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An Ocean Oh So Blue

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RMS Majesty was an icon of the Blue Star Line and a testament to the ability of the shipbuilders of the Kingdom. Today would be a day not too unsimilar to any other day of operation for the aged vessel, departing from the docks in Komspukov en route to the port of Toloa via the central shipping route, also known as the “Ocean Blue” route. Onboard is the usual group of regular travelers, alongside vacation makers and those looking for a break from everyday life. Stored in her holds is nearly 3,000 bags of mail alongside the basic requirements for her brief two day jaunt between the two cities. Normally her younger sister, the Matriarch, would run the route, however she had been suffering mechanical issues for the past few years and was recently accepted for museum ship status in Portus Adruni. With the assistance of the local tugs in Komspukov, she began her way towards the deep blue.

Below decks, the daily battle had begun to keep her moving. Head of Engineering Thomas Fedorov watched over turbine four from his desk at the front of engine room one. It had been noted two days ago that a small crack was beginning to form on the third turbine wheel, but due to the mere size of the Majesty and the lack of equipment in Komspukov, it was decided she’d need to be inspected once she reached Toloa. This left Thomas having to worry about maintaining it on the move, and not allowing its condition to worsen. This of course was easier said than done, as he had no actual way to inspect during the voyage, as diverting steam was impossible due to the lack of an auxiliary turbine, and even if he could, the top half of the casting couldn’t be lifted while the turbine was still installed in the ship. He could always shut it down, but that would drastically limit the Majesty’s power output, something he wasn’t interested in being yelled at for. If the turbine failed, then it would either A. jam turbine four forcing him to shut it down regardless, or B. detonate and take half of the ship with it. So he sat, staring at it.

Up in the bridge, things were calm. It was a peaceful night, stars lighting the still water and the radio office remaining quiet as sparse trickles of miscellaneous news reports and music broadcasts came through. From the port bridge wing, a faint glimmering light could be seen, the light of another ship approaching. Currently the vessel was traveling green on green with the Majesty, which to First Officer George Esposito was more than sufficient evidence to keep the Majesty’s current heading. All of fifteen minutes later, and a fog began to roll in. This was not uncommon, usually a welcoming sign that Toloa was nearby, as hot air would roll down the coast and onto the relatively cold water of the Byzantine Sea, but what was of concern was the loss of visual on the other vessel local to the area. From the wheelhouse, Esposito requested the radio operator to send a message to the nearby vessel. “RMS Majesty to unknown vessel, requesting heading information. We are currently traveling 52 degrees NE. We once more request your heading information.” After receiving no further information Esposito ordered the ship’s heading further changed to 45 degrees NE to make clear of the other ship.

Onboard the FV Cavaliere, the situation was much similar. Unlike the Majesty, the Cavaliere was equipped with radar but its radio was out of action following an electrical short. Unknown to its crew was the fact that their current heading, which they took before the fog rolled in to shoot past astern of the Majesty, now had them on a direct collision course with the passenger liner. By the time the crew realized this, the looming starboard side of the 57,000 GT liner was visible from the bow of the tanker, the distance between it and them being only about a mile. In the bridge, the order to full reverse engines came down, and the Cavaliere began its struggle to slow down. At the exact same time aboard the Majesty, the Cavaliere’s bow could be spotted from the starboard bridge wing, and Esposito was keen that the two ships' bows not meet via a collision. Directing the officer at the wheel to turn hard to starboard in an attempt to swing the ship, and sending an order for the engine to increase to 180 RPM, he could only watch as the oil tanker grew closer. At first appearance, the swing seemed to be working, the side of the Majesty seeming to clear the path of the Cavaliere that was of course until a thunderous bang came from below deck, followed by a horrid vibration.

The next moments could only be described as pure chaos, as the rudder violently jammed to port, causing the Cavaliere's bow to stab right through the side of the aging liner, the 19mm thick panels giving way as the ship collided at 12 knots. In boiler rooms two and three water began flooding in but its spread was limited by the bulkheads. Things weren’t much better in engine room one, as turbine four had given way to failure during the increase in steam, its top casting exploding causing a sprinkling of shrapnel to fly everywhere, including through the desk of Thomas Federov. Though bruised, the desk had provided him some level of protection, and the damage was miniscule in comparison to what it could’ve been. No water was leaking in and turbine three was undamaged in the blast. Though Federov had gotten off lightly, other members of the engineering crew limped about, working to clear debris and evacuate the room.

Though damaged, Majesty was the better off of the two vessels. Cavaliere’s bow was completely destroyed, water flooding in through the accordion shaped remnants of its prow. Perhaps worse was the empty status of the ship’s fuel storage tanks, allowing water to flood in and further worsen the tanker’s condition. In mere minutes after the collision the Cavaliere’s bow began tilting down into the sea, leading to its captain ordering the crew to abandon ship. Soon enough its crew of forty eight trickled off the ship and into the sinking tanker’s singular lifeboat, motoring away from the slowly submerging silhouette of their former ship. Crew from the Majesty worked to raise the Cavaliere’s lifeboat after it motored around to the port side, clear of the still sinking tanker. Upon reaching the deck, the now submerged vessel’s captain spoke with the captain of the Majesty, a Miron Nekrasov.

“Captain, you’ve sunk my ship.”

A series of faint chuckles follow, and the Majesty slowly begins to limp towards Toloa once more, Esposito working to write a full report on the incident while below deck Federov prayed to whatever god might exist that nothing else happens. These men were now witnesses in the worst maritime incident in Renolion since 1967, and they knew little of what might follow.

I don’t wish to talk about the rabbit holes this post took me down. I apologize for any messiness. Below is the Majesty, oldest of the three Monarch-class liners


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