Friday, March 15, 2013

Me and Aldaris (p2): Underwater Mishaps

Hey y'all.  In the interest of having posts regularly, I'm going to be updating this story in shorter bits.  It would just take too long to update if I posted a chapter's worth of information on every post, and I tend to write until I finish a specific idea rather than after a set number of paragraphs.  But hey, that means more updates, and a more active blog.  Oh, and hopefully I won't have to put notes on every chapter.  Onwards!


I was somewhere in the ocean.  I didn't know where, having just teleported there randomly.  That meant that not even Aldaris knew where I was, and that's assuming he wanted to find me.  That would be opportune.  Right now, I'm staring at sharks.  There are at least two of them.  I think I saw a third, but that might have been the second shark swimming around some rocks.

My eye was focused on the closer shark.  Its dorsal fin was pushed far on its back, almost on the tail instead of on the back where most sharks have them.  The mottled grey skin of the shark, speckled with all manner of smudges and spots, gave it the look of something very old, like a ten foot antique swimming through the bay.  Its iris stayed focused on me, even when it swam slowly to my left.

Hello, cow shark!  I waved.  Moo!

I like cow sharks.  They're my favorite sharks.  Or specifically, the sevengill sharks are my favorite, because their jaws look like "happy to see you!" smiles.  There are four different types of cow sharks, and from the fact there was enough light to see by, these must be broadnose sevengills.  All the rest of the cow sharks are deep water critters, most of the time.

Alright, Nerdy.  I pushed forward in the water.  Predators like weak prey.  I'm a strong fish!  I'm a strong fish!

Maybe there wasn't too much reason to worry.  Sevengills have five unprovoked attacks on humans in the past 430 years, but I sure didn't plan on being number six.  My sudden teleportation might have scared them, and I wasn't going to stick around.  Or swim very fast.  I am a strong, peaceful fish, and I don't have any reason to get away from sharks.  Uh-huh.  Yep.  No danger at all.

It took me about this long to figure out that I was still breathing.  Sharks get one's attention immediately, but suffocation is a much more prevalent danger in the water.  This sort of freaked me out for a second, because I already wrote a story about a girl who learned she could breathe in water.  Could I do the same?  No.  It took me a minute to find a strange ring around my neck.  I was too busy pretending to be a strong fish to look very much.

The sevengills seemed only cautious of me, so I took a glance down at the thing.  It was a weird, metal ring, far too big for my neck.  With swimming, the water pushed it back against me, but I noticed that every time I finished a stroke and the momentum slowed down, the necklace would turn a little red in one spot.  The red would disappear whenever it was next to my skin.  So I just stuck it under my shirt and hoped it stayed in place.

Okay, cool.  I thought.  Here's a reliable way to breathe, as long as I'm careful. 

Apparently me and the dictionary have different definitions of "careful".  Or that's what people tell me, because right at that moment, I swam closer to the sevengills.  I'm not a diver, and who knows when I would get the chance again?

Hello, Sevens!  I wish I was telepathic with animals.  Then I'd tell the squirrels I'd never hurt them, and these sharks that I'm their friend.  I will name you Steve, and you're Susie.  Actually, I can't tell if you're male or female, but whatever.

In my mind, I summoned up the song by Ashley Carr (he's a dude, not a chick) and started to drift through the dangerous waters.  The combination of sevengills and trance left me hypnotized, and I drifted like seaweed through the murky waters, contented as I had never been before.  It was magical.

While the sevengills, as I expected, plain avoided me, it was getting to the point where I was pushing my luck.  I began to slowly make my way to the surface, in a low slope, diagonal sort of way.  There was no sense in making the sevengills think I was some sort of fleeing prey, or getting the bends.

Bethany, are you there?

It was Aldaris!  Wow, he really was going to get me out?  Awesome!  I don't know where the shore is, so that's handy.  Given that he pulled me and Cheonha from different sides of the earth, there was also no telling whose coast the nearest shore was.

Yep, I'm here. I thought back at him, hoping he could hear.  Hey, what's this collar-thing on me?

It is an emergency field generator.  The device recalls along with the subject in the event of higher or lower pressure levels outside the programmed-in safety levels.

Hey, that's handy.

Not quite.  The device is designed for Protoss physiology.  While there are no recorded attempts of human use, testing on similar creatures has shown evidence of poisoning the subject.

Wait, WHAT?  You're not making that up, are you?

I do not deceive even humans. This device involves the use of chemicals that dissolve into breathable atmosphere.  In lung-based creatures, these chemicals are inhaled prior to full dissolution and can produce negative effects.

So you're saying I need to get up to the surface ASAP.

That would be correct.  I will have your location calculated momentarily.

Okay, cool.  I glanced down at the collar a bit.  Uh, hey, wait a minute.  What does it mean when the collar starts blinking red?

It means hurry.

Aldaris' tone of voice was really starting to bug me.  Well, sharks or no sharks, up I went.  As I swam, little zaps of electrical-looking lines started to warble in the water around my head.  It doesn't take a Protoss engineer to figure out what that means.  I pushed harder against the narrowing depth of the water, but like I said, I'm no diver.  The field around my head collapsed without even a chance for me to get a good breath in, and I choked.  But, saltwater up my nose or no, I had to make it to the surface.  With burning nostrils, throat, and eyes, I pushed my way up to the light.

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