Erin stared at the city beneath her and sighed heavily. The speaker module blinked and she snapped to attention, jumping at the opportunity to do something other than stare at the eternal emptiness that was the sea.
“Corporal Erin Miranda Trident logging in from dock one; the surroundings are clear.” She said, logging in her time then pushing away from the table in aggravation.
Captain Banks had overreacted.
“You started a war!” he’d snarled, banging his fist against the table.
“But Captain he—” Erin began.
“That is it Corporal, not another word or I will degrade you to cadet!” Byron roared, daring Erin to voice another opinion. “You disgrace this platoon when you agitate a Megalodon shark in the middle of a negotiation! How can I justify giving you a higher leadership position if you can’t be trusted in a high pressure situation?”
Erin opened her mouth to answer but Bryon sent her a glare so dark she quivered.
“Look out duty,” he snapped. Erin gasped. “For a month.”
So now she was here, floating one hundred miles from the city at a lookout post usually reserved for tracker Syreni.
At least she was in the water.
She swiped at a seaweed in frustration, frustrated even more when it wrapped around her fin instead of floating free in the water. The sea gave a soft pulse of electricity and Erin looked up, excitement bubbling in her stomach . . . or was that hunger?
An eel slipped around the corner of the cave-like entrance to Atlantia, its long, snake-like body slithering towards her. Erin licked her lips in excitement, thinking about how good the eel would taste between her teeth.
The eel realized too late that Erin was behind him. He slithered wildly as cold hands strangled his neck, removing his access to oxygen. Just as the eel was about to enter unconsciousness he screamed out:“A Megalodon was twenty meters behind me!”
Erin stopped strangling the ten foot eel beneath her grip and let him go. The eel sucked in a lung full of water and looked up at the Syreni with a worried expression. Erin laughed in surprise.
“Don’t worry eel I won’t kill you. Not anymore,” she corrected, patting the sea animal on the back and swimming back to her post. The eel trailed after her like a love-struck puppy.
“You should probably call more Syreni,” he warned. “Megalodon’s are vicious creatures,” he continued, his long body shivering at the thought of the predator of legend. Erin laughed.
“I can handle one Megalodon by myself,” she bragged haughtily, leaning against the stone entrance. The speaker module blinked, alerting Erin that there was a message for her. In her anger she ignored it, choosing instead to chat with the friendly eel she’d decided not to eat.
Erin lost track of time. One minute, the eel named Ervin, was teasing how fast she could swim, and the next Erin was beyond the borders of the cave, racing an eel instead of manning her post.
She was a hair away from the finish line, and seconds away from beating Ervin the eel, when she felt it.
Thousands of needles prickling against her skin.
A jolt of electricity slammed into her and she paused mid-stride, stopping so abruptly that Ervin slammed into her back. Megalodon sharks. And more than one.
“The city,” Erin gasped, racing for the wall and the pulsing, red alert button.
–Short Story Written by Jae Lei Nyght
Copyright© 2013 Jae Lei Nyght
(Excerpt from “TRIDENT” a Jae Lei Nyght Novel. Photography rights belong to owner; Image manipulated in Photoshop by Jae Lei Nyght.)