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Take another agonizingly slow step forward
Oxygen levels holding
Take another step forward
Don’t look up
Don’t look down
The inky blackness of the sea surrounds everything
Twelve thousand feet
Almost four thousand meters
Fifteen thousand, seven-hundred-and-fifty pressure per square inch
This place was not meant for man
This godforsaken place
There is nothing but darkness here
No light could ever hope to pierce these depths
No warmth could ever permeate these waters
Masters of the earth
Commanders of the sky
Navigators of the great void
Conquerors of nature
We do not belong here
Under these treacherous waves
How many skeletons lie buried
On the silent sea floor?
How many shipwrecks litter the bottomless void?
Man has always feared the sea
Our greatest monsters
The most terrifying leviathans rose out of
The foreboding waves
Take another step forward.
What monsters lurk in these depths?
What kind of primal beasts could survive here?
The floodlights cut out ten meters ahead,
Its light, the only reminder of the surface,
Incomparable to the void that surrounds.
Down here, the only sound is that of oxygen bubbling away,
Our most vital lifeblood ebbing into the darkness.
Trudge forwards into the unknown.
There are great trenches here,
At the bottom of the ocean.
What lurks inside their darkness?
What lies within the abyss?
We dare not gaze into the darkness and witness the truth.
For what could be worse?
Looking into the abyss and seeing the horrors of the depths,
Twisted limbs and needle teeth and grasping tentacles?
Or casting out into the darkness and hearing nothing but silence?
We are a people of explorers
Always daring to reach out
To go further beyond what we considered possible
But for what purpose?
How many uncounted explorers, pioneers, pilgrims
Have been swallowed whole by the uncaring abyss?
How many have been lost to the inevitable march of time?
Hudson, Cabot, Scott,
Voyagers doomed to wander forever,
never to reach their destinations.
Twelve thousand feet.
Three and a half kilometers.
Half a nautical league.
The Abyssal Zone.
Only a few hundred feet to salvation.
Fifteen thousand, seven-hundred-and-fifty pounds per square inch.
Thousands of tons of water, of inky cold darkness press down on every surface.
Thirty-four degrees fahrenheit.
One foot in front of the other.
The suit groans from the crushing forces squeezing it from every angle,.
A plume of silt erupts with my every step.
The denizens of these depths have never seen sunlight.
Thousands, millions, billions of years pass,
Each one the same.
What is man to them?
Bringing light, and sound to this deathless, unaging void.
To the unseen occupants of the darkest abyss
What kind of monsters are we?
The floodlights flicker, briefly,
A garbled hiss of radio whispers into my ear.
Down here, at the only unexplored corner of our universe,
Past the impenetrable barrier of darkness.
Down here, in the crushing depths of the abyss,
Unexplored and feared.
Down here, in the most primordial element.
who is the real monster?