Hey there! haremfanm, here. You can call me Hare if you'd like. I love to write, so here goes! I'd appreciate any feedback whether positive or negative.
I'll say that there's nothing quite like being a seaweed farmer on Atquati. Any person from any of the other three planets would likely disagree. Perhaps the only reason being that they've never known the feeling of setting out before dawn, the wind in your sails, the warm sea spray filling the air like the most coveted perfume, and of course the beauty of an Atquati sunrise. It is hard work, yes, but no job is more gratifying.
I was raised on my parents' farm, smack dab on top of a reef. Our house was on stilts, built up from the colorful coral city below, make up of barnacle encrusted (and strangely enough, light blue) driftwood. Frequent storms decorated the exterior with seaweed, shells, and from time to time a starfish or two. The inside wasn't much different. My mother was an interior decorator among her many talents. She was also convinced that Atquati was the best planet in the entire star system. She proudly festooned our meek two bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, and living room in vast shades of blue. Every decoration was a reminder of the sea. Shells, pearls, corals, anything, you name it and my mother had put it somewhere for any guest to see.
Ah, how I long to sit in our living room at night, looking down through the glass floor at the wonderful wildlife below. Alas, those times have come to an end, which ironically brings me to the beginning of our story. My name is Selona Riptide, and I'm glad you've come to hear it.
I had gone out in my skiff, the Yonder. She was small by Atquati standards, a good ten feet long and four feet wide with one mast and a single sail, but that boat was indeed the pride and joy of my youth. It had taken an hour to reach my parents' field, a red metal buoy floating on the surface was the only indication of anything being there at all. I sighed deeply, then again and again, preparing my lungs for the dive down. Yes, you heard me, the dive. The field that my parents strove their whole lives to upkeep was twenty feet underwater.
I opened my chest of supplies and retrieved a pair of goggles and a pair of flippers, modeled after the feet of an Ahea. I slipped the goggles over my head and dove in, not minding my clothes as they were made for this sort of thing. The first thing I did was locate the buoy chain. Taking a hold of it, I slipped the flippers onto my feet and began to descend, using the chain to bring myself to the bottom as quickly as was safe.
Now, a quick thing to note about seaweed farmers: They can hold their breath of an inhuman amount of time. Most seaweed farmers begin free-diving at very early ages, and holding your breath is a skill that is learned and perfected quickly if one wants to run their business fruitfully. As for myself, I was experienced, but I had not yet mastered the technique. I could stay under for roughly twelve minutes, while a seasoned farmer could stay under for twenty. Even so, I had finally reached the waving fields they lie below.
Checking the crop was a weekly chore entrusted to me. I did it well, and to the best of my ability. The field was set up like any corn farm, in rows. There were chains fastened to anchors in between the rows of plants, which made it much easier to scour them for pests or dead plants.
I went through each row quickly but thoroughly. I worked with practiced expertise, pulling off dead leaves and shooing small fish. One or two very young Murren had to be shooed away as well. I had swum back to the chain, and was preparing to go up for a breath of air when a small glint caught my eye from the side of the field I hadn't checked yet. My lungs were asking for air, however, and I had to return to the surface before they began to beg.
I was as quick as I could be, mindful of the water pressure as I went up and took in my next breaths of air,Once I had returned to the depths, I ignored the object so that I could check the fields first. When I had finished inspecting the other side, I finally swam over to where the glint had come from. Pushing back tendrils of seaweed, I was careful to look at the thing before I touched it, but the sight that greeted me was surprising indeed. It was an Ahea egg.