When we last left the Tiny Alien, he was finally in control of his goals. He had seen a Vision of a tiny bakset on top of a very tall pole, and he knew that he needed to be in that basket to get to where he needed to go. The Alex had hailed a cabbie named Crash to take him to the pirates, and the were soon underway to Sheepshead Bay.
"You do realize that here in New York most of the pirates are riding around on office chairs in cubicals with massive quantities of computer power?" inquired Crash.
The Tiny Alien was hardly taken aback by this news. He needed the type of pirate that buckled swash and complained about the lack of rum. He was quite glad to be sure of something for a change, since he had been rather disoriented since coming to the land of Tiny Doors.
"I do not care about the kind of pirates that raid bank accounts, I need the kind that sail, and none of those cruise ship types either. I need the old fashioned, campy versions. And then I need to sail. "
"OK, but you know that trans-dimensional trips can get a person motion sick. You should take some Dramamine" and Crash stepped on the gas. Now the Tiny Alien had never been to Sheepshead Bay, so he couldn't tell that anything was out of the ordinary. If you had been to Sheepshead Bay, you would have known that it looked pretty close to the original, and it smelled a lot like the original, but there was an odd Spider Robinson kind of vibe to the one that Crash took the Tiny Alien to. Of course if you've been to the real Sheepshead Bay, you'd also know that any of the things that tipped you off to the change would not have raised a single eyebrow if they had shown up at the real deal, because well, it is Brooklyn and it is a dock, and that's really just the way things are. (Except for Park Slope where they are trying too hard).
The Tiny Alien noticed that he and Crash were a little small while they were speeding under the human sized cars and such down a long black ribbon with many vehicles called Kings Highway, but when they got to the Port of the Fisher King at Sheepshead Bay everything seemed to be just the right size, and Crash let the Tiny Alien off in front of the dock gate.
The Tiny Alien knew some sort of payment was involved, and tried to pay his way with the candy coins of his home planet, but Crash assured him that with the Vision Quest Service all payments that were due to him would show up in their own time. He did accept a roll of "Smarties" as a tip.
An Old Man waited at the end of the dock, looking the Tiny Alien up and down. The poor little traveller suddenly realized that he didn't know the appropriate greeting for Old Men At The End of Docks. He though about it and realized that perhaps it was the same as the appropriate form of address for off-duty witches. "Hail and well met- Please don't kill me in my sleep." he said, formally.
"I see, you're looking for the Ultimate Treat, and you've been affected by the Indies instead of the Indians for the whole Vision Quest Tour Package." the Old Man rummaged around in his bag that seemed to be full of something active. "Of course they're not really Indians are they, and Native Americans is wrong too, since no one's really native anywhere and there are over 280 recognized tribes most of whom hated each other's guts in various combinations. It would have been like the Israeli Knesset if they'd formed their own government, Indian Nation indeed! Except instead of 30 political parties you probably would have had to invent some new algorithms in order to get a majority government HA! The Mayans would have kicked everyone's butt if you had to form coalition government through math. That would have shown those Apaches . . . . found it, here you go kid." and with that the Old Man hand the Tiny Alien a stick with batteries and some sort of long thing with lights. The Old Man showed the Tiny Alien how to turn it on and make it rotate with a continuous wrist movement. The Tiny Alien concluded that he had made a proper greeting based on the enthusiasm of the OLd Man's Response.
The Tiny Alien made the horizontal bar spin and from random patterns the spinning created letters and words in glowing red dots. It read, "I know why the rum is always Gone".
"You'll have to spin this for a while, probably about eighteen minutes or so, because it's more elegant that way. But your ride will show up and you'll be able to continue on to the Trouble."
"Crash, the cabbie, did warn me that there might be Trouble." The Tiny Alien braced himself and looked steely eyed to warn the Trouble that he was prepared.
The Old Man found that pretty impressive, and they passed some time discussing the various types of Trouble that people on Quests of one sort or another usually got into. With time pleasantly passing, the Tiny Alien never saw the raft with the sharks head and the basket on the pole show up. The Old Man, however, did not miss a beat.
"You're not the regular pirate."
"Oh no," remarked the rather sweet-faced pirate with the patch."I'm not the Real Pirate at all. I'm just the Fake Pirate and only for the weekend." He pulled expertly to the dock. "I hope that will be OK. Truth be told I really don't even like rum, so if we could pass on the formalities, I'll just be taking the passenger on his way."
The Old Man sniffed the air around his head. "Well you smell legit, so I suppose that's what you are. Off with you, " He patted the Tiny Alien on the back, and whispered into where his ear might be if he had one. "Be careful, he smells of E-Ticket ride, there's Trouble ahead for sure." and he lowered the rope ladder from the dock down to the sailing raft.
The Fake Pirate showed him around and invited him to climb up to the basket called a "Crow's Nest" for the ride if he liked. The Tiny Alien settled in, ray gun at the ready for the next part of his adventure. As they pulled away from the dock, he could hear the Old Man singing a familiar tune.
"You can't see which way you're going
Or Which way that Time is flowing . . . ."
What is the Trouble Ahead? Stay tuned and find out in the Next Episode of Tales of the Tiny Alien!