Monday, June 6, 2016

Heavy Object Volume 8 - Dominion 70

Chapter 1: A Resource Which Cannot Be Made Plentiful >> Landing on the Island Nation's Ame-no-Darin

From the moment I woke up, I had a bad feeling about the day to come.

The ship's log of the luxury cruise ship Scarlet Princess contained that statement in the Legitimacy Kingdom's official language.

It was 380 meters long, its top speed was 40 knots, and it could hold up to 2500 people. It was on such a grand scale that it was much like tilting a safe country resort on its side and taking it out to sea. Incidentally, the cost of the ship could purchase a resort and an 18-hole golf course with money
to spare. All three layers of its deck contained a pool and the rear of the ship even contained a heliport.

Around twenty crew members were packed into the control room.

Electronics and automation had taken great strides forward, so the number of people needed to run the large ship had been drastically cut down. They had three shifts making three times that many crew in total, but that was still less than one hundred. Surprisingly, the number of "waitresses" outnumbered the crew who held the lives of everyone else aboard in their hands.

An elderly man let out a small sigh.

His name was Alfonso Zoom and he was the captain of the luxury cruise ship.

"Captain, we will be entering the Strait of Malacca soon."

"I know."

Alfonso gave a brief reply to the young (even if he was in his thirties) navigation officer.

Just like the Panama Canal, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the Suez Canal, the Strait of Malacca was a gate of the sea. In its case, it connected the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. It was a narrow passageway and many world powers insisted it was their territory, but it was still the shortest course.
Unless it was packed full of military resources or part of a transport fleetprotected by an Object, a luxury cruise ship circumnavigating the world had no choice but to use the Strait of Malacca. Simply calculating the ship's fuel expenses made that painfully clear.

Alfonso poured coffee from a thermos and into a mug as he spoke to the young navigation officer.

"Do you know what I'm worried about?"

"It wouldn't be reefs. Is it wreckage of fishing ships that were caught in a storm? I've heard the sea around here isn't very clean."

"My daughters. Joining the military is fine. After all, this is the age of clean wars. But why did both my twin daughters have to choose to be Black Uniforms in charge of barrier duty? They are both young unmarried women and they chose to throw themselves into the part of the military with the
most bullets flying around."

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