The baby swims out just as the moon reaches the top of its orbit around the Earth. The tiny being floats in place as its small mouth opens and closes for oxygen. A soft blue glow grows from her skin as her mother’s dims, her life fading fast.
The Murlan Clan’s head doctor takes the baby in his arms. Legs. She wouldn’t survive a day in this world of water, no matter whom she is born from, or whether this child glows or not. Life is not an option for her.
“Kill it.” His voice is harsh as he holds the baby out to the exterminator dressed in all black.
“No,” the mother utters softly, her energy drained, but her eyes glisten with life, with tears as she looks upon her baby girl. Her human baby girl. “She’s the One-Hundred.”
The doctor looks at the tired woman, whose blue tail shimmers below the dark surface of the water. The baby’s glow grows brighter and brighter, alarming him. She isn’t just the one hundred thousandth human baby born from the mermaid clan, but something more powerful, something more dangerous than that. Something that came close to destroying everything many years ago. Part of the One-Hundred.
“She’s the One-Hundred,” the woman whispers again before closing her eyes and sinking into the chest of her strong husband.
Do you know how humans survived the Flood, child?
It came many years ago, during a time when the world had counted each passing year. We’ve long forgotten that dreaded number, the last number before the waters took us from the world we’d grown accustomed to, and started back over at zero. The night that baby had been born, the One-Hundred, it was year SEA-122,354—one hundred and twenty-two thousand, three hundred and fifty-four years after the Flood.
Humans were wiped out, but they would never be gone. The mermaid population prospered due to the Earth almost being completely submerged for several hundred years. However, not all mermaids have mermaid babies. Sometimes a human is thrown in the mix.
One in every one hundred thousand mermaid births end in the result of a human baby because mermaids have so many human characteristics and body parts. There isn’t any magic involved, as many used to think all those years ago of mermaids, just survival. On the contrary, there has been a tale crafted over the years telling of a silent magic floating about among the waves, granting wishes and giving miracles... but it’s just a fable, a made-up story.
Or so we like to believe.
There is an estimate of 3.4 births every second and 86,400 seconds in a day, resulting in 293,760 births per 24 hours over the entire mermaid population. That means there are about two human births each day. Not all the mermaid Clans are as merciful as the one who spared a one-hundred, the one hundred thousandth baby born to that clan, especially those that are part of the One-Hundred. Most of them kill the human children on sight, knowing they could potentially be dangerous and destructive if they put them on land, as well as the fact that human babies would not survive underwater. The mermaid population knows evolution is nonexistent and that the humans could never swim with them as surely as the sun beats onto the surface of the water.
The Clans that spare these babies, they hold knowledge of places, mountain peaks that stick out over the water. Most of them are large enough to hold a large city of saved humans.
That is where they are sent, every human baby. Grown adults that have learned to survive against the weather and the animals, and they take care of the one-hundreds. Of course, there is a slim chance of making it past the one-year mark for the children, and an even slimmer chance to make it to two.
But this is the story of a girl who made it to sixteen, her seventeenth birthday coming up fast. Her body is rapidly changing with the growth of age, but not in any natural, human way.
In a mermaid way.