The M.A.N.T.A. descended toward the ocean floor and the mysterious blue haze ahead. Thanks to the sonar and 3d holodisplay, navigating without external lights wasn't nearly as difficult as it sounded. Not to mention, the glow ahead provided a waypoint no one could miss.

The closer Nick got the the glow, the more his curiosity grew and the larger the area the glow seemed to cover. It was absolutely massive, seemingly stretching far off in the distance before him.

"Doc, this light seems to extend off a pretty long way.".

In the darkness, it was hard to judge distance, but Nick gave it his best guess, "I'd say it's easily the size of a city, and a big one at that."

He was reluctant to say his next thought out loud, but with the size of the glow, he really couldn't help himself. "Doc, do you think with something this big, really big, I mean the size of a city big--you don't think there's any chance this could be--"

"What Lieutenant Commander, Atlantis?", the doctor finished the sentence for him. "You think we're going to stumble across some mythical lost sunken city at the bottom of the Mariana's Trench?"

"I don't know doc. I mean, it's only a myth until somebody finds it. Right?", Nick quickly responded.

"No.", the doctor answered dryly, "No, there's most likely a much more scientific explanation, like a large outcropping of some bioluminescent plant life. Or, it's even possible you've run across the natural mating grounds of those giant jellyfish I showed you yesterday."

"And if that's the case,", the doc continued in a very serious tone, "you're probably gonna want to keep your distance. The last thing we need is for some over eager jellyfish to mistake you for a potential mate. One touch and your whole ship goes kaput."

Nick chuckled a bit uncomfortably, "Duly noted.".

While it made for a quick laugh, Nick wasn't fond of the thought of being chased by dozens, or hundreds of giant, electrified jellyfish. About that time, Nick realized that the doc wasn't laughing.

"Doc, you're kidding about the whole 'mate' thing, right?"

There was no reply from the station.

"It's a joke, right?", Nick waited again for a confirmation but only received silence. "Doc?"

"Alright. Fine. Real funny."

Silently. Smoothly. Propelled by it's twin engines, the M.A.N.T.A. glided through the water. With the absence of external lights, only the blue interior of the cockpit was visible through the front windshield. Lieutenant Commander Sheppard sat behind the controls in his luminescent M.A.N.T.A. suit.

A moment later, the tiny ship, skimming along the bottom of the ocean, cleared the rocky ridge and found itself flying in open water once again as a steep ocean shelf dropped to the ocean floor a hundred feet or more.

The underside of the M.A.N.T.A. was bathed in a cool blue light that seemed to be emanating from somewhere far below.

The ridge marked the edge of an ocean shelf that fell off steeply down a rocky precipice at least 200 feet. The face of the cliff, dotted with various plant life and coral growths, was nearly vertical. A multitude of mineral layers were visible on its surface. They stacked horizontally, one atop the other. Each tier showed a distinctly different character. Each level had its own story. The remarkable thing, was at this distance, at this depth, the cliff, the coral and the ocean floor should all have been completely cloaked in the darkness of the abyss. Without the lights from the M.A.N.T.A., Nick shouldn't be able to see his hand in front of his face. Yet all of it was clearly visible in the blue twilight aura. All he had to figure out now, was where the light was coming from. He had to admit, he was moderately disappointed not to find a large illuminated city.

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