A pirate gazes over the rail and daydreams.

It's uncharacteristically quiet aboard the Reaver Bitch tonight. The war being what it is, of late it's rare to find a merchant unescorted—but today has been an unusual day; not only did you happen upon just such a hapless prize, but found her belly full of rum. Your mates are below, sleeping off their earlier revels—most of them, at any rate, save those few now overseeing the merchantman's erstwhile crew to a friendly port where some factor or other will make a decent price for her.

Your mates are below—but not you, and not a couple more, because there is a war on, after all, and one does not wish to be found unawares by some jumped-up lieutenant, too new to the world to understand that hostis humani generis is one of those traditions honored primarily in the breach. Thus, midwatch—stood by those not too polluted with rum to stand at all, and that for liquor has never been among the more voracious of your appetites.

A quiet midwatch, too. From the hull to the horizon, there is nothing to see in any direction save sea nigh smooth as glass—smooth and calm enough to reflect a million million stars from the clear night sky above. Your watchmates are quiet enough; as you lean on the quarterdeck rail and watch aft, only the gentle creaking of rope and canvas might distract from the sense that you're drifting gently in midair between sea and sky, and your thoughts rove far and wide—

—until you notice that the waves are breaking oddly, just a little off to starboard. As though over a shallow reef, but you're just off a trade route, with fathoms aplenty under the keel and no land anywhere in sight. There cannot be something there. And yet there something unmistakably is. But—what?

(Incidentally, you have at the moment the use of the captain's sighting glass, which she took off a Fenii captain along with his ship, and which she prizes most highly—it was enough to curl your hair all over, the things she said she'd do to you if you should so much as scratch its polished finish, and you've been aboard the Bitch long enough to know she'll do them, too. But it is a very good glass, and would give a much better sight of what's out there.)