It was painfully obvious that Lord Governor Trench cared not for trivial day-to-day chores, believing he was above that form of degrading work. After all, he had servants who did it for him. However, with Briar finalizing the reports aboard the other two ships, there had been no one to arrange Trench's quarters properly. Personal books of a wide range of topics lay strewn about, barely even piled up or placed in their proper location on the shelves he had the crewmen install for him. Thankfully, someone had the good sense to leave his maps on his solid oak desk.
Sitting behind the desk, Trench slowly unravelled a map and used several nearby books to hold it open before inviting Captain Jackson to take the seat opposite him for a brief informal conversation. Standing a step away were the Hands of the Empire.
When he finally spoke, there was a condescending look in his expression. “What is the route, Captain?”
Ignoring the blatant insult, Captain Jackson leaned forward. “We sail west,” he said, pointing to the map, “across the Great Waters.”
Trench paused for a moment, glaring at Jackson. “That's already been established,” Trench said boorishly. “How can we be so certain of the course? The Great Waters is said to be infinite. Thus, uncrossable.”
Jackson almost smiled. It seemed that there was something that was kept from Trench after all. “The calculations,” the captain explained, “are based on the journals of Kaerrur Morey da Taer. He made the voyage previously. The voyage should not take more than seven or eight weeks.”
“Let us pray we do,” Trench said, “since water becomes undrinkable after six weeks! We'd never be able to turn back if we meet up with failure!”
“We wouldn't have to turn back,” Jackson replied, quelling the urge to backhand Trench. “We will find land at this point.”
“I shall take your word on that, captain,” Trench said, “considering your experience.”
“What of the crew?” Warren Garrick interjected, suddenly suspicious. “What did you tell them?”
“Five to six weeks,” Jackson admitted.
Both Warren and Trench were silent for a moment.
“Yes, I lied to them,” Jackson admitted. “The journey will be longer than I told them it would. If I tell them anything more, they won't follow me.”
Warren thought about it for a moment. “You are the experienced captain,” he told Jackson. “I'll give...