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Ashlock

The water is sickeningly warm.

Ashlock knows how far and how fast she can go on one lungful of air, but she’s encumbered, and the sea churns as the island calves blades of ice. She pulls off her boots and kicks out anyway. Tach struggles in her grip, but she has no time to let go.

She fell facing west. The bay door was south, but she still can’t see skylight, and breath fights in her like a frantic bird. Ashlock kicks and kicks, a kata of desperation, and then the razor keel of the Matthew Henson is crushing her hand.

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