We call it a fish on Earth. On Lathus they are called a Chalic.
Eight-year-old Birna pointed at something barely visible under the light green water. “What’s that?”
Heani sat next to Birna. She had to lean in front of her to see what she pointed at. “I’m not sure, but I think it’s a Chalic.”
“It can’t be a Chalic. I learned all about them in the History of Lathus book from the Learning Center, and that doesn’t look anything like a Chalic.”
“You’re right. It doesn’t, but I still think it is. I haven’t seen one since I was about to your age. That was almost six thousand years ago.”
“Look!” Birna pointed at the Chalic again. “It’s moving toward us – fast.”
“I don’t think we are going to be getting any Water Exercise today.” Heani turned behind her, and closed the lid of a large box. After latching that lid Heani used her thumb to seal it. Three quick clicks said it sealed.
Heani then went up to the front of that Water Craft and sat behind a control panel. She hit a button, and an engine sound could be heard behind her. “I think it’s time we go home.”
As they neared the beach about a mile ahead they could see around a hundred other Lathusians. “I thought we owned this part of the coast.”
“We do, but we had to open it up to the public because we need the Units. I just didn’t realize it started today.”
“I had just finished bringing up the last of our food for the month from our underwater garden, and were about to get in some Water Exercise, when we saw it. It was actually Birna who saw it first.”
Birna stood next to Heani. Both were standing in front of a male with a wand about a foot long – with a small metal ball at each end. He had those balls in front of them.
“What did it look like?” Kavin directed his question toward Birna.
“I looked like a large Chalic. Only it didn’t look like any Chalic I have ever seen.” Birna glanced at Heani, who nodded her head, before she spoke. “I think it’s a new species of Chalic.”
Just then Heani gasped. She was staring at a large monitor near the ceiling corner on the wall. On that monitor it showed a huge cage being lowered into the water. Another angle showed that cage being placed over the frightened Chalic.
The Chalic moved around rapidly trying to avoid that cage. It tried to go under it, but the cage came down too quickly. Each time the Chalic touched the cage it got a shock. Massive electrical discharge came out of the cage and the Chalic. Heani gasped again.
“Why are they doing that? They are going to kill it.”
“Birna, we watched the Newsfeed on what the World Leaders decided to do about the Chalic together a few hours ago. You do remember us watching it - don’t you? It has been a long day for the both of us. We are both tired.”
“Yes, I remember. I still don’t like it though. We are the ones who first saw the Chalic, and we should be the ones to decide what should be done with it.”
“What do you think we should do with the Chalic - or whatever it is?” Kavin asked.
“I think we should let it go. The Chalic hasn’t done anything to us, and I don’t think we should be doing anything to it.”
“We aren’t going to hurt it. The World Leaders just want to know where it came from? What is it doing here? Are there any more like it? Things like that.”
A large Water Ball came from toward the center of a nearby island. It landed right on top of the cage. When it did the cage melted away. Once free the Chalic got away. It headed for that island. When the Chalic got to the island it went ashore. Barely ashore it changed into a naked human female at it headed into the wooded area.
“She looks to be about my age.” Birna sat in a chair in front of the monitor on the wall. Heani sat right next to her.
They had seen it all on that monitor. The Scientist studying the Chalic, the Water Ball, everything that just happened. Heani and Birna couldn’t see the human Chalic while it was among the trees, but once it came out they could. The Chalic sailed into a large water hole. As soon as it touched the water it changed back into a Chalic.
“Can the Chalic do that any time that it wants to?” Birna asked.
“I don’t know, but I don’t think it can. They can probably only do that for brief periods of time. Then they have to get back to water or die.”
Just then the image on the monitor changed. Now it showed a large room with a throne size chair in the center of it. The chair swung around to reveal another Chalic. That one twice as large as the other one. Then it also changed into a naked human male.
“Why did you imprison my child. She was only curious about your world. I told her not to go, but you know how kids are at that age. To be a thousand again. Wouldn’t that be nice.”
The male Chalic stopped for a minute. “I am only in human form to make it easier to talk to you. It’s not meant to be an insult. We don’t want any trouble from you. All we want is to be left alone.”
Birna looked over at Heani with a sad look on her face. “We aren’t going to do that are we?”
“I doubt it. There haven’t been any Chalic around here for centuries because we ate them out of existence. That’s probably what we are going to do this time too.”