OCEANUS ADVENTURE #22

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 8 continued

They all sat on a long table, many of whom had fake smiles. Their first service was an appetizer of sauteed mushrooms in oil and garlic after which came the salad. They had no complaints because it was not prepared by Laura Kostas. Just as they were finishing off their salads, Laura and the kitchen staff brought in the main meal.

Now, because Jona was the director, he had the honor to take the first bite. As Laura stood behind him, he looked at the numerous faces waiting; some had sympathetic looks, a few had mischevious smiles. He looked down at his plate of braised chicken breasts thinly sliced on a bed of rice pilaf and a siding of vegetables. It looked good and it does smell wonderful. Bracing himself, he gingerly took a bite. To his surprise, the chicken was quite moist, tender and had just the right tinge of lemon; not too tart. His delight must have shown so much, that he heard a cacophony of silverware digging into their own plates. At the end of the main meal, Laura topped it off with a lemon tart dessert of which everyone gave her high praise.

“I told ya all that my babe can cook as good as any Frenchie chef,” boasted her husband. “Come on Bear. Pay up. $20 please.” He laughed out loud.

“Laura, you did a good job,” Robby said. “Are you sure you want to want to work in the main kitchen? Wouldn’t you prefer to cook here at the residence kitchen?”

“I’d love to cook here, but I think I would prefer to work near Diego,” Laura said. “Besides, I like the challenge of cooking for a hundred people.”

“Well, Jona gave the A-OK. Can you go to the burser’s office and fill out a form?”

“Sure thing.”

“How dinner, sir Admiral?” Merlie asked as the admiral came on board his houseboat.

He still found it amusing how every Bajau Laut adds on a ‘sir’ before his old navy rank. He gave up trying to correct them.

“Surprisingly good, Merlie. Laura really cooked up a fine meal. Merlie, what are you doing here so late?”

“I fix shirt you ripped this morning, sir Admiral,” Merlie said handing him his shirt as well as other clothing that needed repair. “Sir Admiral, Ito Ito want know you join him with boats tomorrow?”

“Oh, yes yes… Tell Ito, I will also be bringing Ms. Buenaventura and a camera crew with us.”

Merlie made a sour face then left the boathouse mumbling about how Ito was not going to like it. The admiral could not help but chuckle as he got a beer and sat on a deck recliner. A few minutes later, there was a knock and Kina stuck her head through the open door.

“Permission to come aboard, Admiral?” she asked.

“Ah Kina, come on in. Help yourself to a beer.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“So, Kina. How’s your investigation?”

“Well, admiral, I pulled out almost 55 fingerprints in the machine room but I fear this will all lead no where. Just way too many people went in and out of that room since the sabotage. As to where the tow rope was burnt by acid, I retrieved a discarded cannister among the tall reeds about ten feet from the H-bit. I suspect that the saboteur hoped to cast it into the sea and missed. I managed to pull out a partial print. I sent it to NCIS HQ Pearl Harbor. I hope they can identify it. Either way, it’ll be a week or so.”

“I spoke to the chief engineer,” the admiral said. “There were seven other breakdowns this past week.”

“I would think that machinery do breakdown from time to time, sir.”

“Yes, but he said that the cause of how these particular breakdowns were unusual. More things for you to look into.”

“Definately, I will. However, sir, I must consider possible motives behind these sabotages to guide this investigation. So far, all the acts point to hindering the proper operations of this facility. Since the launching, every mishap had been focused on sabotaging the propulsion system. Now, that Oceanus is drifting with the ocean’s current and the three engine rooms are tightly secured, I’m thinking that the next target of opportunity will be on the production capability.”

“Kina, I believe you have it right. What’s your next step?”

“I have asked Chief O’hare to help me install a number of hidden cameras around the two processing plants.”

“Just you two? Why don’t you consult with Mr. Ramiscal? He is second in charge, after all.”

“Well, sir, I’m still checking into his background.”

“I see. Well, I’m too old to climb rafters to help you guys out. Oh, how about Jer Roque?”

To be continued…

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Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

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