The air hums with a warm static. Quinn can feel the insistent tug of the kite, swooping lazily overhead. The copper flames of Saint Elmo lick at its treated fibres; a chaotic pattern born of the breeze. Tightening the harness, our man permits himself a brief glance behind. The bulge is fast approaching; racing over the horizon, drowning the mudflats, and lapping against the mangroves.
We’ve been waiting for this. Three billion of us, lost – like Quinn – in a single moment. We feel the alien light, dense and oppressive. We feel the kite’s strain, pulling at our arm muscles. We see with his eyes; unblinking, wild with possibility. But where he sees victory, we see the chance of salvation.
A ship and its captain. A point of calm at the front of the tidal swell.