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David L. Cox

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2000

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One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive.

Friedrich Nietzche

Chapter 1

James Leigh stretched his lanky body in the cramped fighting chair and looked back toward the Mexican shoreline from the fantail of the fishing boat he had chartered for the day from Mike’s Flota Faro in Mazatlan, the "Pacific Pearl" of Mexico. The sun was just peeking over the rugged hills east of the city, fading the glorious canopy of stars over the Bahia del Puerto Viejo. The miles of ocean between the slowly moving vessel and the twinkling city lights was a carpet of dark rolling waves, and tendrils of mist rose like wispy ghosts above the surface, dispersing in the freshening breeze.

He shuddered as he flashed back on the drama in the darkness an hour ago when the Captain’s young son was thrown off balance by a big swell and fell overboard. Struggling against the prop wash and clouded in diesel exhaust, the boy reached blindly for a handhold on the receding fantail and missed. His head bobbed like a cork in the waves that carried him further from the boat, and he shouted, “Help me, Father! They are coming!”

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