Project Arial

a story about mermaids, though no the kind you want to make friends with.

Jennie felt uneasy as she stepped along the walkway; already she could taste the tang of salt in her mouth and had shivers running up and down her spine from the cold water below. The familiar sound of her ear-peace crackling into life made her jump half a mile.


“Arial’s on the west side of the tank, your good to go” heart in her mouth Jennie touched a hand to her ear.


“Right you are, I’m setting up the speaker now” Jennie reach the middle of the walk way and began running checks on the new speaker. It was the eighth to be used with this particular tank and knowing Arial it wouldn’t be the last. With one eye on the murky depths below Jennie lowered the speaker slowly into the icy water. Immediately a voice rang in her ear peace and Jennie instinctively jumped back from the water before the words where even spoke.


“Incoming! Incoming! Move it Jen!” below a shape flashed though the water, causing it to splash and bubble under the walkway. Jennie watched wide eyed. It didn’t matter how many time she had seen it before every time was as shocking as the first. The creature in the tank thrashed just under the water surface, sending spray over Jennies boots, a tactical darted out twist around the speaker cable, Jennie jumped back. Then just a suddenly as it had appeared the creature was gone, leaving the speaker is several peaces. The water lapped quietly at the tanks sides but nothing moved in the murk.


“Dame it!”  Jennie hissed shaking with nerves “Dame you! And Dame the project!” she carefully walked back down the walkway every mussel was taunt with the adrenalin racing though her system. An angry screams echoing from the tank as she jumped the last steps from the walkway to the allies between tanks.


“Jennie, Jen you alright?”  The voice in her eye peace was pinched with panic.


“I’m fine” she sighed “witch is a lot more than you can say for the new speaker. She’s learning Adam, Areal is getting way to dangerous to work with” Adam nodded.


“Agreed, she’s lurking over to the west again, no she’s on the move, heading over to you Jen” Jennie turned in time to see areal emerge at the side of the tank from the green gloom; a peace of the ‘new’ speaker was still in her mouth.


They called her ‘areal’ but technically she wasn’t a mermaid. For one thing she didn’t have a fish tail but nine thick, muscular tentacles that explored the glass with an eerie grace. Its upper body was vaguely human with a torso, a head and two arms but there the simulates stopped. Its skin was a pale green and looked more like rubber than anything else. Its nostrils where small slits that as far as she could tell had no purpose as it had four gills running in parallel lines down its sides, and the eyes that fixed on Jennie where large and ringed with various shades of green.


The fragment of what use to be the speaker broke under Arial’s sharp, shake like black teeth. Jennie frowned and fought the need to run away. Areal was defiantly learning, she didn’t like the noises played though the speaker so she destroyed it before it had a chance to be used. This was more than enough evidence.


Arial dropped the speaker peace from her mouth and leisurely slid back into the gloom of the tank, trailing tentacle. Jennie watch the speaker fragment slowly slid to the bottom of the tank.


“That was to close for comfort Jen” the voice was no longer though her ear peace, Jennie turn and found Adam walking towards her. She laughed bitterly


“You’re telling me, you weren’t the one on the walkway” Adam sighed and moved to put an arm around her shoulder. A blood chilling screech resonated though the tank as the two walked away. It was almost like whale song but harsher, uncomfortable, full of rage.


“You know I’ll be sad when she gone” Adam mused “I like her she’s got a sense of humor” Jennie nudged Adam in the ribs.


“Yeah a sense of humor that can take your arm off, she’s gotta be put down. She becomes way too dangerous.” Adam sighed and steered Jennie towards the door out of the tank room.


“I guess your right” he said pressing a button in the wall to calling the lift. Jennie smiled kindly and kissed Adam on the check.


“Hey don’t feel bad about it; she was going that way no matter what. Anyway the new male is coming soon, last thing I heard he was being prepared for transport.” The lift arrived and they both stepped in.


“Yeah, should be arriving any day now I got the western tank all set up” Jennie smiled and pressed the button for the first floor.

The End

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