No one here had ever seen a human so no one considered that he might be one. Adam guessed that might not be such a bad thing after all so he changed the subject. “Why do you work here, Lettles?”
“Dooooo I haaaaveee aaaa chooooiiice?”
Adam, surprised by the starfish’s answer, didn’t know what to say. He opened his mouth several times but closed it every time he thought he had an appropriate reply. No response seemed sufficient. He wanted to say, “Yes, of course you have a choice,” but then he remembered his own inability to refuse Admiral Pinch’s offer and wondered how much of a choice the starfish had after all.
A familiar striped face and speedy voice darted into the kelp forest.
“AdamamIgladtoseeyouareyouallrightcomeonwegottagetyououttahere!” It was Spot, excited as ever. Spot’s eyes tried to take in everything at once, he was so nervous.
“Spot!” Adam cried. “I’m glad to see you, too.”
“Cmoncmoncmon,” Spot spouted while swimming in circles around Adam. “I saw Admiral Pinch getting ready to board the manta.”
Adam gasped and swam to the edge of the kelp. He looked up to the manta and, sure enough, members of the Urchin Army were loading large, kelp-packaged supplies and newly “recruited” urchins up onto the manta’s back. Adam didn’t see the Admiral but didn’t doubt Spot.
“Well, where are we going to run?”
“Run? Running requires legs! But anyway, we’re not running anywhere. You need to get back onto the manta!” Spot said.
“What? No way. I’m not going back there. I thought you were here to help.”
“I am. But, if you ride to Tiskaloo with the urchins you’re guaranteed to get there safely. You and I alone is a much more dangerous plan.”