24  G E N E R . S TA R K So the Ozean sailed between worlds, its steam engine pulsing like the heartbeat of a great beast. The passengers, the lifeblood of the beast, circulated within the behemoth, influenced by our proximity, each on our own path yet all dependent upon one an- other. Each day ticked by as life and death patrolled the decks of the vessel. Past midway of the voyage I saw Otto at the rail of the upper deck, or at least I thought it was Otto, so changed had he become. “Otto, wie gehts?” I asked him how it was going, as if I could not tell by looking at him. “Nicht so gute,” he gasped. Indeed, not so good at all; it was evident as I saw his thin, pallid, demeanor. “I am so weak, I didn’t know if I’d see the sun again, but with help I’ve made it to the deck.” “Otto, can I help you? Perhaps offer you some good German sausage. I still have a bit left in my trunk.” “I cannot eat. If I can just last until we reach shore… Oh, I must see land. The ocean devours me!” One of the shipmates yelled, “Get that man below deck to his bunk. It is evident he needs rest.” “No, not more darkness, not more rolling in the belly of the steel beast!” he cried. “Leave me under the blue sky, please!” I helped him to sit, and he rested against the steel cabin, his breathing shallow, interspersed with heaving and gasping. I knew no medical people on board, and everyone seemed to shun him. “Vater unser,” I heard him say the Our Father, and his eyes opened and his usual quick smile reappeared as he looked at the open and endless sea. “I see the land, it is free for the settling; it is green and the crops look so good.” He trembled and the violent spasms ceased. He had landed upon the verdant shore. There were no clergy on the ship as they prepared to bury him at sea. A fellow traveler from down in steerage read words from Scripture. I was there because I had known him for only the