This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2011-04-07 — sourcemeta

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Missing Kal


A scene from season 3 of “Ocean Girl”.

Maybe she shouldn’t have been so hard on Kal.

He really couldn’t help his childishness – he’d been frozen for over ten years in the wrecked spaceship, and was inexperienced with human feelings. He’d had no concept of fear, for instance, and Neri had to constantly watch that he didn’t try to chat with crocodiles or get too close to human settlements.

But she didn’t have time to keep babysitting Kal. She had more important concerns – her people had sent pieces of a device to Earth, a device that could save the Earth’s oceans from destruction. And her dreams were telling her that destruction was coming soon.

She couldn’t bring him along while she searched for the synchronium, because he was too likely to get in the way. He did help by calculating the trajectory of each piece, and pointing on any given map to where it must have fallen. It was Kal’s unique gift, like Neri’s ability to speak with her Jali.

Wasn’t that enough? Hadn’t she told him how good that was? He didn’t need to join in the actual searches. She had enough help there from Jason and Brett, and Cass and Benny and Lena. Kal was safer on the island, or on ORCA.

And if she snapped at him sometimes, it was just because she was so worried. The dreams were getting more urgent.

But recently Kal’s behavior had reached a new level of unhelpful. Suddenly he was sulking or throwing tantrums whenever Jason visited the island. He didn’t mind Brett or Cass or Benny or Lena. But when Neri said she was going to ORCA to speak with Jason, or worried about Jason when he searched for synchronium without her, or mentioned any plans involving Jason, Kal would scowl. “Why always Jason?”

One day his rudeness went too far and Neri gave him a choice – either grow up or find another island to sulk on.

She didn’t honestly think he’d choose the latter.

After two days, she began to worry that something bad had happened to him. Unfortunately, her instincts were usually right. While searching for another piece of the synchronium, Jason heard that Kal had been kidnapped by the research organization UBRI, which was also trying to capture the alien device.

Now all she could do was wait while her friends tried to form a rescue plan. If she tried to confront UBRI herself, she could end up in the same position as Kal – an alien specimen for scientific study.

Returning to her island, she couldn’t help going to the spaceship. It was the last place she’d seen Kal – he’d spent much of the past week there, sulking. He tried to hide there that day he told Jason he wasn’t welcome on the island.

His ocarina was still there.

When Neri first released Kal from the frozen box, and told him his parents had died in the crash, he was not sad. He seemed to forget what she’d said as soon as she said it. He wanted to see the Earth world outside.

Some days later, they found the stringed, gourd-like instrument in the wreckage - it was a gift from Kal’s parents. Another day, Brett found him in the ship again, sitting among the fallen beams while he played the ocarina. He was crying.

Alone by the still pool that afternoon, Neri plucked each of the golden strings. A deep, hollow sound echoed across the water.