15:25 Eastern Standard Time
What the hell! You know how close you came to getting shot?
You want to join our raid? This isn't an open invitation. We put as much planning into these things as Operation Overlord. We don't need some mercenary to claim some choice bits in the name of helping... A fuel cache eh? And you really only want to learn about our life style?
OK a few ground rules so to speak. You will be accompanied by one of my men at all times. You will not touch anything without permission, and will check in on the hour. If someone says no, or you can't go there - no questions, just do as they say/ No asking for coffee or top shelf liquor - that is for my crew first, foremost, and only - they've been working unpaid overtime for years now.
Also don't try to impress me with your intellect by making James Joyce quotes. The vessel is named for the civil war general.
Sorry if I was a bit too busy organizing a supply run to talk with you back then. You know, the whole feeding 137 people bit - gets tiresome, but well your parents will never get you a puppy until you prove yourself resposible right?
Now, lets try this again. You are attempting to collaborate on a book about the new societies emerging in the wake of the Event. You have visited a number of the places that have been so bold as to declare themselves city states. Well, let me tell you - you're on a wild goose chase.
Fact is, this is a temporary measure. The ship, the city states, all of it really. Remaining elements of the governments around the world are not just going to say, OK we failed, lets put up the chairs and let the next person have a go. Its not going to be ancient Greece all over again.
As for my vessel - well, I'm not trying to create a new society, not one of the other captains I've talked to is either. Staying on one of these things fore five years is already an accomplishment. You walk past a building, see some rust - so what - no one has painted the thing in five years, and who cares. On the sea - paint is a necessity of survival - every spot of corrosion is an inch closer to sleeping underwater.
True, painting is better then putting up with reanimates. Mostly. Unfortunately, the stories that they can't swim are a bit exaggerated. Some of them can, and often they're the more advanced ones. People have been stolen from the decks in the middle of the night. But you can't just lock everything down at sunset. For one - they can pry open watertight bulkheads, and are oddly keen on vandalizing anything they can find. No two ways about it - those things are trying to draw us out. If they ever get past the defenses... I've seen a few ghost ships. Much as we need the supplies - if we find one of them - if anyone finds them - just sink it. Too many places for things to hid on a ship, no light below decks - its their territory, no place for humans.
Excluding that, day to day life is, well, noting to write home about. Its well, huh. Look, you must understand, that I live in close proximity to these people, and I'm their de-facto leader. I really can't say anything bad about them because hard feelings won't do, and they are my responsibility. Rumors get around, there are people who don't like my leadership style, and others who are just plain stir crazy - you put two and two together.
If you can find someone with a looser tongue than I, you'll have all the pieces. But in a nut shell - if the lights go out on land - you go out and cut down a damn tree or scavenge for some batteries. How many trees do you see growing five meters from our hull? How about five kilometers? There are a lot more ways to bide your time in one of these self proclaimed city states than on the open water. Add in the occasional pirate or citizen hydrofoil - and well, you've got a lot of fatalistic people.