Zor, the 26th day of Barrakas
A ship is spotted on the horizon and it is approaching fast. I warn everyone to stand at the ready in case they prove hostile. Pol however seems oddly calm at the boats sudden presence. Usually one to stand aside and let me lead, he takes point when the long boat comes ashore. Suspicious to the nth degree, I take cover in a nearby tree, prepared to incinerate any sailor that steps out of line. To my total shock, the entire scene unfolds with a surreal smoothness. Pol speaks to the rescuers and they agree to take on all the castaways with no payment. Clearly they’re not pirates, but something is definitely amiss. Try as I might to figure out an angle, Pol’s odd behaviour is proving an incalculable variable in my equations.
Unfazed by the dark possibilities that the real world poses, the others are ecstatic at their apparent rescue and they all rush to gather their meager and tattered possessions. At the beach, I descend from my perch in the trees and inform the assembled group that I will not be leaving the island aboard ship with them. Though already aware of the plan, Sasha breaks out into loud sobs. She begs me to reconsider, of course in this sub-context, she’s begging me to reconsider my plan. When Dadak finally pulls her away from me, I promise her that she’ll see me again. I bid a fond farewell to my companions and head towards the village.
the plan enacted
Once out of sight of the beach, I race through the village to the opposite side of the lighthouse where the jungle meets the shore. From the jungle canopy, I see that the castaways are loading the long boat with their possessions. I slip unnoticed into the water and descend into the murky depths. Swimming as fast as I can, I race toward the starboard side of the ship and surface at the waterline. I survey the hull and find areas that I can better cling to. I spy the anchor and several leader ropes hanging overboard. It’s going to be a rough journey, but I think I’ll manage just fine.