TideBreakers: Prize Seven
An unescorted freighter proves too great a temptation for submarine pirates Leif Schreiber and Jaarko Jansson. Venturing into the dangerous waters of the Pearson Trench, they encounter a terrifying threat that Schreiber must delve into his past to overcome.
Two subs powered southwards wing-to-wing under a gloomy wind-rocked subside. Both crafts had paintjobs faded by time and lacklustre maintenance. The only thing uniform about them were the bubble trails they cut through the water, the orange glow of their bathyspheres and the prominent black theta symbols painted on the cowling of their engine intakes.
The ocean-floor below them was like a mountain-range. Rocky crags jutted upwards into sharp peaks and dove away into ravine-like valleys; fronds of kelp and seagrass drifted in the currents. Strewn across the jagged scene were the ripped metal frames of sunken subs, clawing for the surface like skeletal tendrils. There were wrecks of all ages: some were tarnished with years and some were only a few days old, the glass of their bathyspheres still largely intact save for the fissures that had doomed their pilots. Up ahead, just visible by the thick shadow that lined the horizon, was the gaping maw of the Pearson trench.
Schreiber surveyed what he could see of the landscape from inside his Thresher with a weary recognition. In places the water was thick with silt, but the bathysphere’s holographic sonar still picked out the hardest edges of the surrounding scene with vividly-coloured wireframes projected onto the inside of the glass. He snorted a single laugh. “This place is every type of bad, huh?”
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