Chapter 1

~o.O.o~

I sighed as I leaned against the magnificent wall of my bedroom, the coral from the reef we lived on had completely covered the dull, boring stone that the underwater house was made from.

It wasn't fair. My whole life I lived in secret, hiding from the world. Never going into the water that called me, be it a pool or the ocean. Sometimes, when my human parents where gone I would take a bath just to enjoy being in the water.

Being a Mermaid wasn't a trait passed from parents to children. It just happened, and the change occurred on the day of the person's 10th birthday.

Since that day, I'd been hiding who I was from my family and friends. Eventually a Seeker, a fellow Mer person whose job it was to find new members of the Mer people, had contacted me.

Once I had learned about my kin, that I wasn't alone. I had accepted myself, and learned what to do to remain hidden. At certain times of year however, it was necessary for all Mer people to converge in Venice, Italy. We had a designated meeting point, and the Elders owned almost a whole district where we could pass unnoticed.

Last year however, when we gathered, it was not for the happy gathering that normally occurs. We had to address a growing problem that was touching the globe. Us.

"This has become a serious problem," the one of the Elders I didn't know addressed the amphitheater. "Everywhere we go, the people that we touch or make contact with are falling sick and dying. It is a problem that many of those here will be aware of."

I glanced around the room at some of the distraught faces of my people. My best friend Vlad, who I only had contact with at these gatherings, was among the ashen faced. Earlier he had told me of how one morning he got up and his mother, and two younger sisters lay dead in their beds. They had only had fevers the days before. He had called his girlfriend, and the girls' mother answered the phone in tears, and told him that she too was dead. Vlad had fled to the ocean, where he had remained until the gathering a month later.

I had not had that problem yet; it appeared that the disease was transferred between Mer people. So, despite my not having the disease before arriving, I carried it now, along with the child in my body, whose assistance not even the father knew of yet. Probably never would now.

My musings were interrupted by one of the Elders, this time one I was familiar with, Perrie, stating the verdict.
"There is no known cure for this, and since all those who attended this meeting have now been exposed to this virus in order to protect the existence of our race, a verdict has been reached. One that will not be taken well by some." He paused and looked around the room at the sea of Mer faces.

"We must return to the ocean, the undersea city that was once inhabited by our kind, and maintained by a few dedicated members of our kin, is ready for our use. We must go there, and remain there. Never to return to the surface again."