April 4th 2017, 7:59 am
Hi all, and welcome to Shell of Thal, the newest chapter of the Chromaicora Adventures. In this tale, we meet Shelley Wiley and her ragtag crew of adventurers as they sail across the seas of Thal aboard their sea vessel known only as the Hat. This series runs at the same time as Mask of Akanius and Flight of Indigo, with plots of both tying into this season, so be sure to check them out by clicking right here and visiting the boxed set, where you'll find more seasons and side-stories. Oh, and this season has spoilers for Crystals of Silveria Remastered, so be sure to read that chapter if you haven't yet. Okay, without further ado, I present Shell of Thal!
Episode 1 – By the Seas of Thal, Part I
Episode 1 – By the Seas of Thal, Part I
- Shelley Wiley is the captain of the sea vessel known only as the Hat, a sizable ship complete with a ragtag crew of assorted individuals. From a dwarven cook with no sense of taste and a gnomish entertainer with no personality to a navigator with no sense of direction and a second-in-command with apparently no name, it seems that everyone on the ship is missing something, including the Cap’n herself! After encountering the ruthless Michelle, pirate captain of the Hat Eater and Shelley’s sworn rival, the crew gets lost in a stormy sea, with Shelley thrown overboard! But just when all hope seems lost, the good captain is saved by a mysterious aquatic force. Could it be Thal himself?
Shelley Wiley – The swashbuckling captain of the good ship Hat, she seems to be a plucky, down-to-earth woman, but underneath her brash exterior lies a heart as pure as the waters of Sera’s Fountain.
Matey – Shelley’s second-in-command, he has apparently forgotten his own name. He is mainly responsible for sailing the ship across the waters of Thal.
Disswey – The crew’s unskilled navigator, she insists that her name is pronounced “de-SHWAY”, even when everyone constantly refers to her as “DISS-way”, or even “THIS-way”, which irritates her to no end.
Connie Cuuk – A dwarf from a chilly island in the northern seas who was appointed as the ship’s cook, even though she has no sense of taste whatsoever.
Sven – A gnome who was appointed as the ship’s source of entertainment, his imagination leaves something to be desired.
Michelle – The devious pirate captain of the dreaded ship the Hat Eater, she seems to have a personal issue with Shelley.
Py – A member of the aquatic merborn people, Py forms an instant attachment to Shelley. It seems he sees something special in her that she may not even realise is there.
“Thal smiles on you, Shelley. He will be your guide.”
- Scene 1: The Hat: Morning
We see an expanse of deep blue ocean, the waves gently rolling across its surface. Suddenly, a wooden sea vessel with a woman carved into its front splashes into view. It seems to be sailing at high speed. We cut to a view on the ship’s deck. A handsome young man in reddish seafaring garb is doing his best to control the ship. He appears calm, though sweat drops from his brow at an alarming rate. He speaks with a deep, English-infused accent.
Man: Stay calm, Matey…you can do this. It’s what you’re best at.
A young woman in dark green garb bursts out from below deck and runs upstairs to the young man. She speaks with an English accent as well. The young man greets her.
Man: Ahoy, Captain!
Captain: Matey, status report.
Matey: The Hat Eater’s been spotted off our leftside.
Captain: Blast! How far away is it?
Matey: By my estimation…roughly 30 waves away.
The Captain appears surprised.
Captain: But that’s so close…how could we have missed it till now?!
Matey: Honestly, I have no idea.
The Captain sighs.
Captain: Well, try to speed up, Matey!
Matey: I can sail this ship as fast as the winds will allow, Captain.
The Captain facepalms.
Captain: Of course! How could I have forgotten?
Matey: You’ve had a lot on your mind lately, haven’t you?
A surprised look appears on the Captain’s face.
Captain: Who told you that?!
Matey: Why, Connie, of course. You know what a gossip she is.
The Captain sighs.
Captain: I might have known…
Shell of Thal
A Chromaicora Adventure
Shelley descends the stairs. Another young woman in dark seafaring garb races from below deck. She has shoulder-length silver hair and blue eyes. She runs up to the Captain.
Woman: Ahoy, Captain Shelley!
Shelley: Ahoy, Disswey.
Disswey: No, no…it’s pronounced “de-SHWAY”, not “DISS-way”!
Shelley: Whatever. We have much more pressing matters at hand than how to correctly say your name!
A voice cries out from the crow’s nest. It is identical to Brocc’s voice from Crystals of Silveria.
Voice: Hat Eater spotted! It’s coming towards us as fast as a ship sailing at high speed towards a slightly-slower ship!
Shelley: How far away is it?
A gnome with spiky orange hair and long sideburns lands next to Shelley.
Gnome: By my estimate, Captain, roughly-
A slightly larger ship suddenly comes into view on the ship’s left. It is made of a darker-stained wood, and has a fearsome, monstrous face carved into its front. Shelley’s eyes widen before she has even seen it.
Gnome: -two waves to our leftside.
Shelley slowly turns her head to the left. The captain of the other vessel is clearly seen on the ship’s deck, wearing garb stereotypical of a pirate captain. She has long, wavy, chestnut-red hair and brown eyes. She speaks with an English accent.
Pirate: Ahoy, Captain Shelley!
Shelley: What do YOU want, you old hag?!
The pirate captain suddenly becomes ticked-off. She begins yelling loudly at Shelley.
Pirate: I’m only a few years older than you, you brat!
Shelley: And yet you reek of the wisdom of age!
The pirate shakes her fist at Shelley.
Pirate: Why, I oughta…
The pirate turns to face one of her crew.
Pirate: You there! Fire starboard cannons on my mark!
Voice: Aye, Cap’n!
The pirate turns to face Shelley. A grin spreads across her face.
Pirate: Give my regards to Thal, won’t you?
Shelley: Oh, for the love of-
Shelley: Why do you always do this, Michelle?
The pirate appears surprised.
Michelle: You really don’t know?
Shelley: No, enlighten me with your wisdom!
Michelle becomes enraged.
Michelle: For the last time, I. AM. NOT. OLD!
Michelle turns to her crew.
Michelle: Ready? And…FI-
An enormous wave suddenly hits the side of the Hat Eater, causing Michelle and her crew to lose their balance and fall over.
Michelle: What’s going on?!
Michelle suddenly becomes alarmed.
Michelle: Quick! Sail us out of here! Right now!
Another voice calls out to Michelle.
Voice: Aye, Cap’n!
Michelle: See you later, Shelley…AHAHAHAHAAAAAAAH!
The Hat Eater sails away at high speed. The crew of Shelley’s ship celebrates.
Sven: YES! She’s sailing away from us as fast as a ship sailing away at high speed from another ship!
Shelley: Can’t you think of an anecdote that’s more creative, Sven?
Sven: Okay…um…she’s sailing away from us as fast as…uh…a ship sailing at a speed which is somewhere between high speed and slightly-less-than-high speed!
Shelley: Never mind.
A dwarven woman with cook’s garb emerges from below deck.
Cook: Breakfas’ is on! Come an’ get it ‘fore it gets cold!
Sven: Oh boy! Breakfast!
Sven races below deck, followed by a slower-paced Disswey. Shelley climbs the stairs and walks over to Matey, who is busy keeping the ship on course.
Shelley: Aren’t you coming?
Matey: I need to keep the ship on course, Captain.
Shelley: And miss out on Connie’s scrumptious cuisine?
Matey: Oh boy, a nice, steaming bowl of rice and potato surprise…
Shelley: Actually, I believe this morning’s dish is fish and cottage cheese casserole.
Matey: Sounds delectable, but I must keep this ship from getting into any sort of trouble.
Shelley: As you wish.
Shelley begins heading for the stairs. She stops and turns to face Matey.
Shelley: That was a bit of a lucky break with Michelle, wasn’t it?
Matey: Thal must be guiding our journey, Captain.
Shelley: Well, see that you guide us too, Matey.
Matey: Aye, Captain.
Matey and Shelley smile. Shelley turns, walks down the stairs and begins heading below deck. She suddenly stops and checks the back of her right hand for a moment.
Shelley’s thoughts: Odd…I could swear I just saw something…
We cut back to a view of Matey. He is busy keeping the ship on course.
Matey: Huh…apart from our brief encounter with the Hat Eater, not a single bad thing has happened to us since…well, it’s been a while. Maybe things are starting to turn around for the crew of the Hat…
The Hat is sailing through a stormy stretch of ocean. Rain falls at an alarming rate, and the ship is rocked from side to side. The crew is all on deck trying to stabilise the vessel.
Matey: I knew I shouldn’t have opened my big mouth!
Shelley: Matey, status report!
Matey: Well, the ship’s taking on a lot of water, mostly from the rain; our supplies of dried fish and turnips have fallen into the ocean – thank the Seas of Thal – and Sven has just thrown up on Disswey’s boots.
Sven: It’s Connie’s cooking, I’m telling you. Fantastic as her meals are… (burp) …I just can’t keep ‘em down!
Disswey examines her boots, stepping them up and down.
Disswey: Do you have any idea how much these cost me, you little squirt?!
Shelley: Let’s just focus on the matter at hand, Disswey!
Disswey: How many times must I tell you, Captain? It’s “de-SHWAY”, not “DISS-way”!
Shelley: Whatever, let’s just focus on finding a way out of this storm, okay?
Disswey: Aye, Captain!
An enormous wave washes across the deck, sending Sven sliding towards the starboard.
The railing catches Sven before he’s washed into the ocean.
Sven: Oh, thank the Seas I’m safe!
Shelley: Okay, everyone, be careful! There’s no telling when a wave might come up and wash you overboard!
Another wave suddenly washes across the deck, this time catching Shelley and sweeping her away.
Shelley grabs onto a rope with her right hand and hangs tightly.
Shelley: I’m alright, Matey! There’s no need to-
A voice whispers in Shelley’s mind.
Voice: The child still dreams…
Shelley: Who said that?
A mark of the multiverse draws onto the back of Shelley’s right hand with lime-green light. Shelley catches a glimpse of the light and is startled.
Shelley accidentally lets go of the rope in surprise, falling into the ocean below.
Matey runs over to the starboard, looking into the ocean for any sign of Shelley.
Matey: CAPTAIN! CAPTAIN!
Matey rips off his coat and shirt, revealing his tight muscles.
Disswey: What are you doing?!
Matey: I’m going in after her! I must save her!
Sven: Are you crazy?! You could get lost as well!
Matey: But I’m her only hope! I must try, even at the cost of my own life!
Disswey: Remember what Shelley always says? “Better to live a coward than die a hero!”
Matey: But she will die a coward if she is not saved!
Disswey: Well, I-
Disswey appears puzzled.
Disswey: Wow, you’ve really stuck me there, Matey!
Sven: Face it, she’s long gone by now!
Matey hangs his head in sorrow.
Matey: You are right…
Disswey: For now, we must focus on saving the ship and its remaining crew!
We cut to a view beneath the storm-wracked surface. Shelley tries to swim upward, but the currents continue to drag her under.
Voice: The pendulum…the fruit is unripe…
As she struggles, she sees a light move towards her, which appears to be in a humanoid form. As the light approaches, she blacks out.
Scene 2: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
Shelley awakens, and realises she is lying atop a platform inside a cave of greenish-blue rock. She sits up and looks around, still trying to figure out her situation.
Shelley: That light…surely it couldn’t have been Thal.
Shelley examines the back of her right hand. The mark is present, though it has stopped glowing.
Shelley: And what of this mark…?
Voice: Ah, you’ve awakened.
Shelley looks around for the source of the voice. She sits up and swings her legs to the side of the platform, spotting a young man in a saltwater pool to her right. Only his head, neck and shoulder-tops are exposed. He appears to be human, with blue-streaked blonde hair and bright blue eyes, though his ears have slight points at the top. He speaks with a soft, American-inspired voice.
Shelley: Oh, hello.
Shelley: I take it you are the resident of this fine place?
Man: Yes, this is my home.
Shelley examines the cave.
Man: I gather you are not used to such a location?
Shelley: Whatever gave you that idea?
Man: An isleborn beneath the waves? Surely you are not used to being so far below the surface.
Shelley: Well, I don’t often make a habit of falling off my own ship, if that’s what you mean.
Shelley: I’m Shelley, by the way. Shelley Wiley.
The man nods.
Man: A pleasure, Shelley Wiley. You may call me Py.
Shelley: “Py”, eh? Unusual name for an isleborn.
Py: Oh, I am no isleborn.
Shelley: Really? You are human, yes?
Py emerges from the water. He has two gill slits across his breastbone, azure fish fins on his elbows, webbed hands, and feet shaped like scuba fins. His forearms, hands, shins and feet are covered in azure scales. Shelley is surprised.
Shelley leaps off her platform and backs away slowly.
Py: There is no need for alarm.
Py’s hands and feet change into normal-shaped human ones in a flash of lime-green light, but the scales, gill slits and elbow-fins remain.
Shelley: Wh-What are you?! Stay away!
Py: I am a human, as you are.
Shelley: Then…then…why do you have…fish-thingies?!
Py: My kind, the merborn, are adapted for life in an aquatic environment. We can survive in water both salt and fresh, and we can also survive on land for extended periods at a time.
Shelley: Why have I not heard of you?
Py: You…have not heard of us? Granted, very few surface-dwellers know of our aquatic natures, but we merborn are well known to the isleborn. You are the first I’ve met who has no knowledge of my kind. In fact, you seem outright afraid of me.
Shelley: I’m deeply sorry, Py. I guess I’m just so frightened by this whole experience. I guess I’ll head through the cave and leave, if that’s alright with you.
Py: Oh, we did not enter through the cave, Shelley Wiley.
Py: The entrance is through that pool over there.
Shelley looks over at the pool and stares at it briefly.
Shelley: Where exactly is this cave located?
Py: Why, roughly fifteen metres below the surface of the ocean.
Py: We will simply need to-
Shelley: I cannot leave through the pool! I won’t make it to the surface if I do!
Shelley looks over at the cave.
Shelley: How far does this cave go, exactly?
Py: I cannot say.
Shelley: Why not?
Py: I have yet to venture within and explore it.
Shelley: But…this is your home, yes?
Py: Indeed. I moved in here just last week.
Shelley: Last week?!
Py: Well, yes. It was time for me to leave my childhood home and make my own way through the world.
An expression of confidence appears on Shelley’s face.
Shelley: Well then, we need to venture into the cave and see what lies within!
Shelley runs over to Py and takes his hand.
Shelley: Come on!
Shelley pulls Py into the cave, his legs barely able to keep up with her.
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- Scene 3: Py’s Cave: Unknown Time of Day
Shelley and Py continue to walk through the cave. The bluish-green walls sparkle, as though made of glitter. Light seems to come from nowhere at all.
Shelley: This place…it’s magnificent…
Py: I had no idea such a wonder was close to my home.
Shelley: Well, you HAVE only lived here for a week!
Py: That is true…
Shelley and Py continue walking. The cave begins to widen, suggesting that a large opening is nearby.
Shelley: Oh, the walls are widening.
Py: We must be nearing a larger room.
As Py finishes his statement, the pair enter an enormous cavern, its walls lined with glimmering crystals of various shades of green, blue and purple.
Shelley: Oh, Py, it’s so beautiful! I’ve never seen anything like it! Well, at least…I don’t THINK I’ve seen anything like it.
Py appears puzzled.
Py: But how could you not-
Py returns to a neutral expression.
Py: Never mind.
Shelley notices a large platform in the centre of the room. It is made of dark grey stone, with three steps around the outside. A pedestal stands in its centre, though there appears to be nothing on it.
Shelley: By the seas…look at this!
Shelley runs up to the platform, ascending its steps. She reaches the pedestal, then turns to face Py.
Shelley: Come over here! You must see this!
Py: Are you sure that it is wise to do so?
Shelley: Well, I’m okay, aren’t I?
Py: I guess so…
Shelley: Well then, come over here!
Py: As you wish, Shelley Wiley.
Py slowly walks over to the pedestal, carefully ascending its steps, before he walks next to Shelley.
Shelley: See? Did I not tell you?
Py: Indeed…but something seems…off.
Shelley: Off? What do you mean?
Py: Look at the top of this pedestal.
Py points to the top of the pedestal, which is no higher than a human’s waist.
Shelley: What am I supposed to be seeing?
Py: There is an indent in its centre, meaning something once rested here.
Shelley: Do you have any idea what it was?
Py: Sadly, no. There are no other indications as to what it could have been.
Shelley: Well, let’s keep moving, then.
As Shelley turns around to step off the platform, a ghostly figure appears in front of her. It appears to be a female isleborn human, with medium-length blonde hair and blue eyes. She is wearing silvery armour.
Shelley: By the seas of Thal…
Face: I am Marilina, an adventurer from a bygone age.
Marilina: You have done well to make it to this secret sanctum. My humblest congratulations.
Shelley: Uh…thank you, Marilina. But I must ask you someth-
Marilina: I leave this message to inform you that your challenge has yet to begin.
Shelley: Challenge?! But…I am not equipped with any sort of-
Marilina: The treasure in this place must not fall into the wrong hands.
Shelley: Yes, but-
Shelley becomes surprised.
Marilina: It is for this reason that you will be tested, to ensure you meet the requirements to wield this most powerful object.
Marilina’s message vanishes.
Py: What would either of us need with treasure?
Shelley: Oh, you’d be surprised.
A puzzled look appears on Py’s face.
Py: You wouldn’t, by any chance, be a pirate, would you, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley is alarmed.
Shelley: No, I am NOT! I’m a swashbuckler, if you must know!
Shelley’s thoughts: Albeit not a very good one…
Py: Is there a difference?
Shelley: Of course there is! A swashbuckler sails the seas seeking glory and adventure, and maybe a little treasure, while keeping mostly within the bounds of the law. A pirate, meanwhile, delights in plundering other vessels for treasure, which is earned by honest, hardworking people. There’s this old sea cow named Michelle, for example, who…uh…never mind.
Py: Then you collect treasure yourself?
Shelley: By the seas, no! I can assure you that my ship’s coffers are completely empty, you have my word!
Shelley: Of course, that might be due to the crew’s incompetence…
Py: Then you have no need for this treasure?
Shelley: Well…uh…n-no, I do not.
Py: Then we should venture onward.
Shelley: As you say…
Shelley steps off the platform.
Voice: The dreams still touch her…
As Shelley and Py walk towards a second tunnel, a set of metal spikes bursts through the sand, blocking it off.
Py: Quick, back the way we came!
Shelley: But we need to press on!
Py: We will worry about that later!
As Shelley and Py run back to the entrance, it, too, is blocked by a set of metal spikes.
Shelley: NO! Now what do we do?!
Py: I know not. Unless…
Py looks to the cavern’s ceiling. An enormous, round opening more than big enough for a human to climb through is in its centre.
Py: Up there!
Shelley looks up. She becomes alarmed.
Shelley: WHAT?! You expect me to climb all the way up THERE?!
Py: What other choice is there?
Shelley: Wait a minute…that Marilina person said that we must face a test. I wonder if-
Suddenly, a small brown creature bursts from the sand. Its body is made up of a number of triangular shapes, and it has two beady black eyes and a large jaw for its size.
Shelley: What is THAT thing?!
Py: A razorshark!
Shelley: What’s a razorshark?!
Py: Think a shark, but like a razor!
Shelley: You’re about as imaginative as Sven!
Shelley: I’ll explain later!
The razorshark leaps at the duo. Shelley whips out her rapier and slashes at the creature, which retreats into the sand.
Shelley: Phew, that was a close one.
Three more razorsharks burst from the sand and surround the duo. They gnash their jaws and stomp their stubby limbs.
Shelley: Not again…
The razorsharks pounce. Shelley slashes at one of them, causing it to squeal and burrow beneath the sand. The other two continue to lunge at the duo. Py raises his hand and sends a beam of cold at one of them, sending it into retreat. The one remaining razorshark is quickly joined by another one.
Voice: The vixen’s tail splits with wisdom…
Shelley: Quick! Split up! That way we’ll have an easier time with them!
Py: Agreed, Shelley Wiley!
Shelley and Py run in opposite directions. To the duo’s surprise, both razorsharks pursue Py. Shelley quickly realises the situation and turns to face Py, who is cornered against a wall.
Shelley runs towards Py. Py fires another ray of cold at one of the razorsharks, driving it back into the sand, but the other one leaps at the merborn, biting onto his side. Shelley holds her right hand in front of her in futility.
The mark appears on the back of her hand again, glowing with lime-green light. The razorshark lets go and looks at her, before it squeals and buries itself into the sand. Shelley runs over to Py, who is clutching his left side.
Shelley: Py, no! I shouldn’t have brought you here!
Sweat pours from Py’s brow.
Py: It is fine…Shelley Wiley. You could not…have known this would…happen.
Shelley: Let’s get you rested at once!
Shelley walks Py over to a flat rock and helps him sit down. Py moves his hand out of the way, revealing a nasty bite mark.
Shelley: This looks…
Py: It is…serious, is it not?
Py: I am…easily able to tell if…another is lying…Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: In that case…it does look like it needs treatment.
Py: Have you anything…to help repair…it?
Shelley: Sadly, no. I don’t even have a healing potion with me.
Py: Then I fear…what will happen to me.
Shelley: No! You mustn’t talk that way!
Py: But what can…you do?
Shelley: I…I…I have no idea.
Voice: The touch of healing…
Shelley: “Touch of Healing”…?
No sooner does Shelley utter those words than the mark on her hand glows incredibly bright, as does her palm.
Py: What is…that?
Shelley: Honestly, I haven’t a clue.
Shelley takes on an expression of determination.
Shelley: But I intend to find out!
Shelley holds her hand over Py’s bite mark. Her palm glows brightly with lime-green light. Almost at once, the bite mark on Py’s side
Py: You did not tell me you were a priestess, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: I-I’m not a-
Shelley’s thoughts: Or am I? What other explanation could there be for my ability to heal?
Py: I think this must be a sign. Thal himself must have granted you this gift, Shelley Wiley.
The projection of Marilina appears again to Shelley.
Marilina: You have proven yourself worthy, adventurer. Your courage and selflessness in the face of great odds have allowed you to receive the treasure within this place.
Shelley: Thank you, Marilina. I shall-
Marilina: Once you wear it, it is yours. None shall be able to take it from you, nor will you be able to give it to another.
Shelley: But how is that even possib-
As Marilina’s face disappears, a beam of golden light shines onto the pedestal from the opening. A glittery effect appears in its alcove for a few moments, and a tiny platinum shell on a silver string appears in it. Shelley walks over to it and picks it up.
Shelley: This must be the treasure…
Shelley picks up the shell and puts it around her neck. A wind whips a small amount of sand around her for a few moments, but aside from that, nothing special happens.
Shelley: Well, THAT was anti-climactic!
The spikes blocking the way back to Py’s home retreat into the sand.
Py: The entrance is clear. We can return to my home.
Shelley: Uh…are you sure you’re able to stand?
Py: Of course. You have fully repaired my wound, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Okay, good. Just remember that I’m not the most reliable when it comes to…well, anything, really.
Scene 4: The Hat: Afternoon
Matey, Disswey and Sven stand on the ship’s deck. None of them is doing anything.
Sven: So…uh…when are we gonna set sail again?
Matey: We have to wait and see if Shelley will return to us first, Sven.
Disswey: Are you kidding me? She’s long gone! She’s at the bottom of the ocean! I don’t see why I have to stand around and cook under the midday sun whilst you wait for a sign which cannot possibly exist!
Matey remains calm.
Matey: If there’s one thing I have learned from my sea voyages, Disswey, it is to always expect the unexpected.
Disswey: Okay, first of all, it’s “de-SHWAY”, not “DISS-way”! And second of all, there is no way that our captain will have been able to survive underwater for 24 hours! Be realistic for once in your pathetic life!
Matey: You are right. We will set sail at once.
The Hat’s anchor raises up and the sails unfurl. The ship begins sailing away at a steady pace.
Scene 5: Py’s Cave: Afternoon
Shelley and Py exit the tunnel, and step back into the merborn’s home.
Shelley: Well, that was quite an adventure, wasn’t it?
Py: I agree, Shelley Wiley. Thank you.
Shelley: For what? For getting you nearly eaten by tiny walking sharks?
Py: I rarely get the chance to go on adventures. But you always seem to find them.
Shelley: More like adventures find me.
Py: In any case, I would be pleased to call you “friend’.
Shelley: Then let’s begin this friendship at once!
Shelley smiles, before a glum expression spreads across her face. She walks over to the pool, staring at it for a moment, before she sighs.
Shelley: I guess I’m trapped here. I have no way to return to the surface world.
Py walks behind her.
Py: You are sad, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: I guess you could say so, Py.
Py: I have the perfect cure for that.
Shelley: No, really, I’m fine. It’s no troub-
Py pushes Shelley into the pool, laughing with delight.
Py: Swimming! It’s the perfect thing to brighten one’s spirits!
A female merborn with long, straight, honey-coloured hair and slightly-pointed ears breaks through the water’s surface. She seems agitated.
Woman: I’ll brighten your spirit, fish-boy!
A surprised look appears on Py’s face. The woman touches her left cheek with a webbed hand covered in pearly, translucent-white scales.
Woman: What, do I have a sea star on my face?
Py freezes in place.
Py: Sh-Shelley Wiley?
Woman: That’s my name, isn’t it?
Py: You’ve changed.
Shelley: How can you say that? We’ve only just met!
Py: No, I mean…you’ve become like me.
Shelley: Okay, you’re making zero sense.
Py points to the pool.
Py: Look at your reflection.
Shelley looks at her reflection in the water.
Shelley: What happened to my hair?
Shelley examines her ears, poking the points.
Shelley: And my ears?
Shelley examines her breastbone, touching her new gill-slits with her right hand.
Shelley: And what happened to my…AAAAAAAH!
To be Continued…
- After a brief adventure with Py in which she earned a special treasure, Shelley has somehow become a merborn! Seizing her chance to be free of Py’s cave, she begins to adjust to things like breathing underwater and actually being able to swim. She soon realises, however, that her crewmates might not even be able to recognise her, meaning her tenure aboard the Hat may be over. Could a chance encounter end up giving her a choice between land and sea?
Rosella – A female merborn of the Garnet school, she immediately sees a certain something in Shelley that she hopes to coax out and allow to blossom.
Bootsie – A member of Michelle’s crew, though he seems to question the motives of his cap’n.
“I could’ve sworn I heard Shelley scream “I’m a fish!””
- Scene 1: Py’s Cave: Afternoon
Shelley is still in shock.
Shelley: By the seas of Thal! I’m a fish!
Py: How is this possible? I have not heard of an isleborn becoming a merborn before.
Shelley: How can you be so calm, Py?!
Py: I think you are missing something important, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Yes, I’m missing MY REAL BODY!
Py: No, it is the simple fact that you-
Shelley: -am a fish! Yes, I know!
Py: No, you can leave this cave now.
Shelley: What do you mean I-
Shelley: Hey, you’re right. I can swim underwater now!
Py: And breathe underwater.
Shelley: And BREATHE underwater?!
Shelley squeals with delight.
Shelley: I want to try it out right now!
Shelley lowers her head underwater and tries to breathe. As she sucks water through her mouth, her gills begin to flap. She tries to speak, but nothing happens. Shelley begins to panic, but Py’s words echo in her mind, which seems to calm her.
Py’s voice: You are unable to communicate normally when underwater.
Py floats down to her. His hands and feet have changed into their aquatic forms.
Py: I am communicating to you within my mind. This is possible underwater, though only when close to another.
Shelley: Like this?
Py: Exactly like that.
Shelley: Yay! I feel so excited! And maybe a little exhausted. Boy I could use a strawberry milk right about now…
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: Did…uh…did I just say that out loud?
Py: What is “strawberry milk”?
Shelley: Oh. I guess I’m not used to my thoughts being broadcast to others.
Py: That’s understandable.
Shelley: I really ought to get this skin condition checked, as well. I sunburn WAY too often!
Shelley begins to panic.
Shelley: Okay, now I’m freaking out! It’s just like that time I was startled by a seagull pooping on my-
Shelley clutches her head with her hands and appears to be screaming.
Py: It may take some adjustment. Try not to think about anything for a while, just until you are used to it. That’s my suggestion.
Shelley: Thank you.
Py: You are welcome.
Bubbles emerge from behind Shelley.
Shelley: Oh no, I far-
Shelley claps her hands to her mouth.
Shelley: That was a close one…
Py: Wow, Shelley is beau-
Py: Even I sometimes have trouble with underwater communication.
Scene 2: The Hat: Afternoon
Matey, Disswey and Sven sit at a long table below deck.
Matey: I’ve called you both here to discuss something important.
Sven: You interrupted lunch, Matey!
Disswey: Thank the seas…
Sven: And my steamed mayonnaise sandwiches are probably cold by now…
Matey: I’ll try to make this brief, Sven.
Disswey: Wait a minute…who put you in charge, anyway?
Matey: That’s what I wanted to discuss, Disswey.
Disswey: Ugh! Will nobody ever get my name right?!
Matey: With Captain Shelley gone, this ship and its crew needs a new commander.
Disswey: Get to the point, Matey!
Matey: Now, as I’m the ship’s second-in-command-
Disswey: And there it is! You’ve been gunning for the top spot since-
Matey: -I must state that a leadership position is not quite my cup of tea.
Disswey appears surprised.
Matey: I much prefer following orders than giving them.
Disswey: Then…you’re turning down a leadership role?
Matey: Of all the crew, there was no-one more suited to being captain than Shelley. However, as second-in-command, I must give the role of captain to the next most suitable candidate.
Disswey appears chuffed.
Disswey: Oh, well, it would be my-
Matey: I’m elevating you to the rank of acting crew leader!
Matey stands up. He salutes Sven.
Matey: It is an honour to serve you, Captain!
Disswey appears furious.
Disswey: WHAT?! Do you have ANY IDEA what you’ve done?!
Matey: I do indeed, Disswey.
Disswey: You know full well that I would make a much BETTER captain than that squirt!
Sven: Whatchoo call me, punk?!
Disswey: This is an outrage! I will not stand for this!
Sven: Okay, that’s it! To the brig with you, “Deshway”!
Disswey suddenly changes her tune. She stands straight and salutes Sven.
Disswey: At once, Captain Sven!
Disswey leaves the room. Matey and Sven look at each other.
Sven: Uh…what just happened?
Matey: Not a clue.
Scene 3: Underwater: Afternoon
Shelley and Py swim above some beautiful lime green coral.
Py: You’re swimming so beautifully, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Thanks, Py! It’s funny to think that I didn’t know how to swim not two hours ago.
Py: Really? You truly did not know how?
Shelley: Well, it was more a case of not knowing if I knew.
Py: I’m…afraid I don’t follow.
Shelley: I suffer from memory loss.
A surprised look appears on Shelley’s face. She facepalms.
Shelley: Will I never get the hang of this fish-talk thingy?!
Py: You misunderstand, Shelley Wiley. We cannot communicate with fish, only other sentient creatures.
Shelley: Wait…there are MORE subaquatic cultures?
Py: Oh, yes. In addition to merborn, there are the dracquans and aquatic elves…oh, I’m not supposed to tell land-dwellers about the aquatic elves…
Shelley: You weren’t kidding when you said aquapathy was challenging to master even for you.
Py: Aquapathy…that’s a good name for underwater communication. You’re clever, Shelley Wiley!
Shelley: Thank you, Py. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter if I know, does it? I mean, I’m basically not a land-dweller anymore, am I?
Py: Have you forgotten that merborn can exist on land, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: Oh, right…
Py: That’s right, you said you have memory problems. I feel so ashamed. My apologies, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Oh, no…it’s not like that!
Py: Then what IS it like?
Shelley: It’s…sort of like amnesia, only…not.
Py appears puzzled. Shelley stops swimming, which prompts Py to also stop swimming.
Shelley: I…remember next to nothing about my past. My earliest memory is waking up aboard my sea vessel, the Hat, surrounded by its crew…
Shelley, who is dressed in unusual green-coloured attire, opens her eyes. She sees Matey and Disswey standing over her.
Disswey: Are you sure she’s our new captain?
Matey: Of course, she matches the description given to us by the seller.
Shelley sits up and looks around.
Shelley: How did I get here…?
Disswey: Oh, for the love of the seas…our captain’s a dimwit!
Matey: Hey, watch your tongue around Captain…uh…
Matey looks down at Shelley.
Matey: I’m sorry, what’s your name?
Disswey: Not much of a captain without a last name.
Shelley leaps to her feet.
Shelley: I have a fine last name!
Disswey: Well then, spit it out!
Shelley: Uh…uh…that is to say…
Shelley’s thoughts: Oh no! I can’t remember anything! Okay, keep it together, you wily thing…you can think of a good name…oh!
Shelley: Wiley! My name is Shelley Wiley, and I AM the captain of this fine vessel!
Matey: And what is the name of this vessel?
Suddenly, a gust of wind lifts up Shelley’s hat and blows it away.
Shelley: MY HAT!
Disswey: Pfft…the Hat? What kind of a name is THAT?!
Matey: Hey! Never question the choices of our captain!
Shelley: Yeah! Uh…wait…what’s her name?
Disswey: “Her” name is “Deshway”, if you must know, “Captain”!
Shelley: Right. Uh…you’re in charge of navigations.
Disswey: But that’s the most boring job of all! And I don’t know how to read a chart!
Shelley: Then now’s a good time to learn, isn’t it?
Disswey’s thoughts: I’ll remember this, “Captain”...
Matey: What’s my job, Captain?
Shelley thinks for a brief moment.
Shelley: I like you. You’re my second-in-command, and you get to pilot this ship!
Matey: It would be my honour.
Voice: What’s my job gonna be?
Sven lands in front of Shelley.
Shelley: Oh, that was quite an entrance! Okay, you’re in charge of entertainment.
Sven: Can do!
Disswey: WHAT?! But he wouldn’t know the first thing about “entertainment”!
Shelley: The captain’s word is final!
Matey: She’s not wrong.
Shelley: See? I knew I was right to make you my second-in-command, uh…
Matey: Call me Matey.
Shelley: Righty-o, Matey!
Shelley runs to the side of the ship and points at the horizon.
Shelley: Now let us set sail for…adventure!
Py: That’s quite a story.
Shelley: And it gets even better from there! No sooner did the Hat set sail when we-
The mark of the multiverse glows on the back of Shelley’s right hand with lime-green light. As it does so, her pearl-white scales shift to the same shade of lime-green.
Shelley: Oh, what’s happening?
Py: Your scales…
Shelley: What? What is it?
Py: A tribe of citrine school merborn resides nearby.
Shelley: Really? How do you know?
Py: You were “born” outside of any known merborn school, which means your scales are naturally pearl. If you remain still near the location of a tribe of merborn, your scales will take on the colour of that tribe’s school.
Shelley: Whoa, neat!
Py: Come, Shelley Wiley. Let us meet them.
Shelley and Py swim towards the merborn village.
Scene 4: The Hat: Afternoon
Matey stands on deck, staring at the ocean. Disswey and Sven emerge from below deck and walk up to him.
Disswey: You miss her, don’t you?
Matey: I still feel as though she’s out there, somewhere…
Sven: What makes you think that?
Matey: Thal works in mysterious ways, Captain Sven.
Matey: When out at sea, anything is possible…
Voice: I couldn’t have put it better myself, Buddy.
The trio spins around to find Michelle and one of her crew standing there.
Sven: It’s Mitchell, the Pirate Queen!
Michelle: Hey, that’s MICHELLE, pipsqueak!
Sven: I am the captain of this vessel, and as captain I order you to leave!
Michelle: Ha-ha! You? The captain? Don’t make me laugh!
Matey: He speaks the truth.
Michelle looks at Disswey. Disswey nods once.
Michelle: But…what about Shelley?
Disswey: She fell overboard during a storm yesterday.
Sven: AND she can’t swim!
Michelle: Aw, but I wanted to take revenge on her…WAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAH!
Michelle bursts into tears. Her crewmate comforts her.
Crewmate: Aw, there, there, Cap’n. Come’n back to the ship, and I’ll make you a noice ho’ cuppa tea.
Michelle: *sniff* I’d…I’d like that, Bootsie.
Michelle and Bootsie leap across to the Hat Eater. Sven becomes shocked.
Sven: How long has THAT been there? Moreso, how does such an enormous ship keep sneaking up on us?!
Disswey: It’s one of the mysteries of Thal, you little runt.
Sven: That’s CAPTAIN You Little Runt! Now go back to the brig, “Deshway”!
Disswey stands straight and salutes Sven.
Disswey: Right away, Captain!
Disswey heads below deck.
Sven: Seriously, why does she keep doing that today?
Matey: The mysteries of Thal, Captain Sven…the mysteries of Thal…
Scene 5: Citrine School Reef: Underwater: Afternoon
Py and Shelley swim into the village. All the buildings seem to be made of enormous domes of lime-green coral. An enormous, lime-green gem emanates light at the village’s centre. Both Shelley and Py seem unsettled.
Shelley: Something seems very wrong…
Py: The reef…it’s deserted! Where are all the people?
Voice: Perhaps I can be of some assistance.
Shelley and Py spin around, and their eyes open wide.
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- Scene 6: Citrine School Reef: Underwater: Afternoon
Shelley and Py stare at a beautiful female merborn with long, wavy chestnut hair and reddish-pink scales that sparkle in the filtered sunlight.
Shelley: She is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen!
Shelley claps her hands to her mouth.
Py: I think I’m in love…
Py claps his hands to his mouth. The woman seems to giggle. She then speaks with an elegant English accent.
Woman: I seem to have that effect on others.
Shelley and Py take on more serious tones.
Shelley: Okay, enlighten us. Who are you and what can you tell us about the missing merpeople?
Py: Don’t be impolite, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: I’m sorry, it’s just that…I’m still getting used to using aquapathy.
Woman: Aquapathy…that’s actually a very clever piece of terminology…uh…Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: Just Shelley is fine.
Woman: Of course. You may call me Rosella.
Shelley: A pleasure.
The trio pauses.
Shelley: Um…you mentioned knowing something about the missing people?
Rosella: Oh no, you misunderstand. I said I wish to assist you…if that’s alright.
Py: Of course.
Rosella: Many thanks to you both.
Rosella looks at Py.
Rosella: And your name is…?
Py: Oh…you may call me Py.
Rosella: Py? A nice name, to be sure.
Py: Oh…uh…thank you.
Rosella: Now, I believe there is a clue nearby as to the whereabouts of the missing people. Shelley, what can you tell me about them?
Py: Shelley Wiley comes from a different tribe.
Rosella: Ah, I see. Well, you should still be able to follow their trail, yes?
Shelley: Oh…sure, I guess I could try.
Shelley looks around. Her shell begins glowing with golden light and points in a particular direction.
Shelley: This way!
Disswey sits in the brig. She suddenly becomes agitated.
Disswey: I feel as though someone just mispronounced my name…
Shelley begins swimming, followed closely by Py and Rosella.
Scene 7: Citrine Star Island: Late Afternoon
We cut to a view of a sandy beach. Three figures emerge from the water, which are revealed to be Shelley, Py and Rosella. The trio walks onto the beach, and Py and Rosella’s hands and feet change into a normal human shape, though with the telltale scales of their respective schools.
Shelley: Okay, let’s-
Shelley takes a step, tripping over her own fin-like feet and falling backwards onto the sand.
Py: Careful, Shelley Wiley, you still need to learn to change your hands and feet.
Rosella: Oh, I see. Shelley has never ventured onto dry land before.
Shelley: Actually, I grew up on land.
Py helps Shelley to stand up.
Py: Okay, just think about having hands and feet that are suitable for the land. Concentrate.
Shelley begins to focus. The mark glows on her hand with lime-green light, and the shell begins glowing with golden light. A swirl of golden energy emerges from the shell and whips around Shelley; when the energy dissipates, Shelley is back to her old isleborn self, complete with her outfit.
Py: Shelley Wiley!
Shelley: Yes? Do I have a squid stuck to my face?
Py: You’ve regained your isleborn form!
Shelley: I have?!
Shelley examines her body and clothing with her hands. She runs her fingers through her bushy brown hair and squeals with delight.
Shelley: Eep! I’m back to normal!
Rosella: So you are a merborn who can become an isleborn…
Shelley: Actually, it’s the other way around.
Rosella: But how is this possible?
Py: The shell.
Both girls look at Py.
Shelley: What about the shell?
Py: It is my guess, Shelley Wiley, that your platinum shell gave you these abilities.
Shelley: Then it’s not just a useless trinket…
Shelley looks around, and suddenly realises where she is.
Shelley: Wait a minute…I just realised where we are! This is Citrine Star Island!
Rosella: Is that significant?
Shelley: My crew was on our way here!
Rosella: Then…you are a pirate?
Shelley: No, just a swashbuckling adventurer. Now, Michelle on the other hand-
Py: Does that mean there is a town nearby?
Shelley: Of course! We should go and see if the crew has arrived.
Both Py and Rosella become startled.
Py: We can’t walk into town like this!
Shelley: What? Why not?
Rosella: The merborn have strict laws stating that isleborn must not learn of the merborns’ amphibious forms.
Py: As far as they are to know, we are just like them, with only our ear shapes to distinguish us.
Rosella: That’s not to say that some land-dwellers aren’t allowed to know of our world. But if isleborn in general found out, they would exploit us.
Shelley: Then we must find you some outfits first…
Shelley thinks to herself.
Shelley: Wait here while I go into town!
Shelley slowly runs towards the town.
Py: What do you suppose Shelley Wiley is doing?
Rosella: As she said, she will bring us some clothing.
Py examines his azure scale-covered hands.
Py: I hope she doesn’t forget about the most important accessory of all…
Scene 8: Citrine Star Island: Early Evening
Shelley returns with paper bags containing a number of clothes.
Shelley: I’m back!
Py and Rosella stand wearing their new outfits. Py’s outfit is mostly blue, whereas Rosella’s is mostly red.
Shelley: There, you two look ready to blend right in!
Py: But our hands are exposed, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Not to worry, because I also bought…
Shelley removes two pairs of dark brown leather gloves from her bag.
Shelley hands the gauntlet gloves to Py and the ordinary gloves to Rosella. Both merborn don the gloves and flex their fingers.
Py: You didn’t have to go to all this trouble, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: I wanted to.
Rosella: But why?
Shelley: Because the three of us are going to find those missing merborn. But to do that, we need a ship. MY ship. The Hat.
Py: But what purpose could we possibly serve?
Shelley: I’m sure there’s something you could both do aboard the ship. Honestly, you’re probably better than most of my crew, anyway.
Shelley smiles with delight.
Shelley: Now onward! To town!
The trio begins making their way to town.
Scene 9: The Hat Eater: Evening
Michelle stands on the deck of her ship, looking in every direction with her spyglass. Bootsie shuffles over to her and puts his left hand on her right shoulder.
Bootsie: Come now, Cap’n. Come below deck and enjoy a noice banquet wiv the crew.
Michelle: I just need to find a new target. All this animosity for Shelley…I need to take it out on someone. And you know I don’t like taking out my frustration on you or the crew.
Bootsie: I know, Cap’n.
Michelle: I just think that-
Michelle pauses. We cut to Michelle’s view through her spyglass as she watches Shelley, Py and Rosella proceed through the town.
We cut back to a view of Michelle and Bootsie. Michelle lowers her spyglass.
Michelle: Shelley’s ALIVE?!
Michelle starts dancing and giggling.
Bootsie: Aw, it’s won’erful t’ see you happy, Cap’n…
Michelle’s expression changes to one of twisted delight.
Michelle: Now I can tear that little guppy a new one!
Bootsie: Roight now, Cap’n?
Michelle changes to a more neutral expression and looks at Bootsie.
Michelle: Well, not RIGHT now. The food will grow cold.
Bootsie: Too roight…
Michelle: And there are too many people in town. I may be a ruthless pirate, but I’d rather not let ordinary folk get hurt. I came from an ordinary upbringing, you know.
Bootsie: Oye, you ‘ave mentioned it, Cap’n.
Michelle: But mark my words: the next time we encounter that squad of misfits, there will be no mercy!
Scene 10: The Name Pending Tavern: Citrine Star Island: Evening
Matey, Disswey and Sven sit at a table in the tavern. Matey looks really unhappy, a brown bottle in his hand.
Matey: I miss her so much…
Disswey: So you keep saying, Matey…
Matey: What do you think are the odds she’ll walk through that door?
Disswey: Probably more likely than her walking through the door with two more crew members.
Matey: We need new crew…
Disswey: I know, that’s why I said it.
Just then, Shelley, Py and Rosella enter the tavern. Sven and Disswey both drop their jaws in surprise, whereas Matey stares at the table, a miserable expression on his face. Shelley, Py and Rosella reach the table, and Shelley speaks as they sit down.
Shelley: Aw, why so down, Matey?
Matey: I can almost hear her voice…
Shelley: Uh…you CAN hear my voice.
Matey: It’s almost as if she was here…
Shelley: But I AM here!
Matey: My mind is toying with my emotions…
Sven: Uh, Matey? I suggest you look up.
Matey: What’s the point…?
Sven: Fine, I ORDER you to look up!
Matey: *sigh* Yes, Captain…
Matey looks up and stares at Shelley.
Shelley grins and holds up her right hand, wiggling her fingers as she does so.
Matey: It IS you!
Matey brushes everything off one side of the table with his right arm, including bottles and wooden mugs. A smashing sound is heard.
Disswey: What…um…what was the point of that?
Matey: Shelley’s back! That’s the point!
Shelley: And I bring two new crew members! This is Py and Rosella.
Py and Rosella grin and wave in similar manners to Shelley. Matey stares at Rosella, and pink love hearts appear over his eyes.
Matey: She’s so beautiful…
Shelley: Wow, Rosella, you really DO have that effect on people!
Shelley notices Disswey and Sven; Disswey appears to be examining her nails, whereas Sven stares blankly at Rosella.
Sven: What effect?
Shelley shrugs her shoulders.
Shelley: I guess it only works on other humans.
Disswey flips out and yells at Shelley.
Disswey: Are you implying that I am not human?!
Shelley: What?! Uh…n-no, no…noone’s implying THAT, Disswey!
Sven: I am.
Disswey: First of all, shut up, Sven! Second, it’s “de-SHWAY”, not “DISS-way”! Ugh, sometimes I don’t even know WHY I’m in your crew!
Sven: Because no other crew would take you?
Sven and Shelley laugh.
Disswey: Wait a minute…
Disswey squints her eyes as she examines Shelley’s face.
Matey: What is it, Disswey?
Disswey: I’ll ignore that blatant disregard for a person’s name because there is something far more important to ponder.
Sven: Which is?
Disswey: The captain’s ears.
Sven: What about them?
We cut to a view of Shelley’s face. White lines flash on and off surrounding Shelley’s ears, which are still slightly-pointed. We cut to Matey, who has a surprised look on his face.
Matey: Captain Shelley, your ears!
Shelley: What about them?
Shelley feels the points on her ears. Her eyes widen.
July 13th 2017, 4:29 pm
Episode 3: Lapis Seeing You
- Due to a navigation blunder on the part of Disswey, the Hat has sailed into waters near Greater Lapis Island, one of Thalasera’s fifteen large island nations. Connie, who happens to hail from there, decides to leave the ship’s crew and get to know her new grandchildren, leaving the Hat without a cook. Could one of the newest crew members fill Connie’s unquestionably-bland shoes? Meanwhile, Py takes Shelley to his reef, which somewhat-conveniently also happens to be nearby, to meet his adoptive father, but can Azul see something special about the young captain?
Azul – Chief of a lapis school merborn tribe and Py’s father, he determines that there is something special within Shelley that is far more than just her ability to become a merborn.
“Connie, don’t go! Who’ll make me tofu and milk soup if you do?”
- Scene 1: The Hat: Early Morning
Shelley stands on deck. She shivers as she watches an enormous ice floe drift past the ship.
Shelley: I thought it felt a little chilly when I woke up this morning!
Sven lands in front of Shelley.
Sven: I’ll say, it’s as cold as an ice floe on the ocean’s surface here!
Shelley: You really need to expand your vocabulary, Sven…
Matey and Disswey walk from below deck.
Disswey: Behold, Matey, the lush paradise of Garnet Grove Island!
A look of confused embarrassment appears on Disswey’s face.
Matey: Well, well, well…looks like our navigator’s led us WAY off-course, hasn’t she, Disswey?
Matey watches as Disswey slowly slinks to the floor.
Matey: Are you just gonna lie there all day?
Disswey: I swear…I followed the stars exactly…
Sven: You mean when you were reading that upside-down guidebook last night?
Disswey suddenly leaps to her feet, her eyes wide open and her mouth incredibly tiny.
Disswey: What do you mean…“upside-down”…?
Sven: Yeah, I thought it was weird that the publisher printed it upside-down too…
Disswey suddenly becomes furious.
Disswey: IT WASN’T PRINTED UPSIDE-DOWN, RUNT! I WAS HOLDING IT THAT WAY! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?!
Sven: You’re the navigator, so I thought you knew…
Disswey: YOU INSUFFERABLE LITTLE-
Connie’s voice: Breakfas’ is on! Come an’ get it ‘fore the seagulls gobble it up!
Sven dashes below deck. Disswey spins around and shakes her fist at the door.
Disswey: COME BACK! I HAVEN’T FINISHED INSULTING YOU YET!
Shelley: Let it go, Disswey…
Disswey calms down.
Disswey: As you wish, Captain.
Shelley: Sven can’t help being dull. It’s just who he is. Trying to change him would be like trying to change a gnome with a dull personality.
Disswey: Your wit is one of your best qualities, Captain.
Shelley: Thank you. Just try to be a little bit nicer to Sven. Who knows? You might find you both have something in common.
Disswey: That’s about as likely as a human and a gnome having something in common.
Shelley suddenly hears Py yelling out from below deck.
Py: Someone, anyone, please help!
Shelley races into Py’s cabin. He is staring at a gull which is atop his dresser. Py’s eyes and mouth are wide open, and his teeth are clenched shut.
Shelley: Py! What’s wrong?!
Py: There’s a bizarre creature on my dresser!
Shelley looks at the gull.
Shelley: Is that all…?
Py: All?! It might be aggressive!
Py flinches. Shelley walks up to the gull and holds out her left arm. The gull lands on her forearm, and Shelley gives it a small fish, which it swallows whole.
Shelley: I can’t believe you’re frightened of Gully here.
Shelley: Yes! She started flying around our ship one day, and she hasn’t left us alone. I guess it’s because I can’t stop feeding her.
Gully’s eyes briefly twinkle.
Shelley: But how could I not? She’s so adorable!
Shelley strokes the back of Gully’s head. The gull appears delighted.
Shelley: Would you like to pet her?
Py: I-I guess I could try…
Py nervously approaches Shelley and Gully. He slowly moves his hand towards Gully.
Shelley: It’s alright. She won’t hurt you.
Py’s hand makes contact with the back of Gully’s head. He gently strokes her once, then pulls his hand away.
Shelley: There we go! She likes you.
Py: I…I did it! I faced my fear! Thank you, Shelley Wiley!
Shelley: You’re welcome, Py.
Sven’s voice: Wait…so…Py’s afraid of seagulls?
Sven suddenly stands in the room. Py is startled.
Py: How did you do that?!
Sven: I just came to let you know that breakfast is ready. It’s gnocchi with feta sauce and imported tap water today!
Py: That sounds exotic.
Shelley: Oh, you have NO idea, my friend…
The crew sits at the dining table. Matey, Disswey, Py and Rosella pick at their food. Sven scoffs from a huge portion.
Rosella: Well…this is…
Py’s thoughts: Surely not all surface food is like this…
Py looks at Shelley, who has no food of her own.
Py: Are you not going to partake of this food, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: Oh, I only eat once every two weeks.
Sven swallows his mouthful.
Sven: I know, it’s weird! AND she only has a small portion! It’s almost as though she hates Connie’s cooking!
Shelley: No, it’s not like that…
Shelley’s thoughts: …although it IS a contributing factor…
Rosella: Then why do you not eat very often?
Shelley: I simply don’t need as much nourishment as the rest of you. I have no idea why, but I feel as though I’ve always run on less food than most.
Shelley: I usually only eat when I’m hungry, which happens every two weeks.
Disswey: By the way, we are approaching Greater Lapis Island.
Connie bursts into the room.
Connie: Tha’s my homeland! I’m goin’ hame!
Connie bursts into tears.
Connie: At las’, I can get ta know my wee ones’ wee ones!
Disswey: In Common…?
Shelley: She means she can meet her grandchildren…uh…right?
Connie: Aye, lass! I’m leavin’ the crew fer good!
A shocked expression appears on Shelley, Matey, Py and Rosella’s faces. Disswey appears delighted, whereas Sven has a look of horror.
Connie: I’m packin’ up my things!
Connie races from the room. Disswey and Sven both scream, Disswey with joy and Sven with sadness.
Scene 2: Cuuk’s Garb Village: Greater Lapis Island: Early Evening
Connie walks up to the door of a cottage with a straw-lined roof.
Connie: Ah, me ol’ hoose. It’s been too long.
Connie’s hand approaches the handle, but before she grabs it, the door opens slightly with a groan.
Connie: Oh no…don’ tell me I fergot ta lock the door before I left…
Connie pushes the door open. The one-room building is completely dark. Connie switches on the light and is surprised to see the crew standing there, her table topped with a variety of delicious-looking dishes.
Connie: By the seas of Thal! Wh-Wha’s all this?!
Matey: We wanted to give you a proper send-off, so we’re throwing you a party!
Connie: Ye mean ye all conspired ta give ME food fer a change?!
Connie laughs heartily, as do the rest of the crew.
Shelley: Actually, it was all Sven’s idea.
Connie: Aw, thank ye, lad…
Sven: It’s the least I could do for all the wonderful meals you’ve prepared for us…*sniff*…
Sven bursts into tears, followed by Connie. Disswey rolls her eyes.
Connie scoops up a forkful of a yellowish mush and eats it.
Connie: Mmm! This is delightful! Who cooked it?
Shelley: That would be Py.
Connie: It’s scrumptious, lad!
Py: Oh…uh…thank you…
Connie: What d’ya call it?
Py: Oh, scrambled egg.
Connie: “Scram…bled…egg”…not sure I’ve heard of it. What’re the ingredients?
Disswey appears surprised.
Disswey: Y-You’re kidding, right…?
Connie: I never kid, lass. Ye should know tha better than anyone!
Sven takes a huge mouthful.
Py: Well, it’s made from chicken eggs with just a hint of seaweed.
Sven spits out his mouthful.
Matey: Oh, THAT’S what that green stuff is…hm…it adds a nice flavour to an already fine dish.
Disswey: I agree, Matey. It is quite flavourful.
Sven: Are you kidding?! Did you not HEAR what he put in this stuff?!
Shelley: Of course we did.
Sven: EGGS! Who in their right mind uses EGGS in cooking?!
Disswey: Cooks and chefs, obviously…
Sven: I am NOT eating this! What else ya got? Ooh!
Sven picks up a soft white ball and puts it in his mouth.
Py: Oh, you like my brine-marinated lobster bites?
Sven spits out the food.
Sven: That’s disgusting! Why would you use-
Rosella: The brine gives it a pleasant saltiness, Sven.
Sven: I have no problem with the brine. I wouldn’t be a seafarer if I did.
Rosella: Then what-
Sven: LOBSTER! People don’t eat LOBSTER!
Disswey: Of course they do! I ate lobster and caviar all the time whilst growing up.
Shelley: Fish eggs, Sven.
Sven: Ooh, I like fish! I wanna try caviar!
Py: There’s some in that dish just there.
Sven points to a dish containing thousands of tiny black orbs.
Sven: You mean this stuff?
Py: Yes. Scoop some up with a cracker and try it.
Sven: Okay then…
Sven picks up a round cracker and scoops up some caviar. He takes a bite and begins to chew.
Sven’s eyes bulge. He closes them as he spits out his mouthful.
Sven: That is DISGUSTING! I can’t believe you made me eat that!
Disswey (sarcastic): What a surprise…Sven hates caviar…
Sven: Oh, the caviar’s fine. It’s that cracker! Why is it so…crunchy? Food should be soft and easy to chew! I don’t want to wear out my jaw muscles!
Disswey mutters under her breath.
Disswey: Maybe you could try not talking every once in a while, then…
Disswey: I said, “Maybe you could try not talking every once in a while, then”.
Sven: Oh, okay then.
Shelley: Sven, Py spent all day preparing this food. Couldn’t you try to be a bit more appreciative?
Sven: Sure, now that we’ve found something I like!
Matey: Excellent, then let’s eat!
Scene 3: Waters near Greater Lapis Island: Morning
Py leads Shelley through the cold ocean waters near Greater Lapis Island.
Py: We are getting close.
Shelley: I don’t quite understand…
Py: What is it, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: It’s just that…I thought this water would be freezing cold!
Py: Ah, I see. Well, merborn are capable of swimming through any ocean, no matter how cold.
Shelley: Remarkable. Aquapathy AND cold water resistance? It’s like a…a dream…
Shelley’s eyes close.
We shift to a view of a mysterious, fog-filled forest. As the view proceeds through the trees, we hear a beautiful song in the background.
Voice: …fruit begins to grow…
We hear Py’s voice echo throughout the scene.
Py’s voice: Shelley…
We cut to a view of Shelley’s closed eyes.
Py’s voice: Shelley Wiley.
Shelley opens her eyes and looks at Py.
Shelley: Hm? Yes?
Py: We are on the outskirts of my tribe’s reef.
Shelley: Oh, excellent!
Py: Follow me!
Py begins to swim away.
Shelley: Hey, wait up!
Shelley follows Py.
Scene 4: The Hat: Late Morning
Matey, Disswey and Rosella stand on the ship’s deck.
Matey: So that’s that, then…
Disswey: And not a moment too soon.
Sven’s voice: I heard that, Deshway! Show some respect!
Sven lands in front of Disswey, a scowl on his face.
Disswey: I apologise, Sven, but-
Sven: Connie’s gone and she’s not coming back!
Disswey: Oh, Sven, get a grip!
Matey: Disswey is right, Matey.
Disswey mutters under her breath.
Disswey: …unlike SOME people who keep messing up my name…
Matey: Connie promised to keep in contact. She will send us letters from time to time.
Sven: Letters?! You can’t eat letters!
Rosella: Weren’t you eating an entire letter this morning?
Matey: Actually, Rosella, that was a “lettuce”.
Rosella: Oh, I see…
Sven: Mealtimes on this ship will never be the same again!
Disswey: Thank the seas…
Matey: That is a very good point, Sven…
Disswey: A good point?! Matey, have you gone stark raving purple?!
Disswey: I’m only kidding, Matey. But I suppose Sven is right. With no cook, we must figure out a way to nourish ourselves.
Rosella: If only we had Shelley’s special ability…
Sven: What ability?
Disswey: Her ability to only need food once a fortnight, lettuce-breath!
Sven: You call that special?! I couldn’t imagine not eating a huge portion of food several times a day!
Disswey: Really, Sven? A double-negative?
Sven: I don’t care if it’s a triple-negative. If it’s edible and flavourful, I’ll eat it!
Matey: I suppose we’ll need to take turns preparing our meals.
Disswey: But…your food is…is…weird! What do you call those strips of potato cooked in oil again?
Rosella: Chips? They sound delicious.
Disswey: Believe me, they are not. They turn yellow when cooked, and in my experience, yellow food is NOT to be trusted!
Sven: Then what about those instant egg noodles you keep eating?
Disswey: That’s different!
Matey: How so?
Disswey: They’re better than any food cooked up by Chef Connie!
Sven: Well, not all of us can handle all the herbs and spices you add to the broth!
Disswey: For your information, it’s called oyster sauce.
Sven: Oyster? You mean like those lumps of shelled goo that Py served at Connie’s party yesterday?!
Rosella’s eyes widen.
Rosella: That is a brilliant idea, Sven!
Rosella: I think we can all agree that he did a superb job catering for your former cook’s party.
Sven: I don’t.
Rosella: Why not let Py become the new cook? It will give him something to do aboard this vessel, and we can remain nourished during our long voyage.
Matey: Rosella is right, Sven. That is indeed a superb idea!
Disswey: I concur.
Matey: Now, let us proceed to the galley for some leftovers.
Disswey: For once, we agree, Matey.
Rosella: I will join you soon. I would like to freshen up first.
Matey: Of course.
Matey, Disswey and Rosella proceed below deck. Sven stares at the ocean.
Sven: I’m an idiot.
Scene 5: Waters near Greater Lapis Island: Late Morning
Py and Shelley approach Py’s home reef.
Py: We are nearly there, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Of course…whoa…
Shelley’s eyes glow briefly with lime green light, before she passes out.
Py: You’ll love my reef, Shelley Wiley, and I’m sure my father will be excited to meet you!
Py stops swimming.
Py: Shelley Wiley…?
Py spins around, and immediately becomes alarmed.
Shelley floats in one spot.
The scene shifts to a view of Shelley, who is in her isleborn form. She is standing within her mindscape, its walls rippling with lime green energy, and the symbol of the multiverse beneath her feet.
Shelley: Where am I…?
A woman’s voice echoes throughout Shelley’s mindscape.
Voice: Welcome, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: Who’s there? How do you know my name?!
Voice: I have much to tell you. Please, listen well…
Commercial: Have you seen Michelle, the Pirate Queen? This seafarer is wanted on every island nation, and must be brought to justice. Any and all information on sightings and first-hand encounters greatly rewarded. Thank you for your cooperation. This message brought to you by the Citrine Star Island Council.
- Scene 6: Shelley’s Mindscape: Unknown Time of Day
Shelley stands within her mindscape, looking for the source of the voice.
Voice: Fear not, Shelley, for you are in a safe place.
Shelley: Just who are you? For that matter, WHERE are you?
Voice: To answer your first question, my name is Gillifen.
Voice: Yes. Gillifen.
Shelley: And how do you know of me?
Gillifen: That is a discussion for another time.
Gillifen: Now, I imagine you must have questions about this place.
Shelley: Not really.
Shelley: I have no questions about this place.
Gillifen: Oh. Then…do you know where you reside?
Shelley: Of course! I’m in a merborn reef in the seas near Greater Lapis Island, right?
Gillifen: How did you-
Shelley: This place must be a manifestation of my mind.
Gillifen: Again, how did-
Shelley: And you are communicating with me using your own.
Shelley: So you see, I have no questions for you.
Gillifen: Well then…it appears that you are already well-versed in today’s topic of discussion.
Shelley: It would seem so.
Gillifen: In that case, I will speak with you another time, Shelley.
Shelley: I look forward to it.
Shelley opens her eyes. She is inside an underwater cave. Py and an unfamiliar merborn with silver hair and azure scales stare at her.
Shelley: Oh…I’m back.
Py: Shelley Wiley! Oh, thank goodness you’ve awakened!
Shelley: Apologies, Py. I…received an unusual communication from someone.
The other merborn speaks.
Merborn: I had no idea my underwater communication was unusual…
Shelley: Oh, I didn’t mean you, uh…I’m sorry, who are you?
Py: Oh, where are my manners? Shelley, this-
Py gestures to the merborn.
Py: -is Azul, chief of my merborn tribe.
Shelley: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Chief Azul.
Shelley attempts to bow, though she appears slightly clumsy. Shelley notices a shark tooth on a black string tied around the merborn’s neck.
Azul: Ah, so YOU’RE the unusual merborn my son mentioned.
Shelley: Your son…? But I only know two other merborn, and Rosella’s a girl…which means…PY is your son!
Py: Father, I neglected to inform you that Shelley is the captain of a sea vessel. We are on a voyage to discover the whereabouts of a missing Citrine school tribe.
Azul looks into Shelley’s eyes.
Azul: I am sorry for the loss of your tribe, my dear.
Shelley: Oh no, it isn’t MY tribe, chief! My tribe lives in a reef near…uh…Three-Tails Island!
Azul: I am not familiar with that particular location.
Shelley: Oh, it’s a lesser-known island within the bounds of the Citrine Star government. As backwater as they come, it is! Eheheheheh…
Py’s thoughts: I guess Shelley DOES need to create a cover for her lack of being a natural-born merborn…but “Three-Tails Island” seems like quite an odd name…
Azul: Well, there is definitely something…unusual about you, Miss Wiley. I am unable to work out what, but…
Shelley: Oh, I get that a lot. Our navigator, Disswey, is always saying how odd it is that I-
Shelley: Never mind. She’s the one who caused us to end up here instead of Garnet Grove Island. If anyone’s odd, it’s her!
Azul’s thoughts: Disswey…?
Azul: In any case, you are our honoured guest, Miss Wiley. I will see to the preparations at once.
Azul looks at Py.
Azul: Be sure to bring Shelley to the palace after she rests, son.
Py: Of course, father.
Azul smiles. He turns and swims out of the cave.
Shelley: Your father is so nice, Py!
Py: Indeed he is, Shelley Wiley. I couldn’t imagine a better father than him.
Shelley: Well, what other father could you have?
Py: Apologies. My mind was in another place for a moment.
Shelley’s thoughts: Much like my own…
Shelley: Well, shall we proceed to your village?
Py: Are you sure you don’t need to rest, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: Of course not! Come on, let’s try to catch up with your father!
Py: Very well.
Py and Shelley leave the cave.
Scene 7: The Hat Eater: Late Morning
Michelle stands on the deck of the Hat Eater, looking at the ocean. A lush tropical island is seen in the background.
Michelle: Come on, Shelley…where are you…?
Bootsie walks up to Michelle.
Bootsie: What’re you doin’, Cap’n?
Michelle: I’m looking for the Hat, Bootsie. It should’ve sailed near Garnet Grove Island by now!
Bootsie: Oh, the Hat won’ be sailin’ near vis oi’land anytoime soon.
Michelle: What?! How do you know that?!
Bootsie: The crew managed t’ ploonder page woon o’ the script for vis episode, an’ accord’n to it, Shelley an’ ‘er crew are near Grea’er Lapis Oi’land.
Michelle: You’re joking…
Bootsie: Not till episode seven, Cap’n.
Bootsie: We also go’ a page from episode seven, an’ apparen’ly Oi tell a joke in it. It’s quoite amoosin, acsh’ly!
Michelle: No, I mean you managed to get whole pages of the script? How?!
Bootsie: Never you moin’, Cap’n. Le’s jus’ say you’re gonna get a lil’ wrapped oop in kelp next episode…
Michelle: Okay, I think that’s enough fourth-wall demolitions for one episode, don’t you?
Bootsie: Oi suppose so, Cap’n.
Michelle: I can’t believe Shelley, getting herself and her crew lost like that…
Bootsie: Well, acsh’ly, it was Disswey’s fau’t.
Michelle: BOOTSIE! What did I just say?!
Bootsie: Sorry, Cap’n.
Michelle: Anyway, I’ll get Shelley next time. I mean what’s she gonna do, end up in an ocean of sand? Yeah, right!
Bootsie’s thoughts: Not till episode foive, Cap’n…
Scene 8: Py’s Village: Waters near Greater Lapis Island: Late Morning
Shelley and Py arrive in the village. Domed houses made of shimmering blue coral surround a wide plaza, with a large, glowing azure-coloured gemstone on a pedestal in its centre. On the opposite side of the plaza is a large palace made of the same blue coral and adorned with sparkling azure gemstones and seashells.
Shelley: Oh, Py, your village is so…well, it’s beautiful!
Shelley swims up to the gemstone and examines it.
Shelley: This gem is amazing! Look at how it softly glows!
Shelley spins around and looks at Py.
Shelley: I can see why you were so excited to…uh…
Shelley notices the worry lines on Py’s face.
Shelley: Py, whatever is the matter?
Py: Something is wrong.
Shelley: Wrong? What could be wrong in a place as magnificent as this?
Py: The plaza is usually bustling at this time of day. It’s as though everyone has just…well…disappeared…
Shelley looks around. The place begins to feel eerily empty.
Shelley: Now that you mention it…
Py: Why would everyone be gone?
Shelley: But we just spoke to-
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: Your father! He must be here somewhere!
Py: Of course! Quickly, into the palace!
Shelley: As you say!
Py and Shelley swim into the palace.
Py and Shelley enter the main foyer. Shelley looks around.
Shelley: This place is magnificent. It seems so eerie, though…
Py: The palace staff is missing as well.
Shelley: Well, your father must be here somewhere…
Py: I imagine he must be in the-
Py’s eyes widen. He swims up to Azul’s tooth, which is located at the foot of the stairs.
Shelley’s thoughts: Why does an underwater palace have a staircase…?
Shelley swims up to Py.
Shelley: What is it, Py?
Py: My father’s tooth. He would not abandon it.
Shelley: Then he has also disappeared…
Py: How could this have happened…?
Shelley: Well what about your mother? Could she still be here somewhere?
Py: I…never knew my mother.
A look of sadness appears on Shelley’s face.
Shelley: Oh, Py…
Py: I was left at the door of this palace when I was a mere infant. The chief, Azul, took me in and raised me as his own.
Shelley: You were an orphan…
Py: Possibly. All that was left with me was a note that said, “Please, take good care of my Py”.
Py: I knew full well that I was adopted, and I didn’t let it bother me. As far as I was concerned, I was Azul’s own flesh and blood.
Py turns to face Shelley, a look of determination on his face.
Py: We must find my tribe, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: We will, Py, as well as the other missing merborn.
Py: Then there is no time to waste. Let us head back to the Hat at once!
Py slips the tooth around his neck. He and Shelley leave the palace.
Scene 9: The Hat: Afternoon
Matey stands on deck.
Matey: I haven’t seen Captain Shelley all morning…
Shelley’s voice: Ahoy, Matey!
Matey spins around, and is surprised to see Shelley standing there.
Matey: Oh, Captain!
Shelley: I apologise for my absence, Matey, but I was catching up with some good reading in my quarters.
Matey: Oh, I see. How was it?
Shelley: It was…an adventure…
Shelley’s thoughts: I wonder if I will meet Gillifen again…
Shelley looks up and sees Gully flying in circles around the crow’s nest.
Shelley: Ah, I see our lookout is still keeping watch!
Sven: Doing my best, Captain!
Sven lands in front of Shelley.
Shelley: Actually, I was talking about Gully.
Sven: Oh yeah. I guess she always was better at keeping watch than me!
Shelley: So, what’s new?
Matey: Well, we’ve decided on Py as the ship’s new cook…uh, with your permission, of course.
Sven: WHAT?! But…you hardly eat anything, Shelley!
Shelley: Ah, but when I DO eat, I would enjoy Py’s delicious cuisine more than most others’.
Sven: Oh, Connie, I miss you already…
Shelley and Matey laugh.
Scene 10: Shelley’s Quarters: The Hat: Pre-Dawn
Shelley tosses and turns in her bed. Her eyes suddenly fly open, and she sits up.
Shelley: Why was I dreaming about a forest made out of sand…?
The mark of the multiverse begins drawing onto the back of Shelley’s right hand with lime-green light.
Shelley: By the seas…
The mark finishes drawing onto Shelley’s hand. It stops glowing.
Shelley: This emblem is beautiful, but…what is it?
Shelley’s window suddenly opens, letting in a cold breeze.
Shelley: I’m sure I locked that thing before going to bed!
Gully suddenly flies in and lands on the floor underneath the window. Shelley smiles.
Shelley: Now what are you doing here, my little friend?
Shelley giggles. Gully begins glowing with lime-green light and grows to a humanoid form. The light dissipates, revealing a strawberry blonde-haired, green-eyed woman with slightly-pointed ears; she is wearing green-accented golden armour and a long, emerald-green cape.
“Gully”: Perhaps I can answer some of your queries, Shelley.
Shelley: That voice…no, it couldn’t be…
“Gully”: Indeed, Shelley. I am the one known as Gillifen, and I have much to tell you.
Signature under renovation...
July 21st 2017, 7:09 am
Episode 4: I Was Garnet Tell You
- The Hat finally reaches Garnet Grove Island, where the crew decide to relax for a few days. Rosella’s reef happens to be nearby, though the reveal of a secret that the beautiful merborn has kept could have been mis-timed, as Shelley’s encounter with the mysterious Gilly Pebbleskip leaves the young captain questioning just who she was before she lost her past. Meanwhile, Michelle sets a trap for the crew of the Hat, but could the Pirate Queen herself be the one to end up in a bind?
Gilly Pebbleskip – A mysterious member of the Greenwealden, she seems to know much about Shelley, but refuses to divulge much information to her.
“Just you wait, Bootsie, we’ll have Shelley within our grasp soon!”
- Scene 1: The Hat Eater: Early Morning
Michelle emerges from below deck and stretches her arms.
Michelle: Ah…what a lovely sleep!
Michelle notices Bootsie with his back to her, staring at Garnet Grove Island.
Michelle: You’re up early, Bootsie.
Bootsie: Oye, Cap’n.
Michelle walks up to Bootsie and joins him in staring at the island.
Michelle: You know, I’ve thought a lot about…uh…
The scene zooms out to reveal Bootsie, who takes a bite of a long, golden-brown food on a stick.
Michelle: What are you eating?
Bootsie: Corn dog.
Michelle: But…we don’t HAVE any corn dogs in the kitchen!
Bootsie: Tha’s roight.
Michelle: Then…where did-
Michelle: Never mind. Now, I’ve thought of a nice little trap for Shelley and her pals when they arrive near this island.
Michelle: I do wish you’d get your hearing checked, Bootsie…I SAID I’VE THOUGHT OF A-
Bootsie: Oi heard you joos’ foine, Cap’n!
Bootsie: Wha’ Oi mean is that the Ha’ is already near Garnet Grove Oi’land.
Michelle: It is?! Where?!
Bootsie: On the opposi’ soide.
Michelle flips out.
Michelle: OH, FOR CRYING OUT-
Michelle: Well then, we’ll need to sail around and meet with them.
Bootsie: I’s a BIG oi’land, Cap’n, and the win’s are too slow to sail.
Michelle: Well, when can we meet them?
Bootsie: If we se’ sail roight now…dinn’r toime.
Michelle points towards the island.
Michelle: Then let’s set sail at once, Mr. Bootsie!
Bootsie takes a bite of corn dog and chews.
Michelle: Uh…after you finish your food, of course.
Michelle frowns and grins.
Michelle’s thoughts: Soon, you will be MINE, Shelley Wiley!
Scene 2: The Hat: Morning
We see the Hat docked at Garnet Grove, the largest settlement on Garnet Grove Island. Shelley emerges from below deck and looks out at the ocean.
Shelley’s thoughts: Things are suddenly becoming very complicated…first, I meet Py and gain the ability to become a fish…then, I meet Rosella and find out that entire tribes of aquatic humans are vanishing without a trace…and then I meet Gillifen…I mean “Gilly”…who tells me that I’m super-important, but doesn’t bother to detail why or how…
Sven’s voice: Morning, Shelley!
Sven lands behind Shelley. Shelley continues to face the ocean.
Shelley: Good morning, Sven.
Sven: Py made mozzarella bites for breakfast today! I think he’s trying to appease my apparently-bland flavour palate.
Shelley spins around and smiles.
Shelley: Py only wants what’s best for the crew.
Shelley’s thoughts: And Gilly only wants what’s best for me…apparently…what IS a greenweald, anyhow? Is she made of green metal?
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley’s thoughts: Is…is she an automaton?! An automaton made of green metal?!
The crew sits at the table. Matey, Disswey and Rosella appear to be enjoying their meals, whereas Sven has a sour look on his face, and is not eating his ridiculously-tall pile of mozzarella bites.
Disswey: Oh, this is most exquisite…mmm…it’s just like my mother used to make!
Shelley: You never mention your mother, Disswey.
Disswey: Hm? Well, there’s not much to tell, really. She abandoned my father and I when I was only five.
Sven: You were abandoned?! Well, it’s no wonder you turned out like-
Disswey’s eye twitches.
Sven: -uh…such a WONDERFUL example of a fine witch!
Disswey: WHAT did you call me, runt?!
Sven: Oh, sorry, that wasn’t politically-correct, was it? I meant “hedge mage”.
Disswey: I’m an esper, you fritter!
Sven: Oh, just like my favourite brother! His psi magic is top-notch!
Disswey: Which is something that can’t be said for your bardic magic…
Rosella: I must ask you, Sven…what exactly is wrong with Py’s mozzarella bites?
Sven: Well, I thought they’d be balls of mozzarella.
Rosella: But…that is exactly what they are.
Sven: No they’re not!
Disswey: Then what do you call them?
Sven: Mozzarella bites.
Disswey: No! I mean, what-
Matey: What Disswey means to know, Sven-
Disswey becomes agitated.
Disswey: That is NOT my-
Matey: -is how you would describe them.
Sven: Oh. Well, I’d say that they’re balls of mozzarella-
Disswey: You just said they weren’t. Make up your mind, sardine-features!
Sven: -on top of tiny slices of crunchy spiced bread with tomato sauce in the middle.
Shelley: But that’s what mozzarella bites ARE, Sven!
Sven: Well, couldn’t I just have the mozzarella by itself?
Matey: Why not just pick off the mozzarella and discard the bread?
Disswey: Or give the bread to Matey. Waste not, want not.
Matey: Another fine suggestion…I suppose…
Sven: Oh, okay then!
Disswey: Perhaps he could lick off the excess sauce for you, as well?
Disswey snickers. An expression of joy appears on Sven’s face.
Sven: Would you?!
Disswey: Oh, by the seas, Sven! I was only kidding!
Sven: Nonetheless, I would be more inclined to eat this food if someone ate my bread and sauce.
Disswey: Well, it ain’t happenin’, bucko!
Shelley: Now, now, Disswey, you have a point.
Disswey: I do? Wait a minute…you’re not suggesting-
Shelley: Disswey, I order you to eat all of Sven’s bread.
Disswey: But…there must be two-hundred-
Shelley: The captain’s word is final!
Disswey’s jaw drops.
Shelley: Now, Rosella, why don’t we meet up with Py and do some shopping in Garnet Grove, hm?
Rosella: Of course. I would be delighted, Captain Wiley.
Disswey: But…I love shopping…
Shelley: No shopping until you eat Sven’s bread!
Shelley and Rosella leave the galley. Disswey appears flabbergasted.
Matey: Such a wise captain does this vessel have…
A groaning sound emerges from Disswey’s gaping mouth.
Scene 3: Waters near Garnet Grove Island: Morning
Shelley, Py and Rosella swim through the waters near Garnet Grove Island. Shelley is amazed by the array of brightly-coloured exotic fish, as well as a lone moray eel that hides in a nearby rocky outcrop.
Shelley: These waters are magnificent!
Py: I agree, Shelley Wiley. Most spectacular indeed!
Rosella: I used to enjoy watching the fish with my cousin. Oh, we’d spend hours counting the number of fish within a particular school.
Shelley: You have a cousin, Rosella?
Rosella: Oh yes, but she hails from a far-off Amethyst school tribe.
Shelley: But…you’re of the Garnet school…
Rosella: That’s correct, Captain Wiley.
Shelley: …so how can she be of the Amethyst school?
Py: Well, when a merborn is born, they take on the scale colour of a nearby merbble.
Py: The glowing rock in the middle of a merborn reef.
Rosella: The colour of a merborn’s scales determines their tribe. I was born near here, in a Garnet school reef. My cousin, however, was born in an Amethyst school reef.
Shelley: I see…
Shelley: Um, Py?
Py: Yes, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley: You have Lapis school colouration, yes?
Py: I do.
Shelley: But you were not born in Azul’s reef…
Py: That…uh…is correct…
Shelley: Then may I ask how you acquired your scale colour?
Rosella: Oh, Py must have been born in a different Lapis school tribe, Captain Wiley.
Shelley: Wait…then…there are many tribes within each colour of school?
Py: Y-Yes, that’s right. You really are smart, Shelley Wiley!
Shelley: Well, they don’t call me “Wiley” for nothing!
The merborn giggle.
Shelley: Hey, Rosella, you said you used to watch fish here, yes?
Rosella: Yes I did, Captain Wiley.
Shelley: Then your reef must be nearby!
Shelley: I knew it! Let’s go! I want to see it!
Rosella: Oh, I don’t know if-
Shelley: Last one there’s a rotten eel!
Shelley swims off.
Py: Wait for me, Shelley Wiley!
Py follows Shelley. Rosella appears to be sad.
Rosella’s thoughts: They will learn the truth if they find my reef…
Rosella swims after Shelley and Py.
Scene 4: The Hat Eater: Late Morning
The Hat Eater sails anti-clockwise around Garnet Grove Island. We zoom to a view of Michelle, who stands at the front of the ship.
Michelle: We’re making good time! Soon, Shelley and her little friends will be in my grasp, and the Hat will be mine! AHAHAHAHAAH!
The scene zooms out, then quickly zooms ahead of the Hat Eater. The scene slows down to reveal noticeable patches of green beneath the water’s surface.
Scene 5: Rosella’s Reef: Waters near Garnet Grove Island: Late Morning
Shelley and Py arrive in what appears to be Rosella’s reef. It is similar to Py’s, though the buildings are made of pinkish berry-coloured coral, and the plaza’s merbble is dark pink in colour.
Py: Yes! I won!
Shelley: No you didn’t, Py! I won!
Py: Face it, Shelley Wiley, you ate my bubbles!
Shelley: Hey, I’m the captain, and I say I won!
Py: You’re only the captain aboard the Hat, Shelley Wiley! Under the sea, you have no authority!
Shelley and Py laugh. They quickly realise something is wrong.
Py: No…it couldn’t be…
Rosella’s voice: Yes, it is true.
Shelley and Py spin around to face Rosella.
Rosella: My tribe…has also vanished.
Shelley and Py’s eyes widen.
Rosella: It happened a little more than two months ago. I was off visiting our sister reef, and when I returned…
Shelley: And you’re only telling us NOW?
Rosella: I wanted to tell you, but…
Rosella closes her eyes.
Rosella: It’s hard to admit that you are missing something important to you, especially to a stranger…especially to yourself. I…still find it difficult to imagine where my tribe could be. My mother, my father, my dearest friends…
Shelley closes her eyes.
Shelley: I know the feeling.
Py and Rosella look at Shelley, who opens her eyes.
Shelley: My past is…well, it’s gone.
Py and Rosella look at each other, then back at Shelley, who giggles.
Shelley: I know, I know…I’ve already told you this story. “Learn to get some fresh material, why don’t you, Shelley?”
Shelley shakes her head.
Shelley: I try to imagine my own family. Is my father a great seafarer? Does my mother grow fruit on the mainland? Is my brother anywhere as adventurous as I, reaching for the greatest horizons?
Shelley: I guess that’s what compelled me to become the Hat’s captain. I hope to find my past…mySELF…somewhere across the seas of Thal. That’s why I say “by the seas” so much. I feel as though, if I honour Thal enough, he’ll guide me to myself. Not necessarily my past – if it’s gone, it’s gone – but to my true self…whoever she happens to be…
Py: That was beautiful, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: It was?
Rosella: I agree with Py. You managed to express your deepest feelings to two people you hardly even know. If you can do that…then I guess I can come to terms with losing my tribe as well.
Py: As can I.
Shelley: Thank you, both…really, thank you so very much.
Shelley, Py and Rosella hug briefly.
Shelley: Now, let’s head back to the Hat, shall we?
Rosella: Yes! What was it you said, Captain Wiley? “Last one there’s a rotten eel!”
Rosella swims away.
Shelley: Oh, come on, Rosella! That’s not fair!
Py: Wait for us!
Shelley and Py swim after Rosella.
Scene 6: Unknown Location: Unknown Time of Day
Gilly enters a large, ornate room made of moss green brick. She walks over to a similarly-armoured male human with rounded ears.
Gilly: Greetings, brother.
The male greenweald looks at Gilly.
Greenweald: Well met, sister. What have you been doing these past months?
Gilly: I have been keeping an eye on something important.
Greenweald: Does it interfere with your greenwealden duties?
Gilly: It does not.
Greenweald: Then continue to observe this important thing.
Gilly: As you say, brother.
Gilly heads for the exit.
Gilly’s thoughts: I suspect that the Pendula Terrae will soon find her…I must remain vigilant…
Scene 7: The Hat: Afternoon
We see a view of the deck of the Hat. Shelley’s head pops up over the guard rail.
Py’s voice: Is the coast clear, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley looks around.
Shelley: All clear!
Shelley leaps onto the deck. Her shell glows, and she changes back into isleborn form. Shelley turns to face the guard rail.
Shelley: Okay, quickly!
Shelley looks to her left and becomes alarmed.
We cut to a view of Matey, who has a surprised look on his face.
Shelley: Matey! Uh…I can explain…
Matey is speechless.
Shelley: Uh, Matey?
Matey: BY THE SEAS OF THAL! YOU’RE A-
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- Scene 8: The Breaching Dolphin Tavern: Afternoon
Shelley, Matey, Py and Rosella sit at a table in The Breaching Dolphin, the local tavern in Garnet Grove. Matey is staring at the bottle in his hand.
Shelley: Look, Matey...
Matey: It’s quite alright, Captain Shelley. We all have our secrets.
Matey’s thoughts: If only I could tell her mine…
Shelley: The merborn secret is one that shouldn’t be revealed to surface-dwellers. You finding out was an accident, but…
Matey looks at Shelley.
Matey: You can trust me with your secret, Captain.
Matey: Of course.
Shelley: That’s a relief…
Rosella: Should we tell him about the other thing?
Matey becomes curious.
Matey: “Other thing”…?
Py: We DO need all the help we can get…
Matey: What is it?
Shelley: Py, Rosella and I are…investigating.
Shelley: Py and Rosella’s tribes have disappeared.
Matey: That’s awful!
Py: We know.
Rosella: So far, we have little idea of where to look, but…
Shelley: …I’ve been having dreams.
Shelley: Yes. They seem to speak of a place called the Yume.
Matey: I know that word.
Py: You do?
Matey: In the Draconic language, dreams are called “yume”. I had no idea that dreams could be a place, however.
Voice: The plane of dreams.
The group watches as Gilly walks up to them.
Shelley: Oh, hello, Gilly.
Matey: You know this woman, Captain?
Shelley: Oh, where are my manners? Matey, this is Gillifen Pebbleskip. She’s the seagull who’s been flying around our crow’s nest for months.
Matey appears surprised.
Matey: Then…you can use pr-
Gilly: Primal magic? Yes, that is correct.
Rosella: You mentioned something about a plane of dreams, Miss Pebbleskip?
Gilly: The plane of dreams is the place where all venture when asleep. There, anything is possible.
Matey: Like how I am able to fly when I dream?
Gilly: Exactly. Now, each person has their own mindscape, a plane that is unique to them. As they rest, their mindscape connects with the realm of dreams, which gives them the power to do anything.
Gilly looks at Shelley.
Gilly: For some, their mindscape is left with an imprint that resembles the plane of dreams. They can do anything even within the waking world.
Gilly: I believe that you, Shelley Wiley, may have such an imprint. What else do your dreams mention?
Shelley: Well, I often dream of a fox with white fur and three tails.
Matey: Is that significant?
Gilly: It is my thinking that this fox’s tails may be representative of the three areas of the mind: emotion, or what you feel; thought, or what you think; and resolve, or what you do.
Shelley: Then my dreams are trying to tell me something about my mind?
Gilly’s thoughts: The Pendula Terrae…I sense it…
Gilly: Possibly. Now, I must be off.
Shelley: Thank you for visiting.
Gilly: You are most welcome, Shelley. It was wonderful to meet you all.
Gilly smiles and walks away.
Py: Well, I’m going for a swim. Care to join me?
Shelley: Perhaps another time. I promised to take Rosella shopping.
Py: Fair enough.
Gilly leaves the tavern. She stops and looks down, and sees Sven standing there with a big smile on his face.
Gilly: Hello, Sven.
Sven: So…any particular reason you chose to wild form into a seagull?
Gilly smiles and places her left hand on her hip.
Gilly: Well, what would you suggest I have used to disguise myself?
Sven: Well, I heard you tell Shelley that your title is “Griffon”, so…that?
Gilly: And do you know what a griffon is?
Gilly: I must be off. Before I go, I wish to thank you for feeding me while I fly around the Hat.
Sven: No problem.
Gilly walks away. Sven smiles.
Sven: She’s much nicer than I expected…
Scene 9: Coastline: Garnet Grove Island: Afternoon
Disswey walks along the coastline.
Disswey’s thoughts: A rare moment away from the crew…
Disswey sees a lorikeet on a nearby tree and smiles.
Disswey’s thoughts: This island is beautiful…much like the people back home think of me…
Disswey’s thoughts: I can’t go back, though…not after-
Voice: Oi, you there! Can you ‘elp oos?
Disswey looks around and sees the Hat Eater not too far from the coastline.
Scene 10: The Hat Eater: Evening
Disswey rows up to the Hat Eater and climbs aboard.
Bootsie walks up to Disswey.
Bootsie: Oh, thank goodness, Miss! Can you ‘elp oos please?
Disswey: Well, I don’t usually help, but…
Bootsie: Please! We’ll give you any treasure you loike!
Disswey: Well…okay, I can help, Captain…uh…
Bootsie: Bootsie. Oh, bu’ Oi’m no’ the Cap’n of vis vess’l.
Voice: Well, well, well…if it isn’t Isabelle!
Michelle walks up to Disswey. Disswey sighs.
Disswey: I might’ve known I was aboard the Hat Eater.
Michelle: And why is my favourite crew member of the Hat on my vessel?
Disswey: You tell me.
Michelle: Oh, you still answer people back, Thisway?
Disswey: Get my name wrong again, Michelle. I DARE you.
Michelle: I could charge you with insubordination, you know!
Disswey: Yeah right! You’re not my captain anymore, Michelle!
Michelle: More’s the pity.
Disswey: Excuse me?
Michelle: I see the way that new crew of yours treat you, Isabelle. They show you no respect whatsoever. You were treated better aboard the Hat Eater, admit it!
Disswey: I…okay, you’re right about that, but…you’re a pirate! You plunder other vessels for treasure, and for what? What good is treasure to a seafarer?
Michelle: I guess someone has acquired a taste for being flounderless, haven’t they?
Disswey: Look, I’m only here to help you with whatever problem you’re having, so if you don’t mind…
Michelle: I don’t see why I should accept help from a traitor!
Disswey: Well then…
Disswey holds out her right hand at Michelle. Both Disswey’s hand and Michelle become surrounded with lime green energy, with the Pirate Queen being lifted into the air.
Michelle: Wh-What are you doing?!
Disswey: Something I should’ve done when I left your crew!
Disswey uses her psi powers to suspend Michelle over the guard rail.
Michelle: You wouldn’t dare.
Disswey: Try me.
Michelle: This is uncalled for, Thisway!
Disswey: It’s “DESHWAY”!
The energy surrounding Disswey’s hand and Michelle disappears, causing Michelle to drop into the ocean with a splash. Disswey smirks.
Disswey: That felt good.
Bootsie runs over to the guard rail and looks into the sea. Disswey walks over to the guard rail slowly.
Disswey: Relax! Michelle’s an excellent swimmer, so she’ll be fine.
Bootsie looks at Disswey, a look of panic on his face.
Bootsie: Bu’ this ship’s tangled oop in kelp! The Cap’n cou’d be tangled oop as well!
Disswey’s hands fly up to her mouth.
Disswey’s hands: By the seas…what have I done…?
Scene 11: Waters near Garnet Grove Island: Evening
We cut to a view of a thick kelp forest. Michelle’s feet are wrapped in kelp, and she struggles to untangle them. Michelle’s hands become tangled as well, and she begins to panic. Suddenly, Michelle sees a glowing white figure approaching her in the water, just before she blacks out.
Scene 12: The Hat: Night
Disswey boards the Hat. Shelley and Py are standing there.
Disswey: Oh, good evening, Captain, Chef.
Shelley: Good evening.
Shelley: So…how was your day?
Disswey: Well, I ended up aboard the Hat Eater.
Shelley: What?! Why?!
Disswey: Long story. Anyway, I…may have caused Michelle to end up in the ocean.
Shelley: Oh, you did, eh? Nice one!
Disswey: But…she ended up tangled in kelp.
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: By the seas! Is she okay?!
Disswey: Surprisingly, yes. Somehow, she was flung back onto the deck of her ship by a wave.
Shelley: That’s…well, it must’ve been Thal.
Disswey: You’re starting to sound like Matey.
Shelley: You may be right about that, Disswey!
Disswey sighs, then smiles.
Disswey: Well put, Captain. Now, I must be going to bed. Goodnight.
Disswey heads below deck. Shelley looks at Py.
Shelley: You’ve been awfully quiet this evening, Py.
Py: Oh…I’ve been thinking.
Shelley: About your tribe?
Py: In a sense, yes.
Shelley: I don’t quite follow…
Py: I…am not a Lapis school merborn.
Shelley: You’re not?
Py: Like you, I was born far from any merborn tribe, which makes me a Pearl school merborn.
Py: My mother could be from any school…Shelley Wiley, what if she vanishes as well…?
Shelley: We can solve this mystery, Py. We can, I just know it!
Py: You’re right, Shelley Wiley! Yeah!
Shelley: That’s the spirit!
Py’s smile softens a little.
Py’s thoughts: It’s a good thing I found Michelle when I did…I couldn’t bear to imagine the consequences of Disswey causing any harm…even if unintentional…
Scene 13: The Hat Eater: Night
Michelle, who is in a nightgown, awakens on her bed. She sits up and looks around.
Michelle: That entity…it must have been Thal himself! He saved me! Perhaps it’s a sign that I should abandon the ways of the pirate, and turn to a more noble endeavour!
Bootsie bursts into the room.
Michelle: Bootsie! Couldn’t you have knocked?
Bootsie: Apol’gies, Cap’n. The crew is coun’n our newes’ batch o’ treasure, an’ we were woond’rin’ if you’d loike your share now or la’er?
Michelle: Why, now, of course!
Bootsie: Oye, Cap’n!
Bootsie closes the door.
Michelle: Well…maybe I could be a pirate for a little longer…heheheh…
Scene 14: Coastline: Citrine Star Island: Morning
We cut to a view of Shelley’s eyes, which open. Shelley sits up, sand sliding down the back of her head as she does so.
Shelley: Another strange dream…what is it about that three-tailed fox…?
Shelley looks around.
Shelley’s thoughts: Wait a minute…this isn’t the Hat…this is…
We cut to a view of Shelley, who is sitting on the coastline of Citrine Star Island.
Shelley’s thoughts: …the Citrine Star coastline…
Signature under renovation...
July 28th 2017, 5:35 pm
Special 1: Citrine of the Sands
- Shelley ends up in the middle of a vast ocean of sand, where she is saved by a wandering shugenja named Roman. After the duo arrives at a mysterious temple guarded by citrine sculptures, they are confronted by two sinister individuals who are searching for the mysterious Earth Pendulum, with the pair suspecting that it may be connected with Shelley. But what will the young captain do when they try to capture her?
Roman of the Frigid Sands – A master of an elemental discipline, he rescues Shelley when she is lost in the desert at night
“Okay, just a pinch of salt and…there. Who wants dumplings?”
- Scene 1: Coastline: Citrine Star Island: Afternoon
Shelley walks along the coastline of Citrine Star Island.
Shelley’s thoughts: Well, I’m stranded on Citrine Star Island…
Shelley suddenly has an idea.
Shelley: Wait a minute…I can turn into a merborn, so…why don’t I simply swim to Garnet Grove Island?
Shelley looks at the ocean.
Shelley: Uh…which direction IS Garnet Grove Island, anyway…?
Shelley sighs. She suddenly notices something in a nearby sandbank.
Shelley: Ooh, sparkly!
Shelley walks up to the object and picks it up. It appears to be a small ring carved from lapis.
Shelley: Wow, what a rare find! I wonder if-
The mark on Shelley’s hand suddenly begins to glow with lime-green light.
Shelley: Oh, my mark.
The same mark appears beneath Shelley’s feet with azure light.
Shelley: Oh, that’s weird…
A column of azure-tinged light erupts from the ground around Shelley. We cut to a view of the inside of the column.
Shelley: And this is even weirder!
The column retreats into the ground, and the marks on Shelley’s hand and beneath her feet disappear, leaving her standing in the middle of a vast ocean of sand.
Shelley: This, however, isn’t too weird at all…
Shelley looks around. There is a tinge of pink on the horizon.
Shelley: …although everything seems…off.
Shelley’s thoughts: Okay, Shelley…pick a direction and start walking…
Shelley points her finger towards a set of distant dunes.
Shelley: That way!
Scene 2: Unknown Location: Evening
Shelley: It’s starting to get cold.
A voice whispers in Shelley’s mind.
Voice: You are not the first of your kind to set foot here…
Shelley’s eyes close.
We cut to a view of Zed and Argen walking through the desert.
Zed: Nescio quo sumus, Argen… (I don't know where we are, Argen…)
Argen: Well, my senses tell me that this isn’t Junihoshi.
Zed: Vere? Hoc est Kobelia? (Really? This isn’t Kobelia?)
Zed: Quo itaque sumus? (So where are we?)
We cut to a view of Gilly, though she is wearing different clothing.
Gilly: I don’t see why Viridius sent me here…this place is barren.
Gilly looks around.
Gilly: Herikios is in the place with all the crystals…and Stratis is in the place with the light and dark phases.
Gilly: I mean, we’re supposed to be a team, so why would they separate us like this? I don’t get it…still, I guess it’s part of our Iconic training. Now, the Axian outpost can’t be too far from here…
We see a view of a man in a brown cloak, a long quarterstaff strapped to his back.
Man: I sense I am not alone out here…someone has come from a different kind of ocean…and something is tethered to her…
We see a view of the man’s face under the hood. His eyes are hidden by shadow, but they begin to glow with azure light.
Shelley’s eyes open.
Shelley: Were those visions? Is this place affecting me more than I realised?!
Shelley exhales a deep breath.
Shelley: I need to get out of here…
Shelley continues to walk, looking for any signs of civilisation.
Shelley’s thoughts: This place is nothing but a wasteland…
Scene 3: Unknown Location: Night
Shelley continues to wander through the desert. It is nighttime, and the young captain is shivering.
Shelley looks at the top of a nearby sand dune. The brown-cloaked man is standing there.
Shelley: H-HELLO! Y-YOU TH-TH-THERE!
The man turns around and begins to walk away.
Shelley: W-WAIT! D-D-DON’T G-G-GO!
Shelley reaches the top of the dune and looks down, but the man is nowhere to be found.
Shelley: D-D-Did I imagi-gine th-th-that…per-person-son…
Voice: I am all too real.
The man is suddenly standing behind Shelley. Before she can react, the man wraps a thick blanket around her.
Shelley: Wh-What a-are y-y-you d-d-doing?!
Man: It is freezing. I am merely providing you with warmth.
Shelley spins around and sees the man standing there. The man pulls down his hood. He has buzz-cut hair and a thin beard, and his ears are slightly-pointed.
Shelley: Oh, you’re…
Man: I am human, as you are.
Shelley: Well, I was gonna say “kind of cute”, but your wording works too.
Man: Cute? You liken me to a small mammal?
Shelley: Oh, no no! What I mean is that you’re…handsome.
The man blushes slightly. Shelley smiles.
Shelley: Are you blushing?
Man: I am not used to receiving compliments.
Man: I travel the sands and snows alone most of the time. I rarely make contact with people.
Shelley: Wait…other people actually LIVE in this place?
Man: Indeed they do. Now come. I know the perfect place where we may camp for a while.
The man walks past Shelley. Shelley starts to follow him.
Scene 4: The Hat: Night
The crew sits in the galley eating a delicious meal. Sven is picking at it with his fork.
Disswey: I must say, Py, this meal is indeed scrumptious.
Py: Oh…uh…thank you.
Rosella: I agree. It is truly delicious.
Sven: Have you all lost your narwhals?!
Disswey: It’s “marbles”, runt. “Have you all lost your marbles?”!
Sven: Do you have ANY idea what “Chef Py” has cooked for us today?
Matey: Of course. Chicken breast with cheese sauce and beans.
Sven: Exactly! I tasted the sauce while Py was cooking it, and it tastes like it contains cheddar, parmesan and Ruby Friend Finest!
Py: But…those are the exact kinds of cheese I used in the sauce.
Sven: And you don’t see my problem?!
Disswey: We do, actually.
Sven: Then perhaps you could explain it to them?
Disswey: Very well…
Disswey clears her throat.
Disswey: Sven is a neurotic little freak whose flavour palate is so bland that he doesn’t know good food when it’s served to him.
Sven holds his hands out to Disswey.
Sven: Thank you, Deshway!
Disswey: Anytime, Sven.
Rosella: But Sven…Py didn’t GIVE you any sauce.
Sven: He didn’t?! Then…what’s this stuff on top of my chicken?!
Py: Oh, I left the skin on yours, for a little bit of extra flavour.
Sven: Oh, alright then.
Sven stabs one of his seven chicken breast fillets with a fork and takes a bite.
Sven: Mmm…that’s good! Hey, I think I’m starting to like your cooking, Py!
Disswey: At last, a breakthrough!
Py, Disswey and Rosella laugh. Py looks at Matey.
Py: What’s wrong, Matey?
Matey: I haven’t seen Captain Shelley all afternoon.
Py: Now that you mention it…
Disswey: Oh, come on, Matey! You know how much she can sleep!
Matey: I suppose…
Rosella: Just leave her be. She’ll join us when she’s ready.
Matey: Very well.
Matey’s thoughts: I have the strangest feeling…that Shelley is in the ocean…but why would she go swimming at night?
Scene 5: Campsite: Suna Desert: Night
Shelley and the man sit next to a warm campfire holding metal bowls. Shelley is using chopsticks, whereas the man is using a fork.
Man: I must say, Shelley, that this food is most delicious!
Shelley: Oh, thank you, Roman! It’s just a little something I threw together.
Roman looks at his meal.
Roman: So what do you call it?
Shelley picks up a dumpling with her chopsticks and takes a bite.
Roman: Dumplings? But…these contain meat!
Shelley: AND vegetables, AND a hint of ginger!
Roman: In this place, dumplings are simply balls of flour dough boiled in stock.
Roman: Indeed. But your version is superior, I think.
Shelley: Well, I thought I’d try preparing a Py dinner.
Roman: Wait…you prepared pie as well?
Shelley: No, what I mean is-
Shelley shakes her head.
Shelley: Never mind.
Roman: Oh…very well.
Shelley: So…what’s this place?
Roman: Oh, the Suna Desert.
Shelley: Is it on the mainland?
Roman: I guess you could say that. This world is covered by desert, with one half arid sands and the other frigid snows.
Shelley: Wait…then that means…
Roman: When I sensed your arrival, I-
Shelley: Whoa, back up! You sensed me arrive?
Roman: Well, yes.
Shelley: Interesting…anyway, please continue.
Roman: Well, I sensed that you arrived from a place covered by salty water.
Shelley: Yes, the seas of Thal.
Roman’s eyes widen.
Roman: Then you must be from another world.
Shelley: What…? Don’t be absurd!
Roman: I am serious! Think about it: you come from an ocean of water, and I come from an ocean of sand and snow.
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: By the seas…
Shelley takes another bite of dumpling and slowly chews.
Scene 6: Suna Desert: Night
A pair of figures dressed in black walk through the desert. The male one speaks first.
Figure #1: Ugh…how long is this gonna take?!
Figure #2: Getting impatient?
Figure #1: All we need to do is find one itty-bitty pendulum. Why is it being so difficult to find?!
Figure #2: Remember, the Pendula Terrae was hidden for a reason.
Figure #1: “To stop it from falling into the wrong hands”?
Figure #2: Bingo. Now, continue searching.
Figure #1: Very well…
The figures continue their search.
Scene 7: Campsite: Suna Desert: Night
Shelley sits holding her bowl. She pats her belly.
Shelley: Oh, I’m stuffed…
Shelley: I don’t usually eat so much food, but it was so good…
Roman: But…you merely ate five dumplings. How can you be full?
Shelley: Oh, I eat very little.
Roman: You have a special talent?
Shelley: Well my frie-
Shelley briefly pauses.
Shelley: Uh…someone I know named Disswey says that it’s abnormal.
Roman: Well, while that may be true, it is our quirks that set us apart from one another.
Shelley: Wise words from one so young.
Roman: Oh, I am much older than I appear, Shelley.
Shelley: Really?! I could swear you were in your twenties!
Roman: Another compliment? You really are too kind, young lady.
Shelley: “Young lady”?
Roman’s eyes widen.
Roman: Oh, I apologise! I…I didn’t mean to offend!
Shelley: It’s quite alright, Roman. I, too, am older than I look.
Roman: Well then…it appears we have at least one thing in common, Shelley.
Shelley: I suppose so.
Shelley’s thoughts: This guy is too good to be true…I wonder if he’d be my boyfr-
Roman: Well, time to go.
Shelley: Already?! But…it’s still dark!
Roman: Indeed. It is much better to travel these sands at night…unless…you wish to succumb to sunburn, heatstroke and dehydration?
Shelley: Oh, by the seas, no! I’ll take hypothermia any day!
Roman: Well then, let’s pack up and leave!
Shelley: Aye, Captain!
Commercial: Guess what? There’s another Multiverse Week coming soon! Stay tuned!
- Scene 8: The Hat: Night
Sven stands in the crow’s nest, looking out at sea.
Sven: We’ll soon be at Turquoise Lagoon Island…I can practically TASTE the coconut milk already!
Voice: Coconut milk?
Sven leaps out of the crow’s nest and lands next to Gilly.
Sven: It’s my favourite!
Gilly: Would plain milk not be more to your liking?
Sven: I may have a limited flavour palate, but give me SOME credit, at least!
Gilly: I’ll…try to keep that in mind, Sven.
Sven: Thank you.
Gilly looks at the ocean.
Gilly: Shelley is not in her cabin.
Sven: I know.
Gilly: You do?
Sven: Well…yeah. I’m not a COMPLETE doofus!
Sven: But she doesn’t know that I know that she can turn into a mermaid.
Gilly: MerBORN, Sven.
Sven: Yeah, that.
Gilly: But how do YOU know?
Sven: Well, it IS my job to keep an eye on her, isn’t it? And the rest of the crew, I suppose.
Gilly: It is.
Sven: But when she swims off into that ocean, I think to myself, “Boy, it’d be nice to swim alongside her!”.
Gilly: It must be like a different world beneath the sea.
Sven: So you’ve never been in the ocean?
Gilly: Once…so very long ago…
Gilly continues to stare at the sea.
Scene 9: Suna Desert: Late Night
The two figures continue to walk through the sands.
Figure #1: This is getting tiresome.
Figure #2: Really? YOU are tired?
Figure #1: It was a metaphor.
Figure #2: Oh…right…
Figure #1: We must find the Pendula Terrae.
Figure #2: Patience.
The male figure sighs.
Figure #1: Fine…
Scene 10: Outside Citrine Temple: Suna Desert: Pre-Dawn
Shelley and Sky climb up a tall dune.
Shelley: Wow, my legs feel like lead…
Roman: Well, we HAVE been walking for two hours.
Shelley: Then it’s no wonder I need a rest!
Roman: There’s a small building on the other side of that dune. We will rest there.
Shelley and Roman climb over the dune. The early morning rays shine on a large building made of stone, with a number of citrine-carved statues surrounding it.
Shelley: By the seas…
Roman: Shelley Wiley, may I present the Citrine Temple.
Scene 11: Citrine Temple: Suna Desert: Morning
Shelley and Roman enter the temple. The walls are carved with runes in an indecipherable language.
Shelley: Wow, it’s already morning?
Roman: Of course! This place is near the border between the Suna Desert and Yuki Wastes. It is one of the few areas that has a clearly-defined day and night cycle.
Roman: Nearly all of the Suna Desert is always bathed in daylight, while nearly every part of the Yuki Wastes is darkened by night.
Shelley: I see…
Shelley looks around the room.
Shelley: Wow…this temple is magnificent!
Roman: Indeed. I suspect that it belonged to an ancient civilisation known as the Axians.
Shelley: “Axians”…? That sounds vaguely familiar…
Roman: It seems as though they disappeared a long time ago. This is one remnant of their culture.
Shelley: Well then, shall we venture within?
Shelley: Then let us do so!
Shelley and Roman continue through the temple. A line of lime-green luminescence runs along the tops and bottoms of the walls, providing light to the passage.
Shelley: It’s funny…the more I examine these runes…the more they seem to make sense…
Shelley: Indeed. I wonder if-
A voice whispers inside Shelley’s mind.
Voice: Pendula Terrae…
Shelley looks around.
Roman: What is it, Shelley?
Shelley: Oh, it’s nothing, really.
Roman raises one eyebrow.
Roman: Very well…
Roman’s thoughts: I suspect that Shelley may be-
Shelley and Roman are alerted to a grunting sound.
Shelley: What was that?
Shelley and Roman see a boar the size of a small cow standing there.
Shelley: What is THAT?!
Roman: A dire boar!
Roman: Is this funny to you?!
Shelley: Sorry, it’s just that “dire boar” sounds similar to something that Disswey sometimes calls my other friend Sven, and I-
The boar lets out a loud roar that sounds like a squeal.
Shelley: No…? But…that thing looks mad!
Roman: Really? Two intruders in what is apparently its home? The thought never crossed my mind!
Shelley: Oh, don’t WE have a sharp tongue!
Roman squeezes his eyes tight.
Roman: I apologise. Whenever I get stressed, I tend to snap at anyone nearby.
Shelley: Wow, so does Disswey!
Roman: Let me try something…
Roman punches his fist at the boar, which releases a stream of frost that freezes part of the boar’s fur. The boar squeals and runs away.
Shelley: How did you do that…?
Roman: I am Roman of the Frigid Sands Monastery, who trains in the Flowing Mizu shugenja discipline.
Shelley: So what you just did was…
Roman: An ice elemental skill, yes.
Shelley: By the seas…
Roman: Now, shall we continue?
Shelley: Oh…yes, I suppose so.
Shelley and Roman enter a large chamber with an enormous glowing citrine in the centre.
Shelley: By the seas…
Roman: This is truly magnificent…
Shelley approaches the citrine and begins to lift her right hand towards it.
Shelley: This was almost worth being attacked by that pig…
Roman: Uh, Shelley…?
Shelley’s hand makes contact with the citrine. Almost immediately, the mark begins glowing on the back of her right hand with lime-green light.
Roman: That mark…wasn’t it at the entrance to the temple…?
Shelley: By the seas…
A loud non-gender-specific voice echoes throughout the chamber.
Voice: Nequiquam detecta fraude signature Icon. (Iconic signature detected.)
Shelley: What the…?
Roman: What is that language?!
Shelley: I don’t know, but I understood it!
Roman: You did?!
Voice: Adhuc somnum. Non est paratum. (Still asleep. Not ready.)
Shelley: “Still asleep”…
Roman: Who’s still asleep?
Shelley: I think it might be whatever this…thing is. It needs to reboot.
Shelley: Yes! Like a computer mainframe.
Voice: Lingua visa est: Nam lingua Common. (Language detected: Common tongue.)
Roman: What did it say?
Shelley: It said that it detected the Common tongue. Perhaps it can hear what we’re saying?
Roman: Are you sure about that, Shelley?
Shelley: Of course! It seems to be responding to my voice!
Voice: Correct, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: You know my name?
Voice: Of course.
Voice: I have connected with the mainframe in the nearby Axian outpost. Your record is on file, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: My…record? Is someone spying on me?!
Voice: Not “spying”, but “watching”…“guiding”…
Shelley: Well, who is it?
Voice: The one you call Gillifen Pebbleskip watches you, as well as others.
Voice: Your kind is rare, and needs to be watched.
Shelley: Then…I’m just some zoo exhibit?!
Voice: On the contrary, Shelley Wiley. You are-
The voice suddenly goes silent.
Shelley: Uh…hello? You were saying something?
Voice: Intrusor conscenderunt. (Intruder detected.)
Roman: It must mean me!
Voice: Et clauserunt. (Shut down.)
The light inside the citrine dims.
Shelley: No, no, no!
Roman: What happened?!
Shelley: It just switched itself off!
Roman: But…why would it do that?
Roman is alerted to footsteps.
Shelley and Roman watch as the two figures enter the room.
Shelley: The intruders, I presume?
Figure #1: Oh, WE’RE intruders, but you are NOT?
Shelley: Well, I suppose you have a point…
Roman walks up to the male figure.
Roman: What are you doing here?!
Figure #1: This does not concern you.
The male figure pulls what resembles a high-tech water pistol seemingly from nowhere and points it at Roman’s face. A hissing sound emerges from the nozzle as the figure squeezes the trigger, causing Roman to collapse to the ground.
Shelley runs over to Roman and checks his pulse. She breathes a sigh of relief.
Shelley: A pulse…
Shelley looks up at the figure.
Shelley: What did you do to him?!
Figure #2: Relax. He will be fine.
Shelley: Are you going to do the same to me?
Figure #1: What? Of course not! Well…if you cooperate willingly.
Shelley stands and backs away slowly.
Shelley: And just who are you?
Figure #2: We are not at liberty to tell you that.
Shelley: Then perhaps you could explain why you are here?
Figure #1: We are looking for the Earth Pendulum.
Shelley: Earth Pendulum? What’s that?
Figure #2: An object of great potential, and we must find it.
Shelley: And just why do you need this…Earth Pendulum?
Figure #1: If I told you that, I’m afraid I’d have to-
Shelley: -gas me?
Figure #1: Yes, among other things.
The female figure elbows the male one in the ribs.
Shelley: And just why should I help you find it?
Figure #2: Oh, WE’RE not going to find IT.
Shelley: You aren’t? But…you just said-
Figure #2: IT is going to find YOU.
Shelley: But how can an object find-
Figure #1: She said that IT is going to find YOU.
Shelley: Why would it find ME?
Figure #2: You really don’t know, do you?
Shelley: No? Should I?
Figure #1: Has the Griffon told you nothing?
Shelley’s thoughts: Griffon…?
Shelley: You mean Gilly?
Figure #2: No, we mean Griffon. The Icon of Axis.
Figure #1: This is a waste of time! We obviously have the wrong person!
Figure #2: No we don’t! Let’s just put her under and take her ourselves!
Roman lifts his head and looks at Shelley. He holds his right index finger to his lips, then pretends to still be unconscious.
Figure #1: Yes, let’s.
The male figure points his gadget at Shelley.
Figure #1: Nighty-night.
Quick as a flash, Roman leaps to his feet and strikes the back of the male figure’s head. The figure collapses to the ground, unconscious.
Figure #2: WHAAAAAT?!
Roman: You seriously think you can render a shugenja unconscious in that way?
Figure #2: But…but…
The figure pulls her own device seemingly from nowhere and points it at Roman.
Roman: Oh, please! I JUST finished telling you that-
The female figure points her device at Shelley and smiles.
Roman: Ah…well, then…
Quick as a flash, Roman leaps in front of Shelley and holds his hands back.
Roman: Your move.
The figure squeezes her trigger. Roman releases a breath of frosty air from his mouth that freezes the device’s mechanism.
Figure #2: No!
Shelley: You saved me, Roman! But…uh…what do we do now?
Suddenly, the mark begins glowing on Shelley’s hand.
Shelley: Oh, my mark.
The same mark appears beneath Shelley and Roman’s feet with azure-tinged light.
Figure #2: They’re getting away!
A column of azure-tinged light erupts from the ground around Shelley and Roman.
Scene 12: Lush Grove: Daytime
We cut to a view of the column in the middle of a lush grove. The column retreats into the ground, and the marks disappear. Shelley looks around in amazement.
Roman: Amazing, isn’t it?
Shelley: Then…we’re in yet another world?
Roman: No, this is still the Suna Desert.
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Shelley: But…you said that the Suna Desert is a vast ocean of sand!
Roman: Indeed I did. And where there is an ocean-
Shelley: -there are islands across it.
Shelley: Well, this truly is a wondrous place, then. Your world has many surprises, Roman, but…
Roman: You would like to return to your own world, yes?
Shelley: I would, but…I have no idea how I got here…
Shelley: Wait a minute…
Shelley pulls the lapis ring from her pocket.
Shelley: I was sent here after I picked up this.
Roman: My ring! I thought I’d lost this days ago! Wherever did you find it?!
Shelley: On a beach in my world.
Shelley hands the ring to Roman, which he puts onto his right index finger.
Roman: It seems that your world is also full of surprises, Shelley.
Shelley: Oh, you have NO idea, Roman…
Shelley and Roman laugh.
Shelley: I don’t know how to get back there, though.
Roman: Nor do I, I’m afraid.
Voice: Perhaps I can be of assistance, then?
Shelley and Roman watch as Gilly walks up to them.
Shelley: Oh, Gilly…
Gilly: It is time to return you to where you belong, Shelley Wiley…
Gilly’s thoughts: …at least for now…
Roman: Then you are to return home after all. I am glad.
Roman smiles, then bows. Shelley bows right back.
Shelley: It was nice to meet you, Roman of the Frigid Sands.
Roman: You as well, Shelley Wiley of the Pearl School.
Shelley’s thoughts: Wait…how does he know about THAT?!
We shift to a view of Roman as he walks through the grove.
Roman’s thoughts: Shelley Wiley…may your travels be as grand as you claim them to be…
Suddenly, the mark of the multiverse begins to glow on the back of Roman’s hand with azure light.
Roman holds up his hand and examines it.
Roman’s thoughts: Oh, the mark is on my…?
November 4th 2017, 11:16 pm
Episode 5: The Turquoise and the Dracquan
- Shelley and her merborn allies encounter a teenage merborn of the Turquoise school named Marin, whose tribe has vanished in a similar manner to Py and Rosella’s respective tribes. As if that wasn’t mysterious enough, the group also encounters a dracquan named Shinjumi, who possesses glossy pearl-white scales, something which is unusual for her race. Shinjumi is looking for her brother, a rainbow-scaled dracquan named Iro, and she offers to assist Shelley and friends in exchange for them helping her find her twin. Can these mysteries be resolved?
Marin – A merborn of the Turquoise school, his entire adoptive tribe has vanished, so Shelley and pals offer to help him in his search for them
Shinjumi – A dracquan with unusual white scales, she seeks to find her long-lost brother
“What rare treasures…and yet, they seem…familiar…”
- Scene 1: Waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island: Morning
Shelley, Py and Rosella explore the crystal-clear waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island, a popular travel destination in the tropics. Shelley marvels at the variety of brightly-coloured fish, rays and cephalopods.
Shelley: Wow, these creatures are so fascinating!
Shelley points at a large ray that drifts above the group.
Shelley: What is THAT?
Py: That’s a manta, a creature that drifts through these waters like a kite.
Shelley: Remarkable…I assume it is harmless?
Rosella: Of course, Captain Wiley.
Shelley points at a group of vibrantly-coloured squid-like creatures.
Shelley: What are THOSE?
Rosella: They are called cuttle, Captain Wiley.
Shelley: They look just like the Ika no Iro…
Py: “Eeka no Ear-o”? What’s that?
Shelley: You know…a spirit that takes the form of a sparkling, elegant rainbow squid?
Py: I…believe you must have dreamt of such an entity, Shelley Wiley.
Shelley: I suppose you’re right…
Shelley points at at a tiny glossy-white creature protruding from the mouth of a cave; it has a single horn at the tip of its snout and a frilly membrane on its back, but appears to have no visible sensory organs or gills of any kind.
Shelley: Ooh, what is THAT?
Py and Rosella appear puzzled.
Py: I…am not sure, Shelley Wiley.
Rosella: Nor am I, Captain Wiley.
Shelley looks at Py and Rosella.
Shelley: Really…? NEITHER of you knows what it is? But…I thought that sea-people would know every sea creature! I mean you obviously know about dolphins, sea lions, spider crabs-
Rosella: Spider crabs?!
Py: Don’t even JOKE about that, Shelley Wiley!
Shelley: I-I’m not joking about…wait…you really don’t know about spider crabs?
Py and Rosella shake their heads.
Voice: I do.
The three merborn look around for the source of the voice. Shelley notices the creature twitching and swims up to it.
Shelley: You can talk?!
Creature: Hai. (“Yes.”)
The creature retreats into the cave, and a person resembling a humanoid dragon swims out. She has glossy, pearl-white scales, gill slits on her breastbone, webbed hands and scuba fin-shaped feet; she also has a thin, frilly membrane that runs along her forearms and the outer sides of her shins, as well as a single spike jutting upward and outward near the tip of her long, flexible tail. Her silvery-grey robe appears to have been crafted to allow for extra flexibility when swimming.
Dragon: Ore wa Shinjumi desu. (“I am Shinjumi.”)
Shelley: Wait…I understood that…
Shelley’s thoughts: Do I know that language…? I guess I should try to say something…
Shelley: Eto…watashi wa Sherī desu. Hajimemashite. (“Um…I am Shelley. Nice to meet you.”)
Shinjumi: Hai. Hajimemashite, Sherī-san. (“Yes. Nice to meet you, Shelley.”)
Shinjumi tilts her head slightly.
Shinjumi: Anata wa yume ni fure rarete imasu ka?
Shelley: I’m sorry?
Shinjumi: Apologies, Sherī-san! I mistakenly assumed you knew more of my language. Please, accept my most humble of apologies!
Shinjumi bows. Shelley smiles.
Shelley: It’s fine.
Shinjumi: Oh…that makes me glad. What I said was, “You have been touched by dreams, have you not?”
Shelley: Dreams…? Well, I DO have a habit of sleeping-in most mornings…and napping…and dozing off during Disswey’s eloquent speeches…
Shinjumi: Oh…I see.
Py: We are actually hoping to find the local merborn reef. Assumedly, it’s the home of a Turquoise school tribe.
Shinjumi: Is there a reason in particular?
Shelley: Yes. We are investigating the disappearances of several tribes, including Py’s and Rosella’s.
Shinjumi: “Pies and rosellas”…?
Shelley: Oh, sorry! These are my friends, Py and Rosella.
Rosella: Greetings. “Ha…jime…mashite”…right?
Shinjumi: Indeed. It means “nice to meet you”.
Shinjumi: And it is indeed nice to meet you as well, Py.
Rosella: Oh no, I am Rosella. This-
Rosella gestures to Py.
Rosella: -is Py.
Shinjumi blushes once again.
Shinjumi: Apologies, Rozera-san! Please accept my most humble of apologies!
Shinjumi bows. Rosella smiles.
Rosella: It is quite alright, Shinjumi.
Shinjumi: Oh…that makes me glad.
Scene 2: The Hat Eater: Morning
The Hat Eater is anchored near Citrine Star Island. The crew appears to be dredging up some sunken treasure. Michelle stands on deck, encouraging her crew.
Michelle: That’s it, mates! Keep up the good work! Earn your delicious feast tonight!
Bootsie walks up to Michelle.
Bootsie: Are y’sure we’ll foind anyfin’ down dere, Cap’n?
Michelle: Are you kidding, Bootsie? The best place to find treasure is within a 100-wave radius of a large island. Every seafarer knows that!
Bootsie: Bu’ why are we fish’n fer treasure instead o’ ploond’rin it from ov’r vess’ls loike we ush’ly do?
Michelle: Because frankly, I’m eager to look for something a bit fancier than what we usually take. A few gold flounders and jewels each time…or a whole CHEST filled with priceless relics from the time before Thal? Think about how delicious such a find would be, Mr. Bootsie!
Bootsie’s eyes widen, and he begins to drool.
Bootsie: An ‘ole year’s worf o’ lobst’r tails…
Michelle’s expression softens a little.
Michelle’s thoughts: Truth is…I can’t be bothered to plunder at the moment…
Michelle’s thoughts: …not until I find the Hat and make Shelley pay for what she did!
Michelle smiles and cheers on her crew once again.
Michelle: Keep going, mates! You can do it! Let’s earn our treasure the old-fashioned way!
Scene 3: Waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island: Morning
Shelley, Py, Rosella and Shinjumi swim above some beautiful cyan-coloured coral.
Shelley: This coral is so beautiful…surely we must be near the local reef, right?
Rosella looks ahead and points.
Rosella: There! I see the glow of a merbble in the distance.
Shelley: Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go and meet the locals!
Shelley eagerly swims faster, prompting the others to speed up as well.
Shelley’s thoughts: Dearest Thal…please…let SOMEONE be at THIS reef…
Scene 4: The Hat: Late Morning
Matey stands on deck, staring at the ocean.
Matey: To be able to swim through the waters of Thal…it must be amazing…
Disswey’s voice: Matey!
Matey turns around and sees Disswey standing there.
Matey: Oh, it’s only you, Disswey.
Disswey: “ONLY me”…? I’ve never been so insulted!
Sven lands in front of Disswey.
Sven: What about the time that Shelley called you a “navigator”?
Disswey: But I AM a navigator, Sven!
Sven: Then why do you keep getting us lost all the time? I mean, just last week we were more lost than a crew of seafarers who are lost at sea!
Disswey: Are you kidding? We’re where we need to be, aren’t we?
Matey: Turquoise Lagoon Island? Indeed we are.
Sven: Yeah, but YOU didn’t navigate us here, did you?
Disswey’s eyes widen.
Disswey: Of course I did! I directed Matey to the island’s coordinates, didn’t I?
Matey: Yes, but then the beautiful Rosella gave me an alternative set of coordinates, so I followed her guidance.
Disswey: You did WHAT?!
Matey: Well, we’re here, aren’t we? Isn’t that the important thing?
Disswey: But…but…I’M the navigator, not HER!
Sven: So? Maybe you weren’t really cut out to be navigator in the first place, Deshway!
Disswey: Well…while it’s true that I don’t know my left from my up, I still feel-
Disswey: -EMBARRASSED that an inexperienced crew member was able to do a better job of navigating us here than I!
Matey and Sven stare at Disswey.
Disswey: I mean…if Rosella is better at navigating than me, then what job is there left for ME to do aboard this pathetic excuse for a sea vessel?
Scene 5: Turquoise Reef: Waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island: Afternoon
Shelley, Py, Rosella and Shinjumi swim towards the merborn reef.
Shelley: …and since you did a better job of navigating us than Disswey ever has, I’m thinking of making you the crew’s official navigator.
Rosella: Oh, I am flattered for the offer, Captain Wiley, but wouldn’t that leave Isabelle without a role aboard the Hat?
Shelley: Not to worry, Rosella, for I have a “special” job in mind just for her!
Shinjumi: It is an amazing thought to have.
Py: What is, Shinjumi?
Shinjumi: Your sea vessel is a hat, a garment worn on the head of a land-dweller. It must be a hat that is big enough for a whale!
Shelley: Actually, Shinjumi-san, our vessel is merely NAMED the Hat. It isn’t ACTUALLY a hat!
Shinjumi: Oh, I am sorry if I insulted your vessel, Sherī-san! Please accept my most humble of apologies!
Shelley: Oh, it’s quite alright, Shinjumi-san.
Shinjumi: Oh…that makes me glad.
Shelley smiles. Her smile disappears as she looks around the reef’s plaza.
Shelley: You are kidding me…
Py: This reef is deserted as well?
Shelley: EVERY time we visit a reef, it’s empty! Just why are all these different tribes vanishing?!
A cheeky smile appears on Py’s face.
Py: Perhaps you are bad luck, Shelley Wiley?
Shelley grins and snickers.
Shelley: Shut up!
Py giggles. Rosella remains calm.
Rosella: Perhaps we should see if anyone else is here?
Py: Good idea. Let’s search for-
Shelley closes her eyes tightly and yells out using her underwater communication.
Shelley: HEY! IS ANYONE HERE?!
Py: Shelley Wiley, what are you doing?!
Shelley: Just seeing if I’m able to call out underwater.
Rosella: But…you could attract-
Suddenly, the group notices a number of tiny, triangular, brown-coloured shapes swim towards them.
Shelley: But how is that possible…? I thought they walked on land!
Rosella: Razorsharks are amphibious, Captain Wiley! Just like we merborn, they can survive both in the sea and on dry land!
As the razorsharks approach, Shinjumi swims near the merbble.
Shinjumi: Minna-san, please swim close to me!
Shelley: R-Right…everyone, let’s swim near Shinjumi!
The merborn swim near Shinjumi. The dracquan makes some hand gestures, and a translucent white bubble forms around them.
Shelley: What?! How is a BUBBLE going to stop them?!
Shinjumi: Patience, Sherī-san…
The razorsharks swim towards the bubble…and each one bounces off of it. They continue to swim towards it, only to bounce off every time.
Shelley: Yes! You did it, Shinjumi-san!
Py: But how long will it hold?
Shinjumi: With concentration, I can maintain the conjuration for approximately ten minutes. After that time, the bubble will-
Shinjumi: Precisely, Sherī-san.
Shelley: Okay, everyone, get your best spells and/or tactics prepared!
The group readies itself.
Scene 6: The Hat Eater: Afternoon
Michelle continues to encourage her crew.
Michelle: Good work, lads! Keep it up! There will be no rest until we-
Voice: I foun’ somefin’, Cap’n!
Michelle’s eyes widen.
The crew drops a wooden chest onto the deck.
Michelle: Well, break the lock and open it! I want to see what’s inside!
Crewmember: Uh…there IS no lock, Cap’n…
Michelle: Well, then let ME open it!
Michelle excitedly shoves her way to the chest and opens it. Inside is what resembles a large number of ornaments and objects; some of them appear to be carved from pure citrine and glittery lime green coral, but a single doll sits atop them.
Crew member: Look at all those things! Cap’n, we’re RICH!
Michelle reaches down and gently picks up the doll. She slowly walks away with it in her hands. The other crew members rummage through the treasures. Michelle stares at the doll.
Michelle’s thoughts: Such a pretty thing…
Scene 7: Turquoise Reef: Waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island: Afternoon
The merborn and Shinjumi are still inside the bubble, with razorsharks continuing to swim towards it.
Shinjumi: I cannot…maintain the conjuration…
Py: What?! But my ritual is not prepared!
Rosella: And I left my kunai aboard the Hat!
Shelley: Oh, this is SO not good!
The bubble suddenly pops. The razorsharks swim straight at Shinjumi.
Suddenly, an aura of cyan energy forms around each razorshark.
Py: Shelley Wiley, look!
Shelley looks at a merborn with sparkly cyan-coloured scales nearby. He appears to be in his late teens, with reddish-brown hair and cyan-coloured scales on his forearms, hands, lower legs and feet. His left arm is stretched out to the razorsharks, and his eyes glow with cyan light. The merborn swings his arm upward, flinging the razorsharks to the ocean’s surface. The merborn’s eyes return to normal.
Shelley: I don’t believe it…another merborn…
Shelley’s thoughts: Thank you, dearest Thal…
Commercial: New episodes of Mask of Akanius, Flight of Indigo and Shell of Thal: COMING SOON!
- Scene 8: Waters near Turquoise Lagoon Island: Afternoon
Shelley, Py, Rosella, Shinjumi and the young merborn swim away from the Turquoise school reef.
Shelley: I can’t thank you enough for your help, Marin!
The young merborn blushes and grins with embarrassment.
Marin: It was nothing, really…
Py: You really did help us though.
Rosella: Indeed. Many thanks!
Shinjumi: I, like you, did not like the idea of becoming someone’s chūshoku!
Py: “Chew show coup”…?
Shelley: It means “lunch”…um…right?
Shinjumi: That is correct, Sherī-san.
Marin: I still find it hard to believe that all these tribes are vanishing…
Rosella: I assure you it is quite true, Marin.
Shinjumi: Even your very own tribe is missing, Marin-kun.
Marin: Well…technically it isn’t MY tribe.
Shinjumi: I meant no disrespect to you, Marin-kun! Please accept my most humble of apologies!
Shinjumi bows. Marin closes his eyes, smiles and holds his webbed hands in front of him toward Shinjumi.
Marin: Oh, I didn’t consider your words disrespectful by any means, Miss Shinjumi…
Shinjumi: Oh…that makes me glad.
Marin: Truth is, I never met my birth tribe. I was adopted into that one.
Shelley: Wait…so YOU’RE a Pearl school merborn too?!
Marin: What? Who told you that?!
Shelley: Nobody. I just assumed…
Marin: No, I was born into a different Turquoise tribe. My mother and I left there when I was younger.
Rosella: Did she explain why?
Marin: Yeah! Eventually, she met a man from our sister tribe, and they were married within weeks. I was excited to finally have a father! Well…a “stepfather”, anyway.
Py: You never knew your birth father?
Py’s eyes glisten.
Py: I see…
Marin: Fortunately, I quickly grew fond of Leo. It was like…I finally had the father I always wanted! But…
Marin saddens a little.
Py: What is it, Marin?
Marin: My mother…some years ago, she…
Marin closes his eyes.
Shelley: What is it, Marin?
Marin: This is going to sound nuts…
Rosella: Try us.
Marin opens his eyes and looks at Rosella.
Marin: Have any of you…ever heard of a merborn becoming an isleborn?
Shelley’s eyes widen.
Marin: It really did happen to her, honest!
Shinjumi: To whom?
Marin: My mother! Leo and I…we…we took her to the shore of Turquoise Lagoon Island, and…
Marin: Why…why would my mother be transformed like that?! Thal…he’s supposed to protect my people, and-
Rosella wraps her arms around Marin.
Rosella: Sh…there, there, young one…
Marin looks at Rosella.
Marin: Thank you for comforting me.
Marin gently frees himself from Rosella’s embrace.
Marin: Still, I’m grateful to have Leo. Or at least…to have HAD him…
Shelley scratches her head.
Shelley: I still don’t get why you were the only person left in the reef, Marin.
Marin: Well, I can’t give you a clear answer. I slept through the whole thing.
Py: You did?
Marin: Well, yeah.
A lightbulb briefly appears above Py’s head.
Py: I think I’ve figured it out!
Shelley: Figured out what, Py?
Py: Marin, you said that you were originally from another reef?
Marin: Yes, I did.
Py: And you are the only merborn who was not born into this one?
Marin: As far as I’m aware, yes.
Py: I suspect that these mysterious disappearances must be tied to merborn bloodlines, meaning it is only one tribe of each school that is disappearing.
Shelley: Perhaps we could check your original tribe, Marin? They may provide some answers.
Marin: Unfortunately, I do not know the way to my former tribe. My mother and Leo are the only two who do.
Shelley: Well, that’s MY idea out the proverbial porthole.
Shinjumi: Marin-kun, you said that your mother was taken to the shore of Turquoise Lagoon Island, yes?
Shinjumi: Perhaps she is still there, living amongst the land-dwellers.
Rosella’s eyes widen.
Rosella: That is an excellent idea, Shinjumi.
Marin: Yeah! But…it might be a little embarrassing to see her after all these years…not to mention the merborn secret…
Shelley: Oh, I’ll take care of the secret, Marin, believe me. And as for the embarrassment…
Shelley: She’s your MOTHER! Why would you feel embarrassed to see her after all these years? By the seas, I’d give my right EARLOBE to remember MY parents!
Marin’s thoughts: “Remember her parents”…?
Marin makes a big smile.
Marin: Okay, I’ll do it!
Shelley: That’s the spirit! Let’s go!
Shelley swims away.
Marin: Uh…Miss Shelley? Turquoise Lagoon Island is in the other direction.
Scene 9: The Hat Eater: Late Afternoon
Michelle sits on her bed, staring at the doll.
Michelle’s thoughts: What is it about this doll…? I can almost remember…
Michelle sighs, then gently sits the doll on her nightstand, before standing up.
Michelle: I better go and check on the crew…and make sure they don’t stash any of that delectable treasure for themselves!
Michelle walks across the room, opens the door and steps through it, closing it behind her.
Scene 10: Turquoise Lagoon: Turquoise Lagoon Island: Evening
Shelley, Py, Rosella and Marin walk through Turquoise Lagoon, the largest settlement on Turquoise Lagoon Island. Everyone appears to be dressed for a tropical holiday, but the merborn and Shelley are dressed in typical seafaring garb; Marin wears boots and gloves that are similar to Py’s, though his are black, and his waistcoat and bandana are teal in colour.
Marin: We still haven’t found Mother…
Rosella: There are only a few more houses on this street to check, Marin.
Py: Rosella’s right. We must be getting close.
Marin: But she might not even BE on this island!
Shelley: Now Marin, part of being an adventurer is to not give up!
Marin: But…I’m not an adventurer…
Shelley: Well, you want to help us find the missing merborn, right?
Shelley: Think about it! You have no place else to go, so you should join my crew!
Marin: Well, if we find the location of my old reef, could I not have the choice to live there instead?
Shelley scratches her head.
Shelley: I suppose that is a plausible option…
The group walks up to a wooden door. Shelley knocks on it. After a few moments, the door opens, revealing a woman with wavy, chestnut hair tied into a loose ponytail. Marin’s eyes widen.
Marin’s thoughts: It’s her…
Shelley: Good evening, ma’am. We’re looking for a woman named Shoal.
The woman shakes her head.
Woman: Apologies, miss, but there is no-one here by that name.
Marin looks into the woman’s eyes. She stares at him for a brief moment, before looking away. Marin’s expression saddens a little.
Shelley: Oh. Well, we thank you for your time. Pleasant day to you.
The woman smiles.
Woman: Indeed. May the waters of Thal guide you.
The woman closes her door. The group begins to walk away.
Shelley: Well, that was the last house on this street. Let’s try the next one.
Marin: There is no need, Miss Shelley.
The group stops walking.
Shelley: Now Marin, remember what I said about not giving up?
Marin: I’m not giving up! Well, not technically…
Shelley: Then why is there no need to keep searching?
Marin: Because we already found her.
Py: What? When?
Marin: Just now. The woman in that house is my mother!
The others appear surprised.
Shelley: But she said-
Marin: There was something wrong, though…like she wasn’t all there. It’s like-
Rosella: -she was stripped of her merborn self.
Marin: Well…yeah. She’s lost not only her true form, but all knowledge of our kind, including the secret…and me.
Shelley: How is that possible?
Py: Perhaps it has to do with the vanishing tribes?
Shelley: Hm…you may be right, Py. Let’s head back to the Hat. Shinjumi is waiting in the water near it.
Scene 11: Outside The Hat: Turquoise Lagoon Island: Night
Shelley, Py, Rosella and Marin stand on a dock with the Hat just behind them. Shinjumi’s head and shoulders are just above the water.
Shelley: -so Marin’s decided to join my crew. Perhaps you would also consider sailing aboard the Hat?
Shinjumi: I appreciate the gesture, Sherī-san, but I have my own important quest to follow.
Shinjumi: Oh, I meant no disrespect! I did not mean to state that my quest is more important than yours! Please accept my most humble of apologies!
Shinjumi’s head briefly dips into the water, implying a bow.
Shelley: Oh, it is quite alright, Shinjumi-san.
Shinjumi: Oh…that makes me glad.
Marin: If I may ask, what is your quest, Miss Shinjumi?
Shinjumi: I seek a way to retrieve my long-lost brother, Iro, a dracquan of many vibrant colours.
Shinjumi: My kind are known as the dracquans.
Shelley: Wait…YOU’RE a dracquan?!
Shelley: Oh, I’m sorry for being rude, Shinjumi-san! I-I’ve never met a dracquan before, and I-
Shinjumi: You are forgiven, Sherī-san.
Shelley: Oh, thank you. I mean… Arigatō gozaimasu! (Thank you very much!)
Shinjumi: Doitashimashite, Sherī-san. (You’re welcome, Shelley.)
Shelley: Well, I guess we should go. Farewell.
Shinjumi: Konbanwa, Minna-san. (Good evening, everyone.)
Shinjumi dips into the water. Shelley claps her hands together and rubs them.
Shelley: Well, let’s get you introduced to the crew, Marin!
Scene 12: The Hat: Night
The crew stands on deck as Shelley introduces Marin. Disswey appears furious.
Disswey: Have you lost your “narwhals”, Captain?!
Shelley: I’m sorry?
Disswey: How can you expect us to welcome this…child into the crew?! I mean look at him! He must be 17 years old!
Marin: Uh…actually, I’m 16.
Disswey: You’re 16?! That’s even WORSE!
Shelley: Oh, and it gets better! As of tomorrow, I’m appointing Rosella as the Hat’s new navigator!
Everyone except Rosella and Disswey claps.
Matey: A wise decision if ever there was one, Captain.
Disswey: And what am I supposed to do to earn what little keep we receive on this accursed ship?!
Shelley: Oh, I’ve decided to make you the Hat’s official janitor!
Disswey becomes horrified.
Disswey: YOU FIND THIS FUNNY, CAPTAIN?!
Shelley: Actually, I do! I was only kidding!
Disswey: PLEASE don’t scare me like that, Captain Shelley…
Shelley: Actually, I thought you might like to be Py’s assistant cook.
Disswey: What? Really?
Shelley: Well, you two seem to get along, and you enjoy his food, so sure, why not?
Disswey appears chuffed.
Disswey: Well, then, Captain, it would be my-
We cut to a view of Disswey, who is scrubbing dishes. She sighs.
Disswey: This…ISN’T what I had in mind…
Py’s voice: Okay, everyone, dinner’s served!
Other crew: YAY!
Disswey: Stuck here doing dishes while the crew partakes of Py’s scrumptious food…
Sven’s voice: BLECH! This is DISGUSTING!
Disswey: Classic Sven…
Disswey continues to scrub.
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