The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 2: Casting Off
Retrofit: A Marginalus, named Teller, is a part of the crew, and is at the
meeting. The notebook mentioned is a write-up of explorations on the
Endless Sea, including descriptions of the Eleventh Paradise and the City of
Discussion continues. Captain Finwë Cerëendil brightly asks, "Will there be uniforms?"
Teller looks blank and confused. "Are we naked?"
"That's an interesting question," replies Daëwen. "The Silver Service has uniforms, but, um. When Nick inv— designed them, he had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Uniforms are… something of a foreign custom, here."
Finwë perseveres. "We are going to foreign places. And, I thought that we should look like we belong together, instead of a ragtag band of elves, dwarves…" His voice trails off as his eyes flick from one person to another.
"Maybe, we could just have matching hats?" suggests Bavör, with no real hope of having his suggestion accepted, or even listened to.
Mandorek is no more hopeful. "Or badges."
Teller enters into the spirit of the discussion. "Or rings." Everyone turns to Look at him.
Daëwen slinks away, to leave the crew to make its own decisions. After weighing their options, they decide to travel to sunward, across the Open Sea. Finwë bounces off to inventory the entire ship. The others disperse, to make some final arrangements, and last minute purchases.
Everyone brings his stuff on board. Timmons appears, with a large bolt of a deep, deep purple fabric. It looks like we will be devising our own uniforms. Bay stows the cloth at the captain's direction.
"We're ready, captain." Five pairs of bright eyes look expectantly at the captain.
"Cast off," he orders.
The lines securing the Tindomë to the dock are flung down onto the dock, with a cry of "Away!" Eager to help, Teller begins throwing the ropes on the deck overboard, with a cheerful "Away!" at each toss. It's going to be a long voyage.
Finwë brings the ship to a hover, while Timmons retrieves the ropes from the dock, and the water. Bay throws a line over the side, Timmons ties the rescued lines to it, and Finwë and Bay haul them back on board. Finwë, from the lower bridge (used when the ship is airborne), requests power from the engines, and Mandorek delivers it. The Tindomë is underway.
Shipboard life settles into a routine. The possibility of sunlight comes closer to being a reality.
On lookout, Eric reports that there is something large, floating ahead of them, slightly to port. Finwë adjusts our heading, and tells Bay where to find the grappling hook. Eric shouts down that it looks like a piece of a ship, with a person clinging to it. Finwë lowers the ship, and Bay has an easy toss to secure the grappling hook in the far end of the wreckage. In a moment, he's over the railing, and balanced on the flotsam. A woman's soft, fair face, framed by red hair and sprayed with freckles, turns to look up at him.
"I'm here to rescue you."
"Who are you?" She focuses more closely. "What are you? What is that?"
Bay hesitates. Some answers are less useful than others. "I'm Bavör, from Lanthil. This is an air-and-water ship from Lanthil." She seems very weak, so Bay kneels down, to hold her up and keep her from sliding into the water. "Mandorek! Come here! We need your strength."
Finwë settles the ship into the water. With little effort, Mandorek picks up the exhausted woman, and carries her on board. "Would you like some water, miss?" the sturdy dwarf asks.
"No, I've been…Yes, I would." He carries her into the nearby galley.
Gently, the Tindomë crew questions her. "I'm Samantha— Sam Kraus." She talks distractedly of being shipwrecked, of days passing, days without a sun. Her brother and sister are missing.
She pauses, finished. "Welcome to the Tindomë," announces Finwë. Mandorek carries her into a stateroom. After a few measuring glances, we decide that Eric is closest to her size, so she is given some of his clothes. Eïr, who is also a healer, attends to her.
Diffidently, Eric asks her if she has any object that once belonged to either her sister or her brother. She thinks, then fishes out a pocketknife. "It was my brother's." Confused by everything around her, she drifts off to sleep.
Out on the deck, Eric uses the knife to dowse for its former owner. "That way," he points. Finwë lifts off, then shifts our bearing another few points to port to put us on the correct heading.
We travel for long enough that the sky grows dark with the absence of the Lightfall, and enough longer than that for the glow of a sun to touch the horizon, a light brighter than tindomë. The moon is high. The lookout reports an island, dead ahead. Bay adjusts the forward observation window to full magnification. It is a large island, with a harbor that holds multiple, square-rigged ships. We lower into the water. Bay spots a pennant flying on one of the ships; it's a skull.
"Bay to Engineering: full halt."
Bay reports his discovery to the captain. "Engineering: reverse course" is the prompt response. We come about, to take time to think.
Sam wanders out onto the deck. "Is there food?" Eïr leads her off into the galley.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.