Leaning on the rail of the cargo boat, a lone figure watched as they approached a collection of piers and warehouses. His eyes gazed out over the water as if searching the area ahead for something. An observer would have said it was a lost look, and perhaps wondered about the tattoo that covered one eye. What would bring such a person to put an image of an octopus over their eye, much less streak their hair like the tentacles? If they asked the figure that, there was probably an answer, but no telling if it would be given. At the moment, his thoughts drifted back to an earlier time when he was on another boat at sea, just before the event that would set him on his current course.

The wind whipped across the deck of the hydrofoil as a figure slipped up on another on the deck of the boat. She had no idea he was coming apparently, and jumped as he slipped his arms around her and whispered something in her ear. She laughed. "Kyoshi Chekov! Will you ever get enough?" He smiled, "Of you? Nyet!"

"You know fellow, you could get in a lot of trouble for sneaking up on me like that. And you never could beat me during our lessons."

"That, Miss Ashiari, is because your father was instructing, and you had a way of distracting me."

"Sure, sure." Her eyes sparkled as she changed the subject. "Ky, are you ready for this one? We've never been to a facility this deep."

He nodded. "I'm ready. I just hope that we can get the injured up easily. Only thing I hate about working out here is the drowning chance."

She smiled. "Haven't I always told you that if you're so afraid of drowning that you should get a set of the gill implants? That way you couldn't drown."

"Yeah, but my luck they'd malfunction and I'd have to start only living in the water." He smiled back at her.


Ky's mind came back to the present momentarily as the boat he was on slowed approaching the dock. He watched briefly as the people on the dock prepared to tie down the boat. Gathering up a small duffel bag he had at his feet, he proceeded off along the gangway and onto the dock. As his feet hit the dock, his mind drifted back again to those events.

The shed around him creaked and groaned as the pressure outside tried to get in the fast way. Ky knelt and examined the person on the stretcher in front of him. From what he could tell, the person had almost been crushed by something. He looked up at the personnel of the facility to ask a question when suddenly the whole facility shook like it had been hit by something.

"What was that??"

The personnel got a panicked look in their eyes and started trying to cram themselves into the escape bubbles. Ignoring him, they tried to leave, but at that moment another impact rocked the shed and the power failed. Letting his artificial eye shift into a mode more suited for the darkness, Ky rushed ahead down the passageway toward the dive chamber to find out what was keeping Melia. Just as he entered the chamber, he heard a cry for help from behind in the passage. Telling himself that Mel could handle herself, he turned back. As he returned to the injured man on the stretcher, he felt a sudden surge of air and pressure. As he blacked out, he wondered what had happened.

As he walked up the dock he talked to himself quietly under his breath. "Nothing happened. Just something big tried to destroy the place, nearly killed your lover, and changed your life. Maybe Mel was right. If you really cared, you should have checked on her first. Not left her to be torn apart by whatever that was. Those sucker marks on her and the missing skin and limb sure were worth it huh genius?"

He shook his head and walked on into the darkness of the docks and the city ahead.

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