Cordelia: Part III
Things had gotten to the point where I could no longer cope: the sorority was getting out of hand and the young male the humans had left with us was an absolute terror. If that wasn't enough, we had the added strain of living in a cycling tank that these novice Keepers had no idea what to do with. They used all manner of chemicals and media to try to make the water clearer and had only just begun the constant changes that were truly required. I sighed and hid beside the heater. Ophelia came and went in her efforts to keep me company, and from time to time I would raise my head to snatch at the freeze dried worms and flakes that sometimes drifted my way. What was the use? The humans knew nothing and I no longer had the will or the power to be the leader these fish needed. Silvia and Viola now hid in terror and Hero was the only female who would have ever dared to stand up to Kate. He snapped at anyone who dared to call him that before returning sulkily to his attempts at building a bubble nest and pouting for food. I missed the hulking form of Hero, and pined for her even while Ophelia attempted to catch my attention.
"You should go be a fish," she would sometimes whisper.
"To what end?" I would ask in reply.
"Things will get better. You'll see."
The humans noticed my despondency and removed me from the tank after a few days of my unchanged behaviour. The water was clean and devoid of uneaten food, though a little cold. The canning jar they placed me in did not occupy a great deal of surface area, but I was on my own and happy as a clam to be there. I could see Hero in a hospital jar with an ugly silk plant, while the huge figure of a veil tail male splayed in the corner of my vision like a large pool of fresh blood. They noted the second shift in my behaviour and put me back in the tank to face the sources of my displeasure. They couldn't figure out why my condition declined so quickly even after the return of Hero. Novices.