Chapter 3

"Wake up, child, you need to eat."  A doctor said while gently shaking Ariel awake.

"Mmmm, ok….."  Ariel mumbled as she came to.

Once she was awake the doctor placed her food in front of her, and Ariel sleepily ate her dinner.

"I hated to wake you, but you must eat to get well.  Plus I can't give you medicine on an empty stomach, it'd make you sick."  The doctor said.

Ariel finished her dinner, and the doctor handed her, her next dosage of medicine.  "Take that, child, it'll make you feel better."

Ariel took her medicine before she said sleepily, "I feel so tired……" 

The doctor smiled, "You only feel tired from the drug I gave you to keep you from getting worse.  It'll wear off in an hour or two."

Ariel nodded, and asked, "Did they find my parents?"

The doctor looked a little surprised, "Not yet, my dear.  They're still looking.  It may take them a while, but they will find them, hopefully….."

"What will happen if they can't find them?"  Ariel asked.

"Most likely you'll be put in an orphanage until you're old enough to go out on your journey if they're not found."  The doctor replied.

Ariel started to cry.  "Shh…….  It's okay……"  The doctor said trying to comfort Ariel.  The doctor patted Ariel on the back, "Don't give up hope, your parents will be found."

A few minutes passed before Ariel stopped crying, "That's it, now take it easy and get some more sleep, things will start to look better when you wake up again, and hopefully then they'll have news on your parents."  The doctor said while helping Ariel to lay back down and covering her up some more.

Ariel fell back asleep, and the doctor gave her the shot he needed to give her, then he left her.  "Good, I'm glad she fell asleep, I didn't want to give her the shot while she was so upset."  The doctor thought as he left her room.

~*~

"Ariel?  Where are you!  Come on, this isn't funny."  Ariel's father said.

Her parents searched the small boat, but they didn't find Ariel.

"Oh no…….  I think she was carried overboard……."  Ariel's mother said.

Let's head for shore, then we can contact someone that she's missing."  Ariel's father said.

"Ahoy there!  You looking for someone?"  A voice asked from the back of a Lapras.

"Yes, we're looking for our daughter.  We think she was swept overboard in that big wave that came through a few minutes ago."  Ariel's father said.

"By the way, I'm Andrew, I'm a member of Team Aqua.  I'll do what I can to help you find your daughter, by the way how old is she?"

"She's only eight, I'm afraid something'll happen to her……."  Ariel's mother said worried.

"Do you mind if I come aboard?"  Andrew asked.

"Not at all."  Ariel's father said.

Andrew boarded the ship and recalled his Lapras.  "Okay, can you tell me what your daughter's name is and what she looks like?"

"Her name is Ariel."  Ariel's mother said.

"As in the mermaid from the ancient legend?"  Andrew asked.

"Yes, we gave her that name because we wanted her to always be close to the sea."  Ariel's father said.

"You know, if you both like water, you could join Team Aqua; then we could help you search for your daughter with our whole team."  Andrew said.

"I don't know about that……"  Ariel's father said.

"Why don't you let me take you to meet our boss, he's nearby and he can make suggestions as to what would be best to find Ariel."  Andrew said.

"Okay….."  Ariel's parents said together.

Andrew walked into the cabin and steered the boat towards shore.  When they reached shore, Andrew and Ariel's parents disembarked and Andrew led them to his boss.

"Boss, these people are looking for their daughter, who's missing."  Andrew said.

"How did she go missing?"  Archie asked.

"There was a large wave not too long ago, and it crashed down on their boat and carried their daughter away."  Andrew replied.

"How old is she?"  Archie asked Ariel's parents.

"She's only eight."  Ariel's mother replied.

"Can she swim?"  Archie asked concerned.

"We taught her, but I'm worried that she'd drown with the waves."  Ariel's father said.

"I'll help you find her.  I'll send some of my agents out to look for her."  Archie said.

"Thank you."  Ariel's parents said.

"No problem."  Archie said.

~*~

Five hours later all the agents, who had been sent out to look for Ariel returned empty handed.

"Boss, we couldn't find her…….."  The agents said.

"That's not good……."  Archie said.

Ariel's parents looked upset.

"Aw, come on, you'll find her."  Archie said.

"It's just that she's never been out on her own before."  Ariel's father said.

"Why don't you join my team?  You'll be able to search for her with a bunch of other people who will all help you.  Together we'll find her, I'm sure of it."  Archie remarked.

Ariel's parents looked at each other before they nodded, "Okay."  They replied.

"Okay, welcome aboard.  You'll be in Andrew's group to start out, and you'll learn what it is we do along with searching for your daughter.  I'm sure she's all right, she might've washed ashore somewhere and someone is taking care of her.  We will find her eventually."  Archie said.

Now Archie, Ariel's parents, and the rest of the Team Aqua agents now headed back to their base.

~*~

Back in the hospital, Ariel was still sleeping.  While she was sleeping Officer Jenny came into her room and sat down in a chair to wait for her to awaken again so that she could obtain information from her about where her parents were.  An hour passed before Ariel woke up.

"Hi, sweetie, I'm Officer Jenny, I came to ask you if you could tell me what your parents look like so that we can find them for you."

Ariel reached for the locket around her neck, "I have pictures of them in my locket."  Ariel took her locket off and handed it to Officer Jenny.

"I'll have a copy made of their pictures, then I'll give you your locket back, okay sweetie?"  Officer Jenny asked.

"Okay."  Ariel replied.

"Now what's your name?" 

"I'm Ariel Clearwater."

"What are your parents' names, Ariel?"

"My parents are Melanie and Edward Clearwater."  Ariel replied.

"When was the last time you saw your parents?"

"I last saw them out at sea, I guess it was about five hours ago since I've seen them."  Ariel replied.

Ariel yawned, and Officer Jenny smiled.  "Get some rest now, I'll be back to see you later, and I hopefully will have news on where your parents are."

Ariel nodded and closed her eyes and fell back asleep, and Officer Jenny left her to go conduct her investigation to find out where Ariel's parents had gotten to and to hopefully come up with a plan that would reunite Ariel with her parents.