OCEANUS ADVENTURE #14

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 5 continued

The sun was still very low on the horizon. The shadow of the trees was still fairly heavy on the compacted trail that encircled the inner ring. A figure was hiding in the shade of the older mangrove trees waiting for a pair of joggers to disappear around the bend. Hoping that the coast was clear, the figure sped across the pathway into the tall cogon grass. Crawling on wet grass, the figure reached several protruding ‘H’ Bitt about 4 feet tall from the base. The ‘H’ Bitt was a pair metal posts and a welded vertical bar which formed a letter ‘H’. These things were used for mooring and towing purposes which at this moment the thick towing lines of the Tugboat Mathilda were snugly secured. The tugboat was about a mile out. The figure inspected closely the line which went taut and then went slack. Then the figure pulled out a stainless steel cannister of fast acting acid then proceeded to pour it on the thick rope. By the reaction, the figure reckoned that the acid will eat through in about half an hour. Then the figure crawled back to the trail, peeled off the black outfit, buried it, then went jogging.


Theodore ‘Bear’ Steer was an Aussie expat who thought he could retire in the Philippines but hated the idea of sitting on his butt in a beach hut. When Jona Quimby came to him with a chance to captain a deep sea tug, he chugged down the brew he had in one gulp and then signed on even before he knew how much he was going to get paid. Bear was at the captain’s chair enjoying his coffee when the tug suddenly surged forward. He didn’t have to ask what happened. He knew that the tow line got cut.

He put the engine on idle and left the wheel house to the rear open deck which overlooked the stern. His crew was already reeling in the mile long tow cable. He opened up a compartment that had a parallel wheel and throttle control. He took the tug out of idle and brought the throttle up a notch so that props don’t get entangled with the slack cable.

He heard a shrill whistle from his tow captain who held up a extremely frayed rope end. This tow cable was without a doubt sabotaged.


Admiral Reese was standing before the navigation console when he noticed that the course drifted to the port by an alarming five degrees in less than 20 seconds. Looking out the bridge’s windows, the island of Caringo was already filling out a third of the view.

Then, the radio squawked that Matthilda’s tow cable was cut. In his mind’s eye, the admiral assessed the entire situation. First, number 2 propulsion was down. This was not a problem as long as number 1 was putting out three quarter speed, number 3 at half speed including the two tugs towing. It was slow going but they only needed to stay on their current course for another 30 minutes until the tide shifts. But then the Matthilda which was towing the starboard side ring was suddenly cut. With the tide still pushing on their forward port quarter, they were sure to hit the reef to their left. If he pushed his 2 remaining thrusters, they could end up stressing where the starboard ring connects to the bow to the point of stressing. Then it hit him. He didn’t have to fight the tide. Instead, he’ll let the tide steer them clear.

“Stand by to deploy the sea sails on the port side.”

For a moment, they all looked at him questioningly. But then one of them turned on a panel and another monitor came on with the heading Sea Sail Control. The screen displayed the top view of Oceanus. Along the rings were the ten vertical pontoons each assigned a designation number 1 to 10 like the face of a clock.

“Ready, sir.”

“Deploy 1 to 5”

The crewman highlighted pontoon’s 1 to 5. Then, another window appeared depicting 5 elevation views of the vertical pontoons. On each pontoon on both flanks a compartment opened. Two forty foot long booms swung up and from them sails began to unfurl downward until they formed two upside down triangles.

When each image showed 100%, the crewman said, “Sea sails 1 to 5 deloyed, sir.”

“Very well. Helm, all stop on number 3.”

“Number 3, all stopped, sir.”

“Manoeuvring thrusters to port one third speed.”

“Aye sir. Manoeuvring to port one third speed, sir.”

At first, there was no sign of change, bet then, as the admiral looked forward through the bridge window, he saw that the island was assuredly moving left which meant the bow was swinging to port. The sails provided enough drag to point the bow the right way. They definately didn’t progress forward. In fact, the whole action kept them safely stationary long enough for the Matthilda to reattach its tow line and the engineer to complete repair on number 2 thruster.


Crisis diverted but for Jona, a dangerous situation still worries him. They have one or more saboteurs amongst them.

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 #13

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 5

It was zero fifty thirty hours.

GPS had Oceanus’ position about half a mile past the mouth of the bay. The propulsion thrusters had been running on three quarter speed for about 3 hours because the incoming tide was stronger than expected. It was slow going through the mouth and based on sonar readings, the stern submerged pontoons just cleared the bottom by just 2 fathoms.

Jona was enjoying the wee morning wind on the starboard wing. He had his glasses on Caringo Island west of them. The sky was light enough to make the sandy beaches sparkle. He was reminiscing when Mae, the kids and him took a Boston whaler to the reef sanctuary on the lee side of the island where they did some snorkeling then hit the small town for the local version of pizza.



Migs was wondering where his replacement was. He was the swing shift engineer for the number two propulsion thruster. He stretched and yawned on his duty station monitoring the six display monitors. Then he noticed on one screen that a hydraulic pump pressure had increased from yellow to orange. Orange meant that he had 5 minutes to release the pressure before it turned red which meant critical. So, he called one of his crew to take his station. He dashed down a couple of ladders and head to the hydraulic pump room. When he opened the hatch, he knew things were really wrong because the compartment was filled with smoke. The first thing he did was going to the nearest alarm box. He elbowed the glass cover, breaking it. Then he pulled down the fire alarm. Not wanting to wait for support, he went to another nearby cabinet where he found a face mask, then dashed into the smoky chamber.


Jona was thinking about turning-in, when he heard an alarm beeping sound.

“What’s going on?” he asked a bridge crewman.

“Sir, fire alarm at the engineering station of number two propulsion.”

A phone rang and another crewman picked it up. “Director, the fire is in the hydraulic pump station. The chief engineer is requesting to shut down number 2 thruster.”

“Very well. Anybody hurt?”

“Yes, sir. One man. He was brought to sickbay.”

Jona nodded his head. He went over to check Oceanus’ position. He was not too happy that they were too close to the reefs of Caringo Island. With one thruster down and a strong tide still coming in, they could still be pushed against the reef.

“Helm, turn port by ten degrees. Shutdown number 2 and decrease number 3 to quarter speed. Increase number 1 to three quarters.”

“Aye, sir,” said the helmsman.

Then Jona got his radio. “Mathilda, Belinda, this is base, come in over.”

“Mathilda here. What’s up, chief?” “Belinda here too.”

“Ok guys. Thruster 2 is down, we need you guys to pick up the slack. Can you handle it?”

“Can I handle it?” asked the Belinda captain. “I can do it better than Mathilda by myself.”

“Oh, really? … ” The competitive bantering started all over again, but Jona tuned them out. He then passed the conn to the second officer on duty.

“I’m going over there. Keep your eyes on our position and radio me if we begin to get any closer to those reefs, contact me right away. Meanwhile, get Admiral Reese from his cabin to take over here.”

“Aye sir.”

Jona head below and found a zodiac waiting for him. The zodiac took about 9 minutes to zip across the lagoon to the stern. It took him another 4 minutes to reach the number two engine room. When he got to the hydrolic pump chamber, it was already cleared of smoke. He found Robby there with the chief engineer.

“Robby… what happened?”

“According to the chief, the rubber O-ring seal from a secondary gasket stripped away causing hot liquid oil to leak. Then, the gasket heated up causing enough friction to warp the shaft running the pump. It should only take an hour to replace the damaged parts. We’ll get number two up and running.”

“Who got hurt?”

“Oh, it was Migs. His feet slipped on the spilled oil and knocked himself out when his head hit the bulkhead. He’s up in sickbay. Doc said he’ll live and entertain us in the next talent show.”

Jona smiled at that, remembering how bad Migs was on stage. He was about to leave when a thought hit him.

“Hold on, Robby. How is it that the O-ring was defective? Those things were all brand new, right?”

“That is the question! The chief is ‘miffed’ about it and I agree. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Jona was thoughful about this as he went back up to sickbay.

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 #12

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4 continued…

Alicia was about to ask a question when the ship’s horn blared out three short bursts.

“Admiral, would you do the honors?” Jona was inviting him to the helm control console.

He took out his key and inserted it into a slot marked for officers use only. The propulsion console lit up. Then Jona slid open a transparent panel giving the admiral access to the multiple fly-by-wire controllers. The admiral then expertly pressed three buttons which went from red to yellow. On the screen were indicators for three main propulsion thrusters coming to life until all three read 100%.

Jona then reviewed another monitor and said, “Ok, admiral. Our bow is off by 5 degrees.”

“Roger that!”

On another monitor which read Manoeuvring Thrusters. The image showed 3 bow thrusters and 2 more thrusters at the stern superstructure. The admiral touch-screened only one of the three bow thrusters which lit up to green. Then he turned a small knob labelled bow-thruster #3 to the right for about 20 seconds then quickly returned it to its neutral position. Because it was dark outside, no one could tell what was happening except Jona was watching his monitor and was counting down to zero and it stayed there, not needing a correction.

He whooped in admiration and said, “admiral, you still got it. Ok, ahead forward, half speed.”

“Aye, aye Captain. Ahead forward, half speed, sir.” He then turned a larger knob to half way. At the same time, Jona pressed a button then the ship’s horn blared out one long burst.

“Well, everybody… here we go,” Jona said.

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 #11

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4 continued…

When he spotted her, he got his radio and said, “Mathilda, Mathilda… this is base. How do you read, over?”

“Good morning, chief,” squawked his radio. “How was the party?”

“It was a lot more fun with out you being there,” laughed Jona. “You ready for the big haul?”

“No problemo here, chief. Though, I don’t know why we need that piece of junk, Belinda, for this haul? Mathilda can pull your monstrosity all the way to Honululu, if you want.”

Then another and much gruffer voice squawked in. “Ah! You piece of $#@%! My Belinda can haul 3 supertankers at one time and still ride rings around you.”

It was not long until the radio waves was bombarded with mirthful banter between the two skippers. The admiral who was standing nearby snickering reach over and borrowed Jona’s radio.

“Allow me,” winked the admiral. He turned a nob on the radio and then produced such a shrill whistle that Jona swore he heard a distant echo. “Listen up, you blockheads. Knock off these romantic wisecracks of yours. Fun games are over, gentlemen.”

“Sorry, admiral… sir,” squawked both tug captains. He handed the radio back to Jona saying, “voila!”

“Thank you, sir. Belinda, Belinda… are you set?”

“Just waiting for your horn, director,” said his gruff voice.

“If Oceanus have its own thrusters, why do you need a pair of tugs?” It was Alicia Buenaventura with her camera crew. They unexpectantly showed up with their bright lights which Jona did not appreciate because those lights cost him to lose his night vision.

“Ms. Buenaventura,” the admiral intervened, allowing Jona not to be bothered by answering inquiries and focusing on the work at hand. “First thing first, please have your camera man decrease his lights. Jona and his bridge crew need their night vision.”

The cameraman decreased his lights to the same level of the bridge. Then he adjusted the camera’s apperature and gave Alicia the thumbs up. Alicia then gestured to the admiral to go on.

“As to the tugs, you are correct. Oceanus’ thrusters are capable of propelling us. The tugs are there not just to give us more power which helps since our thrusters were never meant for speed. Oceanus was designed to drift with the ocean currents. But back to the tugs…”

The admiral led them to the electronic navigation table which showed a satelite display of the San Miguel Bay.

“Here is our current position,” he pointed at a red dot that was about halfway to the mouth of the bay. ” We need the tugs’ underwater sonar system to extend our own sonar. Do you see right here at the mouth of the bay? The deepest part of the mouth is right smack at the center.”

The admiral then touched the screen which popped up an illustrated profile of Oceanus. He pointed at the stern superstructure which Alicia thought was just sitting on two large pontoon hulls. But in reality it was built on a submerged oil platform.

“These 4 submerged vertical pontoons at the stern goes down about 13 fathoms (75 feet) deep. Along the perimeter ring are 10 more similar pontoons that also go down 9 fathoms (55 feet). So, only here at the very center of the mouth during the peak of high tide the depth will be about 16 fathoms. We have to stay dead center lest we run aground. This is why we need the tugs’ extra sonars. We’ll be able to make accurate soundings.

“Now, high tide starts to come back in around 5am this morning. We have to be right at the mouth, then we’ll need to drive our thrusters at full against the current. And just to be safe, the tugs will also provide extra forward propulsion just in case something goes wrong.” He knocks on wood three times.

Alicia was about to ask a question when the ship’s horn blared out three short bursts.

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 #10

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 4

It was close to midnight when Jona woke up from his short nap. He was hoping to go out in a casual outfit like wearing his favorite Hawaiian shirt over bermuda shorts. But his wife had already laid out one of his khaki coverall. Her argument was that since he is the leader of the project, wearing a uniform reinforces his role as the boss.

As he stepped out of his house, he found the admiral on a bench waiting for him.

“Well, director, shall we go?” asked the admiral.

Jona nodded. He glanced first at the stern superstructure which was lit up and alive with personel going about their business. He then glanced across the lagoon to the Bajau village and saw that they secured their own boats by beaching them on their island. Most of the village were asleep except for a few souls moving to report to their duty shifts. The commons was shut down after the reception ended at around 10pm and only the soft glow of a few lights were shining from a couple of houses. The rest of the houses were dark.

They went off to follow a track which was dimly lit by ground LEDs on both sides of the trail. After a short walk, they started to cross the lagoon on a floating bridge. It spanned about 60ft from the residential island to the bow superstructure.

The bow superstructure was in actuality a semi-submersible transport ship. It was originally designed to partially submerge and allow another smaller ship to be maneuvered onto it’s deck. Then, the submerged hull would be refloated to transport the smaller ship to its destination. This ship though was rigged to be permanently submerged leaving the bow and its 4 storey superstructure above water.

The end of the floating bridge rose a good 6 feet above the waterline unto a platform at the rear of the structure. The admiral eyed the series of ship ladders going up.

“Jona,” he said shaking his head, “I’m getting too old to climb 4 decks.”

Jona laughed, “Come on, old man, I have a surprise for you.”

Jona led him through a hatch into a corridor. He led him to more stairs in a well. But instead of taking the stairs, Jona led him to a lift system that the admiral had not seen since he was a teenager. From a hole on the steel floor, a conveyor belt was moving up. Rivetted on the belt were hand & foot holds spaced about 6 feet from each other. A filipino crewman was already ascending through the hole in the floor then disappearing unto the opposite hole onto the ceiling.

Jona then grabbed a hold as it was going up then stepped unto the next. The admiral followed suit. When they stepped onto the fourth deck, they head for the pilot house.

“Good morning, skipper” said Maj. Roque.

“Hi Jer. What are you doing up so late? Don’t you have a flight later in the morning?”

“Oh, that is not until ten hundred hours. I can get rest later. I wanted to be here when you bring this beast to life.”

“Well, in that case, let’s put you to work. What’s our GPS position?”

Maj. Roque took a few steps to the electronic navigation table. “Well, according to this, we have drifted about 4 miles north from our original anchorage.”

“Radar, please give me your report,” Jona requested.

“Four contacts about 4 miles off, sir,” said the radar operator. “The Mathilda and the Belinda are standing by on their respective stations… about one mile off, sir”

The Mathilda and the Belinda are ocean going tug boats assigned to Oceanus. Jona grabbed a pair of binoculars then proceeded out of the enclosed bridge onto the open starboard wing. He lifted the glasses to his eyes and searched for the tug Mathilda’s pilot lights.

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 #9

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3 continued…

The night sky was clear but Hallbright was not paying too much attention. He was leaning against balcony railings holding a cold brew appreciating Alicia’s tightly-fitted dress. She was blabbing about something but that too he was not paying attention.

====================

Alicia was not a happy gal. She was wearing a hot red number in the hope to drive Robby a little crazy. When she and Hallbright arrived at the reception, she was smugly smiling, when she spotted him across the crowded room talking to a member of the Philippine Senate. Her smiled disappeared not because of who he was talking to, but because he had his hand on the shoulders of his wife who happened to be her close college friend. Of course, when she left for the states, they lost track of each other. But still… she was a little livid. She avoided them through out the dinner.

====================

Ito Ito was not feeling comfortable. He had never gone to a fancy dinner party before. Oh, he and his wife had eaten with Sir Jona and Ma’am Mae several times but there he was allowed to eat with his hands. But here in this formal setting, he felt out of place. At least, his wife was taught by Ms. Bree on how eat properly. For himself, he was starving.

Then, a hand was on his shoulder. When he looked up, it was Sir Jona looking down at him with a knowing smile.

“Don’t worry, my old friend. Go to the kitchen and eat something before you starve. I know you want to get out of here. I’ll see you tomorrow. We have a big day.”

====================

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Admiral Harris was tapping his champagne glass to get everyone’s attention. “About 18 years ago, this boisterous upstart of a filipino came to me one day that he had a viable plan to sweep up the Pacific and he put up the argument that the United States of America should put up some of the money.” There was laughter all around.

“He stood before congress and the former US President Trump not with another conservation argument. No, no, no… His argument was that there was a great fortune floating in the Pacific waiting for someone to pick it. He was tenacious! So tenacious, that in just 1 year he had me and my committee convinced. Of course, he was not satisfied with gaining support from the most powerful nation in the world. He had the audacity to also go to the Prime Minister of Japan and made them realize that most of that plastic junk in the Pacific was theirs.” People were laughing at this including representatives of Japan who knew that the Admiral was jesting.

“Well, here we are! Oceanus is Jona’s brainchild. And I have to say, that I have no regrets supporting this venture, not because it may be profitable or that we are saving the planet. Nope! I am here… we are all here… because of this man and… his audacity.” There was clapping all around.

Jona then stood up and waited for everyone to settle down. He glanced down on his watch and then raised his hand for attention.

“An hour ago, Oceanus had hoisted up it’s anchors is now drifting on the outgoing tide. At midnight, our 2 tugs will attach themselves on the opposite sides of the perimeter rings. Once attached and rigged for towing, we will engage our thrusters and maneuver ourselves out of San Miguel Bay. By late tomorrow, we hope to be way out of the bay and 30 miles to the east to catch the Pacific current. Meanwhile, folks. Those of you who are guests please stay and enjoy yourselves here at the commons. In the morning, there will be a boat to take you back to land. Thank you again for being with us.”

There was all around clapping as Jona started to move toward the exit shaking hands with the visitors.

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.

His Voice from the Cross #6

STORY HEARD & BELIEVED
by J. Quisumbing

Guard duty can be quite tedious at most times thought the Praetorian especially when he is tasked to watch over anyone who is not the emperor. However, for the past few days, he and his squad of men were ordered to guard a most unusual man who came from the farthest eastern part of the empire. This man is from a strange people that only had one god. There was a small population of them in the poorest quarter of the city of Rome. Except for this man, he had very little interaction with them.

What made this man interesting to the Praetorian was that though this man was scheduled to be executed, he chose to spend his last hours spinning an incredible tale to him. Chained to the Praetorian, he told him of how the son of this one God made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Then, how he purposely became a prisoner condemned to die on a cross.*

[* Philippians 2:6-8]

This man was a master storyteller. He captured the Praetorian’s imagination by transporting him back in time to that hill with three crosses. He watched the prisoner suffer cruelly more than any other condemned on a cross. He could see his battered body; his face swollen from a beating; his back shredded by a scourging; and a crown of inch-long thorns driven painfully into his scalp. With all that had happened to him, he glimpsed the true heart of the son of this one God when he pleaded for forgiveness even when those that caused him pain deserved divine punishment (Luke 23:34). Afterwhich, he learned a lesson of grace poured out through faith, when the prisoner reassured the thief who hung on another cross that he will be with him in paradise (Luke 23:43). The Praetorian was even touched by the prisoner’s concern for his mother’s earthly needs when he entrusted her well being to his disciple’s responsibility (John 19:26-27).

The storyteller then brings his tale to the final moments. In the darkest hours of his suffering, the prisoner cried out with a loud voice inquiring why God his father had forsaken him (Matthew 27:46). The Praetorian asked if the prisoner was regretting his choices and was casting blame to the one God. The storyteller explained that the words uttered was him calling out for all to hear that prophecy was being fulfilled here. He explained that everything that the prisoner went through was planned by the one God.

He thirsted and was given a vile drink of vinegar and gall. After which he declared that it was finished (John 19:30).

The Praetorian asked, “what did he mean?”

The storyteller explained that what was finished was not only the prisoner’s earthly life, not only his suffering and dying, not only the payment for sin and the redemption of the world—but the very reason and purpose he came to earth was finished. His final act of obedience was complete as is according to the Scriptures.

“Afterwhich,” said the storyteller, “the prisoner looked up at the sky, then said…

‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’

Luke 23:46

…And with those words he breathed his last.”

The storyteller’s head slumped forward on his chest. The Praetorian thought he fell asleep. As he gazed at the storyteller’s slumped head, his mind raced. Somehow, he was not satisfied with what he thought was an unsatisfactory end of the story. How can a God of justice doom His son to death? It made no sense to him. Then the storyteller spoke while his head was still slumped.

“Praetorian, I can guess what you are thinking,” he said. “When the prisoner spoke his last words, he showed his complete trust in his Father. You see, he set foot into death in the same way he lived each day of his life, offering up his life as the perfect sacrifice and placing himself in God’s hands. He knew with certainty that he will not be left in the grave.”

“How?” asked the Praetorian.

The storyteller’s head came up smiling. “He knew it because it was written in our Scriptures. ‘For thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol (hell); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.’** And sure enough, on the third day, He rose from the dead!”

[** Psalm 16:10]

“Three days! What happened to him during that time?”

“It is not easy to comprehend. Do you recall the story of Lazarus and the rich man? (Luke 16:19-31)”

The Praetorian nodded though he didn’t really understand its significance.

“That place where all dead go is called Sheol. You know it as Hades. It is written that during those three days, he went and released those who were in Abraham’s bossom. He called it paradise which was a place of comfort and rest for those that lived by faith in the old days since Adam to the thief who died on the cross beside him. After he resurrected, he eventually ascended to heaven and brought them (the ransomed dead) with him, so that now paradise is no longer down near the place of torment, but is up in the third heaven, the highest heaven, where God dwells. There, they wait and look forward to when he returns again not as Savior but as Judge to make the world right forever.” (2 Corinthians 12:2–4)

“Storyteller, I desire to be with him… with him who gave his life for me and for all of us. What do I need to do?”

He smiled and said, “You are already doing it. You have listened attentively to the story and already believed (Romans 10:17). And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Eternal life is yours because you believe.”

Then, they both heard voices approach the chamber they were in.

“Praetorian. My time is very close. Soon, I will be taken from here and my life will be poured out like a drink offering. You need more understanding. Go! Seek out other believers and learn from them God’s words and be blessed.”

The doors opened and other guards entered to lead the storyteller away. As they were almost out the door, the Praetorian asked, “Storyteller, what was the prisoner’s name?”

The storyteller smiled and said, “His name is…”

JESUS CHRIST

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved. [Acts 4:12]

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. [1 Timothy 2:6]


Author’s Note:

We finish my tale on His Voice from the Cross. This 6 part story, though creatively written, was based on the Bible accounts on Jesus Christ’s last few hours on the cross. The first 5 parts were from first hand perspectives but then I chose that the 6th part be from the perspective of a Roman guard hearing about Jesus’ story some 40-50 years after the crucifixion event.

The storyteller, by the way, is my imagined character of Paul who biblically shared the Gospel to his Praetorian guards even while chained to them.

I really hope we can have a conversation. Please contact me here at Facebook MESSENGER by audio from 3-5pm Monday to Friday. Scheduled small group chats can be organized as well. Or send me a message HERE.

His Voice from the Cross #5

REPRIEVED & PAID IN FULL
by J. Quisumbing

It is now the ninth hour. The day had been long and tortuous. The prisoner had suffered personal humiliation from his own people when they unjustly tried him under the cover of darkness. He was abandoned by those that were closest to him except for one. He endured a punishing scourging by a wicked whip. Mocked cruelly by foreigners then crowned with an entwined ring of thorns into his scalp. Though found not guilty, he was still condemned to death as a political pawn for the corrupt. He was paraded through the city while bearing the heavy tool of his execution on his bruised shoulder. His wrists and feet were impaled on a rugged cross. And for hours, he hung there in constant torture.

As his body lost so much bodily fluids, extreme dehydration caused him to be delirious. in opening his eyes, the world began to spin until everything became very blurred. He closed his eyes but the sensation of spinning continued. He didn’t know when he lost consciousness but when he again opened his eyes, he was standing in the midst of a very bright light. It was familiar and comforting.

Then he heard an echoing voice… “Behold… the long awaited court is in session. Assemble all…”

His vision cleared and he found himself in a vast bright arena. All around him, he felt the presence of a multidude but he could not see them. Instead, his focus was at the center, where another figure waited. Though he knew this figure was of spirit, he chose to appear as a human male. The prisoner knew him as the Accuser. Then, in the middle of a round platform appeared two human beings, a male and a female. They both stood there with blank eyes. They were not aware of their surroundings nor of where they were.

The prisoner then moved to another platform that was much higher and on it was a golden bench which he knew for certain is the Seat of Judgement. With no hesitation, he sat and knew it was his rightful place. Upon sitting, he felt another presence… a much greater and familiar presence.

Then, the Accuser launched into his tirade about the human creatures before him. He spoke like he was reciting from a long long list of transgressions made not by these individuals but by humanity as a whole whom these two represent. The Accuser spoke of deeds from humanity’s past, present and future. Since time was not a factor here, the droning of his voice seem endless. However, the Accuser would, on occasion, return to the act of the first sin that started it all.

“All they had to do was not to eat of the forbidden tree. It was an easy commandment to follow. ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’* But yet they did. These are creatures that Thou hast made in Thine image. They were so easily swayed by my trickery to believe that they could be like Thee. Even when they were discovered in their sin, they cowardly blamed everyone else including Thee, Lord. The court demands that Thy justice be done here.”

[* Genesis 2:16-17]

The prisoner again felt the loving warmth coming from the greater presence that surround him. A gentle voice whispers into his ear, “Thou knowest what to do, my Son.”

The prisoner then spoke, “Accuser, you are right to say that all of humanity have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are without excuse and have earned death… eternal damnation.** As the righteous judge sitting on this holy seat, we have come to the decision… to give them the opportunity of redemption.”

[** Romans 3:23; 1:20; 6:23a]

“How, Lord?”, cried the Accuser. “Only the righteous may enter Thine own realm.”

“Again, Accuser, thou art succinct to say that there is none righteous, ney, not even one.”***

[*** Romans 3:10]

The prisoner stood up, came down off the high platform and went to stand before the man and woman. He studied their blank faces for a few moments. Then, he turned to face the Judgement Seat to find that it was filled with another who was so bright that he could not see His face, but he knew who He was.

He nodded to him and said, “I will take their place.”

Then he woke up gasping for breath. The excruciating pain is back and in full force. But he felt it no more and knew. One more prophecy to fulfill. He called out…

“I thirst.”

A soldier poured a mixture of gall and vinegar on a bundled mesh of hyssop. He secured the mesh on the tip of his spear and raised it to the prisoner’s chapped lips. As he sipped on the sickly sweet-sour drink, all he thought was ‘done’.

Then he said…

“It is finished.”

[John 19:28,30]


Author’s Note:

When the prisoner said ‘I thirst’, he fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 69:21 which says, “For my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

And…

When he finally stated ‘It is finished’, he used the Greek term Tetelestai which means in essence that the debt of sin was paid.

I really hope we can have a conversation. Please contact me at Facebook MESSENGER by audio. Scheduled small group chats can also be organized as well. Or send me a message HERE.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #8

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3 continued…

Before he can say anything, Merlie picked up his bags and proceeded to the stern where he thought she was going to deposit them in a cabin but instead she went straight to a spiral staircase that he didn’t even notice before. Then, a bigger surprise still, she disappeared downstairs. The admiral quizzically looked at Mae and Jona.

“Surprise!” They both said.

“Starting tonight, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes,” smiled Jona, “…so to speak. Come! Let’s go down.”

The admiral was a submariner and he was used to sleeping in tight quarters under fathoms of water, but when he went down just 9 feet down, what greeted him blew his mind away. It was a bedroom with an incredible view. His first thoughts was on an old Disney movie, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’. The bed… a king-sized bed was facing a large round plexiglass window about 7 feet in diameter.

The admiral was automatically drawn to it. Because it was already evening, he could not penetrate the darkness except where the light of the room spilled on a bed of corals just under the window. A school of jacks swam by then disappeared into the depths afterwhich several crabs came crawling out from their crags and crannies. Then, a colorful parrot fish came by to graze on patches of algae on the rocks. Other marine life that one can find in a reef made their appearances.

“What do you think?” asked Jona.

“I’m thinking that you made friends with a certain marine architect that built all those houseboats in Dubai with underwater cabins.”

“Yup. Ours are not exactly as fancy as those in Dubai, but each of them can survive a stormy sea in a pinch. These 3 guest boats are designated as emergency lifeboats complete with solar panels, rations and a desalination system for freshwater. Each boat can handle 20 to 25 people max.”

“Excellent, Jona.”

“Meanwhile, we have a dinner to go to. Merlie will finish unpacking for you. You freshen up and we’ll see you there.”


“I don’t know if I want to go tonight,” said Tess Ramiscal. “She’s going to go wild when she sees that you married me.”

“Well, you can’t hide from her for the next 6 months,” Robby said. “Besides, I laid down the law with her. She’s here to do her job and I’ll be too busy to even deal with her.”

“I hope you’re right, but if she is the same like she was in college, we are in for a rough year.”


The reception dinner is going to be held in the second floor level of the residential island’s community center. If seen from a distance, it looked almost like a giant flying saucer. The center was essentially the food commons and recreation area for the residents of the island and the executive officers of the project.

Bree Grover was looking over the entire reception area. She was satisfied with the decorations that her students and the village women put up. The room with it’s round panoramic windows were beautifully decorated with local flowers and colorful paper streamers made from dried seaweed. The fifteen round tables on the other hand were elegantly adorned with pearly white table cloths with its embroidered hems, silverwares, crystal glasses and beautiful flowery centerpieces. Mae Quimby is really pulling all the stops. She strolled over to the buffet tables which were laden with food mostly of Filipino fares. Then she realized that she was still in her grungies. She dashed off.

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.

His Voice from the Cross #4

FORSAKEN FOR OUR SAKE
by J. Quisumbing

The disciple whom the prisoner loves was hot and sweating profusely. He slowly scanned the sky. The sun should be shinning a quarter down from it’s zenith at this ninth hour, but the sky was unusually dark due to heavy cloud cover. The heat should be normally dry which he preferred, but the humidity in the air was thick and heavy. If it felt bad for himself, (looking up to his master on the cross) how much more worse for him.

Since midnight, the disciple tried to stay with his teacher, his master… his proclaimed friend… after his arrest in the olive grove garden by the Temple guards by order of the High Priest. He followed them to the grand house of the high priest and managed to get in because he was kin to his household. It was hard for the disciple to just standby and watch him go through a contemptable farce of a trial that the religious leaders held against his master through most of the night. He hated it most when they mocked him, hit him on the head, spat on his face, then handed him over to the foreigners for execution, who nailed him to a cross on execution hill. This was where he found him when he went to fetched the prisoner’s mother.

Looking up again at the master, he saw a look that he had never seen on him before. He saw a desperate look of despair and forlorn, like he was carrying the weight of the world. Then he watched him look up, take a rasping breath and shouted out to the heavens…

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?
(My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?)

Mark 15:34

The disciple heard scared voices from the crowd behind him. Some thought that the master was calling for Elias (Elijah). Elijah was a great prophet of old who called out for fire from heaven to smote his enemies and was carried into heaven in a fiery chariot. They searched the skies for Elijah riding on that same chariot to destroy them and save him. The disciple knew otherwise.

He recognized the master’s words from the Scriptures. It was from a psalm written by King David long time ago (Psalm 22:1). Somehow, he knew that his master, who hung on the cross in such agony was not calling out blame, but instead he was calling out for all to hear that prophecy… The Prophecy made by Isaiah (Isaiah 53)… was being fulfilled here.

The disciple understood. Many a times, the master had predicted that he would be handed over and put to death. He and the other disciples strove to prevent this from happening but to no avail. He realized that this was what the master wanted to happen. For months, the master challenged the religious leaders of their hypocrisy, daring them to act. They did act and had succeeded but it was not of their design. He gazed up at the cross. This was the Lord’s doing. This was his plan.

He now understood what the Baptist meant when he declared him to be the ‘Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world’ (John 1:29), except that unlike the lambs offered as sacrifices at the Temple, this lamb had a will. And he willed to offer himself to take our place. Tears pooled in his eyes. He thought of what his master truly had to endure. He realized that the words he uttered were not because of physical pain. The real pain was being truly cut off from the presence of God… his Heavenly Father. What was most incredible was that the Lord God turned his back on his Son for love of us. It was then he heard his master’s voice echoing in his mind saying…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16


Author’s Note:

I really hope we can have a conversation. Please contact me at Facebook MESSENGER by audio. Scheduled small group chats can also be organized as well. Or send me a message HERE.