Summary: The fate of the Silmarils: Set in the sky, consumed by fire and lost to the sea...
Notes: Deals with a futureverse of sorts. I hope this is the right place for it. =D
New Submarine to be Tested
The submarine being developed by scientists at Ulmo Industries, inc. in conjunction with 3M Industries and the United States Navy has been completed. The sub, which up until now had simply been called Project DeepSea, has been named Tankin, in memory of biologist Mark Tankin, who perished earlier this year while experimenting on a prototype of Project DeepSea.
“It’s a little bittersweet, really,” says Sara Forsythe, head research biologist at Ulmo Industries, “Mark was so in love with this project, I wish he could be here to see it. But I also know that he’d be thrilled that we finished. So this whole thing is in honor of him.”
Tankin will take her maiden voyage this Thursday, about 150 miles off the coast of Atlanta, Georgia. Her crew and those who helped develop her hope that she will successfully reach a depth of over 30,000 feet, repeating the feat the Trieste accomplished in 1960. The scheduled date for an expedition to the Marianas Trench is unknown, but Forsythe hopes that it will be sometime within the next 6 months.
“We’ll see how this run goes, then we’ll test her in deeper waters.” Says Forsythe. The depth reached on Tankin’s maiden voyage should be at least one third of what they would attempt off the coast of the Philippines, where the Marianas Trench is located.
The crew, consisting of Forsythe herself along with David Magg, widely renowned in the community as a mechanical genius, hopes to gather more information from the bottom of the Marianas Trench that will aid biologists, geologists and oceanographers in further understanding the deepest place on Earth.
“And we’re here.” David patted Tankin’s control panel fondly. “Thanks for taking us, baby.”
He turned, expecting Sara to have some smart-ass remark about how he loved Tankin more than most of his girlfriends. But he found her staring out the sub’s small portholes, fascinated with the blackness that surrounded them.
“Come here and look at this,” she sounded distracted, excited.
“What is there to look at? Dark, dark and more dark.”
“See, that’s just it…” she sighed. “Just come here and look, okay?”
“What? You want confirmation that you’re not going crazy? You know this pressure can do things to people.” David tapped his forehead and made a crazy face as Sara rolled her eyes.
“You’re an asshole, anyone ever tell you that?” She grabbed his wrist and hauled him across the five feet of space that the sub consisted of.
David flashed a grin. “All the time, darling.”
Sara closed her eyes for a moment, praying for patience and telling herself that cheek was not endearing. She pulled him up to the porthole and pointed to a spot outside. “There. Do you see it?”
He thought of making a game of it, closing his eyes and pretending to be blind, but something in her voice made him take this particular moment seriously.
He looked in the direction she was pointing and started when he actually saw something. A pearly, soft glow was in the distance. It looked odd, like a hundred pinpricks of light holding still in one place.
“What is that, some sort of fish? One of the glowy ones?”
Sara shook her head. “No fish gives of a light pattern like that. It has to be some sort of undiscovered species.” She was confused. This was what she had been waiting for her whole career for something like this. Something monumental.
But she felt odd.
“Sara? What do you want to do?” David was gently shaking her shoulder. “Wanna try and bring it inside?”
She shook herself out of the weird daze and looked at him. “Think we can make it?”
Mark nodded. “We can at least get a good look at it on the camera”. He started to get the robotic camera and retrieval unit ready.
The unit was the best, top of the line. He and Mark designed it, making sure it would be fast enough to catch up to anything that could move in the deep. There was a small blue tinted light mounted on the unit, dim enough so it wouldn’t disturb anything, there were heat sensors and night vision capabilities all in a sleek little red box.
They waited a few tense moments as the unit began to move, watching the feed from the camera as it drew closer to the glowing lights.
“That’s weird,” Sara muttered as the camera moved.
David looked at her quizzically. “What’s weird?”
“I just don’t think it’s behaving like a fish would. But I suppose that could be because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever studied before.”
The two of them stood transfixed, watching the glow get bigger on the small screen in front of them. The image became clearer, and the silence grew huge between them, thick with confusion.
“I’m sorry to tell you, Miss Super Smart Biology Person, but that sure as hell isn’t a fish.” David said, but his eyes never left the screen.
“I know. That’s… I don’t know what the hell that is.”
The unit was hovering just over the lights, which hadn’t moved the whole time they waited.
From the video feed they could see that the small spots of light came from holes in the dirt encrusting an object. The shape was indeterminable, it seemed as though lifetimes of dirt and sand and who knows what else had covered whatever it was.
But light shone through. Here and there, some of the coating had worn off, releasing a tiny spot of a silvergold glow.
David was breathing heavily while Sara was holding hers. “Try…” her words died on dry lips. She swallowed and licked her lips before trying again. “Let’s get it inside.”
Only a nod from David, as he began to manipulate controls, his usual banter caught in his throat.
The unit began to shift and the equivalent of a high tech butterfly net moved forward to ensnare the object, the two in the sub unconsciously breathing a sigh of relief when it slid safely into the storage capsule of the unit. There was unbelievable tension in the small cabin of the sub- an almost comically exaggerated feeling of purpose and desire. Almost.
Somewhere in the Void, a dark lord laughed.