The Forest Ocean

Silver Leapers https://www.flickr.com/photos/68069539@N07/

“Day 37 log. Our blimp has finally arrived at the coordinates where satellites picked up the anomalous readings.  There is damage to the upper canopy visible, but it is difficult to see how far down the damage goes, and whether or not it has affect the breeding grove of the Pacific Bluewing Tunak.  The world is watching though, we’re live-streaming from the ship.  Half the world expects there to be an alien spacecraft crashed here in the pacific forest.  Whatever it is we will find out, I only wish we were closer to land. We lost sight of the California coast 3 days ago.”

“It is day 39. All on board instruments are reading normal levels of oxygenation and photosynthesis here at the epiboreal zone, but we’re going to have to get our feet green to take readings down lower.  We’ve dispatched remote tracking stations in a perimeter and have no signs of great white activity in the area so we’re dropping in tomorrow morning assuming there are still no bears or other large predators observed in the upper canopy.”

“Day 41 was glorious. We’ve descended to the extent of the tethered lab will allow today and the damage is more evident here in the mesoboreal zone.  Charring was observed on several of the large trunks in the area, and one in particular was scoured clean of its bark on one side.  There has definitely been an impact here.  The humidity is proving a challenge for some in the crew, as is the lingering heat from the impact.”

“It is day 43, or possibly 44. I don’t know how long we were all unconscious, and we still haven’t seen Walter. The attack on the tethered lab came suddenly and our tethers were snapped. It happened so fast we never got a clear view of what pulled us down. I can’t be certain, but I think we may have made it all the way to the forest floor.  The heat is oppressive and the humidity is making it hard to breath.  All but 2 of our aridation masks were crushed. We haven’t been able to make contact with the ship above us either.  The floor of the forest is spongy and damp, though we are trying to stay on the sled as much as possible, we found Henry’s clothes in a bloody slimy  pile next to where we all woke up. We have no idea what happened. The med kit is no where in sight and we’re all alone here. If we can trust our instruments, we are only 1000m below the surface of the forest. Which would seem to indicate we are atop a mount. Without any airbouy gear that is a long climb up the vines in the heat and in the dark.”

“Day 45. We found Walter’s body today higher up in the foliage. The sparrows and finches had already set in on him. I.. I.. –”

“It is now Day 47, and only Tim and I are still alive, say hi to your wife and kids Tim” / “Hello my darlings, daddy loves you” / “We’ve lost everyone else now and we are currently huddled between the biggest golden pothos leaf I’ve ever seen and the crook of a quercus gigantus filled with strange bromileads. Currently we’re hiding from what would appear to be a gulper wolf, we got too close and apparently we must smell like it’s prey, so hopefully the flowers will mask our scent.  Yesterday during the climb we could see the impact crater through a clearing in the undergrowth. I can say with certainty it was not a downed spacecraft of any kind.  The portable equipment we still managed to have at this height, was able to scan it, but we have nothing to open the data file.  We have to get back on board though there is a black fungus spreading from the crater that is liquefying organisms it overtakes.”

“It is day 49 and I can finally see my hand in front of my face, this journey has come at a terrible cost though.  Tim and I have photographed brand new never before seen creatures, but we are both covered in spots of black mold that we cannot scrub away. The pain of the climb has masked the pain of our flesh being eaten away in the darkness. Our only hope is the unfiltered sunlight.  The higher we go the less of the black compound we find embedded in the trees and plants.”

“Day 52 is finally back to the mesoboreal zone if I am getting good readings on my equipment. We can finally tell the difference between day and night. The sound of danger is all around us though. The fanged apes roam these branches, and we’ve been getting hints there is a floral reef nearby which means more small birds and lizards, and more predators. Last night we heard wholves fighting over a kill and it felt like they were right on top of us. The chilling crunch of bones.  Speaking of bones. Tim hold your hand up here so we can see it, go ahead and unwrap it for a moment. The black sludge has eaten enough of the flesh away, but it is not disturbing the muscle, bones or tendons. Something similar is happening on my calf where my bouysuit was ripped. I do not comprehend how we have not passed out from the pain, but there seems to be some kind of nerve interference going on as well.  I do not know what will happen when we reach the sunlight, but all of our exposed skin is nearly clear of the black spots, but the damaged areas remain and are not healing.”

“Day 56, the pain is unbearable now, the sunlight is causing some kind of reaction with the compound and it catches fire. Tim and I found a thicket of moss and we both passed out from the pain and burns. Tim is still unconscious, I don’t know how we are going to make it back. I’ve pulled the memory cards from and ditched all of our equipment in the lower canopy, but I have one vial of the black compound collected for study.  From what I have been able to observe I think it may be a more complex organism than just a simple fungus. I’ve got to wake Tim to keep going, we’re close enough I think the ship can pick up our beacons, if they still have power.”

“It’s day 60, and still no sign of the ship, Tim is still unconscious, and I fear he may be near death.  I managed to hoist him up as far as the branches will hold, and we can see the daylight.  I am afraid our scent will be picked up by something that this pointed stick won’t be able to fend off.”

“Day 72, My beacon will be out of power soon, and we still haven’t been located. Tim has died. I fear this may be my last log.  The vial of the black substance is in my belt pouch. Please tell my wife I love her.”

Prompt
Instead of the oceans covering the earth, forests are in its place, making it possible to walk from continent to continent. Like oceans, it gets deeper and darker and creatures get more aggressive and rarer to see. You are tasked to document a trek through one of the oceans of your choice. Reddit Link