Once more, I really have to wonder what my crazy brain is trying to do to me. It keeps tossing random ideas towards me and expecting me to write them down. Hopefully this one will be shorter than some of my other current stories running rampant through my head.
I re-watched "Megamind" so I could pick up on smaller details that I would need, but I'd already had this weird little tidbit floating around my head for a while. I borrowed the more common elements people are using in their fanfiction when necessary (like what Megamind's name might have been prior to adopting his super-villain persona) or worked on theories of my own to fill in what I couldn't extrapolate from the film itself. Plus, I did some actual research to come up with lovely scientific-sounding explanations. What can I say? My mind works in mysterious ways and trying to deny an idea only makes it resurface later on.
And in case you haven't figured it out from my writing in other fandoms, I tend to do mean things to characters I like. Like torturing them physically, mentally, or emotionally. Or killing them. I'm not above killing my favorite characters and breaking their friends' (and the readers') hearts.
So please enjoy the story. If my plan works out correctly, it should be a two-part story. A three-part story at most. I hope you'll like it.
Roxanne once told Megamind that good would always rise up against evil. What she didn't point out, but Minion had certainly realized by this point, was that evil was just as likely to pop up to challenge a new hero.
Granted, most of them were petty crooks that were quickly caught and tossed into prison where Megamind's "uncles" were quick to inform him that messing with their "little Syx" was not tolerated. Honestly, the modern criminal was nowhere as competent or as reliable as their predecessors. Minion was at least satisfied that they offered the distractions for his friend. The more talented thieves and criminal elements were often less satisfying for the former-villain since they weren't as likely to play their part effectively. Megamind still loved playing the game of hero versus villain, even if he was on a different side. Unfortunately, he would spend a lot of their conflicts mocking their inability to match his past performances as a super-villain. He could always out-think them both because of his astounding intellect and his experience on the other side of the game.
But then there were those that were equally deserving of the title of a super-villain as Megamind once did. Or perhaps the term was even more appropriate for them. They were just as flashy and extravagant with their plans, but they never seemed to be as concerned with the safety of kidnapped damsels or the general public. Those who were sprouting up in Metro City were at least inexperienced and easily stopped since they rarely suffered superpower-causing accidents. But those from outside the city, those who gained their reputation and knowledge by facing their own opponents and a police force who could actually do something for themselves, were real trouble. They could make Titan (or Tighten) look like an amateur. Well, he was an amateur, but they really made it obvious that he didn't have any clue what he was doing.
And the loss of Metro Man's presence to defend the city and the lack of a resident villain left a vacancy that others were all too happy to fill. They knew that Metro Man was practically unbeatable and that Megamind spent his whole life losing. So it seemed like a perfect target city for them to invade; one with the assumed to have a less-than-formidable protector.
When competent super-villains came to visit, Megamind would finally have an opponent worthy of his skills. But it also concerned the Minion every single time. Most villains don't necessary follow the "don't kill the opponent" that heroes do. They rarely follow any type of rules beyond "victory at any cost." The battles against Metro Man would always end with a trip back to prison. A battle against an out-of-town villain could end up with even the durable and experienced Megamind seriously hurt or worse. And that was one thing that Minion couldn't stand to see.
So, when yet another super-villain decided to make a bigger name for themselves by attacking the new hero of Metro City, it wasn't surprising. Merely concerning. This one, calling himself Dr. Brainstorm, was some type of troublemaker from the east coast. Frizzy white hair that looked like he was just electrocuted, a white lab coat, goggles, and nothing close to a real doctorate, he was apparently a perfect foil for Megamind. The man specialized in using his inventions to terrorize and rob the population while also having a flair for the dramatic. Needless to say, the blue-skinned protector of the city was excited to go against someone else who depended on brains instead of brawn.
After so many years of hosting climactic good-versus-evil battles of one kind or another and Tighten's more recent demonstration of what the worst case scenario could turn out like, the population of Metro City knew exactly what to do when a deranged super-villain showed up in the middle of their hometown with a trio of giant robots and a couple of ray-guns to challenge "the traitor to all villainy" to a showdown. Mass evacuations to safer sections of the city began, traffic was detoured, and the news station was contacted. Meanwhile, Megamind summoned up a large portion of the Brainbots to accompany him while diverting the rest to help ensure that no innocent citizens were caught in the coming crossfire. Anyone still crazy enough to stay behind and end up in danger tended to be dehydrated for their own safety. A smokescreen and rock music was added to the surroundings, setting the mood for the coming battle.
From his place in the giant robot designed to face Tighten, Minion assumed he was relatively safe as Megamind dealt with his opponent in the Spiderbot. After all, the smokescreen and Brainbots were providing an effective cover to work with and Dr. Brainstorm only had three giant robots himself. Granted, they were larger than the mecha that the two of them were using, but the grey shapes with the sleek designs and glowing red eyes weren't anything that couldn't be handled. All that he needed to do was disable the machines quickly while Megamind focused on the man in charge. In a way, everything to that point was almost routine for the new protectors of Metro City.
Unfortunately, the man's AI was far more effective than he or Megamind originally assumed. Two of the robots, fast humanoid things that moved more like large ninja than machines, fired blasts from their eyes at joints and other vulnerable points to disable the mecha Minion was using. The quick and precise shots hit their mark with the accuracy that came with advanced targeting systems. The third robot focused on attempting something similar against the more nimble Spiderbot while the wild-haired villain firing almost randomly in Megamind's direction through the black smoke.
As Minion tried to regain control of the mecha, the aggressive robots switched to physical blows. It wasn't easy. Their AIs seemed designed to target weak points, knocking their opponent around the control cockpit as they struck. He couldn't keep upright and in place, so he couldn't use the systems to block or dodge the swift strikes that continued to rain down.
"Code: Get out of there, Minion," shouted Megamind, apparently spotting his friend's predicament.
"Code: They already took out the ejection," he called back as the huge dome shattered from the blows and the large mecha collapsed to the ground.
He assumed that the two robots would turn their attention to the Brainbots swarming around them now that the larger threat was neutralized. He was only half right. One began swatting the small mechanical beings out of the air like flies, though they were able to dodge at least some of the strikes due to their size and agility. The other aggressive machine, however, apparently still considered Minion's smaller robotic suit as a target.
The first blow to his "body" sent him flying through the air to crash into a brick wall with a crunch and knocked the fish roughly against his tank walls. He couldn't recover or respond quick enough to get out of the way before another fast and merciless strike sent him across the street into another building. He also couldn't stop his small body from slamming against the protective dome of his suit.
He could hear a few clanks as bricks and mortar bounced off the metal frame, but the hydraulics of the speedy robot moving was of far more concern. Minion tried to climb to his feet, but the impacts were leaving him disoriented and sore. A third hit produced a crunch of metal in addition to the normal sounds of his robotic body crashing against his demolished surroundings. That hit broke something vital and it only took a split second for the disoriented Minion to realize what it was
Even his weak attempts to move out of the way and regain control of his simian "body" halted. There was no way to make it work; the twin antennas on the back of the robotic figure were too damaged now to receive the fish's mental commands. He was utterly at their mercy now; just a fish trapped in a bowl. Another strike and he heard the sputtering sounds of the filter and aerator failing and a sharp crack of glass starting to break before he smacked into the bottom of his containment. The giant robot was breaking him down systematically. And not just the mechanical suit that contained him.
His whole body, his small and far more fragile body that resided in the mechanical one, hurt. The impacts against the sides were brutal. He couldn't think straight or even figure out which way was up. He couldn't be certain, but it sounded like someone was calling his name. He knew that voice. It was an important one. He knew he needed to pay attention to that voice, that it was the most important thing in the world, but he couldn't focus. His head was swimming, but his body was too tired to try.
Another harsh and unforgiving force hit and the crack in the glass widened, grew, and shattered. Water rushed out and tugged him towards the sharp edges before the one more strike found its target. The alien fish was sent flying out of his home, tumbling and bouncing across broken pavement and rubble. The hot and dry pavement.
He heard someone yelling his name again, followed swiftly by the sounds of blasts, crashes, and an evil laugh. Minion wanted to open his eyes and see what was happening, but he couldn't concentrate on anything. His whole body ached and hurt. His thoughts were scrambled and he couldn't focus on anything. And breathing felt uncomfortable.
"…And there has been no sign of Dr. Brainstorm or our hero, Megamind, since the thicker smoke cleared," Roxanne reported, trying to keep her tone neutral. "Citizens are warned to stay out of the area due to the damage to the surrounding buildings and in case Dr. Brainstorm is still present. We'll bring you more information as it becomes available."
The woman gave the gesture and her replacement cameraman cut the feed. John was far less creepy than Hal. He was obedient to her instructions and helpful. And he was absolutely married to another woman and unlikely to become a super-anything in an attempt to woo her. Roxanne liked John. If she suggested something crazy, he would follow her plan. And he knew when to be quiet when she was clearly worried about her boyfriend.
Megamind should be here by now. He should be with her, trying to show off to her with tales of his latest acts of heroics. Positive feedback might still be relatively new, but he loved having her be proud of him. After a lifetime of being treated like an outcast, he deserved a chance to be accepted for who he was. He loved trying to impress her. There were days she wondered how long he'd been in love with her since he'd been acting like that since he was the villain.
She'd known for a long time that he wasn't quite as dangerous he liked to pretend. His "death traps" that Megamind would always attach her were more of an annoyance than a threat. The worst she'd ever experienced was a slice through one of her sweater sleeves when one his "death traps" broke loose and snagged the cloth as it fell. And even that small event resulted in a brief moment of panic where he tried to make sure she wasn't hurt while trying to cover up his reaction by pretending to be more concerned with the condition of his broken "death trap." By the end, she couldn't even bother trying to act scared of him during the kidnappings.
Honestly, she might have been angry and hurt about the Bernard deception, but she was happy for the chance it gave her to get to know the real Megamind underneath all his showmanship and "evilness." There was so much she'd never noticed or suspected about him. He was actually rather innocent of the world outside of prison and the ongoing "game" of good versus evil. He was stubborn and never gave up. He was smart, quick on his feet, and brave enough to face opponents that could rip him apart without effort. Once you got past the whole super-villain façade, Megamind was probably the sweetest person she knew next to Minion.
What did it say about her and Metro City that sweetest people in her life was an alien piranha/anglerfish in a robot gorilla body and a giant-headed, blue-skinned, former super-villain? It definitely went back to the idea of not judging a book by its cover. Of course, it could also mean some rather discouraging things about the rest of the population's demeanor, but she was too optimistic to follow that line of thought.
But she knew Megamind. He should be here. Unless something went wrong. Even if her boyfriend could invent anything, could escape from anything, and never gave up, something could still go wrong. He could be in trouble.
"Why don't you head back to the station, John," she suggested, staring towards the thin tendrils of smoke rising in the distance.
The young man glanced back and forth between Roxanne and the distant destruction, uncertainty etched across his face. Even if he was new to the job, he clearly knew what she was considering. It wasn't that great a leap of logic, after all. He could also tell she wasn't doing it to go chasing an exciting story. While she wasn't unknown for taking risks for her job, she was also known for taking similar risks to do the right thing. Whether that was facing down a furious Tighten or searching for her boyfriend, she would do it because it was the right thing to do. And because she needed to know if Megamind was all right.
"Do you have your cell phone?" John asked simply. When she nodded, he sighed and ran his hand through his dark hair, "Fine. Be careful and call someone for help if you get in over your head."
She gave him a quick smile. Then she straightened out the blue dress she wore for the report and took off towards the destruction zone, feeling especially thankful for her decision to wear flats instead of heels that morning.
Everything hurt. Minion wouldn't consider his head clear yet, but his thoughts weren't quite as scrambled anymore from all the impacts. He could think a little again and he was able to figure out what was happening. The smoke screen had dissipated at some point while his pounded head was still a mess, leaving the demolished landscape exposed to the sun once more. That meant it was at least five to ten minutes since the battle started. That wasn't good.
He was drying out. Slowly, but surely… He was lying on the pavement with the sun shining down on him, continuing the familiar steps of the water cycle by evaporating the liquid.
And he was alone. He was completely alone. He couldn't even hear the familiar bowg from Brainbots. There was only silence and the sound of his breathing.
He remembered a long time ago, back when Megamind was still a child and when they still called him Syx, his friend found a book about fish in the prison library. Even if they both knew that there was no guarantee that information based on Earth-based fish wouldn't necessary have anything to do with one from a different planet, it was the closest thing they had. And Syx liked to read. He liked to learn. And he liked to share the things he was reading. Pleasant memories of the blue-skinned boy balancing Minion's orb in his lap trickled through his mind as his battered body grew more uncomfortably dry and breathing became harder. He wasn't as smart as his friend, but he could still remember the clear print and descriptions on the page as the young Syx read to the curious fish.
Gills, unlike lungs, allowed a gaseous exchange to take place across the surface of highly vascular comb-like filaments, the gill lamellae, by use of a one-way current of water. The comb-like structure increases the surface area so that enough oxygen can be absorbed and the density of the water prevents the gills from collapsing and lying on top of each other. He remembered the description very well and it was a little unnerving. Out of water, the gills collapse like wet tissue paper and very little surface area is left exposed for gas exchange. Most fish, therefore, can only survive a short time out of water before oxygen deficiency catches up with them and they asphyxiate. Some fish taken out of water and then reintroduced before death still die, because their gills will stick closed after being exposed to dry air for more than a few seconds... so they can go back into the water, but they still can't open their gills...
Minion tried to keep his eyes open. He tried to listen for anyone who might wander near him, anyone who might be able to help. The alien fish knew something was wrong, that Megamind should be there and that him being gone meant something bad. But he was just too tired and sore to think about what could have happened. He couldn't even really yell for help at the moment assuming someone did wander by. Breathing was getting harder and he was so tired. His eyes kept slipping closed and all he could see was the memory of him resting in Syx's cell as his young friend read that book.
Some fish were a little hardier when it came to surviving out of water and they'd discovered early on that Minion could survive for a while without it. He definitely didn't lose all ability to breathe properly in a few seconds. But he wasn't like the lungfish either. He still depended on gills. They determined he was closer to the catfish. They could "breathe" out of water for a little while because their gills were more ridged. They didn't completely collapse like other types of fish. It took longer for asphyxiation to occur.
That was why he survived the Tighten fiasco and why Megamind wasn't worried. He knew the fish could remain out of water for a while. Though the longest they'd ever risked it was eighteen minutes and that was more of an accident than a real decision to test those boundaries. And something told Minion he was quickly approaching that mark.
The memories were so vivid. He could see the young Syx moving his fingers excitedly over pictures and descriptions as clearly as if it was only yesterday rather than years ago. Each word was clear in his mind while every other thought grew faintly foggy.
The gills of vertebrates typically develop in the walls of the pharynx, along a series of gill slits opening to the bony fish, the gills lie in a branchial chamber covered by a bony operculum. The great majority of bony fish species have five pairs of gills, although a few have lost some over the course of evolution. The operculum can be important in adjusting the pressure of water inside of the pharynx to allow proper ventilation of the gills, so bony fish do not have to rely on ram ventilation (and hence near constant motion) to breathe. Valves inside the mouth keep the water from escaping. Most species employ a countercurrent exchange system to enhance the diffusion of substances in and out of the gill, with blood and water flowing in opposite directions to each other. When a fish breathes, it draws in a mouthful of water at regular intervals. Then it draws the sides of its throat together, forcing the water through the gill openings, so it passes over the gills to the outside.
But it didn't work right without water. Minion could feel himself trying, his body going through the instinctive motions. His mouth and gills were straining for water that wasn't there, gasping at the dry air that just wasn't good enough. There was oxygen all around him, but he might as well be trying to breathe through a mouth full of cotton for all the good it was doing him. Each labored breath was beginning to burn the more delicate tissues of his gills and he was feeling so light-headed… Every passing moment made it even harder to keep it up. His small, fragile body was aching, battered, struggling for the oxygen it needed in a form he could use, and absolutely tired. And he was alone.
A small, distant part of him realized what was going on. He could make the connection between what he was feeling and that memory from Megamind's childhood. He was gradually suffocating to death. And unless something changed almost immediately, he wasn't going to be able to keep up the labored and almost-useless breathing. It was too hard and it wasn't even working. He couldn't keep going, couldn't keep fighting against the hostile environment.
He was dying.
Oddly, the part of him that realized that fact felt rather disconnected from the rest of him. It was like he noticed something happening to a character in one of those daytime soap operas. It felt distant and unimportant. The rest of his thoughts were generally okay and even pleasant, even with the exhaustion and pain. The lack of oxygen to his body probably had something to do with it.
The memory began to feel more and more real to him than the hot, dry, and painfully draining reality of him lying on the broken pavement. Minion could almost feel the cool water of his orb as it sat there in Syx's lap. The boy, not yet scorn by his peers, bullied by the super-powered Wayne, or determined to be a super-villain, was smiling as he read the book. Occasionally the Warden would wander by the cell to glance at his most unusual prisoner, trying to hide the small smile that threatened to appear under his mustache. This was a good time. Syx, not yet Megamind, was happy and mostly content. And as long as his friend was happy and safe, Minion was happy. As the memory of that day felt more real, the sensations from his battered, struggling to breathe, drying out, exhausted body seemed to just fade out of his mind…
Even without wearing high heels, Roxanne was stumbling and tripping as she neared the last known location of her boyfriend. Apparently multiple giant robots fighting it out was a little more destructive than just one machine versus Metro Man. Or else both Metro Man and Megamind used to pull their punches, so to speak, when it came to property damage. After all, none of those past fights resulted in the loss of human life. Why would be hard to believe they also tried to keep other forms of damage to a minimum? Dr. Brainstorm apparently didn't share that sort of restraint.
The pavement was torn up and sections of buildings were smashed or half-collapsed as she moved further. The Brainbots would have their hands (or rather, claws) full when it came time to do repairs. Especially since, judging by the increasing amount of pieces that were scattered, their numbers were greatly reduced. They could be repaired in time, but the broken little robots with personalities like puppies did little to comfort her as she proceeded.
Climbing over yet another chunk of rubble, she caught sight of something that took her breath away. Crushed and broken was a giant robot. Specifically, the giant robot that Megamind built to face Tighten in originally. She should know. Roxanne was a bit of an expert. In fact, she remembered almost all of her boyfriend's inventions, death traps, and doomsday devices. Granted, Metro Man might be able to list most of them, but most of the rest of the city's population didn't have the opportunity to see them up close so often.
Roxanne knew that her boyfriend and Minion went to the fight with the giant robot and the Spiderbot, but she couldn't remember which one was driving which. Oddly, the arachnid-based machine was nowhere in sight. Only the demolished remnants of the humanoid one remained. When she peered into the broken cockpit, she didn't know whether or not to be happy that it was deserted. She wanted to find Megamind and Minion, but she also wanted them to be in better condition than the crushed machinery would suggest. Hoping it wasn't an ill-omen, she continued forward.
The next shocking sight almost broke her heart. Smashed, cracked, and empty on the fragmented sidewalk was Minion's robotic suit. She'd seen it damaged before in the battle against Tighten, but this was even worse. It looked like a dented tin can with fur. And Minion wasn't in his shattered dome.
Roxanne could barely remember ever seeing the fish outside of a larger body. It was hard sometimes to even remember that he wasn't actually a huge simian when he was baking cookies, suggesting outfits, or discussing chick flicks with her. Honestly, Minion was the closest thing she possessed to a girl friend to hang out with and he was the best one she'd ever spent a girl's night with. Again, that was either a sign of how special he and Megamind were or a poor reflection on the rest of the population. Or just a sign of how limited her social circle was.
She'd been afraid to risk calling out before in case Dr. Brainstorm was around. It would be stupid to give away her position if there was a dangerous villain lurking nearby. Now the absence of Minion from his robot suit and the complete lack of any hint of Megamind threw that earlier caution to the wind. She'd take her chances with the evil scientist.
As Roxanne opened her mouth, she noticed a thin line of splash marks from where the small dome shattered and tossed its contents out. It was as if someone tossed a bucket of water and then waited for it to begin evaporating. Something between instinct and horrified realization took over. She didn't even think as she broke into a sprint, stumbling and tripping over the rough terrain as something deep down told her to hurry.
Climbing over a broken lamppost, at least ten yards from the smashed robot suit, she caught a glimpse of color. Not the bright blue of her boyfriend, but the murky green of his best friend. It was a shade that was supposed to be surrounded by water and behind a clear protective barrier. Not on pavement.
"Minion," she whispered, her pace quickening. "Please be acting like a drama queen again. Please be okay."
As much as Roxanne hoped that it was another case of the fish turning out to be fine after something clearly dangerous that left him out of water, the first clear look she had of him destroyed that fantasy. He was lying there, eyes closed and still. Far too still.
Outside of his robotic suit, he seemed so small. Beyond being outside of water, he was also clearly hurt. Whatever happened to result in him drying out in the middle of the broken street didn't just destroy the mechanical suit. Minion looked battered, scales torn loose and what looked like the start of bruises. She didn't even know that fish could get bruises.
The woman dropped to her knees next to him, horrified for a moment that it was already too late. Then she saw the smallest hint of movement, a slight twitch of his mouth that suggested he was still at least trying to breathe.
"Hang in there, Minion," she murmured in a hopefully comforting voice as she carefully reached over to him. "It'll be all right."
Her mother used to have a koi pond. Roxanne remembered a few times growing up when the colorful fish went over the miniature waterfall and ended up on land. One of the first things she learned about them was that touching them with dry hands or roughly handling them could remove the protective layer of slime and scales. It was like taking sandpaper to someone's skin and could leave them vulnerable to bacteria, parasites, and other problems. But as much as she would prefer to do things right, every instinct screamed at her that he didn't have any time left. She carefully scooped up the alien fish in her arms and ran for the closest semi-intact building, hoping that she would find what she needed.
In addition to her mother's pond, Roxanne remembered her father taking her and her brother fishing during her childhood. She was never the happiest with that particular activity and, after meeting the polite and sweet kidnapping assistant to Megamind the first time, she couldn't even consider going on another fishing trip. She couldn't even eat sushi anymore. She liked the little guy too much to be comfortable with that. Everyone liked him. Minion simply had that effect on people.
But she still recalled some of the lessons her father taught her concerning proper cast and release strategies. They never kept the fish and ate them. For her father, fishing was for sport and it was important to always have fish to catch next time. Whatever they caught on a hook was always returned to the lake afterwards, but the fish weren't always in the best condition after being reeled in. Sometimes they needed to help make sure that their catch recovered properly, just like sometimes her mother's koi did after their trip over the waterfall.
The lights still seemed to be working in the office building she'd entered, which she was thankful for. The continued presence of electricity gave her hope for other utilities. Specifically, she desperately hoped the plumbing would be equally intact. Cradling her fragile burden with one arm, she started throwing open doors in search of anywhere with access to water.
Every moment that passed made it less likely she'd succeed. The clock was ticking, but Roxanne was absolutely determined to find a way to save him. She couldn't fail them. She couldn't.
She didn't want to even consider the idea of failure. Not only would it completely shatter Megamind to lose his oldest and closest friend (and she refused to consider what might be happening to her missing boyfriend), but she cared about the fish too. She'd always got along with Minion, even back when he and Megamind were "evil." And even though he'd seemed nervous about her dating Megamind initially, he was thrilled once she assured him that she didn't plan to break the big-headed former villain's heart and that she didn't want to do anything to destroy Minion's friendship with him either. He was such a wonderful and friendly person that she'd yet to meet anyone who didn't get along with him. She dealt with plenty of people on a daily basis and she rarely met any human with as truly nice as the extraterrestrial fish currently slipping away in her hands.
Then, she received a lucky break. The woman opened a door to reveal a janitor's closet, complete with a large sink. It was probably used to get mop water, but Roxanne couldn't care less at the moment. She threw the lever quickly before grabbing paper towels from a shelf and started stuffing them into the drain to keep the water from immediately pouring back out. There was probably a proper plug for the sink, but she didn't have time to search for it.
"Just hold on a little longer," she begged softly as she watched the water level rise, trying to ignore the tremor in her voice. "Don't give up yet."
As soon as there was enough water for her to be certain that her impromptu-plug would hold, Roxanne gently transferred him into the sink. She hoped that it would be enough to simply get him into water, but she already suspected it was too late for that. As she feared, the far too still figure didn't even react to the change. Her mother, who researched everything she could to keep her koi healthy and safe, used to always share her knowledge about taking care of her colorful fish. Trying to remain calm and remember the details, Roxanne went over one of those lessons in her head as quickly as possible.
If a fish's metabolism was so deeply compromised by lack of oxygen that they lose the instinct to swim, or lose the ability to regulate the flow of water over the gills, they'll die unless proactive measures are taken. Applying that knowledge to a close friend rather than just a pet goldfish or a bass attached to her father's fishing rod terrified her. It meant that Minion, her polite and considerate friend, was so close to death that even trying to breathe or move was beyond him. Biting her bottom lip to keep from crying, she forced herself to focus.
Her father, when he caught a fish that ended up in a rather bad state by the time he pulled it off the hook, would hold it gently with its mouth open facing upstream or by moving it gently through the water until it reacted and tried to swim away. She remembered sort of what the explanation for what that trick was. Moving the fish through the water with its mouth open will, most of the time, initiate enough water flow so that the fish can regain its consciousness and swim off to recover. It was about the closest someone could come to doing CPR for a fish. And, considering she couldn't even see the slight movement of his mouth anymore, it was exactly what Minion needed. If it wasn't already too late…
Carefully and trying not to harm the battered fish any further, Roxanne gently moved him through the water in the same manner that he would be swimming. She kept her movement smooth and careful, trying not to do any further damage to his battered body even as she tried to save him. For several moments, she couldn't tell any difference and all her fears that he was actually gone began to bubble back up. The woman could feel tears trying to form in the corners of her eyes and a tight lump formed in her throat at the thought of failing her friend when he needed her.
Then she saw his gills flutter slightly, something she'd not seen before. She held her breath, watching more closely as she moved him through the water. When she saw them move a second time, she gave a relieved laugh and blinked away the forming tears. He was still alive and breathing.
"It's all right," she sighed, trying to calm down now that the emergency was at least less serious than before. "You're going to be all right."
She focused on moving him slowly through the water as the faucet continued to fill the sink, trying to keep her mind from turning towards her growing concerns about her missing boyfriend. There was no way in the world Megamind would leave Minion dying on the pavement. He'd never let that happen. There was only one explanation for her finding Minion in that condition. Something must have happened to Megamind to keep the blue-skinned hero from saving his friend.
She knew he was in trouble. She knew that her boyfriend needed help, but she also knew that he could escape from almost anything and that he could bounce back from any problem. And he was the city's superhero. Roxanne kept reminding herself of that fact. While she didn't know for certain if there was anything she could do to find and help Megamind, she did know that Minion needed her assistance now. The woman remained leaning over the sink, moving him and ensuring that the fish was breathing properly. She could only hope that she would still have both Minion and Megamind at the end of the day.
Yeah, I'm a very evil person to characters I like. And I like Minion, so… Plus, I wanted to give Roxanne a chance to be a hero, even if it doesn't necessarily involve going into battle against a super-powered villain. Thus, this story evolved.
But honestly, a fish is kind of vulnerable to some serious problems in a battle of good versus evil. Without his large and durable robot body, Minion is effectively helpless and stuck in a rather hostile environment. And even if he was demonstrated to be able to survive for a while out of water with no serious complications and without even worrying Megamind, there is likely a time limit to that. Regular catfish, for example, can be out of water for a half an hour or more without side effects if the conditions are right.
Everything mentioned about gills, the effect being out of water has on the gills, and what can happen to a fish kept out of water for too long is correct based upon my research. And the trick of encouraging a fish to recover by letting water flow over the gills properly can be seen in some fishing shows, though they usually just use the river to do it rather than moving them through the water manually. The only thing that wasn't specifically mentioned in the text by name was hypoxia, which is an inadequate amount of oxygen reaching the body tissues and one of the side effects is euphoria. Hence, Minion was focusing more and more on a happy memory as he ran out of air rather than freaking out about not being able to breathe properly.
Of course, considering he's an alien fish, we can't be certain that using Earth-based ones as a frame of reference would work. But it is the only source I and the characters have to work with.
But the story isn't quite over yet. We still have to see what happened to Megamind and to see how Minion is. He might be alive, but he did get battered around quite a bit first. I don't know how long it'll take to update, but I'll try to have the next part up when I get the chance.
Remember, feedback makes writers happy and happy writers tend to be more motivated. Thanks.