Ko and the Lads on Their Explore
Ko bobbed her head up out of the sea into the heavens above. The air was slightly astringent, but not unpleasantly so. What would it be like to actually live above the worlds of the sea, wondered Ko, not for the first time.
Looking about, there really wasn’t much to be learned. Rocks bracketed the little cove that sheltered their small kelp forest. It was starkly spartan on the shore. The black rocks beneath the sea were heavily laced with life, but the world in the sharp biting air of the heavens was bleak. Still, Ko was curious. She was barred from the land by her body and by her breath but that only made the land more enticing.
Below the great oppressive bulk of the land was a break in the high rock wall that wrapped around their sanctuary. The arm flung from the main island rose in small islands along its igneous spine. What was on the other side? Surely that would be a worthy question to answer. Getting over the black barrier to the windward side would answer it quicker than swimming the long way around.
The Narrow Way
Ko sank back below the surface and looked over her team. The two boys weren’t a lot younger than Ko, but the couple of years made all the difference. Od and Ak still had the sprinkle of their juvenile speckling across their noses and down their backs. No time for childhood for any of them, Ko knew, and the sooner they gained the confidence to be of use the better off they’d all be.
“Have a look at the rocks. We’re going between where the sea comes through,” said Ko to the boys, “I’ll watch for Smiley while you have a look.”
The boys came to the surface to look while Ko made sure they were safe, watching where an attack might most likely be launched. The boys weren’t long, soon enough they came back down, eager to be through the gap.
“When we get close to the gap the water is turbid, full of bubbles and impossible to see or hear through. I’ll go first and check it out, then I’ll come back for you two. If I don’t come back, go tell Ap. Don’t think of going through yourselves without me.”
“How long should we wait?”
Ko laughed, “When you think you can’t stand to wait any longer?” The boys nodded, “Wait just a bit more.” Ko winked at them and then shot toward the gap.
Through the Rushing Gap
When they got close to the roaring crash of the surf through the gap, Ko motioned to the boys to stay where they were. It was already too loud to speak, so Ko motioned for them to watch the cove for trouble and would not leave until she saw them nod their understanding. With a lithe bend and a flick of her powerful tail she was off toward the rushing, roaring, boil between the stones at each side of the gap.
The current was powerful and her vision was obscured by the foam, but the turmoil didn’t last very long and she was through and out into the clear water beyond. Looking up, Ko saw how the breakers mounted up and then shattered into bubbles and foam. Ko looked down and saw a broken land of rock pinnacles and sand. There was a good deal of sand between the black volcanic stone and everywhere creatures feeding. It is a bounteous place, Ko thought.
Best not keep the boys waiting. Ko turned to swim back through the cut. She waited for the force of a wave to build and road it’s power through the gap.