Fish for Sol: Fish for Sol

Published Apr 3, 2022, 11:57:45 PM UTC | Last updated Apr 3, 2022, 11:57:45 PM | Total Chapters 1

Story Summary

In an attempt to aid Sol in a different way, Mocha and his child Marshmallow head to a lake to fish for the city.


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During a quiet night, Pianka finds a lost child tangled in some seaweed, but helps it out too late to chase after its family. With the help of her flighted friends, Pianka looks for the pod of strange Aqrion.


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Chapter 1: Fish for Sol

The last few months had been chaos. The Reamere was suddenly dangerous, Wyvera now had bedtime stories of sea monsters and shipwrecks, and City of Sol had a shortage of fish. Shortage of fish in a fishing city. It meant bad news for everyone, from those who depended on it for their every meal, to those who depended on it to make a living.


But some had less luck than others: while most families in Sol had a mouth or two to feed other than their own— like Mocha’s little family of three— others had about one, two, three… a few dozens— like Noot Noot’s big family at the Loft.


Thankfully, those in Sol that weren’t obligate carnivorans had it covered: Spring was in full swing, and soon enough lush grass, insects of all kinds and colors, and delicious fruit could be seen from the smallest Sol farms to the largest patches of wild terrain that surrounded the city. It was those who needed meat, like Stryx, Anaruqs, and some Griffs, who were finding themselves in a tight spot regarding Sol’s most recent predicament.


Some brave ones, like Mocha’s witchy acquaintance Sahira, had decided to venture forth to find the sea monsters terrorizing the sailors and put an end to it, but Mocha wasn’t among these brave ones, no. It wasn’t from lack of courage, his friends would reassure; Mocha was a brave Tyto— one of the bravest, his daughter would brag— but he knew his fortes, and he knew combat against a sea monster while flying above sea wasn’t one of them.


Still, he refused to sit by and do nothing when the city had so many hungry creatures. Thankfully, he, his partner Vespira and his daughter Marshmallow lived in the wild, and hunted and fished on the daily. With a nod to himself after hours of deep thought in their nest, Mocha explained his plan to Ves and Marshmallow, nuzzled his wife goodbye, and took off with his little bird.


“So Sol’s citizens depend on other people to find their food?” Marshmallow asked as she and her father flew through the night sky, a full moon reflecting with a gentle glow on both Tytos’ feathers.


“Yes, Mallow, City of Sol has a big port by the seaside, and every week large boats sail to fish, and return with huge nets full of fish for all of Sol to eat.” He smiled with tenderness as he explained it.


Marshmallow’s eyes grew wide at the concept. “Wow! That’s gotta be a lot of fish, right dad? Sol must stink!”


Mocha laughed as he led his daughter to land near a lake. “Well, usually Sol doesn’t stink, but whenever the boats arrive with big loads, it smells a lot like our fish piles when your mother helps us out.”


Marshmallow let out a ‘yuck!’, and landed next to her father. With the third member of their family being a Gryph, game piles tended to be huge and stinky whenever she tagged along.


Marshmallow was about to approach the lake, when she saw a fin pop from the surface. Taken aback, she decided to hide behind her father. Mocha didn’t seem to mind, though, and approached with a gentle coo. “Pianka, is that you?”


From the water, a large, gentle face emerged. The creature was light grey, and had a beautiful pink beak that reflected the smile Mocha gave her. “Hello again, Mocha. Is that your kid?”


Mocha nodded, and used his tail to give Marshmallow an encouraging nudge, without completely pushing her into the stranger. "Say hello, Marshmallow. Our friend Pianka will help with fishing for the Loft today."


Marshmallow stared at Pianka with curious eyes before smiling resolutely. "Good evening, miss Pianka." It earned her a warm laugh from the Aqrion.


"Aren't you a darling? You can call me Pia. Are you an experienced fisher?"


"Yes, I am! Not as good as dad yet, but I'm getting better!" She looked back at her dad. "Is miss Pia helping us fish for Noot Noot today, dad?"


Mocha nodded and took gentle flight, hovering a few centimeters above the cold spring water. "Yes, Marshmallow, and we'll help her, too." His daughter gave him another puzzled look as she took flight, following closely behind.


"Help her? But she's a water dragon, how can we be any better at fishing!" Pianka laughed again at this, this time loudly.


"I don't need help fishing, my dear, I need help seeking." Now it was Pianka's turn to give a nudge, and a smaller creature— a different kind of Aqrion, perhaps— came out from hiding behind her.


Mocha began explaining. "Pia told me the other day that she found this poor hatchling tangled in some seaweed. She managed to catch a glimpse of the pod they separated from, but wasn't able to untangle the poor thing in time."


The younger Aqrion looked shy, but not necessarily scared. Marshmallow gave it a smile, and the Aqrion returned it tentatively, half of their body still hiding behind Pianka. "So we'll help miss Pia find this kid's family again?"


"Exactly. The world underwater is colorful and full of marine life in this lake, so finding the pod from down here will take long." Pianka explained.


"But us Tytos have keen eyes and can fly over the lake." Mocha continued.


"So with me and dad watching from above, we'll be able to find them quickly!" Marshmallow let out with a chirp. "I get it!"


Mocha and Pianka laughed in unison, and Pianka moved to begin swimming towards a deeper part of the lake. Mocha and Marshmallow followed from the sky, with Mocha now speaking to his daughter. "That same day, I told Pia about the situation Sol is in, so she offered to help us catch fish while we're helping the hatchling." Marshmallow's eyes grew as wide as her smile once all the dots connected.


After a few minutes, Mocha led the team to a large shadow in the lake. It had turned out to be a rock that had fallen underwater earlier that day, but Pianka and Marshmallow were able to hunt some seafood that had settled around it, taking it out of the water and into a large bag Mocha had brought with.


After an hour, Mocha, Marshmallow, and Pianka had all guided one another to things that seemed like they could be the pod they were looking for: rocks, large corals, Aqrion pods that weren't the same species as the hatchling, large seaweed banks. Wherever they seemed to look, they couldn't find the poor hatchling's family.


On the bright side, with Pianka's massive help ( which was a breeze for her ), Mocha and Marshmallow had hunt a decent pile of seafood that was surely going to help more than a few families at Sol.


After several hours, Mocha and Marshmallow had closed their fishing bag, all four creatures had had a fresh dinner, and the moon had begun to show signs of parting to make way for dawn light. And yet, no sign of the hatchling's pod.


Now all four were hanging around the lake's shore, none of them sure on where to keep looking.


The silence was broken by the hatchling. "Pia… is my family coming back?" All three creatures' hearts broke a little.


"I'm… not sure, child. But they sure will notice you went missing." Mocha nodded at Pia's words. "They might already be looking for you, in fact. They just didn't think you could've gotten lost here at the lake, since it's so much smaller than the open sea."


Mocha's ears perked up at that. "That's it!" Pianka and Marshmallow looked up at him. "Sahira's taking two of her friends to Reamere to find what's causing the aggressive waters, we could ask her to keep an eye out for the pod!"


Marshmallow gave a delighted giggle at it, and the hatchling's eyes filled with hope once more.


Mocha moved towards the bag full of fish and picked one part of it with a talon. "We'll just have to drop this off at Sol tonight, and look for Sahira before dawn strikes; they're leaving soon!" With that, Marshmallow moved over to grab the other side of the bag, and both Stryx took off.


Pianka gave a soothing whistle in 'thank you', and soon, the Stryx were off to find Sahira, and the Aqrion's los family.

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