It’s a whole different world down here! Every time I go down to the bottom of the world, to the deepest lair of the ocean, I think the same thing, but this time I really, really mean it! Everything surrounding me right now is so completely and utterly alien, and so utterly unfamiliar, even to me, a student of the strange abyssal creatures that live down here, beneath countless tons of pressing water.
But I get ahead of myself.
The descent down here took up most of Sunday. We’ve abandoned all communications with the outside world, save the communications team on board the ship and my personal link with Mr. Wilmot. It certainly creates a different atmosphere, having no access to the surface world save these two faint lifelines. Reminds me of how fragile we humans really are.
We descended slowly to give Hubie, our loyal submersible, ample time to adjust t the drastic pressure changes occurring in the water around him. As we are connected via piping to the ship above, the internal pressure will remain the same, but Hubie’s hull will be under a lot of stress.
We took readings as we descended, each according to his speciality; the chemists did analyses of water content, the geologists mineral content, and I the plankton content, as well as a general survey of marine life. At a very deep depth of around twenty thousand leagues, our descent stopped and by plankton readers went wild. It had been dark for quite a while, the sunlight slowly fading as we descended into the abyss – a sight that never fails to give me the chills. Hubie’s lights were on a faint setting when we stopped, and I asked our fearless team leader, the indomitable Omar al-Kitaabi, to turn the lights up higher. He did so, and then there was a wonder before me.
We were resting on a roiling green cloud that my plankton reader informed me was an enormous swarm of plankton. It stretched out as far as the eye could see in every direction, and was thick enough to stop our descent. The people up on the surface radioed down concern over our halting, and Omar explained it to them. They tried a variety of tactics to break through the cloud, but were unsuccessful. I was informed by al-Kitaabi that we could not go around the cloud – our movements were restricted by our connection to the surface, and the cloud was enormous – so I had to come up with something to deal with the plankton. I went out in a small, personal submersible attached to Hubie and collected some samples of the plankton, and the chemists and I have been working hard to discover what might possibly persuade them to move.
I’m writing this as I wait on the results of some tests. I’ll need to get back to work soon. But before I stop writing, I want to tell you all what’s really so alien about all this. The plankton are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and they’ve made what seems to be a sea under the sea; our lights have charged up their photosynthetic units, and now they glow. We rest atop a glowing, boiling sea of glowing green, whose movement stirs up enormous bubbles in the distance, creating a bubbling, undulating, living landscape. I can’t imagine what will lie under this! Doubtlessly it will be even more alien.
I’ll update you when we break through the plankton! Ta-ta for now!