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Personal Log: April 6 [Apto April 2022 Part 6: Dark]

cw second-person underwater aptophilia magitech sci-fi

Content Warning: This story is directed at you, the reader, and features an experience of diving underwater deep in the ocean. Reader’s discretion is advised.

You’re in your haptic suit, browsing people’s captures over the subspace network. You come across one titled “Personal Log: 2422-04-06” and open it out of curiosity. The countdown prompt begins as the haptics spool up, gently easing you into the alien sensations.




The author speaks, but the haptics are so good, you actually feel as if you spoke. The sensors must be the most top of the line gear out there, even replicating limb awareness, perfectly mapping your body onto its.

“Begin log recording, record haptics.”

The view changes to deep, dark navy color. You’re surrounded by warmth, deep ocean currents running across your body. You don’t feel choked, but you can feel the sense of water filtering into your mouth and out the gills on either side of your torso to breathe.

“This isn’t exactly what I’m feeling right now, but I want you to see what the average person sees this deep in the ocean, before I show you how beautiful my natural underwater perception is.

Right now I’m on Earth, in the South Pacific off Australia, swimming at a depth of about 50 meters. Not much light can get this far down, at least for those accustomed to land, but this is very comfortable for me.”

You feel the author swimming forth, gently swaying its tail behind it, causing a stir of turbulence to propel it forward. The author slows and stops after a moment, calming its breathing and speaking much quieter, but still audible. In fact, it sounds strangely normal, despite being underwater, with a respiratory system completely filled with water.

“Look! A fellow shark! Right there, straight ahead. To you it might seem like a blur, but I can sense it in a myriad of ways. First, I’ll show you my sight, but there’s one more thing I can show that’s a bit disorienting if you don’t have this sense. Here goes”

The screen slowly brightens and adjusts, the sea floor appears, lots of little fish and debris come into focus, and at the center is the shark. It’s skewed at first, but the vision adjusts for the diffraction effect water has, and it becomes crystal clear and the proper shape. The far off shark is resting in a small cave in the side of a bluff covered in colorful coral.

“See? Sharks can sleep. This one looks a bit lonely though. Usually these Whitetips snuggle together like a big pile of logs. Now, prepare yourself, I’m going to include my electrical senses into this. You’ll feel a bit of an odd sensation if you don’t have a gland that provides this.”

The feeling fades in slowly. At first, it’s just a feeling of many different presences around you. All of the fish swimming nearby, the shark resting peacefully in its den ahead. Then, the feelings get more intense. Tingles cluster around your snout, or your feeling of the author’s snout, seemingly in response to all of their movements.

Then, a heightened sense of smell and taste develop, and a myriad of other intricacies as you feel exactly what the author felt in that moment.

“That tingling, that tells me there’s creatures around me. Every one of them has little electrical pulses running through them. On land, this feeling is a lot more annoying with all of the electricity coursing through everything, but here it’s calm and meditative.

You might also be smelling some things as well. Creatures hunt, and sharks like me are well attuned to picking up the scent of them from far away. It permeates the seas, wherever life can exist.

I hope this feels as relaxing to you as it does me. I never dreamed I’d be able to let others feel what I feel here, it’s so exhilarating!

Alright, before I go, I’m not wearing any suit. I’m just a synth, see?”

You feel a tingling in your left arm, as the view looks down to the author’s left arm. It swells and gets lighter suddenly, trying to pull you up to the surface, with a sensation of pressure trying to stretch it out as far as possible.

“Nanites are so amazing… Alright, I’ll stop teasing this feeling, and let you relax as I take a swim around the reef for a few minutes. Check out my other log from last week if you want to go through what it feels like to do that arm trick, but with my whole body!”

This experience was unforgettable.

See this year’s Apto April prompts by Caudle (Twitter @Caudlewag)