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Die Geschöpfe vom Meer

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I

I am sending this last message to whomever might be listening. American, British, German, I don’t care. Just listen to me and heed my warnings. My name is Arnold Richter. I am a Brigadeführer in the Waffen-SS of the glorious fatherland. We were sent to [CLASSIFIED] Island in the year 1941 to construct an airbase for our great Luftwaffe to assist in the invasion of the United States Of America. I’m currently trapped in a submarine on the ocean floor, surrounded by an ancient horror that I can barely comprehend.

I was placed in charge of an expedition to a small island in the North Atlantic on May 21st, 1941. We were to build an airstrip and small base for our long-range bombers to bomb the cities of North America’s eastern coast. Our most important objective, however, was to build a deep, concrete bunker for the storing of our greatest super weapon. Although I don’t fully understand its mechanisms, I know that it’s the only one of its kind in the world, and utilizes the most basic structure in the world to destroy a city in a single strike.

I commanded a section of the best men in the SS and Luftwaffe. All of them, veterans of the fiercest fights in our many conquests. We brought along bulldozers, a mobile crane, five trucks, and dozens of tools, from shovels to jackhammers, and more than enough concrete to fill a lake.

II

We set out aboard the Bismark, the greatest ship ever built by the Kriegsmarine. She was massive, and could move at a speed of thirty knots. It guaranteed safe and comfortable passage to our destination. Our convoy was made up of two heavy cruisers and a submarine, the U-2550. The cruisers left us when we reached the Atlantic Gap, but the submarine was to stay with us to the island and remain in the bay carrying the bomb, until the storage bunker was completed..

I commanded two platoons of crack SS soldiers, forty men and officers, armed with the latest weapons. Our voyage was uneventful, for the most part, aside from one incident which now seems like an ominous portent of things to come.

As we neared the island, one man had a nervous breakdown. He had fought in Poland, France, and Russia, killed dozens of men, women, and children, and yet the very thought of the island had him quivering in his black feldanzug. We managed to calm him down, but he begged to be allowed to stay on the ship when we landed. Considering the man’s mental state, it was decided that, were he ordered to go ashore, he’d cause more trouble than he was worth, and was allowed to stay behind.

As soon as we were close enough, all thirty-nine men boarded landing craft and headed for shore. The water was thick with Sargasso seaweed, but it felt like there was something else preventing our boats from reaching shore. When we had moved five feet ahead, we seemed to move backwards two. After a grueling hour, when the water was nearly deep enough for the door to be lowered for the men to climb out, the strange backwards current let go of us. I shudder, in retrospect, to think of what that current might really have been.

As soon as we had left the boats, their skippers backed off the beach and returned to the ship for our supplies. Now we took full stock of our surroundings. The island, while only a few miles wide, was almost five leagues long. In the center was a grassy plateau, raised twenty yards up from the beach and accessible only by a small road leading through the thick forest surrounding it. The high tide line, marked clearly by a thick layer of seaweed, was approximately forty yards up the beach, leaving a good two hundred yards of rocky beach until the thick coniferous jungle ended the beach.

When we had our machines and supplies, we drove off to the road. It was made by a group of miners in 1939, hoping that there was gold in the hills. They had cleared and flattened the entire top of the central hill, before realizing that there were no valuable minerals here. The plateau was about a thousand feet long and two hundred wide.

We began to set up our prefabricated buildings and prepare the ground for a runway. The planes would be brought in later by a force set to relieve us as soon as the runway was flightworthy. Our bulldozers found the ground was astoundingly difficult to completely flatten, taking an hour to get ten feet of the runway flat enough for planes. I decided to send out scouts to ensure that our aerial photographs, taken by the mining company, were still accurate. Reports from passing submarines said that the island was entirely deserted, but it never hurts to be careful.

III

After only a few hours of waiting, the scout team sent north along the beach returned. They were panting, having run the whole way back. When presented with chairs, one sat down and immediately fell fast asleep. The other, a Schutze by the name of Adolf Wagner, reported a strange, cyclopean structure. It had a short, rounded tower, only about ten feet high. At the bottom was a wooden staircase, lit by lanterns and moving in a downward spiral through the solid stone of the cliff it was perched on. As a former student of architecture, he was able to assure me that it followed no school of architecture known to him. He said that the location of this strange edifice was at the island’s northernmost point, unreachable from the plateau due to the thick forest, and obscured on the beach by the island’s joint and a point where the forest descended to the ocean.

I, of course, assumed that this was some sort of Allied base, meant to help close the Atlantic gap. Odd, considering the island’s remoteness. After meeting with my subordinates, we concluded that they wouldn’t suspect our presence on the island, and would take a while to get mobilized. We mustered a platoon and, not needing the services of the two tired scouts (beaches being astoundingly easy to follow), allowed them to stay behind. The whole group was prepared for fierce combat, and armed with the greatest weapons ever created by Germany. We had MP40s, G41s, even some of those new paratroop rifles.

Loaded into three trucks, we drove down the beach for a good hour before we reached the bend. It was a gentle curve for a half mile, then suddenly jolted backward like the joint of an elbow. Rounding the joint, we were able to see the point where the trees reached the water line. Disembarking, we quickly moved into the forest, going just deep enough into the trees to be unseen by any enemy sentries. As we moved slowly through the thick woods, we felt rain begin to fall. Soon, drenched and covered in pine needles, we reached the edge of the treeline and were able to behold the building for the first time.

IV

It is strange, how objects described to us can differ so drastically in real life from the image in our mind’s eye. We imagine things as being similar to familiar objects, sometimes a building is thought of as one’s own home, with the rooms rearranged, or a person’s face as looking similar to one’s own. There is, as with most things, a scientific explanation. I will not bore you with the details, but essentially it is an unconscious mechanism to help make foreign things seem friendly, probably dating back thousands of years. This structure conformed to that rule perfectly.

The first thing everyone noticed was the utter lack of fortifications. The second thing was the building, no, it wasn’t a building; it was a perfectly conical piece of stone, entirely carved out of the solid granite cliff it was perched on. It was taller than the scouts described, closer to twenty feet tall, and had a base of probably thirty feet. It was more than large enough for our aerial reconnaissance photos to capture, yet all they showed was a rocky cliff in this location. The stairs described by the scouts were there, visible through a doorway in the tower, and lit by what appeared to be gas lanterns.

Several men began muttering prayers as we observed the surrounding area. It was entirely dark out now, and raining heavily. The tower was about three hundred yards away, a tough distance to charge, especially without any cover, our machine guns being used as sentry guns back at the base. The whole area was nothing but solid stone for a few hundred yards around, now soaked and slippery from the rain. I looked at my watch for a moment, able to clearly see the time from the light of the tower. That’s when all hell broke loose.

V

At exactly 9:24:16 PM, we heard the sound of machine gun bursts from the direction of the camp. At the same moment, one of our men assumed that his comrades had opened fire and began running towards the structure ahead. A second later, a man mistook this as an order to charge. Then the whole platoon charged, assuming I had given the order. I, of course, had to follow them. My aides ran after me, and we were all bolting over uneven, rain-soaked stone. Men were slipping and falling all around, most luckily getting back up again. The first two hundred yards were just a blur of motion. I took out my prized Luger, dropped it, and picked it up again. I stumbled and tripped numerous times, but I doubt there was any man who didn’t.

At a hundred yards, we were able to see the tower much closer. Its surface seemed uneven, covered with small and uneven pockmarks. At fifty yards, I was able to see what they actually were: hieroglyphics of some unknown language. The charge stopped at twenty yards, when the bulk of the platoon realized what they were looking at. It is merciful that the scouts only saw this thing at a distance.

The hieroglyphics seemed to be a mix of Sumerian Cuneiform and a variety of other ancient text. Some parts were even in full, modern German. The words were tattooed into my mind, and I will never forget them. I doubt any of my men would’ve forgotten them, had they lived long enough to. These are the words:

“That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.”

Such this strange, meaningless phrase was chiseled at eye level in the stone tower. It was probably a part of a greater writing, mostly in the strange cuneiform. The men and I stared long and hard at these words. The ones who prayed quietly in the woods now raised their voices, so the air was a cacophony of Ave Marias and distant gunfire. Suddenly, the gunfire stopped. When the men noticed this, they stopped mid-prayer, and the only sound was the soft roar of the rain. Even the ones who had been shouting loudest were silent now.

With the sudden silence, our hearts froze. We looked all around, they shadows of the forest darkened by our proximity to bright light. I turned my attention towards the doorway and the spiraling stairs. The opening was larger than an average man needed to walk through, about eight feet tall. The inside was large, decorated only by several lanterns and the staircase. Underfoot, the rotten wood floor sank a little under our weight, soaked inside and out with seawater.

Walking cautiously down the stairs, gun drawn, I saw that the ending was a full spiral away from the opening, with a massive stone block carved with a strange tree branch-like symbol. There was no obvious way to open it, but it was clearly a door of some sort. Knocking on it, I observed that it sounded hollow.

Calling for a demolition charge, an engineer ran down and placed a TNT charge. We jogged back to a small ravine in the rocky cliff a dozen yards away, and ducked down. The engineer kneeled next to us, and muttered a prayer as he pushed on the plunger.

VI

The blast shook the earth, sending chunks of stone flying up the staircase and out of the opening. As the smoke cleared, we perceived that part of the building’s floor was burning, the explosion having dried out the part closest to the stairs. The nearby walls were blackened by soot and part of the German inscription was obscured by it. For a moment, everyone stared expectantly at the doorway, half expecting a monster to appear. When it didn’t, we ran.

We ran back towards the tower, all caution thrown to the wind. The fire was soon put out with the help of a few helmetfulls of rainwater, the floor being only slightly charred due to the water that had no doubt soaked it for years. I decided that we should all explore the stairs, myself in the lead of course. The engineer pounded a nail into the wall and placed a long wire coil on it to help us find our way back if something happened. Moving slowly and double file down the wide stairs, we first noticed how much warmer and dry the staircase was compared to the building. The sides were perfectly smooth, and I noticed that the lanterns seemed to dim as we passed them.

As we descended, the claustrophobia began to eat at some men. They could be observed fidgeting, jumping at every shadow. The glow of the lanterns began to dim noticeably as time went on, quickly plunging us into a dark, twilight glow, the only bright light coming from our flashlights. As we moved deeper and deeper, I noted that the incline was shrinking, the stairs eventually becoming a several feet long.

This was the point when I realized that this structure might not have been built by the Americans, or even the mining company. The more I thought about it, the more apprehensive I became. What if some ancient terror lurked deep within the bowels of the structure?

Presently, my speculations were cut off a sudden, collective gasp. We had entered into a huge, stone chamber, made entirely out of massive beige blocks. The room was brighter than the staircase leading to it, and contained no clues to the enigma of its construction. It measured a good hundred feet in all directions, more than big enough for all of the men. He advised me to send down the rest of the men, it seemed safe enough. When we had begun exploring the room, the real horror began. When the last man had entered the room, a door slid out of the opening to the stairs and slammed shut.

VII

It was 10:03 PM according to my watch. The doorway was sealed, and we were stranded underground. In panic, we ran all around the chamber, searching for a door, a vent, any way out. One sergeant, Erich Kessler, took out his P38 and pointed it at his head. Before anyone could make a lunge for the gun, his brains decorated the floor.

At last, after what seemed like forever, but was in fact only ten minutes, I having observed my watch throughout the ordeal, a man discovered an indent in the wall which perfectly fit a human hand. Placing his in the slot, a section of the wall swung away to reveal a massive gallery, the floor straight and level, the walls twisting and curving for what seemed like an eternity. It seemed to be lit by a strange luminescence, coming from an unknown source on the ceiling. The walls were covered with strange pictograms, almost impossible to decipher. Demons, gods, and men danced on the ancient, ochre-covered walls.

We walked for a good half hour through the gallery. It was around fifty feet wide and astoundingly high, so much that one had to strain their eyes just to make out the ceiling amongst the shadows. As we went, the paintings on the walls seemed to change, as if the art style of the painters was evolving over time. I, the only man of the platoon who had the benefits of a classical education, saw what resembled the artistic styles of ancient Etrusci, Persia, and a variety of unknown styles, not conforming to any of the dozens of schools of style that I was aware of. Then I saw something that will forever haunt me, as it did all who saw it.

VIII

This awful sight, which was burned into my mind permanently, was horrific only because it was so mundane, so utterly average and normal in such a horrific setting. On the wall, covering a good hundred square feet, was a painting, no doubt ancient beyond imagination, which featured a scene so terrible, none who saw it should ever have forgotten it, were any of them alive now.

There was an amorphous blob, almost reaching the ceiling, and at least twenty feet long, covered in thousands of limbs, which resembled tentacles, and a hundred massive eyes, ranging from humanoid to utterly batrachian. It was colored with some of the most obscure shades imaginable, many of which I was entirely unable to name. But that wasn’t the worst part. Surrounding it, in a perfect marching formation, were forty men. They wore dark, angular clothes, and carries long brown sticks. The faces were pointed and stylistic, colored a bright pink. But what was truly awful about this was the fact that I recognized them.

The men stopped and stared, many of them no doubt recognizing themselves among the crowd. Some cried, some prayed. It was then that I realized our supreme folly in coming here. Whatever was going on, none could comprehend it any better than a newborn being taken from its mother. This was true horror, knowing that something bad would happen, and being utterly powerless to stop it.

After that gut-wrenching shock, all I wanted was to be back at my ancestral estate in East Prussia. To wander the grounds, to see the sun bright through the trees, to relax in the sitting room, to command the Eastern Front from the comfort of my study, that was my only wish at that time. Now that I know I will never see the sun again, I don’t care. I’d give my entire fortune for just one more day in the sun. My only company now is the steady creaking on the ruined hull of this damaged vessel. I’d give my very soul just for a partner to converse with, even an illiterate peasant of the Sudetenland.

No man could move for over an hour. The gallery seemed to grow, the roof extending into shadows, the walls moving miles away. It was only us, twenty-one men, standing alone in a tomb of bright alabaster. Eventually, we came to our senses, the walls closed back to their original positions, the roof became visible again. But the painting didn’t change.

I tried to think of logical explanations. I had to get the men moving, after all. Could it simply be a crude drawing by ancient cave-men, happening to look similar to the men who would discover them millennia later? That was entirely unsatisfactory. Was it possible that someone was down here with us? Gott in Himmel, I hoped not.

Continuing along through the cavernous hallway, the walls were still covered with the anachronistic paintings of millennia ago. Soon, the men were yawning. They had been on their feet since we had landed almost twenty-four hours ago, and many had been involved in the labor of erecting our base. Now physically exhausted, they were more than ready for a long night’s sleep, even in this strange, underground cavern.

I eventually decided to allow the men a respite of sleep in the warm gallery. It would be uncomfortable, as nobody expected to be away for long and so left most of their supplies at the base, including sleeping bags and proper rations. I made my announcement, and the men, grumbling their thanks, lay down head-to-toe along the walls. Within five minutes, the tired soldiers were asleep.

==IX=+

It was a terrible night. I was the only one, it seemed, who was unable to sleep. I wandered around for an hour, looking at the wall paintings. There seemed to be examples from every civilization, from the Romans to the Mughals to the Babylonians. They depicted scenes of great revelry, with men dancing around fires which seemed to take the shape of horrific monsters the longer you looked. One, in the style of the late Carthaginian Empire, showed a barrel-shaped, star-headed monstrosity being worshipped by men wearing clothing oddly reminiscent of the uniforms of our own navy in the last war. Another featured a group of humanoid creatures, with strangely canine features, devouring a human corpse.

The most striking one, however, depicted a giant man, wearing the clothes of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, drawn with the stiff style of the ancient Middle East. He held a cruel scythe in one hand, a cobra in the other, mocking the regalia of a proper pharaoh. His headdress similar to the Pschent, the only major difference being that, instead of the cobra of the Lower Kingdom, there was the same strange branch-like icon that I had observed on the upper stairway door. He stood over a pyramid, not the ruins that exist today, but a wholly different structure of white and gold. On the shining cap was a symbol so recognizable to any German that, if this painting were shown to them without context, they might assume it was a modern work. The symbol, sharply made in pitch black ink, was a massive swastika.

It was a shock, to say the least. I gasped, beginning to think illogically, entirely unbefitting of a German officer. I thought of all the ancient gods I had read about, and before I knew it, I was whispering praises to the Babylonian god Marduk. Then, I remembered how widespread the swastika as a symbol was. After all, it was a fairly simple design. It had been created independently by everyone from the Hindus to the Norse. Surely this was simply created by a follower of some ancient cult as a symbol of worship to whatever god they believed in.

This was when I sat down and began to really think about everything that had happened. This place might have been discovered by a Viking ship, and used as a refuge for some cult divergent to the standard Nordic religion. But then who created the tower? It was built of solid stone, as if it were carved from the cliff. And the wooden floor, while surely old, couldn’t be as old as the paintings down here! But there was still the possibility that it was constructed by the Allies for some nefarious purpose. I convinced myself of this with the sound of gunfire at the camp. Surely they had been attacked by the enemy. It was more comforting to imagine all the men killed by Americans than any of the horrific alternatives.

With this assurance, I rested by head on my satchel bag and fell asleep.

X

I was wandering through the gallery, looking at shapes on the walls. No, not just shapes, men! My men! They were crucified, nailed to the wall with huge, wicked-looking nails. They followed me with their eyes, always watching. I saw a door at the far wall, which was finally in sight. As I neared it, it grew at to at least fifty feet high. I pounded for help, kicking and screaming for someone to open the door. Finally, the door opened. A huge, conical being, with massive claws and a small, insectoid head perched on a long, flexible neck opened the door and blocked my way. I tried punching it as hard as I could, in the hopes that I could escape from it. Then I realized that I was looking at was a mirror.


I awoke with a start. I hadn’t had such a horrible dream since childhood. I groggily sat up and looked around. The men were all still asleep, many of them tossing and turning as though gripped by the throes of a horrific nightmare. Glancing at my watch, I saw that it was already noon. I shook the platoon commander to awaken him, noting that the gallery seemed somewhat darker than last night. The commander slowly acknowledged me, slipping out of the realm of sleep and back into reality. He stood up with my help and shouted for the men to assemble. None of them awakening, he decided to take more drastic measures. He raised his C96 to the roof and pulled the trigger. The sudden noise caused all of the men to awaken in fright.

Assembling, many of the men complained of terrible nightmares and feeling tired, as though they hadn’t rested at all. We continued down the corridor, noting the dimmer light as we went. The wall paintings continued, still showing strangely misplaced styles and subject matter. French royalty, Roman soldiers, even what might have been American Indians, all depicted in the style of the ancient orient. But they all were of the same vain. Humans dancing and reveling in the presence of clearly non-human or strangely warped humanoid creatures.

Walking for a few more hours, we were beginning to wonder if this passage was ever going to end, when a man suddenly shouted and fell to his knees. Several other men looked, and they too knelt, followed by the rest of the group. I looked where they stared, and saw something so beautiful, so horrific, that I may never forget it.

XI

Hanging from a rusted brass bar, in dull reds and browns, was Botticelli’s The Resurrected Christ. It was a tapestry, with rotten cloth descending into ragged oblivion just below His right hand. It hung just above our heads, and it was hidden by a sharp curve in the passage. It might have gone unnoticed, had one man not been glancing up at the time.

All of the men were kneeling, silently praying for mercy from God and deliverance from this underground prison. I too knelt. I hated it down here as much as any of the men, and wished to God for an explanation for everything we had seen.

When the prayers were over, the men rose, crossed themselves, and continued down the passage. It was odd, how quickly we removed ourselves from the presence of that misplaced tapestry. After that, the paintings were only originals, of anachronous styles. Just the strange gods and men that made up most of the art down here.

An hour of walking later, the same man who had first seen the tapestry shouted again and ran forward. This of course drew everyone’s attention. Shouts of joy and sighs of relief filled the air. There was a small square of light among the shadows of the other end of the gallery! Suddenly, what had been an orderly march became a marathon. Everyone charged forward, each hoping to reach the exit first.

The square of light grew as we neared, causing me to notice just how dark the cavern was now. It seemed to have gone from sunlit noon to the twilight of a cloudy day. But that was the last thing on my mind at that point. Freedom! Fresh air! Sunlight! Now the light was enormous and the fastest man was already through! I ran through the opening, bathing myself in bright afternoon sunlight.

XII

Only we weren’t outside. We were inside a huge stone chamber, lit by the same sort of lanterns as the above-ground structure from yesterday. Looking bewilderedly around, the first thing anyone noticed was a massive glass window in the wall across from the door. This is where I fainted.

Outside the window was… was… The ocean floor…

XIII

We were underwater. The chamber we were in was easily two hundred feet high, with a glass skylight letting in sunlight. Outside, we could see U-2550, just sitting on the sandy bottom. Not sunken, sitting flat as if it were in drydock. It was surrounded by… By…

The corpses of the crew were chained by their feet to the sea floor, their bodies moving slowly with the waves, their faces twisted in final agony, their guts opened and innards floating about. And walking around were… were…

They appeared humanoid from a distance, but the closer ones were clearly non-human. They seemed to have green skin, glistening in the underwater light. They were at least seven feet tall, huge claws and teeth. In the split second I beheld them, I was reminded of a frog, a crocodile, and a fish.

Nobody could make sense of what the creatures were or what they were doing. They walked about, performing unknowable tasks with obscure items. I wonder how many of my men had fainted along with me at that horrific sight. All that I know is that when I awoke, one of the fish-men was staring down at me.

XIV

It stared with its wide, batrachian eyes, piercing into my very soul. I immediately forgot my Prussian dignity and let out a shriek loud enough to wake the dead. As I looked around, terrified, I realized that most of my men were here. We were all lying on vertical steel tablets with rusty iron bonds restraining our arms and legs. The room we were in was cavernous, much like the chamber the tube opened into. The walls were muddy brown limestone, with slight dilutions of color showing where blood stains might once have been. From what I could make of the floor, it was made up of rotten planks, as if they had spent centuries absorbing and releasing salt water.

The tablets were standing in straight rows on either side of the room. One row faced forward, the other backward. Above both rows, there was a rusted metal track holding the tablets aloft several inches. All the men I could see were wearing their underclothes. Many had bright red stains on their otherwise white undershirts, showing that many were likely dead. At this time, I realized that while my Luger was missing, I could still feel the slight bulge of my backup pistol, a small Mauser HSc, hidden in my undershirt. I began to slowly squeeze my right hand through the bond when I heard an unexpected sound.

I looked up, toward a catwalk running along the opposite wall. A man stood one it, dressed in a fine suit. He looked almost normal, but with some slight imperfections that would hardly warrant him a second glance to someone who hadn’t ever seen the fish-men, but to me, the similarities were undeniable.

The tablet I was on swung onto a secondary track, moving me through the room and into a wide, dark doorway. As I moved, I saw dozens of fish-men holding cruel-looking knives, moving men from gurneys in the center of the room to more of the steel tablets. The tracks both led into dark openings on the far walls. I stared into the darkness rising before me, and was quickly plunged into it.

XV

Before my eyes could focus and take in my surroundings, I was suddenly plunged back into bright light. As my eyes focused, I heard a voice in front of me.


“Welcome, General Richter. Do you know where you are?”

The voice was speaking to me in badly accented German, with a slight growl to it.

“You’re inside the US Navy’s top secret DAGN site. We were lucky Hitler sent that A-Bomb to this particular island, otherwise we might’ve needed to actually work to stop you!”

I could now see with clarity the man standing before me. He was the same one from the catwalk in the other room. Now that I was closer, I could see that his eyes definitely bulged, much like a fish-man, and the sides of his neck were wrinkled, not with age, as he seemed to only be around thirty years old, but in a pattern similar to the gills on the necks of the fish-men.

“Who… Are you?” I asked with apprehension.

“My name is Colonel Olmstead of the United States Navy,” He said.

“What in the name of all that’s holy are those... Things?”

“Those are Homo Profunus Superior, the next step in human evolution.”

The next step in human evolution? I wondered whether he was kidding. Studying his face, I realized that he wasn’t. And even worse, if I was right about him, they were a part of human evolution. I decided to pull myself together and ask him something important.

“What are you doing with my men?”

“Them? Why, they’re going to help us defeat you. See, we’re going to war with Germany and Japan in a few months, so it won’t hurt to be ready. We’re getting some help, see, from some shaggoths. Don’t worry, your men aren’t going to suffer. They’ll just be keeping it content until it’s big meal comes along.”

At this point, I was willing to believe anything. If this man said America was going to attack Germany with something called a Shaggoth, and it needed to eat humans, he was telling the truth. Presently, a man in a white navy uniform had rushed into the room. It was relieving to see a regular human here, even if they were clearly in league with both the enemy and the fish-men.

“Colonel Olmstead, sir, the Deep Ones have gotten the sub open. They’re looking for the bomb as we speak.”

“Good work. Make sure they’re careful with it. If they set it off, they could destroy this entire base.”

In his momentary lack of attention, I had finally managed to wriggle my right hand loose. Before he could act, I had opened the secret pocket in my shirt and whipped out my pistol. At the same moment that my left hand came loose, I pulled the trigger. One 9mm bullet slammed into Olmstead’s shoulder, anouther into the neck of his human underling. With a burst of strength, my right foot came loose and kicked at the left one’s shackle. Both feet freed, I fell face first, my fall broken by the man bleeding out on the floor.

In an instant I was on my feet looking around. In the commotion, Olmstead had escaped. The door his underling had come from was a steel bulkhead door with an American flag stenciled above the crash bar. Pushing it open, I saw a hallway made of shiny, clean steel. There were four doors on one side, and two on the other, as well as one at the end of the hall. Looking down, I could see a trail of blood, clearly belonging to Olmstead, which terminated at the far door. Raising my gun, I began to advance down the hall. Suddenly, a door crashed open.

XVI

Out of the door ran two men, both of them belonging to the same half-fish-man breed as Olmstead. One carried a submachine gun, the other a pistol, attached to a strange satchel by a short tube. I shot the sub machine gunner, but was unable to shoot before the man with the pistol fired.

When I say fired, I mean literally. He was carrying a small flamethrower! Luckily, I was able to jump back before I was burned. Feeling the heat on my face, I raised my pistol and shot his satchel. His body erupted in flame, causing him to run screaming back through the door. I looked at the signs above each of the doors. Written in both English and what seemed to be Cuneiform, were the following titles: Human Barracks, Lab #1-4, Lab #5-9, Lab #10, Deep One Barracks, Canteen, and, at the end of the hall, Section 4.

I grabbed the gun from the dying man on the ground and ran to the Section 4 door. Opening it a crack, I saw the next room. It was small, and lined with some sort of slime. The blood trail terminated at a rack of diving suits against the far wall, followed by large footprints ending at the far door. I walked cautiously in, careful not to slip in the mucky slime covering the floor. On the door was a sign saying ‘Caution; Deep One Section’. It seemed clear to me that the next section was underwater. Tossing the submachine gun aside, I grabbed a diving suit and started putting it on, careful to keep my right hand free with my pistol.

It was a little big, but comfortable and seal able from inside. Putting my pistol back in my hidden pocket, I grabbed a harpoon gun from another wall rack and pressed the Open button next to the door.

XVII

The room quickly filled with water. When it was full, the door opened. Past the door was anouther hallway, this one made of the same mucky limestone as the room I had awoken in. It had several stone doors on either side, as well as one at the end marked ‘EXIT’. Before I could make a run for it, however, I became aware of a fish-man standing in my path. It’s eyes widened when it saw me carrying the harpoon gun. With just a pull of the trigger, it was all over. Tossing the useless gun aside, I jogged through the hallway to the exit.

The door had a strange opening mechanism, a handle clearly not made for a human hand. With the help of the dead fish-man, I was able to get it open. I tucked the body back into the hall as I stepped through.

A dozen or so fish-men were standing around the U-Boat, using strange tools to do stranger things. One held what looked like a hammer, but was using it to carefully remove the rear propeller. Another was using a screwdriver to pound a nail home in the back of a torpedo. Hopefully, if they had gotten inside, they would’ve kept the pressure inside, right? It would still be full of air, hopefully. They could obviously breath air, so they wouldn’t have any motivation to flood the sub, right?

I walked over to the submarine and looked at the diving door. It was sealed, which, although no assurance, meant that they might have kept the air inside. Unscrewing it, I poked my head through. The diving room was empty except for one thing: a diving suit. It was the same model as the ones from the fish-men’s base, so I was clearly not alone. I shut the door and climbed inside. Taking off the suit and drawing my pistol, I heard a sound from the front of the sub. Slowly opening the door, I saw someone I recognized.

XVII

Olmstead stood, pistol in hand, apparently waiting for me. He raised it, saying, “I hope you don’t mind putting that down.”

I was certainly in no position to shoot him, so I carefully placed my pistol down on a nearby table.

“I don’t suppose you know what happened to your friends at the camp, do you? I sent some Deep Ones over there. As soon as they saw them, they all ran. I personally hunted all of them down and killed them.”

“Bastard,” I said.

“You know, the bomb’s still here in the sub. If you were to grab that gun and shoot me, you’d be able to detonate the sub and the entire island. Of course, I’d shoot you before you could move, but still.”

He seemed to be mocking me. I let him continue, only because my Prussian pride was trumped by the .45 caliber pistol pointed at me.

“Now, you don’t know who my grand-uncle is, do you? Admiral Barnabas Marsh. The single most powerful man on the planet, really. With a word, he can make the Deep Ones rise up and destroy all of humanity.”

“Oh come on now, even if you have a thousand of those things, you can hardly think they can destroy the armies of the world. Even if many of them break rank and flee upon seeing your monsters, there will still be enough men to kill all of them!” I stated matter-of-factually.

Ignoring me, he continued, “The planet’s changing, see, and in a few hundred years, humans won’t be able to survive. We’re making sure it survives... Sort of.”

“You’re crazy! How can you call them an extension of humanity? They’re as human as Jews or Slavs!” I exclaimed.

“You’re a party member, aren’t you? One of the old guard, marching in Munich, staging the rallies?” He asked rhetorically.

At this moment, he must’ve felt confident that I was too scared to grab my gun, because he put his down and lit a cigarette. He was wrong. I grabbed my small Mauser and put a bullet in his face.

XVIII

And so here I am, sitting here, listening to fish-men working on the submarine, unaware of what has just occurred inside. My watch shows that it’s currently 5:45 in the evening. I discovered a demolition charge in a locker and set it up near the bomb. It’s on a ten minute timer. It should be able to wipe this horrible place off the face of the earth, but there’s one thing I’m worried about. If Olmstead was telling the truth, there might be dozens more places like this across the world. What will happen when this one is gone? Will Marsh have his fish-men rise up and kill everyone? I can only pray for God to destroy these monsters. I’m going to shoot myself now. Goodbye.

BANG*

Addendum

This document, among others, was found inside of a footlocker belonging to one Mr. Theodore Morris, late of Arkham, Massachusetts. Mr. Morris was found dead in the bathroom of his Church St. apartment on the date of September 1, 1960.

The document was found inside a manila folder with the words 'US NAVY PROPERTY - TOP SECRET'. It was only published here in the interest of piecing together the events which led to his death.

The other contents of the footlocker include:

1 (ONE) long-barreled Artillery Luger, scorched black on left side. Manufactured 1939

1 (ONE) Iron Cross, scorched black on rear. Awarded during 1930s (Exact year indecipherable)

1 (ONE) Geiger Counter, reading minimal radiation levels inside locker.

Constable Brian O'Donovan

Report September 3, 1960.

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