Disclaimer: Ecco and
his world belong to Appaloosa Interactive.
Author's note: This story takes place in the original Genesis games' storyline.
The pod was frightened, but Ecco did not know why. With everyone so afraid and swimming so fast, however, there was no time to ask, and so the yearling child simply sped off beside his mother, listening to his podmates' various panicked calls:
"A Silent One!"
"Go, swim away!"
"We will not be food for a Silent One!"
The frightened Singers carried on like this for only a short time; as the pod started to fall silent and slow down a little, Ecco asked, quietly, "Why do we swim in fear, Mother?"
"Quiet! I will sing to you of the Silent Ones later, but now is not the time. Be quiet."
And so Ecco was quiet, afraid because his podmates were. The pod swam quite a distance before they calmed down enough to stop and send a scout to check if they had been followed. When she returned, saying that the Silent One was gone, the pod was very relieved, and the tired Singers settled at the surface to rest.
It was at this point that Ecco again asked his mother, "Why did we swim in fear? What is a Silent One?"
"The Silent Ones are some of the most fearsome things in the sea, because they are like us, yet not. The Silent Ones are orcas who follow the Old Way."
"Yes, the Old Way. You know the fish that we hunt, little Ecco?"
"The Silent Ones hunt other Singers as we hunt fish."
Ecco was alarmed. "But why?"
"Because they follow the Old Way. We are smaller and not as strong as they are, as the fish are smaller and not as strong as we are, and so the Silent Ones hunt us."
"But the fish do not sing. We sing. We sing to each other; we sang to some orcas a while back, didn't we?"
"We do, and we did. But that is how the Old Way goes, and has gone for many generations; the Silent Ones do not sing back to us, and they hunt us and other Singers. The New Way is better; orcas of the New Way sing with us, and they do not hunt fellow Singers, only the fish and other non-Singers, as we do."
Ecco thought about this for a little, floating near the surface with his mother. After a couple of minutes, he sang again. "You sing of Silent Ones, Mother, but are there other Singers who follow the Old Way?"
His mother was quiet for a few seconds before answering. "...Yes. I think that every kind of Singer probably has some who do; I know for a fact that we, the little grey dolphins, do. They will kill children, and they attack the little porpoises for practice."
Ecco was again alarmed. "Why?"
"Because they are selfish, and only want their own children to swim in the seas. That is how the Old Way goes; it puts some Singers above others, by kind and by family. The New Way says that we are all Singers, that we are all siblings and cousins; true, some Singers have simpler songs than others, but we all sing."
Ecco was again quiet for a time, digesting this new information. "...How new is the New Way, Mother?"
"Oh, I am not sure. Much older than me, and my mother, and her mother, but new enough that many still live by the Old Way." Ecco's mother closed an eye, the one facing her son, and was quiet for a little. "...Remember always, little Ecco, that while the Old Way is easier, it is less right. It makes us Singers worse than the Hungry Ones, for it makes us kill our cousins and our siblings when we know them to be so."