By Somnium Space member Ox
I had once heard ghost stories in which Somnium residents had been hiking in the mountains and had been swallowed whole, deep into the never ending murky depths. Those that survived to tell the tale couldn’t explain how they awoke in the center of downtown Somnium, only that underneath Somnium was not dirt, but a huge mass of water. And no matter how hard you swam to get to the surface it was like a heavy weight just kept sinking you further and further below. I thought these were just ghost stories we told our kids at night…but what I’m about to tell you will change your perspective entirely.
It was a normal balmy Monday evening, the birds were still chirping just as the sun was setting. A mystical fog hung in the distance giving a magical glow to the evening sky. Today I was not going on a hike…but I was going to go hunt for Sharky. Several residents had spotted a small great white swimming the depths of Deep Oasis Lake and had belovingly named him Sharkey. Evening was the best opportunity to find Sharkey so I donned a double tank to give myself extra time, strapped a chemlight to my back, grabbed a camera and powerful flashlight and plunged in just of the beach of the southeast coast of the main island.
An hour swimming in circles and I had only seen a bluefin and some suspect seagrass that seemed to disappear and reappear at random in the waves. Suddenly, I felt a tingling up my neck, I felt impelled to swim up the northernmost finger lake of the Labyrinth of Reflections. Was it Sharkey? I had to find out. The swim took another 20 minutes, and my hands began to ache, I wasn’t used to swimming for so long. The mask was also becoming uncomfortable, I was used to wearing it but not usually for more than an hour at a time, but I pressed on. Night had fallen and I started to lose visibility, I broke out the flashlight and peered around the lakebed. Though accustomed to night diving, I could barely see my hands in front of me. I felt along what appeared to be a rock wall to the edge. The last thing I remember was pulling myself what appeared to be a rock wall when I was swept under the wall by a massive force of water. I tumbled round and round before being spat into a vast ocean. I was disoriented and somewhat dizzy. In every direction all I could see was water and the longer I swam, the further I saw nothing. My gauges began to beep as the remaining air in my tanks dwindled towards zero. My flashlight was also failing, growing ever so dim. Panic began to wash over me. I tried to look for my bubbles to find my way up but I couldn’t see any. The flashlight made a valiant attempt at one last burst of light and then all went dark. Off in the distance there was a faint light. I mustered all my strength at this point, hand crippled from the endless movement forward, mask pressing endless into my skull but as I approached hope was growing. The lights got brighter and eventually I was also to see what lay ahead of me…
My eyes deceive me, is that a blimp? I swam closer and almost grabbed onto a floating ball…OH WAIT!!! That’s a water mine I gasped and froze in fear. In front of me lay a submarine and with it a pocket of air above. I was running low on air, I had to surface, but anyone with a hidden submarine base surrounded by water mines surely didn’t want me finding this. I had no choice. I took a few pictures before surfacing, so in case anyone didn’t find my body, at least the evidence of the hidden base could be revealed. I slowly breached the surface of the water but the building seemed empty. I pulled myself up onto to the floating wooden dock. It appeared to be some hidden underground lair. I saw a ramp leading to the blast door. I could see through the door panels but was afraid what awaited me outside. Floating high up in the air was a gigantic orb, on it was the letters OX…probably some secret government agency no-one every knew about. As I got closer to the doors, they automatically opened with a swoosh…so much for stealth. I quickly ran up the ramp only to find myself in the middle of an empty field. The Moon was out and I could see Mt. ProxiMat, but there was nothing around me. I quickly ran for the mountain not knowing or wanting to find out who or what OX was. After what seemed like two hours of running I found my way back to town. I locked myself in my home and immediately began detailing my account as best as I could remember. The ghost stories of Somnium being built over a giant ocean were true, but what was the sub base, why did they need water mines protecting it and who is OX? That question may never be fully answered. Though I never found Sharkey, I sure found more than I went looking for. I have attached the pictures I took from my encounter below, you decide for yourself.