Author's note: I DARE somebody to read this story without saying "Goo goo gajoob"! On a more serious note, I don't know the Captain's name, so I just made one up. Oh yeah, I neither own Xenogears nor the Beatles! There! I said it!


I Am The Walrus

By Al Kristopher


Captain Walrus of the Thames stood on the starboard side of the vessel with both hands planted firmly on his hips. The omnipresent pipe he smoked was in his mouth, along with the smile of pride, and with the sea air floating in his face and the crash of waves beating against the salvage vessel, it seemed to be the perfect day for a good old-fashioned treasure hunt.

"How're the cranes holdin' up to the weight?" he shouted. The person manning the craned waved his arm and flashed a thumbs-up.

"They're a little resistant, but I think they'll hold up!"

"Don't be too vicious with the treasure!" shouted the Captain. "Fishin' for gold is just like fishin' for a delicious marlin! You gotta tug on your line with strength and firmness or she'll get away on ye! Toledo, increase power output to the cranes!"

"Aye, Cap'n!" A loud cranking sound erupted into the chaotic air, and all of Thames shivered just slightly under the sudden increase in power. The cranes gained a much-needed boost, and the once-heavy treasure became twice as easy to haul up. Captain Walrus and his crew had been especially tenacious about this latest find--not just because the entirety of the salvage vessel depended on what it could find in the ocean, but there had also been a rumor going about that this one treasure was particularly valuable.

In his red overcoat, corncob pipe, and prideful voice, Captain Walrus gave off a powerful impression to everyone who saw him--and with an image as impressive as his, lots and lots of people were able to watch him in action. There was never a time when the demi-human was down or depressed; no, the Captain always had a twinkle in his eye and a proud smile on his mouth, even in the worst of conditions. A problem was just another way for him to prove his valor and skill, and there was no crisis that he could not overcome--hence the reason he was Captain.

The stalwart Captain Walrus had just recently heard of this particular treasure from an old friend of his, Captain Lex Ron Ton of the Rogue's Gallery pirates. Captain Lex was indeed a pirate and a rogue, so of course he and Walrus saw eye-to-eye on many things, and treasure was just one of them. Their last encounter had been a brief but profitable one, in which Walrus and Lex barely had time to cross swords when the human told of the treasure. Of course, everyone and their grandmother knew that the promise of gold always got Captain Walrus' attention, so just whispering about it gained the demi-human's audience.


"A magnificent find," Lex had called it, "the likes of which have never been seen before!"

"Aye, and where might this valuable find be?" inquired the Captain. Lex drew out a tattered map and pointed his finger at it.

"Straight off the coast of Kislev's northern shore, there lies a cache of magnificent undiscovered priceless gems and rubies, all there for the taking!"

"Aye, but why're ya tellin' me this?" asked Walrus. "I know you well enough to suspect somethin'! How can I be sure that you won't double-cross me like ya did last time?" Captain Ron Ton had peered around the room suspiciously, probably to make sure that there were no eavesdroppers, then lowered his voice for added security.

"(The truth is, the treasure's really mine,)" he had whispered. "(I had to dump it all cuz' I was bein' chased by the Kislev navy. Those slimy steam-heads woulda confiscated everything I had before I ever had a chance to use it!"

"And ya want me to go and retrieve it for ya?" said Walrus. Lex nodded his head.

"Aye... I'd get it myself, but... as we speak, I'm bein' chased down by my fiercest rival, the monstrous Black Rose. I can't spare the time nor the men to go down and look for it myself, but if you're there, then nobody'll get suspicious." Walrus had nodded his head in thought, and so far, things seemed reasonably legit (for a pirate, that is).

"Aye, I see what'cha mean now... All your treasure was dumped in the northern Kislev sea for safekeepin', and ya want it back again, eh? But'cha can't get it now cuz' yer bein' chased down by your so-called rival."

"Arr, she ain't no ordinary sea-dog!!" snarled Lex. "That Black Rose is a merciless killer! We've been at each other's throats for years! She'd treat me as bad as the Kislev, I tell ye th' truth!"

"Haaa, I'm sure!" chuckled Walrus doubtfully. "I'm quite certain that Miss Rose and yourself have a very healthy =91rivalry' goin' on..." Lex had grown angry just then, mostly because Walrus had just pressed the right button, and he snapped at the demi-human in a most impolite manner.

"Will ya help out an old friend or not?!" he demanded. Walrus guffawed and slapped his stomach until he had the power to speak again.

"Ghaa hahaaa!! Sure, sure, I'll help ye out, Lex Ron Ton! But in exchange for my services, I'll be expectin' a 35% cut of yer treasure!" Lex Ron Ton was a surprisingly shrewd pirate with more pride than even Walrus knew about, but desperation and greed were his weak spots, and so he agreed (besides, Walrus was also quite a sharp haggler, and knew just how much of a percentage to ask for when dealing with pirates: not too high, but still reasonable).

"Fine, fine," grumbled Lex as he shook Walrus' hand. "T'ain't much anyhow. Sixty-five ain't bad, considerin' how much I trust you and how desperate I am. Most of that treasure has a lot of...... sentimental value to me, if ye catch my drift!"

"Ha!" laughed Walrus. "Captain Walrus knows a drift when he's caught one! You can bet I'll have that treasure for ya or my name ain't the Captain!!"



Now, about three weeks later, Walrus was being good on his oath. The Thames had traveled all the way from Aquavy to Kislev's northern shore, and with the assistance of the underwater Gears, Walrus was able to find the treasure that Lex had told him about. According to the crane operators and the divers, most of the treasure was just the usual gold and jewels in chests, while there were some partial Gears lying around that were worth a little bit of money. Captain Walrus preferred Gears over gold, since the large mechs had more uses to them than just a means of trade, but if Lex Ron Ton was going to be stingy (as Walrus anticipated), then the most he could probably expect was a bagful of rubies.




"Hoist her up, Dooley!" shouted the Captain, waving his hands in the air like some drunken orchestra conductor. "Set her down right here on deck! I wanna see what's so bloody important about this treasure!"

"Aye, sir!" called the crane operator. The multitude of salvaging equipment slowly drew the boxes and chests of precious valuables from the sea, and placed them carefully on the main deck of the Thames. Several Gears also found their way onboard, and a dozen mechanics and tecchies scrambled forward to appraise the mechanical beasts. Walrus' own eyes were locked on the treasure first.

"Gimme a locksmith up here!" he shouted. "I don't doubt those chests are locked!"

"Aye, Captain!" Crewmembers were already running around to meet Walrus' orders, while the big cheese himself approached the chests. Walrus' left leg had a peg to it, and while most people would still be adjusting to the wooden appendage, it felt almost organic to the Captain, so he had no trouble walking at all (there was still a sound that came from it whenever he stepped on the floor, but th