“But she underestimated me. I played my cards, I laid in wait, I let myself be beaten and manipulated. If she keeps that promise she made to me, I’ll show her the truth I’ve learned on her boat. I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.”
“And it sucks, because I want to kiss her. It's infuriating how perfect it would be to kiss her right now, perched on a cannon on a pirate ship under the stars. That sounds like something off the pages of an adventure novel. But my life isn't one of those stories. My story is a hurricane, and here with Swift is just the eye.”
“It's one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, knowing their stories.”
“They can try to kill me all they want, but I'm the girl who stands on tha backs of the beasts of the NeoPacific. The Minnow blazes from within, promising life and warmth and vilainy, but out here I'm mighty.”
“You don't touch her controls. You never touch my ship like that again. Next time it happens, I cut a finger off. Each time you go against me, you lose another finger. When you're out of fingers, you're out of luck. Am I clear?"
... "Perfectly," I choke. "Ten chances it is.”
“Am I 'just one of them'?" Swift asks, miffed.
"No, you're so much more."
Home is what you kill for.
And I killed for Swift”
“Don't get too chummy with me, Cas. I'll eat you alive." - Swift
... "Was that a threat? God, you're the least intimidating pirate I've ever had the misfortune to meet." - Cas”
“You're at the top of the world - you're the most powerful thing on the sea when you're serving under her - but there's a cost. There's always a cost.”
“Did it ever occur to you that your neck might matter to me at least as much as mine? Actually, probably more than mine? - Swift, to Cas”
“What do you mean, what's the deal with my hair?" - Swift
"Did you get bored one day and hack half of it off? You look like you've had a close call with a weed whacker." - Cas”
“Home is what you kill for. And I killed for Swift.”
“But when you suffer with someone, you learn them. And it’s hard to kill a person you’ve learned.”
“I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.”
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, knowing their stories.”
“But before that day it felt like at least I had an ally on this boat. Now I have nothing. Well, I have a fat baby sea monster. But Bao doesn't tell jokes, and somehow I need that.
I hate how I need that.”
“Dad takes a step back, one hand still on my shoulder, and reaches into his pocket. He draws out a little blue capsule, and I feel every molecule in my body screaming to run. Dad must catch the panic in my eyes - he squeezes my shoulder and holds out the capsule. "Cas, it's fine. It's going to be fine. This is just in case."
Just in case. Just in case the worst happens. The ship falls. Durga fails, I fail, and the knowledge I carry as a Reckoner trainer must be disposed of. That information can't fall into the wrong hands, into the hands of people who will do anything to take down our beasts.
So this little capsule holds the pill that will kill me if it comes to that.
"It's waterproof," Dad continues, pressing it into my hand. "The pocket on the collar of your wetsuit, keep it there. It has to stay with you at all times."
It won't happen on this voyage. It's such a basic mission, gift-wrapped to be easy enough for me to handle on my own. But even holding the pill fills me with revulsion. On all my training voyages, I've never had to carry one of these capsules. That burden only goes to full-time trainers.
"Cas." Dad tilts my chin up, ripping my gaze from the pull. "You were born to do this. I promise you, you'll forget you even have it." I suppose he ought to know - he's been carrying one for two decades.
It's just a right of passage, I tell myself, and throw my arms around his neck once more.”
“She probably just wants to see me get eaten.”
“Never trust another person to do your thinking for you.” That”
“I pulled out, making the driver in the battered BMW coming up behind me gesture in my direction with an angry scowl. Now, now. He had plenty of room to slow down. I reckon that anyone who gets irritated by something like that needs to sort their life out. If you’re getting stressed out by having to brake slightly, what happens to your equilibrium when your pipes burst or your kid gets suspended from school or your mum is diagnosed with cancer? It simply isn’t worth the effort to sweat the small stuff.”
“There’s a fragment of some conversation, I’m remembering it. Someone is saying: “You have to understand: this is not your husband anymore, not a beloved person, but a radioactive object with a strong density of poisoning. You’re not suicidal. Get ahold of yourself.” And I’m like someone who’s lost her mind: “But I love him! I love him!” He’s sleeping, and I’m whispering: “I love you!” Walking in the hospital courtyard, “I love you.” Carrying his sanitary tray, “I love you.”
“If we are biological organisms, not angels, then our cognitive faculties are similar to those called “physical capacities” and should be studied much as other systems of the body are.”
“I never wanted to be safe... I wanted to be good.”
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