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Under the Sea

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Feferi loved making new friends. It didn't matter if they were landwellers or seadwellers, lowbloods or highbloods. The important part was that they were all trolls. Feferi loved to imagine a world where everyone could be her friend, where blood caste didn't matter and the land and sea trolls were united.

Of course, this wasn't possible. But she liked to imagine, and because of that she'd extend a welcoming hand to any troll she met, even climbing up to the shore to see the landwellers.

Today was one of those days.

She was 2 sweeps old today, and she was going to throw a party under the sea with all of her friends. It was going to be the prettiest, nicest party in all of Alternia, and it would unite all of the trolls. She got excited just thinking about it.

Of course, it would be hard to arrange, but if there was anything a future empress did well, it was arranging and ruling over things!

She swam up to the beach. Today, she was going to meet with one of her friends, a landwelling rust blood, and tell him about the E---XCELLENT party she was going to have.

She poked her head out of the water and shook herself off, brushing her long wet hair out of her eyes. She looked around for her friend, and jumped slightly with excitement when she saw him.

"Hi!!" she called out to him, waving enthusiastically.

"Hi, Feferi," he replied with a smile.

"I'm two sweeps old today," she said, a huge grin spreading across her face. "Are you going to come to my party?"

"Of course!" he said.

"Yay!" she said, clapping her little hands together. "I can't wait for you to see my hive. It's really pretty! There's cuttlefish and seaweed and all sorts of stuff!"

"I've never been under the sea," her friend said, and he sounded somewhat hesitant about it.

"Really?!" she asked, her eyes widening. "Why not?"

"I don't know..." he said. "Just never thought to, I guess."

"Well!" Feferi said. "We'll change that! You can be the first to the party!"

She extended her hand to him, and he grabbed ahold of it, stepping hesitantly into the waters. A shiver went down his spine. "It's cold," he said. "I don't know about this."

"It'll be fiiine," she said. "I'm in the water all the time!"

He took a few more steps, coming towards her until only his neck was above the water. Feferi smiled. "See? It's nice!" she chirped.

"Y-yeah, it is," he said.

"Now, you just put your head under like this," Feferi said, quickly diving down and submerging her head under the sea. She went back up and looked at him. "See? It's really easy."

"Okay, like this?" her friend asked, and then he dove down, mimicking her movements.

She went down with him. "See how easy that is?" she said with a smile. "I do it all the time! Now come on, you need to see my hive."

She grabbed ahold of his hand tightly. He looked sort of funny - he was shaking his head and thrashing, pointing upwards, trying to go back up to the surface.

"Don't be scared!" she frowned. "I know you're used to the land, but there's a lot of really nice things you won't see if you never go under the sea! Come on, swim with me."

She tugged at his hand and he shook his head. She could see bubbles coming out of his mouth. He was kicking in a silly, uncoordinated sort of way, and she laughed at him.

"Silly, that's not how you swim," she said. "See, like this."

She demonstrated for him, making swift, quick movements in the water. "Now you try!"

He shook his head, and opened his mouth, but only watery, splashy sounds came out.

"Can't you talk?" she asked.

He shook his head and started to flap his arms about slightly, tilting his head back.

"Well, that's closer to swimming than what you /were/ doing," she said. "At least you're getting the hang of it! Come on."

He let go of her hand, then, and slipped downwards into the water. Feferi started to feel panic and grabbed at his arm. "What are you doing?" she asked. "Come back up here! I want you to be at my party!"

She tried to lift him back upwards. "You know, if it's that important to you, I can have my party on land," she said. "I mean, it wouldn't be nice to not talk! I can understand if you don't want me to."

She lacked the strength to pull him up, and her tiny hands slipped from him, letting him fall down onto the sea floor. It was then she realised he wasn't just playing some sort of a game. Something was seriously wrong.

She swam down as fast as she could, her heart beating fast in her chest. She ducked down to the sandy floor and sat by the body of her friend. His eyes were blank and expressionless, and his mouth wide open.

She had seen that face before, when the imperial drones came. It had always scared her, to see trolls fall to the ground, their faces drained of expression, no longer moving, but she was told that it was all just part of the process. She had thought it was just something that happened when the drones came - she never thought it was something she herself could do to one of her friends.

She was terrified, and felt her heart pounding inside of her chest. She didn't understand how this could happen. What had she done wrong? All she wanted was to share her party with her friends. She thought it would be easy, that he'd slip under the sea just like her. Maybe he'd be a little awkward at first, but she never expected this.

She cried out in confusion. She didn't understand, but she knew she couldn't bear to look at his pale, lifeless face any more. Distraught, she swam back to her hive. She had to talk to someone about this. Anyone.

***

cuttlefishCuller [CC] began trolling caligulasAquarium [CA].

CC: Eridan, I t)(ink I did something really bad.
CA: wwhat

Feferi shook her head, trying to think of the words. She didn't know how to describe what had just happened, how terrifying it was and how awful.

CC: I wanted to take my friend down under t)(e sea for my party...
CC: But now I don't know w)(at happened.
CA: wwhat do you mean you dont knoww
CC: I don't know!
CC: It was like w)(at )(appens when the drones cull trolls.
CC: But t)(ere weren't any drones.
CC: I was just )(elping )(im go underwater and then )(e slipped away from me!!
CA: so wwhat
CC: W)(at do you mean so w)(at?
CA: look
CA: evverybody told you not to hang out wwith landwwellers
CA: they aren't like us, fef
CC: I can't believe you t)(ink t)(at!!
CA: look, im just tellin you the reel truth here
CC: W)(atever.

Feferi sighed, but she wondered if he might be right. Maybe there was a reason landwellers and seadwellers were separate. Maybe it was for their own safety. Maybe they didn't associate with each other because it was a good thing.

But she found it hard to believe that there couldn't be another way. She had had so many great friends that were landwellers. There must be a better answer than just avoiding each other - some kind of compromise that could be reached.

Or maybe they would all just slip lifelessly under the water forever, and there was no solution. Maybe Eridan was right.

Maybe they were just too different, after all.