Nereus is written by Richard C. White. He writes science fiction/fantasy/non-fantasy/fantasy noir/anything someone will cut him a check for. Along with his original fiction, he’s written stories for Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Incredible Hulk, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Battletech, and Freeport. He’s a member of the #Writing Community on Twitter, the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers, and serves on SFWA’s Writer Beware Committee. When not writing, he has been known to play a mean game of chess, strum a bit on a guitar, and has been an avid role player since 1979.
I followed Gia up the gangplank of the Aegean Star, and even before I could say anything, the crew began preparing for us to pull out of port. I watched as Gia gave Captain Dellis a signal, and I felt the ship get underway.
“And since when does my captain take orders from you?”
“Since I called him from Monterey and told him to have the ship standing by and ready to sail as soon as we got aboard, per your instructions, Lord Nereus.”
I started to say something, but Gia motioned for me to follow her below.
You understand that when I handed Poseidon my trident I retired. As in, I quit. As in, I don’t get involved in the affairs of the gods any longer. As in, they agreed to leave me alone, and I stayed out of their way. I have not changed my mind.
This was the part of my job I hated the most. It was bad enough when I lost a sailor, but having to visit an entire ship’s worth of widows and children and explain to them that their husband or father was not coming home ever again—I’d never gotten used to it. I knew I could assign one of my officers this task, but I was the one who sent them to sea, so the ultimate responsibility was mine.
Everything stopped as I walked across the balcony and down the stairs. “I don’t believe you all know me, but let me introduce myself. I am Alexandros Korias. I am the owner of the ship you sank this afternoon.”
I felt a familiar rumbling in the pit of my stomach. I’m really a live-and-let-live kind of person. When I passed the trident to Poseidon all those years ago, I was more than content to spend my days sailing the Aegean and spending time with my fishermen. However, someone was about to find out retired doesn’t mean dead.