“I… I need to go back… I need to help whoever I can...”
Despite the terror in your heart, you know that you can’t leave without at least attempting to save others from Myrio Ridge. The guilt would follow you forever if you didn’t try.
“Are ya sure?” Gart asks. “Ya aren’t responsible for them, ya know.”
With only an hour to spare, your words rapidly spill out.
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m grateful that you’ve trusted me with all this information. I honestly want to leave this instant, but I’m sorry, I just care too much. Someone has to try and save whoever can be saved.”
A beat passes before Gart allows herself to chuckle. “Of course ya have to try,” she says while flexing her swimmerets. “Ya don’t have to apologize, I understand! We’re pretty similar when it comes to being selfless. It ain’t much, but there are a few others here that are preparing to leave with us. I helped them escape Myrio Ridge over time.” She motions to the plants behind her, and you can only assume that she’s referring to the community hidden within. “Tell ya what -- ya don’t know ya way around outside of Myrio, so I’ll gather everyone up and meet ya when the siphon comes. When ya feel a change in the water’s flow, travel in a straight line directly behind ya house until ya hit the open water. We’ll be there.”
You consider what she says, then quickly approve of her plan and begin to leave.
Thinking Gart might have forgotten to tell you something important, you come to a screeching halt and flip around to face her.
“Good luck,” she says.
. . .
The time it takes to get back to Myrio Ridge flies by like mere seconds.
When you finally reach the border of the town, a small school of nano fish crosses your path.
“Excuse me, excuse me!” you call out. This is your chance to help, and you’re not going to let it slip away.
But the group pays no heed to your voice.
“Helloâ€½” Your attempts to get their attention are futile.
The fish seem to be ignoring you. They continue carelessly floating together until you try to get closer. Without hesitation, the school darts away in the opposite direction. Why were they trying so hard to ignore you?
You lose the will to chase after them when a stripe of red catches your eye. The unique black markings against her scarlet body make it easy to distinguish your friend from a stranger. You quickly make your way towards her.
“Wheeler! I gotta talk to you and the others about something, we have to hurry. Do you know where everyone else is?”
The fish’s only response is to swim in a circle.
“Listen, I know you and I joke around a lot, but this isn’t the time to be playing games! I need to know where everyone is! Help me!”
When she only stares, you realize something is wrong.
Like a brick wall, it hits you hard. The reason why your friend isn’t responding is the same reason why that school of fish was oblivious to your voice.
Wheeler has been a chili rasbora for too long. She can no longer communicate with you, and she will soon be teleported out of the mansion to live out the rest of her days as a fish.
Written by iAteTheRamen on 18 June 2019
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