OCEANUS ADVENTURE #33

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“I wonder how he did it,” said Kina as she and Chief O’hare watched the surveillance videos a third time.

“My guess is that the saboteur had set up the failure before we installed the extra cameras,” said Chief O’hare.

“Chief, is the plant locked down?”

“Yup. Except for the repair crew, I have 2 of the major’s guys guarding the main door and 2 more roving inside.”

“Come on, Chief. We’ve got to go back inside and take a second look around.”

Two hours later, Kina and the Chief were giving their report to the admiral, Jona and Robby.

“We found out how they got in,” Kina said.

“They?” asked Jona.

“Yes, director. The Chief and I now believe that there may be more than 2 saboteurs here. One of them had enough tech savvy to manipulate our video feed. Let me show you.”

She played a video on the screen. What they were watching was a night-vision view of an external hatch with a running timer on the top.

“This is from the external camera covering the emergency escape hatch. Keep an eye on the handle bar at the time stamp 01:36:42.”

When the time stamp hit 01:36:42, the image of the hatch was the same except that the handle was slightly angled down.

“As you could see, gentlemen, this video was clearly tampered with.”

“How do you know that there are more than one guy behind this?” asked Robby.

“Well, sir, when the Chief and I went back into the plant, we wondered how none of our cameras picked them up. We surmised that my video network was hacked and the videos altered as you had already seen. Fortunately, I had 2 cameras that were independent and they both recorded this…”

The monitor screen split in half. Both images showed the same walkway but from different angles.

“Unfortunately, the cameras did not have night vision. The only source of illumination were a pair of red light bulbs about 20 feet away. Here they come.”

The videos showed two dark figures dashing past the cameras.

“I can’t see any of their faces,” said Robby. “Can you play it back again, please?”

Kina played it back.

“Do we have anything on these guys?” asked the admiral.

“Aye, sir,” responded the Chief. Kina rewound the video back, then froze it to where you can view both figures head to foot. “Do you see the support I-beam? That cross bracket just above the head of the tallest of the two is about 6 feet 5 inches. I am 6 feet 2. That makes the tallest of the 2 about 5 feet 10 give or take.”

“How many of the crew are of that height?” asked Jona.

Kina said, “Forty, sir.”

“I see. Well, Agent ʻAukai, you & Chief O’hare do have a job ahead of you both. In your hunt for them, try not to turn it into a witch hunt. Chief O’hare, when do you expect your security team to arrive?”

“In two days, Director.”

“Chief, what are their backgrounds?” asked the Admiral.

“Two of them are retired seals. The other four are former Shore Patrols. Top notch navy all, sir.”

“Outstanding! When they arrive, we’ll have an overall security overview. Robby, what’s the word on the damage?”

To be continued…

PREV


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.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #32

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12

‘Behind me is the trash that we collected from the open sea, some 130 miles from the Republic of the Philippines. According to the chief of operations, our expedition from two days ago pulled in about 25 tons of plastics and other man-made objects.’

“Hey Alicia, are you trying to get yourself into trouble again?” asked Tina, one of the video producers. “Robby said only 10 tons was collected.”

“Well, then, I’ll look forward to getting a whole ear full from him,” Alicia said delightedly.

‘Earlier today, the expansive net that we used to gather all the trash was opened up and it’s content was dumped out. The next part of the process was the draining of the sea water. I was assured that the water was filtered of any man-made contaminants, that is residual chemical elements and compounds, before it was pumped back into the sea.

‘The trash was allowed to dry in the sun for about 3 hours. During that time, a number of Bajao women and their kids were allowed to scrounge through all that stuff by the administration to glean for recyclable items. One of those ladies came by to show me a pair of plastic children’s stools and a still fairly new Coleman cooler. I surmise that it recently fell overboard from someone’s boat.

The video transitioned to the trash being mechanically pushed into another greater pile which was also being fed into a conveyor that led to a building situated in the trees. Video transitioned again into an interior shot of the processing plant with Alicia standing infront of the conveyor with trash blurringly passing her.

‘We’re inside one of Oceanus’ two processing plants ready to turn these…’ She held up a handful of plastic bags and other discarded plastic items. ‘…into this…’ In her other hand, she held up a multi-colored cube (12 x 12 x 12 inch).

‘Now, we will show you a step by step process of…’ Then, there was a loud banging sound in the background. In the video, Alicia visibly flinched and alarmingly said, ‘What the @#$& was that?’ Alarms can be heard then the screen went blank.

“Well, Tina, will we be able to finish this video soon? I hate to broadcast an episode late. When did Robby say we shoot again?”

“He said repairs will be completed in 3 days. Meanwhile, we’ve got other materials to put together for an alternate subject.”

There was knock on the door.

“Come in,” Alicia said.

The one who entered was her sound man, Arturo.

“Ma’am Alicia… Ma’am Tina, I have some news about the breakdown. When I was storing the equipment, I overheard one of the plant supervisors talking to Director Quimby that this breakdown was no accident, but that is not all. This was not the first incident”

After Arturo told his story and left, Alicia was elated. “Tina, we’ve got an award winning story here. Imagine this headline: ‘SABOTAGE ON THE HIGH SEAS by Alicia Buenaventura’.”

“Well, boss, what’s the plan?”

To be continued…

PREV


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.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #31

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 11 continued

The next day, Robby was walking a steel walkway that went over pen number 9 to oversee that it’s content is processed.

“Is this the stuff that the Belinda pulled in from Ito’s hunting party?” asked Jona accompanied by Tony Hallbright.

“I estimate about 10 tons minus the 2 logs that Ito claimed. It’s a fair catch. However, when we add this to the material collected by our whiskers, it should add up to about 25 tons.”

“Whiskers?” asked Hallbright.

“Look toward the shoreline of the outer ring,” Jona said pointing. “Do you see the rows of what look like long fishing rods?” Hallbright nodded. “There are about 40 of them on this side of the outer ring and another 30 or so at the other side. Their design is to snag trash that ride the currents below us. Each rod are made from flexible carbon steel tubes embedded on secured mounts.”

“What about the fish-lines? They look like cables.”

“They are and with the tinsel strenght that can handle tons.”

“Hey, you’re not using sharpened hooks that can harm marine life, are you?”

“Are you kidding? Mae will skin me alive! She was the one that designed the grappling hooks. Come on, let’s take a closer look.”

Jona crossed the walkway followed by Robby and Hallbright.

“What is that smell?” ask Hallbright.

“It’s crude oil combined with rotting bio matter,” said Robby. “It’s coming from that.”

Robby pointed at the trash pile still in the net sitting in a pool of darkened sludge.

“You’ll get used to it. Come on… let’s catch up to Jona.”

They descended a set of metal steps onto the outer ring. Most of the landscape of the outer ring featured short mounds of tall yellowish grass that can easily grow in coastal areas. The highest areas of the outer ring rose to about 30 feet above sea level. Then, it sloped down onto a rocky shore. If it were not for the bouncy sensation, one would think that they were on any solid beach. Roaming the shoreline was a line of people picking up washed-up trash. They headed to the nearest fishing pole. A couple of Bajao teens were hauling in the cable line with gloved hands.

“The cable only go down about 50 feet under the surface,” explained Jona to Hallbright. “There are 4 sets of snag hooks spaced every 10 feet and an heavy weight at the end.”

When the boys brought up the first set, it was completely covered with all sort of discarded plastic strips and seaweed. One of the boys passed it to Jona. He stripped off the trash to reveal not a single hook but an egg shaped cage about 2 feet in length. And welded on the frame of the cage were hundreds of spikes.

“Your wife is a genius, Jona,” said Hallbright.

“She nicked name them ‘Porcupines’.”

Then, Robby’s radio squacked. “Hey boss! We’re ready to pump.”

“Go for it. We’ll be there soon,” Robby responded. “Come on, guys. They’re starting the processing.”

They worked their way back in time to watch a crew in green jump suits wading into the sludge handling large hoses.

“They’re siphoning the sludge out where the crude oil and other petrolium by-products are extracted from the seawater,” explained Jona.

“Where is it all pumped into?” asked Hallbright.

“There are holding tanks under the superstructure where your quarters are located.”

“What do you do with it?”

“When both tanks are close to full, a small tanker is summoned to pump out three quarters of it. We process the other quarter for our engines.”

Robby’s radio beeped three times. He cringed. This was the signal from his wife that she was on her way.

To be continued…

PREV


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.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #30

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 11

Robby was lounging on one of the couches of the TV room of the recreation center. He and Tess were just finishing watching the day’s recording provided by one of the camera crew who made an unedited copy. On the TV screen was the Belinda bringing in the bloated net of debris collected by Ito’s boats to the port side mid-section of the outer ring.

“Oh, I love watching this,” Robby said.

“Hey, Dad, what’s got your interest?” asked Rob Jr.

“Sit down, son, and watch how they transfer all that trash from the open sea into one of our collection pens without lifting it out of the water.”

“Great! I never get a chance to see this part.”

Rob Jr. plopped down on the couch next to his dad. The video was showing one of Belinda’s crew tossing a rope to an awaiting personnel in orange jumpsuits on the outer ring. They started to pull in the rope which was attached to the tow cables of the filled net. Then, the Belinda backed up a shortway.

“How are they going to get all that junk over the outer ring into the pens?”

“Just watch, son.”

The video showed the outer ring from the perspective of Belinda’s fly deck. What looked like a rocky breakwater was in actuality thousands of recycled plastic cubes fused together. The video started to pan to the left following the men pulling on the cable. They disappeared behind a long dark vertical wall with diagonal yellow stripes painted on it. It seems to be about 20 feet high and about 40 feet in length and made of steel.

“What is that, dad?”

“Well, son, if you bothered to get your nose out of your computer games, explore around and go outside from time to time like your little sister, you would have known that this was the port side gate into the collection pens.”

The gate started to slowly open until the top, of which, disappeared under the water.

“Oh, cool! it’s a massive drawbridge!”

A crewman in orange jumpsuit gave a whirling signal with his hand. Robby knew that was the signal to engage the winch. The tow cables went taut and not long after the bloated net was slowly pulled in.

“Wow! It looks like a big whale being pulled into one of those outlawed whaling ships shown in an old National Geographic films. And all that stuff is garbage?”

“Yup, son.”

Then, the screen went dark

“Hey, Tess? Where is the part when Alicia fell into pen number 10?”

“Oh hon, it’s not in that file,” said Tess. “I’m reserving that for tomorrow night. I promised Ito that he and his family can watch it with us.”

“Okay, I got to get up early tomorrow anyway. I want to process all that material by tomorrow night.”

To be continued…

PREV


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.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #29

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 10 continued

Kina was just coming down the ladder after setting up the last of surveillance cameras in the main processing plants.

“Agent ʻAukai, I still have one last camera with me,” said Chief O’hare.

“Come on Chief, call me Kina.”

“No can do, Ma’am. Career Navy, 22 years. Offer it to me when I’m retired. Now what do we do with the last camera?”

Kina took a long look around. Then she spotted a side utility hatch behind a metal rack of parts. She went to check it out. She and the Chief shoved the rack away from the hatch which was oval shaped. Printed on it was, ‘For EMERGENCY Use Only’.

“It’s cracked open,” said the Chief.

“There are no scratches on the floor,” observed Kina. “So, it has not been opened… probably since it was installed.”

“So, why is it unlocked?”

“That is a good question, Chief.”

Then they heard someone opening the plant’s main entrance. A voice called out humorously , “Is there a federal agent around here?”

Kina recognized Major Roque’s voice.

“Over here, Major.”

“Where’s here?”

“Right side… midway,” yelled the Chief.

The major came around some machinery.

“Ah, there you are. Hi Kina… Chief…”, said Jer. “Well, where do you want me?”

“Right on time, major,” Kina said sarcastically. “We just have to set up one more camera. Why don’t you go out and find out where this hatch exits? The Chief and I will check it out from this end.”

“On my way.”

The major took off toward the main entrance whistling. The Chief and Kina went to move the metal rack. To their surprise it had hidden casters. The Chief pushed the rack to the side as Kina closely inspected the hatch.

“Why would this emergency hatch be ajar like this?” she said rhetorically.

Then, there was a banging on the corregated wall.

“Hey Kina, can you hear me?” It was the major’s voice slightly muffled. “There’s a 4 foot high escape tube-tunnel that extend out to about 30 feet into the trees and it ends to another hatch. Do you want me to check it out?”

“No!” Kina shouted back. “Wait for us, major.”

She and the chief put the rack back. After she checked to see that one of her cameras covered the vicinity of the hatch, they went out through the main entrance to where the tube-tunnel was. The major whistled at them from the tree line.

The tunnel ended to a foliage covered shed and another round hatch. The major was waiting for them about 20 feet from the hatch under a tree. Kina and the chief stopped just short of it, inspecting the ground closely for footprints.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t approach the hatch, major.”

“Hey, I watched CSI,” Jer said laughingly. “It looked like someone swept the entrance area to eliminate footprints.”

Kina was inching her way to the hatch, when the chief called out, “Look at this!”

He was crouched down next to a bush pointing at a partial shoe impression.

“That is too small to be a man’s work boot,” the chief observed. “Of course, it could be a print of one of the kids.”

“But then why brush away the foodprints unless to hide his or her physical traits?” asked Kina. “Let’s place the last camera here to cover this hatch entry and see who will see.”

To be continued…

PREV


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.