Titanic: Relative Fateby V. C. King
In Titanic: Relative Fate we meet Titan's Sister, the sister ship of the spectacular but doomed passenger liner, the Titanic. Built as a modernized replica of the legendary vessel, Titan's Sister is a wonder to behold. Yet shipbuilder Abram Harwood begins to question whether there is more than just a physical resemblance between the two ships. Intrepid/i>… See more details below
In Titanic: Relative Fate we meet Titan's Sister, the sister ship of the spectacular but doomed passenger liner, the Titanic. Built as a modernized replica of the legendary vessel, Titan's Sister is a wonder to behold. Yet shipbuilder Abram Harwood begins to question whether there is more than just a physical resemblance between the two ships. Intrepid detective Melika Jones joins the ship's maiden voyage to investigate the strange accidents involving Titan's Sister.
Titan's Sister is to set sail on her maiden voyage from a harbor in northern Florida. But just as the ship's brash young owner begins the sequence to launch, a sudden, unexplainable accident takes the life of one of the crew. Not long afterward, Harwood watches in horror as the dock, on which the massive hull rests, catches fire, turning the area into a raging inferno. Harwood slowly comes to the realization that a chain of unusual and dangerous events has begun that could launch his beautiful new ship straight into a huge disaster!
Yet, instead of solving the mystery, Jones and Harwood are faced with a new nightmare once Titan's Sister is finally at sea, and they begin to wonder if the same fate as the Titanic awaits her.
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- 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Read an ExcerptChapter One
It was cold for northern Florida. But it wasn't the temperature, the ocean's stillness or the dead morning air that shrouded the shipyard with a foreboding pall. Abram Harwood knew exactly what it was.
He hurried inside the slipway's observation shack, pushing through co-workers and stretching to see over their heads. Though the shadow of the massive cruise ship darkened the tiny room, it was obvious who'd taken control of the impending launch-Bruce Janus, the ship's young owner. He stood at the window, front and center. The yard's deputy foreman, Joe Price, was at his side.
Price held his walkie-talkie at the ready.
"Wait!" Abram yelled. He was overstepping his bounds, but as the supervisor of the crew who had welded the ship together, he had to do something. He grabbed Price's shoulder and bristled at the impatient look he got in return.
Price shook him off. "I told you," he said, glancing at Janus. "It's not your call."
Janus smiled, his cocky air irritating Abram more than he wanted to admit.
"Wait for Tellemann," Abram said. "He's the one who needs to give the okay."
Janus shook his head. "The weather's perfect. We're launching without him."
A loud voice crackled in Price's walkie-talkie. Someone from the slipway outside. "All set, sir."
Price didn't hesitate. "Release triggers."
"Triggers released," came the response, and the largest liner they'd ever built began moving down the slipway for her first taste of the sea.
No ceremony. No christening for luck. And no Blake Tellemann, the yard superintendent, a man with more launch experience than Price and his crew put together-a man who'd confided in Abram over drinkslast night that he feared the ship's launch was doomed, destined to fail. Sure, they'd joked about it. Abram had called Blake an old man in a young man's world. Blake had countered, kidding Abram about being black in a white man's world. But Blake's fear was unmistakable. It's all up to God, he'd said. Once the steel restraints are cut, and the vessel starts to slide down the launching ways, then it's all up to God.
The observation room was silent as the ship headed for the ocean.
Her rudder broke the water's surface.
There was a hesitation. It was barely perceptible yet serious trouble nonetheless.
"Oh shit." Abram elbowed his way closer to the window, bumping into Bruce Janus and knocking the young man into his chair.
"What? What's going on?" Janus demanded, back on his feet.
"She's binding. Losing momentum," Abram said.
"Son of a bitch, he's right." Price clutched his walkie-talkie. "The ram!" he yelled into the microphone. "Push her with the ram."
The reply was immediate. "She's too damn heavy. You know that."
"Then throw more grease on the ways."
"It won't help. God almighty, Harwood was right. We never should've launched without Blake Tellemann."
Abram could've predicted Armageddon for all it mattered now. He snatched up a spare walkie-talkie and called for Blake, desperate to hear the yard superintendent. But outside the shack, the squeal of metal on wood rose above the shouts of the launching crew. The only voice Abram could hear was Price's as he turned his back to the ship and yelled, "Someone find Tellemann quick. If that tub gets stuck in the launching ways, we're as good as dead."
Janus seized Abram's arm. "Damn it, Harwood, what's happening to my ship?"
Abram pulled away. "Just pray we get her out before the tide falls." Abram grabbed a hard hat and caught the door as several men poured out ahead of him. The screeching sound of more than twenty thousand tons of steel struggling down the launching timbers flooded the tiny observation room.
Hands over his ears, Abram rushed up the five-degree incline of the slipway's floor. A panicked launch crew hurriedly loosened the drag chains. Blake wasn't among them.
Abram jumped into the construction elevator. Within seconds, he was on the highest platform of the gantry, a catwalk level with the ship's top deck. He ran toward the end, to the hundred or more off-duty workers who'd gathered to see the launch. They were shouting, raising their fists, and spurring the ship on. He called for Blake. No response.
Abram scanned the yard beyond the gantry. There was nobody gathered beyond the gate except the spectators and die-hard protesters. "Jesus," he said.
Where the hell was Blake Tellemann? No one had seen him since he'd signed in this morning. Blake had to be here somewhere. If the ship stopped with her aft section in the water-her bow still lodged in the slipway-the stern would be unsupported when the tide fell. A liner could split in two under that kind of stress.
"Jesus," Abram repeated. He turned on his heels, once more checking for movement in the yards, squinting to focus on the fitting-out berth beyond the gantry. Wiping cold sweat from his brow, he came face-to-face with the laboring ship once again.
She was an ugly maiden with no smokestacks and no color on her deckhouses. Once they towed her to her fitting-out berth, they'd transform her into the world's most unique passenger liner. Right now, she was little more than a steel shell with temporary stairs and exposed metal girders.
He narrowed his eyes. Maybe Blake boarded her to check the auxiliary power supply to the bilge pumps or to prepare the anchor chains himself, he thought.
Fresh adrenaline shot through Abram's body. He had to get on board. Blake might be trapped inside.
Abram stepped back from the vessel. He was eight decks above her keel. A fifty-foot well deck, both fore and aft, allowed access to the top deck. With her stern now in the water, only the forward well deck was within reach.
Abram unhooked a section of the gantry's safety rail and tossed it away. He gave himself enough distance to get a running start and prayed his momentum would carry him across the six-foot gap between the platform and the ship. He was a tall man, with strong legs that had served him well as a college fullback. But he was twenty years older now. If he tripped or miscalculated his stride, he would fall into the cavity shadowed by the hull, a seventy-foot drop to the slipway's concrete floor below.
He took a long breath and was about to exhale when movement to his left caught his eye.
Abram focused on the platform beyond the bow. This part of the gantry was temporary, erected to accommodate the ship's excessive length. It had been partially dismantled and roped off before the launch.
At a spot without safety rails, at least two hundred feet away, three men stood calmly near the edge of the catwalk, inches from the deadly drop.
Abram yelled at them.
With the ongoing scream of the ship, the threesome didn't hear him.
He decided to run within shouting distance then continue his search for Blake.
Abram took a step, but the off-duty workers nearly threw him from his feet as they rushed past him, toward the elevators. They didn't slow to sidestep Abram. Nor did they seem to notice the three men in their dangerous location.
Using quick, short strides, Abram moved at an angle through the workmen, finally reaching the safety rail several yards forward. As the workers brushed past, he braced himself and took a deep breath, cupping his hands to his mouth. "You there, make way. Get back, for Christ's sake."
None of the threesome moved.
Abram shouted again, but the words caught in his throat as someone crashed into him, throwing him off balance. He doubled over the safety rail, his hard hat falling from his head. The hat bounced several times before coming to rest on the concrete below.
Using the metal barrier for support, Abram hustled down the catwalk and waved. "You're too close! You got to get out of there!" he yelled.
They turned, but did not move. Abram's hands tightened into fists. Who let these guys into the yard and what are they trying to prove? Their clothes looked like costumes. One wore an old-fashioned naval uniform. The other two were dressed in dated business suits, the shorter guy carrying a fancy cane and the tallest holding his jacket over his shoulder, his shirtsleeves rolled up.
Before Abram could speak or take another step, the pitch of the ship's cry changed to a nightmarish sound, then died away as the great liner stopped.
Abram glanced down the length of the hull toward the ocean. Tugs, ready to escort the ship to her berth, jostled near the stern, unsure what to do.
It was a shipbuilder's worst nightmare. Only half of the ship had made it to the water. And the yard's most qualified man was missing.
Abram again turned to face the costumed men, but they were gone. They might have slipped past me while I was surveying the ship, but I doubt it. He checked the gantry. No one. He feared the worst.
He crossed the barricade quickly and cautiously and walked into the restricted area. He stopped at the edge of the catwalk where the three men had been. Abram felt he could reach out and touch the hull's cold wall. Yet he realized the gap was closer to ten feet than three.
Carefully, he bent over and grabbed the edge of the platform. The contrast between the looming darkness of the hull and the brightness of the morning blurred his vision, making him question what was real and what was not. He felt dizzy and shut his eyes for a moment, then forced himself to focus on the slipway below.
He swallowed hard. "My God."
The ship's huge starboard anchor had paid out to its bitter end. Blake was on the bottom of the slipway, trapped under the three-foot links of the anchor's deadly chain.
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¿Titanic: Relative Fate was impossible to put down¿well-written, keep-turning-the-pages storyline. I thought it was set brilliantly in context and I could feel the original Titanic in every page, the atmosphere of the present and the past woven together with great skill. A super read¿just perfect for a wet day in Ireland. It stands alone but will be of especial interest to all 'titanoraks'! I'll be recommending it to all our members. Well done.¿¿Allison Murphy, Editor CQD, Belfast Titanic Society
I must say it was awesome, very eerie but absolutely awesome. It really takes your mind to 1912 aboard the Titanic. In a very old and quiet house like mine you can almost hear and see the torment from those struggling to get away from the ship. This book most realistically puts you on the deck of the Titanic during the last few hours of her existence. I very much enjoyed this novel and look forward to your next one.
this book was good. i still dont know what ship it is the people in the book are talking about, but it was dtill good.
To quote a great author, I am "a Titanic fanatic." I have over 100 books on the subject. My collection not only consists of true accounts of the Titanic tragedy, I enjoy the occasional fictional account as well, and I am often humoured by the lack of similarity to the real ship and her story. When I first sat down to read Titanic: Relative Fate, I kept an open mind, knowing that this book is fictional. I truly feel that V. C. King has done her homework. This book grabbed my attention immediately and kept it right through to the end. I literally didn't want to put it down, and kept it close at hand, with hopes of sneaking in a few extra minutes with it. There were several times throughout the book that the suspense had me wanting to sneak a peak ahead to see how things turned out, but fought off the temptation. I feel that with the many comparisons, based on actual facts, the author has reached Titanic Fanatics, as well as the fiction loving and crime loving readers, and has managed to throw in a hint of romance as well. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a well written book. My compliments to the author on a job well done.
While the idea behind the book was intruiging, and i did get minor enjoyment out of reading it, i thought it was poorly written, not answering many of the questions i was left with in regards to the plot and characters. The characters were also very flat, and predictable at best. I couldn't envision what they looked like and felt no emotional connection to any of them. On the plus side, I learned a few facts about the Titanic that i hadn't read before, but really, overall, I did feel that the book did not live up to my expectation for it, and I was disappointed. I would not recommend this book to others, and I do feel like I wasted my time reading it.