"The Wake": Nearly 3.8 billion years ago, a meteor struck the planet Earth, causing massive destruction.
- We need to abandon the rig.
- -- Lee Archer
Appearing in "The Wake"
- Agent Astor Cruz
- Captain Mackelmay
- Meeks (Apparent Death)
- Bob Wainwright (Dies)
- Dr. Marin
- Parker Archer (as an illusion only)
Synopsis for "The Wake"
Nearly 3.8 billion years ago, a meteor struck the planet Earth, causing massive destruction.
Now, Dr. Lee Archer is up late studying the call of the mer-creature when she finds herself on the old farm, as her son gets home from school. Though she is enjoying the moment, a bird appears nearby and warns her that this is not her son, and that she needs to move now, or die. Suddenly, Lee snaps back to reality, and finds the creature approaching her menacingly. The voice she had heard belongs to Agent Cruz, who defends her as best he can. Unfortunately, it manages to sink its sharp teeth into his shoulder, and it is only when Meeks appears, and grazes it with a bullet that the creature turns tail. Unfortunately, it is gone before they can do anything to stop it.
Meeks assumes that Lee's experience was the result of some kind of venom or neurotoxin. He had noticed that its previous victim, Brenner, had had different sized pupils. He suspects that the creature can spray the venom thanks to some glands hidden in its eye-sacks. The rig captain warns that they have to leave this section, or they'll drown. Thanks to Brenner's fatal fantasy, water is filling the area, and it can't be closed off.
Knowing they have little time left, Lee does the right thing, and heads back to get Bob Wainwright to safety, despite their rocky professional history. Bob is surprised to see her as she warns that the creature is loose and the flood is rising. Before she can drag him away, he insists on stopping a moment to apologize for goading her about her past with the NOAA. Frustratedly, she grabs his arm, and rips it off. It takes a moment for Bob to realize that this isn't Lee at all, but the creature. The real Lee arrives in time to see the creature escaping, and Bob's mangled corpse. Unfortunately, the door won't close behind her as she runs back to the others, and they are forced to wade hurriedly through the floodwater, with the merman on their heels.
Sternly, Meeks decides that he will save the others by facing off against the creature by himself. Unfortunately, he takes a squirt of venom straight into the eyes. He finds himself at a dinner table, spread with endangered delicacies. Knowing that this is a fantasy, Meeks manages to counter-attack, but not before the creature wraps its tail around his throat, and pulls him under the water. Fortunately, this is just enough time for the others to close the docking bay hatch behind them.
Lee warns the others that they have to abandon the rig, and though Cruz is reluctant, he agrees. Unfortunately, their easiest point of exit is back through the flooded wing. However, if they can get into PDW suits, and get outside, they can circumvent the flooded wing, and get to the sub. She explains that the need to leave is urgent, because of the nature of the creature's call. In 1989 a whale call was recorded at 52 Hertz - far above the 18-20Hz of every other kind of whale, which is typically below the human range of hearing. 52Hz frequencies are audible, and it seemed as though this one whale was using the call to communicate with itself, because no other whale could communicate back. That whale became something of a legend, called the "Loneliest Whale in the World".
Lee had naturally studied that call for much of her career as a cetologist. She believes that this whale wasn't calling, but conversing by parroting a sound it had heard. While most whale calls are like questions waiting for answers, this call was full of both questions and answers. She believes that this whale is actually repeating a conversation that it heard long ago, right before the creatures who actually had that conversation disappeared. Now, this creature is making a noise that sounds very much like that whale's song. An urgent sound that comes right before a massive response. The creature isn't talking to Lee and her team - it's talking to its species.
Braving the water outside the underwater rig, Lee and her companions are suddenly set upon by a school of mer-people.
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