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.

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 #3

MOTHER TO SON TO MOTHER
by J. Quisumbing

For the prisoner, it seemed like days that he had been hanging on the cross. In actuality, it’s been 3 hours since he was nailed to this cross. He had lost all feelings on his hands but his shoulders felt like they were out of their sockets. As to his feet, it was more a dull numbing ache until he shifts, of which, shooting pain would throb up to his knees. But it was his ripped up back that caused him the sharpest pain. For every breath, he had to push down on to his legs, making his torn back scrape against the rough splintered wood.

The hot afternoon sun was beating down on his brow, drying up the blood over his eyes, encrusting them shut. His hearing was picking up the sounds of the nearby guards and the occassional mocking insults from among the spectators.

Then, he heard an echoing female voice, like the way you would hear in a tunnel saying, “My son, my son…”

At first, it sounded distant. Then…

“My son, my son… what have they done to thee?” the voice said weepingly.

The prisoner recognized the voice right away and it was a lot closer. He cracked open one eye and had to wait for the blurring to clear. As it cleared, he saw that the guards allowed some women and a man to come very close. Amongst them was his mother.

Seeing her brought back a flood of memories.

He remembered seeing her smile as she held out her arms to catch him as he took his first steps. He recalled the many stories she told him of how the Lord’s angel came to her to declare of his coming and of how shepherds of Bethlehem came to see him newly born laying in a manger told to do so by the same angel. More memories came, but one in particular pushed forward.

It was at the time of his ‘bar mitzvah’, when his mother and step father took him for the first time to the great city to partake in the Passover. After the week long celebration was over, he seperated from his family as they ventured home, lost in his desire to seek more knowledge of his heavenly father by holding deep discussions with the religious teachers of the great Temple. They were astounded by this young boy’s questions and understanding of Scriptures. After three days, his mother and step father arrived looking for him. When they approached him, he remembered the look of worry and anguish on his mother’s face. His step father later explained about his mother’s anguish look to him that when he was a babe of 40 days, they brought him to the Temple for his dedication. They were met by an old man who was promised by God that before he died, he would see God’s salvation. He prophesied to his mother of the prisoner’s ultimate destiny which would be like a sword piercing her soul.

As the first-born, he determined to keep her safe especially after he was physically gone. His step father had passed away when he was a young man. His sisters were all married and would not be able to take care of her in her old age. His brothers… he knew with certainty… would die, one by one, by martyrdom. His mother should be spared from being alone. But who?

His eyes shifted to the man who accompanied his mother and the other women. He knew him so well and his heart lightened because he is here. He is trying to be brave but he could tell by the dampness of his cheeks, he is breaking inside. Oh, how the prisonner loved this man. He remembered when this young man first came to him. Once he was a follower of the Baptist, but after the Baptist identified the prisoner’s true identity, he eagerly sought out the prisoner. For three years, the young man followed him in his ministry through every village and every city, preaching the Good News. He became one of the chosen Twelve. From them, he was the one most beloved. And more importantly, because he alone from among the Twelve is here risking his life, he alone will not die by martyrdom. He will be perfect.

The prisoner braced his legs then pushed his torn back up against the cross to breathe. He looked at his mother and said…

Woman, behold thy son...

Then he looks at the one he loved and said…

Behold thy mother.

John 19:26–27


Author’s Note:

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

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #7

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3

The lagoon in twilight reminded Admiral Harris about another lagoon in Florida. Except for the two superstructures, Oceanus’ lagoon was surrounded by foliage, the tallests of which were a grouping of coconut trees which is a feat considering they were successfully grown in trash. The admiral was amazed by the ingenuity of the Bajau Laut to enclose each root of the coconut trees with a honeycomb-like-cage stuffed with the plastic sand which is produced by the project’s recycling plant. It was said that the roots had so entwined itselves that the trees are impervious to extreme gusts of winds.

The zodiac with it’s quiet electric motor was approaching the residential island. The island had a mound on it that rose about 30 feet over the water. On it were more of the mangroves inbetween which were dome houses with warm lights glowing through the windows. Jutting out is a floating pier with a couple of zodiacs tied off it. The admiral thought they were heading for it but then the boat veered off to the right. Anchored between the two islands were three boat houses attached together with suspension bridges.

“Hey Jona… Mae… are you setting me up in those?”

“It’s a big surprise for you, Admiral,” said Mae. “I think you’ll love it.”

The zodiac sidled up to the port side of one of the houseboats. The admiral estimated it to be about a 50 footer. Most houseboats were motorized but these were just white rectanglar floating barges. He boarded through a side entryport and was pleased to find a comfortable open design with a plush lounge set, dinette for four and a modern equipped kitchen galley. At the front was a tall floor to ceiling window and glass sliding doors that open up to an open observation deck with no sidings.

As he looked around, he was surprised to find a little Filipino woman just quietly standing in the galley.

“Ah, Merlie,” Jona said as he came in. This is Senator Reese Harris.”

She approached and extended her hand to him and said, “Hallo, Senator Harris. I am honored to be serving you at last.”

“Merlie here… when she found out that you were coming, she volunteered… no… she insisted that you’ll need her as a cook and houseservant.”

The admiral shook her hand and replied, “Thank you, Merlie. Please call me Admiral.”

Nodding her head, she said, “Senator Admiral.”

“No, no, no… just Admiral.”

“Okey dokey… sir Admiral.”

The admiral almost laughed. “Merlie? Where did you learn ‘okey dokey’ from?”

“Oh, Ms. Bree,” she gave a toothy smile. “I hear her say that all the time. Can I serve you now, sir Admiral?”

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 #6

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“Jona, you’re one month late,” Mae chided while giving him a welcome home hug. Then she turned to the Admiral, shaking his hand. She said jokingly, “Of course, Senator Harris, I blame you for keeping him away from me.”

Laughing out loud, the Admiral joked back, “Well, Mae… how else can I keep you apart, so that I can steal you away?” He gave her a bear hug.

Then she looked at Tony Hallbright who came over and was vigorously shaking her hand. “Hello, Dr. Quimby… I’m Tony Hallbright… department of marine biology, University of Texas, class of 2023. I am so glad to be closely working with you…” He was still shaking her hand when she slightly shifted her gaze to Jona with a glint in her eye that told him that there will be words later.

A heavy hand patted his shoulder. “I sure don’t want to be in your shoes later,” Maj. Roque chuckled softly.

“Hello Alicia… welcome to Oceanus.”

“Hello Robby,” said Alicia.

“I’m here to set you and your production crew up in your quarters and work stations.”

Robby Ramiscal looked leaner than she remembered and his hair was much shorter. She recalled running her hand through those locks. And he seems more serious, not like those wild college days.

“Jona has assigned me to give you all the assistance you’ll need,” as an after thought, he added, “…except during my usual duty routines.”

“Now, if you all follow me, your apartments are in this superstructure.” He started to lead them toward a wide entryway on the side of the hull. “

“Ah Ms. Buenaventura… I mean Alicia,” called Jona. “Please join us for supper at the residential island. There’ll be a zodiac waiting for you.”

“Ok, I’ll be there tonight. Thank you,” she said. She waved at them, then jogged after Robby and her crew who already disappeared into the superstructure.

Alicia caught up with them on the second level. As Robby climbed up the steps, she gestured for her crew to hang back a ways so she can converse with Robby.

“So Robby, you are married now.”

“Yup. Seven years now.”

“Do I know her… maybe from school?”

“Nope. I met her in Ohio.”

“Jona said you have kids.”

“Twins, to be exact… about 6 years old.”

Alicia was a little miffed at him because all he offered so far were short quips. Robby paused on deck #3, waiting for the rest of her crew to catch up.

“Ok, here in deck #3 is our sick bay,” explained Robby. “We have 2 doctors and 7 nurses on staff. Since, you are going to be with us for several months, you’ll be joining our people in mandatory first aid training.”

“What!?” exclaimed Alicia. “Wait a minute! We’re here to shoot video!”

“Ms. Buenaventura, I suggest you check your contract.”

Alicia turned to her crew and said, “Can you go ahead up to the next level?” As soon as they were out of sight. “Ok, Robby. What is with this Ms. Buenaventura crap?”

“I prefer that any interaction between you and me, we keep it professional.”

“Why are you being so distant? Once upon a time, you and I were… very close,” she purred as she reached out to stroke his face, but he took a step back.

“Alicia, you have not changed,” he said shaking his head. “When I heard you were leading the NG group, my gut told me you would be trouble. Let me reiterate something. There is no more ‘you and I’. “

He then sidestepped her and went up the steps to catch up with her crew. Alicia stood there. She was not angry, she was smiling to herself.

“Are you trouble?”

Alicia was startled to find Hallbright, the marine biologist, a few steps down the strairwell with his bulky dufflebag over his shoulder.

“I tell ya, Ms. Alicia…,” he said as he walked up the last few steps to her, “it was like I was watching some kind of soap opera.” He chuckled. “And I thought I was going to be bored here.”

“Well, Tony Hallbright… a girl needs to have some kind of fun.” She smiled demurely.

“Ho ho ho… you are a bad girl!” He chortled. He picked up her bag and they both went up to look for their quarters.

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 #5

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“How many people now?” asked the Admiral.

“The last count was 248. Well… it’ll soon be 249. One of our Bajau Laut ladies… ah… Mrs. Espinada… is due to give birth anytime now.”

Alicia turned the camera on Jona. “Jona, excuse me for eavedropping, but may I ask, how many of those sea gypsies did you get to join your project?” Seeing his frown, she quickly added, “No, I am not prejudice. I did a story on them some years back. The impression I got was that they were very much set in their ways.”

“Well, most are, but even among such a tight knit community, there are those that feel they need to spread their wings a lot more, so to speak. To answer your question, we have about 22 families that joined us.”

“How ever did you get them to join you?”

“Well, seven years ago, I was scuba diving off Palawan when I met this guy named Ito Ito about 20 feet underwater. I was so focused to take a picture of this nudibranch when suddenly this bamboo spear swoosh right by me and hit a very large moray eel. Apparently, this eel was going to take a big bite of my leg. I turned around to see this small skinny guy with no scuba gear except for goggles, a wooden flipper on one foot, a makeshift speargun and get this… white underwear with red hearts all over it.” There was laughter all around including Hallbright who was listening also.

Jona continued on, “Anyway, we got to talking in the dive boat I was staying in. He told me about how he used to belong with a sea gypsy clan in the Sulu Sea until they exiled him because of religious differences. So, he and his family have been living a nomadic life. He was such an expert of survivinging entirely off the sea that I told him that I wished I had about a hundred like him for my project. When we parted, I thought I’d never sea him again. Two years later, when we launched the rings into the water, about thirty bancas with multicolored sails appeared into San Miguel Bay. It was Ito Ito, his family and 21 other exiled families like him. It took him about a year to seek them out and assemble them together. Then, they took a year to sail their fleet of boats to reach us.”

“Attention everybody,” piped-in the Pilot, “…we are about to land. Please buckle up.”

The chopper descended on the heliport which was situated right next to the stern superstructure. It didn’t take too long for them to land and as soon as the whirring of the engines decreased, the crew chief went past them to open the rear cargo hatch.

Jona was off his seat as soon as the crew chief gave the clearance. First, he helped Alicia with her bags then got his own and he led them off the chopper. Waiting for them was his wife, Mae and Robby Ramiscal. Also there waiting were Bryce and Bree Grover, a brother and sister team incharge of the multiple agri and aquacultural projects.

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.