College students fear many things. Whether it's student debt, the slow march of time toward an uncertain future or teachers who actually check to see if anyone did the reading, academic life is truly a stressful experience. Yet, one UMass Boston student proposes that students are completely blind to a very real danger that threatens this university: an attack on the harbor.
“Being right next to the ocean makes for a nice aesthetic, but it also leaves us prone,” says Carlos Hernandez, a sophomore Philosophy major. “If anyone ever thinks of attacking from the sea, we’re toast! All of us!” Carlos has tried unceasingly to alert the university to this danger.
“I went right over to the Chancellor’s office and told them all about the terrors of the sea," he said. "At least, I think it was the Chancellor’s office. Anyway, I yelled at somebody. I was yelling at him about possible naval attacks if we ever go to war, Viking raids if they ever set their sights on Beantown and even pirates that are just looking for some booty. It didn’t matter what I said, he just wouldn’t listen. Nobody would listen!”
That’s when Hernandez decided to take matters into his own hands. After the sudden death of a family member, Carlos was left with a large inheritance.
“I’m using all of the money to create a defense for UMass Boston. It sucks that Nana died, but I think she’d be happy to see her money put to good use,” he said.
Carlos’s first action was hiring an eyepatch-wearing bad boy who goes by the name of T. N. Turner.
“He’s what they call a mercenary. As soon as I saw him lurking in the dark, associating with the seedier element of Boston, I knew he was the rough, no-funny-business kind of guy I needed for my mission,” said Carlos. “Immediately after he finished mugging me, I made him the offer.”
Unfortunately, Turner ended up being more of a danger to the university than any of the threats Carlos listed above. “T. N. was a cool dude. He was perfectly willing to do what had to be done. He just didn’t care who he did it to,” Carlos told reporters. After reports of a cigar-chomping, eyepatch-wearing, madman running around campus and robbing people blind started circulating, Carlos had to let Turner go.
Since hiring a mercenary went wrong, it was clear to Carlos that a radical change of plans was necessary. But what needed to be done? His answer: hire multiple mercenaries.
“I figured the ocean already has a time-tested way of being protected. Navies have been sailing the ocean blue for millennia and it was about time UMass Boston got in on the action,” Carlos said.
Students still speak of the February morning when they came to campus and were greeted by hundreds of blue-and-white ships bearing Beacon flags and shooting cannons into the air. “I figured I had to scare off any ne'er-do-wells.” Carlos’s face turned red as he said this and there was no mistaking the defensiveness in his tone. “There’s no use in having an arsenal if nobody even knows you have one.”
Ironically, it’s that very arsenal that scared people the most. Carlos was faced with hundreds of lawsuits.
“It’s just so silly. Here I am, saving people from danger, and what do they call me? Dangerous? It’s really just a misnumber,” Carlos said. When asked whether he meant “misnomer,” Carlos told us that we were wrong and to keep our mouths shut if we were going to be such massive idiots.
While his inheritance was nearly depleted, there was just enough money left for one more desperate attempt at peace.
“I’m left with no choice," said Carlos. "It’s time for me to save UMass Boston single-handedly. I’ve bought myself a small boat and I’m going to find the danger before the danger finds us.”
Armed with only a swashbuckling sword and a few days worth of Oreos and Ginger ale, Carlos hopes to fend off any pirates or Viking hordes he finds along the way. He possesses no knowledge of sailing or swashbuckling; however, there is one thing he has: forgiveness.
“While nobody here believes or supports me, I still promise to split any treasures I find on my adventures with the university 80–20.” Carlos sails away next Monday. The university wishes him well.
Note: Wagers on how long he lasts can be made in the basement of Campus Center.
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