by Ryan Notch
“The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle…”
– W.B. Yeats
“It’s the largest ever recorded, and no it’s not a hoax.”
“OK, so it’s the largest beached whale ever found. But why is that so Earth shattering?”
“No, not just the largest beached one. I mean the thing is a hundred and twelve feet long. That makes it the longest ever recorded period. And it’s not a whale.”
Professor Astiro paused a moment to take that in, thinking about what the voice on the phone had just told him. The longest blue whale ever recorded was one hundred and ten feet long, and even that was thought to have been an overestimation by the whalers who caught her. And the blue whale was the largest animal that ever lived, dinosaurs included.
“But if it’s not a whale, than what is it?”
“Can’t tell, too much decay. It’s too massive to move, so the dissection starts tomorrow on the beach.”
“I’ll be on a plane tonight.”
Twelve hours and twenty seven hundred miles later Professor Astiro stood bleary eyed on a beach just north of San Francisco staring at the damnedest thing he’d ever laid eyes on.
It wasn’t long before his friend and fellow oceanographer Doctor Charlie Nestler spotted him and ambled up with the kind of tanned and sunglasses swagger that you just didn’t find on the East coast.
Professor Astiro, not one to waste time on trivialities, pointed to one end of the creature and asked, “Charlie, what are those protrusions?”
“Good to see you too Ray,” said Charlie. “You need to borrow some sun block or a hat or something?”
Professor Ray Astiro was tall with bony limbs, lanky dark hair and wan pale skin that all together made him look more like a creature from the bottom of the ocean than someone who studied it. He also had a laser like focus that made him the best mystery solver in the field, and did not countenance distractions.
“I’m fine. What are those protrusions on the end there?”
“Actually I don’t have a clue,” replied Charlie. He turned to look with the Professor at the leviathan laid out on the beach in front of them. Decay had left it a mess long before it landed on shore, and bloating from the sun was making things worse fast. A team of twenty or so people swarmed over it, a mirror image of the scavengers that had clearly feasted on it in the ocean.
Charlie didn’t have to guess that the Professor was referring to the five trunk-like appendages coming out of one end of the thing. They were about thirty-feet long and five-feet thick each.
“I’ll tell you this though,” continued Charlie. “I think they’re articulated. The X-rays show joints in those things. I think they could maybe open for feeding. Which I guess would make that end the mouth…”
It wasn’t an easy guess to make, observed the professor silently. The thing didn’t taper off at one end, as you would expect of something with a giant tail. And no clear surface features remained such as a face or flippers. The skin itself was a pale translucent white, with hints of green blotches that might at one point have been bioluminescent. It was as a whole so large it was like a trick of perspective, looking closer than it was. The people near it seemed like tiny birds in comparison. Three school buses could have parked end to end on its back. An impossible monster, bloating in the sun right in front of him.
“So what we have here Professor, is basically a completely new species unimagined in the history of the Earth. And the most exciting find in the history of oceanography. I don’t suppose you’d like to help us dissect it,” asked Charlie coyly.
“Desperately,” said the Professor without taking his eyes off it. “But I’m not going to. Get me maps of the ocean-currents and a ship, Charlie. Wherever that thing floated in from, there might be more of them out there. But they won’t stay put for long. I’m going after a live one.”
Charlie spared no resource from his lifetime of useful contacts, and had a well outfitted ship ready to depart that very night. This lead directly to a tremendous stroke of luck that would not have existed the next morning. For the ship was only an hour’s travel time away from the city lights when one of the crew spotted it. An unusual green phosphorescence in the water. Looking at first like the simple yet bewitching glow of jellyfish or plankton, soon they realized it left a trail going straight from the shore off into the distance as far as the eye could see.
“I’ve never seen the like,” said the Captain. A short, gruff, black-bearded man that looked every bit the part. “Witchlights are usually localized pools, sometimes giant ones, but still localized.”
“I suspect,” said the Professor, “that after the creature had been dead some time, gasses from decay made it buoyant. It floated close enough to the surface for phosphorescent bacteria from its skin to leak out and leave us this amazing trail. One which we can only pray lasts long enough for us to catch up to its point of origin.”
“Just what is this beast we’re chasing anyway, Professor? One of the crew said they saw it on the beach, and it was as big as a whale.”
“Bigger. Actually for a while I was still telling myself it somehow was a whale,” said the Professor, mystified. “Perhaps a mutant suffering from gigantism, like you sometimes see in humans over eight feet tall. But no mutation could have given a whale phosphorescence. What’s more, judging from what we were seeing, this thing must have shined brilliantly while alive.”
“So how is it something larger than a whale, that glows brightly in the dark, has never been seen in thousands of years of sea exploration?”
“That’s the right question, Captain. One of many. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to radio Charlie and tell him about this.”
Charlie turned out to be unsurprised by the news.
“Yeah, I figured that out a little after nightfall when the moon went behind some clouds. It’s faint but we can see it, glowing there on the beach.”
Professor Astiro had to listen closely to make out what Charlie was saying due to a combination of noise from the rest of the bridge and a poor radio signal. Not broken or static exactly, more like Charlie was very very far away.
“What’s the nature of the phosphorescence, Charlie? Does it look like it was for mating, communication, camouflage?” asked the Professor. He didn’t bother going into how to tell the differences between one or the other. Professor Astiro wasn’t the type of man to trust any data he hadn’t double checked himself, but he also wasn’t socially inept enough to belittle a fellow expert in the field. Whatever conclusions Charlie came to would almost certainly match his own.
“I hate to keep saying this,” returned Charlie’s distant voice. “But I’ve never seen anything like them. They’re patterns, but not the kind that could help hide against any background I can think of. Circular and sharp. Like…well…well just to give you something to compare them to mentally, they look like symbols of some kind.”
“Must be the decay,” returned the Professor after a moment’s thought. “Eating away at the edges of them. You should watch to see how it progresses through the night.”
“No can do. Studying this thing has become a lot harder since you left.”
“Is the city objecting to you setting up lights on the beach?”
“I wish it were that simple. No, it’s the crabs. Come up out of the water to eat the thing.”
The Professor was flustered by this, momentarily questioning what faith he had in Charlie Nestler. “Charlie, we’ve all suffered the occasional crab pinch in this job. You just have to push through. It’s normal to have to fight scavengers to study a corpse.”
“There is nothing normal about this Ray. They’re coming up in swarms for the thing. They may be tiny, but if they didn’t have brains too tiny for emotion I’d almost say the damned things are angry. As if they would gladly kill us for their share of the feast. You know my graduate student Tina Ellis? She tripped and fell in amongst them. Before we could pull her out they chewed her up pretty good. One lucky monster got at her eye…”
Even with the bad reception the Professor could hear a choked rage in Charlie’s voice as he said that last part. He sat in stunned silence for moment. He’d seen worse in his time. Working on the sea was dangerous, and always had been. But an accident like this…
“Horrible…That’s horrible Charlie. Just do what you can, we’ll keep you informed.”
“Can do,” said Charlie, sounding suddenly tired. “Over and out.”
“Over and out,” the Professor returned.
The next morning the Professor, Captain, and first mate stood on the cramped bridge looking out over the glassy smooth surface of the ocean. The ship was motionless, but not because of lack of wind. The powerful engines could take them any direction they willed, if only they could make the decision to move.
“Based on our GPS route from last night, we’re almost certainly following this current here,” said the first mate as he pointed to a map on the table in front of them. His complexion was dark black, his accent an odd half-Caribbean and half-Californian.
“Yes, and if we’re wrong we’ll likely not get a second chance,” said the Captain.
The discussion had started going in circles, and Professor Astiro knew it was because they were waiting for him to make the decision. Without wanting to make it obvious that they were waiting. The power struggle between Captain and financier was always a complicated one, but that wasn’t what caused the Professor’s reluctance to say anything.
After all the data was analyzed, the decision was a mad gamble either way. The phosphorescent glow of their trail was invisible during the day. If they waited and followed it only at night, it may well have faded to invisibility before they found the end of it. If they guessed at its course during the day, they might veer off it never to find it again.
Ultimately the Professor made his decision on gut instinct alone. An uncanny sense of urgency had gripped him, something beyond the pure excitement of the chase.
“Let’s set engines full ahead Captain,” said the Professor. “We’ll take our chances with the charts.”
The Captain gave a curt nod, followed by a glance at the first mate that relayed some message the Professor couldn’t quite guess at. He walked out onto the deck, trying to let the sun burn the cobwebs from his head. He’d slept poorly, with nightmares of crabs and swarms amidst symbols.
The ship itself doubled as a fishing trawler, like many vessels he had chartered. The on-board sonar worked well in both fields, and the netting gear was easily retrofitted for bringing on board specimens. Being around a hundred feet, four crew plus the captain were enough to man her.
The Professor leaned on the railing and thought back to the radio conversation he’d had with Charlie first thing in the morning. Charlie had said things had gotten worse, with seagulls by the hundreds arriving to hunt the crabs. Leaving the scientists in the middle of a battle zone of rabid pinchers and kamikaze beaks. Even with the increasingly bad reception the Professor could remember perfectly how Charlie described it.
“It’s as if Heaven, Earth, and the sea are all locked in a pitched battle for the prize. And I’m not sure we’re winning.”
Nevertheless, Charlie’s team had made some progress. Taking DNA samples and bringing in industrial strength ultrasound equipment to supplement the X-rays of the beast’s insides. Using a crane they were able to determine that the tree sized protrusions on the end of it did in fact not conceal a mouth. So it had to be assumed they were used to swim somehow, and the other end was the head before the features were eaten away.
Charlie had ended the call with a comment about how he was going out to look for a flamethrower to defend the prize. The Professor didn’t know whether he was joking or not, but decided to get some rest until nightfall. He suspected he would be up all night.
Professor Astiro woke in the dark, drenched in sweat from a nightmare of a crying baby. But after a few moments he realized it wasn’t a nightmare, he was really hearing it.
His thoughts raced through possible explanations. Who the hell would sneak a baby onto this ship? Or maybe the nightmare is crowding my thoughts and it’s dolphins. Or perhaps we picked up a boat of refugees…
Throwing on his clothes, he headed out on deck. What he found there chilled him in a way that could not be fully blamed on the now freezing sweat that still covered him. All four crew, plus the captain, were standing at the rail looking out so intently that not one turned at his approach, though all surely heard him.
They were dead silent.
Soon the Professor knew why.
The gambit had obviously worked, the ship was still on the path of the green glow. But at the moment the engines were off, all the better to hear the crying. Up here it sounded even more like a human infant, somewhere out off the port side of the ship.
The Professor walked to stand beside them, knowing that they would be searching for the source already. The glow would have made a raft easy to spot, but the sea was empty of all except the sound.
“There,” whispered the first mate, pointing urgently off into the night. It took the Professor a few moments to spot it, but he could see a tiny spot somewhat brighter off in the distance.
The Captain moved up to the bridge and started the engines on a low hum. Ever so carefully he piloted the ship off to the side of the glowing spot, which was indeed about the size of a baby. But the witchglow of the water confused their eyes, made it hard to focus. The crying had stopped, and it seemed that perhaps only the infant’s head poked above the waves.
The men wasted no time, throwing a fishing net over the side and dragging the small form in with their bare hands. The professor crowded in, anticipating a need for emergency CPR on the child. But when he saw the pale squirming form before him, he cringed at its monstrosity.
He recovered his composure almost immediately though, for the form was only monstrous in comparison to what he had been expecting, not because it was in any way alien.
“A squid,” said one of the crew in bafflement. A little larger than surface squid usually were, indeed about the size of a baby. Still, not so different than the sort they had all seen many times. A white, arrow-like narrowing on the head, and at the other end tentacles writhing and clutching around the deck, the animal slowly suffocating.
Yet there was one way in which it was not simple. It glowed faintly green in the starlight, a bioluminescence creeping into its skin not unlike what floated on the water.
The Captain gave a significant look at the first mate, and this time the Professor was able to interpret it.
So where’s the baby?
The unspoken question was answered immediately, and appallingly. The baby’s wail came again, this time much more loudly, from directly at their feet. They all jumped back in shock, and as one looked around for another possible source. A source that would provide a saner explanation.
But no sane explanation was possible. The sound was coming from the squid itself, squirming at their feet. The Professor himself broke the spell first, having spent a lifetime dissecting monsters and building an internal scientific detachment. He pulled back the tentacles of the thing, exposing the beak beneath, carefully so as not to have his fingers bitten off.
In defiance of all reason the beak opened again, issuing forth the cry of a human infant.
And worse, far worse, the cry was answered. A thousand beaks in the sea surrounding the ship opened together to issue their weeping in return. The five men on the deck stared out, picking out the pale glowing forms of thousands of squid now skimming the surface for all the world sounding like babies crying to be fed. A nursery conceived in an unimaginable fever dream.
Fifteen minutes later the ship was well away from the pod of creatures, moving at full speed along the trail of light. After only a few moments of huddled panic the men had wasted no time in gunning the engines to flee the scene. One of the crew had seemed nearly mutinous in his insistence to “Give them back their brother,” but the Professor had refused. Instead he had dropped the squid into a sample tank in the hold of the ship, where he now stood staring at it with dimmed lights.
“The men are throwing around a lot of ideas up there,” said the Captain as he walked in. He had the stride of a man both amped up and suddenly weary. “Most of them involving the words ‘Radioactive waste dumping.’”
The professor shook his head slowly. “The glowing is easy to explain, this school of squid obviously ate some of the decayed carcass of the leviathan as it floated by. Whatever causes the glow obviously does not die easily outside of its native environment of the creature’s flesh…”
The Captain heard the “but” at the end of the sentence even though the Professor had left it unsaid. After a few moments he sounded annoyed to have to say it himself. “And the sound?! Some rare species? A mutation?”
“A mutation?!” answered the Professor, his composure slipping for the first time. “Captain, dolphins and whales can make noises because they have lungs. There is no mutation sequence that could give a squid both lungs and vocal chords in under ten million years of adaptations. I don’t care if you dropped the entirety of Chernobyl into the ocean and fed them a steady diet of runoff from the Hudson river.”
“So what then?! What?”
“I don’t know,” said the Professor, his calm and steady will returning. “It’s going to take a lot of study to answer that. In the meantime, we have a job to do.”
“I know,” said the Captain, repeating it again for lack of anything to add. “I know.”
Trying to raise Charlie on the radio was no easy task. He sounded like he was talking from the dark side of the moon, something which shouldn’t be happening in a radio this powerful outside of severe storms. It made the Professor feel somehow more lonely and isolated, as if he were years away from shore instead of days.
“Did you hear me Charlie? I said it produces actual vocalizations.”
“I heard you Ray. Actually I’m not that surprised, believe it or not. Fisherman all along the coast are finding incredible things. Sharks with an extra set of eyes on their dorsal fins, clams that when pried open reveal double rows of molars, shrimp with acidic blood causing third degree burns in people who eat them. Everything that had a bite of the leviathan seems to have suffered incredible mutations. I’m worried about my people who’ve been handling the thing with their bare hands.”
“How about that process Charlie, have you been able to deal with the difficulties?”
“Actually, yes. It’s amazing how many regular Craigslist readers in the California area both have home-made flamethrowers, and are chomping at the bit for an excuse to use them. The beach now looks like a scene from Apocalypse Now, but at least we’re driving back the scavenger army.”
“Anything new to report on the research,” asked the Professor somewhat absent mindedly. As interested as he was in hearing what Charlie was saying, he couldn’t help keeping an ear out for any more cries from the sea. Jumping at any imagined sight or sound.
“Genetic analysis is under way,” said Charlie. “Full sequencing will take a long time of course, but I can already tell you it isn’t a fish. We’re checking mammal types next. With the ultrasound and x-ray images we are starting to put together a picture of how this thing might work. I really can’t explain the skeletal structure yet, so I’m going to run it through some pattern comparison before I hazard any guesses.”
“Excellent, good work Charlie. Anything else?”
“Yes, but I am hesitant to mention it…”
“Anything helps at this point, go on.”
“Some of the other professors at the college came to the beach to look at the thing. Including a professor of dead languages. He claimed to recognize the luminescent markings on the skin of the creature Ray. He said they were a type of ancient lettering. Something called Malachim.”
“Well come on Charlie. You know academia. You stare at hammers your whole life and all the world starts to look like a nail. He’s just seeing what he’s used to seeing. What’s Malachim anyway?”
“I didn’t think to ask. He copied down the symbols and went off to translate it…You know I’d almost think the whole thing smacks of genetic engineering, if genetic engineering was about three hundred years more advanced than it is.”
“Agreed,” said the Professor thoughtfully. “OK, keep me apprised of the situation.”
“Can do Ray. Over and out.”
“Over and out.”
The next morning it was the youngest crew member who heard it first. The captain had cut the engines while they plotted their course by current charts, and the ocean was dead calm. The bright sun shined down in a way that left the crew squinting, evidence of a sleepless night for everyone.
It was a high pitched noise, but not piercingly so. A kind of humming whoosh, not unlike the sound a sword made when swinging through the air. It was faint, drifting to them intermittently from a direction impossible to tell.
“Don’t look at me,” said the Professor, noticing that everyone was doing precisely that.
“Even if we wanted to look for the source of it, we can’t hear it over the engines,” said the first mate in a kind of verbal preemptive strike. “We’d be left going in circles, chasing our own tail.”
“Agreed,” said the Captain, not needing anything more than the simplest excuse not to go looking for any more strange sounds in the ocean. “We’ll continue on the job we were hired for.”
This time, both the Captain and the First Mate very deliberately did not look towards the Professor for any sign of objection to the plan. The Professor, for his part, very deliberately didn’t offer any. Time was still against them, and as fascinating as the mutations were, they were as nothing compared to the prize he sought.
As day waxed into evening he sat in the sample room, staring at the squid in its tank. Like most squid, it had very large eyes. This one seemed to be staring right back at him. He tried to tell himself that they couldn’t focus on things past the wall of the tank, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that this thing was staring at him accusingly. The faint cries that managed to escape the walls of the aquarium certainly added to the impression. Half of him wanted to toss it to freedom over the side, the other half wanted to bash its brains in as an abomination in the eyes of God.
But the heart of him was a scientist, and he didn’t intend to let this little monstrosity go anywhere. He grew faintly hypnotized by the luminescent skin of the squid as it drifted languidly back and forth, and without knowing it he drifted off to sleep, immediately slipping into dark dreams of searching for a lost infant amongst the rusted hulk of a shipwrecked tanker.
He didn’t open his eyes again until the middle of the night, when for the second time in as many days he was startled awake by a sound that at first seemed a part of the dream. His first sight was the squid, still staring at him with first one eye, then the other. For a moment the Professor had the crazy post-dream feeling that the squid knew the source of the scraping noise that had awoken him, but was keeping quiet about it through pure spite.
Then the sound came again, and this time he felt the scraping through the deck floor.
Dear God, we hit something, he thought.
As he ran up the stairs he mentally forced himself to remain calm and remember the storage location of the life vests. The moment before he arrived on the deck, he had an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, as if he would find the crew once again at the railing staring off into the sea.
They were all there, all right, but hardly standing around. They ran to and fro, the First Mate barking orders to the crew while the Captain checked gauges at the bridge. The Professor elected to start with him.
“What is it Captain?”
“We felt it too, but don’t know what it was. We’re checking for hull breaches now, but don’t have any indication yet…”
It came again, this time hitting hard enough to tilt the ship slightly to starboard. The Captain responded by running to the sonar screen.
“Is it the leviathan, Captain,” asked the Professor with a tightly restrained mix of terror and excitement.
“No…no, something much smaller. Maybe the size of a dolphin,” the Captain replied thoughtfully, gazing at the sonar intently. “Smaller, but perfectly willing to try its luck against something the size of this ship apparently…”
As if on cue the Professor felt the impact on the ship again, and again a moment after that. Not near enough to tip the ship over, but more than enough to be disconcerting.
“Whatever it is, it apparently has friends who also don’t like us,” the Professor said. For the first time since coming on the bridge he looked out at the sea for the green luminescent path, making sure they hadn’t lost it in the day. Miraculously it remained, as bright as ever despite days of decay. And what’s more, with the engines off to check for hull breaches, he still heard the sound.
The hum in the air, the same one from earlier that day. Coming and going every few moments.
And louder, he thought. Definitely louder.
His first instinct was to think of another mutated animal, given rise to another impossible set of vocal cords. But that didn’t seem right, the sound just didn’t seem…organic. He couldn’t tell what it seemed like, sometimes metal, sometimes a machine. But not a throat of flesh and blood.
“Lots of friends,” said the captain, replying to what the Professor had said before his reverie. The Professor looked over his shoulder at the sonar. It was a mess of forms.
“Do you have underwater lighting on this rig?”
“In fact we do.” The Captain flipped a couple switches and the sea lit up around them as sub-surface lights powered on. Silhouetted in the waters they could see a swarm of forms circling the ship. A clear and common hunting technique in the sea, isolating the prey in the middle. As they watched, another two peeled off from the group, ramming the ship again.
“Sharks, maybe,” said the Professor. “I guess I don’t need to tell you that this would be almost unheard of behavior for a school of sharks.”
The Captain merely shook his head slowly from side to side. The Professor was gratified to see that although he was clearly unnerved, no trace of panic shone in his eyes. They both knew that although the shark might be the perfect killing machine in the water, they couldn’t do a thing to a rig this size. Only bash their brains in on the hull.
“Well,” said the Professor after a few moments of staring, “moonlight’s burning.”
The Captain took the hint and nodded. Speaking into the ships loudspeaker he said, “All crew stand away from engines moving parts, we’re going back under way.”
The rammings continued through the night, scraping the nerves of the crew as raw as the hull of the ship and stopping just around dawn. By then the humming sound had become loud enough to be heard even over the engines. It would hum, then there would be a sort of clashing pinging noise, then a few moments of silence before it started again. There was a majestic beauty to the sound, but the unnerving mystery of it was maddening.
The Professor had spent enough time with sailors to know the superstitions of the sea, and was certain he’d have a showdown with the Captain and crew when they finally broke and insisted on turning off their mad path. He even had his speech prepared, along with threats to reputation and paycheck alike. It was a credit to the Captain and his First Mate that they had yet to even brooch the subject. Certainly few crews had ever had better cause for retreat.
Or maybe, like himself, the crew felt something drawing them on beyond all power to resist. The Professor had reason enough to hunt the leviathan, it was the scientific find of a lifetime. It would change everything. But the more he thought about it, the more he felt there was something more. Some feeling that there was something to witness. You could see it in the very blue of the sky somehow, reflected in the exhausted eyes of the crew who wandered about their duties silently.
The Professor walked onto the bridge and raised Charlie on the radio transmitter, not bothering to interrupt the Captain who silently steered the ship behind him. It took several attempts and when he finally did, the reception was worse than ever. As if he were transmitting from the afterlife, rather than only a few days from shore.
“Ray, is that you Ray? I can barely….you,” said Charlie, words fading in and out of the ether.
“Yes Charlie. We’re still on the bioluminescent path. What have you discovered on your end? Have the people who touched the skin of the creature suffered any mutagenic affects?”
“Ray…so many things…don’t know…visions.”
“What was that, Charlie? What was that last part?”
“Visions, the people who touched it…bare hands are suffering from visions!”
“Visions? You mean hallucinations?”
“Listen…translated the Malachim symbols…writing on the beast…oldest form of writing known…reads as…Revelations.”
It was getting harder and harder to hear Charlie over the background noise, despite the fact that the Captain had killed the engines and walked out on deck without a word. Probably to get a bearing on the source of the humming noise, which had been growing louder by the minute. The Professor didn’t spare him a glance, his gaze intent on the radio.
“Revelations Charlie, you’re not making any sense! Did you touch the thing, are you hallucinating too?”
“…not important right now! Listen Ray, you’ve got…turn around…got to run for it! We found…pattern match…the leviathan’s bone structure…It’s not a creature Ray, it’s an ar…”
The Professor couldn’t hear the rest over the whooshing, humming sound. He realized that not only had it gotten incredibly loud, it also sounded incredibly close.
As he turned and walked out on deck, he saw with his own eyes what Charlie had been trying to warn him about.
A warning that had come much, much too late.
For the body of the greatest beast the world had ever seen had not been a body at all, but only an arm. An arm chopped off by a flaming sword twenty stories long, swung by a being whose head reached heaven itself.
He stared at them transfixed, his once disciplined mind obliterated by the wonder and horrible majesty of the two beings before him. Their six rows of wings shone brighter than the sun. Their skin of pearl burned with the symbols he’d seen upon the arm on the beach, still burning though long decayed. Their flaming swords hummed as they swung arcs miles long at each other. The first with bearing of terrible hate, locked in combat with another of righteous fury, both faces too beautiful to gaze upon. The first had clearly gained the advantage days ago with a blow that severed the other’s arm, which had floated all those days through the sea towards the land where they found it.
And now their battle was witnessed by undeserving humans brought forth from the dust of the Earth. Some small thought in the Professor’s mind told him that their battle had just begun, though it was surely their last.
The voice on the radio spoke on, though there was no part of the Professor which could still listen.
“Malachim is the writing used by angels, Ray. It says it’s the end of the world.”
© 2012 Ryan Notch
Original fiction debuting at Residential Aliens.