From the Deep
Nobody knew why they came at first.
We all assumed that it was because of the earthquake the year before, disrupting their food supply or some unknown underwater landmark, but still, one found it’s way in and then more and more of the aquatic beasts began to make Pier 39 their home. There was shelter here and food nearby so their numbers continued to swell until, by the start of the twenty first century, they numbered in the thousands.
Almost everyone thought it was just the sea lions that Loma Prieta disrupted in October ’89. The natives of San Francisco loved their noisy new neighbours, who rapidly became a tourist attraction and flourished under both the physical protection of the man-made harbour and the legal protection of their status as a Protected Species. Looking back now it seems foolish to assume that they were the only ones who had adapted to new surroundings in the wake of that flexing of the San Andreas.
The commotion arose when the playful pinnepeds of Pier 39 stopped returning from their hunting trips in the Pacific. As their numbers continued to dwindle it became apparent that something else was now hunting in the waters off San Francisco, something far less photogenic and far more devastating.
As with most things to do with the Californian Sea Lion, the answer lay with the squid population. Not the tiny Market Squid they fed on but a six foot monster from the deep known as The Humboldt Squid. Either through a change in fish migrations or perhaps Loma Prieta itself, the Humboldts discovered that they could adapt to hunting in the shallower waters usually dominated by the warm-blooded sea lions and their kin. Large, Aggressive, Arguably more intelligent than their mammalian counterparts and without a cumbersome skeleton to slow them down, the Humboldts mounted their assault on the local ecology with devastating effect. Fishermen reported that their fish stocks were dwindling but were ignored until the only thing left in the southern pacific were these “Red Devils” from the deep.
But the Humboldts didn’t stop there. Despite the thousands of people they’d left starving by devouring their oceanic food supply, the worst was yet to come. Whether they were prevented from heading north by the cold or through fear of the squid hunting Sperm Whales, who prey on their giant cousins, remains unclear. But shortly after the sea lions vanished from Pier 39 a chilling reality was becoming clear through monstrous tales of coordinated packs of cephalopods ripping surfers and bathers apart… Humanity was next.
May God have mercy on us for what we must now do.