Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Part of USS Jaxartes: Deep Six

Part 5: Danger Beneath The Sea

North Ocean
14th February 2401 15:00
0 likes 443 views

“Did that rock just blink?”

It wasn’t the sort of question you’d normal expect to hear anyone ask, and not whilst you’d just spent the last four hours searching the sea bed of an alien planet.  In the hope of discovering the whereabouts of a crashed Runabout. But it was the comment Ensign Jason Devron had just made.

He got his answer seconds later when a huge section of the ocean bed moved.  Right behind them something had risen up.  The shape of a large creature appeared as an ill-defined blob on the submarines sonar setting off the proximity alarms.

“What in Trill is that?” Rahs exclaimed, as the creature made an apparent lunge for the Sea Quest, but misjudged the subs speed and closed its mouth around nothing but water.  With any attempt at continuing the search abandoned for now, she banked the vessel sharply to port as the creature came in for another attack.  In the darkness it was hard to make out a clear picture of what this thing looked like.  A brief flash of teeth, jagged skin and swept back fin was all anyone got at it missed them a second time.

“Need a hand?” Yelled Ensign Stuart over the wail of the alarms.

The Trill pilot cut off the alarm making the sub much quieter. “Think you can handle this thing?”

To be honest; the young Orion had no real idea if she could fly this craft or not.  The controls seemed simple enough and she’d been watching how they were operated, and it was clear neither of those seated at the front had ever been in a combat situation, which was what this was clearly developing into.  As she swapped seats with the Betazoid co-pilot the first thing she did was kill all the light, both external and internal. “That thing appears to be relying on its eyes. Let’s not make it too easy for him!” She also brought the nose of the sub up a few degrees and altered course sharply, then reduced speed. “Lei keep a watch on the scope and tell me everything that things doing.”

The Trill started to give a running commentary in whispered tones on the creature’s movements as it seemed to be circling around and raced in for another attack.  Without the aid of the lights to guide it in, the thing headed to where it believed they’d be, only to miss by several metres.  Its thrashing tail however, did make contact, smacking into the transparent aluminium window.  This was enough for the creature to get a bearing on its prey and swung around again.

Lei continued feeding information to Lyanna, who made a swift and sudden course correction. This time the creature missed to the starboard side.  They had to avoid the creature a further four times before it finally gave up and swam away.  Whatever it had been didn’t appear to usually hunt in the total darkness at this depth, preferring to find its prey at much shallower levels where its eyes could see more clearly.  They couldn’t rule out the possibility that it had just been asleep and they’d inadvertently stumbled across it.  Just to make sure it was safe they remained where they were for another 20 minutes in complete darkness before moving on.

However no sooner they’d switched the Sea Quests main lights back on the huge creature came charging back in for the attack. “Brace yourselves!” Exclaimed Lyanna.  She switched off the lights again and flung everything she had into turning the sub as rapidly as possible, anything to throw this relentless creatures aim off.

The hit came somewhere aft.  The craft tilted over a good 40 degrees and slew round in a wide arc as the creature gripped them between dagger like teeth.  They all heard the sounds of grinding creaking metal, valves bursting.  Salan was closest to one of the leaks and Joshua threw a can containing sealant in his direction.  The Vulcan sprayed the foam like substance until he was sure the hole was plugged and no more water could get in.  Devron and Jinguji both turned handles shutting off valves, bringing two further leaks to a stop.

It was probably only four or five minutes, but the six caught helplessly inside the sub within the jaws of some unknown sea monster it felt like forever.  The creature, whatever it was decided that Duranium did not make for a good meal and let the sub go.  They hit the ocean floor with a thud breaking the front left track assembly and twisting the rear one on the same side out of position.

No one moved no one breathed.  The scope showed nothing but a rocky plain around them.  “Everyone ok?” Rahs finally asked.  They all replied that they were fine, and she leaned over to grip Ensign Stewart’s hand. “Thank you.”

“Right let’s see what the damage is.” The Trill focusing back on her instruments. “Electrics all seem ok.  What about the engines and manoeuvring controls?”

“One thruster has a red light, but I’ve got nothing on the rudders.” Lyanna operated the controls again just to make sure. “We either have a brake in the connection or that thing ripped them off.”

“Could we get outside and check for damage?” Jason asked. “I know you’ve got a couple of diving suits in the back.”

“Joshua.  Are you happy to risk it?” Lei asked the Betaziod.

“Our only alternative would be to blow the tanks and surface; hoping that the sea was calm enough to effect repairs.”  He paused a moment running several options through his mind. “If you can bring us up to 2,000 metres and mister Devron here will come with me as an extra pair of hands and eyes. I will see what I can do.”

_____

16:40

Less than half hour later the Sea Quest was hovering motionless at a depth of 2,000m and both men were in diving suits checking each other’s Heliox tanks, regulator gauges and masks. Before stepping into the dive chamber.  Captain Jingujii closed the hatch, and spun the large wheel several times before it locked in place and the amber light came on.  Next he increased the pressure within the chamber, so that when Joshua opened the hatch in the bottom of the craft, the water would be kept out side.  A second light told him the pressure was equalized and one inside the chamber told both men it was safe to open the outer hatch.

A couple of minutes later he watched as the two men disappeared from view and out of the sub.

_____

17:05

Back on the Island Lieutenant Bolka was none the wiser as to the danger her fellow crew members and the crew from the MRT Atragon had been facing, deep below the oceans waves.  The water looked so calm, hardly a ripple the waves just gently rolling up the beach and more or less fading into the sand.

There was one thing that was beginning to worry her more than any thoughts about those in the submarine, as she tapped her com-badge. “Bolka to the Jaxartes.  Come in Jax, do you read, over.”  It was the third time she’d tried in the last five minutes.  But she was getting no response from the Federation ship in orbit. “Jax, answer me, will you!” This time it was more of a yell.

“No luck contacting you ship?” Max the Atragons pilot asked. “May be you can get Hoydock to boost your signal through the ship systems and try it that way?”

“Thanks, I might give it a go.”  With that she headed inside the ship to find the Benzite engineer and ask him for his help.