Previously in Surface Tension Vol. 1
A literal sea monster that came ashore at the end of our last issue, is hungrily sucking the meat off people. He’s seeking to “connect” with flesh but the coastal folks he comes across are unworthy. Sensing anomalies, the sea monster disconnects and seemingly perishes with an anguished wail.
Megumi Suzuki is dreaming. She is brought to a hospital by a robed figure wearing a creepy shell mask. It takes her to a hospital, much like the one her parents were taken to after falling victim to an incident at a local chemical plant. But this is a dream and the hospital is symbolic of the Coral and the doctors are sea monsters, searching out anomalies. The creepy masked figure enigmatically tells her they are connected but hidden. He says this memory is unsafe, jumps out a window and flies away. Typical. Meg wakes up.
Mary and Blue Meg are looking at the Coral. It seems to be giving off steams of hot air. Blue Meg thinks it might be venting pressure. She suggests the planet-cleansing Coral views human as an infestation and the Sea Sickness was the Coral’s way of getting rid of a dirty little problem. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Turning blue has apparently gone to Megumi’s head. Mary shakes her out of it and asks whether the Coral is trying to save the survivors or kill them off.
Elsewhere in Brieth, Shariq is on a mission. While riding his bike, he sees a blue woman in a colorful sari. He looks again, and the woman has disappeared. He shrugs it off and knocks on the door of a dilapidated house. Shariq tells the old man who answers his son, Ryan, has returned from the sea. The old man denies that the creature that returned is his son.
Shariq reports this to Shauna who is saddened by the news. Blue Ryan asks her what’s wrong and she tells him about his father. Blue Ryan asks about his brother, but Shauna says they never found him and assumed him dead. Blue Ryan refuses to believe this (I guess denial is a family trait) and tries to run off to confront his father. Shauna pulls him back. If he tries to leave, he’ll give the guards a good reason to shoot. Blue Ryan bemoans his blue state and says he’s beginning to remember.
It’s is one week before the Sea Sickness and 8-year-old Kyle gets a reprieve from school. His teacher is not feeling well and the children are dismissed. He runs to find Shauna and they go to meet a pre-blue Ryan at the Surf Shack. Along the way they see a group wearing shell masks. Kyle is not about this Shell People cult. Shauna and Kyle find pre-blue Ryan and the three go surfing and all is fun and games until Kyle is pulled under. As he drowns, a vision of a giant blue sea woman tells him not to be afraid. This watery reverie is interrupted by Ryan who saves his brother. The two bond on the beach post rescue. Kyle isn’t scared of the shell people anymore.
The next day, Ryan is helping his father out on the water. They are bringing in a haul when they hear moaning from the nets. Ryan’s father cuts open the net only to be attacked by half-dead, dripping-flesh people. They manage to throw them back in the water and agree never to talk of it, again. Ryan’s dad was never the same. As the Sea Sickness spread, he became paranoid. He created a bunker and took out his fear and anger on a group dressed up in shell masks.
That night Ryan decides to take his brother to live with Shauna in the morning. He falls asleep and has a dream of the same sea woman his brother saw while drowning. He awakens to his father yelling. Ryan is sea sick. They hop in a car and head to the infirmary. Ryan, in the driver’s seat, isn’t feeling too hot. He swoons and almost hits one Megumi Suzuki. He swerves at the last moment and the car takes a tumble.
A very blue Ryan “wakes up” from his flashback, grabbing his head in pain. Blue Meg grabs him and gets him to calm down. Apparently, remember the past is physically painful to the Blue. Mary notices Meg’s hand is developing scales. Meg says it happened when she first touched the coral and heard The Voice. She tells Mary that she and Ryan are connected to it and it is following them.
We see the not dead (?) Sea Monster at the lighthouse, looking for malleable flesh it can use to evolve. It finds a baby.
This issue continued to entertain. The story continues to be fairly intriguing and I’m interested to see where it goes. There is definitely some silliness, which I particularly enjoy. The over-emoting on the character’s faces and the Sea Monster makes me giggle. I can forgive it for showing us scenes outside the scope of Ryan’s point of view during his memory flashback.