The Thing from the Sea (continued . . .)

By the time rescue craft arrived, the Daveli was nearly gone ! The Emperor Trigo himself watched the vast hull go to its grave at the bottom of the Tibor Ocean. Why ? — How could it happen ? An Imperial Court of Enquiry was summoned a few days later. Tell us in your own words, Captain — What happened ? Imperial Majesty, it happened at the fifteenth hour — a shudder ran through the ship, as if she had struck a projecting rock . . . No, Sir ! It was more like an underwater explosion ! Not an explosion ! It felt like a mighty blow ! You were off-watch and asleep, while I was on the bridge ! Silence !— Silence, I tell you !
Since your evidences do not tally, this Imperial Court has no other course but to order an inspection of the sunken hull of the Daveli ! The Emperor's nephew Janno and his two comrades volunteered for the hazardous task of diving to the wreck. They were given special instruction. Your gear will protect you from the massive pressures you will encounter. But at that profound depth, there are many hazards ! unknown In due course, their submarine craft was lowered at the fateful spot in the Tibor Ocean. Down—Down—into the unfathomable deep they went . . . Testing communications . . . Receiving you. Receiving you. The nightmare landscape of the ocean bed was laid out below them— and they saw the Daveli. And then . . . By all the stars ! — LOOK ! Along the vast hull of the sunken liner was a clean rent that might have been sliced by a giant's sword ! What on Elekton could have done that ?

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 462 on 21 November 1970.