“Why didn’t I warn the others? But how? Wow, I’ve not forgotten my specie codes already, have I?”
Sharkey’s warm blood ran lukewarm at the thought: I am entirely alone in this sea with no means of communicating. The shock of alienation caused his fin to tremble. “Where do I belong.? I feel such an emptiness; like hunger but it’s not. Now, when I see shoals I feel saddened. I’ve been to schools, seen the herding instinct and how they snubbed the dolphins out of envy: they were
more sophisticated in their groupings. It turns my stomach to think I might endure those mating rituals again. No, I need more; an intimacy of communication that affirms me and a significant other without the ignominy of performance.”
If he had tear ducts they would be filling now. “I feel adrift in a vast ocean – my goodness I am adrift in a vast ocean: no-one to talk with, laugh with, share the beauty of this world with.” He felt much worse than the time he swallowed an outboard motor and it ran around his system for days. No, this was different. He swam without verve, ate without appetite, even the wondrous coral reefs seemed monochrome.
Sharkey couldn’t face another mating season of mindless procreation. He eased through the water to a depth hitherto foreign to him. It was quiet, and while affording him thought, only confirmed his loneliness. Yes, he could still
function in his old groups, but it was no longer enough.
Just then a diving bell hovered above him; he looked in and saw a vision.