The waters lifted her, carrying her along in a soft current of warmth. She didn’t know who or where she was, but she knew she belonged here in the calm, cool blue of the sea. That was perhaps the only thing she knew for sure.
That and her name: Gali.
But I can’t just float here forever, she reminded herself. I have things to do. If only I knew what they were…
She had no certain memories, but many uncertain ones – fragments of thoughts and images. There was urgency in those fragments, though some of them hinted at peace as well. Especially one, an endless sea of calm waters surrounding an island, embracing it and soothing its ills…
Gali kicked swiftly forward with her flipperlike feet. Her hooked arms cut through the water, and the ridged edges on her blue mask sent bubbly ripples out to the sides as she swam. The sea was full of life, but Gali felt strangely alone.
As she swam, she felt a shivering tremor radiate through the water. A brightly colored eel raced past her. Several schools of fish followed.
Gali paused and stared in the direction the creatures had come. What had frightened them?
More fish rushed past her in a panic, along with several crabs and snails and even a small shark. Gali pushed forward, swimming against the tide of fleeing sea creatures.
A large coral reef blocked her view of whatever lay beyond. As she swam around it, Gali saw a gigantic creature barreling toward her. The water churned around its vicious-looking snout as its long, powerful arms pulled it forward toward Gali faster and faster.
Gali gasped. She had no idea what the monster might be, but she could see why the other creatures had fled. The predator wore a dingy-looking, ugly mask over its triangular face, and its gleaming red eyes were ruthless and savage.
There was no time to outswim the huge creature – it was already too close. For a fraction of a second Gali thought of using the coral reef for protection. But she couldn’t stand to imagine the creature crashing through the delicate structures, destroying the living coral.
Gali let her instincts take over. Pushing off of the coral, she bulleted through the water off to one side. Then she shot toward the surface and extended her arms, not sure why she was doing so.
She felt the waters gather and respond to her call. As the giant sea creature burst to the surface a short distance away, an enormous wave formed around her. Her vicious pursuer leaped forward, but the tidal wave rocketed Gali away toward the shore, faster than any creature could swim. Gali smiled as the waters carried her to safety. So this is what I am meant to do, she thought. I am here to command the seas. But for what purpose?
A few minutes later, Gali shook herself dry as she stepped out of the surf onto the beach. She stood there for a moment, looking around, strangely reluctant to leave the water.
She glanced across the beach. A thick, dripping jungle began where the sands left off. The humidity of the place reached out, beckoning to her, and she could not resist its call.