Episode 2: Shorts Minion versus DARING DEEP
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Shorts Minion: This first amazing short is called Daring Deep’s Second Wave and it’s totally fucking stupid.

*Kell scoffs with insult*

Kell Inkston: Wh- hey now. I’m cutting you a good deal here.

Shorts Minion: No you’re not, so I’m gonna trash your stories.

Kell Inkston: Come on. I’m giving you a nice cool studio to present all these and a lot of snacks out in the break room, too. It was a lot of effort to put this together!

Shorts Minion: Ahh, so you are to blame for all that.

Kell Inkston: To blame for what?

Shorts Minion: Mate, no one likes Kellogg cereal bars, and someone picked over all the strawberries and pineapples from the fruit plate… That was you, wasn’t it?

*Kell clears his throat uncomfortably*

Kell Inkston: Well… I was sort of hungry and I didn’t feel like getting in the car to drive acr-

Shorts Minion: Got it: it was you. All you needed to say.

*Shorts Minion turns to the camera*

Shorts Minion: So like I said this one’s Daring Deep’s Second Wave. Sounds like a coming of age story for a drug addled homosexual set in the 70’s if you ask me, but oh what do I know, I’m just Shorts Minion.

*Kell clears his throat again as he also turns to the camera*

Kell Inkston: I hope you enjoy it!

Shorts Minion: They won’t.


Daring Deep’s Second Wave



“Dad, what the hell?!” Connie spits as she drops her spoon, holding a vile mix of salt-water and cereal, onto the fetching anchor-pattern tablecloth.

A formidable man in a deep diving suit, looking like a giant of iron and glass, cringes over the sink. “I- uh, what is it, little barnacle?” he asks, his voice compressed and echoed in his suit as he turns clumsily around to look at her through his eternally fogged-over visor.

“Are you stupid? You just turned my cereal into a goddamn ocean again!” She huffs violently as she pushes the bowl of salt-water, which was just a moment ago milk, away from her in denial.

The hulking figure slides off his seagull apron and places it aside neatly. “Oh… little sea cucumber, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to. You know daddy can’t control his powers all that well anymore.”

Connie just looks away while she takes a sip of her cup of over-creamed coffee. “Yeah… obviously not.” She taps the little ocean-themed mug onto the table, taking up a slender spoon and using it to dip in a sugar cube. “I just don’t get how a super hero loses his powers; that’s fucking lame, dad.”

'Dad' draws back in shock. “Hey now, young lady— I don’t think that’s very good language for someone as-”

“God, dad, you’re such a fucking bitch.” Connie stares forward dully— out the window, out into space, out of this universe where she was cursed with the job of being the famous and beloved superhero, The Daring Deep’s, own daughter.

The Daring Deep sighs with a strange, high tone- it’s obvious to her that she’s hurt the hero's feelings. “I… Look, Connie, I know that your mom… She would have set you straight, but I can’t do that.”

Connie shrugs. “Whatever, dad.” She continues stirring her cube in, when she feels a tug from the other end of the spoon hidden within the depths of her coffee. She sighs fully, deeply, and in complete irritation. “Fuck is it this time?” She pulls up her spoon to see a thumb-sized kraken, wrapping around the piece of silverware tightly in an attempt to hug it to death or whatever it is tiny krakens do. Connie just shakes her head, places the little terror back into the coffee where it belongs, and gets up from her chair. “Alright, I’m out.”

The Daring Deep stumbles in shock. “But the bus isn’t even here yet!”

“Think I’ll walk today- the longer I’m outside of this madhouse the better.” She steps to the door to get her backpack without another word.

“Young lady! You can’t hate your daddy just for-” He’s cut short as the door slams behind her. The hero is left alone with the little octopus, who has extended its strangling maneuvers up the coffee spoon's delicate handle in an attempt to rend it asunder using its massive, really adorably-tiny arms. Daring Deep stands in place a moment, and then sighs. “... for something he can’t control,” he finishes helplessly. He puts his little apron back on and returns to the dish rack. “I’m so sorry, Connie.” He starts on a plate, just yesterday holding a lovingly-made cake for Connie’s birthday; but of course that had to go wrong too when the cake exploded to reveal a swarm of angry tiny crabs— they eventually opted to order pizza instead. The Daring Deep closes his eyes, glowing with the fury of the infinite salty abyss— which is the color yellow, mind you; infinite abysses are yellow only— and takes in a deep, nautical breath. Maybe he isn’t cut out for this 'normal' thing after all.

He finishes the plate, takes his apron off as quickly as he’d put it back on, and goes straight upstairs to his secret ocean master’s study.



The master bedroom bookcase slides forth to reveal a fresh wave of saltwater as it pours out onto the carpet; he suddenly remembers why he doesn’t go here anymore. He trots across the drenched carpet and through the opening to his nautical lair— the place where he spent all those long nights, speaking with the voices of the ocean for wisdom. He steps in with a sacred solemnness— well aware that this is the place where the once great and mighty Daring Deep used to meditate and communicate with the others of his team, Saving Grace. The aged hero points his vision over to the study wall covered with pictures and mementos of long past, from back in the days when everyone was still around, Black Nail wasn’t pulled down with cancer, and she… she was still walking the earth.


Daring Deep spots his prized picture- cradled in a frame of brass seahorses, curling around the picture gracefully. He picks up the dust-covered frame, takes a single peek at her face, and then slaps it down onto the table— banishing her visage from the room. The Nautical Nightmare leans into his dark leather chair, in surprisingly good condition despite it being partially-submerged for so long. He shifts, struggling to pile off the pain before he attempts to internalize and theorize himself back to something vaguely resembling comfort.

He just can’t wrap himself around it. He’s tired of trying. No matter how he approaches the problem, he can’t seem to get a hold of himself. The weary man relaxes fully into his chair and begins to muse, as he’s always so liable to do when resting; he can still hear clearly the words of Saving Grace’s glorious leader, Captain Cage, ringing in his submersion suit…


“So, how’s your little girl been doing?” Cage asks as he shifts his wizened gaze across the pub, ever on the alert even when in the privacy of his favorite watering hole.

Daring Deep stares into his pint, still hating the fact that he can only enjoy beer through his oxygen supply tube, which is usually more trouble than it's worth. “I guess…” Daring takes a pause to sigh. “Well I guess she’s doing okay. Getting all A’s and B’s in school.”

“Nice,” Cage says in his usual, pseudo-interested way— really asking more for the sake of politeness than anything. In truth, Cage never really liked Daring Deep all that much- he’d always felt threatened, as the majority of the team had. Everyone in Saving Grace had known well; Daring Dork’s just a pushover and a nice guy— until you get him riled up.

Daring Deep nods his head as Jake Iron, seated next to the other two, scoffs to the side. “Come on, mate,” Jake starts with shrug, “you can’t really be hangin’ what happened with Amy ‘round yer neck forever now..”

Cage gently kicks Jake— silently agreeing, but refusing to show it. “Jake! Come on, dude. You know that’s not what Daring needs to hear right now,” Cage chastises with a superior look.

Jake sighs. “Yeah, whatever mate.” The blunt comrade shuffles into his corner with his next shot of whiskey. “He’s gotta let it go sometime,” he mutters to himself.

Cage turns back to Deep, lost again in his thoughts as he always is nowadays. “Is she really doin’ alright, Deep?”

The Tidal Terror turns away wistfully, the subdued pub lights reflecting brilliantly off his murky glass visor. “She really misses Amy… I do too.”

Cage nods solemnly. "Yeah man, we all miss her. ... but, Jake’s got a point, that you can’t be hanging onto this forever; it’s been five years, Deep.”

“Don’t remind me.”

“Look, it was some serious shit- we all remember; but we’ve all moved on—everyone but you, man.”


Cage draws back, adjusting his high-tech mask. “Everyone, man. Even the bastards from S.A.H.R... You remember Mist Maid?”

Daring Deep looks about in thought— as always, he’s a fucking wreck in the head. “I… the one that could turn into water and stuff?”

“Yeah, man. She got in touch with me.”

“You’ve been talking to the enemy?

Cage waves dismissively and Jake rolls his eyes. “Enemy? Dude, we shut down S.A.H.R. ages ago; they’re just normal Joes n’ Janes like you n’ me now. Mist’s gotten a teaching degree, can you believe it?”

Deep crosses his arms, still refusing to look either of the men in their faces. “I… Yeah I guess she had a good head on her shoulders… for a baddie.”

“Yeah man, and you’re smart too.” Cage leans in. “Dude, like, other than Mindflay, you were pretty much the brainiest dude in Grace.”

As Jake sighs contemptuously, Deep hums at the thought. “You… you think so?”

“Course! You’re always quotin’ literature n’ shit n’ all those super long words. I’m just thinking that you’re smart enough to figure this shit out, man. I know you don’t really need to live like the rest of us-”

“Like a ‘normal’ person?” Deep gurgles.

Cage clenches his teeth, a common mannerism when he’s faking apology. “Hey, man. You know that’s not how I meant it. I mean a person that just… like I said, moved on, dude.”

“How do I do it, Cage?” Deep props his head against his outstretched arm, making an audible 'clink' against his visor. “I have no idea… There’s a hole in me— left by the old days, left by the adventures… really left by Amy. How am I supposed to move on?”

“Man, you just got to be a hero again. I know you lost control of your powers after… yeah, but you need to find that fire you had back in the day and like… spark it, man! Shit, I don’t know how to say it. We all got that something, and I know that somewhere, deep in there, it’s there. You know?”

“Spark it… alright. Thanks, Cage.”

“Dude, call me Donovan- it’s been fifteen years now for chrissakes.”

His consciousness fades back to reality as he raises his pint and clinks glasses with Cage, who two weeks later would get booked by the police for heroin.


Daring Deep— always cautious, always observant, wakes up from his dream. He has the answer he needs; it’s not an answer he likes, though.



The Spirits of the Deep— even now they remain in the very edges of his psyche. The conjoined intelligence, awe and power of every creature of the sea, is amalgamated within his mind— giving him his reality-denying powers. Only a week after Amy Archangel died during the assault on S.A.H.R.’s HQ things began to spiral, and he hasn’t been able control the gestalt of the deep for shit. All he can do is make little urchins and flounders appear, by complete accident and always at the worst times. His incredible might has become a complete and damning curse to him, causing nothing but misery… but perhaps he’s simply been looking at it wrong. The last time Daring Deep meditated and communed with The Spirits was four years ago. After Amy’s death, he didn’t just drop his entire life on the floor— he tried hard to get his shit back together. But after his thirty-sixth try, each time with results more disastrous than the next, he decided to simply deny his powers and do his best to live with them as a civilian.

Certainly, he just needs to dive back into the madness. After all, it couldn’t be worse than trying for sanity. It is time to go back to the deep.

He clunkily lifts himself from his sunken armor and steps over to the side of the room where a red-white handle labeled 'FILL' is standing at the neutral position— precisely where he left it years ago, since the last time he’s been in his study. He stares desperately at the handle through his visor, tremors suddenly swelling up in his body— is he really going to do this? Is he really going to bring it all back up to the surface?


He pulls the lever down. From top ducts in the room come forth torrents of water, filling the study at inches every second. It's up to his strong iron knees, then his waist, then his chest. He feels that familiar, blanketing chill of being surrounded by water. In only seconds he’s overtaken by the waves and rises up to near weightlessness in the sealed room. The second he loses himself to the water’s gravity he feels the dread, the insecurity and the weakness of the past decade drifting away— and something else, something old flowing in. He knows this is only part way, of course- the appetizer to the true feast. He reaches up to his oxygen supply, and disconnects it.

Instantly a flush of water rushes into his suit. He gasps with more humanity than he's ever had during these cold long years since her death; and he can feel it now— the cold, the deep, that nebulous horror of the dark overtaking him as he feels his sanity draining out. This is the only thing he hasn’t tried yet— going back to the very Origin he blames for all his problems.

The water fills his suit, and Daring Deep is drowning. He gasps and writhes as his various books and logs of thought float gracefully in the liquid air. Minutes pass of this torment, this sanity-destroying self destruction; and finally, his lungs fill entirely. His tremors cease, and his heart beats a final time this day.

“HEY WAKE UP,” cries an abrupt, unpunctuated voice with a decidedly Bostonian accent.

Daring Deep’s body flinches. “…I…”

“HEY DUDE WAKE UP,” the irritating, quick-spoken voice continues.

Daring Deep opens his eyes, his body fully embraced by the gestalt of the ocean. Before him, massive and threatening and annoying, is the spirit of the barracuda, glowing brilliantly in the gray depths of his vision. The backdrop of his study has disappeared into the ocean of his mind. “You… I remember you.”


Daring Deep looks up through his diving mask to the side of the barracuda, assuming some imitation of eye contact. “Yeah… It’s been a long time, hasn’t it, spirit?”

“I’LL SAY I THOUGHT YOU WERE LIKE DEAD DUDE LIKE DAMN,” the barracuda yells out as he haphazardly and aimlessly floats around in the water, rotating and spinning uncontrollably.

“… I couldn’t stay in this state. I couldn’t be this… close to the oce-”


“Uh, yeah I missed you too. Tell me, do you know what I’m missing?”


Missing, as in the control of my powers. What did the past me have that gave me so much confidence… so much poise… I just don’t know!”


Daring Deep shakes his head. “Thanks- I’ll search elsewhere,” he says as he eases his concentration.

The spirit of the barracuda begins fading out of his vision. “WHOA DUDE BUT WE STILL NEED TO PARTY I GOT SOME DAMN SEAWEED OVER BEHIND THIS ROCK AND IT’S SOME REAL DAMN FINE STUFF DUDE GET BACK HERE—” the spirit’s voice diminishes bit by bit, until it’s entirely gone from Daring Deep’s spiritual ocean. He remembers how much he didn’t miss barracuda spirit— that guy’s a tool. Besides, ignoring the problem with pleasure wouldn’t do a damn thing for him- it would only delay the inevitable.

Daring Deep continues to pick his mind, his soul, his everything within the ocean; he can feel another crawling essence welling up in his brain. He feels the maddening tug from behind by a myriad probing tentacles- and the smartest of them all takes form.

“Octopus?” Daring Deep looks behind himself as best he can in his suit.

“Tis’ I, Albert,” a deep, thoughtful voice resounds as the tentacled grip relaxes.

“Tell me- why can’t I get a hold of myself anymore? Why am I so damn crazy? Why can’t I be a good father?”

“It’s likely a case of post traumatic stress disorder that correlates to the death of your wife.”

“…Well, yeah obviously.”

The octopus puts on a pair of glasses and flips through the little notebook hidden between his tentacles. “Due to her untimely death your life was thrown out of its common balance as expected for a man of your age. You were still in the ‘young father’ psychological archetype, and the archetype for dealing with the loss of very close loved ones had not yet been developed. You were not ready for this shock, therefore you simply withdrew from what you related to her death— in this case, your powers and most of your friends from Saving Grace. In their place you elevated your daughter, the last shard of your wife and the life you loved more than anything, above everything else. Tell me, Albert-” the British-accented octopus pulls out a pen and clicks the end to prepare for note-taking, “just when was the last time you went out with your friends?”

Albert looks down into the endless expanse of madness and chaos that is the infinite deep and he sighs. “I don’t know… three months ago?”

The octopus hums in some form of analytical displeasure as he begins writing. “Definitely not a regular habit, then. How about seeing other women?”


“Never just, gone to a whore house, hopped the hell up on coke, and smacked a fine lady’s posterior while listening to Zay G?” The spirit annunciates while waving his tentacle about in explanation.

“Uh, no, I ha-”

“Just, I dunno, shove a shit load of heroin in your crotch and have a huge fucking party as you pee on everyone in sig-”


The octopus hums quizzically as he writes down 'unhealthy social life' in his notebook. “Alright, certainly quite out of the normal. But surely you at least go to church.”

Daring Deep just shakes his head. “I never go out to do anything anymore. I get Connie to do all the errands.”

The octopus stops his noting for a moment. “You don’t think that’s irresponsible of a father to have your daughter do all of that?”

“I… I just can’t go out and see people like I used to. Being outside is so… open.”

The octopus raises a hairless brow. “Open— like the ocean?

The Mighty Daring Deep crumples up in the water, floating weightlessly in the fetal position like a little bitch. “Yes.”

“That’s quite good that you’re here then. Alright- I think I know what you need.” The octopus puts away his note book and raises a tentacle knowingly.

“You… you do?”

The octopus pulls out a little slip and writes on it. “Get this prescription filled out along with this one and this one. Take the recommended dosage and call on me in the mor—”

Albert laxes back to his usual 'depressed floating' position. “Look... thanks, octopus, but I think this is something that drugs can’t fix.”

The spirit of all octopie everywhere slaps the little prescription slip in Daring Deep’s hand and scoffs. “Nonsense, my boy. There’s nothing that a little capitalism-fueled modern medicine can’t fix!”

“Goodbye, octopus.”

The octopus of all octopie begins to fade away. “G-good sir! Albert! You can’t leave before I-” and just like that, the octopus too is gone.

Daring Deep tears up the nonexistent prescription slip. Even if the drugs were real, depression meds wouldn’t do a damn thing for him. The problem lies in his action, not a physical imbalance. He concentrates into the very core of the nothingness— if such a thing exists— and feels, finally, the one spirit he’s looking for. He feels a great mass approach him, hovering incomprehensibly in the water all around him- the true wisest of them all.

“You— I did miss you,” Albert speaks up.

A long, deep call through the ocean reverberates his entire body, like one of those chairs in the mall. “I never left.”

Albert squints upward at the great mass, as if realizing something valuable and hidden. “I guess it was me that left… So I know you know the answer.”

“The answer?” the old, calm voice asks.

“How do I regain control of my life, spirit? I’ve lost everything that’s important to me except Connie, and I’m about to lose her, too!”

The great something above Albert is silent for a moment as the water around them shifts mystically. “You must become what you are.”

“What do you mean, Blue Whale? Could you not be cryptic for this one time, please?

The Spirit of The Blue Whale descends low enough to be next to Daring Deep, at the right height to assume some form of eye contact between the two. “You are a clam, Daring Deep.

Daring Deep waves out his hands animatedly in confusion. “What?

“You are a clam that pretends its pearl is not beautiful. You must open yourself again and display this pearl- then you will remember your inner worth.”

He stares at the old, tired eye of the whale for a good minute. “So… so I need to simply… not reject what I… what I really am on the inside.”

The whale rocks its massive head up and down just a few inches to nod. “You are wiser than you think, Albert. You only became afraid to show it. Now do as you feel.”

Daring Deep’s still heart beats with an eldritch force. “…As I feel?”

“What do you want to do, Albert?”

He looks into his strong, wrought-iron hands, and clenches them into fists. “I want to save people!”

“You have your answer. Do you know what it is?”

Daring Deep looks up with a sunken spark of determination. “Yes, yes! I’m no man, but a hero! People need someone that is as strong, as durable, and as imposing as Daring Deep. I am a superhero! I knew my life would change forever once I found out I couldn’t take off this diving suit, but it didn’t just give me a stupid heavy suit to lumber about in every day. This suit is a blessing— it means that I always have a purpose if I choose to use its power. I was a fool to act like I could just choose to go back to a regular life and ignore the gifts I’ve been given. The responsibility on my shoulders is far too great to stand on the sidelines. I’m going to go out and do something!”

The Blue Whale calls out in pleasure, and offers Daring Deep her fin. “Then to the surface you go, Albert.”

Daring Deep grabs on and in a rush is ferried up by the whale into the light of the surface. “Thank you, spirit… and the name’s Daring Deep!” He says, almost shouting as he’s lifted up and out of his trance.



In a water-filled study on our plane of existence, a man in a diving suit jolts back into life. Instantly he hits the lever to drain the study, opening vents to pump out the water. In seconds he’s back on his own feet and he reconnects the oxygen supply in his saltwater-filled suit. Without a breath he turns from his study, marches downstairs, and steps for the front door. He’s going to hop in his car, jack into police radio like he used to, and wait for a disturbance in the world’s order. His mind races with ideas. He could go to the middle east, places of political turmoil— he could win wars singlehandedly with his might! He trudges right to the doorknob and squeezes the handle when he stops.

The phone’s ringing.

He swings around and snaps up his old wireless home phone. “Deep here,” he speaks with an awe-inspiring, deep voice that exudes poise and confidence.

“Dude!” It’s fucking Donovan. “I’ve been trying to call you for the past ten minutes, man!” His tone is urgent; the only time Deep’s heard his voice like this was during the assault on S.A.H.R. HQ. Daring Deep doesn’t like that tone in him.

“What is it, Cage?”

“You know that prep school all the extra’d kids go to?” Cage asks. Deep can hear extreme, exasperated panting in the background of the call along with gunfire.

“Acropolis Academy? Connie goes there.”

“Dude, some terrorists blocked off the school and are hauling the kids off somewhere!”

Daring Deep can’t believe his ears. He presses the phone into his mask firmly. “Cage, what the fuck are you saying?”

“I’m saying the police can’t do a damn thing because it’s extras who are the terrorists.”

“Is the Army on it? Any operators going in?”

“They’re taking the kids off by bus, dude- one of them’s jamming radars, cameras, anything that can track them.”

“So then how do you know where they are?”

“Because I’m running behind them right now!”

“You’re chasing them?

“Yeah, dude. I knew you’d be the first to call.”

“Why me?”

“Thing is, they’re going down a country road. Walker Road, man.”

Daring Deep kicks open the door to his rustic townhouse. He stares across the broad farmer’s field and down the street- Walker Road. The sound of furious, flying motors is screaming through the air as two buses pop out of the tree line, set to pass Deep’s house in only a matter of seconds.

“See you soon, Cage.”

“Man, it’s Donova- *beep*.

With a display of speed unreached by any wearing a full 1900’s diving suit, Daring Deep storms across the dirt road leading up to his house at a furious five miles per hour.

He’s obviously slow as fuck. He's huffed his way across half an acre by the time the buses get so close that he can see Cage dashing right behind them. Deep needs something more. He focuses his core, his muscles, his mind, his gestalt, into his powers. Though his suit has always been clunky and unhelpful in most manual tasks, he's never forgotten why one of his nicknames was 'The Cannonball'. He feels a rush of created water picking up at his feet, propelling him to a velocity that one could only properly describe as 'super dangero-holy sh-' and then the person describing it would die because he or she would be hit by the thing they had been in the process of describing.


A moment earlier in the front-most bus, Dostek Vilskya’s gotten a pistol set right against Miss Hiromi’s head. “Hey now, kiddies. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to ya’ teacher, would you now?” he taunts just before licking his yellow teeth to coat them with another layer of tobacco and vodka-saturated saliva.

Blaze Redmoon, one of the few students to already have his powers emerge, only to be trodden down with a stupid ass name given to him by his hippie parents, spits up from the floor as a pair of terrorists hold him down. “You’ll fucking rue it, bitches! Saving Grace’s gonna kick your asses!”

“Quiet, Blaze— please!" Miss Hiromi cries out before being hit across the skull with Vilskya’s pistol. “Don’t think so, kid. Grace’s been shut down for years. They’re all in retirement homes and mansions by now.”

One of the terrorists pulling back security snickers with a snide tone. “Yeah, ya’ dumb kid. Most of them can’t even use their powers anymore.”

“Unlike us!” another man on the bus exclaims, winning a round of guffaws from all the armed men.

Vilskya listens to the gunfire behind the second bus for a moment, and he smiles. “Pick ‘em up.”

“What?!” the bruised-up Blaze challenges as the two men ease on him slightly, allowing him to stumble to his feet.

“Let me show you what’s about to happen to your beloved Grace.” He shoves the boy over to the back of the bus, and all eyes except the driver’s turn to the back. From the angle of the turn, they can all see Captain Cage dashing like a madman to catch up to the bus, firing his Captain Colt Revolver with his years of experience to hit those shooting back at him; but he’s taken a dozen wounds already. A trail of crimson is streaming from Cage’s stupid-ass silver-white themed tracksuit, and he’s almost stumbling to keep up.

Captain Cage, no!” Blaze cries as the bus uproars anew in horror.

“We’ve been going easy on him for this very moment. I want all of you to see this.” He picks up a radio and speaks in. “Move to the other lane so we can get a clear view.”

Got it, boss,” a static-marred voice says at the other end. The trailing bus moves aside, giving Vilskya an open shot at Cage with his gun. He hands off Miss Hiromi to a nearby henchman and steps to the back window, opened wide to allow gunfire.

“Don’t you dare!” Blaze shouts as Vilskya aims downward, square at Cage’s face.

There’s even more uproar amongst the captives as the villain takes a long, aimed breath as he prepares to deliver a fatal shot. Connie, in the very back row, gets a clear look at Vilskya’s evil-as-shit half-metal face. “Remember this day, kids. This is the end of the age of heroes, starting with the death of good ol’ Grace’s leader,” Vilskya shouts just as he squeezes into the trigger at the exhausted Captain Cage. A flash moves through Connie’s mind - she remembers the face of her mom as a kid, right before that last mission— the one she never came home from. She tenses to leap up at Vilskya just as the tires screech, and everyone’s thrown off balance as an enormous diving suit, ushered forward by a tidal wave, is smashed through the windshield and dive-bombs the driver in the face.

The wheels turn on a dime— but the bus, of course, does not. It flips to the side and skids across, causing the other bus to screech to a halt. Everyone in the bus folds into each other as gravity tosses hostage and terrorist alike into the ground-side of the bus, releasing Miss Hiromi just long enough for her to realize that the bus now contains a few dozen gallons of water; she can work with this. The school teacher, who once went by the name of Mist Maid, needs only a single flick of her wrist to transform the water brought in by the mysterious flying diving suit into a thick curtain of mist— flowing out the broken bus windows and enveloping everything for nearly a kilometer.

Everyone stumbles and crawls to gain footing as Vilskya, the only one dexterous enough to stay upright amidst the crash, waves at the mist in a futile attempt to gain some vision of the situation.

“Wh-what the hell?! Morstov, report!” In the next second he hears a wail of horror, sounding eerily like Morstov Deniskovich— if his mouth were full of eels and his pants filled with sea lampreys. All around Vilskya he can hear the cries of his men, being overwhelmed by an invisible, horrific force as they return fire with their own powers. He feels a pinch at his feet and looks down to see a snow crab, gripping his heel with murderous fervor. “Wh-what the hell?!

“Sir, help!” One of his men yelps just before what sounds like a swarm of sharks wriggling through that part of the bus overwhelms his henchman’s horror.

Vilskya looks around for something, anything, to use in a situation as unexpected and dreaded as this— a nightmare scenario even for those called extras, who are each given a gift to control and reign over. He spots Connie, still writhing to her feet, and his eye glints with opportunity. He swipes her right up with his considerable strength, and fits the barrel of his gun against her ear. “Stop right there, whoever you are! I’ll shoot!” he yells, holding Connie firmly by the neck as he peers through the thick mist for any indication of the unknown threat.

Water begins to flood through the bus and flow up to their ankles— the salt is rife with clawing, tentacled, and toothy sea-life sailing through the shallows menacingly. Connie can feel tremors of horror through Vilskya’s body, but as cold as the water is, she feels strangely warm— absolutely safe in the guarantee that this will end for the best.

The bus goes silent of Vilskya’s men—and a glowing yellow circle, looking like the sun, appears in the mist. Vilskya inhales sharply and nervously as he prods Connie’s head with his pistol. “Who are you?!

“So man made boats to deny the deep’s long arms—but the deep reached up and took them all the same,” the glowing circle addresses in a gurgling, horrific voice. Immediately, silently, the circle approaches, revealing the hulking diving suit connected; the glowing circle is the eldritch lens of the diving mask, staring straight into Vilskya’s land-dwelling soul.

Vilskya points away from Connie and to the mass of water-logged metal. He fires shot after shot— not a single one penetrating the exoskeleton of this horrific intruder. “What are you?!” he corrects in a desperate escalated tone, tears in his eyes and piss in his pants.

The giant figure releases a breath like a storm’s howling wind. “I am the deep. I’ve come to take you back.”

Vilskya cries with wrenching horror as he ditches Connie and leaps out the bus window. With his extra ability, the power of speed, he bolts like a lightning flash from the bus— but does so in such a reckless fashion that he rams right into the other bus. He reels in shock for only a moment before regaining himself, and leaps to escape. He falls flat on his face. In anew panic Vilskya looks to his heel to see, wrapped around it tightly, a slick, ink-black tentacle, emerging from the mist.

“No… No!” He cries out, shooting at the tentacle as a dozen new appendages emerge from the quiet around him. As the teeth of the eel, the claws of the crab, and the writhing mass of the lamprey latch onto him, he hears the steady, dooming thump of that large submerged horror approaching.

“Please! What do you want from me?!” he begs, expending his last shot in vain against his assaulter’s impregnable armor.

“Your soul.” Vilskya screams in unquenchable terror just as police sirens scream in through the mist. “... behind bars!” the thing inside the diving suit finishes with a hint of humor as the cops finally rush in, lead by Cage.

The tentacles, claws, mist, and everything retract from the scene— and all that’s left is two wrecked buses, a lot of crying pussy teenagers, and the cops with their guns pointed right at a crew of rounded up, seaweed-covered crooks.

“Yo, Donovan,” Police chief Hernandez greets with his usual tip of the cap.

Donovan waves. “This should be all of them, Chief.”

“Perfect; we’ll tag ‘em and get ‘em back to high security… any idea who the guy was?”

“What do you mean?” Cage says.

Hernandez draws back with a smirk. “You mean to say it was you?”

Cage cocks his head back. “Duh.


Connie is rounded up for accountability with the other kids— some still weeping in shock, and others talking about how cool that shit was and how they totally weren’t even a little horrified.

“Connie,” Blaze nudges her with his elbow.


“That was some crazy shit, huh?”

She sighs. “I was terrified, thought we were about to die.”

“Same here. Looks like that dude came in right on time though, huh?” he remarks as he scratches the blond soul patch on his chin that doesn’t really work for him but it’s forgivable because he’s a teenager and is probably going through a phase.

Connie peers far across the street, across the field, to her warm country home. She spots a certain diving suit walk in and shut the door. Slowly, a smile wraps around her face to match Blaze’s. “Yeah, you know, he really did.”

“Yeah! That’s the kind of heroes we need— wonder who he was?”

Connie sighs. “No idea; but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him around more often.”




Shorts Minion: Wow, that fucking sucked.

Kell Inkston: Don’t be jealous. I’m certain you wish you could write something that silly.

Shorts Minion: Talentless and narcissistic. Now that’s a winning combo if I ever saw one.

*Interview Ends*