SIMON THE LEPER part 3

A Bible Short Story by Johann Quisumbing

In the days of King David to the Judean exile to Babylon, this city was both the legendary king’s residence and government buildings. Most of the palaces were torn down by the invading Babylonians. Only a few government buildings were still standing. Then, when the exiles returned, the old city was rebuilt but remnants of David’s line did not rebuild the palaces. By the time the Romans came, the City of David was mostly made up of the residences of the rising middle class.

They rode through the old city’s porticos, then Simon stopped the wagon in-front of one of the surviving 3-story government building which he had taken over. A servant came out to tie the mule to a hitching pole. Both Simon and Lazarus alighted off the wagon and entered the building.

“Master?” said a stout man slowly getting up from behind a wide desk. “We were not expecting you for a couple of days.”

“I know, I know Joral,” Simon said. “Lazarus and I are here in the city to see my cousin at the Temple. Since we were in the neighborhood, I thought I’d check on the renovations upstairs.”

Joral trailed behind them as they crossed the lower floor where laborers were busy unpacking bundles of processed wheat husks. Some of them carried several bundle to an adjoining room where a millstone can be seen moving in circle.

“How many bags of flour produced today?” Simon asked Joral as they ascended a grand staircase.

“Only about 9 bags. One of our asses became ill. We had to wait for a replacement.”

“You see, my son,” Simon said to Lazarus. “This business requires constant overseeing. If Joral was not here, there could have been a longer delay in fulfilling the order. This is why you must pay more attention and remember that the clothing you wear and everything else comes from this business.”

“Yes father,” he said with a slight hint of exasperation.

Simon was smiling inside when they reached the second floor. The went down a hallway a little to where they can hear hammering. Jorel pushed open ornately carved double doors to reveal a vast room.

“As you can see, Master. They took down the walls of 3 rooms to form this large room. I believe this room can hold over a hundred people.”

“Excellent, Jorel. This large room should bring in some extra revenue. When will they finish the renovations?”

“In 3 months or so, Master.”

“Good… just in time for the summer festivals. Very well, we must go. It will be a long climb to the top of the Temple Mount.”

To be continued…

PREV


Author’s note:
Though my story is basically fiction, the character of Simon the Leper is an actual Bible personality who actually lived in Bethany, a village in Judaea on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark. There is no other reference of him in the Bible. So, I asked myself, ‘what was his story? How did he catch leprosy? And how was he cured?’ There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them had no names at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic liscence, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

SIMON THE LEPER part 2

A Bible Short Story by Johann Quisumbing

Jerusalem is about two miles from Bethany. Simon and his son were on the Jericho road riding on a wagon. The ancient road went from the Jordan River valley city of Jericho up the Judean Highlands over the Mount of Olives to the southern gates of Jerusalem. As Simon rode through the gates, he looked up at the towering ramparts of the old city of David sitting on a prominent narrow ridge overlooking the Tyropoeon Valley to the west, the Hinnom Valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east. In those walls is his destination. He owns an old government building that he use as both storage and trading.

“Hello Imraam,” Simon hailed a crippled man being carried on a palette by two men across a crowded cobbled stone street. “I thought you would be at the north side of the city at this time?”

As the wagon slowed down by him, Imraam answered nonchalantly over his shoulder, “I was there, my old friend, but I was summoned to my relatives.”

“What for, Imraam?”

“What else, Simon? They are wondering why I have not gone to the bossom of my fathers.” He chuckled loudly. “But as you could see,” he raised himself up on his pallet showing a wide grin. “I may not be able to walk but I may live longer than them.” They both laughed out loud.

“Well, I am going back home and tomorrow… back to my spot at the pool of Bethesda. Maybe, that will be the day that the angel will stir the waters and I’ll be lucky.”

“Well, Imraam… I wish you luck.” Simon coaxed the mules to turn right. Imraam and his servants was soon disappeared amongst the heavy traffic of people and animals.

“Poor Imraam,” Simon shook his head as he chuckled himself.

“Father? Do you ever think that an angel of Lord would stir the water as the legend states? And do you think, Imraam can ever get into the water first ahead of the others?”

“He has been going to that pool for about thirty years now since he became crippled. Can you believe it? I really hope he does.”

They weaved their wagon up a noisy busy street. To their left rose the jam packed square houses of the lower city of Jerusalem. According to a trader friend of his, over three hundred thousand people live in squalor there based on the last census by the current Roman governor. To their right was the shored up canal creek the water of which ran down from the temple mount and was lined with chattering women doing their laundry. The creek then collected at the pool of Siloam before draining out under the city walls.

“Father, look!” Lazarus was pointing at a flapping banner hanging on the side of a long tall structure across the canal creek. “The chariot races are coming back in a week from now.”

“I know, son. I do have eyes.”

“I know father how you hate the sport. But surely, those of our people who race in the arena, do they not bolster the pride of our people?”

“Pride, you say. Be careful, my son, remember what the prophets says, ‘Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.’* And trust me, I have seen many racers fall, both of our people and foreigners.”

[ * Proverbs 16:18 ]

Simon coaxed the mule to turn right. They went over a wide bridge that crossed over the canal and started up a gentle incline with the arena to their right. And as his habit, Simon looked to his left and his eyes followed up a grand staircase that went up about 40 feet then it dramatically turned right as it bridged over empty space and went up another 30 feet to the Temple Mount. This architectural feat have never failed to impress him. The mount itself took up most of the view of the sky. They rode unto the landing of a vast plaza with the massive southern walls of the Temple Mount rising over 90 feet tall looking down upon them. They rode by a busy market place then stopped by one of the stall which he own. After Simon spoke with the stall merchant who worked for him, he and his son drove their wagon into the old City of David.

To be continued…

PREV


Author’s note:
Though my story is basically fiction, the character of Simon the Leper is an actual Bible personality who actually lived in Bethany, a village in Judaea on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark. There is no other reference of him in the Bible. So, I asked myself, ‘what was his story? How did he catch leprosy? And how was he cured?’ There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them had no names at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

Note: the character of Imraam (again fictional) is based on the 38 year invalid whom Jesus cured at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15).

SIMON THE LEPER part 1

A Bible Short Story by Johann Quisumbing

The winter was in its last days in the village of Bethany just 2 miles from the busy city of Jerusalem. The last remnants of snow had disappeared around the hillsides surrounding the village. Warmer days will again bring back the greenery.

Simon, a successful and quite wealthy tradesman of barley and wheat, came out of his house just in time to meet with an incoming caravan of two dozen or so donkeys loaded with merchandise from the fields of Gilead.

He welcomed the head drover from the distant free cities up north.

Grasping his forearm in greetings, he asked, “Did you have any trouble on the route?”

“There were a couple of attempts to rob us, but your suggestion to stay close with the Roman patrol was to our advantage,” his friend exclaimed cheerfully.

“You see?” Simon chided, “the Romans are good for some things!” They both laughed together. They were discussing more business when suddenly Simon hears a delightful glee coming from the gates of his house. He turns just in time to catch the embrace of his six year old daughter who came out in excitement pointing at the packed donkeys milling around not too far away.

“Yes, yes Mary,” Simon was laughing. “You and your sister, Martha, have surprises hidden in the packs somewhere.”

“Oh, Abba! Can I see it now?” Mary asks eagerly.

“No no… My little sweet cherub. You and Martha will get your gifts later tonight. Meanwhile, did you leave your sister to do all the kitchen chores by herself again?”

Mary looks guiltily down, her sandalled foot fidgeting the dust on the ground.

Simon chuckled loudly then turns her towards the gate and said, “now, go help your sister and later after supper you can see the gift I have for you.” As Mary neared the gate, he looked around and asked her, “where is Lazarus? He was supposed to be here with me learning about the business.”

Mary stopped short and turned around looking guilty.

“Mary? Where is your brother?”

Mary quickly broke down under his continuous stare and cried out, “oh, Abba… He told me not to tell!”

“Mary? Tell me now.”

Looking down at her feet, she confessed in a quiet voice, “He went to the quarry with his friends.”

“Go along and help your sister,” he said smiling. “I promise I will not tell your brother.”

Simon spoke to the head drover for another 15 minutes while his servants unpacked two of the packed donkeys. Then he instructed him to bring the caravan to his warehouse in Jerusalem. He watched the caravan moved away, then he turned and walked towards the southern gate of his village.

Bethany is a fair sized village with many large homes belonging to wealthy people some of which were not all Jews. As Simon walked through the busy street into the marketplace near the southern gate, he was fondly greeted by his neighbors.

Simon walked through the southern gate, turned right on a gravel path then proceeded to follow it for several minutes. It was not long until he heard laughing voices of young people just below him. He walked to the edge of the pathway which looked down into the quarry pit which is also the burial sites of his family and the people in his village. There he saw his son showing off to a young girl and six other young people laughing away at his waving arms and balancing act on a loose boulder.

Simon then called out, “Lazarus!”

A young lad of about twelve years looks up then waves his hand in greeting. Simon gestures to him to come up. The young lad says goodbye to his friends and quickly worked his way up the hill to where his father was waiting.

Heaving heavily, Lazarus reached his father with a big grin on his face.

“Well, my son, did you forget that you were supposed to be with me today and learn the business that feeds you and clothe you and give you shelter over your head?”

“I am sorry, father.”

“You are coming of age. You are not an apprentice anymore. You will one day take over the business and I can retire to a ripe old age,” he said chuckling. “Come. Let us return to the village then we go to the city.”

To be continued…


Author’s note:
Though my story is basically fiction, the character of Simon the Leper is an actual Bible personality who actually lived in Bethany, a village in Judaea on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He is only mentioned in two verses in the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark. There is no other reference of him in the Bible. So, I asked myself, ‘what was his story? How did he catch leprosy? And how was he cured?’ There are many such characters in the Bible, many of them had no names at all, but yet there are worthy stories to tell about them. With the help of some sanctified imagination and some artistic license, I felt their stories should be told especially of their faithful encounters with Jesus Christ.

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.

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…

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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.