• Published 2nd Mar 2018
  • 2,414 Views, 190 Comments

Down into the Deep - DenyTheWitch



On the distant Planet 4546B, two aliens must delve deep into the abyss to discover a way home, and discover a great many other secrets in the process. Some of which are not happy to be found.

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Forced Entry

The ocean surrounding the Aurroa was barren, most of it was empty sand dunes with the occasional scatterings of smaller wreckage, supply boxes and coral tubes. Much of the Seafloor had obviously been displaced here by the impact, as evidenced by the lack of any other plant life, though the Coral tubes certainly threw into question just how high the Seafloor had been before the Aurora's impact. The fish where few in number as well, small fish scattered about but never in enough numbers to be considered a shoal, occasionally a Sand Shark would burst from the ground after those scattered few, but even they where a rare sight during the trip.

Behind the Aurora was a different story, there the seafloor dropped dramatically into dark empty depths, almost nothing to see beyond small shoals of incredibly tiny fish and the jagged hull pieces of the Aurora superstructure. It was at the edge of this drop, staring into that darkness that one could now make out a small little submarine, the brand new Seamoth, lights off and completely still, staring into those murky depths, with its singular human passenger. Ryley had the controls in a death grip, while his eyes where scanning the ocean from behind the tall radiation helmet.

The trip here had been uneventful, the lack of life had been expected, given first the initial crash, and then the leaking reactor. Honestly Ryley was surprised to see as many creatures as he did along the way, perhaps the local fauna has higher tolerance to radiation.

Anyway the Sand Sharks were never a real threat to a Seamoth, too slow, the most they could do was damage the hull slightly, which was always and easy repair, and that only happened if Ryley stuck close to the seafloor. Everything had been as expected, manageable. And then he heard it.

In hindsight Ryley had heard the sound many times before now, it had always been reasonably intimidating. But it had also always been distant, of no immediate concern, and Ryley hadn't particularly cared to find out what it was. Now though, after the events of a few days ago, he was acutely aware of what was making that sound.

"There's a Reaper down there. There's a reaper and I have to go towards it." That was the thought dominating Ryley's mind as he stared into the the trench carved by the Aurora. See Ryley had been driving along the side of the Aurora partially for direction, but mostly in an effort to find some way inside, it had ultimately been futile but that was what he expected, and not really a concern because he knew for sure where he could find an entrance, the massive hull breach at the front of the ship. At least that hadn't been a concern until he found out about the Reaper.

His fingers started to drum away at the handles as he kept scanning, he had to get onto the ship, that was non-negotiable, but the hull still continued as far as he could see towards the deeper waters. He could go back and search around the rest of the Aurora for another entrance, but the odds of finding one he could access where slim, heck he wouldn't even be thinking about boarding the Aurora if it weren't for the massive hull breach. Besides, there was not telling what else was out there around the ship.

"... Fuck."

Slowly, ever so slowly, the Seamoth edged forwards as Ryley pushed it forwards, it was still light above so he could see fairly deep into the water without issue, which was good because he really didn't feel like turning on the Seamoth's own lights.

The ground below continued to decline as he took the sub along the hull, his eyes rapidly flicking back and forth between the hull and the deeper ocean. As the ocean floor kept dropping, and the hull kept remainin whole, Ryleys own nerves grew tenser as he drove further towards the sounds of danger. Eventually the (mostly) pristine white hull gave way to the charred black superstructure, maybe he wouldn't have to drive around the entire hull, maybe there'd be a gap here in the superstructure.

It was not long after this thought had crossed his mind then two things happened soon after one another. Firstly his hopes where answered, as a gap in the hull large enough for the Seamoth finally came into view, then secondly, as he accelerated towards this gap, he finally saw the end of the hull, as well as a large serpentine body swimming just by that edge. He almost brought the sub top another stop right there, except that bringing a Seamoth to a dead stop in the ocean wasn't exactly possible without ramming into something. And secondly, after the initial split second freak out, his rational mind quickly reasserted control.

"It's far away, at least 100 metres, and it wasn't headed towards you, calm down." Instead Ryley slowed, but did not stop the Seamoth, as he drove into the hull breach, trying his best to keep an eye on the Reaper even as it disappeared into the murky waters, and as he was forced to turn away from the Reaper as he searched the breach.

The former interior of the ship was about as intact as the rest of the ship. Actually scratch that, it was even worse. The formerly internal structure, not built with the same durability of the outer hull, had not survived the transition from interior to exterior particularly well. The inner structure was now a mangled mess of metal, at some points he could make out where specific floors had been, but at others the now unsupported floors/roofs had mashed together into a multilayered messes of metal. Most of it was no longer connected to the exterior hull, just hanging off into the water, creating a general downwards slope from the rest of the relatively more intact ship. The parts above the water where less mashed together, however they where also mostly on fire. This jagged mess created quite a few obstacles for Ryley to navigate around as he searched this mess for a clear path into the ship.

Here the shadow of the Aurora forced him to flick on the Seamoth's lights once again, with Ryley desperately hoping the mangled mess around him would keep his tiny sub hidden from the massive killer fish behind him, and if that failed, hope that the wreck was too cramped for the Leviathan to follow. The constant creaking and groaning from the hull wasn't very helpful here either, muffling the occasional distant roars behind him. So Ryley kept finding himself peeking over his shoulder behind the Seamoth

It was under such circumstances, as well as the constant loud creaking of the metal frame around him, that you will be asked not to judge Ryley for the little jump (and shriek) he made when the PDA suddenly beeped, before he managed to calm down as he realised the PDA was just giving him an update. "Lifeform readings in this region are sparse. The Aurora's radioactive fallout will have devastating effects on the alien ecosystem if not contained within the next 24 hours."

Well, perhaps calmed down should be taken as a relative term here.

"Good news on good news on good news." A sigh escaped him despite the tension he felt, and he redirected his full attention back to the ship. The wreckage was less dense the closer it was to the surface, so Ryley steadily brought the Seamoth into an ascent climbing up along the wreckage, until he saw what looked like a relatively flat piece of intact floor, just dipping into the water. There he brought the Seamoth up to the surface and saw a large intact piece of flooring with only a few small pieces of scrap metal lying around on it.

Reasoning this was probably his best shot Ryley brought the sub back down spinning it around, finding to his relief there was no Reaper staring up at him. Finding a nook where the Seamoth would be sheltered from any currents (he hoped) Ryley packed up his gear and swam to the surface.

The floor was slightly bent downwards on the side facing towards his parked Seamoth, creating a ramp into the water. Stepping on and climbing up Ryley took a moment to get a proper look around. This relatively flat piece of flooring was still sitting at a slight angle, though it was still level enough for a great many objects to sit on it. Most of those where pieces of scrap from other parts of the ship, however there where also a bunch of crates, pods and small debris, many of which where on fire. And scuttling between all these obstacles where several bright Cave Crawlers. Fortunately Ryley had a new toy, which while not intended for these, would probably be quite useful.

Reaching around to where he usually strapped his Stasis Rifle, Ryley instead pulled out a large bulky round cylinder with two handles on the top and at the back, as well as a trio of rounded prongs at the front. He'd found the blueprints for these on a bunch of underwater islands near the volcano island, and while he himself had never used one, he remembered the crew talking about how much fun the Propulsion Canons could be.

"Let's see what all the fuss was about."

Taking aim at the first Crawler to come scuttling towards him, Ryley and pulled the trigger. Immediately three streams of blue energy burst from the prongs, merging together and then streaming out to engulf the Crawler, which was then lifted up by the energy and then brought up and suspended in front of the Cannon.

Ryley watched for a moment as the Crawler flailed about in the energy, unable to reach anything, then he hefted the Cannon around, pointing it towards the open ocean, flicked a switch, and pulled the trigger again. In the blink of an eye the Crawler was suddenly propelled out into the ocean, landing with a distant splash.

First there was a chuckle, then a giggle, and finally a laugh some might describe as maniacal burst from Ryleys lips.

"I get it, I get it." He turned back to the rest of the Crawlers scuttling about, took a quick look at the battery charge of the Cannon 95% plenty. Then he got to work.


Shooting Cave Crawlers out to sea was extremely cathartic, though it lacked the same impact of bashing them with a rifle or knife, seeing the annoying critters sent flying was a pleasure all of its own.

It had also helped to calm his nerves, given he was about to try and enter a broken but still functioning nuclear reactor, he certainly couldn't afford to make mistakes.

Now that he had a clear moment of (relative) safety he finally sat down to take stock. Aside from the Cannon which replaces his Rifle, Ryley had packed extra supplies of water, cured fish and what remained of his nutrient bars (all in special containers to reduce the risk of contamination) along with extra medical packs. Aside from those the rest of his kit was the usual, a knife, seaglider, laser cutter, repair kit, and importantly, a scanner, the Aurora was practically guaranteed to have some fancy equipment lying around for him to scan. All of these where bright and sparkling new, they definitely weren't coming back to the base with him. He'd also packed a few fire extinguishers, which between them and the propulsion Cannon he'd hoped would be enough to get through any obstacles in the ship.

"I'll probably have to throw all this stuff away once I'm done."

Clearing out the Cave Crawlers hadn't just been because he hated the little things (though he did hate them, he really really did), rather the bigger concern was that they might damage the suit. Ryley didn't much relish the idea of entering the drive core with a hole in his suit, if the radiation was bad enough for him to need to wear a suit to get within 200 metres of the Aurora, past all the layers of metal within the ship...

Well, Ryley just hoped the suit could take it.

The next minute was spent searching the few intact supply crates lying around, inside of which there where some water bottles, a spare battery and a medkit, all of which he packed away. The crates where built to be sturdy, so hopefully their contents weren't irradiated, (though just to be sure, he separated them from the rest of his supplies and made a note to use them last if necessary). This last bit of procrastination finally done, he at last turned to the entrance of the ship.

He'd spotted it whilst clearing out the Crawlers, but hadn't taken a proper look at it before now. There was a relatively open passage into the ship, relatively in the fact that while there was debris blocking the way, the hallway itself looked intact from what he could see, but the debris wasn't an issue, that's what he'd brought the cannon for. Using it to clear away the larger crates and boxes was different from the cave crawlers, for one most of these boxes where too large to be lifted very high or close by the cannon, instead it just kind of dragged them a bit closer. Still it was enough to get them out of the way, and the fact that he wasn't firing them away afterwards did conserve power (24% now, but that's what he'd brought the spare batteries for), and after a few moments of this, Ryley at last had a clear path into the Aurora.

He tentatively stepped up, glancing down the sloped hallway to see the orange glow of a fire down at the end. There, in the entryway of whatever hallway this had once been, the PDA beeped yet again.

"Warning: ship's structural integrity is low. Fire suppression equipment and laser cutters may be required. Exploration is conducted at your own risk."

"No problems there." He looked back outside, at the calm rolling ocean behind him, trying no to think about the leviathan lurking below the surface. He started to check his supplies yet again before stopping himself, taking another deep breath, and then looking back down into the ship.

"Well, this is it." And with that, he took his first steps back into the Aurora.

Author's Note:

Originally I was gonna have Ryley exploration of the Aurora be it own entire (probably longest) chapter, but then a month went by, and then another few weeks and so I decided to just give you guys this for now.

I thought about putting in some numbers for the radiation, dosimeter readings and the like, but I quickly realised that I knew too little about the subject and it was too complex for me to research quickly, so vaugery it is.

For any nuclear physicists that may be reading this (not sure why but I appreciate it) the Radiation Suit in the game is said to be safety rated up to 400 Sv/hr, whatever that means.

Also fun fact, since I research everything that happens with a play through, and wrote up until Ryley made up his mind to push past the Reaper, I managed to freak myself out when I played the game, which wasn't helped when I immediately saw said Reaper swimming swimming around in the distance, fun times.

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Comments ( 15 )

this is good

Minor gripe, it is the front of the ship not the back that is blown open.
Other whys, it is a good story and I all ways like seeing it update.

Ryley watched for a moment as the Crawler flailed about in the energy, unable to reach anything, then he hefted the Cannon around, pointing it towards the open ocean, flicked a switch, and pulled the trigger again. In the blink of an eye the Crawler was suddenly propelled out into the ocean, landing with a distant splash.

Aaaah, the yeet cannon, drains a lot of your battery and great against pulling out stinging jellyfish.

Huh, I did not know that you could explore the ship before it blew up. Mostly because a lot of the people I watched play the game didn't do so.

The ocean surrounding the Aurroa was barren, most of it was empty sand dunes with the occasional scatterings of smaller wreckage, supply boxes and coral rubes.

Don't you mean coral tubes here?

maybe there'd be a gap here int he superstructure.

Missplaced space.

not built with the same durability of the outer hill

Hull

much if which where on fire

Of

if the radiation was bad enough for him to need to war a suit to get within 200 metres of the Aurora,

Wear, i think

Reaching around to where he usually strapped his Stasis Rifle, Ryley instead pulled out a large bulky round cylinder with two handles on the top and at the back, as well as a trio of rounded prongs at the front. He'd found the blueprints for these on a bunch of underwater islands near the volcano island, and while he himself had never used one, he remembered the crew talking about how much fun the Propulsion Canons could be.

Hate to be that guy, but the Propulsion Cannon actually has four prongs.

10384060
I've only counted 3. Where's the 4th prong?

Just wait until you realize there's two reapers there.

10516601
If I recall correctly

8/10 very good story. Would be a 9 were it not for the typos and the fact it has been 4 months since the last update.

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