Freelance Salmon – Making Ends Meet

I’ve been out of work for a while now, but freelance keeps me going. It’s not all roses but it’s enough to get by. Mr Grizz keeps sending us to the same place and then complains that the eggs are drying out. We still get a good haul every now and then but freelancing ain’t what it used to be. I applied for this job to discover new places like this so called Ruins, but here I am back at Lost Outpost. I can’t believe he still sends us out here. The grates here wouldn’t pass any health and safety inspection in my days at Walleye Warehouse. Oh well, work’s work. As long as I did my best I could get by. I was low on chunks and just spent the last of my coins on scrubbing. Time to get to work!

Things escalated very quickly from the first wave. As luck would have it two Flyfish had gathered on the grates, the hardest place to kill them because you can’t refill ink easily or swim away. I had the Splattershot Jr but it wasn’t like any Splattershot Jr I ever used in Ranked. Without sub-saver it’s just a weak shooter and I almost got myself in trouble on the grates with no ink left. BOOM! The Flyfish in the back exploded. I had thrown a splat bomb in the left pocket but I had no time to even see if it landed properly. The risk paid off as now everything was gathering closer and a bit more manageable.

The rest of wave 1 was fast and frantic, already on the backfoot from the start. Just the fact that we got through the double Flyfish though had me optimistic. This was a good team so far as I’ve seen plenty of massacres on those grates in my freelance career. You can waste 40 seconds there just dying and reviving each other while everything swamps the cage. A few scrappers approached one of the doors in the middle room and I swam back to the cage to let them at the perfect spot. The team wasted no time dispatching them and we nailed in 6 eggs faster than you can say “This Way!”. With my Jr I couldn’t slay the steelheads too well but the Bloblobber and Heavy Splatling were on point when they needed to be. This was a surprisingly good weapon composition for once. With a couple of Booyahs we were on our way to Wave 2. Maybe this won’t be so bad.

Wave 2 blessed me with a Bloblobber. I felt pretty confident with this as it can hit pretty much everything, and do solid damage to boot. My only concern was turfing and movement in a pinch. Before I could think too hard everything went dark. That day went fast, I must have spent a few hours in my floatie. Night time meant it was time for a special wave, this would be a true test of teamwork and survival. A mothership appeared in the sky, and filled me with relief. This was by far the easiest of all the night waves and I had a great weapon for the job, with two stingrays up my sleeve to boot.

Blobloblobloblobloblob whoosh. This was a very easy wave as I could reach everything. I looked at the corn in the background and felt my mouth water with ink. With this haul I’d be able to eat later, assuming we survived. Who put this food there anyway? Was Mr Grizz trying to entice us, make us hungry for victory? Oops, time to focus. The mothership started descending down and I debated whether to use my stingray or not. I decided to bust it out and commit to mass eggs in this wave. Usually it’s ideal to save every special until Wave 3 but on this stage it can become difficult to even use a Stingray in the cramped room so I couldn’t bank on it even being helpful in Wave 3. It was use it or lose it.

I just wanted eggs and as a Freelancer, getting through Wave 2 was usually the bigger goal so I don’t lose anything. I want to excel but also need to keep my Profreshional dreams alive. Tonight I just needed to eat and find somewhere to sleep, a huge haul from this mothership could get us some very sweet rewards.

WHIRRRRRR the stingray screamed as the mothership mounted it’s attack on the cage. Eggs were flying out of the top like it was Easter and we were doing massive damage to it. It quickly retreated and we hurriedly dunked in the eggs that fell near the basket. Plop. Plop. Plop. Just with that, we were already over the required 18. I got excited and decided to bust out my second stingray to really maximise this wave. Getting 40 or even 50 seemed possible and would feed me for days, regardless of what happens in Wave 3. We ended up with a solid 35 eggs, not record breaking but still a big profit.

The final wave begun and it stayed night time. I was relieved to not have to wait 8 hours for a daytime wave, Mr Grizz had actually planned out the roster efficiently for this rotation. Good weapons, good teammates, and good waves. What a surprise. Riding the hype of Wave 2 we were Booyahing before it even began. Then suddenly…

GRILLERS!! Oof, not only was it the hardest wave but I had a big responsibility here with my Heavy Splatling. I knew it could absolutely destroy these Grillers but the small fry would be the death of me if I positioned myself poorly. Things were going fine until a couple started chasing me.

I ran around the cage to lure one away from a teammate who was about to die. Things were getting dicy as a teamate on the other side went down instead. I stunned a Griller, then turned to use the rest of my charge to save them. Then after being revived, they finished off the Griller while I was charging back up again. Great initiative. After a small scare we were back to slaying the Grillers quickly. Everyone else brought out their specials with perfect timing and efficiency, it was fantastic. I guess that’s a benefit of me using everything I had in Wave 2, it meant the team could save their own specials for now. Splashdowns cleared the small fry, Inkjets blasted Grillers with some good angles, and the bomb rush didn’t even come out because it’s useless (please Mr Grizz, give us an Ultra Stamp or Baller next time). Well, it was over. We did it.

What a great day. The hardest and final wave ended up being our best haul. I think by the end of Wave 2 we had all gained confidence in each other and just went for it. Not content to simply survive the Grillers and bury ourselves in the walls, we pocketed every egg we could find. For a second I forgot I was freelancing for myself. It felt like I was part of a team who were aware of each other. What an interesting concept. Is such a thing even possible or is it just because we were all hardened freelancers?

One thing I knew for sure is I’d be feasting on chunks tonight. If every day was this good I could afford a cruise on Manta Maria. That’s the dream, squidding about on deck while sipping ability drinks I don’t even need. If freelance dries up, then maybe I can finish the construction at Piranha Pit. What are they building there anyway? At the moment it just looks ripe for a Salmonid attack. Maybe then they’ll need me. Oh well, back to the grind.

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