Hey guys! I just wanted to try this story out and see where I go with it. Hopefully someone out there is interested, haha. This is my first thing I've uploaded on Fictionpress, so hopefully you guys will rate and review so I can improve. On to the story.
The computer whirred as a young woman clicked the keys and sifted through the Captain's personal journal. The excitement bubbled inside her chest. With every click, every keystroke, she was closer to discovering the reason she was on this blasted vessel. The green of the computer screen lit up her face, making her visible excitement seem almost eerie. She quickly uncovered the folder she needed and entered the password she had overheard at lunch yesterday. None of the entries were lengthy, So the woman scan read and only focused on the ones that seemed important.
March 21st, 2144
The fleet set out on its maiden voyage. This will be the first time that we have been able to pinpoint the general source of the unidentified wavelengths that have baffled our scientists for years. We are venturing into the unknown at this point.
March 24th, 2144
Our head marine biologist has noticed some strange behavior in the local wildlife. He is unsure whether or not it coincides with the frequencies we picked up earlier in the month.
Nothing was really sketchy, until the woman came across something very interesting.
March 25th, 2144
Something is wrong with our instruments. We are unsure-
"Elayne? What are you doing on that computer?"
Elayne whipped her head around and quickly exited out of the Captain's personal logs. She put on her most convincing innocent face and responded, "I was trying to find that old Asteroids game." She figured she might have ruined it by glancing at the floor a little too quickly. Elayne glanced up and looked anywhere but her father's face- the walls that were made of dull steel, the ocean drifting past the round window- before finally letting her eyes settle on the Hardin Industries logo on her dad's wet suit.
Vick Browning fixed his eyes on his daughter's face. He was not an unhandsome man- his features only slightly marred by the scar stretching across his left cheekbone- but his features were carefully arranged in a stern expression that slightly diminished his good looks. Elayne shifted uncomfortably on her feet. She lifted a hand to push her dark hair behind her ear, and risked a glance to Vick's face. His brown eyes, so alike her own, were as cold and calculating as the sea drifting past the porthole window behind him.
"Are you aware that there are serious repercussions for breaking into locked files and reading them without clearance?" Vick demanded. He strode to the spot where his daughter stood and brushed past her to face the computer screen. "And the game isn't even installed on this computer, Elayne."
Assuming, correctly, that her father knew exactly what it was she had been sifting through, Elayne dropped all pretense and said, "You didn't tell me that the fish were acting strangely. I even asked and you said it wasn't anything to worry about. I'm not stupid, Dad."
Vick's face went blank. "No," he responded, "But you are seventeen years old and lucky to even be on this ship-"
"I thought it was a submarine?"
"Whatever it is, you're lucky to be on it. Don't risk losing that privilege."
Elayne stared at the floor. No matter what her father said, it wasn't a privilege to be here. She knew she had no choice. Since her mom disappeared, Vick hadn't let Elayne out of his sight except to go to school. She knew that staying home alone for six months was out of the question. She just didn't understand why her dad couldn't tell her what was going on. Elayne knew something wasn't quite right- hushed conversations in the mess hall, marine life swimming in strange patterns- and she knew that whatever it was, she wasn't allowed to know.
Vick interrupted Elayne's silent rant with, "Elayne, you might want to go to your cabin." Elayne took one last burning look at her father before silently walking through the automatic steel door. Before the entrance slid shut, she heard her father sigh and click the computer off.
As Elayne passed sailors and scientists in the narrow gray corridor, she couldn't help but notice that no one seemed to acknowledge anyone else. Everyone kept their heads down, either watching the floor or shuffling through papers. Occasionally, one of the sailors would salute a passing officer, but that was the extent of contact between the people on the submarine.
Pah. Submarine. More like underwater prison. Eat at this time, lights out at 10:00pm sharp, keep to yourself and don't bother anyone else (Well, that last one was more for Elayne).
Why am I even here? Elayne stopped at the door to her cabin and entered in the pass code on the keypad. The door opened with a slight whir.Just because my dad is lead marine biologist?No, Elayne knew that even with his clearance, Vick shouldn't have been able to bring Elayne on this expedition. So why was she here? Elayne plopped on her bed. The sheets and comforter were the same shade of salmon. The pillows were red, with small pink fish embroidered on the corner of the pillow case. Elayne had refused to come without the bed set her mom had gotten her for her seventeenth birthday. Stupid. Elayne hated fish. Elayne hated how everything in her life seemed to revolve around fish. Her parents' careers, her mother's disappearance…
Elayne huffed and flopped backward into one of the red pillows. As she drifted into a nap, she wondered if she would have been dragged into this stupid voyage if her mother had never set out in search of something that was certain to be a myth. The last thing Elayne registered was the bright red clock blinking 5:45 pm.
Sparkling lights from houses surrounded a square full of people. The houses were low to the ground, and made of some sort of stone that glittered in the light from the lamps that were placed seemingly sporadically around the city. As Elayne looked, she realized that this square was only the small center of a much larger community.
In contrast to the small stone houses, tall glittering skyscrapers rose uniformly, connected by sky bridges made from a dark, sleek material. In fact, the entire city seemed connected in some way. A spider web of small wires hung above every building, so that in the green light of the lamps, the entire city looked like it was sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
As Elayne continued to observe, she heard a strange hum, almost like music, drift through the city like fog creeping over the ground…
Elayne woke slowly. She glanced at the digital clock on her bedside table. It was 6:30. Elayne sat up and stretched her arms over her head, feeling the gray suit she was forced to wear rub uncomfortably on her arm pits. It was for her safety, she knew- with a click of the button on her wrist, the outfit would turn into a deep sea diving suit complete with two hours of air- but would it kill them to make one in pink?
Elayne looked out the one, small, round window in the cabin that she shared with Vick. Small blue fish were swimming beside the submarine, just outside the window. As quickly as she noticed them, they swam away leaving her alone again. Elayne slouched back onto her bed. Her dark hair spread out over the salmon blanket and she turned away from the port hole-
-Just as the bell for dinner sounded.
Elayne groaned and turned onto her stomach, burrowing her head into her arms. What was one dinner, anyways? She wasn't going to die for skipping one meal, and Elayne didn't really want to look at her father right now. She was too busy thinking about a dream she might have had while she was sleeping. Something about sparkling houses and green light…
Elayne heard someone clear their throat from the door way. She lifted her head, expecting her father, but seeing a young sailor instead. He was attractive, Elayne guessed, but not really her type. Dark hair reminded her too much of her father, and green eyes reminded her too much of her mother. Still, it was a better wake up call than getting yelled at by Vick, so Elayne took it.
"I'm guessing you're here to tell me my father said not to miss dinner?" Elayne sighed.
"Actually," He replied, "I'm here to tell you that your dinner will be sent to you here, if you request it." The sailor looked straight ahead. Almost as an afterthought he tacked on, "Ma'am," at the end. Then he glanced at Elayne's face before quickly looking away.
So, Vick thought it would be better if they ate separately, did he? Well, Elayne wasn't having it. What did he think this would accomplish? If you request it…Right. Elayne was sure that was just a courtesy. She wasn't supposed to show up for dinner.
So, naturally, exactly five minutes later Elayne sat in her usual spot in the mess hall. Each white, circular table sat six people, and there were five tables total. The room was exactly the same as every other room on the sub- made of dull steel, rather cramped, and cold. Since the cafeteria was in the middle of the submarine, there were no porthole windows to look out while eating the standard chicken soup or meatloaf. Elayne always chose chicken.
Her father didn't look at her the entire allotted dinner hour, and Elayne didn't care. At 8:00, They both silently shuffled off to their cabin, where they would stay for the rest of the evening. As Elayne watched the bottom of her dad's bunk, A dark shadow drifted past the porthole window, going unnoticed by either of the Brownings.
Well, There you have it. I'm probably not going to do a lot of these author's note things, but just remember…
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