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.”
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.’
Note from the author: