Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Little sample of things

Tambak Island

    Within this assortment of islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs, and sandbars that make up the Spratly Islands. There is a small land mass known as Tambak Island. Rocky beaches surround the isle, opening on the eastern end into a sheltered cove. The center of the island that features a small outcropping of jungle. Located on this harbor with its back to the encroaching jungle, a formerly sleepy fishing village has grown to a busy seaplane weight stop. A destination for adventurers, pilots, mercenaries, spies, pirates, and other less than savory types. The Japanese Navy maintains a small garrison and flight of seaplanes. But the island is a neutral ground. Thanks mostly to an agreement forged with the commander of Japanese forces by the de facto leader of the island residents, a Frenchman known as De Salis. While the town can be a rough and tumble place. All out warfare between different factions is rare. For no one wants to incur the wrath of the Japanese.

    The town itself is hastily assembled collage of different buildings. Mostly consisting of bamboo, wooden plank, of corrugated tin built buildings. Among the maze like cluttered streets and alleys lie a myriad of vendors and stalls. A surprising number of goods and services can be found. Assuming one has the currency (which many types circulate here) or better yet the gold.

    One of the popular gathering places is Marianne's Rest, the bar owned by De Salis. The plank board building is painted a faded blue. The corrugated tin roof extends over the porch where the regulars tend to gather. It is decorated in tin cigarette and beer signs. Its most prominent feature is the bronzed bust of Marianne hero of the French revolution and symbol of freedom and republic, fixed onto the end of the bar. One can always find a couple pilots, pirates and ex-pats drinking, socializing, playing cards, or mahjong.

    Changs Outfitter is a general store and it also acts as the post office for the island. Built of unpainted plank boards. The store carries common dry goods and hardware items. The shop is run by Chang a Chinese man in his fifties. A man of many secrets, his sour demeanor disguises his heart of gold. He secretly helps feed the street urchins and employs them as runners. He is also secretly organizing a resistance to the Japanese occupation here and abroad.

    Probably the nicest building on Tambak is the Tambak Hotel. Run by a Filipino man by the name of Luis Aguinaldo. The only thing he takes better care of than his hair, is his hotel. Its a white painted wooden building, with a tile roof. It has ten rooms that are rented out to people on seaplane stopovers. The hotel is very clean and the bar makes a very good club sandwich.

    The Crash Inn is a seedy dive. This rusty, corrugated steel building is inhabited by the scum of Tambak. Easily recognized by the crashed German float plane in the roof. If your looking for pirates, murderers, or opium this is the place.

    On the north east corner of the harbor away from the town proper is the fuel depot. Called "The Station" by the locals it is a collection of large fuel tanks and a corrugated steel warehouse. Originally a locally owned enterprise. It now under control by the Japanese Navy on Tambak, much to the dismay of many. It houses and dispenses aviation fuel to anybody that can afford it. Though the IJN takes priority. The IJN is currently building a concrete anti-aircraft bunker to protect the depot.

    On the other side of the harbor is the Imperial Japanese Navy garrison. Home of the IJN Air Group 407. A collection of wooden and steel buildings. A couple barracks, an assembly hall, and several hangars. Most of the action there is on the IJN docks and launches. The Japanese run many patrols and recon flights from the garrison.

    In between the Japanese installations is the rest of Tambak Islands harbor. A varied collection of docks, warehouses and hangars. The civil aviation that has offices and fly out of Tambak includes Champion Air, Tambak Air Cargo, Dixon Transit, and Pan American World Airways. Although other operations occasionally make stopovers. Several mercenary groups such as Sabre Air, Red Hawks, as well as multiple independent operators, fly out of Tambak as well.

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