Whale Songs




The man woke up in a sweat, his hands bound behind the chair. He was dazed, unable to recall the events that had led to his current condition, though even with a crooked mind he could begin to formulate an idea. Suddenly the man's mind snapped into focus, and he immediately examined his eyes. Still there. He breathed a sigh of relief and began to survey his environment. The room was damp and unkempt, and clearly saw little use. The walls were painted a dark green, stained with water and peeling in most areas. On the right wall was a mural, with indiscernible writing situated at the bottom right corner of the wall. The man focused on the drawing in an attempt to make it out, but he could not muster it, for his lenses had fogged. The room's humid atmosphere was clearly to blame. However, given the conditions of the room and what he could make out, the man could muster a good guess for what the drawing was.

As the man gazed, the door creaked open. He quickly turned his eyes forward, catching sight of the robed demon of a man sent invariably to interrogate him. His suspicions were confirmed; this was a Pod hideout.

"Well, if it isn't the traitor crawling back into the domain of us," the hooded figure snarled. "We always knew you couldn't handle the darkness of the light above."

"Get this over with, lad. You n' I both got more important things to consider and me hands are starting to get a little cramped in these here ropes. Mind loosen' em' a bit?" the man replied, laughing.

"You always considered these matters amusing, Je'zere. Explains why you fell-"

"Aye, I don't fall in line with your fraudulent holy names, 'Ta'riern'. I chart my own course, you lot know that better than anyone else."

"Yes, we are well aware of the disrespect you show towards our organization and the great Cetace. Ignorantly naming yourself after a book written by those of the continents symbolizes nothing, but we will not acknowledge it regardless. It is heresy. To us you are Je'zere whether you choose to consider it or not."

"And to me I am Captain Ahab, no matter how you picaroons decide to spin your backwards worships. The one you serve is no savior." Ahab made careful consideration to pull forward the cloaked man's emotions with his words while he simultaneously began to pull at the ropes binding his hands.

"Your foul words mean nothing to us, and your stalling will not prevent me from extracting your traitorous thoughts and dispatching you. You should at least choose to go out with dignity."

"Aye, to do such would be to stay silent."

"Yet that is not what you will be doing today. Now, why was a vessel manned by you found on the surface in this Pod's territory? Who were the others with you and what did they know about this location?"

"Ah, so that's what I was doing." Suddenly Ahab thrusted his right palm to the ground, breaking the knot and shot to his feet. The green robed man shrieked and began to rush for the door before a boot dropped its weight on his cloak, pulling him to the ground.

"No, please! Do-" the man gasped for mercy as Ahab clenched the man's throat until his eyes fluttered shut. Ahab rushed to the door, but paused in the frame. Clearing the fog from the lenses shielding his eyes, he looked to see if he had correctly assumed the identity of the mural. It was exactly what he expected.

The hallways outside the interrogation room were equally unkempt as the closet he had exited from. The structure was clearly underwater, evidenced by the universal inch of flooding and the constant leaking walls. As Ahab skulked down the halls of the facility, several things caught his shielded eyes. An office full of the horrible pictures of god; a storage room filled with molding whale statues made from driftwood. Looking for only a short moment was terribly irritating even through the lenses. A decaying bar full of kinsmen, drunkenly chanting prayers to that cursed Cetace whom he could not bear to hear the name. Most intriguing was the armory, filled with spears and posters and, most interestingly, a skull helmet. They didn't have those things back when I was holed up here, he thought as he approached the central chamber.

The room was in much greater condition than the surrounding hallways. The floor was tile, the walls metal yet still painted green. A great central aquarium featured prominently, inhabited by two scarred dolphins, which were clearly alerted by Ahab's presence though unable to act. Luckily, aside from the dolphins, the room was empty and unguarded. It would make finding the docks much easier.

Turning back into another rotting hallway, the soft sound of the tiles turned back to the thud of damp wood. At the end of the hall lie the dock, clearly visible and filled with unfamiliar crafts. If they kin hadn't turned his ship to scrap, it'd be here. He began to rush, though perhaps he had let his guard fall too low, for a man emerged from in front of him and turned towards him.

"Halt! Huh…" the man paused, analyzing Ahab's tall figure as he began to prepare to rush through him. "Wait! No! The traitor has escaped! Somebody stop him!"

Ahab continued his charge, and most certainly would've barreled through the whistle-blower had he not ducked out of the way in the nick of time. As he approached the dock, he heard muffled screams from behind him. However, the screams sounded like they were approaching. As they neared, they seemed to go through the wall to his left before halting abruptly. Just as he was about to reach the docks, the wall next to him collapsed as he skidded to the stop. What emerged was a sight to behold; a man wearing the helmet he had spotted in the hallways during his escape knelt in front of him in silence. Almost instantly, the pigment faded from the man's skin as the screaming resumed. The screaming was finally cut as tusks emerged from the helmet, and his muscle-mass began to increase exponentially. Finally, the behemoth, no longer man, rose above Ahab and shrieked. The horrible call was like that of an dying man, a terrible storm, and the calls of a harpooned whale all at once, but it was only a warning for what was to come.

The behemoth began to pound the damp floors and swing its fists. Ahab had no choice but to turn back, but to his dismay another man had adorned a skull helmet behind him and was shrieking, all the while the same transformation enacted havoc on the new man's body. With no options left, Ahab ran into the nearest room. Frantically looking about, his eyes landed on a harpoon gun fastened to the wall. He pulled it off and turned back to the door, from which one of the goliaths had just entered. He loaded the weapon and shot straight up at the molding wooden ceiling above. As he had hoped, there was nothing between the currents above and the weak roof, allowing the ocean waters to rush in, carrying him and the behemoths away. The rush of water pushed him into the docks, as the behemoth in front of him sank into the depths below.

Immediately, Ahab began to survey the docks. Several boats and submersibles could be seen throughout the room, though many had been flipped by the wave that had brought him here. Several whales were tied to now submerged poles on the old edges of the dock, whilst a loudspeaker within the room played a whale song, though Ahab could tell something was off about the sounds. Finally he saw it; the kinsmen hadn't turned his girl into scrap. There lay the Pequod, though getting to the boat would not be the finale to his troubles. He swam for his ship and hopped aboard before piloting it to the dock's edge. His history in the facility tipped him off to its nature; if he could find the right spot, the wall would open and the currents would whisk him upwards before any damage could be done on his ship. He rapidly approached the strip on the wall he remembered, and as expected, it roared open, revealing a column of rushing water. He shot his vessel into the aquatic elevator, though not without being followed.

Moments later, the Pequod popped to the surface, with no damage or abnormalities save for a wetter hull. Ahab began to set course out of the Kin's waters, but as he prepared to move, he felt a thump emanating from the bottom of his ship. Suddenly, one of the two dolphins he had seen in the facility's core leaped onto his hull, armed with a harpoon mounted to its back. Ahab rolled to the side just out of the harpoon's aim as it fired, piercing a ship wall. Meanwhile, thumping continued below as the other dolphin continued to ram the hull, utilizing a weapon which Ahab could not discern. Ahab lunged into the vessel's bridge, setting the ship full speed ahead. Shortly after, the dolphin below was outpaced and ended its assault. Undeterred, the dolphin on deck reloaded the harpoon through a pulley system and prepared to fire yet again as Ahab readied a pistol. He emerged from his hiding spot and immediately ducked, avoiding the gleaming spear once again. Enraged, the dolphin jerked the harpoon back, but the string snapped. As Ahab emerged, the dolphin began to break down.

"Wh-what did y-you do t-to him? What did you…" it whimpered, its body beginning to dry.

"To who? To who lad?" Ahab shouted back, his pistol aimed.

"Wh-what did you do… to Piper!" the dolphin shrieked, lunging towards Ahab. The pistol fired, its shot ringing through the salty air for miles. When the echo cleared, Ahab gazed at the fallen dolphin on his deck. He slowly reached for the lenses covering his eyes and popped them off. The shine of the whale in his eyes could almost distract from the metal rings around his eyes from which the lenses had popped off from. That deep urge from the back of his head pulled at his heart, as that image he had seen on the wall, and that he had seen so many years ago, darted across his sight. Nonetheless, he shook the feeling off and placed the lenses back in their place. Gently, he let the body down in to the water to let it drift upon the sea.

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