Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

the full tour

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-23 - Updated: 2009-11-23 - 1463 words - Complete

Touring the deck, they guestimated that their new ship was about a hundred feet from stem to stern, give or take. About twenty to twenty-five feet at its widest, with three deck levels and twin engines. In addition to the spacious rear deck they stood upon, they found walkways leading to a narrow deck at the bow, and a ladder leading to a deck above the cabin where there was a second helm, offering a commanding view of the surrounding waters. Unlike, Shades noticed, the cabin helm, with only showed the front and some peripheral vision.

For all the destruction back at the docks, there was relatively little damage to the Maximum herself, and most of it cosmetic. The starboard windows suffered some cracks, but were miraculously unbroken, more because the brunt of the crash was directed elsewhere than anything else. Something would have to be done to secure them as best they could for now, and any other repairs would have to wait until their next feasible destination, as they feared there was little they could do about it out here.

After a cursory look at the exterior, they entered the cabin, the others seeing it for the first time. Inside, they found the pantry mostly full of food, as well as a working refrigerator and freezer, as well as a full kitchenette. Even a dishwasher.

From right to left, they saw the lower helm, an L-shaped dinette table, and a lounge couch facing forward toward a full entertainment center. Behind that, next to the pantry, was a narrow turn of steps leading below deck. The helm itself offered an excellent range of view for its position, comfortable seating, and a drink-holder.

“Cool!” Max remarked, taking in the sweeping view through the twenty-foot-wide expanse of cabin windows in front, the others admiring the scene and agreeing wholeheartedly with his most eloquently spoken sentiment.

“This place rocks!” Shades turned around several times, taking in the entire cabin. He was already beginning to think of this excellent ride as their collective prize, and as far as he was still concerned, Justin could keep his amulet. He’d always dreamed of having a boat of his own, and never would have imagined he would be living in one any time soon.

Justin nodded, actually agreeing with him for once, then said, “Let’s see what’s below.”

The steps were steep and narrow, but not overly so, turning right at the bottom. Below was a short hall with several doors branching out from it. Under the stairs was a small closet.

Toward the front was a step leading up to a door, which Max opened. Inside was a narrow room whose walls followed the curve of the bow. A tiny closet on the right, table on the left, and beyond a little square of floor; the rest was all bed. Two elongated portholes offered slivers of daylight compared to the skylight hatch leading to the foredeck.

On impulse, Max flopped on the bed, staring up at the skylight. Bandit jumped up and started poking around. After a moment, Max got up, having to crawl due to the low ceiling, and opened the hatch to peek outside.

“Looks like Max just found his room,” Shades remarked.

“Hey! What about— What about us?” Justin demanded sharply.

We’ll come up with something,” Shades replied. “I don’t think you want to argue with the kitty.”

That settled, they moved on, finding a bathroom through the next door, and unlike most on ships like this, it was actually larger than a broom closet. The next led to a compact storage room, and they could see they would have to spend several hours taking stock of it later. The last one led to another bedroom. The bed was built into the cabin wall, and there was a small wardrobe and dresser nook. If there were any furniture, there would be no room left to walk. Two tiny portholes gave a limited view outside.

“You can have that room,” Shades told Justin.

“But where will you sleep?” Max asked him. As far as he could tell, there were no more rooms aboard.

“Oh, I’ll sleep near the helm,” Shades assured him. Bandit clearly liked the other room, and if he tried to claim this one, Justin would never let him hear the end of it. Besides, after years of camping out in the dining room, he was used to sleeping on couches, and believed he was the most qualified for what he was about to propose next. “That way, if something happens while we’re asleep, I’ll be right next to the helm.”

“Good idea,” Max remarked.

“Ya know, there’s a kitchen up there,” Justin pointed out, remembering Abu-Sharrah’s leftovers, the flavorless ration packs of Tranz-D, and Max’s survival diet back in Paradise. To say nothing of years of hunger in the Triangle State. “Let’s go see if there’s any food in it.”

Again, not a word of disagreement.

“Sweet!” Max remarked, finding a couple cases of soda in the fridge.

“Pass me one!” Shades called as he reached the compartment under the helm, coming up a moment later with the ship’s log book. As Justin chowed down on some chocolate chip cookies in the cupboard, Shades leafed through the Rose Marine Queen’s journal, wondering why he found himself digging through so many records of late. Mostly about the captain’s experience with the tourist business off the coast of Florida, he spotted a few entries that sounded suspiciously like they might involve illegal activities, and he wondered why smuggling immediately came to mind.

“Hey! This ship was from Earth!” Shades told them. Justin and Max turned from raiding the galley and joined him at the lounge table. Flipping to the last entry, he said, “Check this out, guys:

Captain’s Log,” he began, in his best Shatner, “Star Date…” And trailed off as it dawned on him that no one here would get the joke anyway. One of those moments when he really missed his old friends. Then, more seriously, “Friday, July Fifth… 1996? The hell?… Oh well. I am writing this after the strangest day of my life.

We encountered a strange yellow fog, and my passengers nearly panicked,” he resumed, skipping to the good parts. “After that weird fog passed, the water was purple, and calm as a swimming pool. There was no wind, not even a breeze, and the sky was light but there was no sun, and my compass was going crazy… At some point we must have passed out or something, because we woke up just lying on the deck. None of us could remember what happened in the meantime.

When we woke up, the sky and sea appeared to be back to normal, but nothing else was. The compass still just kept spinning around until I could no longer stand to look at it. When we tried to make a distress call, we couldn’t pick up anything on the radio… What was supposed to be a three-hour tour has become a nightmare…

We sailed on until shortly before dark. That was when we spotted an island, and unanimously decided to stop there for the night. We were originally bound for Andros, but I have no idea what island this is supposed to be…

I never believed in the Bermuda Triangle. I’ve sailed these waters for over twelve years, and I always thought it was a load of crap… Now here we are with only a week’s worth of food, and no idea where in the hell we are. I just hope there is someone here who can help us.

“Guess the joke was on them!” Justin laughed darkly, having seen that place’s welcome for himself.

“That’s not funny, Justin,” Max pointed out. “They’re dead.”

“Yeah, that could’ve been us,” Shades echoed.

“But it wasn’t. The difference between us and them is that we’re still alive. We even have our own ship now. What more do you want?” Justin asked, wondering what point there was in worrying about it now. “Let’s get the hell outta here. Just lookin’ at that island gives me the creeps. I don’t trust it.”

“I’m with ya on that one,” Max agreed.

“I second that motion,” Shades said, making it unanimous. Though he wished he could be as cavalier about cruising around in a dead man’s ship as Justin apparently was. Concluding that it was way too late to do anything about it long before they ever set foot on that island, to just drop the matter, he said, “Now all we need are some good tunes.”
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