Gentle rays of light shimmered through the waters surface, causing small images to dance across the rock around Sram, mainly caused by the small, shiny shells scattered around the place. The shapes seemed to move erratically as the water shifted and shimmered above her, the small Giant giving a little noise of surprise as they flickered onto her chest. She rose a flipper to her chest, gently trying to touch or grasp the gentle lights. Though her flipper went straight through it, the image lingering on her flipper for a moment, before a shadow came over her. She tilted her head up, a small smile pulling onto her face, realising she'd become distracted again.
"Come on little one, we can't dilly dally too much! There's so much to learn with so little time." Spessartine teased gently, a small smile on her face, her slug chittering away in agreement. Sram turned her head upwards, squinting at the sunlight, "But Spessy, the sun is still high in the sky. Can't I daydream for a moment? It's not like we were going anywhere anyway..."
Spessartine noted how down they sounded, the larger Aqrion glancing at her small slug to see if it guessed the same thing. Instead, it just chittered happily, somehow nibbling a leaf which had dropped down onto her shoulder. Sram turned her gaze away, the yellow streaked Aqrion not really wanting or looking forward to the lecture which was certain to come from the one who agreed to help her out. But instead of being scolded, the Giant laughed, Sram looking surprised as she turned her gaze to the larger Giant.
"Not the adventurous type, are you?" Spessartine asked, her voice surprisingly soft, almost understanding, as she looked down to the young one, slowly lowering herself down to Srams level.
"Not really." Sram said honestly, Spessartine slowly nodding, as if trying to consider something. Sram turned away from her, looking around as more things caught her attention. Small skittering crabs snatched up small things to consume, fish darting around the small pieces of wispy kelp, trying to snatch up small pieces of algae for food before they became food themselves. Sram's eyes narrowed as she watched those poor fish being snatched up by those crabs, some being used for food instantly and others were almost toyed with. Why didn't they look elsewhere for food, why didn't they try and find something else to eat? She looked incredibly conflicted as she watched them playing with certain death.
"Why don't you help them..?" Spessartine asked, spooking Sram out of her thoughts.
"Because I don't know how, but if I do... What happens to the crabs? What will happen to the grass?" Sram asked, quietly, almost as if she was intrigued by them while being a little disturbed at the same time. She wanted to help the poor fish, but what would happen if she did? Was it a good idea to help them, or was it bad? Would it help all of them to live another day, or was this just part of life? Should she try and help those pretty, colourful fish? Was it evil to do something like that, to interfere? Thoughts plagued her as she stared down at the trio of things, more fish dashing into the greenery as more left, some perishing to the vicious claws of the crabs and others leaving with a full stomach.
Spessartine smiled softly, "Well, I'm sure you would know already... But if you helped the fish by taking away some of the crabs, then what do you think would happen?"
Sram stayed silent for a few moments as she looked down, wincing as another fish was snapped up by the crabs, her thoughts running through her mind as she sat there, thinking, contemplating and wondering just what would happen, what potential there was hidden behind such a simple question. "Well... The crabs are eating the fish and if we take them away... Well, what would happen to the plants? Would the fish eat too much of it and kill the plants off?"
Sram asked, quietly, in a way to answer Spessartines question to her. It felt... odd. Wanting to interfere and help, but at the same time, the moment that she did try and help the fish, it would only lead to consequences. But why was that the case, why would trying to help them end so badly? Why was it evil to want to help by taking away those crabs?
"That's right, little one... But I see you have more questions, do you know why that would happen?"
Sram sighed, softly, "No, I don't know. Obviously..." She mumbled, her flipper moving to scoop up some of the sand, feeling it run down her flipper and onto the ground again.
"Well, lets break it down... If there's nothing to reduce the number of fish, then they will eat the plants to the point of the plants not able to grow and keep up with the amounts of fish eating it... So, if that's the case, the plants will be eaten and they will die down, which means there won't be any more food for the fish, so what will that mean, Sram?" Spessy asked, gently, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.
"That the fish will die?" Sram asked, though, she knew it was the right answer... Even if she hesitated. The slug chittered happily as Spessy inclined her head to the younger Aqrion. She was right, but she seemed unsure, maybe even not wanting to answer Spessy, but she appreciated the effort Sram was making, even if it was only slight, Spessy noticed the young one was slowly opening up her thought process to her, and that was something she'd wanted to work on since she first met Sram.
It melted her heart to see Sram's growth, even at such a young age and a fond smile formed on her face.
"Exactly. If we took away just one aspect, things change. By taking away the crabs from the fish and plants to save the fish, eventually, the fish and plants will die as well. The fish would have eaten the plants to death and then starved to death themselves," Spessy began, "It's the way of this world, it lives in a precarious balance where one bad decision could end up with dire consequences for the small population that's around them. Take away one small predator and an ecosystem can buckle. Take away a plant and another section could fall. Piece by piece they would eventually buckle and fail without the support of each other and, eventually, you'll be left with just a small trail of dust.
"Things like this will impact you on your day to day life, things that you want to act on rashly and suddenly, but by doing such a thing, it could topple over something that you cannot see or are yet to consider. You should do your best to weigh all your options first, the good, neutral and bad decisions you might need to make, but then also think about the outcomes of each option and decide on which will best suit the scenario." The slug chittered, breaking Spessy out of her monologue, a small chuckle coming from her, realising she'd ranted a little bit too much as Sram was looking up at her, those ruby eyes shimmering with both understanding and thought, thinking and considering what Spessy had been saying.
"So you think I should always think and consider all options before I make a decision? Make sure that I understand the... outcomes of the decision I make?" Sram asked the older Aqrion, curiously. It made sense to her. Why would anyone decide something without understanding the impact it could have, especially on others? She thought to herself, contemplating that for a few moments, before she noticed that Spessy was nodding again, those skittering crabs and swimming fish stealing the young ones attention again, her head turning away.
"You should definitely do your best to do that. Because if you don't think about things, if you don't consider what could happen and you just decide the to act in the heat of the moment, bad things can happen. And bad things can extend from the decision you make..." Spessy moved a flipper towards the fish, "Not just moving and deciding the good thing to do here right now is to save all of the fish by stealing the crabs... and then watching the rest perish and fall just weeks later, as you can see, the good thing seemed... well, good. But it's turned out to be an evil thing to do. Not only did you hurt one thing, but everything suffered because of that 'good deed' you tried to do."
Sram looked a little surprised as she glanced back up to the larger Aqrion, surprised. "Oh... I didn't think of it like that... Does that happen with others too?"
Spessy nodded, "But of course... you can apply it to everything in life. Say, for example, I could decide to take a pearl from someone because I wanted it... But that's a bad decision, that's not a good one to make. A decision that's more... neutral in this scenario is to just accept you cannot get one and just continue on with life." Spessy said, giving a small shrug as Sram narrowed her eyes.
But what about the good decision..? Spessy is basing everything on those three things, good, bad and neutral, shouldn't there be a good decision too..? Sram thought to herself, biting the inside of her mouth gently, trying to think for a few moments, before she slowly opened her mouth to speak, trying to fill in the last option that she should have had to choose from.
"Buuut the good decision would be to try and... get one yourself, right? Working hard and earning it, or trying to find one yourself or learn how to find it?" Sram asked, quietly and slowly, each word measuring Spessy's facial expression, to see if she should continue or not. But Spessy was nothing but supportive, nodding with every word that Sram said, giving the younger, quieter Aqrion a little more confidence.
The larger Aqrion gave a nod as the little slug chittered in happiness, Sram wanting to raise an eyeridge, even just slightly, it was almost as if that black, scaly thing actually knew what they were saying! Spessy raised her voice again, "Exactly, that is what you should do! I would hope that you'd do whatever you could to get something by your own efforts, not by robbing and hurting someone else. I don't think you would do something like that, now would you, Sram?"
"Oh no! I wouldn't!" Sram protested, a little panicked for a moment, though she quickly realised Spessy was teasing her. She gave Spessy a pout as the larger Aqrion laughed again, but Sram shook her head, wanting to ask another question, "Do you think I should always try that..? Learn to try and live my life and always consider those options?"
Spessy inclined her head, "Exactly like that... And knowing this, what do you think you should do with these guys, now that you know what you know."
Sram looked back down to the flickering weeds, the fish being snapped up in their claws for getting too close to the base of the kelp. With a small rumble, Sram tilted her head to the side, "I think that leaving them alone would be a good idea... Even if I want to scoop all those crabs up and put them somewhere else. I want all of them to be okay at the end of the day."
She paused, then looked to Spessartine, "What about if you find something and want to help it? Like you have with your little critter there?"
Spessartine smiled, looking down to her companion for a moment, "If you choose to help something when it's been hurt, or if something wants to keep you company... You should treat it kindly, after all, who knows what could happen if you treat any of them meanly. But when you decide to do that, sometimes they can decide they want to stick around and you'll have to look after them. It's like a pet. Look after it and it'll look after you." Spessy explained, loosely, though a little awkwardly as she didn't exactly... know how to approach that subject.
Well, they could both learn something after all.
Sram continued to watch the skittering ants, her head slightly tilted to the side, "That's... A good idea." She said quietly, before slowly reaching out with her flipper to snatch up one of the fish, though... It looked a little bit odd. It was small, having smooth, less shiny scales and a smattering of white. She cupped her flipper around it, pulling it close to her to have a closer look at it.
It took a few moments for her to realise what Sram was holding wasn't a small fish, but a tiny, baby shark. What was she going to do with that...? Could she afford to look after it? It wasn't good to leave it out there, it was so small! Maybe she could take care of it... But was that the right thing to do? She didn't know what to do... Could she take it...? She would like to...
"So, shall we keep wandering along, young one..?" Spessy asked, slowly pushing herself from the sand and, surprisingly, hadn't noticed what Sram had managed to catch. Sram observed the small shark for a few more moments, realising that it was hungry as it gnawed on her flipper. It didn't draw any blood, just... seemed hungry.
"I think that's a good idea." Sram giggled, before quickly moving to catch up with Spessy, the small shark still wrapped up in her flippers. She smiled down at it, looking at its cute little black and white splotches, the almost happy look on its face made her heart melt that little bit. Keeping this little thing. . .
Now that was most definitely a good decision.
A trial featuring Spessartine and Sram!
Sram - https://www.deviantart.com/aquella-imports/art/Sram-0583-882854684
Spessartine - https://www.deviantart.com/aquella-imports/art/Spessartine-0317-857139841
Word Count - 2382
Depict your Aqrion either weighing a good, evil or neutral path as their way of acknowledging the balance of the ways.