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The Ship Europa

Rodrigo woke up abruptly when someone knocked insistently on his door. He dressed quickly, worried by the unexpected visit. When he opened the door, he saw the familiar face of Fernando, one of his men. He seemed to have run all the way from the station to Rodrigo’s house. When interrogated with a puzzled look, Fernando caught his breath and said,“Alcaide, there is a ship near our shore”.
Rodrigo exhaled: no imminent danger to his soldiers or to the civilians. The matter was bizarre though, and he understood why the men wanted him to come and see. The little fortified town was on the sea but wasn't a port. Some small fishing boats, sure, were a familiar view, but a proper ship, no, that wasn't right.Following Fernando to the shore, Rodrigo started to make out the silhouette of the ship, and any lingering annoyance was replaced by curiosity. It looked elegant and well balanced. A bit small for its class, but still much bigger than anything they were used to seeing in these water…

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