(The Silence of Ancient Light, continued)
First light saw the makeshift trimaran glide smoothly across the calm lagoon. The orange and white checkered sail easily caught the morning breeze blowing across the low-lying atolls sheltering the inner waters, and the boat picked up speed as Anna steered toward the southern tip of the island.
She took one final look back toward the ruined shuttle and the beach camp which had been their home for the past few weeks. The shuttle seemed sad and forlorn, battered and canted at an unnatural angle in the shallow water. Hull panels Anna had opened in her attempts to repair the scramjet engines were missing, ripped away in the fierce storm, while others displayed obvious damage where wind-tossed tree limbs had smashed into the side of the craft. What sections were not dented and ripped were sandblasted to a dull grey and uneven finish.
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When storms toss you broken tree limbs, you build boats with them. What else? And when aliens kidnap a crew member, you sail after them, even if it’s a big, bad ocean out there.
And if you’re a scientist, you never stop sciencing (I know that’s not a word, but it should be), even when the subject of your study is trying to kill you.
Laxmi and Anna have made the best of a bad situation, salvaging what they can and using storm wreckage to modify and upgrade their life raft into a sailing trimaran. The locals on Kepler 62f have taken Jaci with them, and now Laxmi and Anna must pursue them across an alien ocean.
But as they set off on the start of this perilous journey, Laxmi makes an observation about their environment. It seems a small thing.
Here’s a hint: it isn’t.