“So, Adam water-man. How did you wind up lost and stuck within that dreadful school of fish and, as long as you’re answering, however did you wind up without blue hair?” asked Admiral Pinch as he rolled along the manta’s spine. Adam followed close behind him. He remembered Spot’s advice: Don’t talk too much.
“I’m not sure,” he offered, more so confused by the question of the blue hair than anything else.
“Not sure?” the Admiral huffed. “You are either the most humble or the most ignorant water-man I’ve ever met.”
“I mean, I can’t remember. Anything.”
“Pity, pity. Well, maybe not all pity. If you were to remember everything I doubt we would be having this conversation.”
“Why is that?”
Admiral Pinch stopped rolling and said, “Because urchins hate water-folk.” He continued rolling, “And they hate us right back.” Adam didn’t say a word.
Adam and Admiral Pinch arrived at the middle of the manta’s back where the urchins had attached several, long benches shaped liked sofas. The furniture was pinned into the manta and it looked painful. The Admiral rolled up to one and hopped onto it. “It’s really King Altern who detests the water-folk. But, what the King detests we detest. The water-folk do not listen and they do not obey. They live in their little city and make up their own rules of civilization. Ahh…much like their forebears, the humans did, or so the old tales caution.”
At this, Adam wanted to cry out, Did?! Are there no more humans? What happened to them?
“But this is elementary. I gather you don’t recall Ocean history either?”
“Sir,” Admiral Pinch repeated. “That, water-man, is why I offered to take you home. You, unlike the rest of your kind, have respect for authority. Had you displayed the impudence typical of your kind…I would have fed you to the manta.”