The first thing that Kris noticed was the cold. It bit right through the suit, even though it was a thick shell designed to have no such thing happen. It seeped into his bones, straight past the toned muscles which he was using to struggle through the liquid all around him. Even his soul shivered slightly at this depth, for there was nothing nor anyone around him for over a quarter mile. That kind of isolation was a rare thing in modern times, and it made the suited-up shark anthro fairly nervous. He had to stay strong though, for any panic or miscalculations on his parts would mean certain doom. This wasn’t to say that what he was doing was anything more than routine, but it was just showing how non-routine his routine was.
There was no such thing as routine at two and a half miles below the surface of the ocean after all.
“Kris, how’s it coming?” A deep, crackling voice came over the headset the shark was wearing. It was barely audible and even less easy to understand, but the shark still made it out.
“Slow and steady as always Olav. I’m gonna be out of radio range here in about five yards, so anything I should know before I go?”
“You know the drill Fins, just search and come back in one piece.” Kris hated being called that, so he decided a little bit of name-calling was in order with his handler back in the sub.
“Roger that, Teddy.” The shark’s much softer voice was filled with snark as he spoke, and a snort on the other end of the comms gave away that it was received in full. The fish hoped nothing would come of his retort though; the bear at the other end was also the one feeding him when he got back.
“Over and out.”
“Over and ou…” Static took over the speaker in the shark’s ear, and as that happened Kris was left truly alone. Silence was all that the shark could hear, and blackness was all that he could see. He was armed with a flashlight and a sizable harpoon gun, but neither could do much against some of the predators which lurked at the depths which he was at. Being a shark, and a predator at heart already, this was incredibly unnerving to Kris at first. He was somewhat used to being lower on the food chain now though, even if it never truly sat well with him. The great white was never going to truly be comfortable working the way he was, but a job was a job. As the last vestiges of light faded from the sub which watched over him, he steeled himself with that knowledge, tried to remind himself of the pay which came with it, and hit the switch for his powerful flashlight.
Immediately, the anthro fish was assaulted by a school of smaller sharks which were common at this depth. He must have scared his smaller brethren with the sudden flash of light, but that was common for him. Kris just stood his ground and waited for the little things to swim away before he began the arduous task of putting one shaky leg in front of the other. It was like moving through pudding, and it didn’t help matters that because of his fishy descent, his suit didn’t fit the best. His species did lend itself to being in the suit filled with water though, and as such he was one of the few deep-sea divers who could go to such colossal depths in cheaper gear. Kris knew he was one of the few divers in the world who could pull off what he did, and while he tried to take solace in that, he also had to feel just a little perturbed. It felt speciest to be singled out just because he could breathe water and had taken a few classes on diving, and he wasn’t a fan of that at all.
The shark stopped his train of thought abruptly as his suit’s foot hit something. The great white immediately stopped and leaned back hard, as he needed the back momentum to keep himself from tumbling forwards. This worked, and as he planted a foot behind him rather roughly in the silty ground beneath him, he sighed slightly in relief. The water became murky all around him almost immediately from the disturbance on the ground, but the shark paid it little mind and just stood where he was while he regained all of his balance. He had taken a tumble just once at this depth, and it had taken nearly five whole minutes to get up again. With no help and trying to move in a suit constructed of spheres in pressures so great one wouldn’t last an instant outside the suit, standing again was a real chore. Standing at all was a chore though, and as Kris caught his breath and stood steadfast in the muddied waters around him, he knew that paying attention would need to take precedence over his wandering mind.
The great white began walking again after letting the water settle for a couple minutes. He kept his eyes trained to the ground in front of him however this time, the light shining barely twenty feet in front of him onto the sea floor. He was intent on keeping a vigilant lookout as to where he was headed, and as he did so he took glances around to see what he could see. A few glowing lights from the fish at the bottom of the sea, an occasional stir of water with a few bubbles. Nothing that he could write home about, but then again at his depths nothing was truly alive down there aside from those animals that had adapted themselves completely to surviving at the immensely inhospitable environment of the bottom of the sea. Kris had to wonder just why he was down there for a split second, and then the scientist in him reminded him of his reasons. His curious side also chimed in on that train of thought, but it was nothing that Kris wanted to think about. He had his reasons, and as he kept on walking towards his survey site, he knew those reasons would stay valid.
It took about ten more minutes, but Kris finally made it to within visual range to his destination. A few poles were supposed to mark where he was about to arrive to, as well as some equipment which he had left behind so that he could continue studying. Strangely though, no light came from the area, which made Kris a touch worried as he kept walking towards the area. A strange outcropping had formed on the bottom of the ocean, one which was so rare and unique that Kris just had to study it. Granted, he had wanted to study it from the safety of his ship with Olav, but a certain benefactor had paid handsomely for up close study. That was what Kris was doing, but as the great white got closer, he began to get a sense of dread that the outcropping wasn’t entirely natural. He couldn’t explain the feeling, but he knew something was about to happen.
Just as that feeling entered him, his flashlight’s bulb exploded. In the blink of an eye after that, the lights in his suit did the same, leaving the shark in pitch blackness. He tried his reserves to no avail, and he could feel the power being drained from his suit. The back-up battery had died even faster than the main, and with that panic began to set in for Kris. He dropped his flashlight immediately and began to pant, sucking in large amounts of water and flailing in the dark as he trudged onward towards his survey site. He had spare batteries there, and a radio, and could only hope those had not been afflicted by the sudden outage which was killing his suit. He needed them to radio for help, to be saved, to live!
Kris took a few more wobbling steps before a glowing set of eyes came into his field of vision. They looked to be at about the right height to be resting on the rocky formation he was investigating, and they were looking right at him. The great white stopped dead in his tracks and looked back, paralyzed with both fear and fascination. He had never seen anything like it, and as the eyes rose from their position and began to move towards him, he wondered why. He had to wonder what it was too, but he had a feeling he was going to find out as the eyes loomed over him the closer they got. The figure appeared even blacker than the blackness of the sea around him, and kept the great white frozen in place as he kept his eyes locked with the yellow, glowing ones. He could just barely make out a muscled, anthro body beneath those eyes, and his mind began reeling at that thought. Nothing could survive this deep without a suit, especially not an anthro.
Kris wasn’t given much more time to think about this though, as the figure came within a yard of his range. He finally found the will to move, and took a shaking, fast step backward. His foot failed to find purchase though, and send him to the ground in a slow, flailing fall. His limbs went every which way, and the shark began to panic anew as he was on his back, defenseless, and now had a presumably eight-foot-tall monster looming over him. Looking up at the beast, he could make out wings behind him now too; his eyes had further adjusted. As the face containing the glowing eyes began to bend down, Kris saw an inkling of a snarl plastered on it as wolven features began to take shape in his vision. It was a black face, with piercing eyes and anger splattered all over it. Kris couldn’t have been more afraid if he tried, and the face wasn’t even on his yet.
It didn’t take long to make it though, as he could feel the minute shift in water as the monster took a knee beside the shark and lowered his face further until it was scant inches from the shark’s. At that distance, Kris could see the wolven face of his monster, and began to panic even more. His eyes went wide, and he tried backing up on all fours to no avail. All he managed to do was kick up more dust, which the looming beast didn’t seem to like. Indeed, he stopped Kris’ fleeing with two strong paws which latched onto the shark’s arms and held them still. Kris stopped trying as that happened, his heart in his throat and his breathing making bubbles in the pressurized water around him it was coming so fast. The shark just looked up at the mutt over him with wide-eyed terror, waiting to see what would come next.
“Stay. Away.” Came a booming voice into Kris’ head, and that was enough to push paralyzing fear into true and utter terror. Those glowing eyes got closer for just a moment after that voice entered Kris’ head, and then vanished completely as fast as they had appeared. No stirring of the ocean from movement, no noise, no bubbles, nothing. His attacker was just gone without a trace of ever having been looming over Kris. It was as if he had never been, and Kris had to wonder if that was the case as his terror gave his consciousness a true and utter kick.
The next thing the shark remembered was his sub.