Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wonderous grot and secret cell
Unnumber’d and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumberous green.
There he hath lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
Tennyson, The Kraken.
The coming of the air kraken has utterly altered the relationship of mankind to his natural environment here on earth. Man, who became hunter, gatherer, farmer, city-dweller, and latterly the ingenious master of his carefully designed surroundings, must now experience again the primordial terror of all creatures who suffer the rapacity of a larger, more powerful, and diabolically ingenious predator. Our ancestors must have felt that terror most keenly in their very infancy, when their minds were meagre, scarcely reasoning things, and all the world was an inimical, predatory myriad of talons and jaws. That primordial terror was the first spur to all our cathedrals and sciences; perhaps in time the coming of the kraken will reawaken within us an adoptive ingenuity comparable to those glorious ascensions of the past. For the moment, there is only the fear. Though the attacks of the kraken are spread out over the entire globe, and particularly infrequent in the populous cities of the developed countries, we are nevertheless all of us prone to that sense, as we go about our days, that at any moment the air might be rent with their hideous clarion, and then in their packs they will set upon us from the skies.
A precise history of the coming of the kraken is at this point an impossible undertaking, for they surely existed in small numbers in our upper atmosphere for some period of time prior to anybody openly acknowledging their presence. Once the sightings began to occur from the ground, they were discussed for a long time before the general intelligence was compelled to acknowledge the reality of their existence. Many have noted the particularly high degree of strangeness which characterised the decades preceding the arrival of these unprecedented creatures. The global economy was for many years in a kind of terminal free-fall, and the Great Powers, little more than puppets to a vast complex of vested interests, merely dug deeper and deeper into a potentially catastrophic pit of abstract bail-outs and debts. Meanwhile, the ecology of the earth, ravaged for centuries by man’s ill-considered rapacity, was now responding in kind: floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and natural disasters of all kinds increased in frequency and ferocity. The extreme fluctuations of the climate remained a perpetual concern.
How could one live in such times, and not feel some kind of cosmic apprehension? Even the most sedate and rational of souls were subject to private forebodings. Meanwhile, those individuals with an extra sensitivity to imaginary or highly theoretical symbolic orders implicit in the drift of history went into a paroxysm of prophesy and cosmic fervour. Channelers and mediums of higher entities and intelligences issued grim warnings, and promised the eleventh hour intervention of evolved and ethereal beings. Maverick historians and archaeologists pondered the architecture of ancient monuments, like medieval exegetes poring over the myriad significances of the Sacred Text. A new vogue emerged for the resuscitation and elaboration of ancient prophesy, particularly those contained in the cyclical cosmology of the Hopi Indians and the baroque calendars of the Mayans. As in all times of such tumultuous upheaval, the skies were alive with riddles and harbingers, and it seemed that scarcely a week went by without some Miracle of Fatima or Cross of Constantine appearing in the heavens, to provide colour interlude to the mainstream news medias, and fodder for the many connoisseurs of strangeness huddled about the internet.
Among those stories, one has been of particular interest to the historian of the air kraken. In January of 2009, a 290 foot wind-turbine was mysteriously mangled near Louth,
In support of the theory of terrestrial origin, it cannot be denied that the air kraken is in appearance and essential biology a cephalopod whose natural habit is the air and upper atmosphere. I do not deny that their resemblance to terrestrial varieties of cephalopods, particularly the octopus and the giant squid, is too remarkable to be coincidental. Nevertheless, to imagine a technologically unaided migration from the depths of the ocean to the very edge of space simply beggars evolutionary biology in its current state of knowledge; to further imagine such a migration occurring without our observing any of its intermediate stages beggars common sense. To those of the mystical persuasion, I would argue that the purely terrestrial cephalopod, with its billowing, elastic, and unlikely frame, its diabolical eyes, and its preternatural intelligence, is one of natures eeriest creatures, and its reoccurrence in our literatures is merely coincidental.
Anyway, those controversies aside, we can establish with total certainty that the modern age of the air kraken began in the latter months of 2013, when a group of U.S. Airforce pilots finally resolved to make a report to their superiors, regarding some very strange things they had witnessed at the edge of space.
To be continued.