Just like Wheeler said, you managed to settle down nicely in your new environment. It was difficult to think about adversaries in a town that rarely seemed to experience conflict.
With the help of your friends, you found a home of your own -- a quaint stone hide with a large front hole facing the castle, a small hole on top, and a medium hole in the back facing the foliage that naturally surrounds Myrio Ridge.
Kieran kept his word and helped you learn about the culture of both the aquarium and the local community. From the castle housing the marketplace to food scraps being used as currency, the little details came all at once, and there seemed to be new things to learn every day.
You return to your hide after a leisurely evening get-together at Nesmith’s. Over the past two weeks, you’ve also learned a lot about your friends’ lives outside of the mansion, before the aquarium. The tank feels almost natural to be in, and your friends make it easy for you to decide to stay a few more days -- a far cry from what you felt when you first transformed.
With a soft click that no one in the aquarium can hear, the lights switch from very dim to completely off. You’ve grown to embrace the darkness that initially frightened you the first two nights. Though you’re physically incapable of closing your eyes, you can feel your consciousness slowly ebbing away as sleep gently takes control.
After being so accustomed to staying home alone, you jolt at the sudden sound. “H-hello? Is there someone here?” Your room is clearly too small to comfortably accommodate any other animals, but you spin around to look anyways.
“Listen carefully, because I have to leave as quickly as possible.” The voice sounds like it’s coming from the small hole at the top of your hide. You look up, but it’s too dark to see anyone properly. With your lateral line, you can still somewhat feel their presence.
“There are more secrets to Myrio Ridge than ya think… Secrets that are crucial to keeping ya mind safe…” The voice somewhat trembles and shakes. “If ya really want to know the facts about this place, wait until the next time the lights go off. Then, swim westward until ya reach the next community. Keep ya travels to yaself -- tell no one. I’ll meet ya there.”
“Wait!” You’re not sure whether your outburst is meant to stop the entity from leaving or if it’s to stop the overflow of information. An opportunity is opened up regardless. “Who are you?”
Silence. You think the stranger has left too soon, but...
“Call me Gart.”
Just as quickly as it had come, the voice goes silent. Only then are you truly left on your own.
Your thoughts are bombarded with questions. “Facts about this place?” What don’t you already know? Is there something wrong with Myrio Ridge, or is it the entire aquarium? Who is Gart, and where did they come from? A trickle of fear creeps into your mind when your thoughts touch upon the worst possible outcome.
What if this is all a trap?
Written by iAteTheRamen on 15 June 2019
Cautiously trust Gart