Tag Archive: Dolphins


7/14

In an effort to get the Commerson’s Dolphin in the Cavern of the Gods to be my new partner, I looked carefully through Nancy’s catalog for two things that might be symbols of protection. It wasn’t easy—I wanted to find just the right thing for my lady. I finally settled on a charm and an amulet, and bought them with Pelagos I’d been saving from my little part-time job in the islands. Then I flew halfway across the world back to Zahhab, found the Echoing Terrace, entered the Stone Cavern, up the stairs up the Pillars of Light into the Celestial Mausoleum, to the god’s golden chamber to lay the symbols of protection lo! at my lady’s feet…

And now she wants something else.

Poof! go all my chivalrous notions. Oh, I can see where this is going—I’ve been there before. If I bring her what she wants now, next she’ll want something more. Guys: Women—amiright?!

So rather than use my frequent flyer miles going back and forth to Nineball Island with giftboxes on my knees, I decide to buy everything from Nancy that comes with a bow on it (after all, it’s not like I need that money for anything now). Then I return to the Cavern with the whole papa’s brand new bag. I gave her everything I had—it took a few minutes of automated demands and exchanges, during which I got up and got a beer from the fridge. Finally, she was satisfied enough to allow me to be her partner. When it came time to name her, I was tempted to call her something like “Miss Fussy,” but, perhaps softened by the grace of our friendship dance, I decided to call her Kee Kyu.

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7/13

We’re back again at the Cavern of the Gods, and this time we’re in it for the loot. First though, I stop by Mushroom Rock to get a good picture of Big Boeing the whale shark, at the request of mystery man ML. Then we turn on the mulitsensor and pick up everything we find (except the Pacifica Treasure in the Celestial Mausoleum—that’s off limits). There’s a lot to pick up: nearly every room in the temple has salvageable material in it, many yielding lucretive lightning bolts. The bag fills up super fast.

Then in the Celestial Mausoleum, something weird happens. One of the Commerson’s dolphins swims right up to me and starts shouting,  “Kee kyee kyee! Kyu! Kyu! You must make an offering to the lady! She requires two symbols of protection!”

"Kee! Kyee! Kyu!! Kyu!!!

Jean-Eric is flabbergasted by this, and recalls us back to the boat straightaway. In the pilothouse, he’s throwing his hands up and shaking his head in disbelief. “It’s impossible! Dolphins can’t talk! I mean, you’re a trustworthy fellow and all; I believe you, but…you must be crazy!”

“But boss,” Hayako puts in, “we all heard the voice on the transmitter. It’s got to be true!”

“And beside,” I wish I could say, “You believed in singing dragons, and moving islands, and magic balms and all kinds of other nonsense—why not talking dolphins?”

More hand throwing and head shaking.

“Hrmmm…I-I…just don’t know! Let’s all go back to Nineball Island and talk this out.”

Okay. Back on the island, another confab around the table.

“Two symbols of protection, huh? What could that mean? Well…let’s see what Nancy’s got.”

So the upshot of all this overheated drama is that we’ve got another animal companion to recruit, and it involves buying those Christmas gift boxes Nancy’s got in her catalog.

Meanwhile, our treasure haul was enormous, including an orichalcum ingot worth 13,000 P and a flask of Amrita ointment worth 11,000. Orichalcum, as  you armchair Platonists might know, is the mythical metal found only in the Lost Continent of Atlantis. Amrita ointment conveys immortality on the applicator.

In other news, ML was happy to get his whale photo, and in appreciation, gave us a new photography gizmo—the ability to develop pictures in Black and White! Because as everybody knows, underwater photography is much better in shades of grey.

What a weird day in EO!

7/7

On my second return to the Cavern of the Gods, I’ve decided to take Felix the false killer whale with me. That way, if I run out of air he can tow me back to the surface more quickly than I can swim.

Right at the entrance, directly in front of us is an ascending stone staircase. I don’t know how I missed it the first time, but I did. This leads immediately to the upper level of the temple, to the Pillars of Light. How in the world did I miss this? These silt-shrouded columns are like the trees of an enchanted forest, teeming with strange sealife. Pods of sleek black and white Commerson’s dolphins and albino humpback whales, including the Singing Dragon herself, unharmed by the rampage that wrecked the temple. Swimming up a pillar, I discover a Nomura’s jellyfish, floating near the ceiling like a grand chandelier.

Commerson's dolphin

The Singing Dragon

Nomura jellyfish

Through a skylight in the ceiling I pass straight into the Celestial Mausoleum. It’s all there as it was before: the windlass, the animal statues, the golden god that sits in the vault, with the Pacifica treasure spread at his glittering feet. Months ago, I’d barely gotten a glimpse at that statue before everything started coming apart.

In the lap of the gods.

I no sooner lay eyes on the Pacifica Treasure than Jean-Eric gets on the phone and urges me to leave it alone. According to him, they’ve received an offer from the mysterious Karia Foundation to undertake the salvage; they’ll pay us 50,000 p not to touch a thing. It’s hard to pass up treasure when my mutlisensor is going crazy, but okay. Back on Ninball Island I’m gifted with a frogman suit for leaving well enough alone.

Terra Incognita

5/15

Cortica River—Today I got a salvage request for the Medieval Staff, and what do you know, it’s been located within that unexplored region of the Cortica River. Now I’ve got the perfect excuse to recruit an Amazon River dolphin and take a peak at the new world. We go immediately to the river, but as usual in this game, there are some conditions that must be met. First, I have to bring a female dolphin partner with me. I’d been randomly assigning male or female names to my dolphins without considering the gender (monstrous parenting, that), but helpfully Jean-Eric reminds me that Pinky Tuscadero is indeed a female and can accompany me. Now that I’ve got Pinky, we head up King Amaru’s canal into the courtyard of the Twilight Temple, where I see a pink dolphin standing out from the rest. Jean-Eric informs me that I’ve got to approach the dolphin on Pinky’s back. I look for my Pinky, but my wingman’s nowhere to be found. I have to retreat back down the canal to find her lollygagging at the entrance. Meanwhile, J-E is yelling in my head that I need my partner, need my partner! Alright, I’ve got my partner and ride her into the courtyard, now what? We have to chase the river dolphin while she and Pinky get acquainted. Basically, I have to keep her in my line of sight, but if we lose her, J-E helpfully tells us when we’re getting closer. This goes on for several head-spinning minutes until Pinky and the dolphin are completely simpatico, after which I’m introduced as a really cool friend.  We dance, and without much thought, I name her Dora.

Dora, the Explorer

Now that she’s on the team, it’s time to enlist her help clearing that dam. After we clear it, I take a reflective moment before breaching the threshold. 

This is it—weeks of waiting and hard work have led to this day, and I’m finally going to see this final, completely new region of the Endless Ocean. I wonder, did Cortez feel this way, gaining at last the peak in Darien from which his eyes would behold the limitless Pacific for the first time? Resolutely, I press through, the gap widening around me to reveal…

Queen Lake

Eh, not much. Queen Lake, so it’s called, is basically a murky brown watering hole. Its sole inhabitants are some indolent manatees mindlessly grazing on hydrilla near the surface. Aside from the Medieval Staff, there is no limitless treasure, no sunken ruins. As I leave, I notice a few tambaqui that weren’t there before, so there’s that. Maybe by removing an obstacle, Dora and I have invited in a new community of fish. This at least will make it worth visiting in the future. Until then, I guess you can call me disappointed.  

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.