Sarita was returning from the deep sea. She had been deep in some of the farthest caves still within the gravitational field. Somebody, probably decades ago, had setup a small rest house all the way near the edge of the field.
There wasn’t much in regards to amenities but it did provide a small safe haven from the deep waters and allow for some rest. Sarita had renovated the place and it was full of books and tools. Sometime she would spend days at a time out there away from even those that could show up at the resort.
With just one other guest she had been content to stay in the resort like she normally did. But with the arrival of two more she had packed a couple of waterproof bags and left to the gettaway.
The new little girl guest had watched her leave and Sarita was also happy to be gone. She had hoped to say out here until those two decided to leave however she had run out of ink only four days into her isolation. Using pens to scratch out her notes was a bit rustic but it was a habit she hadn’t been able to break.
Since the hideaway was not part of the actual resort there were no stealthy robots to replace her used tools while she was outside so she had to return to the resort personally to restock. She had made a list of everything that she thought she would need to spend several weeks out in the hidaway.
That was what had caused her to return to the Poseidon Resort.
Her swim back through the murky waters was mostly uneventful. She had been through this was countless times and knew the routes in the water by heart. She didn’t even have any of the sonic emitting diving equipment on, the predators out in the water were more afraid of her than she was of them.
Even with her exceptional swimming speed it still took several hours to return to the Resort and that was only from one edge of the zone to the center. The area covered by the Poseidon Resort gravity field was truly enormous.
As the resort began to draw into view she could see into the large viewing platform that was on the third floor along with the library. She could see the man, Clemens sitting in one of the chairs reading.
He also seemed to notice her and he looked up. He raised a hand in greeting like he usually did when he saw her and she didn’t pay any extra attention to him this time then she did any of the times that they meet.
Still she had grown more used to him then some of the other guests and avoided him less than she did some of the others that had showed up. There was a second entrance to the resort that would let her avoid being seen by the observation deck. That entrance lead into the back areas of the resort where the robots hide themselves when they weren’t working.
The resort used that entrance for their fishing robots which caught fresh fish for the restaurant when it was needed. However that route was a pain for Sarita to go through and she preferred to use the normal deep sea diving entrance.
The airlock to the diving room sealed behind her and was the water drained out she coughed out the remaining water that was inside her. The multitude of aquatic plant life oxidized the water sufficiently for her and the other sea animals to breath in it without any issue. Sure a normal human would suffocate but her silver scales was a constant reminder that she was not a normal human.
She was thankful that the deep sea diving room was empty when she emerged. She quickly dried her hair and made toward the first stop in her hopefully quick return to the resort. Her room was on the sixth floor of the resort. She had initially gotten a room on the first floor but after several other guests had show up she had found it easier to just live on a higher floor. The upper floors rarely got reserved so people almost never got rooms next to hers.
Her room was a jumbled uncontrolled mess. It wasn’t dirty, the cleaning robots ensure that, but there was years of collecting built into several small rooms. Rocks and unusual shells she had found out in the ocean, piles of jumbled notes that she had written. Books she had ordered delivered, not even including the ones she had in digital copies on the computer roughly stashed away in one corner.
She pulled open one of the drawers and took a handful of pens and ink refills from it and placed them neatly in the bag that she had brought. While the robots wouldn’t restock her hideaway they were restocking her room at her request.
There were also a couple of the notebooks and normal books that she placed into the bag with the pens. If she was going to get any more work done out there she was going to need them. Following that was a couple extra changes of clothing. While she tended to wear the same thing for several days on end she still needed more than she had brought the first time. Doing laundry by hand out there was an incredible pain and more hassle then it was worth.
With everything she needed from her room done she returned to the lift heading back to the main floor. However on the way down her fears came true. The lift stopped on the second floor. The doors slide open to reveal and older man who she had only seen once before.
“Oh hoh, who do we have here.” Said Hubert as he stepped onto the lift, “The elusive other resident. What did Clemens say your name was, right Sarita, that was it. I’m Hubert by the way.”
The doors of the lift slide closed too slowly for Sarita’s comfort, “Yes, Sarita, that is correct.”
“We were afraid we had scared you off but it is good so see that is not the case.”
“This place is my home.”
“And a nice and quiet place it is. The time had just flown by since I got here.” He eyed the bad that Sarita was carrying before continuing, “However if you are going to go off and hide then can I ask a favor before that.”
The doors had begun to open on the main floor. Sarita wasn’t to head off quickly be she paused just long enough to listen to what Hubert had to say.
“My adopted daughter, Esmeralda. I would like you to find some time to speak with her. You see, she is a designer child. She doesn’t often get to have time to speak with people like her.”
Sarita had just begun to leave the lift as he spoke but she paused before finally saying, “I’ll try to make some time.”
“Thank you.” His words seemed mostly ignored as Sarita walked away at a brisk clip.
Esmeralda had just finished enjoying the spa. The warm waters had really sunk into her bones and now she was relaxing in one of the massage chairs that were located nearby. She raised an eyebrow in surprise when a scaled woman with emerald hair took the massage chair next to her.
“Father must have said something.”
“He said I should talk with you for a while.”
“He is quite meddlesome but that is one of the reasons he makes a good father figure. Certainly better than my actual parents.”
“Hmm..” Came the guttural sound from Sarita, “I don’t really blame my parents. My dad was also like me and I was supposed to be a second generation, to make everything seem more normal. They certain wanted me to be happy.”
“Did something happen to your parents?”
“Dad got an infection, it should have just been a simple thing but he had an unexpected allergic reaction to the antibiotic because of his unique biology. By the time we were able to get him to an actual doctor it was too late.”
“Any your mother?”
“She is still alive, but she loved dad probably too much and I reminder her too much of him. We parted ways since before I came here and I haven’t seen her since.”
“A tragic fate. Losing a loving family is probably worse than losing one who never love you.” Said Esmeralda.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“My story isn’t that complex. I was born is Xalvian space.”
That caused Sarita to cough a little, “But they…”
“Yeah, although I didn’t experience the worst of the war. I was just an ornament for one of the lords. One of his eternal beauties, although his preferences were questionable.”
“Then your age…”
“I’ve looks like this since I first opened my eyes.” Said the woman who had been cursed to eternally look like a young child.
The conversation had died at that. They both stayed the with the massage chair kneading away at their backs.
“How is it out there in the ocean? It seems like it would be scary.”
“Scary? I don’t think I’ve ever though of the ocean as scary. The great gloomers can be threatening sure but the creatures out there are just animals each trying to survive in their own individual ways. I don’t think I would ever be frightened of something like that.”
“They are one of the apex predators in the region. They are a mollusk with six limbs that strangle their pray before eating them. They are one of the few animals that are capable of surviving outside the pressure suppression of the resort and can escape from the other large carnivores. They also use echolocation instead of sight to figure out where their prey is so they can go deep into caves to catch food.”
“I don’t know they sound pretty terrifying to me. You seem to know quite a lot about them.”
“You probably heard the informational spiel about this place is an isolated ecosystem. However the truth is a lot more interesting than that. There are still some deep sea creatures like the Great Gloomer that are capable of existing in this area. Nobody has really recorded anything about how the animals have changed either.”
Sarita’s eyes had changed color while she spoke, darkening considerable. One of her biological quirks that helped her see clearly in the darkness of the deep seas. “It has been hundreds of years since the last person classified all the creatures out there. While the area encompassed by the gravitational field is wide for the purposes of population dynamics the area is actually small. Because of this the creatures have changed quite rabidly and all my notes have put the current species as quite different from the other records that I have found.”
Esme smiled as she watched Sarita talk about the underwater world. Esme looked even more like a child when she didn’t have a serious look on her face and Sarita looked even more like a bloodthirsty shark when excited. An impartial observer might view the current conversation between the two of them with a great deal of worry.
“Then you have taken over cataloging the creatures that live here?” Asked Esme.
“There wasn’t really anybody to take it over from, but yes. Initially I hadn’t really planned on take up permanent residence here but once I first went out into the waters I saw what a marvelous and strange place this was. Although it also helped that very few people come all the way out here.”
“Yes, being away from other people, that it probably why Hebert chose this place to let me get away from my problems, at least for a little while. He probably could have finished his novel anywhere.”