• 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.

  • ...

Meet the Reaper

Sometimes you get used to something unusual for so long, you forget it's exactly that, unusual. Like for instance, the simple fact that the ocean was very dark at night.

Ryley was used to staying in the shallows, which where full of bioluminescent fauna and flora, which ensured the nights where never dark, in fact, they where often quite beautiful. But out here?

The only light he could see was the two beams coming out of the front of the Seamoth, which didn't seem to light up much of anything except the side of the mountain to his right. It gave Ryley time to think.

If Rainbowdash had talked to something, then maybe the aliens who built the gun where still alive and on this planet, that was a chilling thought, given how they seemed to kill everything that got anywhere near the planet. If they found out that he and Rainbowdash where still alive, who knows what they would do. "And I still can't make any weapons, the best I have is a stasis rifle and a knife, but these aliens can harness the power equivalent to a 100MT explosion! Even if I had my old army gear I still don't think I could match that, the fuck can I do about it now?"

As Ryley continued to stew in increasingly darker thoughts, Rainbowdash sat at the front of the cockpit, and was simply clutching the gemstone, staring down at it as she held it close in her hooves. The rest of the bag was sitting on the bottom of the cockpit, its remaining undamaged contents of no interest to Rainbow, who just twisted and turned the gemstone in her hooves. She hadn't said so much as a word since they'd gotten back in the sub, and as Ryley's inner doom dialogue continued she had still said nothing.

As such it was quite a shock and a surprise to Ryley when she suddenly shouted in what could only be described as panic, alarm and a very good chunk of fear. But despite the surprise years of insticnt kicked in and he reflexively twisted on the wheel of the Seamoth, jerking it to the left in a sudden turn.

This proved to be quite the fortuitous course of action as after that the Seamoth was suddenly and quite violently hit on its right side and sent flipping off to the left. All of this action coinciding with a deep and terrifying roar.

"WHAT THE FUCK!" Cried Ryley as his vision, along with the rest of him, was sent spinning head over heels, this problem was made worse as Rainbow Dash, who did not have the fortune to be seated on a pilots seat or gripping onto a wheel, was sent hurting all about the cockpit, hitting Ryley more than once, as did some of her personal items. The gemstone in particular was an unpleasant shock, and the clanging and cracking as the gem went bouncing around the cockpit simply added to the confusion and panic Ryley felt as he desperately tried to level out the sub while simultaneously slamming forwards on the acceleration to get the hell away from whatever had hit them.

By the time the sub had settled Rainbow Dash was laid out across Ryleys lap, her gem was embedded in the seat just inches away from his head, and Ryley himself was just able to make out that his current acceleration was about to send him crashing into the side of the Island.

Ryley twisted the sub in another hard left to get away from this, accompanied with a good deal of shouting and cursing from both him and Rainbow Dash as she was sent into the side of the sub, and looking thoroughly pissed at this point when she opened her eyes to glare at Ryley, only for those eyes to widen in panic and her hoof to point to the other side of the sub with another shout of alarm. Ryley's gaze followed that hoof, to see a giant, red and white head surrounded by four massive mandibles come bearing down on the Seamoth.

It smashed directly into the tiny sub, mandibles wrapping around the Seamoth in a vice like grip, pulling it and its occupants towards its head. Four massive pitch black eyes stared at the occupants, and its giant mouth opened to reveal far too many sharp teeth as the creature let out a massive roar at the helpless occupants of the sub. The beast then twisted its head about, mandibles still tightly holding the sub so its occupants still saw nothing except its horrid face. It roared again, Ryley screamed, Rainbow screamed, and the sub was shaken about as Ryley desperately twisted the wheel back and forth, pushing the engines as far as it could go, desperate to escape the death grip of the monster.

Then the monster turned its head with one more, final twist, and Ryley felt a brief impact as the Seamoth was slammed into the side of the mountain, before the glass cockpit shattered, along with the rest of the sub, and all his sense of direction was momentarily shattered with it.

Ryley flailed about in the water, desperately trying to figure out which way was up. However all the time he'd spent swimming seemed to have improved his sense of direction, as he soon righted himself, hastily tugging the Stasis Rifle off his back in the process. Just as he pulled it free he caught a glimpse of a long pale serpentine tail out of the corner of his vision, but as he turned to look it disappeared into the darkness.

In that moment he considered starting up the seaglide and booking it, but then he remembered his passenger.

"She doesn't have an oxygen mask!"

He quickly turned around, eyes scanning for his little Pegasus friend(?) Soon catching sight of a small light blue shape against a massive cliff face, wings flapping in the water as she made her way up. He almost breathed a sigh of relief, before that echoing roar reminded him of his more immediate problem. Whirling back away from the cliff he finally caught his first good look at the creature.

It was serpentine in shape, with four pointed caudal fins attached to the end of its tail, and two ventral fins on the underside of its tail. Along the top of its back where two long dorsal fins, and a further two large pectoral fins near the front. It was a pale almost white colour on is body, with all its fins and much of its back a blood red colour.

Its head was extremely large, with a large frontal red horn above a large mouth filled with teeth. It has two pairs of eyes below the horn and two pairs of massive maroon mandibles ending in black claws behind its mouth.

It was also quite large. Its head alone was about as big as he was and that was while ignoring the mandibles, each of which alone was as long as he was. It was hard to tell under the circumstances but it's body seemed to be at least 50 metres long.

Seeing this monstrosity properly for the first time, Ryley nearly dropped his rifle in shock. It didn't help that the creature seemed to be almost mocking him as it slowly circled at the edge of his vision, moving side on to him almost as if to flaunt its massive size. But that massive head with the four black eyes was always tilted just so slightly to let him know that yes, it was looking at him.

The creature slowly circled around, with Ryley constantly paddling to keep it in front of him, rifle pointed at it, eventually ending with the HUD of his mask telling him the creature was now directly between him and the lifepod, and therefore his base. "If we get past it can we outrun it? It was fast enough to catch the Seamoth when I was surprised but I don't know how fast it is." Then he received a helpful reminder that, on this planet, even thinking things seemed to incur Murphy's law.

Just as it neared the cliff the creature suddenly turned to face him head-on, let out another echoing roar, and charged him. And now he had an answer to his earlier thought, it was fast.

Almost on instinct Ryley pushed down on the trigger and the familiar blue bell of energy started to form at the end of the now spinning three rods. He almost fired the shot right there, but again years of training kicked in and he managed to hold firm. "The bigger the creature, the bigger the required charge, this is the biggest I've seen so can't risk anything less than full charge."

But he wasn't sure he'd get that time, the creature closing in fast, the four mandibles flexing outwards, preparing to grab him. To buy himself that extra second, and also put of sheer panic, Ryley started paddling backwards frantically. All thoughts of the base, of the island and even escape disappearing as his world narrowed down to that giant head rapidly closing in on him, and the hum of his charging stasis rifle, a moment that seemed to last forever, but in reality was likely seconds.

Finally, humming reached its crescendo, fully charged shot, and Ryley wasted no time releasing the trigger and watching the crackling blue ball of energy fly towards its head.

But as that shot flew forwards towards the creature no more than fifteen metres away, the head suddenly jerked to the right, away from the cliff. Its massive body following with surprising agility, and the Stasis round flew harmlessly past.


Ryley furiously started backpedaling, charging up another round, even knowing the futility of it. The creatures momentum momentarily stalled, it turned its head back to Ryley, and charged again, mandibles flexing out and mouth opening wide.

"So this how I die, another forgotten casualty on this ocean deathtrap of a planet."

Then, just as the creature closed the last few metres, there was a blur of blue in the corner of his eye. And suddenly Rainbowdash came shooting in from nowhere to slam into the creatures side just behind its head.

Now Rainbowdash was far too small to hurt or particularly inconvenience the creature in any way, even with the surprising burst of speed she had shown. But the surprise force of the blow was enough to divert the creatures heading just a bit to the left.

Ryley watched as the massive head of the creature was jerked left, and where it had looked like it was about to just bite him head on, instead the creature sailed past his left. However as it did so, its mandibles where still outstretched, and it was still going very fast, so before Ryley could move the edge of one of its mandibles sliced through his left thigh.

He howled in pain as he felt the clawed top slice deep through his leg, and the force of the blow also sent him in a small spin through the water, which unbeknownst to him pushed him away from getting slammed by the tail as it swam by. Still, Ryley had dealt with worse pain before, and he quickly kicked himself back to a stationary stance with his uninjured leg. Immediately he began looking for the creature, gritting his teeth against the pain.

He did spare a quick glance at Rainbowdash, who was now paddling her way up to the surface, which he still didn't know how far away it was. She must be running out of breath with that push, and he briefly considered making a break for it now, and then he heard the roar again.

Grimacing he turned his attention back to the ocean, where the beast had disappeared too yet again. After seeing its speed first-hand, he was now certain that they would need a head start to outrun it. Rainbowdash had given them another chance, he had to make the most of it.

"I just better not miss this time." Another roar, this one sounded closer. He pulled the trigger, and the rods started spinning again.

Then it emerged again, bursting out of the gloom and this time wasted no effort on circling, instead gunning straight at him, mandibles out and jaw wide open. Ryley tried to calm his breathing, and then took aim. It had already displayed impressive agility, if he wanted to make sure this shot landed, it had to be closer. He couldn't count on a second miracle save.

Again the gap closed quickly, the creatures speed very impressive. He tried to tune out its roars, focusing instead on the steady him of the Stasis Rifle, as he waited for the right moment. Its head got larger and larger in his vision, those four black eyes staring at him, another reminder of old times, still he waited.

And then it happened.

As the creature reached about fifteen metres away, it suddenly jerked to the right ever so slightly, still aimed at him, but just so slightly out of the way. Behind his mask, Ryley allowed himself a slight smirk, shifted his aim, then fired.

The creature tried to shift out of the way again, but this time it was already committed, the slight jerk had stalled it, and now, especially at this distance, there was no missing. The small ball of crackling energy slammed into the creature head on.

On impact the energy ball rapidly expanded, suddenly encompassing most of the creature and for the briefest instance, Ryley was worried it hadn't been enough. But that moment soon passed as, despite the end of the creatures tail sticking out of the ball, it had clearly stopped, mid charge, staring at him just ten metre away.

Ryley wasn't sure how long the field would hold it for, and he wasn't particularly eager to find out. He immediately flung the rifle over his back, yanked the seaglider off his belt, and turned to fetch Rainbowdash.

The seaglider was a small cylindrical device with a propeller inside, a front facing torch, two handles at the sides, and a flat board at the back to lie on. It had a small holographic display between the handles which showed him its power supply and a small 3D map of the nearby area. But all that was relevant to Ryley at this moment was its speed, it had a speed of 36kph in the water, which Ryley hoped wouldn't be slowed too much by the added weight.

He rushed straight at the still flailing Rainbowdash, rushing straight through the water, one arm outstretched. He caught her leg and then immediately went upwards, straining to control the Seaglide with one arm. It didn't take long to break the surface.

Rainbowdash immediately spat water as they breached, coughing and sputtering and looking absolutely miserable, before taking in a huge gasp of air. Ryley pulled her forwards and held up the arm he had been holding her with. "Hold on!"

She spat and breathed for a moment longer before looking at his arm, grimacing slightly, but then threw a quick glance behind them and wrapped her hooves around it, allowing him to once again grab the Seaglide with both arms. He quickly searched for the beacon to the lifepod before turning the Seaglide to it and sending them along the surface straight to base, not even daring to look back. The giant red moon looming overhead and the wreckage of the Aurora a landmark in his sight, as they left the island, giant laser and murderous monster behind them.

Author's Note:

No I will not apologies for the total lack of subtlety in that title, it just wrote itself.

Also for some nightmare fuel

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