Lois studied the length of the ship. She'd seen bigger ships, but she supposed the Titanic had been pretty large for 1912. She should feel grateful and honored, at least that's what Perry had kept telling her, but it wasn't her idea of hard-hitting journalism.
Clark smiled, recognizing the look on her face. "Treat it as a vacation, not a punishment. That's what the assignment basically is. Do you know how many people at the Planet were ready to kill us for the tickets when they found out we were the ones covering the story."
"Yeah, and it will be educational, a chance of a lifetime, blah blah blah."
"That's the spirit," Clark teased. "I promise this is going to be fun."
"Fun will be when I get back to writing news that matters, not some historical walk down memory lane. If you ask me, it's a little morbid to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a ship sinking."
"There'll be a memorial service over the place it went down. I think it's a perfectly respectful thing to do."
She looked down at her person's information one last time before she put it into her purse. She was Miss Edith Louise Rosenbaum, a female journalist. Edith had just got done reporting on French fashions and was returning home to the U.S.
Clark's ship identity was William Stead, also a journalist. He was traveling to America to take part in a peace congress at Carnegie Hall at the request of President William Taft.
They would have different rooms and would participate in activities appropriate for first-class passengers and the time period. Lois had a room in section A and Clark's was in C, but they had been assured that they could sleep in the same room if they preferred. Both of their people had traveled alone, so they would have the rooms to themselves.
Lois smoothed her confining travel skirt and adjusted her broad-brimmed hat. She looked at Clark, who looked just as ridiculous in his hat and suit. They didn't have to play the parts down to actually playing the characters, but they would find out if they had survived the Titanic at the end of the cruise.
They made their way through the heavy crowd toward the ship. Passengers boarded in different places, depending on their class. They walked up the gangplank and the room they came to was exquisite. There were ornately carved doors and lovely white paneling. There were stewards and stewardesses, also acting as historical interpreters, waiting to show people to their rooms.
"Is this really how it would have really looked?" one person exclaimed.
"Everything is as accurate as possible down to the placement of the nails. You are experiencing the journey as a first-class passenger would have," one of the stewards assured the woman.
Their luggage was already taken care of and waiting in their staterooms, so they found their way to the first class deck. Clark didn't want to miss the ship pulling out.
The entire crew was made up of people who had the practical skills to guide this ship through the waters and who were knowledgeable about the original ship and the period.
One of these crewmembers/interpreters spoke as the ship began to pull away from the dock, not an easy task with all the noise coming from the people who had come to watch, "As the Titanic pulled out, she caused the SS New York to break loose due to her sheer mass. The suction she created pulled it toward her. They narrowly missed colliding, although perhaps it would have been better if they had. Some say it was one of the many mistakes that all but guaranteed the ship would never make it to New York and a dark omen of what was to come."
Lois and Clark both felt a sense of foreboding as the ship left the dock and Southampton began drifting into the distance. It was due in part no doubt to the facts that the interpreter had just shared and the fate of the first Titanic. The other part might have been the chill in the air and the dark clouds that covered the sky.
"I have a feeling this is a cruise we will never forget," Clark said.
For the first time, Lois agreed.