Benjamin Ulysses Maitland-Abyss & Chips BOOK SIX

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Chapter 16

Ben went down to the water holding his tanks, goggles and flippers and as soon as he sat down Cleodora and Lanthe popped up and said hello whilst he dressed for the water. Agnes was able to take care of the guests and the red wine that was about to be consumed in front of the fire while Ben tried to tell the body guard mermaids that their home was in peril. An old World War 2 submarine was hanging precariously over their home and they had to work out some way of being able to get it out of the Abyss and on to the ledge without it coming lose and crushing the Merrows and their homes.

Cleodora and Lanthe looked at each other in shock. They were so surprised that Ben was concerned about their homes and their Queen that they looked at him with a new found respect and eagerly awaited his entrance to the water and the top of the Dx4H. Millions of little bubbles rose to the surface and Ben was underwater looking into the eyes of not only Cleodora and Lanthe but also Zillath and a party of uneasy Merrow men. Ben counted 6 men, wide eyed and ready for attack at Zillath’s word. Cleodora and Lanthe flanked Ben and gently guided him to Zillath’s side. Ben bowed and showed her the respect that he had established in previous visits to the Queen and the men seemed to take this showing on board and rest a little. But... a man with shiny eggs on his back blowing hundreds and thousands of bubbles was still intimidating to the Merrow men.

Ben took his mouth piece out and said to Zillath, ‘Can I see you on the surface for a minute please your majesty?’ Then he put his mouthpiece back in and was guided back to the surface by both his bodyguards and the eager eyes of the Merrow men who stayed back close to the edge of the Dx4H.

‘Your majesty, I have terrible news that affects not only you but your entire city and all of the Merrows who dwell in their homes at the bottom of the Abyss.’

Cleodora and Lanthe watched on as Ben explained the seriousness with which Queen Zillath and her people were to suffer by the old submarine that hung over their homes. Queen Zillath bowed to Ben and him to her in return. There was a mutual feeling of respect now between the two of them and this was passed on almost at the speed of light to all that awaited the Queen and Ben’s return to the edge of the Dx4H. Zillath told everyone there to watch out for Ben underwater as he could not go as fast as them and there may be difficulties ahead for the land person. Everyone turned to face the darkness inside the Abyss and with a swish of the beautiful tails each more majestic than the next, they entered the Dx4H to find this submarine.

Ben felt the water get colder through his wet suit and the pressure made him hold his nose and clear his ears from how deep he was going. He looked back and could see the light fading from view and all around was starting to go dark with how deep he was descending. The fish and marine life seemed to be thinning out as well as into the Abyss they travelled. Ben checked his air ...35 minutes left. Suddenly pressing into his right arm and was one of Zillaths body guards. (Bet I know who it is......)

Before all the light in the Abyss was gone Ben looked into the smiling teeth of Lanthe as she helped him swim down. Seems she had taken a liking to this land person who told the truth. All of the party stopped so gracefully and Ben and Lanthe stopped just behind the pack. Ben could hear the voices talking under the water but could not make out what they were saying. Slowly the pack parted like the red sea and there in front of Ben in the light that the depth allowed to make visible up was a swastika. Ben, Queen Zillath and her friends had found the sub.

‘Ben I have never really given it much consideration before as I have swum past it on numerous occasions.’

Ben just nodded under water.

‘If I had known it was going to be a problem I might have settled the colony somewhere else instead of here.’

Once again all Ben could do was nod and check his watch to see how much air he had left ...29 minutes of air left. Ben swam passed Zillath and motioned to her to follow him as he gained a better look at the sub and how he could help get it out. Zara was right the anchor was holding the bow upright and its stern was nestled into a rock ledge, not unlike the one next to Amazing and Graceful. Ben looked up and guessed he would need at least 60 meters of really strong rope and several boats to be able to hoist this sub up and away. Ben also wondered if D-Mac had some friends with boats who would help....that would do a job for cash.

Ben tapped his watch to Zillath and pointed up. That was his way of being able to leave and depressurise on the way up. Zillath bowed as did Ben and he commenced shaking hands and waving to everyone treading water next to the old German submarine. Cleodora and Lanthe accompanied Ben back up to the surface slowly stopping ever so often so that Ben did not suffer the debilitating bends as a result of racing to the surface. Ben said goodbye to both of his friends and shook their hands. They were extremely cold but incredibly strong. It was like shaking a man’s hand. Ben left the water holding his flippers and telling Hambone what a good watch dog he was.

Zillath looked at the sub then turned to face her people.

‘It will take a lot of land people to move this thing away but if they cannot we must make our homes safe and protect our children and our lives... let us do something about this now!’

All the Merrows and their Queen floating near the submarine plummeted downward at once and made for their homes to move and protect them from the sub precariously above them.

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