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A Sea Between Us

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“Captain Shepard!”

“All hands, report damage!” Rose called to Joker, rushing from the lower deck directly into the raging storm.

“Something hit us! No one saw anything but you felt it! We have to get out of this storm!”

“No shit! Make it happen!” Rose rushed towards the bow of the ship, grabbing a handful of lifelines to take to her crew. The pitch of the ship sent her sprawling into a canon, hitting her head hard enough to see stars in the black clouds. She had not lived this long without having a hard head so she got up, shook her head clear, and got back to work. No one had thought to tie on even with the threat of a storm, stupid and reckless; first calm water they would been reprimanded.

“Captain!” Rose threw out the lines, ensuring that everyone had tied themselves on before heading back to the mast of the main deck. Her first mate grabbed onto her, pulling her along as a wave crashed over the railing.

“Mister Alenko! Make sure everyone is accounted for! We won’t be able to find anyone in this storm and I’m not sure Joker can find his way back!” Thunder clapped above, the black night turning white for a brief second. Rose saw beyond Alenko in that second, a mass over the next wave. It was huge, almost as big as a whale. Maybe bigger…

“Captain! What is it?” Rose had not a moment to spare; they were blind in this storm. There was no knowing how fast it was moving. Or if it was that thing that hit them earlier. Shit.

“All hands brace for impact!” Joker yelled back in response but the wind whipped and howled. Then everything lurched.

That huge thing slammed into the Normandie, throwing everything on board. Ropes snapped. Persons yelled out in pain and fear. Cannonballs rolled around on the wooden deck. Rose tried to catch her bearings but nothing felt right, no wood underfoot, and no wind blowing rain onto her face. There was nothing. This is it, she thought. This was death. Rose had heard stories of sailors nearly drowning, how much it hurt. A burning in your chest. How you wish it would end…

This was nothing, just… Rose felt at peace with this.

It was hard to rise from the streets to a position in the Alliance Navy, even harder to earn your own command. She has made friends, served as best she could, even saved lives. Dying without pain after doing her very best to save her crew? Worth it. However, it lingered, what felt like hours passed just in the nothingness of death.

Then… Then there was something on her face, a warmth. Sunlight. The warmth of a morning sun. There was a lapping against her feet, cool water. A searing pain in her side, head, chest. Rose’s eyes opened to the blinding light of the sun and her entire body convulsed. Violently she rolled onto hand and knees, vomiting up seawater and bile. Water ran from her nose, tears from her eyes. A hot trickle of blood came from her forehead, blood catching on her eyebrow before dripping onto the silver sand below.

For a few minutes, Rose breathed in the life giving air and coughed up seawater. When there was nothing left, she collapsed from the pain, the pain everywhere. Nothing on her did not hurt. Her head hurt the most. Everything was spinning and laying face first into the sand was doing nothing to help soothe it. Never one to prey or buy into superstition Rose found herself praying to whatever God was out there to stop this agony.

Rose moaned pitifully. There was a splash, another, and water was forced up onto her legs and back. It was not quite cool, and it wasn’t really helping. The tide. Rose tried, really, to get away from the shore but there was no strength in her. All she could really do was lay there. Lay and sleep…