Concerns about the Deathknell were set aside the next morning when they came across a fishing trawler floating low in the water, heavily heeled over on its port side and taking on water. The sails flapped loosely and nets hung over the side, uselessly tangled. Reiko frowned at it as the Crisis drew slowly nearer. “Captain, would you like us to check it out?”
Chopper scrubbed at his chin thoughtfully. “Aye, maybe we can lend a hand.”
Reiko changed their course and shouted a few brief orders to the riggers, bringing the Crisis around more or less smoothly. The trawler’s hull was breached on the port side just above the waterline; the waves were slowly swamping her. The davits at the stern that would normally hold a dinghy were empty and there were no signs of battle or real indications as to what might have caused the breach.
Leaning out, Chopper made out the shape of the dinghy at least ten feet underwater, slowly sinking from sight. “Dinghies don’t usually do that,” he commented. “I’ll check it out.” He promptly dove overboard and began swimming. Reiko sighed as he dove toward the sunken dinghy, tapping her fingers impatiently on the wheel while she waited for him to resurface. And waited.
“Oh, honestly,” she grumbled. “Best wake everyone, this might get serious,” she told Lysaro, and dove in after Chopper just as he resurfaced and gulped air.