“Few who come this far ever return,” Captain Emerson had said. “And those who do are never the same thereafter.”
“Didn’t you say you’ve been here before?” she’d asked.
Captain Emerson had turned to her and grinned openly. “Yes. Yes I have,” he’d said and squeezed her shoulder.
She’d giggled and he’d laughed.
Later, she’d wondered about the captain. She really liked him, his carefree nature, but, for a moment, she’d seen something else in his eyes, an emotion she couldn’t quite identify, an internal secret.
She stared at the Veridian Sea. A feeling stirred inside her. A dull throb began behind her eyes. It’s not natural, she thought. We shouldn’t be out here.
The others had joined her--Gwen, Zachariah, even Lemm--standing against the rail, looking out at the green waters. The captain had taken up a position at the prow of his ship, staring out as well. There were no waves, only a gentle parting of the water. It was cool, a dull breeze, the horizon bare. The only sounds were the sloshing of the boat and the beating of their hearts. No one spoke. They stared at the relentless, monotonous waters, empty hours drifting by around them.