Fish Impressions and Initiations
It didn’t take long before night descended upon Australia, the Dentist’s office had since been closed since the sun faded from the sky. Only the faint glowing light from the tank illuminated the room, the mechanized diver continues to rise up-and-down. All was silent in the tank, not a soul could be seen making any movements within the tank. Nemo himself laid asleep inside a Tiki, made purposely for Aquariums, trying his best for a decent rest after all the excitement he had. So deep in his sleep, he didn’t see a pebble hurled over him as if something was trying to get his attention.
Mystery Voice: Nemo…
Nemo only responds with a groan, while still asleep. Another rock is hurled toward Nemo, trying to stir him awake but to no avail.
Mystery Voice: *Louder* Nemo…
Finally, a huge pile of rocks gets thrown toward Nemo, who wakes up in an instant when they pile atop of him. He quickly turns around in fright, only to see that it was Jacques, a member of the Tank group.
Jacques: Suivez-moi. *Walks away, turns back* Follow me.
Unsure of what Jacques wanted from him nor why he’d be disturbed from his sleep, Nemo’s curiosity had nonetheless drawn him away from his resting place to see what was needed of him. As he slowly followed the little creature, faded music began to play which grew louder and louder. As he turned a few corners, Nemo saw that he was led toward the Tiki masks, it’s markings appeared to illuminate from the light. A chant was heard repeating the very same words:
Group: (Chanting) Ha! Ho! Hwa! Hwee! Ha! Ho! Ho! Ho! (Repeat) Ha! Ho! Hwa! Hwee! Ha! Ho! Ho! Ho! (Repeat)
The chant repeated over and over, growing louder and louder as Nemo was drawn closer to the Tiki Masks. Nervously, he peered as a trio of figures emerged from the masks: Bloat, Bubbles, and Gurgle. The three fish were dressed with grass wrapped around them, as if dressed like Native Villagers off an Island. Leading the chant, they were revealed to not be alone as Benny & part of his group joined in the chant. Alongside Leo and the two male figures of the El Arca crew, Benny too also wore grass clothing and shells along the shoulders and atop their heads. The others simply held leaves, along with Deb and Peach, lightly slapping the leaves against Nemo, as he continued to follow Jacques.
As the chant grew louder and more dramatic, Nemo saw that he was being led to the top of a volcano, where bubbles flew rapidly from it’s top. But something else arose from the volcano and Nemo saw it was none other than the Tank Leader himself: Gill. He stared at Nemo with a look of intensity, as the rest of his gang along with the Fantasy Adventure Group arose chanting louder and more intensely. Without uttering a single word and never taking his eyes off the nervous Clown Fish, Gill raised a fin and immediately everyone was silent.
Gill: (To Nemo) State your name.
Nemo: (Nervously) Nemo.
Gill: (Calls out) Brother Bloat, proceed.
Under Gill’s command, Bloat approached Nemo, who still remained unsure of what was going on, while Gill himself swam back to watch.
Bloat: (Bellowing dramatically) Nemo! Newcomer of orange and white, you have been called forth to the summit of Mount Wannahockaloogie to join with us in the fraternal bonds of tank-hood.
Nemo: (Confused) Huh?
Peach: (Translates) We want you in our club, kid.
Nemo: (Interested) Really?
Bloat: (Continues) “If” you are able to swim through… (Echoes) THE RING… OF FIRE!!!
Raising his fins up, his shout echoing in the tank, all stood still over Mount Wannahockaloogie. Nemo simply floated about, his eyes looking around, wondering what was supposed to happen at this point. When nothing seemed to be happening, Bloat slightly turned his eyes to Jacques.
Bloat: (Whispers to Jacques) Turn on the Ring of Fire! The Ring of Fire, you said you could do it--
Realizing he was late, Jacques pedaled his tiny legs against a knob of sorts at the bottom of the volcano. Finally, the volcano exploded with a massive shot of bubbles.
Bloat: (Echoes, fins raised) THE RING OF FIRE!!!
The chanting continued as Nemo nervously peered toward the rapid surge of bubbles in front of him. Realizing that in order to be part of the Tank Gang, he had to swim directly through this strong current regardless of his own disability.
Bubbles: (Eyes drawn) Bubbles! Bubbles! Let me-- (Deb slaps him with leaf) Oww!
Nemo wasn’t the only one unsure about this procedure, as his friends from the Fantasy Adventure group also looked on with uncertainty. They could only float by and watch, waiting to see if Nemo would make his move or risk failing the initiation. The only member of the group that wasn’t nervous was Gill, who approached the bubbles from the other side awaiting for Nemo to join him and his little family.
Peach: (Shouts) Isn’t there another way? He’s just a boy!
Lion: (Crouches, quivering) I really don’t like the look of this!
Rafiki: Easy my friend. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
The chanting grew louder, Deb covered her eyes from the scene (Even covering her ‘sister’s’ eye, and all while Jacques proceeded to wail with intensity. Gill silently nodded toward Nemo, cuing the young fish to make his move. Nemo, growing determined to prove himself, slowly edged his way back and then… Thump! Nemo swam so fast through the current, only did he swim into Gill was he able to stop. Realizing that he made it to the other side, Nemo smiled as Gill looked proudly.
Gill: (Proclaims, displays Nemo) From this moment on, you will be known as Sharkbait.
Bloat/Bubbles/Gurgle: (Chants) Sharkbait! Ooh ha ha!
Gill: Welcome, brother Sharkbait.
Bloat/Bubbles/Gurgle: (Chants) Sharkbait! Ooh ha ha!
Gill: (Turns to trio) Enough with the Sharkbait.
Gurgle: (Shouts) Sharkbait! (Others face him) Ooh… Ba-ba-doo.
Kairel: (Swims to Nemo) Oh Nemo, we’re so proud of you!
Benny: We knew you could do it, little guy!
Leo: Now we’re all part of the Tank Gang.
Nemo: (Surprised) You’ve all been initiated too?
Leo: Yep, and we’ve each got our own codenames! (Quietly) At least, only temporarily… (Loudly) As of now, we are known as…
Xiro: (Interrupts) I came up with that one!
Kairel: (Whispers harshly) Xiro!
Xiro: Oh… Sorry.
Leo: (Continues) Anyways…
Miss Fortune (Bruma)
Nemo: (Eyebrow raised) Catfish?
Catfish: I didn’t like the other choice they gave me.
Stripes: It was either between that or ‘Fraidy-Cat’.
Gill: Okay, Sharkbait and his friends are one of us now, agreed?
Bloat/Bubbles/Gurgle/: (Unanimously) Agreed!
Gill: We can’t send them off to their deaths. Darla’s coming in five days, so what are we gonna do?
Catfish: Hide and wait until dawn?
Miss Fortune: (Annoyed) That’s your answer for everything!
Gill: (Continues) I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do: (To the Tank Gang) We’re gonna get them outta here. We’re gonna help them escape.
Nemo: Escape? Really?
Gill: We’re all gonna escape!
Party-Fins: Sweet! (Swings his arms, singing) We are getting out of here! Uh-uh-uh…
Gurgle: Gill, please, not another one of your escape plans.
Party-Fins: (Record stops, stops dancing) ‘Another’ one?
Catfish: (Eyebrow raised) Did I miss something?
Wristwatch: What do you mean ‘another’ escape attempt?
Gurgle: This isn’t the first time Gill announced we were escaping.
Bash: Then I reckon all those other plans were…
Deb: Bad… Very bad.
Shadow: Oh, fantastic!
Deb: Sorry, but they, they just, they never work.
Bloat: Yeah. Why should this be any different?
Gill: ‘Cause we’ve got him. (Motions to Nemo)
Fantasy Adventure Team: (In unison) Him?
Gill: (Points toward filter) You see that filter?
As Gill explains the plan, the following scenes are shown as Gill reveals his plans to Nemo and everyone else inside the tank.
Gill: (Explains) You’re the only one who can get in and out of that thing. What we need you to do is take a pebble inside and jam the gears.
Brainiac: (Adds in) Oh, I get it! In disrupting the machine’s mechanism, it won’t be able to stop the build-up of soluble chemical waste products throughout the tank.
Gill: Exactly. (Continues) Pretty soon, the dentists’ have to clean the tank himself. And when he does, he’ll take us out of the tank, put us in the individual baggies, then we roll ourselves down the counter, out of the window, off the awning, into the bushes, across the street and into the harbor!
Wristwatch: Whoa! You’ve definitely had a lot of time to plan this!
Gill: It’s foolproof! Who’s with me?
Fantasy Adventure Team: (In unison) Aye!
Lion: (Nervously) Aye!
Gurgle: I think you’re nuts!
Stripes: (Sighs) Way to burst everyone’s bubble, pal.
Gurgle: No offense, kid, but, um… You’re not the best swimmer.
Miss Unlucky: Well thanks for pointing that out, ‘Captain Obvious’.
Sea-Beast: But maybe he has a point. Perhaps one of us should take the job. We’re just as small as Nemo (If not smaller) and we’ll be out of that filter just as quickly.
Gill: He’s fine, he can do this.
Bash: Yeah Daddy, this could be Nemo’s chance to prove himself!
Sea-Beast: But Teresa…
Wristwatch: Benny, if the kid does get too scared to do this, we can always take over. But as long as there’s a chance to escape, we can’t afford to ignore that chance.
Rainbow-Face: We’ll never know if he can or not unless he tries.
Sea-Beast: (Sighs) All right… But if anything happens to Nemo…
Gill: (Insists) He’ll be fine… (To Nemo) So Sharkbait, what do you think?
Nemo: (Looks up towards the filter) Let’s do it.
The very next morning, Bryce Bandervilt and the remaining half of the Fantasy Adventure Team continued in their journey to aid Marlin in his quest to rescue his son and along with reuniting with their other friends. Not far behind them was Dory, the Blue-Tang who chose to join them a few days back. While everyone else swam silently, Dory sparked a conversation that was mainly toward herself and the entire subject involving the very same words: P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.
Dory: (To herself) I’m going to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Where are you going? I’m going to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. If you’re askin’ where I’m goin’. I’ll tell you that’s where I’m going.
Tye: (Sighs) Is all this really necessary?
Johnny: (Covering his ears) I don’t want to sound rude, but… Would someone PLEASE make her stop talking!
Queen Eliza: Actually Johnny, we should be lucky that’s the one thing Dory hasn’t forgotten. Whether we like it or not, we’ll need that memory to make sure we get to where we’re going.
Rae: If it means we have to put up with that, we have to just go with it until we find Benny and the others.
Morsal Fin: If I were only back into my regular height, I could get us there in no time.
Rae: We believe so too, Morsal. But whatever magic Bryce’s sword did to you, it’s too powerful for even my own broach to counter.
Morsal Fin: (Sighs) Talk about being a victim of circumstance.
Bryce: Never mind that now. We just need to keep swimming toward Sydney before we get into anymore trouble.
Whether Marlin heard their conversation or not, he was clearly annoyed with Dory’s constant talking of this P. Sherman junk. Not that he was ungrateful for what help it was offering, it made it difficult for him to think without listening to this:
Dory: (Continues) It’s P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Where? I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way…
Suddenly, Marlin’s eyes widened when he saw some fish that could help and swam ahead. For there before him, swimming in a circle, was a large gathering of Moonfish just casually minding their own business. Marlin hastily approached this group, hoping they could be of help.
Marlin: (Calls out) Excuse me. Ex-excuse me, um, hi. Do you know how to get to--
Suddenly, the Moonfish swam away before Marlin could finish his question.
Marlin: Hello? Whoa. W-w-w-wait! Can you tell me--
But each time Marlin attempted to spark a conversation, the Moonfish just swam away leaving the Clown Fish no choice but to follow them in hopes they’d stop. But in each of those attempts, they were to no avail.
Marlin: (Shouts) Hey! Hold it! Wait a minute! I’m trying to talk to you. Okay, fellas, come back here. Please, one quick question. I need to aaaaand they’re gone again. (Sighs)
Marlin, exhausted and annoyed, just stood afloat as the Moonfish were undoubtedly miles away by now. He heard the sound of Dory’s voice growing louder, as she continued her talk of the place they were going to with Bryce and the others being her only listeners. Either they were too distracted over Dory’s own speech or they probably figured Marlin would not get the Moonfish’s attention either way.
Dory: (Continues) P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.
Talon: (To Dory) Why do you have to tell us over and over again?
Dory: I’ll tell you again. I don’t get tired of it--
Marlin: (Flustered) Okay, all right.
Bryce: What’s the matter, Marlin?
Marlin: May I speak with Dory for a moment?
Aurora Rose: Oh sure, go on ahead.
The Fantasy Adventure Group move to the side, as Marlin turns his attention to an anxious Dory.
Marlin: Here’s the thing.
Marlin: Y’know, I just, I-I think it’s best if I just, if I just, carry on here by… By myself.
Marlin: Y’know, alone.
Marlin: Without, without… Well, I mean, not without you. I mean, it’s just that I don’t want you with me.
Dory: (Confused) Huh?
Marlin: Am I…? I don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Dory: (Shocked) You want me to leave?
Maggie: (Comes in) Don’t feel bad, Dory. We really appreciate that you’d go out of your way to help us.
Claw: (Nods in agreement)
Sunlight: But we may end up with dealing with creatures more dangerous than that Anglerfish or hungry sharks… (Turns to Morsal) No offense.
Morsal Fin: (Shrugs) None taken.
Palladon: But now that we know where we need to go, you can go home to your family and we’ll just--
Marlin: (Awkwardly) Actually, guys… I think, well just saying, you should leave… Too.
Fantasy Adventure Group: (In unison) WHAT?!?!
Talon: But you couldn’t have any more qualified than us. I used to be a police officer!
Marlin: (Shakes his head) I don’t even know what that is.
Bryce: Regardless, we’ve just as much a good reason of going on this quest as you. Why turn us away?
Marlin: Well, I mean not… Yes, yeah. It’s just that you know I-I just can’t afford anymore delays and you’re one of those fish that cause delays.
Rae: (Eyebrow raised) Excuse me?
Marlin: (Continues) Sometimes it’s a good thing. There’s a whole group of fish. They’re… ‘Delay fish’.
Marlin tried his best to sound as reasonable about this as possible, but the Fantasy Adventure Team were clearly in shock and outrage that he’d foolishly turn them down after all they did do for him. Whereas for Dory, she took this rejection the hardest.
Dory: You mean… (Whimpers) You mean you don’t… Like me? (Sobs)
Marlin: No, of course I like you. It’s because I like you I don’t wanna be with you. It’s a complicated emotion.
Johnny: (Shakes his head) No offense, Marlin. But you’re ‘really’ bad at this.
Marlin: (Ignores Johnny, to Dory) Oh, don’t cry. I like you.
Male Voice: Hey, you!
The group quickly turn around and see that the Moonfish have returned, clearly they had witnessed the conversation without either member knowing. Though with so many of them band together, they could not tell which was the leader and/or who spoke to them.
Moonfish Leader: Lady, is this guy bothering you?
Dory: Um, I don’t remember. Were you?
Marlin: No, no, no, no, no. We’re just--
Johnny: (Interrupts) Okay, he says no. (To Moonfish) Say, do you guys know how we can get to--
Moonfish Leader: (To Johnny) Look, kid. We’re talkin’ to the lady, not you. (Turn to Dory, smiles) Hey-hey, you like impressions.
Dory: (Slightly cheers up) Mm-mm-mmm.
Moonfish Leader: Okay. (To others) Just like in rehearsals, gentlemen.
The Moonfish spread out before coming together in the form of a large, highly migratory, predatory fish characterized by a long, flat bill. Elongated and round-bodied, the most popular sport fish in it’s category.
Moonfish Leader: Take a guess.
Dory: (Thinks) Oh, oh, I’ve seen one of those.
Moonfish Leader: (Adds) I’m a fish with a nose like a ‘sword’.
Dory: (Thinks hard) Wait, wait, um…
Marlin: It’s a swordfish.
Fantasy Adventure Group: (Groans simultaneously) MARLIN!!!
Moonfish Leader: (Irritated) Hey, clown boy! Let the lady guess.
The Moonfish change shape into a large marine sea creature, long bodied with a muscular tail. With claws on three of it’s five pairs of legs, including the first pair, of which are much larger than the others.
Moonfish Leader: Where’s the butter?
Dory: Oh-oh-oh! It’s on the tip of my tongue.
Marlin: (Coughs up answer) Lobster.
Moonfish Leader: Saw that.
The Moonfish then transform into a cephalopod mollusk, with four pairs of arms.
Moonfish Leader: (Describes) Lots of legs, lives in the ocean.
Moonfish Leader: Close enough.
Their final transformation is that of an old-fashioned sailboat, with several Moonfish mimicking cannon fire and one jumping off a plank.
Moonfish Leader: (Singing) Oh, it’s a whale of a tale, I’ll tell you lad, a whale of a tale…
Queen Eliza: I must admit, they’re very good at this.
Marlin: (Frustrated) Will somebody please give me directions?!
Moonfish Leader: (Group turns into Marlin, impersonates him) Will somebody please give me directions?
To Dory, it was both funny and amusing to see the Moonfish impersonate one of her friends. But Marlin was clearly in no mood for jokes.
Marlin: (Irritated) I’m serious.
Moonfish Leader: Blah-blah-blah! Me-me-blah! Blah-blah-blah-blah-me-me-me!
Marlin: (Annoyed) Thank you.
Seeing that these Moonfish were not going to be of any help to him, Marlin gave up and turned swimming away. The rest of the group, along with Dory, felt bad for Marlin as they watched him leave.
Dory: (Worried) Oh dear. (Calls back) Hey, hey come back!
Palladon: Marlin, what’s the matter?
Marlin: What’s the matter? While they’re doing their silly little impressions, I am miles from home, with a fish that can’t even remember her own name!
As Marlin continues to talk with the group, the Moonfish float behind him and proceed to mimic the frustrated Clown Fish.
Dory: Boy, bet that’s frustrating.
Marlin: Yeah. Meanwhile, my son is out there…
Dory: Your son Chico?
Dory: Right. Got it.
Marlin: But it doesn’t matter, ‘cause no fish in this entire ocean is gonna help me.
Bryce: (Outraged) What do you think we’ve been doing these past few days? We’ve tried to help “you” out, but have you been pleasant company? No!
Rae: Our friends need our help just as much as your son does, Marlin. But that’s why we have to stay with you.
Talon: Our only chance of ever getting back together with those we love is if we work together. And the least you can do is at least show a little appreciation.
Marlin just stood afloat, so many thoughts rushing through his head. Deep down, he knew his friends were speaking the truth, even Dory. Yet they knew he was just feeling frustrated, knowing that he wanted to be with his son as much as they wanted to be reunited with their friends. There was only one way of getting through to him.
Dory: Wait right here.
Dory swam towards the Moonfish, with the Fantasy Adventure Team following close behind. Marlin turns toward them, wondering how they planned to communicate with these fish.
Dory: Hey, guys.
Moonfish Leader: What, is he bothering you again?
Dory: No, no, he’s a good guy. Go easy on him he’s lost his son, Fabio.
Fantasy Adventure Team: (In unison) Nemo!
Queen Eliza: Anyways, we have friends with him that are also missing and all we ask is for help.
Morsal Fin: Any of you heard of P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney?
Moonfish Leader: Sydney? Oh sure. (Group mimics Sydney Opera House, chorus sings) Ted here’s got relatives in Sydney. Don’t you, Ted?
Moonfish Ted: Sure do.
Johnny: Hey, Marlin! They know Sydney!
Marlin: (Gasps, meets with the group)
Dory: You wouldn’t know how to get there, would you?
Moonfish Leader: What you wanna do is follow the E.A.C., that’s the East Australian Current. (Mimics the current) Big current, can’t miss it. It’s in… (Mimics an arrow, points) That direction. And then you gotta follow that for about, I don’t know. What do you guys think? About three leagues?
Moonfish mumble to themselves, as if trying to figure out the answer. But they each knew it would still be a great distance away.
Moonfish Leader: And that little baby’s gonna put you right past Sydney.
Moonfish School: (Highlight arrow) TA-DAA!
Marlin: Great! That’s great! (To the team) Guys, you did it.
Dory: Oh, please. I’m just your little helper. Helping along, that’s me.
Bryce: (Follows Marlin, with group) What would you do without us lad?
Marlin: (Turns to Moonfish) Well, listen fellas, thank you.
Moonfish Leader: Don’t mention it. (Mimics Marlin, this time with a smile) Just loosen up. Okay, buddy?
Dory: Oh, you guys. You really nailed him. Bye.
Moonfish Leader: (Swims in front of Dory) Oh, hey ma’am, one more thing.
Moonfish Leader: (Turns into a trench) When you get to this trench, swim through it, not over it..
Dory: Trench, through it, not over it. I’ll remember. (Swims off, calls out) Hey, hey! Hey! Hey! Hey, wait up, fellas. Hold on. Wait! Wait-wait! I got, I gotta tell you something… (Turns) Whoa.
The group floated before a giant trench, two seawalls partially separated from each other leaving a dark, foreboding passageway in between the walls. The only thing standing between their chance of reaching Sydney and it was through these walls.
Dory: Nice trench.
Fantasy Adventure Team: (Wide-eyed, in unison) Oh crud!
To be continued…