Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dip, Jun 9, 2013.

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  1. " Three weeks. " They told her. " Three weeks, you'll be out at sea. You are to collect data and make observations of anything and everything that you see. Let it be wildlife, plant life, sea life, or any form of life itself. You will be given all of the necessities that you will need, and more. On the end of the third week, we will pack up and go to the lab. We're making history here. And who would have thought, that a large city could be submerged like that, and it was right under our noses! "

    How long has it been? Five? Six weeks? Four months? Well, it's been at least four weeks since she had last had a canned meal. It's probably been at least twice that since she ran out of pen ink, and dropped her journal in the water- thus, rendering it completely useless. And relatively soggy. But it wasn't anything that the team at the base couldn't decipher, right? Right. That's what Stella kept telling herself. They would be here, scold her about how she may or may not have lost important notes, and take her back to her comfy lifestyle. Or so she hoped.

    Stella Maris had always loved life. Let it be sea life, human life, plant life- anything, really. If it breathed in a certain way, she was absolutely interested in it. Which was exactly why she took up the occupation in the first place! It was practically made for her- her name does quite literally mean 'Star of the Sea'. But, if anyone had told her that being stranded in the middle of the ocean was apart of the job, she would have happily declined.

    But, work was work, and she knew that she was going to get a pretty penny for her work. If it was done correctly. The notebook falling in the water was just a minor setback, but what could they have expected? Nonetheless, she was going to be payed kindly for her work. If she wasn't to be payed for just that slip up, oh, she would have a talk with them, of course.

    Maris was sitting at the top of a building- or, what was the top of the building. It arose a small portion of the way out of the water, so if someone was to look at it from a birds-eye-view, it was just a square peeking from the water. She had her feet in the water, and she was simply kicking at the water. Which was a bad idea in hindsight, because she was scaring off any fish that she hoped to catch later.

    The woman sighed, and looked upward. Not a cloud in the sky, but yet she couldn't enjoy it. She would have gone out for a swim, seeing that there was nothing else to do, but she really didn't want to get the clothing she had on at the moment wet. Maris could have gone skinny dipping, but she wouldn't want to risk it. What if one of her peers saw her nude? Oh, she would be positively pink! She just dipped her feet in for now, and dreamed of an ice cold lemonade in her hand.

    Maris looked away from the endlessly blue sky, and over at the endlessly blue ocean. Wait, what was that in the water? Was that a fish? It was way too big to be a normal fish... Was it a shark? A salmon? A marlin? A swordfish? Whatever it was, it was big, and it looked appetizing. She quickly pulled her feet from the water, and ran a hand through her short dark hair- it was black, but it might as well have been brown by then. The sun was an all natural hair-dye.

    She looked around frantically for a pole, but only found the net. It would have to do- it was life or lunch right about then. Stella took ahold of the net, and looked at the fish once more- but, it seemed a little less than a fish. Oh god, it was a shark. The woman closed her eyes, and batted blindly and aimlessly at the creature, with intent to blind it- or simply knock it out. She had hit it a few times, but she knew that it wasn't going to be enough. Oh, where had she put her weapon? It might have came in handy right then.
  2. One might think it's not possible to be territorial at sea, because one can't tell where the territories are. But that would be a surfacer's way of thinking. Antheona most definitely could tell. And she wasn't very pleased.
    Because, speaking of surfacers, they seemed to be just swarming these days. The flying ones with the rotating wings were the worst, if one showed up, the sound was simply everywhere, and so far no mercreature knew of a way to hunt them or scare them away. The humans in the boat could at least be sunk, carefully, of course, because they had a tendency to shoot; after a while they always tired of swimming on their own, and they proved to be good to eat (not as good as fish, but that's no reason to waste such a large amount of food). Buoys could and had to be cut down, any equipment tied to them had to be sunk. And just when it seemed like finally there was peace, she found one more human on one of the stone towers.
    Not that she hated humans; of course she did, who wouldn't? But that wasn't all. She knew that where there was a human there was soon bound to be more, a perfect human infestation, again. And at the stone towers, no less.
    Merpeople were in something of a war against mankind nowadays. An invisible war, because as far as Antheona knew, humans weren't at war against them, just being obnoxious surfacers who thought everything was theirs - in fact some were of the opinion that they didn't even know about merpeople. If so, they must have been extraordinarily dense. Didn't they notice how many of their ships sink in certain areas?
    And the island. If humans think they can just build a floating island for the highly useful purpose of shouting and marching about all dressed in the same colour, if they think they can block sunlight from the water just for that on such a big area, killing all the underwater plants, driving away the fish - well, no, if they are all out of land, that's their problem, they can't build land here. That was the worst trouble they had had with them so far, but, well, it was over and they had their very own stone towers now. And apparently wearing the same colour didn't enable humans to breathe undersea.
    That was why it was such a bad sign that humans were coming back to the stone towers. Maybe they wanted to pull them out and live in them again; just when they were already a part of the sea, when seaweed grew on them and fish lived in them and merpeople sometimes found interesting things in the ruins. It was a very, very bad sign.
    Antheona knew it wasn't a good idea to approach a human who wasn't in a position to be sunk. Humans had weapons that killed at a distance. And if they really didn't know about merpeople, they shouldn't be advised otherwise. However, this human was alone, had been alone for a long time now, and that was fairly strange. Antheona thought it would be high time to investigate, and if something goes wrong, the human still can't alert its comrades, because they aren't here. Now was as good a time as any.
    The human in question was sitting on top of a tower; it didn't look very impressive, not as big as some of the ones who wore the same colour, and rather quiet-looking in comparison. She decided it would be safe to approach.
    The human noticed her, of course; at first it seemed interested, but then it was clear that it flew into a panic. It retreated to the dry portion, grabbed some implement, a landing net most likely, and started striking at her with singularly bad aim. That meant no distance weapon, for now, which was good. It also meant it was scared, which was also good. Antheona evaded the strikes easily, grabbed the handle and pulled on it, and with the same momentum propelled herself right up the slanted top of the tower, sliding halfway out of the water.
    Time to see the human from up close.
  3. Stella was more than ready to have a good dinner. She was getting more than sick with all of the fish and canned beans and non-perishable food items. She would have to go down into the water to look for some canned spam, or atleast something that would help add flavor to the fish. Oh, Stella would have killed for some crab or lobster- or at least some sauce. But why was she thinking of that now? She had a salmon, and she was more than happy!

    But wait... Did salmon pull on the net? Stella Maris lurched forward, and nearly tumbled to the ocean. It was a good thing she caught herself, or she would be wet and cold and possibly get sick. But did the fish really do that? No, maybe it just bit the net! Totally logical. And helpful! She could just bat at it a few more times and it's as good as suppertime! Stella was to look over and glare at the fish, thinking that maybe a death glare would knock it cold, but she was surprised to see fingers.

    Was it a person? A human being?! Were they lost out at sea? Oh, she was absolutely overjoyed! Well, in a way. She felt bad for the person, absolutely, but she was happy that she wouldn't be alone anymore! She could have conversations with this person, and speak to them, and after she was to be picked up, they could leave together! Oh, this was a start of a good long friendship!

    But wait... That was a fish! A fish with... A neck? And hands, and arms, and a face? And a human torso? Oh god, what was that? Stella dropped the net, and stumbled backwards to the ground. She didn't notice the pain in her tailbone right about then, only because she was trying to believe her eyes. " I'm having a stroke. I totally having a stroke... " She muttered to herself. Maris was obviously panicked. Was she just having a heat flash? Yes, that's what she was having.

    Stella stood upward, and kept her eyes on the fish.... Person?- but she kept her distance, obviously. What if it wasn't a mirage? But... That was preposterous! Yeah, yeah that's it... But why wasn't it leaving?! " Oh god, I'm not having a stroke... I'm TOTALLY not having a stroke... " Stella instantly walked around on her implied corner, and talked to herself. She was more than panicked. " Y-You! " She started, pointing at the person- fish?

    " You're not real! Y-You're..... You're a figment of my impressionable imagination! That's it.... Oh god, I'm going insane.... " Stella Maris then fell to the ground again, and sat again. It was no use. This nightmarish creature was going to kill her, and thats the end of that. But she wasn't leaving without a fight! She armed herself with the net again, and batted at the air in front of her. " I have a weapon. I can defend myself! "

    She knew that she was going to be fishfood soon.
  4. Antheona sat up and pulled most of her long, greenish-black hair behind her ears. The human was speaking really fast and she was trying hard to pay attention. She had made it a point to study human language at least some. It was an ongoing project to her people, studying what they could of human speech; it would come in useful for their war. They even sent scouts to not too highly populated beaches sometimes just for the purpose of talking with humans, pretending they also were humans; as long as the mercreature could half-hide behind a rock or the water wasn't too transparent, that worked. If it didn't, the human had to be drowned. Only strong, agile warriors were sent, of course, since carrying a weapon would alert humans, so they had to be able to overpower them barehanded.
    Despite that, she didn't understand half of this babbling, and after a little of it she decided that the fault wasn't in her. As far as she could tell, the human was going mad in front of her very eyes. That was amusing, but hardly useful. Maybe she had been abandoned by her companions because she was mentally unstable and a threat to them? She didn't really seem like a threat to anything but herself at the moment. Still, Antheona could see how somebody wouldn't want to listen to it all day long. She can just leave and let the human descend into her madness at her leasure; what would she learn from someone who can't speak a whole sentence?
    But that would mean giving up. And she wasn't known to do that. So instead she sighed and pushed down the net along with the human's net-handling arm - it was really hard to concentrate with it waving in her face.
    "Stop that. I'm not scared."
    #4 Aigilas, Jun 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2013
  5. Stella couldn't believe her ears. " You're not scared? " She repeated. Oh, her peers would have her neck if they knew she was acting out like this. And in front of an unidentified species! " You're not scared. " Maris repeated to herself once more. She turned back to the thing, and spoke frantically. " I know that!" She said, as he scooted away from the being. " I'M SCARED! " She used her hands to motion to herself wildly. Well, she knew that now the creature could talk, and that it wasn't scared. Oh, where was that notebook of hers? No pen ink or not, she could have just scratched it into the paper.

    " Please, just, go away. Leave me alone! Here, I-I'll pay you... Wait, no, no, you're a fish. They don't use currency... " She looked at the other once more. " You're not a fish, right. Uh, Homo Craniata? Or was it Homo Chordata? Oh good lord, I can't even classify you... " She looked around again. Could she escape? The person before her obviously looked like it could swim fast, so Stella didn't want to test it.

    " What are you? Why are you here? What do you want? " She again lifted the net, as if to tell the being before her to keep her distance. " Don't hurt me, please... " She begged silently. Oh, was she about to cry? If her peers saw this, they would never let her live this down.
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  6. Scared, was she? Of course, that had been obvious for a while now. As much as Antheona preferred her humans scared, she also preferred them at least somewhat coherent, at least when she was trying to talk, not kill. Which, she decided, would have to come later, first she needed information. So she would have to reassure the surfacer, at least to some degree.
    "I'm a mermaid, this is our sea. Why are you here, human?"
    Well, that didn't come out precisely reassuring. Wonderful idea to threaten her some more. Again, from the top.
    "I won't kill you now." On second thought, that wasn't necessarily reassuring either. Regardless, Antheona hated to lie. Some were good at it, but she wouldn't do it, and she couldn't truthfully say that she wouldn't kill her at all. Of course she would, just as soon as she knows everything she wants to and makes sure that the surfacer doesn't have any unexpected nasty surprises, like distance weapons. But saying that wouldn't help. All right, third time is the charm.
    "I just want to know things."
    That would do, won't it?
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  7. Stella looked at the creature. Why did it want to know? Stella, if it was anyone else, would have promptly defended her ground. But, she didn't want to risk this. " Alright, alright. I'll tell you, " She started, as she soon put the net down. She moved away even further, till she nearly stumbled off the edge. She caught herself, though. She just wanted to stay as far away from that thing as possible.

    " I'm a scientist- a biologist- I study living things. I just graduated from college- it's... a large place, full of plenty of people. " She paused for a moment. What else? Oh, yeah, right, why she was there in the first place. " They sent me, just me, and I was to look at the area. Study the waterlife, the wildlife, everything. " Stella said.

    " That's it, I swear, they said they would have gotten me weeks- probably months ago. Maybe they just want me here to do some extra looking, I don't know. They only told me to do my job, not fraternize with the locals. " Stella looked around. When was this creature going to leave? Oh, she just wanted to go home. " Please, I haven't done anything wrong. I recycle- every can that I've used so far is in a bag. The only slip-up was when i dropped my notebook, but I picked it out of the water. "

    She tried her best to keep from crying infront of the monster- the mermaid. She probably seemed weak and defenseless. " Please, just go away, I told you all I know. I won't tell anyone that I talked to you- if they did, they would label me insane! " Stella paused. It wasn't going to work. Oh, she was useless in the scientific field. She couldn't even defend her own life, let alone her career!
  8. Antheona took a moment to think that over, then she shook her head slowly, with one eyebrow arched and a thoughtful smile on her lips.
    "So you are here to study living things and tell others about them. But you want me, a living being you clearly don't know about, to go away, and you promise you won't talk about me. You are strange, human."
    Strange, yes, but that said, she was quite pleased with it anyway. The surfacer seemed honest, and that meant she not only wasn't going to call other humans, she was probably unable to call them: they just left her here. And probably not because she was mad; at the moment she seemed to be calming down and already quite lucid. She didn't know the word "recycling", but she thought from the context that it would probably be something about not throwing things in the water, and found it to the human's credit. She was actually trying to behave, wasn't she?
    "So they left you? Why? Do they want you to die?"
    That was the only reason she could think of. As far as she was concerned, one doesn't leave someone else alone with no way to call for help in a place so hostile to her survival, unless the prospect of her dying is actually expected. She didn't put that past humans; she wouldn't be surprised if she heard they eat their own young. What can one expect? But it was clearly still wrong in some way, because this one apparently expected the others to be back, and she was a human, so she would know if it was normal behaviour to not be back. Or maybe she was just in denial?
    Antheona decided that this was actually interesting.
  9. " They left me because I agreed to be left. They don't want me to die. I'm doing all of this research for their asses, why in God's beloved name would they ever want me to die?! " When Stella said it out loud it sounded slightly.... Off, yes, but it was completely logical. " Oh god, I should have went to law school... "

    She shook her head, and looked to the being again. " So, yes, we're very clear with each other. I'm strange, you're from folklore. We both know that for a fact, now, leave this strange human alone and go back to your other folklorish friends- or family- or mate- or pod or whatever. I have better things I could be doing. Like... Well, I can't do them with you around. " She said, as she soon began to stand up and try to get away from her. Well, she thought that the being might be a her. It had the figure of a her, and it had the hair of a her. Let's just say it was a her.
  10. "I'm not from, how you say it... folklore, I'm from the sea." Antheona furrowed her brow. "Where is folklore? And what do you want to do so much without me?"
    That last part was everything but an idle question. The human's behaviour suddenly had her concerned that she had a secret; she just insisted too much to be left alone, even when it was clear that she wasn't immedately trying to kill her. Well, several secrets, probably, but at least one had to pertain to the moment. Such as calling in a thousand more humans. Maybe she actually waited for her to show up so she could call in her human friends and follow her to the nest with their underwater suits. But that didn't seem probable, seeing how shocked the human was when she did show up. What then? Oh yes; looking for her distance weapon so when she turns her back and is out of grappling range, she can shoot her. Which she isn't doing now, for fear that the mermaid would be faster. Antheona stealthily repositioned her weight and took a flexible pose. She might have to spring upon her at any moment. She wasn't afraid, just cautious; in close range she could certainly take out a human, especially if the human was in such a precarious position.
    "I don't trust you, so I'm not going."
  11. Stella was absolutely furious. She just wanted to be alone- well, NOW she did. Earlier, she would have killed for some company, but not the company that would probably be the end of her. Stella then proceeded to take out everything from her pockets to show that she was no threat, but most of her items were useless. A set of keys, some eye drops, chapstick, gum- with a few pieces of gum still left in, and a few wrappers. " See? No threat. And I cant call for help because the only signal I get out here is an old-timey radio station.

    " I want to get some food. I want to go and collect some items from the sea. I want to go and take notes. I need some things, and I want to look for them. If anything, it's me who can't trust you! How do I know you won't pierce my oxygen tank when I go diving? How do I know you won't get your friends to come over and eat me up! You probably have some myth that- that if you eat the flesh of a human, you'll live for another five thousand years! "

    Stella looked at the creature, and sighed. " Here, you know what? I'll make you a deal. If you leave me alone- and promise to not interfere while I'm working, I won't say a word about you. Okay? I'll keep your species safe, if you keep me safe. " Stella knelt down near her belongings, and looked them over. Was she even able to use the car keys out in the middle of sea? " Here, it's a token of my trust. " She took the keys, and shoved them over towards the mermaid. " As long as those keys are with you, that's how long I promise to not tell a soul about you. As long as you have those, that's how long you don't hurt me. "
  12. Antheona nodded and relaxed back on her tail a little. She didn't recognize most of the items, but they seemed small and non-threatening. "All right,"she said, taking hold of the little metal things the surfacer gave her. She looked at them, turning them both ways, as she spoke. What were those for, prying shells open? They were a little thick for that. They would make for a terribly blunt knife. What else? Well, what does it matter? "As long as I have these, I'll not hurt you." That was fair; and she could always give them back... She threaded a lock of her hair through the ring and tied it in a knot; her usual method of carrying small items, though she didn't have anything else to carry at the moment. It came to rest at the right side of her neck, the keys dangling just above her shoulders. That should keep them safe as well as visible. "Now you'll see I still have them."
    There was one thing she definitely had to correct though. "Eating humans doesn't make us live longer. A lot of us don't like it and they live just as long." There, that should reassure the surfacer. Well... or maybe not. Antheona had many useful skills, of which diplomacy was not one.
  13. The way that the mermaid did that to her hair made her run a hand through her black hair. It was short, yes, and cut close to her head. Long hair weighed her head down, and she really didn't like using so much shampoo or so many hair products. Short hair fitted her face type, so she believed. And she really didn't enjoy fighting with a hair monster every morning. Short hair was the best hair in her opinion.

    " Human's don't think you exist. They don't know how you taste, and frankly, I'd like to think that they want to keep it that way. " Stella said, as she neared the edge of the block, and looked over. She had plans to jump in the water, and change into the dry clothes on the other side, and maybe fish a little, but the mermaid might do something tricky. " I'm going to the other building. " She pointed to the building, that was slightly taller than the one she was on. It had at least two windows peeking out of the water, stacked atop one another, and she had been sleeping in it at night, and also keeping her things in there. " I'm swimming there. I'm hungry, and I want to fish something to eat. The only weapon that I could possibly have then would he a hook, alright? "
  14. "All right." Antheona rolled off the top of the building and got out of the way, a little exaggeratedly even, as one might step out of the way of a staggering drunk. Humans were usually very ungainly swimmers. She was pleasantly surprised however that her little blunder didn't scare the surfacer after all; one might think it's disconcerting to talk to someone who unintentionally reveals that eating your species is not even an exceptional thing. Oh well, that's probably because she studies living beings, so she must be used to interacting with animals who eat humans. As far as Antheona knew, every creature that ate meat ate humans too; well, they weren't poisonous or anything, and their flesh was so available, no fur, no scales, no feathers, nothing to cover them. Well, sometimes they wore clothes, but in the water they usually took most of those off quite on their own. So they were quite appetizing apart from the fact they didn't taste as good as fish, but tastes differ, some actually liked that.
    As a matter of fact, however, Antheona knew what mermaid flesh tasted like. When one of your own dies, you either leave the body and let the fish chew on it, slowly distorting the features of someone you used to know and like, or, well... merpeople preferred to eat it themselves, both as a meal there was no reason not to have and a sort of goodbye. There was some finality and consolation in seeing the body of a dead companion disappear into those who still live. So she was glad that humans don't know what it tastes like; merpeople don't die to carry on the human species.
    She shook herself out of that train of thought to watch the surfacer. She still wasn't convinced that they didn't leave her here to die, especially as it seemed to her that the surfacer wasn't completely convinced either, and whatever the reason, this was still strange, so she was still going to study her. Anyway, there was something very suspicious about the whole thing, whichever way she looked at it, there was always a piece that didn't fit.
    Or maybe the human really was just mad.
  15. Stella was not only picked for the job of investigating this place just because she was qualified scientifically, she was also classified for her swimming ability. She had been apart of a life guard job for most of her high school life, and up until the end of college. She had also been apart of her school's swim team since she was a little girl, and she was quite literally a ' star of the sea ', so to speak. That's what Stella Maris did translate too. It was a good thing she only went by Stella. It would be a mouthful to say. Or, that's what everyone did call her. They only called her Stella because of the movie " A Streetcar Named Desire ", where Marlon Brando bellowed " Stella! " Oh, what a good movie

    She was slightly curious about the way that the other seemed to go into the water, but she didn't ask. Stella Maris soon took up the correct position- her hands together and her feet in their stance- and dived in. She felt slightly intimidated- well, who wouldn't be?- but she swam normally. It didn't take long at all for her to get from point A to point B, but when she reached point B, she had intentions to stay there.

    Stella climbed into the window, and changed into some of the clean clothing. Her wardrobe wasn't anything different from each other. Plenty of shorts and thin shirts, and one pair of pants and a long sleeved t-shirt. She doubted she would use them, but that's just for when she was to go out and collect data in a storm. After she changed, she threw her wet clothing on the roof of the building, and soon threw her pole and tackle-box on there too.

    Stella climbed through the window and climbed her way to the top, but once she was there, she made herself comfortable. Laying out her clothes accordingly, and getting the pole all set. She had ran out of real bate in a matter of time, so she had been using the fake bate- the plastic, gummy bate. She attached it to her line, and put the hook on it at all. She then threw the reel, and the line out into the sea.

    Now she was to wait.
    #15 Dip, Jun 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  16. Antheona watched as the surfacer swam, expecting an awful display of clumsiness, but actually it wasn't that bad at all. For a human, anyway. She leant on the stone tower with her elbows and looked after her pensively. So apparently the landwalker was used to the sea; was that a disadvantage? She would be harder to drown, but not that much harder. Anyway, that didn't matter right at this second, they had agreed not to hurt each other.
    She wondered what she was doing in the other tower, the taller one. They never went in there, even the highest tide left the topmost floor mostly dry, and it wasn't one of the more pleasant things to crawl around in dry places. Was there anything interesting there? Probably not much more than the other floors of other towers, but still, it suddenly annoyed her that the human can see and she can't. She stared until the surfacer came out again, this time onto the top.
    Apparently she had said the truth; Antheona knew fishing rods, she even had a hook get caught in one of her fins once, but that was her own fault for not being careful when investigating a boat. She usually knew better. She was somewhat unwilling to leave her investigation project, but it was hard to fish with her here, she was a predator, fish knew that and they wouldn't stick around; and, well, she did promise that she wouldn't hurt the human, and starving her by not letting her get lunch definitely counted as hurting. Even if she had a strange, unpleasant feeling about leaving just to let a human fish. On their territory. Well, that definitely wasn't going to work on the long run. She shook her head and sank back into the water. She was hungry too, after all.
    #16 Aigilas, Jun 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2013
  17. Stella felt a new happiness welcome her when the being left. Even if it was just for a short fishing season. Short or not, it was quite relaxing. In the time span of when the mer-persson sank down into the water and poked her head up a second time, she was able to catch at least four small fish and two bigger ones. She had plans to keep them all for later days, let it be tomorrow or later that day, she really didn't want to go through the fishing fiasco again.

    Stella had let all of the fish flop on the top of the building, slowly suffocating themselves. It really was a bad thing to do, in reality, but what more was she to do? Stella left the fish on the building, and only crawled into the building to get somethings. The things were some wood that she manually torn from the building, and a lighter. She had ran out of the gasoline to start the fires instantly, but she still had a few lighters leftover.

    Stella, one by one, threw the firewood on the top of the building and soon she got on there herself. The fish were flopping less and less right then, which meant that they were to be ready to cook soon. Along with the firewood, there was also a stick that she whittled down, to make it pointed on both ends. She often used it to go spear fishing, but for now, it was used to cook the fish. She took one of the bigger fish and two of the smaller fish, and stabbed them. Through the mouth, and out the back end.

    After that, it was time to start the fire.
  18. Antheona swam off to hunt for herself. It was one of her favourite activities, not as much because she liked eating or killing, but mostly because it was a test of her agility each time. And she liked winning. Of course, it was just a simple part of life, but that didn't mean she shouldn't take pleasure in it. She enjoyed her own body, the feeling that it was still just as flexible, just as fast, just as streamlined as she could want. If she ever wanted to explain herself - which she didn't, she did what she wanted and that was that - she would say it was a form of self-expression. And for exactly this reason she took much longer than necessary, in spite of the human she was about to continue investigating.
    By the time she rose out of the water again, she half-expected the surfacer to be gone. Not that there was a way for her to leave, unless the loud flying things come back, or a ship, but she would notice these. Still, one just doesn't leave a living being and then expect it to stay where it was, not unless it's rooted to where it is like plants and anemonae. Well, hopefully this metal object was something necessary for humans, so that it would function as a way for keeping her here until she gets it back. Although if it was, would she give it away?
    The surfacer was still there, however, and had a fire burning on top of the tower. From below, Antheona didn't see the fire, of course, but the smoke and the crackling sound was rather hard to mistake. The mermaid knew fire only from the occasions she had seen it on the shore, but she didn't go near, as there were always several humans around it. She had always wondered what it was exactly, how it worked and what it was for. Well, high time to learn about that. She pulled herself up on the railing of one of the balconies, sitting up half out of the water, and shouted upwards to the (from this angle) unseen human.
    "What's that for?"
  19. Stella nearly dropped the stick back in the water when she heard the voice. At first, she thought it was someone else, but now she realized that it was the fish being. Stella looked over the edge, and looked at the mermaid. " It's for the fish. I can't eat it raw, or I'll vomit. " She said, plainly. It was obvious. She really didn't want to get sick, and she really did prefer her fish cooked. She didn't know any human who liked raw meat.

    Once the fire was large and warm, she put the stick over it and rotated it over the fire. Oh, she loved just sitting at the fire and watching the ocean. A few nights ago, she could have sworn that she saw a dolphin. It must have been one of the sea creatures- or maybe, it was the one with her right now. Speaking of that... " My name is Stella. Stella Maris. I'm guessing you have a name other than ' fish-fellow ', am I right? " She asked, as she turned her stick over the fire.
  20. Antheona didn't exactly understand in what way the fire helped the edibility of the fish; she would have to try that one day, just for experiment. But not now. It could be a trap. She floated out a little further, so as to see the fire; it was visible now, glowing bright orange, she could even feel some of its heat. She considered momentarily if the Sun was the same kind of thing as fire.
    "Right. I'm Antheona. Not fish-fellow," she answered. It was strange, in a way, this introduction, because that made the human a person to her, like something one can make friends with. That was not her intention, but anyway. "Is that made of Sun? Did you take a piece of the Sun?"
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