Ever since the beginning of this adventure, I seriously wanted to believe the fish would not put me in the direct line of danger. Sure, there were a few close calls, a few almost-sacrifices, several square years of incarceration and that one time he almost gave me up for Allador Ypp's fishtank, but other than that, he maintained a somewhat-decent attitude.

However, for a fish, danger is defined differently. For example, never once has he dropped me off in the middle of a fishermen's village or on a whaling ship (or any equivalent thereof). In fact, when I had this revelation and thought back on all our misadventures, I realised that all the harm he'd done me was mostly out of inter-species misunderstandments, whether between us or between me and a foreign new culture. Amazing! I had no reason to hate the fish!

Or so I would have thought, if not for the fact that this was no ordinary fish AND the fact that he'd admitted plenty of times that he enjoys watching me squirm.

My point was going to be that the fish might not have been completely to blame for the events that took place in Here.

When I say "Here", I mean the word as the name of a location. It took me long enough to figure out that it was named so, which is a poor name as it is, but I suppose no more of a misnomer than naming a planet two-thirds water "Earth" (now where did I hear that sentence before?...)

Here was a bar, or rather, a complex of bars, the quality of which varied from area to area. Uncanny as it may sound, you could walk miles and miles through two hundred different establishments and not see the sky once.

I have no idea how the economy even worked in that place, except for the fact that everybody worked in a bar and spent all the money they earned in OTHER bars. I mean, how does that even work? Who owns these bars? Where do they buy their FREAKIN' BOOZE from?... And many other questions which people seemed incapable of answering.

So I met a guy named Mazzat. Maz-what? Mazzat. Who is Mazzat? Mazzat is Mazzat. He bought me a drink. He's nice. Though he doesn't know what the drink is made fr

Okay, that's the last time I accept drinks from strangers. I don't even think they have non-alcoholic ANYTHING here. I fell asleep on this diary and now there's a big drool stain I have to write around. Beautiful. Just my luck.

The catch about Mazzat is that he desperately wants out. Everybody else is just jaded and don't really care if there is a world beyond Here, but Mazzat? He's intense. He's insane. He's the fish's new favorite encounter.

He was rather persistant to know where I came from. He questioned me between leaning to look at the waitress' back end, downing several bottles of cheap mud-coloured liquid and keeping his leg firmly between me and the exit.

"Okay, I REALLY need to go."

"Just a sec, hon."

And it went like that half the night, until I kicked him in his shaky, alcohol-infused leg and ran. I ran like a silly goose, because there were chairs and tables all over the place and people strewn on the floor and bottles just laying everywhere.

I was in another part of Here completely before I realised I had ran without the fish.

The one time I left the fish behind! The ONE TIME, it had to be on a world whose bulk population was composed of drunkards! The hell, man. This couldn't be happening! Mazzat would be going down for this!

But meanwhile? I had to find the fish. I had to find him before he went prancing off with Mazzat, who he thought of as better company and who would have liked the inter-dimensional hitchhike better than I.

It was at that crucial moment, my most desperate times yet, that I ran into Midas.

I had met Midas during the great escape from Ypp's dungeons. He was a nice enough fellow that just happened to have donkey ears. He never told me how he got them or if he'd been born with them, but I think that's more because of the highly pressuring situations during which we worked together. It's hard to have chit-chat while, say, dodging stray martini glasses.

He was accompanied at the time by a Great Blue Weasel. As I would learn later on, the Great Blue's meal of choice was anything magical. He was lukewarm towards fish, but magical talking fish? Oh, yes. That was definitely on the menu. (Well, at least it would have been on the menu if I'd been slightly angrier towards the fish and didn't want out of there so desperately.)

So, for the second time, Midas helped me out and essentially saved me from a lifetime spent in an alternate dimension I did not like, by getting me to the fish. I love that guy (in a platonic and purely-friendly way I mean, Mom.)

And just in time, because the scaly little runt was this close to leaving without me!

Okay, so later he told me that it really wasn't his fault. It turned out that he'd asked Mazzat to change his water without knowing that there really wasn't any water in Here. In fact, on a world completely covered in bars, there is a whole list of substances that are easier to get hold of than water...

(See, he thinks I don't know fish can't get drunk, and thus he can be blamed for almost leaving me behind, but does anyone really think he'd be apologetic even if he thought I knew he was perfectly clear-minded?)


Author's Note: I was in Bucharest for the past two weeks, hence no updates. Bucharest was hot. Hot and humid. It was inhumane. I'm from a northern county of Romania, so it was likea small livinghell for me. Also, I went to a park there, and saw the biggest pigeons in existence. They were huge, man. I think I saw roosters smaller than those birds! I mean, when you tried walking through a flock of pigeonzillas, they didn't even tryflying out of the way! They kind of... hobbled so you wouldn't step on them! I can seehow dodo birds might have evolved out of pigeons...Insane, man. I really wanted to include the monster pigeons in a chapter of the Diaries, but I already have Mistress Dove, so... meh. Maybe in the future.

It's good to be back, though.