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Thursday, January 27, 2011


When I woke up, all I could see was metal. I reached out and touched the metal bunk above me, feeling the steel pressed against my fingers. Then the sound of the sea. The gentle swish of waves pounding away in the same rhythm.

I was in a ship. More specifically, a room in a ship. Of course, I had no idea how I got there. The last thing I remember was a flying hunk of metal screaming down on me. I asked him if he had done anything-

But like I said, I was out too. I don't remember anything as well.

I got out of the bed, taking a moment as the swaying of the ship unbalanced me and almost sent me falling down as well. I stumbled for the door and opened it, which lead to a long metal corridor.

In front of me was a very large man. He stared down at me through dark black eyes with a slight squint, under an equally dark mop of black hair, before nodding at me.

"You're awake. Good. Captain wanted to see you."

"Captain? Is this a ship? Where are we?"

The man had already begun to walk at a rapid pace through the corridor, and I struggled to keep pace and my balance as well as I listened to his answers.

"This here is the Mighty Victory, the largest supertanker built by Yellowmirth Shipping Company. We're on course through the Pacific towards Alaska for refueling. We found you in the water about two days ago nearly dead amongst some debris. Captain Watkins, that's our captain, ordered us to keep you in one of the spare bunks till you're well enough to stand on your own two feet. Once you were fit enough, you're to meet with him straightaway, and that's what we're doing right now."

"Wait, what's your name?"

"Jonathan Smith, second mate to the ship, on loan from the Company's branch in London."

"You're not American?"

"Oh, you could tell, could you? No I'm not one of them Yanks, thank God. Though the Captain is a good 'un, I'm happy to serve under him."

"You don't sound British."

"That's cause I'm not! I'm Scottish! Proud of it, ye hear?"

"I hear."

We had begun to climb a series of metal steps that lead to a huge metal door built into the wall. Smith grabbed the level built into the door and turned around to give me a smile.

"Hope ye enjoy the view."

He turned the handle and pushed open the door as the corridor was flooded with light. I blinked away at the harsh sunlight, rubbing at my eyes. When I could finally see again, I stepped out through the door and stepped onto the deck.

It seemed to stretch on forever. A deck of steel that carried on for hundreds of meters, with a series of pipes running through the center of the deck. A giant sword of steel that pierced through the sea and the sky. I could see men, little ants running around the deck, working on the pipes. I could hear them from the moment I had woken up, but now the sound of the ship's engines were loudly ringing through my years. Hell, I could feel  the vibrations in my feet. Above, the giant dome of blue sky stretched on forever, with a few wisps of white cloud here and there.

I've never been struck breathless, but this was some view.

And the motion. The sensation of not being on terra firma. It takes a while to get used to.

Smith looked at me and tutted. "No sea legs."

Yep, no sea legs.

Shut up.

What? I'm just agreeing with what he said.

"The Captain is waiting for you in the Control room." He pointed behind me. "Up there."

I turned around, and stared up to the top of a massive white tower, several stories high. I blinked, as the portholes and antennae slowly came into sight as well. The control tower for the supertanker was massive, as large as a building, dotted with hundreds of port holes in its walls. The paint of the tower was so bright that the entire tower seemed to shine out loud. Smith's finger pointed to the very top, and then down to an entrance into it. I nodded, and walked inside.

Another sailor helped me to the stairwell, a massive metal green staircase that wound its way all the top floor, like some giant green dragon that hid inside this tower. I began to climb up, counting the floors as I went higher and higher. Outside, I could see the sea staying level with me. I finally reached the top and walked through the entrance to the control room, something borrowed from the Millennium Falcon. But with a fancy wheel attachment. A tall, thin man stood beside it, a single hand on the wheel, the other loose by his side. His back was towards me and he stared out towards the horizon.

"Captain Watkins, I'm assuming?"

The man turned around with a cheeky grin on his face, and burst out laughing. I frowned, confused. He kept on laughing though, now so hard that he had to lean on the wheel beside him for support.

"That's enough, Pilot. The joke's stale now."

"S-sorry cap'," The man was wiping his tears now. "It's just that-"

"And call me Captain, dammit!"

"Yes, sir, Captain sir." He stood up straight and I turned to face the other voice behind me. There was another man seated there, a deep frown etched on his creased face. From his uniform I could tell that he had to be Captain Watkins, but that shirt was hard-pressed to hold back that chest. Watkins was the largest man I had probably ever seen. He was just slightly taller than me, but those arms would have snapped me in half like I was a bloody twig.

I'd kill him in three moves.

The point is, that he was a large fellow. He stood up from his chair and walked up to me, grabbing my hand in one of his giant fists, I shook back, hopping I'd still have my fingers intact.

"I'm Captain John Watkins, the man at the wheel is Pilot Angus Blackthorn, forgive his manners."

"Me manners are fine, Captain, but I hope they always meet your standards."

Watkins bristled, but ignored the comment. He carried on talking to me. "Welcome to the Mighty Victory. We are on route to the Port of Anchorage, Alaska. And while sailing near Cuba, we found you. Well, not just you. Do you remember anything? Your name? Where you were?"

"Adam. Adam Mani, I was... vacationing in Cuba, and we were on a cruise ship that was attacked. I... I don't remember much after then."

Watkins stared at me for a moment, then nodded. "Alright, but we found some possessions in the debris alongside you. Perhaps you'd like to take a look at them?"

I slowly nodded. "Yes, yes I would."

He opened a panel in the wall behind him and brought out Stahlien's duffel bag. I gulped.

"Yes, that's mine."

"By the way, we found this on you, I take it it's your's?"

He held my Colt in his hand.

"That's mine as well."

"I thought so. But as you're not a member of my crew, I can't let you have this now, but at the end of our journey. I'll keep it in the Armory till then."


"Pirates, Matey!" Blackthorn shouted from the wheel. "Even in the twenty-first century!"

Watkins grimly smiled. "Yes. pirates. Not just in Somalia but hear, near Mexico as well. We have licensed weapons aboard, and many of us are accomplished marksmen. It pays to be safe."

"Tell me about it."

Watkins was American, all fifty years of it. The man's face was so weather beaten that it seemed like he had been on the seas when you still needed sails and a mast. The other man, Blackthorn, looked like he had run away from Eton to sail a ship. But he must be good enough, otherwise there's no way he'd be given a ship like this to pilot.

"How far is it to Alaska?"

"About four weeks, though maybe a little more. We're expecting a storm ahead."

"A storm?"

"Yes, and a bad one, through nothing that something like this girl can't sail through. Plus, her tanks are empty, so we have no fear from the waves. But it'll slow us down by a day at least."

"But its nothing our Pilot can't take us through." Blackthorn sang out.

"Dammit, Pilot, sail the ship!" Watkins barked. Blackthorn turned around and took hold of the wheel, whistling some tune.

"How far is the Storm?" I asked.

"About a week away, it'll pass through our route and then cross over onto Mexico. There, over the land, it'll spend itself out."

"And its still going on? That's some storm."

"Yes, we've been getting numerous satellite calls from almost every Meteorologist in the world, with every buffoon asking us to send them our weather data for research. They're acting like its a bloody Gold Rush."

You'd know, you probably saw the last one.

"By the way, did you find anyone else in the water near me?"

He shook his head. "I'm sorry to say this, but no. After we picked you up, we sent rafts in almost every direction to see if we could find any other survivors. But my men found no one. If you had any loved ones on board, then I'm sorry for your lose."

So the Butcher was finally dead. And with it, so was I again. But I had his bag, and whatever was in it. By the way, most of the money was ruined by the way, some forty thousand was still in usable condition. But the Diamonds were fine, as well as the envelopes.

Which I opened.

Why not? They were now mine.

And Wow. I threw away the envelopes, folded the papers and kept them inside my pocket. As long as I had these papers, I knew that I would never run out of money for as long as I wanted to. All I needed to do was to go to a bank and-

That was the first time I realized.

Then? Seriously? I thought about it the second you opened those papers? That you're not the just only one who just got the keys to the good life?

If... If I knew then-

What I'd do with the money? Yeah, yous should have burned away those papers when you could have. But no, I don't think you would have. Cause you're just as greedy as I am. Yes, yes you are. The only difference there is that I have the balls to go and take whatever I want.

Though I'm impressed with that Nazi. He really stockpiled up. Maybe the Jews taught him something as well.

God help me.

He did, Jackass. Say thank you.

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