Life began in the murky depths of the dark ocean where tendrils of light were few and far between. It rose to shallower water to find sustenance as nary a fish could be found in the layer of ocean it called home. By sucking up water and then contracting with all its mite to eject the ocean in a tight stream, the Arcatuthus moved from place to place quiet in its life. Only its deceased relatives had been seen by modern man. Man, the two legged destruction machine, still had legends of its forefathers engulfing complete ships and taking them to the depths to be crushed and eaten. Dark days of wooden vessels and uneducated humans were its heyday. Now it just existed in myth.
The USS Shiloh AS-3 was on maneuvers near the Marianas Trench with the rest of its battle group and they were having problems with their aft steering station. This caused the ship to not be able to adjust its course with the rest of the ships in the fleet. The captain of the ship made the decision to move away from the exercise and take the power plant offline so they could repair the broken gear.
The weather was pleasant enough for this type of work. The ocean had small ripples in it, nothing like the typhoon they had operated in last year at the same time. The sailors working down in the aft steering compartment felt like they were gently being rocked to sleep like a baby in a bassinet. The captain was displeased with the twelve hour estimated time of repair, but he had limited options at this point.
The day proceeded uneventful with the deck watch changing twice with nothing to report other than the beautiful weather, a few clouds here and there, their shadows gently coasting along the small waves of the calm ocean. The navigator commented on what a gorgeous day it was even though the skies had been a fiery red that morning. Red skies at night, sailors delight. Red skies at morn, sailors take warn. It was an adage that had been around for centuries and was uncannily accurate. Except for today. The crew was treated to a cookout on the flight deck for dinner. The usual fare, hotdogs and hamburgers but with ice cream sundaes for dessert. The treat was being able to stand down and play, carrying on outside away from the doldrums of ship life.
After evening chow, the curtain of night begin to close as dusk set in on the high seas. The Shiloh continued to drift and the topside deck watch changed hands again with nothing to report. They joked amongst themselves about the bandit cloud shadows that realized how badass their ship was and disappeared from sight. What those jokers couldn’t see was the shadow that moved just under the surface. Nothing to be seen with the naked eye, but it was there, watching and waiting.
Man, in his ignorance, had dumped toxic chemicals into the oceans for years with no realization of the consequences. They had created a true freak fest of aquatic life under the surface where mutations abound. One of these mutations was a throwback to the ancient days of sailing. A beast that would put bone shaking fear into a true sailors heart. Well over three hundred feet in length, it could swallow twenty men with a single gulp and with it’s strength not just in its appendages but also in its beak, a steel ship would be no match.
As the repairs completed on the ship, the captain ordered the power plant back up to operation and the vibrations were a welcome feeling to the enginemen onboard. Those vibrations gently shook the ship at more than its normal frequency. That same frequency broadcast through the depths like a high powered radio signal calling to the deep that dinner was here.
Ever so gently the water parted, as to make no noise, and the tentacles began their long journey up the sides of the Shiloh wrapping it in a lover’s embrace. The deck watch heard not a sound as the Kraken began it’s feeding frenzy, positioning itself to shake the sailors past it’s rigid beak like the crumbs at the bottom of a bag of chips.
Gently the tentacles suctioned themselves to the smooth hull of the great ship preparing to reap devastation upon those aboard. Once in place the Kraken’s body broke the surface and the wrenching and shaking of the feast began. Twisting the ship along its keel and shaking to and fro, the deck watch became the first snack of many for this great beast of the ocean. The men and women pin wheeling through the air like trapeze artists with no one to catch them or caught in the tight grip of one of the tentacles feeling the life crushed from their bodies.
Once it was convinced the snack was over the monster began to emit a mixed howling whooshing noise as it began to suck in water. Once it’s capacity had been reached, the Kraken clenched its body, tightening and constricting the muscles forcing a jet of water out that in turn propelled its body towards the deep, pulling the great ship along with it towards it’s final resting place in the black depths of the ocean.
The navigator made it to the bridge, right as the tentacles began to pull the ship under the surface of the water. Looking through the bridge windows his last thought centered around the beautiful dusky sky.
‘It’s red. Going to be a beautiful day tomorrow.’