A day later, they were afloat on their little boat headed east and south on the Mediterranean Sea. The waves had sweet white caps on their tops, and the boat gave it's passengers swift dips and a few turn arounds. But nothing scary.
"Marcus, you are a tall, skinny kid," Rick commented. "Are your parents and your people of the same build?"
"Yep," Marcus replied. "We come from the Congo-Burundi part of Africa. Some of our kings are over seven feet tall, skinny, weighing no more than 150 or 160 pounds, We love to dance, in wild costumes with animal pelts, feathers, and gold and jewels. We tell stories, we live in houses that look like giant bee hives. I expect I'll do the same kinds of things, if I can stay a free man. Not so easy in Roma."
"Do you know how to read and write?" John-John asked. "Our American kids can, wonder if your education extends that far?"
"No, I haven't had teaching, but I'd like to learn," Marcus said.
"Latin?" John-John asked.
"That and Greek. In my mom and dad's world, I need both. Then I never have to worry about being a slave who can only do hard labor. I want to learn my numbers and math too."
"I can teach you," John-John said. "I read and speak those languages. Aramaic too."
"So, how come we understand you?" Larry asked.
"Yeah?" Cheryl said.
"It's a God-thing," John-John said.
Out of nowhere, the sea turned upside down, it seemed. The waves became deep troughs and the winds blew in from every direction at once, whistling and screaming both. The waters washed over the little boat and through the limbs, dripping back into the sea. Everybody was hanging on for dear life; there was no steering in such a storm, and they were blown way off course. The sky disappeared into the grey and black clouds. They didn't know north from south, left from right, nor up from down. They only knew they were in deep trouble. Then, they heard a piercing scream, and watched with their mouths open, as Marcus lost his grip, and slipped over the side and was lost from sight.
Omega dived into the roiling waters, propelled as if he were a human spear. He'd dive deep, come up for air, dive again, again, and again, coming up for air. Still he came up empty. Marcus was in the sea. Omega couldn't find him.
Finally, he hauled himself on board of the little boat. Sputtering and wheezing sea water, Omega said this, "I think I saw the green dragon down there. I didn't see Tim, though, and I didn't see Marcus. I probably couldn't have held on to the green dragon, even if I could have caught him. Two lost kids. Gotta find them."