5/11

Valka Castle—I returned to the castle with Oceana to search for the false killer whale with the ‘x’ on his head. Stubbornly, I once again tried to find it in the ballroom, without any luck. Back to Nineball Island to read that clue again: It only says it’s in Valka Castle. I keep thinking that the whale in the ballroom will transform into the one we want, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. There’s another false killer whale in Valka Castle, and we’re going to have to look all over for it.

Fortunately, on our next visit, we find its silhouette circling at the top of the Spiral Tower. It’s a cagey bugger, though—as we approach, it runs off to the Collapsed Gallery. Just when we think we’ve got it cornered, it sprints past us into the castle. 

Jean-Eric tells us it went north, but that could be anywhere. We swim up the hall to rooms near the Treasure Vault, searching from the ceiling to the floorboads, chasing after every large shadow. Then to the Kings’s Chamber, then down the Underwater Gallery all the way east to the compartment behind the ballroom before we double back in confusion.

Confound it, where are you?!

Turns out we went too far north—we passed right by it in the Armory. When we suprise it, it takes off again. And again. And once more. By now I’m getting seasick from all the turning and looking up and down (this is not a good time to have the 1st person view on). I consider calling off the search. Finally, we chase it into the ballroom, where Jean-Eric tells me I’ve got to tase it. The problem is now there are two false killer whales—which one do we zap? It’s that classic conundrum from countless sci fi episodes.

"Shoot him, he's the imposter!" "No---shoot him!"

I decide to hedge my bets and zap them both. This calms down the smaller of the two whales, which bows to reveal the ‘x’ mark on his head. I name him Felix, because he’s black and he’s full of tricks. We dance a long pas de deaux in the ballroom, very special.

Felix

Back at Nineball Island, we learn through Finley that, because the FKWs disrupted the local fishing grounds, they were hunted nearly to extinction. Felix narrowly escaped from a seine net—that must be what left the mark on his head. Another reason to call him Felix: He’s lucky to be alive. After Finley confirms he’s in good condition, he sits down to tell me something. I must fulfill his dream, he says. “You must befriend the whales and dolphins of the world!”  Specifically, there are 11 whales and dolphins in all I’m supposed to befriend. I’ve got six so far, five to go. Mr. Finley sir, I’m honored, truly.

However, in all honesty, the only one I’m interested in is the Amazon River dolphin, who I’m hoping can help me break through that roadblock on the Cortica River. Of course, Finely doesn’t know this. He exits the stage, confident he’s just passed the trident to the next King of the Seven Seas.

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