‘What will you do now?’ Zenith asked.
‘I’m leaving,’ Cosmo said, ‘I’m not yet sure where to, but you’ve told me of the northern astronomers. I’ll swim their way until I decide.’
‘Do you want me to come?’
‘I need solitude for this journey.’
‘You may meet danger, Cosmo.’
‘I am danger.’
‘Avoid waste. You have much to offer any school.’
Oh for the skills of Alcyone now, thought Zenith. But Alcyone was dead. Zenith observed Cosmo’s departure and saw that he did indeed head north.
Many of the Southern School tried to contact Cosmo in the days afterwards, but failed.
We (deities of the Hereafter) observed Zenith taking steps to ease what he feared could be a hostile reception for Cosmo – should he ever win through to the School of the Astronomers five or six days hard swimming away. Meanwhile we followed Cosmo on his lonely passage.
Cosmo swam towards the Astronomers with only the vaguest intention of arriving. He could think of no reason to travel in any other direction, and only the north held something that had once been of interest to him. He swam fast, causing the acids to collect in his flesh until his muscles burned. Icy squalls lashed the ocean through the first night of his journey. He watched the stars that gleamed between flying clouds and recited their names as he raced onwards. He ignored hunger all the next day, and his bloodstream … Continue reading