Inklings walked around like any other day. Days like any other. They were no different. Some people smiled. Some people didn’t. Good news about the brand new idols of Inkopolis, the lovely Pearl and Marina of “Off the Hook.” Bad news about…
“Breaking News! The Great Zapfish and the rest of the zapfish are missing!” Said Pearl on the big screen on the top front of the lobby building.
“Oh dear! How did they get stolen!?” Marina spoke up after Pearl with alarm.
“This is the same thing that happened 3 years ago! The great zapfish was in Inkopolis one day and poof! It’s gone like the wind!” Finished Pearl.
“Also, famous Squid Sister Idol, Callie Aori, was reported missing! I do hope she’s alright now along with the zapfish!” Marina talked concerningly about the topic. “Inkopolis police forces are searching around these incidents. We’ll bring you more news once we receive information. From now until they find them, Inkopolis will run on back-up electricity. On a brighter note, these are today’s stages!” She attempted to switch the mood from what the news brought to the community.
It did not do so well. Many inklings have already started talking about the loss of their main energy source, the zapfishes, and the loss of the still big idol of today. Callie meant so much to everyone who’ve had experiences with her songs 3 years back when Inkopolis Plaza was the main place to walk around on. A time where the Squid Sisters were the best.
But now, one woman swam in low tides in the present. The small waves of joy became shallower after the news. The one about Callie, really hit her hard. Her black kimono was stained with tears, and her umbrella covered her face from anyone. Leaving anyone to see her, be left with confusion as to why there was a strange girl standing over a grate and close to both the weapon store and some shady looking business deeper into the left of the lobby.
Around the same time she teared up, she heard a concerned male voice.
“Are you alright?” They said behind the canopy.
Not expecting someone to talk with her so suddenly, she jumped with her brella still in hand, but lifted exposing her face. What she saw was an inkling about a foot taller than her, having blue eyes and yellow tentacle hair with side cuts and a long top part faced upward.
In the boy’s view as he stepped back from the woman raising her brella, uniquely tied up white tentacles with bits of green were seen as the hairstyle of the lady in front of him. Her eyes also, were seen as very intriguing compared to regular inkling eyes. They were yellow and had a sharp ended plus sign pupil.
Both the surprised human-formed squids gathered details on the looks of the other. The boy was fascinated. No other person looked like this lady and in his mind, he marked her beauty as 10 out of 10. The kimono girl’s first impression were… something different. As if she thought, this one guy was someone she knew. She didn’t know why, but his confident expression even after moving back from raising her brella gave off this strong aura, reminding her of someone who’s helped her before.
Going back to reality, 5 seconds passed after both were startled by each other. The boy repeated his concerned question.
“Sorry. You looked sad from where I first stepped into this place. Are you--?” Only to be ignored halfway with the girl turning into squid form to go through the grate she was standing on. She transformed back to human form within the sewer out of his view, lifted the grate lid a little bit and told him,
“Come down here.”
He didn’t respond well to this. Thinking this was some drug deal or illegal business, he turned away from the sewer entrance with his newbie looking gear to pro players of ranked ink sports and his black leather backpack. From the corner of his ear, he heard one more thing from her within the sewer.
“Please.” was said in a way that screams pleading and desperation despite being whispered. The boy took some time to think on what to do. Risk his life just to see what is it that lies in-store for if he accepts the request, or walk away and forget everything about today? Turning back to the grate, he saw the kimono lady’s face placed on their right sleeve. Their lift arm was used to keep the lid raised. She turned her head left to right, and to the somewhat fresh looking boy, this looked like the body language used to say,
“Of course. Who’d ever come to me for anything?”
Feeling bad as he was inside while blankly staring at her, he turned directly towards her direction. Intending to follow wherever she was going.
“I’ll come along.” He told her quietly. Judging by how lowly she raised the entrance, it looked like something do quietly behind the crowd’s eye, nose, and ears. He heard a gasp from them in response to his answer. She moved down ahead, letting go of the lid and letting it fall.
The boy, turned squid, passed through the grate and fell to a dark pipe for what seemed like 4 minutes. When landing on a surface human feet first, the tunnel path forward was lit up with lightbulbs. The smell of the tunnel could be described in the boy’s mind draws to the line of tolerant enough fragrance. The place smelled to have been given some cleaning with soap in maybe a week earlier. Some distance in front of them, and he saw yellow-eyed silver hair just far enough that he could take a few steps and catch up. Above yellow eyes, was light with shadows on her looking like it has been done by another sewer lid. She jumped, turning into a squid mid-jump, to pass through what was above her, and when the generous boy caught up to where she was, it was indeed another lid. Blue eyed squid followed suite and jumped up.
*OctoVally, Tentakeel Outpost*
“Where am I?” Said the boy.
“Hmm… would he really help with the octarians…” White hair muttered.
The cephalopod who followed looked around at the setting he’s set foot on. Pieces of earth were floating in the sky for reasons he’s unsure of and the sky was bright as a day could be and also as blue as the sky could be. For all he knew, this seemed like a whole ‘nother world. Looking in front, the guiding lady, facing away at first to another path, turned to look at the new guy fully. Now, he could really see what she looked like and the same is for her.
“Hey! You showed up! As soon as I saw you… umm... aimlessly walking around the square, I knew you were the one.” She told the confused squid looking at her, attempting to sound profreshional and give the newbie an idea about herself. She got something she needed. She couldn’t have him runoff after earlier.
“Well, I did walk around randomly. Exploring the place while I’m at it while doing...my thing.” Blue eyes was cautious. Still not knowing so much about this woman, he gave her a short blunt answer. Then moved on to saying, “Also, I saw you looking at me only for such a brief time. Then you hid behind the brella you’re raising now.”
“Look, I can gather quick information in such a short time whenever I feel like it, and it ain’t my fault the info I get can be embarrassing.” That line felt hard to say considering the guy she’s talking to explained how he had also used quick information gathering earlier to explain her behavior, but she managed to say it with confidence and sass. “Forget me hiding behind my brella. I know you’re trying to stay calm and less starstruck inside to politely to talk to me. I am Marie of the Squid Sisters after all.” The now revealed Marie of the Squid Sisters introduced herself after a pretty bad sounding transition from talking about what happened then to the what’s going on now.
“...Excuse me, who?” Boy squid raised a brow.
“What?” Wide eyed confusion Marie started doing. “You seriously never heard of me? For eel?”
“I really have not. Am I supposed to?” Confused boy shakes his head. Marie covered her eyes in slight disappointment before looking back to him with a deep breath.
“Well you’re obviously uncultured, but you’ll have to do.” She readies herself to give a long description of the request she has yet to offer him seeing as though he overall pays attention and is a good listener in this scenario.
“See, I’ve got a little…” This was still someone unknown that she’s talking to which was what forced hesitation in her next line of words, thinking they’d sound like forced on responsibility and most likely, labor. But, with the situation at hand, there was no other way to explain as such.
“By now you’ve heard that the Great Zapfish that powers Inkopolis square is missing.”
“Yeah…? What about it?” It felt strange for a country-wide event to be mentioned as the first topic of this service he’ll provide. What exactly did it have to do with him? She continued.
“Well, it’s not just missing - It’s been squidnapped by the octarian menace!” Well, that answers part of what was on his mind.
“And how do you know this?”
“How do I know? On the surface, I seem like an absurdly talented idol, but in truth, I’m Agent 2 of ‘The New Squidbeak Splatoon,’ a secret society of heroes who save the world from Octarians. Also, who else would steal the zapfishes? They give power to Inkopolis as they were, so definitely normal citizens wouldn’t.”
“Oh I see. So, what is it that I have to do?”
“Look, with my job making me a busy girl, I’ve only been able to keep an eye on the octarians in my downtime. Inkopolis needs you, a kind and willing squid to it’s hero from now until whenever you drop out. As for your name here, it’ll be-”
“Wait, as what?”
“I’m getting there. Age-“
“Ok! Now you’re just messing with me!” *Annoyed Expression*
“HaHa. Yeah, I do that sometimes. Anyhoo, I’m the new hero and…?” *Smiles wide*
“Alright! Agent 4 of the Squidbeak Splatoon, welcome aboard! Jeez, and just after you listened well at first…”
“Well, I guess you could say that unpredictability is a helpful talent in this occupation?”
“No squid, Shorelock.” Marie rolls her eyes back with the thought of being so done for the day, and when looking at the new will-be hero, Agent 4, laughing away from his own joke and being their audience reminded of her of someone. “Now, are you ready for this?”
Agent 4 squinted his eyes wondering if he really was up for this. These are octarians that he’ll be facing, but he has had fended for himself for some time now on some occasions from what he could remember. Not really knowing an answer to give, he simply shrugged his shoulders.
“I’ll take your awkward silence as a yes. That and the shrug you gave. Give me a sec while I get your suit in the cabin.” Off Marie goes behind the cabin to her left to get what she said she was getting.
From there, Agent 4 just waited from where he was. With a desperate need for information about the Squid Sisters, because apparently that is important to the matter of all things. After typing “Marie Hotaru” up on his phone on sunfari, the first thing to come up was an introduction to the Squid Sisters. Including Marie, obviously, and this one other girl with black hair and a pink coloration overall. Who was she? If Marie had a sister, shouldn’t she have been with her even now?
Agent 4’s train of thought was interrupted with a yellow sweater thrown in his face. Along with some tight pants, overly sized black and orange sized boots and black illuminating headphones. The last 3 were caught in his hands. His face however wasn’t lucky. As he helped himself to take off the suit from his head, he changed without second thought or question. He simply followed simple instructions to change into more suitable gear.
5 minutes later, and we’ve got a hero. The newest set of armor in the line up of the Squidbeak Splatoon armory was now worn by the newest member.
“Cod hope I made a decent choice for who will do the job.” Marie prayed for her sake considering the possible obstacles that will come up to him soon. She’d soon have to see if his loyalty could be backed up by something suitable on the field. In her hands, she held a long case containing something. The oval shaped case was what convinced Agent 4 to think,
“Yep. There’s a weapon in there.”
“Help yourself out.” Marie offered as she put down the weapon case.
Agent 4 walked over and kneeled down to open it. He was right in thinking it was some arsenal of sorts, but was unaware about exactly what it was. The moment it was open, a yellow and black gun was revealed. It looked lethal compared to other shooters he’s heard of. To the very moment he gripped the weapon and held it, he knew this wasn’t something you’d use for fun unless it was tweaked a bit for safer use.
“The creator of the heroshot is part of our organization. Right now, he’s at his workshop in the square fixing and selling weapons. Sheldon, the big-mouthed horseshoe crab, as i’ve heard he’s been called. If anything’s wrong, please tell us. I don’t want to come save you cause you forgot to tell, alright?” She crossed her arms, giving a command that sounded harsh, but the hero let it sink in as something he wouldn’t want to happen either. Almost dying ‘cause of a broken gun? Embarrassing.
“I’ll make sure of it.” He setted it to fire from the pull of the trigger. “I’ll also make sure to make any shot of mine counts. You’ll see, Miss Marie.”
“Wait. Why ‘miss’, 4?” Marie asked the hero to her right who stood up and looked at her. She saw the heroshot in the agent’s left hand aimed towards one of the three target balloons with graffiti of an octarian troop. In that split second in which she saw the gun, the middle balloon was shot. Glittering yellow ink covered that balloon and it popped. The funny thing is though, 4’s eyes weren’t even looking at the balloon, and his accuracy was dead on. Also, it was what he said next made Marie amazed.
“I just wanted to be formal.” Agent 4 answered so casually as he lowered the gun down after shooting. Some may call that cocky or dumb luck, but Marie viewed it as a born soldier showing years of combat in previous battles. This guy had to be the one.
“So um… when’s my first mission?” He placed back the weapon in its casing and closed it.
“What? Oh no, Sheldon and I haven’t located where a zapfish is yet in OctoValley. Until then, you might as well mentally prepare yourself. Not sure if you’ve been to a warzone before.”
“What’s the difference? I survive life as is. Obstacles and all, so I’ve probably got this.” Agent 4 walked off to the sewer door planning to go back go the square.
“Wait, where are you going?” Marie faced him throughout.
“I’ve got my own mission to do. Tell me, do these have a communication feature?” Agent 4 pointed to the headphones he wore.
“Yeah, but how will I know if you’ll come back when I call you?”
“Why do you think I came down here in the first place?”
“You asked me. Bye.” And away he goes.
To think the sassy squid idol could be sassed back with little effort. Marie found it ironic that that’s how it went down. Afterwards, she remembered needing to go to the radio station for a podcast. A quick look at her phone for the time showed it was an hour away. She needed to change for the occasion, and so she went back behind the cabin to find something modern to wear. On her way however, she found some clothing left on a seating area. Those just happened to be the same clothes 4 had worn before he was assigned the hero role. He must have forgotten those as he went out. Looking more closely at them, something was sticking out of the shorts. Something pointy with a white end. Curious as she was and wanting to know more about this guy she hired just to make sure he isn’t actually some guy trying to ruin the Splatoon, she grabbed. The worst possibility would be if it were a mini bomb, but that would be illogical. In actuality, it was a picture. At the center was Agent 4, facing the camera. He looked younger, had the same hairstyle, wore a suit, and made a very happy facial expression. The people surrounding him included a tall, stern, but happy business-looking lady to his right, a smiling adult man to his left with his arm over 4’s shoulder, a tall, angrily proud looking old man crossing his arms and farther to the right of the picture, and a young girl who 4 was hugging behind to in the picture; shortest squid in the picture, and had long hair with three big bangs.
It was at this point where she questioned to herself.
“Is he really going to do these missions? It looks like he’s got people to come back to.”
“Unlike me at the moment.”