Focus on them
“The idea about considering their needs and hearing out from their side seems pretty good. I think that will help us both find more favor in this situation” You suggested.
“Yes I was thinking that myself. The best way to gain favor is to give the people what they want. It’s good to know that you agree with that.” You nodded and continued the conversation with the leader until you both found the right combinations of options to yield at least a somewhat good outcome, despite all that everyone had gone through prior.
It took a couple days, but by the time it was over, you both had a solid idea and both leaders had set up a meeting for all seals to hear. It was your job to give them a little speech to convince everyone that there were some otherworldly problems going on and that everyone should be working together to figure out what it is to help ensure the survival of as many seals as possible. When you stood on the rock to deliver your speech, the crowd already didn’t look pleased. You hadn’t spent a lot of time preparing the words you were going to say, but you just figured you’d let it all flow from the heart.
“Hello everyone. We wanted to bring up a major issue that some of you may have already known about. Now we’re trying to fix it. Right now, we’re opening the floor to your suggestions, and today, ideally, we can all have an organized discussion about all of your needs such that we could all come together and figure this out in the vein of increasing the longevity of our kind.” You kept talking and talking until you watched their dull expressions starting to brighten up and when you noticed how receptive they were being, you continued.
By the time you were all done, everyone was barking and cheering for you and soon after everyone started to come together democratically to help solve the issue. For the first time, the leader of your original pack was able to talk about the strange happenings he had noticed and to your surprise even some others were having suspicions about whatever was going on in the world. To you, this all was new and you knew you couldn’t have put in much input yourself, but listening to all the possibilities and outcomes from the others made you feel so much more satisfied than ever.
Before you knew it, the night was coming and the tensions between both of the packs seemed to be waning. Maybe not completely, but it was still a good start. You felt satisfied with yourself and almost even a bit redeemed from some of the bad things that had happened earlier. You were quite satisfied with yourself, but you couldn’t help but wonder, now, what exactly was the seals’ perception of you.
Unbeknownst to you, there would soon be an answer. One of the elder seals from the opposing pack had come to you in the middle of the night to talk.
“Hello, you were that interesting individual from the opposing pack” He started.
“Yes I am.” You started. “Was there something I could do for you?” you suggested.
“I was actually curious… What are you?” he questioned. “Oh, by the way, your speech, you may not have seen the impact of it, but I wanted to reassure you there was a massive impact.” he continued speaking with you, detailing the positive impact of your speech and encouraging the pack leader to speak out about what had been going on. Turns out, there were many other seals in agreement and after the conclusions you all had discussed everyone started feeling a bit better about the potentially dire situation before it had escalated.
“It’s good to hear all of that….” You thought for a moment about his first question and at this point, finally came to realize the positive impact of telling the truth, so in that case, you did. “I’m actually.. A human. Like my upper half, there was this magic I’d used to get here, and soon I intend on leaving upon finding my next ‘outfit’” you explained.
“Outfit?” the old seal replied inquisitively.
“Yes, like. Some kind of suit of fur or flesh that I can wear to transform into the next being and continue my game.” You mentioned.
“... Follow me.” The elder said. Like that, the two of you were off in the middle of the night. “Do you see this cave?” he asked you as the two of you stood at the mouth of a deep rocky depths far on the other side of the islands seen in the distance.
“What’s in here?” you asked.
“Well, you said something about magic. This is one of the most magically charged, yet dangerous places known to our clan. Not many others know about it, but as an elder, I remember it from when I was young.” He mentioned.
“I see.” You replied. “How is it dangerous?” You asked.
“There is a pod of orcas in these seas, it has been told that they come around here often, this is why nobody comes here. We can’t stay long, but if you’re truly interested, you could see what’s inside.” He offered.
“Yes! Thank you” You mentioned. “What about the others?” You asked.
“It’s alright, I can tell them you have left. IF your job was to bring peace to the two parties, then you have. We have been surviving for so long, now, if it’s your time to go, you can. We will continue to fight and survive as we always have, with the orcas, the humans, I’m just happy that now, we will no longer be our own enemies.” The sentiment brought a smile to your face. You didn’t anticipate something like this from when you started, but now, you had felt like your impact was meaningful, even though it was small.
“Thank you so much.” You reiterated with a smile and he nodded in approval. Though you knew that you didn’t have much more time left, so you allowed him to begin the trek back just before the sun started to rise. At this point, you were already exhausted and lugging your heavy body deep into the cave was far more difficult than swimming smoothly through the water. Still, you kept fighting- you kept going like the seals had done and the words of the elder echoed in your mind as you made it to the back of the cave.
It was dark- almost impossible to see so you took your time as you moved through but as you pressed on, you could see a glowing light in the back of the tunnel. For a moment, you thought you were hallucinating from the exhaustion you were experiencing, but soon after, the familiar warm glow started to draw you towards it- it almost filled you back up with energy as you started galloping your way down until the bright light had completely blinded your adjusting eyes.
In the dark depths of the cave, you found your next outfit and it sent your heart fluttering. You closed your eyes and took a moment to just feel the soft smooth texture of your following transformation. It reminded you of the cool feeling of the water against your selkie skin, but selkie no more, you will now calmly slide it over your massive body like a drape and started to feel the transformation taking place.
You didn’t know what you were in for next, but now, you could at least say you could feel satisfied in the outcome you had achieved this time around. Yeah, you made some mistakes along the way, and maybe in a different world things could have turned out better. But hey, you made it here, and you’ve had the chance to live this life to the fullest so you were satisfied about how you played it this time.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 11 November 2023
The end (for now)