Deep Dark Sea

📅 Published on January 15, 2022

“Deep Dark Sea”

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 9.00/10. From 6 votes.
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I am recording this message to sort out my thoughts and provide the most accurate information I can to those on the surface.  I apologize if it is not the most cohesive possible.  Given the circumstances I am facing, it is the best that I could do.  There are about four reasons why I’ll be dead by the time this reaches anyone.

Number one: I have forty-seven hours of oxygen left.  There is no way to stretch that out.

Trust me.  I have tried.  When this mess started, I had about a week’s worth of supplies left.  I knew that conserving energy would be a top priority.  I closed off parts of our facility I wasn’t going to use and ran everything on the minimum power required.  I did everything by the book to make sure I could survive, and it’s probably only shaved off a few hours for me.  I don’t know what day it is, but I’m sure that it’s my last or close to it because I don’t see myself just sitting around and waiting to suffocate.  You come to terms with your mortality down here pretty quick.  I know I’m a goner.  But that isn’t really what scares me.

Number two: I am at the bottom of the ocean, and no one knows I’m here.

For security reasons, none of us were allowed to know the base’s location before we got here.  At the time, I didn’t question it.  Government officials always like to keep secrets.  And I figured that if it was at the bottom of the ocean, there wasn’t much that could go wrong.  It seemed like we would be safe.  They even had a lot of rules and security measures that we reviewed before the deep dive to make sure we all understood what we were getting into.

They hid everything.

All I’d been initially told was that six of us would be sent to one of the most important projects of this century and that the reward would be beyond measure.  Not just money, although they did offer plenty.  Fame and fortune, your name going down in history books.  It was a hard thing to turn down, especially when the mystery itself intrigued me.  I hadn’t even been told who would be on the team.  Only that secrecy and duty would be the top priority.

When things started going wrong, naturally, I asked the others to see if anyone knew our location to get help.  But those in charge felt it would be better if we were all on the same page.

Or the other five that came here were lying.

I guess it doesn’t matter now, though, since they are dead, does it?

Oh yeah, that ties into reason number three.

Number three: All of my crewmates are dead—several of them I killed by my own hand.

I haven’t the time to explain, and I’m not asking for forgiveness or some shit like that.  The men and women stationed here with me went crazy, they turned on one another like vicious animals, and everything I did was purely for survival reasons only.

I don’t want to go into the details of what I did.  I still can’t come to terms with those choices myself.

These people were all good—Smart, resourceful, from every corner of the globe.

None of them needed to be locked down here with this madness.  When I ended their life, it was a mercy.

At least that’s what I tell myself.

You see… we found something we weren’t meant to, here in the depths of the ocean.

It was the entire reason that we came here.  I remember thinking that our instruments weren’t working properly during the dive.  The oceanographer, Paul Stratton, commented that the electromagnetism of the region was off the charts.

What did that mean, I asked?

He winked at me and told me that it meant this was something big.

Given the lack of light and life, the abyssal zone, one of the darker regions of the deep ocean, is where I figured we must be stationed.

But I soon found out the reason for the void was far more serious than that.

Commander Michael Whatley met us at the main decompression chamber to go over a few regulations for our stay.

No communication with the surface.  The monitoring station was to remain online at all times.  Shifts to keep everything maintained would be determined in twelve-hour increments.

Doctor Agnes Booth, our chief physician, was the first to ask the big question.

“You make it sound like you have uncovered extraterrestrial life, Commander.  What exactly is it that we will be researching?”

Michael showed us to the observatory deck, allowing the underwater floodlights beyond the deep ocean facility to activate and giving us all a chance to be in awe.

According to the initial scans, it rested about thirty-seven hundred meters away from our location, and still, the object was massive from this range.  Its edges touched the trench walls, making it feel almost purposeful that the large object had been placed here in this remote location.

Its hull was as white as ivory, unblemished and glistening across the entire surface.  It did not indicate life, nor makeup that told me it was artificial.

Yet as the light refracted and hit it, I could tell that it wasn’t truly a solid mass at all but rather thousands or maybe millions of prisms that all were shimmering and moving in unity with one another to make up the object.  It was at least the size of a forty-foot skyscraper.

* * * * * *

“This is what all of you are here to find out.  For the next seven days, this monolith is your only priority.  This facility has come equipped with everything you will need to safely observe, document and record anything surrounding this trench,”  Michael told us.

All of us were obviously surprised that the previous teams hadn’t made any sense of the strange object, but the Commander had an explanation for that too.

“Until recently, we have been unable to allow any person into the facility for fear of disruption.  The monolith seems to harm the area surrounding it, but it also tends to wane during the summertime.  Almost as if it’s asleep or hibernating.  This is the best chance we have to understand the thing,”  he explained.

He paused for a moment to see if there were any interjections and then explained how our mission would conclude.

“After the seven days, a reconnaissance team will dive to get you and to determine if further observations are made,”  Whatley told us.

Paul couldn’t help but to wonder if maybe the death trap we were observing might wake up.

The Commander didn’t answer that one but instead rattled off a few other rules as he prepared for departure and finally concluded.  “I know all of you were chosen because you are the most capable men and women we have available.  I have full confidence you can crack this.”

And we never saw him again.

Number four: There is a force at work here that could destroy all life as we know it.

“It doesn’t take all of us to recognize that this thing cannot possibly be from this world,”  I stated once the Commander had left and the reality of our bizarre assignment sunk in.

We began reviewing what little data the last team had managed to scrounge so far.  The monolith was composed of literally hundreds of different geological sources as far as we could tell.

None of us understood at first how that could be possible.

The data showed that the scraps of rock had been gathered from every ocean on earth.

“It’s very beautiful,”  I admitted as I looked toward the darkness above.  We couldn’t even truly see the top of the monolith because of how far down we were.

The doctor said it was an abomination.

It was no wonder why they kept this quiet, I thought.  This thing was changing everything we ever thought we knew.  And it could cause disruptions in space and time too from the data we expunged.  Whatever the hell that meant.

“Whatley told us that we would be fine.  So that’s what we are going to rely on,”  I repeated.

“He seemed fine, didn’t he?”  Paul asked nervously.

None of us knew the man that well, so it wasn’t ours to decide.  But soon enough, we found out just how safe we really were.

A few days passed with few incidents.  We did our best to work under the circumstances we had been given and slowly became comfortable around the monolith.  It was this sense of familiarity.  I think that led to the first mistake.

Mason attempted to send a drone out to get a closer view of the prisms and had the camera feed on live so everyone on the facility could get a better look.  But the closer the tiny submarine got to the object, the more erratic our feed became.

We tried to write it off as faulty tech.  But there was a growing unease amid the free.

But something was beginning to change in my coworkers at that moment.  Strange noises were emitting from the drone’s feed, and I could already tell it irritated Paul and Doctor Booth.

Paul claimed it was so bad he wanted to rip his ears off.

Liza ignored it and pushed forward.

We soon found what seemed to be writings on the prisms, different languages.

“Alien?”  I had guessed.

Instead, the answer was actually what turned out to be the most curious.  The scan detected over four hundred spoken dialects from our planet.  All of these languages appeared to be human.  Some were ancient, Mesopotamian, Enochian… but some appeared to be far more modern.

Like the rocks, it had gathered pieces of our culture for as long as it’d been down here.

That seemed like the logical conclusion.  But I wasn’t so sure.  Something about the stone seemed to have adapted since we got here.  It was altering its makeup to show us things that hadn’t been seen before.  It made me worry about why that was.

Wasn’t the obelisk supposed to be asleep?

“Some of the noises might be tongues that we don’t recognize… language of the future,”  I speculated that evening as we listened to the chatter that the radio picked up.

There did seem to be a rhyme to the broadcast method, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to accept the notion of time travel.

Maybe this monolith didn’t exist within the framework of the dimensions we were familiar with.  It was almost like an informational black hole.  Time and space seemed to be meaningless to it, so it could have easily been gathering data from all over the entire span of human history.

Our astrophysicist appeared too soon to give his theory about the subject.

Something in his stance and posture seemed off, but for some reason, I ignored it.

“The proper theoretical term is a white hole.  Instead of consuming all things, including light, this monolith exudes constant power, information and strength.  It’s an infinite chasm of possibilities,”  Gregory explained.

So if we could tap into understanding it, we would be basically breaking the very fabric of our reality?  That didn’t sound good to me.

He took a sip of his coffee, a strange glint in his eyes as he peered toward the monolith.

“It’s very existence is the rip between our world and one beyond.  It has pushed the limits.  Now we are just teetering the scales further toward oblivion.”

“All right, maybe we shouldn’t be all doom and gloom,”  I suggested.

“You don’t understand, do you?  This thing can see the future, the past, and the endless possibilities of the universe.  It is everything.  It’s a god.  And yet, we stand here trying to comprehend it.  That’s like looking at the sun,”  he sneered.

“None of us have been affected yet,”  I said.

No…but I knew that wasn’t entirely true.  Paul had been staying up to attempt to communicate with the noises.  And Liza hadn’t gotten much sleep.

I tried to tell Greg that it was fine; we weren’t losing sanity.

“No, you idiot, it’s worse than that.  The monolith is going to exert power over us.  It’s only a matter of time before we turn on each other,”  Greg said.

The next day he locked himself in his room.

And I had to kill my closest colleague on this wreck.

I  felt my breath hitting my face as I ran down the corridor from her.  She had lost her mind because of a singular excursion using a pressurized suit to the monolith, gone for a few hours.

When she returned to the main air chamber, she began speaking nonsense in tongues that we couldn’t understand.  Paul refused to let her on board.

She used her own suit as a weapon, banging the helmet against the glass until it shattered.

“Blood and pain and endless walls.  They rise, walk, scream and crawl!!  Into the abyss they scurry!!” she shrieked as she came toward us like an animal.

I found a nook to hide in as she clawed at Paul’s face.  His screams prompted me to try and stop this, using the nearby fire extinguisher as a weapon to bash her head on the metallic floor.

When she was dead, Booth performed an autopsy—trying to comprehend what had happened.

This is the answer that the doctor gave us.  Her brain and body were accelerating through different quantum states.  Almost as if she couldn’t exist in our dimension anymore.

Paul mumbled an excuse of how he had warned all of us not to go near the thing.

“Speaking of the monolith…since Liza’s untimely death, it seems to have gotten larger,”  Greg told us.

We decided to try and communicate with the surface after that.  But it proved to be a pointless effort even with our skills.  Time wasn’t on our side, and we were too far down.

Paul seemed determined to make it work, locking himself in the communication stray.

* * * * * *

The next day I started to learn that I was not immune to the grip of the monolith.  I was having hallucinations.

It would often be Liza, her skin rippling and transforming on the edge of my mind even as I walked down the corridor and tried to perform the simplest task.

She was always in constant pain, screaming about her suffering.

It was those same hallucinations that made me kill Branch next, the illusions mixing with the facility around me when I bashed his head in.

Then I went to the forward command center and glared at the monolith.

It was a reminder to me that I was being watched.  The chances of escape without being caught were less than nil.

Agnes met me there with an unusual request.

She said she wanted me to kill her.

“What?”  I whispered in shock.

“I know you’ve been struggling with your mental health.  We all have.  And I want to end it on my terms.  If I die, it will be easier for the rest of you to survive longer.  It’s simple math.  I don’t have anyone on the outside to wait for.  Nobody will miss me,”  she insisted.  “This is how it has to be.”

I think most people believe death is easy.  For her, it wasn’t.  She choked on her blood for maybe 15 minutes when I cut her throat.  As I watched her die, gag and struggle to breathe, I wondered if she changed her mind about this, about all of the sacrifices that led her here.

I should have told her I never intended to cannibalize her body.  The truth is I will kill the others and then commit suicide.  I know that I can’t let the research we have found come to light.  The monolith is too dangerous.

Seven days have passed since then.

Paul wound up starving in the communications room.

On day five, Branch and I found his body and saw that he had carved more strange archaic symbols in his own blood on every surface.

“The monolith was trying to tell him something,”  Gregory whispered.

“What could it be?”  I asked.

He turned to me and whispered the final reason why I knew I would die down here.

“We aren’t alone.”

Greg’s body began to break apart the way a cocoon splinters the moment of metamorphosis.

But this was not a beautiful, godly creature emerging.

Long black skeletal claws that crushed apart his skin and muscle revealed rows of endless teeth and eyes as the hellish abomination screamed in a million tongues.

I locked myself in the next room, the creature smashing its body to reach me over and over as I frantically worked to cause an implosion in the room.

When it succeeded, I saw the creature tear apart into another thousand pieces, joining the ocean’s vacuum as it was forced into the monolith.

The object is all-encompassing now.  I see it everywhere I look.  I know that the forces from beyond are closing in.  They taunt me with their screams as I struggle to finish these notes.

I have discovered the horrible truth.  This monolith did not come from the earth but from what came before our world.  An entire dimension of chaos and destruction is what it harbors.

Our days as the dominant species in this world have come to an end.  The truth is that this was never our world, to begin with.  All this time, the monsters and the hell that rests beyond the gates of reality have only been hibernating.  The monolith is the key to their world.  And something is about to unlock it.

I am thankful I am about to die now.  I can’t even imagine the apocalypse that will rain down when this thing finally chooses to stir the world above.

Rating: 9.00/10. From 6 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kyle Harrison

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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