Ship Wreck Caught
“Sirena. I need you to focus for me. Tell me everything you can remember.” Sandra spoke with Sirena calmly trying to coax the girl to stop staring at the fish aquarium in the nurses and doctors’ ‘communion room’.
“Fish real?” Sirena asked David, remembering the fish from the television.
“Yes those are real, but they’re not food!” David quickly added when he saw her lifting the lid.
“Fish in magic box not food. Fish in glass not food. What Fish food?” Sirena asked.
“Fish that can be bought from a restaurant or grocery store.” David told her. Ed had decided to leave the girl for his wife, having given up on her completely.
“I’ll buy you some fish if you focus for me know and answer my questions.” Sandra tried convincing the girl to turn her attention to her instead of the fish. This seemed to work as Sirena sat down between Margret and David.
“I wake with head hurt. Sea deep. I tired. Not know when sleep or wake. Nixie find I. Give fish. Nixie save I. Riva Nixie. Riva friend. Play very. Meri teach I hunt. Meri watch I play. Riva Meri play also. Meri careful play I. Nixie not happy when I hurt. Nixie not like play far. I not fast. Not Always. Family help I tired. Said not stay. Need land. I stay family… Se… Seve… n… ty… t... tree… da…da…ee…s… I near family. Sleep family protect. Woke family far. Not know. See land. Hear sounds. Fun Sounds. I here. I Scared. David nice. Mommy Nixie. You scared I…” Sirena stopped for a moment then pointed to Ed’s side where his gun was holstered.
“Scared. Sea safe I. Sea I home. Monster not find I. Monster not get close I.”
“The monster his this who hurt you?” Sandra asked.
“Monster try. Sea safe I.” Sirena said and Sandra slowly started to understand what the girl meant.
“So the sea saved you. You don’t remember what this monster looks like but know he or she tried to hurt you. You were lost and Nixie saved you?” Sandra asked trying to make sure that she understood Sirena’s words. She nodded.
“Nixie has a daughter named Riva and you and Riva play with Meri, your friend.” Sirena nodded and Sandra continued.
“But they can play rough and you end up hurt?” Again Sirena nodded.
“Nixie scolds them if they play rough with you, doesn’t she?”
“Nixie mommy.” Sirena stated.
“Nixie is Riva’s mother and like a mother to you as well.” Sirena nodded again.
“Nixie also doesn’t like it when you go off to far from her. Now Meri taught you to hunt?” Sandra asked not sure what Sirena meant by that.
“Hunt fish. Dive deep. Catch fish. Open. Eat.” Sirena told the police woman.
“So hunting as in diving after fish catching them and then cooking them?” Sandra asked again.
“No. Open. Eat.” Sirena repeat. Sandra looked to David and Ed not sure what Sirena meant by that.
“She eats the fish raw. When she came out of the sea, she was had a fish in hand torn in half and eating it raw by picking out the meat.” David told Sandra who seemed to be disgusted by the idea.
“Alright I get the idea. Let’s move on. When you can’t keep up with ‘your family’ they help you?”
“I hold Nixie swim. Not always Nixie.”
“So Nixie isn’t the only one, they make turn to ‘swim’ while you just hold on?” Sirena nodded, but her attention was starting to be drawn in by the fish in the miniature aquarium.
“They wanted you to go back to land, but you refused? You wanted to stay with your ‘family’?” Sandra asked gaining Sirena’s attention again.
“Ye… Yes!” Sirena finally said instead of nodding.
“But then one day, yesterday, when woke up they were not there with you. They left you alone? Near the beach?”
“Yes. Left Alone. See land. Hear fun sound.”
“You saw the beach and heard the music from the event of yesterday. You were frightened but for some reason trusted David. Why?”
“Mommy.” Sirena answered, but this made no sense. Sandra considered the possible meaning to why she would use ‘mommy’ as an answer.
“David is like Nixie?” Sirena smiled, letting Sandra know that she hit the nail on the head.
“But when the police showed up, Ed, you were scared and ran towards the sea because it’s safe?”
“Safe. Monster not find I. Not get close.”
“Ed and the others reminded you of the ‘monster’ and like before hoped the sea would safe you again?” Sandra asked starting to see the picture as a whole.
“Why did Ed and the other policemen remind you of the monster?” Again Sirena pointed to the gun at Ed’s side.
“Did the monster have a gun as well?” Sirena nodded.
“Are you sure you remember nothing else? Not how this monster looked or where he attacked you?” Sirena looked to the fish tank, thinking hard.
“Not know. G… Gun… Head. Scream. Sea. Not know face. Know only after Monster hurt I.”
“I see. And you say you know you were with your ‘family’, Nixie and the other for seventy three days?” Sirena nodded.
“Very well. Thank you Sirena for telling me what you could. It will help us some. Would you mind if I have a word with David and Ed alone for a bit? You can watch the fish…” Sandra had no need to give permission as Sirena stood and went to stand in front of the little aquarium.
“From what she described I would almost want to say that that the monster she mentioned might be the Black Pearl Murderer.” Sandra stated keeping her voice low.
“The suspect goes after girls with black hair and most have blue eyes as well. About three months ago three girls went missing, only one was found shot dead. The third was a girl by the name of Laura Du Toit, a French tourist.”
“I heard this on the news yesterday.” David nodded knowing to who or what Sandra was referring to.
“Hawaii Police arrest a man, but suspicions have been going about that he wasn’t the culprit to the other missing and dead girls; only for Laura’s. This was confirmed when a month later yet another girl showed up dead last month again and then again this week. All with black hair and all blue eyes… All with a pearl in the gun wound. The suspect would leave their bodies near water with a pearl where he shot them; that is his MO! Most of the accounts are on Hawaii, but some on the main land as well, all of them fitting the description of one individual, the Black Pearl Murderer. The suspect kills roughly every month. Three months ago we think his first victim got away and he killed another to fulfill his ‘quota’. We had reports of a second girl missing, but had not found her until after we arrested the suspect for the third girl’s murder. At first we thought he might have upped his killing count, but now I know we still have to find the real serial murderer.” Sandra explained, turning her eyes only briefly to watch Sirena eye the fish with hungry eyes.
“This girl you think might have gotten away… Do you think it might be her?” Margret asked.
“Only one way to be sure. The girl’s name was Lia Kahue, born on Hawaii. She was a gymnast, sixteen years old, and loved to study up on different languages.” Sandra said, a look of sorrow in her eyes.
“My wife was on her case, she was stationed there still at the moment, it was her last case before she came to live permanently with me on the main land. Here!” Ed explained seeing Margret connect the dots on how Sandra knew as much.
“She has some similarities with Lia, not much though, but looking at her now…” Sandra dropped her head as if ashamed she could not find the girl Lia the first time.
“Well that might explain a few things. Just before you showed up she sang a song in some language to me it sounded French, but Lillian said there was some Dutch sound in few of the words, but none of it made sense to her either, that it wasn’t French either. She has pretty good reflexes and is flexible and the age is in appearance is close.” David tried to be the optimistic.
“Then we have to get her to Hawaii. I’ll notify the police there to let Lia’s parents know. We’ll have to find these people though that saved her. We thought they might have been her abductors but sounds like they her rescuers…”
“Sirena?” Ed called to the girl having listened to Sandra make reference about the girl’s saviors.
“The others of your ‘family’ do they have names?” Ed asked and watched as Sirena nodded.
“Echo. Dash. Riot. Tate. Mako. Friend…ly… Other not.” Sirena answered. The names were strange and made Ed think that she was making them up.
“Who are they exactly?” Ed asked.
“Dolphin!” Sirena said with a cheer.
“So is this their names, they told you or did you give it to them?” Ed asked trying to find out more about the girl’s story and way of thinking.
“I give.” She answered. Ed sighed.
“Chances are that she’s making up for gaps in her memory. I need know if she is Lia, how did she end up walking out of the sea and on Ocean Beach?” Ed asked curious.
“I think we stick with a theory that there’s a boat involved.” Sandra suggested her phone starting to sound, the song “Do you feel the love tonight” playing.
“It’s the coast guard.” Sandra said before picking it up. Sirena had her attention drawn to the phone intrigued with the sound that came from it.
“We are on our way!” Sandra confirmed with them.
“They found a wreckage of a boat, of two boats. One is dubbed Dolphin Rider and the other Echoing Fin…” Sandra said looking at Sirena and glancing at Ed as if to say he was right in in suspicions.
“Let’s see if her doctor is happy with her being released from hospital care.” Ed stated, David understanding way. They want Sirena’s memories to clear up, and hopefully get her to remember more than what she thinks she knows.
The doctor was fine with Sirena’s overall health, especially after hearing how hyper she was, giving the night shift some hell. Only request from him was that she come in for a checkup each day.
At the harbor the coast guard had already recovered several bodies, not wanting the girl to see them, they had recovered ID pictures and shown them to Sirena. She of course did not recognize either of the people whose picture she was shown.
“What about their names?” Ed asked.
“These are all the names of the crew on board those boats. They were deep fishers, it seems they lost control of their boats navigation systems and steering and crashed against each other. We suspect foul play, since we have on record that these two boats always traveled with a third; Mermaid Nix. They were an extravagant group of fishers to be sure!” The one coast guard people handed Ed a laminated piece of paper. None of these names fit in any way the names she gave us. So far only match are the slight similarity to the boats’ names.” Ed said scanning over the names before noting one name in particular.
“Who’s this Dash Blackwell?”
“That would be this guy right here.” The coast guard gave Ed the man’s driver License, long since expired.
“Captain of the Mermaid Nix found dead along with the others from the other two boats.”
“Can we head out with the girl to the wreckage?” Ed asked.
“If it helps her I don’t see why not, the last of the crew has already been recovered from the wreckage, only two survivors. They were transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital.”
“Sirena come here!” Ed called to the girl, David not letting her out of his sight for even a moment. Margret having opted to stay behind and keep Lillian company.
“She’ll need to put this on and stay away from the sides of the boat while moving. I’d though prefer if she sat inside until we’re there.” The captain of the Coast guard said as soon as he exited his office after getting word from one of his people that the girl was heading out with them to see the wreckage.
“As you say Captain!” Ed confirmed. Sirena sneered at the life jacket, but as a good girl who trusted David and seeing him put on his life jacket allowed Ed to fasten hers.
Within thirty minutes at full speed the boat slowed down, rocking against the disturbed waters that calmed to once again gentle smooth and rhythmic waves. Scrap drifted on the water from the wreckage a piece with a word written on it caught Sirena’s eye.
“Does anything remind you of something?” David asked Ed too focused on what one of the crew was telling him.
“No.” She said shaking her head, listening in on what the man was telling Ed.
“The boats sank, they’re still pretty much intact. Most of the damage is to the front of both the boats. It’s not deep, about 25 meters. We’re going to have them salvaged as soon as we have clearance.” She heard the man say. Her ears listening to find something else; her head tilting ever so slightly to adjust her hearing.
“What is it?” David asked.
“Riva.” Was her curt reply.
“What about Riva?”
“She hurt. Not long go. Trap.” Sirena said trying to find where she heard ‘sounds’ coming from.
“Hey! I thought you said you got all the crew members?” David said stepping past Sirena towards Ed and one of the coast guard and crew to this boat.
“We did…” The man said not sure what David meant.
“Sirena says she heard Riva.” Ed perked his ears, his brows knitted together in a look of questioning and shock at the mention of the name Riva. It was though too late to realize that Sirena had removed her life jacket and was ready to jump into the sea.
“Wait!” The coast guard tried to, but she had already leaped head first into the water disappearing into the depths. David wanting to go after her was halted when he saw another of the coast guards jump in after her, fully equipped with scuba gear. Another following suit, his partner.
“They’ll go after her, don’t worry!” The man reassured Ed and David.
As the tow divers descended after Sirena they were shocked that he girl could dive so fast and effortlessly. Reaching the bottom where the wrecks laid silent and soon to be forgotten, Sirena started her search for ‘Riva’. The diver following suit but lagging behind clearly not as fast to keep up with the girl. Already seven minutes had passed when Sirena finally found ‘Riva’ struggling against nets that escaped their holding during the explosive sinking of two giant metal beast.
The diver having caught up saw her trying to free the little dolphin and the first to have jumped in after her, removed a pair of dive scissors. Riva of course was frantic and scared causing the diver to be unable to get closer to the poor thing, scared to hurt her. Sirena seeing the diver’s intention to help somehow got the young dolphin to calm down, giving the diver the chance to cut the nets.
As soon as the last tangled piece of net was cut Sirena lead Riva out of the nets, making sure the dolphin didn’t get caught in it again. Already 12 minutes had passed since she had dived into the water; Riva was faster to the top, not that Sirena was rushing to beat the dolphin instead she went at the diver’s pace of ascending, knowing that Riva was only rushing to the surface for air. Hearing Riva call to the other dolphins brought relieve to her when she heard the first call answering Riva’s. The divers kept a close watch on the girl surprised at her comfort in the water. Reaching the surface she was greeted by the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming fast towards where Riva was calling them from. Her fin was dorsal fin was slightly hurt, and Sirena felt bad for her.
The divers having surfaced checked their bottom time, noting that the girl had been effortlessly swimming on one breath for over 20 minutes and wasn’t even heaving for air when her head peaked above the lulling waves.
Swimming towards the boat, as David was franticly calling to her, he helped her climb the ladder back onto the boat.
“What were you thinking!” David scolded.
“Safe Riva.” Sirena pointed to the little dolphin a little ways’ away from the boat. Ed was surprised to see the pod of dolphins and her referring to them as ‘family’, just as when they questioned her.
“That Nixie.” Sirena pointed to the motherly dolphin who seemed to want to hug the youngest one of the pod.
Swimming up to the boat Sirena introduced Meri to Ed and David.
“I can’t believe it… She might just very well have told the truth, not made up stories for lack of remembering.” Ed noted as he watched Sirena jump back into the water and allow Meri to haul her towards the others.
“I stay!” She said aloud David and the other just barely making out what she said. Ed could see the one she called Nixie push Sirena back to the boat.
“No! Stay! Family!” Sirena protested. It was Meri who stopped Sirena, hitting her with her tail, but it was clear to everyone on the boat that it was not meant to hurt her, as the tail missed her and rather had scared her more than anything else.
“But sea… Home…” Sirena said sobbing. Nixie nudged Sirena on the chest and got her to lift her head then nudged Sirena to look towards the boat and the onlookers.
“But I not human…” Sirena said, trying to get the dolphins to allow her back with them, but knowing that it was for naught.
“Alright… I stay land… But… Will… k… come… home someday…” Sirena tried to form the sentence, her words hitching on her tears. The sea was all she knew, only remembering fleeing to the safety of the water, running from a ‘monster’ hiding in the darkness, she could not make out his form, but had seen a gun, felt him rip at her, felt the monster pull at her hair when she tried to get away. And then feeling weightless and later waking up in the sea far from land, safe and sound…
As she watched the dolphins swim off and dive beneath the waters; she, without a sound or struggle, allowed the coast guards to lift her out of the water. She felt the warmth of a blanket being wrapped around her, she felt the harsh stare of the captain of the boat on her the felt the comfort of David beside her and the multitude of question building in not just Ed’s mind but everyone on board.
“Take me… home…” She considered using another word, but understanding that the sea wasn’t her only ‘home’ she allowed the word to carry he thoughts.
As the wreck disappeared in the distance land soon came into view, where Sandra got as much information as she could.
“I found out that the fishers might have been kidnappers, smuggling children if she isn’t Lia then…”
“They won’t know her. She wasn’t on their boats. Her story was real. She was saved by actual dolphins, and they lead her back to shore, left her near the beach while she was asleep.” Sandra gave her husband a look that was asking if he just lost his mind, but saw the serious look in his eyes.
“That’s some story to tell! Where though did they find her then? She can’t be Lia, Lia was too far out from here. It must be from somewhere closer.” Sandra raised a new question.
“She did say she was with them for over seventy days, they could have come from anywhere, before getting her back to land.” Ed said watching David lead Sirena into the building to get warmed up and dried.
“I think we start with Lia. Find any other cases of missing girls around her age matching her description that went missing in the last four months.” Ed started to think of working the girl’s case from another angle.