Jake had drawn the map of the fish (looking a bit like a plaice), and put in a couple of places, though he didn’t know what they were. One was near the tail, and one was on the edge of on fin. And he even managed to do it in colour. Somehow Orph had all the colours necessary hidden in his fish scales. For such a small body it sure could contain a lot.
He didn’t imagine himself going anywhere near the head. Didn’t want to go near the head. In fact the first thing Jake wanted to do was be as far away from the head, and mouth, as possible, so he and Orph swam to the tail end.
As Jake got closer he could see various blotches on the Fish-Scape’s back, and mistook them for normal blotches you see on some fish. It wasn’t until he saw a network of lines between them that he started to doubt his assumption, because somehow it all seemed quite artificial, the way the blotches were shaped and how the lines were organized between them.
It looked a bit like a map, Jake thought. It took about 5 minutes 23 seconds before he remembered what he’d been drawing (these details are VERY important, apparently…). He looked back at his map and saw that all the blotches and lines were all reproduced on his map too! He hadn’t put those in! Had he? Yet as they got closer the more the details of the back revealed themselves and the more Jake’s Fish-scape map matched these details.
They zeroed in on one particular blotch near the tail, the point that Jake had marked out on his map. Funnily, where the Boundless Fish Tank had no up or down, the nearer they got to the fish the more “down” they were going.
“Orph, I can feel down now, why is that?”
“Did you stop taking anti-depressants?” A cheesier grin was never seen on a fish. “It’s the Fish-scape, has its own gravity. Well everything does, but the bigger something is the more grave it is.” Another cheesy grin, that lost momentum with Jake’s stony face.
“Stop with your cheesiness, it’s bad enough I have to deal with your fishiness!”
Orph burst out laughing, “At last! He has got a sense of humour!”
Despite himself, Jake laughed. He’d been holding onto a grumpy mood as long as he could, but his pride couldn’t last forever. It felt good to laugh, despite everything. And Orph wasn’t so bad.
“So what’re you going to call this Fish-scape Jake?”
“It hasn’t got a name of its own?” Orph shook his whole body (since shaking his head was a bit difficult as a fish).
Jake thought about it and then grandly declared “I shall call it Big Plaice!”
“Big Place? That’s not very original.” Said Orph.
It was Jakes turn to laugh at Orph, and until Jake had written the name on the map Orph still didn’t get it.
At one point Jake stopped swimming let himself be pulled down by Big Plaice’s gravity, and slowly landed in the centre of Tail Town. Bit something was strange, there was no one here, no movement. It was like a ghost town. And it was very very old. What had happened here?