Blurred background image
22 min read

The Failure of Project X-2

Author since 2024 1Story 2 Followers
The Failure of Project X-2

Mankind should learn to stop its curious nature before it becomes our undoing. If only they knew what we knew, they would not want us to continue to search the depths of the God forsaken oceans. The horrors we saw through our newest equipment is something that I still can not grip my mind around. It plagues me to the point where when I’m done recounting my story, I will join the crew of project X-2. God or Gods that may claim me, please have mercy on my soul.

It started November 20,2020. After the failure of killing the creature that lies at the bottom of the sea, we decided to create major upgrades to our vessels. You heard correctly. One vessel was not going to be enough and unfortunately for the crew from Project X, they paid for that lesson with their lives. For you see, the problem was that there wasn’t just one massive creature that lay down there. As far as we knew, there were three creatures that were at least sixty feet in length. Each was deadly in their own unique way. However, our focus was on the queen of this hive minded society. We figured if we took out the queen, the rest would crumble, and if they continued to fight we would have the upper hand. I wish I could say that if we knew the true purpose behind Project X, we wouldn’t have agreed to this suicide mission, but I fear that all it would’ve changed was how we went about it.

I’ll disclose a brief summary of Project X in order to make this a little easier to understand:

At the bottom of the sea, or what was believed to be the bottom of the sea, a group of researchers found an unknown octopus-like creature with six eyes, bat-like wings protruding from either side of its head, an unusually red tinted body, and tentacles the size of two football fields. They believed it could’ve been a new species of octopoda. However, as they began to try and determine if it was the only one of its kind, they were quickly attacked by horribly large vertebrae. Ones that have never been recorded before. These vertebrae were massive, silver in color creatures with dozens of large fangs. It looked like a massive flatworm species. Only the video feed that the vessel sent back to us was left. And so, Project X was conducted in order to deal with this new potential threat. Sadly, a large missile was used on the creature, but it seemed to have only invoked its wrath as when it managed to hurt one of the unknown vertebrae, the new octopoda creature immediately went into a frenzy. With one swoop of its large red tentacle, it destroyed every ship that was within one hundred to two hundred feet of it.

In this line of work, you hear and see horrible things, but that overkill of our marines was something that I just wasn’t prepared for. None of us truly were. We knew what we had signed up for, but the tentacle of that creature was something that threw us through a loop.

You see, we had no way of knowing that Phineas Octopoda could grow its tentacles to enormous lengths in order to defend herself. I say herself based on Doctor Carmine’s theory.

Doctor Phineas A. Carmine’s theory is, or I should say was, that there has to be some unknown niche between whatever those things were, and the creature itself. However, on December 1st, Doctor Carmine finally made progress that supported his thesis by creating radio waves of the creature that would be strong enough to study the creature, but without hurting it. We confirmed that her normal size was no bigger than seven feet tall. It left us in bewilderment as there was no creature in the ocean that should’ve been able to practically quadruple their size in order to defend themselves, but that wasn’t the strangest part. The strangest part was that this octopus was tiny in comparison to the vertebrae that prevented us from going anywhere near her. It led Doctor Carmine to wonder if somehow this new species of octopoda was able to make the large flatworms that surrounded her into mindless puppets with perhaps some sort of parasitic. Similar to the ones cats have used on humans. Unknown, but done for so long, it would be close to impossible to know when it truly started. Another theory that he proposed was that maybe the Phineas Octopoda was giving off some kind of pheromones. Similar to a queen bee and all her subjects. We weren’t so sure with this as it did not seem like she had any interest in mating at all. Not that it was easy to tell from what little imaging we were able to gain at a safe distance.

It was finally decided to send in more experienced naval fleets with enough firepower to make the ocean look like a wasteland to attack the creature’s bodyguards. Somehow, enough tissue samples were able to be retrieved. The thing that still haunts me is what no one else, but me and a few operators saw that day when the tissue samples were collected. Based on the creature’s behavior, I was quickly able to figure out that something wasn’t right. This was too easy. I tried to immediately bring it up to my superiors, but was dismissed based on the fact that a lot of funding went into Project X-2 for anything that involved the creatures. That included tissue samples.

In case I didn’t mention it, mostly because it doesn’t matter anymore, I’m an animal behavioral expert. I would give off my name, but I truly want to be forgotten from history books as I feel like part of this is my fault. I felt like I should’ve done more, but confrontation was never my strong suit. As the few naval subs returned to surface to return the tissue samples, Doctor Carmine was the first of many that were eagerly waiting to examine the specimens. The man was so zealous to get started, I thought the M.P.s [Military Police] were going to have to restrain the man. I would’ve laughed, but between the creature’s demeanor and this ever growing bad feeling…it was hard to enjoy the experience of these fresh samples with my colleagues.

Hours had gone by and to be honest, I thought that it was very possible that I was over thinking about the creature’s intentions. After all, octopus were very smart creatures, but to plan something that could very well cause harm to the crew seemed ridiculous. That was until December 25th 2020. We were going to celebrate Christmas together since there was no way to get home to our loved ones in this weather. One of the crewmen burst into the room and stated that there was a signal coming from one of the massive flatworms. When asked how it was possible, she responded that she was unsure. Keep this in mind, the vessels we sent down there were packed to survive on its own for a week at best. We sent those vessels down there on December 5th. That means the vessel was there for almost three weeks. It didn’t seem possible for anyone to survive, and yet someone clearly did as it sent signal waves from inside one of the giant vertebrae. It left us both stunned and confused. Someone had to explain to the admiral of this oceanic base several times how this couldn’t be possible and that for all we knew, it could be a trap. Despite this, the admiral ordered the control room to patch the signal through. We couldn’t believe our ears, but it was Captain Wheaton. The signal cut in and out a bit, but despite this, we were all able to hear the Captain speak. People were both shocked and astonished while others, such as myself, thought that this was a great opportunity to do something mankind had never attempted before due to the lack of technology to even make the attempt.

You can’t blame me for wanting to know what it was like inside the creature. We tried speaking to the Captain, but it was as if the communication was only a one way call. He could talk to us and we could very much hear him, for the exception of a few words being cut off, but for some reason, he couldn’t hear us. I can’t even begin to describe how pissed off everyone was in that control room that day. To the Admiral’s credit, he really did try to keep a cool head, but I think he was more worried about leaving a fellow naval officer in the bowels of this massive creature. I couldn’t blame him, and therefore kept my disappointment about not being able to get footage of the creature’s bowels to myself. However, the problems didn’t rest with communication with Captain Wheaton. Suddenly, the P.A. system was filled with panicking screams. One of them was begging Doctor Carmine to stop, but then we could hear what appeared to be someone being strangled until the bones in their neck popped. “Long live The Elder Gods.” Doctor Carmine said before destroying the P.A. system. People were beginning to panic. Admiral Powell struggled to get everyone to calm down long enough to form a plan to make it to the escape pods. We didn’t want to risk an encounter with Doctor Carmine, or whatever he had become. So we didn’t even bother with the Helicopter Pad that was supposed to be used, ironically, in the event of an emergency.

This left us with only one option that no one wanted to try. Especially me. Somehow, I felt like this was a death sentence. There really wasn’t much of a choice. Either be killed like the other researchers and the M.P.s assigned to guard the researchers, or take our chances with the escape pods. That’s when someone came up with another option that to this day makes me tear up. It was both brave and suicidal, but after much discussion, four people volunteered to be the distraction so that the rest of the crew and I could make it out alive. I suddenly caught a headache and my nose bled. Something pierced itself into my mind and began to talk to me. It was telling me that there was no hope of escape and that trying to do so was only going to lead to a more painful death. “Get out of my head!” I randomly shouted. The whole room looked at me with concern, and my vision became dark. I could feel myself fall onto my knees, but the noises in the room became muffled as I was forced to watch through the mind of Phineas Octopoda. She planned this whole thing!

From the moment that we sent those poor naval soldiers down there, she had already formulated a plan. She knew what kind of weapons we had stored on the vessels and she was afraid of the amount of damage it would cause to both her and the Gods assigned to protect her. She allowed them to get within range and the Gods attacked. She told them to just surrender a few samples of their flesh. The Gods looked to her in confusion and anger. The screeching we heard earlier from when the missiles hit their assigned targets wasn’t from pain. She was yelling at them to just do as she commanded or suffer her father’s wrath. They seemed scared by this and faked their injuries. In other words, I was right. Grabbing those tissue samples was too easy and we walked right into it. I tried to regain my consciousness as I could feel liquid tar fall from my nose out of both nostrils. I could also feel my eyes roll in the back of my head. If I was experiencing any pain, I didn’t feel it. The tissue samples from the flatworm looking creatures, or Elder Gods as she called them, had some kind of infectious spores that attacked the nervous system of the infected host.

She showed me how it had infected Doctor Carmine. I don’t know how she was able to show me any of this, but I continued to let her show me in hopes of finding some sort of weakness. Anything to take this evil cunning creature down. Poor Doctor Carmine had apparently started to lose control sometime between December 10th and December 15th, but was somehow able to hide it from the rest of us. He was feeding on the brains of a few M.P.s at a time. To do this, his mouth would contort until his teeth formed into black sharp fangs that broke into the skull as easy as chewing gum as his jaw enlarged enough to fit on the victim’s skull. He then sucked on it as the second pair of jaws in his throat chewed and swallowed for him. It was horrific and I could feel my heart practically beating out of my chest because of it. My mind felt close to the edge of breaking. I tried to scream and to fight, but I couldn’t. I was held down against my will as I had to watch this new creature that was once my dear friend, Doctor Carmine, butcher everyone in the lab. He had help from the tissue samples that took place of his victims. Somehow, they were able to mimic the victims to the letter. If I wasn’t so horrified by this, I would honestly be impressed.

I suddenly remembered something else. Captain Wheaton kept repeating that he was still alive and that he was inside the creature’s guts. He kept saying something that was hard to make out. It was then that the creature forced my head in a different direction as I was forced to watch Captain Wheaton. He was trying to warn us about my suspicions on the tissue samples. It seemed that the creature had gotten into his head too and he was able to see the plans unfold. I tried to see more. I wanted to know how Captain Wheaton escaped the grip of the creature, but my vision turned black and I felt myself on the floor. I woke up to the emergency alarm blurring “Warning! Warning! Water Pressure System Failure in the docking bay. Repair must be done immediately.” The alarm kept repeating the same message over and over again as I tried to regain my focus. My vision was blurry and I could barely move. Despite the difficulty to get up, I slowly got onto my feet. I woke up to a bloodbath as the only person left alive was me. Admiral Powell was the worst of the carnage. It looked like he was forced to watch everyone die. His arms and legs were ripped from the torso and then he was pierced through his chest cavity. It was hard for me to tell whether he had died of the blood loss, the shock, or the piercing in his chest or all three, but I didn’t want to stick around to find out. I knew by the time I reached the emergency reset switch, I was going to be underwater as well. Thankfully, Doctor Carmine had shown me a few secrets to the base. He was a smoker and used those emergency paths to get away with either smoking or chewing tobacco. Whichever was easier to get away with that day.

I believed that if Admiral Powell was still alive, he would’ve recommended using those hallways as well. So I went for it. Suddenly, I heard some sort of screech pierce my ears. It was a monstrous screech that was similar to the creature. I ignored it and kept trying to make my way up the flights of stairs as I started to feel pain in my right arm. “Come on! Come on!” I kept screaming at myself. I wasn’t going to die here. I was determined not to let that fucking piece of shit have another victory. Especially not from me. Tears fell from my eyes as I was overwhelmed with relief. The colors gray and silver never looked more like heaven to me than it did in this very moment. I was able to ignore the pain as I pushed through the door and got to see sunlight once more as I heard the blades of the helicopter spinning and ready for take off. “Are you the only one alive?” The pilot shouted to me. “Yes! We need to go now!” Whatever adrenaline high I was on, whatever happiness took me in its arms, whatever hope I had left inside me was quickly destroyed as fleshy tentacles zipped past me and went for the pilot. To further destroy me and my sanity, I had to witness the only helicopter left swung in the air and blown to kingdom come.

I felt so weak, so damn tired that as much as I wanted to scream, I just couldn’t. I fell to my knees once more and just sobbed. “It’ll be ok. You and I will be among the only humans to evolve and thrive for the new future! We’ll be able to see among the stars! Think about it! The most brilliant men in this ignorant wasteland will finally be able to surpass our limitations as the rest of these pathetic imbeciles suffer at the wrath of the great old ones!” Doctor Carmine said in a demonic voice. I slowly got up and turned to look at him. He was deformed. His skin was as red as a boiled lobster, black rings covered his body, the top of his skull was bulbus in size, he had red webbed claws for feet and hands, and tentacles that protruded from where his mouth used to be. Had I not felt so defeated, I would’ve been scared, but I just couldn’t deal with any of this. Rage began to fester inside me. I didn’t have a plan and knew it was pointless to fight back, but to be honest, I just wanted this thing dead. Nothing else mattered to me. Not the death of the crew, not the fact that somehow Captain Wheaton was alive and trapped inside those horrid creatures. Nothing. Absolutely nothing mattered to me at that moment. I screamed. I screamed so loud that it felt like my vocal cords were tearing down. I screamed despite the fact that I could feel my blood vessels begging and pleading for me to stop. As I did this, I could feel my skin tearing. It hurt like hell, but I wanted to give this abomination a piece of my mind.

I didn’t care about anything anymore. If I was going to die, this was going to be my last stand. Something from my arm burst forth, smacking the creature into the emergency door and shattering the walls with it. I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. I kept going as all I wanted was death from this creature that took over my close friend and colleague. I didn’t care that it was possible that Doctor Carmine could’ve been responsible for all of this. Like I said, the only thing on my mind was the death of this fucking creature. I took in another breath as I screamed again as blood fell from my eyes and my body was changing. In a massive radius, a huge chunk of the building looked like it was cut off with an ice cream scoop. I felt the wind blow the last cool breeze that I would ever feel against every cut and bruise that I had endured. My throat was so raw that I couldn’t speak anymore. You know in those dreams where you feel like you’re falling, but you’re not sure where from or where you’re going to land? It felt like that as my body felt like it had immediately shut down. Suddenly, I felt myself on a tentacle. I could tell by the unusually large suction cups. It changed into a giant hand and I thought that I was drowning as I realized pretty quickly that I was underwater. I quickly realized that I was able to breathe just fine and it felt like my wounds healed for the most part. I almost lost my shit when I saw her. Her skin was now this seaweed green color, her pitch black eyes remained the same, and her form was more human like. Words didn’t have to be exchanged.

Somehow she spoke to me telepathically. I knew I was in front of a Goddess as the giant vertebrae swam around us. “You interest me, mortal.” She said telepathically. “Somehow my spores did not take root as the others have. This whole time that I read your mind, you were busy trying to retain as much information on me and my kind as possible. How cute.” She said with bitter sarcasm. “Who or what are you?” I couldn’t use my own voice. So I tried to speak to her in mind as well. To anyone looking in, it would’ve looked like we were just staring each other down.

“I’m a creature from beyond the stars themselves, and my father wants your death, but I think I’ll toy with you a little more. After all, he’s coming to claim his rightful place, and insects like you will only be a thorn in his side. So, I might as well have some fun with you first.” She said as she followed it up with an evil laugh. She then showed me the blood red color of her eyes. I tried to look away, I really did, but her eyes were hypnotic. As I looked at her, my vision fell dark once more as my head felt like it was just lost in a fog. Just as I was losing my vision, I mustered up the courage to scream at the creature. It must’ve taken her off guard, because I could feel myself free from her grasp as she screamed in pain. I made a dash to the surface. I swam faster than I ever did in college. I kept swimming as hard as I could. I refused to let her keep me in her grasp! Death would be better than whatever hell she was going to put me through. I could feel fear like I had never felt before, coursing through my veins like poison as I kept using every muscle I had. I was getting closer to the surface. “Keep going! We are so damn close! Don’t look back! Don’t you dare give up now motherfucker!” I kept shouting at myself as I kept swimming, but no matter how hard I swam, the very beings that were guarding that tentacle faced bitch were now following. They were able to swim faster than me. It didn’t take long until suddenly I could feel rows upon rows of jagged teeth the size of SUVs start to surround me.

I refused to give up. No way in hell was I going to make it that easy for the creature and it knew it too. The teeth were now getting ahead of me as I tried to swim in a different direction. I kept trying to embrace myself for the inevitable as I was beginning to see its gums more clearly and I could feel myself being sucked in. I lost consciousness again. When I woke up, I was standing on my own two feet in the streets of Louisiana. I was wearing someone else’s clothes that were coated in blood and organs. More of my kind were slaughtering humans by the dozens as they took advantage of the horrible storms that the state of Louisiana was known for. “What had I done…?” I thought to myself. “Exactly what I knew I could trust you to do. I must admit, you continue to impress me, mortal. Many would’ve just given in by now, but here you are. Still fighting a losing war. It’s actually been rather amusing as I’ve enjoyed feasting on your suffering.” The creature said in my mind again. It took a few days, but I slaughtered whatever these things were and I tried to save as many as I could, but it was as the creature said. It was a losing war. To whoever finds this, I’m sorry that I couldn’t leave you  with more information. Just know that I tried with everything that I could to hold them back, but there wasn’t much else that I could do. I’m hoping that someone will find this recording and use it to push her back, but this is the end for me. Even now, she’s calling me back to serve her once more and it’s getting harder to resist. So, this is goodbye and good luck. This handgun with armor piercing bullets should kill me. I’ll be with the crew of Project X-2 soon.

4.2 out of 5 with 5 ratings

Be the first to rate this story

Share this story

Leave a comment

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
S
Sr_hairo
1 month ago

I thought it was an incredible story, I feel that the depth of this one is very good, the only thing I see is that the ending with suicide is a little trite but keep writing because you have a gift