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A Voyage Towards the Present

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1961, Centre of the Adlantic Ocean, The Kraken

The crew onboard the Majestic had risen with the sun, no sooner had it poked its first shaft of gold over the horizon the crew where on deck. It was routine that they'd gone through many times in the past few weeks but today there was a sense of expectation and nervousness in the air. The Kraken was a vessel that had developed over many years of gaining experience, it at first glance looked like a small submarine save for the bulbous sphere at the bottom. It was this sphere that would keep its two man crew of Phillipe Jancker and Raynard Holer safe, at least that was the plan. No one had ever gone as deep as they planned to today, and the 5inch thick metal walls at least theoretically would keep them alive. Add to that the intricate system of rebreathers, air tanks, scrubbers and buoyancy tanks and that made The Kraken one of the most sophisticated vessels the Morheim Royal Dockyards had ever made.


It took most of the Morning to check and recheck the vessel until eventually at around 11am Phillipe and Raynard squeezed themselves into the pressure chamber. A hiss indicated that they were now sealed in and a tiny little viewing hole was their only way to see the outside world, A face appeared before it, the chief engineer Henri Savine, he smiled gave them a thumbs up and when he saw it returned waved them farewell. The sub was placed gently in the water and with a few twists of dials and flicks of switches the descent began. There was the obvious clinks and clatters as the sub made its way down, all the time the pair watching the needle of the instruments. They knew deep down that should something go wrong they'd die, but this was science and was worth the risk in their eyes. Man had been trying to conquer space for a while now and no-one had dared attempt what they were doing today.

Almost five hours later they felt the vessel hit the bottom and they both breathed a sigh of relief, for the last thirty minutes there had been ominous knocks and bangs. The plexiglass window had even cracked an outer pane shaking the whole vessel and making each man nervously grasp something expecting an impending death, but the pane had held back the water and now through the tiny glass hole the glow of their subs light illuminated the ocean floor some 10,916meters below the waves. The men shook hands, it had worked, despite the cold temperature inside they felt a warmth of achievement wash over them. They checked their air supplies and then out of habit radioed in, they laughed about their attempt realising it was worthless, but then 14 seconds after their attempt a voice came back from the surface. In the background they could hear the crews cheers at the news of success, although Phillipe and Raynard may have been the crew this had been a task years in the making that had seen hundreds involved. They sat for a while watching the outside world wondering what life they'd see if any, eventually a few flat fish emerged in the gloom, they looked like  small sole and flounder but the thickness of the window meant it was hard to tell, it did however prove life could exist at these depths and that was a discovery in itself.

It was time, Raynard released some of the ballast the ship began its ascent back through the gloom and into the surface world. They sat nervously once more through all the clinks, clangs and bangs as the 3hour and 15 minute ascent began, and then finally they broke the surface. They heard clanging as the crews rescue divers clambered onboard to fix the hooks that would swing them back onto deck. The hatch popped open and Henri was there his big bear paw like hand reaching down into the narrow space and shaking both of their hands. He clambered back up one of the lifting chains as nimble as a monkey and leapt onto the deck. The Kraken was lifted and gently placed on the deck and the two men helped out, it felt strange being back on the deck and the cramped confines of the ship meant it took some time to shake out the stiffness of limbs, the Champagne being handed around helped.

Other nations may look to the stars but Morheim had just taken a look at the deeps and in the eyes of Raynard and Phillipe that was every bit as special.

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