Yesterday, I finished playing Escape the Emerald Star. Not a stellar game, mind you, but I was too fatigued for one with difficult puzzles and hard-to-discern shapes and colors. The story is simple: I'm on a liner like RMS Queen Mary I, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. One morning I wake up to find that all of the passengers and crew have mysteriously vanished. I have to somehow escape. But as I played I began thinking. What if I don't want to escape? For one thing, I can't lower a lifeboat by myself, and even if I can somehow manage it, do I want to leave the ship only to float adrift with nothing but storms, sharks, exposure, thirst, and starvation to greet me? No way! I'm staying with the damn ship! That got my survival instincts into an uproar as I began to problem-solve the situation. In my head, of course. This is imagination after all. Here's what I came up with:
- First things first. Find the main deck and start calling out on the ship's P.A. system to find out if there's anyone else aboard. There isn't.
- Find the radio room and start sending out an SOS. Remember, this is a ship built in the 1920s, so there's no satellite communication and no auto-navigation system. This is where I added a hitch to the scenario: I can't contact anyone and no one is going to ever find me.
- Go to the restaurant galleys and move as much of the perishable food that I can to the freezers as quickly as possible.
- Start bottling water.
- Learn where the medical facilities are. I already know where the library is, silly.
- Clear out some of the potted plants on the pool deck and use the planters to grow root vegetables: carrots, onions, potatoes, etc. As I eat fruit and other vegetables, I'll use some of those seeds and preserve the rest for future crops.
- Reclaim grey water for the plants.
I think I can live a pretty secure life in this way. The real challenge is electricity and heat. The QMI's energy was created by diesel engines, so fuel isn't endless. Besides, little me just can't manage the engine room by myself. I think I'll read up on how to make my little area solar and wind powered. By now, I've moved into the Royal Suite, of course.
In the game there are a bunch of cats and a couple of dogs on board, so I have some company, and their food is most likely all in cans anyway, so their food situation is fine. There's always storms to consider, but living in Oklahoma for 11 years has taught me to be rather philosophical about surviving scary weather: if it's my time, it's my time.
So I'm putting it to you. Am I on track here, or am I doomed to die within months? Hey, at least I have access to all those musical instruments, books, movies, and bars! What would you do if this happened to you? No radio, no rescue ships, no nothing. The purpose of this isn't to plot an escape, but to discuss how long someone could survive. And, yes. I know that eventually the ship would run aground, but not in my scenario.