Encrypted Security


Recommendation for Recognition of Distinguished Leadership (1/2)

Generation Kymera Delta Squadron
United States Navy
San Nicolas Island Base, Channel Islands, California


From:              Ens. Albert VII
To:                   Cdr. Ezra Stone

Subject: Recommendation for Recognition of Distinguished Leadership in the Face of Adversity for Ensign Quillroy

Commander Stone,

You’ve read Quillroy’s report on what happened in the underwater city. Quillroy gave me a look-see, too. You know, ta make sure there’s no mistakes! Anyway, all of it’s true (except that part about me being a jerk!), but what that knucklehead is too modest to tell ya’ is that if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t’ve made it outta there. 

We were through! Seriously! The subs were gone. The place seemed empty. Then Quillroy started using that echolocation of his!

“What are ya doing?” I says.

“Looking for a way out,” he tells me. “My echolocation might find a secret door or passage in these walls.”

“You think that’ll work?”

“Soldier, up, bruh,” he says. “We’ve still got a mission. If it were us, El Ray wouldn’t stop looking.”

“Yeah, but how are we gonna get outta here?” I says. 

I figured we still had to take care of ourselves before we could take care of others. Quillroy didn’t see it that way.

“All I know is that we have orders, and the more GK Delta team members we have, the better our chances.”

What can I say? He’s second in command, I figure. I know how to take orders. What did we have to lose? I start helping him out with the search. Then a thought struck me. The re-breathers wouldn’t last forever. 

Sure, the building we were in was dry, but the air was no good for breathing. Our re-breathers indicated there was way more Nitrogen and Argon than normal air. 

That’s when Quillroy suggested turning off the helmet’s A.I. systems. He figured we could save power that way, since the environment was more stable than it would be in an ocean dive. Honestly, I’m not sure if that was him being clever, or if the lunkhead just hates dealing with computers. Either way, it was a good call. 

A minute later, he shouted, “Somethin’ behind here’s hollow!” He pointed to one of the walls. We futzed around with it a little bit and, voilà! There were some doohickies to open a hidden door. 

We got that baby open and set off down a long, long, extra-long, hallway surrounded by that same rubber-glass on the windows. We could see the rest of the underwater city outside and the occasional squid or angler fish, but no intelligent life.

We came out the other end of the corridor in a dark room. Right in the center there was an opening with light coming through from a lower floor. A . . .  whadda they call that? A mezzanine? Yeah, a mezzanine. Not just light, though. There were sounds of clanging and russlin’. Turned out, we weren’t alone, after all. And from the sounds, it seemed like we were going to be seriously outnumbered, though by what, we had no idea. 

We peeked over the edge. What. In. Tarnation?

Huddled around on the floor below us were these creatures. Not creatures like us. They looked like a cross between Cleopatra and those artist’s renditions of gray aliens, only tall. And, no, I don’t just mean tall compared to ol’ Albert VII. I mean they were probably nine feet tall! And skinny! And they moved all weird! Like those animatronic puppets at Disneyland, but really smooth in a creepy way. (Side note: Stone, can we please go to Disneyland someday?) 

“They kinda look like Eddie on the cover of the Powerslave album,” QR says.

“Huh?” I had no idea what he’s talking about

“Iron Maiden. Classic rock,” he whispers.

I just stared, but he kept goin’. “Dude. Precursor to grindmetal? Well, sort of. Either way they paved the way for the loathecore metal of the 2030’s—”

“Not now, QR! Look!” The creatures were moving out of their huddle. As they shifted, we saw what they had been gathered around. It was El Ray!

He looked to be out cold. I hoped so, at least. There had to be at least a dozen bulbous, spaghetti-yellow tubes running in and out of his mouth and nose. Looked awful uncomfortable, ya ask me. He was laid on what looked like a cross between an operating table and a computer tablet. 

We watched as the creatures prodded him with different instruments. With each poke, the characters and graphics on the operating tablet screen changed. 

It was horrifying. We had to do something. 

That’s when Quillroy stepped up.

File Directory

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