Ahumai hastened towards The City. His team had discovered an unknown, the first discovery in over a decade. It was big news. His team mates – Dalila and Jidlaph followed him, trying to keep up. They were Ahumai’s blood-sworn and were tasked with watching his back. It had been a long mission and they were tired. However, they knew that even though they were out of dangerous waters, they could not afford to ease up. Enemies could be lurking behind any coral, waiting to ambush them. Ahumai was not making their task any easier. He had abandoned all vigilance and was making a straight dash to The City, and who could blame him? The mission had been an astounding success. Clutched in his hands was a safety packet and within it resided the unknown. They had given up trying to slow him down and instead focused on surveying their surroundings to the best of their ability, without losing sight of his swishing emerald tail.
The three blood-sworn belonged to the Selachii Kingdom, one of the many Sea-folk kingdoms. The City was the capital of Selachii Kingdom, and the birthplace of the three. After a swift and arduous swim through the azure waters of Selachii, the trio finally gazed upon The City. It was city of pale golden colour, masterfully architected with a slew of magnificent minarets towering over each other. A crystal-clear purifier dome separated the city limits from the outer Azure waters. It was truly a sight to beholden, and no matter how many times Ahumai saw it, he always fell in love with its pristine beauty. The three made their way to the city entrance, swimming alongside shoals of persimmon coloured fish. The guards positioned at the entrance saluted the three as they entered. Ahumai was used to salutes because he was the younger Selachii prince, but he had never liked them. However, today for a change he acknowledged the salutes whole-heartedly. For the first time, he felt as if he had earned them. He had after all discovered an unknown.
As soon he entered the city premises, he spotted his older brother approaching. It was difficult to miss his muscular frame. It was even more difficult to miss his bright acid green tail. Ahumai was gleaming with joy when his brother was close enough to look at the safety packet.
“Ahumai, is that an unknown?”
“It sure is, Pachu’a. The first one found in so many years.”
“Very good. Take it directly to the Science Center. I want to know if it can be used as a weapon against our enemies.”
Ahumai hated this about his brother. He was only concerned with warfare. If something did not aid in increasing his own power, it was of no interest to him. He had no inclination towards history at all. In contrast to his older brother, Ahumai loved knowledge. Even the discovery of simple trivial knowledge excited him, and this was an unknown. He was eager to know what stories it held. However, he could not say all this to his sibling. Ahumai nodded.
“Yes, I will take it to the science center.”
Pachu’a placed his burly right arm on Ahumai’s shoulder.
“Good. We need to strengthen ourselves as much as we can, little brother. Our enemies are many and we need all the advantages we can get.”
Ahumai bowed his head. His companions followed suit and kept their heads bowed until the heir to the Selachii Kingdom had passed them. Ahumai turned to face Dalila and Jidlaph.
“Well, as my brother told us, we are going to the Science Center. But, after we meet Grandpa. I want him to see it before the other scientists.”
Dalila shook her head.
“I knew this was coming. You always have to undermine your brother in some way.”
Jidlaph grunted in agreement.
“Come on, it is not about that. At least, not this time. Grandpa always has something interesting to share. I want to know what he thinks before the other war-hungry scientists look at the unknown we found. Are you both coming?”
Jidlaph shrugged his shoulders. Dalila opened her mouth to argue and closed it after a split second. She realized Ahumai was not going to change his mind. She beckoned Ahumai to lead the way. Ahumai smiled to himself.
Making their way through the busy streets of The City, the trio reached Grandpa’s house. The house was ancient, which was quite visible to any onlooker. Before Ahumai could place his palm on the door to let Grandpa know he had visitors, the door slid open. The trio heard Grandpa’s gruff voice.
“Come on in, kids. This house may be old, but I assure you the technology on which it runs is cutting edge.”
The three blood-sworn entered. They swam past the meeting area and into Grandpa’s study. Ahumai held up the safety packet as soon as he saw Grandpa. Grandpa’s jaw dropped.
“My dear boy! Is that an unknown? Did you really find one?”
The trio chimed in unison.
“Where did you find it?”
“We were scouting the brooding caverns. Found it in a small unclaimed chest.”
“That was mighty lucky. Well then, let us see it. Quickly now.”
Ahumai opened the lock on the safety packet and removed the unknown. It looked like a covering of some kind much like the gauntlets worn by Selachii soldiers, but they were flatter in shape and their material unlike any that had been encountered before. Each side of the unknown was marked by similar markings.
“Have you ever seen this mark, Grandpa?”
“No, I have not. Maybe it is an ancient language.”
Ahumai nodded. To his eyes, the markings looked like the outline made by his thumb and his index finger, when he stuck them both out. Maybe, they communicated with their fingers. Ahumai observed that Grandpa looked pleased.
“Grandpa, what are you thinking? You seem happy.”
“You see, child, I have been working on a theory for many years now. This might be the first proof supporting this theory.”
“What theory is that?”
“I believe that many millions of years ago, the world was not entirely submerged in water. In those times, our ancestors lived on land. They probably had limbs that aided them in moving around on land. This unknown may be a gauntlet of sorts for their lower limbs. And then after some time, due to some reason, the entire world flooded.”
The three blood-sworn gaped at Grandpa. He burst out laughing.
“Kids, it is just a theory. I know it sounds absurd – areas without water and our ancestors living in such areas.”
*The names used in the story, are all connected to water in some way.
Ahumai : A meadow of waters
Dalila: Water bearer
Jidlaph: He that distills water
Pachu’a: Feathered water snake
**Those who found the description of the markings confusing, this is what I intended to convey :
If you like stories related to the Sea you may want to give the Sea of Blood series a read!