April 10th, 2010

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A foundation research vessel was currently making its way through the fog over the calm Baltic Sea. About an hour and a half ago, satellites, also belonging to the Foundation, spotted an object several kilometers long in this area. "Inquisitive" was the closest, the ship, commanded by Captain Jędrzej Schultz, set off towards the anomaly immediately after receiving the information.

Captain Schultz himself was currently on the bridge, surrounded by marine explorers seated at survey equipment. There was also a broken radio in the room. At this point, the thoughts of the crew intensified, what are they headed for? Is it really an anomaly? Will they be killed by any chance during the examination? At some point, interrupting these thoughts, the ship stopped.

"Captain, we are centrally above the black object visible from the satellite " the helmsman said.

Schultz looked at the several monitors that showed images of the cameras mounted on the ship. The surface of the sea was still smooth. There was no indication of an anomaly here. He couldn't see anything. At such moments, Schultz regretted rejecting the help of thaumaturgists, he knew that everything could be discovered more easily, a circle here, a circle there, a few hand gestures and done. However, although Schultz himself had a friend who was a well-skilled thaumaturgist, he preferred the classical approach to research and exploration, and did not trust magic entirely.

"Try to run the probe, maybe you can see the shape under the water " Schultz suggested to one of the technicians.

The device has started up. The Baltic Sea was not very deep, about 400 meters, the results should come relatively quickly.

"Depth 100 meters… 200… 300…" The black-haired technician sitting in front of the sonar console was saying. To everyone's surprise, however, he continued. "400… 500… 600… 700… 800… wasn't the Baltic Sea only 430 meters deep? 1200…" the technician started counting further.

Virtually the entire crew of the bridge gathered around the technician and sonar, observing the ever increasing numbers indicating the depth. It can be said that everyone has an explorer's vein, curiosity and excitement about a new discovery. After all, suddenly, without anyone's knowledge, this morning a strange shape appeared in the Baltic Sea, now it turns out that it is a place much deeper than most of the sea. The gauge continued to go down, and the crew's excitement went up with it. 3000 meters… 3100 meters…

The Foundation's seismic instruments did not notice any geological changes, so there is no question of a natural breach, especially of such a depth. What they were over now was an actual anomaly, and gigantic at that. 4000 meters… 4100 meters…

One of the crew members reached for the ship's phone to communicate with the facility to notify them of the discovery, but to his surprise, he was unable to do so. Communication overloaded? Signal problems? Maybe just a minor technical glitch, ignoring it he hung up the phone and decided to try again in a few minutes. 5000 meters… 5100 meters…

Schultz thought back to his friend. He wished he had been with him now to share this discovery with someone. Yes, the ship was full of men, but Captain Schultz had only known them for two weeks. He met Gabriel Deamonne about twenty years ago, during that time they often collaborated on anomaly research or even in friendly fishing trips as part of the Foundation's Fishing Club. Today, however, he could not accompany him, he was chosen as the envoy of the Foundation to take part in the ceremonies commemorating the terrible events in Russia. 6000 meters… 6100…

After another minutes of watching, the sonar signal finally returned, showing the final result. 12,638 meters deep. Virtually the entire bridge was overjoyed because of the discovery they made, and the fact that they were the first to see it. Not every day you can discover a Trench as deep as the famous Marian Trench, and in addition, in a cesspool like the Baltic Sea. While expressing his joy, one of the technicians accidentally hit the radio turning it on.

Despite the fact that the news from the announcer was nervously coming out of the radio. None of the crew paid attention to them, leaving them as background noise. After some time, the ship returned to the port of Hel and stopped at the foundation's dock. Satisfied with the discovery, Captain Schultz left the deck, heading towards the Foundation's agent, who was walking towards him.

"We did it! We got it, we found the anomaly. A ditch in the Baltic Sea 13 kilometers deep, EVE readings greater than normal! " Schultz exclaimed, pleased at the discovery.

The agent just looked at him. He doesn't usually expect a smile from the agents, but this one clearly had an especially serious face.

"It's fucking fantastic Jędrzej, but we have a bigger problem. The fucking president is dead, almost the entire army command is dead. In addition, there was one of our fucking people on board, and his daughter, is now in the Site, and no one knows how to tell her that her father is fucking dead. Haven't you heard the goddamn news?" the agent said irritably.

In an instant, all the joy of the captain stopped. So far, smiling captain Schultz, remembered to what ceremony his friend was supposed to fly. Trying to keep the mask of a calm and tough person with a trembling hand, he took the captain's hat off his head and put it to his chest.

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