Michael DiMercurio

In this essay L.L. analyses how water represents a false sense of safety in Michael DiMercurio’s Phoenix Sub Zero.
Michael DiMercurio uses the water to represent the safety of being hidden from the world but the grave consequences when revealed. The safety of “the arms of the deep” is that the sonar of surface ships cannot detect a submerged submarine. Also possible but difficult to discover the presence of another submarine that is submerged. Daminski when underneath the thermal layer feels at home and impenetrable and that nothing can harm him.
When submerged a sub is in control of everything in the water around it. Under normal circumstances the sub is able to identify and know where every ship is and whether it is loading to shoot or just slowly moving through the ocean. It is the king of the ocean nothing can happen unless the sub allows it to because of its superior stealth and now way of tracking from the surface of the water.
This all changes once a submarine takes a hit from something the safety of the water turns into the very thing that eventually kills you. “Kane watched his ship’s lethal dive toward the bottom.” here the bottom literally meaning the ocean floor beneath the crush depth of the sub but also the bottom or end of his life. At this point the very thing that was keeping the sub away from harm, the vast size of the ocean is like finding a needle in a haystack, becomes one of the most dreaded forms of dying for the human race, drowning.
This false sense of safety eventually drives the captain to take risks that could result in the death of all men aboard the submarine but could result in the sinking of the enemy sub or ship. These risks are taken only because the darkness of the water around the sub causes a sense of security and a thought that no one can get at them.
This sense of safety causes the captains of two subs to finish the task they were assigned but at the cost of many heroic mens lives. (LL 2013)


In this essay L.L. analyses how flashback becomes what the person is in the future in Michael Dimercurio’s Voyage of the Devilfish.
In the beginning of the book the character Michael Pacino is introduced as a cocky submarine captain who bends the rules in order to be the best. He is from a family of navy men his father dying underneath the ice pack from a Soviet submarine torpedo. his father’s memory lives on in himself with the jolly roger flag flying every time he leaves and enters Norfolk. Michael recounts several stories that he has of his father the most significant one where his father said he wanted to fly the “ Jolly Roger after a big OP” is very significant.
Once Michael finds the truth of his father’s death, that it was not accidental but an intentional torpedo strike from a Soviet sub, he is ordered to trail then sink the man who sunk his father. Once the submarine he is trailing launches a nuclear warhead he is forced to evade and the “image of his father coughing up blood and seawater, drowning in both, came to him” this warhead even if not a direct hit has over a 200 km kill radius due to the shock wave that is just as powerful.
This image is repeated again at the end of the book where Pacino is found in a storm bunker in the North Pole with “swollen eyes black and blue, lips nearly black, lower face white but skin not yet frozen.” “Pacino...got big doses of radiation.” he is unconscious with no heart beat. Unlike his father he is revived and survives now able to live with his fathers death.
This flashback happens to the main character who experienced the pain of the original situation but is able to change the outcome and live the rest of his life with his family. His family able to know what happened from their own husband and father’s mouth. (LL 2013)