Eleven: Epilogue

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Six Years Later – North Atlantic – On board the oceanographic research vessel, Darcy Smith

She leaned against the steel railing and watched as the choppy waves slammed against the hull of the two hundred-fifty-foot vessel.

The frigid salty wind bit at her exposed freckled cheeks, but she hardly noticed.

Her mind was on a particular somber anniversary.

The day that permanently altered her life but prematurely ended others.

She should have died that day.

Her parents claimed it was divine intervention.

For some, they say it was perfect timing that a Coast Guard Cutter arrived as the creature was in the process of pulling her into the dark deep.

To a certain and agonizing death.

Whether it was distracted by something larger than itself or unnerved by the proximity of the oncoming ship's propeller blades - it released its grip on her.

Barely conscious, she floated to the surface.

During her extended stay in the hospital due to damages sustained to her legs and hips, she learned not only how devastating the earthquake was but how it completely restructured the landscape of both northeastern United States and Canada.

Dubbed the Great Saint Lawrence Quake, the immensity of its power formed a brand-new oceanic trench between the Gulf and Cabot Strait.

The easternmost part of the river basin had permanently dropped below sea level thus creating the New Champlain Sea.

As for the sea creature, it simply vanished from the area.

Chad also spent considerable time at the same hospital. It took multiple surgeries to put his leg back together, but doctors were confident he would make a full recovery.

He visited her the day he was discharged.

She remembered asking him if the creature that attacked them was the same that struck his parents' house.

"Yes." He replied. "One and same."

A strange expression came over his face. "You know, Darcy never struck me as someone who scared easily, but she was terrified of that thing. She said it had eyes she never seen in any species of its kind. They were black like dolls. Shark eyes."

She remembered being told by one of the surgeons who reconstructed the lacerated tissues and muscles of both legs about the bite marks they discovered.

Multiple pockets of marks that resembled small versions of shark teeth.

These same marks left behind permanent scars that she would carry on her body for the rest of her life.

Because of these marks, and because of the brief time she knew Darcy Smith, she made the decision she never would have made otherwise.

She decided to follow Darcy's footsteps.

Here she was, years later, a Biological Oceanographer – hunting for her own "lost treasures."

Only hers was a singular treasure in form of a sea creature whom she named in honor of Darcy - Darcidicus Gigas.

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