- Vol. 03
- Chapter 02
Image by Philipp Keller/Stelzer Group/EMBL
BUZZ KILL“Hello, beautiful,” Lantern Fish flashed with bioluminescent interest, “that’s a strange signal you have there.”
The visitor continued to hover clumsily some ten feet away, There was a disturbance in the electric field we would have identified as a whirring.
“Say, it’s a big ocean … and what with pressures at this depth making travel a bit of a chore… I mean… Look I’m shy, and disinclined towards all this group spawning stuff the others are into… I mean … if you have nothing else scheduled … what would you say to a bit of–?”
There was an intense flash which all but blinded the Symbolophorus barnardi but which would bypassed our senses in all but a brief searing headache.
“What the bloody– Are you psycho or something? I was only suggesting we go halfers in a thousand or so zooplankton.”
“Stoppit, you nutjob. Right … enough of the niceties. You approached me, so– Ow! Now that’s what I call scales. Playing hard to get, eh? Well I know what you like; I’ll just mosey along your flank… Yep, I’ll just skim along… Say, how big are you– Ah, there’s the tail fin. Odd construction.”
The Lantern Fish rested for a while against the visitor’s rigid dorsal.
“Bear with me … suck-suck … my gills are killing me. Right, my lovely…”
As the Lantern Fish sought to get into position, the Deep Sea Submersible Drone rotated on its axis with a little forward movement. The buzz was muffled.
Thor glared at Björn. The viewscreen showed a blur of flesh and entrails joining the general detritus on its journey to the sea bed.
“What? He moved out of shot.”
They flicked the autopilot to return and debated the pros and cons of design and illumination wavelength as the drone retraced its course.