The lead pursuing ship, the only one that remained as far as Nick knew, did a fair job of keeping up with Nick and the M.A.N.T.A. the majority of the way back to Deep Blue. But by the way it kept falling off the sonar only to reappear several moments later, it was clear that it was taking some serious effort to maintain the chase.
Lucky for Nick, the ship never fired another bubble. He didn't know if it was "out of ammo", or if some other factor was affecting it's weapons system. Either way, Nick was grateful.
The other item that was noticeably absent, since he left the cavern area, was that he hadn't heard a word from Jordan or the doctor.
Nick reached out a couple of times to Syndi, mainly just to make sure the communications systems were still operating, which they were. And with that, Nick could only assume that Jordan and the Doctor had chosen radio silence voluntarily.
Between being chased by three unidentified craft in a place where there should have been none at all, and just narrowly escaping a hole being blasted through the M.A.N.T.A. by a misshapen cavitation bubble, Nick's head was still trying to sort out the events of the past half hour or so. The M.A.N.T.A. suit still hadn't managed to return to it's original cool blue color.
Nick had disengaged the Cavitation drive and was flying in under the power of the twin turbines as he made his final approach to Deep Blue.
He had to admit, as he approached Deep Blue, that he felt a deep sign of relief to see the bluish-white lights of the station and it's tiny drones fluttering about working on their assigned tasks.
He hailed Deep Blue as he approached the ledge that the habitat rested on.
"Deep Blue, this is Nick.", he radioed in. "I'm almost there. Anybody home?"
As always, it was Syndi that answered, "Yes, Lieutenant Commander. Welcome back. The moon pool doors are open."
"Thanks Syndi.", Nick replied, a little disappointed that neither the doctor or Jordan had responded since the Commander's last sign off.
"We'll see you inside.", the A.I. replied.
Another moment passed and curiosity got the better of Nick.
"Syndi, they didn't leave you alone in there did they?", he joked.
"No Lieutenant Commander.", the A.I. replied in a slightly confused tone. "Commander Kennedy and Doctor Marshall are here. They are discussing whether or not to evacuate the moon pool area before you resurface with the crystal."
"Seriously?", Nick thought to himself.
"Could you put the Commander on?", Nick asked politely.
There was the slightest of pauses before Syndi replied, "I'm sorry Lieutenant Commander Sheppard, Commander Kennedy says she doesn't want to talk to you. She says--"
Then another brief hesitation before Syndi continued, "Nevermind. She's requested to delete my last statement."
Nick piloted the M.A.N.T.A. under the habitat and into the waiting doors of the moon pool. Partially to Nick's surprise, through the refracted surface of the pool, he did see the doctor and Jordan standing at the control console, although the doctor did manage to keep part of his body shielded behind his chair. Jordan stood more defiantly with her arms folded, being protected by only the thin metal railing that encircled the moon pool.
There was still a tenseness in the air as the M.A.N.T.A. broke the surface and the water rolled off the front windshield. Even with the doctor's reassurance that the newly designed containment sphere would hold, the question of whether or not the doctor's theories and Syndi's simulations were accurate weighed heavy on everyone's mind.
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...