Chapter 36: Voice of Mercy
Another day, another line of questioning, and another look of sheer hatred from the young blonde male as the heat lamps blare down on him once again. Nigel shook his head as he looked through the glass wall between him and his 'guest'. Erin looked sadly at Merrick. His complexion looks terrible - there are red blotches along his body, his hair looks slightly bleached from the constant light, dark circles are appearing around his eyes from lack of sleep. He even looks thinner, probably both from the anxiety and only given one meager meal a day. Altogether, he looks downright unhealthy; even escorting him to the interrogation room was a bit difficult because he seems so weak.
"Almost two weeks now." Nigel said, "All he has to do is answer my questions, and he could be in bed with his boyfriend, glugging water to his heart's content." He huffed irritably as Merrick covered his mouth to cough violently.
"Mr Quinlan," Erin said as she turned to him, "This can't go on..."
"No." Nigel said as he stared down at the merman, "I know he's slowly dying. I know he's not going to be holding out for long."
"Then why keep going with this?" Erin said, shaking her head, "You're torturing him, and he's never going to talk."
"Ye of little faith, Miss Connaly," Nigel stated, "Survival Instincts are too strong. When we're at the breaking point, when we're teetering on the brink of death, we'll do anything to go on living..." Nigel narrowed his eyes as Merrick curled in the corner. He turned, and began walking, "It's only a matter of time... And he'll tell me everything I want to know about merfolk..."
"Suppose he doesn't though." Erin proposed, "Lets say his willpower is a lot stronger than you think. Say, no matter what you do to him, he'll refuse to tell you a single fact, right to the end." She asked, "What then?"
"Then that will be an unfortunate denouement." He said, plain and simple, "If he wants to die rather than make it easy for himself, that's up to him." He snapped his fingers, and Erin gave him a folder. He opened it, and overlooking the file with Belinda's pictures, "He loses everything, and I'll simply have to move down the line."
"I thought he said this one wasn't a mermaid, sir." Erin said.
"I'm not altogether convinced." Nigel replied, "Chances are, this woman really isn't a mermaid, but she's the only other lead I have if Merrick happens to fail our expectations."
"Yessir..." Erin said as she walked along side her superior.
"Anyway, any word from the labs about the samples we took of Merrick?"
"Yessir. From what the report says, most of the details are sketchy, but the chemical analyses are going well."
"Are they?" Nigel said as they turned a corner, "Well, let's see what they have for me."
Nigel and Erin walk into the lab, wearing goggles, lab coats, rubber gloves, and paper masks. He comes up to Dr Kaiser, who is comparing drops of blood from both the pouch from Merrick's human form, and the one from his true form.
"Dr Kaiser," Nigel called as he came up behind him, "What have you dug up?"
"Ah, Nigel," Kaiser said, "The blood is rather intriguing." The doctor typed on the keyboard, and brought up one screen that held Merrick's human blood, "This is the sample taken from him BEFORE rinsing him down. It appears as ordinary blood, but none of the machines are able to determine a Blood Type." He said calmly, "At best, all signs point to being closest to Type O. It also shows remarkable resistance to the antibiotics or harmful chemicals we've introduced to it. It almost presents the possibility that out little fish here is immune to any disease, if I may exaggerate."
"And the other sample?" Nigel asked. Kaiser typed and scrolled the computer, and brought up the make-up of Merrick's blood as a merman.
"It is definitely different from the previous sample. I have had it compared to that of human blood and blood taken from several species of fish - a salmon, bass, tuna, barracuda, and a sturgeon. The cells from the merman's blood and the sea-fish blood share many attributes, yet not so much for the bass or salmon. In a way, one could describe it as a mixture of human and fish blood. Altogether, this is proving to be a most captivating venture..." Kaiser looked at Nigel with a very dark gleam in his eye, "You can imagine just how much this elevates my... Curiosity."
"He's not dead, YET, Doctor," Nigel said, "Depending on his own decision to cooperate, you MIGHT have your new pet project, very soon." Erin frowned as her insides churned from that statement, while Kaiser gave a smooth, wicked grin.
"Splendid. I shall keep my fingers crossed then." He said very softly.
"Anything else of note?"
"Other than the others studying their ends, I have noted that our guest has not needed to use the bathroom. Even with minimal essentials - i.e. one meal a day - not once has he requested to use a toilet."
"That IS different..." Nigel said, "So merfolk don't need to expel waste?"
"I believe so," Kaiser said, "I don't think anyone could hold it in otherwise within two weeks. Which leads me to believe that a merman's body absorbs EVERYTHING they take into their bodies."
"That's interesting. As you were." Nigel told him.
"With pleasure, sir."
Nigel and Erin walked over to the scientists who are analyzing the scales and membranes they had, "And how are things going on this end? Identify anything yet?"
"Unfortunately no, Mr Quinlan," A woman in a white coat said, "We're in the process of figuring out the genetic make-up of the scales, but it's very hard to make heads or tails with the small amount that we have."
"That's alright," Nigel said, "Have you pinpointed his species?"
"No. If he's based on any specific classification of fish, it could very well be undiscovered." She reported, "Some of the genes we analyzed have traces from the Arctic fauna, some of them suggest traces from the Pacific Ocean, not to mention the relation to his human-based body. Honestly, the best way to describe his genus is like a two-source web branching between subspecies of sea life with a loop of human DNA."
"How long do you think it'll take set everything in black and white?"
"We can't say for sure, sir," The scientist said, "It could take years to determine a species. Again, this might be easier if we had more samples to work with."
"Speaking of which, have the pieces you have showed any signs of transition?" Nigel asked. The scientist gave him an estranged look.
"We know he looks like a human being when he's dry, but he turns into a fish when he's soaked. Have any of the samples transformed that way?"
"Oh, no they haven't," She said, "Granted, it's probably because they're being preserved, or it could be once they're extracted from the main body, they do not receive anymore nutrients. We're still not even sure where to begin on investigating how he can transform in the first place."
"I'll keep that in mind." Nigel said as he looked at his watch, "Think we have time for one more inspection..." He turned and walked to the young, male scientist working with a microscope, with a small glass of twinkling fluid, "What've ya got, Jacob? Anything good on the 'Mermaid Tears'?"
"Well," The enthralled researcher began, "The tears are amazing to say the least," He says. He got up, and gestured for Nigel to look into the microscope. He did so, closing one eye and peering the other into the device.
"The sparkling is actually a chemical reaction to any bacteria it comes into contact with," Jacob said, obviously excited about his sample, "Not only does it sterilize any negative chemicals, it also has a purifying property to some of the harmful substances I've introduced to even one spec of the tears."
"How so?" Nigel said as he stood straight up.
"Well, look at it!" Jacob said with zeal, "The way these tears eat into bacteria is as astounding a result as penicillin! It cleans and purifies dangerous chemicals, and leave it as simple water, like nothing happened."
"You think this could be some evolutionary tactic to clean the pollution of the ocean around them?" Erin asked out of curiosity.
"That could be so!" Jacob said, "If this is what merfolk cry of, then it may indicate a self-improvement on curing imperfection in the ocean waters-" Jacob put his hand up, "If we can maybe... Replicate this... Maybe make a few substitutions of the chemicals in place of the tears, we can possibly make a vaccine or a whole new cleaning solution to help with water pollution."
"Sounds like you're on a great track, Jacob." Nigel said.
"There's a problem though..." Jacob said as he turned to his beaker, "Tears don't keep - well, normal tears, anyway. I don't have enough of it to try and make hypotheses on what acceptable substitutions can be made."
"Well, keep going, Jacob," Nigel said as he patted his shoulder, "Work with what you got, and try to preserve what's left before you head home."
Nigel and Erin walk down the hall, with Erin holding the files of the forensic reports on Merrick's samples. As they went, Erin caught a glimpse of Merrick's cell. Her heart gave a slight jolt of fear, as the blonde male lay on the floor of the cell, chained up and motionless. Her eyes watered up for that one instant, before the wall blocked his view.
Nigel took off his glasses and rubbed his eyelids, "Alright, Miss Connaly," He said with a groan, "I'm heading home." He hander her the key to his office as he adjusted himself, "Make sure the files are put in their place before you lock up."
"Yessir." Erin said obediently before entering Nigel's office to evaluate today's results. Once she sorted everything in their place, she left the office, and locked it up.
Erin walked along the halls as usual, but her head could not ignore that certain cell as she went. Her eyes caught the merman again. The unnerving part is that in the hour she just spent in Nigel's office, getting everything organized, Merrick hasn't moved an inch. With a glance of blue from Merrick's face, Erin looked away.
She brought a finger to her right eye, and wiped off a trace of moisture from the ridge. Collecting herself, Erin pushed herself forward down the hall to make sure everyone at the lab is cleaning up their stations and putting all of the equipment away.
Nigel exited the Agency building, and started walk to the parking lot. As he went, he felt that ugly tickle in his chest again. Grunted, he put his hand into his coat pocket, and drew out a tissue.
Taking a deep breath, he pressed the tissue to his lips, and began gagging.
"U-Hrrgg-ahhhrrkk... HHHGGGRRRRkkkkhhhrrrkk!" He coughed violently into his tissue, clenching his eyes as his insides clenched from all the hacking of his throat, even bending forward a little just from the sheer force of the cough.
After several minutes of coughing, Nigel finally managed to compose himself, and straightened back up. His tired eyes looked scornfully at the specs of blood and mucus from the moist tissue. His hand crushed the soft paper, and stashed it into his pocket. As he approached his car, he dug for the rattling orange bottle of pills. He popped the cap off, and tossed a few tablets into his mouth, prompting chewing them and swallowing them.
'No...' He thought as he inserted his key into the ignition, 'Not yet... Not when I'm so damn close...'
"Mmmmnnnnnnnhhhhhh..." Merrick whined as a twinkle came from his eye, "I'm... Fading..." His eyes closed slowly and reopened. "Adam..." He mumbled, "... Why didn't you protect me..." His voice is hoarse, as his throat is so dry and scratchy.
A sparkling tear dripped down his eyes as he lay there, too weak to even move. "I'm so... Dehydrated..." As Yuri would probably say, "My body is... Fire..." He mumbled, not to mention the hot metal on his wrists and ankles. "Adam..." He sniffled as his love came to his mind, "Where are you..." He sobbed.
"It's so hot... I can't..."
He can tell it's midnight - he can feel the moon up in the sky, and he can't even pray to the Sea Mother because he's not in the moon's presence.
"I... I should have ran when I had the chance..." He curled up with what little strength he has, hearing the little clanks on the chain as he moved. "Adam..." He whimpered, "Please... Don't forget me... Please find me..."
Countless time went by in his cell, before suddenly,
Everything went black. Merrick made no noise or moves, still feeling the oppressive heat lingering in the cell and haunting his skin.
He can hear a click from the glass door of his cell, before it opened. He doesn't bother to look, but he can also hear a subtle sloshing.
"Shhhh, careful..." Came a whispering voice. After some thunking, there came a small, yet very bright white light - nothing like the heat lamps above, but a small lantern one might take for camping.
Merrick can hear someone kneeling down, and felt the cuff of his right wrist touch.
"Ah!" Came a hushed hiss, "Lets get these cuffs off. Careful, they're hot." A woman whispered.
"Alright, alright," Came a hushed male voice.
Merrick felt the familiar tinkering of his wrists, and a click of metal. He gasped and whined as his bonds were opened, "Eeeennnnnggg!"
"Shhhh, it's ok, it's ok," Whispered the woman hurriedly. The man who is with them undid the other wrist cuff, and then the ankles, "Oh my God..." The woman muttered as her hands carefully slid under Merrick's hands, taking a closer look at his wrist - both wrists are beet red and severely burned. She glanced to the side and noticed his ankles are in no better shape.
"Alright, bring the bucket..." The woman said. The man grunted once, and hauled a heavy cylinder over next to the woman. The woman unscrewed a bottle of cold water, and held it over Merrick's burnt wrist, before carefully pouring onto it.
"HNNNG! MMGGGHHH!" Merrick cringed and whined harshly as the cold water washed onto Merrick's arm. His hand became webbed as the woman slowly emptied the bottle onto him. Meanwhile, the man scooped up some ice water from the bucket with a large cup, and poured it along Merrick's hip. The man watched in awe as Merrick's body immediately transformed, from red peach to blue.
"Nnnnhhhh..." Merrick moaned as he body absorbed the water these two humans are administering to him, "Why... Why are you doing this...?" He asked as he weak eyes leered up at the half-illuminated face of the woman, "Aren't you the one who brought me here?"
Erin sighed as she unscrewed another bottle, "I'm so sorry... I was just following orders..." She said as she turned the bottle along the aquatic male.
"Who are you... Again?" He asked.
"Erin," She said softly.
"Erin..." Merrick's eyes teared up again as he felt his legs meld together, feeling a huge amount of relief from the man's pouring ice-cube water over him, "Did you know..."
"Hm?" Erin paused with her water.
"Did you know... Did you know this man... This Nigel... Did you know he was going to this to me?" Merrick sobbed, "Throwing me in here, left to burn on endless time..." His eyes gave way to more tears, "Mocking me and asking questions about my kind, and then punish me when I refuse to answer...?"
"...No" Erin answered honestly, "We were told you were going home whether or not you agreed to follow through. Keeping you here was unexpected." Erin unsealed another water bottle, and held it for Merrick's mouth. Erin put her hand under Merrick's fishy head, and eased the bottle into him. Merrick slowly nursed on the water bottle, more tears dripping from his eyes.
The guard, who was pouring water on Merrick's tail, spotted the profuse tears coming from his eyes. He took out a glass vial, and subtly held it to the side of Merrick's eye. That scientist, Jacob, put out a request to all staff to carry a vial with them at all times, to be ready to collect any tears.
Erin sighed as she poured more water along Merrick's body. Curiosity brings her to wonder what he felt like...
With Merrick still too weak to move, Erin slowly put her hand onto his side. It feels so weird... Like a real fish, but softer from the muscles being laxed.
The guard can't help but feel a little guilty about taking the copious tears, but the vial soon filled up, as Merrick was crying a lot. Once it was full to the brim, the guard screwed the cap onto the small bottle, and stashed it into his pocket, with Merrick none the wiser.
"What the..." Erin brought her hand up, and discovered that several small, semi-transparent scales clinging to her hand, "Are you... Shedding?"
"What are you talking about?" Merrick groaned.
"Look," Erin brought her hand to the small white light lamp, and showed Merrick, "Some of your scales are coming off."
"..." Merrick looked, and laid back down, "What did you expect?"
"Nigel throws me in here, and bares harsh light on me for twelve suns... No water, one portion of food for each sun..." Merrick shook as his tail cringed, "And now I'm falling apart..." He whimpered. After a pause, he spoke again, "I was once in this condition before... This human that lives with us... Her name is Yuri... She told me I was experiencing 'Dehydration'... When a body shuts down because it doesn't have enough water..." He groaned as the guard started to pour more ice-cube water on his tail, over the dark ring at the base of his tailfin, "This... This is so much worse than that..."
Erin wiped away a tear from her own eye. "Please..." Merrick moaned.
"Erin..." His weeping eyes looked up at her pleadingly, "Is there anyway to set me free?" He asked. "Please..." He sniffled as he pleaded, "I've been away from him for so long... I need my Adam back..." He wept, "He said he would protect me from this fate..." Erin put her hand over her eyes she felt herself start to weaken, "Please... Can you let me go?"
"I..." Erin sobbed a little, and composed herself, "I'm sorry, Merrick. I can't do that."
"Why not??" Merrick asked desperately, "This place is killing me... My Adam-"
"I'm sorry, Merrick." Erin said, "If I were to break you out of here, I would be court marshaled for interfering and sabotage of top priority research funded by the government. Even being here right now, giving you water is extremely risky for me." Merrick huffed, and laid himself back down.
After a silent pause, Erin brought out a couple of sandwiches from the Agency's cafeteria; PB&J and small turkey club. She unwrapped the turkey sandwich, and offered it to the merman. Merrick took it, and bit into it - with this much water on and in him, some of his strength has returned. He ate harshly into the sandwich as Erin unwrapped the other one. By the time he had ate the last bite of the club, Erin had given him the PB&J. Once he wolfed down the other sandwich, Erin gave him another bottle of water to gulp down.
"So... Does Piscien REALLY mean anything?" The guard asked. Merrick gave him a glare. "... Just curious." He said with a nervous chuckle. Erin rolled her eyes.
"It's just," She started, "We have you listed as 'Merrick T. Piscien', and we're just wondering if it means anything at all, or if it's just a random word." Merrick sighed as he reached down, and picked up another sealed bottle of water.
"... Piscien is my species..."
"So..." Erin said, "You're a... Piscien Fish? Never heard of that kind of fish before."
"No." Merrick replied, "I mean, I am a Piscien merman. Us Pisciens embody the traits of kinds of fish from the ocean."
"I... I'm not sure I understand." Erin said.
"There are three kinds of merfolk in the ocean," Merrick stated, "And Piscien is one of those kinds."
"So, does that make it your last name, then? Merrick Piscien?"
"No." Merrick replied, taking a drink, "I have no idea why, but you humans seem to insist on having more than one name. There was a time where my Adam had to list me with a second name, so he just used the word Piscien." Merrick looked at Erin's face, "And that's all I'm going to say."
"Alright, thank you..." Erin said, "And we won't tell Nigel." She said. Merrick nodded as the guard poured more icy water onto the merman.
They spend almost an hour of sponging Merrick with the water, until time had ran out. Erin stashed all the empty water bottles into a bag, and the guard very carefully put the cuffs back onto his wrists. Erin knelt down, and stroked Merrick's shoulder.
"Look. I'm sorry I can't get you out of here," She started, "But I'll do whatever I can to pull some strings and make things easier for you." Merrick nodded at that, feeling both disappointed and grateful to her. Erin signed, "I'm so sorry for this..."
With that, the guard picked up the empty bucket, and exited the cell. He locked the door, and ignored the light switch. Erin walked along the hall with the guard right behind her.
Jacob snored softly as the light bulb inside his microscope flickered. A soft shove on his shoulder made him jolt a little. His head whipped around, and realized one of the security guards is right beside him.
"Oh God..." Jacob said as he stretched. He groaned as he adjusted his glasses, "Mmmm... What time is it?" He asked.
"A quarter past 2." The guard replied.
"Shit..." He moaned, "I'm so getting written up for this..."
"Ah, don't worry about it," The guard said, "Slap of the wrist, like always. Just take it in stride."
Jacob moved up, and peeked inside his microscope. He sighed as he slumped back in his chair, "Of course."
"That was the last of the tears I had," Jacob said as he took the slide out of the microscope, and threw it into the Biohazard bin, "It's been distilled for God knows how long, now it's useless."
"Well, don't worry about that," The guard said as he dug in his pocket. Jacob turned his head as he heard a clinking sound. He gasped as he saw two vials side-by-side on the guard's hand, both filled with faintly twinkling fluid.
"Where did you get these?!" Jacob said as he plucked up the two vials, "There's a lot of it!"
"Mr Quinlan's assistant talked me into sneaking into the merman's cell to give him some water. Poor thing was crying almost the whole time. I snuck a vial, but he let Erin take some of his tears too while we were watering him."
"Oh, you are a life saver!" Jacob said as he hugged the guard, right before drawing another glass side.
"Whoa, you're not getting into it right now, are you??" The guard asked.
"Yeah! The sooner I crack this stuff, the better!" He said excitedly. Jacob unscrewed the top of the vial, and took a small syringe, and took out one drop of the tears.
"We gotta get home, Jac. You're pushing it enough as it is." The guard said as Jacob carefully put the tear onto the glass slide. He grins excitedly as the drop immediately began twinkling once on the bare glass. "C'mon..."
"You go ahead, Daniel. I gotta keep on with this." Jacob said as he picked up a beaker with one of the other chemicals.
"You drive me crazy, you know that?" Daniel put a hand onto the scientist's black hair, feeling the old, stiff spray wearing off on it, "You need a shower too..."
"I'll clean up in the showers here before I go home. Just go on." Jacob replied. Daniel sighed as he got up and put his hands on Jacob's shoulders. He rubbed them firmly for a while, before coming to a conclusion.
"I better get us a couple of Red Bulls." He said. He patted Jacob on the shoulder, "C'mere. I at least earned this." He turned Jacob's face, and pressed his lips on the other, and shared a momentary kiss. He kissed him a few times before standing up, and approached the door.
"Get me an apple too, please?" Jacob called without
"Right, babe." Daniel said without turning and exiting the lab, and turning towards the deserted cafeteria to get those energy drinks.
-- The Next Morning --
"The tank, huh?" Nigel said as he looked at Erin from his desk, with his assistant in the chair opposite him.
"The light bulbs burned out this morning, and we're out other heat bulbs," Erin reported, "And besides, I think he might change his mind about... 'Helping' us, if we accommodate him."
"That's an interesting proposition, Miss Connaly." Nigel said, "And if he would have kept his attitude under control, I might have even considered your suggestion." He said dismissively.
"What? Sir, think about it-"
"Miss Connaly." Nigel turned his seat, and stood up, "When a dog growls at you, simply because you're trying to train it, you don't reward it. You discipline it."
"Sir, with all due respect, that creature is dying in there. What good is it going to do us if he dies before you can get any information?"
"Kaiser's been hinting that he wants a new body to examine. If things go that way, we at least have an appealing autopsy to look forward to."
"Sir..." Erin said, shaking her head, "Are you really saying this?"
"He's making his own bed, Miss Connaly." Nigel said sternly, "If he starts answering any of my questions, then maybe I'll think about it. For now, as long as he keeps giving me death-glares, he stays in the cell."
"Mr Quinlan." Erin said, "What's the harm in just keeping him in a tank?" Nigel walked around his desk. Erin stood up herself, and looked him in the eyes.
"Tell you what..." Nigel said, "If I get ANY information out of him, I don't care how, I'll consider it." There was a pause between the two of them. "I'm waiting for a good reason, Miss Connaly." He said. Erin said nothing for the next minute. "I didn't think so." Nigel said as he walked around her.
Erin huffed, and closed her eyes as her boss walked to the door of his office. Nigel picked up his walkie, and pressed his thumb onto the button, and brought it to his mouth.
Nigel froze in his tracks. The walkie buzzed lightly, before he released the button, and turned around. "Pardon?" Erin turned herself around, and looked at him.
"Piscien." She repeated. Nigel put the walkie back onto his belt, and walked back in.
"His last name?" He asked.
"No. It's his species..." She said, her stomach feeling a purge of reluctance.
"Go on..." Nigel replied.
"He says there are three kinds of merfolk in the ocean - and he's one of the Piscien merfolk."
"What are the other two?"
"He wouldn't say," Erin answered, "Only that Pisciens represent fish in the ocean."
"Just fish?" Nigel asked.
"Yes. He said at one point, his boyfriend used the word 'Piscien' as a surname. No one would suspect it meant something, right?"
"Of course..." Nigel said, nodding, "That makes sense..." He looked back up, and approached his assistant, "See? Now we're talking..." He pats her shoulder, and gave an encouraging smile, "Good work... Erin."
Erin blinked at that. Nigel only calls his colleagues by their first name, "Sir, I-"
"As I said before..." Nigel continued, "As much as I would like to be his friend, I have no problem with playing the bad guy."
Erin's insides churned, "I- N-No, I-I"
"Of course," Nigel said, "It's hard to tell how long it's been since that tank's been used..." Erin felt her face turn cold as he looked into her eyes, "I'm not even sure it's safe for a fish to stay in..."
Erin compressed her shaking, and convinced herself to nod, "I'm... I'm sure it's good for use... Mr Quinlan, sir..."
"Please," He said, "Call me Nigel."
"Thank you... Nigel..." Erin replied, every inch of her feeling like icy ash.
"Anyway, I am a man of my word. He gets his tank... For now." He said before turning around, and leaving his office. Erin bows her head down, and sighed.
"... I'm sorry, Merrick..."
The chains from Merrick's cuffs glinted in the low light - for whatever reason, the humans here have not turned his lights back on. The water from last night felt so good - almost like being born again, after how much heat he's endured. However, his skin is still glowing with a hot pink color, and he still feels the residual heat, scarred into his flesh.
"Mnnnnhhh..." He moaned, "Adam..."
He jerked his head up as he heard the lock of the celldoor click. He tensed as he saw the guard from last night, and another guard come into the white cell.
"Alright, lets go, Merrick."
"No," Merrick responded as his cuffs were removed, and his arms held behind him, "I'm not answering-"
"Mr Quinlan isn't interrogating you today." Daniel said, "You are being moved to a different cell."
Merrick's stomach purged with fear as he was escorted reluctantly out of the cell. "Please, not that other place!" He said, "They have enough of my flesh! I'm not-"
"We're not taking you to the laboratory either," Daniel continued, "Mr Quinlan decided to place you into the tank."
"Wait! What's a tank?? I don't know what that is!"
Merrick blinked as he looked at this large, transparent cylinder, with a few plastic tubes and pumps built into it, right next to another, equally large container, filled with water, with a large machine nestled between the two containers. One of the human scientists stood waiting by the large contraption; Merrick recognizes his dark-framed glasses, pale skin, and black smooth hair - it's that human who took some of his tears when he was put threw that lightning machine.
He looked to his left, and spotted Erin in this larger room, "Erin??" She looked over at him, and gave a smile and wave.
"E-Erin," Merrick tried to go to her, but the guard kept him in place, "What's going on, what are they doing now??"
"It's... It's ok, Merrick..." Erin walked up to Merrick, and put her hand on his shoulder, "Trust me..."
Daniel can feel Merrick shaking as he nudged him to move forward. The other guard moved ahead, and unlocked a full-seal door to the empty tank. Merrick reluctantly moved closer to the opening until he was right up to it. He climbed up into the large glass container, and turned around as the guard sealed him back in.
The blonde, naked male pressed his palms on the glass as Daniel walked to the scientist. Jacob worked the buttons, and a few knobs - all strange actions in Merrick's eyes. What could they be doing to him now?
Jacob grunted as he tried to turn the wheel of the machine to enter the final activation for the machine, but having always being lacking in the muscle department, the rusty turner is proving to be a difficult feat. Daniel patted his shoulder, and Jacob moved aside. The guard turned the wheel with a flex of his arms, clockwise four times.
Merrick gasped as he moved to the far end of the tank as the machine roared into life. He fell onto the bottom as loud noises churned and stirred from outside the container. He whimpered as he can hear something approaching from the holed glass of the tank.
"Filtering system working," Jacob said, "It's a little loud though."
"We'll get maintenance fix it up later," Said the other guard, "Anyway, fagfish should be happy now. Lets hope the bitching stops." With that, he turned and exited the tan room.
Merrick shook as he felt the whole tank vibrate, before the large holes gushed forth water. He yelped as it splashed on his legs, knees, and chest, and gasped as he sees the wet portions turn blue. He looked at his soaked hand as the webbed membranes formed between his fingers.
It took very little time for him to notice the water has reached to his stomach! His legs has already melded together to form his tail.
Erin, Jacob, and Daniel watched in awe as the water flowed and pumped into the tank, while the other tank from the opposite was being depleted of its water.
"Any notes, Jacob?" Erin asked, "This is freshwater, isn't it? You think there is any repercussions from not using seawater?"
"Hard to say right now," Jacob replied as the blue and silver creature rose up as the water filled up the tank, "If there is, we'll find out soon enough." The three of them watched as Merrick loomed gracefully in the water - the tank is relatively small for something as long as Merrick.
"Alright, I'm gonna go make a report on this." Daniel said as he put his keys back on his belt, while Jacob also walked out.
Merrick turned, and saw the human scientist, and the security guard walk out from the glass door. He peered at them as they looked at each other outside.
Daniel and Jacob nuzzled each other affectionately, and gave a hug. "Try and come home tonight this time, Jac..." Daniel said, "I miss you."
"'Kay..." Jacob said with a nod. The two of them kissed, and parted in opposite directions.
Merrick's throat rumbled sadly as his webbed hand moved down, "Adam..." His eyes spotted his female ally, putting a hand onto the glass. Merrick swam down to her level. His mouth formed two familiar words as they looked at each other.
"Yeah..." Erin said, guilt racking her heart, "Don't mention it..."