$BILLION DOLLAR DEAL - T-ISLAND SCREENPLAY
ISLAND - Was a pirate secret location, known only to a small number of
captains by that name. But as piracy became unfashionable with mass hangings, the numbers
of those in the know, dwindled. Until, all that remained was a location
carved in wood. Generally hidden somewhere safe by the pirate concerned.
This location was useless without a chart giving the exact position that
each pirate buried their stash. The maps made on parchment, were handed down
to the next generations, by way of inheritance free of taxes.
The scavengers gathered like a pack of wolves baying for the kill. John Storm anticipated this might happen, indeed, would be sure to come about, after the 'Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes' debacle from 2007 to 2015, where 'Odyssey Marine Exploration' lifted silver coins carried by the Spanish frigate and transported them to America, although the ship was sunk by the British Royal Navy off Portugal in 1804, hence would be bound to give rise to a claim from Spain. Then later, a US court ordered the return of the treasure trove.
The treasure ship had been located closer to Panama, than the Colombian Archipelago, but the gold onboard was without doubt, mostly Incan, hence, Peru and Ecuador had a strong historic claim in John's view, anticipating difficulties in negotiating with many claimants, not least of which was sure to include a bogus British and Spanish claim.
"Dan, we must conclude a deal with the strongest claimants, keeping an open mind."
"Sure Skip, what is your thinking?"
"I'm thinking most of the gold should go back to the country of origin. The shipwreck might qualify as a UNESCO world heritage site. But, we need permissions and cooperation from Colombia and Panama. Colombia, because the Archipelago is technically theirs, even though the culture is mostly Jamaican, from colonial days."
"Hal, can you help?"
"Maybe, thank you Dan." John felt slightly awkward. Hal replayed John's shipwreck video.
"John knows what I'm thinking anyway, but for the benefit of Cleopatra and Dan, I'd agree, not based on hunches, but on historical facts, that John is very much on point."
"You mean not bad for a human," said John. They all laughed. "Come on," said Dan, "John's not human."
"Neither am I," offered Cleopatra.
"No," John got in, "you are too perfect to be human. But we love you just the same."
Cleopatra hugged John and then Dan. "I'd give you a hug too Hal, if I could. But seriously, we need to speak with the right people in the right order. I'd say, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and maybe, Panama."
"Hal, can you do the honours?"
"Mexico, the line was busy - I've got the Peruvian minister of antiquities on line."
"Wow!! Exclaimed the crew in unison. "Hal doesn't hang about."
"Minister, my name is John Storm." John recovered quickly.
"Mr Storm, how can I help you, or is that each other?" The Minister's spoken English was understandable. But John had to concentrate. Cleopatra was better with languages.
"More accurately, and that's what I'm aiming for, is each other."
"We heard about your find in Jamaica. Has this anything to do with Captain Morgan?"
Cleopatra and Dan were impressed. Even Hal gave a thumbs up on his screen. News travels fast.
"It is. It is. Where to start. Well, we've found a shipwreck loaded with gold. Ahem, re-acquired from the Spanish conquistadors by Henry Morgan, we're presuming much of which is Inca and Aztec, hence this call. If possible, and a lot depends on a number of nations working together on this, and assuming for now you may think kindly on the proposition." John caught his breath. "We'd like to make sure that a suitable proportion of the find is properly deposited as a heritage display, perhaps in your Museo Larco, in Lima. Or other location - of your choice of course - to do the asset justice. Assuming of course, that we might reach agreement."
There was a stunned silence. It continued for a while.
"Hello Minister, are you there?"
"By the saints. Yes, Mr Storm, I'm still here. A bit in shock mind you. Who else knows about this?"
"You are the first Minister. We, that is the crew of the Elizabeth Swann, agreed you had a strong claim, so called you first."
"We are honoured Mr Storm, thank your crew for me. I can see them of course." The Minister smiled a broad and genuine greeting, Dan and Cleopatra waved in the background, somewhat excitedly.
"Thinking out loud, and confidentially for now, I imagine our President will be overjoyed. Though I have been wrong before, but on this topic, I believe we'll see eye to eye; as you say in North America. What then do we do about it, and where is the treasure ship. If that is what you are calling it?"
"Treasure ship is okay with us. We hope you understand, but are keeping the location to ourselves until all parties are notified - and are in agreement. To protect the site, you understand."
"Very sensible. Might I suggest that you keep it that way. Some factions might see this as an opportunity to riches, sending history to the floor. And you are an outsider, so to speak. To be taken advantage of, of little regard. No offence intended."
John breathed a sigh of relief. At least that hurdle was out of the way.
"Please don't take this the wrong way Mr Storm, but what proof do you have of the find?"
"Of course, and no offence taken. I have dived the site and made a video record of the cargo. I think you might enjoy the footage. We are thinking to arrange a Zoom conference call. Is that agreeable to you?"
"In principle Mr Storm. In principle."
"Great, then, assuming we can get the other parties to enjoin, we'll try and set that up."
"The other parties being?"
"Oh, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and, probably, Panama. Does that sound about right? At this stage, we think to limit to parties with a legitimate historical claim. Panama is more of a courtesy inclusion, though they have a Morgan ship just offshore. Later, we can expand to include other interested parties."
"That is perfect Mr Storm."
"Okay then Minister. We'll leave it there for now. You have our call-sign if you think of anything. But, we'll be in touch shortly."
"Thank you Mr Storm, I'll advise our President and others at this end. Confidentially of course."
The call ended. John was buzzing. "Phew! That went better than I could have hoped for.
One down, four to go....
John opens negotiations with Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Panama, keeping Blue Shield in the loop. He plays them video of wreck, all astonished. Panama (owners of wreck) offer 10% to John for location. John accepts 5%, on proviso wreck is preserved as heritage site, and treasure Aztec treasure is recognised, in museum displays, to be divided appropriately, himself as final arbiter with guidance from Blue Shield.
HURRICANE IOTA NOVEMBER 2020
- Providencia (boat dock) and Santa Catalina were ravaged by extreme weather
when heading into 2021.
The hurricane was first considered a Category 2 but just before passing Providencia it developed into a Category-5 tropical cyclone which NASA said can have wind speeds of up to 253km/h (157mph) and has the ability to cause catastrophic damage.
SCENE 5. SUNKEN CITY SURVEY - Present Day, Swann's sensors scan the ocean bed, revealing mausoleum former Governor of Jamaica.
JILL BIRD - London. John
Storm's finds lost Henry Morgan's pirate remains. "And for those of you wondering,
there was no treasure."
SCENE 10. SHIP'S COOK - William Gray helps John Long's cut-throats to crew for Huntington's Hispaniola, Long a dab hand on the galley.
SCENE 12. SKELETON ISLAND - Intrigued by map proffered by Lord Huntington, John agrees to switch attention to location, to coast of Panama. .
SCENE 17. BLACKBEARD'S CURSE - John retakes Swann, Hal immobilizes Black Jack and Billy Bones and rescues prisoners on Hispaniola.