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The Crystal Seas of Atlantis

The New England Aquarium

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a part of The Crystal Seas of Atlantis, by Everscale.

None

Everscale holds sovereignty over The New England Aquarium, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Setting

Default Location for The Crystal Seas of Atlantis
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The New England Aquarium is a part of The Crystal Seas of Atlantis.

5 Characters Here

Nausicaa Caen [0] "I always thought tales of Mermaids were more than just a bedtime story. And now thats been proven true..."
Nerissa [0] "She is my life now....."
Adam Walsh [0] the warm-hearted biologist
Kai [0] The child of the sea
Nerin [0] They are my people and I will not let you near them.

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Nerissa bristled when another human approached, flicking his tail and breaking the surface as well. He eyed the human, who possessed what Kai called a 'plastic jellyfish'. There was something about this male - this human male - that rather...annoyed Nerissa. He put a hand gently on Nerin's, turning to look steadily at the two humans. The girl was still asking questions. Rather...odd questions. But he was not as threatened by her as he was by the male talking to her from below.

Maybe it was just his instinct - his desire to prove himself worthy over and over again, as was common in mermen, that forced him to eye the human male with such a threatening glare.

When Kai swam over to him, Nerissa pulled him into a comforting hug, right by his side, wrapping his tail around Kai's. "It's alright," he murmured, humming a soothing tune. "Just don't eat it."

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Nerin eyed Adam mistrustfully. But they had to eat, and that stuff in the bag sort of resembled squid...
After it had been dead for a couple days. She wrinkled her knows at the dead scent of it. But it was something to eat. They would starve in this tank. They were totally reliant on the humans, as much as she hated to admit it.
"Come on, Kai," She called gently, "Eat..."
Despite her gentle tone, her gaze was harsh on Adam.

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#, as written by saiwalo
Ah-- glares of death, this time with double the intensity! He really was becoming popular. Still, Adam tried not to let it bother him unduly and reflected none of their harshness or hate, picking up a ladder from another tank and bringing it over to hook it over the lip of the tank the merfolk were contained in. Kai's whimpers about fake jellyfish alarmed him a little but it was soon soothed over by the other merfolk-- were they a family of sorts? Nerin looked too young to be Kai's mother, but then again, who knew how they aged?

At least Nausicaa seemed at ease with them. Though he was not aware of it, Adam's mind was apparently heading in an entirely different direction to the thoughts of the merfolk and Nausicaa: then again, it was becoming clear that they saw the world very differently. Adam agreed that the ocean was a fantastic place, beauty almost beyond compare-- but only almost. He was the kind that saw beauty in everything. The merfolk had never seen the shadows of grass-lined valleys, daisies blazing in the sun, snow on mountaintops and the closeness of the clouds! Perhaps they had no interest in it whatsoever, but Adam hoped that they did, because he felt that there was so much potential for them to share.

"Hello again," he said evenly as he reached the top of the ladder, tilting his head to one side slightly as he watched them. He glanced sidelong at Nausicaa and smiled at her more brightly than he had been previously-- the merfolk seemed to find his smiling annoying. How could he help it? "I'm sorry they're not live. I couldn't feed live squid to anything." He shrugged, a little embarrassedly but mostly just stating a fact.

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Nerin almost recoiled at the thought of eating squid somebody else had killed.
But she and all the other mermaids had done worse. You had to, to survive in the sea.
So...
"Alright," She murmured, "Go ahead. Give us the squid. You know you're dying to see how we eat, anyways."

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Nausicaa's eyes had glazed over slightly at the words of the female mermaid. It was true - human's probably wouldn't have been kind to the merfolk. And they didn't exactly relish the idea of being kept in tanks either.

It hurt her to think about it. This was the discovery of a life time - here she was, making history! Actually having a conversation with a mermaid! But at the same time, the circumstances could have been much better.

The almost glare from the mermaid didn't help either. Nausicaa's mental defense was that, of course, she had never personally done anything to hurt a mermaid. But by simply being in this room, she had a feeling like even that was not really true anymore. She could not deny that humanity in general did these kinds of things. But... it was for science. It was for the benefit of history.

...And of course, it cost the lives of the few animals from a species that were dissected. But they were still lives none the less.

Nausicaa didn't hate the idea of learning. But... when it was something that could actually hold a conversation back, she figured that scientists would rather speak with it, than kill it and dissect it. Didn't the mermaids understand that? All human's weren't terrible; Nausicaa figured that she was a prime example of that, at least.

She was about to bring up her point with the underwater creatures, when Adam reappeared in the room, a bag of squid in hand. She hadn't heard him come through the door, and didn't actually notice he was in the room until he began climbing up a ladder he had placed next to the one she was on. Slightly startled, she gripped a bit harder onto the ladder, before visibly relaxing as she gained her wits once more. Smiling over towards the male, she eyed the squid he had picked up from the store.

They were probably a few hours old, she figured. Hopefully that was fresh enough. As Adam mentioned not being able to feed live squid to anything, Nausicaa nodded. She wasn't sure she could do that either - something about the poor creatures trying to get away from their predators turned her stomach sour.

But the voice of the mermaid caused her to snap her head in the other direction.

A smile came to her face, as she once more rested her head on her hands. She couldn't help the childish fascination that bubbled up inside her once more - sure, it was only the mermaids eating. But she and Adam would be the first to witness it.

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Kai nodded nervously as his elders promised he would be fine as long as he avoided the jelly fish, one of his best turtle friends choked on one so he couldn't believe that the human was handling the killer like it was nothing, almost as bad as humans with their nets of doom. He poked his head out from under the water and sniffed the stale air for the squid, it smelt okay, he knew when and when not to eat something by its smell. Quickly he ducked back under the water after a playful glance toward the humans, his nose hurt from the air so he circled the tank quickly a few times to get water in his lungs again.

The swim just made him more fidgety though because the space was so small for two merfolk let alone three. His tail began to glow again slightly with the swift movements he was making under the water. His patience was failing him pretty quickly because the human was holding the food nearby out of the water as if he didn't want to give up the precious squid and keep it all to himself.

Kai suddenly felt like the human was keeping the squid out of the water as a challenge or game, Nerin's request hadn't gotten them any squid yet and Kai was hungry. His spinning grew faster and with a final kick he surfaced again and snatched the bag of squid right out of Adam's hands. With a flick of his tail he fled to the bottom of the tank to avoid the human's retaliation where he happily floated on his back munching on the squid in little bits gnawing off each tentacle before squeezing out the beak and sucking the small glass beads out in the eyeballs before spiting them out. He also removed the pen or back bone of the squid carefully because he hated the plastic crunch of the cartilage. The ink pouch was where he took the most care, carefully biting around it with his sharper teeth to make sure none of the nasty liquid leaked. Overall the squid was like he'd normally eat it, not nearly as fresh but it was okay.

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Nerin was waiting for Adam to throw the squid in for them. But the poor scientist didn't have time before the restless young Kai leaped out and stole the bag straight from his hand.
She sighed quietly, turning and swimming down to the bottom of the tank. Calmly, she took one of the squid, copying Kai. She removed the beak and the eyes, and very carefully bit out the ink-sack.
But she didn't bother with the back bone. Older and more accustomed to eating creatures like squid, she swallowed the creature whole, rather than crunching on the backbone.
For a being who could devour a clam, shell and all, a squid was not such a challenge.

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Nerissa, on the other hand, was not quite as hungry as his companions. Instead, he swam near the top of the tank - keeping watch as the two other merfolk ate. He eyed the two scientists, before breaking the water. Again....his gaze focused on the male. It was in his blood, in his body to challenge the other male. But what did one challenge a human with? A human could not swim, and well, Nerissa could not help feeling that it would be rather amusing to challenge the human to a swimming race.

He flicked his tail, propelling his body half out of the water, as he treaded there, watching the two humans.

"Why?" he asked suddenly. "Why do you watch us like we are nothing but prey to be studied before being devoured?"

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Nerin made short work of her squid, and with a flick of her tail she burst back out of the water alongside Nerissa. Gently, she touched his shoulder.
"Go on," She murmured, "You need to eat, too."
She turned her brilliant gaze on the humans, waiting. Wondering if they would answer Nerissa's question.
Wondering if they even knew the answer.
What she had seen of these two, up until now, suggested that neither of them knew that merfolk had been caught by humans before now. Was it possible that Adam and Nausicaa didn't know about the failed dissections and cases of misplaced love and trust between human and mermish?

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Kai quietly finished his squid much slower than Nerin because he didn't swallow it whole. He sat lonely at the bottom of the tank gnawing on the pen that was the squid's backbone. He missed the other fish in the ocean, in this tank it was so lonely even with his sister and her mate. He sniffled to himself and his tail let off a pale blue light he wanted to go home so badly, back to the fish, the crustaceans, the seaweed, even the kelp and sharks! It was in lonely places like this he thought of his mother she would never have wanted to see them imprisoned in a tank like this but here they were, their skin and scales slowly peeling off amidst the chemical filled water.

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Nerissa looked over at Nerin, before smiling slightly at her, reaching out with his hand and brushing her cheek with his. He took the last squid, flicking his tail and joining Kai at the bottom of the tank. He ate slower than Nerin, watching Kai as the little merman let out a faint, sad blue light. "You want to go home?" he asked the child softly, as he peeled out the inedible parts, nibbling almost...delicately at the rest of the squid.

He, too, missed the ocean - the taste of the sea was so different to the taste of this tank...

Nerissa's eyes looked up at Nerin, worried once again, as he tore off one of the squid's tentacles.

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Nausicaa had been relatively quiet for the past few minutes. She had simply been watching - observing. She found it not only funny, but cute, that the younger merman had decided to take the initiative and get the squid himself. And she found it simply fascinating the way they ate their meal.

She hadn't fully realized that she was staring until the eldest merman spoke up. "Why? Why do you watch us like we are nothing but prey to be studied before being devoured?"

Nausicaa's eyes snapped towards the males face. It seemed to her to be an almost ludicrous question. Didn't they feel the same about humans? If, somehow, a human was to be studied underwater by the merpeople - no matter how crazy that sounded - wouldn't they jump at the idea? A new race meant new knowledge. Wasn't that exciting to them as well?

She shook off the last part of his statement though. And as she began to speak, Nerin appeared above the surface of the water, replacing Nerissa who had sunk below the water line to eat some squid.

Her words were then directed towards the female. "You aren't prey - that's not the way I look at you; nor do I believe that anyone else looks at you that way. We study you because you're... different. You're amazing. You're impossible." Her eyes almost seemed to sparkle at the last bit. The statement was more than true, and yet, to her it had never been. The idea of mermaids had been impossible to the rest of the non-believing world. That was... at least, until now. "You were just humanities bedtime story. You were simply a fantasy. Something that the world might have wanted to be real, and yet... we were all told that was just it. You weren't real. But here you are! You're real! I'm not some crazy girl anymore - I'm someone who knew the truth. And now the world knows too."

Her gaze shifted to Adam for a moment, and she smiled at him, before turning her smile toward the lady of the water. "And thats all there is. We won't devour you. We'd never dream of it... You're too--"

...too human. That was what she had wanted to say, but she cut herself off before she had the chance. They weren't human - and that was a fact. There was no call for her saying what she could have said; they might take it as an insult. It was best to keep that thought to herself. Her eyes glanced down at her hands, before she looked over towards Adam once again.

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Nerin huffed quietly. Her swaying tail brought her a few inches closer to them.
"We are a curiosity to you." She whispered, "You want to learn about us..." She shook her head, "I don't believe you. If you just wanted to learn, you wouldn't be keeping us here."
She wavered a few inches closer, even, eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Or is it possible that you don't realize this water is killing us...?"