Part one is here.
The ship left port during what proved to be a brief lull in the storm. They had been told to expect a journey of 10 days or more but when the storm blew up again it seemed to be driving them toward Italy and most took it as a good omen in spite of the terrible sea-sickness that afflicted many. The Ship’s captain and the traffickers seemed in good spirits because they expected a quick journey.
The first night at sea was even more disturbed than their night in the harbour. Many of the survivors told of tossing and turning all night, half awake and half asleep and and with a terrible feeling of pursuit. Many screamed themselves awake but were unable to remember their nightmares. No-one was surprised or even particularly worried, with 500 traumatised people packed into a cargo ship in heavy seas it was only to be expected.
When day broke two people were dead and more than twenty were sick. Very few people actually saw the corpses as the traffickers quickly threw them over the side. That might have been an attempt to prevent panic but rumours were rife throughout the ship. Cestus Dei did manage to find one witness who claimed to have seen one of the first corpses. [REDACTED] claimed that the body he saw was unusually pale and thin and was already in full and rather twisted rigour. He said it looked desiccated, almost like a Mummy.
That day the refugees began a kind of crude quarantine. A few volunteers moved the sick to one area of the hold and did their best to tend to them. They rigged up a kind of barrier by stringing up sheets and clothing. They kept their patients warm and hydrated. As darkness fell some of the volunteers pledged to remain awake to keep watch over their charges.
It could not have been easy to keep watch. There was no electricity on board and they only had a few torches and a couple of wind up lanterns for the whole of the hold.
That was the night that the refugees began to realise that there was something truly wrong.