April 14, 1912
Most people were asleep at 11:20 p.m., but America wasn't most people. He found night time the perfect time to do his work. It was quiet, peaceful, and there were no activities to go to. He just felt like his mind was most at ease in the late hours. The soothing sound of the ship breaking the still water in front of it and the fresh, crisp sea air were a bonus.
He sat cross legged on the floor of his suite, despite the fact there was a perfectly good chair right beside him. It was something that he did at home too. Sitting on the floor allowed him to spread out his work and relax. He didn't feel so constricted or restless.
He picked up his bottle of brandy and took a swig, thinking about how France would chastise him for such actions. According to him, alcohol should be savored and consumed from a glass at all times. Not that America really cared what France thought. It wasn't like the older nation even let America go out drinking when he was actually visiting because he was "still just a child."
"Pretentious, hypocritical bastard..." America muttered to himself as he filled out some agriculture and manufacturing reports. He made mental note to ask South Carolina or Delaware to look them over when he got home. He would hate to overstate or understate something because of a misplaced number.
But neither France nor his paper work was the reason he was drinking. He was really concerned that the ship hadn't stopped for the night. Granted, Titanic had been sailing through the night since it departed Southampton, but he thought that the captain would stop her because of the weather. It the problem wasn't storms, it was actually that the sea was eerily calm. There were no winds, meaning there were no waves, which made it hard to see obstacles because there was nothing to indicate danger. Boasting the ship was unsinkable was one thing, it was another thing to test fate and challenge God.
He had seen the best things brought down by human cockiness, and that's all continuing at full speed in dangerous waters was. He couldn't shake the ominous feeling he'd had for days that something was going to happen. So instead of sitting around worrying, he decided to drink and do his paperwork. Not the best coping mechanism and he was bound to catch Hell from his boss later, but it was better than getting personally involved, which was always a mistake nations made when it came to humans. Besides, if something happened, it wasn't like he could actually die. Only the over 2,000 innocent souls on board were in danger. No big deal.
"What am I doing with my life?" he wondered aloud as he laid his pen on the report. "I'm sitting on the grandest ship in the world at nearly midnight, drinking and doing paper work while simultaneously worrying about the consequences of human stupidity. That sounds about right. Way to have your priorities straightened out, Alfred."
He got up to stretch. He flicked open his pocket watch to see the time. It was 11:35, meaning that he had been working for three hours straight. He could only imagine what England would have to say to that. England assumed he was lazy and procrastinated at everything.
No wonder he was getting more and more agitated though. He was a very active person and sitting for three hours straight was absolute torture in his mind. He pulled out his cigarettes and lit one up. He normally tried to limit himself to two a day, but for some reason he had smoked through almost an entire pack. It was a good thing he had two more packs. They should be enough to get him through the rest of the trip to New York.
For some reason, instead of calming him down, the cigarette made America feel even more jumpy. He only felt jumpy when there was danger either nearby or in his country. He didn't think anything major was going on at home. Surely Pennsylvania or Delaware would have told him if there was and he'd be able to sense it. That meant there must be danger nearby. Either that, or he was really starting to get paranoid.
"Maybe I should take a walk." he told himself as he disposed of his cigarette by pitching it out the window. He picked up one of the books he brought along, Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson, deciding that he'd go sit out on the promenade and read. "Yeah, a walk sounds pretty good."
He went to grab his coat, only to stop in his tracks. There was a rumbling underneath him, and it didn't feel natural. The light fixtures in the room vibrated as if they were being disturbed. "What the-"
He saw something white flash in the corner of his eye. He glanced at the window to see what it was. The sight of a huge, white wall made his jaw drop. "Holy shit..."
He started panicking internally, though he'd never admit it later. Absolute dread watched over him. It was completely unnecessary, as he wasn't in any real danger if the ship were to go down. He was a nation; he couldn't die. But it wasn't himself he was afraid for. It was the other passengers.
It was 11:40 p.m., April 14, 1912 and the Titanic had just collided with an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic. The nearest land was Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, nearly four hundred miles away. The nearest ship, the SS Californian, had shut of her radios for the night, having sent a message to the Titanic earlier in the evening about stopping for the night because of ice before doing so. Titanic and the 2,200 souls she was carrying were all alone to face their fate.
America closed his eyes and began to pace around the room. He knew something was going to happen. He should have listened to his gut instinct and gotten off Titanic before she headed out to sea. That would have done nothing to prevent her fate, but at least he wouldn't be on her.
She could stay afloat with four compartments filled with water. Depending on how bad the damage was, there was still a chance that less than four were filling up. After all, she just grazed it, right? Only one side of the ship was damaged, so it couldn't be that bad.
Still, something told America that his fears about Titanic's voyage were correct. The White Star Line would have their headlines, just not the ones they hoped for. By the end of the night, Titanic and most of her passengers would most likely meet their demise, America feared. All of her beauty and grandeur would be swallowed by the dark, icy waves. The White Star Line would pay dearly for this.
He started muttering rapidly under his breath, simultaneously cursing England's cockiness and praying that this damn ship really was unsinkable.
The Titanic has finally met the iceberg. And America, if only you knew cigarettes don't actually calm you down. Back then people believed cigarettes were good for calming the nerves. Obviously we know better now. Also, littering.
April 14th and 15th just aren't good days for America, are they? First Lincoln gets shot and dies, then the Titanic strikes an iceberg and sinks.
The sea the night Titanic sank was calm, which made it harder to see icebergs. The Titanic was also going full speed at the time of the collision. Titanic did not stop that night because Captain Smith did not perceive icebergs to be a problem.
Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson is a book that deals with the sinking of a fictional ocean liner called the Titan. There are many parallels between the Titan and Titanic.
The Titanic fatally struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912 on its starboard side. Most passengers felt nothing when Titanic struck the iceberg. The nearest place to the sinking was Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada at nearly four hundred miles away. The nearest responding ship could only reach her in four hours at full speed, but that was too long. There was no one who could help the 2,200 souls she was carrying.
So you remember the message the wireless operator on the Titanic sent saying, "Shut up, I'm working"? That message was sent to the SS Californian, which was much closer than the Carpathia, the closest ship that responded to the S.O.S. The Californian sent a message to inform Titanic they were stopping for the night due to ice and would be shutting off their radios, and the chief wireless operator on Titanic, who was busy sending out passengers' messages, dismissed the Californian's message. So, Captain Smith never received that final ice warning, which probably would have convinced him to stop for the night; therefore Titanic could have avoided the collision with the iceberg. The Californian could have easily gotten to the Titanic in time, but didn't because the Titanic had no way to radio her and the captain of the Californian ignored Titanic's distress flares. This is the reason why ships today are not allowed to turn off their communications while they're out at sea.