Pavel hugs his paddleboard, looking up to his mother with a question in his eyes.
Pavel: You just got back from there, right? Your last message, it said you were going EAST again.
Vanna: That’s right.
Pavel: Did you see… HIM?
Vanna: You mean…
She pulls out a photo and shows it to him. It pictures a gigantic skull resting on an island. It has beastly sharp teeth and purple fins above the eye. No bones aside from the skull are visible. Palm trees are growing on top of the snout and inside the gaping jaws is what looks to be the cavernous entrance to the interior of the throat. The lighthouses in the distance of the photograph cast a glow across the horizon.
Vanna: HIM him?
Pavel: That’s him… THAT’S HIM! Are those TREES on him? He was huge!
Vanna: The largest creature that ever swam the candlelight sea. The skull alone is four times the length of the MANTASOL. And the Mantasol is no dinghy.
Vanna: The Saberfort looks right out on it, so they can make sure Cheth won’t grab it again. But if those LIGHTHOUSES ever go dark… Well, let’s not think about that.
The pair are seated side by side on the steps inside the ship’s cabin. It’s a colorful and bright space with leafy green plants hanging from the rafters and springing up in the corners and pillows tucked under a desk where they can easily be reached. Hanging from the ceiling are bunches of fishermans globes and on the wall is a shelf full of empty glass bottles. Another shelf lined with jars filled with colorful substances lies above the door and the air is slightly hazy from a beaker emitting steam, but neither of the Morenas seem concerned. Pavel scrutinizes the photograph and then looks back up to Vanna.
Pavel: Oh yeah… I’m scared to ask… But… Any sign of the princess yet?
Vanna: Not much. They tracked her to an islet in Northwest Salabay. Then her trail went dead cold. She REALLY doesn’t want to be found this time.
Pavel: This time? She’s run away before?
Vanna frowns sadly and looks down at her lap. Pavel watches her curiously.
Vanna: Several times. Some of the officers say Phaedra can be… A bit EMOTIONAL. But she’s barely past being a kid… and she just lost her dad… She has the entire sea on her shoulders now. It’s understandable. Anyone under that much pressure would need some time to clear their head.