Hello, dear reader. My name is Finn, and I have a story to tell. It is a story about myself, and I must warn you, it is quite strange. Now let us begin, shall we?
May 26, 2022
“Wonderful. Take him to Doctor Wheeler.”
I woke up to a very bald man peering down at me. I was still in a haze from just waking up, so at first, I had mistaken him for an egg. Perhaps Humpty Dumpty? Well. Anyways. Just as I tried to look around, everything went black.
“Testing, testing. Hello? Can you hear me? HELLO?”
I jolted awake. I had been placed in a tray on a large desk. In front of the desk sat a pale, slender woman who slightly resembled a grasshopper. The round framed glasses she wore were much too big for her face and they made her piercing gray eyes look like tiny little pebbles.
“Ah. There we go.”
She cleared her throat.
“You must be confused. Let me explain. I am Christina Wheeler, the head of OAS(, Ocean Awareness Society). A team of our finest and most devoted scientists here have spent months designing, planning, building, and perfecting you. Now, you may be wondering who or what you are. You, my dear, are OAS’s very first robotic fish prototype.”
“You have been designed to imitate the beneficial qualities of many fish species, such as tuna, blue tang, angelfish, and more. We will send you off into the ocean, and your purpose is to monitor the aquatic pollution around you. There are trackers built inside of your fins, so that we may keep in touch. You will be sent on your… expedition tomorrow. Any questions?”
I paused and thought for a moment. “What is my name?”
Christina squinted. Her eyes seemed to shrink from pebbles to tiny specks of sand. “Your name? I did not think of that. I suppose you may name yourself.”
Well, I didn’t think it was very smart to let a newly programmed robotic fish name himself. My vocabulary was not the greatest. I looked around the room. Carpet, clock, chair, pencil, window. Not very helpful. Suddenly, I remembered something. “What was that you mentioned earlier about… trackers?”
“Oh, I said that a few trackers are implanted in your fins, just so we don’t lose you in the sea. Why?”
“Fin. That’s a nice word. I think I will name myself Finn.”
Christina cocked her head and chuckled to herself.
May 27, 2022
Christina, along with some other workers, brought me to the pier, where I would begin my adventure.
“Well, Finn, on you go.” Christina lowered me into the water.
“Good luck!” She waved. I waved back, and dove deep into the sea.
After a certain amount of swimming, I came across some coral reefs, and decided to rest. I didn’t know exactly how much time had passed, but when I swam up to the surface I saw that the sun had vanished, and was replaced by a shining crescent moon and a blanket of stars.
June 1, 2022
It had been almost a week since I was first sent off into the sea. I realized that, since I was going to be there for a while, I might as well make some friends in the ocean. So I swam around the coral reefs, my temporary home, in search of other creatures. There was no one around, except for a little clamshell, half buried in the sand. I approached it, and knocked on the top of the shell.
“Hello! I am Finn. What’s your name?” I asked. No response. I knocked again and sighed. It turns out, shells aren’t very good conversationalists. You might even describe them as closed-off.
Suddenly, I saw a group of sailfish swim by. I quickly catch up with them, and ask the fish who appears to be the leader, “Hi, I’m Finn! Can I join-” Before I can even finish, she steers the school to the opposite direction.
“We’re busy, buzz off!” She calls back.
I was just about to return to the coral reefs to mope, when I spotted a whir of blue and yellow behind me. A school of blue tang! I hurry over to one of the blue tang fish in the back of the crowd.
“Hi! I’m Finn, I was wondering if I could join you guys?” I asked hopefully.
“Sorry mate, we only travel with other blue tangs. I’ve been hearing about a school of fish nearby, though. Heard they invite all sorts of ocean creatures. Fish, jellyfish, seahorse, squid, you name it.” The blue tang answered.
“Oh! Would you by any chance know where they’re going right now?”
“To the caves, I reckon.”
“Caves?” I inquired.
“You don’t know? There’s a great many caves nearby. Not much in them, but they do make nice places for living. Quiet and spacious. Just keep going north until you see Old Gus, the octopus. He’s not very far. A few days of swimming, tops. He’s always lying around the coral beds. Pretty hard to miss.”
“He won’t… eat me, will he?” I asked, shivering a little.
The blue tang laughed good naturedly. “No, Old Gus isn’t like that. He might
be cranky, but he won’t eat you. Anyway, once you see him, he’ll point you in the right direction. It’s easy to get lost there, with all the twists and turns and cave entrances.”
“Go north until I see Old Gus… got it. Thank you, you’ve been a great help!” I exclaimed.
“No problem. Good luck… what’s your name?”
“Finn! What’s yours?”
“It’s Oscar. Well, good luck, Finn!”
And with that, I swam north with a new purpose.
June 5, 2022
After four tiring days of swimming with no rest, I finally found the coral beds Oscar had been talking about. But where was Gus? I swam around, but he was nowhere to be found.
I decided that I would take a small nap, and then continue searching. I settled down on top of the coral, and was about to drift off into sleep, when something under me seemed to move. It was moving! I looked down, and to my surprise, there was Old Gus! He was so well camouflaged into the coral that I almost took a nap on top of him!
“Let me guess, you’re here to ask me for directions to Clyde’s All Inclusive School of Ocean Creatures. Gosh, that’s a mouthful.”
“Well, yeah, I am!” I replied.
“Take a left until you see the path of seagrass, and follow it until you get to the two cave entrances side by side. Make sure you enter the entrance on the right, because the one on the left leads to a family of very aggressive lemon sharks.”
I thanked him gratefully, and swam on.
June 2, 2022
I followed Old Gus’s directions carefully, and to my relief, I remembered that it was the right entrance that led to Clyde’s All Inclusive School of Ocean Creatures, and not the left.
As soon as I entered the cave, my eyes widened and I froze. It was just as Oscar had said! All sorts of sea animals filled the cave!
A cluster of sea urchins chartered away, two jellyfish were whispering secrets and giggling, many seahorses were busily decorating the cave walls with seashells, and two squids were sitting in a corner, sleeping. There were all sorts of species of fish, every color of the rainbow, swimming about. The cave was brimming with noise and conversation.
After I had finished marveling over the wondrous cave, I approached a small seahorse the color of ripe mangos.
“Excuse me, can you tell me where Clyde, the leader, is?” I inquired.
“That would be me!” He responded, smiling.
“Oh! It’s nice to meet you! See, I heard about your school from a friend, and I was wondering if I could join? Technically, I’m not a real fish. I’m a robotic fish designed by scientists on land to collect data about aquatic pollution. My name is Finn. But I can still join, right?” I cried.
“I see. Well, I don’t see why I shouldn’t let you join! Go on, make yourself at home!” Clyde chimed.
I beamed, and thanked him earnestly.
Clyde swam up on a ledge, and whistled quite loudly. The whole cave quieted.
“Ladies and gentle-fins, I have an exciting announcement! We have a new recruit! Let us all welcome Finn, the robotic fish who was designed by scientists on land to do something which I can not remember at the moment!”
“Track aquatic pollution.” I whispered to Clyde.
“Right, that!” He nodded.
All the creatures whispered excitedly amongst each other and applauded.
I smiled to myself. Home at last.
Well, there it is. That is how I ended up at Clyde’s All Inclusive School of Ocean Creatures. And although this story is over, our adventure has just begun!
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