Chapter Fourteen

3:56 PM

It was hard to have fun when the world as you once knew it was gone, but the crew aboard the mammoth yacht, somehow managed. As they partied, Martin sat in his room, one deck above, on deck Eight. The room was more then likely used by the yacht owners themselves. It was more of a condo then an actual room. There was appliances in the kitchen, a 52'' Plasma television, a personal computer in the corner, a mini bar next to the dining table, and a king size bed to top it off.

However, Martin wasn't thinking about his room, or any object in general. He was thinking about management. He knew that the "crew" on the vessel would eventually grow. How would he maintain order? He assumed that their would be many pillagers that emerged from the fire and flames, and they would most certainly target the yacht. But they couldn't avoid people, there were some that truly needed help, much like Travis and Amy did.

Martin sighed, and rolled onto his stomach. The rest was good, but he couldn't fall asleep. Maybe when they ended up Sydney, they could probably pick up some energy drinks.

A cool breeze wisped through the curtains on the large glass windows, which were pulled open. That same breath of air, moved through the room, fluttering the pages on a novel left open, on a desk. Martin suddenly sat up. There was absolutely no point in laying here. He could sleep when they arrived in Sydney, while everyone else picked up supplies. Yes, that would work.

Picking himself up, Martin yawned quietly, crunching his hands into balls, extending up. He opened the door, and headed to the ladder up top. Climbing the rungs, he pushed the latch door open, and climbed into the already familiar cockpit.

Amy and Alex were both wasted. Their faces were beat red, and voices slurred. Sami didn't drink much, and Andrew didn't drink at all. Travis was apparently a veteran.

The group was having a good time, when the turbines began to churn, creating a loud jet engine type screech.

"Whatz dat?" Amy laughed to herself.

"Those are the jet turbines, starting up. Martin must be in the flight deck." Sami observed. She should go visit him.

"Wait, jet turbines?" Andrew asked. He had no idea this was a jet-powered craft.

"Well, it's a jet engine because it takes in air, compresses it, you know, like a real jet engine. Then the energy is transferred to two propellers. It's a relatively new system; only issue with it is the lack of fuel at stations. Only Jet A fuel works, so it's probably easier to get fuel at an airport." Sami considered that. That meant they would need to get a fuel truck.

"Why the hell did Martin pick a craft that has jet engines?" Alex slammed his fist on the table, intoxicated by the alcohol.

"He probably didn't know it ran like that. He told me last night. It does have its advantages though. I mean, we can hit 40 knots… To give you a comparison, most cruise ships top at 24 knots.

"I guess everything has its advantages and disadvantages. We can get around the world pretty damn fast. I guess we can use helicopter to fly out to an airfield, then drop someone off to drive the fuel truck back to the shore." Travis said thoughtfully.

"That works. I don't know, go ask Martin. He usually has an idea about what we're going to do. As a matter of fact, I'm going up there now. If anyone wants to come, go ahead."

"I'll come. I haven't really met the guy. Saw him on the chopper you know, but not much else." Travis picked himself up, and followed Sami up the stairs, leaving the drunks and Andrew alone.

"It didn't seem like he got much sleep, he might still be tired." Sami thought aloud, reaching the ladder. "You haven't seen the bridge have you?"

Travis shook his head. "No, I'd assume it's like most yachts. A wheel, a GPS, engine controls, the works."

Sami laughed. "It's only a little more advanced then the Space Shuttle." She climbed the first few rungs, and knocked on the hatch.

"Come in" Martin's voice answered. It didn't seem that tired.

They popped the hatch open, and Sami poked her head out, looking up at Martin, who had his seat in the Captain's chair.

"Good Afternoon Sami." He said, smiling at them cheerfully. At the same time, he kept one eye on the controls.

"Sleep well?" She pulled herself totally out of the hole, allowing Travis up.

"Not really. Not a wink actually. Who's with you?" He noted the sound of an additional body climbing the ladder.

"Travis. He was the guy you pulled off the liner earlier."

"Oh, right. How are you?" He extended a hand to him, helping him out of the hole.

"Uh, I'm fine really. We should be worried about you actually. I mean, you didn't get a bit of sleep. You looked like you were about to die when you were flying earlier today." Travis laughed. He already liked Martin.

"I thought about sleeping, but I thought I could use the last of my energy to get us to Sydney, which is only eight or so hours away at 35 knots, then I could just yank a few Energy Drinks." Martin chuckled.

Travis eyed the controls. "Do you really know what this stuff does?" The sheer amount of displays was mind boggling, especially for just a yacht.

"Not really. This one is go, this one is turn, this one is a map." They all laughed. "Actually, I understand a lot of this. I can work the GPS to make a course for us, I can find local vessels, like your cruise ship, I can avoid reefs, really anything. Actually, I can sail blind, without looking out the window. This place is very advanced."

Travis shook his head. "They say you had never flown a chopper before today… is that really true?" He asked. It still didn't make sense that he could actually do that.

"Sort of. I have flown helicopters on flight simulators before, a lot of them. Never in real life though, I have my Insturment Rating for normal prop craft though." Martin explained.

"That's still amazing, being able to fly it at all. I mean, simulators can provide for the learning, but pressing keys is different then pushing the real buttons." Travis said.

"Of course. That would explain why I was still scared senseless up there." Martin joked again. "I don't know, I suppose I'll need to fly around once we get to Sydney again. It was fun, but it's really stressful also."

"As if this isn't?" Sami looked around. "Seriously, you're doing all the work, while we all just sit around. The rest of them are getting drunk downstairs, give us a job to do or something."

Martin looked to the controls, then back at the two. "Travis, what were you going to do for a career?"

Travis looked surprised. "Me? Well, I was going for Engineering."

"Alright, that's useful. Any good at drafting?" Martin asked.

"Yeah, somewhat. What do you need me to do?"

"Well I suspect that we will eventually have a lot of people onboard. We should draw up plans for areas of the ship. The top will be the original crew, and staff members. You are all staff now." Martin smiled. "VIP membership to say."

"That's a good feeling, knowing that we'll be the upper-class when this thing gets moving." Sami said.

"About that, Sami, you can have your own stateroom, but you have to give up the entire floor."

"What! Why would I do that? I love my little floor in the middle of everything!" Sami was shocked. She had claimed it first after all.

"Right, well I don't think the new people would take to kindly to that, ever heard of mutiny?"

Sami quieted down right away. "Fine… I'll take a normal room. Just don't disturb me while I'm in it, okay?"

"Same goes with everyone. Everyone gets one room, I'd take the top ones on Deck 8 or 7. I think there are two more rooms on 8, four on 7, and it just goes up deeper down. Decks 2 and 3 have 10 rooms each.

"Right. Well, I'll go grab one on 8. See you later." She left.

After a moment of silence, Travis spoke up. "So what did you want me to do?"

Martin nodded. "Right, I want you to find a place, preferably higher up on the ship, near the center, in a room. We are going to set up our "headquarters" there. Got it?"

"Easy enough. What do you want me to do once I find a place like this?" Travis was still wondering why he needed an engineer to do it.

"Just tell me. We'll get something done after you find it. Make sure it's a good place okay? Don't settle for just anything."

"Yes, Captain." Travis saluted, then turned to leave.

"Wait, want to try something cool?" Martin asked. Travis was confused.

"Cool?"

"Yeah, come sit down in this seat right here." He pointed to the second officer seat, which remained empty. Travis looked strangely at it, but decided he would do it.

"Strap in." Martin ordered. He did the same. "Okay, I'm going to punch it to full throttle, which is probably bad for the engines."

"Full?" Travis laughed. "What have you been going at so far?"

Martin shrugged. "Max has been about 60 cruising. Afraid of wasting fuel, or bothering the other guys."

"Then why do it now?"

"I guess I just want to see how fast we can go." Martin shrugged once more. He smiled, then reached for the intercom.

"Ladies and Gents, this is your Captain speaking. I would advise you to hang onto something sturdy, quick." He clicked it off, and laughed. Travis laughed too.

"That's mean."

"Oh, they'll be fine." Martin pushed the throttle forward, not stopping to break. He hit 100.

The entire ship lurched forward, giving Travis the feeling of taking off in an airliner. He heard a shatter below, something must have dropped.

"20 knots." Martin read aloud. He kept his hands on the two control sticks. "30 knots." The waves below them blurred into a single blue, the yacht began to bounce quickly in the water. "40 knots." The jet engines were very loud too, audible even from the deck they were at. "50 knots!" Martin laughed, and immediately pulled the throttle to neutral. Everything snapped back to how it was earlier.

Martin and Travis were both laughing.

"I tell you dude, that was crazy! 50 knots? My dad's speedboat can't even hit that! Those jet turbines are something." Travis exclaimed.

Martin nodded in approvingly. "I doubt I'll ever try 100 again. I suppose we'd better lock that hatch before Sami comes up to rip my head off." Travis unbuckled himself, and used his arms to pull himself upwards.

"I'll be off to find that room you asked for. You look tired, we aren't really in any hurry either, and don't you mind stopping to take a nap."

"I think I'll be fine. We have 24 fuel remaining; we started with 50 or so. This thing goes through fuel like a Hummer." Martin observed the panels. "I ought to train you in how to sail this thing. Relying on one person to do all the work isn't that smart."

Travis thought about that proposition for a moment, before turning back. "Alright, just say when Captain." He pulled open the hatch and left.

Martin smiled. Captain. How official was that? He had never declared himself Captain, only pilot. Everyone seemed to look up to him; maybe this whole operation would work out smoother, if everyone would obey his commands.

Before he could think of it any further, the hatch blew open, and Sami came out.

"What the hell was that?" She was furious as always. "I almost fell!"

Martin laughed. "Almost. I was just checking to see what 100 power would be like. We had only been using half of the turbine's power. We got to 50 knots."

"We?"

"Travis and myself. I gave you all a warning. I had to find out what our top speed was sometime or another."

Sami sighed, and leaned back on a metal grip bar. "I suppose you're right…" She paused. "But if you do it again, can I come up? I didn't get to see anything, I was holding on for my life."

Martin nodded. "Sure thing. I don't plan on doing it for a while. I suppose since it's hard to walk around, I'll hit 90 or so when everyone is going to bed, so you don't need to move."

"Sounds fine. I'm going to go back downstairs… do you want any food? They found a grill and some burgers. We'll be out on the front deck, you know, the one on 7? It has a running hot tub."

Martin chuckled. "Hot tub? Do you have swim suits?"

Sami frowned. "I didn't consider that. We'll probably find some in a guest room or something. Come join us later, this trip doesn't need to be all work." She smiled, saluted, then left. Was the salute thing supposed to be funny? Both her and Travis had did it. It made Martin feel important however.

20 minutes later, he was on autopilot towards Sydney, following a straight course that predicted 7 hours of sailing, at 30 knots. From his view, he could see the party on Deck 7 in front, he knew they couldn't see him however. The windows were tinted. Amy and Travis were in the hot tub, wearing swimsuits that they had found. Sami, Andrew, and Alex were all at a table with an umbrella, chatting. There was a grill next to them, with what appeared to be hamburgers and hotdogs grilling on it. Every once in a while, Alex would get up to check them, prodding the meat with a fork.

Martin was glad that they were having fun, they all were finally putting their losses aside. Putting things aside was very different then forgetting them, and he supposed that those thoughts would remerge every night, when they were left alone to their thoughts. That was how life worked now, and maybe that was never such a bad thing.

Martin looked once more at the autopilot, then unbuckled himself, and headed towards the fun.