May 20th, 1929-
The crew is becoming more restless as the hours pass. If I wasn’t the only person with a firearm, I would doubtless not be able to continue this log much longer. Who knows how long I can? Five more have died today, and perhaps I shall be next. Perhaps that would be a blessing.
Another scientist was found in the lake today. He was the very same man who confided in me about his nightmare, and now I know that this island must be that same sunless mountain that I have climbed and, surely, below that simmering water lies the terrible mystery that has drawn both him and August already. I fear that I shall dream again, and that I shall join the two of them. I haven’t felt such terrible, icy fear since I served, since man ripped apart man until over seventeen million lied dead on the fields of Europe.
I would order a full withdrawal from the island had it not been for the tragedy that befell us today. Ault, Menkelos, Carrew, and Tollson died as they attempted to leave this place. It seems that the island is a jealous maiden. Dear gods, I should have noticed from how low the Carnegie sat in the water, and how languid the cove was. I should have known. As they pulled off from the shore, bubbles formed around them, but they weren’t the signs of boiling. No, these were methane and the familiar stench hydrogen sulphide. One of the naturalists looked troubled at the effervescence, and I was about to ask him what was wrong when suddenly, before my eyes, the ship was swallowed by the indigo maw of the sea.
The whole process only took a second or two, and the men barely had time to scream before they sunk like a rock in a well. the scientists did all that they could and just sat there, theorizing halfheartedly for hours. Eventually one of them told me that there must have been gases dissolved in the water, lowering the density. I didn’t really care, as I could see, did they. Four men had died, four men under my supervision, and I ordered them to their deaths. I feel sick. I’ve lost men on this expedition already, but this is different. August’s death was tragic, but ultimately his fault, and I think our rage at the Greek carried us past the grief over Emile’s tragic death. The same cannot be said for this, though. Ault; Carrew; Tollson; these were good, smart men, a cut above the rough bulk of the rest. Worse, though, the scientists now outnumber the crew. Ha! I am captain of a ship without sailors, which cannot be sailed or even boarded without huge and terrible danger.
Our camp is split. There are those who fear and hate this island, and are demanding we leave at once. They are frantic and panicked, and I worry greatly that they may attempt to force my hand. Even now I can hear their leader, one of my few remaining sailors. His name is Holridge, and he rallies his men, who consist of several of the more strong-constituted scientists and the rest of my sailors. Their counterparts are their opposites, and they seem almost too depressed to do anything. They’re rational men no doubt and they know as well as I do that we must be doomed. Our rations can only last so long, and the rest of them are still marooned aboard the Carnegie. I don’t anticipate trouble from these men, or though surely I shall have to choose between the two, between despair and insanity, or they shall roll over me in pursuit of what they both must desire- salvation. I will be forced to choose.
More dreaming last night. The sky was no longer dark as pitch, nor even the indigo of the dark sea that laps menacingly at the shore. It was red, red as blood that once coursed through veins now halted. Four miles. Four miles deep was the last sounding of that desolate plain. It’s a long way to sink. They must still be falling.