It was an ordinary day under very ordinary circumstances. Our vessel, the U.S.S. Barricuda, was out for exercises when we received a distress call.
“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY! This is R.V. Longview, I repeat R.V. Longview, R. V. Longview! I require immediate assistance! We’re under fire by a crew member, multiple dead, unknown crew members left. I’m at...”
Our crew quickly notated their position and acknowledged their transmission. There was no response, so we referenced their coordinates to see how far they were. We were closest to them so we had to take action. As we began to make preparations the call kept coming in over and over the exact same way. Considering they didn’t seem to hear us, it was not unusual especially with how protocol is highly emphasized for specific situatons.
Yet, something about it made me uneasy, but I kept my thoughts to myself for obvious reasons. The more I heard it, I realized the distress call sounded like a recording. It was the way it was repeated verbatim, even with the same inflections and everything. It was a research vessel, but regardless of what type of ship, there was no way we would ignore it.
The entire hour it took to reach the Longview, they never acknowledged our reply even when we got close. Perhaps the equipment was malfunctioning or damaged. Hopefully we could reach it in time to save our caller, at the very least. The caller was on the verge of hysterics, and despite our crew mates cool composure I could feel the tension in the air every time the call came through.
As we finally approached the ship, a new anxiety arose. It was the jitters right before the action started. If anyone tells you that they’re some stone cold badass who doesn’t feel anything in times of stress, I will them to their face that they’re a liar. No matter how many times shit goes down, that adrenaline goes up. It’s all a matter of what you do with it.
So we approach the vessel in full stealth and dock it without error. Our squad, guns at the ready, board the vessel in two groups of four. The first thing that hits me is just how quiet everything was. Our silent approach only accentuated this fact, and the hairs on the back of neck pricked up. No active shooter is this quiet, unless they’ve got something planned.
No matter how carefully I moved my feet or how objectively quiet I was, the leather boots seemed to clang loudly through the hull. There was energy in the air, like something ready to go off at any moment. Surveying the ship, I got a sense that my spidey sense tingling wasn’t too far off. Dust covered the railings and areas of the floor that didn’t make sense, not for a ship that just called for help. I must have been so focused on our objective that this didn’t even register until later. It wasn’t just the dust, it was more the derelict state everything was in. There was rust on the floor where water had pooled and every door we put our hands on groaned in protest. It was like the ship hadn’t been taken care of in months. How in the hell would we sneak up on someone with the doors squealing like this?
It didn’t take long before we found the bodies.
The stench assaulted our nostrils first, the source a storage closet full of the dead crew members. There was dried blood and bullet holes in the crew, twenty or so in total. Some of us lost our lunch, the stench unbearable. It was a combination of rotted flesh, human “liquids”, and rat droppings. The loud squeaks before we opened the door wasn’t just the hinges this time. The rats had scattered, all fat for good reason...the amount of bodies had given them plenty to feast on.
“My God...” One of our squad remarked.
“Keep it together people. We could still have an active shooter here.” Our Sarge barked into a whisper.
Seeing the amount of decomposition, my squad leader was wrong. This happened at least a month ago. I kept my feelings reticent, knowing they’d do me no good especially with the way my Sarge was. We still had to investigate so I replied “yes sir” and continued on with my duty.
More rooms led to more signs of a struggle. Bullet holes riddled walls, along with smashed desks, computers, and anything else available. This shooter had gone on a rampage. I, as well the rest of my squad had to be wondering what exactly they were researching here. It took less than twenty minutes to get to the communications room.
“Hold!” We stopped immediately. One of the squad peered around a corner. “Don’t move!”
I readied myself, my heart rate kicking up once again.
“It’s over,” the same guy hollered. “Shooter already neutralized.”
Around the corner we found the shooter propped up against the door, gun still in hand. He was h not much more than a skeleton. The squad leader ordered one of us to remove the man, and we soon got to the door.
“Open up!” my squad leader called through the door. He was met with silence.
“Mayday response! U.S. Navy! Open up!” Silence again.
“We’re here to help! The shooter has been neutralized. Open up!”
“There’s no way he’s still alive...” I muttered under my breath. My closest member side-eyed me.
“OPEN UP, WE RECEIVED YOUR DISTRESS CALL, WE’RE HERE TO HELP!” My squad leader was visibly irked now. Nothing got him more than people that seemed ungrateful for help. Yet again he was met with silence.
“Blowtorch,” our leader commanded. In a couple of minutes, the blue light of the blowtorch stopped and he kicked the door in. We rushed in and secured the remaining crew member...
...who was already dead.
He wasn’t decomposed to a skeleton like the others were, but it was obvious he’d been here for a while. The smell of pure and simple death was abundant. As I mentioned before, the whole lapse of time didn’t make any sense.
“Didn’t make it in time, boys.” Our sergeant barked, as if it was our fault. “Let’s salvage what we can. Try to figure out what the hell happened. Harris, you come with me. Stacks and Hudson, get any information about the distress call and any logs that you can. The rest of you, fan out and collect any evidance. Let’s move!”
“Of course he took Harris,” one soldier near me muttered.
After the sergeant and his kiss-ass sidekick left, I turned to my buddy Stacks.
“You believe that? He’s not gonna even acknowledge how weird this is?” He nodded but seemed a little trepidatious.
“Yeah....but I don’t know, man. It is weird, but what do we say? Sarge, I think we should report this as weird?”
“I’m not saying that, I just don’t think we should ignore it. C’mon, you heard ’em on the radio. He recanted the distress exactly each time, to the point that it wasn’t natural. I thought it was a recording after a while.”
“Well, maybe it is.” He stepped up to the comms equipment and began surveying everything. “Why would that be weird?”
“I dunno, just look it over, will ya? I’m gonna poke this body with a stick to see what I can get from it.”
“Hey, your expertise not mine.”
We both chuckled, which was desperately needed. Looking over the body, I saw that his skin looked very thin and clung tightly to his bones. This was odd considering skin bloats post-portem. I noticed his hands were in his lap and he was holding something. I managed to pry open his hands, which cracked with rigor-mortis. He was holding the microphone for the radio. The poor sap...he’d died of starvation calling for help.
“Hudson, you weren’t wrong about this being weird.” I stood up at my comrade’s statement.
“There’s no way he used a recording to call us...there’s no power.”
“I told you this whole situation was weird.”
“What’s more...the equipment’s damaged. I would guess some sort of electrical pulse fried it or something. I’m gonna have to look at the power source but I’m not sure he would have been able to make a distress call.”
“What the hell...”
“C’mon, it’s just technology.”
“I don’t know, man. Some paranormal stuff went down here.”
“Listen to yourself, Hudson. For a man in uniform you’re superstitious as...”
“Fine, whatever. I’m just saying once again...I can’t shake this feeling like there’s something weirder going on. We’ve only just got here you know.”
We piddled around a bit more in silence, makiing a vain attempt at finding more clues when...
“HEY GUYS! YOU GOTTA COME SEE THIS!” The voice of our sergeant’s pet called. He didn’t sound like his normal procedural self, so we hoofed it over to his location.
We all converged on a room that was their main lab on board. There was an immediate solemnity as they all stared at an object in the corner of the room. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was seeing until I studied it for a moment.
At firs glance, the object looked like a weird piece of jagged rock with serrated edges. It was about five foot tall and looked solid enough. A path of iridescent markings ran throughout the rock in random directions, almost like a series of glowing veins. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me, but some of the iridescent lines seemed to form shapes that resembled glyphs.
“What is it?” Someone spoke up.
“We’re not sure,” Sarge answered. “Harris here believes the object was being researched.”
Seriously, is he speaking for Harris. I hate this guy.
“I thumbed through some of the logs. It appears they didn’t bring this on board before they departed. It was somehow procured while they were at sea.”
“Why were they out here in the first place?”
“Well, they were deep-sea diving...” He rifled through some paperwork as he spoke. “Looks like they were studying animal life. Found some deep sea caves and...ohh here it is.” He paused for a moment and we all glanced at each other in anticipation.
“And what?” I inquired.
“Just gimme a sec.”
He flipped the page and began skimming through, his eyes going wide.
Those symbols...they’re vague but feel familiar somehow...
“He being dramatic on purpose?” Stacks muttered with an elbow in my side.
“Okay so....” Harris put the paper down. He seemed to have difficulty finding his words. “They brought this thing back from the ocean. They reported a strange feeling from it right away. I don’t know about y’all but I’m getting that right now. Anyway, the dead guy at the communications door is Allen McReady. He spent the most time studying this thing. At some point he starts writing in this weird language that no one could understand, like symbols or glyps.”
Like the ones on this rock thing?
“When they asked him what it was, he’d just reply with something incoherent. Say it was on the rock, artifact...whatever this is. Then one day...he snaps. And I’m going to bet that there’s a log of everything, whether its from Allen or someone else. But either way I’m sure we can piece this thing together.”
“About as weird as what Stacks and I found,” I chimed in. Everyone turned to us. “Tell ’em , Stacks.”
“Well, uh...it seems that there wasn’t a way for our distress caller to....make a call.”
“How is that?” Sergeant stepped closer, a furrow of suspicion on his brow.
“Well...the communications are shot. As if someone fried it. The distress caller wouldn’t have done it, he needed help. Maybe the shooter sabotaged it.”
In unison the squad looked in every which direction.
“Well, we don’t have time for theories, ladies. We need evidence. Let’s collect anything else we can find and we reconvene at our ship so we can assess it further. Move out!”
I couldn’t help but scowl. Part of me wanted to haul the whole ship back and investigate it. I’d take plenty of pictures just to be sure we had more than enough evidence to look back on. As we began to leave, I noticed Harris and the Sarge stayed behind. There was a glimpse of something in Harris’ eyes that I didn’t like, but maybe I was just imagining things.
Hours later, we returned to our ship to share all the information we had about Longview. Together, this is what we figured out.
The researchers found the sea cave and brought back the object, as Harris had mentioned. All the crew members felt a strange presence from it, some even citing that it made them feel very uneasy, even scared or sick. The scientist McReady was immediately infatuated with the rock. While everyone else was afraid of it, he soon became obsessed. He hardly slept and even claimed that he heard voices from the rock, which was later dubbed The Larynx.
So, the hurried symbols drawn by the doctor did have some correlation to shapes in the rock, but interestingly enough the glyphs weren’t visible to everyone. In other words, if you looked at the drawings that McReady did and looked at the Larynx you couldn’t find where they came from. A few crew members could identify some of the symbols , but they couldn’t recall them later or would get confused. Some couldn’t even look at the rock for longer than a minute or so without panicking. Much of McReady’s research suggested that the Larynx had psychological and unexplained effects on anyone that came near it.
The best we could surmise was that the Larynx did something to McReady, exactly what we could not say. All we know is that it drove him crazy which resulted in him taking the lives of all the crew. Despite all this strangeness, it still kept bothering me how the hell they got that distress call out.
At the end of the meeting, they announced that the Larynx was being brought on board. Several of us protested, but the Sarge made it very clear that it was of the utmost importance and that we had to find out more about the Larynx.
“Stupid Sarge....“I mumbled when Stacks and I got back to our quarters. “He’s gonna get us all killed.”
“Look, I don’t like that thing as much as you do, but really? Killing us all. What if McReady was just crazy and developed this fascination with the rock to justify why he was crazy? I mean, no one else seemed to hear anything from the Larynx, right? It doesn’t mean it’s cursed.′
“I get what you’re saying, but I’m telling you...something isn’t right about that thing. I″m not saying it’s haunted or cursed. I say we throw it over board and just tell the base that a scientist went whacko. Some things are hidden away for a reason, Stacks. And I personally believe that Larynx is one of those things.”
“Well, I can’t argue that. That thing does gives me the creeps.”
As the rest of the squad made their way to bed, I began making plans of my own...
Hours later, when I was sure everyone else was asleep, I put on some light gear and crept through the ship. Double and triple checking along the way, I nervously found my way to the medical bay. Stacks and some others had overheard that the closet in the medical bay was where they put the strange object. Luckily I was friends with the on-board medic and knew his schedule well enough to know when he’d be asleep.
Hands shaking, I got my haul bag ready as I approached the closet. Just as I was about to touch the doorknob, I heard someone talking inside. It was of course muted from the door but somehow it seemed further away than it should. I froze for a moment, but was still unable to understand anything. Putting my ear to the door, I still only heard incoherent murmurs. Then it stopped, and I froze again.
Silence again, and for a while. No one should be in there and be that quiet. I was in too deep at this point, so I cracked the door open. The only light was the strange glow I recognized from the Larynx, and it was apparent no one was in there. I was relieved to know I at least had good intel, what was I hearing in there?
When I approached, the light began to pulse and glow brighter, enough that I had to shield my eyes. Then, the murmur of voices began again.
It was coming from the Larynx.
I wanted to snatch the damn thing up and immediately throw it into the ocean, but a part of me wouldn’t let me. That stupidly curious part of my brain had to know, and I shuddered at the thought of what that curiosity would cost me.
So, instead I leaned in and put my ear up against the object. Now, finally I understood what it was saying.
“Mayday....mayday.....”41Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ8vZjBX5lAnns126.96.36.199da2