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View character profile for: Gill and Haddie
View character profile for: Marisol Chavez
The Boat Whisperer
The child was unmoving. Haddie’s sole eye fixed her in both accusation and challenge, sizing her up as if she were preparing a move. She didn’t offer a word of response. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Marisol became aware that the girl’s tiny mouth wasn’t accustomed to saying…well, anything…for possibly a long time.
“You’re not a talker,” the woman spoke in her stead. She squatted before the little girl, a move that by her own diminutive stature placed her below Haddie’s eye level. “Not a bad thing,” the new mechanic shrugged. “Means you get to converse in ways most folk never do. Like this boat.” Marisol laid a palm to the deck grating. “Gill says nobody knows Lunar Veil like you do. I conjure she talks to you…and you know what she’s sayin’.”
The silence that fell between them was soon filled with multitude of signals. There were the obvious sounds…the main drive spinning…rattles and pops of the hull growing accustomed to the empty black…voices and clatter from the galley, and an occasional dog’s bark echoing up from the cargo bay. But after a moment, there were other sounds to be heard, a thousand little vibrations, some good, some that indicated a need for a wrench or a fresh rivet. She could feel the life pulsing beneath her palm…and she guessed the silent child was no stranger to the old boat’s aches and pains as well. “I talk to boats, too,” Marisol confided in Haddie, “but I think you’re better than me. Would you help me?” she asked. “Help me talk to Lunar Veil?”