The journey was nearing its end when Ganis decided to introduce herself to the last member of her new party, Monolos. The animal handler woke up at dawn to fish for the first meal of the day. Ganis took the opportunity to talk to her comrade as well as figure out his exceptional fishing skills.
Aboard the main deck of the Siren’s Tear, Monolos stood still with a wooden bucket to his right. Ganis approached the motionless man who stared at the horizon ahead of him. As she got closer to her comrade, she peaked at the bucked and noticed that it was overflowing with fish. Some bait he must be using, she thought. To her surprise, Monolos held no fishing gear or tools.
“Did you catch this fish?” Ganis asked the man.
“By observing,” retaining in his unnatural stillness, he calmly responded.
“You are dry and carry no fishing tools. The bucket at your side makes no sense to me.” She waited for a response or justification by Monolos, but he offered none. Frustrated by this lack of response, Ganis asked yet again, “In great detail, explain to me how you catch fish.”
Taking a moment to think about his reply, Monolos spoke, “It starts by a fish laying eggs. Then the eggs hatch and little fish start swimming instinctively towards their natural habitat. Then they feed on whatever type of food their kind is used to, either other fish or plants. When the fish matures, they head to the surface of the water to breed or eat microorganisms living there, where is it warm and suitable for their survival. Once I am near the location where this fish surface, I catch them.”
“Are you serious about this worthless answer?”
“I am sorry, but if this response is inadequate, I am afraid I do not understand your question.”
Almost reaching the limit of her patience, Ganis prepared her fist to strike the man. Suddenly, a hawk flew behind the Moroi and threw a fish into the bucket. At this point the bucket was filled with fish and the new addition bounced off and onto the wooden deck. Finally, Ganis’ question was answered; the man trained his hawk to fish for him.
Admiring her companion’s talent at training his avian friend, Ganis commented, “That is quite a skill you have got there.”
Ganis seized the opportunity to respond to Monolos as he had with her. “The one that you just proved.”
Growing even more furious with her comrade’s response, Ganis exhaled a deep breath to indicate her frustration. “I do not like you!”
“I am sorry. I will try to make you like me by observing your behavior and determining your likes and dislikes. By offering you more of what you like and avoiding what you dislike, I hope that you will come to change your mind about me,” Monolos explained. The man then picked the bucket of fish with his left hand and the sole fish which lay on the wooden floor with his other hand. Looking at the fish then at Ganis, Monolos asked, “Do you like fish?”
“No,” Ganis replied. Although she remembered that she had been fond of the taste of fish when she was alive and capable of consuming regular foods. For a moment, Ganis grew nostalgic.
“Then you may not have any.”
With no heed to his intentions, Monolos carried his hawk’s catch and headed to the kitchen where preparations for breakfast were being undergone. Taking a moment to calm herself, Ganis stood watching the calm sea.
Commodore Habitus noticed the Moroi and headed towards her. Quietly, he stepped beside her while preparing his pipe with a new filling heaven’s weed. After lighting it and taking a few puffs, he offered Ganis a taste of his remedy. Without exchanging words, the Moroi took the contraption and smoked. It did not take long for her to feel the effects of the drug. Although Moroi were immune to the effects of most drugs, Ganis’ exposure to the rising sun caused her regenerative capabilities to focus on repairing the sun’s damage to her skin and allowed her to be affected by things that would have usually not affected her. It was as if she became human during the day and returned to her true self at night.
“I heard that you have an Orc bodyguard who is also the mother of your children. Is that true?”
“Yes it is. Hrah is the mother of my three bastard half-breeds that are currently serving on the Phoenix with Captain Porter until I return to the Imperial waters. I did not want to risk harming them on such a perilous journey. Besides, with those brown bastards around, I go through stocks of rom and heaven’s weed with unnatural speed.”
“At least you have contributed to the coming generation of inhabitants, and they can claim to be the children of the peace-bringer Habitus. Do not underestimate their value or the value of your own deeds. Even Asclepius acknowledges you.”
“All I wanted was to retire in Senna and die from consuming a great deal of rom. Instead I have been given more responsibilities than a sane man can handle. What you and others see as honor and blessings, I see as troublesome. It is indeed ironical how this world functions. You can have this pipe,” Commodore Habitus returned to man the helm of the ship and directed it towards its destination.