MAD AS A HATTER
Kalin knew Alice was crazy. But this was bordering along the lines of Kamikaze.
Though the line connection had failed, they had a new shortwave transmitter installed last minute by him that sent small bits of information, just enough that they knew that she had turned off everything in the ship and then began to slowly sink deeper into the sea. That is – that seemed her direction before that signal had been cut as well.
Kalin squatted and stretched on the long deck of the research boat, getting his wetsuit situated. No one took notice of him. Everyone’s focus was on the fact that they had lost contact with Alice.
He pulled on a completely clear helmet made of some type of human material that could withstand the depths below. Little did they know he didn’t need it, but for the sake of staying unnoticed…
Kalin stood hooking on the rest of his gear. He had known by the last bits of info that came through that he’d have to go down for her. She didn’t care to give him the time of day, but now, she wouldn’t have a choice.
A flash out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. There, brewing on the horizon, was one of those rare storms of the centuries.
Just as he jumped off the back of the anchored ship, one of the students called out, “Kalin!”
Clearly not heard, the student turned to a pensive Leland, “See, I told you. There’s a reason his name is Mad Hatter. He really thinks he can bring her back before that storm rolls in.”
Leland grimly turned back to his radio. “Anything that brings her back.” The radio crackled and he began to broadcast their dilemma hoping for anyone that may be able to help.
Kalin drifted down, sensing the ocean farther than any human. He felt her path into the depths so he angled his body and kicked. Already the sea writhed around him in anticipation of the storm. He pulled out a golden rod that extended. He’d had it since he’d been stranded as a young Meridian with the humans. The golden rod grew three prongs at the end before spinning at his feet to propel him faster. He wasn’t afraid of the bends which humans suffered from. The question would be if he’d be able to get Alice back fast enough.
Around him the water shimmered to his eyes. This was home. He understood it and knew that taking Alice deeper may end up being their only solution.
He sighed. If only they had started off on better terms. Maybe she would trust him more.
Ten Minutes or so later…
If he hadn’t had this infernal helmet on, he would have smelled the Kraken before he had been whip lashed by the tentacle.
The sound reached him milliseconds before his right side was hit by what felt like a bus. He flipped end over end. Somehow he had miraculously kept his grip on his trident (* give it a new name). Darkness edged around sight as he swung the trident around to spin and freeze his rotating momentum. His stomach in his throat as he gained his balance, he narrowed his eyes and focused his hearing, letting his nocturnal side rise. Then he saw it clearly.
Alice in the grip of the Krakatura as his people called it. He whipped his trident up with the triple end pointed at the Krakatura, but as he was about to send it into the guts of the creature. It jerked and writhed in deep pain. Kalin could smell the electric volts from here.
He smiled. Alice, while inexperienced, she sure knew how to make up for it. He could see why Leland put so much faith in her.
Lowering the trident, he swayed watching the Krakatura tumble away and then he saw her sitting there, shell shocked.
By this time the sea above would be too turbulent to take her back. The only option left was to take her down. He only hoped he could use her curiosity against her better judgement. Staying in the shadows, he gestured for her to follow.
His grin grew when she did.