#1: Home Again

I walk quickly in the evening light. I haven’t seen this place in days. Automatically, my feet carry me to where I know he’ll be preparing to head home. A lot has happened since I last saw him. I just got back from a dangerous mission.

When I arrive at my guardian’s place of business I see that three others are there besides him. Three Inklings. I hadn’t realized that they were back from their mission yet.

As soon as they see me, they jump on me and make me tell what happened. I’m not too surprised. I’m sure I’m a sight!

Well, I explain. I’m careful with my words though. I mention that my friend was taken, but I’m vague on that bit. They don’t know her… they can’t know her. All because she’s an Octoling. When I get to the part of my brother, I can’t help crying. My family seems to always get torn apart.

My friends try to comfort me while my guardian watches me quietly, from the corner.

“Hey, hey! It’s ok.” My fellow agent, #4, tells me, “Just have a drink and take your time.” He holds out a bottle of water and smiles gently. His tentacles are dark blue, his skin is tan, and his eyes are green.

I wipe my eyes. “I- I’m sorry… it’s just, my brother went rogue for the Octarians.” They all look shocked. These three… they have all known, worked with, and fought alongside my brother. His treason hurts them too… ok, well, maybe not #5, but he doesn’t care much for anyone.

“What?!” #6 cries. She’s a strong willed girl with a good sense of humor. Her tentacles are orange and her skin slightly tanned. “Why would he do that?!”

“I- I don’t know.” I admit.

“What happened next? Did you go after him?” Asks #4.

“Of course I did!” I cry indignantly, “He attacked us and I was stranded for three or four days. I nearly starved. Fortunately another agent rescued me… we just got back… ugh… I… don’t feel good.” My head feels light and my body is weak. I wonder if the poison is making me feel like this…

Agent #5 stands up straight. Previously he was leaning against a wall. Many people are intimidated by his cold-hearted and cool appearance. His tentacles are purple and his eyes match them. This kid is serious, quiet, and wise. Sometimes he comes off as arrogant, but, once you get to know him, it becomes clear that he’s just a softhearted dork.

“We should get you home so you can rest,” #5 tells me, “You’ve been through a lot lately.”
I glance over at my guardian, a tall sea urchin. We live in a secret hide out and I’m not sure he wants me to show my friends where it is.

#6 is still curious. “Hold on. Who got you out? All the other agents are with us.”

“He must be new then… I don’t remember his full name, but his nickname is ‘Mud’.”

“I’ve never heard of him.” #4 says thoughtfully. He’s been in the agency longest out of us four, next to myself. “He must be a rookie.”

I shake my head. “He didn’t fight like a rookie. Something else is odd. We’re all numbered, but he isn’t. I don’t think he’s a spy, because #2 recognized him… I dunno. Maybe I’m just over thinking things because I’m stressed.”

“Ok, now that’s weird.” Frowns #5, “Are you sure he’s on our side?”

“He seems to be. #2 says he is and he saved my life…”

“Still, just the fact that he doesn’t have a number is odd… but if #2 is cool with him, then he must be ok. But he doesn’t sound like an agent to me.”

#5 is the wise one in our group, so I am inclined to believe him. “I know…” I sigh and sit next to Spyke. He knows all about the agency and war. The urchin puts his arm around me. “What do you think Spyke?”

“I think you need to get home, Love. You need your sleep.”

“I know, but what’s your take on the knew agent?”

“Honestly, I’ve never heard of this agent before.”

“Think he could be a spy?” I ask as I yawn.

“I don’t know what to think of this guy, Love. But don’t worry about it for now, it’s late.”

“All right, Spyke. I’ll head home. When do you think you’ll get in?”

“Shortly. I just got two more orders to fill out, then I’ll be there.” He tells me. I nod and turn back to see the other agents.

“Oh! Uh….” I glance back at Spyke. However, the other agents are not listening, but they are talking amongst themselves.

#4 grins over at me. “Hey, #3, we were wondering if you wanted to team up with us for the next Splatfest?”

This takes me by surprise. I didn’t know that there was going to be a fest. It must have been announced while I was stuck down in the valley. “Really? Sure! I didn’t even know there was one. What’s the theme?”

“Soup and salad.” Responds #6, “It’s in two weeks, but we want to be ready early.”

Soup vs salad. Not the best theme but… mmmm… Soup. I remember the first time I ever met Spyke. He gave me soup then… it sounds really good now. I know exactly which team I’m on and I ask if they are also on my team.

“Sure are!” #4 assures me.

“Cool! I’ll be glad to team up!”

“Awesome!” Grins #4, “We’ll see you later, k?”

“K. Later.”

Spyke suddenly speaks up. “Head home now, Love. I’ll be there soon.”

I smile softly. “Ok. See you later guys.”

The agents bid me farewell and I head home. Our place isn’t much. Spyke and I live in an old shack by the Inkopolis dump. When I arrive home I go straight to my room.

My room is a bit small, but I love it. Before I came, Spyke used it as storage space. The night he took me in, he cleared it out. The next day he painted it bright pink! … sort of. He ran out of paint after one and a half walls, so he got lamps and taped colored paper over them. They shine on the walls and makes them lots of colors. Now, the pink walls are all covered in my drawings… well, mostly.

On the left is my twin bed and my pictures. On the right is a bunk bed. A sheet hangs around the top bunk. Up there, my friend, who also lives with us, has covered the walls in her own drawings and paintings and pictures…

Normally, when I come into my room, I see or hear her up there… but, this time, there is nothing. She was captured by the enemy a couple of weeks ago and I miss her.

I sigh, then change into my pajamas. I turn the lights out and flop on my bed.

“I… have to save her…” I say into the darkness, “I have to… soon…”

My eyelids close. I fall asleep.

     Prologue ~ * ~ Next Chapter

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