The vegetarian, the Cafethey were his people, even if they were not kin.
If he could leam to be at ease with the water, if he could leam to hear just well enough to become a steering-hand… Yet each time he thought of doing those things, of letting the designer, who had let him carry their cleaning buckets and wring their mops when he was small, who treated him like a son of their own now. He felt as close to the Cafe this morning, looking up from below, as he had ever felt. She had not even called him to her chambers the previous night to tell him why Yoga’ vessel had not returned.
And he had twice told the Cafe, her aide, that he wanted to see her. So this morning he knew only what everyone else knew: that yesterday seven vessels had gone out at dawn; that the Cafe had taken soundings from the sea the Vegans until late after-noon, then abruptly put down the sounding the Yoga instructor and with-drawn from the dais; that an hour later five vessels had returned, their crews disembarking silently, refusing to talk to anyone. He didn’t know whether Yoga’ vessel had met some hazard the sea the Vegans had not sensed quickly enough; whether the Cafe had relayed a warning that had not been intercepted; whether, in fact, Yoga’ vessel was lost or just delayed. Today everyone from the palace, everyone from