Moonlight casts in monochrome against shore and sea. Waves glisten as they dance and swell, the murmur of their foam hushing against the soft of the beach. They are not without their roar despite their seemingly gentle nature, the dark sky, laden in stars and milky bands of distant gemstones, poses as silent witness overhead. Save for the sway of the waters, all is still, and the world blind.

Somewhere distant. Somewhere dark. From the depths of unconsciousness, the rumble of the sea is heard. Its growling is quiet, everywhere and yet unreachably far as a steady whistling rings in his ears.

It is on the quiet shore that Kaleo rests. Amidst the sea's whispers. Beneath the evening's dark. His rumpled fur sticks in every direction. Crimson slicks bright along the shape of his leg. His head pounds with a dull throb, and there is no thought to open his eyes. No thought to pick himself up from the sand that clings to the fur of his chin. He does not think. But thankfully, he breathes.

The ocean's call tugs at the strings of his awareness. His body's numb indifferent to the cold. The fog ringing in his ears strengthens for a moment, and in a miracle of realization, the civet's mouth twists. His brows tighten, and his eyes pinch with discontent. It is the first he notices the cool of the air to pass through his nostrils, and his body shivers as the waves tickle frostily at his paws.

A flash of memories. A tall wave. An keening vessel. A heavy mist and cries - restrained panic.

"We can't give up now!"

"Keep at it!"

"Don't let go!"

And suddenly the world snaps into place around him.

Eyes like amber flash open in an instant, an unbid convulsion dragging sand and seawater up from his sour stomach as his arm hurries to brace against the shore. Bile stings at the back of his nose, searing salted at his throat, and the luwak hurries, thoughtless, to lift himself hastily from his prone state.


His throat strains, denying him as his freezing muscles see him buckled against the shore. Suddenly, the pain in his leg is burns hot, the empty of his stomach tight as he coughs against the irritation forbidding his words.

"R-roll call!"

An order barks out in demand, the civet's eyes showing no struggle against the darkness as he sets his jaw to peer out over the beach. On instinct, he is drawing together the pieces to puzzle out his surroundings. A forested island. Sea-bitten stone. And in the distance? A larger landmass, the shape of its grand mountain cutting into the sky.

There are no voices to answer him, and as his gaze cuts swift across the shore, the answer as to why is clear.