OCEANUS ADVENTURE #37

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 13 continued

The storm raged all around Oceanus. The strong wind was making the trees sway violently, but the dome structures of the Bajau village are intact against the onslaught. The figure in dark clothing was actually impressed but had no time to admire the structures’ durability. He or she could not afford to be seen out here.

The dark figure had to move around on all fours because his or her body was being buffetted by 90 mph wind. After being swept off his/her feet a couple of times, the figure finally reached a non-descript metal box about 50 feet from the village. The figure took out a multi-function wrench then opened up a side panel just big enough for the figure to crawl through. The box was a tight fit but at least, it was dry. The figure clicked on a flashlight. Red pipes came up through the ground splitting into smaller pipes and out valves that led back into the ground.

The figure cursed, not liking what he or she saw. Then, the figure saw that one of the pipes had letters painted saying FLAMMABLE!

“Hey, Tony, take a look at this.” Mae called him over while looking into a microscope.

Hallbright peered into the scope.

“What do you see, Tony?”

“Whoa! The concentration of Ichthyoplankton* is greater than the phytoplankton*. “Where did you scoop this out?”

Ichthyoplankton are the eggs and larvae of fish.
Phytoplankton – microplant life.

“In our lagoon, this morning.”

“Amazing! The week long storm did not disperse them.”

“This is why I like my work here. Our floating island is becoming more and more a marine life haven in the middle of the Pacific.”

“Well, in about a week, we’re going to have a large cloud of fledglings in our lagoon. You know what that means…”

“Yes! We’re going to be a smorgasboard to every predator from Taiwan to the Mariannas. We better get the remote cameras in position… oh… and can you get Juan to get the submersable up and running?”

“Mae! Shame on you. You did not tell me that we have a… mini sub, right?”

“It’s a two-man sub. A gift from our Japanese associates. I kept it underwraps for security reasons. But I want it out so that we can be in the middle of that swarm when it comes.”

Then, the lab radio squaked. ‘Googleman, Googleman, this is Control. How do you read? Over.’

‘Googleman, Googleman, this is Control. Are you ON? Over.’

“Tony! That’s you.”

Hallbright jumped. “Oh yeah, right. I keep forgetting.” He picked up the radio. “Tony here… I mean… this is Googleman, go.”

‘Gleaner team 2 reports that they found a small beached whale still alive in their sector. Over.’

Mae and Tony both got up quickly.

“Tony, you run over to sector 2 right away. I’ll get a rescue boat launched. We’ll be out there in 15 minutes.”

“Got it.”

Hallbright left the bio lab, ran through the trees and passed the green houses until he reached the jogging path. Sector 2 was at the two-o-clock outer ring position from the bow which was the twelve-o-clock position. The bridge that went over to the outer rim was at sector 3. He dashed towarded it. As he crossed it, he could see a group of 6 Bajau people, who made up the gleaner team, pouring sea water onto a struggling juvenile pilot whale. The stranded creature was about 20 feet from the water. Hallbright figured that it was pushed up there by a rogue wave. The whale was about 8 feet in length and jet black.

“Good job in keeping it wet,” he said to the team leader who returned a toothy smile. He then clicked on his radio. “Googleman to Doc Mae, come in… over.”

‘Doc Mae here. We’re just out the gate. We should be there in 10.’

“Mae… we’ve got a stranded juvenile pilot whale with minor cuts. Do you have the sling? Over…”

‘We got it, Tony. How’s the surf? Over…’

“Surf is about 8-10 feet. It’s good for a landing. Over…”

‘Right O… over.’

PREV


Note from the author:

Dear Readers,

I am afraid my brain had reached a creative road block. I know more or less how the entire story goes in my head but I would like to take a break for about a month or so… just to get my creative juices going. To peak your interest to come back, I will give you a hint about the dark figure. You’ll not know the dark figure’s identity until the end. I hope you will be pleasingly surprised.

Oceanus Adventure will be back.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #36

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 13 continued

“The strongest part of the storm should hit us in half an hour or so,” said Jona reading from a tablet.

The admiral was staring out the window. “Congratulation, Jona. That lagoon looks almost smooth, even with 40 foot waves crashing into our rim. The stabalizers are working great.”

“Yes, they are and our wave generators are producing enough electricity to power Guam 3 times over. Of course, I exaggerate just a bit.”

The admiral smiled and said, “Yeah… just by a little bit.”

Then the admiral’s radio chirped. “Admiral here, go…”

‘Chief O’hare here, admiral. US Navy boat approaching, sir. Their signal had been authenticated. It is our security personnel.’

“Very well, Chief. Get them all stowed away. The director and I will greet them later today.”

‘Aye, sir’

“I still think having any military presence here might send the wrong message,” Jona said.

“As long as the message says, Do not mess with this facility.” After a pause, the admiral said, “Don’t worry, Jona. Except for the Chief, they will all be in their civvies.”

“What about weapons?”

“They’ll only be carrying small arms with non-lethal rubber bullets, discretely hidden, of course. The others in weapon lockers in both security offices. They will blend with the crew so well, they will not be too noticed.”

“Well, I’m still not happy but with these sabotages, I can live with it. Now, how about defence?”

“Chief O’hare and his crew will start to install the eight LRADs after this squall passes us by.”

“How do they work again?”

“LRAD… that is Long Range Acoustic Device… a round dish about 3 feet in diameter designed to emit an ultra-high frequency blast sufficient enough to incapacitate people without killing them. The Navy and some cargo ships used them successfully to drive away pirates. All supervisors will be instructed on how to manually use them.”

Then Jona’s tablet chimed. He read the incoming message. “Well, admiral, our little squall had been upgraded to a class 2 typhoon.”

“We better batten all the hatches and I think we should tighten security to our most sensitive areas just in case our friendly neighborhood sabateur want to play.”

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 #35

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 13

Tony Hallbright felt the swaying under his feet. He had been on an oil platform before and he hadn’t recall it sway this heavily. But, of course, the other platforms were anchored to the sea floor. Oceanus was not. He drew open the curtains and saw that the sky was overcast with angry clouds. He turned on his TV which automatically opened to Oceanus’ News Report. Bree Grover, besides being the school teacher, was also the news caster for the early morning broadcast.

“Well, folks, radar had been following a class 3 storm from the northeast and is expected to hit in about 2 hours. Expect strong winds, heavy rain and thunder. Temperature will go down to the lower 70s to upper 60s. This morning, the outer rings is now being battered with upto 30 foot waves. Production operations are suspended and gleaning teams are to stand down. And for all the kids, you’ll be happy to know that school is also suspended. However, homeworks are still expected by me.”

Tony noticed his email icon blinking and clicked on it. It was from Dr. Mae Quimby who asked him to join them for a brunch at the director’s residence after he does his morning routine. He looked at his watch then dashed out of his quarters. He went down to the mess hall and grabbed a muffin and a bottle of orange juice. Then he proceeded to where he stowed his diving gear. Twenty minutes later, he was diving deep to about 30 feet accompanied by another diver. Because of the overcast, Tony brought with him some lights. When they reached 30 feet, he turned them on and was greeted by a dimly lit landscape of coral.

If he did not know any better, he would have thought that he was swimming in any of the many reefs in the Philippines. But this reef was not embedded on a rocky shelf. It rests on the deck of a super semi submersible ship which was once a de-commissioned US Navy heavy-lift ship capable of transporting 2 naval ships at one time. Whenever he dived down here, Tony cannot help but appreciate the inginuity of artificially transplanting living coral reef on this hull. He once asked Mae and Jona about the reef eventually eating its way through the metal but they reassured him that the deck and the hull was covered with layers of recycled trash.

Tony and his dive buddy swam across the width of the reef checking on the reef’s growth. At the edge of the reef, Tony noted an undulating yellow mass of moonlighters or as is commonly known as blue banded snappers. Tony first recorded this school of fish about a week ago and took note that the mass was bigger. Then a pair of large blue humphead wrasse emmerged from a cave and torpedoed themselves through the mass of snappers. After they ate, they both retreated back into their hole.

After a while, Tony then checked his watch and signalled the other diver that he was going up. The other diver acknowledged that he’ll finish the rest of the survey. Tony gave the OK sign. He had one more stop before he had to get out of the water. He looked up and saw 3 rectangular shapes side by side on the surface. He ascended to the farthest one to the right. It was the admiral’s boat house. He asked him to check on the coral beds under his window.

Tony approached the 7 foot wide underwater round portal of the admiral’s boat house. Just below it was a double shelf covered with artificial rock and living corals. Light from the admiral’s bedroom was shining on the beds of coral. As he slowly approached the miniature reef under the window, a variety of small colorful fish scurried into the numerous crags and crannies they like to hide into whenever bigger fish swim by. He saw that the anemones and the other soft corals were still quite healthy even when the water’s temperature went down a few degrees. He was quite pleased when a pinkish shrimp he recognized crawled out from behind a brain coral. But there was no sign of the juvenile eel that the admiral had not seen for a week. He took his flashlight from his belt and peered into the crags of the second shelve. Sure enough, the eel that he sought stuck its bluish-green head out. He tried to coax it out but then the eel’s head shot right back into its hole. At the same time, he was slightly startled by a grayish bobbing head tapping his shoulder. It was Flipper, Mae’s trained bottle-nose dolphin and holding to its dorsal fin was her daughter holding up a slate with a message saying ‘You are LATE for brunch!’

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 #34a

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“…That is the plan,” Jona said.

Robby looked at him questioningly.

“It’s the brainchild of our NCIS Agent-a-float here. She brought it to the admiral and he brought it to me.”

“You see, Robby,” interjected the admiral. “We want her to make a lot of noise. Except for us here, no one else know that Kina is a NCIS investigator. People think she’s an IT programmer. She’ll be able to nose around without being noticed too much.”

“Do you know how to program, Kina?” asked Robby.

“Four years Cal Tech, sir.”

“Well, Kina, I hope you find them before they irreparably damage Oceanus.”

At midnight, a shadowy figure was typing out a message on his or her computer console.

Attempt to disrupt operations failed! However, found vulnerable target that may cripple Oceanus for years… maybe for good. For plan to succeed… need a big diversion. Will send you signal for instructions.

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 #34

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 12 continued…

“…Robby, what’s the word on the damage?” asked the admiral.

“So far, we got the machinery up and running…”

There was a loud insistent knocking on the door. Muffled voices can be heard outside. Then Alicia Buenaventura’s shouting voice penetrated through the sound insulators of the conference doors.

“Hello in there! I know you can hear me. The press demand entry…” She shouted. “And I know of the sabotages!”

“Oh great… Kina, you better let her in before she announces this to all the crew,” Jona said irritatingly.

She opened the doors and Alicia rushes in with a wireless microphone on hand and her camera man in tow with lights blaring.

“Director Quimby, can you confirm that this last breakdown was the fourth attempt of sabotage? If so, do you know who is behind this?”

“Miss Buenaventura, before you start your ‘freedom of the press’ jargon, let me remind you that you are here because of contractual arrangements with National Geographics, your employers,” Jona said authoritatively. “So, you are not technically here as a reporter of any news agencies. And so, you and your camera can very well make an about face…”

“But I’ve got the right to…” Before she could complete what she was going to say, Jona cut her off.

“Of course, if you do insist…” Jona went to the doors and opened it for them. “…my family as well as all the staff members will miss your company tomorrow. I hope you will enjoy the flight back to the Philippines. You should arrive at Cauayan City in around 9 hours.”

Alicia contemplated her choices and left the room with her tail between her legs. Once the doors were closed behind her.

Her cameraman asks, “What do we do now, boss?”

“We dig around quietly, of course. This story is too good to pass up.”

“I hope you know Jona that Alicia is still going to pursue this,” Robby said.

“In point of fact, Robby, I’m counting on it.”

“Huh? Are you sure? She going to be a pain in my behind going after this story.”

“And you are going to let her, Robby. That is 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.