At 0800 on the 16th, the Shellbacks had made preparations for the arrival of King Neptune and his Royal Court. At approximately 0900, King Neptune arrived with his retinue consisting of Davy Jones, the Royal Baby, Royal Doctor, Royal Devil, Royal Scribe, Royal Cook, Royal Navigator and eight tried and true Royal Masters-at-Arms. King Neptune was happy to see once again his Loyal Shellbacks, but when he heard of the atrocities committed against his subjects by those filthy slimes of Polliwogs, his eyes grew bright with anger and he issued rapid orders. "Those filthy castoffs, not fit for land or sea, shall pay dearly for their sedition and mutinous treatment of my loyal subjects. They are worse than eggsucking cur dogs. Royal Devil, I command you to collar these villainous beasts and run them through the boat, beating them severely until their tongues loll from their mouths and their eyes roll back in their heads and their backs bleed from the lash. Then, perhaps I may have a change of heart if they show they are contrite and are ready to be brought to me for final judgment; but if any are lacking in their humility and treat this as a jest so as to bolster their false pride, I shall have them dismembered and spread across the Seven Seas by my loyal sea eagles as a warning to others that they may not commit the same foolish acts again."
Seated (left to right): LCDR Harper, EN1 Faildo, EM1 McMullen, ENC Fort, CAPTAIN Guille
Standing (left to right): EMC Rodgers, STCM Glendening, EN1 Harkins, LCDR Arata, EMC Hoffman, IC2 Fitzgerald.
The Royal Devil roared off to dispense his justice, and the boat soon resounded with the howls of the anguished and tortured souls who by now had realized the gravity of their misdeeds and were begging for mercy.
The Royal Devil (LCDR Harper, the Navigator) finally gets his Revenge on the Polliwogs!
Royal Master-At-Arms (EM1 McMullen).
Royal Master-At-Arms (LCDR Arata).
Royal Scribe (YN1 Anderson).
Royal Baby (ENC Fort) prepares his belly for the Polliwogs.
One by one, the miserable creatures were hauled before the Court to do homage to the Royal Party and to be charged and sentenced by the all-wise Neptunus Rex. Let it never be said that King Neptune lacked mercy, for each Polliwog was allowed to repent his ways and to kiss the Royal Baby as a sign of his loyalty. But before these hapless creatures could stand and take their place among the trusty Shellbacks, they had to prove their worth, and be purified. So each was taken to the Royal Trough and administered the special life giving food which would help make them whole. The Royal Doctor gave them medicine to ease their pain before they took the horrible journey through the slop chute where they would receive enlightenment and knowledge. As the worthless creatures emerged from the slop chute, the Masters-at-Arms took them aft where they were cleansed by the waters of the ever-cleaning sea.
Polliwog kissing the Royal Baby's belly.
"Here, take this. It will ease your pain."
A Polliwog emerges from the "slop chute."
TM2 Dave Eaton, Leader of the Polliwog Rebellion, was the last Polliwog to be Initiated. As a special treat just for him, he emerges from the "slop chute" with a "sanitary napkin" in his mouth!
Enlightened, purified, and cleansed, the new Shellbacks were presented to the Court and welcomed as a lost sheep that returns to the fold. Only one Polliwog was found to be lacking in the moral fiber necessary to become a Shellback, and he was cast back to the world of darkness and sentenced to eternal oblivion as a Polliwog.
Then, following the Ceremony, was the most Royal Feast ever held anywhere, with games and contests, which lasted far into the afternoon. Finally, King Neptune arose and spoke his farewell. "My Faithful and Loyal Shellbacks. Never have I received a finer welcome, nor have I enjoyed finer company than you. My Domain is yours, and may your stay be long and happy. When you leave, take with you only fond memories and return again soon, so we may again share your company. Now I must leave you, for I have many visits to make and other ships are arriving for me to greet them. Farewell, my gallant Shellbacks."
With these last words, a great whale came alongside, and King Neptune and his Court stepped over and soon were heading away towards the horizon. We stood on deck and waved goodbye and watched until our eyes ached from the strain and we could no longer see. A sense of awareness filled us and we knew that when we next returned, King Neptune would be there to greet us and welcome us home.
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