This is a fish tale from the chronicles of Watercodia. Watercodia is a community under the waves that tries to be friendly. I edited much of the story but it follows a rough draft provided by a friend. I've posted more information about the original author elsewhere.
This work is distributed under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.
Part 1. Trouble in Watercodia.
The moonlight dances on top of the waves that blanket the dark sea. It is nearly time for our friend Octo to fight crimes of the night in Watercodia with his reliable partner Pelorus Jack the dolphin.
During sunlight hours the two go by the names Arnold and Fishtail. Both work as bankers at SeaBank Ltd. These are the disguises they rely on to remain as incognito as possible until night-time.
It is nearly quitting time at SeaBank. Arnold gives some sand dollars to a customer. His silent trouble detector starts to blink. Something is wrong but there is no way to discuss the matter with Fishtail until the close of business.
Closing time. The head fish bumps the diving bell hard to make it ring. Arnold and Fishtail swim rapidly out of SeaBank and assume their true identities: Octo and Pelorus.
Pelorus has a sonic sense that detects faint underwater sounds even from far away. He listens alertly and is able to latch on to cries from an injured Sea Cucumber. The Cucumber has been cornered on the edge of town by a Barracuda.
Octo and Pelorus rush to the scene. Almost too late. Barracuda looks fierce and hungry. He is coming nearer to Cucumber, who is trapped in a hole.
Octo sprints and hits Barracuda with so much force that both he and the enemy lose consciousness for a moment. Octo wakes up and scans the area for his foe. Then he relaxes. Pelorus is devouring Barracuda. The battle is over.
Munch! Pelorus seems pleased with his dangerous snack. Barracuda's expression is not visible as Pelorus has already eaten his head. A few more gulps and the last of the ray-finned fish is gone.
Cucumber crawls out of his hole. Octo and Pelorus notice that half of his skinny withered legs have been bitten off. Pelorus can use a radar sense to send signals as well as receive them. He transmits an alert requesting help but there is no answer.
While Pelorus is transmitting, Octo glances around the area to see if anything important has been missed. He has learned from experience that this is a good idea. And this time something else turns up. It's the corpse of a human being nibbled at by more fish.
Barracuda couldn't have done this. There is another killer on the loose. Pelorus and Octo are going to need to find him!
First things first. As Cucumber is injured, they use the techniques they've learned during medical training. First they tie ropes and sticks to make a little gurney; then they leave Cucumber at the Fish Emergency Cave.
While Cucumber is being attended to, the octupus and the dolphin head to the headquarters that they maintain, caves hidden behind a maze of coral reef. Inside, they discuss the situation.
“The person was wearing scuba diving equipment”, Octo notes.
“The only animals that could have caused this much damage to a man that size would be a Great White shark or a Killer Whale”, Pelorus replies. “Either is a problem.” He absentmindedly removes a bit of leftover Barracuda from his teeth.
The two partners map out plans and leave to search for evidence.
Part 2. The Fish of Honor.
It is Sunday in Watercodia. The residents swim about their business. A school of fish students darts quickly past a pair of jellyfish floating lazily in the town square.
Octo and Pelorus have searched for clues. However they have not found much. They are starting to become concerned. Last night, a Forensic Fish Specialist got a hit based on a fin-print found on the dead person. However, the information has not led to a suspect.
Our heroes know they can't handle things alone. For difficult situations larger teams are needed. So they are holding a recruiting session. They are not sure that useful fish will volunteer. However, the results of the session are positive.
One guest is a happy Moray Eel. Moray Eel has so much enthusiasm that it is frightening. A Yellowtail Snapper is there too. He is an expert in fish to fish combat. Finally, there is a Clownfish. She knows technology and disguises.
Now there are five teammates assembled at headquarters. They will be the Fish of Honor. Justice will be done in Watercodia.
Monday morning dawns. Glimmers of light filter down from the surface. A loud wave ripples through the training cave. To fish, waves can be loud.
Most of the team goes to investigate. Not Yellowtail Snapper as he continues to sleep like a small fry. The others enter the cave. The place is disorganized. All the equipment has been knocked down or broken apart!
Is this connected to the case? How could one fish have done all of this? Was he brave to attack the cave or powerful enough to know success was assured? Important questions and there are no answers.
The group debates and reaches a conclusion. The enemy that did this is recruiting his own team, the Fish of Honor decide. The others have stolen weapons to make it harder for the team to attack them. The intruders have also searched through things to learn the weaknesses of the heroes.
This is getting more serious.
Part 3. The Fins of the Enemy.
Night is falling on the surface. The lighting under the water gradually dims. Pelorus and Octo go to the Easy Snack Shack.
This is a disreputable place. At the Easy Snack Shack, sharks and killer whales compete. The winner is granted the privilege of eating a live human being. It is illegal but the event is held outside the boundaries of Watercodia. There have been attempts to shut down these competitions but the owners simply move when they are pressured.
The two heroes ask the manager on duty, a Lamprey, who won the deadly privilege on the night of the murder. Lamprey shrugs, or makes a similar gesture. “Gruesome”, he says.
The heroes are taken aback. “Gruesome” is a 20-foot long Great White Shark. Each of his teeth are the size of a human hand. He is a formidable foe indeed.
At headquarters, they notify the others that a suspect has been identified. Moray Eel tells them, “Get to the docks!” He stays on top of the local news and he has made a mental connection.
At the docks, Octo and Pelorus see Mr. Shark. He is getting tagged by a human team which has trapped him on its boat. Mr. Shark thrashes about wildly but the humans proceed calmly. Eventually, they release the Great White.
“Too bad”, Pelorus says. “They should have eaten him instead.” Pelorus is not fond of sharks to begin with and this one is apparently a criminal as well.
Mr. Shark pauses briefly and swims away. A small red device is visible on his fin. Miss Clownfish, who has come along, remarks, “That is a waterproof location broadcaster. He is vulnerable now. We have the ability to find him.”
Miss Clownfish knows about these things because she is a graduate of Technofish School in the city of Ys. The wise old fish there have taught her aquatic and human technology. She is equally at home with human LANs and the Etherfish Net.
The Fish of Honor return to headquarters. Miss Clownfish sets up some equipment that survived the earlier invasion. She runs an aquatic analysis.
“There is a problem. For the moment, Mr. Shark is hidden from us. Most likely he has swum into a cave. Wait...”
There is silence in the room. It is so quiet that you could hear a minnow swim. Suddenly, the equipment beeps.
“He is on the move,” Miss Clownfish says. “Here. You will need this.” She constructs a portable tracking unit; a Mr. Shark Finder. She connects the latter device to Octo's trouble detector.
Octo and Pelorus swim off to find Mr. Shark. The others remain to man, or fish, defensive positions.
Suddenly, as Octo swims, his trouble detector goes off. The trouble detector and the Mr. Shark Finder show the same location. The conclusion is clear. Mr. Shark is attacking somebody!
Part 4. Most Wanted Heroes.
The Mr. Shark signal leads to a shipwreck. Octo and Pelorus are close enough now that events are directly audible. There is something happening behind the ship. They swim around back to confront Mr. Shark and are startled.
Mr. Shark is attacking a baby humpback Whale, a species rare in these parts. Baby Whale is resisting but he seems confused. There are thrashing fins on both sides all over the place.
Octo knows what he has to do. He darts forward and squirts ink into the scene.
Mr. Shark is blinded momentarily. Octo grabs Baby Whale with four of his legs and swims quickly to a nearby tunnel.
Baby Whale has been attacked viciously. There is a large bite visible in his body. The wound is fatal. He speaks once and says, “I robbed the bank. It was me.” Then he is silent.
Octo senses a presence to the rear. He turns around. There is Mr. Shark — handcuffing him! And off to one side Pelorus is being hit with a stick and handcuffed too.
Mr. Shark produces a badge. He works for the Federal Fish! Octo is shocked.
Pelorus and Octo are taken to be interrogated. They are separated. Octo is locked into an Interrogation Cave and left there alone.
The octopus has never been through this before. Never been the one to be questioned. Usually he is on the other side. And he has heard negative things about the Federal Fish. They will do anything and everything to get a person to crack.
He wonders where Pelorus is. Whether or not he is all right. The night passes. The next morning a guard comes with food. The guard says, “It's ground dolphin. Have some, it's good.” Octo doesn't believe it. He knows they are trying to break him.
“How could this happen?” he muses. “What will come next?” Then he finds out.
There is an explosion in the distance. A voice comes through an intercom. “Break-Out in Sector Alpha Charlie Tuna!”
Then the door to Octo's own cave shatters. The entire team is there. The rest of the group had apparently been arrested overnight. But they are free now and they have come to free him.
The guards in this sector are unconscious. Yellowtail Snapper has disabled them. The group will be able to escape.
“Wait,” Moray Eel says. “As long as we are here, maybe this trip can be useful.”
The group searches for a Records room in the current sector. They locate one and gather the materials that it contains. Subsequently they leave through an exit door labelled Exit.
The Fish of Honor are free. But now they are Most Wanted criminals as well.
Part 6. Pisces Fatum.
The Fish of Honor cautiously approach their headquarters. The Federal Fish don't seem to be there. They enter and prepare to do some research.
Miss Clownfish and Moray Eel cross-reference the records obtained while the others debate courses of action.
“This is interesting,” Miss Clownfish says. “The local Federal Fish are hackerfish. They launder counterfeit money for gangs.”
The Fish of Honor go to see the Central Fish Agency; a group that competes with the Federal Fish. This is risky as the CFA is somewhat secretive and dangerous. However, there is no choice.
Octo speaks for the Fish of Honor. He presents the information that has been obtained.
There is a moment of suspense as the group waits for the decision of the CFA. But the head of the CFA, an old catfish, joins the meeting and signals approval.
The Central Fish Agency has influence with the fish government. They straighten things out.
The hackerfish are prosecuted. Some are sold to humans for use in restaurants. They end up as delicious fish sticks and tasty fish fillets. The humans are pleased by the meals. The hackerfish are not as happy.
It turns out that Mr. Shark has a long history of crimes. He is sent to be executed by a pack of swordfish. Tickets are sold and many fish watch the event happily. The Great White is ferocious and fights back but it is useless. He is only one and there are too many of the others.
Things are quiet in the weeks that follow. The Fish of Honor dissolve their group for the time being and settle back into normal existence. But each of them is prepared, if the need arises, to fight for fishy justice again.
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