March 1st 1999
The small team at NOAA who first discovered the sound gathered excitedly around the computer console. It was for these rare discoveries that the scientists worked long, thankless hours. The last sound they discovered was two years previous, when the hydrophones detected one of the loudest sounds ever recorded 3000 miles away off the southern coast of South America. The sound resembled a large bubble being blown under water, and thus it was lovingly termed ‘The Bloop’.
The sound discovered today was different.
Within fifteen minutes the Managing Director, Greg Hobbs, was in the lab and listening to the sound. He had to sit down. “Good god, this is something alive?” he said.
The red phone rang. Everybody froze. This phone had never rung before, and only one person was authorised to call it. Greg took a deep breath and answered.
“Managing Director Hobbs.”
The scientists who looked on noticed his shoulders sag and his head drop. He turned to face his colleagues, all warmth had drained from his face. “I understand,” Hobbs said. “Yes sir, Mr President”. Hobbs placed down the phone.
“Come away from the computers,” Hobbs got down on his knees, “and get down on the floor with your hands on your head. Do it now”
The group, confused stepped away from the computers and placed themselves on the floor as instructed.
Moments later, the door crashed in, and a squadron of black clad military personnel burst through.
18 Years Later. March 18th 2017
Built within the rock of ‘The Dom’, the third highest mountain in the Pennine Alps, Switzerland, was a state of the art, highly classified facility. Within thirty minutes of Air Force One landing on the runway in the mountains core, the President of the United States, Thomas Ellison, was escorted to a large boardroom, and left inside alone. This was highly irregular.
The first thing the president noticed before entering was how unnecessarily large the doors were. At least ten feet high. The second, as he entered, was that despite the facility being set deep within the rock, he could see through it. Half of the room and a portion of the roof and floor were completely see through. Ellison could see the other peaks in the distance, and the hazy mist of clouds below.
A few moments later, the large metallic doors opposite swung open, and a gentleman in an elegantly tailored grey suit and peppered grey hair strode through with a black folder in hand. The President met him half way.
The man in the grey suit extended his hand. “Mr President, thank you for meeting with me. My name is Klaus Heinrich Engel. Please sit.” Engel gestured to the nearest seats at the board table.
Engel sat and placed the folder on the table. “I don’t intend to keep you very long, Mr President. I’m aware of the constraints on your time, as I share a similar burden. Firstly, I just wish to congratulate you on your recent appointment. I understand the inauguration was one of the most viewed on record?” He spoke crisply, precisely, with only a hint of his native German accent.
“Thank you, Mr Engel, yes, over 40 million around the globe”
“An impressive feat. You must be very pleased?”
“Truthfully, I haven’t had the time to process it. I thought my life was busy before the election. I’m never left alone, now. In fact, I must admit, I’m at somewhat of a loss in relation to our meeting. It’s unusual for me to be in any situation without my security detail and a contingent of my advisors, especially out of state”
Engel smiled knowingly. “Ah, yes. I can understand the concern behind your words. The information I’m going to provide to you is Code Black classified. Very few people are granted access to this information. This facility was constructed with the knowledge that the magnitude of these secrets would be contained within, and so naturally, it is the safest place on earth. This is the only reason why your security contingent could be negotiated to wait outside the door and not in here with you, I assure you of that.”
The President crossed his legs and rested his clutched hands on his knee. “Well, alright then”
“Yes, down to business.” Engel affixed his glasses, opened the black folder and flicked through the pages. “Are you aware of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Department of Commerce?”
“NOAA? Yes, they’re environmental researchers” said Ellison.
Engel nodded. He found the page he was looking for and pushed it across the table to Ellison. It was a simple document entitled ‘Julia’ dated 2nd March 1999. It was stamped Top Secret.
“On March 1st 1999, NOAA recorded an underwater sound so loud it was heard through the entire Pacific Ocean. The sound came from Antarctica.” Engel pressed a button on a device on the table which played the recording. It was like a deep echoing groan. Ellison had never heard anything quite like it.
Engel continued, “Sounds like this have occurred before. ‘The Bloop’ you may have heard of, quite well known, was recorded in 1997, and the ‘Upsweep’ has been recorded seasonally since 1991. The official explanation is underwater volcanic activity, and in the cases of The Bloop and Julia, the sound of a large iceberg that has run aground.”
Engel worked through the folder again, and pushed over a series of photographs blown to A4 size. “The unofficial explanation, is that Julia is a creature more than double the size of the Empire State Building, roughly 800 metres in length. These are classified images taken by NASA’s Apollo 33A5.” Ellison picked up the photos one at a time. Enormous shadows could be seen in the photographs. As he flicked through them, the shadows became darker and darker until the creature surfaced. It was monstrous. Like a cross between an Eel and a Great White.
Ellison continued through the photographs and drew a quick breath. “Is that a ship?”
Engel nodded “It’s not by the petitions of Greenpeace or diplomatic government efforts that Japanese whalers have ceased activity in the Antarctic. The Japanese have been whaling on an industrial scale for almost 130 years. We’ve identified that Whales are a key food source for her. She’s intelligent, Mr President. She’s been targeting the ships. Those pictures show her eating them. Whole”
Ellison felt ill. “This ship has to be over 60 metres long?”
“What the hell is it?” Ellison said. “Who knows about this? How has it not been leaked?”
“We know its origins are of Earth. Pre-historic of course. Remnants of a time long gone. It prefers cold water, and the effects of global warming, we suspect, are why it’s becoming more active” Engel paged through the folder again and passed over another document, this one signed by a Greg Hobbs.
“In terms of who knows the truth, well, very few do. You and President Clinton are the only two U.S Presidents to be briefed about it. The staff present at NOAA during the discovery signed an NDA. A breach of the agreement would incur a minimum penalty of life imprisonment in a high security installation without parole”
Ellison placed the documents down and rubbed his eyes. This was far and away from anything he expected to be discussing. And the anxious pull in his stomach told him he was missing something. “Why am I here, Mr Engel?”
Engel gathered the photo and documents that had accumulated and began ordering them back into the folder. “It has come to our attention that you intend on following through on a campaign promise to begin oil drilling in Antarctica.”
Ellison reacted immediately. “Now, hang on a minut-“
Engel turned to face Ellison, “Mr President, you’re here today so that we may insist in person, that you cease these plans.”
Ellison wasn’t having it. “To hell with that! I won the election based on that promise. To turn back on it now will kill me politically. The Democrats will have my head. You want me to stop because of this fucking worm? I have the largest military force in the world. I’ll blow the bitch to hell!”
Engel thought on this calmly. “There are things under that ice, Mr President. Ancient things. Things classified even to you. Things that you will never recover from once you’re told. Things that we are insisting not be disturbed because we have a vested interest in not disturbing them."
“Who the hell is ‘we’?” said Ellison.
“The United Conglomerate of Earth”
“And what is that exactly?”
“The real government, Mr President”
Ellison could feel himself crumbling. He had worked too damn hard to be brought down this early in his Presidency. He’d be the laughing stock of the world for lapsing on this after how hard he pushed it. “I am the President of the United States of America! I am the most powerful man on earth. This will fuck me! You understand this right? This will fuck me up. Who the hell are you to insist anything to me?”
The corner of Engels mouth twitched into a grin. He closed the black folder. “I am the Director General of the United Conglomerate of Earth,” He removed his glasses and placed them in his inner jacket coat pocket as he stood. “Mr President, you will come to understand, in the fullness of time, that you are only a big fish in a small pond. Julia, is a much bigger fish…and I am bigger still.”
Engel pushed his chair back under the table. “Good day, Mr President. I’ll be in touch.”
Engel turned on the spot and walked back to the large door he entered through. Ellison, still in shock, clutched the arms of his chair as the door was opened for Engel by an eight foot tall humanoid with beige membranous skin. The creature and Engel exchanged words briefly, as he passed through the door and then the creature looked directly at the President. Its eyes were large, luminescent blue. They flickered a horrifying black and red, and then it closed the door.