The wood of the bowsprit creaked beneath his feet. His hand gripped a shroud. The behemoth dipped down the face of a foaming swell and raced into the trough. The ship shuddered as it collided with the wall of ocean, sending up a spray of salt as it burst through the other side.
Landon never lost his footing. There was never a sway that wasn’t a choice, never a step that wasn’t a dance. He’d spent his life at sea and it took a hurricane to unsettle him, but today the skies were clear. Deep blues spread in all directions, an endless horizon of the sea’s choppy silver-reflections beneath the deepening shades of an azure sky, where Luthor and Lilian hung suspended and out of reach. Landon’s tangled hair whipped in the wind, matted and dreaded after a year at sea. They were heading to the edge of the world.
His wild grin shone through his sand-blonde beard, relishing the salty spray as the vessel emerged from the crest of another wave. They were close now. He could see it. The horizon was beginning to fall away, the lip of the falls revealing themselves. The excitement was taking hold of him. His eyes were locked on the destination. He’d spent his life preparing for this. What lay beyond this undiscovered boundary, no one knew. He would be the first.
"Captain!" Selina shouted for his attention, but Landon was entranced. They were heading straight for it. The ship would be slow to turn, they were running out of time, but Landon had made his name by pushing boundaries. Just a little further. Just a little further, he thought. The ocean fell away at the horizon, revealing a massive waterfall that stretched as far as the eye could see. The entire world ended in this single saline mass. Landon howled with delight, an explorer’s madness in his eyes.
"Captain! We’re out of time!" Selina shouted again. Landon whipped around, taking in his ship, the deckhands that had followed him to the end of the world, the towering masts, the billowing sails, and the groaning wood. She was beautiful. She was the Artemis.
"Aye! Starboard turn!" Landon shouted back as he raced across the deck. The men whipped into action as if they’d been waiting for the queue. Lines whizzed, sails snapped, and timber screamed as the monster veered, but the ship was slow to turn. It strained against its own momentum, pulling away from the impending cliff. Landon caught the widening eyes of the anxious deckhands, unsure if these were their final moments. Landon grinned, ever at ease while others were afraid. He knew he had timed it right. The ship would turn. He knew that. It would be close, but they had to be close. They had to be close for what he was going to do next.