A short story about a submarine captain in search of the legendary ningyo.
|In all her life, Samantha had been a go-getter. She was both brave and calm, looked up to by a swift crew who only wanted to be successful in their search.
The problem was, they were looking for something others mostly considered either non-existent or bad luck to catch.
But, oh, the tales! The ningyo were creatures of lore and fascination. She'd only learned of them recently but she was already consumed in the idea of such a fish with human qualities. There were plenty such tales back home in America, about mermaids and mermen, but ningyo were different. Ningyo didn't have look like humans with a tail for legs. They were creatures, resembling humans but certainly not part of the human species.
Samantha considered it either a link of evolution or a gift from heaven. It didn't really matter which; in such matters, both would make up something.
And her part was that she got to see the beauties for herself. That was the best thing about this whole affair.
Cruising along in a quiet little submarine, Samantha stared out into the sea. Playing with a strand of black hair that had fallen from her ponytail. They'd been out for some time and hadn't seen but a few stories of long ago. Legends were extraordinary... fabulous... marvelous... and she loved them... she had work to do if she ever wanted to spot a ningyo of her own.
Just then, a cry from the starboard ports. She tensed with excitement, pausing for a moment to breathe before running to her shipmate's side. "What'd you find, Jordan?"
From beneath the thick, rectangle rims of his glasses, Jordan's brown eyes shimmered like the wet scales of a fish in water. Instead of answering, he pressed a combination of the many flashing buttons and lights in front of him. A whirring and a rush of water outside caught the attention of other passengers, making Samantha smile.
"Here it comes, m'lady," Jordan half-spoke, half-sang as a glass tube rose from the floor. They all gathered round it but sauntered aside as Samantha pushed her way through, Jordan close behind. "Parting the seas, as always." She glanced back at him with a side-ways smile.
"I suppose," she laughed, flashing her near-black eyes at him. Then she turned her attention to the large tube in front of her. It was about a meter in diameter and three meters long, the glass surface perfectly smooth as it laid sideways to her view. Water flooded in and Samantha caught a brown face and a waving tail. Her eyes began to glow as everything calmed in the little chamber.
The creature was completely brown with a large fish tail and the upper body of a lonely demon. It didn't look evil exactly... more, mischievous. Ugly at first sight but enchanting at the next, the ningyo was different than she'd imagined but definitely what she'd come for. She sent Jordan a look of pride.
"Good work, soldier," she said playfully, earning a salute of sorts from her companion. Too soon, they collected what data they could without holding it long and set it free, leaving Samantha staring into the sea as it swam away. "I suppose the world would be fine regarding you as an otherwise mystery, my friend."