The bridge teemed with activity as he stepped inside. Crewmen analysed the vessel’s systems and sonar radar, making certain that everything was tip-top, while scientists prepared the equipment soon to be utilised. Cameron glanced at each person with interest as he walked over to the captain, who turned to greet the white-haired man as he stood beside him.
“We’ve reached the coordinates you gave us, Mr. Winter,” he reported.
Cameron made a pleased sound. “In record time as well, captain. If there is one thing I enjoy seeing in my employees, it’s efficiency.”
“Thank you, sir,” said the captain. “Though if I may ask, me and the men aren’t sure why-“
“Why I made you come to the middle of nowhere.” Cameron finished the man’s sentence with a smirk. “Recently, my view of this planet has been expanded. Thus, I have to ensure I keep up with this expansion, and what I will procure here will make sure of it.”
The captain scratched his head, confused by this news. “What could you possibly find out here that’s of use to you?” he asked.
The head of Solstice Industries said nothing as he stared out at the ocean beyond the glass windows of the bridge. With someone of his wealth, intellect and social standing, it was solemn difficult to get what he wanted. A virus targeted at NASA’s satellites, a few bribes to keep nosy astrologers quiet and purchasing the rights to this section of the ocean meant nobody knew of the cosmic body that had crash-landed here two days ago. He had been keeping track of the object ever since it had popped up on the feed of his own satellites two weeks ago. He was further intrigued when a detailed analysis discovered the contents of the invading satellite. With this knowledge, he knew that it must come into his possession at any cost. After all, there was nothing he could not afford.
“Get your men ready, captain,” he ordered. “I want a boat out there depth-charging the area in ten minutes and my Cyber-Flies operational in five.”
A small dinghy was soon out on the water, dropping explosives into the ocean per Cameron’s instructions. The mines sank deep into the inky depths, vanishing from sight and leaving only spouts of bubbles, minutes after their deployment, as the clue to their detonation. The mogul was certain that the bombardment would rouse whatever slumbered at the seabed and bring it to the surface. From there, his Cyber-Flies would do the rest.
“We’ve got something!” a technician called out as the deep-sea sonar pinged to life, alerting its operator to the presence of a foreign body. Cameron’s head twisted to her direction as she worked the controls to get a more accurate reading. “Depth of one thousand metres… nine hundred… eight hundred…”
The ship’s captain glared at Cameron with his suspicions raised. “What have you dragged us out here to find, Winter?” he demanded. The cruel CEO’s eyes flickered over and he shot a smile at the man as the technician continued to count down.
“Every good company needs its security, captain,” he replied smoothly. “Or in this scenario, a guard dog.”
“Four hundred metres…” The technician and her co-workers began to grow nervous as the distance between the bogey and the surface lessened by the second. “T-three hundred metres…”
The sailors on the dinghy continued to drop mines into the water, unaware of the situation developing underneath them. As the commander’s radio crackled to life, bright flashes appeared below the surface as the explosives detonated against the rising anomaly.
“Two hundred metres…”
“Reggie, get yourselves the hell out of there!” the captain shouted into the radio. “Get back to the boat!”
“Belay that.” Cameron felt the captain’s gaze on him not a second after he had finished his sentence.
“We cannot abandon those men!” he snapped, but the mogul shook his head.
“Nothing that can be done that won’t endanger us as well. I’m afraid sacrifices must be made in these scenarios.”
The skipper didn’t buy his words for a second. He knew that Cameron had planned to use those sailors as bait, but he could not bring himself to argue with the man. He had seen what happened to those who spoke out against Cameron Winter and desired to not join them.
“One hundred metres… Contact!”
All hands on deck looked out to the ocean as the dinghy was surrounded by froth. Recognising the danger, the commanding sailor ignored Cameron’s orders and slammed down the ignition lever, only for the water to rocket upwards and launch the vessel skywards in pieces. As seawater and debris rained down, Cameron Winter stared out at the towering, seaweed green titan now protruding from the ocean. His lips grew into a smile as the beast’s maw opened, emitting a high-pitched and oddly familiar sound.