Catch and Release
Catch and Release
Published By: Nicholas Forristal
© 2015 Nicholas Forristal
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the Author. Your support of author’s rights is appreciated.
All characters in this compilation are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
The cameras hover in to position, their lights beaming down on the staged room. Roce and Val sit back in the darkness, quietly chatting and waiting for the commentator to do his part. It’s their three-hundredth televised show, and it has to be special. This will be one for the history books. With a team of people at the helm, diligently moving the cameras, checking the volumes, and readying the lights – they know everything has to be perfect. Finally, the voice of the show, Sizmon, begins the intro as a montage flashes across the viewers’ screens. Images of previous shows wrap in and out of each other as the music becomes louder and more boastful. Three hundred episodes, and the show is still at the top of its game. The intro is the proof of their dominance in the market, and a reminder to the entire crew of what it took to get to this point.
Sounding at times more like a game show host than a fishing show commentator, Sizmon’s upbeat tone was famous. The crew all said he could make watching paint dry sound exciting. It’s part of what makes this show so compelling, and what has kept it alive for so long.
“On today’s episode of Catch and Release, we will be traveling to the exotic region of Xarl-3, known for its small, varied landscapes and large bodies of water. Using their expert techniques, and top of the line equipment, your hosts – Roce and Val – hope to catch the elusive Bi-pedal Erectus Stultus. So, sit back, relax, and get ready for a wild ride on Catch and Release. It happens now!”
Two spotlights slowly brighten on the smiling hosts as the intro music comes back in full swing. Roce flashes a cheery smile as Val takes the lead. If they were any more relaxed they would be asleep. It’s just another day in the life for these two on their recently syndicated show. As the lights adjust to the correct levels for filming, the music dies down, and the hosts take over.
“Welcome, friends. For those of you who don’t know, my name is Val Trax. And this, as always, is my partner in crime, Roce Phan.” Val’s smile couldn’t be bigger. In fact, it was through plastic surgery that he was able to achieve a smile this large and this exuberant – all for the love of his fans.
Roce continues. “Thank you Val. Today is a big day for us at Catch and Release. It’s our three hundredth show. For that we are going exotic.”
“That’s right, Roce, we are here at Xarl-3. Now, not much is known about this area. What we do know is that there’s some serious fishing to be had, and have it we shall.” Val’s head swivels towards Roce, who doesn’t miss a beat.
“As usual, we have our trusty titani-steel alloy bottom, Stinger, to keep us adrift during this episode. We’re also bringing out the biggest gun in the detection industry: the Spy-Eye 350. If our adventures weren’t extreme enough, we’re now bringing out the most extreme gear.”
“You got that right, Roce. This detector not only sees all the way to the bottom, but it can tell the difference between a stultus, and a bos tarus. With today being a double-sized episode, we’ll be after twice the game. Are you ready to go after a stultus and a tarus today, buddy?”
“I was born ready, Val Trex.”
A screen behind the hosts opens to big, crystal clear windows. The moon and stars take up most of the peaceful view as the ground kisses the bottom edges of the window seats. Everything’s perfect for their night-time hunt. The cameras reposition to get better shots of the ground.
The hosts stretch their fingers, grabbing on to the controls at their consoles. With a slight rap on their touch screens, a drag of a finger here, and a tap there, the hosts ready themselves. In the early days of the show, the two hosts would have done all the hunting manually. Now, with their large fan base, and even larger budget, they have gone entirely electronic. In the end, it’s all about the audience, and not about how much the hosts enjoy themselves. Not that Val and Roce would ever let anyone know that this new hunting method was beyond boring. They were here to put on a show. If they wanted to really hunt, they could do it on their spare time.
Roce says, “Now, with your typical stultus, you need to find yourself a stray. Never go after the larger groupings. If you go after a school, they will flee and warn everyone else that comes by.” His fingers gently drag across his screen as his other hand holds on to the control stick, slowly guiding the pole as the view screen pans with its every move. “Your best bet is to stick with areas thick with flora. The thicker the flora, the less stultus groupings you’ll come across.”
“Sometimes the more open areas work, too. That’s where I am setting my sights today,” Val says. “The open areas tend to be less intense visually. You’ll most likely to wear out your eyes, and your attention span, before you find a stultus there. But, it never hurts to check both areas, especially when there are two of us, eh Val?”
“That’s right Roce.” His fingers casually slide across the screen. “Finding a stultus under the right conditions is not easy. If you can cover all your bases, then I suggest you do. What bait are you using today, Val?”
The back screen splits between the views of the two hosts. Val’s – an open landscape of tall grass and dirt roads – rotates back and forth across the path in a patrol-like fashion. Roce’s view is panning slowly as it follows a stream through a thickly wooded area.
“I am using a low-emission invisa-beam on a three-hundred-pound test line. In this low light environment, it should be enough to attract a stultus without scaring it off. What about you, Roce?”
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