“I’ve never been too keen on storms.” Steve Jinks grabbed hold of the pier very tightly and closed his eyes, the rain mixed with seawater smashing violently against his face.
“You. Need. To get closer…to the trident!” Artie’s glasses flew off and he grabbed at the air in vain. He realised too late that he had let go of his support and he began shuffling towards the end of the pier, arms flailing uselessly. Steve cursed and let go of the support, dashing down after Artie. He grabbed him and they were temporarily at a stalemate, the power of the wind not enough to defeat the resistance of two men. But then the wind picked up, the rain got stronger, and they started moving again.
“Ok!” Steve shouted, “Explain!”
“The Trident, Poseidon’s Trident…”
“I thought that was a myth?”
“Shut up,” Artie went to straighten his glasses then realised they weren’t there, “The Trident, when stuck in the ground, causes terrible storms, rain, tsunamis, the whole orchestra. The only way to stop it is to remove it from the ground.”
Steve grabbed a beam and spun Artie around. They both grabbed on and Artie huffed.
“Ok,” Steve looked around, “Where is it?”
“Ah, well, I suspect it will be, er, under the water.”
“Can you breathe underwater?”
“Don’t be so stupid. Look, I have something in here.” Artie grappled with his bag in the wind, the straps tightly squeezed between his legs as he fumbled with one hand. Steve looked on in puzzlement.
“Ha, got it!” Artie pulled out a pair of goggles.
“Stig Severinsen’s Goggles. World record diver who could hold his breath underwater for twenty two minutes. You put these on and dive in. You have twenty two minutes to find the trident and bring it out of the ground. Then the storm will stop. But you must take the goggles off before the twenty two minute mark, in water or not.”
“The downside. If they are not removed the twenty two minutes you were granted not needing oxygen will essentially switch, and you will have twenty two minutes where you can’t breathe, surrounded by oxygen or not.”
“Most likely. What are you waiting for?” Artie passed the Goggles to Steve. He hesitated, put them on, and took a running jump off the edge of the pier.
The water was surprisingly clear, though it was very hard to walk due to the excessive movement of the waves. Steve managed to crawl, flop and spin his way just above the sea floor. He hadn’t seen the Trident yet but he presumed it couldn’t be far away. His Farnsworth buzzed. He opened it. It worked.
“These things work underwater?”
“These things work everywhere. Now, just thought I’d warn you that there might be a man down there.” Artie smiled in a way only he can smile.
“The Trident was placed down there by someone. When that someone touched it they became attracted to the sea. They can breathe underwater and so forth. They will most likely be defending the Trident.”
“Great news, Artie, just what I needed to hear.”
“Well, I’ll keep a look out up here, you get the job done.” Artie closed the Farnsworth and Steve smiled, closing his.
He swam, if you can call it swimming, around for another few minutes. Those few minutes turned into ten minutes with no luck. The ten turned to fifteen and Steve felt himself panicking.
Then he saw it.
It glimmered in the water, a calmness surrounding it. The greens and blues of the sea reflected off it and it split the sunlight in the water. Steve was mesmerised, but managed to snap out of it and move towards the Trident.
“Who’s there?” a booming voice echoed and Steve froze. He spun, looking around, and checked his watch.
“I’m here to check on the Trident. It, er, might need repairs.”
Steve stopped talking and shuffled inconspicuously towards the Trident.
“I knew you’d come, the Sisters warned me.”
“Oh, the Sisters are coming for you. They will burn this world down and give the oceans to me.”
“What Sisters?” Steve shuffled further.
“You will see. The Sisters who will dominate the planet you so foolishly call home.” A man stepped out of the shadows.
“Seriously? How many times you gonna come back.”
“I am not the James MacPherson your Arthur Neilsen knew. I am a different man. In my world Arthur does not know the Warehouse, and will never know the Warehouse. My world was destroyed, but I am here now. I was not born in this world so do not age in this world. I will not die of a disease or any natural cause as the world is unaware of my existence.”
Steve smiled, “Very poetic, but I must dash.”
Steve grabbed the Trident and wrenched it out of the ground. The tide that was once rushing in flowed back out at an insane speed, knocking Steve and MacPherson off their feet. The ocean settled instantly and Steve surfaced.
Half a mile from the pier.
With James MacPherson next to him.
And forty seconds until he would run out of oxygen.