Water's Curiosity
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A grey creature slid plain through the ocean. Faint beams of moonlight seeped down the waters, moderately illuminating an otherwise dark world beneath a crashing sky; heavy, crashing swells that heaved and rolled unto each other. It would be a marvellous sight, the overhead and ever-rolling surface from the deep, blue below. And yet the grey creature did not. The creature could not stop, and would never stop. It was in her atomical nature to follow a pinhole prerogative.

To swim, to eat and to repeat that thusly until Death do us part.

There were a few schools of fish hanging like clouds in the aquatic darkness. Each school parted like the Red Sea to avoid the grey creature, her mouth occasionally agape to swallow a straggler from the silver crowd. The Grey Creature’s tail continued to swing side by side, ignoring the strange shape above - the metal Thing that preyed on sea folk. Rational instinct pressed forth, so the Grey pressed herself into the Forward as quickly as possible. Passing under and away from the metal beast’s underbelly, the Grey moved faster.

There suddenly came a movement from behind. It was swift, something small, something cosmicly old. The Grey raced ahead, a newcomer, a Predator, making itself known. The Grey might have felt fear if she knew such complex reflections.

Nevertheless, fueled by instinct, she altered course.

But the Predator was already there. It emerged from the maul of darkness below the sky - quickly and effortlessly.

The Grey paused, for the first time in her existence. Neurons fired and nostrils flared. The Predator stared at the Grey and smiled. The Predator had arms, hair and skin like the humans, although the Grey scarcely had any concept of humans and their intentions. From the waist down, there was a long, scaled tail at least two metres in length. It swayed in tandem with the waves.

The Grey stared, her eyes betraying what her senses could not see. For an instant, the human-life features flashed away, revealing a gelatinous visage, before quickly resuming its human-life state. It was in that instant, though the Predator’s then transparent skin, the Grey could make out teeth like an angler fish, and sharper than her own. With the same rational instinct that had carried it thus far, the Grey sprang into motion and retreated.

Predator continued to watch the Grey as it swam away, perhaps disappointed, but regardless its attention was focused elsewhere. The Underbelly above, the thing the…

The Predator wondered what the term was - machine came to mind. It knew of those things. A human might compare it to a can of sardines - something soft and delectable locked within a metal casing. Pointless trouble, if exceedingly fun to drown, according to the stories it recalled. But what most intrigued the Predator was the sounds from above! It was music!

Like a shark sniffing the faintest trace of blood, the Predator listened and grinned. Up, up, up it travelled. Before the others did, and before the feast, the Predator reminded itself.

Oxygen entered the Mermaid’s lungs as she surfaced. The Night sky hung above, equally vast as the ocean beneath her, and seemed to dance as the stars twinkled in spectacular splendour. This cosmic presentation further framed a not-so-pointless marvel floating clumsily before the Mermaid. A ‘fishing vehicle’ (the term came to her) paused on an ocean insidiously still; the uncautious would not last in these conditions. Alas, land-folk were stupid and silly and altogether peculiar.

There was still time, the Mermaid reasoned, as she focused on a new current forming beneath her — distant, but ever-encroaching.

The music from the boat was louder here, obviously, and so the Mermaid swam across the abyss and reached a ladder attached to the vehicle's side. She heaved her form, ungainly out of the water, onto one rung of the ladder and posed herself onto it. The darkness shrouded her from sight, even as she poked her head out to watch the crew sing and dance around a marvellous rectangular box that sang and made music.

The Mermaid strung her arm around another rung and pulled herself just an inch higher and her eyes grew wider. The crew were dancing and singing and making all breeds of noisy fun. There were cackles and belches. Curses and compliments. The Mermaid grinned but bit her lip, resisting the primal urge to join into the messy chorus. It suffocated her, the urge welling up into her throat like sick. The excitement pressed on and so the Mermaid pulled herself onto a higher rung, her tail slipping from out the water, becoming all the more heavier.

“Yarr, too much song.” Groaned a frail voice that was too close for comfort.

All the crew wore pale, purple sweaters - a unique uniform that almost appeared religious to the Mermaid. (She had heard of religion before - the make-believe of cultures) Some even wore long robes made from the same purple knitwear, and those that did were bald and had skin instead of eyes. But they were all human nonetheless. That is except for the one who just spoke. He wore a blue sweater and was not of this planet. Instead of a face, he had two sharp pincers that belonged on a spider and not a man, although the Mermaid knew only of sea spiders. He was leaning on the railing, thankfully not facing in the Mermaid’s direction.

“I'm tellin' ye,” the alien continued, waving a bony hand.

A young human emerged from near the alien and immediately the Mermaid’s three hearts churned. They had long, wavy blond hair and stark, slightly round features. On top of their head was the headband that made music, and it was bright orange.

It’s them! The Mermaid thought.

The young human mumbled in agreement to their Captain.

“A sailor should know better!” said the Captain.

“Ya-huh…” The Young Human managed.

The Mermaid grinned, looking at her little human as he glumly turned towards the sea. The Mermaid shifted awkwardly, nervous of the human’s gaze. But her hand slipped and in the brief noise of motion, the young Human’s attention was caught and they turned towards the Mermaid. Growing wide-eyed, they quickly and subtly began fanning the Mermaid away.

The Mermaid resisted, almost snarling in offence. Then suddenly her sense flared. Her eyes darted away from her little human and back to the void of water encircling her. The water began to stir, although human eyes failed to perceive it. Echoing up from down below was a phenomenal wail of a song. Quiet, distant but ever-so-sweet and growing in numbers. The Mermaid’s eyes flashed in desperation towards her human and then snapped to the horizon.

“Melop,” Whispered the human. “Is everything alright?”

The Mermaid shushed him. “Keep your headband on! Don’t listen, don’t hear!”

Before any further elaboration could pass, Melop darted her head down as she pressed herself against the hull of the ship, letting the darkness cover her. In the distance, in the space where one might expect the sun to be submerged in by sea and extinguish the day, emerged a set of faces from out of the water.

In their first instances above water, the faces were icky, fish-like things with boneless flesh like jellyfish. They were neither male nor female, for gender was unnecessary, but as a dozen creatures encroached the port side of the ship their visage began to change. Seaweed became lush, flowing locks - still incredibly toxic to the touch. Geltanous flesh became plump and rich with life. One, now seemingly a male, splashed about the water teasingly as a rich inhuman song filled the atmosphere.

The song reverberated across the very foundations of sound, the grey music box sparking and then silencing itself forever in protest. All those on board, save for Melop’s human (who clamped their headphones down over their ears) and the Captain, felt their very life shift until it was adrift at sea. One, the chef clambered overboard almost immediately. He floundered aimlessly in the deep cool, briefly regaining his comprehension before a sudden movement from under him tore the chef in two and then away into the sea.

The Mechanic found himself hanging over the edge of the ship’s railing, locking lips with a lovey-looking man with strong arms and very sharp teeth. Slash, snarl and crack were the sounds that followed. Melop winced, covering her eyes as her fellows drifted by her uninterested in whatever she was doing there. Their songs grew louder and louder, one crewmember falling to her knees in prayer!

“Oh Fractured One, oh Fractured One. You are giving, you are kind!” She screamed.

Whatever god she prayed soon faded from her focus as she rose to her feet and collapsed into the sea.

Melop’s little human ran into the lower deck of the ship, soon followed by their spiderfaced captain. One by one the remaining crew roared, cried and drowned. Blood littered the sea around the boat. Two thousand miles below, deep in the darkness, a colossal squid sensed the commotion above and retreated further down, dragging an infant whale along with it.

As the feast ended, the mermaids gathered around the boat and simply watched it patiently. The waters became as still as glass as the mermaids hid themselves beneath the waves.

They were as patient as water, old as bone, and as secretive as blood. The darkness of the night continued until daybreak. Even as Melop’s little human and their Captain emerged from below deck the Mermaids did not attack. For now, there was something more interesting afoot. Already the Mermaids planned their songs, organised their prophecies and giggled with glee.

As the cloudy day grew longer, as the Captin grew more and more concerned with the still waters, there was a mysterious sound. It was the warping of light and space as on the front deck of the boat emerged a strange, golden armillary sphere filled with rich light. Melop gawked at it, sensing a recognition that she could not place. A fairy tale, maybe. Or…

Melop whimpered at the retaliation and quickly hid herself beneath the water. Below the boat, her fellows still stalked about patiently biding their time. But for what Melop couldn’t say. Still, curiosity got the better of her and so Melop resurfaced and watched the Golden Device with bated breath.

A doorway appeared beside it as two figures, humanoid in appearance, stepped onto the deck. As the doorway closed, Melop took the opportunity to look at them.

One was a human girl with orange clothing and blond hair. The Other was a boy with purple skin on his arms and the left side of his face.

“I haven’t been out to sea for ages…” Said the boy.

The girl joined him and said “It’s a first for me. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it would go on forever.”

The boy paused, briefly looking at the girl, and then back to the sea.

“In a sense it does…” He said.

The Boy fell silent as he grew lost in his thoughts. The girl failed to notice.

“No wind, too. And the ocean is so still it’s like a mirror…”

It was then, hearing the boy’s voice and seeing his face, that Melop knew who he was. Cousin of her species, and the infamoy of Mars. Melop gawked at him and then dove back into the waters and past the gathering crowd of her people.

Something terrible was afoot. Something evil.

Melop could see the clouds above as they slowly turned dark…


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