(Lights flicker in the white room, the plaster on the walls peeling and an inch of weirdly warm water across the tile floor. Where a one way mirror would be there is nothing but a broken out window showing the adjacent room. Two men in suits are seated at one end of a table, the man known as "Markus Bates" is sitting beside them, and the other end of the table is Laura Mallery; a defeated look on her face as she stares at the wall behind her is unlike all the other walls, covered in a white shaggy fur or algae like substance that undulates from time to time. Small fish swim in the inch deep water, usually over by the debris collecting by the walls.)

"You wanted to know about Maine," says Laura breaking the silence that otherwise would only be disturbed by the sound of dripping water, occassional splashes, and a sound like something massive shifting its weight, "Fine, now that I'm not being affected by that sh..shiiiit; and him."

You know everything right? Everything up till I was taken to Maine. My whole life I was a prisoner; and this was no different. I went from being the prisoner of one group of assholes to another group of assholes. I could tell Joseph had a thing for me by the way he leered at me, the same leer I would catch from the old man who claimed to be my father and strangers on the street. It made me wish for the masks. They took me despite my protests to Maine, a small house not far from the sea. They called it a safe house and told me they were going to protect me; but I couldn't go anywhere without one of them with me; my only time alone was while in the house. The house was a prison, the windows and doors locked from the outside; if there had been a fire I'd have died. They never left me alone for long; at first.

At first I didn't notice it but, when Joseph was around I started to feel...love; I loved him, wanted him, always wanted him around. But, not long after he'd leave that feeling went away; the; I guess, difference became so great that it was no different than the drugs the cult would give me. I hated it. I hated him; when he was away I hated him; when he was in the house I loved him. It was maddening. When they would take me into town the towns people thought I was simple, soft in the head they'd say. I couldn't read, I couldn't write; I knew nothing about money or denominations of money, religons, politics, the world, the names of every day things. Yes the cult let me watch some tv, so I knew what a cannibal was but not who was president or what a govenor was, or anything like that. I knew the names of imaginary creatures; I didn't know what things were make believe and what were real. And to be honest given all that had happened to me I realized neither did they. When people think you are simple they talk around you. I learned, I studied people. What's more, she came to me.

When I was alone in the house I started to hear voices. A woman talking to me, through the sink drain, the shower drain. A singing that came one day as I was having a break down, I had had enough and was planning to smash out a window when the singing came, it came from the bathtub's drain and up through all the pipes. She talked to me, taught me things, told me about the people keeping me, and how her angels were looking for me.

Did he tell you? Joseph was the only one there when it happened. Well, not at first. One day the voice told me the front door had been left unlocked; I followed the voice as evening was coming down to the ocean. There she was in the water. A mermaid, pale as moonlight, tale was covered in a thick white fur, her hands and fingers like she had shaped crabs and their legs into something resembling human hands. Her face was like a wedge with gill slits along the nose, thin jellyfish tendrils for hair that flickered with the colored lights of a rainbow, she held her arms out to me, she smiled. Her smile was too wide and her teeth were a mismash of shark's teeth and fragments of sea shells. She wasn't like the mermaids in the stores, she was like; something else that had seen those images and tried to copy them with the body parts of various sea creatures. I hesitated; but, not because of her. I was mere feet from the edge of the dock when an intense fear came over me, not of the mermaid but the ocean its self. I am certain she noticed, as she looked back and forth around her. She blinked her eyes and I saw they were the black eyes of a shark, I was certain moments before they had been human. My head hurt, and Joseph grabbed me from behind. I blacked out and woke up in the bed, I had cold sweats just thinking about the ocean and those waves and thoughts of sinking and drowning. I had never feared the ocean before; although I did never learn how to swim, but, I knew somehow they had implanted that in me, to keep me away.

The strangest thing was, the more I thought about the mermaid, the creepier she became in my imagination. Joseph and the others never left me alone after that, but something was happening; and here...here is where my memory becomes fuzzy. What I told you before, at least I think that was you two; i mean why else would you be here right now right? Its like a dream where obviously contradicting things are happening but you just accept both as real, something happened and then; I was in a place where I was kept locked away, I came to my senses after some time had passed and I was...my first clear memory after believing that the ship had sank and Joseph had been killed by sharks on the same boat somehow...was me standing by a cliff in the rain screaming at the sea, naked as several men in combat gear were standing over me shooting at an angel...so long, so big, it was reared up out of the sea like twenty feet below at least, it vanished. They wrapped me up but, then...so much commotion, screaming, fire, weird things running around. I ran, and I ran.

*ugh* my head, my memories arn't clear, my head was full of voices, constantly arguing, fighting for control. It faded the further I got from the sea, until I just felt a drive, a need to go to a spot I somehow saw in my head, like a map...I know it was Joseph, my head's clearing up now, all these years. Ben...was really Joseph, somehow he made me see that town, drew me a mental map, and called me there.

"If I can interrupt please," says one the men in suits watching the undulating wall behind her, "but do you not know how you became pregnant, when did you give birth. What about Lisa Mallery"


The wall spoke, ****WHERE IS MY DARLING CHILD?****


"It wants to take her away," whispers Laura, "Always has, I read up on mermaids, I figured it out. When I came to on the beach, a siren's call, the song, she must have learned me out, and...put her child in me, Lisa's voice was one of the voices in my head arguing."

:Laura stands, shoving aside the chair, "Lisa doesn't want to be taken away? What was the point of even giving birth to her if YOU just wanted to take her back to the sea?!"


The men in suits exchange a look, and one whispers to the other, "Do you think this creature knows about what happened in Nevada?"



"Lisa," says Markus standing up, "Is an avatar of this creature, a parasite implanted in you, this thing gave birth to its self, this thing isn't even awake. We're talking to a piece of a sleeping mind, a dream, Lisa is also a dream. Different parts of the same dream, keep them apart, we keep the world safe from this thing waking up and passing judgement on humanity."

Markus smiles, "and we can keep her alive, and always asleep and dreaming. We've done it before."


The entire building shakes, the walls crumble as the fuzzy undulating wall pulls away revealing a massive drop off to a black ocean and a storm covered sky, ruined buildings jutting from a dark sea as obelisks with glowing green and red ruins dot the sea of crashing waves. Markus turns pale, from this sea fifty or more long white fuzzy tentacles wave about just outside, each tipped with a beaked mouth.

"The sea angels," says one of the men in suits, "but..."

"Part of her," says Laura glaring at them, "avatars right? angels are machines made of meat...it told me that, told me they'd carry me safely to her if they swallowed me; that...that's what happened, they...i remember now...under sea palace, giant clam shell bed, the sex, an ovipositor...I remember everything now...my god..."

One of the tentacles leans down to the opening, opening its beaked mouth wide, from within a white torso emerges as the beak dissolves into the flesh, the humanoid upper torso of the pale mermaid, it embraces Laura.

"Stop it!" shouts Markus as it pulls her from the building to the massive bundle of tentacles, they wrap around her like a ball, blue lights appear like a giant sigil under the waves as the tentacles decend with her and vanish, the light fades away.

"Where are we?" asks one of the men.

"The Dark Waters," says Markus, "Find stairs, find anything that goes up, just not a roof access."

"What? How,"

"Forget logic," says Markus, "that's what the report says, we have a climb ahead of us, and no weapons between the three of us, pray nothing hungry lies between here and where ever on Earth we might find ourselves."

"Hold up," says one of the men, "You worship this thing, you had the girl transfered, you are the obvious answer as to who lead it to that woman. We're not going anywhere till we get answers."

A loud shriek outside and what looks to be something the side of an airliner made of tentacles and wings flies past.

"On the way," says the man, 'you can explain on the way out of here."