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The Lost World of Stnaltia: Part One

by silentbutterfly


Brave_Eyes, a bright-eyed, sometimes-too-hyper-for-his-own-good, self-proclaimed future Battledome legend that occasionally whacks himself with his own tail green Zafara let out a long, exaggerated sigh.

      "Shh," Blackwingedbird, a fire Pteri, scolded in the air pocket that housed Underwater Fishing in Maraqua. "You'll scare the fish away!"

      "If you ask me," Brave_Eyes huffed, "these fish are too dead to be scared. C'mon! We've been waiting for you to catch something for four hours! You know I wanted to try out the Lost Desert Dagger I got for my birthday! If we stay here much longer, I'll have to wait until tomorrow."

      "Well," Blackwingedbird whispered. "If you want to catch something good, then you have to be patient. If you remember, you caught an Old Rotten Right Shoe right away. I'm planning for a rare fish!"

      "If there were any fish I'm sure you would've caught one by now," Brave_Eyes moaned. "For all we know you could be in the process of catching the Old Rotten Right Shoe I threw right back in."

      "How about we wait one more hour?" Blackwingedbird suggested. "After that, if I still haven't caught anything, we'll go."

      "Another hour?" Brave_Eyes almost shouted. "We've already been here for four hours, and you want me to wait another one? Do you know how many times I could've gone through training?"

      "Patience," Blackwingedbird reminded. "They should have a course for that at the academy designed with you in mind."

      Brave_Eyes flopped down hard on the deck, he thought for a little while then made his own suggestion. "I could just leave here, go through training, and then walk you home. That way we can both be happy."

      "You'd leave me by myself? What if I catch a big fish and need your help?" Blackwingedbird said with pleading eyes.

      Brave_Eyes let out another long, heavy sigh. "Black, it's just that I had other plans for the day. When you said we'd go fishing, I thought it'd be an hour or two. I didn't think it would take this long."

      Blackwingedbird closed her eyes. She had hoped Brave_Eyes liked spending time with her as she did with him. Even in the silence of fishing, she enjoyed his company. She knew in a way he did too, or he wouldn't have come fishing in the first place. Still, she tried to steal every moment she could with him.

      Brave_Eyes looked over and saw Blackwingedbird's disappointed expression. "Hey!" he exclaimed. "I have an idea!"

      He jumped up and dashed a little ways off the dock. Blackwingedbird just watched him, too confused to even ask what he was up to. He then came back, racing towards her. Blackwingedbird managed to shoot herself out of the way just in time as Brave_Eyes soared into the air, curling himself in a ball, and shouted at the time of his lungs: "CANNONBALL!!!!"

      The fish fled out of the way, with some of the chubby breadfish just barely being squashed by Brave_Eyes' grand entrance into the calm and peaceful water. He made quite the disturbance, with water splashing high over the dock and drenching Blackwingedbird so that she had almost thought she was pushed into the water, not merely being splashed by it.

      And the water was freezing! Blackwingedbird started to shiver almost immediately. "Brave_Eyes!" she screamed, at first angry at what her friend no doubt thought was a great idea. Then she realized he hadn't come to the surface yet.

      "Brave_Eyes?" she asked in a softer tone and laid on the edge of the dock to get a better view. There was no sign of the green Zafara.

      "Brave_Eyes?" she asked again, with a new tone of urgency in her voice. Oh no! she said to herself as all the worse possible scenarios raced through her mind, if only I had let him go through training like he wanted. Then none of this would have happened!

      She thought she heard some bubbles rise to the surface and lifted her head to look, hoping to see a sign of her friend.

      She got one alright. WHACK! A poor, unsuspecting butterfish had been tossed and splattered all over the Pteri's face.

      Briefly stunned, she then heard the undeniable laughter of Brave_Eyes.

      "Oh goodness, Black... your face..." he struggled to say in-between roars of laughter.

      "Not funny, Brave_Eyes," she replied, feeling a wave of emotions: relief he was safe, anger for what he did, and laughter... because even though she'd never admit it, it was rather humorous.

      "That was your idea?" she coughed, hiding a laugh and brushed off the butterfish.

      "No," Brave_Eyes replied as he stabled himself in the water. "I just needed to get in the water first. Now cast your line! If you really want to catch something that bad, you can catch me!"

      "Are you serious?" Blackwingedbird replied. She certainly wouldn't mind catching Brave_Eyes, what worried her was reeling him in.

      Brave_Eyes seemed to know what she was thinking. "I can help you. I can swim towards you and climb up once I get there. You need to catch me first though! And just so you know, the bait you get at the regular shop won't work. I happen to have a passion for ErgyFruit!"

      Blackwingedbird laughed. She didn't have any ErgyFruit on hand, but she did cast her line towards Brave_Eyes.

      She was a little off, but Brave_Eyes swam towards the line. He wrapped it around his waist and tied it. Then he tugged a little on the line. "Look, Black, you caught something! Let's see what you got!"

      Blackwingedbird kept laughing. Sometimes Brave_Eyes did the silliest things, but that's what she liked about him. "I wonder what it could be?" she teased. "I hope it's not that smelly Old Rotten Right Shoe you threw back in!"

      "Hey!" Brave_Eyes called. "I don't smell! And I am hardly old or rotten! The right part is correct though."

      Blackwingedbird giggled. "I'm sure that's what you like to think," she replied. "Does that mean I was correct with you being a Shoe?"

      "Only on Tuesdays," he replied. "The rest of the week I like being a Zafara."

      "Well, shoe or Zafara," Blackwingedbird began as she started reeling him in. "Let's get you out of the water. I know from when you splashed me how cold it is."

      "It's not too bad, actually," Brave_Eyes replied as he slowly swam back to the dock. "After the initial shock it's rather nice. Do you want me to splash you again when I'm closer?"

      "I'd rather you not," Blackwingedbird replied. "If I liked the cold I would have painted myself snow, not fire."

      "Maybe we could go swimming sometime?" Brave_Eyes suggested, then paused. He felt some tugging, and not from Blackwingedbird's side either. Maybe she ended up catching a fish after all. He smiled to himself, thinking of how pleased she would be with two prizes.

      "Only in Mystery Island," she said to him. "That does sound like a nice idea. And we could play a game of volleyball as well."

      "And you could watch me in the training center after I win!' Brave_Eyes smiled. The tugging was becoming stronger. "Hey, Black, what kind of bait did you use on the line? I think you might have caught something other then me?"

      "Really?" Blackwingedbird replied. At first she was excited then realized that she hadn't used any bait because she knew she was going to "catch" Brave_Eyes. "You mean something other than you is biting with no bait?"

      "Yeah," Brave_Eyes replied. "It feels like it's something strong. Let me try to hurry over there to try to help you pull it out."

      Blackwingedbird didn't know why, but what Brave_Eyes was telling her had her very concerned. "Yeah, you better hurry in, Brave_Eyes, if you feel the tugging, I'm definitely going to need help and quick."

      "No problem there," Brave_Eyes mumbled and began swimming quickly to the dock.

      The tugs became stronger, and Brave_Eye began to swim as fast as he could. Blackwingedbird watched helplessly, holding her breath that he would make it in time.

      The tugs finally became a steady pull, and Brave_Eyes gave up trying to swim and tried to break the line as he was being pulled under. "Black! Go get help! Throw your rod in the water and run and get help!" he shouted. At least if she's safe, I can deal with this, he thought to himself as he struggled to free the line from his waist.

      He slowly felt his body being pulled under and desperately grasped for air at each chance he got. Blackwingedbird watched in horror as she watched Brave_Eyes struggle for air, then watched as he stuck his head out one last time to take a large breath of air before being fully submerged.

      Whatever was pulling Brave_Eyes down was pulling her rod with a vengeance as well. She heard the wheels scream as the wire was pulled out with a greater speed then it could handle.

      She knew Brave_Eyes told her to throw the rod in the water, but she couldn't. She stifled her cries and decided wherever Brave_Eyes was going, she was going too. He was her catch after all, and she was going to fight for him. She heard her rational side try to tell her to get help. If both of them were missing, no one would know what happened. But she wouldn't let her friend meet whatever was on the other side of that line by himself. She grabbed the rod with one hand, and tied the string from her bait bag around the pole and her wing so she couldn't let go. She then grabbed the pole with her other wing, watching mesmerized as the wire unraveled to its last few inches, then braced for the impact of the cold water as she was thrown in.

      "Don't worry, Brave_Eyes," she said in her mind. "You won't be alone. I'm coming..."

To be continued...

Pronunciation guide : Stnaltia: stuh-null-tea-ah

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