The spotter's airship was barely visible above. The cable that tethered it to the deck of the icecutter hummed in the wind. Fergus watched the broken ice refreeze in the wake of the ship, a jagged scar across the floes, poorly stitched and angry for it. They'd been three weeks in the North, three weeks from Winterport.
The ship's surgeon joined him at the rail. Doctor Kettering hadn't slept for days, and his skin was pale and hung slack from his bones. "Three more today," he said. Fergus did not begrudge him this little inhumanity. He surely knew that the three dead sailors were Fitzpatrick, Mollineaux, and Richards. But Fergus also knew that for the doctor to do his work he had to put some distance between himself and the men. Or what had been men.
Soon three canvas sacks joined the scar, and by nightfall were gone from sight.