Beneath the Surface

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Elflady, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. A few thin, wispy clouds glided across the sky guided by a warm wind, the sun shone brightly, spreading its light across the glittering surface tricking the eyes to see things where there were none and brightening the blue waves. Dolphins skimmed the surface, jumping high as they speeded along, whistling and chirping, their cries barely audible through the air but below the water their voices carried far.

    Deep below where sunlight didn't quite reach and the water was dark blue and chilly Ayla swam, not affected by the cold, her brown hair flowing behind her as she gave an extra twist with her tail to gain speed. Frowning Ayla dived deeper darting through woods of seaweed and brushed over anemones on her way, her heart weighed by worries, the dolphins sounded weird today, something in their voices was off and though she could not understand them she felt their urgency.

    Something was wrong today, even the water smelled strange, thick and pungent, something she had never encountered before.

    Following the sickening scent Ayla came closer to her own favourite place, worry filled her as she swam upwards, sweeping her white tail strongly, black fins waving like silk in the current. Suspicion rose as she came further up and the water just got a bit lighter and further ahead it was pitch black despite the sunny day.

    Finally she cleaved the surface, dark hair plastered to her face as the sun hit her olive skin, but Ayla had no eye for the bright day only the sea of black that stretched out before her. A bit ahead a ship was stranded on a cluster of rocks, tilted to the side and black liquid oozed out of the metal hull.

    The stench was horrible andshe saw how it clung to the rocks like slime, it floated above thewater never mixing or sinking, dead fish floated covered with blackand half dead birds and fish still struggled to get away but the darkness wouldn't let go. She stretched out a hand and stroked it through the black mass, it was slick and warm, a shiver went through her and she snatched her hand back, desperately trying to wipe it clean but the dark stain wouldn't disappear.

    Narrowing her eyes at the ship she cursed the humans, once again they had done something to hurt the environment, normally she had nothing against the strange land livers but at times like these she understood those of her kind that distanced themselves and lived far from humans. Soon sorrow replaced her anger, all those animals that had died and all those that would die soon, it was unnatural, so unnecessary, so wrong.

    Amber eyes stared hopelessly on the liquid that slowly spread across the calm water, she felt so helpless, useless. The disgusting liquid was destroying her home, her beautiful ocean and she could do nothing, she couldn't even clean it from her skin. Slowly she felt a pull on her fins, the current was picking up, tide was coming. In a few hours this would have spread far, her home would be tainted and destroyed.

    Casting one last glance at the hated ship she dove down into the comforting embrace of the ocean, the cool caress over her skin and scales could not sooth her mind as it usually did, the sticky darkness that tainted her hands made sure of that.

    Ayla swam for hours, racing to outrun the tide and she steadily came closer to land, it was not what she wanted however, she did not trust that humans would keep it a secret if they found out about her kind. She may find them interesting but Ayla knew what they were capable off, she remembered in her mother'sold tales how humans had been in awe of anything mythical, today though they exploited what they found, respecting nothing else than themselves.

    Suddenly she felt a shift in the water, focusing ahead she noticed that she was close to land, now she just needed to find a secluded bay of some kind where she could feel relatively safe until she had figured something out about the black terror that threatened her home.
  2. "Beautiful day..."

    Kendrick was enjoying the warmth of sunlight against his light brown skin, savoring every second so he wouldn't have regrets during the colder seasons. The thirty-one year old oceanographer stood contently on his boat, admiring the vast blue ocean that carried him. Goosebumps crawled along his flesh from the sigh of the wind. That, too, was something he enjoyed. Mother Nature's affections were gifts he accepted with graciousness.

    For two years now, he had been on a quest to discover a Giant Pacific octopus. They weren't necessarily a rare species. What interested Ken about them aside from being ginormous tentacled creatures was that there was limited information available. There was even a blank drawn for the question of how endangered they were, and as far as he knew they weren't under any kind of special human protection. If he could learn enough about them and their status in the ocean, he could make a proposition to not only study them more, but see what can be done to help them. His fascination with water creatures went hand in hand with his concern for them.

    Blinking behind his sunglasses, Kendrick watched a few fish rise to the surface for some air. Something about them seemed... Off. Having been a dedicated lover and worker to the sea, he was in tune with it. For what felt like ten entire minutes, he stared at that particular section of water until he left to get a fishing pole.

    After equipping the hook with some bait, he lowered the line to the water and waited patiently for a bite. He stared silently out at the distance, daydreaming about discovering that octopus. People would surely respect him for it, and fund his project to continue research. Ever since he quit business with a big time research corporation, he'd been working independently pursuing his own desires. Those men and women couldn't connect with him due to their lack of compassion for the animals. Ken didn't want to be a part of a group who disrespected nature. It was against everything he believed in.

    With some time, he managed to trick one of the fish into taking the bait. Grinning to himself, he tugged the line and reeled it in, his smile fading the more he stared at the fish that was hanging from his line. The poor thing was covered with a shiny black slime. Before the fish could die from lack of water to breathe in, he rushed to his equipment with the pole in hand. In a matter of seconds, he collected a sample of the ooze and put it in a vial. The sample was stored in a box with some other things that needed examining when he returned home on the shore.

    "Smells like oil," he said to the fish, showing a grim look. Shaking his head, he returned the critter back to its home and then sat down in a chair to contemplate. If environmental science taught him anything, it was that oil and trash spills weren't uncommon. Somewhere, someone must have dumped into the precious ecosystem.

    Kendrick went to the helm of his boat, deciding that he'd have to put his research on pause so he could locate this spill. Mumbling nonsense to himself, he marked his current location so he could return to it. Then, he pondered which direction to take...

    He had no idea.
  3. Smashing her tail into the water in frustration Ayla dove down beneath the surface yet again, nowhere along the coast had she found anything that would be a good place to live until her ocean was free again. She hadn't even needed to swim up close to the shore to see that this was the ragged shoreline of an island, a large island perhaps but with humans on it and with too smooth shores.

    Guilt gnawed at her insides as she thought about the strange black liquid, it infected the water and all living in it she wanted to get rid of it but no matter how much she twisted and turned the problem in her head she could find no solution.

    She could search out others of her kind that lived nearby, ask their help, but that would take time and also neither knew any magic powerful enough to help with this. Normally she could help the animals of the water, destroying fishing lines, breaking the nets and cutting the large trawls that so often trapped dolphins and whales instead of fish. She wished this problem was just as easy, perhaps something would come at her if she saw the area again. Maybe she would get some idea or at the very least see how much it had spread.

    Ayla needed no help in finding that very same place again, in her eyes the sea floor was littered with things that helped her tell what was where and which way to go. Soon she swam quickly, hair trailing behind her, a strange deja vu from this morning with the exception of one thing.

    A shadow blocked the sunfrom her view, not like the shadow of the black liquid, this was a boat or ship or whatever the humans wanted to call it these days. It wasn't moving and it was not as big as the boat crashed on the rocks but she was suspicious non the less, if one of those floating shells the human used could break and ooze out that stuff then what said this one couldn't.

    Cautiously she surfaced, only enough so she could see if anyone was on board on this side of the boat, seeing no one she swam closer. The boat was clean and fresh, with none of that black thing around and neither did it stink, perhaps all boats didn't carry that poison. Feeling quite sure this boat wasn't a risk Ayla was prepared to turn back to her original location when she heard a noise, footsteps coming closer to the helm.

    Deciding it was best to leave Ayla twisted around and dove down with a splash, her white tail almost breaching the water surface for a moment as the rays down her dorsal fin tingled when air touched them. Being confident about her being unseen, that the human would have taken her for a dolphin if she had even been spotted, Ayla kept closer to the surface.

    Her fears had been realised, much sooner than she should have Ayla reached the black poison, it had flowed with the tide as she'd feared. Not daring to swim too close she looked out over the dark mass, noticing that the stranded ship was still there but in the distance she saw something that could be another ship, but it was too far off to see clearly, it would be quite some time before it arrived.

    Perhaps the humans could do something about this poison that tainted the ocean but many sea living creatures would die during that time. Pushing herself back a bit she barely avoided the creeping black mass, it was still spreading. How much was on that ship anyway?

    Lost in thought Ayla stayed there waving her tail slightly to stay above the water and in the same place, watching the scene sadly, barely noticing the strange feeling of breathing air instead of water. It would be easier to leave just find a new place to live but Ayla could never forget this scene and while she couldn't do anything she just could not turn her back on it either.
  4. "Hm?"

    There was a fairly powerful splash in the water that distracted Kendrick from his planning. Like the enthused researcher he was, he rushed in the direction he thought he heard the noise and peered into the water to see what it might be. Even if it was something as common as a large fish, or even a dolphin he was interested to learn. The way the animals behaved was important to this oily mystery.

    He spotted no creature, however he did notice some of the black ooze creeping towards him. Little by little, it was covering the entire surface in black. To make matters worse, his eyes caught sight of another boat that was still quite a ways from him. At that, Ken rolled his eyes and sighed frustratingly. He had a good idea of who that was...

    There was no time to stress about that now, though. Ken had a duty.

    Leaving the edge of his boat, who he named Winsome, he hurried to a backpack that was sitting against the helm. With haste, he pulled out a cell phone and began dialing a number with one hand while the other worked at steering Winsome towards the spill. All he had to do was listen to the water. It was hard not to be able to follow the tide, either with the trail of oil as noticeable as it was.

    The sailor explained what he was seeing to a local non-profit organization that he trusted to help. He didn't want to get directly involved with the EPA, or any bigger groups of people. Not right now, anyway. Kendrick lived a wonderfully quiet life of privacy, and he didn't have as much faith in the government as he did in these folks he was talking to.

    "I'll call y'all back when I reach the source, then. Thanks, Willis." With that said, Ken put his phone away after turning it off and continued to the cause of the spillage. A grim look touched his features when he looked over to the water again. It was looking blacker, thicker. This particular section of the ocean was polluted longer than the area he was sitting in previously.

    "I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive us, Poseidon." The words he spoke were somber and sincere. 'Poseidon' was his name for the oceans, he didn't necessarily believe in Gods.
  5. A flicker in the corner of her eye caught Ayla's attention from the black water and dead fish, the same boat she had seen earlier had stopped a bit to her right. Frowning she wondered why it had come, or rather why the human on board was bothered with this problem, from what she had seen not all humans cared much about nature.

    Curiosity awoken she silently sank below the surface glad to be free of the pungent stench, almost, although fainter the smell was in the water as well. Swimming towards the boat again, diving deep to avoid any trace of the black stuff, Ayla ascended near the boat, almost hugging the hull.

    The human on the boat, a man she determined by his voice, was talking out loud, to himself it seemed but then she realised it must be one of those phones that allowed one speak over distances. By walking on land she had learned about a lot of technology the humans had now a days but had never used any herself.

    Ayla was surprised to learn that this man seemed to want to save the ocean as well, however he may just want it saved so that he could use it's resources, Ayla didn't trust humans to have no ulterior motives.

    "I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive us, Poseidon."

    He sounded sincere, maybe he wasn't so bad for a human but then again you never really could know for sure, but it was intriguing non the less. She knew it was risky but her curiosity had always been a good rival to her logical side, besides if something happened she may be able to shift in time and claim to be shipwrecked.

    She was at the stern when she started hoisting herself up, not daring to use her tail to help lest it make too much noise Ayla had to use her arms alone. Holding back a grunt she finally placed a pale hand on deck and her other she wrapped around the railing, gaining her a safe grip. It hadn't taken long and she was already tiring, somehow everything felt heavier out of the water and she wouldn't be able to hold on for very long.

    Scanning the boat more intently this time instead of the quick look she had taken earlier from a slight distance Ayla saw nothing that could be a weapon. Except a long rod with a thin line attached to it, wasn't that what people used to catch fish with, what humans invented, it was so much easier catching the fish underwater with a spear or just with your hands.

    The human himself stood near the helm, looking out over the ocean with a sombre expression, his skin was light brown very unusual in Ayla's eyes as many of her kind had light skin, especially those that stayed deep beneath the surface rarely catching the sun. Maybe she could trust that he would help the ocean, it wasn't much she could do either way.
  6. While steering his slow moving boat, Kendrick lifted the binoculars around his neck to peek into them. The shape of a boat caught his attention; he had a feeling it was the culprit. For a quiet moment, he watched the distant ship through the binoculars and concluded that was indeed his destination. He was relieved to find out that he was going the right way.

    His eyes scanned the surroundings when he dropped the binoculars back to his chest. The water was thick, black, putrid... A cringe appeared on his face as he witnessed life fading right there in front of him. Fish were going to the surface, gasping for clean water while they turned to their sides and began to die. No doubt, there were other species suffering, too. This was hurting the marine wildlife intensely...

    As Winsome moved onward, he reached for a notebook and pencil he had in his backpack. Ken quickly scribbled down notes that would be beneficial to everyone who got involved with this cleanup. He was surprised to be the one to deliver this information. Why didn't one of the concerned environmental agencies spot it first? Sadly, many of them fibbed about caring for Mother Nature. It irked him.

    "Dammit." That curse was spoken under his breath after he clumsily dropped his writing utensil. In his quick, eager pace of writing he must have let it slip from his grip.

    Frustrated, he began following the pencil around. It was rolling from one location to another because of the unsteady movement of Winsome. The fact he accidentally kicked it away from himself didn't help either...

    Noticing that the pencil went spinning towards the end, the stern, he turned and let his eyes follow it with hopes of it coming to a complete stop so he could sneak up on the sneaky tool and retrieve it. The focus was shattered, however...

    Something else far more intriguing distracted him, leaving him silent and motionless.
  7. Ayla.jpg
    Watching in amusement as the man dropped his pen and proceeded to chased it Ayla smiled askew and when the pen got away she followed it with her eyes and forgot to look at the human and suddenly he was at the railing, frozen to the spot, looking at her. Staring back with wide amber eyes she felt her fingers slip and she fell back into the ocean with a slight yelp, water closed above her and in pure reflex she swiped strongly with her tail to get up again.

    About to change her shape she wondered how much of her he had been able to see, holding back the instinct to raise her hand to her aquatic ear, dark, wet strands of hair was layered over them but she feared it may not be quite enough.

    Her concentration interrupted Ayla pondered over if he might accept that he had had an hallucination, perhaps too much sun, too little water or some of that alcohol humans drank. Cursing under her breath she looked up again, the man was still there, she had wasted time and now she wasn't sure if looking human would fool this man. She didn't know much about how humans reacted and thought, she may just as well stay as she was, chance was he would dismiss this as a dream or something later anyway.

    “Hi,” she said, feeling slightly ridiculous. “Any chance you believe this to be a dream?” Raising a pale arm to shade her eyes.

    Maybe it was too much to hope for, maybe it would be best if she just dived underwater and vanished but she was too curious for her own good.
  8. When the mysterious woman tipped off of his boat and crashed into the water, Kendrick rubbed at his eyes as if he just saw the impossible. Instead of asking himself the many questions associated with what he just witnessed, he rushed over to the railing where he searched for whoever it was that fell from his boat. She practically vanished before his very eyes! His heart was racing still when she revealed herself, having quickly reacted to the fall. In no time, she was able to make it back to the surface.

    Ken knew what he saw. Although it was a brief sighting, he recalled a long, majestic looking tail. He could remember believing in the existence of mermaids when he was a child. Never in his life did he think he'd see one for real.

    Unless he was suddenly going crazy...

    After she told him 'hi', he sheepishly waved at her, his face unable to look like anything but shock. His mouth was open a little, and his eyes were wide as they focused on her. This seemed like a random place to meet a mystical creature. Kendrick always imagined that mermaids lived in beautiful caves far from the reach of humans, or underwater kingdoms like some of the kid movies played up.

    "Actually, I kind of wish this were a dream," he replied, his focus going to the oily ocean for a moment. If it meant the ocean could still be its appearance of lovely blue, he'd gladly sacrifice the chance to meet a mermaid. This was no illusion, though. What an interesting day this was turning out to be...

    Kendrick didn't no what more to say, or what to do. He guessed she was curious about him, or needed help with something. Just in case she wanted to come back to the deck, he went to toss the circular floater that was used for emergencies. In no time at all, he had the rope unraveled and the doughnut shaped device at the surface for her to grab onto.

    "I can pull you back up! Unless, um, you have someplace to go." The man showed a shrug and offered a friendly smile, though beneath that he was nervous. This mystery woman really stirred him up. It was making him forget his environmental mission.
  9. Looking back up at the man Ayla met his wide eyes, seeing a surprise she understood but couldn't really relate too, to her it was completely normal meeting other races and although she hadn't met a human up close she knew about them. Humans however were quite single minded when it came to them being the only sentient race on Earth and to the fact that mythical beings did exist, so it was clear they'd be surprised.

    Noticing his attention going to the black sea as he spoke she believed she knew what he meant and agreed wholeheartedly, if this could be a dream then she would pay dearly for it. But unfortunately she as well as he knew it was real, although he gained a small amount of trust from her for caring about the ocean, if he indeed cared that much then maybe he could help her out.

    “You are taking this pretty well,” she noted, glad he in fact did not panic or freaked out.

    Ayla looked on as he worked swiftly on a rope before throwing down a round thing in the water next to her, curiously she looked at the floating thing actually surprised he offered to lift her up, his kindness seemed to outweigh his chock at seeing her.

    “Thank you,” It would surely make speaking easier not having to look up at him all the time. Hesitating for just a moment Ayla then grabbed the floating thing unsure how to hold on to it best. As it was hollow in the middle she placed it over her head and slid it down to her stomach being ready to push with her tail to help him, feeling slightly uneasy being restricted, it was at least better than climbing up again.
  10. Kendrick watched her as she got situated in the rescue floaty he tossed out to the water. She was right about him 'taking this well'. He was known to be a fairly calm person, even during times of great excitement or terror. Ken preferred to be part of a solution than part of a problem. He believed that people who spent their time panicking about something would fail to move forward. Such a thing only contributed to the issues.

    With a tight grip on the rope, he pulled with all his might. At first, he didn't have to use too much effort thanks to the help of her tail. Kendrick felt his heart racing as he pulled her up, probably from having to work so hard. The woman wasn't heavy, it was just a bit difficult to pull her up to his level of the boat. He felt like he needed a few upgrades to make jobs like this easier...

    Once she was at the railing, Ken carefully guided her body to the deck. He made it quick so that she wouldn't have to deal with the discomfort of his hands on her. During so, he noticed the contrast between their skins. His palms were rough and dry against her smooth, wet skin. Noticeably, there were splotches of oil on her and pieces of sea plant life. Minus the black dollops, she looked exotic. Kendrick found himself breathless for a moment. Not only was she a tangible legend, she was beautiful!

    "Muh-My name is Kendrick," he stammered, resisting the urge to hit himself in the forehead for acting so sheepish. Perhaps, with her here, he could make better progress with that oil spill. Who knew the sea better than its creatures? It was especially fortunate that she could speak his language.
  11. Removing the round thing from around her body Ayla took some extra breaths to adjust to breathing air, although now she did it more out of habit than an actual need. Pulling her wet hair from her face and chest she slung it over her shoulders as she looked around the boat with interest, seeing things and details she hadn't been able to from her other vantage points.

    Amber eyes darting across the deck she saw things she recognized and others of what she had never seen and could not even guess their purpose. The current made the boat rock slightly as the waves carried it and although Ayla was used to swimming in rough seas it was different sitting on top the waves, however small they were. It took some time for her to learn how to follow along with the movements instead of moving independently.

    Realising she was staring with the curiosity of a child Ayla scolded herself inwardly before turning her attention to the man, who introduced himself as Kendrick. “Nice to meet you, I'm Ayla,” she said with a smile. Wondering for a brief moment if humans were more formal or not when meeting new people, while she had met humans on land she had never actually spoken to them.

    “Do you know what that black thing is that is tainting my home and all the creatures living in it? Do you know how to get rid of it?” Ayla asked turning serious, quickly remembering the problem, although it was hard to forget as the ocean normally wasn't black.”It's leaking out of that ship over there but I couldn't smell it on your boat when I first saw you.” She was hopeful although cautiously so, she was not a child anymore and knew better than to hold unrealistic expectations.
  12. "Good to meetchoo too, Ayla," replied Ken, who was smiling at her with charm. She was a friendly creature, luckily. A lot about her was mysterious, though. She could speak his language, she was half fish, she could breathe air...! Ken let his weight fall back onto the railing, using it as an awkward form of of chair. He felt like he might pass out from the over whelming experience of meeting Ayla. The nausea from the water didn't help much, either. To him, the odor of the oil was foul.

    Noting her serious expression, his smile faded. It made sense that she'd come aboard with questions. These waters were her home! He made the assumption that she'd protect it to the best of her abilities. Sadly, this spill made that difficult.

    "Oil," Kendrick answered grimly, his mouth making a lopsided frown. "I was headed to that ship to investigate, actually. Looks like it crashed and then, well, this happened."

    The more he talked about it, the more disappointed he looked. Having to explain this happening to this aquatic beauty made him feel as scummy as the human beings responsible for the pollution. Now, he was trying to think of a way to tell her how this was going to be solved. She probably wasn't going to like hearing that it would be time consuming.

    "We'll get crews of people here to clean it up. It'll take a while, but it'll get done."
  13. “Oil,” Ayla repeated scrunching her nose at both the word and the smell. A bit angrily she thought humans could transport this oil somehow else than across her home, sure she did live mostly in this are but she considered the entire ocean her home anyway. She was grateful for him telling her this, and she felt he was a kind person that cared for the ocean and its creatures, what luck that she had happened upon just his boat.

    “If the ocean will at least be cleaned of this oil, that is something good in all this.” She said, hoping it wouldn't too late, many creatures living in or depending on the sea would die but many would perhaps at least have a chance then.

    But another thought had filled her mind, this was her favourite place to call home here in the vast ocean, where would she go now. Somewhere far away for the oil to not reach her despite the tide and not too close to humans, her quick search earlier had yielded pretty much nothing except too shallow or too small bays.

    “You know the ocean quite well then I take it,” Ayla said turning to Kendrick again, hoping to get some help from the human. “Do you know of any place near shore that's deep and solitary?” Being close to shore wasn't something she had been since she was quite young but it was quite far from here and in a way she liked seeing how solid land was like.
  14. Kendrick wasn't surprised by her reaction at all. She looked disgusted and disappointed, but at least she expressed some faith in the humans' ability to make up for their mistake. This could be more easily avoided if other sources of fuel could be produced. He knew it wasn't impossible, people just didn't want to be bothered with the projects. Sometimes, he wondered if he should have gotten an environmental science major instead of oceanography.

    While she spoke some more, he was submitting information to the people he alerted of the spill. Coordinates were confirmed, and he sent an estimate on what exactly they'd need supply-wise. The area was going to get blocked off while a campaign was put together to get everything cleaned up. Surely, lots of the environmental fanatics would volunteer to help too. At the very least, people not qualified to directly clean the water could work on tidying the shore and cleaning oil off of animals.

    "I have my own private residence that nobody bugs me at," he offered, having no issue with inviting her to his property. It was a small place he stayed at when doing research that was often left undisturbed. He preferred to not attract any parties interested in his work. "It's a ways from here, so the water'll stay clean. I can do my best to make it comfortable for you, Miz Ayla."

    Ken mimicked the act of tipping his hat to her while making a smile. He felt responsible for the mermaid since she did board his boat with no place safe to go. More than likely, she didn't want anyone to see her. It was crazy that he was even in the presence of this aquatic beauty. This still felt like a dream to him. To this very moment, his heart was racing from a combination of excitement and nervousness. He impressed himself with how calm he was staying. The distraction of the oil spill probably caused that.
  15. Ayla looked on curiously as Kendrick sent information back and forth, wondering what all those buttons and machines that he used with such ease were. She had never seen anything like it and while she wasn't sure Ayla guessed by how he seemed to answer as well and she was confounded by how he could he seemingly communicate with others with such a distance. “How do you do that?” she asked curiously examining the machines with amber eyes. “Can you actually communicate with others despite this distance?”

    As he finished with his things Ayla was surprised when he offered her a place to stay, a secluded beach where no one came, it would be perfect. Ayla hadn't expected a human to be this kind towards a stranger, especially one that shouldn't exist according to human belief.

    “Thank you,” she said with a warm smile. “If it is really okay for you then I would really appreciate it Kendrick.” She had to let out a chuckle at his behaviour, she must have been really lucky to have ended up meeting him when she could just as well have met a human with a much less desirable personality.

    A feeling of relief removed much of the weight of worry that had settled over her this day, all problems seemed to move towards a solution, some slowr than others but at least it went forward. “If it is anything you want in return then feel free to ask,” she said. Wanting to give something back for his kin offer, not being one to like being in debt, she wasn't sure what she could do though seeing as what humans often valued, according to the stories of her people, Ayla didn't know how she could help.
  16. When she inquired about communicating with distant people, he blinked at his phone for a moment before looking back at her. He didn't know how to explain the process to her. The more he thought about it, he realized there would probably be a lot of questions. She seemed intelligent, however she was strictly a sea creature he guessed. He wondered if this would be anything like the Little Mermaid experience, where lots of human technology would be fascinating for her. Equally, she probably could show him a lot about the ocean that he never knew!

    "We have machines, big and small, that let us contact anyone we want in the world. Maybe I can show you how it works sometime! We have things called landlines and satellites that make the use of phones possible. I can explain in more detail when we get to that house of mine," he told her, his eyes focused on the water so he could watch out for danger in his path. Getting her to his safe little area was priority, because he didn't want anyone seeing her. The team of environmental protectors were already getting to work on investigating the spill and formulating a plan to fix it.

    A smile with just as much warmth touched his lips when she thanked him. "Awh, you owe me nothin'. It's actually part of my job to help protect the sea and its inhabitants. But if you really wanna return the favor, maybe you can educate me a little. I'm sure there's a lot you know about the waters that I don't know."

    The happy expression he had soon went serious. He looked over his shoulder, his sights set on a boat that far away from him but just close enough so he could recognize who the boat belonged to. There was no doubt about who it was. They followed him sometimes, especially when they knew he was 'up to something'. There was no way in hell that he'd let them get involved with his research, or his discovery of Ayla. Only bad would result from that.

    "Here's a question now, if ya don't mind. Do you happen to know how to read English? I ask 'cause I got some pretty shady people I'd like ta warn you about..."
  17. His explanation brought more questions and Ayla couldn't really wrap her head around the fact that it was possible to speak across such long distances, it must be some kind of magic. Although much stronger than her own. The furthest communications she could think of was dolphins and whales, their cries could be heard for miles through the water, but to contact the other side of the world, she had thought that impossible. Landlines she guessed had something to do with the ground but what on earth was satellites?

    “I'd like that,” she said, curious to see how that would really work and perhaps get to try it herself to see what it was like. “Satellites? What is that? I can kind of understand the first by the name only but not satellites.” She had never been interested enough about the human world so far and had never taken the chance to learn when she had the chances but now her curiosity was awoken.

    Listening to him she was a bit confounded that he actually worked to protect the ocean, she had no idea humans went to such lengths for the ocean. Not because she believed humans to be evil, though she was a bit vary, but more because she had believed they were more interested in the land as they had a hard time going underwater just as sea creatures had a hard time going up on land. “If you want then I will do what I can to help you,” she answered, glad to be able to do something in return.

    Ayla, unaccustomed to being on a solid surface started to get used to the strange rocking feeling as the boat moved, stroking back some hair that started to dry in the sun and flew in her eyes she had to admit it wasn't so bad, although the water was best in comparison. “A little,” she said moving her eyes from the ocean to Kendrick. She had indeed picked up the alphabet and spelling in her life but how good her spelling and grammar was were an entirely different question.
  18. Kendrick wished now that he had smarts that went beyond marine life. Explaining satellites to her would be more challenging than he thought. He stood there quietly, pondering on a way to tell her about them. This reminded Ken that he needed to spend less time on his boat, and more time in someplace like the library. His education related memories were fuzzy. Needless to say, he felt dumb.

    "Satellites are... Well, they're huge. We make them and program them to collect data, then launch them into space to orbit a planet. We use them for television, GPS devices, cellphones... Though, I'm sure most or all of that is new to you, too. There's so much I could show you, Ayla."

    The boat was steered in a different direction now. Ken seemed to be following floating markers placed on the surface as guidance, with a map taped to a wall of the helm area to help as well. They were almost to their destination. He could get the mermaid to safety, and make plans with her for the ocean's cleanup. It would be a good time for a break, anyway. Kendrick was feeling hungry.

    "A little's good enough. If you ever see a boat, car, or even a uniform with the name 'Sanders' on it, you're in danger. Usually, there will be a bland image of a dolphin trio with the name. You get me, girl? Those are some bad people. They say they help the ocean, but they don't. All they care about is money! If they ever found you, they'd--"

    Kendrick stopped himself there, his lips thinning into a serious expression. He didn't want to imagine how badly they'd treat the poor lady in one of their facilities.
  19. The more he tried to explain the more she felt confused, all the things humans seemed to have invented was so far fetched and surreal that it had to be a trick or an illusion, although she had seen him use one of those cell phones and the boats she often saw, and the one they were on now, were driven by the same weird mechanics that she though impossible at first, yet they worked. What was even harder to believe was the last of his words, had humans actually made it into space, how could there exist a force strong enough to launch something so high? She had to see all those things he spoke off, had to see how they worked and make sure it wasn't some kind of strong magic.

    “All that sounds so amazing yet difficult to believe, but I'd love to see it for myself,” she said. To continue going around in circles with her asking something and then his answer bringing only more questions would be quite futile, it would be better to leave that when they reached his house. When they would reach it she wasn't sure, the map didn't tell her much, neither did the markers, she missed being in water, if she were then the rays that grew from her back and dorsal fin would help pick up even the tiniest vibrations telling her so much about her surroundings. On land though they just tingled slightly as the air enveloped them but the things they picked up were pretty much useless, especially as the boat moved as well.

    Sanders. Ayla was quite certain how it was spelled, most of the time, the few times she actually wrote something, she spelled it as it sounded after all that was the logical way, it was a stupid thing to spell a word one way and then pronounce it differently. A slight shiver running down her spine as Kendrick cut himself off, somehow the unfinished sentence was more frightening than if he had spelled out what those people would do. “I'll keep an eye out for that,” she assured him. Well if they did find her Ayla was relatively sure she could change before they saw her true form but that wouldn't help if she didn't see them coming.

    Pushing away the tendrils of fear Ayla looked around instead trying to spot land and Kendrick's house, curious to how it would looked, she rarely went nearby populated places so she was more used to seeing forests and fields. “Are we getting close?” She asked him, it was an interesting change to travel by boat instead of swimming but if she got to choose swimming was the better alternative, but she had to admit it was much faster to travel Kendrick's way.