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Leviathan Rising

The oldest tale of chaos and darkness comes to life in the 21st century.

By Jason Ray Morton Published 12 months ago 12 min read
Original artwork done by Christian/Photo taken by story author

For thousands of years, the sea has harbored mysteries and monsters. It's a place of comfort and a place of darkness. Man has chased legends of the sea around the globe. Some spend a lifetime hunting answers to the mysteries of the deep blue sea.

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has been captivated by the enigmatic nature of the ocean and its inhabitants. The sea is vast and once stretched to unfathomable depths, intriguing the human imagination and igniting our relentless pursuit to explore. Understanding and unraveling the mysteries that lie beneath the waves has been at the forefront of the human experience.

Ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Mesopotamians believed the oceans were home to gods, monsters, and mythological creatures. Tales of the colossal sea serpents, mermaids, and Leviathans have captured the human imagination in stories, books, and movies. Some believe that they are symbolic of the unknown and untamed forces lurking in the abyss.

One only needs to look to the pop culture of the era to realize that the mysteries of the sea continue to plague our curiosities and tickle our fancies. Billions of dollars and fans were generated by the beloved Captain Jack Sparrow before Johnny Depp was relieved of that role in the Depp/Heard scandal. This summer, Jason Statham will reprise his role as Jonas Tayler in Meg 2: The Trench, which centers on the most awe-inspiring of the known sea monsters of all time, the Megalodon shark.

Look at the Greek warrior in the image. After a giant beast ravages the fishing around his village, he picks up his staff and goes on to hunt the sea monster that's starving his people. Was it a god sending down punishment for a slight against him? Was it an escaped beast of sorts, something that picked off boats, and starved out the coastal villages?

"Professor," a student summoned in the midst of Professor Crowe's lecture.

Professor Crowe stopped, shining a spotlight around to find the raised hand. He looked at the list of students, and after finding the right name called on the engaged youth.

"Would the shape of the creature in the painting indicate it was based on the Leviathan?"

"Good, somebodies been doing there reading," said Professor Crowe with a smile.

The professor went on to explain to the packed lecture hall that the Leviathan was revered as being a serpent, much the way people view snakes, with elongated snake-like frames and almost dragon-like heads. In the 17th century, there was a find in the Mediterranean, that was recorded as being 70 feet long with a snake-like body and reptilian features. As the professor continued, the doors to his lecture hall opened and two men entered on his left.

The older of the two approached the professor, asking if he was Professor Jack Crowe.

"I am, but that seems rhetorical," he smiled at his students.

The man approached, showing a still from an undersea camera. He stood as Jack looked at the still. Between looking at the still and looking at the man, Jack was surprised at the image.

"This is real?" asked Jack.

"Sir, I'm not clear to know what the image is of. I'm just here to see if you'd like a chance at helping us figure that out," announced the man in the suit.

"Who's we?"

The man showed Jack a card. As Jack looked at the business card, a smirk crossing his face, Jack questioned if it was real. The card said, "Department of U.S. Space Command."

"Class dismissed. We'll pick this up next week," announced Jack.

Jack was ushered out of the building and to a limousine. In the limousine, Jack was connected to a briefing tape explaining why he was recruited. United States Space Command maintains an undersea laboratory. One of the perimeter cameras detected movement in the Laurentian Abyss, and the lab sent a drone to investigate. That's when they saw the creature on camera.

An anthropologist with a degree in historical mythology was recommended for the team by the Pegasus system. The artificial intelligence system picked the scientists most likely to have the knowledge to identify the creature and a pilot for the mission. Jack looked at the two men that recruited him. He asked them, "What mission?"

"They're going to send a team into the abyss."

Jack thought over the idea. The chance to identify the creature in the video, a Leviathan, was too much to pass up. However, Jack wasn't an experienced diver.

Two days later, Jack was onboard a submarine approaching the Atlantis. The Challenger class, a fast attack sub, had two additional passengers aboard. Besides Professor Jack Crowe, the sub was also transporting Dr. Hanna Sanchez, a marine biologist. Hanna was held up in her suite after the captain requested she remains there until they docked with the Atlantis.

A knock on the bulkhead door to his suite got Jack to his feet and he yelled for whoever to enter. A Petty Officer entered and told him they were docking with the Atlantis. He was there to escort the professor to the airlock.

Jack had two bags. One was for his laptop and the other had teeshirts, jeans, and boots. Before departing, he was given an I.D. on a lanyard and conned a general into a free Space Command jacket. Standing next to the airlock, Jack heard one of the petty officer's comments.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Atlantis," announced the young petty officer as he spun the door open.

Jack was briefly introduced to Hanna before the two were escorted into the Atlantis airlock. As they entered the Atlantis, several crew members offloaded supplies from the submarine. Jack was taken to a dignitary quarters next to Hanna's and began unpacking.

Sitting in his quarters, admiring the view outside the Atlantis, he was amazed at the scenery unfolding outside of the laboratory. The Atlantis was huge, stretching nearly three city blocks. The exterior was well lit considering they were fifteen thousand feet below sea level. He was impressed.

A few hours later, Jack was escorted to have dinner with Commander Hollis in his chambers. The commander had Hanna and the professor sit down for dinner. They dined and got to know each other. When they were done eating, the commander asked them specifically about what they were doing there.

"The mission you're on, what are you here to identify?" asked Commander Hollis.

Hanna thanked the commander and then told him they weren't sure what it was at this time. They were led to believe they'd get a close-up look at the creature from a DSV expedition.

"Using one of our DSVs, one of our crew, with a pilot from your team. That's enough reason for me to want to know what you're looking for," announced Commander Hollis.

It slipped out of Jack's mouth, even as he knew he was the only one in the room that would believe it was possible. Jack studied the legends and the myths of the sea for the past four thousand years. Even though the Leviathan was often thought of as a myth, a symbolic representation of the chaos and darkness of the oceans, Jack believed they once inhabited the Earth.

"What the hell's a Leviathan?" asked Commander Hollis.

"The Legend of Leviathans is not a well-known or established legend in folklore or mythology. However, the term "Leviathan" has roots in various mythologies and religious texts.

In general, the Leviathan is a monstrous sea creature mentioned in ancient texts, including the Bible and Mesopotamian mythology. It is often depicted as a massive sea serpent or a dragon-like creature with immense power and strength. The Leviathan represents chaos, the primordial forces of the sea, and the untamable forces of nature.

The concept of Leviathans has also been popularized in modern literature, movies, and video games. In many fictional works, Leviathans are portrayed as colossal, ancient creatures that dwell in the depths of the ocean or other bodies of water. They are often depicted as powerful and dangerous beings that pose a threat to ships, sailors, or entire civilizations," explained Jack.

Commander Hollis sat silent and contemplative before asking any questions. When he did, he had only one.

"Are you serious?"

"Yes," answered Jack.

"So, if you're right, how big are these...Leviathan?"

Jack looked across the table, hesitant to admit what he believed. Jack studied the legends, had been to numerous countries, and had seen cave drawings and hieroglyphs of the Leviathans in stories written by the Greeks, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Sumerians, and as late in history as the Mayans. He knew they were meant to be giants. They were what anthropologists called "Titans."

"They would have made even the largest Megalodon seem small by comparison, been far more vicious, and more destructive," explained Jack. "Think of something as big as a Megaladon, one hundred feet long, a serpent and having a dragon or reptilian-like head. That's a Leviathan, if they were real."

Hanna and Commander Hollis sat with their mouths agape. Hanna knew it was something huge, but she had no idea that they were that much of a threat.

"If something that large were to attack Atlantis, would we survive?"

Commander Hollis folded his hands together. Even he was unsure if the facility could withstand such a creature.

"We've got Mark IV's," admitted Commander Hollis. If the thing comes our way we should be safe.

"If you see it coming," said Jack. "This is a mystical creature. It was believed in ancient times that the Leviathans were gifted with mystical powers. If this is the same creature, we're talking about something older than recorded history."

"Preposterous!" exclaimed Commander Hollis.

Hanna looked at the commander and admitted that she was somewhat familiar with the legends. The fact that the Leviathans were mentioned in the bible gave her pause for alarm. Leviathans weren't, in her belief, gods. They were demons, powerful demons, and not to be taken lightly.

"Why I believe you, I don't know, but I do," she told Jack.

"Our DSV's should survive, as long as we can avoid direct contact with your beastie, presuming he's real of course," Commander Hollis told them. "However, Space Command's only interested in the identification and if possible, a sample for analysis. Frankly, I think someone's got it in their head this thing might have come from somewhere else."

"Commander, considering how the gods and the Titans were depicted, I wouldn't rule that out."

Dinner was over and there was a lot to do as the Commander of the Atlantis facility. Commander Hollis excused himself. He suggested that his guests take a walk through the exterior and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime view of the ocean.

Atlantis was built outward over time. There were still remnants of the early days but now the place was as large an operation as an aircraft carrier. They were in the midst of a lively environment, looking into the ocean and able to see an entire ecosystem thanks to the artificial lighting provided by the facility.

"Do you really think this could be a Leviathan?" Hanna asked as they walked.

"The video stills I was shown make it possible," he replied.

"I thought that Leviathan was just a myth, a scary bible story used to depict the wrathful side of Gods great creation," she laughed.

Jack used to believe as she had, except for pieces of evidence that put together a different conclusion. Some of which, Jack wasn't allowed to talk about. Jack Crowe wasn't just a professor, he was a second-generation field researcher. Jacob, his father, was obsessed with the Leviathan after his father's submarine went missing.

"Why do you believe they might be real, much less a living thing, and why haven't we seen them before?"

"I'll tell you the stories my father told me, the stories that made him obsessed with finding Leviathan," he promised.

Jacob Crowe was an oceanographer. He grew obsessed with the sea after the disappearance of his father's submarine in the 1960s. The USS Trident went down in waters it wasn't supposed to be in and the government covered up where she was until the wreckage was found. Many years later, in a closed session, the last transmission of the USS Trident was played. His father was a senator on the committee.

"What did they hear?" asked Hanna.

"My father recounted the last transmission of the captain. They were attacked by something. They called it a biological, but it was the biggest thing they'd ever seen. The creature measured nearly 35 meters long, far bigger than the submarine. They believed it was a Megalodon shark at first, but because it was the only thing that would have made sense. When they towed it to the surface, the hull looked like something wrapped around it and squeezed until it ruptured."

"It could have been a giant squid," suggested Hanna.

"I know, but before they lost contact with the captain, his last words came when he screamed...Leviathan," explained Jack.

Jack explained that the reality of a Leviathan defied logic. If they were on Earth, in the modern day, they'd have created havoc and chaos on the ecosystems. The oceans would be littered with ships destroyed by such powerful creatures. Yet, there'd been such discoveries as fast oceans beneath the Earth's crust, believed to hold more water than all the known seas.

"Something like that could come thrown an unknown cave system," sighed Hanna. "God help us, maybe it is real."

Jack suggested they get some sleep, tomorrow was going to be a long day. When the two departed, Jack questioned whether she should be coming on such a journey. If they found what they were looking for, every life on the DSV was in danger.

Jack sat reading, watching the view outside of his quarters. He read from scripts found in old Greek ruins. They were transcribed and digitized for scholars. The one he read was a fairly obscure script from what some believed was an old theatrical piece.

It told of a warrior, a simple man named Thanoclees. Thanoclees was the leader of his people. When the shores of his lands were ravaged by a "Titan", Thanoclees went out to destroy the beast before his people starved. He climbed out onto the rocky shores and waited for the beast to attack him. When it did, Thanoclees barely escaped with his life.

The beast was smaller, only twenty-five to thirty feet. It was a youngling to the giant Leviathan that brought chaos and death to the seas. Thanoclees' adventure was told for a generation. The man that faced a god, and brought down his nation. For it was only four nights later when the Leviathan came to wage war on humanity for injuring one of their own.

As Jack nodded off, he questioned the legend, hoping that they didn't find Leviathan. However, the beast had found Atlantis. Leviathan tore through the Atlantis undersea station with such force that it was over in minutes. Jack followed in his grandfather's footsteps, exploring the sea, taken by Leviathan.

Jack woke up screaming. The buzzer telling him someone was at his door grabbed his attention. He crawled out of his bunk and wandered to the door. Pressing a button, Jack was greeted by an officer from the Atlantis.

"Professor," she said, "It's time."

"Just let me grab my bag," he answered.

As Jack gathered his things an alarm went off overhead. It startled him how fast the officer disappeared as he heard the announcement, 'All crew to your stations.' Jack grabbed his bag and ran out into the corridor. He was quickly greeted by Commander Hollis and Hanna was right behind the commander.

"What is it?" Jack demanded.

Hollis pulled Hanna along with him and ordered Jack to follow them. He escorted them to a launch where all non-essential personnel were being evacuated.

"Well, Professor, you were right. The damned things real and it's headed right for us," the commander admitted. "All non-essentials are being evacuated to the surface."

Jack and Hanna were pushed into a launch, ordered to strap in, and Commander Hollis handed him a video from the perimeter monitoring systems.

"In case we don't make it, show that to the world," he yelled over the noise. "Don't let them keep the world below a secret!"

The door was slammed shut and the launch was propelled away from the Atlantis at an incredible speed. Hanna and Jack held onto their seats and each other as they looked out the side port, seeing a nearly 100-foot serpent smash into the facility. A brilliant white flash of light erupted, the blast hitting the DSV like a 100-mile-per-hour brick wall.

When things began to settle, Hanna clutched Jack's hand. The two exchanged a knowing look. Commander Hollis knew about the Titans, about the existence of creatures such as Leviathans. But, what did he mean by the world below?

Jack held the flash drive in front of him, looking curiously at the small device. Before they would be able to see what it was the commander shared, they'd have to get through the following days of questions by the authorities, and no doubt, other interested parties. What he knew for sure, the legend from the painting was true. Man versus Leviathan was a battle that man could only hope to survive.


About the Creator

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

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Comments (2)

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  • Antoinette L Brey12 months ago

    I enjoyed both the painting and the story

  • Great story!

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