Title: The Tides of Memory
Aidan Meredith - Played by: liljennie
Princess Amphitrite - Played by Miki Yamuri
Scene: Ocean Beach, Cabo San Lucas
As families and sunbathers screamed and spluttered in the huge rogue wave's aftermath,. Aidan just lay there, lost in an old memory.
"Whoo!" said a nearby man who had just barely saved his cooler full of beer from being swept out to sea. "Tide must be comin' in!"
To Aidan's right, a mother was making sure her children were safe while a father was trying to roll up their drenched beach blanket.
But Aiden, lying on his beach towel, which was also totally drenched, said nothing but, "Did ... did that really happen?"
He hadn't even thought about it in decades, but the giant wave had reminded him of a time, long ago when he was very young ... he remembered washing up on a beach much like this one. He remembered something else, too ... the face of a young girl ...
"Hey, you OK, sir?" said a voice. It was a teenage boy, in the uniform of one of the resort's employees, leaning over him. "Sorry, just making sure you didn't drown … that wave was like a small tidalwave."
"Oh -- sorry," said Aiden, getting up. "I was just ... remembering." He picked up his soaked towel and started wringing the water out.
"OK, man," said the teenager, turning his attention elsewhere. "Looks like somebody lost a beer," he said, picking up an unopened floating can.
Aidan was lost in thought as he headed for his room along with several of the others, their afternoons abruptly ended by the giant wave that had drenched blankets, umbrellas, and picnic baskets and even flooded into the street several feet deep all at once. He left behind others who weren't troubled by getting wet, but it wasn't the water that had troubled him -- it was the sudden remembrance.
"Did that really happen?" he said again to himself. He seemed to recall almost drowning, and then ... what? "Who was she?"
A very pretty young female with long amber colored hair with very sensual blue highlights peers to shore from behind a large rock at the break waters. She looks at Adian with longing eyes, before disappearing beneath the surf, a glistening tail fin splashes water in bright bejeweled drops as it too vanishes beneath the waves.
Aiden wasn't sure what it was, but something had caused him to turn and look out to sea. It was as if a small voice had called to him. He shakes his head at the gimps of a beautiful blue tail fin as it splashes beneath the frothy waters.
A very beautiful young mermaid, swam slowly to a protruding rock and sprawled across it. She looks at her beautiful sparkly blue tail and dreams of the young man she is now seeking. She dearly hopes .... at least some memories have stirred.
"No, Aunt Jane," Aidan said into the cell phone, "I haven't met any young single women here. You ask that every time I call." He smiled. "Yes, I know they'd want me to be happy. And I am happy. It's very nice here. It's the closest I've been to the ocean since ... you know, back then. And it's really very nice. I'm not feeling scared of it or anything. It's really a load off my mind."
He turned on the TV, muted, to the weather report.
"Well you know, I was only 5 when they drowned. I only remember washing up on the shore, on the Outer Banks, you know. It was hard. But it's been 30 years. I know, Aunt Jane, me too," he said. "I love you too. I'll call you tomorrow."
He hung up. The TV said tomorrow would be another sunny day in Cabo. He wondered what to do for dinner, then remembered there was a, well not a luau because that was Hawaiian, but a beach barbecue party that night. This resort went all out with its vacation packages.
"Well ... it's after 6, but there's still time for a bit of a nap before the party," he said to nobody in particular.
He turned off the TV. He was feeling pretty tired. He lay down and fell right to sleep. And he dreamed … He dreamed of lying peacefully in a small boat ... then a sudden freakish storm ... then ... water … And the face of a very cute young girl, catching him, holding him … then ... waking up on the beach, not knowing where he was, how he had gotten there, or where his parents were … his legs had felt so weird.
He woke up. Why was he thinking about this? Maybe it was because of the ocean. He'd been worried it was going to frighten him, because he'd stayed away from it his whole life since ... the accident. But he didn't feel afraid. Instead, he felt ... intrigued. Drawn to it.
He looked at the clock. It was after 8 already! How did that happen? The party was already going on. He changed clothes -- loose shirt, comfortable but stylish pants, beach shoes. He headed out of his room, down the stairs, and out to the beach.
Amphitrite, the pretty young mermaid, could feel it as Aidan came to the beach once again. She surfaced next to one of the large rocks just inside the break water. She saw the large bonfires and the many people all around. In all the multitude, she knew exactly which one she wanted. Through the ocean breezes, she reached out ... touched him ever so gently ... tried to stir a memory of a day ...
Just by accident, Amphitrite sees a blue, long sleeved T shirt floating on the water. She grabs it before a wave could take it away. An idea was forming in her mind ... and she really wanted to do this.
"Yes, it is really good," Aidan said to a few other resort guests. "But wow, look at the ocean! So pretty tonight ..."
He wandered away, down by the water. The feeling of fascination with the ocean was really strong right now, and he had no idea why. He stood there, looking out at the water, the way the reflection of the moonlight shimmered around the rocks. He felt a warm wave wash over his toes, like a sweet caress.
In the increasing darkness of the deep, a young Mermaid realized her bond mate was standing on the beach ... a wave caressing his toes. She did her very best ... to influence his thoughts. It was hard ... he seemed to remember more the tragedy ... than the memory she wanted him to. She was a Princess of the 7 seas ... she had to succeed. Suddenly, she managed to bring the one proper memory to his mind ... a wave of absolute joy spread all through her. As she sees the expression on his face.
She allows a small wave to wash her to shore. She uses her arms to crawl up on the beach, just around a rock from where he stood in the water looking far out to sea. Within a few heartbeats, her lovely blue tail transforms. A split forms in the middle. She gasps in pain as it separates into legs with a small tearing sound ... then solidifies. She uses the rock to stand ... her new legs wobbly and shaky at first. When she managed to maintain her balance, she stepped into the neck opening of the T shirt and pulls it up to just under her arms. She takes the long sleeves and wraps them just under her perky boobies and ties it behind her neck. The result ... the shirt looked like a very short, but fashionable beach dress. On her shapely body, it was magnificent.
She walks slowly around the rock ... up behind him ... and says softly, "Hello? The beach is lovely at night ... especially when the full moon rises."
Aidan had just been thinking about the face of the young girl in his memory ... he seemed to remember her catching him as he fell deeper into the water, as the light was growing dark, then ... he wasn't sure.
But now ... he turned to see who was speaking, and saw possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
"It most certainly is a beautiful beach," he said, "but I was looking at the ocean. Look at that ... like silver fabric blowing in the wind."
He paused. Her face ... was there something familiar about her? That amber hair, glinting in the moonlight … She walks up beside him ... her hand gently brushes his.
She says softly, "If we walk slowly, our footprints will glow in the dark."
Aiden looks at her beautiful face. Her deep blue eyes sparkle with the light of the bonfires. She takes him by the hand ... an electrical tingle rushes through him. As she tugs him along, he can see the greenish glow fading in their foot prints as they slowly walked along. She points to the waves as they kiss the shore ... Aiden can even see the diatom fire in the crests just before they break. He also sees the full moon as it reflects across the water ... huge and orange.
She says softly, "This brings back ... memories." She looks wistfully out to sea.
"For me too," said Aidan. "I almost drowned as a child ... it was a storm that came up out of nowhere. Nobody knows why I survived, but I ... I think I was rescued. By a good Samaritan, who didn't want to take any credit. I remember seeing ... a young girl ..."
He looked at her, to see she was looking his way as well. He looked into her eyes, and it was like falling into the ocean again, only unafraid this time.
"What kind of memories does it bring back for you? ..." he asked her, fascinated, but not wanting to break the spell by asking who she was.
She walks up to him ... looking directly in his eyes as she says as soft as an ocean breeze, "I remember ... a young boy .. one that I fell in love with one night."
She kisses him on his lips and rushes off behind a large rock. Aiden follows quickly, only to find the T shirt lying on the beach close to the surf ... and a fleeting image of something blue flicking in the moonlit surf. His attention is shifted to his left by a flash. Aiden can see on the far horizon a dark cloud, visible because of the lightning flashes arching within. He looks at the sand and sees the greenish glow of her foot prints ... until they vanish into the waves. He knows her face ... he just ... knows he does.
Now, it was Aidan who looked out toward the ocean with longing.
"Hey, Aidan," said a woman he had been talking to at the party earlier. "They're starting up the dance music. Who was that I saw you with? I thought I saw you talking to somebody."
"I ... I didn't catch her name," he said. "But ... it was like I knew her from somewhere." He turned toward the party. "Suddenly I feel so thirsty." He went to find a drink. They had such delicious fruit juices here. For the rest of the evening … Aiden couldn't stop thinking about ... her ...
Princess Amphitrite hangs onto one of the buoys as she looks to the beach. before Aidan moves from the water, she sends one more very clear and lovely memory to his consciousness. She hopes he can see it in his mind's eye ... it would mean so much.
In his memory Aidan was 5 years old, and drowning. The girl was even younger, maybe 3, or even 2. But she was rescuing him. She swam like she belonged in the water, no, like she was part of the water. And as he had been struggling, trying to inhale when there was nothing but water, his vision filling with sparkles and black spots from lack of oxygen, he saw her face draw close, her eyes huge with concern … a kiss that sent tingles all through his body.
~~ End The Tides of Memory -Pt1 ~~
~~ The Tides of Memory -Pt2 ~~
Suddenly, there was a flood of images. She had kissed him. He remembered the water that had been killing his lungs changing, becoming life. His body felt different, not drowning but at home. He could not feel his legs, but it was as if he didn't need them. She took him by the hand, and they swam through the water until the morning sunlight shimmered down upon them.
The princess smiles as she is sure he had the memory she wanted. She sighs as her head slips beneath the dark waters below the buoy. She is totally in a dream world thinking of the magical kiss she had given him. As she settles to the deep, an idea comes to her mind. She hopes that girl that usually comes to the beach early in the morning to do a bit of nude swimming was there. She wanted her beach bag ... and the clothes the Princess knew they contained.
As the sun began to rise above the waters and turned the sky a wonderful purple mixed with reds and oranges. A pretty young woman slipped out of her romper and bikini. She quickly dipped in the cool waters and began to swim. A wave sprang from nowhere and swept the beach bag from the beach out into the water. The young woman managed to save a pair of shorts and a top ... and her license and keys. The rest of her clothes and bikini were lost to the deep.
Aidan's dreams weren't troubling that night. On the contrary, he dreamed of swimming hand in hand with a beautiful girl. But, and this was strange, he was sure he was his young 5-year-old self in his dream, and she looked even younger. And it couldn't be a memory, because he didn't ever dream of coming up for air, so it must just be a dream ... right? Her shining blue tail must be a dream ... right? There was no such thing as mermaids ... right?
But then ... SHE appeared. Tall and regal, with a crown of living coral and an intricate silver trident in one hand. She spoke with a voice of wisdom and power that echoes through his mind,. "Princess," she said, "you have shared your kiss with this mortal. Do you know the consequences?"
"But Mommy," said the little girl, "he would have died."
"Nevertheless," she said, "there will be consequences. Your fate and his are now intertwined, and no one knows whether for good or ill. But now you must take him back to his world, my daughter."
"But Mommy --" she began in a cute whimper.
"You must," said the girl's mother. "For now, at least, he must return. His destiny awaits him on land. One day, though, he will return. You have seen to that, though you do not understand. Take him back, or I shall."
"Yes, Mommy," the girl sighed. And then there was one last, sad swim, to a beach, and her sad farewells as the water drained from his lungs and the magic left him ... or did it?
Aidan awoke gently. The sun was beginning to rise, and he felt the memory calling him again. He put on some shorts and a shirt and went for a run on the beach. The sun lit the damp sand afire with its orange rays. And then ... he saw her again. No doubt about it. It was the same woman from last night, but now he saw her in the light of morning. He slowed down and approached her.
Amphitrite had just barely made the transition from fins to feet and put on the bikini and boy short hot pants. She had just started to brush her long amber hair, when HE came around the rocks. She looks up at him as he approached. She could hear her heart pounding in her breast with excitement.
Amphitrite stood and looked at him as she said breathlessly, "Morning on the beach ... is as beautiful as the night."
She approaches him and takes his hands in hers ... the urge to kiss was so strong. Aiden could feel it within him too ... it was electrical. Her eyes were as blue as the oceans and she smelled fresh as any ocean breeze.
She says in an almost whisper, "My name's Amphitrite ... I know your name ... have known it all my life ... it's ... it's Aidan."
Her eyes sparkle brightly as she smiles shyly and looks down suddenly, breaking eye contact. Aidan actually felt it when she looked away.
"You're right, it is!" said Aidan, only half surprised. It seemed like he was half-dreaming whenever he saw this woman, and he felt like he was still dreaming now. "Amphitrite ... you never told me your name, back then. It was you, wasn't it? You saved my life. And I never thanked you. I'm sorry. I was too young to really know what happened until later."
She feels it as her cheeks blush prettily pink. She says soft as a gentle breeze, "It was ... but ...do you know who I am? What it was I caused ... the day I did this to you?"
Without warning, Amphitrite wraps her arms around Aidan's neck and passionately French kisses him. He knew ... beyond any doubt ... this was the girl! The one who saved him ... the blue tail??? was it ... real? He didn't care at this moment as he wraps his arms around her and kisses her back. For long moments, the kiss continues ... the sounds of the ocean filled them.
Aidan shared this kiss with her, not the innocent kiss of childhood this time, but a kiss of a lifetime of longing without knowing what he had been longing for. All around him he seemed to hear the breaking and crashing of the ocean's waves, their power and majesty, which seemed even to be flowing through him. He had hoped to find some romance during this vacation, but never had he expected this.
Amphitrite leads Aidan to a flat place on the rocks and has him sit. She runs her hands gently through his hair as she says, "I need to tell you ... I'm not like you." She looks at something far out to sea as she continues in a far away voice, "I ... I'm one of the Mer Peoples. I'm the Princess Amphitrite ... daughter to the King and Queen of the 7 seas. You have ... actually met mother. I'm not sure if you remember ... but we spent 2 whole days together."
She fidgets on the stone for a bit before taking Aidan's hand once again, "The kiss that saved you ... bonded us together as mates ... for life."
She looks down and closes her eyes. A small crystal seems to form on her cheek and falls to the rock with a tinkling sound. Aidan couldn't think ... this was a fabled tear of a mermaid ... the awesome power it possesses ...
"Am I still dreaming?" said Aidan, pinching himself on the arm. "Ow. This dream is really realistic." He looked at her again. "Are you saying that you're ... a mermaid? Like out of a storybook?"
He couldn't believe it. And yet ... there was what he remembered.
Amphitrite smiles and says with a soft giggle as she pulls Aidan toward the surf, “Come with me oh ye of little faith. I have given you the Kiss of the Mermaid. Come ... swim with me ... relish in the kingdom that is now yours as well."
She places the small tear shaped crystal in his hand. He feels an electric tingly run intensely through his body as they touch the frothy surf. His legs feel so funny. He sees a beautiful blue tail disappear beneath the wave in front of him as he looses his balance and is unable to walk.
"Amphi -- I -- whoa," he sputtered, holding out his arms to steady himself, before falling face-first into an approaching wave that seemed to rise up and catch him. "Amphitrite? Where did you go?"
He was looking around underwater, and oddly nothing was blurred. He looked at his legs -- they were fusing together into a tail just like ... Just like hers.
There she was in front of him, holding her hands out to catch him. She floated there, her hair floating like an aura around her, and below her waist her tail shimmered with fine, jewel-like blue scales. He saw his own, looking down, the scales more of a greenish color, but nevertheless, he had been transformed.
Amphitrite giggles, the sound of small tinkling bubbly bells as she wraps her arms around Aidan and kisses him passionately.
She says in a bubbly sort of voice, "Come silly, swim the swim of love with me."
She takes his hand. He is enthralled as they seemingly dance among the many wonders round about them. He chased her through the deep canyons filled with fish. They played hide and seek among the thick kelp beds. She taught him how to call the dolphins ... whom he discovered were delightfully playful and impish. All the while, she would suddenly appear and hug him tight ... and give him a kiss that would make his heart sing.
But then ... their idyll was cut short all too soon. "What's that?" asked Aidan, pointing to a large fish that approached them, alone, not part of any school. It seemed to be listing to one side, swimming erratically.
Amphitrite saw, and a look of worry crossed her face as she swam toward the fish. Aidan watched in amazement as Amphitrite swam up to the very large Albacore Tuna. He heard her cooing to it in a very strange voice. The fish opened its mouth and within ... was perhaps the largest pearl Aidan had ever seen. Amphitrite took it in her hands and caressed it softly.
A singing voice began a pleading message, telling of darkness descending on the Magic Kingdom ... and evil untold capturing all the peoples ... the only hope now rested on Amphitrite who was free ... because of her destiny and a prophecy. It also begged them to return to the city ... and the Library of Knowledge immediately.
Amphitrite looks at Aidan, an expression of total fear on her pretty features. She takes him by the hand and says, "We must hurry without delay. She swims off rapidly, almost dragging Aidan behind in her rush.
"That fish -- an albacore?" said Aidan as he swam with her. "Don't they live in the Atlantic? It's a long way from home."
Amphitrite only knew that something terrible had happened and that she had to return to her city ... but that city was far away. There was a shortcut, but it was very dangerous. Did she dare take it? Especially with Aidan, who didn't know the seas and might get hurt?
~~ End: The Tides of Memory -Pt2
~~ The Tides of Memory - Pt3 ~~
Amphitrite swam close to Aiden and said in her mind voice, "Do you know what the Pacific current is sweetie? Is important."
Aiden looks at her blankly for a few seconds before she takes him by his hand.
She continues, "Hold onto me tightly. Where we are going now .. is dangerous at best ... and we have to get to the North Atlantic current as fast as we can."
She swims off with Aiden being drug along swiftly behind. Aidan gasped as he felt her voice in his mind -- it felt so warm and comfortable, even intimate. But he had no time to feel astonished, because soon he was being drawn along in Amphitrite's wake, swimming as fast as he could. Soon they were in a cool southward current, driving them along.
It was about this time that Aidan realized that he hadn't felt thirsty since being with her. Then again, they were underwater -- in fact, given Amphitrite's powers over water, it's possible that in a way she was water, and therefore, so was he.
Aidan looked around and realized that they were going very fast indeed, faster than any ocean current. They also seemed to be turning to the right, which would mean turning west, away from the Atlantic. Where were they going in this slow, lazy clockwise circle? Wherever it was, they were getting faster and faster. Aidan noticed something -- something huge, to their right, that they were circling around. It was an enormous creature, like an octopus, but with more tentacles than he could count, and it was slowly turning. It was far away, and yet it was so large he could see its face, and it wasn't a happy face, huge-eyed and unblinking and full of insane rage. Aidan flinched when he saw it and drew back in fear, almost pulling out of Amphitrite's wake, but she took him more firmly by the hand.
Amphiritie said in her mind voice, "You must stay with me sweet heart. If you loose my wake ... you could be totally lost ... or worse ... seriously hurt or killed." She held onto his hand so tightly that it began to hurt. She swam fast. Each stroke of her beautiful blue tail moved them along faster.
Soon, Amphiritie had taken them into very deep and frigid waters. Aiden could feel the water change temperature and the pressure mount as they swam deeper and deeper. He rubbed his eyes several times, as far off in the inky depths, he thought he saw ... light. The deeper they swam, the more it looked like a huge underwater city of some sort.
Out of the inky depths came what looked like a large Whale ... or an Eel. It slithered up and around them. Aiden realizes it was a large and very long tentacle of some kind. What he thought was a large city, was in fact the body of the creature, and the glowing spots of luminescence on it's skin.
The water rushed past them so fast that it was hard to hear anything else.
"It's immense!" said Aidan. "What is it?"
He was afraid Amphitrite couldn't hear him. In his mind, he heard her clearly. "Speak to me here," she said, "and we will always hear each other. It is one of the creature's tentacles. It will try to grab us. But it is huge and slow, and we are small and quick."
Sure enough, the tentacle twisted slowly around, trying to curl around them and block their progress, but it was too large to really block them -- they merely swam around it.
"How are we going so fast?" asked Aidan, trying to think the question in his mind.
"We're getting a little help from that creature up there," Amphitrite said. "It's always turning. It's one of the great beasts that makes the ocean currents. It was once friendly, but it's been so corrupted and sickened by all the pollution it's eaten that it barely knows what it's doing anymore. But it still turns."
"That's so sad," said Aidan. "I wonder if there's a way to help it -- look out!"
Aidan suddenly saw through a gap between the tentacles that they were heading toward something
large and dark, possibly a rocky outcropping jutting upward from the ocean floor. Hemmed in by
tentacles, was there a way to avoid running into it at this speed?
Amphitrite sees the outcropping as it looms huge. She grabs Aiden by his arm painfully and dashes through one of the tight loops in the tentacle. Aiden still felt a sharp pain in his ... tail? as it slapped against solid rock. After a few wild gyrations, Aiden realized there was a bright blue sphere of energy surrounding the both of them. Aiden looks back .. he sees a massive underwater avalanche where they had just been.
He hears Amphitrite in his mind say with a slight whimper, "That was hurty close."
She hugs him and kisses him softly. Aiden realizes that Amphitrite was injured. he could see the blood on the torn skin of her tail.
She continues, "Together, our force managed to save us from the impact. We were going so fast though, some of the energy got through." She points to a similar place on his tail.
"Oh no, you're hurt!" said Aidan, worried, though he felt the sting of pain in his tail -- a new sensation, as he had only had a tail for a few hours.
"How are we going to get out of here ...?"
He saw Amphitrite looking up at the huge creature that rotated above, its tentacles spiraling with it, although he and she were safe in a crevice in the rocks for now.
"We need its help," she said.
"But it's ... corrupted, you said. Insane. How are we going to get it to help us? We're both injured," said Aidan.
"It's corrupted by all the pollution," said Amphitrite. "See it? It's all around us."
Aidan looked. He didn't see anything at first. Then he noticed the tiny flakes of material in the water. He'd thought they were plankton or perhaps pieces of plant debris or sand. But no ... he filtered some into his hand and looked at them more closely in the dim light.
"Plastic," he said. "These are tiny shreds of plastic."
"Is that what it's called?" she asked. "Well, it comes from the land. And it needs to go back there."
"I've heard about this," said Aidan. "This part of the northern Pacific is full of pollution ... we've tried to clean it, but filtering it just traps all the fish. The only way to fix it is to prevent more of it from getting into the water ..."
"We are water," said Amphitrite.
She closed her eyes and raised her arms, and Aidan felt a wave of force burst forth from her, rushing past him. He gasped as he saw that the water around them was clear of debris.It looked as if she was struggling.
"Can I help?" he asked her. "Is there any way for me to help?"
But she didn't answer; she was concentrating too hard. But then he remembered when she had helped him, so long ago. He had been drowning ... and she had kissed him … He swam up to her, bringing his face near hers ... and gently kissed her, thinking of nothing but giving her his strength, so she could do what needed to be done.
The heart of the Northern Pacific Ocean leapt for joy.
The human race would be wondering what had happened that day. Every northern Pacific beach was suddenly covered with non-biodegradable plastic residue, which they would be cleaning up and debating what to do with for years afterward. Some of it would doubtless find itself dumped back into the ocean. But for now, at least, the water was clean.
Aidan's eyes fluttered open, and he watched as Amphitrite's eyes did the same. But she was ... smaller. She was her child self, just as she had looked when they had met as children.
"Amphi ... you're ... you're little!" said Aidan. His voice sounded small and high pitched in his mind's eye.
She giggled. "You are too!" she said. "I dunno why. Maybe Mommy will know. She said the kiss tied our destinies together or something like that."
"I dunno either," said Aidan.
Was his voice deepening again? Amphitrite looked like she was getting bigger again too.
"Is it wearing off?" he asked.
"I think so," she said. "We invoked the power of the kiss -- or you did, anyway -- and it's like it returned us to that day, when we first met."
"But just for a moment, I guess," said Aidan. "You look almost back to normal. But look at your tail!" he added excitedly.
She looked. It wasn't hurt anymore! The transformation must have healed their injuries too!
"Aidan, we're going to be OK!" she said. "But now ... we have to get going."
She took his hand and swam with him upward, toward the huge sea creature, now serenely rotating, its tentacles peacefully spiraling like the arms of a galaxy.
"Is it ... better now?" Aidan wondered mentally.
"It should be," Amphitrite thought back, "I hope."
As they approached the creature's face -- and the entire city of Cabo would have gotten lost in the pupil of its eye -- she sent it a thought about how they needed to return to her homeland in the North Atlantic. And both of them could feel its response, full of gratitude and assent.
"It's going to help?" Aidan asked.
He saw one of the creature's mighty tentacles whipping toward them. But it didn't touch them; instead it whirled around them, faster and faster, driving them upward toward the surface and beyond, into the air ...
"Thank you," Amphitrite thought to the creature, and she held both of Aidan's hands and kept them steady as they traveled atop a waterspout, flying quickly eastward. Aidan thought they passed over land, possibly more than once, but it was hard to see with all the mist and swirling water surrounding them. Finally the power of the waterspout wound itself down, and they found themselves at the surface of another sea, calm and blue.
"We've saved a lot of time," said Amphitrite. "I think you would call this the Caribbean Sea."
Amphirtite dove under the glassy surface of the dark waters with Aiden following close behind. Aidan noticed immediately how much warmer the water here was than where they were before ... he also noticed it was far less salty tasting than before.
They dove to the top of the flat plateau that made up the Caribbean basin. There, just at the edge, Aidan could see a city made entirely of beautiful multicolored corals and sparkling gemstones. He could see the blue green fires of Luciferine lighting the path to what appeared to be the main gate.
Amphirtite took Aiden by his hand and swam towards the gate. Aiden noticed the thick planks that made up the huge gate had been shattered and splintered by some tremendous force. Aidan notice immediately that many of the corals were turning white ... as if they had been bleached.
Aidan thought to Amphirtite, "What happened here? The coral looks like .. it's
dying ... and the force required to splinter that gate ...."
Amphirtite replies, "The corals are dying because of the rising sea temperatures and the amount of pollution in the waters brought on by the land dwellers. As far as the gate ..."
Aidan noticed a fearful expression come across her face as they passed through the grand arch into the city proper. Every where Aidan looked, he could see massive amounts of damage to the structures as if a great battle had been fought.
Amphirtite swam quickly down the main avenue. Aidan had real problems keeping up she was so swift.
They finally arrived at a coral structure that was amazing in its design. The main columns were made of Turban snail shells ... the largest ones he had ever seen. The rest of the Building was made from a tremendously gigantic snail's shell and coral that had been cultivated all around it.
They entered the door ... the Library was in total shambles except for one lone Perl. It sat within a golden lattice of fine vine like tendrils.
The 2 of them swam up to the glowing pearl. Amphirtite put her hand on the pearl ... without realizing she hadn't let go of Aidan's hand. In the process ... he too hears the words sing softly but intensely in his mind, " King Oceanus and Queen Tethys do decree by the authority given to them by birth right, this prophecy. To our daughter and the one fate has chosen ... listen and learn. For 2 souls from different worlds entwined as one by the innocent kiss of love shall have the power overwhelming to bring the light where darkness dwells. Good luck my child ... all our hope with you and the other rests."
"But ... King Oceanus and Queen Tethys ... they're your parents, right?" asked Aidan. "Where are they? This is your people's capital city, isn't it? Where is everybody? What happened here?"
Amphirtite says with a whimper in her voice, "Sweetie ... the place where darkness dwells ... it at the bottom of the Laurent Abyss ... where the things horrible beyond thought are imprisoned."
Aidan gasped. "Imprisoned?" he asked. "Your people have a prison for ... monsters?"
She nodded. "There are ... things ... that have been locked up there for thousands of years. And for good reason. But now ... I think some of them have gotten free and are taking their revenge."
~~ End: The Tides of Memory -Pt3 ~~
~~ The Tides of Memory - Pt4 ~~
Amphirtite swims slowly over to one of the stone tables and laid her head in her arms. Aiden realized she was crying softly ... or as close to it as you can get beneath the sea. His eyes got large as he saw a pile of small tear shaped crystals lying on the table's flat surface. Mermaid’s tears ... he remembered they contained awesome power.
Aidan swam next to her and put an arm around her. "Hey," he said, "you don't want to run out of those. We might need them." He tried to smile just a little.
She turned her head slightly toward him. "Y-you don't have to," she said, her voice breaking off into a sob, "to help. To risk your life for me. I can take you back to the land. To your world. Where you'll be safe."
"No," said Aidan flatly. "Absolutely not. I only just found you again, after all this time, without even knowing I was looking for you. Or maybe you found me, or destiny found us both, but it doesn't matter. I'm not giving you up just to be safe. You're --" He paused and blushed a little. "You're special to me. I didn't know it, but you've been a part of me for a very long time."
Aidan hugged her gently as he said softly, "Besides ... I can't leave ... even if I chose to." He points to the pearl in the golden lattice, "It said 2 souls ... from different worlds. Guess I'm along for the duration. "
Amphirtite looks at him with her deep blue eyes. Aidan felt he could almost fall into them and be happily lost forever.
She says softly as she hugs his neck and kisses him lovingly, "Oh, Aidan ... I've loved you since .... we first kissed."
The kiss lasts for long moments ... The 2 realize the water has suddenly become very cold ... and it seemed the light was fading rapidly.
Looking around, Aidan asked, "What ... was imprisoned there, in the abyssal prison? What are we dealing with?"
Taking Aidan's hand, Amphitrite said, "Dark things from the time before humans -- I don't know which one or ones got loose."
She looked around too, feeling the warm Gulf Stream grow chill around her. Water had to be quite cold indeed to bother her people, but this was a chill not just of the sea, but of the soul.
As a rough hissing sound came from somewhere outside, Amphitrite swam to the shelves in the library and took out a scroll. Bringing it back to the table, she unrolled it and showed it to Aidan.
"It is said," she explained, "that the last and most terrible being imprisoned in the Abyss was a being of pure storm, who strove to become ruler of both the sea and the sky ... Typhon, whose name was whispered in the sea and on the land in tones of fear."
Aidan looked at the scroll. Amid writing that he couldn't read were drawings of a great beast, whose feet were at the bottom of the sea and whose many heads reached the clouds.
"Is that what we're hearing outside?" asked Aidan.
She shook her head.
"No," said Amphitrite, "that must be one of his minions, sent here to finish the job. No doubt he broke free and also released whatever other creatures would agree to help him get revenge for his imprisonment."
"We'll have to get away from it, then," he said. "Do you know what it is?"
"Not yet," said Amphitrite, "but it's big, and it's cold." She switched to speaking mentally. "And I'm not sure it knows exactly where we are, so we should be quiet."
In the growing gloom of the mighty library, one small light stayed steady and began to pulse. The 2 of them turned to see the pearl giving off pulses of bright white light. The 2 of them approached slowly and peered into it's misty white swirling depths. What they saw, brought fear to their souls.
They saw 2 mighty armys facing each other. One, was the mighty Merarmy, armored and heavily armed. The other was the Orcas … the army of the Killer Whales. They too were armored and heavily armed.
As they watched, The Merman army fought fiercely, slaying five Orcas for every warrior they lost. The King and Queen themselves fought with reckless abandon; foes fell with each swing of their great Tridents.
The Orca's had backed the Merarmy into a box like cave. The Orcas then discovered that trapped mermen were tougher than they had imagined, and found themselves fleeing into the forest of kelp to escape their vengeful spears and tridents. This proved disastrous for the Mermen. As the King had feared, it was a defeat the Merpeople would not soon forget; but the cost to the Orca's was heavy as well.
The Mighty Merman Tonda was felled by a poisoned Orcan dart, and the greater part of his army
was destroyed. The rest ... were captured and taken to the prison at the Laurent Abyss to be
kept in torment along with the rest of the mermen, mermaids, and merchildren.
They watched with open mouths and wide eyes as a huge and terrible many headed monster lead the Orcas.
Amphitrite points at the terrible monster and says softly, "That ... is Typhon sweetie."
Suddenly. there is a great impact on the outside of the Library. Things break loose and begin to fall. The water inside the room they were in begins to fill with debris and silt.
Amphitrite grabs Aiden by his arm painfully, and swims frantically towards a grate in the floor in the back. She snatches it open and pushes Aidan into it and follows quickly behind. Just as they turned a corner, Aidan realized a tremendous collapse happened not very many yards behind. The escape was a very narrow thing.
They could both hear the creature, whatever it was, thrashing about madly above. It sounded like it was crushing buildings as it tried to find something it knew was there -- them. Amphitrite and Aidan swam through the tunnels, getting as far away from the library as they could before she stopped and looked upward through another grating.
"We'd better go up here," she said in Aidan's mind. "We're almost out of tunnel."
Aidan lifted the grating ahead of him and let Amphitrite out behind him before lowering the grating again as quietly as he could. They were in some kind of small building or house.
"Let's go," she said to him mentally, "but stay low. We want to get away without it seeing us."
Aidan looked out the arch of the door. He saw what looked like a great serpent made entirely of ice as it writhed and wiggled through the alleys and byways of the city. In its fit, it would thrash into one of the beautiful coral structures, shattering it and bringing it down in massive ruin. Amphitrite once again takes Aidan by his hand and leads him quickly through dark, very cold places. Aidan began to shiver as the water seemed to get colder all the time.
Amphitrite led Aidan to the surface. The sky boiled angrily ... massive lightning bolts lit the storm tossed waters with fire. Massive frothy waves crashed all about amid the gale force wind.
Amphitrite says fearfully, "It's worse than I thought. Typhon not only wants to conquer the Sea Kingdom ... but all the Kingdoms of the land."
A Massive Tidal wave washes over them. Aidan knew without being told, when that thing hit land ... the damage would be more than catastrophic.
~~ End: The Tides of Memory - Pt4 ~~
~~ The Tides of Memory - Pt5 ~~
Amphitrite said with urgency in her voice, "Kiss me ... quick! It's the only way we can stop that wave before it totally destroys a continent!"
Aiden is suddenly kissed passionately by Amphitrite. It was stiff and cold at first. After a few seconds, the both of them kissed the passionate kiss of young love. A large blue sphere of energy formed all around them. The seas calmed and the huge tidal wave reared up suddenly like a giant monster in a fierce roar, before all of its energy vanished. The clouds clear ... the stars and moon are once again visible.
2 very young children break their loving kiss ... and realize .... they are no longer adults.
"What?" said Aidan, looking at his reflection in the ocean's surface in front of him, which was now still. He looked at Amphitrite too. "We're ... kids again!"
"Yes we are," she said, "and because we are, a lot of people won't die tonight. And it wears off."
"But ... what happened?" Aidan wondered.
"Am not sure, sweet water," she said, "but it is probably 'cause of the kiss I gave you when we were both kids."
"It turned me into one of your people," he said, "and I could breathe underwater." Aidan said with wonder
"It did more than that," said Amphitrite, "somehow it connected our destiny together. And it somehow made us stronger together than we would be apart."
"So when we kissed," he said, blushing at the recent memory, "that makes it happen?"
"I think so ..." she said. "Mommy would know more. But she isn't here." She looked sad. A tiny glittering crystal fell from her eye.
"Where is she?" Aidan asked. "Where's your dad, too? In this abyss place? Is Typhon holding them prisoner there?"
"I think so," she said, nodding. "It must be so awful ... but that is where they sent him, so that is where he would want to put them, for revenge."
"Well then," said Aidan, "we will just have to get them out!" His voice was full of youthful enthusiasm.
Amphitrite puts her fingers in her mouth and blew hard. It made a very eerie and piercing warbling whistle. Aidan quickly put his hands to his ears ... the sound pierced them like needles. For long moments, Amphitrite continues the sound at a steady volume.
Aidan feels, more than sees, as the water swirls beneath them. A very large whale shark rises beneath their legs leaving them astraddle his broad back.
Amphitrite says loudly, "Quick, grab hold of his dorsal fin ... we are about to ... "
A large rising wave of water cuts off her statement. No sooner than Aidan had grabbed the large fin, than massive amounts of water rose all around them. Aidan was impressed at the speed they must be traveling. Both of the children's bodies waggled in the passing water like a flag in a gale.
Aidan quickly discovered he was unable to speak. No sooner did he open his mouth, than the rapidly passing water would fill it completely making it impossible to utter a sound. He instead used his mind speech, " Amphitrite? Where are we going ... and ... how long will it take to get there?"
Amphitrite replies in her mind speech, "We are going to the Laurentian Abyssal silly ... to the cold dark ... deep of the void." She shivers in fear as she snuggles closer to the back of the large whale shark's back.
They rode northward, and finally reached a place where he warm Gulf Stream changed course and moved away toward the east, away from the coast, leaving them in cooler waters. It was also diving, deeper into the darkness that yawned before them. It had to be the Laurentian Abyss.
"We're going to have to go by ourselves from here," Amphitrite said to the whale shark, patting it on the head. "Thank you for your help. We promise to do our best."
With a happy squeaking whistle, the whale shark swished its mighty tail and was gone.
"By ourselves?" Aidan asked. "In there?"
"We have a better chance of not being seen," she said.
"Oh! I see," said Aidan. "We sneak in and set your people free."
She nodded to him. "It's good that we share this bond," she said, still inside his mind. "They won't hear us talking."
Aidan came over the edge of the abyssal drop off. As far down as he could see, the water was black as a Kraken's ink. Aidan understood why Amphitrite was afraid. The 2 began to drop into the abyssal .... down into the ever darkening waters. Aidan noticed right away, how cold the water was ... and could feel the tremendous pressure of the tons of water pressing down upon him.
He looks up to where he was sure the warmth of the sun would be. He couldn't see any sign of the golden, life giving orb through the miles of water above them. He looks down once again. The waters didn't appear to be so inky black after all. He noticed small krill, glowing with the blue green fire of Luciferine dancing all about him. Every where he looked, another type of creature seemed to have this light.
Amphitrite points off into a dark gray area as she says in her mind speak, "There .... we must quickly reach those valleys and caves ... before the mind beast senses us."
She takes Aidan by his hand and rapidly swims even deeper into the abyssal. Just as the 2 of them reach the safety of one of the caverns of the deep, A huge submarine sized creature that looks more like a huge Medusa jelly fish than anything else, slowly drifts over head.
Amphitrite says softly, "We got lucky ... it didn't notice us before we got to this cave."
Aidan looks behind him ... he sees a very large pair of red eyes peering from the Stygian darkness within.
"Amphi ... I don't think we're alone in here," he thought to her silently.
"Oh, that?" she responded. "That is a giant moray eel -- dangerous, but only when it's hungry. If it hasn't attacked us, that means it's not hungry right now." She paused. "I hope its last meal wasn't one of my people ..."
"I hope not too," sent Aidan, not looking away from the glowing eyes in the dark. "Where do we go next? Down, I guess?"
"Yes," she said silently. "I have never been here, but I have heard others tell about it, and I have seen maps and pictures."
She swam over to an area that had a few more glowing anemone-like creatures than the rest of the cave and drew lines with her fingers in the silt.
"We are here, and the prison is down here. I don't know where the people are kept in the prison, but it has many levels, and once we find them, there will be many doors to open. We'll need to find the key, which means we'll need to find whatever being Typhon has appointed his jailor and take it, somehow."
"There's so much we don't know," Aidan said.
"I know," said Amphitrite, "but we'll learn more as we go. I wish we knew how Typhon escaped in the first place."
A hissing slithering kind of voice said softly behind them, "Perhaps ... I could help?"
The 2 of them turn quickly, startled to their core. No more than a few feet from them, was the largest moray eel either of them had ever seen. It wiggles around a bit more before it settles to the bottom of the cave.
It says in it's hissing voice, "There was a ... thing that fell from the surface dwellers. It was round in places ... and had long narrow fins in the front. It landed in the middle of the prison ... and exploded." The 2 looked at each other with big eyes. The eel continued, "It was a huge explosion ... much water moved very fast. It was bright ... blinding. When all had finished, Typhon and his 3 most faithful followers, Tidal Master, and the Mistress of of Darkness had escaped. I ... lost my mate then ... they killed her and ..." It's voice trailed off leaving a void of silence.
Aidan didn't know exactly what had caused the explosion, but the eel's description sounded like some kind of missile or military plane. Something from his world had caused this, and somehow fate had chosen him to make it right.
"I'm so sorry," he said. "If only we could bring her back, but ... all we can do is try to defeat Typhon and his allies."
The eel hissed quietly and said, "Punissssssh. Punish Typhon, lock him back up forever, that is all I want to sssssee now."
~~ End: The Tides of Memory - Pt5 ~~
~~The Tides of Memory - Pt6 ~~
Without another word, the several block long eel swam from the cave, leaving a gentle wake behind to brush past them.
Amphitrite looks at Aidan with big eyes and says softly in her mind voice, "Now, there's something you don't see very often ... a Moray Eel that doesn't have a bad temper and is willing to help."
The 2 realized something else too, they weren't growing back to their normal size as fast this time as they did when they stopped the storm.
Aidan says in his mind voice, "Amphitrite, I think I have one thing figured out ... the more power we expend ... the longer we stay as little children."
Amphitrite looks at herself as she comments, "We also .. are a lot younger and have more to grow back up."
The 2 nod to each other, then peer from the cave opening. The waters were sprinkled with glow in the dark critters enough to cast a dim pall on everything. They couldn't see where the eel had gone.
"So ... we go down, I guess," said Aidan, using his thoughts again, so they couldn't alert anyone who might be watching.
"Yes," said Amphitrite, "but carefully. We still don't know who Typhon gave the keys to. Most likely one of the big ones. The Tidal Master, or the Mistress of Darkness ... I think I know who those are. And the eel mentioned a third one but didn't say a name."
"So what do we do?" Aidan asked. "I'm sorry that I'm not very helpful -- I'm just out of my element here. Way, way out of my element."
"Right now we go quietly and see what we can see," she answered with her thoughts. "We can make plans as we find out more."
"Makes sense." he nods.
As they swam slowly downward into the cold almost-darkness, following the rocky wall of the trench, Aidan noticed something large and dark below -- which he could somehow sense despite the fact that the only light came from the small luminescent organisms in the water. As they got deeper, they got closer to the huge dark expanse, until it revealed itself to be a gargantuan building, a complex of Cyclopean proportions. It would have to be huge, to hold Typhon inside, not to mention other creatures.
"That's it," said Amphitrite. "Now to find a way inside without anybody seeing us. The ceiling's collapsed, says the eel, so there should be that way in ... but let's move carefully."
The 2 were gradually growing larger as time slowly passed. Aidan had minor discomfort as his scales itched as they grew. He and Amphitrite were more occupied with the minor details of the itch ... than watching where they were going. They rounded a particularly dark corner just before an obvious blast mark. There, almost totally concealed in the dark shadows ... was Hammer Head!
Aidan couldn't decide if it looked more like a shark ... or a squid ... all he knew, was those huge sharp teeth were very sharp, and this beast wasn't pleasant, or happy to see them. As quickly as they could, they retreated into crumbling places in the huge building to try and escape him. Hammer Head, to be as large as he was, was also super agile and fast.
Hammer Head was so intent on capturing the 2, he failed to notice the gossamer tendrils slowly falling in front of him ... at least, until it was too late. He let out a huge roar, large bubbles raced from his cavernous mouth as he wailed. Many large tentacles from a submarine sized Medusa Jellyfish had snagged him and stung him viciously.
Amphitrite looks at Aidan as Hammer Head begs them to save him from this fate.
Amphitrite says in her mind speech, If you swear on all that is within the sea's might ... that you will help us to free our people."
Hammer Head wails out his agony as another tentacle latches on and begins to inject him with more stingers. Aidan winced in sympathetic pain as he watched. Aidan noticed that Hammer Head was actually a lithe, smooth creature, though very large and strong, and his teeth were terrifyingly sharp and numerous. He whipped his tail around, but that only served to ensnare himself further and run into more dangling tentacles.
"If he does agree to help us," Aidan said with his thoughts, "can you free him?"
"Yes," Amphitrite answered silently. "The Medusa is one of my father's subjects, as is every creature of the seven seas, except for rebels like Typhon and Hammer Head here. But my father is fair and just. I am sure that Hammer Head could earn a royal pardon."
She had said this so that Hammer Head could hear her, and he stopped struggling. He appeared to be considering.
Then, he said, quietly, "Long ago, when I was young, I considered myself one of the strongest creatures of the sea. I was arrogant and thought I needed no one, and could make my own rules. That is what got me and my friends at the time sent to this prison. But now I know that there are powers much stronger than myself. O Princess, if you free me, I swear by all the powers of the seven seas that I will help you and your ally here free your people ... but, O Princess Amphitrite, beware of Typhon. He has a might such as you have never seen. Well it is for you that he is not here."
"Very well," Amphitrite said. Then, to the huge jellyfish, she said, "As the daughter of King Oceanus and Queen Tethys, I ask that you release him."
The Medusa quickly released its tentacles, retracting them up into its body, leaving Hammer Head free, though covered with angry welts. Amphitrite swims over to Hammer Head ... and places something on his smooth skin. Hammer head winces slightly ... then the welts slowly fade.
Amphitrite says in her mind voice, "Now, I want to know who holds the keys ... and where the cells that contain my mother and father."
Hammer Head wiggles around. There is a huge ring with many keys made of living corals.
He flicks his seeming tentacle, and the ring slowly glides in an arc until Aidan grabbed it. Even under water, the ring held many keys ... and was extremely heavy.
Hammer Head says, "Those are all the keys to the fortress ... including the lower torture chambers. We must hurry ... I fear things will not be going very well for your parents."
Hammer head turns and swims swiftly off. Amphitrite and Aidan had trouble keeping up as they followed closely behind. Aidan shouldered the heavy key ring and followed. He suddenly felt aware that he was in a great deal of danger. But he had only discovered Amphitrite and her world -- or perhaps rediscovered it -- and now she and it were in trouble. He had to do something to help. He just hoped it wasn't in vain.
Hammer Head led them into a three dimensional maze of shafts and hallways full of doors and gates. So many of the locks were open -- so very many. How many prisoners had Typhon unleashed upon the world, both undersea and dry land? What havoc could they all wreak upon the world he knew as well as the world he was just getting to know?
"I am really worried, Amphitrite," Aidan said to her mentally. "Even if we rescue your people and your parents, we're still going to have to deal with Typhon and all the prisoners he's released."
Amphitrite said in her mind voice, "With mother and father free ... and they both with the trident's of rulership in their hands. The prisoners would be easy to gather back into the cells. They rule all undersea ... including them."
Suddenly, Amphitrite grabs Aidan by his arms and gives her tail a mighty flick. The 2 of them rapidly dive into a deep dark crevice. Aidan was about to protest as Amphitrite placed her hand across his mouth and shook her head.
In his mind, he heard her mind voice say sharply, "Silence all."
She points ... Aidan looks. He sees Hammer Head by a portal. There are 2 fierce guards with awesomely gruesome weapons guarding it. It was plain that Hammer Head was having ... unpleasant words ... with them.
Aidan's mouth falls open as he sees Hammer Head flick out 2 tentacles, grab both guards around the neck and squeeze. The guards eyes grow large and bulge out as their mouths fall open and their tongues flop out. Hammer head flips them against adjacent walls with an easy flick. He beckons the 2 on as he opens a door ... to the lower chambers.
The water that exited the portal was so cold, it actually caused ice crystals to form in the water around Hammer Head as he entered the portal. The darkness beyond was lit only by the luminescence of the globe he carried around his neck. Aidan and Amphitrite followed Hammer Head down a spiraling corridor that led deeper into the frigid depths.
The cold and pressure were oppressive. Aidan hadn't realized how cold it was until he noticed ice forming between his hand and the huge keyring on his shoulder. He shifted its position to break the flakes of ice away.
"Halt! Where are you going?" said someone ahead of them. "Oh, it's you. More prisoners?"
"... Yeah. Got a couple more," said Hammer Head's voice. "Is there room in the fifth wing?"
Aidan was confused about why this ... creature ... didn't question why one of the "prisoners" was holding the keys. But then he noticed with surprise that although he could feel their weight, the giant keyring had become invisible. And it looked as if he and Amphitrite were bound in shackles and chains, but he couldn't feel them. He looked at her, and she was looking straight ahead, silently whispering something. Perhaps she knew a magic spell, one of illusion.
"Fifth wing? Yeah. Two more shouldn't be a --" the voice suddenly cut off as one of Hammer Head's tentacles whipped forth and snapped the creature's neck.
Aidan could now see that it was something fishy and bony with transparent flesh and a visible skeleton inside. It now floated motionless.
"Over here," Hammer Head said quietly. "Your parents are in the first wing, Princess."
Amphitrite swam to the door that he had indicated, moving around the dead creature's corpse, on which ice was already crystallizing, and Aidan found a key that would fit its lock. The stone door groaned open.
Inside the ebony darkness of the cage, 2 forms could be dimly seen shading their eyes with their hands. The only light ... the brightly glowing orb Hammer Head held. Amphitrite screeches loudly as she quickly swims into the icy prison. She is tugging on the massive ice chains restraining her parents.
Amphitrite cried many crystalline tears as she desperately hammered away at the chains. Hammer Head picked up a single crystal ... then smashed it on the icy floor of the chamber. There was a silent explosion of bright blue light, accompanied by a very pleasant warmth the permeated everything.
Aidan covered his eyes as the temperature rose sharply. When he removed his hands, and his eyes adjusted to the new brightness. He saw Amphitrite and 2 larger Mer persons all hugging and crying.
Aidan knew who the woman was immediately ... the memory from his childhood when they first met came vividly to life in his mind's eye. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who he was looking at ... King Oceanus and Queen Tethys. The absolute rulers of the 7 seas. He shook his head and looked again. They looked exactly as he remembered from when he was a child. he was totally speechless as Amphitrite lead the 2 of them from bondage ... into the hallway.
"So this is ... the one," said Queen Tethys to Amphitrite, looking at Aidan. "It seems you chose well back then. He has come all this way with you."
"No time for that," said King Oceanus. "We must free our people before Typhon returns, and we do not know how long that will be. Your name is ... Aidan, if I recall from years past?"
"Yes ... your Majesty," Aidan said, groping through his memory of fairy tales for the proper way to address a king.
"Any door that is locked must hold those whom Typhon wishes to keep imprisoned. Let all locks be opened." He turned toward Hammer Head. "I take it that you have had a change of heart and assisted in our release?"
"Yes, your Majesty," Hammer Head said, as Aidan began opening the doors to the other wings. "I was young and stupid when I got myself thrown in here. I hope I have learned something. One thing is that I am not the great menace to the seas that I once thought I was. Typhon is much, much greater."
~~ End: The Tides of Memory - Pt6 ~~
~~The Tides of Memory - Pt7 ~~
A large crowd began to form in the rapidly cooling waters as the freed prisoners gathered.
The king suddenly threw up his hand and said in a commanding voice, "Halt. Come from the shadows and reveal yourself."
From the shadows slithers a tremendously large Moray Eel. Within its mouth, it carried the scepter of judgment.
The Queen says, "How did you acquire my scepter mighty Eel?"
The Eel replies, "I have come to help set you and the king free ... in aid of your daughter, Princess Amphitrite and her consort, Aidan."
"Every door in this wing is unlocked now, Your Majesties," said Aidan, returning with the massive coral key ring. "Oh, hello, uh, Mr. Eel. Yes, he informed us about how Typhon escaped -- he has suffered at the beast's claws too."
"You have our thanks, O Eel," said Queen Tethys, taking the scepter the eel had brought her. "We must leave this place quickly, and get to a place of safety where we can make our plans."
The Eel slithers around in its serpentine manner. It says conspiratorially, "There isssss a way out oh King and Queen. Issss a path known only to we Sea Serpents. If you will get on my back, lie close to my skin ... we will be off."
The Eel was tremendously large. He had enough back for all those who had just been released. As soon as the last of them had climbed on, The Eel gave its tail a mighty swish. Off they went, fast as a streak of lightning. Through all the dark shadows and terrible biting cold, the eel tracked flawlessly.
All on his back felt a tingle of fear as he dove into a large whirl pool that circled counter clockwise near one wall. Lights flash and whizzed by, up and down they slipped suddenly. Aidan swore he was riding a roller coaster at Space Mountain the way it made him feel. Suddenly, they came from the side of the cliff that made up one wall of the Abyss. They were close enough to the surface, the warmth of the sun filtered down, and warmed the numbed people on the back of the eel.
As thousands of freed merfolks released the Eel's hide and swam freely, glad to see the sun, Amphitrite told Aidan, "A good sign. The sun means Typhon is nowhere near. Where he goes, there are storms."
"But where can we all go to be safe from him?" asked Aidan.
"I have an idea," said Amphitrite, "but it is one my people may not like." She went to her parents and spoke with them.
"Where would she have you go?" said Hammer Head. "Typhon is lord of storms. He has power over the sea and sky."
"So hiding from him anywhere in the sea could be risky," said Aidan. "I suppose we could all hide --"
"On the land?" rumbled the voice of an outraged King Oceanus. "Have you lost your senses, daughter? We have no power there."
"Perhaps," said Amphitrite, "but neither does Typhon. He would not be able to find us, and we would only need to stay long enough to make our plans."
"Hmm," said the king. "Some of Typhon's new allies may be able to spot us. We would have to be well hidden, or ..."
"Or far from the shore?" said Aidan when the king paused.
"Of course!" said Amphitrite. "He'd never find us there -- and Aidan knows the land well."
"Well … some parts of it," Aidan said. "The hardest part would probably be finding somewhere to put you all so you weren't so conspicuous."
King Oceanus turns towards Aidan and cocks his head to one side. He says, "It seems to me, that I know a place we might be able to go. There's a place near the land you call Nova Scotia, where there is a rocky shore. Very few people live there, and it would be easy to make temporary shelter in the caves." Aidan nods as he recalls the long open places, the large cliffs, and the caves that meander all through them.
The Moray Eel rears up and says in his hissing voice, "I can carry all there quickly ... it's the least I can do to help."
The King turns and says to the eel, "Can you do one large service for me?" The Eel nods, The king continues, "I would need you to locate my Trident of Rulership ... I would need its extra power to defeat Typhon.”
The Eel shakes it head as it replies sadly, "I'm afraid oh King of the 7 Seassss ... Typhn now wields your Trident. In his hand it does not perform as it does in yours, but still it is a formidable force to reckon with."
Aidan says to the King, "I'm not sure what power it holds, but I'm willing to help get it back for you."
The King nods and smiles a large smile. He says softly, My daughter has chosen very well ... even at her young age. There are only but a few ... that would so offer to go up against Typhon ... much less he with my Trident."
Aidan shrugged his shoulders and replies, "If we don't ... I think it wouldn’t bode well with any life on the earth ... or in the seas."
"Indeed," said Amphitrite, "and now we must go, before Typhon looks this way and realizes we've escaped."
The Merfolk were grasping the eel's hide again, and soon all were ready. The eel darted swiftly through the North Atlantic and was soon close to the shore of Nova Scotia.
"It is here where we must part ways for now, O Eel," said Queen Tethys. "You have earned the thanks of a grateful people."
"Your Majesty, the only boon I ask is one which I hope you will soon grant: to see Typhon laid low. Farewell, and farewell to your people, until you are ready ... for war."
The King nods his head and says softly, "It is a shame that war must be the deciding factor in all disagreements with this individual ... but if it's war he wants .... I will give it to him."
There is a sudden wave of intense pressure extending out rapidly from the king. Much silt and debris lift and scatter through out the dark void.
The king says with resolve, "If I and my people do not prevail ... there is no world for anyone ... even the land striders."
The huge Moray eel nods as if he were bowing to the king. He says solemnly, "I pledge my life to the king. Typhon killed my mate with no mercy and no regard for our neutrality ... I will give every thing to see him ... punished."
The king reaches out and rubs beneath the eel's mouth. It reacts just like a kitten being scratched behind he ears as the huge eel squirms and fidgets. The king laughs a deep and wholesome laugh.
He says softly, "Follow us then oh mighty eel. You will be more than an asset to us in this endeavor, and welcome"
King Oceanus led his people to a place that looked like the mouth of a river, but it was straight and regular, like a ditch that had been dug with machines.
"The land dwellers made this gate," the king said, "and the land dwellers open it when their ships come. When it is closed, the water on the other side is like a hidden sea. We can rest there, and recover. When it is time to make our plans, we will retreat onto the land and make them there, unobserved. Now, a ship comes, so be ready!"
Aidan looked and saw what was clearly some kind of large boat, probably a yacht, and then he saw the gates opening -- this was a canal of some kind. The king and the merfolk swam through the gates into the canal -- there were thousands of them. Aidan didn't think they would all fit, but they somehow did -- perhaps there was magic involved.
The king and queen led the way, and Aidan and Amphitrite went last to make sure none were left behind. When the gates closed behind them, other gates opened ahead of them, and they all swam into a huge lake.
"Here we are," said King Oceanus. "This sheltered water will let us rest. But beware, for there is a channel far to the north that communicates with the sea. O great Eel, if I might ask you to patrol this channel and let no news of our coming escape to the sea, we will rest here and recover our strength."
"It shall be done, your Majesty," said the eel, who swam away northward.
"And now, we may finally rest," said Queen Tethys.
She stretched out her arm, holding forth her scepter, and the water around them started to glow with a faint but rich golden light. Aidan suddenly felt vitality filling his body, which he realized was far more tired than he had thought.
"Rest, my people," the queen said, as quiet as a whisper, "and the sea will nurture you as always."
The merfolk looked at their king and queen and at each other, smiling wearily, then found places on the lake bed to sleep.
Princess Amphitrite takes Aidan by the hand and forces him to come before the King and Queen. She says in a soft voice, "Father ... mother ... since we are bonded to our souls by the Mermaid's kiss ... don't you think it's ... time?"
The King and Queen look at each other and smile.
King Oceanus says with a deep and reverberating and authoritative voice, "As I am King of the 7 seas ... and as my daughter Princess Amphitrite has chosen her consort."
The king looks to the queen who taps Aidan on both shoulders with her trident.
The King continues in the same voice, "I now pronounce you Prince Aidan ... of all the 7 seas. I bestow upon you all the power and responsibilities that title entails."
Aidan feels a sudden surge run all through his body. It's like a tremendous explosion within him. His mind goes blank with the intensity of it. When it clears, he realizes his tail has changed to the same royal color of blue Amphitrite's was. The many Merpeople around about started to cheer and clap.
Amphitrite snuggles up close to Aidan and kisses him softly. She says quietly, "Welcome to my family sweetie ... and to my peoples. You are now officially a Merman."
Aidan looked into her eyes and said, "Meeting you is one of my earliest memories. I feel like ... like I've come home." He looked at all the assembled merfolk and added, "But I've come home to find it in grave danger ... so, even though I come from the land, I swear before you today to do whatever is within my power to restore the sea to peace and freedom."
The merfolk seemed to think this was well said as they again cheered and clapped mightily.
Over the next few hours the merfolk remained in place, sleeping from time to time, their wounds healing rapidly due to the magic in the water. Aidan and Amphitrite sometimes slept, sometimes embraced, but mostly they rested, because they both knew that there was a battle ahead.
After all had rested for a few hours and night had fallen again, the surface above began to stir with wind, and soon there were flashes of lightning striking the water above them. The wind lashed the surface with more and more fury.
Aidan asked, "What's happening?"
"It's Typhon," said Amphitrite.
"He's found us?"
"No ... reach out with your senses, and you will feel it," she said. "He has discovered that his prisoners have escaped, and his fury rages far and wide."
Aidan tried to imagine reaching out, and he could feel it -- the breadth and depth of the oceans far and wide. He felt the storm's effects on the surface, all across --
Aidan gasps in surprise at both the fact he can see this in his mind's eye, and that Typhon is able,"The North Atlantic? He can cover the entire North Atlantic with storms?"
"He can," she said. "He can cover all the oceans with storms if he wants, especially now that he has my father's trident. That's why we need to take it back from him first."
"That is why we need to make our plans to do just that," said King Oceanus. "Now is the time to leave the water -- just when the rain and darkness hides our presence. This way, none of his spys can sense our plans. I know none of us likes to leave the water, but sometimes it must be done. Follow me."
The king swam to the shore, transformed his tail into legs, and walked onto the rocky land. All his people followed.
The storm eventually subsided, and in a forest clearing under the moon, the merfolk made their battle plans. The first goal was to wrest the trident from Typhon, which would strengthen their side greatly and weaken his. But he would be expecting this, of course, so there would need to be ... a feint.
From the shore came a musical hissing howl. All looked and saw the Eel as he lay with his head on the sand.
The eel said, "I think I have the best chance of getting close. If I can count on one of the Royals to invoke their power to distract him at the right moment ... I think I can get the trident .. although it may cost me my life."
Aidan stood and said with anger, "Why should another loose his life to Typhon?"
The anger was real and filled his soul. Aidan felt something different within him as his wrath grew. It became more than anger as it took on energy ... then the thought became motion as it took a form and had substance. It struck the sea violently creating a huge vortex for a few seconds. All the Merfolk looked at Aidan with big surprised eyes as he gasps in surprise himself.
Amphitrite snuggles up close and says softly, "That's a good boy, and if we kiss when you do that ... we could create a maelstrom of gargantuan proportions." She kisses him softly as the massive whirlpool subsides into foam.
The next day, Aidan and Amphitrite swam out the northeastern channel of the lake and back into the Atlantic Ocean. Different groups of merfolk had left at different times via the northern channels or the southern canal, each group with different missions. Aidan and Amphitrite's was important: to scout the site of the spot to which Typhon and his allies were to be lured, and prepare for the battle that would be fought there.
They swam for a long time, but of course oceans were no obstacle to a mermaid and merman. Their goal was the South Atlantic. They could both feel it: a gigantic iceberg had broken free from one of the Antarctic ice shelves and was drifting northward, no doubt menacing the shipping of the land dwellers, but its vast size meant that perhaps the merfolk could make use of it.
They made it there: a system of undersea crags and mountains that could have been a group of islands if the underground mantle plume that had caused it had stayed longer before moving elsewhere. The land walkers called it the Rio Grande Rise, and it lay off the coast of South America.
Aidan and Amphitrite saw it for what it was: an excellent spot for an ambush. There were many rocky crags where the merfolk and their allies could hide until the right moment. The mega-iceberg just had to be brought here at the right time -- but not too soon, or it would melt. That was the job of a team of several hundred strong mermen, who had gone out to gather as many whale allies as they could find; some of them were also current-benders who could coax the ocean itself to help move the iceberg.
Aidan and Amphitrite explored the ridges and rills of the undersea mountains, they searched the dark beauty of this area for any trace of Typhon's forces before the merfolk put their plans in motion.
"Typhon isn't here," said Aidan. "How do we get him here?"
Amphitrite looked thoughtful for a while as she flitted around the crags and rills. Aidan was playing with his new power ... to control the waters. He found he could make his thoughts into a semisolid water object by thinking of it in a certain way. He cast several water bombs at the undersea mound and watched as they exploded into showers of sand, rock, and silt debris.
Amphitrite swims up to Aidan and hugs him around his waist. She squeezes his biceps as she coos softly, "And how is my strong MerPrince enjoying his new toy?"
Aidan blushes slightly as he replies. "I have never had ... a power before ... this is totally unique."
Amphitrite giggles. She then gets a serious expression a she says, "I think we need to call an Albacore messenger. Give him a false message to sort of ... allow Typhon to intercept."
Aidan asks with wonder, "How would I call one of those?"
Amphitrite smiles as she puts her index fingers in her mouth. There are many bubbles that come out as a shrill warbling tone penetrated everything like sonar. Aidan covers his ears, but it doesn't help the stinging pain it caused in his ears. Shortly, several large tuna appear. Each one as eager as a puppy dog to be cuddled and petted by the 2 of them.
Amphitrite does something with her hands that Aidan couldn't quite understand. A soft white milky glow solidifies in her hands. Aidan's eyes get big as he realizes, she is holding another of those huge pearls.
Aidan says with amazement in his voice, "You have to show me how to do that." Amphitrite giggles, "Later silly boy ... right now .. we have to send this message to our amassed allies awaiting news of our King and Queen … and allow Typhon to intercept one or two."
She hands the large pearl to one of the Albacore Tuna. It takes it into his mouth and vanishes in a swirl of water. Amphitrite makes several more of the pearls, each sent to a different Merteam to arrive at the ambush place asap. As she gives the pearls to each tuna, it vanishes as quickly as the others. It wasn't but a few minutes before many of the Merwarriors and allies began arriving ... each carrying many fearsome weapons.
Aidan and Amphitrite traveled from one team of warriors to another as they arrived, making sure they knew that only a small part of the messages they had sent out was true. That part had been this location. The rest of the message, that King Oceanus and Queen Tethys were badly wounded and were heading here to hide and recuperate, was planted to draw Typhon here.
The merfolk had known there would be some sort of stratagem like this, but the odds were that Typhon would intercept at least one of the messages and would want to come reclaim his two most valuable prisoners when they were at their weakest.
"Typhon is in the North Atlantic now," said Aidan, "or that is what they call it, back on land. I can feel his presence there, massive and malevolent. When he moves, I feel it too. It is so strange."
"That is an advantage we have over him," said Amphitrite. "He can't feel where we are. He has to rely on his allies who can, or use scouts."
"I think --" said Aidan, closing his eyes. "No, I'm sure. I feel him moving. Starting to, at least. We'll see if -- yes, he's coming. Slowly, but getting faster."
Amphitrite said, "Yes, I feel him too. Still, it will take him several hours to get here. Mother and Father know what to do, and they will help lead him here. Let's tell the warriors."
Aidan and Amphitrite went to each of the warrior squadrons' hiding places and passed the word that Typhon was on the move. The King and Queen would be ahead of him, but not too far ahead, pretending to be injured. Shortly after they arrived, the battle would be joined.
The king and queen had what appeared to be large wounds on their tails and torsos. They swam erratically enough that Typhon knew he had them.
The king mind talks to the Queen, "I think if we act just a bit more haphazard in our course, he will follow faster."
The queen and the king begin to flop and appear to wallow along, but always were fast enough to stay ahead of Typhon. The sky above Typhon cracked with lightning and thunder rolled across his shoulders. His roar of anger could be heard for miles. Many lightning bolts hit the sea as Typhon tried his best to stop his quarry from entering the rifts ahead. He knew they were his regardless, as injured as they were.
Typhon waves his hand, A huge wall of water stands up in front of the fleeing king and queen. It takes on the shape of a very large dragon. The couple barely manage to dodge the animation as it crashes into the sea near by with terrible hissing and roaring noises. Many huge waves spring up and begin to froth in all directions as Typhon's rage grew.
The King takes the queen by her hand and begins to dive towards a dark crag just as she throws a mighty bolt at Typhon from her Trident scepter. It catches Typhon completely by surprise and lands just at the joint of one of his large tentacles. There is a loud cracking noise as fire dances across the water.
Typhon roars out his pain and rage as he tosses another large fire ball in return with the aid of the king's trident. Fortunately, the king and Queen were not at the point of impact. The water rages and boils hotly as the energy bolt expends it wrath on empty water.
Typhon calls a huge tempest as he dives into the submerged valley after his supposed injured prey. Unbeknownst to him ... a massive surprise awaits.
Aidan had his eyes closed. "He is getting close," he said.
"So is the team with the iceberg," said Amphitrite.
They nodded at the commanders, who swam off to notify their squadrons. Then they nodded at each other.
From out of the tangle of sea weed swims a mighty eel. It flashes towards Typhon like a bolt. All the plans are coming together like a well oiled machine as the forces hold back the urge to pounce, as they watch the eel's swift approach to Typhon.
Aidan and Amphitrite embraced ... they kissed. Miles to the south, there was an enormous iceberg, hundreds of cubic miles of ice, being guided this way by a team of merfolk, their whale allies, and shaped ocean currents. Suddenly the iceberg started to submerge. Slowly it disappeared beneath the water as titanic energies produced by the kiss of Aidan and Amphitrite took control of it. Soon the iceberg would emerge. Soon, at the right moment.
~~End: The Tides of Memory - Pt7 ~~
~~The Tides of Memory - Pt8 ~~
Typhon's attention ws totally taken with the chase. He didn't notice the drop in temperature ... he didn't notice the water as it began to swirl around him. He failed to notice many minute details that he really should have noticed. The Queen suddenly turns a casts a massively bright flash of energy. Typhon roars out his pain as he covers his eyes.
From out of every conceivable nook and crag, came thousands of heavily armed merwarriors. Some riding seahorses, some riding Moray eels., Some were riding the back of specially saddled and armored Whales. By the time Typhon's sight had cleared, he was in the midst of a massive ambush ... too late to withdraw. Many hundreds of energy bolts and solid water bolts slammed into his hide.
From out of the corner of his eye, he sees an extremely large, swiftly moving object within striking rage. He feels a terrible burning pain in his side beneath the tentacle that held the king's Trident of Power as the vengeful Eel bit a large chunk from Typhon's body. In rage, Typhon throws the Trident at the Mighty Eel ... there was no way to miss at this range ... And the plan came together. As the forces of the oceans kept up their assaults -- the poisonous jellyfish, stone fish, lion fish, and sea snakes stung and bit at the wounds left in Typhon's thick hide -- he had cast away his mightiest weapon.
If the Trident of Oceanus had struck its mark, the vengeful Giant Moray Eel would have been no more. But instead, its direction changed abruptly, for King Oceanus had stretched forth his hand, calling the Trident home. In a flash, the King's Trident streaked toward him, and in one smooth move the King seized it from the water, raised himself up to his full height, and pointed the Trident challengingly at Typhon, staring him straight in the eyes. This was no mean feat, as Typhon of course had many heads, but the King was not ordinary, even for a merman.
"WHAT?" Typhon bellowed in a voice that shook sea and sky. "All this ... distraction ... for THAT?"
Typhon laughed, and his laughter was vile, soul-killing, and accompanied by lightning raking the surface of the ocean.
"It will avail you not."
With a single great swipe of his mighty tail he sent attacking merfolk and whales alike flying into the air for miles around.
"Allow me to provide the entertainment this evening," said Typhon, his voice shaking the firmament. "I believe you know her as Mistress of Darkness," he said.
Instantly, Inky Darkness fell.
For Aidan it was as if the entire world had just ceased to exist. Then, as if waking from a dream, he opened his eyes. Oh yes, his apartment. He had almost forgotten. Today he had a big presentation at work. His raise might depend on how well he impressed the boss. He had been dreaming ... something breathtaking, romantic, and vast ... but his memory of it was quickly fading. He got out of bed and headed for the bathroom to get ready.
His phone rang. It was his aunt. "Just calling to wish you good luck," she said. "You told me in email that today was your big day."
"That's right," he said. "Thanks! I'm glad somebody's got my back." He felt somehow wrong saying that, as if he should be talking about someone else, but the feeling faded. "I ... had some kind of dream last night, but I can't remember it now. Something about facing some big powerful monster in some kind of mythic battle."
"Sounds like you were already thinking about the big presentation," said his aunt. "Facing up to it like some kind of adventure hero. Don't worry, you can slay the dragon! Or whatever."
He chuckled. "Thank you for your words of encouragement," he said. "But now I must journey to the land of showers."
"OK, well, tell me later how it went," she said. "Good luck!"
"Thanks Aunt Lynnette," he said. "Bye."
He went into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. He didn't look right. He didn't feel right either. Like he was ... too big? No, that wasn't it … Oh well. He turned on the shower and stepped in. But the water was cold. He tried to turn it up, but it seemed like the hotter he turned the knob, the colder the water became. He shivered. It felt not just cold on his skin, but all the way to his core, like a chill in his soul.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw something outside the shower ... oh, it was only his reflection in the mirror. No, wait ... there was something else there. Another figure, somehow getting closer, as if swimming toward him out of the mirror. "What?" he said to himself. "Steam from the shower ... playing tricks on my eyes," he said. But no ... it was a person ... she was beautiful ... it looked like she was in the shower with him, sharing the water ...
She was there with him. He turned his head to see her. Amphitrite looked into his eyes and smiled. "Wake up, my love," she said, and kissed him.
The mirror shattered, and around him the darkness did too, breaking and falling away like ice shards. Ice! The iceberg! He remembered everything. This "Mistress of Darkness" had tried to make him forget, but Amphitrite had broken the spell, and now it all came rushing back … Including the fury at realizing that they had tried to take the very memory of the love of his life from him.
"What --" said the hissing voice of the shadowy tangle of serpents known as Mistress of Darkness, but she was cut off as the ocean's surface exploded into a maelstrom of swirling froth, with Typhon at its center.
Mighty Hammer head rose up ... he tore many large and extremely sharp ice shards from the iceberg. With a flick of his tentacle, he tossed them as rapidly as he could into the ever growing maelstrom. Each shard, was the size of an attack submarine. They were taken up and whipped along faster than the fastest Sea creature. The many shards will cause much damage to Typhon's body.
Aidan and Amphitrite forgot everything that was going on around them as they embraced and kissed. In their hearts, a raging flame of love burned brightly as they began to shrink. The King and Queen looked very concerned ... if those 2 continued using their power in this manner ... no one knew how young ... they might regress ... or if it might be permanent.
From high above came Typhon's voice, roaring like thunder, "WHAT IS THIS? What --" It was interrupted by a multiple cry of agony from many of his heads, for the vortex had collapsed with Typhon at the center, smashing dozens of the huge sharp iceberg shards into Typhon's already wounded body. He screamed and roared in pain and anger,. He must have given an order to attack at some point, because the battle was on.
Typhon's armored Orca soldiers swam forward, attacking the merfolk units, and being attacked in turn by other merfolk warriors who had been waiting among the crags to ambush and flank them. Many large and multicolored balls of energy flashed back and forth. Massive explosions clouded the water with debris, blood ... and death.
Amid the noise of battle came Typhon's voice, laden with anguish and fury, "Tidal Master ... attack!"
The water begins to swirl violently as a massive tidal wave rears up. It was alive and angry as it smashes down upon all the combatants. Super strong currents sweep the ocean depths and raise all within its reach up into its mighty watery body. Once again, the massive wave rears up with many in its frothy crest. King Oceanus points his Trident at the very center of the wave. A massive bolt of blue / green fire leaps … The wave seemingly dissipates, dropping all within its grasp back into the sea.
Tidal Master plants his feet deep into the sands of the ocean as he points upwards once again. Massive currents begin to flow and swirl all around the crags and crannies once again sweeping all who were unfortunate enough not to be hanging on rapidly into one of the massive undersea cliffs.
King Oceanus winced as he saw many severely injured. He points his Trident at Tidal Master. Tidal Master's face registers what is happening too late to avoid it. A massively hot bolt of pure energy slams into his torso. He howls in a short wail of pain, before coupling foreword and hanging limp in the now blood clouded waters.
Many huge sharks began to appear. Crazed with blood frenzy. They began to attack any and all who happened to be unfortunate enough to be in their way.
Aidan was still kissing Amphitrite, and both of them were immersed in their embrace that they felt only that and the flow of the sea around them. They felt Tidal Master's manipulation of the waves and currents, but the King had put an end to that. But what they were focusing on was the main body of the giant iceberg -- even after all the shards that Hammer Head had broken from it, it was still a chunk of cubic miles of ice, and it was again moving toward the battle area.
The surviving merfolk warriors continued to fight the seriously diminished Orca army's numbers. Typhon seemed to have finally run out of tricks, until a shadowy figure in the murky water showed that Mistress of Darkness had returned from wherever she had been swept away to earlier. She sent forth shadow tendrils toward every merfolk soldier near her, to once again attempt to control their minds and plunge them into dark nightmares.
Aidan sensed her, though, from his trance like state, and he remembered what she had tried to do. Amphitrite was not too fond of her either. A powerful current suddenly swept Mistress of Darkness away again, this time straight toward the massive incoming iceberg, which was increasing in speed and heading directly for Typhon. Aidan no longer could sense The Mistress of darkness's presents as it merged with the iceberg.
The iceberg's massive momentum was enough to actually sweep Typhon from his feet and out of the water, crushing to a paste what was left of the Mistress of Darkness against him, and then slamming him back down onto the rocky crags of the Rio Grande Rise, causing tremendous waves and sending fragments of stone and ice in all directions.
"In all my days I have never seen anything like that," said King Oceanus. "Truly this Aidan has been chosen by destiny."
"I hope he does not sacrifice his future for this," said Queen Tethys. Swimming to the couple, she said, "My beloved daughter ... and her beloved, Prince Aidan ... perhaps it is time to rest now."
She touched them lightly with her glowing scepter, and they separated -- two very young merfolk children now.
Aidan looked at tiny Amphitrite, and then looked at his own hands and body, similarly tiny. "How long will we be --" he started to ask, but , before he could ...
From out of the bloody, frothy, debris filled carnage of battle, filled with thrashing sharks and warring Sea peoples ... it came. The very character of the waters seemed to tremble with fear in the presents of this creature. The sharks, as crazed as they were with blood lust, fled before this mighty creature. All turned and stared as Typhon called the mighty Kraken from its watery sleeping place of many millinia.
Angrily it thrashed its tentacles and crushed all within its island sized reach. Energy bolts flashed from its eyes and caused massive explosions all of their own. The waters filled with more debris as the Kraken enters the battle. All suddenly seemed lost for the Merpeoples as this most powerful creature took control of the war.
"Great Poseidon!" shouted King Oceanus, who was not in fact the Titan of legend, just named after him by his parents. "So it still lives! And it is on Typhon's side."
"Perhaps," said the Queen. "Or perhaps Typhon only released it to create havoc. It attacks his minions as readily as our people."
"So perhaps this last card in Typhon's hand is a wild card," said the King.
He raised his trident and blasted the gargantuan beast right between the eyes with a beam of searing cold, freezing a lance-like column of seawater along its path. But the monster didn't even blink. The Kraken turns towards the King a releases its mighty roar. The sound waves propagated through the waters, building an almost solid wall of water and debris. The King and Queen ducked and covered quickly as this massive mass passed rapidly over their heads and slammed into a sea mount, totally destroying it in the process. Large boulders and massive amounts of silt and sand filter to the deep.
The Queen says with a tremble in her voice, "I had forgotten that it could do that husband."
The King only nods grimly as he points his Trident at the Kraken one more time. This time. The water between the King and the Kraken boils angrily from the massive heat of the energy bolt. It slams into the Kraken's thick hide, doing little if any damage. The King had to stop this form attack quickly. His trusty Trident was becoming way too hot to hold.
Aidan says in his small voice, "Amphitrite, my love ... we must once again employ our combined powers ... and try and stop that monster."
Amphitrite looks around at the Extremely large monster as it flails its tentacles and damages many more Merpeoples. The sound of a Conch Shell horn is heard ringing sweetly through out the undersea valley. Aidan and Amphitrite turn and see a mighty Calvary of armored seahorses carrying many thousands of Merwarriors into the battle. They all attack the Kraken at once from many sides.
"Aidan," said Amphitrite, "you know that if we do this again, use too much power, we might regress permanently."
"Permanently?" Aidan asked. "Be a child forever?"
"I don't know if that's a possibility," she answered, "but at the very least we might have to grow up again. Also ... I don't know if you know it ..." She blushed.
"What?" asked Aidan. The noise of battle continued behind them.
"We're both girls right now," she said. "When we were children I saved your life by giving you my Kiss, but that transformed you into what I was ... a toddler mermaid. And when we kiss now, we move back toward that state, because that is where we are connected."
"Huh?" said Aidan. "I'm a girl?"
"When the transformation wears off, you'll return to normal," she said. "But the more power we use, the longer it takes to return."
Suddenly, a very powerful mind shout interrupts the 2 now children. A merman swiftly swims up and scoops Amphitrite and Aidan up. He swiftly and in the nick of time swims the off behind a large crag. One of the huge tentacles smashes the spot where they had been mere seconds before. All could feel the massive over pressure as the shock wave passed.
The Merman says sharply, "And just why are you 2 children here at the battle, instead of being tucked away safely in the nursery at Watersdeep?" He looks at them sternly for a split second before he realizes ... who the two of them are. He stutters for a second before her says, "Princess .. I had no idea ... and I didn’t know you had a twin sister either. How ... is it you are a child again?"
"My Kiss saved Aidan when we were both children," she said. "I gave it to him freely and without reserve. It joined our destinies together, and together we have great power, but that power stems from that moment in time."
"Ah, of course, the Royal Kiss," said the merman. "I understand."
Aidan said, "It doesn't matter if we turn back to normal, if that monster kills us all. We have to do something!"
Outside, they could see the King and Queen distracting the beast with beams from their tridents and trying to draw it away, but they knew this was only a delaying tactic.
"You are right," she said, turning to look him in the eyes.
"Freely and without reservation," said Aidan.
They kissed again. They could suddenly feel the entire ocean, flowing and ebbing, heaving and churning, a calm surface under the moonlight in the Bay of Biscay, dark mysterious depths in a trench off the Marianas. Around them every creature of the sea stopped doing whatever it was doing and just ... waited. Something was happening.
Aidan and Amphitrite's minds were linked in one thought, the thought of ridding the world of these terrible threats, focusing on them completely. And as they concentrated, their sphere of attention shrank ... from the entire ocean down to just the Atlantic, from the Atlantic to the South Atlantic, and on down to just the area around the Rio Grande Rise. They felt every creature, every rock, every grain of sand in the ocean and removed it from their consideration as they went. Even the Kraken and the King and Queen stopped, wondering what the Princess and Aidan were doing.
"Did you feel that?" said the King. "It was like ... like I was in a second ocean, and now I'm back in the first."
"Look!" said the Queen, pointing toward the Kraken, which had been following them.
A great opalescent bubble had surrounded part of the battlefield -- no, it had begun far away, much larger, and only now had it shrunk to only the size of the battlefield. But it continued to shrink, and it was taking the Kraken with it. And it took Typhon as well, his injured body growing less immense.
Amphitrite and Aidan continued excluding everything in the ocean from their thoughts, everything but the ferocious Kraken and the power-ravenous Typhon. Their bubble of attention shrank, until it became a tiny glowing pearl in their dreams, for they had fallen asleep.
"That is not something I had thought of," said the King, approaching the tiny pearl, which had settled to the ocean floor. Slightly smaller than a mermaid's eye, its shimmering surface showed a tiny Typhon and Kraken inside when he held it up. "I do believe Typhon's got an entire ocean to rule now," he said. "And one subject as well."
"Keep that pearl safe," said Queen Tethys. "We don't want it breaking."
The seas calm suddenly as the Seahorse Calvary rounds up the remainder of Typhon's army. The waters settle and the silt filters as it clears. The King and Queen look over the Sunken Valley with great sadness. So many injured ... so many more much worse. They turn their gaze to their 2 newest merbabies. They looked exactly alike. Right down to the long flowing amber colored hair with very sensual blue highlights shimmering within.
The Queen says softly, "Oh King, it seems we are the proud parents of 2 little girls."
He smiles as she shakes her head, "I'm not sure ... but I think it will be many years before we see any kind of growth within them." The King looks around as he replies, "I thought I had the greatest power in these oceans ... I was proven wrong today ... by the Bonded kiss of 2 in love."
The King and Queen kiss ... there is a bright bubble that appears around them for the duration of the kiss. They too become younger ... but stop when they reach late teen. It was then that they had kissed ... the Mermaid's kiss.
Several days later, all the Merpeoples were in the deep darkness of the Marianas Trench. They all floated solemnly around a Scallop Clam the size of Rode Island.
The King says softly, "Oh mighty Clam of the deep ... who has lived since the dawn of the Merpeoples. I beseech you a boon for all the seas."
He holds out the pearl that contained The Kraken and Typhon. The edge of the Clams shell suddenly opened slightly, many small blue points of light appear all along the edge. The Clam looks to see what was in the King's hand with his many glowing eyes.
The King continues, "Within this pearl are 2 of the most horrible sea creatures ever to swim these waters. I beseech you to hold and care for it for all time."
Slowly, the clam opens it shell. The King places the pearl into an indentation in the meaty part of the clam's muscle. The pearl fits perfectly. The clam slowly closes it shell, sealing in the pearl.
Every year from that momentous day forward, the clam will add one more layer of mother of pearl to the surface of what is already there, forever sealing in Typhon and the Kraken ... and keeping the oceans safe for all the earth ... forever.
~~ The End ~~