Streams of sweat were drizzling down Lily's face. There were no clouds on this day to protect her from the brutal midsummer sun. The mop she heaved and shoved on only seemed to grow heavier as the sun sucked the energy right from her body, but she continued to work. She hated being essentially the janitor of the "Imperial Star". The name was so unfitting for a group of people who didn't seem to know what they were doing. The boat wasn't even large enough nor nice enough to be labeled even "Somewhat Imperial". Of course, Lily kept her opinions to herself so as to not risk getting her paycheck cut in half... not that it was much to begin with.
Lily continued to push and pull the heavy mop until finally she had swabbed the entire deck... of this level, at least. Two staircases on either side of this deck led to two smaller, higher decks, where the captain steered the old fashioned ship from one side and the lazy members of the crew hung out and drank various beers on the other side. The crew reminded her of pirates with how they lived. Lily leaned against the rail of the boat, mop still in hand. She looked down at the water and longed for the cool liquid to surround her body. There was nothing she wanted more. It was almost sickening how the one thing she wanted most at this moment was right below her, and yet she couldn't go to it. Suddenly, a mass of rope net began to float by, and inside what she thought were the scales of a fish. Her eyebrows furrowed, trying to see into the water but she couldn't quite make out what it was.
The entire crew on board was thrown into a manic frenzy, and Lily had no idea what was happening. She heard shouting, phrases like, "She's getting away!" and "Grab the ropes, you bastards!" Her eyes were wide as she watched six men rush to the opposite side of the boat she was on. They began tugging on ropes, and Lily looked over her side of the ship to find the mass of net and the odd fish inside of it slowly begin to be pulled back under the ship to the other side. Curiosity was growing within her; she set the mop down carefully and quietly on the deck so she would not be heard. Lily tip-toed her way up the stairs to the upper level of the deck, then crept to the other side of the ship to peer over.
When she finally saw what all of the commotion was about, her jaw dropped. Her first thought was, Oh, my God. They've caught a human in the net!
She was about to shout for them to start sawing a knife at the rope to set her free, but then she saw the fish scales she thought she had seen before. Lily squinted her eyes to try and get a better look, sweat still dripping from her forehead. It looked as if there were a monstrously large fish in the net with the girl, but then it dawned on her that the two were connected. Her blood ran cold despite the sweltering heat. Was she being eaten alive by this giant fish?! No... no, the two were connected. "What on earth..." she muttered under her breath, not believing what she was seeing.
The warm coastal waters were rough today. Something about the moon or the wind was making the currents strong and the waves on the surface choppy. Obsidian tried to stay within the calmer depths of the sea, but he kept hearing odd noises whenever he began to stray closer to the surface. It was beginning to annoy him because it was scaring off the few fish in the area. His grip tightened on the dagger he had sharpened from a rock, and he began to propel himself forward through the water. The scales on his tail caught the light of the sun and reflected as he got closer to the surface.
Taking in a deep breath of water, he filtered the oxygen out through gills on his neck and then exhaled. It was this damned ship. Obsidian had been following it around for the past week in hopes that he could steal some of the fish they caught before they reeled up the nets, but apparently they didn't need to fish for food often. His black hair, silky in the water, fell in front of his eyes once he fell still.
Yes, he'd become aware that the filthy pirates had captured a merfolk on the ship. He assumed female from the screams, otherwise a very girly man. Yes, it was true that he discovered from listening to chat on board that it was not a siren, but one of the no-good fish blooded mermaids. No point in saving and mating with that when his own kind was endangered. The very thought rather grossed him out.
So why was he still sticking around?
Obsidian shook his head, thinking that he was just an idiot for thinking too much. Merfolk weren't supposed to get close to the humans for this reason exactly. The fish-blood probably deserved it. He turned to face the opposite direction of the ship and made his body horizontal in preparation to swim, when suddenly a net fell into the water, weighed down by rocks on all four corners. With a flick of his dark tail he tried to bolt, but only got a face full of net. Somehow the knife he'd fashioned had been knocked out of his hand, and he screamed a curse into the sea. He had no time to think as he was dragged to the bottom of the ocean by the net, and then suddenly he was rising upwards again. He clawed at the net and instantly made his hands sore as he tried to pull it apart. Even his sharp teeth did nothing against it, and then before he knew it water was dripping from his body and the net and the unfamiliar feeling of an airy breeze was rushing over him. He threw punches and bit and struggled to get out of the net and back into his ocean, but to no avail.