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Kassandra watched the conversation unfold. Even if she couldn't hear them, she could tell by the slump of his shoulders that Hiro was cowed, almost afraid of this other male. Maybe she should be afraid too?

Her eyes widened as he went away. It certainly didn't look like he was coming back, either. The new male, older and different looking, settled down near her and simply stared. Kassandra stared right back, for a while. It seemed this one didn't want to make any conversation. Oh well, he'd taken Hiro away, so she wasn't in the mood to be friendly. After a while, she curled up with her arms around her tailfin, and fell right asleep.

-
Meanwhile, the director was in her office, sipping at a glass of wine and watching the reports come in. This find was going to put their operation on the map. Everyone said that the deep-sea expedition was a waste of money, that the creatures were just strange squids and pale fish. Imagine the next conference when this lovely little beauty was unveiled.

"Doctor Helena Price, the world leading oceanographer. Imagine it." She said out loud, confident that no one could hear her. "Just... imagine it." She turned to one of the cameras overlooking Subject 0001-Ariel, stroked the screen with the sleeping creature, and smiled.
Boosting this up the line, whoo!
Kassandra tipped her head quizzically as Hiro disappeared. She wondered where he was off to, and after he didn't come back for a minute or two, she deflated again. She sank to the bottom of the pool, arms folded and chin resting on top. At least could they give her something to read?

But then, oh joy! Hiro was back and he had something in his arms. She craned her head as he disappeared from view, but then two fish came sailing down like some sort of miracle. They weren't alive, but she could really be picky about it, could she? She snatched one up and sank her sharp teeth into it immediately, tearing off a great chunk and gulping it down. The fish was gone in mere seconds. She tracked down the second one, and ate that more slowly, savoring every bite. Once she was finished, she put both hands on the wall and spoke close to it.

"Meus, gratias tibi, Hiro!" She did not expect to be understood, but Hiro deserved her thanks anyway.

(My thanks to you, Hiro!")
Suddenly things were clearer. She repeated his name softly, 'Hiro' like a wish. Then she pressed herself against the glass, pointing at him excitedly. "Hiro! Hiro!" It was so good to have someone finally speak to her.

So, maybe this Hiro could get her out of here?

When he drew a silly little fish in the fog, like a guppy just learning to write, she placed her hand over it as if trying to scoop it up. Then she held a hand to her stomach. Hopefully it would be clear that she was hungry. Dinner had seemed forever ago. Maybe Hiro could get her some fish. Still swimming, hopefully.

"Hiro..." She said his name plaintively, then repeated the gesture. She snapped her sharp teeth one for good measure, hoping that would make the message loud and clear.

(Feed me Seymour)
Ooh, he's adorable!

So I have semi bad news. Work has pulled the mandatory overtime card on us, so my posting is going to get sporadic. I will do my best to at least give you one a day. If that's too slow and you get bored and want to move on, please tell me because I'm ok with that.
I just used a doll maker. I can't draw like that. But describe him for me? I'm off to bed but I'll read it in the morning.
As soon as her rhythm was repeated, Kassandra's whole countenance brightened. She swam two loops in happiness, then went back to the invisible wall. He was saying something, and this time she pressed her ear against the wall to hear it. ...who... are you...

"Who are you?" She echoed softly, wondering just what he meant. "Who are you!" She said it again, louder, her pretty voice booming into the water. Maybe, maybe that was a name? Whoareyou. Definitely a strange name. Still, no sense in turning down the first proper greeting she'd gotten so far.

"WHOAREYOU! KASSANDRA!" She pressed her mouth as close to the wall as she could and yelled. Her gills flexed with the effort. But there, she smiled proudly and stared at the being, wondering what he would do next.



Here's a visual I whipped up for you. She looks sort of like that. Except not nearly as thin as that.
Kassandra looked up, as one of the strange beings walked up and laid a hand on the invisible wall. At least this was close to a normal thing, though it lacked the proper webbing and claws. She laid her hand on the wall over his, staring plaintively at the male. His mouth moved as if speaking, but she couldn't understand a word.

Maybe there was another way of communicating? She reached her hand back slowly, and then with one claw, started to tap out a rhythm. Tap tap tap-tap. It was just a nonsense drumming, but she repeated it over and over, hoping that somehow he'd understand that she wasn't some fish to be eaten. She could speak, and she wanted to be out.

This smaller male seemed to be cowed by the other males and females in white clothing. Maybe he wasn't strong enough to beat them in combat? Kassandra had been there before. It was half the reason she was so far out from home in the first place. And now... this mess.

"Can you understand me?" She spoke to the rhythm of her fingertip claw tapping.
Beep
Beep
Beep

The submarine’s radar echoed though the metal can, evoking a lonely atmosphere as the crew stared at the expanse of the sea depths. This was their third week out, the first two being uneventful and full of sea squid. But they, and the team of scientists running the show, were hoping to find something new at this depth – the submarine had been made especially for safe capture and transport of new sea life, and the grant they had was nearly unlimited as long as they followed the guidelines.

Suddenly, a blip appeared on the radar. This was no squid, no – it was larger, but not whale large. (That had been week one.) As the sub approached, the crew watched eagerly out the window for the discovery.

“...no way. Is that a -”
“Nope, don’t say it. You’ll jinx it.”
“Will one of you dorks get the director on the phone? She’s gonna want to see this one.”

---

Kassandra woke up in a cage.

Or at least, that’s what it felt like. It was bright, so bright, and she was swimming in strange water. No plants – no fish – nothing else but her! Every time she tried to swim away, she bumped into something invisible. Nothing was working, and there were odd creatures in white coats in front of them.

“Please help! Let me out!” She banged on the glass, but they didn’t seem to hear her or understand her. Or maybe they just didn’t care. They simply scribbled on their odd-looking scrolls and continued to stare at her.

Her brilliant orange tailfin smacked the side of the invisible walls again and again, until her dark skin was covered with bruises. “Please. Let me out.” Momentarily defeated, she sank to the bottom and folded her arms over her head. “Let me out...”
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