Ch. 77. End of a Beginning

The Wolf and the Pious Drake rode at anchor at the spot where Y’lanna Sparti’s ship had crashed into the sea from the vortex funnel.  While Y’lanna was having her chat with Captain Windwolf and the team of scholars from various institutions, teams had been out in the ships’ boats searching for any and all bits of the wreckage, under the direction of First Officer Foxrun of the Wolf and Captain Goldenbard of the Drake.

Once it was confirmed that there were no other survivors, or non-survivors, to find, the mood of the salvagers had lightened considerably.  A rhythmic work song lilted over the swells, among the bobbing boats, picked up by the crews on the two ships.  Some of the boats pulled in mangled sheets and chunks of metal and other materials while others cast nets to comb the water for smaller pieces.  The coordinated work on the relatively calm waters after the storm was past went quickly, and by the time the report was sent to Ruili, the nets were coming up empty, and the lookouts no longer called out the flash of metal in the sparkling waves.

Ruili formally opened the cabin door for Y’lanna, offering a small military bow as she stepped out into the sun of a world she didn’t know, followed by the curious scholars.

The largest pieces of her ship had been hauled aboard the Wolf and laid out on the main deck, with the sea water still draining off in rivulets.  Meanwhile, the net hauls were dumped into broad, flat baskets to drain them, too.  The last of the boats were pulling up to the Wolf to transfer their catches up the side as well.

Ruili fixed his cockaded tricorn on his head and walked Y’lanna over to the salvaged remains.

“Of course, this will all be taken in hand by the Naval Academy for study and safekeeping,” he said, casually.  “But you may naturally look through it for personal or necessary effects belonging to you.  And as our academic friends have indicated, you will very likely be bombarded with questions concerning your ship and its materials.  I’m sure we’ll try not to be too much of a bother about it.”

But as he looked at the shards and scraps of strange metal, none no more than the length of a long boat, Ruili could not help but wonder at the force that could have torn such a ship apart and at the luck of the person who had been aboard it.  He could not help but feel a twinge of sorrow, too, for the voyager who was so thoroughly stranded now, as well.  With a small cough to clear his throat, he stepped aside and gazed out over the water and the boats pulling towards them to the beat of the Aeldrethian song.

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