Xenon and the Sea of Octopus

There have been many stories told about mermaids. Some beautiful and some terrifying, but none have ever told the story of the one mermaid who ended the war between land and sea.

It was said that centuries ago the gods had created the mermaids to keep the sea clean; kind of how sharks are seen today. Although, mermaids were seen to be a little bit more than just cleaners of the ocean you see. These mermaids were said to be the protectors of it. And I’m sure you might ask, what in the sea were they protecting? Well, its quite simple. The mermaids had only one job and that was to protect all sea creatures good or bad from mankind above, but little did they know how hard that would be to manage.

Originally, the gods had made a deal with mankind to only take what they needed, but it would appear that mankind’s greed would break that deal with the gods.

One successful war after another, mankind began to believe that they were invincible. So invincible, in fact,  they believed they no longer needed the gods help, more so, for some they never believed it was the gods that helped them in the first place. Ignorant as they were, mankind had traveled the seven seas with smiles and laughter upon their faces.

At the bottom of the ocean rested an unusual mermaid named Xenon. She was the kindest and most beautiful of all the sea. Every creature of the sea adored her, even some that lived on the land who had heard a few whispers of her greatness.

On her way to work, Xenon could feel within her fish-like tail that she was about to have the worst day imaginable, but it was the usual for a day at Swards Fish and Seaweed. Once she’d made it to work, Xenon could already see angry customers with growling stomachs huddled up by the entrance.

“This is ridiculous! How long are you going to be out of fish!” shouted a Dolphin. His body was as gray as silver“We can’t keep starving like this. We need to do something about this!”

Xenon stood up on her fin and looked over the crowd. Her boss looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown, but that was all until he saw her.

“Xenon! Over here!” he shouted. “Quickly, now quickly!”

Xenon looked back at the entrance again and thought as most would and get out of there while she still could. Although, a thought of her father had come to mind, with the voice in her head whispering that she, no, they needed the funds to cure his illness. Xenon’s father had been sick longer than she could bear and from what the doctors had told her, time was running out.

Xenon then swam over to her boss.

“Finally, you’re here. I thought I was going to be on everyone’s menu for tonight. You see that shark over there. He’s been staring at me the whole time and without even so much as a blink. I think we might need to call the Orcas,” said Mr. Sward.

Mr. Sward was a sword fish. A very unusually plump and juicy swordfish. He never liked to admit it, but he was in the wrong line of business.

“Everything will be fine Mr. Sward. Let me talk to them. I’ll calm them down. Just take it easy and get some rest okay,” said Xenon with a bright smile.

“Oh Xenon, you really are the kindest I swear. Thank you, thank you,” said Mr. Sward running off to his office.

Xenon now stood in front of hundreds of sea creatures, but strangely their attitudes had changed once she’d come forward into the light where the moon kissed the sea. The sea floor was hers.

“Hi everyone, welcome and thank you for stopping by Sward’s Fish and Seaweed. I know that everyone is a bit frustrated with the low supply of fish. But please rest assure that we are doing our best to make sure that everyone is fed,” said Xenon.

All the creatures stood at attention and nodded. Then again, there would be one that wasn’t quite buying Xenon’s story.

“Lies! Lies!” shouted the creature from a far. They were barely noticeable… Only its massive glowing eyes within its massive shadow could be seen.

 Xenon looked towards the back of the crowd squinting.

“Who said that?” she asked. “I’m not the one to tell lies. You can trust me.”

The sea creature chortled.

“Trust… If I believed every living thing that told me that, well, I’d be on someone’s menu right about now.”

The rest of the crowd would remain quiet. If anything, they were just as curious as Xenon was to who this creature in the shadows might’ve been. Many thoughts had crossed Xenon’s mind; like, doing what her boss said and calling the Orcas. And the thought alone had made Xenon’s hand move towards her her seashell to call, but calling the Orcas, well…. Let’s just say that they didn’t care much for their jobs as the new protectors of the sea.

Taking its time, the sea creature expelled from its own shadow revealing every part of itself that would terrify the ones before it. One by one large black tentacles came out uncoiling themselves onto the sea floor like a plate of spaghetti.

“There all lies!” shouted the creature.  “I’ve seen them. Those things that sing and laugh all day long. They travel on a giant whale’s back. I tried asking the whale why it would go against its own kind, but it never responds. It had some sort of a mermaid attached to the front of it as well, but she didn’t speak either. She was as still a rock.  But that was beside the point, the whale just kept riding the waves in silence, while those monsters on top of it continued stealing our fish!”

“Now it’s you who tells the lies squid. There is no such thing. You tell us nothing but fairy tales,”murmured a a sea horse.

“What was that sea horse? Sorry, I couldn’t hear your small little mouth from over there,” laughed the creature.

“I said you tell us fairy tales!” shouted the sea creature.

“Ah, I thought that’s what you said. I am an Octopus you embezzle, and I know what I saw and it was surely no fairy tale. It’s just no one has told you because they don’t believe any of you can handle the truth,” said the Octopus.

Everyone turned to Xenon for confirmation on if what the Octopus said was true, but her guess would be as good as theirs. Although, the ones that the Octopus had spoken of did sound familiar. When she was too small for her own tail, Xenon’s mother used to tell her stories of the ones above. How they walked and the way they talked. Her mother even spoke of a man with a beard as white as sea salt who was the only man, in fact, known to travel the seven seas. But… was it all true? Was the Octopus right? Was there another world above?

Gathering back his courage to speak again, Xenon’s boss Mr. Sward came out insisting that everyone go home and rest until they figure out what the next steps would be for food. Maybe something other than fish for a change.

The Octopus on the other hand remained right where he was and Xenon would do the same. The two stared each other down as if it they were competing in a staring contest. She didn’t trust him and neither did he trust her.

“What are these things above that you speak of Octopus?” asked Xenon, curiously.

The Octopus smiled with its eyes, as its mouth was always hidden.

“So, you believe me don’t you,” he said, amused.

“No. Not really… I’m just curious if what you say is actually true or not. I mean, you can’t go around scaring everyone like that. You’re going to cause a huge panic.”

“Scare? Panic? If anything, I just gave them a head start on saving their own tails. Who do you think they will come after next once they run out of fish… Maybe now everyone will take some action and end all of this madness, this disrespect of our home from the ones above.”

“Action?” asked Xenon, concerned. “What do you mean action?”

“Well, you know… the long-awaited war between land and sea. It’s inevitable… It is our destiny. Surely you knew that none of this would end over a peaceful conversation.”

Xenon felt a chill go down her spine. Whatever it was that the Octopus was trying to encourage, she didn’t like the sound of it, for it only sounded like more problems that of which she’d already had her fair share of.

“Destiny… Well, that isn’t the destiny I want,” she said. “My only goal is to take care of my father and if doing such will help him then I will do what I must, but let’s make one thing perfectly clear Octopus… this is not my destiny.”

“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this dear mermaid, but regardless of if you want this to be your destiny or not, it is what we all must see through to the end. Those monsters up there have taken too much from us, and we cannot allow them to take anymore. If not the orcas then who will protect the sea? So, if it is your father that will be the one to push you towards, yes, you’re destiny, then so be it.”

One of the Orca’s then rushed in with a saddened look. With all the talk of war coming from the Octopus’s lips, Mr. Sward must’ve called.

“Is there a Miss Sandal?” asked the Orca, nervously.

He was almost too big to float where he was, as his fin rubbed up against the ceiling.

“Yes, that would be me,” said Xenon swimming forward.

The Orca sighed.

“It’s your father Miss Sandal… He didn’t make it.”

“What… No, that’s not possible… Are you sure it was my father? I mean, the doctor said if I paid them a thousand pearls, my father would be okay…”

Something about how the Orca looked made the Octopus a bit suspicious. It didn’t appear that Xenon’s father had died to natural causes.

“If you don’t mind me asking… How exactly did the mermaids father die?” asked the Octopus.

“That’s none of your business! Ugh! What are you even still doing here?” shouted Xenon.

The Octopus smiled as he’d always done, but for reasons he was not quite ready to reveal yet. What he really wanted to tell Xenon was that, again, it was her destiny to be apart of the war between land and sea, and that her father’s death was faith at its best. Regardless of how angered and sad Xenon was, the Octopus was right. It was her destiny.

“Come on whale! Forget the mermaid… You know something don’t you? Her father didn’t die by natural causes did he?” urged on the Octopus.

“Shut up! Just shut up!” shouted Xenon. Her face was nearly red by now. 

The Orca hesitated to say what the Octopus already knew. He Stuttered over his words and made abrupt pauses in between.

“I… I…” paused the Orca. “I… You see…. They… No, I…”

“It was those monsters up there wasn’t it. They killed her father. They are the reason he died! They are the ones to blame! Tell the truth Orca” shouted the Octopus with excitement.

The Orca couldn’t bear to hold his secret in any longer. The Octopus had gotten to him.

“Okay, okay, okay… It was them… I don’t know how it happened, but the doctors said that those things from above just came down grabbing anything they could get their hands on, including a few of us. It was a complete disaster. I’ve never seen anything like it.  They literally butchered some just for fun and just… Oh man, I need to go se my family and make sure their okay.”

Xenon then swam closer to the Orca and grabbed its bottom jaw fearlessly, yet, gentle. Sure, he could’ve taken her arm off, but although the Orca’s were called killer whales, they were not always.

“So what you’re telling me is that my father is still alive somewhere out there, somewhere above,” said Xenon with intense brown eyes.

“Well… I mean it’s a possibility. I don’t know… I’m just an Orca.”

Xenon pondered on the thought of where they could’ve possibly taken her father. She couldn’t just let it go like the rest. Her father was all she had, and without him there was nothing for her in the big blue see. Sprung for time, Xenon turned to the octopus, and he would already have an approving face for what she was about to ask, but, of course,  there would be no fun in it if he didn’t hear it from her own lips.

“Yes?” he said smiled cynically.

“Don’t get any ideas octopus. This is not my destiny. The only reason I am even considering going with you in the first place is so that I can bring my father back home.”

The octopus chuckled.

“Of course, dear mermaid. We will get your father back in due time…”

Mr. Sward swam over and leaned in close to Xenon’s ear.

“Be careful Xenon, I don’t trust him. He just seems like bad news,” he whispered.

“I know but I have no other choice,” said Xenon, uncertain.

“Uh uhmm Miss Sandal…” said the Orca softly.

“Please, call me Xenon.”

“Xenon, I really should get back to my wife and kids… will you be, okay?” asked the Orca.

“Yes, I’ll be fine. Thank you for coming and bringing this to my attention. Oh, I didn’t catch your name?”

“It’s Sylvester, but my friends call me Sylv.”

“Thank you, Sylvester,” said Xenon with a faint smile. The Orca was kind, but still it was hard to smile at the kindest person when losing someone dear to you.  

“Hey, you’re not going to be any trouble are you? We don’t need anyone going on any suicide missions. That’s what we orcas are here for. To serve and protect. If you need anything, just give me a call,” said Sylvester, handing Xenon a flat rock with his name carved in it. Although his shaking fin and eyes had given Xenon the impression that he’d hoped she didn’t call.

“No, no, nothing like that. I’ll just go home and get some rest. Again, thank you Sylvester. You are free to go now,” said Xenon giving the orca a kiss on the head.

The orca blushed and smiled like a child would do, and he’d rushed back to his wife and kids.Mr. Sward, on the other hand, had shut down his restaurant for the day. All that he could think about was being wrapped up like a mummy by the octopus’s tentacles, and well, the longer he stayed the more possible he felt that outcome would come to tuition.

It was now just Xenon and the Octopus.

“So, where are we off to octopus? Where are these ones above you speak so fearfully of?” asked Xenon sarcastically.

“Well, first you can call me by my actual name,” said the octopus, annoyed.

“And what is that?”

“It’s Opus, but my brothers call me O. however, for you, you can just call me Opus.”

“Okay then Opus. Where do we find my father?”

Opus shook his head. “Slow down mermaid. We can’t just go storming off towards those monsters by ourselves. The two of us couldn’t possibly defeat all of them.”

“But don’t you have nine brains and three hearts. To me that would make you pretty invincible,” said Xenon.

Opus was flattered by Xenons words. For the most part, everyone that he knew had always saw him as weak, clumsy, and a nobody, but there a mermaid like no other he’d seen floated in front of him calling him invincible, believing that he was a somebody.

“Oh, stop smiling you creep. I didn’t say that to get you all pumped off your ego. But seriously… Opus… where do we find my father and who would help us? Most are too afraid, even the Orcas it seems…”

“We will need to go meet with some old friends of mine. But I must warn you, they are a mean and nasty bunch, and if you say one wrong word or make so much as the wrong movement they will have you for dinner mermaid… But no need to worry, as long as you follow my lead you will be safe. “

Xenon’s heart had feared for the worst. Maybe Mr. Sward was right about Opus being bad news. Was it all just a trap so opus could share her as a meal with his so-called friends? Or was he truly sincere with his words?  Xenon took a deep breath and held it in as long as she could. She thought about her father and what all they had been through. How much they were there for eachother when her mother came up missing. Her father really was all that she had, and if it meant risking her life to get him back, she was willing to make it so.

Xenon exhaled.

“Okay… Lead the way,” she said.

Opus would have a surprised look on his face. Xenon truly was like no other mermaid that he’d met before. Most mermaids were courageous and trusted no one but their own kind,  but Xenon was much more than courage itself it would seem. It was as if there was a glow around her. Or was it just the moonlight casting down on her?

Xenon and Opus would finally leave Mr. Swards Fish and Seaweed , making their way towards the deep sea. The further they traveled the less there would be moonlight. Xenon had never been down so far before and from what her father had told her, the deep sea was a forbidden place. Her ears popped and the scales on her tail would become bumpy by how quickly the temperature had dropped.

“Opus how far down are your friends? You didn’t tell me they were in the deep sea of all places. You do know it’s forbidden for us to be here, right?” said Xenon with her pearly white teeth chattering.

“Ha! Forbidden? All of you in the mid-sea really have been brained washed or something. This place isn’t forbidden, it is the origin of our kind. It is our original home… Do you realize that you are meant to be much larger than the size you are now?” said Opus.

“What do you mean larger?” asked Xenon, confused. 

“Ugh… And they have stopped teaching you young your ancestral history as well… What a joke,” said Opus in disbelief. “You dear mermaid, are what they in the past called a POS (Protector of the Sea), and your ancestors were triple the size that of an Orca.”

“What? That’s impossible…”

“No… it is very possible and this deep sea, this place that you have been told to be forbidden, well, this is the very place where your Ancestors got their strength to be big and strong. I’m crossing my tentacles that being down here you as well can achieve such a form. If so, then we definitely might have a chance at defeating those monsters from above once and for all.”

“And save my father too?” Xenon added.

“Yes… Of course, and save your father as well,” said Opus with a struggled smile with his eyes.

“Do you really think it will work? Do you really think I can achieve such a power? I mean, I’ve just never really been the fighting type.”

“Yes, dear mermaid, I do believe you will achieve such a form. Take it from one that has three hearts, you’re one heart alone is bigger than mine combined and that my dear mermaid will be all that you will need to win this war. You are our last hope…”

“And if I can’t achieve this?”

“Well, then we are all doomed and the sea will have new rulers, that of the monsters above. But I know you can do this, I believe in you Xenon.”

Xenon nodded with a child-like smile. It was the first time Opus had ever said her name. Maybe Opus wasn’t that bad after all.

But as touching and motivational as the moment was, something was off. It was too quiet and darker than what it should have been. Yet, in the background there would be humming coming from nothing.

Hmm, hm, hmm, hmmm, the sound repeated.

“Well, well, well. Look brothers, it appears that our little brother O has decided to finally come back home,” said a voice from a far.

Xenon moved in closer to Opus, for the voice had given her the creeps.

“Oh, and look, he came bearing gifts. O, you shouldn’t have,” said another voice, sarcastically. 

Opus swallowed his fear down and did his best to plead with them.

“Brothers! Please, stop! The mermaid is not food or our enemy, but a trusted ally. If you would please listen to what I have to say.”

A giant head appeared from out of the dark, afterword’s changing color to its normality. It was another octopus, but double the size of Opus. Its eyes were not like the typical octopus where it would be a rectangle. No, this octopus’s eyes appeared to be lifeless; completely white with no iris.

Xenon clung on tight to one of the Opus’s tentacles.

“Can he see us,” she asked.

“Yeah…” said Opus, with a troubled voice. “He can always see.”

As Xenon held on, Opus’s tentacle seemed a bit stiff. It was apparent that like her, Opus did not want to make a move either.

“O, did you say mermaid? Is that what that little thing is next to you… I thought it might’ve been a dolphin or swordfish, but that smell was far too sweet for such. There’s only one kind of creature that I’ve ever picked that scent off from, but I haven’t smelt or even heard one for ages. It’s really a mermaid isn’t it? Dear mermaid, I must know, where are you from? How did you survive all of this time?” said the octopus, curious and excited all in one.

“Ugh… why does everyone keep saying dear mermaid? I have a name you know. It’s Xenon, just in case anyone cares.”

But sadly, no one really cared. From the time that they were from, mermaids never had names because they were just that above everyone else. That’s just how godly they were. But, of course, Xenon didn’t know this herself until now.

Another Octopus then appeared. And the Octopus’s tentacles would be larger than it’s head, which was never the case for their species.

“Dear mermaid, it is an honor to meet you. Never thought I’d see your kind again, but most importantly, why are you here with our selfish brother O? Trust me, he doesn’t come here to just mingle with us,” said the Octopus with the giant tentacles.

Opus was careful with his words.

“My brothers… I, no, we need your help with some enemies above,” he said.

“Oh, not this again… How many times must you ruin our lives with this O? Did you not learn your lesson the first time?”

Xenon became curious. What exactly did Opus do that made his brothers hate him so? Xenon tugged on Opus’s tentacle.

“What is it mermaid… Can’t you see I’m trying to save us from being ripped apart? Just be quiet and follow my lead.”

Xenon then stepped out in the middle of Opus’s brothers barely pushing him to the side, demanding that her voice be heard. If anything, they were all just impressed by how someone so small as Xenon could ever have the courage to be in front of them, as most swam away whenever seeing them. Without a doubt, Xenon was small but she still wielded that intense ancestral aura that all mermaids held.

“All of you, please hear me out. Whatever it is that you all have against your another we don’t have time for it. My father could be… No, if we don’t find the ones above then I’ll never see my father again,” said Xenon, and there would be a tiny bubble by the corner of her eye. It was as tiny as a pearl.

All of the Octopus’s were quiet. They’d never seen a mermaid so emotional, for most of the ones that they encountered in the past were scarier than anything. It was even said that once around them, one could feel the energy of their own spirit being pulled from them.

Opus sighed with hopelessness that they weren’t getting themselves out of the situation that they were in. However, his brothers would have a change of heart it would seem.

“You know brother, you always have a way of getting people to aid you in your dirty works, but never do you do the same for the ones that help you. Dear mermaid… No, my apologies… Dear Xenon, are you sure that you trust our brother?” asked the larger Octopus. “And sense we are all getting acquainted, I guess I should tell you my name. They call me Ink, but don’t go around getting funny about it. It has nothing to do with the black clouds of ink that I leave behind.”

Xenon chuckled. She was thankful for the other Octopus’s understanding, but she did ponder on his question on if she trusted Opus or not. After all, how could you trust anyone that isn’t even trusted by his own brothers. But desperate times had called for desperate measures. It was possible that Opus wasn’t the best person to be trusted, but at least she had back up. If Opus so much as even thought of doing anything that would jeopardize their mission, then his brothers would take care of him surely.

Xenon took a deep breath and answered Ink’s question.

“Yes… I trust him,” she said with uncertainty.

Ink and the rest of Opus’s brothers shook their heads.

“I guess it is settled then. We will aid you dear mermaid. But for you Opus, if you so much as try anything funny, we just might start having a taste for our own kind. Get it?”

Opus then wrapped himself with his tentacles like a blanket and nodded quickly. Ink had always been scary to him, and well, that clearly hadn’t changed for how long he’d been gone.

“Dear mermaid, get onto my back. You will reach the top much faster. ,” said Ink.

Xenon fearless as she came to be, got onto Ink’s back. He felt like a giant wet bugger; slimy but with some hardness to it.

Within just a few minutes they would all reach the surface. Xenon’s eye’s marveled by all that she was seeing. The skies looked like another ocean to her. And the islands that rested at the top of the sea she found herself at a loss for words. It truly was like being in another world. But then there it was, just as Opus explained it and just to the left of them, the giant whale with the mermaid in front of it. Although, this mermaid wasn’t just any mermaid it would seem.

Its eyes were chocolate brown and its skin was olive. Its hair floated in the wind as if it were still submerged under the sea, and its tail sparkly just like Xenon’s.

“Mom…” Xenon paused.

“You see what this does to people Opus. Look what you’ve done. The girls gone mad now,” said Ink.

“No… That mermaid attached to whatever that is. I mean, it’s definitely not a whale, but that’s not important right now. But that mermaid tied to it is my mother…” said Xenon with disbelief.

It had been six years since Xenon saw her mother.  Sometimes she’d thought that she’d forgotten what she looked like, but no, this was her mother no doubt about it.

“How could that be?” asked Opus. “Wait… Of course, that’s how they knew where to always find our fish, where to take everything from us! They’ve been using her the whole entire time! And all these years I thought that it was some lifeless mermaid they were using to taunt us as warning to never test them.”

“Then we have to save her too,” said Xenon. “She ended up missing, but now I see why. They took her as an advantage over us. But why? From what my mother told me, they were allies . It still doesn’t make any sense.”

“Well, this makes things very interesting,” said Ink.

“Yes, it really does,” said the other Octopus’s, mumbling thoughts of negativity.

Xenon slid down the back of Ink and floated at the top of the sea in awe. It was still hard to believe what she was seeing. If it was really her mother what did it all mean?

“Ink, take me to her,” said Xenon determined.

“Whoa… Hold on now… We can’t just run over there like a school of sharks. Although we are bigger than them, they still have greater numbers than we do. We need to be strategic about this. Maybe we should call the squids.”

“The Squids? Have you lost your mind?” said Opus.

The squids and the Octopus had never gotten along with one another. So, they’d all agreed to never cross each other’s path. But the octopus as much as they hated to admit it knew that the squids were known for being the smartest of the sea. Also known as the Wise Ones, which the squids typically flaunted every chance they got.

“It can’t be ignored. We need more than just our strength alone,” said Ink, looking at Opus. “Do it.”

Opus hesitated for a moment and rolled his eyes with disappointment. It was already enough that his brothers barely wanted to work with him, but working with the squids… Well, that was a tug on the tentacle.

Opus called up the squids.

“Hello,” asked a squid.

“Hello my name is Opus, I was wondering if…”

“Ugh…” a voice sighed.

There was a silence on the call.

“Hello? You still there?” asked Opus.

“Yeah… What are you calling about?” asked the squid, annoyed. His tone had said it all. He didn’t want to talk. Not to Opus at least.

Xenon then snatched the seashell from Opus’s hand. 

“Hey!”

“Hi my name is Xenon, and I was wondering if we could get your guidance on some issues we are having.”

“Ugh…” sighed the squid again. “Another Octopus…”

“No, I’m not an octopus, I’m a mermaid.”

Again, there was silence on the call.

“I’m sorry, did you say mermaid?” asked the squid.

“Yes, is there a problem?”

“No, not at all… It’s just. Well, we haven’t heard of a mermaid for centuries…”

Xenon  gargled on the phone. It was the sea world’s version of showing frustration.

“Yeah, I’ve heard. So, can you help us or not?” she asked.

“I suppose… But it’s only because of you. We typically don’t work with Octopus. As I’m sure you’re aware of it by now, but you see they tend to be nonintellectual creatures.”

“Say that again squid, I don’t think we quite heard you over here,” said Opus.

“Yes, I didn’t catch it either,” Ink added.

“And see there it is mermaid, non-intellectuals at their best,” said the squid, humorously.

“That’s it! I’m not working with them. I refuse,” said Opus swimming away.

“Everyone calm down!” shouted Xenon. “This situation is bigger than all of us. There’s something odd about that thing  with my mother tied to it.”

“The whale you mean,” corrected Opus.

There would then be chuckles on the call.

“You mean the ship, you embezzle,” laughed the squid.

“What are you talking about squid? What is a ship?” asked Opus.

“That whale with the mermaid attached to it is not a whale, it is a ship. A ship isn’t a living thing. It’s just a bunch of wood forged together.”

It was then even Xenon was silent.

“Of course, you don’t know. Why should I even be surprised…” said the squid, disappointingly. “But no matter, allow us to guide you to the ship. It won’t be easy, but it will be manageable.”

Within a matter of seconds, thousands of giant squid surrounded them. Ink was getting the sense that maybe what he was asking for was a mistake. The squids were much bigger than when they last saw them and if they wanted to, they could’ve taken them all out right then and there.

“Follow us,” said the squid.

Xenon and the Octopus followed the squid to the ship and already there would be the sound of an horn piercing the skies.

“What kind of plan is this squid? I thought we were going to be doing this a little more discreetly…” said Ink.

“Yes, but this plan is better. Sometimes it is better to take your opponent head on, making them think you don’t have a discrete plan, when really you do. Look over there,” said the squid, pointing his tentacle.

Far behind the ship even more giant squid swam, awaiting orders to strike.

At the top of the ship a man with a white beard stood with his hands on his hips and chest out like a rooster. His beard was so soft that it blew in the wind like cotton. The man shouted at the top of his lounges.

“I knew you would come for us one day! But in the pursuit you will all be destroyed. Give up now and have your lives spared,” shouted the man.

Xenon straightened herself up. It couldn’t have been him. Was this the same man her mother spoke about? Was this the one and only Nero?

“Never!” shouted Opus. “You’ve taken too much from us, so now we’re taking it all back.”

Of course, Nero didn’t understand a word Opus had said. All that he saw was a giant octopus throwing up a tentacle in the form of a fist, which was the strangest thing he’d seen in years. But that wasn’t at all what Nero found intriguing about the moment.

“Mermaid…” he whispered.

Xenon hid behind Ink.

“That mermaid!”  shouted Nero. “Where did you find her?”

Everyone remained silent. Wouldn’t have done them much good to say anything anyways seeing how Nero didn’t even understand Opus.

“Yes, yes, this is good. This is just the distraction we need. Xenon, you must say something,” said the squid, but as smart as he was, he couldn’t see that Xenon wasn’t in the mood for any polite conversations.

“Give then back!” she shouted. “What did you do with my father? What did you do to my mother?”

Nero tilted his head to the side amused by Xenon’s beauty and courage.

“Ah… There she is. Look lads! So beautiful… I never thought I would see another one. And to b e the offspring to the two I have now. What a wonderful coincidence,” Nero pointed.

Tied to the ship was, indeed, Xenon’s mother and the good news was that she was still alive, barely.  Xenon was careful with her next words, as Nero came off as the unpredictable type and well, she wasn’t looking forward to anymore surprises. 

“How do you think this will end mermaid?” Shouted Nero. “I tell you what… Give yourself to me and I will spare your friends, even your mother and father. What do you say mermaid? Is it a deal?” Said Nero.

All the rest of Nero’s men cheered in regards to his courage. It was no secret at all that he was the greatest leader, the greatest captain to coast the seven seas. Although, before Xenon could give an answer to his questioning, a black cloud would appear around Nero’s ship, and within seconds Nero’s ship would be in the middle of it.

“We gottem now,” said the squid, celebrating. “Now we move in.”

Nero had an unimpressed smirk on his face.

“What is this? Do you think this will stop me! Do you think this will save you! Well, let the battle begin!”

One by One every man on Nero’s ship pulled up the sails and readied their battle stations. Immediately, shots were fired, and immediately there would be silence right after.

It had all flashed before their eyes. Already five-hundred and eighty squid lifeless.

“No… No, no, no. no… This can’t be… I swear we calculated everything…” said the head squid in shock.

“Hmm… this is really bad,” said Ink

“Of course it is! They’ve already taken out half the back up squad of the squid,” said Opus.

Nero laughed loudly in the background.

“You see! Don’t you see! I cannot be stopped! I am of the king of the seas! Not even Poseidon himself could stop me!”

Again, all of Nero’s men chanted his name, filling their bellies with some of the strongest beverages they had left. They all sang until their hearts content.

“I can’t believe it! They’re celebrating as if it’s already over!” Shouted Opus. “Well not on my watch!”

Before anyone could stop him, Opus swam to the ship with out any thought to what he would do when he reached it.

“Fool! He’s going to get himself killed,” said Ink, swimming after him.

“No! You idiots! We need to plan this out more!” Shouted the squid. But it was apparent that everyone was done playing as if the situation were a game of chess. No… this was war and some if not many more would fall.

While everyone charged forward, Xenon found herself frozen by the violence she was witnessing. Her innocent heart, her innocent eyes… She just couldn’t bear it. All that she ever wanted was peace and for her father to be okay, and even more so, her mother to be back with them. Xenon felt as if she were to explode, and so, she’d screamed at the top of her lounges.

Xenon’s scream was so loud that it would split the ocean in half. All of Nero’s men screamed for him, but his eyes had said it all that he’d met his match or his first challenge at least. Ironically, Opus wielded a joyous smile, for he knew Xenon had such a gift all along. Again, yes, she was small, but what was inside of her was much bigger than the sea itself.

Xenon screaming with all her hearts content would faint, sinking back down into the sea peacefully like a child to their bed. And the ocean would no longer be split. Everyone looked around with amazement, but ignorant as they were, Nero and his men only laughed.

“Ha, ha, ha, was that it! Was that your final stand!” Shouted Nero. “Although I must say that I am greatly impressed! Amazing… such a tiny creature, yet, with the roar of a goddess.”

It was then a the entire sea began to vibrate. Giant waves began to form from every direction, and the sun would be dimmed by the clouds.

“Look! Over there!” Shouted one of the men.

Nero looked over into the direction strongly. It was a giant shadow underneath the sea, but unlike the black cloud of ink that once surrounded his ship, this shadow was getting bigger as time went on.

Underneath the sea an enormous roar put chills through everyone who still had life to give. Surfacing through the sea like a goddess would be Xenon, but it would appear that she’d brought some friends that made Nero regret ever being so naive as he was. ‘“By the gods…” said Nero shaking.

“Its…”

“The Kraken,” said Opus.

“No, there’s more,” said Ink. “Look what’s next to them.

“Captain is that what I think that is!” Shouted a man soiling himself with fear.

“Yes… It’s Moby… It appears that our little mermaid has much more behind her than I thought. But we will not let this get us down! Men, are you with me!”

There was silence. Nero looked back. He’d never seen his men so frightened. They all looked like little boys now.

“Oh, I just want to go home… Captain, please, let’s just forget about all of this. Let’s give the mermaid what she wants and then we can be back in the arms of our wives once more…”

Nero’s eyes then filled with rage. He’d never surrendered in his life. And regardless if his men wanted to help him or not, he wasn’t lowering his flag for anyone.

“Everyone Shut up and let me think!” shouted Nero.

Everyone then silenced themselves, waiting for what Nero was about to say next. But the only thing was that he didn’t say anything else. He couldn’t. Sure they’d have a few encounters with Moby Dick; some wins, some loses, but no-one had ever defeated the Kraken, let alone knew that it truly existed.

“Free my mother and give my father back and no more blood will need to be spilt,” said Xenon.

Nero spit into the sea.

“Ha! You think you’ve got it all figured out do you?” Shouted Nero. “If there is more blood that will be spilt, then so be it.”

Nero and his men then set their sales once more, charging with full speed at the Kraken as if the gods were in their favor. Neither the Kraken nor Xenon moved. They were calm, and as was the sea now. Opus and his brothers watched nervously as Nero and his men continued to gain speed.  They were now faster than the dolphins it seemed.

Xenon hesitated to make a move, for her mother was still attached to the ship and her father still onboard, somewhere. Harming the ship would only mean harming them. It would seem that Nero was calling Xenon’s bluff, and it would be a good call indeed.

“Alright men ready the cannons! Do not be afraid of this monster ahead of us! It will do nothing and she will do nothing!” Shouted Nero, with restored confidence.

But then something would change… It was as if their ship had added weight to it, as inch by inch it slowed down.

“What’s going on! Did I say lower the sails you idiots?” Said Nero.

“But captain… The sails aren’t lowered… There’s something slowing us down.”

Nero looked ver the ship and found just what he expected.

“Moby…” he whispered again.

Nero then ran over and grabbed harpoon from one of his men.

“You will not stand in my way again Moby!” Shouted, Nero, shooting.

It was a direct hit.  Moby’s cries echoed the skies.

“That savage! He won’t stop at anything. The man really thinks he’s a god of some sort,” said Ink with disbelief.

Still Moby had did his best to fight Nero and his men. Xenon was still hesitant, but at this point found herself with no other option. Nero and his men had to be stopped.

Xenon then leaned over and whispered to Kraken. Immediately, the entire sea would begin to move.

“Captain… I think they’re charging us,” said frightened man.

“Fine! Let them come! Don’t forget how far we have come lads! Come on Kraken! Do your worst!” Shouted Nero.

Xenon would call Moby back so that he wouldn’t get caught in the crossfire.

As the Kraken lunged forward giant waves would form. Before Nero could even think to turn the ship around, he and his men would riding on one of the biggest waves they’d ever seen. The higher the wave had gotten, the more Nero’s ship would tilt backwards. And then, they’d be in the sea.

Most of Nero’s men had drowned, no, all oh is men had drown, some unfortunately becoming meals for the sharks that decided to later join the party.

Xenon shouted for her mother and father, but all there was now were the screams of men, crying out their wives names. Although, Nero wouldn’t be one of these men.

Not far from her, Xenon watched as Nero held her mother captive.

“It’s not over dear mermaid! Its not over by along shot! Shouted Nero, wielding a knife, shimmering in the sun.

Again, Xenon was hesitant. She’d thought of many things she could do, but it would appear she was all out of ideas, at least, ideas that would work.  But that wasn’t the part that had made Xenon hesitate the most. Nero said “dear mermaid.”… There was only one group that called her that.

“Opus! Opus, where are you? It’s time that we tell our little secret!” Shouted Nero, with his eyes circurcling the sea.

And there it was… Like the sea monsters they were, Opus and his brothers would reveal themselves from behind Nero.

“Opus… What is this?” Asked Xenon, concerned.

“Opus smiled cynically.

“Oh, dear mermaid… what a shame indeed…” he said. “I told you that this was your destiny. That you would play a huge part in the war.”

“You see mermaid, what you were too blind to see was that I had help doing all of this,” added Nero. “Did you really think I could rule the entire see without having a few friends.”

“Ink?” Said Xenon, hoping for a different answer, but Ink said not a word, fro he was too ashamed. In his three hearts, he really did like Xenon, however, it was out of his control.

Xenon felt more anger brewing in her, but this was much different than before.

“What? You going to call the Kraken on us again?” Laughed Nero. But he wouldn’t be laughing when once he saw what was coming next.

Like her ancestors, Xenon would grow into a size Opus overtime had lost faith in. She was nearly as big as the Kraken now, which even the Kraken found itself to be amazed by. Xenon’s mothers eyes opened and there would be joy within them.

At this point there really wasn’t any need for words. With all of her might, Xenon gave one of the biggest screams that even the mythological sirens could do. Nero’s ears bled by the high pitch of it, letting Xenons mother go to cover his ears.

Opus and his brothers would form into a group huddle.

“Looks like Nero’s out! What do we do Opus? You told of us if we helped you that we would have all the fish in the world,” said Ink, worried.

“Yeah, you said we would have an unlimited supply! But Opus, you got us in your mess again. I didn’t t sign up for all of this… This is wrong…”

“Quiet you fools! And let me think…” shouted Opus, aggravated.

Opus had come too far to give it all up now. Sure, Nero was out of the game but the game itself was far from over.

“You might’ve freed your mother, but we still have one more thing that you want,” shouted Opus, now with his tentacles wrapped around Xenon’s father.

By the looks of him he was nearly lifeless.

“Release him Opus! Or…”

“Or what?”

Nothing was said.

“Yeah… Just what I thought,” said Opus “Now surrender and I’ll set your father free.”

Xenon looked to her mother for guidance and wouldn’t be surprised by her answer. It was then Xenon’s mother came forward and her aura would be godly.

“Step aside squid, it doesn’t have to end like this,” she said.

“Ugh! He’s not with us! Not a squid at all,” shouted a squid in the distance.

“It will end the way I say it will,” said Opus, squeezing Xeon’s father just a little bit more tighter.

For a brief moment Xenon’s fathers eyes would open. His eyes sparkled with joy, as now he was witnessing his beloved wife, the one he thought he’d lost.

“Xena,” he whispered, with his voice trembling.

“Yes, it is me my love,” Xena smiled.

Xenon as well smiled, for it was a Kodak moment, but at the end, it had only made Opus tighten his grip around Xenon’s father even more.

“Sorry to spoil the family reunion, but like I said, surrender now or face the consequences…”

Opus had felt a sharp pain in one of his hearts.  It felt something like someone had harpooned him, but seeing how Nero and his men had been taken down, it surely couldn’t have been them. Right after, Opus would feel his other two hearts being punctured. It was then he Ould taste blood in his mouth.

 Slowly Opus turned his heads towards his back and by his surprise it was the one person he’d least expect to have the guts to do such a thing to him—it was Mr. Sward.

“Why insolent swordfish… How dare you…” said Opus, with his voice fading. “Brothers, help me…”

Little did Opus know that his brothers had had enough of his idiotic plans. As much as they hated to admit it, they were happy to see him go.

“Fine… if that’s the way it has to be,” said Opus, but before he’d fade to his last breath,  Opus would squeeze the life out of Xenons father. Before anyone could do anything about it both Opus and Xenons father would be gone, sinking all the way to the bottom of the sea, well…just Opus actually.

Opus’s brothers brought Xenons father to her. Her mother cried, for she’d longed for the day they would meet again, but not like this. Xenon would too cry, and she’d cry until the point where she would be back to her normal form again. “Opus was right,” said the voice in her head. Although, Xenon would not let things end like that. If no one would say it, then Xenon felt it best for her to say it.

Swimming in front of all who lived  in the sea, Xenon pulled herself onto a rock as if it was the grand-is stage of all and gave a speech.

“Do you see what we’ve all done to one another? And for what? For food or stability. We must learn from this. We must be better. My father once told me if I ever wanted to see my true potential, the good in myself; then I needed to learn how to let some things go. Those men on the ship that you all saw, they did not know how to let things go and so they sealed their own fate as well as Opus.I believe that once in their lives they might’ve him been better but they let hard times change them. So, I ask, I beg you all, do not be changed by the challenges of life. They can be conquered and if we learn to work together they can be conquered with little struggle.”

The entire se was silent. All that was heard was the wind and the movement of the ocean for even the birds that flew had taken the time to rest by Xenons side and listen.

“So, who is with me!” Shouted Xenon.

Xenons mother swam forward and grabbed her hand.

“I am always with you love,” said Xena.

Ink and his brothers then swam forward still holding Xenons father gracefully and The rest of the sea would fall in line. They all chanted Xenons name.

Xenon’s mother smiled.

“Looks like you are now queen of the sea,” she said. “My sweet daughter what will you do now?”

“To be honest mom I don’t know what I’m going to do, but someone has to do something,” Xenon.

“True… But you are your fathers daughter. So, I know that you will make things right for the sea as well land. Wait, I have something for you. It was something your father buried long ago but I think he would want you to have it. Give me a moment.

Xenons mother then dived down into the sea. It had only taken a moment like she’d said.

“Here, this is your’s now,” said Xena. “But careful with it, for the power you hold now and with it combined will be your greatest responsibility and your greatest challenge.

What Xenons mother had given her was something she’d never seen before or heard of. It was as reflective as her own eyes. It was light, but much harder than the bolder she sat on.

“Is that what I think that is?” asked a squid.

Ink chuckled.

“Yes squid, that is the Legendary Trident of Pearls.”

All Xenon could think of is why her father never told her. It could’ve been just what they needed to give the doctors to heal him, but as she looked in the skies, she could see that that was her father’s destiny. To see that Xenon would see her own.

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