Everything seems to gain a certain clarity.

The rocking of the waves over the sea that reaches the horizon, touching the clear sky.

For a moment, that’s all there is, an endless, uninterrupted blue.

It’s so peaceful I wouldn’t mind dying.

[First fleet, be advised. The target is exhibiting a blue flame, modified flagship class.]

The crash of an explosive shell hurls me across the water’s surface.

“Hey, not bad for a retiree!”

“No, that was meant to be a warning shot! Wo-class carrier, please surrender! The war is over!”

Flopping to float on my back, I feel the waves swell up and down around my chest, damping my ragged breathing to the ocean’s rhythm.

Today, it’s calm.