• Published 2nd Mar 2018
  • 2,731 Views, 188 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.

  • ...

Tower of Secrets

The climb back down the mountain was easy enough, the cave crawlers continued to be annoying little pests, but by now they had a pretty effective routine at bashing them down. The tower looked as menacing as ever, actually scratch that, it looked way more menacing now he knew it transformed into a GIANT FUCKING GUN, and was most likely responsible for him being trapped on this deathworld.

He has looked inside the first time he came to the island, but it had been a quick search which hadn't revealed anything of interest except a bunch of strange glowing cubes that he had ended up taking back to base. There where also some strange computer terminals which his PDA hadn't been able to fully translate. Nevertheless he hadn't finished exploring it before running outside to see the Sunbeam, and now knowing it was an alien weapon platform, he shuddered to think of what kind of internal security it possessed that he had missed. Hopefully they had assumed the forcefield at the front was enough, and hadn't installed any extra, more lethal security.

"Course these are the same aliens that blew up the Aurora and Sunbeam."

Best be careful.

Rainbowdash had stuffed the gem into her bags, and was now had spent most of the walk back talking to him, he only caught a few words but the fact that she was currently feeling chatty was good, with any luck they would be able to have proper conversations before long. However most of that conversation had stopped once they had exited the cave and she saw the tower again, and now she was staring at in in open awe. "Come on, its getting late and I'd rather finish this up before nighttime if possible." he was certain the translator didn't catch most of that, but clearly she got the gist as soon she was quickly trotting down with him towards the tower entrance. It was indeed starting to get dark, the sun starting to dip down over the horizon, only making the tower even more menacing to Ryley.

He shook his head at the thought, "I'm probably gonna have to shut that thing down anyway if I ever want to get off this rock, might as well get it over with."

Making his way back down the mountain path, now that he wasn't busy searching for that gemstone, Ryley had a chance to get a better look at the tower. It was connected to the island with a long covered bridge made of the same material as the rest of the building, and looking down from above he could probably walk over to the gun from the outside. Maybe an explosive charge then? "But the PDA doesn't have any weapon blueprints, maybe I could scratch build something?"

However his musings about how to make bombs was interrupted by a short shout from Rainbowdash, who then proceeded to leap of the side of the mountain. Ryley barely had time to shout out in alarm before her (tiny) wings unfurled from her sides, and suddenly she was gliding down, leaving a gawking Ryley standing on the ledge, arm outstretched.

"How... What?"

The wind in her mane, under her wings, she'd missed this. Her wings weren't good enough to properly fly yet she could tell, but gliding was doeable, but even this hurt her wings a little. Still it was worth it, she hadn't been able to fly up the mountain, but there was no way she was walking down.

A shout from Ryley caught her attention, and she whirled her head around to see him standing on the edge of the pass, hand out and mouth stupidly held open. But a quick look around didn't reveal anything dangerous, the only other things in the air where the little bird like things. Still she spared a glance around anyway, but no nothing else in the air, though she thought she saw something big in the water off the side of the island. She looked back at Ryley, his mouth still held open, and snickered.

"Relax, I'm okay enough to glide, and this way I don't have to worry about those big spider things." Indeed she could see a fee of the annoying creatures scuttling around down on the path. She still wasn't sure where their eyes where, but she blew them a raspberry anyway.

"I'll apologize to Fluttershy later."

And just like that her mood came crashing down once again. But she was comforted by the communique gem now resting in her bag, Twilight had said they could track it and talk to her through it. As long as she held onto ot, they could find her.

Shaking her head from those thoughts, she decided instead to distract herself with the big alien tower. Adventure like this was why she'd volunteered for this trip anyway, her head was already running wild with all the traps and treasures they could find in there.

So when she landed at the foot of the mountain, she quickly raced around to the part of the building connected to the island, she was both excited and disappointed to find a large open doorway with another pedestal sitting just in front of it.

She looked up to see Ryley apparently still making his way down the mountain, slowpoke. Then the careful part of her brain spoke up. "Don't go running into alien stuff by yourself, that's what got you into this mess in the first place." She glanced back up at Ryley, still making his slow way down the mountain, and decided to compromise.

"Hey Ryley I'm gonna take a look inside okay cool." And with that she rushed in.

The interior was all made of the same black material as the outside and the portal, complete with the same weird patterns all over. Rounding the first corner into the structure she could see a long straight corridor towards the tower. Except it wasn't really straight, it didn't turn as far as she could tell but it was zig zagging everywhere, even though it just seemed to and up going forwards.

Rainbowdash slowly made her way down this corridor, silent except for the sound of her hooves echoing on the floor, the creepy atmosphere quickly dimming her initial excitement. The whole interior was lit by dull green glow from the roof, the walls and even the floor, and the colour of that glow brought back uncomfortable memories.

She almost jumped in fright when she suddenly heard other footsteps behind her, as a panting Ryley made his way inside. Quickly composing herself she looked back to Ryley. "Took you long enough, never run before?"

Ryley leaned down on his knees for a bit, before he gave Rainbow an annoyed glare, the strange translation from his PDA missing his panting breath. "Bad place, be careful."

Rainbowdash snorted, "Whatever." Quickly smoothing over any ruffled feathers before he noticed. It's not like she was scared, just, surprised. Still now that she had backup she could push in a bit further, after all Daring Doo had needed her help sometimes, having two ponies would let them explore more of the place even faster.

A pony and an alien. Two beings. Whatever.

It was impossible to see very far in front, there where pillars in the centre of the hall, then walls that jutted out of the sides, her vision ahead was constantly obscured as she slowly made her way forwards. It was almost like somepony had made a maze but had only ever built one path in it. Eventually she made her way around yet another pillar and saw something different, it looked like one of those lamps that had been on the mountain, but it has a panel jutting out in front of it just shy of being horizontal, above the lamp there was a floating green image. It reminded her a bit of those magical images Twilight sometimes made to explain things, but this one was just green, and it didn't really look like anything, the closest she could think of was one of those strange foreign letters, but blockier.

She walked over to it and just as Ryley caught up, touched the panel, suddenly there was a garbling voice coming from the lamp, it sounded a bit like the PDA, but male, and more, wrong. It also somehow made even less sense to Rainbowdash than what Ryley and the PDA said to each other.

After it finished speaking, the floating symbol dissipated, and then Ryley spoke up. "Like PDA, bag that doesn't move." He stopped for a moment, then touched his head. "Informo."

She thought it over for a moment, a bag of information? "So it's like a book?" Ryley listened to his PDA, then gave a shrug and nod.

"Close enough."

Just as creepy as he remembered it.

After watching Rainbow Dash break several laws of physics , he'd had to run down to catch up with her. While he hadn't found any traps last time he went in there, it also wasn't a giant laser.

Fortunately she hadn't gone far inside before he caught up, and now they where standing at the first terminal. It seemed the terminals reset after a period of time, since it had been once again glowing when Rainbow Dash touched it. He remembered from here the path went down several ramps, and pointed down. "There's another terminal further down, and some cube things, but not much else." Seeing her face scrunch up in what was probably confusion he guessed the PDA still had a bit to learn, still she gave a short mm-hm and started trotting forwards, her hooves much louder on the floor than the wet slaps of his flippers. Thankfully this time she decided to walk down the ramps, though she did pause a moment at the top of the first ramp, it wasn't hard to imagine her thinking about it.

The trip down the ramps was taken in silence, and in that silence Ryley found himself thinking about the aliens who built this place. "Why build a giant laser to shoot down ships? Maybe they wanted to scavenge them? But I still haven't met any of the aliens who built this place. And if they where basically pirates why would they make a laser that is stuck on one planet?" They reached the bottom of the ramp and Ryley led them forwards past the somewhat concealed bend up ahead. "Why is this here?"

"Hm?" His thoughts where interrupted by Rainbow Dash, who had her head turned to look at him quizzically, and he realized he'd said the last part out loud. He quickly waved down at her.

"Nothing, don't worry about it."

At that moment they rounded the corner and could see at the end of this corridor, the other terminal, another symbol once again glowing above it. Rainbow Dash immediately started trotting faster towards it, but stopped when a small section near the wall suddenly rose up at her approach, stopping at around her chest height. She looked at it curiously, walking over to poke it a little before looking back at him as he casually approached.

"An Ion cube was on that, green glowing cube about this big." He tried to mime the size of the cube, why did the PDA call it an Ion Cube anyway. She looked at his hands for a moment, then scrunched up her face in what he was starting to recognize as probably her thinking face.

"Like portal cube." He stopped at that.

"Fuck, she's right, its about the size." He hadn't thought much about the cube before now, since he'd needed those purple tablets to interact with the things in this facility. But it was a similar size, how exactly it would interact with the portal was unclear, but it would be worth a try at least. He noticed her face light up at his pause.

"Where is it?" He sighed, and pointed his thumb in the vague direction of the base. Her face morphed into a scowl, another face he was starting to recognize, it helped that they where rather human like expressions, though that raised some other, slightly more disturbing questions. Rainbow Dash shook her head and mumbled something he didn't quite catch, nor did the PDA apparently, and instead turned back to the terminal up ahead, seeming to put the cube discussion behind them.

She did notice the corridor going past the corner before the next terminal, but nevertheless walked up to it and once again, pushed on the screen. And as the strange alien voice spoke out again, his PDA also suddenly spoke up. "Unknown language, attempting translation."

Right, he hadn't actually used this terminal since the Sunbeam had been just a few minutes away. When he pulled out his PDA, he immediately wished he had looked.

Enforcement Platform Schematic

"Enforcement Platform?" What the hell where they enforcing? And why did they need a giant laser gun to do it? Reading over the rest of the schematic didn't really help with his confusion either, it just described.

"What is it?" Rainbow's query shook him from his contemplation, as he saw that she hadn't even moved, just stood there watching him, head cocked to the side. It was honestly kinda adorable.

"Directions, map of this place" He was fairly certain the PDA didn't know how to say Quarantine Enforcement Platform, but at the very least he now had the layout of the structure. He pointed up ahead. "Way down that way."

She stared at him for a little longer, before giving a slight nod and turning around to continue further, at this point they would be going to unknown territory, but the layout said there was an elevator of some kind to the lower levels, which in turn lead to the controls, he didn't know how those controls worked but they where there, and hopefully he could figure a way to shut this platform down.

"Not soon enough for the Sunbeam though."

However they weren't able to walk very far forwards before they reached a dead end, there where no more turns, just what he could see was the beginnings of a shaft that led who knows how far down, no sign of an elevator or a way to call it up either. As Rainbow Dash started making ehr way towards the shaft, Ryley turned to one of the walls and started running his hands over them, searching for some kind of panel or button. "Maybe the elevator broke, the schematic mentioned a moonpool though, perhaps we could use that."

Suddenly he heard a startled yelp, and turned to see Rainbow Dash now slowly floating towards the middle of the shaft. "Seriously?" She looked at him, eyes wide and all limbs frantically peddling.

"It's not me, I'm no- WOAH!" And suddenly Rainbow Dash was falling down with alarming speed, her shout echoing up the shaft.

"Shit!" Ryley raced over to the shaft himself, and leaned over to try and see her, drawing his stasis rifle as he ran. He peaked his head over to see Rainbow Dash's rapidly diminishing form, before suddenly feeling a tug and then he too was slowly floating towards the centre of the shaft. "Wait, stop! No no no no NOOO!" And then he was falling, very quickly.

The walls sped past as he fell screaming down the shaft, some unnatural force pushing him. He screamed as he saw the ground rushing up, and closed his eyes as he braced for impact. And then the falling stopped, and he heard snickering. He tentatively opened one eye and saw that he was now slowly floating towards an upwards ramp, with Rainbow Dash standing there, one hoof held over her mouth trying to contain some very obvious mirth. He continued to stare in confusion as the invisible force pushed him gently forwards, before it suddenly let go, dropping him flat on his arse.

Then the pony started laughing.

"Bwa ha ha ha, *wheeze*, ha ha ha ha ha!"

Sure Rainbow Dash had been surprised when she started floating too, but the fall very quickly slowed down, and when she reached the bottom it hadn't been hard to land on her hooves. Then she heard the screaming, which worried her for a moment until she realized its source, seeing him land on his butt ended up being the last straw. Which led to her current situation, rolling on the ground, laughing like a madmare.

"Ha ha ha ha, *gasp-wheeze*, ah ha ha ha!"

She wasn't sure how long she was laughing like that, probably less than a minute, but when she eventually calmed down, Ryley had gotten up and moved on, leaving her at the bottom of the ramp. She sighed, letting the last few chuckles leave her system before following. "I needed that."

Up the ramp was a massive, well lit chamber, it was extremely tall, enough that her wings started to itch again, but the chamber was aside from that empty, with the exception of the massive pool of water in the middle, a pool which, upon leaning over to inspect the edge, led directly into the ocean. "That's some fancy magic right there."

"Luno─Łejo." Ryleys voice, not the fake PDA voice, she looked to the right see him gesturing at the pool. "Luno─Łejo." Then the PDA started translating as he continued speaking.

"It is used for parking underwater ships, we could swim to my underwater ship from here." She frowned at that.

"Underwater ship, you mean Submarine, I'm not stupid, I know what a Submarine is." There was a pause before the PDA spoke up, not translating something this time, and its fake voice sounding almost condescending.

"Submarine, stupid, thank you for these words." That got a proper scowl from Rainbow Dash. She was about to retort before she saw Ryley wave her off, what looked like a sympathetic/exasperated expression on his face. Snorting in annoyance, Rainbow Dash nevertheless dropped the subject, instead opting to look past Ryley at the large open doorway on the far side of the chamber from the entrance to the ocean. She pointed a hoof at it and started walking, Ryley turned to look, before giving her a nod and also heading that way.

She overtook him quickly, excitement once again returning to her as they found more of this, and made her way through the doorway first, rounding the corner behind it to reveal another chamber full of ramps, these ones going up. A scan of the room however revealed one more interesting thing of not that she could see. To the right sitting below the ramps there was what looked like a display case, with something floating inside. "Hey check this out." She quickly trotted over to it, soon hearing Ryley's footsteps behind her, whatever was inside reminded her a little of that fancy blunt spear/club Ryley carried on his back, except this one was black, and only had two separated rods as opposed to the three connected rods on Ryley's device. "What do you think it is?"

Ryley pulled out his strangely shaped ring device, and again the glowing blue light emerged from it and ran over the thing in the display case. Once that was done it beeped and the PDA spoke in his language, then he said something to it and it started to speak to her. "This is a tool used for hurting."

"Sooo, a weapon."

"Affirmative" Rainbowdash frowned and looked back at the weapon, it didn't look very effective, the ronds looked like they might be sharp, and they ended in points, but she couldn't imagine it being more useful than some kind of club.

"Maybe it used alien magic." Still if that was a weapon, then was the thing Ryley carried a weapon too. She was about to ask him when she noticed he had moved on, and was now heading to the other corner of the room, and Rainbowdash soon saw why. Sitting in that corner was a small pile of glowing green cubes, one larger cube with the others seemingly attached to it, as they apporached it the floor beneath it rose up to just below her neck height.

"Hey! Is that Ion Cubes?" Ryley nodded, and reached out to pick up the cubes, lightly tossing them in his weird alien hands before reaching back to put it in one of his bags. "Hey wait, we can try to use that on the portal right?" He paused at that, then nodded again more slowly this time.

"Later, first." His hand pointed up. Rainbow grumbled a little at that, but it made sense, they where already here, might as well check the rest of the place out.

"Well at least let me hold onto that." Another pause, then he nodded and handed it to her own outstretched hoof, it was slightly warm to the touch, and left her hoof feeling a little tingly, but once it was in her bag, she didn't notice anything.

The climb up the ramps took a few minutes, on the first level above theirs there was a strange tablet with glowing purple lines on it sitting on a pedestel which Ryley immediately picked up, only telling her it was "Important." A bit further up there was another display case with a small diamond shaped thing that had a circle in it. Ryley's face went noticeably pale when he moved the blue light over it, and he refused to say anything else about it, though the PDA helpfully told her it was a "Very very very powerful weapon."

Eventually they got to the top with no more ramps heading up, and to the right end of this platform, it looked like a glowing green energy shield. It didn't seem to surprise Ryley though, he simply walked up to it, then stopped at a small pedestal just tot he side of this shield, which opened up to show a slot that looked very much like the tablet they had picked up earlier, it even had purple lines in the same pattern as on the tablet. He placed the tablet into this socket, the pedestal closed and the shield flickered and then dissipated, revealing another room with a raised path that turned right very shortly. "Cool." But neither Ryley or the PDA seemed to notice as they immediately walked inside.

"Hey! Wait up!" They didn't seem to notice her shout either, so instead she ran inside after them, catching up to him just as he reached the right turn of the path.

"What's the big idea?" But when she turned her head to follow his gaze, further questions died on her lips. Ahead of them at the top of another ramp, was a column, except the middle of the column was nothing but bright green light. There was something about that light, when compared to everything else in this structure, that made is seem almost, powerful, and sinister. When she spoke next, her voice was barely above a whisper

"What is that?" She asked, not really expecting an answer. Which left her all the more surprised when she got one.

"The Controls." And he once again started walking, with more purpose this time.

"Controls. To what? Do you know what this place is." As he stepped closer, two lights lowered from the ceiling, and when he got to the top of the ramp, a separate pedestal just in front of the column opened up, a section rising above the rest, upon it a circle and below that, a square, both of glowing green light. As she followed him up the ramp, Ryley paused for a moment in front of the circles, and then, after a moments hesitation reached out his hand towards the square.

But just as his hand was about to reach it, two rods emerged from the pedestal just below his arm, sliding up to either side of his arm. Just as Ryley started to pull his arm back, a faint green glow emerged from between the two rods, and suddenly Ryley seemed stuck, he was obviously tugging at his arm, but it didn't move, like it was held in place. Next the circle emerged from the wall, attached to the end of a long segmented wire attached to the rest of the pedestal, it reached close to his face, moving around, its movements uncomfortably serpentine, and accompanied by a very disturbing hissing, before it shifted and with a click a small spike emerged from its centre. Before either of them had any chance to do anything other than shout, it plunged the spike into Ryley's arm.

"Gah." His short shout of pain was about as short as the rest of the process, for almost immediately after stabbing him, the spike pulled out and the device returned to its socket, the rods also clicking back down, and the red square glowed red. As Ryley pulled back his arm, clutching it around the wound, the same fake male voice from the other terminals spoke up with its weird garbling nonsense, and then the pedestal completely folded back to how it was.

"What was that, are you oka-"

"Shhh!" She was about to retort to that when she heard the PDA speaking to him, and decided to at least let it finish. But when Ryley's face went even paler than she had ever seen it before, those thoughts also dispersed. He hastily pulled up the white ring from his belt, and this time ran the blue light over himself, after which he looked at the ring, and started to murmur to himself, the PDA helpfully translating for her even though she was pretty sure she didn't need it for this bit.

"No, no no no no NO!" Then he whirled over to her, pointing his hand in her face. "You, need to Skani you!" She jerked her head back from his hand.

"I need to do what?" He quickly shook his head.

"Won't hurt, important." Normally if anyone who wasn't her friend, or her boss, or a princess etc. made that kind of demand of her, she would tell them exactly where they could shove that demand, but there was something off about Ryley right now. Even in the very short time she'd known him, she could see the desperation in his eyes. She slowly nodded.

"Okay, but if that was a lie I'll beat those crap right out of you." She could tell he didn't really listen to her, since he immediately moves the blue light of his hand ring over her as soon as she nodded her head, honestly this was all getting very unnerving. It felt a little strange, but he was right, it didn't hurt. But she definitely didn't like the way he completely did not seem to calm down after that. The PDA didn't translate his next string of mutterings, though she felt pretty sure she could recognize his word for "no" by now, and then he pointed at the pedestal.

"You, you try." She balked at that one.

"And get stabbed, no thank you." And then he got in her face, eyes wide.

"IMPORTANT! FOR BOTH OF US!" She narrowed her eyes.

"If it's that important you can ask." After he heard the translation he seemed to shake for a bit, and Rainbowdash felt herself crouch down in preparation for a fight as he raised his arms above his head. Then he seemed to deflate, arms sagging and eyes downcast before looking at her once again.

"Please, it is important." Great, now she felt sorry for him.

"See, that wasn't hard was it." She tested her wings, they where rested enough to let her float a little, so she flew up to about Ryley's height then hovered in front of the pedestal. It opened up again as she neared it and started to reach her hoof towards the square. "Calm down girl, it's just a needle, a big needle but still, a needle." Still even knowing it was coming she instinctively tried to pull her hoof back when the snake cord thing emerged but found her arm locked in place between the two rods, like it has been sealed in a wall. The pain was thankfully brief, and when the cord pulled back the square again glowed red and the whole thing folded back in.

Shaking her leg lightly she touched down, her wings already aching again and turned to see Ryley was now sitting with his back to one of the paths walls, leaning over his PDA, tapping it furiously. She watched for a moment before imaptience caught up with her. "So, what was the point of that, what happened." Ryley didn't answer, but his PDA did.

"Ryley has been confirmed to be hurt, inside." She scoffed at that.

"What like his feelings?"

"No, physical hurt, inside." Now she was slightly concerned.

"A broken bone?"


"... He's sick?"

"Yes, and so are you."

Author's Note:

So i haven't actually played Subnautica in, well since before I resurrected this story, thus when I came back to write this I found my memory a bit, shall we say, rusty. So now I've been forced to replay Subnautica, for research purposes.

I'm sure I'll live.

Now to the main point some of you may notice my descriptions don't quite match up with how everything is in the game, and this is deliberate, mostly in the form of up scaling, day long trips should have distances that match, islands will be a bit bigger etc. After all the game had to make trips not take forever, since who would enjoy a game with hours of just driving places.


Anyway I'm making small adjustments like that for narrative purposes, just letting you all know in advanced.