Haikasoru

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Excerpt for VIRUS [Archive]

VIRUS

East of the Tonga Trench, Nereid bid farewell to tropical waters and continued on ever southward through the southern hemisphere. In the waters near New Zealand, she raised her periscope briefly, but then continued running under the sea just as before. After a week, Nereid was shaken by a strong upward shock wave and for a while afterward was rattled about by a wide, undulating front where cold and warm water mixed. Navigator Vankirk placed his hands on the auto-adjuster for differential current. They had entered into the cold, fierce Cape Horn Current.

Not long after, the ship dove to a depth of two hundred meters. This was to avoid the undersides of icebergs. The watch was increased to two men on four shifts. Eighteen days after putting the spring weather of the northern hemisphere behind it, Nereid plunged into the southern hemisphere’s autumn, ravaged by the west wind, then headed even farther, closing in latitude by latitude on the eternal winter of the polar cap. She passed under the raging Westerlies that stirred the face of the sea to a foamy froth up above, and it was then, when the dark, ghostly shadows of icebergs overhead began to appear in the forward camera view, that the order to surface was given for the first time in four months.

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