Chapter 2: The Map says 'Go Here'
Location: The Steamhawke
Timeline: Day 1, around lunch
The Steamhawke was bustling with activity, still. Deckhands doing jobs on deck or cleaning the cannons on the gundeck. Some men and women up in the masts, adjusting and re-tying sails. Or simply unpacking and arguing over who sleeps where. The Captain had given the steering wheel to someone else, and really wished for nothing more than to close her eyes and doze off for a few minutes. It wasn't that she had had little sleep since docking in Seaport; she had had little sleep for a couple of weeks. The lack of sleep would surely start to effect her judgement. She thought of the people she had hired over the last day or so... Maybe her judgement was already gone to hell.
Captain Daenelia was in her quarters as she evaluated each crew member. One thing was for certain, she really needed to find a first mate. The crew were already gossiping about who would be the second in command of the ship. She'd seen a look in the eyes of the more confident crewmen, but it was up to her and her alone to decide. It was not long before she stopped thinking and started dreaming. The current crew mixed with the old crew in her dreams, and soon her dream turned into a nightmare. Loud banging in her quarters woke her up.
A man had kicked the door open. The bright sunlight blinded Daenelia and she could only see the shadowy outline standing there.
"First mate McGinty reporting for duty!"
Daenelia rubbed her face with a hand trying to determine if this was still part of her nightmare, or if this was really happening. It was. "You old sod, get out!" she yelled. She stood up and put her hands on her hips, as McGinty straightend up as best he could and explained: "I'm the man for the job, Cap'm. I know you the longest, I know the ship amd I cam do the work." He nodded to himself.
The Captain sighed and walked up close to him. "No." she said. Then she walked past him out onto the deck. So much for her pece and quiet. But she did need a first mate. Temporarily. She looked at the new woman deckhand. What was her name...? O'Toole. "You! O'Toole!" she shouted. The woman turned.
"Yes Captain," she said in a strong voice that carried even when she was not shouting.
"Do you have any command experience? Like, been first mate, or ...," Daenelia was grasping at straws here.
"No, Captain. Well, I did command a lifeboat once, when our ship had gone under," Dottie O'Tool said.
"Fair enough. You are now acting first mate. Do you understand what goes with that?"
"Private quarters?" Dottie grinned.
"You relay my commands to the crew, you advise me and you back my decisions," the Captain said sternly. "And if I find you lacking in your duties, you go back to sleeping with the rest of the crew."
"Yes Captain! May I move my things to the first mate's quarters now?" Dottie smiled as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
Captain Daenelia nodded. "I will want to go over some things, so I expect to see you in the meeting room in half an hour. Your first job: make a rotational roster for the crew, so all key posts are attended at all times. Then... you will oversee the course laid out, and keep to it, while I sleep."
"That sounds fine, Captain," said Dottie. She quickly ran below deck to get her things before the Captain changed her mind.
'What is next?' thought Daenelia. 'I need sleep, and then I need to talk to my navigator about the map. I just hope she confirms we are on the right course... there are enough supplies to last us a few months, but not if we are going the wrong way.' With those thoughts Captain Daenelia watched the crew going about their business, forming friendships and making enemies. The lunch bell chimed. But Daenelia was not hungry.