Upon closer inspection, the Captain’s smirk gradually recedes into a confused glower. His eyes carefully and methodically scan Elizabeth from head to toe, the discomfort of the process making her grimace, then come to rest directly into her own, frightened and blue. They linger there for a moment, searching for something.
“You’re not Elizabeth,” he announces dejectedly.
She shakes her head uncertainly. “What do you mean?”
He squawks in consternation, the harshness of the sound even amidst the swirling storm around them causing her to flinch. “You. All of you. You’re… not Elizabeth,” he throws his wings up.
“My name is Elizabeth,” she enunciates stupidly, not being able to think of anything else to say.
“This is all wrong. You’re not right. You’re not her… you’re not… the right one,” he growls.
“The right one?” This seems like an insult, which she tries not to take personally.
“Tell me, girl,” he clears his throat with a croak and adjusts his tricorn. “When faced with the choice, did you go left, or did you choose right?”
“I didn’t… I – what choice?”
The weight of these words sinks into the lines on the Captain’s face. He seems to visible age a few years before her eyes.
“They’re not supposed to be blue…” he mutters to no one in particular.
“What choice?” she repeats.
Hearing this renewed insistence in her tone, the Captain realizes the truth. His eyes widen and he bellows out with a ship-shaking roar before turning his back on her and stares off into the raging void of the tumbling merging mess that is sea spray, stormy skies and frigid air.
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. This should be the right time. This should be the right place. This should be the right…”
He rounds back and stares menacingly at the bewildered Elizabeth before him. The poor girl is shaking with her shoulders hunched forward yet seems determined above all to stand as tall as she can bring herself to be under the stormy conditions of the ship and conversation.
“Damn it all, I guess she bloody well escaped her fate after all…”