Cold Comfort

"Do not be afraid."

The submersible hits the water at an odd angle, throwing the passengers against the bulkhead. No one was buckled in before it dropped. Confusion erupts from the team of scientists as they begin their descent: the currents shouldn't be as strong as they are. Titan's atmosphere doesn't allow for that.

But they are swept away.

The pilot struggles to orient the craft, and for a moment, they are vertical, able to see blooms of fire expanding above the surface of the ocean. The submersible pitches in another direction, sinking rapidly.

They have nowhere to go but down. Hide under the ice shelf, wait the chaos out. Hope for rescue.

One of the scientists leans out of her seat, pressing her face up against the port window. A shape moves in the dark, too massive to be another craft, too sinuous to be mechanical. The scientist reaches back, blindly grasping for the hand of the person seated next to her.

The shape in the sea doubles back, following the speed and telemetry of the current-swept submersible. Everyone sees it now, blocking out what little light is left as they sink past the ice shelf. It dives with them. Not after, but with.

She will not let them die alone.