Songs of the Flukes
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Eien annoys everyone and almost gets punted
The beating of Callisto’s heart in her chest roared in her ears and mimicked the beating pulse from the concert hall ahead of her. She had come alone, without the chaos of the youngsters in the pod. It was hard enough to keep an eye on all of the while the entire pod was together, she didn’t want to even attempt to watch them all here amongst the rest of the world's aqrion. Aqrion had come from all corners of the seas to see this concert, that much she knew for a fact just based on the different dialects the aqrion around her spoke. She was almost overwhelmed by the amount of Aqrion around her. There were so many from all the different species. Polars, Abyssals, Giants, Skimmers, Flukes, and, of course, Phins like her. As the crowd got larger and more and more aqrion joined the already gathered ones, Callisto took a steadying breath. She was here, alone, to enjoy herself, not spend her evening anxious about the crowd or about her lack of companionship. In fact, she wouldn’t be alone, she’d just be without her pod and it’s plethora of rambunctious youngsters. Callisto glanced around. There, across the crowd was a more deserted area. Carefully picking her way through the throng, Callisto made her way to the empty space, taking a deep breath of air once she’d made it. She didn’t usually mind crowds, but today, she was unusually jumpy. It wasn’t too much of a bother though, she caught sight of a group of aqrion she recognized. Shellos, a female giant aqrion who had developed a turtle like shell on her back. Lilith, a uniquely striped abyssal. Helevise, an albino royal phin singer. Cumberland, a smooth giant aqrion who had three eyes, well, 6 if you counted both sides of his head, one more set that Callisto herself had. Nabi, a giant aqrion who was missing his back fins and had a striking purple, pink, and blue coloration to his membranes and tail, and even a bit of his chest as well as blue crystal horns. And, finally, Eien, a white, gold, and black phin singer who had a dark, mask like marking on her face. Steeling herself, Callisto let out a chirp, trying to catch their attention. When that didin’t seem to work, Callisto called out, her voice carying far. “Shellos, Lilith, Helevise, Cumberland, Nabi, Eien!” This caught the groups attention and they all turned, searching for the source of the call.
“Oh! Hey Callisto!” Nabi called back, turning to approach the female, the rest of the group smiling and following behind.
“Hey you guys. How’s it going? It’s nice to see some familiar faces among the sea of others here.” She responded, smiling at the group.
“I’m doing good, I’m pretty sure the rest of us are doing well also.” He replied, Helevise nodding in agreement, the mute albino smiling at them.
“Well, I think it’s going to start soon.” Callisto said, nodding towards the stage. The stream of aqrion entering the Concert Hall seemed to have thinned to a small trickle, cuing Callisto in on what was going on. The Concert Hall was also beginning to quiet, the eager chatter dying down to a quiet murmur that carried around the area in waves, growing louder and quieter in an almost rhythmic motion. She watched as Nabi paused, seeming to take a moment to assess the surroundings.
“Indeed. I think you are correct. Is it alright if we hang with you? It seems our spot has been nabbed by those who were quicker than us.” He said with a smile and a laugh. “It’s the quick and the hungry, although, in our case, I guess it’s the quick and the lonely.” He added, grinning at her. Callisto just shook her head, amused.
“Of course you can hang here. I certainly am not going to stop you.” She said, a slight smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
“Thank you.” Eien said, piping up for the first time since they’d joined Callisto in her quiet corner. “We’ll quiet down now so you can enjoy the concert.” She added, smiling at the older aqrion. Callisto smiled and dipped her head in appreciation as the entire concert hall fell silent and the first echoes of the song filled the air.
Eien watched the performers, a group of large fluke singers, with awe. They were massive compared to her, their bodies long, much longer than her or any of the other aqrion around her. Glancing at her companions for the evening, she could see that they were fixated and entranced by the song that Kiko and Hobi were performing. The song rose and fell in waves that were both alluring and almost melancholy at the same time. Eien’s amazement quickly fell though as the performance went on and on. Growing bored, she glanced over at Nabi, poking at him with her rostrum. “Nabi. Nabi. Nabi. Nabi. N-” She was cut off as Nabi turned and looked at her with annoyance.
“What, Eien?” He asked, not even bothering to hide the annoyance on his face. “I’m trying to watch the show.” He whispered, dropping his voice after receiving glares from some of the surrounding aqrion.
“Yeah yeah, I know, but I’m bored. Wanna play?!” Eien asked, grinning at him.
“No. I want to watch the show like everyone else here.” He replied, slightly frustrated. “You’re more than welcome to go play with shells or something over there.” He said, nodding towards the outskirts of the concert hall.
“But that’s boring.” Eien said. “With nobody else to play with, I’ll get sooooo bored, especially because everyone else is over here having fun and being boring themselves.” Eien complained.
“Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Just listen to the concert like everyone else. Please.” Nabi said, sighing. Eien groaned, pressing her melon to the sand below. “Everyone here is soooo boooorrriiinnnngggg.” She whined, propelling herself with her fluke, flipping over, and landing on her back, her belly towards the surface.
“Eien!” Callisto said, swimming over, her voice tired. “For the good of everyone here, will you please just pay attention to the concert and not continue causing a ruckus?” She pleaded, her eyes begging the youngster to behave as they continued to receive glares from the aqrion around her.
“Fine.” Eien whined, letting out a huff as she turned her attention back to the concert, her flukes hitting against the sand in her boredom and sending puffs of it up into the faces of the aqrion behind her, although that last part was an accident.
Nabi rolled his eyes as he heard Eien whine and whack her flukes against the floor. “Eien, can we please not do this now?” He asked, exasperation creeping in his voice. At Eien’s grunt of annoyance, Nabi sighed. “Come on, if you just behave for a little longer, I’ll play with you once this show is over, alright?” Nabi asked the white, yellow, and black female next to him. Nabi let out an irritated sigh as he only got a huff in response. Turning his attention back towards the stage and away from the bored phin at his shoulder, Nabi continued to watch the performance, smiling and cheering with the others as the song ended. As the cheering ended, the gathered aqrion were given a short break to move around a little. As soon as the announcement was made, Nabi was tackled by an impatient Eien.
“Come on. You said that you would play when the show was over.” Eien whined, bored out of her mind.
“Indeed I did.” Nabi agreed. “But the show isn’t over, this is just an intermission, a break.” He said, just barely succeeding in hiding his annoyance.
“Both of you!” Cumberland snapped, having grown annoyed from listening to their bickering. “Either be quiet now and enjoy the show when it starts again, or go back to your groups, pods, whatever you call them.” He said, earning himself a glare from Eien and a grateful glance from Nabi. “Now, please return your attention back to the front.” He said, letting out a barely perceivable sigh.
“Sorry Cumberland.” Nabi said, his voice quiet. He hadn’t meant to annoy the three eyed aqrion, but it is what it is.
Cumberland just let out an annoyed grumble in response. He was annoyed, yes, but there was nothing he could do about their bickering. He glanced towards Helevise as the next song started up and the aqrion around them quieted once more. The adult phin was mute, that much he knew, but how she became mute was something he didn’t know. “Helevise?” He asked quietly, catching the female’s attention. “Do you enjoy the music?” He whispered, curious.
Helevise nodded, amused by the younger aqrions question. She couldn’t speak, she’d lost that ability in The Battle of the Lost Seas, but she didn’t need to speak. She was more than happy to communicate in unspoken ways. She made a gesture, miming out a reminder of silence for the young aqrion, nodding up towards the stage to try to get her point across. There wasn’t much she could do to really get her point across, especially when she had to stay quiet and couldn’t risk making noises to get what she wanted to say out. Especially not after the annoyed glares she’d picked up from the aqrion around them. They’d already made enough noise as it was, that much she could tell. A wave of relief washed over as Cumberland nodded, having obviously gotten the gist of what she meant. She glanced over at the now suspiciously quiet Eien and Nabi and stifled a sigh as she saw Eien about to get punted across the gathered aqrion by an annoyed Nabi. Carefully picking her way through the group to get to the younger aqrion, Helevise placed her rostrum against his tail, silently reminding him to keep his cool and not punt the small phin as far as he could. Nabi nodded and Helevise returned to her spot in the group.
Lilith was annoyed. All the aqrion around her, especially Eien and Nabi, were annoying her and she was over it. Yes, the music was nice. Yes it was beautiful, but really? She didn’t care anymore. She was more annoyed with those around her than anything.
“Do you need me to take over?” The soft rumble of Asmodeus' voice in her head coming both as a relief and an anxiety.
“N-no.” Lilith thought back. “I’m okay, just annoyed with some of the aqrion here.” She reassured her protector. “I’ll be okay.”
“If you need me to take over, just let me know. I’m ready if you need me.” Asmodeous replied, his reassuring presence a constant hum in the back of her mind as she tried to turn her attention back to the singers fully. It was nice, knowing that Asmodeus was there, waiting, watching, willing to help at a moment's notice, if she needed it. Asmodeus usually came forwards if Lilith was riding a rollercoaster of emotions. For now, she’d be okay on her own. She smiled, the last song of the night finishing with a flurry of motion and earning a plethora of cheers and encouragement.
It had been a good, exciting night for the armored Shellos, her body and colorations resembling that of a turtle. Aside from the bickering of Nabi and Eien, nothing had gone wrong. She smiled as the eldest aqrion among their group, Callisto, approached them.
“Did you enjoy the show?” Callisto asked, her eyes darting after Nabi and Eien as they swam away from the group, presumably to go play.
“I did. Did you?” Shellos replied, smiling at the black, white, and green female.
“I did...except for having to listen to Nabi and Eien bicker most of the show.” She replied, chuckling.
“Well, there wasn’t much we could do about that, now could we.”
“Indeed. Well, I’m going to go make sure Nabi doesn’t kill Eien.” Callisto joked, tilting her head as she heard Nabi snap at Eien.
“That’s probably a good idea.” Shellos agreed, chuckling. “I’m going to head off now. I hope you have a great night, Callisto.” She said, dipping her head.
“I hope you have a great rest of your evening as well.” Callisto replied, turning and rounding up the two bickering youngsters.
As the early evening bled into night, the rest of the gathered aqrion departed and the Concert Hall closed. Callisto rejoined her pod and they moved on, following the flow and ebb of the tides and the songs of the sea.
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