The Deep Fear

Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash

It was a hard job for Jack to turn down. It wasn’t his place to save an idiot, but his great grand children wouldn’t have to work after this pay day.

He marvelled at his journey from a little boy afraid to swim. He had always pushed himself to challenge the things he feared, and now he was the world’s best deep sea researcher, and the only man with the experience and technology to rescue this one-percenter.

He found his target along the bottom of the trench, flares spurted from the hull, lighting up the strange coral formations. The trail of bubbles told him what he already knew, the sub was fucked. He checked the tether to his pod – it reached up into the great abyss above – and manoeuvred his pod to latch onto the sub’s hatch creating a seal. He hopped down into the cramped compartment which was knee deep in water already and found his client.

“Ms Angel?”

“Thank fuck for you! Let’s get out of here.” She made for the hatch.

“It won’t fit two.” Jack said. “It was the only craft that could get down here in time.”

“Then how-” Her question was cut off as Jack produced syringes.

“This is pressuran, it fills your system with an artificial organic compound that lets you resist the pressure.” He jabbed her and she gasped. “This is heamagen, it saturates your organs with oxygen and carbon dioxide absorbing bots… No urge or need to breathe for a while.”

“We’re going to swim?” Even in the dimness, she seemed to pale.

“It’s okay, this shell is made of a hardened polymer, it’s indestructible so predators won’t get us.”

He produced a transparent sheet, wrapping it around them, it hardened instantly, leaving just enough manoeuvrability in his arm.

“Hold on.”

He blew the hatch and the chilling fathoms rushed in engulfing the two, but not crushing them despite the groans of pressure. The polymer shell drained of oxygen quickly, but they felt not the need to breathe. He found the cable, looking up into the murky ocean, and hit the winch.

Slowly, they ascended from the broken sub, and into the dark.

He caught sight of the area around her sub with more clarity outside of his pod, but dismissed what he saw as they entered the darkness. He popped a flare on instinct, and regretted his choice.

They were assailed by tentacles and curious horrors of the deep as they winched up, suckers from enormous creatures probed them, but the shell held. They rose further, and the sharks swarmed around, glancing at them with lifeless eyes before retreating from the red light and looping back to clamp jaws around them.

But the shell held.

Jack bit back his screams, he trusted his equipment, they were safe.

After an eternity he saw the light, and the cold darkness receded. They finally broke the water and were hauled onto the boat where Ms Angel’s team awaited.

Jack removed the shell and took her in. “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” She said, “I don’t think I’ll sleep again though.”

Jack laughed, “No you won’t… Speaking of, did I see what I thought I saw down there?”

She gazed at him with suspicion. “It is a shame you saw that.” His world went white with pain; he looked down to see she had slipped a knife into his gut. “Our work must remain secret.” She shoved him off the boat.

The cold waters engulfed him once more, and Jack sunk into the black depths again. The pressuran kept him safe from the crushing depths, the heamagen allowed him to forgo the need to breathe. But this time he was without a shell to protect him as he bled out, inviting the denizens of the deep.

He sunk with full awareness that he was headed to the welcoming arms of the hideous horrors below.

 

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