The Writer’s Circle – completion story
A bit of fun that caught my eye on https://www.facebook.com/writerscircle
“…the Immutable. She must have impacted the bottom shockingly hard to have thrown silt and sand so high into the water from so deep.
So arrogant. So doomed. Nearly twice as long as the Titanic, and more than two hundred feet longer than the Oasis class cruisers – the largest ever built until she launched, proud and swift, the first passenger ship to gross more metric tons than an American aircraft carrier. The Mariana Class. The latest quintuple-hull twin strut design, the latest exotic materials for strength and lightness beyond anything before; the latest in communications and satellite positioning technology. The world’s first hybrid thorium nuclear/fuel cell staged and supplemental solar-powered vessel for passengers, using the new ducted contra-rotating MHD oscillating impeller technology that allowed the best economy ever recorded for a ship her class – and many below. Her propulsion made an ululating howling noise heard for many miles, which put one in mind of a great singing whale under the water, but only in a certain frequency. Above the water, it required special equipment to detect. In all other ways, she was nearly as silent as some of the old submarines, and the engineers were smug, saying that this ship should not interfere with the songs of the oceanic creatures that shipping noises had disrupted for the last century and more, being outside the upper limit of usual frequencies.
Unique. Silent. Fast. Strong. And gone. All gone. 7000 souls, barely thirty percent escaping, lost in 110m of water, sinking so fast that lifeboats were sucked down after her, trailing their great mother in fatal kinship. The designers thought they were avoiding fate by not naming her “invincible”; it had been done before, and proved wrong, but their hubris was no less. It may not have been her maiden voyage, like her doomed ancestor, but the mystery was all the greater – no icebergs were likely this far south, mid-Atlantic and bound further south.
Unheard of, you would think, in this day and age; that something so well staffed, so well tracked, could just disappear. But then my mind wanders back to the Malaysia airlines flight a decade ago… the Bermuda Triangle myth may have been disproved, but the earth was still plenty large enough to lose even such a ship as the Immutable. She had sadly proved the name false, and with some concern; nuclear vessels required careful processes to salvage.
Sent to investigate, her lower extremities are out of bounds to all but qualified technical divers with specialist gear. There are thirty of us, and for this we had decided to buddy up and take levels separated by ten metres down to the safest limit, there to be continued by submersible; there were too many unknowns to solo. How such a fast, powerful, and redundantly safe ship had sunk, with nothing more than brief cries, screams, and shouts of impact where there was no land was an utter mystery. The eyes of many nations are on this dive.
The shape is dim ahead, resolving slowly. I know the head-mounted camera will not see through the blue light-shifted waters as well as my eyes as we approach, and I signal my partner to ensure he has seen it. He flashes a hand with rounded index and thumb in the ok, and I turn back to look at the dim shape ahead.
And it moves.
Slowly at first, and then more quickly, the form changes; ponderous, yet lithe. Gargantuan. A questing noise, curious, questioning – ululating at the very upper limits of hearing – creeps into my brain, seeming to come from all around us in the water, and I hear my companion yell into his regulator in fright, or excitement. I glance up, breathing fast in shock, feeling my heart hammer at my chest. It is a long way, and a long time, up. I look back to see it unwrap itself from the ship it dwarfs, and I vaguely wonder if it had thought it a mate, or a threat.
Whichever it had been, it is awake, and wary. With all of us close together, I guess it can see our bubbles rising, hear the ships above, sense our approach… foreign matter in its realm. It is King, and Emperor. Enormous. All-encompassing.