The ocean came in a myriad of colors depending on where one was at. It could be as blue as the sky on the other side, allowing all the sunlight in the world to shine into the shallows, or it could as be as dark as nothing and not allow those without the ability to see in the dark to notice anything mere paces away from their face.
The temperature reflected the color of the water much in the same way; the dark equated freezing depths with little heat while the light meant warmth and the ability to stop moving without needing to keep warm.
Where one lived also dictated certain characteristics depending on help or harm from the light...or lack thereof. Those who managed to see sunlight and feel the warm waters often times held lighter physical features, should they be so lucky to have them. Or the exact opposite would be true and their skin would turn color from the rays of the sun. Some species that roamed the warmer waters or occasionally poked their heads above the waves had been affected and passed those traits on to others.
Those who stayed closer to the bottom, away from prying eyes, blended in with their surroundings and developed certain things to allow them to see in the dark so they could find their way. They usually couldn't see what they looked like so well, but in the depths looks weren't important unless it was for defense.
The ocean, being as vast and different as it was, was governed by so many beings to keep control to the ever-shifting tides. Order had been established for a long time and certain families would be in charge of communicating various things in their area to other clans. The word of any lesser status would not be taken and the person considered a spy; possibly attacked and even eaten for wandering where they shouldn't. Thus, only the children of ruling families had such security and more often than not, one would see the children swimming around as messengers to other ruling families.
Traveling across the waters was always a scary thing, especially for those going from lighter to darker areas. It was easier for those living in the depths to come up, even if they were more exposed because the light shone on them and made them brighter than they ever wanted to be. The anonymity of the black murkiness was more often a comfort as opposed to the keen ability to see. However, because of the ability to traverse the black easier, it was often those from the depths that had to travel higher up toward the lighter waters to bring news. Only they couldn't handle such pressure which would kill someone from higher waters.
She didn't want to go up there for so many reasons. Light reflected off her scales and made her a brighter target than in the lower waters. Down there she was only a dull red which barely managed a glimpse past the length of her arms. It made her highly uncomfortable to let the light touch her and make her glow with every movement. She liked being in the darkness and glide through unseen.
She resented having to come up here to the warmth. Too much danger roamed in the brighter areas and she was always wary whenever she was forced to cross the distance and give her reports.
She was supposed to meet someone and finish the distance. She had requested it after almost being caught by something she had never seen before en route to give her previous report. It had nearly taken a chunk out of her tail, but quick thinking and her toxins had saved her. She refused to be so foolish and before she set off for home, she demanded to the ruler that she be escorted by those that knew the area better than her.
She was a sitting duck up here and she hated it. Since they found it too cold and pressurized where she was, too much of a bother she thought, she figured this one thing wouldn't be too hard to have granted. Such a clan was well-known for offense and she could at least rest easy with that.
The waters were bright enough to be able to see her in any movement as she whirled around to check if her escort was coming. The fast shifting made the sun catch on her tail, flashing red in the light and causing the pearl white to her skin to glow. The near translucent color to her pale eyes reflected the light and shone a little as well.
She was a ball of light and she could see herself reflect off the water around her. It made her highly uneasy and she kept looking around for enemies that might stalk her out here above the rocks. The beads to her top floated as she kept moving, their luminescence not helping the situation either.
Never in her life did she want to hide so badly, but she was to wait where she could be seen...as fearful of a thing as that was.
Moments passed, the sound of her brushing the water around as she moved, the thrashing of her wide tail as she tried to present as big a picture as she could. She should have thought to bring a weapon! Maybe next time, if her escort was less than adequate for her standards, she would consider asking her father to provide her with such. Since they didn't have the ability to spare guards, and she was usually more than capable of taking care of herself in most situations, she never bothered until that latest brush with death.
That had probably been a special instance, but she wasn't taking such a chance a second time.
In one of the many whirls, a shock of color was seen through the distance. That patch reflected, gleaming as it slowly moved from left to right.
She paused in her movements, tail anxiously keeping her in position and her eyes on what was coming her way. Her hands arched out in possible need to defend herself, heart racing away from her. If necessary, the string of pearls connected to her top could serve as a short-term weapon till she could escape. The thought to using her toxins so easily wasn't a welcome one, but it would allow her to get to safety.
The movement was slow, but not in a labored way. It was almost calculating, deliberate. She squinted as the light gave her more details than she wanted with her ability to catch almost anything in any amount of light.
Yellow hair. Somewhat darkened skin. Darkened top and light lower half of a tail. Stripes on the sides to match the sunlight streaming into water.
She gasped and anxiously swam back a few beats of her tail. The tiger clan! They were well-known predators, fierce and determined. Their reputation for eating pretty much anything was scary and she wanted to believe that this shark-kin was her escort and not some random clan member out hunting for food.
She followed the movements of what was clearly a male as it swam around her. It was normal habit for any shark-kin to approach anything they stalked in such a manner. The movements didn't seem predatory though and she had to hope that this clan member was her guide. How else would this one creature manage to be at the exact same spot as her? Wide eyes flashed as she kept taking him in, fingers digging into her flesh in shaking fear.
Even if she was easy to recognize and punish would be dealt to the offender, provided she survived getting eaten, they were in the middle of nowhere and there was no one to help her. If any mistake was made, she may not make it high enough to their home for her report.
Did he not know that she was here? Did someone not tell him she was going to be waiting here for his assistance?
Her eyes narrowed as she took in the face she could now see. He was watching her with interest in his eyes, a slight smile on his lips. When he got just within arm's reach, his tail altered his stance and allowed him to mimic more of hers.
"Don't be scared princess." He lightly responded, hand reaching out. His fingers were outspread, face slightly neutral. "Or...perhaps that's why I'm here today? I heard you requested an escort to speak with my father for your report."
Was that a jab to her family or her inability to travel by herself? Her eyes flashed with the sun as she gave him a hard look, staring from his face to his hand. "You looked like you were going to attack me! I've already had my brush with death for this lifetime. I prefer to not have another."
The defensive need to release her toxins abated as did most of her nerves. Her arms crossed uncomfortably. "Since your kind are pathetically unable to come down to our land, we are forced to come up here." Her head turned away, causing the onyx and red locks to swish in front of her face. "Perhaps if you'd adapt a little more, we wouldn't be the ones doing all the work."
"A harsh little Tench..." He easily replied, lips tilting. He met pale, pale blue eyes that turned white with the light bouncing off them and made her a little eerie.
The blood red of her tail allowed him to see her from a far distance and easily spot her. Yet, for as bright as she was, the rest of her was pale as a set of bones picked clean. The shocking black of her hair, made almost blue by the light, was yet another stark contrast to her look. She was definitely different from those of his land and yet she was beautiful in the detail of her tail and the pearls she wore from her father. They denoted her status and told him exactly where she was from and how high she was.
"Come now princess. You requested aide to see my father and I'm here to see that through. You've nothing more to fear. Shall we go?"
His hand was still outstretched for her to take. He was serious in having her touch him...
She stared at it for a wave of his tail before her fingers reached out and took his. His skin was warm and darker in comparison with her own once their flesh intertwined. It was something of an interesting dichotomy, but one she put aside as she nodded.
"Lead the way."
artist pic inspiration: maysoulrose tumblr com/post/145086535131/i-needed-to-take-a-little-break-from-a-little-art