Are we there yet?
Mission: Chapter 7: Going West
"Are we there yet?" Asked Nate Winters as he passed the first mate. Jefferson was holding a spyglass to his right eye, looking down in the distance. He pulled the spyglass away from his eye and stared at Nate, who quickly continued on his way.
Jefferson sighed. It was a longer journey than expected. Even though they had enough supplies, so that supply stops were unnecessary, they'd not yet found land. Well, small islands here and there, but not the great mass of the Old West he was familiar with. He knew the rough route they were taking, and he had assumed that they'd be landing more northernly. But bit by bit, Daenelia had corrected the course to go more towards the middle of the continent. It had confused Jefferson, and probably confused the rest of the crew too. The Captain had not mentioned their final destination, other than 'The Old West'.
Jefferson slammed the end of the spyglass on his hand, so it folded in on itself, sliding it in to a short tube. Time to confront the Captain.
Daenelia in the mean time was sipping her coffee while turning a piece of parchment around and around, trying to figure out what was up and down. When Jefferson knocked on her door, she just let out a lazy 'come in' and continued to play around with the parchment.
"Captain," Jefferson said.
He was going to wait until she looked at him. It was common courtesy. But after five minutes of waiting, he just stepped forward and pulled out the new map of the Old West. "Where will be landing, Captain?"
Daenelia sat up straight. "Are we there yet?"
Jefferson sighed. "No, Captain," he said as he tapped on the map. "But we have to plot a course. It feels like we're adrift. No one knows where we are going. The passengers claim we will be dropping them off in Paradise Harbour," he paused, as he watched Daenelia shake her head. "I thought so. Paradise Harbour is teeming with Columbus Militia, as well as bounty hunters. We'd be arrested before we land."
Daenelia frowned. "The passengers have to go to Columbus City, which is near Paradise Harbour. But if we sail a little more to the south, we can drop them off... somewhere in-land maybe."
Jefferson raised his eyebrows. "You can land on ... land?" Not many skyships could, and he had not expected a battered old ship like Steamhawke to have the landing spikes needed to land safely on dry land.
"Yes. WE can land on land," Daenelia said amused. "We haven't had a chance to test the new gears. See, we had them replaced in Seaport, due to the damage... in the fight..." She trailed off. "Brem says it'll work. I trust him." The engineer had overseen the replacing of most of the damaged machines that pushed out 6 stabilising spikes on each side of the ship. If executed correctly and timed properly, the descent of the ship could be timed and co-ordinated with the extension of the spikes. As the ship touched down, the spikes would make sure the ship wouldn't topple over on one side. There were a few things to consider.
"We need a flat stretch of land," Jefferson said, as he traces his finger on the map. "Not too far from Columbus province. Possibly near a coach station, or a steamtrain station." He looked for a suitable spot.
"Jefferson," Daenelia said.
"Hm?" He looked up as the Captain said his name.
"Jefferson Territory." She looked smug. Jefferson gave her a tight smile.
"I know it. There are many small settlements, with a few big enough to have a train station. But...," he trailed off. "Harling Pass, it has a coach station. You know, where stage coaches and postal ponies travel through. We could put the passengers on a coach to Columbus City."
"At their own expense, of course," Daenelia added. Jefferson look at her sideways. He nodded slowly. He didn't care about the passengers that much.
"And then we can set off to... ?" He looked at Daenelia with questioning eyes.
Daenelia nodded. "Yes. Then we set of to our destination," she said.
Jefferson motioned with his hand. "And that would be...?"
"Something I will let you know," Daenelia said, continuing silently in her head: As soon as I find out.
"Fair enough," Jefferson said gruffly. He straightened up, stretching his back and then rubbing his leg. "I'll go tell the helmsman we're headed for Harling Pass."