Author's note: I know. Thought I'd give an old fic a touch up with editing and new bits – the new season 5 of Samurai Jack inspired me and some friends to do more of this crossover. Course I know how it went down but I'm writing this anyway for fun, so enjoy!
There are other worlds and other universes. Many do not see that within they each follow a different path. Quite a few turns of events make each one different from the other.
Such is the case with this one Alternate universe… Far out at sea where the water is blue and clear as glass, deeper than any man made anchor chain could ever hope to reach, was the magnificent kingdom of Atlantica. Triton, the Sea King had been a widower for years and had seven lovely daughters from his deceased Queen Athena. The youngest named Ariel had the most beautiful voice of any upon the earth or sea.
Yet, the trouble with her was that, she was greatly fascinated with the world above the waves.
Ariel was curious about everything above the surface, especially the land creatures called humans. She knew the rule was designed to keep his subjects - including his daughters - from interacting with humans. Of course, the princess had never seen any humans up close before exactly, but she didn't understand how, if they could make all the wonderful things she had collected from the ocean floor then placed in her grotto, could be so bad.
Soon after a heated argument with her father, one in which ended with the sea king destroying most of the human artifacts with his trident, the young princess took a rash decision: she would become human herself and prove to her father - and everyone else - that humans weren't barbarians once and for all.
Unknown to the little mermaid, that as soon as she swam away from her ruined grotto, two of her sea-dwelling friends, followed close after her.
"Where do you think she's going?" questioned Flounder, a little roly-poly yellow fish with blue stripes.
"I don't know, mon," Sebastian the red crab, who was the royal court composer replied, "But wherever it is, we're gonna stick to her like barnacles stick to big whale bottoms!"
After all what kind of friends would they be if they didn't look out for her welfare?
It was already common knowledge that the sea witch had mysteriously disappeared years ago, so Ariel had to seek every possible option to accomplish her goal. Not many were reliable, which meant she'd need a solution above the water. For almost two days and one night, she'd searched until her inquiries achieved results. She was told by many a land dweller to seek help from a hermit - one that resided in Bogus swamp. Recalling the instructions she'd received, Ariel pulled herself up on the large tree stump and blew the twisted horn and fell back into the water, with only her torso visible.
Within seconds, out of the water in front of her, an even larger tree stump emerged. At the near top was a small round door, which opened and out came the hermit. He was short, had green skin, fiery red eyebrows, a mane of white hair and was garbed all in black.
"Who dares to blow my door horn?" he snapped.
Ariel waved up to him from the water, "Hello up there! I've come to ask –"
"I've no time for vagrants little girl, what is your business here?"
"I wish to become human, I've been told you'd be able to help me."
The hermit studied the young woman looking up from the swamp water suspiciously. She was willowy, with a luxurious length of cascading hair as red as blood. Her eyes were large and blue, filled with apprehension and a hint of hope.
"What are you talking about -?" He was cut off when the 'girl' pulled herself to sitting position up on one of the stump's roots. Instead of legs, he saw a bright emerald fish tail.
"Hmm, human legs…" said the hermit thoughtfully, he then told her to wait outside.
Not long after, he climbed down and handed the little mermaid a corked red narwhal's horn containing a bubbling yellow concoction. He instructs that she swims to shore before dawn and drink the potion that will turn her human. Then warns her that consuming it will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her body, yet when she recovers, she will have two human legs instead of a fin.
Ariel was just so happy that she flung her arms around the hermit's neck, thanking him. "Oh, thank you so much!"
The hermit looked greatly taken aback by the sudden hug, and distractedly glanced out of the corner of his eye. Then he abruptly pushed her back and scolded, "Well, what are you waiting for? You're wasting time, now get going!"
The mermaid hadn't been shocked by his harsh tone, but rather acknowledged that he was right, "Oh! Yes, I've got to swim. Thank you again, I owe you!"
And she disappeared into the depths.
"Oh yes, mermaid, you owe me…" he sneered lowly.
Had Ariel or her hidden companions glanced at the water, they would have seen truth revealed in the hermit's reflection...
Just a few good hours before sunrise, Ariel pulled herself up on the bank. Remembering the instructions, she carefully raised the phial to her mouth and drank the potion given to her by the swamp hermit. Once finishing it, she suddenly grabbed her throat gasping and gagging while her fin thrashed about.
Since her eyes were closed due to both the pain and the bitter taste, she didn't see the gradual transformation of her fish tail into human legs, by then she had fainted. Nor did she hear the raspy, growling voices approaching from all sides…
Hours later, the little mermaid stirred at the warm feeling of the sunlight upon her skin and the sandy shore beneath her. She slowly raised her head, pushing her bangs out of her face. And started when she saw her new pair of legs. Even more when she found herself wearing a white blouse with a black corset, blue skirt and black flats.
Ariel lifted one of her legs, removed the shoe and wiggled her new toes in child-like delight. What a feeling!
It was a bit shocking, but this was her big chance - now she could see humans up close, talk to them and learn about their world! Carefully, she tried to stand on her new legs like the way humans in pictures had done. Boy, did they feel shaky! She didn't know how humans could possibly-
She toppled over and landed on the sand with a giggle. Though she was far from deterred, she was determined to make her way into the world above.
Nearby on the rocks, Sebastian and Flounder had Scuttle join in on their mission to keep an eye on Ariel.
"What if she never comes back?" Flounder asked worriedly.
"Then… neither will we." Sebastian answered grimly.
Scuttle nods once, "And that's the truth."
The three friends agreed to follow Ariel for her safety and their peace of mind. Unfortunately miles into their little quest, Flounder was unable to accompany the other two any further, seeing as there was no other body of water for him to trail after them.
"There's no way through! Go help Ariel, I'll be okay!"
"Just be careful!"
So it was only Sebastian and Scuttle who set off after the little mermaid.
Later in the afternoon, a now hungry Ariel wandered upon the main road, when she chanced to make a kindly farming family acquaintance in a rather unusual way.
She barely dodged the oncoming cart headed towards her and fell on the ground face first.
"God's wounds! Is she alright, father?"
The driver and his young sons rushed to her aid, thinking she'd been hit by their cart.
"She looks rather pale, how long was it since you've last eaten child?" asked the cart owner.
Ariel tried getting herself up, "Last night, at least."
It so happened that they were farmers who mistook the mermaid princess for a hazy shipwrecked traveler and offered her a place to stay and so the little mermaid stayed with the farmer Isaac and his family in the country village they were from.
Overall, her little trip to the surface world had started off much better than she'd expected. The family welcomed her into their home warmly as a foundling that needed friends. Naturally, she had to work – most of them just chores around the farm. Something she didn't really mind so long as she got to see more of their world.
Within the next few weeks, Ariel to learn a great deal, with the farmer's wife, Deborah's motherly skill, she learned to sew, weave and cook. Outdoors with Isaac, the farmhands and the little daughter Rachel, she learned to garden, tend to the crops and animals. All these practical skills would become useful to her in the future- though she did not know it just yet. And in turn at night, she would sometimes sing for them, enchanting the household with her melodious voice.
While it wasn't exactly perfect, there were a few problems such as the return of her fin should her new legs touch water. She carefully kept this a secret in the evenings when she 'bathed'. But it was peaceful, happy experience for the young mermaid. She'd even considered remaining on land and maybe accompanying the farmer's family when they went into town for the Annual county fair with the harvest she'd helped tend to; it would be a good chance to see more surface dwellers and fascinating events if nothing else.
But even the happiest of times can be darkened by an unseen tempest.
Now one day, Ariel had just been walking back from the orchard, carrying a basket full of fruit as requested by Deborah.
"I wonder what we'll be having for dinner tonight…" she thought.
Briefly, she kneeled down to straighten her blue leggings. The dresses she learned to piece together were alright, but for field work like this, she decided pants were much more practical.
In the meantime, both the undersea friends had managed to find Ariel nearly a week ago and were greatly relieved to see her safe for the moment. Scuttle was glad their princess was enjoying herself on the surface and already making friends with humans. Sebastian was another story entirely; he felt it best that Ariel return home, just because nothing bad had happened yet doesn't mean that it won't.
This particular afternoon while Scuttle watched Ariel pick fruits then start walking back to the village at a respectful distance. Behind him, Sebastian had drawn up a map on the ground, calculating how far they were from the ocean – mainly Atlantica's borders. Just then a shadow fell over him and the sketch. "Ey! Move out of the way, you're standing in the light!"
Scuttle shrugged in confusion. "That's not me, it's falling all over the place."
He was right, a mysterious shadow had crept over the entire landscape. The sky suddenly darkened and rumbled even though there were no warning signs of an approaching storm which made. What was causing it?
Then they heard the screams. Both crab and seagull froze, looked at each other and screamed in alarm: "Ariel!"
Full of distress for their princess, they rushed to the edge of the hill and what they saw send chills down their spines.
Ariel look up in confusion then felt goose bumps of fear once the sound of terrified people reached her ears.
When she got to the edge of the hill, an inexplicable ominous feeling spread rapidly in heart. But it was what she saw that made her ocean blue eyes grow wide with horror.
For a terrible creature towered threateningly above the village!
It was hideously ugly. It had flaming red brows and goatee/beard. Its dark eyes narrowed with malevolence. The greenish mouth turned up into a wicked sneer, revealing sharp curved fangs.
A shower of arrows and spears rained upon the gargantuan creature. But it just grinned in malice, raised its arms high above its head and sucked the blades deep into its dark flesh with no trouble at all. Then, straightening its long arms in both directions, fired the weapons out of its' black palms and right back at the shooters.
Many of the townspeople jumped away to avoid the falling arrowheads, while others ran to avoid the burning beams from the demon's eyes. It wasn't long before the entire town was in flames with the creature cackling triumphantly over the spine-chilling destruction it caused.
By now, mortal fear flooded through the young mermaid.
In the ocean, confrontation was not a preferable option. And after seeing what this behemoth was capable of, she doubted she'd so much as stand a fighting chance against it. So Ariel did the only thing she could do: escape.
Quickly, she turned on her and fled into the forest as fast as her human legs could carry her. If she'd looked back, she'd have seen the monster glance her way and smirk knowingly.
Or her equally panicked sea friends frantically follow her into the woods.
"There she goes!" Scuttle pointed with his wing to the terrified mermaid running into the forest.
"Let's get out of here!" Sebastian screamed, jumping onto Scuttle's back.
"No need to tell me twice!" The seagull yelped as he flew a good distance into the woods after Ariel.
But she was too frightened to turn around much less stop.
Little did she know that this was just the beginning of her adventures in this strange new world above…
To be continued...