Along the Japanese coastline they came in numbers far greater than any could have imagined.
From the depths of the icy blue were an army of giant monsters waiting to surface. Long, spindly legs skittered along the ocean floor in anticipation of the coming adventure. Small, black, soulless eyes watched patiently as the ocean floor quivered and bucked. As they were thrown mercilessly around by the tremors, they started to advance in two directions. One was towards the east coast of Japan and the other was to San Fransisco.
Leaving his hotel early, Patrick Jensen had a backpack full of equipment. Dropping the heavy bags and suitcase into the boot of his hire-car his shoulders ached with the effort of lugging around all his equipment. A seismologist with the San Fransisco Earthquake Advisory, he had been deployed in Kamaishi Bay to monitor earthquakes on Japan's East Coast.
Driving to the remote, secluded patch of greenery overlooking the bay, Patrick set up his equipment, connecting wires and the portable generator was cranked up. The suitcase containing his laptop was placed securely on a small picnic table with a beaker containing hot coffee.
A balding heavy-set man in his late fifties, most of Patrick's face was covered in wrinkles. Bright blue eyes betrayed his intelligence and sparkled as he looked at the early morning data he was compiling. He had monitored many earthquakes along this coastline, sending his data through to the main office located in San Fransisco.
Popping open the beaker, he took a long slug of the hot coffee and settled back into his folding chair. He had barely swallowed the steaming brew when he heard shouting coming from the bay below. Patrick got to his feet and looked down into the bay but could see nothing unusual. He was quite high up, the glasses he wore helping him to see busy people going about their day, trawlers being loaded and even a commercial liner coming to port.
A scream caught his attention from somewhere on his left. His eyes immediately flicked to this new location and he strained his eyes, trying to see what was causing the upset. Nothing obvious, then two men running along the way as if the devil were at their heels.
Patrick's eyes widened as he saw the first 'thing' emerge from the waters. From that distance, it looked like a giant spider, legs skittering onto the shore where it remained teetering and unbalanced. For a moment, it merely stood there, as if surveying its surroundings and gaining its feet.
Then a man with a machete ran towards the creature, shouting obsenities in Japanese. With one strike, he felled the beast and fell back into a shocked stupor. The shoreline was filling with anxious people, both locals and tourists, trying to see what was happening.
Patrick's heart sank as the panic began.
The tsunami was just on the horizon, gaining speed as it moved towards the shore with reckless haste. He looked briefly at his instruments which were all maddened with the earthquake they were recording.
Along the shoreline, people were fleeing in vast numbers, making their way towards the higher ground.
More of those creatures were skittering onto the shore, their frightening spider-like gait unaware of the coming tsunami. They merely teetered around in an ungainly fashion, bumping into each other as they tried to get used to the uneven footing.
Patrick watched the main wave envelope the bay in a rushing stream of grey and blue. The sickening screaming stopped as suddenly as it had started, the creatures all being washed away by the tsunami.
Patrick made his way down to the coast to see the water receding, the whole process nauseatingly quick. Bodies were being washed out to sea and, along with the human corpses, he could see the bodies of those creatures being taken also.
He walked up to one of the creatures bodies, legs flapping on the water as it convulsed in death throes. It wasn't a spider, although it looked that way from a distance. The legs were crab-like, with joints in the shell that protected the flesh inside. The main body looked like an alien face-hugger, eyes glassy and staring at the sky above.
Although his whole body screamed with revulsion, Patrick knew what it was. His friend was a marine biologist and had brought one of these creatures back to the Natural History Museum many years ago.
Then the cries for help tore Patrick away from the creature as he followed the sounds and began the process of helping the recovery effort at Kamaishi Bay.
By the time he returned to where the creature had been splayed, the body had vanished and Patrick assumed it had been washed back out to sea.