Author : Terry J. Golob
Completely naked, sinking slowly into the murky depths, I know these things:
One. Our attack failed.
Two. I am a prisoner of the Katal-Kuar-Eye.
Three. The tiny dead things floating in here with me, that wispy strand of flotsam, that bony crag of jetsam, aren’t dead; they’re interrogators for the Katal-Kuar-Eye. At my slightest movement they will bore into my flesh and chew their way painfully through my neural pathways and consume my every living memory. Not fully satiated they will then devour the rest of my brain and body. My bones will clatter at the bottom of this enormous flooded chamber with the rest of my battalion.
Four. No one has ever escaped alive.
Five. I was trained for this.
It is an exercise in complete restraint. Repeating my mantra only in my mind, “delay” is the one word that anchors my corpse to its motionless state. To even blink or move my eye is to die. Fortunately the viscosity of the liquid matches my tear ducts; thus, blinking is unnecessary. Swathed in thin black mucus upon splashdown, the veil dissolves and my eyes remain unmoving and open, bared to see the horrors of the flotsam and jetsam. A single blink and my comrade’s eyes are bored out in crimson flailing billows. Mortis reflex: limbs spasm as their minds are devoured. Delay. An endless rain of skulls, clavicles, spinal columns, and tibias drop through my field of vision. The bones falling close to me still have dangles of pink meat and cartilage.
Six. No one has gotten this far before.
I land on my stomach atop a mountain of bones overlooking a pink shrouded valley. A ribcage punctures my torso and a scapula cuts into the soft flesh behind my knee. Upon another bony hillock, face up, is a blond little girl, eyes wide, motionless. Other skeletons are piling on top of her like they are piling on top of me. Her blond hair undulates in gentle waves. I see her pale green eyes. I imagine she can see mine. This little girl has nerves of steel. I wonder what her mantra is? Then I see the tendrils, thin black eels rising from the blood cloud, stripping the bones of flesh and cartilage: snaking their way towards the both of us. One. Two. Three. They strike her tiny body. She grimaces and the flotsam and jetsam move in. Eyes replaced by red fog, which in moments, a current gently sweeps away revealing the tiny sockets in her empty little skull. Delay. Steel is my resolve. I get ready for pain, hear them gnawing on flesh and sinew close to me. They strike: chewing into my calves, chest, neck, cheek and wrist – disappearing inside me. At the bottom of the crimson valley a tight blue sphincter glows, then opens, sucking in liquid and bones. Skeletal collisions rattle above and below as suction draws everything down. Delay. Nobody has ever seen this before. Crammed into a narrow crevice, I watch the blue sphincter circle; then close. Darkness. Bone Crusher. End of Transmission