Well, it was pure luck, but I managed to get myself passage to Morley aboard a decent ship. The Dreadful Wale, it's called. Is that a mistake? Shouldn't it be the Dreadful Whale, like the sea beast? I didn't want to risk pointing something like that out to the captain, that Foster lady. She looks like the sort to dump a disagreeable passenger overboard without a second thought.
Goodbye, Karnaca. I won't miss you. Times are getting bad there. I don't know what's more unbearable, breathing mine dust all day long or hearing the constant ramblings of Duke Luca Abele over the street speakers. Every bar I played in, some drunk asked me to sing a song either making the Duke sound like a hero of the people, or the opposite, the worst villain in a generation. I got sick of it, pretty fast.
It will take a few weeks to get to Morley, give or take some days, depending on the currents and winds. But I appreciate the company of Captain Foster and the other passenger, a Tyvian scholar, I think. I try to help out around the boat as much as I can, cooking, cleaning, and repairing stuff. Playing the guitar for them at night. I hope they don't throw me to the sharks when they find out I'm dirt broke. I won't be able to pay my fare when we reach Morley.
Morleyan food seems to suit Captain Foster. She likes the way I use lots of sugar and toss a shot of whiskey into all my recipes. Even if she groused at the end of the week for how many of the supplies I'd gone through.
Spent the night on the deck with Meagan and Anton, though he slept in a chair nearby, wrapped in a goat-hair blanket that looks like it hasn't been washed since it was on the goat's back. I played the guitar, while Meagan and I drank rum and whiskey, singing sad old Serkonan ballads, and giving silly names to the stars. She even hummed along with me when she got drunk enough, but mostly preferred just to listen. Said I have the same voice as someone she knew once, a long while back. Off and on, I hear her playing the same old audiograph in her cabin, making me wonder if that's who she was talking about. Maybe I'm feeling jealous.
What a fool I am, trying to kiss Meagan down in the engine room. She didn't even yell, just smiled a sad smile, like you would at a child who still believes in night-spirits.
Tomorrow we'll reach Morley, and I'll disappear as quietly as I can. I've decided to leave her my Serkonan guitar, as a souvenir, and the only payment I can afford. I hope she'll forgive me. And that she'll find whoever she's looking for.
- The guitar talked about in the book is placed upon the desk as another part of the Imperial Assassin's Pack.