… "We interrupt this television broadcast to bring you an emergency news bulletin. The East Wind Siren, a fishing vessel launched from Tokyo Bay, returned from its expedition on an emergency docking in O'ahu Hawaii with a sickened crew and a contaminated haul of radioactive fish. The circumstances surrounding the radioactive contamination of the catch remains unknown at this time, although several other vessels which have since returned to port in Japan have recorded similar circumstances. The Japanese government has issued a public safety warning and has temporarily shut down the fishing market until all contaminated catches are identified and properly disposed of. The government sends its apologies for any and all inconveniences during this time. Please refrain from buying or consuming any and all fish products until such a time as the government lifts the safety ban on said products. Thank you for your cooperation."
Sitting on a hospital bed in Tokyo was an aged man who listened to the broadcast and released a "humph" before coughing several times which brought a nurse running into the room.
"Are you alright?" She asked.
The man cleared his throat and looked over at the nurse.
"I'm fine, just leave me be." He demanded.
The nurse bowed her head and left the room, looking back with worry as he glared at the television while the news continued to broadcast about the story which just broke through about the contamination.
… Unknown circumstances my foot… It was that thing that did this to us! He thought to himself as he closed his eyes.
He remembered it all too well.
The date is October 17th, 2009. We're currently 59 days into our 70 day fishing trip. We've acquired 68% cargo capacity and are hoping to reach 80% before we are forced to return to port. It has been a slow trip this time around, but the crew remains optimistic. Myself… (Sigh)… Well, I have my doubts that we'll make our quota this time. We got lucky the last few trips, but everyone knows that luck doesn't last. Anyway, we've been seeing some strange activity on sonar as of late and- (incoherent yelling in the background)… We've got problems… *click*
A large mass flashed briefly across the screen of the sonar locator in the control room aboard the fishing vessel East Wind Siren. The Captain rushed in behind his Fist Mate who pointed towards the sonar screen.
"One hundred yards out Captain." First Mate Bishop said.
What in the rat bashing Hell is on that screen? The Captain thought to himself as he watched an enormous shape moving towards the vessel.
"Captain, what should we do? It's heading right for us!" The man on the primary sonar screen called out.
You just expect me to have all the answers? Who the Hell prepares for things like this?! The Captain thought.
"All hands, brace for impact!" The Captain yelled.
Everyone grabbed onto something or buckled themselves into their seats while those on deck outside grabbed hold of the edge of the ship and waited for the inevitable. The Captain was a veteran of the sea, but he'd never encountered anything like this. It was beyond any sailor's nightmare to see such a mass approaching his vessel.
As the men on deck held on for dear life not knowing what was going on, one of the deckhands spied a strange shape forming in the water off the port bow heading straight for the ship.
"O-Over there!" He yelled out to his shipmates.
The crew on deck turned to look at the dark mass moving through the water. A large mound was forming and pushing large waves out to either side. They kept expecting whatever it was to break the surface, but it never did. Instead the mass began to slowly vanish from sight as the waters began to calm before some of the waves generated struck the boat. The East Wind Siren was rocked back and forth gently for a few seconds, but nothing the crew was not prepared for. The men on deck looked around at each other, each one asking what the Hell had just happened.
The mass passed the vessel on sonar and began moving away holding a steady speed of approximately 30 knots. The Captain continued to watch the screen until the mass disappeared from view. He let out a sigh of relief and looked to his First Mate as they smiled to each other and laughed.
"Well, that was not something I ever hope to repeat." The Captain said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, no kidding. I thought the boat was going to be ripped in half." Bishop replied.
"Hey, greenhorn. Can you tell what it was?" The Captain asked one of the newer men watching the sonar screens.
"No sir, but I can tell you that it was enormous. It was bigger than the initial sonar images made it out to be." The boy said.
"How big?" The Captain asked.
"Almost two hundred meters long, sir." The boy replied.
The Captain was about to speak, but when he thought about how long that actually was his mouth just hung open with the first word of a sentence that never came to see the light lingering on his tongue. He closed his mouth and looked to his First Mate who looked at him with equally stunned eyes.
"Not even the biggest US submarines are that long… What the Hell was that?!" The Captain demanded.
"No telling sir, but it was changing shape as it moved."
The Captain looked back at the boy on sonar.
"Meaning what, exactly?" The Captain asked.
"Well… I think it was alive." The boy responded.
The Captain looked at the boy with utter disgust on his features as he looked over to Bishop who shrugged his shoulders.
"Boy, I think you've been stuck staring at that screen for too long. Go below and get some rest."
"No butts boy! Now get below!" The Captain yelled.
The boy stood up and saluted with a single "yessir" before running out of the room.
The Captain took off his hat and ran his hand through his aging grey hair as he heaved a sigh and leaned over his sonar screen.
"Alive eh?" He mumbled.
"Well sir, there have been reports worldwide of similar things happening. Some of them caused sea related fatalities and vessels have been disappearing at a fairly rapid rate. There might actually be something to this whole giant living thing swimming about the seas." Bishop said.
The Captain looked at him and shook his head.
"There's no way that something alive could be anywhere near two hundred meters long Bishop. Even in our wildest dreams and nightmares, there's just no way…" He said to himself as he stood up and let out a breath.
"Alright everyone, let's haul in the nets and check to see what we have." He called out.
The crew responded in unison with a loud "Yes sir," and got to work. The nets were pulled in and the haul was lifted onto the deck, but something was wrong. The fish were usually full of life and struggling to get out of the nets, but now they were still and unmoving. Some of them even looked to have been either burned or warped by something as their bodies were convulsing abnormally with bulging eyeballs and irregular twitching of their muscles. Some of the crew drew closer and began remarking about the smell that was coming from them.
Fish smell bad. That's a given. But these fish reeked of death even though they were still alive.
The Captain walked out onto the deck and inspected the haul. He picked up one of the fish and looked it over, only to discover that it was dying in his hands. He dropped the fish and continued inspecting some of the others, but with similar results. He looked to his crew and threw his arms out to the sides.
"What the Hell is this?!" He yelled.
The crew all looked to each other but shook their heads in response. The Captain let out an irritated grunt as he kicked one of the fish.
"These things aren't any good like this. Get them off my deck and get the nets back out again!" He yelled.
The crew immediately got to work and started dumping the fish who all floated lifeless to the surface of the water. But what caught the eye of the crew was that there were other fish who hadn't been caught in the nets which had also floated to the surface. They were smaller for sure, but they were just as lifeless as the crew's catch. When the deck was clear, they prepared for the next cycle. As they did so, one of the crew members working by the loading zone failed to see that one of the dead fish had been caught in the net again on its way back into the water which was inevitably loaded with the next fresh batch into the ships storage.
The East Wind Siren never finished its trip as it was forced back to port seven days early due to a sickened crew and Captain. Upon their emergency return to port in O'ahu Hawaii, they were all rushed to the hospital and found to have contracted radiation poisoning. The crew never knew what had hit them, and they found that their entire cargo had also been contaminated and disposed of by authorities shortly after it was unloaded. Not only that, but several other vessels which returned to Japan had recorded similar encounters.
Five members of the crew died from radiation poisoning that very day on their return, and over fifty thousand dollars in cargo was lost due to that strange occurrence at sea. Over the next several days more members lost their battle for life before they were rushed to a hospital back in Tokyo where they were treated properly for the poisoning they'd received. That was the East Wind Siren's last voyage, as her Captain was forced to retire due to health complications which arose from his illness despite the best treatment. The vessel itself was also retired and recycled, being bought and repainted by another ambitious fishing Captain who took the boat out on exactly nineteen trips before the vessel mysteriously disappeared a few years later.
The previous Captain of the East Wind Siren spent the next few years recovering, and when he finally conquered it he decided that his sailing days were over. Instead, he turned his attention to spending time with his family and enjoying casual cruises where he didn't have to worry about running the damn thing. While on one cruise with his wife and his eldest son in the Bering Sea, he chanced upon a news bulletin on the television in his room which spoke of another disaster at sea. There were two surviving pictures from the incident, and both showed distorted images of something impossibly large glaring down at whomever had owned the camera. The image was so distorted that almost nothing could be made out, but one thing which did stand out from that large dark mass was a single eye showing in the corner of the image. The eye seemed to have a golden brown coloration with a large black pupil.
The Captain shook his head as he observed this phenomenal display on screen.
"Well I'll be damned… The kid was right." He said to himself as he looked out the window of his room to watch a few sea birds flying near the cruise liner.