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.