Chapter 3: Enter Allecto

It wasnít dark in her eyes. Instead, her diamond irises created a world of splendor, shimmering with light and life. If only she could love it.

Bulma swam by the coral beds, not caring that they closed up as she passed. The minnows dove away as quickly as possible and the crustaceans followed suit. Every being in the water fled at her appearance. This was her damnation. The hatred and loyalty of the sea, forever.

Mirthless, she approached her kingdom. Soon before her glistened an enormous castle of coral and shells. Bejeweled by urchins and sea anemones that laced the pillars and walls of her submerged fortress, it radiated beauty. She could not smile at its greeting.

Drifting forward, she came upon the entrance. There she was met with little resistance by the two giant sharks that glided together in front of the passage. Their cool stares did not welcome her, but instead let her by, disgust plain in their eyes. She did not care.

Eerie green light illuminated the inner corridors, an artificial attempt to mimic the sun. Instead of creating a reminder of the warm rays, they conjured the painful reality that they werenít a solis but really abominations. Cruelties created by Allecto.

Allecto was here tonight, as usual. Bulma could feel the icy tinge of her presence in the deep as she swam onward. The cool evil that sprang forward licked at her as she drew nearer. Bulma would never be able to shake the fear that Allectoís presence created. She twisted through corridors towards that special place. The Dark Room that Allecto frequented. It was the only place in the palace she did not visit unless called upon. As she entered, and slammed into that icy aura, she realized a single shiver. And then, hard as stone, she was prepared.

The room was quiet and charcoal-opaque. Only with the power of her diamond eyes could Bulma see. It did not take long to find the dark mistress.

Allecto sat upon a concave of shell, exquisite green legs crossed. Her emerald eyes projected a glow that could cut through the thickest blackness. Her knowing smirk projected a horror that could cut through the thickest heart. Her face was horribly beautiful.

The sea snakes that were her hair hissed and wriggled. However, with all their motion, they held in place her magnificent gold crown. The crown that was not hers.

Bulma drew close enough to be seen, but not any further. The only thing that kept her from fleeing those green eyes was her hatred for the sorceress.

Allecto looked down condescendingly upon the beautiful Mer. Bulma averted her eyes.

"Well, girl. You return again," Allecto began, her chilling voice slicing through the emptiness.

"Yes," Bulma replied softly.

"Yes?"

"Yes, your highness."

Allecto smiled, obviously pleased.

"You learn so much faster than your sisters did, girl. Perhaps that is why you havenít become part of the abyss."

"Iím only alive because you have yet to break me," Bulma stated, weary that her words could have consequence. Allecto only chuckled darkly.

"I do admit, I find pleasure in your defiance. I also find pleasure in the fact that you will become docile soon. Subservient and mine!"

"But not yet!" Bulma exclaimed, looking up in fury. Allecto nodded.

"Not yet." It was not as if Allecto agreed, but almost as if she knew of what was to come. Bulma controlled another shiver as it threatened to break her spine. "And how were your pathetic meanderings on dry land?"

"As could be expected."

"You yearn for it, donít you? That feeling of sunlight on your back, and the ownership of these!" Allecto motioned to her legs. "That fin of yours repulses you. Pity, I made it so magnificent."

"But itís not real!"

"And lifeís not fair, girl! But youíll learn to live with it!"

"This is not a life!" Bulma screamed. Allectoís face became stoic and calm.

"But itís all you have, girl. So like it."

Bulma sighed and bowed her head in exhaustion. With final resignation she turned to go.

"Girl!" Allecto cried, halting the melancholic Mer.

"Yes, highness?" Bulma hissed, her defiance now brimming in her chest.

"Go with the sharks, so they can feed!"

"As you wish," Bulma replied, exiting smoothly.

Allecto remained on her dark throne.

"That girlís power is becoming worrisome," the sorceress pondered to herself. "And sheís starting to fight back. Something is different!"

Alone in the darkness, Allecto contemplated, her green eyes lighting up the black compartment. Above her, the sea thrived, but surrounding her was a vast nothing.

****

"Supper time!" She proclaimed, swimming furiously out of the dark tunnels and into glistening sea-light. Bulma had now reached the time of the day where the sharks liked her most.

The two guardian animals turned at her word and swam off quickly. She had no trouble in keeping up with their pace, in fact she didnít mind. The farther she was away from Allecto, the better.

They were soon miles away from any resemblance of the earlier landscape. Bulmaís abilities allowed her a sense of direction, but she had never visited these regions before. The sea never interested her, only land. In that, she thrived.

The sharks paused for a moment after finding a large coral bed. They turned round to her and posed a silent question.

"Here is fine," she allowed. "Be back soon, if Iím not here, Iíll be at the palace." With that, they disappeared, dismissing their mistress as easily as an annoying sea urchin finally unattached from their fin. Bulma did not mind the indifference.

Allowing curiosity to overcome all opposition, Bulma decided to explore. The sea always seemed to be changing; perhaps she could find a deadly whirlpool and toss Allecto in.

Ah, those impossible daydreams. Pity they could not come true.

Turning round to see where to start, Bulma noticed a large rock formation not too far away. Maybe a giant squid lurked in those depths, just waiting for a Mer girl to come near. Although this seemed quite unlikely, she had nothing better to do.

Swimming forward she found that the "rock formation" was actually a cave. Stalactites and stalagmites protruding around the opening created a formidable appearance. Bulma had never seen the type of stone it was made of in the sea before, or on dry land for that matter. It was a smooth glassy, onyx substance that protruded out of the ground in harsh jagged edges. She drew near the opening and glanced in.

A faint glow seemed to emit itself out of the mouth of the cave. Raising an eyebrow, Bulma swam in a little closer. She was right! There was a glow. Something was causing light in there.

"Why not."

She swam in carefully, avoiding the pointy rocks that menaced the entrance. As the Mer creature finally cleared the opening, there was a sharp snap, and the aforementioned rocks closed together quickly, like teeth. The entranced closed so fast there was not even time for her scream to escape.

The cave remained there silently, its obsidian walls showing no sign of change. However, the opening that had been so apparent earlier was gone; in its place lay a new wall of darkness. Outside the ocean noticed no difference, and was not aware that the Mer princess was now the captive of a deceptive predator.

Perhaps now, she would find the end she so desperately sought.

Or a beginning.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 2
Chapter 4