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Diver Dave: He’s Not Normal
“My name is Dave Thompson, and I would love to offer my services. I’ve been a commercial rated hardhat diver, for over 20 years; I king-crabbed out of Kodiak for two years. I have my own commercial sponge diving operation in the Gulf of Mexico. My first boat was in Homer called the Bessie M. Bessie M is the name of my grandmother” –Diver Dave Thompson 2011
We are due south-southeast. I have left port in Louisiana an hour ago. I may have left a lifetime ago. This mission has been ongoing for over 20 years. I noticed the sun is under the cover of clouds, no doubt the will of Cthulhu. Cthulhu’s interference is no surprise, as my 20 year mission has been to locate R’yleh, the home of the sea god. There are places Bessie M told me to avoid, Bessie M is the name of my grandmother.
My first memories were in Homer with Bessie M. I was born on May 5, 1955 in Homer, Colorado and raised by my grandmother. She taught me everything, including diving, a favourite pastime of Bessie’s. Her smile would illuminate the room if I ever brought back a souvenir from our expeditions, especially if it were of the sponge variety, to add to her lifelong collection. After a hard day of diving she would read to me the stories of Howard P Lovecraft as I sat on her lap. Not too long after is when the nightmares started. After the love, and nurturing, Bessie M gave me, I only took one thing from my childhood, to fear Cthulhu. Soon after we moved to the East Coast, my fears were confirmed one day. It was Bessie M’s 55th birthday and I had a surprise for her. ”Grandmother” I said in my soft childlike voice, “I have something to show you”. I led her to the marina, where I revealed my new pride and joy. It was a new fishing boat with a freshly painted name on the sider: “Bessie M”, my first boat. “ Bessie can we take it out on the water?’ I asked. “Look” she said sternly, “no promises, how about we go out tomorrow morning around 8:00.” “Okay then, grandmother. I’ll let you go and you can decide about the boat and decide, oh no, this boat no no”.
The next morning we set out to sea. The skies were due for a radiant blue which never came. It was Bessie’s 55th birthday and I begged for clear skies but the weather didn’t keep her spirits down. I proceeded to present my grandmother with a collection of rare miniature sponges concealed within an engraved glass jar that read her name “Bessie M”. I saw the tears that coated her eyes but it was the skies that wept that day. A storm was brewing, and hell rained upon the Bessie M that day. Suddenly I was in disbelief as the sky darkened to a menacing gray. The boat shook under the chaotic stress of these mysterious waves. “Get down!” Bessie shouted as she lunged her arms toward me, sending me flying toward a shelf. Before I knew it I was face down on the deck of the boat with a dizzying, throbbing pain in my head. With every examination of the wound I took, the more blood would collect on my hand. Still pinned to the floor, I must have been in a state of shock. Bessie was frantically trying to steer us clear of the unrelenting storm when suddenly, in a state of shock of her own she walked out of the cabin staring North without moving a muscle, completely static.” My God” she uttered in a tone of shock and disbelief. As I slowly brought myself to my knees, I laid my eyes upon this horrible sight. It was an image plucked straight out of the eldritch tales themselves. Hurricane like winds morphed from the mass of moving air into the great hand of Cthulhu. I then watched in horror as the sea god closed his fist around Bessie’s birthday sponge jar and hurled my gift toward my grandmother’s head as she stumbled toward the edge of the vessel. I saw my grandmother gaze into the storm, as Cthulhu took control of her body and launched her over the edge much like he did with my mind, sending me over the edge of consciousness into a state of darkness.
That was the last straw that taught me my eventual purpose. It led me to where I am right now. I am in the Gulf of Mexico. Using information I took from the king crabs I captured in Kodiak, Alaska. I was able to locate the homeland of my arch nemesis, Cthulhu. Cthulhu resides in R’yleh, a submerged city which lies within the mysterious ocean depths. Only I know its location and only I will put an end to Cthulhu’s reign upon these great seas which I have sailed on for over 20 years! 55 knots and rising, impact to R’yleh is imminent… For the second time in my life I am feeling true fear, and through that fear came regret. I should’ve honored Bessie rather than this petty trek for revenge. One afternoon service of grieving and remembrance is worth more than 20 years of anger and bitterness. Bessie wouldn’t have wanted this for me. Not being an isolated, antisocial crab interrogator but a true SPONGE diver! I have come to this revelation all but too late for there is no turning back now. I must do it. For BessieM!
Suddenly I awoke to find myself in a bed not my own with enough gauze wrapped around my head that I found it to difficult to lift. I realize that I must have filled my plan of vengeance and destroyed R’yleh. Filled with excitement and fatigue I decide it’s time for some rest. To my right I find a TV remote which I promptly grasped. I figured that some background noise would lull me to sleep. The top story on the news that evening was on an explosion which occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. 13 people had died on the Deepwater Horizon, and it was very close to where I collided with the city of R’yleh. The more I heard of the story the tighter my grip on the remote got as I realized that I could have done more to prevent these deaths. In a fit of rage and frustration I threw the remote as hard as I could against the wall, shattering it instantly. This angered the nurses a great deal and I could tell from the looks they gave me that they wouldn’t be changing any of my TV channels anytime soon, so it looks like I’m stuck with the Discovery Channel until I get a new remote. I would spend the rest of my hospital bound days watching a show that quickly became a favorite of mine, Bering Sea Gold. I became quite fond of these northern divers, especially their skipper, Capt. Vernon Atkinson. As I watched and watched, I realized it was Capt. Vernon and company that was getting me through my recovery. But one day, my recovery was stagnated by a horrifying discovery I made when recollecting the events that got me here on that night of blind vengeance. 13 people had died in the Gulf of Mexico just after I destroyed R’yleh. I hadn’t killed Cthulhu, I merely angered him. “My God” I said to myself and then my thoughts turned to my new friends, Capt. Vernon and everyone else in the Bering Sea. The sea was no longer safe, no waters were safe. I needed to do something, something to prevent anyone from ever diving whilst that great sea abomination roams our waters. And I needed to start with my friends at the Bering Sea. I contemplated for days on what action I may take as the guilt from those 13 men from the Deepwater Horizon bared heavier on my shoulders. How could I prevent them from diving? Then it dawned on me… They cannot dive if THEY DON’T HAVE A WEIGHT BELT! All I need to do now is get on the show, and then since I will be so enraged at the thought of ending diving careers, I will have to channel my inner fury to the thought of them not having a weight belt. This will prevent any suspicion I may draw, and also give me a way to channel my anger. I will also be able to test out my new theory of taunting Cthulhu. No doubt he remembers me and my voice after what I have done to him. By saying “My God” I believe this will shake Cthulhu to his very core. This is my very own call of Cthulhu.
I have been medically cleared and I am now off to save the lives of my friends of the Bering Sea, about to perform a deed that the they will never know are ever be able to appreciate. This is my duty, to save my friends, to end the terror of Cthulhu and to avenge Bessie M. Only through vengeance will Bessie be honored.
“Veteran diver Dave Thompson arrives to meet Captain and crew”
-Bering Sea Gold Narrator