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Between eighty percent of the ocean and ninety-five percent of the universe still yet to be discovered, there ought to be a sliver of overlap. A lone scuba diver and astronaut have spent their entire careers seeking each other. Suspended in the deep. Crossing fresh boundaries. Slipping through gravity’s outstretched fingers.

Floating is second nature to them both.

The astronaut rises past the troposphere. Past the stratosphere. The mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The diver sinks past the epipelagic zone. The mesopelagic zone. The bathypelagic zone, abyssopelagic zone, and hadopelagic zone. Into the unknown. Tethered by mere instability.

Somewhere along the way, their worlds bleed together as one. What uncharted territory exists beyond human comprehension unfolds before either traveler: dark matter peppered with captivating anomalies. Marine quasars. Interstellar bioluminescence. Abyssal extraterrestrials.

Are you there? they ask subtle blips of life. Where are you?

Reciprocal communication fizzled out ages ago. Not even their own conscience offers a responding voice. True isolation envelopes the two in an inky embrace. Dead zone. Black hole. A void of many aliases. Perhaps this is the end. Mission failure. Efforts wasted.

Blame oxygen deprivation for the hysteria to follow. The hyperventilation-induced vertigo. The aimless thrashing. The adrenaline-fueled bargaining. The forgetting of loved-one’s features. The grieving of a life they once knew.

A disturbance in the ether brings their terror to a halt. Emerging from the folds of liquid space, a specimen previously observed only by remote camera recordings makes first contact with humankind. This eight-meter cephalopod drags massive slender appendages perpendicular to its body. Black otherworldly eyes regard two meager intruders floating in from opposite directions.

Magnapinna, the diver declares.

Alien, the astronaut exclaims.

To a degree, both observations are correct, expanding their Venn-diagram differences into a full-circle overlap. It is now, swiveling away from such a spectacle, that these voyagers meet eye to eye. Mask to mask. Could it be? Holding what limited breath must remain preserved, the astronaut and scuba diver reach out to touch hands, dividing infinity between gloved fingertips.