- Francis Liu
Ethan and the Trafficking Incident
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
One rainy day, a boy was jogging along the beach searching for fish to catch, but was having no luck catching a rare one. I shouldn’t have mistaken a Bass for a Coelacanth, he thought deep in his mind. Coelacanths are a very rare species of fish, known for having lobed fins, but also being a ‘living fossil’ (as most people call them).
You might wonder why he was thinking about something very unusual for where he was living. The reason is, the island he was living on wasn’t any normal island: It was a special one. Why? It was inhabited by villagers that were one of a kind: animals with human personalities.
Even though these so-called ‘villagers’ were animals, some were surprisingly friendly for their species. Take a deer humanoid named Fall. She was usually very kind to the boy, and sometimes even gave him gifts!
Anyways, you may ask about the fish there. Almost all the fish species found anywhere else in the world could be found there. Nobody knows why, but there’s one thing for sure: this island’s waters were CROWDED!
The boy, named Ethan, was the ONLY human inhabitant of this island. He, as the representative, named it Bonytongue island, because of his favourite animal: a fish called the Arowana, known for its solid tongue and dragon-like tendrils.
There were more islands like Ethan’s. In this ‘Second Earth’, As the people on the real earth called it, There were no continents: Just islands. Humans that had been sent to live there discovered the humanoid villagers.
As he jogged along a beach, a hermit crab awoke, startled by his movement. He quickly caught it with a net, and put it in a small, plastic container. He then quickly but carefully ran back to his house, and put it in a larger fish tank.
But just as he went back out, VROOM! He heard an airplane engine overhead. An announcement sounded from the speakers protruding from the island’s airport building: “Looks like someone is visiting!”
Ethan rushed to the dock and waited. He waited for so long that by the time the visitor saw him, he was half asleep.
“Hi!” The visitor said. “My name is Lucas! What’s yours?”
“Ethan,” He replied. “It’s Ethan.” He was shy around the new person, and he should’ve been, for the visitor was hiding a secret deep in his luggage…
Surprisingly, Ethan still welcomed Lucas onto his island. They got along well, with Ethan showing his island to the other boy. But once the visitor had left, things started to get a bit more unsettling.
As the island’s coloniser, Nick the Tanuki was usually in his office. Checking the status with his partner, Bella the Shih Tzu, was part of his daily life.
But this was different. Nick had rushed out of his office to warn Ethan.
“Ethan!” He shouted. “Look at this!”
“What is it?” Ethan replied.
Nick shoved an electric tablet into the hands of the boy. “Here, Look at this,” He said while trying to catch his breath.
As soon as Ethan turned on the tablet, some text showed up. It said:
This is the list of the current non-government residents on the island.
Currently 10 out of 11 non-government residents are still on this island.
No longer on this island: Gus
“WHAT?” Ethan shouted. He couldn’t believe his eyes.
And then Lucas came to mind.
Ethan should’ve listened to the feeling in his gut when he first met that boy, for it was right: Lucas was a villager trafficker! Ethan had heard about them before, but never knew that a young boy could commit such acts.
“I want you to alert the rest of the villagers, please,” Ethan ordered.
“Sure, Island Representative.” Nick replied. “As you wish.”
While Nick was spreading the word, Ethan started looking for Lucas’s profile on his Islephone. When he typed in the name Lucas, he was greeted with unnecessary things, and so he typed in Villager Traffickers, and out came millions of results. But the one that stood out the most was this article title:
12-Year old caught in The Act of Villager Trafficking.
“That must’ve been Lucas!” He exclaimed. The boy had mentioned his age, and it was the exact same!
Ethan clicked on the article, but he was shocked at what his eyes had shown him. It was LUCAS. There it was, his profile and everything. But the writer had also added a link. Why not click it? Thought Ethan.
He was wrong. This particular link led to a trafficker store. And what Ethan saw next was horrifying. A LOT of villagers. Even well known ones like America the Eagle!
No wonder celebrities had been disappearing! He realised.
All of the sudden, he heard a knock on the door. “Come in,” He sighed.
It was Fall, but not the version he usually saw. There was a tired, grouchy Fall in front of Ethan.
“Thanks, Ethan.” Fall sat down on a bed. “Could you fetch me some water or a protein shake or whatever you have?”
“Sure thing,” Ethan said.
When Ethan returned, he asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Alright… So I heard the announcement about staying at home, but my house is a complete mess, so I decided to move here. On my way here, I found out that this Lucas guy brought along some robot creatures with him, and released them. Long story short, I got attacked. I survived them, but they left me like this.”
She showed him a cut on her leg. Ethan gasped at the blood, and quickly fetched a bandage from his desk, and wrapped it around the cut. It was near her hind-left hoof, so she would need to rest in order for her to recover. He quickly set up a sleeping bag for her, and he not only thought of it as a treatment, but also a payback for all the kindness he received from her.
When Ethan was done, Fall continued speaking. “I think you should book a flight.”
“Where?” Ethan asked.
“To Lucas’s island!” Fall said, “Where else would you need to go?”
Ethan was on the plane. The pilot, who was a dodo, was an experienced one, and prepared for any disaster.
As Ethan was preparing for the landing, he saw a black rocket-like shape zooming across the side of the plane. All of the sudden, he felt like he was falling.
The ‘rocket’ seemed to be coming from the island in the front (Ethan couldn’t tell), but it for sure had hit the plane. Ethan tumbled out of his seat and slid across the floor of the plane, crashing into the pilot in the front, as the plane was just starting to regain its balance.
The plane zoomed down and down and down, until… BOOM!
A few minutes later, Ethan woke up from his unconsciousness. “What happened?” he asked.
Suddenly, a familiar voice said, “Ethan? What are you doing here?”
It was the voice of another kid. A girl, this time. In fact, it was Ethan's good friend, Nina!
“N-Nina?” Ethan stuttered in surprise.
“Yes, it’s me. Now you should rest, because your leg is hurt.” She pointed to a large wound on his left leg.
As Ethan looked at the wound, he remembered Fall, and how HER leg healed quickly. He then reassured himself that it would be alright.
When they reached Nina’s home, Ethan sat down on the floor. He was exhausted from the jetlag, since he had been riding a plane.
Just then, Nina asked, “What’s wrong? Is it Lucas?”
“Wait, you’ve heard of him?” Ethan said, shocked.
“Yes,” Nina replied. “He’s even been to my island before.”
“Alright, same here,” Ethan sighed. He felt uncomfortable just listening to this name.
“What do you want to tell me?” Nina asked.
“I want to tell you about what happened so far. Please listen,” Ethan replied.
So Ethan told Nina about the arrival of Lucas, and the fun they had together until he left, and Gus, who went missing, and the plane crash, and all other things that happened in between.
“Wow,” Nina said, surprised. “You’ve gone through a lot. Now you have to rest.”
Ethan weakly walked over to a sleeping bag. He laid down and closed his eyes, as his mind began to rest.
A few moments later, Ethan opened his eyes. He was still slightly dazed by the crash, but he stood up and walked to Nina's room.
When he went in, he found her waiting for him. She was looking at sheets of paper with writing on them.
Just then, Ethan felt unhappy and wanted to stop this chase. He wanted to quit. And without warning, he blurted out, “I WANT TO QUIT! I WANT TO STOP CHASING LUCAS AND I WISH I HAD NEVER LET HIM IN!”
“What did you say again?” Nina asked, surprised.
“I don’t want to chase Lucas anymore. He’s too clever, and he’s always coming up with plans,” Ethan sighed.
“Well done!” Nina exclaimed.
“Wait. Hold on.” He answered in bewilderment.
“Yes! We should plan ahead of HIM!” She started to write down something.
Moments later, when Nina was done, she whispered into Ethan’s ear, ‘Don't give up.’
She then showed him a plan. It said, We first send Coelacanths with messages strapped onto them to Lucas’s island, to distract him. Then, we board a speed-submarine to the Island, but get off at an area where Lucas goes to the least. Finally, we sneak into his villager ‘prison’, and release all the villagers so that they can prepare an army to get rid of Lucas, the last villager trafficker, once and for all.
This was the only thing Ethan said: “Wow.”
He stood there, in front of the jaw-droppingly wordy planning sheet. And after about fifteen seconds, he asked, “What if the villagers on HIS island don’t approve of us breaking in?”
“They’ll all be in the prison,” Nina said. “But Lucas won’t sell them, or else his island rating will go down, and he’ll no longer be able to get the equipment he needs!”
“How clever!” Ethan shouted.
Later, After a long talk about how to defeat the young criminal, the kids combined their ideas. And after a few changes, their plan A was ready to go, along with plans B, C, and D!
It was Monday. The kids started the day by catching fish and giving them to Bonytongue Island’s museum coordinator, Blake the Owl, to analyze. They then picked out the strongest species for this mission which, according to Blake, was the tuna. Lastly, they sent the fishes to Lucas’s island, and booked a submarine to the most isolated place on the isle: The Fort of Villagers.
Days later, they arrived at the island. They wore hand-made grey clothes to match the environment on his island. But just as they reached the top of the high walls, Nina tripped on a stone. Fortunately, Ethan grabbed her hand just in time, and pulled her up.
“Thanks,” Nina said. They carefully navigated the narrow, borderless space, until they reached the back door. They slowly opened the door, but what they saw were locked-up villagers, and their hearts melted at the sight.
Suddenly, one of the villagers turned their head towards them. “Who are you?” He asked.
“We are Nina and Ethan,” The kids both replied. “And you?”
A wave of names flew over them, and Ethan was overwhelmed. He calmed himself down, and quickly did something amazing: He rushed over, and used his own nails to pick the locks of ALL the cells. He did it in a few seconds. Even Nina was surprised!
When they were all free, Ethan shouted, “Listen up! We have a plan to defeat the person who locked all of you up once and for all!”
“HURRAH!” the villagers shouted.
When Lucas returned, he was shocked to see an army. Not just any army, but all the villagers he had locked up. And in front of him, leading the army, was Ethan and Nina.
“Hah… You’re all no match for my power!” He bellowed. He took out a Rocket Launcher, and BAM!
A cloud of smoke filled the area. But once it had cleared, Lucas saw only the land. Suddenly, He felt something cover his face, then his belly, then his whole body. He was trapped!
Hours later, when they were back on Bonytongue Island, Ethan and Nina peered at the wriggling bag. The police had arrived, and took Lucas out of the bag. They handcuffed him, and flew away in their plane.
Ethan now had a new protective feeling revolving around his trust, and had learned that he should be more discerning with it.. And he felt proud, not only because he had eliminated one of the traffickers, but the last one. At least for this generation...