Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Microstory 1767: Piscis Austrinus

I’ve been an honorary fish for a few months now, and I’ve loved almost all of it. There’s something missing in my life, though. I’m the only one of my kind. The other fish have accepted me into their school, but I’m not truly one of them. I’m a giant, and I still look human. Every other member is paired up. That’s how this species works. It’s hard to communicate with them, but I’ve been able to gather some information, like how their pairings are a defense mechanism. When they swim in their circles, they create a bunch of bubbles, which makes them difficult to pinpoint. It allows each pair to move off from the school, and hunt for food, or maybe find a little alone time. I don’t want to mate with a fish, or anything, but I do feel lonely. Like I said, they’ve accepted me, but that doesn’t mean one of them is going to circle with me. I don’t want that anyway. I want to find another human to transform into a fish. Unfortunately, that’s damn near impossible. The reason I discovered this species is because they live deeper than 600 meters below sea level. I’m the first person in history to scuba dive to that depth, and since I never came back up, I doubt anyone else is going to be trying it anytime soon. They wouldn’t likely survive; I was the best in the world before I became a fish. Submarines have come this far before, but not regularly, because there’s usually no point. The chances of finding a mate are just too low to hold out hope. I’ve tried encouraging the school to swim closer to the surface, but they won’t do it. They’ve never done it before, and it’s not how they evolved. I don’t know why they transformed me into someone who can breathe underwater, but they seem to consider that act their one favor, and they aren’t interested in going for another. I’m free to go up alone, but that won’t matter. I’m not capable of repeating the miracle myself. I need them to do it. There’s no other way.

I give up on pleading with them. I don’t think it’s gonna happen, even though the second generation seems to be a little more open-minded. I just surrender to the fact that I’ll live the rest of my life alone. It’s still a blessing to be down here. I’m setting records left and right. As it turns out, 600 meters is a little high for these fish. We spend most of our time at 800, which is a depth I never dreamed of seeing. It’s dark, but my eyes have adjusted accordingly, so it basically looks like tropical snorkeling to me. I don’t even think there’s a regular species with that kind of eyesight. Some have even lost their eyes to evolution, because it’s too dark for them to see. It’s a wonder, all the underground mountains, and other unique terrain. As I’m watching some kind of crustacean crawl around on the floor off the coast of Australia, the school suddenly shoots upwards, faster then they ever have before. I have to work hard to keep up. They gave me the ability to breathe water like air, and to withstand the pressure, but I didn’t grow fins. I’m still using the carbon fiber ones I came down here with. It’s not long before I see what all the fuss is about. It’s another diver. She’s only at 500 meters, but she’s descending quickly. Something is tied to her leg. My God, it’s a cement block. Someone is trying to kill her. I wonder why they left her with her scuba gear. Anyway, her attempted murderer is not going to succeed. The fish do to her what they once did for me. We bite off the rope, and swarm her, using magicks to keep her from dying. I smile, glad to finally have someone that I can relate to again. She does not feel the same way. The first thing she does is swim back up to confront her attacker. I feel compelled to follow. Maybe I can help.

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