The water they pulled themselves out of was murky and cold, I am told. Even after thousands of generations spent in that murk, they can do no more than detect flickers of movement, our shadows passing above and their food passing below. Their changing, elusive environment has left them subtle and canny but forever near-sighted.
It can be hard to tell them apart from other people in the city. A turn of the voice, a sudden flash of light in their eyes as they stand in a pool of lamplight beneath my window… Their genius is for camouflage; they do not see far, but they see much. They blend. They tell the same jokes the others do, join with them in insulting themselves, pretend themselves slow and stupid and shallow. Each of them has many hands, many faces, many voices.
What do they want? Some say they want the country to be more like theirs. Some say they are weakening it against some unknown future destruction. It’s a tricky question, and not one anyone asks them. The very question bleeds mistrust. Myself, I believe that the sea could no longer hold them. What could they possibly want from anyone? What do the people want from the city? There is no answer to that, only a shifting light playing on the waves.