#1741

Hook didn’t listen to the ship. He saw only wood and canvas, not the wild spirit within. Thus during that final battle the ship broke beneath him and gave its skeleton up to the waves, a skilled horse lead by a headstrong but foolish rider. Yet it did not perish like its captain, only sank to the depths to sleep in sea salt. The ship remained slumbering until another rose it from its watery grave and bound its bones back together with silver and silence, replaced its torn sails with cloth of shadow, threaded its frayed ropes with cords of jetstream. This new captain understood the soul of a ship must be tended as much as its body and she fed that soul with gunpowder, blood, and freedom. Beneath her hands the ship shuddered awake and tasted the storm winds again.

Hook had taken no delight in the ship; it was merely a means of conveyance, a mobile weapon. She appreciates every nail and knot, though, knows every curve and edge, and so the ship responds in kind. Racing over the waves, they are one, horse and rider, and in battle the ship knows its dance without needing any instruction. It sails faster and fires harder than it ever did for its last captain. It is a wolf of water and air, darkness and speed. She delights in its strength and it delights in her hunger.

Hands on the polished rail, she closes her eyes and opens herself to the sounds of snapping sails, splashing waves, groaning wood and rope. She listens to the ship, feels it move beneath her and around her. She knows what final, fatal mistake Hook made. He didn’t listen to the ship. Riding into war, he trusted himself more than his steed. She will not make the same mistake.

She will not make any of his mistakes.

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