"What was that?! What did we hit?!" asks the first officer of M/S Naiad container ship.
"A ferryboat. We did not see it in this mist." answers one crew member.
In minutes, the ferryboat starts to sink, containing hundreds of people - tourists and crew - going to their final destiny: the bottom of the ocean, unless one man helps.
In Metropolis, they have the man of steel; in Gotham, the dark knight. But in the sea there are no heroes with capes or secret identities...Only one man named Arthur Curry.
When he arrives the ferryboat is totally submerged, he does not have much time. As he approaches the boat he hears the prayers and wails of the ones that still alive. The ferry is going down too fast, they can not swim fast enough to avoid being smash by the boat. Without waver, Arthur tears open the hull of the boat, and swim through its dark and narrow corridors. He grabs one, two, up to six people with him and exits the vessel where dolphins come in his aid, taking them to surface.
The man does that as many time as he can, every time he sees an expression of relief on the ones he saved and desperation on those that are left behind, each time he came back the number of heartbeats decreased. He pushes himself harder! Unfortunately he is just a man, he can not save them all...
Thirty minutes later, that are only corpses left, even so, he continues his self imposed mission. "Every man should have a proper funeral" he thinks. In the end, 103 survivors, 47 gone. The survivors embark M/S Naiad.
"I can't believe it, he really exists!" says a pop-eyed sailor.
"What are you talking about?" replies a second officer.
"There are stories about a man who can swim faster than boats and talks to fish, but I always thought that they were just stories, but I was wrong, he exists, he's AQUAMAN!"
"There is much more in the the ocean than we'll ever know, things that human words can't describe, and that is better left unknown or we won't enter the water never again" erupts the master.
"Good work down there on the Channel! The world needs more people like you!" says a stevedore.
With a discreet nod Arthur receives the congratulations. He thinks of the lives that were lost and of the survivors. He has done that a few times by now, it's sad to see people die, but see others survive recompense. That's life.
"Curry! Curry!" shouts an old traffic officer of the port. "Good work today with that ferry, but that won't free you of the night shift. I need you to be here when that ship from Colombia arrives."
"All right, McCaffrey, I'll do that for you."
Without fame or glory, Arthur's life continues as a normal maritime pilot. He does not want to be treated different because of what he can do, be feared or inspire others. He only does what he can, what he thinks is his duty, what is right.
That night, during his watch, a small boat appears on the horizon, from nowhere, towards the harbor. He can see a woman. No regular human could see that, but Arthur can see very well, even during the night, like it is a sunny day. He goes down to the docks to watch closer, he feels the winds become stronger, it's cold and silent...
Suddenly giant tentacles burst from water crushing the ship and dragging the woman down. Like a torpedo, Arthur dives for the rescue. He attempts to contact the creature through telepathy, in vain, something is blocking his connection, for the first time his power does not work. He fights the creature to release the woman from its tentacles. It is too strong, but he needs to keep trying, he will not fail, she is struggling for her life, he will not disappoint her! He charges hitting the face of the brown beast, that releases her and seeks to hold the hero. Arthur dodges the first and second, but the third tentacle reaches him. While the monster pulls him to the bottom, he looks up and sees that the woman is now safe, his job is done, but he does not give up of his life yet. At his command a shoal of codfish attacks the monster, giving enough time to Arthur frees himself.
Strangely, the beast fled without more resistance.
Back on the surface, he encounters an exhausted and trembling woman.
"Thank you! Thank you very much. They are pursuing me everywhere! I can't--I can't..."
She passes out and falls into the strong arms of Arthur, leaving him with more questions than answers.
Without anything more to do, he takes her to the port's medical facility, she needs to rest and someone to take care of her wounds. While hours go by, Arthur thinks about what just happened: who or what is coming after this woman? Who is she? Where was she? As he won't have anyone of these questions answered before she wakes, he reminisces of his childhood.
"<Come on, Artie. You don't need to be afraid of the new. I'm here with you, we are born of the ocean to the world. Come swim with mommy!>" speaks his mother in an ancient language unknown to humans, but somehow he understood her.
He learned how to swim with his mother, Atlanna. She told him about the underwater world, their language and stories, some were exciting, others frightening. When he was four, she showed her little secret to him, one that even his father never known. She turned in a hybrid, half woman, half lion-fish. That was an amazing day! The day when his dreams about the fantasies that she told him became true, he could not stop smiling for a week. But now, he saw the darker side of those tales if he smiled for a week, what is going to happen this time? ___________________________________________________________________________________
A nurse stands outside the building, near the door, eating soup while starring the motion of water.
"What are you doing? You shouldn't be here. Go b-- hunh! uhn! hel--"
*Aquaman, Atlanna and McCaffrey are property of DC comics. This is an fan-fic based on those characters without any commercial purpose.