(In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link to part 1)
“Now we’re talking. Careful with the camera then. I’m doing first contact here. A huge step.”
“I’m sure someone already beat you to that.”
“Not on a live web feed.”
A rumble, somewhere, shook the ceiling. A few tiny rocks plopped down and made the water again ripple. The sensation of something stalking them was prevalent. And not altogether impossible. It was egg-like. There could be a mother.
The man, with a mighty thrust, plunged the metal into the shell, though it slid in with little effort. A green luminescent pus coalesced around the entry and oozed down like the last dregs of fluid in an old corpse.
The man clutched his nose. The second, a woman, did the same after the air moved in the right direction.
“Oh god, what is that?”
“Smells…Christ, I don’t even want to know. But, I got to get up this thing.”
The hook came out, then dug in at a higher point. Even with the shell soft, the hook held, and his feet planted firmly. He bounced on the rope to test.
“Careful there. I don’t want you to break your neck. You’re the only one else down here.”
“Yeah, well, it’s not like someone doesn’t know we’re here. They’ll find you.”
“With my luck, it will be the government first. Just be careful. Get up and tell me what you find.”
“Oh, I bet it is going to be cool.”
The ceiling rumbled again, and he moved up the incline. More and more pus sloshed out of holes. His feet had trouble finding purchase as the leak made the shell slick.
He slipped and dangled.
“Fuck, don’t fall!”
He swung his weight and planted back his feet and yelled back down once he got his breath back to normal.
“Tell me something I didn’t already know.”
For a few seconds, only sloshing steps made noise, and the woman on the ground watched and held the blinking camera up to see.
“It’s cold up here.”
“Why would that be?”
“Why is this here? What the fuck is it? I don’t know.”
At the slope, he planted his feet. The top revealed a gap of disconnection on the skin. A break. A long crack about the size of a dog in width. He could stick his foot inside but did not want to do so. The interior was dark and had a much more organic green than the exterior.
“What does it look like?”
“Like someone cracked open a rotten Easter egg. The whole thing is hollow. Hollow all the way down.”
Is it sentient?
The man’s head jerked up for a moment but went back to observing the deep. His next words had a warped intonation.
“Did you hear something that time?”
“No, not since I last said. Why, what did you hear?”
“Maybe you should come down.”
“Maybe we should go down.”
Is it flesh? Does it need to breathe?
“Down inside the thing. If we are getting views now, then think of what we would get if we went—”
“Come down now.”
The man walked back to the lip and stared at his companion who looked up and had wide eyes.
“You just talked about going inside it. That is beyond stupid, and there is only one climbing thing, so you are coming down here now.”
“It was just an idea.”
What does it even think about? Why would it think?
“It’s for science. You come up, see how it sparkles.”
“Yeah, it’s beautiful down there.”
The man walked to the edge. The greenish blackness filling him with awe. Something undulated, rolling like the sea. A faint repetitious click sounded.
Something then did sparkle, like an emerald. The size and shape of an iris plucked from the skull of some long dead sea beast, but only for a second.
What purpose does it have for the act of thought? Why have mental organs when the limits are so small?
“It’s so pretty down there. A sea, a cave of diamonds.”
“I thought you said it was hollow.”
“Gold and sapphire, and something bubbling. A sea breeze.”
The person on the ground stopped talking. She was certain now she was hearing something. A whisper in her ear, and around her, like passing a crowd of people and only hearing the barest bones of a conversation. Never understood, never chased.
She lowered the camera and placed it on the ground. The view became only the dirt and the base of the huge egg-like thing.
The man kneeled.
“I’m going in. If you’re not coming, that’s your issue.”
(Continued in part 3)
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
Did you like the article? Dislike? Tell me about it in the comments. I would love to hear your opinions! If interested in specific articles, or want to write as a guest, you can message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to help keep this blog going, consider becoming my patron at https://www.patreon.com/coolerbs. Thanks for reading!