The sun’s rays penetrate through the crystal blue abyss of the South Atlantic Ocean as the motion of the sea gently rocks our group in a rhythm as old as life itself. Lying here dozing and listening to the sounds of the world that surrounds us, we are resting after a long journey around the Cape of Africa. We are here in our summer feeding grounds to enjoy the bounty that our world will bestow if it so chooses. It is a world that is not always as I could wish, but in these last seasons the hunting has been here, and the anticipation of the great harvest to come makes some of us restless. Once this part of the sea was filled with our cries as we hunted and mated without interference from outsiders. Our tribe was large and we ranged the oceans of this world unmolested, the true masters of this, the Water Planet. Now the few survivors try to rebuild our race, once the mightiest toothed mammal on this small and insignificant world. Our clans were destroyed, and our race brought to the point of extinction to satisfy the greed of the Others. The Others do not participate in the chain of life here, but simply take from it and return nothing. Nothing is safe from their mindless greed and the self-satisfaction derived from wanton murder of any living thing that their primitive intellect might find threatening or perhaps useful to them in some way. Could it be that our ancestors foresaw this happening, and left the land returning to our true home in the sea, forsaking life on the land forever? Perhaps they foresaw that this evil would grow and one day consume all who live on the land. We survive for now at the pleasure of these Others and hope for the day that we may once again be a strong force in the life flow of this world.
I float vertically sixty feet beneath a calmly rolling sea, the barrels of oil in my massive head causing just enough buoyancy to maintain a position facing the light from above without any conscious effort. My enormous brain provides complete sensory awareness of the surrounding sea for a hundred miles in all directions. More of my tribe is coming for the season, and I can hear and sense their arrival as they draw near and announce their presence to all. Our race has grown small, and I feel that I know all of the members of over fifty seasons. In summers gone by, before our ancestors were butchered to fill the lamps of the Others, our gatherings here were great.
I begin moving upward to the surface to breathe. It’s been a good rest, and, now that I’m aware of our situation, it’s time to hunt. My mate joins me and together we roll over and dive toward the sea floor far below. We move at a leisurely rate, diving down with our twelve foot wide flukes undulating slowly. This is our first hunt of the summer season here, and I’m hopeful that it will be as successful as in the past. The sunlight fades rapidly, and soon we are left without sight of the sun or other points of reference to guide us. An acute sensory perception gives our mind’s eye a detailed picture of the surroundings. My mate is slightly ahead and reaches the bottom first.
They are here again and in larger numbers than could be hoped for, deep sea squid—a feast for the entire season. This brings a feeling of contentment to me, and I begin to feed voraciously. These squid are large but pose no threat to us, and our long lower jaws with their twenty round teeth make hunting this prey easy. The squid is luminescent and the glow of their huge eyes and bodies help my mate and I find and ravage them.
We swim beside each other driving through this thick layer of prey biting and swallowing large bits of these delicious tentacle jets, reveling in the excitement of our hunt. We have hunted in all the seas of the world, and this place is our favorite. There are no dangers here from the giant cousins of this prey since they don’t appear frequently in this place. I feel this larger squid is only more challenging to hunt and poses no great threat to us. The giant is poor food and not worth the trouble to catch, and I will only become involved with them if attacked.
This will be a good season for us, and that is well, for my mate will bring forth a new member of our group during our stay in these waters. Other females are calving and slowly our race is recovering from the plunder wrought by the Others. She turns away and begins to ascend toward light and air, feeling the urge to breathe. Wishing to share the assent with her, I follow, leaving this harvest behind for another day. Slowly the darkness recedes, and the brightness of the surface appears just above as I move at top speed toward the light, breaching half of my length into the air in my joy over the hunt, announcing the plenty that awaits our tribe below. My mate approaches, and we lay there in the gentle swell with the members of our group, a small island of family basking in the warm subtropical sun.
On the starboard bridge wing of the cargo vessel, Sealand Victory, bound for North Africa with a full load, the watch officer checks the time and notes in the ship’s log: Azores ahead to port, visible with binoculars at 1300 zulu, weather clear, sea condition mild. Sighted pod of Sperm Whale, about a dozen I think. Pity there aren’t more of them.
As he watched the small group of half-submerged giants disappeared in the ship’s wake. He mused about what they might be thinking and wished he were one of them.