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Old July 15, 2019, 04:59 PM   #16
Arr! Chitter me ferrets!
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 164
Wuwalleit is a benevolent AdventurerWuwalleit is a benevolent Adventurer
It worked! Walt had never used the Nudgy Trick like this before! The sand slid smoothly off the long metal thing, peeling away from the sea floor to form murky billows that then hovered in the nearby water. The Nudgy Trick exposed more of the object. And more of it. And even more of it. It was huge! Far longer than Walt had expected or even imagined, it stretched on and on until it finally ran into some sort of joint and branched out. It was even bigger than anything the giant guy could use. Maybe it was part of a sunken ship, or maybe it really was an artifact of Markalin.

The lutran wanted to keep removing sand to see what else there was to the thing, but he felt his lungs starting to hurt. He had let himself get too absorbed in the excavation, and now he needed to get to the surface urgently, which he proceeded to do, pushing off the sea floor with his back feet and making straight for the surface overhead. The light overhead was growing dimmer for some reason -possibly just a trick of the light. It might also be some of the sand and silt he had dislodged. Or maybe he was just dying. He could teleport up the distance, he knew, or he could tug on the rope if he needed to, but assuming he could make it he preferred to just swim. He didn’t want to use up too much of his magic juice in case he needed to gate back to shore, nor did he wish to lose any dread pirate cred with the crew of the Lazy Susan by panicking on his first dive.

So he just swam, up and up towards the surface, towards air. Not wanting to ruin his low-light vision, he would close his eyes just before he cleared the water, and, once he lay on his back catching his breath, covering those eyes with his forepaws. It was a gesture people tended to find “cute” and “adorable” for some reason, but it had a practical purpose: keeping his eyes dark-adapted. The Otter Maurader was not simply playing peek-a-boo!

Once he had had a good breather, he would stick his head back into the water to look down at the thing again, to plan a second dive. This trip he would dedicate to looking at the metal thing more closely, examining the surface texture and detail, trying to figure out what the material was that it was made of, knocking on it with a rock and listening to see if it was hollow, and digging out a bit more around the end that seemed to join something and branch out. He would limit himself to using his paws this time, again not wish to use up his magic juice too quickly. If, as he expected, this wasn’t going to be a quick and easy thing to recover, he would then upon resurfacing go back to the Lazy Susan to talk to the crew about what he had seen, and discuss their options, before taking any more dives. That chest was starting to look quite inviting, as well as comparatively easy to pull up.
Thanks to Niven for this snazzie avvie!
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