It was their 28th day at sea. The last of the humans who hadn’t been infected decided it was the only way to save their species. No place on land had escaped the pestilence of the virus. Each person had been tested before being allowed to board. Supplies were enough to last two months, and with seafood they could net and hook, there was no risk of starving. Barrels of water were plentiful as long as it was rationed.
The beleaguered survivors prayed that two months at sea would be enough time for the sick on land to die and the ones who got through it to have developed immunity. If not, then humankind was doomed. Each night as the sun disappeared from the horizon, their eyes were drawn to the moon, who they imagined looked down on them with benevolence. Tonight’s new moon meant she was not there; she was drawn away. They felt so alone.
The clock struck midnight and an infant’s cough was heard on Belladonna. Maria had hidden the infant in her cloak when she boarded. Her sister begged Maria to take Min before coughing her lungs out in pieces. Maria had pulled Baby Min from her dead sister’s arms, not having the heart to leave the newborn behind to starve.
The Captain of the Belladonna was a woman of honor and a woman of courage. Her first decision was to put Maria and Min in one of the lifeboats with her ration of food and water. Her second decision was to pull away from the other ships. In a month’s time or before, they would know their fates.
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