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He’d been assessing the routes according to the indications given him by the Davyjones crab’s luminescent map of the currents. From Draig Claymore’s study of the onboard nautical maps of Foshan, he’d ascertained various destinations. He estimated the logistics of the Foundationals who had been targeting the Arch – where they were likely to go for fuel or supply, and their pursuit pattern possibilities for the area. Most of Foshan was one island here, an island there; imagining the potentialities was, in this case, more like a chaseboard game than usual.

As they sped through the abyss, Draig was working through the question as to what he would do to attract the attention of their ideologically-rooted menace. He felt sure that from his position, this would be his best contribution to a clear path for all other necessary movements. He thought about all the people who had just left this building of a vessel: Princess Ascendant Soleil, the scientists, the staff, the directions they were headed, and any possible targeting motivations aimed at them specifically – or towards the place in motion he currently controlled, with the help of Woollibee & Woollibee and the cleaner Saer, who knew where all the supplies were stashed.

They operated quietly, terse except for functional exchange under the razor’s edge of tension. It was exciting as well as serious; there was admittedly something giddy about having nearly sole possession and full command of this gargantuan monolithic achievement, while understanding that it ultimately could be abstracted into another piece on the chaseboard.

Claymore thought about when they would surface, where they would be. While he hadn’t been under for anywhere near as long as the staff and crew, he dreamed about sunlight and wondered about the weather, looking forward to seeing any sky. Relaxing for a moment into skyward thoughts, he projected further, beyond the sky, the directions of space here, the stars – then he remembered that he currently held a key to something out there, too.

That gave him chills, and a shudder. Was it time for that? Would that serve; would people be ready, was the balance of events right… it was a game-changing wild card. He was already out of a job, technically. He couldn’t be more fired, though perhaps further prosecuted, depending on the outcome. Draig barely looked at the thought, just acknowledging it was there. Would they listen to him? Moreso, he believed, if it served them. If he journeyed into that space outside of space, so dreamlike to him when he’d found himself pulled into it, what might he find there now? Who would he speak with, what might they demand, what might open, what might crumble, and where. He knew people who could be crushed by the weight of this ponderance, but his mind was thoroughly accustomed to it. He navigated these pathways as he breathed, with the calm of gazing upon nature. This was a kind of nature, the nature of events.

Meanwhile, they moved as if part of the water thanks to the strong, sure swiftness of providence.

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