It's like Bridget Jones' Diary, but with a super-powered vigilante.

March 15, 2005

The Kraken

I’m not an expert, but I’d say it would take a pretty fucking big sea monster to sink the Singapore Express.

Nearly three football fields in length, the Singapore Express is an absolutely massive container ship. It has a dead weight of 67,145 tons, and that’s before you add the weight of fuel and the hundreds and hundreds of steel cargo containers that it lugs around the Pacific Rim.

I’m trying to convey how fucking huge the ship is so you can appreciate what a big deal it is that it went down like it did and, by inference, how powerful the Kraken must be.

From what I gather, the Singapore Express had left the Port of Evergreen City and is about twenty miles out in the Pacific heading south for Oakland when the Kraken attacks. Giant tentacles burst from the deep, coiling around the vessel. Containers topple from the deck like toys as the creature violently throttles the helpless ship. Huge suckers rend the hull and sea water gushes in. The captain sends out a last panicked mayday as the Singapore Express breaks apart and sinks, leaving a vast debris field of oil and bobbing steel containers. With a whirl of tentacles, the Kraken returns to the black depths. The whole thing takes twelve minutes.

So the Kraken is basically a huge mutant squid beast, hundreds of yards long, with six big thick main tentacles and an inner ring of smaller tentacles around its beaked mouth that snares and tears the beast’s prey. Nobody knows where it came from or why it does what it does – all we know is that it comes out of nowhere, fucks shit up, then splits.

The Kraken, you may recall, was last seen eating the Canadian hero Northguard on TV. Remember that? It followed a NOAA research vessel to Vancouver, BC and thrashed around in English Bay, destroying sailboats and tugs with its massive tentacles. Then Northguard flies in with his Lightlance – remember this? I have it on tape. I know that sounds ghoulish, but I do. I have all the major televised superhero battles on tape or disc.

Anyway, Northguard. He rockets in with his shining white armor and his lightsaber-looking weapon, flying right at the Kraken’s tender eye… then he gets batted out of the air by a big tentacle and drops into the water, stunned. And then, on live television, the Kraken surges forward and spreads open its huge jaws. A host of smaller tentacles shoot out and grab Northguard and then glump! The fucking thing eats him, right there on TV. It was shocking and – this is horrible – almost funny.

That was nine months ago. Nobody has seen the Kraken since then – until yesterday.

I have to hand it to them, the military responded really quickly to this incident -- they clearly have a game plan. Since yesterday the Coast Guard has placed a maritime travel restriction on a big swath of coastline and parked a cutter at the mouth of Willapa Bay to control boat traffic. Some Navy warships are en route from Everett and San Diego to hunt for the Kraken, and P-3 Orion anti-submarine planes from Whidbey NAS have been flying over the EC all morning.

The Navy clearly has a plan for dealing with sea monster attacks, which is really cool if you think about it. It’s probably a result of those Congressional hearings in 1996 (or 97?) after Volcanus the Living Volcano destroyed half of Grand Rapids, MI. The original lineup of the Minute Men destroyed Volcanus, but the battle burned up a huge chunk of the Great Lake State and cost team member The Patrioteer his life. Congress was growing increasingly uneasy about having to rely exclusively on parahumans for national defense against giant monster and UFO attacks, so they demanded that each branch of the military draft contingency plans for defense against LHCs (Large Hostile Creatures) and UFOs. The Navy, naturally, was in charge of dealing with threats from alien submarines and LHCMs (Large Hostile Creature, Maritime).

Anyway, I just think it’s cool to think of Navy flag officers sitting around in the Pentagon talking about what forces to deploy against giant radioactive crayfish.

I’m content to let the military worry about LHCMs. I didn’t get into the superhero business to get killed fighting giant monsters and shit.

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