Across the underwater plains... A placeholder for the kind of epic, submarine adventure I just couldn't get out of my head and onto the page. This kind of substitution gets more common from here on out.
Jonah and the Whale
The dead captain sunk, the chains that bound his form dragging him far out into the ocean. After Scylla had taken her tribute his body had been deemed worthless by the black-robed agents of the emperor and he had been cast aside. This had been a mistake, to return him to the element he was bound and sworn to, and his enemies would know of it soon enough. It would have been far better to bury a man like him inland, far, far away from the call of the restless sea.
As the corpse drifted the sea bed fell ever further away until at last it bottomed out into an abyssal trench. The captain floated through darkening waters that swirled about him like great drapes, already tugging at his flesh to add it to their rich effluvium – food for squid and baleen whales and the other more misshapen inhabitants of the deep dark. And yet, as he sank further from the sun, further even from the memory of the sun, he seemed to be dragged towards another light; a strange and dreadful glowing that filtered up through the silent surge of the ocean depths.
Across the underwater plains...
At last he arrived at the city. A natural bowl, an ancient crater from the upheavals of the prehistoric world, that served as an audience chamber sat at its centre, and from it radiated spectacular boulevards of sediment and fossil, lined with waving anemone crowds. Down one of these festival streets the homecoming hero travelled, now joined by a welcome party of pilot fish, nibbling at his flesh and guiding him toward their master. Festival colours strained to fill the muted spectrum and glinting silver light flashed from the scales of his retinue. The water pulsed with their master’s heart beat and they fled, leaving the captain alone before the twisting bulk that filled the dark ahead.
‘You come before me, at last,’ the voice rumbled like a shockwave, pulling the captain ever closer to destruction.
You are my god. I must. It is my time to be judged. The captain spoke without speaking.
‘You have not failed,’ the god said. ‘But there is more that you must do. There is a lake, so far down and so poisoned by salt that it is death to all of my people. You must enter it and bring back what is there. Only you can, for you are already gone.’
I will do so, the captain grinned. He had to. His lips were already almost gone.
‘Good,’ and with that the leviathan was gone, his great wake forming new currents in the deep that would later be felt far away upon the surface of the sea.