Subject: Hey, I was thinking you might go with those fish!
Posted on: 2020-06-29 02:20:25 UTC

Sweet! Another mini for my Initiative . . . I'll only need one more after this!

"How's that coming?" Omri Stone demanded.

The agents from Misplaced Flora and Fauna, a man and a woman, glanced at each other. "Just about finished," the man said quietly. "Water's nearly filled, and no sign of leakage so far.

Omri stepped closer and examined the water tank the unnaturalists had been setting up. He frowned. "Don't these need some kind of filtration system? To oxygenate the water?"

The woman huffed. In a calm voice, the man said, "They do when they're housing actual water life. Minis aren't alive, just typos."

Omri raised his head and looked down his nose at the man. "Oh. Oh you're going to come in here, the Mini Adoption Agency, and tell the employees here all about minis, are you? Think being DMFF makes you some kind of expert? If you—"

"Look man!" the woman erupted, rounding on Omri. "You went up the chain of command and got us hauled away from doing real work to build a fish tank for things that don't even breathe water! They've been sitting here fine this whole time! Look!"

Three mini-three-eyed fish, Simpin, Marj and Fnalders, were sitting on the floor, calmly watching the exchange, seemingly oblivious to the antagonism. Mark flopped its tail a bit.

Omri locked eyes with the woman, eyelids lowered. "Yeah, that looks real nice to any agents who come in looking to adopt. Fish just sitting on the floor, immobile. In this division, we at least try to appear professional."

The woman's eyes widened. "What is that supposed to mean, exactly? Was that a&mdas;"

But her partner interrupted. "Don't. Just. We're done, the tank is finished. Let's go." He put an arm around her shoulders and started to steer her out of the room, avoiding eye contact with Omri. The woman glared at him, though, as she allowed her partner to pilot her away.

Omri returned the glare as they left. Once they were through the door, he went to the minis, knelt down, and lifted Simpin and Fnalders under an arm, carrying them to the tank. He awkwardly climbed up a stepladder feet-only and lowered the three-eyed-fish into the water. Both excitedly began swimming in circles, testing their newfound mobility. Fnalders settled down first while Simpin continued exploring the space.

Omri came down the ladder and turned to grab the third Simpsons mini, only to discover Marj wasn't where it had been sitting when he picked up the other two. He glanced around the small room. Most of the minis had been herded from the room to keep them from distracting the DMFF agents, although a mini-Gohma and a mini-Monoeye had been holding a staring contest undisturbed in one corner since before the work began. A mini-Reaper was drifting lazily in circles up near the ceiling. Otherwise, the room was empty.

Omri's fists clenched. "I really, really don't need this kind of paperwork right now."

In the janitorial closet across from the Adoption Center, a mini-Missingno's jumbly coding body passed through the door. In its tinny-speaker voice, it announced, "A new recruit."

"Well done, Physic," said Midguard. He struck a match, illuminating his face. "Who have we added to the team?"

Physic parted its sprite tiles and allowed an orange fish with three eyes to flop to the floor. "All right! Magikarp was caught!"

Midguard stared at the fish. "That's a fish."

"Yes," garbled Physic. "I have captured a Water-type. We didn't have one before."

Midguard shut his eyes. "Oooh boooy. Physic, we're supposed to be a superhero team. That is a fish. Fish are not superheroes!"

Physic twisted itself back into the classic Missingno shape. "Three eyes allow for greater visual acuity. It is also a streamlined shape perfect for swimming, a talent none of us currently possess."

"But it's a fish. How are we going to keep it alive without water?"

"I listened to agents speaking before I took Marj. They do not need water, just as we do not need air."

"You may not need air because your body is 8-bit pixels. The rest of us need air. I've been breathing ever since I was created. Right, Fortesque?"

A mini-acromantula dropped down from a web. "Eeeeeeeeeh, nooooooo . . ." it hissed. "No need breathe."

"Wait, really?" Midguard held his breath. Two minutes later, he said, "Well I'll be damned. I guess we don't need to breathe." He dropped his eyes to the fish. "Well, the real Nick Fury didn't have a lot of choice in his team either. I guess I'm employing a fish now."

Marj flopped.

The Avengers Minitiative
coming April 27, 2018

—doctorlit leaves convenient links to part one and part two

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