3/21

Nineball Island, Midnight — You know, I’ve had my eye on that totem pole in Nancy’s catalog for a while. It would look great over there near the fire pit.  It would really tie the island together. Snorkle could pee on it. Then I would remember that episode of the Brady Bunch where Bobby finds a tiki idol on the beach and it  puts a curse on their Hawaiian vacation, and I’d back off. But tonight I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy it off Nancy for 5,400P.

And right away the trouble starts. Something about the idol intrigues me. I investigate. I hear voices…they seem to be coming from the idol. “I want…ice…northern land…two long tusks…” it whispers. It’s the curse of Bobby Brady’s tiki all over again!

"I want...ice...northern land...two long tusks..."

Hastily I turn away to get a witness to this phenomenon. But GG’s in no mood for it. He’s been drinking beer and brooding all night. Very solemnly he reminds me that a mistake he made put his former partner in the hospital while seeking the Chamber of the Gods. I barely remember this, but yes, okay. Well, FF is his former partner’s kid brother! And he blames GG for his brother’s accident! That’s why we’ve got to go beyond the whirlpools of Cicero’s Undines to seek the Spartan Treasure!!  “Nineball Larry,” he intones gravely, hand on my shoulder, “will you dive with me?”

I’ll…think about it, ol’ buddy.

Next I go to Hayako. She doesn’t want to talk about the tiki, either. The aquarium’s investors want to speak to me, is all she says. We hop a flight to Tokyo, where she finishes what she could have told me back on the island: The investors have no problem with my work. The blue whale feeding survey—great job! The turtle egg hatching fiasco—masterfully handled! But we need more receipts. We want 1 million visitors and we want them now. The grand total of visitors now stands at a measly 44,000. Keep changing the exhibits, keep feeding the fish. And to show our appreciation for this, we’ll give you—get this—a gelled hairstyle. Hayako bats her eyelashes at me demurely.

They think they can buy me with a stupid haircut?! I storm out of the aquarium, only realizing then that I’m still wearing the monster suit.

I’ve had it with those aquarium people. I’ll go it alone. I’ll get enough treasure to earn the P I need to reopen the Chamber of the Gods without their help, thank you. I go directly to Deep Hole, remembering that there were at least three Treasure Rumors connected to it. I dive at midnight and right away find that the tiger shark is back, and he’s brought a friend with him. Reached for the pulsar but got the camera by accident, and so took this exciting shot:

"Don't tase me, bro!"

Tigers tamed, I descend into Deep Hole, and this time I’ve found the Serpent’s Lair, and the moray eel that lends it its name. I dusted off a ring, fulfilling the Fisherman’s Tale treasure rumor. Then I went up to the Giant’s Grotto with my multisensor and found the British Treasure, another rumour off my list, and a few other things besides.

Back on Nineball, Nancy pays me handsomely for my loot, and it appears that Pha gave me a fresh fish after school, which I still have in my pocket. Nancy pays me 3,000 P for that—that alone is 6x my daily wage at the aquarium! Really, who needs those people?

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