The unidentified craft leapt from beyond Deep Blue's ridge in a blur of blue spinning lights. While 25kn may not be anywhere near the top speed of the M.A.N.T.A., it was still plenty fast enough to kick up some sand that got caught in the ship's wake.
Nick recognized the ship in an instant. There was no mistaking, it was the same one that had been chasing him at the bottom. It had a large, transparent, spherical, central node that was surrounded by, what looked like, the arms of a gigantic starfish, attached at the rear of the craft. The motion and speed of the rotating arms made it very difficult to tell, but it looked as if someone was inside the central sphere. Not something -- but an actual humanoid figure.
Blue bioluminescent dots and designs pulsed along the outside of the arms, which in turn were spinning together around the central sphere. The arms appeared to serve not only as propulsion, but also as some form of protection for whoever was piloting the ship. The construction, movements and appearance were an odd mix of mechanical and biological elements. In fact, it was still extremely unclear whether the craft was built, or grown; Mechanical, or biological.
An audible 'woosh' was heard as the object zoomed above the station. The rush of displaced water was accompanied by a quieter, rapidly pulsating sound that one could only guess to be the 'engine' as it seemed to visibly be in sync with the rotation of the craft's arms.
Jordan and Nick's eyes turned upward as if to watch the ship fly by above them, but their view was met with the very opaque metal walls of the station. There were very few windows in Deep Blue and none in the upper half of the moon pool.
Doctor Marshall's eyes stayed fixed on the display monitors as his bushy eye brows furrowed slightly. Whether it was curiosity or concern that prompted his expression was anyone's guess.
"What did I say?", Nick grinned uneasily, "Aliens."
"Hold on hot shot.", the Doc replied gruffly. "I'm not ready to go E.T. quite yet."
Deep Blue's external cameras struggled to keep up with the craft, yet as the ship began to turn about, Nick noticed something strange about it's flight pattern; Even the spinning arms themselves.
The spinning was uneven, stuttered, labored and seemed much slower than he seen in the cavern.
The small craft circled around to make another pass at the station. As it made it's second approach, it dipped and swerved, struggling to stay level. At times, struggling to stay upright. Instead of the precise and controlled maneuvers Nick had seen in the cavern, the ship was flying erratically, bobbling back and forth, almost as if the pilot was drunk.
"Something's wrong.", Nick commented watching the video feed.
It quickly became clear, as the craft got closer and closer to the station, faltering from side to side, that Nick was correct. Something was indeed wrong with the ship.
Syndi spoke up, "Doctor. There is a 13.5% chance that the unknown object will impact Deep Blue. Should I put the station in lock down mode?"
"Go ahead Syndi.", the doctor answered, "but do it without that blasted alarm.", he added.
The heavy doors encircling the room rolled shut with a series of loud clangs and hissing pressure seals.
"Syndi,", Nick added casually, "exactly where on Deep Blue is it targeted to..."
Before Nick could finish his sentence, a bright blue light appeared twenty-five yards directly in front of the craft, dangerously close to Deep Blue's galley.
"Oh, not good.", Nick said, immediately recognizing the flash of light as the type that generally preceded the large bubble. "What's he doing?"
"What's not good?", the Commander asked.
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...