While mermaids hold a soft spot in my heart thanks to "The Little Mermaid", the answer was obvious: ghosts. I considered using cultural references to prove my point. (Is there a Mermaid Hunters International? No. No there is not. And don't even get me started on "Splash!" versus "Ghost".) In the end, however, I decided to write a short story. After reading, I think you'll agree. *nods seriously*
Moira glanced from the body in her arms to the apparition floating in front of her. “Look, I already said I was sorry. There are rules.”
“Rules? You murder me in cold blood and then quote some sort of code as an excuse?”
Dropping the body, she put her hands on her hips and leveled an icy stare at him. “Okay, first of all, everything I do is in cold blood. I'm cold-blooded. You're a scientist. You should know that.
“Secondly, did you honestly think that you could dive down here, take pictures of a mermaid, and survive to tell about it? Do you think we've kept our existence a secret for this long by waving hello and then sending you people back to the surface?”
She flicked her tail at him dismissively and dove to retrieve his body. Every few feet his image would appear before her, scowling, until she finally stopped and let out a frustrated growl.
“Isn't there a white light you should be floating toward or something?”
“Well, no. I'm assuming there's something I need to do here first. Isn't that how it works?”
“Don't look at me! I'm a mythical creature. We don't do white lights. When we die we rejoin the great sea-goddess in the eternal ocean.”
She hefted the body into her arms and began to swim again.
“Where are you taking me?” he asked, keeping pace beside her.
“Look, I really don't have time for the questions, okay? I'm supposed to be at a court lunch in 30 flips.”
“Oh, I'm so sorry to interfere with your charming serial killer functions.”
“Dear sweet Oceans, I told you! I can't leave evidence behind. I didn't kill you because I wanted to. I did it so that my entire race of people wouldn't be at risk. Can't you understand that?”
She stopped at the edge of the Great Gaping Maw and dropped him, watching as his body fell into the abyss.
As she began to leave, she noticed that she was having trouble breathing. It was as if something had wrapped itself around her gills. She clawed frantically at her neck, but to no avail. Within several minutes the ocean around her went black.
Opening her eyes, she watched as her body drifted down into darkness.
“My sentiments exactly,” the ghost-diver said from beside her. “I thought avenging my own death would free me.”
“I can see that,” she conceded. “But it didn't work. So now what?”
“I don't know. Haunt someone?”
Grinning wickedly, she pointed toward her home.
See? Ghosts always win in the end. *grin*