The Last Breath of Elisia
The following is fan fiction for the Ecco the Dolphin universe. I am not sure if this qualifies as “Fan Fiction” since I created Ecco, but I am a big fan and I did write this. Among many things this story has only been in my head. I share it now because some things that are happening in my family that inspire me to share this particular story. I admit my writing skills are amateurish but I hope you enjoy this anyway:
He was Elisia’s first born and she knew he was special. His father, Darana, was strong and swift but aloof around the new calf. She wanted to name him with her mate, together, but he had no interest. “Call him anything you want, what does it matter?” So she did, she called him Ecco. It meant, to see.
Only a few months old Ecco already was curious about everything. Once he figured out that the reflecting sound gave clues as to the nature of things, he pinged everything.
Elisia was patient with him and encouraged his exploration. She wanted to keep him safe, in the safe zones with the other young dolphins, but she also wanted to challenge him. He should be brave; to match is curiosity she insisted. So she would take him on exploratory adventures.
From a great distance Darana sang, “Come back, Elisia, there are songs of the hungry ones!” The hungry ones are sharks. She would take Ecco back as soon as they completed their deep dive.
They were diving down into the cold dark. She was showing her son how to push the breath and last longer without surfacing. Stay calm, think about your heart, slow it down, let the cold into your body, it makes your breath last longer. But, it was hard for Ecco to stay calm. Elisia explained to him that they needed enough breath to make it back to the surface so they could not go too deep and they were at that limit now. It was dark, and cold, and scary. Ecco pinged downward looking for the bottom but it took a long time for the reflection to come back. He wondered what was down there. He pinged and pinged.
Elisia said, “We have to surface now, swim upward slowly!”
Ecco pinged and pinged more. Elisia wondered what he was pinging at so furiously? Suddenly Ecco swam downward. And then it happened. She saw it clearly with her song and her eyes. A hungry one from the depths, with no warning attacked Ecco. Ecco’s entire head was in jaws of the shark as it shook him violently, trying to kill him so it may eat the baby dolphin in peace. Elisia screamed a song to Darana who was already on his way. He sang back “I’m coming!”
The shark swam deeper with Ecco in his jaws. Elisia swam down after them.
With no breath left and this exertion, Elisia knew she would never make it back to the surface so with all her strength she rammed the shark. In a cloud of blood the young dolphin was released. The pain and confusion made Ecco release his breath. Bubbles upward in bloody water.
“Hold on, ” she sang. “You can make it. Don’t be afraid.” She sang, trying not to sound sad.
With no breath and badly wounded, Ecco began to sink further down into the depths, but he could still sing, “I pinged the hungry one, mother, from inside!”
“I am sure no other dolphin has seen that before” She sang back.
“I wasn’t afraid, mother.”
“I know you weren’t”
Then Elisia rolled and positioned her body so she could press her blowhole against his. When she felt him against her, she blew hard, exhaling her last breath into the lungs of her son.
Without air in her lungs she began to sink.
“Be brave my son, swim to the surface!”
“No, mother, come with me!”
“Swim up now, please!”
He pinged her and pinged her, watching her sink deeper and deeper into the cold dark.
Finally for his mother, Ecco swam upward.
Months later Ecco finally showed his father the painful memory songs of what happened. Darana was devastated about losing Elisia. But, to see what happened, while painful, gave him a comforting sense that that she was aware of the sacrifice she made for Ecco. She made that choice definativly. Right then he decided he would honor her and try to raise Ecco the way she wanted, to be brave and strong, and smart. His only reply after seeing what happened was this:
“The scars on your head look like stars in the sky!”