It has been sometime since I wrote of my disappearance, of those lost days, days of wonder and delight, and yet also of fear and despair. Sometime...now there is and under stated claim, it is in point of fact, almost three years.
I was never able to recount the tale at the time, unable, as I was, to reconcile the loss of my good friends, the people of the undersea, with the selfless and daring rescue by my friends from above. Torn between the two I continued to vacillate, working myself into a state of such confusion that I sought the counsel of a doctor; and ultimately, when he was of little solace, I chose to leave my home behind, to travel the new continent and put distance and time between those memories and that confusion. At least that was the intent.
I have been back in New Babbage for a few months now, so much has changed in those years, even with my occasional visits to ensure my affairs were in order, the city has marched ever onwards, expanding along the coastline. Of my loyal friends, only Jed appears to be here. Kaylee's old workshop on the port is no longer hers and the Gangplank has changed hands many times over. Not that I ever venture much outside. In the months since I returned, I have been back on land perhaps a dozen times all counted, preferring instead the solitude and serenity of my undersea home in Ægir's hall. I have my dear companion, Miss Judith, to keep me sane.
Enough though, I digress. I have promised Judith that I would write down this account to get my thoughts and fears in order. To find an answer to those angry questions. To understand why, in the face of the evidence of my friends, in the apparent denial of the facts, in opposition to all that a normal person might hold as reasonable, I still cannot feel any malice towards those beautiful people of the sea.
I know not why, but, I feel such an affinity to those I am told were my abductors, perhaps even more than that, I could go as far as to say I feel an affection for them, their simple lifestyle had an almost childlike innocence and charm. How could one not be drawn to it?
My abductors... Abduction to me suggests being taken and held against my will and this does not sit well with my recollection of events. I will now finally attempt to record some of what happened. Though this journal is private, should you be reading this now, as a friend of mine, please understand that I have tried to accept the Mer as the evil aliens that they have been cast by the broader populace but cannot accept the portrait. Forgive me this fact, and look not upon me as ungrateful I truly hold that my rescue and my rescuers are very dear to me. I do not wish to ever devalue their selfless risk on my behalf. As such, in the hope of closing this saga in my own mind, I present the events as they occurred and pray that they are accepted as being as true an account as I am able to render.
I stepped naked from the bed and stood, somewhat shakily, looking around my new home. The room itself was a large steel box, not dissimilar to the sectional buildings used in our own Vernian Sea structures, a worn and slightly damp, woolen rug lined the floor, comforting my toes who relished the sensation as the y worked themselves into the thick pile. Soft green light was filtering through a domed glass porthole perhaps six metres across. I stepped towards the light source, bending slightly to look upwards towards the light. Outside was the sea, ragged kelp, somewhat bleached by pollution, confirming my initial feeling that I was still beneath the sea, and simultaneously telling me that Babbage was not too far away.
A shadow moved across the porthole, startling me, and I grabbed backwards toward the bed behind me; fingers outstretched, hunting for the silk sheet, grabbing it and holding it to me before edging forward once more towards the light.
What I saw next is hard to describe for I can only describe her, as a beautiful abomination. Outside, looking in at me, her head tilting back and forth in curiosity, was a mermaid. Taller than I from head to tail , her face, a fierce beauty, and like her torso, human in form. Of the latter, I speak without doubt, for this creature wore no clothing at all, her breasts and belly as feminine as those concealed so shyly behind the hastily clutched bedsheet. I recall, that even in that moment of first encounter I noticed her navel a sure sign of common ancestry. The curve of her belly shaped down towards her hips but there her human body melted seamlessly into a muscular piscine tail, whose scales shimmered in the soft light. I thought that she was wearing warpaint but soon came to know that this was the colouration of their skins. The Mer are as diverse and pretty as their piscine cousins. My guard that day I would now identify as a lion fish, her hair gathered in a single line of braids atop her skull the rest of her head shaven, if indeed hair grew there at all. Her pale grey/blue skin banded in dark stripes giving her a powerfully, ferocious beauty, the memory of which leaves me speechless to this day.
Clutching my sheet across my body with my right arm I tapped at the glass, gently at first, then with more vigour. She cocked her head to one side, her tail gracefully maintaining her position in the water. "Can you help me?", I cried out, in the naively human expectation that any intelligent creature must speak my language. Another cock of the head, and then the mermaid seemed to come to a decision, she flicked her tail, arching her athletic body as she shot forward, passing up and over my new home, startling me in the process.
I waited for her to return for what felt like hours but was probably no more than half. I knotted my bedding into a rudimentary toga, and sat waiting. The light outside was starting to change, and I sensed that evening was approaching. Giving up on my new friend's return I set about exploring my tiny home.
4 years ago