“Hey Detective Shimizu.” Violet said, feeling nervous as she stared up at the tall Cyanea. Like his son, he had dark teal stingers and lighter teal frilly tentacles. They also bore similar facial features. The resemblance stopped there.
While Umi’s skin was a dull teal, Detective Shimizu’s skin was a vibrant purple. His eyes were black and his cap was a dark blue. He also looked like how you’d imagine a whale hunter to look, all battle scarred and muscular.
“Where’d you find the Tad?” He asked, nodding towards the prisoner behind her.
“...here.” Violet answered quietly. It was pointless to lie. The detective could smell them like a shark could smell blood.
“Well, good job for catching him.” The detective said, patting Violet’s head. “I’ll take it from here.” He glanced back at the two officers he’d brought with him. “You two go see if there’s any more of them!” He ordered. They saluted and swam off.
He frowned at Violet. “You shouldn’t be going around alone though, we don’t want whatever happened to your classmate to happen to you.”
Violet nodded to show she understood. “I know.” She said.
“Well, you should probably go before your parents start freaking out.” He said. He turned to Pufferfish. “Gyetbach, ki alakya Violet ves.” (Pufferfish, go accompany Violet home.)
“Okay.” Violet said. “And um, are there any leads on the investigation yet?”
“None so far.” the detective said. “I’ll tell you when I find something though.”
That was a lie. Kids were only told things the adults thought they needed to know. And that was usually only if they found the missing people. Even Umi’s dad did that, despite his habit of treating kids like actual human beings, and not some cute little pet.
“Okay, thanks!” Violet said despite her thoughts. “Bye!” She waved and began her swim home, Pufferfish at her side.
Umi once again unpacked everything from his backpack and rearranged it. Did he really need paper? But what if he needed to write something down? What if some Altraeans spoke a different language? He would need it then, right? What if it was taking up too much space? What about the pens? What if they broke and ruined all of his things? Should he put it all in a box with the paper? What if that took up too much space too? Should he leave extra space for anything important he may find?
These questions circled around Umi’s head, increasing his anxiety and dread. He’d been up all night trying to figure out exactly what he needed to pack, which of his clothes would be the most durable and helpful on the continent. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, and for what?
A friend he wasn’t that close to? The girl who he had believed was a mute for most of his childhood?
Actually, those were very good reasons to go on a possibly deadly rescue mission. Even if he didn’t know them well, they were still people. Besides, if any of the books he’d read had even a fraction of truth to them, deadly situations were great for bonding.
His doubts (mostly) beaten, it was time to finish the task at hand.
Paper isn’t necessary, as there are books in the bag I can write on if need be. Umi decided. Pens are necessary though.
By the time dawn arrived, Umi had finally decided on everything he would need.
Light flooded into his room as his window was tugged open and Violet popped her head inside. “You better be ready.” She said.
“I am.” Umi responded, slipping his arms through the straps of his backpack.
“Then let’s go!” Violet retreated from the window to let Umi pass.
You could stop now. A quiet voice in Umi’s head whispered. Umi squashed it and followed Violet, who was now swimming away.
Regretting his decision to go sounded much more appealing than regretting a decision to stay.
Nightwolf opened her eyes with a groan. As her eyes adjusted to the harsh light, she realized that she was in an unfamiliar place. The ground was gray and smooth as glass. A faint mist clung to the ground and swirled around her body. The air smelled nostalgic, like something she couldn’t quite remember but knew was important.
She quickly realized that it was impossible for her to get to her feet. Her arms and legs felt like they’d been turned to stone.
“You, are horrendously weak.” A voice said.
Nightwolf squeaked as she noticed a woman who couldn’t possibly have been there before, crouched beside her.
The woman had short black hair and pale skin. Her eyes were a dark gray and she had a slightly bored expression on her face. She wore silver robes that looked much too big for her.
“I mean, a simple fire spell was all it took to bring you to the verge of death.” The woman continued. “It’s the day of your awakening too. Usually Sapiens have waaaay more power than that their first time. I mean, your friend, the tall dude, reversed time, and all you could do was nearly wipe out an entire city.”
“Well, congratulations anyway on surviving! You’ve got to be the only one since, I don’t even know when. You’re lucky to have tall dude as a friend.” The woman said.
“Um...thanks…?” Nightwolf said. “And uh, who are you.”
“Unimportant.” The woman said. “I’m just here to apologize for borrowing your body without permission, nearly getting you killed, and to offer you and tall dude a special once in a lifetime deal.”
“...you what?” Nightwolf said.
“Aw, come on! Don’t be cliche!” The woman scolded. “You heard me the first time.”
“Um, please don’t do that again.” Nightwolf said. “I don’t like the idea of possession.”
“Aren’t you going to ask about my deal?” The woman asked.
“I’m not really interested.” Nightwolf said. “For all I know you could be a demon. Or an evil dead person.”
“No, I’m a Sapien like you. The deal is, I’ll teach you and tall dude how to properly use your magic, in exchange for helping me fix the mistakes I made.” The woman said. “So how about it?”
“I can’t trust you.” Nightwolf said.
“Then what do I do to make you trust me?” The woman asked.
Nightwolf hesitated. “I’ll think about it.”
“Very well.” The woman smiled. “You have until the next time you fall asleep to give me your answer.” She got up. “Sweet dreams.” She raised her arms and the world crumpled away to black.
So, do you trust mysterious dream lady or not?
And also, she calls Time "tall dude" because she's short and doesn't know his name.