from The Essential Paradise

Doc. 0.21.020. Edit

Wine Run, by author Jonnie Comet, is a short novel (or novella) within the Paradise One domain of the Two Paradises fantasy/fiction realm.

The story, featuring young Lord Jonathan Cavaliere, his best friend Matthew Holloway, and Rachel Liane, to whom both boys are attracted, is the adventure of a surreptitious Strategy operation during which the threesome must sail the length of the Paradisian archipelago on a mission of revenge and for a matter of honour.

History Edit

The story is one of the earliest complete Paradise One sequences, having been inspired by the similar premise and plot of the film Lucky Lady. The author meant to illustrate the exceptional freedoms, as well as the elevated responsibilities, known to teenagers in The British Paradise Islands as they conduct a real-life smuggling operation in the guise of countering a Strategy-game setback.

The novel’s time setting is roughly concurrent with that of The Seduction of Susie, occurring during February 1995.

Plot highlights Edit

The story opens after the Sands brothers have, outside of any gentleman’s agreement, commandeered one of the Camelot estate game boats during normal school hours. Incensed, as well as aware that the security of his family’s home has been compromised by his peers, Jonathan swears to get his own back. He enlists Matthew to help him retake the boat, under guard whilst riding at anchor in Derby Bay behind the Sands’ house, that night whilst the Sands brothers host a lavish party celebrating their victory over the Cavalieres. After sailing the boat out to the eastern end of Eden Island, they discover that Rachel has been aboard the boat since swimming out to it during the party.

The three teenagers sail the 10-metre boat round the far southern side of Morning Island towards Caravelle Island, about the longest sailing trip possible within the contiguous archipelago of the territory. The Sands brothers have stripped the boat of nearly all supplies, all fresh water, and fuel for the diesel auxiliary, leaving the three starving and nearly dehydrated by the time they arrive at the docks of Gary Livingston, an importer of wine and spirits at Molly Beach, a supplier to Kevin Sands’ grey-market business, and a friend of Matthew and Jonathan. Once Matthew, Jonathan, and Rachel have despatched a Sands crew awaiting Kevin's usual order, according to Strategy-game rules, Gary agrees to transfer the cargo to Matthew and Jonathan.

Over three dozen cases of red and white wine almost overload the small boat. Gary, as disappointed that Kevin has stooped to cheat in a game they all take seriously as he is impressed at Matthew and Jonathan’s bold initiative, provides the threesome with sandwiches, their boat with fuel and water, and Rachel with suitable clothes. The three set off into the night for a long trip, racing an inevitable contrary shift of wind, across the Paradise Sound towards home.

Another boat shadows them in the dark, closing close enough by midnight to hail them. Worrying that this is either a Strategy opponent or a real-life pirate, Jonathan douses all lights and alters course, outmanoeuvring the pursuer till they gain enough distance to sail straight for The Race. By dawn they have unloaded the wine at a Holloway family warehouse and driven to Matthew’s personal cottage on Narnia Cay, where the three teenagers fall asleep in the sitting room. Before noon they are awakened by a caped stranger who introduces himself as Paul duLake, the one who pursued them last night in the hope of apprehending their cargo for himself. The boys accept his challenge and vow to defeat him by superior Strategy tactics, just as they outsailed him and hoodwinked the Sands brothers.

As a consequence of the story's events, Jonathan and Rachel begin dating.

Characterisation Edit

The novel serves to reinforce the characters of Jonathan and Matthew as good friends, fellow swashbuckling Strategists, and keen sailors, and to introduce several characters who reappear within the series.

Lord Jonathan Cavaliere Edit

Jonathan’s knack for daring Strategy-game planning is impressively displayed here. Ever mindful of the rules, he devises a risky yet viable scheme for retaking his boat and then uses the unusual trend in the weather to effect their escape which, though resulting in a longer course, ensures its success and precludes immediate detection. When he discovers Rachel aboard, he is gentlemanly towards her, even when Matthew may prefer to ogle her, and sees to her comfort and safety, allowing her more than her share of fresh water and frequently enquiring into her condition. With Gary he is cheerful but businesslike, expediently facilitating the loading of the cargo and providing considerable physical assistance himself, meriting the respect of all about him. But he is not imperious and typically consults with Matthew about tactics, about the handling of the boat, and about Rachel’s best interests, which makes him seem the perfect antithesis to the more arrogant, iconoclastic Sands brothers.

The Hon. Matthew Holloway Edit

Matthew, two months older than Jonathan, is possessed of sound ethics and indefatigable energy; but being essentially conservative he tends to defer some judgements to Jonathan’s more daring sensibilities. Because of this, he is not the one to finish up with Rachel, though clearly he admires her at least as much as does Jonathan. Taller and somewhat better-built than Jonathan, due to heredity as well as to constant exercise, he is seen as exceptionally good-looking, almost without realising it himself, and characteristically gallant, even old-fashioned, towards girls including Rachel who has a difficult time choosing which of the two boys she fancies more. He has shaggy, curly dark hair, worn long and loose, which most girls of teenaged society overtly relish.

Rachel Liane Edit

Rachel displays a kind of dual nature, on one hand being a prim, proper young lady and on the other willing to risk reputation and even safety to make a stunning impression. Her initial plan, to swim out to the Cavaliere boat to take it herself, is born of two equal parts: a desire to impress Jonathan with her loyalty and the unfortunate result of having had too much wine to drink. She sheds her shoes and party dress and swims out into the bay, losing all her nerve and stamina by the time she reaches the boat, able only to haul herself aboard and to assume the status of a stowaway. Yet in the morning when she awakes to see Jonathan, she recuperates from her hangover and takes to sunning herself and strutting about the boat, still in only the slinky knickers, thrilled to be a pièce-de-résistance for two boys she has long admired. She is helpful in sailing the boat, in moving the cargo, and in providing tactical support, all with equal ardour and aptitude. When she is snogging with Jonathan on the boat, the reader is left to conjecture just how far they might have gone; but his gentlemanly regard for her, and her innate sense of ladylike decorum, resolve the issue only respectably.

Gary Livingston Edit

Even in his middle twenties, Gary displays a youthful joie-de-vivre that endears him to the company of teenagers like Matthew, Jonathan and Rachel. He pays Rachel a few respectful compliments as though only one of her peers and demonstrates an easygoing, almost casual attitude towards his own staff, many of whom are barely out of school themselves. Still he maintains the responsibility and reputation of a respectable businessman, seeing to business first by suggesting that Jonathan sign for the cargo in the capacity of Kevin’s authorised delivery agent, thus avoiding any future complications with either Kevin or his other customers. Thus all the rivallry between Jonathan and Kevin remains with those two alone.

Gary has a clear admiration for young Jonathan, both as the son of the earl and as one whom he has faced before in Strategy games, as both a rival and an ally.

Paul duLake Edit

Paul is initially depicted as ruthless, arrogant and self-centred, unwilling to accept any but the circumstances he has predetermined for himself. An assertive Strategy player, he relishes the opportunity for a head-to-head confrontation with Matthew and Jonathan, whom he has seen as his premier rivals, even if it means breaking game rules or territorial laws. But twice in this episode he underestimates them, for their cunning and for their boldness, suffering major impact and insult to his fragile ego, which suggests the prospect of further consequences.

Later in the story arc he seems to mellow as he becomes an ally and closer friend of Matthew and Jonathan.

Kevin and Robin Sands Edit

The Irish-English brothers are seen only at their party, at which they appear arrogantly boastful, hateful of Jonathan and his family, and disrespectful especially towards girls. Robin, the weaker and younger, is depicted as a naive toady for his brother, who is almost entirely devoid of any moral fibre and seems not to care even for respectability. Their reason for the party is only to demonstrate their willingness and ability to bend and break rules for their own purposes, as though considering themselves above them; in fact their commandeering the Cavaliere boat is not only outside Strategy-game regulations but constitutes illegal theft as well.

Features Edit

The story is notable for introducing, though not always clearly, some of the concepts of the Strategy games so popularly played in the islands. It is the first of many Paradise One stories to feature a Camelot game boat, as designed by Paul Cavaliere, which is provided ample description. It also mentions a Royal Navy hydrofoil patrol boat, on which model the Inter-Island Ferryfoil is based, from the impressive vantage point of a small boat having to cross the hydrofoil’s route in the open Sound.

The innocent principles of down-dressing and of private attire, such as with Rachel, are depicted as well.

The Sands’ party Edit

The party at the Sands estate represents an extreme example of, but not an exception to, the territorial tradition of the indoor-outdoor garden party. Guests are depicted as wild, carefree and inebriate, many having attended in either formal attire or in private attire and some having dressed down. Few of the guests are over 17 years of age, as most Paradisians are already assuming adult-level commitments by that age and may have little time for inappropriately irresponsible gaiety.

Social privilege Edit

The story illustrates the kind of privilege enjoyed by teenaged members of the upper class in Paradise. The Sands brothers hold an adult-level party, with their parents’ permission and even participation. Kevin Sands purchases wine by the case from a respectable business. Jonathan imposes on that business to intercept a whole shipment. Paul duLake ranges about Paradise Sound like a real-life pirate, taking liberties within territorial boundaries that would be illegal even in international waters. The territory's unusually low age of social and legal majority makes most of these privileges permissible and even acceptable in Paradisian society. Matthew and Jonathan’s derring-do, which seem prodigal for 14-year-old boys anywhere else, becomes only a part of their character, as a team and as individuals, worthy of admiration by friends and rivals alike.

Fan service Edit

A pretty third-former, Rachel is in slinky see-through knickers almost from her first appearance in the story. Deprived of any other attire, she must endure the whole trip from Derby Bay to Molly Beach in the boys’ company, making for frequent awkward situations and numerous mentions of Rachel’s poses or activity. However neither of the boys seeks to take any advantage of her vulnerability and in fact both treat her no less chivalrously than they would had she been in a swimsuit or even more comprehensively dressed, illustrating that private attire need not imply nor invite any prurient response.

Both boys appear in small bikini-type swimsuits, like Rachel having had to swim to the boat with no other attire at hand. The three young adventurers remain in close company throughout the adventure through the following morning when they fall asleep together about the floor and sofas of Matthew’s cottage.

The kissing scene is notable for the description of the couple’s mutually-pleasant, though mutually-respectful, fondling.

Strategy-game operations Edit

Some rules of the game are first described here, such as those regarding the operation of boats and those regarding the taking of campaign spoils. The wholesome appeal of the game is evident in that Gary is an avid player and regards Rachel and the boys first as people, second as fellow Strategists, and only afterwards as appealing young specimens, as in Rachel’s case.

Geography Edit

The story, both by virtue of being an early one in the arc and because of plot, supplies a good general overview of the archipelago’s geography, naming and providing some description of four major islands and the interceding body of Paradise Sound. Distances are given, if only in general terms.

The story takes place during rain season, when winds are either heavy, often achieving hurricane force, or nearly nonexistent. The northwesterly shift, which lasts at least 36 hours in the story, may represent a high-pressure zone, safeguarding the sailors from hurricane trends as the worst weather generally approaches from east; the narrative specifies that the unusual trend is due to the El Nino effect of 1994-1995, which in real history is known to have been particularly pronounced in the eastern Pacific.

Publication Edit

Wine Run was first published in 1993 as an e-text. First lost in the police action of 2010, the text has only recently (as of mid-2018) been reedited for publication.

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Doc. 0,00.01 b. 2015.1030. Original content ©Jonnie Comet Productions. All rights reserved

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