This story was actually inspired by a dream I had one night; after much research and planning, I've decided to write what I hope will inspire others.
Anxiety filled lungs
It was dark and all I could hear was a buzzing sound in the room. I felt my arms and legs bound as I squirmed around; wanting to scream but only a pitiful whimpered came from my mouth. Where am I? Who am I? Why am I blindfolded and chained up? When did I get into this mess? What is going on? How- My thoughts were interrupted when a low humming started to get louder. I could sense someone or something in front of me. A cold piece of metal started poking me in several areas and when it got to my genital area I grunted in annoyance. My privates are off limits to anyone as of right now. The metal piece grabbed and ripped off my blindfold. I was blinded at first with the surprisingly bright lights but soon my eyes were adjusted to the scene. A small grey floating robot with a prosthetic arm attached to the top of its head and two yellow eyes. A loud unemotional speaker came on and said: "Welcome. Your memory has been successfully erased so there won't be any distractions. Your purpose here is only to do as we say. Any signs of disobedience and you shall be terminated. You will not be warned again." spoke the speaker as the robot pressed a bottom to set me free; I noticed I was wearing a black tight diving suit with the sleeves gone and the legs were short to the point it wasn't covering my knees. The walls were grey and pale blue with an orange arrow pointing to the door. "Please note that we have injected you with several serums as part as the 'Final Hero' project. You were specifically chosen as the perfect test subject with successful results. The human race is rested upon your shoulders because of Earth's destruction. Destruction that could not have been avoided. Life was forced to live on large vessels to which is protected and cared for by the top of the line A.I's of the world. Most ships still remain out in space, searching for more inhabitable planets. You are aboard the Mercy Sails which is now on Mars. However, Mars is now uninhabitable for it is an endless sea filled with new species." The small robot motioned its one hand for me to follow it. I followed it out the room and down the halls as the speaker continued. "As of right now, you are in the lower part of the Mercy Sails boat. Please do not come in contact with any other human for building any type of relationship will lead to difficulties in the future and there's a large percentage that the 'Final Hero' project will be sabotage. If you feel your 'human need' to socialize please do it with your helper, Bot. He is the small robotic companion helping you with this project. If there is an error in his system, he will be terminated but easily replaced with a replica." The small robot turned around and waved back at me while I was following him. I guess its ok with him if he's destroyed. It's not like robots can feel pain anyways nor know anything of it. We stopped walking and went inside a room that had a bed, shower, toilet, a small mirror, a pull-up bar attached to the wall, a table and a chair. "This will your room when you are not working. Everyday there will be food on your table to consume. We advise you to eat everything and only the things we give you." I walked around in the room a bit with Bot waiting for me at the door. The room was so white and plain... I glanced at the mirror that hung on the wall by my bed and started walk up to it. "In case you are wondering who you are besides name, I am informed to tell you it is not important to know. You shouldn't care as no one else here cares." I frowned and looked back at Bot who shrugged a bit. "Your name: Kaleo. Your age: Thirty. Your race: Information not available. Your birthdate: Information not available. Your family: Information not available. Your religion: Information not available. Your gender: Male. Your height: 6'4. Your weight: ...Mm. Enough. Your hair color: Black. Your eye color: Brown. Your genital size: Wow."
I walked out into the hallway and continued to follow Bot. I followed Bot until we were on a platform outside. The ocean smell and the breeze was nostalgic in a way. I may have had my memory wiped clean, but theres still things my body knows, like the ocean for instance. I was tempted to jump off the ship and take a dip when a large fish with long barbels, sharp jagged teeth, and multicolored scales leaped from the ocean while whistling and splashing back into the sea. My temptation is gone.
"Kaleo." buzzed Bot. With my now white face, I turned my head to Bot. "Your mission is to find out about those creatures and to find a safe place for humanity to live. Because you are injected with several serums, you are now able to withstand the temperature of the water and to breathe while going under it. In case you are being targeted by large dangerous species, you have the strength to pick up the entire boat with one hand. I advise you not to though. If you are being hunted, fear not, your skin will not be crushed unless their jaw strength is above 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi), or 16,460 newtons, of bite force. Yes, that is the measurement of a salt water crocodile bite and it is the strongest bite known to mankind. Since there isn't any other species with a greater jaw strength we decided to use the crocodile until you are crushed by something stronger." I flinched at the last part of the sentence. Why was I specifically chosen? Better question is why the hell did I agree to it? "Here is an ear piece." Bot said as it handed it to me. "With this, I can talk to you while we are under water without having my transmission interfered with the whistles, clicks and sonars in the sea. There is a camera and light built within me when we are in dark waters. I am built to only withstand water pressure of 11,034 m (36,200 ft) deep, but if you feel you can go further please do. But I am informed to warn you to quickly come back to the surface if you feel light headed or anything besides normal. Do you understand?" Bot asked. I took a moment to breathe and nodded my head. It's not like I can decline the mission without being killed... Besides, I don't have anything better to do. I stepped to the edge of the platform and looked down. There was a pit inside my stomach as my heart rapidly increase its speed and lungs filled with anxiety. I looked back at Bot who watched me and motioned its hand foreword for me to continue. "If you are wondering how we are to come back on the ship, there is a small door that only I can access for us to enter through. So you are not authorized to work without me... Please proceed into the water and let us get started." I nodded and leapt from the ship, diving into the heating and cooling waters head first with Bot behind me. When I was under water, I was surprised to see my skin glowing orange and my hair now red like fire. I looked to Bot with much concern. "Do not worry, those are just the side effects from the serums we injected into you. No harm will come to your health and the looks are not permanent." buzzed Bot.
As we swam around in the sea, regardless of their size and looks, most of the fish were peaceful and only ate what resembles to be krill and plankton. The beauty of this underworld was breath taking and fascinating, but... there was still no sign of a spot where humanity could live. "Please take a sample of some fish so we can know if the fish are edible." Bot said as he pointed to the fish. I gave a questionable look at him but then remembered that humanity might not have unlimited amounts of food. I took a few scales from different fish and Bot toss it to the side. "We will need more than scales, Kaleo. We need the whole package for testing. So wrestle them and bring one of each gender in case there is a difference amongst genders." blinked Bot. Though it took a lot of time to do so, I managed to capture all the fish and brought them back to the ship. My muscles ached and from experiencing so much, I was exhausted. "My monitors detect that your energy is low." said Bot as I threw the last fish I could find onto the ship. You don't say? "Perhaps it would be best for you to recover the energy you've lost with some rest and nourishment. The days is practically done anyways. We will get up early tomorrow morning to go down to level two of the ocean." Bot noted as I made my way to my room. "Please wash your hair and body before going to bed." he said as he started leaving the room. "I must go and see if I am still operational and have updates if needed. Goodnight, Kaleo." he said while the door shut behind him. When I entered the shower I noticed as I washed, the orange skin and red hair turned back to its original normal color. So with salt water it turns to a different color but with filtered water, it reverts back to normal… Though it was a lot of work, I'm glad the first day in the Epipelagic Zone was easy and I only hope tomorrow in the Mesopelagic Zone it will be easier as well. If nothing goes wrong, I would say this is an easy life for me. Except for the whole 'who am I' mystery. I was probably a nobody in the beginning anyways... I stepped out the shower, dried off and went to bed. I wonder if there's intelligent life on this planet... I wonder why Mars is flooded as an endless ocean instead of what it use to be known as. Not that any of it matters now. I stretched my arms behind my head and drifted off to sleep.
The next morning after breakfast and an hour, Bot and I dived into the ocean and swam down to the second level. "You should be informed that the fish you gathered yesterday was healthy, nonpoisonous and edible. The ship will collect the fish at a slow rate due to the fish size and the wish to preserve life. The people of the ship thanks you. Even though they know nothing of your existence." Bot said. Ignoring the last part, I pointed to where I saw a school of fish trying to blend in with the water. Bot turned his camera on as he filmed me struggling to get both a male and female of the fish. However, the fish would bite at me in several places whenever I grabbed one and they would make these rattling sounds whenever I grabbed one. I managed to grab two and swam away, but the school followed and swarmed around me and Bot. Just off in the distance I heard a few whistles and clicks from something else. When I turned my head, I only saw a glimpse of what looked like a large fish with white lights. It was hard to see with the fish fiercely swimming around and bitting me. But soon all the fish disband when they heard the second wave of whistles and clicks from the mysterious fish in the distance. When I tried to get another look at it, it was gone. "Let us swim back to the boat before they come back and attack again." warned Bot. I followed him back to the ship and threw the fish onboard into a container filled with water. "Stay still and let me scan you." Bot said while starting to scan me from head to toe. "Though you have been bitten several times, none of the fish pierced your skin. Oh! You are also still healthy... But if you feel different at all while we are in the water, inform me and I will send a message to the scientist." he said as he floated back to the platform.
"Ah..." I trailed off. Bot paused and looked back at me.
"Interesting. This, besides the grunts, is the first time you have actually made a sound, Kaleo. I was beginning to conclude that you were simply brain damaged due to having your memory wiped from our large and never been tested machine. What is it that you want to say?" Bot said while turning to face me. I wondered what I saw was real or just my imagination... I wondered if it really mattered if I told Bot what I saw and the fact I believed the mysterious fish saved us. I shook my head side to side... It was not important. I was going to see it again when I have to throw it onto this ship. "If you suggest there is nothing to discuss then I am happy to hear that. I was built to accompany you on your missions by helping you, informing you and being here if you have the need to 'communicate'. Preferably I rather not have a conversation with you. Just to inform you. None the less, let us continue working, Kaleo." Bot said as he motioned his hand for me to follow. I can't tell if he was built as an asshole or he simply develop that personality on his own… I wonder if 'Kaleo" really is my name... I blame the parents I don't know for this bizarre name.
As we ventured in the deep, I found and grabbed more fish that were smaller than the ones on the first level. They all resemble Eels, Sharks, Garra ruffs, Exocoetus volitans, Anglerfish, Squids, Pucker fish, and Great Barracuda. Like the first batch, they all tried to kill me and were hard to get... I had Bot scanned me every time we got on the boat. We plunged deeper and deeper searching for caves with air pockets and more fish. "Kaleo." Bot said. I stopped swimming and swirled around to find Bot a few meters behind me. "It is getting darker since we are getting away from the sun. My programing tells me that we will soon enter level three, the Bathypelagic Zone. Thus my time exploring with you will be short. Do you still remember what I told you?" he asked. I nodded my head and blinked. "Good. May we discover things for a better future for humanity." Bot buzzed as he followed me down. It was getting darker and darker as we traveled but we could still see movements in the water. We stopped because we saw what looked to be a shark... but as it got closer, it was a whale with odd designs and around its fins it glowed violet. I glanced over at Bot hoping he wasn't urging me to fight it and bring that back to the boat. "No worries, I am recording everything. We will have to do the experiments ourselves when the time comes." I flinched at the statement and my eyebrows started to sink in frustration. We can't just leave it alone? We have to go poking everything, see what it does and stuff. I wouldn't be surprise if one of these creatures kill me from messing around with them a lot. But then I would be killed if I don't cooperate with these crazy missions... I loose either way. "Kaleo, look!" pointed Bot. I glanced over and saw tiny whales coming out of the whales mouth. What the heck? If their babies come out that way, then... I shook my head and covered my eyes. I don't want to think about where they put their food if not their mouths. "What are you doing? Look Kaleo! You are missing the miracle of life of a new species!" Bot said while poking me. I could honestly care less... "Kaleo. Are you perhaps one of the type of men who can't handle witnessing birth?" he bluntly asked. I removed my hand and glared at him. If we weren't underwater... Before I could finish the sentence in my mind, something nudge my arm. I looked next to me and I see a turtle with two heads and black and yellow skin. I grabbed the turtle but heard a low growl. Above us was a enormous two headed turtle with black and yellow skin like the one in my hands. I dropped my jaw and let go if the baby... G-galapagos... I nudge my Bot and pointed. "Have you forgotten how strong your skin is now?" he asked. With wide eyes and my mouth still open, I stared at him for longest time. That thing doesn't need to chew me! It can swallow me in one go, not choke and still be hungry! "Well?" Bot asked while pointing at the creatures who were swimming away. I closed my mouth and shook my head. "Hm... I see. Well, the mother was quite big. The infant was probably just born like those newborn like whales. Most mothers are instinctively protective immediately when they bare children and are proven to be most dangerous when feel threatened. Its not just animals, but humans as well." Bot informed me. Somehow I felt I really understood what he meant... "Kaleo, I should inform you that this is the limit of my travels. Please continue as you wish but remember to come up before it is too late to do so." Bot warned as he started to float up to the surface. "Oh! You should know, your skin can glow in the dark. Not as bright as my flashlight but it would be life threatening if it was." he said while waving.
As I swam, the darkness was slowly consuming me and I could start to feel the water pressure wanting to crush me. I struggled to find any kind of cave so I could take a break or better yet, find a place for the ship. I notice one far away... though I hoped it would be it rather than a large dangerous fish. The pressure was making it hard for me to concentrate, let alone remain conscious. My muscles began to ache and I could no longer tell if my eyes were open or if it was just pure darkness in front of me. I could feel my body sinking and getting heavier. Maybe this is the way its suppose to be for me... No longer having a life of my own, being force to face danger that could kill me or be killed by the ones who made me. It doesn't matter does it? The fact that I didn't have someone to care enough about me to stop them from erasing my memories must means I was a nobody then... such as now. I am a nobody who will disappear without anyone knowing or caring. As my thoughts became a blur, I didn't realize a pair of arms grabbing me and pulling me somewhere. Where I wonder...