The M.A.N.T.A. shot out of the mouth of the tunnel weaving and rolling like a feral firework. While its erratic path looked chaotic and disordered, Nick was using every ounce of his piloting skill to precisely dodge and elude the clusters of ship-sized bubbles that riddled his path like World War II flak clouds.
Blue flashes of light continued to produce bubble after bubble ahead of the M.A.N.T.A., only to implode in on themselves a moment later. Nick had seen the damage these bubbles had done to the stone cavern wall, he had no intention of finding out how well the M.A.N.T.A. would hold up to them.
Suddenly, the fleeing ship was engulfed by millions of tiny bubbles as the Cavitation Drive engaged. The M.A.N.T.A. rocketed forward leaving it's pursuers behind as if they were standing still. In the midst of all the other large bubbles appearing and disappearing in its path, there's little doubt that the ensuing ships believed they had finally hit their mark. Only the thick trail of bubbles stretching out into the ocean depths ahead gave any indication their prey had escaped.
"Yeah!", Nick shouted inside the cockpit as his chest and head were slammed against the back of his chair by the sheer thrust of the drive.
"Shoot that bubble crap at me now!"
Nick smiled as he watched the trio of dots fall quickly behind on the sonar.
He smiled confidently. "Come on! Let's see what you've got.", he taunted.
In Deep Blue's moon pool Commander Kennedy stood with her arms folded, eyes glued to the display tracking the M.A.N.T.A. as it rapidly pulled away from the other blips on the sonar.
Without pulling her focus from the display she ran through commands, "Syndi, monitor the structural integrity of the M.A.N.T.A., paying specific attention to the nose section."
"Look for any signs of an increase in temperature."
"Yes Commander", the A.I. replied politely.
"If you see anything out of the ordinary inform me immediately.", Jordan instructed.
"Commander, be aware, with only two previous tests of the Cavitation Drive, I have a very narrow definition for what 'ordinary' means."
"Understood.", Jordan nodded. "Just keep an eye on him."
Nick sat smugly in the pilots chair. The adrenaline rush of the Cavitation Drive engaging still raced through his body. The increase in heart rate was most likely the cause for the deep purple hue of the M.A.N.T.A. suit that he wore. He watched as the three pursuing blips fell away on the sonar blinking out one by one leaving the display silent and clear once again.
The Lieutenant Commander breathed a long overdue sigh of relief. He knew that once the Cav Drive had fired, nothing on Earth would able to keep up with him. But, like anything in this unfamiliar world that he now resided, Nick was quickly discovering that what he knew above, meant very little in the ocean deep below. Especially if his hunch was right, and these ships weren't from Earth.
It also felt as if the M.A.N.T.A. was riding a little 'rougher' than normal. It could best be described as riding on a gravel road.
Nick had barely a moment to catch his breath before the sonar sang to life once more.
A single blip had entered the sonar from behind the M.A.N.T.A.
"No way.", Nick said staring in disbelief at the red dot trailing him. On the next pass of the sonar a second blip joined the first. Then, a third.
"You've got to be kidding me."
Not only did all three of Nick's pursuers return, he watched as the distance between himself and the other ships continued to diminish.
YOU ARE READING
Deep Blue - The DescentScience Fiction
More people have visited the moon, than have found their way to the bottom of the ocean. Test piloting the military's latest top secret assault submarine, in the most inhospitable environment on the planet, a reckless test pilot teams up with a recl...