“I am the mighty fisherman Marius!” Exclaimed the man.
“Suzuna, it is a pleasure.” Said the woman.
“And I am Clemens. I’ll try to bring her back here.”
Then Clemens was off to search for Sarita. His first port of call was the deep observatory however this time it was empty so he had to search elsewhere. He eventually found her at one of the sushi bars. Sarita preferred her fish raw and this was the one place in the resort that offered the food that she desired.
She looked up as he came in and said, “Is this another thing about the new guests?”
Clemens nodded and said, “It was some strange fisherman named Marius who asked specifically for you. Said you were his rival, or something like that.”
Sarita sighed and placed down the wooden chopsticks she was using to eat. “I had hoped that he would never come back. Unfortunately he said he would come back some day so I guess this is to be expected.”
“You beat him in a fishing competition or something?”
“Basically and he seemed to take it as a personal insult and challenged me again. After he lost three times he swore to return and defeat me the next time. That time is apparently now.”
“Do you know the woman that is with him? She said her name is Suzuna.”
“I think she was there last time too however I didn’t really talk with her, well either of them really, so I can’t tell you much about her. I think they are married however.”
“Really? Those two? They seem very different.”
“Your skepticism might be warranted but that is all that I have learned about their relationship. If you want to know more about them then you should ask them yourself.”
“And about his challenge against you?”
“Tell him that I will be at deep sea diving tomorrow at noon and he can challenge me there. And I will refuse to let him challenge more more than once a day.”
“How do these challenges work?”
“Well, we are capturing fish out in the ocean. Surprisingly he can actually use a fishing pole under water pretty well but I just capture the fish with my hands. It is a pain to describe so if you want to see for yourself you might as well come with us.”
“Sure, I’ll do that.” Said Clemens, “Well, I suppose I’ll go tell them about the plan so Marius doesn’t try to track you down himself while screaming your name. I can imagine him doing that.”
“I don’t need to imagine. He did that last time.”
Clemens met Marius and Suzuna again in the entrance room. Marius had a box full of small fishing lures that he had open on the table next to him. Suzuna was sitting next to him with a small computer open on the table and was diligently typing away at it.
As Clemens approached Marius called out and said, “Ahoy mate, did you inform the beast of our arrive!”
“I would appreciate it if you did not insult her like that.” Said Clemens.
“Hmmmm…” The man pondered, “But out of all the creatures I have ever seen in those black depths she is the most dangerous. What else should I call her?”
Suzuna just said, “Sarita”.
“Ah, yes, that was it Sarita, the monster of Poseidon Resort. Did you inform Sarita of our arrival?”
“Yes, she has been informed. She said that she would be in the Deep Sea Diving exit at noon tomorrow for the first competition. She also mentioned that she wouldn’t accept more than one challenge a day.”
“Excellent. That will give me time to prepare and practice. This time that mon…. Sarita will not defeat me. After all I went to train in the rocky seas of Fesalin in preparation for this day.” He then grabbed his baitkit and took off toward deep sea diving.
As he left Clemens looked over toward Suzuna and asked, “Is he always like this.”
“Yes, he is always like that.”
“Sarita says that the two of you are married. Is that correct?”
She was still typing at her computer while she said, “Yes, that is true. We have been married for five years now.”
“He seems like a tough man to deal with and very different from you. I’m surprised you go along for that long.”
She looked up from the computer and stared at Clemens for a few moments before saying, “Yes, I suppose we are very different. However that doesn’t really matter. Maybe it is because we are so different from each other that we get along. I very much doubt that somebody like Marius could ever love Marius.”
“Ah, well, that might be true, they would probably clash a lot.”
“Exactly.” Said Suzuna, “And I doubt I could have ever liked somebody too much like me. I needed somebody much more exciting in my life and Marius was perfect for that. Without him I would never go to places like this.”
“Ah, I think I am beginning to understand. Well as long as you two are happy it doesn’t really matter what I or other people think about your relationship.”
“That is true.” Said Suzuna, “When those two go out for their competition are you going to join them?”
“Join them… me? I…” Clemens said hesitating.
Suzuna looked at Clemens thoughtfully, “If I had to guess you are a little bit like me and Sarita is a little bit light Marius. That way you tried to defend her from Marius’ words makes me think that you care about her.”
Clemens knew she was saying the truth, yet at every moment he hesitated. Not certain that he wanted to press forward, afraid to break what he already had.
“I will try to go out with them. I’ve tested the waters before but sometimes I still have trouble dealing with that inky darkness.”
Suzuna looked back down at her computer. “I managed to avoid making a terrible mistake I just hope that you can avoid it too.”
“You are coming outside too Clemens?” Asked Sarita at noon the next day.
“Well, you did promise to show me outside sometime so I figured now would be a good time to practice.”
“Well, I suppose, however this isn’t really what I imagined.” She glanced over toward Marius who had already put on the diving suit. Over which he was wearing his fishing hat.
“It is a good trial experience.” Said Clemens.
Sarita turned away and said, “Whatever. Just get into a diving suit and we will get to leave the resort. Today we will be going to the light reef, a good place for beginners like you.”
She then walked over toward Marius and said, “You, we are going to be hunting a miniature whale today. While they are filter feeders they are more resilient to the sonic frequencies your suit can give out so be careful if they get too close. They are big enough to cause bad bruises if you let them bash you with their body or tails.”
“Don’t worry. My rod here is specially made to handle even the largest of fish. I can handle the worst that you will attempt to throw at me.”
“You do remember that we are only competing indirectly right?”
Clemens has put on one of the wetsuits with flipper to help get around underwater. Like previously Sarita wasn’t wearing anything special, just the equivalent of a swimsuit although she had a small knife strapped to her waist.
Sarita continued “Once we arrive at the light reef I’m going to have Clemens give a begin signal and we are both going to get half an hour to kill or capture a miniature whale. If we both succeed then I’m going to up the ante for tomorrow.”
“That is fine with me. I don’t think something as simple as a miniature whale will be a problem for me.”
Sarita only smiled knowingly before pulling open the airlock and stepping inside. As she did she said, “Make sure you have your radio strapped correctly to your neck so that we can properly communicate to each other underwater and also have the receiver placed correctly in your ear.”
We stepped into the airlock with her and then she shut the airlock and Clemens and Marius watched the tube fill with water.
“The water near the Poseidon resort is heated by the very towers that keep the pressure down so it isn’t as cold as the surrounding oceans.” Explained Sarita as the water rose higher and higher, “There are also not seasons down here and the temperature is basically consistent all year round.”
The water reached the top of Clemen’s and Marius’ heads but they could still hear Sarita talking although it sounded a bit more distorted. The microphone strapped to her neck recorded the appropriate sounds and transmitted those sounds to the earpieces and both of the guys wore. Filtering technology also made it sound almost exactly like it would if Sarita was talking normally.
“The area that we are going is the light reef. It is the region surrounding the nearest gravity tower. The light produced by this tower is the strongest of all the different towers so to provide illumination to the areas that are visible from the resort itself. Because of this the place boasts extensive plant-life and many different types of coral. Avoid touching the coral since it is very fragile.”
The other side of the airlock began to open up and they were all able to swim outside. Sarita lead the way and her swimming was incredibly graceful like she was born to swim, which she basically was.
The swim to the light reef was quick. The giant pillar was easily visible from the observation deck that Clemens very commonly looked out from. He had seen the miniature whales from there before. Calling them miniature was only true in relationship to the larger creatures they were named after. They were four feet long if they were small and could grow up to twelve feet long in the biggest case.
Clemens knew that calling this the easy catch was a bit of an understatement however for all he knew that might be right. Maybe there were far bigger and nastier things out there farther from the light reef. Probably some kinds of large carnivores, the ones the sonic defenses were designed to protect against.
Once they had arrived at the giant pillar that stretch up and up into the ocean Clemens couldn’t help but ask the question, “How tall are these?”
“They are each about a mile tall. Although about of quarter of that is unlit and is needed to keep the pressure manageable. In that section the pressure is still very high and it is only farther down the the continued effects of the pillars make things sustainable for us.” Said Sarita explaining.
“That is huge.” Said Clemens.
“The ones on the edges are even bigger. More than twice as thick and more than a mile high. Those are needed to keep the rest of the sea out. From that I could figure out this technology was initially used to protect space stations which were orbiting black holes and was later adapted to be used underwater and reduce pressure.”
“Enough talking.” Said Marius since they had arrived at the pillar. “It is time for our competition. You said we would have half an hour to catch one of the miniature whales. Come on boy, give us the command and we will be off.”
Clemens looked over are Sarita who seemed to sigh underwater and then he raised his hand. “Alright then, begin.” And he dropped his hand. With that Marius began to swim off toward one of the nearest miniature whales with his fishing pole in hand.
“Also near the edges the lights are weaker which means different ecosystems are off there. Some of the strange creatures near the edge are a marvel to behold since they are adapted to both high and middling pressures.” Said Sarita.
“Don’t you also need to go off and catch the fish?” Asked Clemens.
“I hardly need thirty minutes to catch one of them. I can let him have a head start if we wants it. Its not like getting the fish first is part of the scoring.”