Manuel Santiago went to sea at the age of 7 aboard 'Salvation,' the only ship owned by the town of Cross. She was an old Glouchster fishing boat, and had sailed alongside the likes of the 'We're Here' and occasionally with whalers such as the 'Rachel.' When Manuel boarded her for the first time, the Salvation no longer plied the Grand Banks in search of cod. Instead, she had a far dire task: to try and save those the Cross River sought to drown.
The Cross River, and those creatures which lived in it, had a penchance for murder. On the calmest of days the river would sweep a canoe out to sea, ripping the oars from unsuspecting hands and plunging the startled victims into the thrusting, smashing waves of the Atlantic.
It was the duty of the crew of the Salvation to save those who could be saved.
And Manuel was the finest of them.
He rescued dozens of stranded victims, revived even more. Yet for every one he did save, there was at least one more he could not.
And the reality of this began to weigh upon him. More and more his broad shoulders sank, his back bowed, and he knew that death drew nearer with every breath he took.
Finally, on his 40th birthday, when the Salvation was cruising along the mouth of the river, he told his shipmates that he would take the battle to the sea itself.
Before they could stop him, Manuel stepped over the side of the ship and slipped beneath the waves.
His body was never recovered, and aboard the Salvation it is whispered that each night he drowns only to be born again in the morning, suffering for all the lives he stole from the sea.
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