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The Ourang

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On the ninth night of submersion in the Arctic Ocean, six of the eight men aboard the Ourang began to suffer bizarre hallucinations for which nothing could account. It commenced, in each case, with the coming of a wild dream. Those who could recall it before their inevitable encroaching lunacy each described the same scene of ungodly madness.

A ritualistic site ruled by tentacled things resembling the octopus, but not quite, dominated the dormant visions. It was set upon a scene composed of subaquatic structures swallowed in darkness but illumined by an unnatural glow from impossibly artificial sources, and the sound was choked by weird bubblings and alien voices from sources that should not be spoken of, let alone be possible.

It was a deep sea civilization of non-men, governed with a form of leadership never known by any sane thing inhabiting dry terrain. Massive structures tilted all around, erected in forms of strange sea creatures never before seen; bulging eyeballs, strange appendages, and monstrous visages poisoned by hideous expressions and sharpened teeth. Wails and bays came from all about the insane place — it was a place of devilish decrees and frightening chants.

Those who lost their minds were cast into the Ourang's brig, where they expounded noisily the dangers which lurked a tangible distance below the sinking submarine. The men cried out at every slight bump against the Ourang's hull, exclaiming frantically that the inhabitants of the subaquatic world were drawing nearer, and some more curious specimens of the civilization were paying a visit to the queer foreign object which had so abruptly dropped into their atmosphere.

The two sane crew members, a captain and a weapons general, dismissed these exclamations as mere effects of insanity — although they could never account for the frequent bumpings against the sub, as no objects had been spotted either on the radar nor with the naked eye. Only the inexcusable feeling of a bump and the dull thud of an impact were noticeable.

Hours passed on the approximate dawn of the tenth day before something came into view on the radar. An interminably large, stationary object appeared only dozens of yards below the submarine — a total of 363 feet at its first notice. The two sane men discussed quietly what this enigma could have been; one proposed a sunken vessel, perhaps the elusive argosy Mathilda which had sunken several years ago and was widely sought after due to its vast cargo of gold and silver.

They were overjoyed at this possibility, for it would mean that, should their help arrive, they would be forevermore eternalized as millionaires who had recovered a famous shipwreck and its valuable assortment of wealth. At a sinking rate of only several feet per few minutes, the true identity of this huge structure remained in anxious ambiguity for a long while; at the same time, the madmen in the brig screamed with more panic than ever that it was not the long lost Mathilda, but instead the place where the octopoid non-men dwelled. Again these were dismissed as hallucinations and crazy beliefs.

At a later time, there came a tremendous crash against the Ourang's hull, which was closely followed by a nauseating sound of moist, slimy slithering against the sleek exterior metal. The sound slowly migrated from the starboard side, over the roof of the sub, and then quickly dissipated as whatever had drawn near hastily sped away into the abyss. A remnant was left on one of the portholes — a strange smudge of an unidentifiable slimy substance stuck to the glass, obscuring observation through it. In the final quarter of an hour, there came a series of rapid, disheartening thuds from all directions of the submarine.

They reached such velocity and force that quickly the Ourang was noticeably quivering and rocking under the water, yet still nothing showed on the radar save for the steadily enlarging object far under — at this point, its size made it indubitably unaccountable as the lost Mathilda, for it was simply too colossal to be any sort of sailing vessel. As can be assumed, those in the brig asserted their opinionated truth that the curious octopoids had become malicious toward the Ourang and those inside, and that they soon would be upon their city, dubbed Jagungen. Now, the weapons general was beginning to show signs of his own madness, murmuring to himself that he was imagining what unbelievable things could be crawling around them just past the safety of their flimsy metallic walls.

The Ourang impacted against a hard surface and violently careened backward, scraping against what was undoubtedly a very rigid stone surface. It was a wonder that the hull didn't tear open from the traumatic descent, and even more of a wonder was the fact that the submarine had somehow not been crushed by the force of the ocean above it. When finally the submarine settled on relatively level ground, the captain raced immediately to an unobscured porthole in order to observe their new surroundings.

Jarring to him was an unnerving glow coming from several directions, as well as what appeared to be carven stone forms just out of distinguishable view. Objects similar in morphology to pillars or colonnades crept from the sandy ground to support entablatures engraved with weird symbols unrelated to any language known to mankind, but this could scarcely be explained by him.

What race of creature could possibly have formed civilization at such a wildly dead place? Then he saw them: Rubbery free forms cascading creepily through the water, dancing loosely around pillars and glancing around with their moveable eyeballs, and touching and feeling with their many suctioning limbs. All around the Ourang they closed in, those loathsome octopoid things whose penetrating words in vile tongues permeated the metal of the submarine just to be heard by all eight inhabitants; seven who relished the sheer lunacy, and one whose mind crumbled at the realization that man is not the only species to have accomplished the feat of civilization, and that mankind should not feel comfortable knowing that its place in evolution is untouchable, that they will always rule freely; for they will not.

Those octopoid things beneath the frigid seas — they exist to conquer.

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