Subsubsection: 8 January 2014 (flying to Orrorsh and fighting a demon in the sea) Up Subsection: Before the Dawn Subsection: The Destiny Map 

22 January 2014 (down to the sunken ship, re-spinning the Earth)

The party experiments with the diving suits, more or less Standard Diving Dress but with a complex arrangement of air tanks (and three needles on the pressure gauge, in different colours). The helmets are equipped with lights and short-range radios, and when David cuts a hole for his gun’s data cable he finds a mesh layer in the rubberised canvas of the suits. With a bit of adjustment of straps and webbing, Thorfin manages to fit into a suit. Everyone agrees that using the rocket boots would be a Bad Idea, though they equip themselves with spear guns, torpedo pistols, octi-grenades and sun blades. Hayami, Doctor Marlen and Hildy stay aboard the plane.
Stephen ties a line to the plane’s pontoon and pays it out as they descend; it’s marked with flags to allow for decompression stops. It’s a long way down; as the team descends, following the vortex, a wrecked ship gradually becomes visible below. Stephen reckons it’s probably 16th or 17th century.
The team drops down to one side of the ship, which is on a small sea mount; they’re about 300 feet from the surface. The vortex seems to be emanating from a broken hatch-cover on the ship itself; there’s no sign of dead humans, animate or otherwise.
Thorfin suggests that everyone get up to the poop deck, which will make it harder for any attackers to surround them. As they set boots to rotting wood, there’s a distinct sensation of a “clunk” from somewhere below, and the vortex starts to spin slightly faster. Animate skeletons start to walk out of the stern cabin beneath the team’s feet, wielding cutlasses and moving towards the steps up to the poop deck. Stephen and Diamond throw octi-grenades, which churn up the lead skeletons into fragments of bone and dust that hang in the water; their comrades don’t seem worried by this, and continue to advance. Thorfin moves to the top of the stairs, and David keeps an eye out for other attackers. Something seems to empower the skeletons, and the fragments of bone pull themselves back together.
Diamond, who still seems able to leap about effectively underwater, heads over to the stairway in the main deck that leads below. Stephen throws another grenade, and Thorfin hits the first skeleton up the stairs with his mace. At first he manages to hold them on the steps, but he’s clearly going to be surrounded soon, so he backs away against the deck’s railing.
As Diamond heads below, she sees a massive and complex machine, that seems to be generating the vortex. It’s covered with dials, glowing electrical globes, switches and other mechanisms; the biggest globe seems to be the origin of the vortex. Diamond reckons this is beyond her comprehension, and calls for David. Stephen picks him up and swims over, then takes up a position defending the narrower stairs into the hold as some of the skeletons start to move that way.
The skeletons don’t seem to be very effective; they swing their cutlasses, but their blows are slow and easy to evade. Thorfin’s mace, and Stephen’s Sun Blade, are effective against them (the Sun Blade doesn’t get much purchase on their bones, but seems to damage them anyway), and they gradually get knocked apart. Diamond hovers above Thorfin, taking shots with the torpedo pistol.
David works out the controls for the machine, which seems to be embedded into the ground well below the ship, and turns off the vortex. One of the skeletons is bright enough to realise that this means it can get down through the hatchway where the vortex was. David puts the controls into reverse, then throws the switches to start returning the stored energy to the Earth; there’s a sense of a very heavy thud at this process starts. David deliberately ignores the skeleton climbing down towards him, and after a desultory swipe it’s charred by the massive pulse of heat that the machine releases.
It’s clearly time to leave, and the bubbling of steam from the machine doesn’t bode well. Diamond can fly herself up, at least at first, but Thorfin risks the rocket boots. They’re unsurprisingly hard to control, though on average he’s getting further away from the ship.
Stephen hits a final skeleton, then picks up David and gets him out of the hold to where there’s clear water above. They both activate their boots; David’s more or less able to control his, as is Diamond when her heroic leap finally runs out of momentum and she too wants to ascend faster than floating can manage.
Turning the boots off without tumbling proves to be its own problem, but the team eventually manages to get back together at the sixty-foot decompression stop. A bright flash from below is followed by a huge bubble of superheated steam rising past them.
They eventually make it back to the plane, where Professor Marlen is fishing off the side in the light of the (slightly prolonged) sunrise. The Earth is spinning again! The team heads for Darwin, and a well-earned rest.
 Subsubsection: 8 January 2014 (flying to Orrorsh and fighting a demon in the sea) Up Subsection: Before the Dawn Subsection: The Destiny Map