“I am confused, should I sound? Should I echo?” the sonar man asked his captain.
“Let me hear it again?” Captain Seagram asked.
Lt. Angstrom obliged, and the weird echoing wail sounded over the loudspeaker sending shivers down the captains back. “I knew it! That I don’t know. I thought it might have been whale song, but that’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before.”
“Whatever it is, it’s getting closer,” Angstrom sounded worried as the wail sound twice as loud as the last time.
On the other ship the squid slid her slithering tentacles across the keyboard, repeating her question, perhaps these strange life forms were deaf. She remarked, to the creature, in the bubble of air she slowly increased, “You need not answer all the questions! You can laugh and laugh again! But I’m sure this combination of gas will keep you alive at this depth.” She fiddled with the knob on the console to her left adding more nitrous oxide to the mix. Other specimens had responded with interesting behavior.
“Thoughts-they do what we do not ask for!” she said, in her short arpeggio wail.
Her assistant trilled back, “At all times, we pretend to think on one and actually think everything else! This is normal for an intelligent being. These are sentient, but barely able to formulate one comprehensible thought at a time. This a waste of effort and equipment!”
“The whales are smarter, the dolphins can at least double talk.” The head researcher remarked.
Frustrated she read the electrical impulses which consisted of the thoughts of this inferior life form. He kept going back to his earliest memories, and they played in and endless loop. This study to prove they were intelligent was never going to work. Popping the bubble, she put him out of her misery. There was a whole ship full of new subjects just a kilo meter away.
“I have it captain, I echoed and then sounded and there is a ship out there. The configuration is nothing we’ve ever seen!”
Angstrom showed the image on his monitor. The advanced sonar converted it’s returning echoes and the sleek bullet form of the ship quickly emerged.
“Estimated distance.” The torpedo room wanted to get a lock.
“One kilo meter, sir. Up twenty degrees due north, sir.”
Captain’s orders were to kill it. There had been far too many mini research subs disappearing beneath the polar ice cap. There had to be an explanation for them, and this could be the culprit.
As the captain gave the command to fire, the yellow attack sub went dead. Emergency power kicked in and the countdown timer to zero oxygen began its maddening beep.
“What happened?” all five voices in the command center sounded together.