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  1. Episode 6: Miseria Cantare We open up to Manny’s instincts leading him to his family’s home before moving to Bikini Bottom, Arava Cove, a stretch of open ocean where sharks could live in relative peace away from the hustle and bustle of the more modern and civilized communities. These Shark colonies operate by their own sets of rules, free from any outside authority or government that are becoming increasingly commonplace among those lower on the food chain. To his surprise, Arava Cove was seemingly abandoned. Grottos appear ransacked or caved in entirely, trails of blood line the sand. The blood didn’t appear to be from any fresh kill, either. Something happened here, and Manny wanted to get to the bottom of it. Manny catches a whiff of a very familiar smell in the cove’s water. The lemon sharks that reside here usually don’t go around picking fights when any threat bigger than themselves enters the territory, and the sheer number of the lemons almost always dissuades potential threats from making any hostile movements. Manny theorizes to himself that what happened to him and his family must’ve also happened here, though this attack was on a much larger scale. An entire colony of sharks, seemingly wiped away like nothing. Manny had no room in his heart to spare on mourning this place. The reasons for his departure from the cove are still fresh in his memory. He heads off in the direction of that familiar smell, hoping to get some more intel from it. Manny’s investigation leads him to a small school of remora hiding out in the remains of the Arava chief’s grotto. The startled remoras initially mistake Manny as another intruder, but are relieved to see that at least one of the sharks managed to escape the bloodshed. Manny informs them that isn’t with the settlement, and hasn’t been for a long while now. While the remora are surprised to see him, he’s just perplexed to see them in the settlement at all. Lemon sharks don’t typically view remora as fondly as other sharks of their ilk tend to do. To lemons, remora are no more than pests and more likely to be killed and devoured rather than bonded with. One of the remora introduces themselves as Remy and informs Manny that the denizens of Arava Cove had to adapt more than ever in order to survive in recent times. The cove’s numbers had dwindled since Manny probably last stepped foot in it. Between the number of departures and the rising number of hunters in the area, the lemon shark population is in pretty dire straits. Manny is intrigued to know that more sharks apparently left in the wake of his own departure. See this as his chance to gather any information he can get, he questions the remora about what exactly took place here. Remy recalls how a few weeks back, the cove’s Chief and his hunting party returned home from a feeding frenzy alongside a potential new mate. The Chief’s previous mate had been hunted down while pregnant with his pups. He brought the new arrival back to the cove in order to have something of a fresh start. The chief’s personal remora voiced their concern the loudest, sensing something was amiss with this female shark after other remora reported strange behavior being displayed while bonded with her, but the chief’s decision was final. When the time came to consummate the mating season, the hunters took it as an opportunity to lay siege to the cove. The Chief was killed in his own grotto and more bloodshed quickly followed. Some were tortured and mutilated on the spot, others were battered and netted up to the surface. Some remoras chose to stay with their hosts til the bloody end, others had no choice but to flee. When it was all said and done, this school of remoras were all that was left of the settlement. Manny admonishes the chief for following his emotions instead of his instincts, but Remy replies that replenishing the lemon shark numbers was what his instincts told him. The remoras have come to know the stench of battle all too well in the immediate aftermath. They could sense the very same stench radiating off of Manny. Because of this, they question him on the circumstances surrounding his mysterious return. Manny refuses to divulge anything, feeling his situation to be eerily similar to what had happened. His own decisions had led him to ruin, much like how things turned out for the lemon chief. Suddenly, Manny picked back up on a similar scent coming from beyond the cove’s borders. The stench of death is still fresh on this particular source, so Manny immediately heads out to further investigate, leaving the remoras behind. His search takes him to the outskirts of the nearby reef city, Bandeau, which happens to lie in nurse shark territory. Here, fish of all creeds enjoy off-roading in the sand dunes. A shiver of nurse sharks operates a clinic in the event of any medical emergencies in the dunes. However, unbeknownst to the general public, the clinic also serves as a front for nurse sharks to feed indiscriminately. Inside, a trio of nurse sharks are currently feeding on a couple of children whose parents brought them in to treat some bad scrapes from a dirt bike mishap. When the nurse sharks conclude their lunch they instruct a fourth nurse to inform the parents that they can see their kids now. As the fourth nurse goes to do that, another injured fish stumbles into the clinic, blood pouring from a very open wound. The parents are startled at the sight as Manny enters the clinic right behind them. He attacks the two, gobbling as much of them up and leaving behind slight remnants of blood and some scraps.. The commotion draws the attention of the other three nurses, who storm out in a hurry. They’re pissed to see a lemon shark intrude on “their turf”, but Manny tells them that he isn’t here to incite a turf war. He’s only here for answers, and he thinks the fourth nurse shark can provide him with that. The other three nurse sharks charge at him in defense of their colleague, but Manny throws the injured fish’s body at them to break up their formation. Manny implores them to partake in their last meal. The three nurses oblige and tear the injured fish apart, devouring each respective section of his body. Manny brawls with the nurses all throughout their makeshift office, but the numbers game slowly gets to him. They ultimately back him into a corner of the waiting room, take chomps out of him as he tries blocking their advances. Suddenly, his right fin seems to take on a life of its own as it absolutely potatoes one of the nurse’s right on their nose before proceeding to gouge another nurse’s eye out. Manny then takes the opportunity to take a big bite out of the third’s body. With the three nurses reeling in pain, Manny takes a closer look at his arm to see that Remy had himself firmly placed underneath it without Manny even knowing. Manny angrily demands to know what it’s doing, to which Remy replies that he’s helping “save your skin”. Remy informs Manny that remoras are good for more than just reaping the leeching off of their hosts. They can help their hosts become stronger, more effective. Lemon sharks remained ignorantly blind to that fact for years until the Arava Chief finally saw the use in having them around. Now it’s for Manny to experience the same benefits. The three nurse sharks take note of this development and remove their nurse's scrubs to reveal their very own remoras attached to them. Upon seeing this, Remy remarks that this might’ve gotten tougher. The nurses start channeling on their mana, which also extends to their remoras. This further widens the gap between their power and Manny’s, who is still clueless as to how to control his own mana to such a degree. Remy comments that Manny “sure did a number domesticating himself”. Remy takes some time to sync his own mana with Manny’s. This process allows him a clearer look into Manny’s soul, while also giving Manny a clearer window into his. Remy is finally able to see all the atrocities that Manny has been through while Manny finds out that Remy himself was the Arava Chief’s personal remora. Manny is also able to see Remy’s final memory of the Arava Chief, who in his last act, imparted some of his mana into Remy and instructed him to find a suitable host and spread word of what had happened to them to other shark colonies. Manny snaps back to reality to find that he’s been putting up a much better fight against the nurses than he was previously. Remy informs him that that’s just “instincts really taking over”. Manny grabs one of the nurses and chows them down. And then doing the same to the other two in short order. The last nurse could scream in agony before being chugged through the serrated teeth and down Manny’s gullet. Manny could feel his mana growing exponentially from this latest victory. The nurse sharks’ remoras hastily retreat to the body of the fourth nurse, who applauds Manny for somehow surviving this long, but that it won’t be long before he ends up like all the others of his species. An electric current surges through the fourth nurse, pretty much tasering the remoras that have suckered themselves into her. Remy comments that that wasn’t mana she was using. This confirms Manny’s lingering suspicions that this “shark” isn’t what she passes herself off as. The “nurse” removes her own scrubs to reveal that her body is a cage-looking vessel with two hired Glove hands operating it. Manny angrily questions how nobody in Arava Cove had stronger suspicions of this thing, Remy replies that it was “really convincing” and that they all thought the two operators were just people “she devoured recently”. The mechanized menace commences its attack, snapping at Manny with its motorized chompers. Manny manages to break away and put distance between himself and it, but the mechanical vessel fires off a harpoon that pierces his stomach, and with the rope attached to it, it begins reeling Manny back towards its motormouth. Manny struggles to pull himself away, but one of the operators inside pulls out a gun and fires off pot shots, hitting Manny multiple times, in hopes that it weakens him even further. Remy tries his hardest to also pull back and keep Manny in place, but also gets overwhelmed by the strain. The other nurses’ remoras come to and realizes what’s going on. They quickly surround Manny and sucker themselves onto his body alongside Remy. Together, Remy and the other remoras go to work cleaning up Manny and letting their collective mana flow into his own. Their combined strength stops Manny from being drawn in closer to the mechanical man powered vessel, effectively putting them all at a stalemate until Manny snaps the rope that the harpoon is attached to with his teeth. Now freed, Manny’s aura bursts forth from his body, creating a bluish-green light show for all the fish participating in the sand dunes. Manny charges forth, letting his mana propel him faster, and snaps at the mechanical vessel’s cage-like body. The metal bars bend and break away, giving the operators little choice but to flee the vessel. Manny thrashes about tearing the vessel to shreds as the operators frantically swim away with their guns. Once they reach a safe enough distance, they turn around to aim and fire, but is already out of sight. One of them is suddenly impaled through the head by the very same harpoon they had used on Manny, who quickly maneuvers around the line of fire of the other operator, who misses each of his shots. Manny then finishes him off by also impaling him through the head with the very same harpoon. Manny then proceeds to devour them both like a shish kabob. The nurse shark remoras part ways with Manny, who lets them go scot free for providing him the much needed assist. The remoras promise to let the other nurse sharks in Bandeau know of what happened regarding the hunters’ spy vessel, but they can’t guarantee that the nurses won’t retaliate for Manny’s own part in the incident. Manny assures them that he’ll be ready to cross that bridge when he gets to it. On the way out of Bandeau, Manny and Remy share a heart to heart about their recent tragedies. How they both lost those they cared for in the blink of an eye. How they both had to emotionally detach themselves in order to survive for as long as they have. Manny’s journey to seek out retribution has been missing a pretty vital piece of the puzzle, but his shared experience in Bandeau might have finally gifted him with said piece. Remy offers up his services to Manny since the road ahead seems more perilous than ever. The hunters are also capable of evolving and adapting. It’s time to show them just who the original innovators of that shit are. Before they embark towards their final destination, Remy reminds Manny that there are “more vengeful souls just like them”. Manny is still uncomfortable about the concept of revenge and how it’s a complex emotion that’s beyond the shark species. Remy remarks that perhaps now marks a pivotal moment where sharks finally start evolving beyond their modern conventions. They head back to Arava Cove and recruit all the remaining remoras there who want to stand and fight back against their aggressors. Manny promises to provide them all protection for as long as he’s able, just as long they all work to make sure that he’s capable of fighting for as long as he’s able. Manny discards his prized red and yellow plaid pants that his wife had bought him, as well as his glasses. He no longer needs them to see the world so clearly. He places these items in his old grotto as a makeshift shrine to his family, his old life. The remora all surround him, converging onto Manny’s skin by sticking to him using their head suckers. Their mana all flow together in sync with Manny’s. Through this, Manny is able to experience the pain that they and their previous hosts had all gone through and vice versa. Manny could feel the power of the entire cove coursing through him as the remora all work to clean his wounds and mend his body. Once the bonding process was over, Manny felt good as new and better than ever. The remora became like a second skin, a sort of suit of armor that freely moved along to his own movements. Their mana flow creates a combined yellow color, embodying the entire populace of the cove’s former lemon residents. Manny knows just where to go, but he lets his instincts guide him anyway. He sets a mental course for the location of the final showdown; Glove World. However, he stops by the Bandeau sand dunes on the way there for a quick power snack. Picking apart the many powersports enthusiasts gathered there. Notes The first appearance of Remy, and the introduction of remoras species as a whole We get our first look at Manny’s original home, Arava Cove, which has been referenced and alluded to multiple times in previous episodes The first mention of Bandeau, an underwater city very similar to Bikini Bottom. The events of this episode take place right outside of Bandeau, the closest we get to it being the sand dunes located on the outskirts We are first introduced to nurse sharks, whose feral population operates primarily in and around Bandeau Whatever was left of the lemon shark population in Arava Cove is assumed to be completely wiped out The concept of mana gets further fleshed out in this episode. For sharks, mana is gained either through acts of violence or through sexual activity. Remoras are able to gain and utilize mana through their close working relationships with sharks. Through bonding and symbiosis, sharks and remoras are able to share their power and experiences with each other Trivia The episode’s title is a reference to “Miseria Cantare (The Beginning)” by AFI “Arava” is the Tahitian name for lemon sharks The character of Remy the Remora is a reference/slight homage to Remy from Ratatouille The name for the city “Bandeau” is based off of the bandeau garment used for bikini wear, much like Bikini Bottom Members of The Drasticals are seen among those in attendance for the Bandeau Powersports Competition at the very end of the episode Manny’s wardrobe is based on his depiction used for the Before picture seen in “MuscleBob BuffPants” One of the pictures in the nurse sharks’ office is of Nurse Leslie, a shark character from “Camp Lazlo” In real life, lemons are one of the very few species of sharks who have been observed acting aggressively to and even consuming remoras The mechanized shark-shaped submersible used by the Glove company is based off of the one used in Discovery’s “Mechashark” Shark Week documentary. The storyline revolving around the Mechashark’s infiltration of Arava Cove is also inspired in part by that documentary’s follow-up, “Mechashark: Love Down Under” The fully realized “final form” taken by Manny after fully bonding with the remoras is inspired by the Super Saiyan transformation from “Dragon Ball Z”. Minus the hair, of course
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