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Sub and Sealers

Dreamed 1996/8/9 by Chris Wayan

I'm orbiting a little planet with many Borneo-size islands and shallow seas. No real pattern I can see, just a dense maze of land and water, about half and half. I see a map showing all their names but I've forgotten now. Is this Mars long ago, when it was wet? It's nearly that small. But it's a pleasant world, green and blue...

Down to the surface. Meet my first natives on a warm beach. Little brown creatures, quiet, polite. They live like our Inuit: paddle small skin boats out to hunt seal-like creatures. Their stories of larger, weirder deep-sea creatures, though, leave most of our research team skeptical. I'm puzzled why my colleagues disbelieve the locals--obviously they know their own seas best! I suspect ethnocentrism--the natives aren't white American he-men, so they must be stupid and superstitious.

But my colleagues requisition a ten-meter American submarine, and send it out on a dual mission: to look for such creatures AND to test the natives' alertness. If they notice and accurately describe this strange new creature, their tales of other deepsea beasties will be more credible.

The natives don't just spot it--they complain this sub is so big and loud it's no FUN to track. We have to send them something smaller and quieter or they won't play any more!

It's the best stealth technology Earth has.

True, it's much larger than a seal, but it doesn't need to rise to breathe. Yet they tracked it easily, instantly... entirely by sound. Sounds too faint for Earth sonar to detect.

I think we'd better take the local people's tales of weird deepsea creatures very seriously.


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