The Laser Fiction - A Tenuous Foundation









In Memory
Sean Pettibone



A Tenuous Foundation

Imperceptivity responding inward then expanding, the skies far above began reflecting the lights beneath. Stabilizing after converging on position, their motions solidified into distinctive forms that appeared to surround themselves. Reinforcing the initial structures, they determined and pronounced their intentions. Unable to embark father into the seas, the vessel remain at a calm remove, simultaneously sheltering and inhibiting, its sails responding minimally to the oncoming winds. Resisting calls for significant movement, they stood firm in determination. Looking to my companions for assistance, I resolved to determine their motivation. Surprisingly, they maintained a surface calm. Neither one of them seem particularly bothered by our remote location; not particularly concerned with the apparently stranded disposition. They'd exhausted their energies with the intense burst of energetic movement, and appeared to welcome the immediate respite.

She asserted herself resoundingly; imposing and reenergized, she moved quickly across the ship's surface, resuming her purposeful demeanor without hesitation. Maintaining a straight line across the narrow corridor, her instinctive path was inscrutable. Observing the vessel with renewed intent, she overlooked the water and surveyed its rolling currents thoroughly. Even with that pronounced barrier clearly visible, she maintained a deliberate remove from the surroundings. unwilling to concede her position. Intuitively, I knew better than to intrude on her process and kept a secure space, watching from a visible level safely outside her view. My focus shifted towards the mysterious figure standing towards the front of the boat. He maintained his careful watch over the vessel's conspicuously arranged navigational tools and controls. They seemed to be working automatically to a degree I still couldn't quite comprehend, but his confidence was reassuring. He looked back in my direction, and nodded approvingly. It wasn't immediately clear what had changed for him to have gained a sudden confidence in my abilities. I couldn't quite understand until he took a few steps closer and complimented the rough portrayals of them in my artwork, then I understood. He was in the middle of his train of though when there was a sudden burst of light or energy. It vanished nearly as quickly as it appeared, allowing no time to understand exactly how I could interpret the fissure.

There was tangible change in the atmosphere I couldn't categorize despite extensive contemplation and internalization. I surveyed the surroundings and gazed toward the vessel's shoulder. This didn't bring forth further elaboration; he appeared to sense another unexpected shift occurring but didn't quite know how to respond, at least initially. His confidence undermined, he shifted his gaze towards the stars above where the interloping burst of energy had unexpectedly emerged. Something unexpectedly appeared in the atmosphere that grabbed his attention. He forgot about the unlikely art and walked back towards the bridge and left me alone to discover what precisely occurred to resoundingly cloak and substantially disperse the intrinsic embodiments and constellations. From that vantage, it wasn't a straightforward task to determine what exactly had occurred. Furthermore, there was the additional responsibility of uncovering what the cloaked figures represented. I had to contemplate these intangible aspects independently without undue influence derived from his experience. Attempting to infuse these varied factors into coherent form was nearly impossible given my limited perspective. It required concerted effort on my part. The enigmatic structure was elusive and my thoughts dissolved into incoherence until I was able to deconstruct it to a degree. Splitting its innumerable mysteries into smaller portions, I was eventually able to arrive at partial remedies. These preliminary conclusions were probably misguided but those tentative determinations allowed me a measure of comprehension. This provided a partial measure of understanding the odd circumstances we found ourselves experiencing. This provided a minor relief, and the surrounding, somewhat constraining nocturnal atmosphere came to resemble a more familiar environment. This offered a measure of comfort, though much remained elusive.

Looking cautiously in her direction, she wasn't distracted or thrown off her mission in the slightest degree. Her eyes remained focused on the calming seas flowing beneath the boat. It appeared she was searching for a specific pave, but it wasn't cleat exactly what that might entail. The water beneath remained unexceptionally tranquil, the serene waves didn't reveal anything significant at that point. I looked beyond our immediate visage but nothing was visible that emerged from the encroaching expanse of night. The skies above hadn't noticeably responded to the burst of light. Surveying the ocean, I saw nothing sharp protruding from the water and looking further beyond, there were no islands of shorelines visible. I noticed her looking into the ocean more directly and came to the conclusion that anything hidden in the expanse was purposely hidden, lurking silently beneath the uncommonly tranquil surface.

Furtively channeling itself over the currents. the vessel slowly forged a path over the waves. Maintaining its balance without encountering much resistance, its undeterred momentum wasn't swayed by oncoming waves. The steady route it followed wasn't immediately visible, instead relying on an intrinsic determination. None of our hands were set on the mechanisms, but she maintained her vigilant observation, ensuring nothing untoward would occur. Her steadied, patient approach set an example for my eyes to follow. It took several minutes to decide what approach to follow, but deciding to reinforce her, my eyes a complimentary angle. Looking over the edges of the vessel onto the surface, I maintained a concentrated watch over the waters coursing underneath. The seas appeared unobstructed, offering no encumbrance. The waves appeared to flow outward as far as I could see, unfolding outwards into a breathless expanse that looked to extend into the horizon.

Silently disappearing beneath the unrelenting waves and tides, the modest wind brushed against the side of the boat, correcting any disruptions caused by the occasional choppy sequence. This allowed our boat the stability required to move forward into the vast seas without the hesitation and caution that likely would have accompanied manual control. After a period of observation, it gradually came to a rest as the sea surrounding it slowed down. At this point. it became obvious that it wasn't completely moving independently. Instead, the vessel being guided and directed by a steadfast pair of eyes that were controlling its overall navigation while it managed the details. This might have seemed to be a marginal change in perspective, but this change in command caused a manifestly different result that felt more deliberate than random. The vessel slowed down further, eventually arriving at a complete halt when it reached a tranquil point. Its balance held firm through the process, allowing non-obtruded movement without excessive maneuvering. Lacking the sudden jolts to one side or tilting awkwardly from the pressure. The vessel's inner fortitude created a residing firmness and resplendent buoyancy. This reinforced an unyielding demeanor that instilled a confidence that allowed us the resulting capability for concentration on imposing tasks of locating portions of the problem and the resulting observations.

She didn't articulate much of what she'd uncovered or though, maintaining a strange remove throughout the process. Her determined efforts hadn't gone unnoticed and I noticed the similarly intransient, mysterious navigator tracking her progress. He didn't look completely assured as to what specific path she was following, but he appeared to have a better idea of what process she was following than most observers would decipher. It wasn't something that could be deciphered, but her clandestine approach allowed her to explore the surrounding waves without impediment. Looking around the immediate area with greater attention, I noticed the churning waves had calmed completely, the wind had gone completely silent. This was contrary to the expectations but this unusual response was to be expected. Instead of churning into stronger forces, it had instead retreated into a contemplative mode, the atmosphere appeared to slowly pull a cover or shield over itself. Scanning the vessel's surface, I noticed something I hadn't anticipated. Looking above, the masts seemed to have strengthened and calcified. Its long, flowing sails entered a sudden hibernation,

Surrendering to an unseen force, it slipped into dormancy and had gently fallen asleep without making a sound. Their canvas sheets hung silently, wrapping into the tall masts like blankets, covering them securely. Their cover offered an unexpected layer of protection. They reinforced each other until they arrived at a complete rest They'd managed an much-deserved respite after guiding us through an extended journey beneath the night. Intriguingly, the brief burst of light appeared to have not be the beginning of a major confrontation. Instead, it appeared to signal a restful period. in repose simultaneously kept to themselves, not revealing that much nor responding to external forces. She watched the pensive motions patiently and quietly for the most part, her inherent calm silently but assuredly reinforced the vessel's secure position and consequently the odd serenity that over-washed my position beneath undulating waves that brought about an unanticipated serenity.

It wasn't obvious how long this island of calm would last, but she seemed to grow impatient and was ready to move ahead. He seemed reluctant to let go of the silence and appeared to enjoy the respite. Searching furtively beneath the water relentlessly for any signal that we'd reached the proper coordinates appeared to becoming increasingly frustrating on her end. She took several steps back and turned in my direction. Moving deliberately in my direction, she managed to reach my side and looked over towards the back of the boat. The easel stood in silent witness to the indescribable events I'd seen occur between the pair of mysterious figures, apparently the sole representation of an extensive entanglement. She took several steps towards the painting an began examining its surface. She kept her hands at her side and her silent determinations remained cloistered, her precise reaction unknowable.

Unlike the other figure, she appeared unable or unwilling to submit her pronounced approval. Remaining manifestly silent throughout the duration of the examination. Once finished, her disposition changed almost imperceptibly. Taking several steps back towards the edge of the boat and past my position until she turned back in my direction. Almost reluctantly, she conceded a tangible approval by and nodded her head slightly acknowledging my efforts, nascent talent and emergent skill. This was more than I expected and I was somewhat embarrassed, I felt my painting was inadequate, she was probably acting far more charitable than it deserved. I turned away from her gaze, half-heartedly bowed in reciprocation then resumed looking over the ship.

She understood my reluctance at accepting excessive praise and carefully took position at the vessel's center. No linger preoccupied with locating an elusive point beneath the currents, she looked around quickly for a few moments before locating a narrow bench where she could rest. Taking the opportunity to recalibrate, she temporarily took refuge in the protection offered in the ship's protective corridor. She sat quietly for several minutes and closed her eyes, apparently confiding with the vessel her reluctance, she decided to acquiesce to its demands and let go of her impatience, at least momentarily while not giving up on het overarching mission. She quickly submerged beneath the deck, her eyes seeming to sink inward while she contemplated her next move. He noticed her changed disposition and didn't appear worried by her disciplined approach.

Taking several nervous steps in her direction, his shiny shoes made a squeaking sound on the deck. His minor transgression breached the overarching mute surroundings. Even this minor noise was enough; it quickly alerted her to the figure's oncoming approach. Opening her eyes quickly, her gaze aimed directly at him. Looking him over cautiously for a few minutes, she quickly realized his movement had a tangible purpose. Standing upward and facing him directly, she held up her hand and motioned for him to join her alongside her position. Despite the extensive period of concerted effort that he interrupted she realized his motivations were important. The navigator's bowed in her direction somewhat apologetically for interrupting her concentration, but she quickly dismissed this as excessive. His apprehension seemed to dissolve when she reinforced his importance, and he began striding in her direction with increased speed and confidence.

He wasn't reluctant any longer and dispatched across the decks to accompany her. Surveying the damage, his arms slipped from the defensive posture as he arrived. He watched carefully as she slid to the other side of the respite, allowing some space to open. Without much additional hesitation, he sat down quickly on the bench. They sat silently beside each other, keeping a space allowing themselves clarity and vision. Looking at each other without further predisposition, there was an unspoken connection that was clear, yet not pronounced. It seemed they'd managed a secure calm that didn't require excessive interference. They appeared to calm and strengthen each other, It seemed the pairing that had recently resurfaced went beyond sharing dance moves. but what extent it entailed remained between them. Sitting in silence, their unvarnished by what was likely an extended interruption maintained its strength. Sitting together onside the vessel's center solidified the undeniable force they created. There was an extended period of quiet yet robust contemplation inherent, without either needing to elaborate needlessly.

Watching them from a respectful angle, I could only surmise how far back the connection might have gone and for how long. It felt intrusive to look upon them for too long and my eyes drifted back upward into the atmosphere. The immovable constellations and galaxies hadn't budged from position but something indiscernible had changed. It wasn't precisely clear exactly what it was. The impending night grew ever longer as layers of shadows seemed to reinforce each other, leaving very little visible. Nothing was immediately obvious beneath the nocturnal cloak. We appeared to arrive at the darkest point of the night. Looking above, I saw only a vast sheet of night, overshadowing all the stars within. The lingering twinkling light extinguished without exception. There was no light to navigate or constellations to guide us through the darkness.

The pair sitting astride didn't appear concerned by this lack of pronounced light. Instead, the both of them took advantage of the night to cloak their movement, obscuring themselves with an unexpected layer of serenity and privacy. I allowed them their privacy and decided to look elsewhere to give them space, Deciding to turn my attention eastward and examined the situation from another angle. This section of the universe appeared to have a few stars remaining visible, it seemed that the clouds hadn't completely covered it up. It seemed less pronounced but Its light was flickering as its luminance dimmed. Its constellation was noticeably fragmented, with far less density than the front section, its stars appeared distant and scattered. I looked its structure and arrangements over carefully for several minutes, attempting to locate some sign or signal that might help guide us or even give an explanation as to why the stars were inexorably becoming dimmer.

I looked into the skies above with great effort, but came up empty. The increasingly dark skies revealed little. There were no obvious signals, despite watching the skies intently for an extended period. Becoming increasingly frustrated, I rashly decided it would be a good idea to quit searching for something I'd never locate given the prevailing conditions. Additional stars faded from view and I turned back facing the front of the boat. Looking back into the night sky where I'd originally focused my energies turned out to be precipitous. My eyes caught an indeterminate, yet pronounced burst of energy. This recessed a secondary, shorter gasp light that briefly illuminated the skies.

This temporarily flash caused an exposure that was noticeably different in two immediate aspects. The first was that it wasn't a single large field but consisted of smaller fields scattered in a narrow portion of the skies. These weren't as brightly pronounced as the initial wave and didn't last as long but were still quite noticeable. I couldn't quite figure out what might have caused the distant reaction to occur and what it might have represented. I waited for several minutes and closed my eyes, hoping to hear an explosion or its' resulting echoes but the blazing array of temporal energy pulses didn't make a sound. Their origins and motivations in their sudden appearance remained elusive. The imposing yet fleeting lights maintained an intangible presence and determined restraint that defied explanation.

Interpreting their significance was a trying endeavor but I was determined to not let their transient nature dissuade me from the impending task. Looking at the vacated skies above offered no solutions as I scanned overhead furtively, in the hope that a residual path or lingering flicker might reveal something. I felt my eyes focus and stratify the position where the surface had temporarily flashed. I waited patiently for subsequent bursts to appear but nothing occurred. I was nervous and felt my eyes freeze in place, my blinking subsided. After staring into the vast expanse with unwavering attention, I began to notice a subtle but visible shift. Looking down momentarily, to readjust focus, resuming focus on the fissure's previous location revealed a noticeable change. Looking carefully, it became obvious that the surrounding skies had began dimming noticeably.

Vanishing quickly from the outer realms of view before gradually shifting inward into the center portion, the few remaining individual stars vanished with increasing velocity and irregular order. I could sense them. Initially, the process unfolded slowly, and it was difficult to see a pattern emerging. This phenomenon could have easily represented a stray occurrence. However, it began occurring more frequently. I looked across to the boat's surface and saw the others weren't worried by their flagging light. They appeared preoccupied and were deeply immersed by intense conversion. They remained too distant on the other side of the boat for me to make out their words. I decided not to intrude and resumed examined the distant stars. The constellations began succumbing at an alarming velocity as the minutes passed. Collectively, their gasping luminance wavered and the lost visual presence. On a rational level, I knew they were still out there, but an unknown forms had created an impediment, blocking any view. The reasons behind the universe's sudden reticence were unknown, but it darkened and emptied the skies above methodically with increasing speed and momentum.

It wasn't immediately obvious what was occurring but the vast darkness grew until it encroached the entirety of the surrounding universe. The lively skies seemed to fall asleep, their diminutive eyes falling into slumber, leaving an vast range of emptiness in their wake. This occurred silently, I heard no accompanying noise and felt no explosions as they slid beneath the night skies. Looking towards the eastern and western sections, the stars began fading even quicker that had the primary effect of cloaking the surrounding area. The resulting negative-space appeared to be rapidly expanding in every direction without a countervailing force. This had the secondary effect of leaving us almost stranded. At this point, the vessel had come to a complete stop. It wasn't moving a fraction of an inch in any direction. This was inexplicable, but there wasn't anything that would slow the atmospheric transformation. The strident vessel wasn't outwardly affected by this unanticipated shift in emphasis from previous assumptions and accompanying calculations.

I felt a strange resolve when I looked it over. The vessel hadn't surrendered, instead taking a clandestine position. I couldn't articulate our disposition but when I looked over the ships boards towards the opposite end, I couldn't help but notice their pronounced nonchalance. It seemed that they almost expected this delay, though it was unnerving from my perspective. The navigator glanced back in my direction and nodded reassuringly. He seemed to be signaling that its momentum hadn't been permanently curbed, only impeded slightly. This confirming act helped initially, but didn't last. More questions came about when I looked at the sails above. The stoic masts held above in the air unswayed by the windless atmosphere, their tarps fastened in sharp rows that appeared immovable. Their silent response to the diminished constellations felt increasing like capitulation. They didn't offer much pushback to the rapidly predominant, unbreachable nocturnal fortress, instead offering only ineffectual responses alongside tepid affectations to counter the thickening layers of sooty encumbrance.

Their passive approach felt increasingly detrimental as I examined them for any guidance or direction. The towering masts seemed powerless to stop their quickly sinking position beneath the relentless nocturnal assemblage of temporal impediments. Despite their tall, extended protrusions that extended a significant length above the vessel's surface, their height was unable to counter the steepening night. They put up no visible resistance to the encroaching night skies. I watched instead as they gave in. Observing their upper-portions as they vanished without a sound, dissolving quickly into slumber, yielding beneath the surreptiously predominant night skies. Quickly, the stagnant night skies enclosed then clouded entire constellations. This had gave an unintended hindrance that effectively and quickly obscured the tangible guideposts they provided our journey.
The bright constellations and illuminated structures slipped from view intently giving into the infringing night, falling beneath an indistinct yet unmistakable shadow. It grew until it appeared to encircle and cloud the nocturnal atmosphere completely. Unable to see the constellations, figures and arrangements made it almost impossible to navigate through the night. The resulting loss of even a rough visual compass left us effectively stranded. We were lost in the middle of the ocean leaving us adrift without a practical sense of direction. The was noting inherently tangible that would effectively point towards a manifestly resolute determination. Instead, we needed to rely on resilience, serendipity and, determination in order to forge our path.

They didn't appear intimidated by the convergent night, despite its rapidly strengthening predominance. Counter-intuitively, the faltering skies reinvigorated them, displacing the clusters of discordant stars and constellations with an unhindered field of vision. Winding down their conversation, they appeared to relax and slid back into their previous positions silently resuming watch over the surroundings. It was difficult for me to see what exact task each was performing, their dim outlines inhibited perception. The vessel remained stagnant in position, and didn't make any discernable motions in any specific direction. I watched the resolute figures maintain a steady composure and concentration throughout. Neither of their concerted energy fell to distraction, ensuring an unbroken line of sight. Her gaze fixed on the water, she resumed scanning the waves for anything outside expectations but was unable to locate anything significant. She stood with her hands extended over the railings waiting patiently for a signal to manifest from the water pensively rolling almost imperceptibly beneath the impervious vessel.

Unwavering in her determination and thoroughness, she conversely wasn't sharing her determinations with us. I knew she had a strong conviction of where she actually stood and a sense of where the vessel was eventually heading. Her confidence in position only reinforced mine, helping to diminish my worries. The mysterious navigator seemed unconcerned by the lengthy quest, instead remaining focused on the immediate task of maintaining the vessel's switches, dials and levers while assuring readiness. He'd spring into action near-instantaneously when the time came. He stood firmly, standing nearly aloft, determined not to allow anything to impede him. I turned back and looked over the bow onto the water trailing behind us. The waves had further diminished, leaving only a trickle sputtering in our wake. She noticed my change in direction and turned around, looking at the same spot intently for an extended period. The weakened currents weren't strong enough to move the boat noticeably from the path it was following. Keeping its line narrow and straight, the underlying currents could only affect minor adjustments that didn't noticeably alter the unwavering route it followed.

Coordinating her observation with my view despite not saying a word, we looked over the water carefully but precisely, waiting for a truculent signal, unforeseen apparition or enigmatic indicator to emerge from beneath the calm surface. Slowing to a pedantic speed, they remained in cloistered defense, not giving us any indication of where we should head next. Fixed on this potentially significant location for an excessive period, her concentration broke after several minutes. It wasn't immediately clear what occurred, by she suddenly changed direction and faced toward the vessel's front section, past the switches and dials. Engaged by an intangible force she trained her focus at a distinct point directly ahead of us. She began walking purposely towards the front of the boat. It appeared that she was headed directly to the front of the boat, be she stopped just behind the other nameless figure. Consumed with overseeing the command structures, he didn't appear to realize someone was standing directly behind him. Consequently, he was startled when she quickly tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped upward a pace before realizing that something significant had occurred.

She wouldn't have reciprocated subconsciously and breached his space without a good reason. Sensing a deliberate method had exceeded expectation her part, he was excited and curious to see what had come to light following the lengthy investigation. He responded with relief that they'd arrived at a decisive point after her extensive yet prolonged pursuit. Standing at his side, she nodded tentatively. We still had a length to go and it still wasn't precisely clear if this was the correct location. Her eyes apparently spotted a significant force, but she wasn't entirely sure. Her nervous disposition added to his doubt. It was unlikely to re-occur at that location when all indications were precisely calibrated to detect something at current position. It was unlikely he would have missed given his level of concentration. She was insistent and strongly pointed again over the stagnant water. She stood firmly in place, trying to overcome his doubts while he repeated that he remained unsure of the episode's veracity. Despite her efforts, it didn't seem to track his expectations. Nothing she explained felt rational, and he didn't appear to comprehend what she'd encountered.

Quietly yet firmly instructing him to wait and look closely across the surface for any additional impetus, she pointed to a specific location, within a narrow band that seemed to contain a residual cloud. Barely visible, just above the far horizon, there was indeed a small gap that resembled a deceptively cloudy interference. He took several steps forward until his weary eyes located the point she'd spotted in the distance. Attempting to uncover what it might have been was nearly impossible since nothing visible occurred. He found himself stymied. He protested that he stood  too far away to arrive at an salient viewpoint. She counseled patience and restated that he needed to watch the encompassing expanse silently for unanticipated divergence from the seemingly intractable situation, awaiting any signal that might possibly emerge from the inescapably shrouded atmosphere.

While the navigator waited reluctantly for something undefined that might occur, he began losing patience, with both the mission and himself. He signaled his displeasure by taping his feet impatiently, then shaking his head nervously. Nothing happened for several long minutes and he began to lose the ability to maintain his resolve. He appeared to almost surrender. He looked almost defeated by the vast emptiness, lack of light and looked almost lost beneath the night. His energies dissipated from a physical sense, he began shifting his feet rapidly, rolling his shoulders and circling around aimlessly for several turns. He gradually arrived at a final defeat and stood in place, unsure what to do next. He crumpled in place, his arms fell to their sides and he began slouching his shoulders downward, while he gazed at the surface of the boat.

He looked increasingly isolated and stymied, his approach became noticeably constrained and frustrated, his previously resilient demeanor undermined by a seemingly hopeless process. He voiced annoyance at overlooking the elusive sign that she'd observed without much effort. Responding affirmatively, she reminded him that their surroundings were significantly darker than they were accustomed to encountering and it was only a slight glimpse of a passing blink in the nocturnal expanse; it might have meant nothing.. Further, she wasn't going on an intangible excursion. He could trust her instincts and only needed to recognize her experience, not repeat it directly afterward. They weren't exchanging dance moves, and didn't need to reciprocate move for move, she reminded him. Appearing to take some elucidation from this simple explanation, and humbly recalling the trust she'd built, he demurred, following her modest direction faithfully.

With renewed confidence, his arms swung upward as he motioned ahead and decided to take a more pronounced approach. Taking two paces ahead, he stood firmly at the front of the boat. His view had cleared, maintaining an unobstructed position. There wasn't much additional space that he could move further in but he was determined not to let what particular construct and its accompanying eventuality she'd patiently located slip from view, even tangentially. Waiting patiently for what felt like an eternal period, a small glancing filament of light briefly appeared just above the distant horizon for a second time. The narrow burst of illumination was evasive and only lasted for a fractional period but its presence was undeniable. She maintained her focus on the distant object. His eyes tracked hers with a combination of disbelief and acceptance, the later gaining increasing prominent. Distant and undefined from such a remove, it wasn't immediately clear what exactly it represented.

From that unstable angle, the light was indistinct and somewhat discombobulated. Its structure appeared unsteady and jumbled into disconnected portions. The light slowly began growing stronger. Enlarging rapidly, it appeared to be rising above the horizon, almost gliding over the surface. As the mysterious refraction assembled into a coherent figure it began to glow in a strange combination of yellow, brown and orange. Shifting between these primary hues seemed to embolden it's movement. The strange object continued to engage the surroundings, enlarging itself without impediment. She watched it carefully, deciding not to make proactive action, carefully observing while it transitioned to a greater intensity and velocity.

He started moving towards the vessel's controls but she waved him off, cautioning him against following that well-worn path. She didn't want to needlessly agitate the enigmatic rift by alerting it to our presence accidentally. It remained unclear whether the tenuous fissure represented anything beyond a narrow burst of energy. She needed to make sure it wasn't a potential mirage or whether it represented something more tangible. It was necessary to avoid acting rashly while carefully observing its movements. Despite our instincts, she counseled that we needed to wait expectantly for the apparition to evolve. It would have been simpler to make hasty decisions, but she implored us to hold our place. Our imperative meant we had to wait to make sure we weren't heading down the wrong path. She walked over the controls and waved her hands across them to reiterate that he would be better off making a careful measure of the uncertain situation.

He looked at her thoughtfully and receptively. Closing his eyes, he silently pondered her advice. He contemplated for a minutes or so before responding affirmatively to her admonition. He remained somewhat skeptical and worried about preparing protective measures and making efforts at contingencies but conceded her instincts were probably correct. She reaffirmed his worried but added that he needed to proceed cautiously while simultaneously avoid fear. He'd have to take a leap into the unknown occasionally, take observations and tentatively hold back. She added that it wasn't always an easy balance between maintaining the defensive maneuvers without allowing himself to become consumed by intangible fear. The end-results, she surmised, from a contradictory approach, would often differ from expectations but occasionally lead to unexpected discoveries. She reminded him of their long-dormant connection, restored serendipitously without expectation, the previous evening and how they'd arrived in each other's embrace unexpectedly. Making something from reappear, they'd putatively resumed their partnership; resplendently awakening their unlikely combination with reinvigorated energy.

He smiled recalling their uncompromised reconnection and accepted her advice unconditionally, nodded respectfully and turned his attention back to our seemingly inescapable position and its putative implications. Our steady vessel remained in a passive stasis, its mechanical fixtures, gears, levers and buttons kept at bay, despite the stranded position we found ourselves. The vessel's sails reluctantly wrapped the dormant ship, hanging from the masts silently. Nervously maintaining my position, I watched her reticently, maintaining a deliberately measured remove. Anticipating the appearance of a subsequent fissure, she waited for a secondary occurrence. It didn't take long before another fissure opened near the far edge. This was significantly larger, making a pronounced fissure engage the atmosphere. Its sudden transfiguration revealed further details surrounding the diminutive surge of light. Increasingly energetic and unstable, it appeared to be a small storm on the water, but as it came closer, it became obvious that it wasn't a natural phenomenon. Watching expectantly, the unsteady fissure drew ever closer, skipping across the distant water before it subsided.

This fissure lasted for several seconds, then it began glowing brightly before shooting what appeared to be a presumptive figure into the night. It quickly emanated into the skies, releasing a robust wave of energy. The resulting surge was noticeably stronger, lighting the surrounding areas with a larger glow and decidedly stronger force. The brown, orange and yellow lent an supernatural luminance that revealed disruptive waves emanating from the currents beneath. These liquid pulses drew outward, until they collided with the vessel. Responding without buckling, the boat veering up and down when they reached our position but stabilized quickly. Regaining balance effortlessly, it withstood the shockwave easily. The resilient vessel was determined to stay on course. Examining the dissipating waves revealed that they weren't the concentric circles but, following the eccentric fissure's unpredictable pattern, looked to follow an incoherent, disorganized structure that flew out without structure or constraint. This disconcerting approach created internal impediments that appeared to diminish its power. Diffuse energy elongated its reach but diminished its durability, its residual waves quickly dissipating, strewn across the surface at a much slower rate than we anticipated. We had to adjust our expectations quickly and beware of marking overly-broad assumptions.

Coalescing just outside our direct field of vision, they became pronounced when we turned slightly and found ourselves facing the opposing side of the boat, we turned and watched closely as the disconnected waves arrived at their objective in somewhat disorganized. By this point, there diminished strength dissipated. The resulting convergence from the fissure wasn't particularly pronounced. This only managed enough energy to cause a slight ripple to roil the surface. It sputtered out without impact. Its waves dissolved alongside the currents. As its energy dissipated, it left only a few bubbles piercing the water. This appeared to be a disappointing conclusion, but it represented only an initial form. The sturdy vessel manifestly unmoved from its steadfast position, unflinching from its resolve. It was far from intimidated by the oncoming disruption. When looking onsite at the distant fissure, it's size and form appeared to have expanded while its distance from our position shrunk.

We observed closely at it inexorably moved in our direction. As the fissure stabilized and came to a more confident position, it appeared to abandon the need to push energy outward and appeared to resolve its wariness. It was no longer concerned about our presence. When examining it as the fissure moved in our direction, it revealed unlikely aspects that it previously held closely. Streaks of resplendent light drew outward, their carefully-balanced hues coursing through its portal effortlessly. Arriving in multiple layers, they seemed to form the outlines of a window, the while remaining closed, allowed a tantalizing glimpse of the world beyond. Endlessly swirling between alternating brighter and darker columns, overrunning and converging into indecipherable shapes and symbols that connected and contradicted each another, the streaks contained within the fissure moved too quickly to comprehend. They appeared to form unstoppable flows of currents that conveyed signs that weren't easy to follow. She seemed to understand, nodding her head as it communicated in impenetrable motions, I found myself lost without a trace of fluency and could only respond to the colors superficially.

The intangible fissure gradually expanded to simultaneously form a durable connection with the undulating surface currents, The strengthening waves converged into a single mass. Their combination unfurled in the distance. This created a seemingly impervious flow that began forming a tangible effect. Its disconnected tangents crossed paths and combined, creating unanticipated effects. The most prominent gradually appeared. It quickly clarified its mission and began to mirror a direct reflection of the water below. An unlikely force appeared to strengthen within the gaping disruption, amplifying and corralling its diffused energies into a single, strong burst of light. The flowing colors settled in place, then submerged beneath the ascendant waves. We watched carefully as the unpredictable fissure maneuvered ever closer, riding over the submerging currents with increasing velocity. It began accelerating towards our undefended position without hesitation. Its disposition evolved and it slowly appeared to become more welcoming of our presence.

Countering its inherent strength with a perplexing intuition that provided her a path of incursion while also diverting its defenses, she was able to resolve its unarticulated questions to a satisfactory level. Without explanation, she seemed to have taken the lead without encountering unwelcome resistance on the part of the determined fissure's relentless march in our direction. She appeared unafraid and this calm derived from her knowledge. She seemed to have gained its confidence, arriving at a subconscious understanding with the object. There was relief on his part, to see that she'd effectively managed to find unexpected cooperation and comprehension with the evasive fissure while detangling its fortified layers. Flowing uneasily over the tumultuous currents, the rumbling waves coursed erratically above the underlying flow swirling evasively against the water from diametrically opposing angles. Waving her arms gently in the air, she managed a level of control of its somewhat erratic pace. Maintaining her command indirectly yet consecutively using an indescribably complex sequence of maneuvers, her movement was unstructured yet determined, moving in tandem with its odd pacing and uneven structure. Aligning herself against the impervious formation, she held its motion under her sway. Unexpectedly, the elaborate fissure maintained its consistent course, heading precisely towards our vessel, but its previously fragmented force was quickly replaced with her lending its channeled forces a steady determination along a clearly path.

She managed its impending approach effortlessly without assistance from the navigator who observed her silently, apparently intimidated by her undeniable strength, boundless fortitude and superior intelligence. He nodded appreciatively in her direction, conceding the leadership role to her. It remained difficult for me to precisely follow her elaborate maneuvers precisely, they were complicated and she moved too fast. I needed to observe closely at the intricate patterns underlying the mirrored waters. This created a reasonable approximation that helped to trace out the general outlines and patterns she extracted from the seemingly erratic fissure.

The enigmatic breach came ever closer, slowly built an identifiable passage which clarified its elaborate pattern when observed carefully. This required more effort than I was accustomed to but allowed me to draw a sketch in my mind that indicated we weren't following a completely random path. The waves apparently took complimentary locations at opposing yet balanced locations on either side. Effectively visualizing the unsteady waves and currents beneath, the residual effect was invigorating. The fissure solidified its resolve with a prominent formation as it moved quickly over the surface, covering a larger area with increasing resolve. It didn't take that much longer before it became obvious that it was aware of our presence but decidedly unconcerned. The vessel didn't make an effort to get out of its path, signaling a strange circumference between the trajectories of our paths, which now appeared predestined to cross and combine with each other.

Standing passively, we maintained a reticent disposition and watched carefully as the inevitable approach unfolded. Encountering nothing impeding its path, the extensive fissure appeared as a floating apparition hugging the surface, as it appeared to grow larger and stronger. There looked to be little use in trying to escape its path but neither of the other two voyagers appeared frightened, it remained clear what it might represent. directly towards our position, no longer shifting erratically as it followed an increasingly direct-line towards us. She remained unworried by this situation, and he was calm. The boat stood unafraid by the impending arrival, its form had intensified rapidly as it came ever closer. I was still unsure what all of this might entail and looked to the navigator for guidance. He seemed to have figured out enough and held forth with a decidedly unconcerned demeanor. His eyes followed the coursing layers shifting waves and colors with pronounced interest, and it consumed his energy to the point that didn't respond directly. He waved his arm back towards me, off-handedly dismissing my apparently unwarranted concerns. Looking straight ahead, the fissure had arrived at the periphery; its circumference had grown taller than the highest mast of our vessel. We'd reached the apotheosis of our encounter; it wasn't immediately clear what ramifications might entail.

Converging, the unsteady atmosphere created by the intemperate breach effortlessly overcame our vessel. It wasn't immediately apparent what was transpired but once it came across the previously imperceptible figures clarified their predispositions to a noticeable degree. The previously deceptive apparition revealed itself to represent an unmistakable transformation, becoming tangible from the temporal. Its bright light infused the ships body without impediment, its vibrant colors overwhelming the prevailing nocturnal darkness. Its swirling rivers of water surged overhead with unexpected hues and colors. Their unsteady, waves stormed overhead, washing overhead intensely. I held residual doubts and fears, but perhaps, didn't give her enough of confidence initially. This allowed a narrow window of stabilization to emerge from within the unsteady fissure. Without further hesitation, she walked quickly towards his position. Almost shaking from what appeared to be accumulated, intrinsic energy, she waved her hand up affirmatively. This made him jump back across the boards a half-step towards the vessel's outer boundary.

Not anticipating her insistence, his feet stopped while he cautiously surveyed the situation, in order to contemplate the implications of her unexpected command. Holding his breath before unreservedly arriving at a quick determination, he came to an uncontested realization that there was no time to waste. Shaking off her startlingly prescient conclusion, he stood up straight and quickly regained his footing. After waiting several moments, the navigator sprung into action almost immediately. Moving toward the central controls, he took position near the arrayed switched and dials resolutely. His fingers proved nimble as he deliberately and systematically began pushing the sequence of buttons at a frenetic pace. Leaning in a half-step, his steady arms began to push outward. Measuring his strength, he held his breath and began pulling the long, heavy levers beneath the main array. He moved up the corridor, spinning its innumerable dials effortlessly, taking a speedy, unrelenting pace. This near simultaneous effort wasn't a random array of pulls. Instead, it represented a concentrated effort of deliberate and well-practiced maneuvers, performed almost subconsciously after numerous repetitions. It appeared that he'd been through this routine sequence in the past. It appeared that only the sudden onset of the elaborate efforts and accompanying mechanical exertions had initially caught him off-guard but he quickly reacclimated.

There was a slight pause as the vessel adjusted to its abrupt change of command but there was a pronounced crack when events occurred in quick succession. Initially, the engines began groaning and growling until they reached a steady rolling pace. The vessel began moving forward across the water slowly but quickly gained momentum. Dormant waves beneath us begin to move as the currents flowed beneath us and the waters gushed beneath. At this point, he flipped a row of switches and looked above. The sleeping sails above woke up almost automatically. They quickly unfurled themselves and extended outward. Subsequently forming and reiterating a strong breeze, the immediate gust built to a strong torrent that arrived from an unseen source. The hibernative sails reawakened almost immediately. I watched as they quickly extended outward fully across the boat and began floating above with seemingly effortless speed and force. Beginning to move again suddenly with unexpected veracity, the boat began surging ahead, sailing across the waves effortlessly. Quickly gaining momentum. Almost imperceptibly, our ship started rising above the waves. Staying aloft and skimming the surface, we felt the gravitational pull release its grip. As it gained altitude and speed, our ship was almost gliding above the water. The vessel accelerated breathlessly to break from its previously reticent, apprehensive position to forge an uncertain yet determined path ahead.

- Michael Palisano