- File Size: 1174 KB
- Print Length: 52 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Insomn Studios (April 22, 2014)
- Publication Date: April 22, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00JVRJRPM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,390,889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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House of Refuge Kindle Edition
|Length: 52 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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DiBaggio has given us all we need in the opening paragraphs: a lifeboat beached on the deck of an armed and armored raft manned by a single rescue worker, Justin Agnarsson. This is South Atlantic House of Refuge #49.
Agnarsson's sole task is to be ready to signal his employers when refugees arrive from the nearby mainland of Argentina, or to assist nearby seasteads when they are damaged by storms or battles with other seasteaders. The Plata Raft of local boats housing people who live at sea is presented, but not explained. It doesn't need to be, because *this* story concerns Agnarsson and the two refugees from the lifeboat, father and daughter, who may not be victims, but combatants in the war on the mainland. "To violate a house of refuge was a grave crime under both treaties and customary law. It was an act of piracy, rendering one a hostis humani generis—an enemy of humanity—and inviting the most severe retribution that no flag or writ would shield one from."
The Argentine gunboat 'Furibundo'—'Furious', or quite literally, "rage-filled"—that approaches with a demand for the surrender of these two "war criminals" poses a challenge Agnarsson thus did not expect, and he must decide how to respond. His choice is valiant and deeply principled: "This isn't just about the here and now! It's about every man, woman, and child who will ever set foot on a refuge, every innocent huddled in a camp or hiding in their home! This is about civilization itself. I won't give that away, not in the face of all the bombs and guns on the planet!"
At 66 pages, the illustrated version is an easy purchase at 99¢. It's a wonderful story that made me hungry to read more of the Ascension Epoch novels.
I read this short story in an anthology titled "Imagining Liberty" Imagining Liberty: Volume 1, after I learned that Kindle book was free on Amazon. "House of Refuge" was the second-place winner in this contest collection from the 2014 Libertarian Fiction Authors/Students for Liberty Short Fiction Contest. While it doesn't have the illustrations Shell did for the stand-alone version, "Imagining Liberty" does include nine other stories of liberty and free choice.
Justin Agnarsson, is the sole station keeper of a House of Refuge in the middle of the ocean. He is woken up in the middle of the night by a boat carrying a father and daughter. What he thinks is refugees turns out to be war criminals according to Argentina. The Captain of Furibundo is set on boarding the House of Refuge to get the father and daughter but Justin won't allow that. He sends a Mayday for any ships in the vicinity to come help. The Captain of Furibundo issued a warning saying they will board which goes against the treaty. The Captain wants the father and daughter at all cost. So Justin, Sandra and her father, Horacio go down into the 'storm cellar' so it will protect them from gun fire. During the gun fight, Horacio dies and Justin is hit. When he wakes up, the Captain and his men are on the refuge when the MB Etheridge ship from the Aviation Bond Corporation tells them to throw their weapons over board and lie down. They were rescued.
I read this in one sitting and had to have the expanded kindle edition with the background appendices and artwork to get an even better feel for the world DiBaggio has created.
The refuges arrive at the House of Refuge, a floating safe house manned by Agnarsson a man of conviction and character who takes the task of safeguarding those that come to him as his mission. Of course complications arise when the Argentinian Corvette Furibundo arrives to take custody of the refugee and his daughter, who are in truth gun runners for the Brazilians. Agnarsson takes as much exception to this as a priest defending his sanctuary. What ensues is a taught and well written adventure.
The characters a strongly drawn with believable and admirable conviction, as well as troubling traits. Especially young Sandra Vietes, born to the world of war and violence has accepted it as a way of life with her fate inevitable laid out for her.
The tension and dialogue is sharp both within the refuge and without as the corvette bears down on the South Atlantic House of Refuge Number 49 also known as Sweet Surcease is an example of what a man can and will do when his conviction and will are strong and his cause just. All what a heroic tale should be.
The end of the story provides a wonderful appendices of the technology and setting as well as an introduction into the concept of creative commons.
Well worth the read and exploration, providing an interest in other yarns produced by the folks over at Ascension Epoch.