“Start again,” I said. “Let’s start again.”
Salazin was posed to listen.
I composed myself to think and speak. “Ten miles is a very long vessel.”
“Why does it have to be so long?”
“Don’t think of it as just a vessel.”
“Think of it as a destination, Dylan,” Salazin said. “Think of it as an exclusive island floating in the sky. Think of it as an exclusive destination. We will grow organic food and raised organic animals. We’ll serve them in our exclusive restaurants.”
“We’ll have more than one restaurant?”
“Yes, yes, why not? We will have an inland sea and luxury villas. And vineyards, wineries, and breweries. We will sell Nautilaus wine. Imagine it.”
“I’m trying to. Why call it Nautilaus?”
“Nautilaus is the perfect name. Nautilaus is associated with adventure and technology.”
“Maybe for you, but I think of exercise equipment.”
“No, no, not exercise equipment. Think of Jules Verne and Robert Fulton.”
“Yes, yes, he named his steamboat the Nautilaus, and Jules Verne named his submarine after Fulton’s steamboat.”
“That’s another thing,” I said. “The Nautilaus is a submarine.”
“It is a masterpiece, Dylan. It is a luxury jewel, a vessel to fire imagination, inspire adventure, and embrace luxury. It’s mysterious and unique.”
“Fine.” I’d drop it for now. Salazin was smarter than me, and he’d thought about this more, so I was behind. I knew I’d probably give in soon, but it’s my custom not to be graceful about these things. Actually, it’s not my custom, but my nature. I think I get it from my parents, or maybe the whole damn clan. None of us surrender with grace. We fit to the bitter damn end. Come see us at the holidays, and you’ll understand.
“But ten miles seems extremely long,” I said.
“It needs to be so long for what it will have and be.”
“It won’t be able to land anywhere.”
“Yes, it will. It can land on the ocean. It can land in many other places.”
Salazin leaned in toward me. “Dylan, Dylan. Listen. I know that you must think about things before you say okay. I love that about you. I do.
“But, let me give you more to think about so we can hasten the moment when you say okay. Imagine a floating island that can travel anywhere in the world and be there in a matter of hours. Imagine living in a place isolated from war, disease, and pollution. Imagine being able to dine in a fine restaurant while watching a volcano in Hawaii explode, or floating over Antarctica or the North Pole, watching the glaciers break off and float away. Imagine being able to go to the best place to see meteor showers, eclipses, and the Northern Lights. Imagine the greatness of such a vessel. This is why it’ll be more than a vessel, but will be enshrined as the ultimate destination. As a destination, it can be anywhere.”
Salazin winked. “And maybe further.”