The Sea Serpent in Orkney

A little vignette about the founding of Primrose, the organisation Connor from Aliens, Smith and Jones works for.

 

The sea serpent in Orkney
From The Orcadian, November 11, 1905 | http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/shapinsay1905.htm

The article in the Orcadian is what started it all for Primrose—an organisation tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. Founder Captain Alfred McCulloch’s grandfather—a ninety year old retired fisherman from Kirkwall who refused to move out of his house, much to Alfred’s mother’s dismay—read the article out loud during evening coffee in front of the fire, mocking his ‘colleagues’ for being taken in so easily by the so-called spotted sea serpent.

Alfred had moved in with his grandfather after a car accident that cost Alfred his commission and the full use of his left shoulder and leg. After months of recuperation, he could walk a couple of miles a day without too much pain. When he set out in his grandfather’s old fishing boat—another thing his grandfather refused to do, sell the boat—during the summer of 1906, he’d forgotten all about the spotted sea serpent, at least until he found himself facing it, bobbing near the coast, as he rounded a small uninhabited island. Alfred remembered the article then, and his grandfather’s mirth and mocking, once he got past his frozen state.

“The body is described as massive as that of horse, covered with a scaly surface, and spotted. It was the eyes of the monster, however, that attracted most attention. These are said to have been as large as a bowl, and had a most fascinating attraction for the beholder.” – from the article in the Orcadian

The monster didn’t attack him, didn’t even come closer. It merely watched him, and followed Alfred’s every move. The eyes were fascinating, indeed. The monster was big, it was quiet, and the eyes had a look in them that reminded Alfred of the child-like joy he had seen in his nieces and nephews. It was hard to fear a creature that looked at him like that. Alfred sat in his boat for a while, watching the monster watch him, wondering what he should do. In the end he went with saying, “Hullo.”

The monster shrieked and dove underwater, leaving Alfred clutching his chest. It was the start of a strange sort of peek-a-boo game that would last for hours. Finally, after Alfred decided he would have to be the one to end the game, the monster surprised Alfred by flopping up onto the beach, stretching its paws out in the warm sand—Alfred had expected flippers—making a noise that Alfred chose to interpret as an invitation to join it.

Almost twelve years later, Alfred had gathered three more alien creatures on the small island. He also opened Primrose’s first office in Kinnon, far from his beloved Kirkwall, and gathered a decent staff around him, all eager to find more alien creatures inhabiting the Earth.

Today, 2012, Primrose has offices all over the world. Primrose also has a number of islands which serve as harbours for the non-hostile aliens Primrose hasn’t been able to send back to their homes. The small island north of Scotland is still in use today. Both Alfred and the Shapinsay sea monster are buried there.

 

originally posted at the We Carry The Torch site, where we followed the Olympic torch relay through the UK 2012.