The boat rocked back and forth with an alarming intensity. The passengers did what they could to hold on to anything that would give them a semblance of balance as the boat threatened to tip over. Brea screamed as she held onto her mother's skirt and her father tried his best to shield them from the oncoming winds.
"What's going on?!" Brea shouted over the deafening gusts coming from the Grey Cirrus.
"Just hold on, sweetheart!" her dad yelled in return. The Cirri began to swarm the boat and mill about the passengers in a strange manner. It was as if they were looking for something. Brea tried to get a hold of the situation and was doing her best to see through the winds when she noticed something odd. The Great Grey Cirrus was watching the Captain intently. The Captain was doing everything he could to avoid the Cirrus' gaze while holding on to anything nailed down.
"Captain!" Brea yelled, "What do they want with you?!" The Captain steadied himself briefly and looked at Brea with large frightened eyes. He was about to open his mouth to respond when the Grey Cirrus bombarded them with another gust of wind.
"They can't have it back! It's my p-p-proof of g-g-greatness!" the Captain stammered as he was thrown around. The Great Grey Cirrus began to inhale as it prepared itself to deliver another volley. The passengers were tired and not many of them could hold on for much longer.
"Whatever it is, you have to!" Brea yelled, "You're our Captain! Our safety depends on it!" Brea's parents were taken aback by their daughter's sudden confidence. She was growing. Maybe she was ready to see more of the world than they originally thought. The Cirrus readied itself to unleash a final massive gust of wind when the Captain brought himself to his feet. He had the look of a Neopet that had made up its mind.
"Okay, enough! Here!" the Captain bellowed. And with one fell swoop, he removed his pocket watch from his jacket and threw it at the crowd of Cirri. A group of smaller ones huddled together in an effort to catch it. As they cradled the watch they brought it over to the large Cirrus for inspection. The Cirrus' eyes brightened as it inhaled the watch and nodded to its friends. With that single nod, they turned around and flew off. They were gone.
"Hey, my watch!" the Captain yelled, "You didn't have to take my watch!" The passengers steadied themselves and many began to regain their strength as the ordeal passed and a sense of normalcy returned to the boat.
"They wanted...your watch?" Brea asked the Captain inquisitively.
"Not the watch, what I was keeping inside of it..." the Captain said longingly. "The team that discovered Kiko Lake, I was a part of it, as I was saying before we were rudely interrupted. It was a small artifact. Looked like a gemstone. I didn't think it belonged to anybody so I took it with me."
"You took an artefact from an unknown land, without asking questions, and didn't think it might have consequences?!" Brea retorted. Her parents looked on at their daughter who was chastising the adult in front of them.
"You know, she's right," her mother said, in an attempt to support her daughter.
"What you did was reckless," her father said, approaching their side. The Captain hung his head in shame while the other passengers looked on, their expressions echoing the sentiments of Brea and her family.
"I-I'll get us back safely," the Captain said as he made his way back to the cabin. A sigh of relief came from the passengers as they watched him saunter off exhausted by this whole ordeal.
"Maybe next time we'll try a different activity," Brea's father said as he held his family close. "You're getting a little old for these tours," he continued. Brea smiled as she held her family back, thinking to the calm waters she was used to seeing under the famed Glass Bottom.
"Anything you want, dad," she responded with a grin.
She had a strange feeling there was more adventure to come. She couldn't wait to be there when it did.