23 Fishes Out of Water – Chapter 7, Prologue 21

The show must go on, so despite her doubts about K’ip heroic competence, Si’ri begins to lead him out of the comparably safe starting region towards their ultimate goal – trying to take the path of least resistance, of course. As far as she can remember that path, that is. Which, unfortunately, isn’t far enough.

Her problem is that she can’t rely on a good map – the maps that come with this sort of game are always made to look like old, hand-drawn maps and tend to lack an overlay color-coded by average difficulty of random encounters in a region. The strategy guide might have a map like that, but Si’ri couldn’t afford it. Which she’ll probably come to regret, over and over again. The place names on the map could have provided a hint, but they’re often misleading – since they’re mostly there for flavor, anyway. Here she should have relied on them, but how was she to know?

Anyway, no harm done. The first random encounter they…uh…encountered was way more than K’ip could handle, but fortunately he is pretty quick on his feet. For while this kind of really monstrous monster fish are dangerous even when they’re out off the water, they aren’t exactly fast when moving through the forest…unlike a scaredy-cat. And a cat has good reasons to be scared in this sort of situation, because being eaten by a fish isn’t only lethal for a cat, it’s also humiliating. And while a cat might have nine lives, it only has one dignity to share between them all.*

So K’ip and Si’ri make it back to the safe part of the forest in only a small fraction of the time it took them to walk out of it…and, as Si’ri indicates, they’ll try to be better prepared the next time.

And I, for my part, am also happy that K’ip and Si’ri chose flight over fight…for if a fish is so monstrous that it’s impossible to describe, it’s probably not very easy to draw, either. <°++++< More on Thurs...uh, Monday. * OK, from that perspective K'ip could try looking a bit more dignified while he's running, but the overbearing consideration still is that he doesn't get eaten.

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