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Baja
CaptainBaja.jpg
Fictional Character
Chicxulub Asteroid Missed
POD: 66 million years ago
Appearance(s): "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy"
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Unnamed
Species: Greenskin
Religion: World Egg
Cause of Death: Drowning
Occupation: Mossy hunter


Baja was an old mossy hunter. In his youth, his mossy vessel was attacked and sunk by the Great Gray Mossy. Baja's face was scarred, and the Great Grey Mossy ate his tail. A blacksmith seared the wound shut,[1] and Baja wore a prosthetic made of mossy bone.[2] Vowing revenge, Baja spent the remainder of his life on a quest for the Great Grey Mossy. He captained the Queepahd at the end of his life.[3]

Prior to what proved to be the Queepahd's final voyage, Baja personally hired the novice hunter Milvil and the expert harpooner Geekgeek after consulting with first mate Stabbak.[4] When the ship passed into the Southern Ocean, Captain Baja promised a gold piece to the first sailor who saw a mossy. Then he promised a large more valuable chunk of gold to whomever first saw the Great Gray Mossy. All of the sailors enthusiastically begin watching for the Mossy, Milvil included.[5] However, it was several days before anyone saw a mossy.[6] Once spotted, boats captained by Baja and Shtup, the second mate, went out after it. Mivil and Geekgeek were aboard Shtup's ship.[7]

Shtup drove his crew hard to catch it.[8] After it dove under the surface, Geekgeek convinced Shtup to head back to the Queepahd. Despite his initial misgivings, Shtup agreed. In short order, the mossy breached, and Geekgeek harpooned it. The mossy struggled, but soon Captain Baja's boat joined, and his harpooner Faidal also skewered the mossy, which soon succumbed to its injuries.[9]

The Queepahd continued its journey as Baja hunted the Great Gray Mossy. The crew soon grew dissatisfied. Milvil was able to eavesdrop on the harpooners. Geekgeek and the harpooner Tashteg both agreed that Baja was probably crazy. Another harpooner, Ootag was amused by their complaints, pointing out that the trip was already profitable, and so Baja could be crazy. When Geekgeek suggested that Baja's behavior might sink the Queepahd, Faidal angrily assured the others that the gods he worshipped had ordained that Baja could only be killed by a "hempen necklace."[10]

Two days later, the Queepahd encountered the Flowerbud under the command of Captain Kain. Kain informed Baja that the Great Gray Mossy had overturned a harpoon boat containing Kain's eldest hatchling. Kain asked for help in the search, but Baja simply asked where the encounter had taken place. Once Kain had done so, Baja ordered the Queepahd to the location. He informed an irate Kain that he was not going to help, but he did wish Kain luck.[11]

More days passed, though the search proved fruitless. When Stabbak once again tried to convince Baja to give up the hunt, but Baja refused.[12] And then one day, they finally found the Great Gray Mossy. Milvil and Geekgeek made their way to Shtup's boat. On his way, Milvil heard Stabbak informing Baja that he also wanted to go out.[13]

Shtup's boat arrived alongside the Great Gray Mossy. Geekgeek threw his harpoon and struck. While the Great Gray Mossy initially fled, it abruptly turned and ate both Geekgeek and a rower, narrowly missing Milvil. The boat capsized and the survivors fell into the ocean. Baja arrived, and personally threw his own harpoon into the Mossy. When the Mossy again fled, the hemp line wrapped around Baja's neck and pulled him into the ocean. The Mossy turned round again. Faidal cut the line that held Baja. However, his prosthetic tail made swimming for a long time impossible. Moreover, the Great Gray Mossy charged the Queepahd itself, breaking a hole in the ship's side. Despite the sailors' efforts to pump the ship out, it sank in short order. Baja drowned in the meantime.[14]

Literary Comment[]

Baja is based on Captain Ahab, one of the central characters of Moby-Dick.

References[]

  1. Analog, Vol. CXXXX, Nos 1 & 2, January/February, 2020, pgs. 57.
  2. Ibid. pg. 55.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 58-59.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 60-61.
  7. Ibid., pg. 61.
  8. Ibid, pgs. 61.
  9. Ibid., pgs 62-63.
  10. Ibid, pgs. 66-67.
  11. Ibid., pgs. 67-68.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 68-69.
  13. Ibid., pg. 70.
  14. Ibid. pg. 70-71.
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