The storm rocked the ship. It was an unsettling motion, but Jayn was happier now her view was foreshortened by waves and spray. Holding tightly to the handrail, she followed Reed to the maps rooms.
Browdy was waiting for them. Salutes were exchanged and he led them from the outer, distribution, room to the inner, intelligence, room. Centrepiece of this room was a large table holding a map. “The world.” Browdy announced redundantly.
Unlike all previous maps Reed had seen, the main landmass was not the centre of attention. Indeed, the great continent was split, its eastern half at one end of the table and the western at the other. Quite logically, this map concentrated on the ocean that surrounded them. Looking at the great expanse of blue, Jayn felt her agoraphobia return.
A flag with a red X on it marked the position of Half Time base, about a third of the way across the ocean. There were other markers. Jayn traced westward from the island and soon spotted the four orange headed pins that showed the direction beacons they had followed in. Tracking east she followed the coloured trail to another flag, this time with a blue cross. Unlike Half Time, this flag was moving, a track of pin prick holes traced its course. Other pins, and clusters of pins, described an arrowhead toward the blue cross.
“The storm should clear by tomorrow.” Browdy announced, “And there will be another flight arriving the day after. So it is time to show you the next leg of your journey.”
“I have heard of boats having flat decks fitted and becoming floating runways.” Jayn waved at the blue flag.
Browdy nodded and smiled. “This is more than that. A considerable amount more. Let me show you the model.” There was another large table in the far corner of the room. Lined up on one side were pewter cast model aeroplanes, tiny but still identifiable by make. They were grouped by flights and squadrons, a tally of the logistics involved. A few were parked on the model, to give a reference for size. “It is unlikely you have ever seen or heard of this.” Browdy chuckled.
“No.” Jayn admitted quietly. “How soon can we get there?”