Ecco the dolphin and related fictional dolphin races (c) Sega

This story was originally called "The New Member ", revived 2010

01 - Prologue - Cold Sea

I watched from my window in a silent sort of way. The ocean in the bay was but a small circle with a opening from my home on the hilltop. I knew beyond that bay was a dreaded island, home to what the sailors and fishermen call "Devil Fish". Dangerous mammals actually, that hated humans with all their cold hearts, kept them away from rich hunting grounds my uncle kept blabbering about.

I glanced down at a article I had ripped from the local newspaper. It was about comparing shark attacks with a pod of these "Devil Fish". Only one photo showed a glimpse of a black fin, like that of the wandering Orcas. But these were smarter than the whales and sharks, much smarter. I had heard they have their own underwater city.

"Xander, can I speak with you?", my mother called from behind my door. I sighed, knewing what was up. "What is it, Mom?" A short pause then a stern tone of voice, "I got a call from the school. The principal said you got into another fight today. Honey, this is the thrid time this month. What's the matter over there?" I threw a pillow and breathed hard, squeezing my hands till they were red. "It was just one kick! I didn't start it! Why is it always me who's blamed for everything!" My mother immediately forced the door open with a face that could make any teen cringe. "Young man, I have had enough of this! If you're having problems at school, you let your father or I or the principal know. Now what was it this time? Is it the same guy with those what-its on his head?" "Dreadlocks Mom, and no, not him this time... I, I kicked a girl. But she started it! She wouldn't stop taunting me." Mom threw her arms around me and I stood still, not really wanting her support. "What was it she was taunting you about?" I stayed silent for what seemed forever, then let out a long hard breathe and revealed it to her. " I have a thing...for those Devil Fish. No one's ever been able to catch one alive and I think they're cool at how elusive they are."

My mother's grasped suddenly disappear from my shoulders as she moved away from me. "There's no such thing. All the attacks are from sharks. All that talk about Devil Fish is a fishermen tail from the pubs. Why not do something better like playing with your friends at the piers or fish off the boat docks. Be a normal kid for once instead of locking yourself in your room every night. By the way, where's your report card? I haven't seen it yet. Your sister did great, how about you?" I looked away, knowing no matter what it was going to be the same speech all over again. "I failed all but literature and biology. I hate my classes. I hate my school. I hate my life."

Mother was silent again, but instead of the same speech of "try harder next time" she came up with a different one. "Honey, do you want me and your father to transfer you to another school if you're having problems? It's not a big deal.." "Yes it is!", I burst, finally. "No matter where I go, no one will understand me, accept me. I'm different! I just want to be alone!" Mom sighed, getting up and walked towards the door. "Fine, but dinner will be ready soon and I'm not sending it up here again." With that, she closed the door, but in my angered state I threw my pillow, slamming the door shut.

I dashed to my bed and landed with a thud. "Damn it all, damn it!" No matter what, I wouldn't belong. I turned over on my back and stared at the ceiling, then got a idea. The only way I'll ever belong, is if I don't exist. Yeah, that's it. I'll commit suicide, I hear drownings from fishing net is starting to become popular...

"Oh Xander! Your uncle Ruban wants to take you fishing next week! No butts now!"

Great, first fishing with my booze drinking uncle, then no more Xander.