They conferred with Shon’Ai about the trip down into the Deeps. Shambo concluded that he would be of little use in the foray into the dark, but that if he stayed on the ship perhaps he could pursue what Shon’Ai mentioned about using the Redmen as a psychic lens to resolve the group’s communication problems down in the black.
The clambered, dove, swept and plunged into the clear, bright surface of the water. Shambo’s voice rang with and within and around them. The whale sang one long note that rang down into the water, allowing Shambo to visualize the currents in the water. He helped them to select a strong but gradual descent, rather than the plunge into the deeps that the whale was anchoring itself against.
Hasver struggled with the dark synth adaptation that Takir laid over him (as Takir’s own adaptation made him more like a grey riverhorse). When he reached the edge of the current and tried to catch it with his staff to pull him into it, something happened, and it seemed like a shadow reached up and dragged him down. He plunged immediately down and out of sight as though there were no water, and there were only falling.
Frantic, the other swimmers struggled with the current as it swept them down and around toward the black ocean floor. Both the webbing-equipped Takir and the metamorph-empowered Takir found themselves unable to exit the descending flow. The edges seem to have changed state, becoming semi-solid and resistant to penetration by the swimmers. Realizing they were unlikely to get to the bottom any more swiftly or safely than they were already getting there, they rode the flow down, swimming along it.
Meanwhile, in the sunlight aboard the ship, Shambo turned the communion of the red men to reaching, searching, probing down toward the sea floor. Amid an all-consuming dark where millions of years had passed in darkness, they found him, sunk into the mucky tilt of the ocean’s bottom, the blue of his staff burning all alone.
The descended out the blue sea, away from all light. They entered strata of blackness darker than night. Glittering, toothsmome creatures having none of their own light swam hungry after others that did.
They pulled Hasver out of the dark, as he muttered among their minds’ contact about Lily.
They made their way to the breathing fortress of light at the bottom of the undersea maelstrom.
it was a vast, melted cube-like structure made of translucent pale while substance that resisted puncture and distress, but showed veins and shadows in the light of Hasver’s power.
The banded together, floating near the top of the structure. Jack flashed his diamantine grin; something like a far and distant certitude of apocalypse echoed through their link from Roz, her body thrumming with all the spectra of light. Takir channeled his power to focus their connection. From the surface, Shambo channeled whale song down the maelstrom. As it ran along the outer surface of the structure (which had thus far resisted penetration, being made of some 5th state of watery matter), it revealed brilliant seams – both at the top of the structure and down along the other side, where it seemed the structure might be able to open.
With a sonogram echo of perhaps a dozen internal spaces echoing inside their heads, they swam around the heels of the maelstrom. Arriving at the space they shared mentally as “the top seam”, Hasver held out his staff, and commanded the structure to open.
The skein of his power reached out like angry claws, sinking their blue power into the pale, waxy character of the structure. The waxiness immediately gave way, evaporating like morning dew in the rising sun. The pounding power of the structure began obvious to them, as they saw the pale white sphere inside the structure of the wall swim aside, the glowing source of the wall’s high-blue luminance.
The surface flattened out and cleared in a 2m circle, slowly revealing the room within.
Large as a tavern, there were vents and tubes protruding into the space. The opposite wall was a turbid space they recognized as another seam. Between that other seam and them were pale, red, beating hearts, encased in clear synth, with slender optical scillia fluttering redly around them as they aimfully drifted and drofted about the space like coherent clouds of blood.