had barely gotten out of the Rio Negro alive, still half-wondering what had happened to those on the first expedition.

Since then, however, he had upped his experience with navigational skills and map reading, and could say with exact certainty if he thought something was going wrong. He listed only the navigation, map reading, and survival skills gained in the former Brotherhood of Portugal evading the Brotherhood's Fist as his services and talents. As he entered the building, he self-consciously checked his reliable .38 caliber revolver, and bent down to tie his shoe...and check to make sure his Italian-made stiletto knife was still in his boot. On his back he carried a simple Finnish army rucksack, bought at one of the many trade shows he had attended, filled with food kits, ammunition, and even a simple medkit. He was coming prepared this time.

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Having a considerable amount of money from being born into a fairly well-to-do family, Diego was not without monetary resources, and in Greater Colombia, monetary resources could get you anything. It was a land of opportunity, haggling and bargaining, the government had opened up a climate of supply and demand, in both the services and manufacturing sectors, and although it managed some aspects of Colombia's economy, that good old free market hand would guide most of the rest of it, for good or for bad. After Diego had sent out word for an expedition, he had turned to some trustworthy associates for assistance in organizing the expedition, people he knew he could trust in.

Leading his trustworthy candidates would be one of Diego's former students, Josef Anders, the son of a couple of third-generation Polish immigrants, with a flash of blonde hair and a firm jaw, Anders came from hearty stock, and was an avid outdoorsman, having spent a lot of time in the Amazon on various expeditions. It was in this capacity that Diego had found his friend and student; Anders had just come back from fulfilling the role of a guide for a group of families, earning money so that he would eventually be able to return to college and earn a masters. Although keeping all of the details from Anders, Diego had given Anders enough of an idea that this was going to be made worth his while, and given their already existing friendship, it had taken little to bring the man on board.

Through Anders, Diego was able to gain two more "loyal" contacts to him, Lena Carranza, a middle-aged Venezuelan woman who specialized in professional audio-visual recording, who had accompanied Anders on a number of adventures, a lithe Latina, she was rugged and well-traveled. The other was Gerald Forbes, a Canadian Expatriate with years of military service, who typically served as a type of private security for their expeditions, Forbes was also a reserve member of the Venezuelan State Police Force in the Venezuelan Amazonas. Diego would send his small team of loyalists to Puerto Ayacucho, providing them with an extensive amount of money to purchase a sizeable river boat, along with gear needed for the trip, giving them leeway as to what they purchased, relying on them to provide the gear and outfit the boat with needed essentials.

Whilst they were doing this, Diego would stay behind in Caracas to respond to, and receive members of his expedition, and would follow on a flight to Puerto Ayacucho soon after...

[quote name='Sarah Tintagyl' timestamp='1346041790' post='3025563']
A pair of heavy boots walked across the street in Caracas to where Diego had set up his Anthropological Study Team headquarters. The boots were worn by a pair of thin legs which curved up into a toned muscular body with ragged hands, broad shoulders, and a stern face with long black hair down a strong back. Catalina de Suarez made her presence in any town she came across, she was born in the jungles of southern Columbia and had seen the various horrors that plagued South America. This had not stopped, however, her Spanish father and Indian mother from installing a strong sense of self-righteousness and brutal work ethic into the girl who eventually inherited the family fishing company.

Business and political turmoil had not been kind to the people of the southern jungles and having seen her father's work flounder on the Amazon, Catalina had come to the city looking for work. In a cantina in Caracas was the first time the Mulatto had discovered Diego's company seeking to head up the river on an Anthropological Dig. The money was supposed to be good and Catalina was broke, if her luck didn't change soon, she'd be out on the streets and from Heaven her parents would look down in disapproval. She could sail, she could navigate, and she could use a gun; probably better than the bookworm kid who was footing the bill for the expedition.

Pushing open the doors of Diego's headquarters, the Mulatto placed her hands on her hips after she gained the attention of those inside. "Which one of you is Diego. I heard you're looking for a navigator."
[/quote]

The small headquarters seemed to be a rather haphazard affair, and the mousy Latina secretary behind the desk looked up with widened eyes when Catalina made her presence known, which was seemingly not that hard to do. The secretary would not have time to answer, opening and closing her mouth a few times before Diego came out of the small office at the rear of the headquarters. Having heard the words by the imposing Catalina from his office, Diego would come out, with a cool expression on his face.

"I believe you are seeking me, Miss?" he said, in a calm manner, with a polite smile on his face. His demeanor and dress was business like, he was clean shaven and appeared much like a professor in college would; a tie and formal work clothes. He would appraise her with his eyes, sizing up the imposing Colombian sailor, before adding, "I [i]am[/i] indeed looking for a navigator, one with extensive expertise operating the rivers, especially up towards the headwaters. If you can do that, you have a job... and a plane ticket."

[quote name='Shadow hawk' timestamp='1346076362' post='3025616']
The day was like any other day, with a Raimund Côté siting at his desk doing his homework for the Department of Archaeology at the university he went at, being Memorial University. He was hoping that after he was done, he could go to one of the hunting areas he knows very well of, and maybe bring back another moose. That would be fun, he thought. Maybe some Caribou and fox aswell. But, that would have to wait for later, as he was doing some research on some old Viking colonies in the area. As he was finishing his homework, he noticed a notice that was attached to his university website, tagged with Archaeology. Raimund was sorta interested in this, and he always wanted to venture into the Amazon. Raimund would believe he even had some of the experiences needed for such a trip. Having been a hunter, he would have learned a good deal of tracking. Having lived in Birchy Bay, he learned to trap, and living off the seas that surrounded both the town and island, he knows how to fish. And with the smell of wealth, he knew he would have to complete the mission for it, he had to. He could buy a new gun and ammunition for said gun, and pay off his student loan. He would later call the department who would later allow him to venture on his trip, which would be paid for by the university.

A couple of plane rides and a taxi later, he found himself in Caracas, Venezuela. He would enjoy the differences in the area, however the climate he had to get a little used to. Once again, the doors of Diego's headquarters would be opened, and he would speak in his Canadian french accent after he caught their attention. "bonjour people, is there a Diego here? I've heard you need someone with some experience in tracking, and being a hunter, I have knowledge of such. Having lived in Newfoundland, I can also be of some use for when the weather decides to be unfavorable, or when you guys are in the mood for some fish."
[/quote]

Appraising the younger individual who stepped into his door, Diego would be surprised by the French accent that Raimund spoke in, and smiled at him, "I am Diego Obradors, and yes, I am looking for someone with your skill set." He would smile lightly, "Newfoundland? You're a little far from home, my friend, what is your name? And being from Newfoundland, can I expect you to hold up to the heat and humidity of this climate? It is much different from what you would appear to be used to..."

[quote name='MostGloriousLeader' timestamp='1346093245' post='3025685']
[u][b]Present Day[/b][/u]
Milton's jeep came to a stop and he stepped out looking at a fairly large mansion, the smallest of the three mansions that he owned. The former CEO of the Hershey Corporation and two of his friends began to unload equipment from the jeep that they had used to climb Mount Everest several days ago. This was his 14th time ascending to the top of the highest mountain in the world. Even though he was 68 years old he'd lived a fulfilling and adventurous life and that wasn't going to stop because of a silly thing like old age. The only thing that was going to stop him was death, which he'd come close to many times in his life and didn't really bother worrying about too much anymore.

After they unloaded their equipment they went inside to enjoy lunch and one of Milton's secretaries arrived to hand him a letter from the Smithsonian Institute. Written by the Secretary of the Smithsonian, a personal friend, it detailed an upcoming expedition into the Amazon but said that the overall goal of the expedition was still unclear. [i]Still[/i], thought Milton. [i]The last two times I tried to get into the Amazon I nearly died. Maybe the third times the charm?[/i] This was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

After lunch he bid his friends farewell and proceeded to his office where he began to make some calls and prepared his jet to head down to Caracas. Before he left he submitted his resume and credentials detailing his vast experience in exploration, zoology and some medical experience. He arrived in Caracas less than 10 hours later in the company of his friend Gaje Thapa, a Gurkha he initially met on an expedition in Nepal and now one of his closest friends. While their equipment was being unloaded from the plane they decided to visit the headquarters for this "Orinoco River Anthropological Study Team" and size up what was happening. Wearing khakis, shirts, sunglasses and sports coats they wouldn't stand out as much and their attire allowed them to maintain their concealed weaponry. Milton carried two Colt 45 Pistols from his time in Vietnam and Gaje carried a Glock and his family's Kukri knife.

Their rented sedan took them to the building indicated by the emails which they entered looking for this Diego Obradors who was supposed to be heading this expedition. "I'm here to meet with Diego Obradors?" Hershey said fairly loudly hoping to gain the right person's attention.
[/quote]

Much like Catalina and Raimund, Hershey would be met with what seemed to be a rather haphazardly-organized office, almost as if it had been put together with haste. Having dismissed his secretary for lunch, Diego sat at the front desk, eating a sandwich and sipping on a Coca-Cola when Hershey walked into his office. He held up his finger, "That would be me, I assume you are responding to my email?"

[quote name='iKrolm' timestamp='1346107460' post='3025774']
[IMG]http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/iKrolm/Carl_Brasher.png[/IMG]

Carl Brasher was born to a poor black family in Tonieville, Kentucky where he grew up and lived until he turned eighteen. The middle child of three, Carl was raised by his single mother and never knew his father. He attended church in Tonieville where he learned of Jesus and school in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where he earned a high school diploma, surpassing his mother's formal education by three years. At the age of fourteen, Carl began working part time as a dish washer at a local franchise restaurant and at eighteen he moved up from dishwasher to cook's assistant.

Now twenty years of age (barely), Carl Brasher stood at 180 cm and 70 kilos when he arrived in Venezuela in search of a too-good-to-be-true job offering he found on the internet. It was good too good to be true, and Carl soon found himself penniless and alone in a foreign country. Desperate for a job and perhaps not learning from the last try, he turned to an odd listing for boat crew.

Thus he arrived at Diego Obradors' Caracas headquarters, 'Carl Brasher, Ship's Cook' on his application.
[/quote]

With Carl seated in his office, Diego would look into the strained eyes of the individual in front of him, who appeared to be unemployed from his application and resume, before looking back down at his resume. Putting down the young man's resume, he would smile evenly at Carl, and nod, "While I am currently unsure of how big the ship's cooking facilities will be, Mr. Brasher, I will say that someone who knows how to cook and prepare foods properly would be an asset. You do realize that we are going deep into the Amazon? And I cannot guarantee the continual safety of the crew that is going with me, myself included? There will be safeguards in place, of course."

"If you can accept that, then you have a job, and a plane ticket for tomorrow to Puerto Ayacucho, along with enough money for room and board for a couple days while the rest of the expedition arrives."

[quote name='Subtleknifewielder' timestamp='1346215603' post='3026277']
Alexander Duane was not a loud man, nor was he verbose. In fact, those who knew Alexander knew in fact he rarely spoke at all. He didn't really need to. His presence spoke for him. A veritable giant of a man, at well over six and a half feet tall with a solid build. A build like a tank, many said--appropriately enough, considering his background.

Serving for twenty-five years in the former Australian military, black ops for almost a decade of that, he had the scars and the experience to prove much of it, including some of the taller tales he told in his rare moments of garrulousness. Those years served him in good stead, the combat and survival skills easily applying to hunting and tracking as well, and though usually tending more toward the two-footed sort of prey, he could easily turn to tracking for food or simply pleasure. It mattered not to him. He also had the equivalent of a medical degree, and was a crack shot with any sort of rifle.

Of course, he had hated every minute of his life in the military. But he was good at it. And if he hadn't done the job, who would have? Someone who enjoyed it too much? Someone who got a kick out of killing, or worse, outright cruelty?

He didn't put his thoughts into the resume. Instead, he detailed all his skills, and the fact that he'd accompanied more than one such expedition into various wilderness areas, from deserts, to outback, to frigid wastelands...even the jungles they were currently heading off into. He made sure to put everything relevant into the e-mail before sending it off. That way, the moment he actually arrived, he barely had to say two words--his name--and they would know whether to hire him or send him away.

Which is what he intended on finding out. He stood across the street, his hand shading his eyes from the sun, as he studied the building he had been told to come to. But there was not really much to be learned without heading inside and meeting his employer. So with a shrug, he shouldered his bags and pack, containing various medical supplies and equipment, an old but still serviceable battle rifle from his time in the special forces, a pair of desert eagles, and an even older rifle from an era almost forgotten. Ammunition for each, of course. he grunted a hello to any he saw as he pushed through the doors, and though he seemed to casually ignore them after a moment's glance, he took in every detail about the place...and the people in it.
[/quote]

Much like the rest of the individuals who had come and gone, Alexander would be greeted with the haphazardly-organized venue that Diego worked in, and having just dismissed his last member of the crew to their journey, he would once again appraise a newcomer, this appearing to be an older gentleman, but one who was of a hulking appearance. A veritable giant appeared to step through his doors, and caused Diego to raise an eyebrow when he looked out from his office in the interior of the shop to see the man.

The receptionist would direct Alexander to Diego's office, and upon entering, Diego looked up and smiled at the imposing man, "If you're here to join the expedition, I'm not sure if you'll even fit on the boat," he said in a lighthearted joking manner, with a small chuckle. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr.? What can you bring to the table?"

[quote name='supercheese' timestamp='1346245106' post='3026323']
Jimmy Ricardo, a bald Colombian man in his early 30's entered the building. He wore camo pants and a camo shirt, and around his kneck was a Bandana. He was a criminal, though any searches on his name would show he ran tourist escort group to provide protection in the Amazon. Underneath those lies however, he worked for a big time drug dealing operation. Profits had slowed with drugs becoming harder to smuggle less business was coming in for his group and they had to make profits some how, and hearing about the considerable pay he could get for this expedition, he just couldn't let it pass. He approached Diego. "I hear your looking for trackers and sailors. Me and my men know the amazon like the back of our hands, and have sailed in the amazon many times. Not only that but we can offer your expedition protection, anything from a crocodile to a tank, we can handle it all." He said with a slight smile.
[/quote]

When Jimmy Ricardo entered his office, Diego felt a little uneasy of the man's presence, compared to some of the other comers to join the expedition, there just seemed something a little off about the man. "That I am, Mr. Ricardo," Diego would respond, after exchanging pleasantries and hearing out Jimmy's pitch to him. "How many individuals can I expect you to bring along? And how well do you know the Orinoco River? Above Puerto Ayacucho?"

[quote name='Markus Wilding' timestamp='1346246118' post='3026330']
Christofor Boerio di Firenze had lived nearly everywhere, and hated it there. The only city that gave him comfort was Florence, but now Athenian soldiers would probably shoot him on sight if he so much as set foot in Athenian Italy. They had good aim, too, so that was enough of a deterrent. Fluent in English and Italian, he had barely gotten out of the Rio Negro alive, still half-wondering what had happened to those on the first expedition.

Since then, however, he had upped his experience with navigational skills and map reading, and could say with exact certainty if he thought something was going wrong. He listed only the navigation, map reading, and survival skills gained in the former Brotherhood of Portugal evading the Brotherhood's Fist as his services and talents. As he entered the building, he self-consciously checked his reliable .38 caliber revolver, and bent down to tie his shoe...and check to make sure his Italian-made stiletto knife was still in his boot. On his back he carried a simple Finnish army rucksack, bought at one of the many trade shows he had attended, filled with food kits, ammunition, and even a simple medkit. He was coming prepared this time.
[/quote]

Much like some of the other adventure-seekers who had come to his office, Christofor appeared to be an individual who was well-armed, seemingly ready for anything. Diego had already dismissed his secretary for the day, and had just finished meeting with Ricardo when the man had arrived, and was readying to go home himself. "I assume [i]you[/i] are here to join my expedition up the Orinoco, Diego Obradors, and you are?"

[b][OOC: I'm going to try to limit the interactions at the office to one more verbal exchange each, preferably, from there, we'll move to Puerto Ayacucho, where the preparations for expedition will start in earnest!][/b]

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[quote name='TheShammySocialist' timestamp='1346380381' post='3026809']
Much like the rest of the individuals who had come and gone, Alexander would be greeted with the haphazardly-organized venue that Diego worked in, and having just dismissed his last member of the crew to their journey, he would once again appraise a newcomer, this appearing to be an older gentleman, but one who was of a hulking appearance. A veritable giant appeared to step through his doors, and caused Diego to raise an eyebrow when he looked out from his office in the interior of the shop to see the man.

The receptionist would direct Alexander to Diego's office, and upon entering, Diego looked up and smiled at the imposing man, "If you're here to join the expedition, I'm not sure if you'll even fit on the boat," he said in a lighthearted joking manner, with a small chuckle. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr.? What can you bring to the table?"
[/quote]
Alexander nodded silently, following the receptionist's directions to Diego's office. He took in the barely organized mess before him with the usual aplomb he was known for. Not like it was the first such expedition he'd participated in, and these intellectuals often tended to be disorganized. But the world wouldn't be where it was without them, so one dealt with it. He even found it mildly amusing, in his own way, though all he showed was a mildly bland, but hopefully pleasant, smile. Yes, he could smile, though he didn't often do it. [color="#000080"]"Alexander Duane,"[/color] he answered with as much of a hush as he could, not that it was much of one. Even his voice sounded large, deep, and even when he spoke quietly, he could still be heard more or less clearly. He stood there, at a position anyone with marching and drilling experience would recognize as parade rest, with the bags and pack that contained his weapons and equipment hanging from his massive shoulders. That position was one habit he could not break, even after leaving the service.

As for his skills... [color="#000080"]"I can track, navigate...I have a medical degree, license, and basic medical supplies...and if necessary, I can hunt and shoot. I can demonstrate each, if you require."[/color] Quite a list, which he provided as shortly and succinctly as possible. And he spoke honestly--he would demonstrate, if asked to do so.

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[quote name='TheShammySocialist' timestamp='1346380381' post='3026809']
When Jimmy Ricardo entered his office, Diego felt a little uneasy of the man's presence, compared to some of the other comers to join the expedition, there just seemed something a little off about the man. "That I am, Mr. Ricardo," Diego would respond, after exchanging pleasantries and hearing out Jimmy's pitch to him. "How many individuals can I expect you to bring along? And how well do you know the Orinoco River? Above Puerto Ayacucho?"
[/quote]

"I can bring a max of 12 excellent sailors, including myself, to work on the ship. They all know what they are doing and I would trust them with my life. Has for your other question, we have sailed Ciudad Bolivar to Puerto Ayacuho on more then one occasion, transporting tourists down the river. We also know much of the land to, should we ever find ourselves on it during this expedition."

Edited by supercheese
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[quote]Appraising the younger individual who stepped into his door, Diego would be surprised by the French accent that Raimund spoke in, and smiled at him, "I am Diego Obradors, and yes, I am looking for someone with your skill set." He would smile lightly, "Newfoundland? You're a little far from home, my friend, what is your name? And being from Newfoundland, can I expect you to hold up to the heat and humidity of this climate? It is much different from what you would appear to be used to..." [/quote]

"Hello Diego, Je m'appelle Raimund Côté. I believe that I'll grow used to this different climate. I just have to remember to dress lighter. So long as I have along me my gun, some traps, and a fishing pole, I should be alright."

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[quote name='TheShammySocialist' timestamp='1346380381' post='3026809']
With Carl seated in his office, Diego would look into the strained eyes of the individual in front of him, who appeared to be unemployed from his application and resume, before looking back down at his resume. Putting down the young man's resume, he would smile evenly at Carl, and nod, "While I am currently unsure of how big the ship's cooking facilities will be, Mr. Brasher, I will say that someone who knows how to cook and prepare foods properly would be an asset. You do realize that we are going deep into the Amazon? And I cannot guarantee the continual safety of the crew that is going with me, myself included? There will be safeguards in place, of course."

"If you can accept that, then you have a job, and a plane ticket for tomorrow to Puerto Ayacucho, along with enough money for room and board for a couple days while the rest of the expedition arrives."[/quote]


Carl nodded vigorously, "Oh yes, thank you very much for the opportunity, Captain Diego sir! You needn't worry about me, I can follow instructions: just tell me what to do and I'll do it. I can cook all sorts of food for you and the rest of the crew. Again, thank you very much for the opportunity; I promise you won't regret it!"

After they parted ways, Carl boarded the flight to Puerto Ayacucho. With money in his pocket and the promise of more to come, he spent his time exploring the city. Before the ship was set to leave, he spent the last of Diego's money on supplies: clothing and basic items for the trip as well as pots and pans, cooking utensils and knives, chlorine drops, spices, and other goods he guessed a ship's cook might need.

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[quote name='TheShammySocialist' timestamp='1346380381' post='3026809']
Much like Catalina and Raimund, Hershey would be met with what seemed to be a rather haphazardly-organized office, almost as if it had been put together with haste. Having dismissed his secretary for lunch, Diego sat at the front desk, eating a sandwich and sipping on a Coca-Cola when Hershey walked into his office. He held up his finger, "That would be me, I assume you are responding to my email?"
[/quote]

"Yes Mr. Obradors, my name is Milton Hershey and this is my good friend Gaje Thapa and we are here in response to the emails you sent to the Smithsonian. In return you should have received a reply detailing our experience in wilderness exploration and survival which is why I we here. The opportunity of a new adventure interests us and I can assure you that we am up to the task for this expedition. I am also willing to put up extra funds for this operation if required and would also like to offer the additional assistance in the form of several good and reliable private military contractors that I know".

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[quote name='TheShammySocialist' timestamp='1346380381' post='3026809']
Much like some of the other adventure-seekers who had come to his office, Christofor appeared to be an individual who was well-armed, seemingly ready for anything. Diego had already dismissed his secretary for the day, and had just finished meeting with Ricardo when the man had arrived, and was readying to go home himself. "I assume [i]you[/i] are here to join my expedition up the Orinoco, Diego Obradors, and you are?"
[/quote]

"Christoforo di Firenze, at your service, Diego. I'll protect you and your crew, signore." he said, flashing a grin. With that, he would wait for the boat to leave and get on it, anxious to begin the journey.

Edited by Markus Wilding
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