Riptide (Part 2)

If you’re reading this, I’ve been gone more than 24 hours. Cap agreed to send out everything I’ve found as soon as I failed to check in. I may be dead, lost or something even worse. I can’t be sure. I told him the most important thing he could do for me is to make sure someone hears my story. If everything else has gone right, you should be able to read it below. 

I think this goes without saying but… don’t come looking for me.

**Day 1 5:05 AM**

Finally arrived here in the Outer Banks. A puddle jumper flew us from the mainland to Roanoke Island. Getting through customs took way longer than I would’ve liked. ID must have been tagged. That might answer why the authorities allowed my first post to stay up. Do they just want to watch from afar? Or maybe they figure leaving it up is more discrediting than trying to cover it up again. Either way, they eventually agreed to allow my flight over for my “vacation”.

I know they’ll be watching. I’d expect nothing less.

**Day 1 5:41 AM**

Turns out they figured out where I booked my boat rental. In fact, they somehow found a way to book *every single boat* going out today. Bastards.

**Day 1 7:12 AM**

Okay, I took some doing but I convinced a local fisherman to take me out with him just as he was about to push off. Told him I would help with whatever he needs. He has two rules: always address him as Cap and never do anything stupid. I can’t guarantee him on the second one, but he doesn’t need to know that. 

The clouds are gathering thick on the horizon already and I’m just hoping we can get to the spot before the storm hits. I don’t even really know where to start… I know this is the beach where they disappeared but how do you find something hidden under the ocean that doesn’t want to be found?

**Day 1 1:46 PM**

We’re following the riptides, have been for hours now. Luckily, the things aren’t hard to spot, just a matter of looking for the gaps in the waves and the kicked up sand. I’m glad to have Cap with me. He’s not much for company but he’s the reason I even knew what to look for. I’ve already learned a lot. For example, he also told me how riptides never continue this far from shore. So why is it different here?

The last hour or so has been a yelling match about turning back. I came clean with him once we lost sight of shore and he thinks I’m borderline insane. Pair that with the oncoming storm and he’s not so keen on staying out at sea. The clouds are boiling angrily above us now, eager to release their raging rains. 

**Day 1 2:22 PM**

I convinced him. Lord only knows how, but I convinced him. He finally admitted that he’s heard… stories from locals and tourists alike. Says the riptides this year are unlike anything he’s ever seen. I think maybe he has a soft spot for me. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to see an innocent woman drown.

The thunder started rolling in moments ago. Rain is pattering softly onto the deck.

Time to get some shut-eye and wait for nightfall.

**Day 1 9:34 PM**

They’re here! The dim light, the shapes under the water, it’s all here. It’s all real. I can hardly believe it. 

Cap nearly jumped overboard I screamed so loud. He’s by my side as we speak, seeming even more unbelieving of his own eyes than me. 

The glow from below the surface looks concentrated in a neon blue ribbon like a pulsing underwater river. Up ahead, it seems to get brighter and Cap is easing the boat in that direction. We’ve both seen the shapes moving down there and agreed that taking it slow and careful is the best approach.

It’s pouring now and I can see great streaks of lightning way that get closer with each strike. The waves are crashing over the side of the boat and I don’t know how Cap has any kind of control over our course. Luckily, I’ll be underwater soon.

I’m getting my diving gear ready and rigging up this recorder to send its data back to the boat, just in case… well… anyway. See you down there.

**Day 1 10:57 PM**

It’s unbelievable down here. I’m about 30 or 40 feet down already and the light is getting brighter and brighter. Every now and again, the water clears enough to see the large shapes in the distance mentioned in the recordings I found but they’re too far away to make out any more details than that. 

No sign of anything moving. Just the shimmering blue light below me, steadily growing as I descend. My guess is that the shapes we saw were a school of fish or something like that rather than anything dangerous. It feels like there’s a current just like I guessed, too. It’s not stronger than me yet, but if I stop, I start to drift… directly towards those distant, shadowy objects. 

**Day 1 11:32 PM**

(whispering) There’s something down here. Something *huge*. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before but the water is so murky, I only get occasional glances towards the ocean floor. But when it clears, I see it. A massive shadow in the depths, a giant break in the flowing current of light below me.

It’s not moving… yet. So I’m afraid to move. I’m just frozen here, letting the current pull me along. It’s getting stronger as I get deeper. I don’t know what to do.

**Day 1 11:45 PM**

(whispering) I’m getting closer and closer to the shadow. The current isn’t just pulling me towards those distant objects but also downwards… towards whatever lurks below.

I can make out more details now. There’s flashes of… fleshy colored folds on whatever it is and… well… I think it has four limbs, strong, muscular, built, almost like the silhouette of a person. Something resembling a bulbous head without a neck adorns what I assume is the top of the thing but what do I really know?

**Day 2 12:11 AM**

It’s *gone*. Sweet Jesus, it’s completely and utterly gone. I’m not sure if I’m crying out of fear or relief. You would think the disappearance would only make me feel better but the fact that it can disappear also means it can move…

In other news, I’m closing in on the lights. Turns out they’re separate… *somethings* that seem to be moving along with the current. Deep water fish, maybe? I’ve seen some documentaries on those but usually that’s over 2,000 feet below the water. I’m only at about 60 feet now. 

The other strange thing I’ve noticed is how my gear has been malfunctioning. The power levels in all my electrical equipment keeps fluctuating wildly and even the flashlight I have shifts from dim to super bright randomly. 

**Day 2 12:38 AM**

I’m exhausted but I’m making myself press forward. At least I was smart enough to nap after I convinced Cap to carry on. The constant, building current makes things much easier at least. I’m just letting it pull me deeper and further. 

I think I’m finally close enough to see the lights if I just swim a little closer. Hold on…

…Jesus Christ, preserve us…


What the fuck… they’re… people. Or something like people. There’s something… *wrong* with their faces. Too round, too pale. Noseless with a mouth that wraps around the side of their heads. They’re… oh my God… they’re just walking down here, on the ocean floor. How…how is this possible? 

Shit, I think they’re looking this way.

(long period of silence)

(deep exhale) Okay… they haven’t noticed me yet. Thank God. 

The light is from these *things*. It’s their skin, flecked as if with crystal, putting off a soft, blue glow. It reminds of that glowing, bioluminescent algae. Their almond-shaped, pupiless eyes give off light, too.

Some of them even look like they wore clothes once, bits and pieces, tattered remains of cloth stick to their body, creating strange shadow patterns on their skin where the light is blocked.

I’m swimming up and out of their line of sight again. I don’t want to risk it. 

Maybe, I’m going crazy – what I just saw definitely sounds like it – but I thought I heard voices when I was down there. They were quiet, the volume of a whisper but with the sound of a crashing wave. They told me to keep going forward, to follow the lights.

**Day 2 12:59 AM**

The distant shapes are a city. Or at least, they were. And not just one… multiple. To my left, there’s a skyscraper. You heard me, a modern building, glass panes, concrete walls, the works. How did a *skyscraper* get beneath the ocean? It’s half buried in the sand and the current is getting so strong now that I can see it pulling eroded stone away from it piece by piece. 

And on my right… on my right, there’s a whole other mystery. A wall of half decayed log posts surround what appears to be more logs laid in roughly in a square pattern. Many are half buried by sand but if I had to guess, I would imagine they were log cabins at one time.

Past the glow of the creature’s lights below me, I can see more distant shapes that I can only imagine are more cities swallowed by the waves.

Nothing down here makes sense. First the large shape that moved, then the glowing human like creatures, now dead cities from every era as far as I can see.

The current is getting so strong now that I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to resist its pull. But I know if I’m going to find answers, I need to finish following it to its origin. 

^*Day 2 1:14 AM**

I found out what is causing the currents, causing the riptides, the catalyst of all of this. It’s an underwater vortex. I can see the water swirling powerfully around, the glowing creatures getting sucked into its churning waters to create this mesmerizing pattern of blue light interposed with murky darkness. 

Luckily, I managed to grab hold of the skyscraper where a wall had been ripped away before getting pulled in myself. I’m out of ideas now. If I let go, I’m dead. That vortex will tear me to shreds. But I don’t know how much longer I can hold on. I’m completely drained.

Wait, what was that? The water just shifted like–


(Gasping breaths) 

It’s… here… Oh Jesus, save me. The thing I saw when I first came down… the huge shape, it’s here. It’s staring at me out the darkness… straight through the windows of the building. It has enormous, blue eyes, glowing with an electric energy just like those creatures being sucked into the vortex. Oh God. I have–


I have to let go. It’s threatening to do horrible things to me if I don’t. I’m sorry. I have to listen. It says I’ve earned this.


I’m okay. It was right. I had nothing to be afraid of. It’s nothing but darkness in here. I suppose there are worse ways to die. My oxygen will run out soon anyway. Wait…

Wait… I see something now.

It’s so beauti… … is terrible… I’m going to… … … man in black… … … pay… fee… boa…



That’s when the young lass cut off. Now, I’ve done what she wanted, wrote down her recordings and found a way to get this story out there. I want no part of the rest of… whatever this is. An old man has a limit, you see, and I’ve certainly seen enough for a lifetime. I tried to save the girl but she wouldn’t listen. Anyone sailor worth his salt will tell you – the Lost Colony does not leave any survivors. 

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