I was part of the team, we had been looking for funding for years before that, and one day, just like that, an anonymous donation came in. We didn’t know where it came from. We tried, we reached out… but I suppose the person or organisation wanted to remain out of the public’s eye.
After the initial excitement of the first few weeks, we got to work. All of us, designing pods, subs, everything we needed. We built three prototypes before we were happy with the result, before we churned out the Hados. No one had seen anything like it, no one had wanted to go as deep before, so we tested it. We ran every test we could think of and then we ran them to the max. Our new little toy withstood everything, even the most immense pressures our machines could generate.
I was the one who gave it its first test drive. I climbed into the small cylinder and was dropped into the water. There was a tiny window in front of me, and a wide array of controls to my sides. I took a deep breath and began the descent. Down I went into the abyss, watching the light grow dimmer with every meter I travelled. I was heading straight to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. At about 3000 meters the light began to be scarce and I fell in silence and in darkness through the Earth, through its waters across the vast pacific ocean. Every now and then I would see a small fish scurry away from the path of the vessel until there was nothing left.
I knew others had gone deep into the trench, but my mission was to reach the deepest location, the deepest part of the world, a place untouched by humans, a place that was yet to be conquered. At about 13,000 meters I saw the ground beneath me appear under the murky water. My heart beat as fast as my mind raced with the excitement of seeing untouched terrain. I had done it. We had done it, my team and I, we had reached the deepest part of our oceans and there was no one there to see it. No one but me. At least that’s what I thought.
I wore a stupid smile as I studied the surface of our planet through the tiny window in my vessel. I descended into a small valley that I saw ahead of me, just to really nail the depth record, I thought.
I was on my way down into the valley, and as I descended into it the floor began to open up with a thundering roar. My eyes grew wide with astonishment, my heart pumped blood through my body and adrenaline was released into my bloodstream as I prepared myself for imminent death. I was sure a volcano would erupt a short distance below me and that I would be cooked alive under the weight of the ocean, but instead I saw something else. As the ground began to open, a blue light shined trough. I didn’t know what I was seeing, at first there was a luminous blue mist emerging from the depths, but as the dust settled and my eyes adjusted to the new light I saw what nobody would have imagined. A shining city stretched out all across the ocean’s floor deep beneath the lowest valley on the trench. It seemed to pulse with a blue light in a slow rythmic manner and booming sound came from within it, as if the city itself were alive. The whole of it was encased in an enormous translucent bubble. White buildings shot up from the ground taller than the tallest buildings I had ever seen. I could see small spheroid objects moving swiftly through its roads, and as I watched in awe, metalic disc shaped objects began to shoot out from below and surround me, and as they did they performed a strange dance together around my vessel. Their choreographed movements created a water current that somehow formed a road in which my vessel moved with great speed toward the underwater city.
They took me to their gates and they walked with me inside. They were humans! Or at least relatives of humans. Tall and with a blue pale luminescent skin they welcomed me into their world. I guess they figured we would not understand each other so they simply took me by my hand for a walk around their beautiful glowing city. Inside their city dome the air was cool and a remarkable silence permeated it. It was different from ours, our silence consists of the distant sounds of the wind and little animals, tires rolling on the roads and airplanes flying through our atmoshphere, their silence seemed surreal… a combination of soft tones as if creating a melody with everything they built. Each step I took on their reflective floors emitted an almost inaudible note of a perfect melody. I could feel and listen to the harmony of their existence as they took into one of the spheres I had seen from above. From the outside the material appeared to be metal, but from the inside it was completely transparent, I could see the city below us as our sphere travelled through it. A luminescent man and woman smiled during the tour. They took me past a statue that resembled whales or dolphins sharing a moment together. I got to see the their inner city, an even larger place below the city that I saw, an infinity of lights extended into below into depths of the world. I was amazed, stunned, in a state of complete incredulity. In the end, they took me back to my little vessel, shook my hand and waved goodbye.