A Less Than Mer-ry Situation








I near the Southeast vicinity of Earth, quickly descending as I continue to phase toward my destination.

I can already hear the commotion from miles away. A chorus of angry bickering and yelling echoes loudly across the dark water and into the equally dark night, and I can feel all the sound waves quickly oscillating through the misty, salty air.

The sun has long set on this side of the planet, and a blanket of blue-black sky encompasses everyone and everything. It’s the sole reason the merpeople are able to congregate here in large groups as they do now.

Daylight hours are out of the question for obvious reasons, and perhaps not-so-obvious reasons, as well. When it comes to humans and their insatiable, cancerous appetite for dominion, there are outcomes far worse than being captured, killed, poached, eaten, or all of the above. That said, congregating like this in the darkest hours of the night in a secluded area is still quite risky considering how many human individuals and organizations are actively looking for them, and from Zarek’s intel, several national governments just recently reprogrammed almost all of their space satellites to heavily monitor all oceans, including the now disrupted Atlantic, for any and all unusual marine activity twenty-four seven.

Why am I not surprised?

The people are predictable as ever.

I need to get this situation under as much control as possible in six minutes at most so that they can all disperse and go back into hiding. If they’re going to continue to survive, it’s necessary for them to prevent being spotted by satellite cameras and consequently raising any more human suspicion.

The moonlight is vibrant and far-reaching, illuminating the rippling water and the many groups of disgruntled and furious mermaids and mermen. Most of the mer-clans have concentrated themselves into survival camps in very secluded channels throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The temperatures and ocean currents there aren’t exactly ideal or conducive to their usual standard of living, but they’re significantly warmer than the Arctic waters and, in dire times like this, they just have to make do with what they have in order to survive.

They’ve pretty much occupied the entire area and have even fully maxed out their capacity, going as deep as the high water pressure will allow without killing them.

Not only are they in competition with each other for space and food, but also with the many indigenous aquatic creatures of the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as other newly migrated aquatic creatures that have been similarly displaced since the Atlantic disaster.

They’re all trying to survive, cramming themselves into already limited space, fighting for increasingly scarce food and nourishment while simultaneously trying not to be food for someone or something else.

To make matters worse, several displaced merpeople have suffered a considerable number of shark and whale attacks in the last twelve hours alone from what Zarek told me on my way here. As a result, the mers are understandably on edge; terrified out of their minds and unsure if they’ll even make it through the night, let alone another day. Some of them honestly just seem like they’ve already given up, with nothing but surrender and defeat in their eyes.

I let out a sigh.

This is going to be a long twenty minutes.

I spot Demetri, Keltor, and Sehgan, Keltor’s Lieutenant, along with a few other Reapers among the clusters of merpeople, evidently trying to instill some order within the chaotic scene, but whatever they’re doing—or saying— clearly isn’t working.

All the noise and ruckus quickly fades, however, and everyone grows silent as I move through the crowd, levitating just above the water’s surface and feeling all eyes on me—from partially submerged merpeople and levitating Reapers alike.

“Sheesh, thank goodness you’re here,” Keltor groans, whispering in an effort to be discreet. “These fish-folks are fucking crazy. They’ve completely refused to listen to any of us so far, but I think you can get through to them.”

I frown at his apathetic tone. “Cut them some fucking slack, Keltor,” I say sternly. “They’re upset. And you would be, too if you were in their position.”

While I understand that he’s stressed out, I don’t appreciate his lack of tolerance or sympathy for the mers.

“Jesus, what the hell took you so long?” Demetri interjects, levitating over to us.

“Had some business to attend to,” I state in a matter-of-fact tone. It’s all he’s getting. I’m not here to discuss my personal issues, and even if I was, I wouldn’t do so with the likes of him, especially when I can barely even wrap my mind around them.

I re-focus my attention to the crowd surrounding us, observing hundreds of faces of merpeople who in turn keep their collective gaze on me. “Well then,” I begin, “let’s get right down to the matter, shall we?”



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