SEA QUEST - Chapter 15 - 16
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“As we all probably already know, Atlantis was first mentioned and described by the Greek philosopher Plato in his books Timeaus and Criteaus.” Said Gordon,” The hi-tech civilization that we see today in movies are actually just things people add later, mostly from the 19th century book ‘Atlantis the Antediluvian world.”
Gordon used his remote control to change pictures. Now the screen showed geological maps of Antarctica.
“In Plato’s description of Atlantis, he wrote that Atlantis was a high land above the seas, and even more surprising, it was mentioned that Antarctica is the highest continent on the planet at 6500 feet. The other clues that led us here were those ancient words and dots on the Piri Reis map. The geographical precision was so perfect that the map led us here like a treasure map. You may see that the land around Antarctica is covered by miles of ice caps, so five hundred years ago it was virtually impossible to produce a map of the coastline by sight. Geologists have found that the last time the coastline of Antarctica could actually be seen was eight thousand five hundred years ago. This leads to the conclusion that the details of Antarctica must have been created at least eight thousand five hundred years ago and later incorporated into the Piri Reis map.”
This time Gordon changed to a climate map of Antarctica. It showed each year’s average snowfall on the continent.
“The dark purple means a lot of snowfall, and the green means less snowfall. Now, as you can see that the western part of Antarctica, where we are now has a much higher rate of snowfall than that of eastern or greater Antarctica. However, apparently eastern Antarctica ice caps are miles thicker than western Antarctica. This geographical structure causes Kalabatic wind or another word gravity driven wind when cold air falls through the mountain ranges dividing eastern and western Antarctica. Now you should probably already know the odd thing about the climate.”
“Thick ice caps, very little snowfall?” an archeologist suggested.
“We’ve got a winner,” Gordon continued,” western Antarctica has thin ice caps and large percentages of snowfall while eastern Antarctica has thick ice caps and very little snowfall. If a special theory I have researched on is added, all of the pieces in this whole puzzle will fit perfectly.”
“You found out how Atlantis was destroyed?” Brian asked excitedly.
“And I believe the theory you’re talking about is the displacement of the earth’s crust.” Said a female archeologist.
“Correct,” Gordon answered,” a brilliantly thought out theory by Dr. Charles Hapgood sixty years ago. There are many names, Pole shifting, Polar Wandering, call it whatever you like. This theory states that the earth’s crust, without concerning tectonic plates can move around the mantel like the skin of an orange. It was stated that the complete shifting of the earth’s crust causes the changes in the earth’s magnetic north and South Pole.”
“Now imagine this, originally the South Pole was somewhere a thousand or more miles north of the Antarctic shore geographically opposite to where we are now. If the South Pole was farther north, so is the Antarctic Circle. Ten, twenty thousand years ago the North Pole was in Canada, which would locate the South Pole far off the continent of Antarctica, in the Indian Ocean closer to Australia. The proof is, if Eastern Antarctica had once been inside the ancient Antarctic Circle and Western Antarctica where we are had not, this would explain why Eastern Antarctica has thicker ice caps but less snowfall than Western Antarctica. If Western Antarctica was not in the Antarctic Circle 20,000 years ago, it would have been warmer, and less ice would collect here. All this means that tens of thousands of years ago Western Antarctica had been a relatively warm place, possibly as warm as Argentina and definitely warm enough for human habitation and building a city like Atlantis.”
“However this also explains how Atlantis, in a figure of speech sunk into the sea. The process of crust displacement probably took thousands of years, causing the old South Pole to melt. Thus flooding Atlantis and entirely freezing the civilization annihilating it from history. Any questions?”
“Yes,” said Brian,” how does this theory work?”
“Albert Einstein once relished that the theory is highly probable basing it on the laws of physics. The theory works by relying on the fact that there is a different amount of frozen ice in the North and South Pole. In so saying that this difference in mass causes the earth’s crust to move or displace it’s mass. Leading to new locations of the two poles and causing instability in mass building up until the crust eventually moves again.” Gordon explained.
“But isn’t the ice age an important factor, North America was frozen in the ice age?” Brian asked.
“That’s a common misconception which prevents people from truly understanding the theory. What we call the ice age was actually only the Wisconsin Glaciation.” Gordon answered,” The last ice age lasted two hundred thousand years. Ice Ages are caused by significant changes in the earth’s orbit around the sun, they usually last millions of years. By most definitions, we are still in an Ice Age because there are still thick ice caps in Greenland and on the outer coasts of Antarctica. Most people don’t realize that because we’re experiencing a period of relative warmth, in two thousand years the earth’s temperature will drop again.”
Brian did not understand half of the theory Gordon said, but by summing everything up, he understood the outline of the hypothesis. It was what he usually had to do when he had to edit articles that were written like diaries.
“That’s pretty much all I have to say for now.” Gordon finished.
Suddenly, from outside there came an enormous thundering noise lasting a few seconds. The room they were standing in started to rumble, and then passage tubes connecting the room to the main building broke down and collapsed.
Something was wrong, very wrong.
After exiting the elevator on the 8th floor, K10 was starting to get suspicious of the men who were following him. They looked just like normal executives that may be gathering for a meeting in some hotel room. Yet there was something in their eyes that made K10 suspicious, they were stern, unmoving, like they were bent on doing something very important.
K10 himself has been trained to keep his eyes leveled with the situation. Thus, he can blend into any disguise or location, how matter difficult.
As he approached the hotel room, two men went to another room further down the hallway. Using the janitor’s key given by another DINA operative he unlocked the door and got into the room. Inside, there was a man in his forties with glasses on. He was working on a Macintosh, typing extremely fast.
Then behind K10, one of the men who followed him shut the door and used a key to lock the door from the outside. Without hesitating, he continued by taking out a chain with two long metal pikes attached. The man used a hammer to nail one pike on the door and another pike into the wall beside it.
K10 was now trapped inside the room with the scientist.
“Give me the CD you people took from Dr Ceclaro now!” The assassin yelled to the scientist.
“You assassins think you can get anything you want, if you kill me you kill yourself.” The scientist desperately replied.
“I have the advantage,” K10 scowled as he lifted his gun up and aimed it at the scientist’s stomach.
“I thought assassins were trained to observe, look around me.”
K10 glanced at the desk behind the scientist. There were wires linking from the legs of the office chair to the desk, as well as pressure sensors beneath the chair and at the back. The scientist was sitting on a huge bomb, if K10 shot him, one movement would incinerate everything in the room.
“I think you understand my point,” said the scientist,” if you help me as well as help yourself get off this bomb, I will give you the CD.”
“I will find the disk myself.”
“This is a huge room, and look over my left shoulder.”
K10 saw it; on the desk was an electric timer. The digital clock now registered 3 minutes and 15 seconds. By normal protocol, he would leave the hostage and escape. However, in this mission the very objective of the mission would be destroyed with the hostage.
He decided to help the hostage.
“You should get to it,” said the scientist.
“Stay still.” The assassin replied.
He knew the procedure was very delicate, similar to disabling wired landmines. Fortunately, he was trained for just that.
These wires could not be cut with scissors or knives, the force needed to sever the wires would create too much movement. K10 knew the bomb included a spinner device that will pull in the wires if they get severed.
“I don’t have a de-mining kit; give me something that can squeeze.” said K10 hurriedly.
“I can’t get off the chair, remember?”
K10 looked at the red numbers. 2 minutes 46 seconds, time is going fast, he thought.
Then he remembered, in his pocket he had two electric tweezers for picking up dangerous of delicate things. He quickly took it out and placed them over one of the wires a few inches apart. After pressing the squeeze buttons at the same time, the tweezers began to close until it tightly held the wires.
First step finished, he thought. K10 now took out a small pair of sharp scissors. With deadly precision, he cut the section of the wire between the electric tweezers. Thus, he repeated the procedure to the other wire and the bomb was disabled.
The assassin looked again at the electric numbers. 1 minute 50 seconds, time was running out. K10 now moved his attention to the weight bomb under the chair; he would have to be very resourceful with this one.
He pulled a doubled hook rope from his jacket and attached a hook to one of the chair’s five legs.
“Lift your leg,” said K10, trying to sound as calm as possible.
He pulled the rope under the scientist’s legs and tied the chair down. Then, he pulled the rope under another one of the chair’s legs and pulled the rope around the chair’s spine. After looping around it tightly many times, he attached the hook to the chair’s legs.
“You can stand up now; rope is tied tight enough to the chair to substitute a man’s weight.”
“Now, how are we going to get out of the room?” asked the scientist.
K10 could see the metallic pike nailed into the door the door; it was going to taking some effort to get it off the door.
“Find something that can hammer this back, and quick!” the assassin shouted.
“We only have a minute left,”
“Just find a hammer!”
“It’s a hotel room; there isn’t anything even close to a hammer.”
K10 knew he would have to trust a very unreliable method. He raised his pistol and aimed at the wooden door surrounding the pike. After firing the first shot, he realized that he missed and made a hole a few inches from the pike.
“Thirty seconds!” the scientist yelled.
K10 fired another shot, this time the door gave away and the pike fell off. The assassin kicked the door open, grabbed the scientist’s sleeves and ran for the elevator.
“The elevator?” said the scientist with bewildering fear,” There’s only twenty seconds, we won’t make it.”
“Oh yes we will,” the assassin replied coldly.
Luckily, no one had used this elevator since the time he got to this floor. K10 pressed the down button and the doors slid open.
“Go get the CD.” Said the assassin.
“I don’t have it, but I know where it is.” The scientist answered.
They got into the elevator, after descending passed the sixth floor the elevator shook with an explosive sound and the lights went off for one second.
K10 knew he got the scientist and came out safely. However, the scientist did not possess the disk so the mission felt like a complete waste of his time.
“So, where’s the CD?” he asked.
The scientist answered straightly.
K10 was shocked; the name that echoed in the elevator was an impossible
Yet again, anything is possible.
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SEA QUEST - Chapter 11 - 14 (µèÍ¨Ò¡µÍ¹·ÕèáÅéÇ¤ÃÑº)
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Three floors up Charhov could make out the faint sound of gunshots coming from below him. In his suite, he had an I-book laptop that was modified exactly for managers and for his other purposes. He had installed mini-cameras capable of tracking everything going on in room 1512 and could monitor anything that may go wrong from his plan. A plan that he and the Mission Operator had elegantly devised from secretly gathered intelligence to protect the scientists working for The Operation Sea Quest. The biologist who occupied this room was safe in another hotel and now he had the assassin threatened to undermine his project trapped in a room 15 floors up from the ground.
He closely observed from four camera viewpoints to see the assassin’s every action. However, there seemed to be something unplanned going on. The assassin was taking refuge behind the couch and it looked like he was taking something out of his jacket.
Charhov switched to a left camera angle, it was undoubtedly a white rope with a hook on the end. The assassin shot the chandelier causing broken glass spreading across the room. The two guards who were coming after him lifted their arms to protect their faces, and with that small opportunity, the assassin rushed out to the balcony. He attached the hook to the ledge, held up the hook at the other end of the rope, and threw it down so that it hooked itself to another ledge three floors down to the right. Then as the guards were stumbling towards the balcony, he climbed onto the ledge and jumped. K10 slid diagonally down the rope to the 12th floor and climbed into that room’s balcony. He went into the room and sprinted quickly out to the corridor, then boarded the elevator down and disappeared into the crowd in the lobby. The two guards followed to the room on the 12th floor. When they got there, there was no one to be found. Soon K10 was out of the hotel reporting his failed mission.
Charhov was still thinking deeply, he had protected another one of his scientists but the assassin was still at large. At this point, the assassin seemed unstoppable as he managed to find out where the scientist was, and he would have succeeded if not for the plan that Charhov set up. He thought it would not be long before the assassin found out the location of the scientist. At that moment, the bedside phone was ringing, he quickly left the living area, ran to the bedroom and answered.
“Mr. Charhov, I do think our plan worked.” It was the Mission Operator, speaking in his usual Spanish accent.
“The scientist is safe, but the rest of the plan failed, the trap didn’t work.”
“Then so, I believe we must then make a new plan, considering the assassin’s skills and weaknesses.” the Mission Operator spoke in a sinister way.
“His skill is definitely extraordinary, perfectly smooth, agile, and flexible to respond if anything goes wrong. I do not believe he has any weaknesses.”
There was a small pause then it seemed the Mission Operator was reading something from a file.
“There’s nothing my agents can’t get. Organization: DINA, Branch: Quick Covert assassinations, Operative: K10. He was well trained has quick response and quick thinking skills. Ah, look here, Mental and Physical health problems: extremely allergic to fine dust and smoke due to a fire accident in an industrial mine in 1979.”
“How did you get those information?” Charhov asked,” The DINA headquarters in Santiago is heavily guarded.”
“The point is, now that we have a list of his weaknesses, I think it is time to set the next trap.”
Brian woke up when the airplane started to lower altitude. As the plane got closer to the icy ground, the cabin started to buckle. A few hundred feet away he could see small streaks of light coming from the shacks and other larger buildings. Soon they landed on the runway which took sometime for the sliding plane to a halt. After awhile, everyone got to their feet and walked out the boarding stairs. The temperature outside was so low that as they exited the plane they felt that they would be frozen solid at that instant.
The San Martin Antarctic base is located on the Debbenham Island and connected to the mainland by a narrow peninsular. However, in winter most of the ground was covered by ice and snow and the small hills looked like an ice mound with radio towers penetrating to the surface. The sea of ice surrounding the base made the entire port seemed like an inland facility.
Founded in 1951 by Argentina, San Martin base was an important landmark situated on the Antarctic peninsular, simply because it was the first human settlement south of the Antarctic Polar Circle.
When the team got down, they were greeted by the base manager and the crew.
“Sir Francis,” he said,” Aren’t you too old for traveling?”
“Says who,” Sir Francis answered.
“Well, Antarctica is a savage place; the gear you brought might not be enough if accidents occur.” The manager explained,” It is winter and the temperature here could reach sixty degrees Celsius below zero. That means without proper equipment you could die in the cold in less than an hour. Please go to the main building to my left and receive all the necessary Antarctic gear.”
They were led into the thermal control storage shed and the man who led them asked them to write their clothing and shoe size (for boots) down on a piece of paper. It was not a very large storage room but it was densely pact with clothing and survival gear. There were two railings on the opposite walls that were used to hang clothing, and below it there were plastic drawers that kept all the other necessities of Antarctic exploration.
It was not long before everyone in the team got the equipment they needed. When the team gathered back at the preparation building the manager was readily standing in front of the microphone stand.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please check on the handout provided and make sure that you have all your gear. If not, please put your hand up.”
Everyone checked there equipment thoroughly.
• ANARE Field and First Aid Manuals
• windproof parka (garment derived from diving sea birds, it is both warm and water resistant) & pants
• waterproof parka and pants woollen jersey
• windproof mitts (ear muffs)
• woollen balaclava (a thin pull-over head and neck cover with eye slits
for winter usage)
• goggles or sunglasses
• sleeping and bivvy bags (emergency shelter)
• camp mat
• spare mitts and socks
• high energy food
The manager was getting ready to speak again.
“Since nobody had put their hand up, I will assume there are no problems. I must warn you, you must have all this equipment with you if you leave station limits or excavation areas.”
The manager walked to the side and one of the crew came to the microphone stand, he was a young man, even younger than Brian was.
“In winter, outside the station limits, the only mode of transport will be the Hugglund land cruiser, if you would follow me to the transport.”
The man led everyone to a large truck like transport. It had two sections; the front section had a tank like propulsion system, which was used for pulling the second cartridge. The team climbed on the second cartridge, sat down and strapped their seatbelts on.
Without hesitation, the vehicle dragged itself into the stormy Antarctic darkness at thirty miles an hour. As the cruiser drove on, the lights from San Martin base became less visible until the snowstorm completely blocked it from sight.
The snow that was being blown by strong winds outside the truck reminded Sarah who was sitting in the front seat of winter seventeen years ago. It was when she was still in college. The final exam was difficult, but in the end, she came through with a grade that she was more than satisfied with. So she called her parents to tell the good news, but no one answered her call not even her sister Dian who was always home. Soon she figured out they probably were at one of the ski resorts in Europe as they normally did every usual winter. So she gave up the attempt to contact them, and expected that her parents should be back by the time of her graduation day. However, when graduation day came, not one of her family members showed up. After a long attempt, she finally connected the call to her sister’s cell phone, and it was her mother who answered with the bad news. Sheshockingly told Sarah that her sister was dead and that she and dad had stayed with Dian at the hospital before she died.
It was a year before Sarah could get over her sister’s death. Amidst the sadness, her parents never told her how Dian passed away.
When Sarah woke up from her memory, she realized that two hours had passed, and they were now at the excavation site. When Brian got down from the vehicle, what he saw below the cliff in front of him really stunned him. It was not a copper mine as he originally thought. Copper and water was simply the definition of native South American words “Alt” and “Antis”. Together they make up what Brian saw before him, “Atlantis”.
Below the edge of the cliff was a ruined city, circular in shape with land rings that contained buildings and land rings that seemed to have once contained water. The entire area was lit up by countless powerful spotlights. Parts of the city were sealed within a plastic pyramid shaped frame and were covered by transparent material.
“As you can see,” said Terri,” The plastic is used to protect the site from strong winds.”
“Was this city on ground level, or did you have to dig it up?” Brian asked.
“It was buried under sixty feet of ice.” Gordon answered,” We had to use a Tesla thunder generator to melt the ice. It took two months, but sections of the city are not yet uncovered because when we came here it was frozen under a hundred feet of ice.”
“I think it will look even better at close glance. Let’s ride an elevator down to the site.” Sir Francis suggested.
Brian was surprised beyond his wildest dreams, and he could see that the newly arrived archeologists were no different.
They went into a shed that held the three main elevators. They went inside the elevator on the left and the door closed tightly. The air inside was warmer than outside and but Brian could still peer at the white lights shining into the sky through the elevator’s glass windows. The elevator descended slowly and soon they were at the bottom of the cliff. The doors opened and the air was freezing cold again.
Brian walked out and he could see hundreds of men and women doing their work in their Antarctic gear. The floor was laid with rubber to prevent slipping and to protect the archeologists from electrical leaks caused by the high voltage of Telsa voltage generator. As they strolled down the stone walkways, Brian saw the magnificent scale of each building, which was still mostly very well preserved.
“The entire site is more perfectly preserved than Pompeii, we speculate the ice had kept the city frozen in time.” said Terri.
“Are there remains of people who once lived here?” Brian asked.
“No,” Terri answered,” So far we haven’t found any human remains, we believe that the people who lived here received a warning of this cataclysm so they evacuated in time.”
Then Gordon walked up to them.
“But we can’t be sure of that,” he said,” because we have only been here for two months and only 30% of the site has been closely examined.”
“If the whole place is so huge and you employ so many people, how come hasn’t the news of this broken out?” Brian asked.
“You see,” Sir Francis spoke,” secrecy for the moment is our top priority.”
The stroll was taking its toll on all of them, even through the thick coating they could feel the cool breeze that blew from the mountain and down the cliff. Since staying out in the cold too long can cause hypothermia, Sir Francis took them into a large rectangular plastic and iron beamed building. Inside, the room was lit with ordinary electric wall lamps; from the looks of it, Brian could tell that this was the reclining room. There was no any furniture or objects except for a few racks for hanging clothes and lockers for keeping possessions.
“This is the thermal adaptation room; it’s about ten degrees warmer than outside. Rapid temperature change can induce problems to human health.” said Terri.
“In other words, a heck of a bad headache.” said Sarah.
Brian could clearly feel that this room was slightly warmer than outside. There were three transparent doors at the far side of the room. Above it were printed signs that read; living quarters, kitchen and the last reading research and management of excavations. Through a small circular glass window on the wall, he could view a huge mountain of ice, and beyond that, there was a seemingly endless expanse of ice.
Brian remembered that the site was supposed to be on the Larsen ice shelf. He knew well the definition of an ice shelf, a large thick sheet of ice that expands over the sea. However, the entire site seemed to be surrounded by a gigantic ice shelf, so he was curious about the landscape.
“We were informed that the site was located near the Larsen ice shelf. It appears as we are smack right in the middle of one.”
“That’s quite obvious,” Gordon answered,” this is a continental shelf extending off the Antarctic Peninsula. It is just a shallow part of the sea that frozen over by ice. To simply say it, we’re more than thirty feet below sea level.”
The thought of sudden break of the ice and seawater gushing in and flooding the city broke into Brian’s mind. It would be a horrific scene.
“Don’t worry,” Terri said with a soothing voice,” we are like fifty miles from the sea. We’re safe here, even if we’re thirty feet below sea level.”
“And Mr. Right, do you want to rest or to examine our discovery more thoroughly?” Sir Francis asked with a changed voice and a large cough.
“I see the city but I find it quite impossible to well confirm that it is really Atlantis.” Brian answered.
Sir Francis looked at his watch.
“It’s twenty pass ten, in five minutes Mr. Friscit will be explaining the fundamentals of this discovery to the archeologists who recently arrived. You may join them if you like at the research compartment. If you would excuse me I will have to take my medication, the temperature here doesn’t do my health much good.”
Brian followed Gordon through the third door that led towards the research and working compartment. The path was a narrow tube like structure that continued for at least fifty feet. The floor was made of gray rubber and the walls were transparent plastic that curved outwards.
The transparency made Brian feel a small shiver to see how high up from the ground the tube was. The walls were so clear that it made Brian feel like he was walking on a thin fifty feet long wooden plank that bridged one tall building to another.
The walls of the tube were actually a sophisticated part of the temperature adaptation system. There were double layer plastic glass and between them, an empty layer where hot air from the inner facilities air conditioning flows through and minutely heat the tube. In turn making the temperature increase that people can comfortably adapt to.
Brian knew that the height of the tube made him feel a little nervous but he could see that Gordon was acting just normally. Brian guessed that Gordon was just familiar with heights since he had formerly been a bush pilot.
Nevertheless, in Gordon’s mind there was one apparent horrifying possibility. Although the city was obviously miles from the edge of the ice shelf, being a geologist he knew that there were circumstances the ice could break.
Many years ago in 1995 scientists and climatologists worldwide were shocked when satellites and researchers in Antarctica found that a 2000 square-mile portion of the Larsen B ice shelf broke off into the sea. The huge ice shelf dislodgement was caused by none other than Global Warming. Over the period of five years, the ice shelf lost 60% of its original volume. Therefore, it would not be impossible that a sheet of ice, 200 meters thick and less than fifty miles wide could break free into Weddle Sea on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Apparently, this was a problem the excavation team prepared to face. Thus, the excavation was scheduled to be completed in winter when the sea was frozen to prevent flooding.
At last, Brian and Gordon were at the last door. When Gordon pressed the button on the side, it opened. Brian found the air inside welcomingly warm. There were bookcases all around the large room and computers at the far end, to the left wall there were five other archeologists who were sitting in front of a projector.
Brian took a seat and Gordon motioned to the side of the projected image. He held up and pressed on a remote that was on the table next to him.
The archeologists sat, free from the astonishing feeling that first took them at sight of the city.
“I realize the site may be overwhelming,” Gordon started,” and that this proven myth may be greatly surprising. Still you are probably wondering how we know that this is really the lost continent and how the tales of this lost civilization sinking into the ocean could come at any point near anything rationale. Well, if you place the situation in the right ideas, you’ll find that the explanation of how and what really happened is more surprising than the fact that Atlantis has ever existed.”
Brian and the archeologists were now shifting their attention what Gordon was going to say next, what they hear would change their view of earth and its history, forever.
After parking his black motorcycle in the Santiago Sheraton Hotel parking lot, K10 motioned menacingly towards the lobby. His information had been revitalized and the new mission was to find and capture a CD from a scientist who was on the eighth floor of the hotel’s west wing. Room 805 was where he must find the target.
Again, miles away Graham and Alvaro were watching their assassin on a computer screen. The laptop was generating a map of the lobby and a vague thermal stat picture of everyone who was on the ground floor. K10 registered as a red dot tracked by a GPS transceiver. This was the second satellite and it would only pass over the transmission radius for about an hour. At the moment,, time was everything to Graham.
The Sheraton Hotel Santiago was where Charhov’s press conference was going to take place. There, was the most famous and luxurious conference hall in all of Santiago. Here Charhov will unveil the greatest triumph in his entire career.
As K10 entered the elevator and pressing the 8th floor’s button, he wondered if he would find any surprises this time.
To his disappointment, he would. In the elevator, three other men wearing suits stared at the assassin from the back. They were waiting to spring the trap.
To be continued.....
|Create Date : 12 ¾ÄÉÀÒ¤Á 2548 || ||
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SEA QUEST - Chapter 6 - 10
Fifteen hundred miles away in Santiago, a fat man was sitting on a couch in his suite at the Regal Pacific hotel, the most famous hotel in Santiago. He was dialing numbers on his suite phone trying to contact his working agent who was on another continent.
His name was Ressok Charhov, the Chairman of Yuron Oil, one of the largest and most infamous oil companies in Russia. The room he was occupying in was one of the three most luxurious Regal suites. It was a 70 square meter hotel room with marble bathrooms, Jacuzzi tubs, high-speed internet connections and a great view of Santiago.
For him nothing was too costly for luxury, when he first came to the hotel two days ago all the best suites were booked. The hotel offered him one of the Regal de Luxe suites, another type of luxurious suites. Charhov refused, and in the end, one of the hotel’s important guests had to be moved to another less credible suite. Charhov had connections with the high officials in the state oil enterprise and therefore he was a very influential businessperson.
Apparently, the unfortunate hotel guest was outraged and transferred to another hotel.
There was about to be a major conference in Santiago, a conference he deemed to be very important to his career.
Out the window, Charhov could enjoy the great view of Santiago as far as his eyes could see to the west, and to the east, there was the tip of the Andes Mountains. Down at ground level there was the Apoquindo Avenue, one of the most luxurious residential areas in Santiago. A kilometer away is the famous Las Condes City Hall. From distance was the National Arts Museum, one of the many modern and fine art museums in Santiago. For him, he did not come to enjoy these views, he just demanded for the best.
Years ago, Yuron and the other Russian oil companies produced a larger supply of oil than that of the Middle East countries. Subsequently, oil supplies in northern Russia began to dwindle and corruption in Yuron had increased. The company was charged for a large amount of taxes underpaid to the government. Business had been in the downturn ever since.
Despite difficulties he had been investing in a new operation, one that he believes would rescue his company from financial ruin.
His phone call took a bit long since it was a long distance call; the satellite soon connected the line from Santiago to Antarctica. On the Antarctic Peninsula had been ringing for almost 2 minutes when someone decided to answer. When the phone was picked up, Charhov could clearly hear the freezing wind outside.
“This is Ressok Charhov, I need to speak to the Mission Operator.” He said sternly being kept waiting.
“The Operator is not able to accept the call right now. Would you like to leave him a message?” The receiver asked.
“Last time I called, the Mission Operator said there was a delay in the operation.”
The delay was caused by a malfunction in the power surge generator, it has been fixed and the accelerator will be just fine.”
“I need the results ready in the next 2 days,” said Charhov,” everyone is asking me for it.”
The receiver coughed.
“That’s impossible; in 2 days what we get will not be complete. It may have no value whatsoever.”
“I invested half a billion dollars into this, and I will not have all of this money be frozen in the ice like your brain is.” Charhov shouted with disappointment.
“Yes sir, as a system commander, I’ll do whatever I can to complete the Operation Sea Quest on time.”
“Good, that’s what I expect.” Charhov put down the phone.
Sir Francis led Brian into a tunnel, the earthen walls and wooden frames similar to ones used in mines are the main supporter of the whole structure. It was a short tunnel so soon they were inside a dark room. Even with a few electric lights on the wall but he could slightly see shapes of objects lying around. The air was clearly full of moisture like most tombs. Sir Francis turned on an electric lamp he had with him and the entire room became visible.
The room was full of the old artifacts most are sea faring equipment. The objects were all dusted clean. Many boxes lying around, most of them already opened and compasses and astrolabes were the most visible items.
“Wow, there are a lot of stuffs here,” said Brian,” ceramic jars, belongings are over there at the corner. Look, there’s the coffin.”
“It isn’t King Tut’s tomb,” Sir Francis muttered,” but see what I have here, to me it’s better than a box of gold coins.”
He held up a small brown book from one of the boxes.
“It looks like a five hundred year old diary; this guy sure had a lot free time before he died.” Brian joked.
“It didn’t belong to the captain,” Sir Francis opened up the first page of the book.
Brian read the name on the paper. “Christopher Columbus,” he froze.
“This book records almost his entire life, something no historians know.” Sir Francis said, “And it says Columbus was once a pirate.”
Columbus’s life prior to his voyage to America is largely unknown. Some agreed with the conventional theory that he was the son of a shoe salesman as history records, some say that he was actually a pirate who fought Spain and that after a naval defeat Columbus swam to the shore and changed his identity, leaving his past life behind him. Now it seemed the second theory is more convincing. Yet it is still possible that both theories were correct, because Columbus was not only a great captain and explorer, he was also a remarkable businessperson. His demands to the king and queen of Spain made sure that he would get the profit that was worth his effort. One of the demands stated that he would get 10% of all the profit from the new lands and would be governor of all new lands discovered.
“How did the captain come to have the book?” Brian asked.
“The archeologists came up with two ideas. One, the captain was Columbus’s friend, or two he got it from a five hundred year old black market.”
After all the excitement, they walked out of the tomb and found Terri waiting outside.
“So how was the surprise?” She asked.
“It was great,” Brian answered.
“Well, you should get some sleep,” Sir Francis suggested, “soon we’ll be going to Antarctica, where you will see the next part of the discovery.”
The man Charhov kicked out of the luxurious suite was not any ordinary anonymous person. He was Christopher Graham, the Vice President of the Angstrovision Nanotechnology Company. Two years ago he had offered Yuron the early development of nanotech robots. Graham was anxious to see the new experimental robot be the first of its kind being used for safe and speedy clean up of the oil spills from super tankers or the giant oil rigs. The robot is aimed to free human from hazardous intoxication. However, with too much trust and eager to make a deal, Charhov slapped him in the face by stealing the design and then sold the technology to his allied company for 100 million dollars.
After that Yuron used the technology to actively explore underground oil reserves. Angstrovision almost fired Graham for this major mistake. Since then Graham was always seeking a chance for revenge on Charhov, the man who stole the robot that combined all of Graham’s work and research.
Graham opened up his laptop and turned it on. He was a terrific hi-tech planner and after the Yuron incident he tried to make as little mistake as possible. On his computer screen, it was a map of the Regal Pacific Hotel.
Sitting opposite to him was a fat man with grey and black hair in uniform he was General Alvaro Fernandez. His name is a symbol for his personality. Alvaro is Spanish for cautious. Alvaro has been the leading general of DINA, Chile’s brutal secret police intelligence agency. DINA or the National Intelligence Directorate was set up in 1974 at the time of the dictator Pinochet was in power.
Alvaro lit up his cigar and spoke to Graham.
“Is the assassin at the hotel yet?”
“Yes,” Graham answered and smile. “This satellite system can probably track him anywhere. The assassin is in the lobby and looks like he’s checking in.”
“K10 is one of our best operatives; he’ll make the kill in no time.” said Alvaro as he put his cigar down.
“Our target may be protected, are you sure this will work?” Graham asked.
“Sinior Graham, our organization has been set up for three decades. Do you think that we have not done assassinations before?”
“I trust the resources of your organization, but considering the circumstances...” Graham paused.
“Thirty years ago we and your President Nixon government ordered the CIA to do something to stop Salvador Allende from assuming power,” Alvaro explained,” He won the presidential election but Nixon wanted the communist overthrown. We helped the CIA assassinate him. So I think DINA can assassinate any guy staying in the hotel.”
“Alright, I trust your methods.”
“Trust is very important,” said Alvaro.
Graham again looked at the laptop.
“K10 is now in the elevator, the target is on the 15th floor, the kill is about to be made.”
Brian, Terri and Gordon followed Sir Francis to the V22 Osprey once more. This time the plane was different, it was fitted with skis for ice landing. There were ten people getting on the plane, everyone was equipped with polar survival gears and a thick heat insulator coat.
“We’re going to see the initial discovery,” said Gordon.
Soon they all boarded the plane and it took of vertically into the night sky. After an hour, they got above the clouds; there was no moonlight but extremely cold darkness outside.
Because of all the excitement, Brian completely forgot about Ceclaro’s murder.
“Mr. Francis, yesterday Dr. Ceclaro was murdered in Rio,” said Brian, “The police traced a call made by Ceclaro and they said he called you.”
Sir Francis was silent and it took him a long while to make an answer.
“We were close friends, and I have to say I am truly sorry about the dreadful incident.”
“And the call?” said Gordon.
“He wanted to tell me that his most important research has just been stolen. And you Mr. Friscit and Dr. Halle are both in serious danger.”
“The stone disk,” Gordon murmured with fear, “the killer knows we saw it.”
“But there couldn’t be anything so controversial about it, it was just a calendar.” said Terri worriedly.
“What sort of calendar is it?” Brian asked with a calm curious voice.
Gordon recalled the perfect example for Brian’s question.
“You know about the Mayan and Aztec calendar right?” said Gordon.
“I’ve seen it, the calendar that began in 3000 BC and ends in 2012.”
“Correct,” Terri spoke, “calendar is extremely advance. It only uses 4-5 characters, numbers or whatever they were.”
Brian knew she was right, it was incredibly advanced the Olmec-Mayan calendar uses small ticks for counting numbers on their calendar and an elaborate system for counting large numbers. The ancient Central American calendars were also used for finding the positions of celestial bodies in the night sky. Some believes they were used to calculate the positions of stars more than a million years old before the invention of the calendar itself.
“Let’s all calm down,” said Brian with a soothing voice, “How was this archeological site actually found. Who would have built it in Antarctica?”
Sir Francis took out a printed copy of the Piri Reis map.
“Now Brian, I think when you first saw this map you were so overwhelmed by excitement that you didn’t realize there was something important written on it.”
Sir Francis pointed to a certain location on Antarctica map that actually had two small words written on it.
“What does it say?” Brian asked.
“Bakir Sumalak, Turkish language for copper and water.”
“There’s a copper mine on the Antarctic continent?”
“Not exactly,” Sir Francis answered, “but close.”
“Brian, you should go to sleep, we all are too tired, no point seeing a major discovery if you’re gonna sleep in the sight of it.” Gordon suggested.
They were flying midway between Cape Horn and Antarctica. There were no clouds above the sea. They could only see chunks of ice floating in the ocean. It was winter, and in the winter, the sea around Antarctica froze, making the continent triple in size. Looming in the distant was sight of land, a cold icy land that will not see the sun for 3 more months.
The assassin, codenamed K10 was in the elevator connecting a gunshot silencer to his magazine-fed handgun. He was going to do it exactly as he had been trained. It was going to be a quick and silent kill. At the 15th floor, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. K10 walked out with his pistol safely hidden in his jacket. He looked around to see if there was anyone around. Then he glanced at the room numbers. The target was in the room 1512. He scanned on the sign, the room number 1505 was on the right and the room1506 was on the left of the elevator, so the room 1512 should not be far down the corridor to the left.
K10 walked quickly on the red carpet but did not yet pull out his pistol. At last, he was in front of the room. Each room in this hotel was considered a suite and the doors are quite far apart so he assumed that the suites were quite large. It was important to note on every detail because the size of the room determined the number of hiding places that the target could suddenly sneak on him and the time the target needs, possibly to fetch a weapon. A target and the assassin aiming the guns at each other was obviously the assassin’s worst nightmare. Even if the assassin is a pro and was more likely to make a fatal shot on the target, it was a chance not worth taking. This was the reason careful planning regarding the surrounding environment could be more important than the killing method itself.
On the door knob hung with the sign,” do not disturb”. K10 knew if he was lucky the target might be busy or if better asleep. Chances are he could surprise him. K10 took out his pistol with one hand and with the other used a lock pick to unlock the door. He gave a slight nudge with his feet and the door smoothly opened into the room. The target did not use a chain lock, the infiltration was fairly simpler than he imagined.
He jumped into the room and there was nobody there, the room looked clean. The furniture was tidy, the bed was made up, absolutely no sign of anyone staying in the room.
DINA said the target was a biologist, he thought, but there was no sign of any scientific equipment in the room here. No smells, no mess neither on the floor nor on the furniture. Then he heard the sound of running water in bathroom. The biologist must be taking a shower, he thought. He ran into the bathroom, finding nothing but a running tap. He started to realize that this was all a trap; nothing had gone throughly as he planned. Knowing that something was wrong, he decided it was better to flee, the situation was getting unpredictable.
K10’s move displayed as a red dot in the computerised map of the 15th floor. Gragam was watching this on his laptop and the satellite image clearly showed K10 running towards the door.
“He made the kill,” said Graham,” and he’s getting away very quickly.”
Alvaro glanced at the monitor and panicked.
“He’s not supposed to do that, all our operatives are trained to not run away from a kill. It creates suspicion.”
“There could be something wrong; I’ll change the image to thermal viewing. It’ll register anything with a temperature higher than 35 degrees Celsius.”
Graham switched to thermal imaging. The previous red dot changed to a redish-orange blob. However, there was something wrong, outside the room was two men trying to get into the room. Graham then called K10 on the radio transmitter.
“K10, this is Chris Graham calling. There are two men, possibly guards trying to break entry. Find an alternate exit, repeat find an alternate exit.”
K10 stopped running and knew that other than the door there only one way out. He still held his gun firmly with his right hand and with his left hand; he took out a thin strong nilon rope. He attached it to a caribina on his belt and took a retractable hook out of his jacket.
On his monitor, Graham saw orange-yellow shapes enter the room. K10 held out his arm and ran backwards. The two intruders followed and thrusted their arms forward. He knew that gunshots were being fired. Then the image on the monitor started to blur.
“What’s happening?” Alvaro asked curiously.
“The satellite just orbitted beyond the image transmission radius, it’s all up to him now.”
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SEA QUEST - Chapter 1-4
In the Museum of Natural History, New York City, Dr Terri Halle stepped onto the stage. Camera flash blurred the scene and Dr Halle walked towards the podium in the center of the stage. As her mouth got closer to the microphone the audience began to move their attention to the beautiful scientist in front of them.
For years she had anticipated for this moment, but when it came she was really nervous. For the information she was about to present would shock the world with proof of something they had denied for so long. Thus she began.
“Ladies and gentlemen, today after one month of data analysis which NASA and several other federal organizations have contributed.” she began.
“We are sure both of NASA’s satellite pictures of the area around Cape Horn and the carbon 14 checks by the National Committee of Science that the tomb in Cape Horn does exist and the artifacts are authentic. Other information will be presented at the national press conference on July 19th or four days from now. But today, to the excitement of many theorists, one of their extraordinary claims is proven correct.”
“In 2002 at a conference in Spain a man had suggested something greatly intriguing. He had a hypothesis about why all the great sea farers of Europe had maps of where they were going. These explorers include Columbus, Da Gama, the man who discovered the route from Europe to India past Cape Hope and Magellan commander of the fleet that sailed around the world.”
“The information we have will change the history books forever.”
Half a world away in Rio de Janeiro, an archeologist, Dr Reggan Ceclaro is laying on the floor shot in the chest by a large man wearing a thick jacket.
Ceclaro was an ambitious biologist known worldwide. He was sixty years old and his work in the anatomy of viruses had helped revolutionize medicine. After that a picture of him holding his mustache was on every single
science magazine in North America. He had a lot to gain from this new discovery, and he just realized some body else was going to take the prize.
“Who else has the information about the press conference?” his murderer shouted.
“No one, I haven’t released the info yet.” Ceclaro said as he struggled for a gulp of air.
“You’re lying!” the man in the jacket lifted the gunpoint to Ceclaro’s head.
“Alright, Dr Terri Halle has my information.”
“And who else?” the killer questioned on.
“Gordon Friscit.” Ceclaro muffled.
Satisfied, the murderer walked away out of the building.
Ceclaro took out his cell phone, he knew this would be the last call he would ever make.
It was a common ritual for Dr Brian Right to be up working late in the night on Saturday, normally at around 2 a.m. in the morning. He was the head of archeology in the National Geographic Society and he knew there were few discoveries that actually meant something to the organization. Although few discoveries topped out the old ones, Dr. Right always showed great anticipation and excitement for all archeological findings. He was a young man in his twenties and for his age he’s very high up in the office ranks.
When Brian came to the National Geographic Society after he finished from College, he got the job as an editor, then when he got his first chance to write an article about the secret history of Egypt his boss immediately recognized his talent. Finally, over the last few years he with his hard work came through to the office as the Head of Archeology.
But this would prove a different night, a night he would never forget.
At 1:36 am his cell phone beeped. It was unusual because less than ten people knew his number. For him the cell phone was just a way to be up to date instead of looking like one of the ancient artifacts he examined.
Brian rose from his chair next to the studying table and walked towards his cellular on the book shelf.
He pressed the ‘receive’ button.
"Hello, is this professor Brian Right?" it was a woman's voice.
"Yes, this is professor Right speaking," he answered.
"I assume you have heard of Dr Terri Halle before."
Of course, Brian thought almost everyone in the archeological society knows what she likes to eat.
"Right, she's the quack scientist that keeps telling people to change their historical records." he answered firmly.
"Professor, I have a reason to tell people to correct their historical records not to change it. My ideas may be unorthodox but I have proof that much of the history we learn and remember today is inaccurate."
Brian froze, it was she, and his greeting was horrible.
"Now we must get to business. Have you watched the press conference on television?"
"Certainly not, it's two in the morning. I will watch the replay in the morning. Now what the hell do you want?"
Terri tries to make her voice sound as calm as possible.
"Well, since you haven't been watching the press conference I will have to tell you what it was about. It is very controversial to ancient and medieval history."
Brian wasn't half excited.
"Recently NASA satellite has found a structure buried around Cape Horn, South America. I and a team from the National Science Foundation were sent to excavate the site. It was a tomb, built for men who died while the Portuguese explored the area in the 14th century."
Brian was getting more and more interesting, his instinct was telling him there was something important about this discovery.
"In the tomb, lot artifacts were found, pottery, things that are almost nonexistent in the continent… and a map."
"What map?" Brian bursted out in curiosity.
"That's the surprise; meet me at New York international airport in two hours. We have a flight arranged for Rio."
"Last thing," Brian said, "From where on earth did you get my phone number?"
"That would be Dr Friscit." she answered
The line went dead.
Gordon! Brian thought, he couldn't believe his best friend would do such a thing.
Brian climbed up the stairs to the third floor to his boss’s office. Mr. Howard, who had been with the society for forty years, was also working a late night shift.
“Excuse me Mr. Howard, may I speak to you.”
“Yes old boy, what’s the matter?” said Mr. Howard from his desk.
Brian walked in and sat on the chair in front of him.
“Have you been watching the press conference from the museum of natural history?” Brian asked
“In fact I have been watching it, the tomb at Cape Horn, the tip of South America discovered by a satellite that’s used for finding mass burial sites in civil war countries. Nice thing the satellite passed over it.”
“Dr Terri Halle just called, she asked me to go see the discovery at Cape Horn.”
“That would be great,” Mr. Howard stood up,” the press conference didn’t really offer too many details. If you go to Cape Horn and see the discovery for your self, we’ll be the first people to publish the full story.”
“An honor, Mr. Howard.”
“Consider it as another type of work; you have a week to get the story.”
After clearing the matter with his boss Brian walked out of the National Geographic Society office on 711 of the Fifth Avenue and hailed for a cab. Brian was not aware that he was about to walk into one of the most controversial mysteries the world has ever known.
At the airport Brian met Dr Halle, a thirty-five year old physicist who glanced at Brian with her emerald green eyes.
“Come on Mr. Right, we must not be late.” She said with a smile.
“Is there a flight straight to Cape Horn?” Brian asked.
“Apparently not, but first we must go to Rio de Janeiro. There is some unfinished business I must attend to.”
Eight hours later Brian and Terri arrived at Santos Dumont Airport named after the aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro.
"So, if the discovery is in Cape Horn. What are we doing here in Rio?"
Terri hesitated a little before she answered.
"You see, one of my colleagues. Dr Reggan Ceclaro, the team leader actually had been murdered, and the Brazilian police wants to interrogate his coworkers. Also, I just want to know why he was shot because the killer didn't take any of his possessions."
"Where exactly was he murdered?"
"In the botanical garden last night, just a few hours before I called you."
"Heaven knows what he could have been doing talking with plants late into the night." Brian murmured.
In the airport car park there was someone waiting for them, it was Gordon Friscit, Brian's old partner. Since Brian was so young and not even thirty, Gordon who had been alive since President Kennedy's assassination he often treated Brian like a kid. And even though Gordon had a different career altogether they became best friends. Gordon was a geologist but he does have his interests or as he calls it "hobbies" in paleontology or in another word "fossil hunting".
"Good Morning signor Right, welcome to my home town of Rio deJaneiro." he said in a strong Portuguese accent.
"Nice job protecting my privacy there buddy. Now why the hell have you brought me halfway across the world for?"
"Well, you are the head of archeology from the National Geographic Society. We figured that you could give our discovery some credibility."
"She didn't do a very good job with providing me the details." Brian pointed at Terri.
"Hop on and we will tell you all about it, or at least what we want you to know." Gordon said in an irritating way that made Terri think about government's alien cover up movies.
"Gordon likes to tell these annoying practical jokes that aren't really funny." Brian whispered to Terri.
Rio de Janeiro was really the name of a state in Brazil but the capital city is just called Rio.
On their way south from the airport they passed the long beach in Guanabara Bay that curved inland, full of tourists and yachts Guanabara Bay is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Further south the Sugar Loaf Mountain that extended into the bay blocked the view of the long beach beyond. Apartments and hotels dominate the city’s skyline. But still, from Avenue Viera Souto on the shoreline, the far inland statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcodavo Mountain can be seen facing the Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Behind them was the Maracana stadium that can seat 200,000 people.
"Just how far away is the botanical garden?" Brian asked.
"We are driving on the Avenue Vieira Souto, so it should be about twenty minutes." Gordon answered.
"Though the city isn't that huge of a metropolis, it is beautiful, especially on a sunny day like this one, don't you think?"
"Just swell." Brian responded.
"You should wait until you see the carnival." Gordon suggested.
Soon they were at the Rio Grande Botanical garden. The old colonial style building was surrounded by a large garden. There were police "do not enter" signs and plastic strips fencing the building. They entered the building where more than 7,200 species of plants were kept.
"It's called the Living Museum, "Gordon sighed," and someone had to
die in it."
Then a detective passed by and said,
"Poor fella, he was murdered in the Vegetal Anatomy lab. Probably he was testing the results from the Geo-processing laboratory."
They followed the detective into the Vegetal Anatomy lab. There, they were stunned by the sight of an old scientist lying on the ground littered with broken shards of glass. Ceclaro's body had wounds that looked like it was caused by the glass and beneath the red soaked lab coat there was a bullet hole in his left chest.
After a while the detective broke the silence,
"Although this doesn't look like a robbery, something was actually taken away. There was blood on his inside coat pocket, the place where blood can never reach. The killer was a professional, didn't even leave a millimeter of his fingerprints."
"You said the killer took nothing," Brian turned to look at Terri.
"Well, Ceclaro always kept a CD which has all his works and research." said Terri.
"Do you have any idea about what's on the disk?"
"No," Gordon answered, looking serious, "he never gave a clue about what secrets he kept locked up in that disk."
"Sorry to interrupt," said the detective, "but we have determined that these wounds aren't caused by the glass. On close inspections, it looks more to be shrapnel wounds."
Brian, Gordon and Terri now turned their attention to the bloody wounds on the old man. There was something strange, it was similar to the wounds soldiers get from battle or mine fields. There was definitely something peculiar and it appeared that the murderer and the victim were hiding something from them.
Gordon was resting his eyes in the waiting room when Brian walked out of the toilet and spoke,
"The police found Ceclaro's cell phone and it seems he actually called someone before he died, they traced it to a man named Francis Duncan. You know him?"
Terri walked into the room after finishing the interrogation.
"Sir Francis is one of our financiers," Gordon answered. "Our Executive Manager actually. He offered money for half of the project."
“And the other half?” said Brian.
“The other half came from many private businesses, a lot came from a Russian Oil Company, most companies are seeking fame and fortune.
"Where is he now?" Brian asked suspiciously.
"He's in Cape Horn, soon he will be going back to Santiago to prepare for the major press conference." said Terri, "But he couldn't possibly orchestrate this murder, he's too busy to be a suspect."
"I was wondering something, Dr. Terri, what branch of science do you work with?" Brian muffled.
"I'm a physicist; they hired me for my knowledge in biology and carbon dating. What could this possibly have anything to do with the murder?"
"Good, you're not a forensic expert, so suspect is still a suspect." said Brian.
"The old boy's getting grumpy. Well, since Sir Francis Duncan was the last person who talked to Ceclaro. I think he is our only chance to solve this murder case." said Gordon.
"So let's head to Cape Horn, we should meet Sir Francis there. Anyway we didn't intend to bring you to see a dead guy, it was our business. The police requested that we be interrogated. Our discovery is waiting." said Terri.
An hour later, Brian and Terri were at the Santos Dumont airport following Gordon into hangar number 3. In the middle of the hangar, there was a small jet with its engines running.
“Looks like the copilot got the plane ready to take off.” Said Gordon.
"Aren't we supposed to take a flight to Buenos Aires and then ride a ship to Cape Horn?" Brian asked.
"Ain't a good idea, "Gordon answered," that will take days. But with this jet we can fly straight to Usuaia, the closest town to Cape Horn."
They boarded the plane and the hangar gate started to open. There were other people on the jet; most of them were archeologists who have just arrived from other countries.
“Hi,” said Brian,” Did you all come to see the discovery?”
“Yeah, let’s see what’s so special about this darn tomb.” Said Dr. Lawrance who was a hairy archeologist from Germany.
"God, what were you doing?" said another archeologist, "We've been waiting here for almost an hour."
"Visiting an old dead friend," Gordon answered.
"This personal jet is a favor from Sir Francis." said Terri.
“Rich guy”, Brian thought.
As Brian and Terri were settling for the take off Gordon walked towards the cockpit.
"Gordon, the toilet is at the back." Brian called.
"No, I'm not going to the toilet, I'm the pilot.”
"Are you kidding?" Brian murmured.
"Definitely not." Gordon walked into the cockpit and closed the door.
"He almost killed his brother ten years ago with a pesticide plane. He used to be a bush pilot; I sure hope his skills have improved since then." Brian said to Terri.
“I’m sure every thing will work out just fine.” Said Terri.
Then Gordon’s voice came out from the loud speaker.
"Say farewell people. We are about to leave Rio de Janeiro, or the real meaning ‘The river in January’ as the Portuguese said when they came here in 1502."
Everyone knew that the Portuguese actually mistook the Guanabara Bay for a mouth of a large river when they first came to Brazil.
Two hours later, the jet was about to land in Usuia on the island of Tiera Del Fuego, and Brian saw the straight well kept runway before him. Near the landing strip was Ushuia, a medium-size town, the southern-most town on earth. Ushuia was a reminder of the days of Antarctic exploration, the town’s maritime museum is one of the famous destinations in Tiera Del Fuego.
"Nice landing strip, do a lot of people come here?" He asked.
"Yep, Ushuia is a tourist town, for most people this is the last stop before heading south to Antarctica." Terri answered, "But this isn't a tourist landing strip, we built it."
“Wow?”, Brian thought, “this discovery must be very important.”
As the plane got closer to the ground Brian started to see the fishing boats and tourist boats on the rocky shoreline. In the town, most of the buildings were single-storey and made of wood. From the distance, next to the runway, a strange looking airplane was visible.
"Strap your seatbelt, we're about to have a bit of a rough landing." said Gordon enthusiastically on the loud speaker.
Brain felt relieved after the smooth landing. Knowing the freezing temperature outside he quickly grabbed the winter gear from the cabin and put them on. After getting off the plane, he could clearly see activity in the town. There were hundreds of tourists walking through the streets, and most of them had camping gear on their backpacks. It was July and a winter in the southern hemisphere, the temperature in Ushuia was just a few degrees below zero.
"Sir," Gordon shouted to Brian, "No day dreaming, we must move on to our next mode of transport."
Everyone followed Gordon towards another airplane, but it wasn't a jet, it was a rotor plane. The red and white airplane simply looks like a world war II design, except that it had got only two rotors one on the end of each wing. After everyone got on, Gordon came to sit next to Brian.
"Aren't you the pilot?" Brian asked.
"Nah, I don't know how to fly this type of airplane."
"Don't tell me you built a runway in Cape Horn too."
"Well we wanted to," said Gordon, "but it is a national park so we built it in Ushuia instead."
“If there’s no landing strip, how do we land?” Brian shrieked in terror.
Through out his life Brian had always been afraid of plane crashes after the time when he was age 13 and visited Gordon’s sugar cane plantation north of Sao Paulo. As Gordon was trying to land, his pesticide plane’s right wing crashed into the barn where his brother and Brian were working. This was the reason he chose to publish at home in America instead of taking the job of going to do research trips in other countries. Over the past few years he started to forget those horrible things, but now he felt his fears and memories coming quickly back to him.
“Brian,” Gordon said comfortingly,” I know I almost killed you fourteen years ago but have you ever heard the concept of a helicopter and an airplane put together?”
“The aircraft is one of a kind, V 22 Osprey. It’s a tilt rotor aircraft,” said Terri, ”we take off from Ushuia as an airplane, and we land in Cape Horn as a helicopter. It’s perfect as a transport aircraft; it’s faster and carries a heavier load than a helicopter. There are now 20 archeologists on board, and the plane itself can handle 24 people.”
Brian breathed in and out and tried to be as calm as possible.
The plane was fifteen thousand feet into the air so it could easily pass over any snowcap mountains on the island. Below them the thick evergreen forest covered the plain. As the plane headed towards south the thick forest started to clear up until on the shoreline there was only grass and rocks. Soon they left the island of Tiera Del Fuego behind them. The sea around Cape Horn was a treacherous place for sailing ships due to the waves caused by the difference in water level where the Atlantic and Pacific meet.
The sky was filled with storm clouds and the wind was roaring up the icy coast. The grey sky reminded them of how horrible it would be to sail up the cape four hundred years ago.
After flying pass the coast of the island, the captain’s voice came on the loud speaker.
“Passengers and crew, we will be seeing some turbulence. Please put on your seatbelts. And we advise that before exiting the aircraft it would be wise to put on your water-resistant coats, because the temperature outside is -15 degrees Celsius. And it could get colder if it rains.”
As the plane lowered altitude, the cabin started to shake.
“I have heard that when airplanes lower the altitude and speed into a turbulence against the wind. The wind can actually topple the plane over.” said Gordon enthusiastically.
Brian was getting scared again.
“You know what,” Terri sputtered,” I am really wondering how you became his best friend.”
“I was just kidding.” Gordon whispered to Brian.
Soon the aircraft landed vertically on a flat piece of land. As they came down, Brian could see the narrow peninsula of rock extending into the sea. Cape Horn, named after the home town of a Dutch captain who first rounded the cape in the 1600’s.
Surrounding them were nothing but grass and shrubs. Further down the coast there were an excavation site and a tunnel leading into the mountain. Next to the excavation site there were tents and archeologists studying hundred years’ old artifacts.
“Not as many people as I expected.” Brian exclaimed.
“Don’t worry,” said Terri,” you’ll see them soon enough.
Next to the tunnel was a bearded man in his sixties wearing a brown coat and a black hat.
Gordon walked towards the man and introduced him to Brian.
“Sir Francis, this is Brian Right from the national geographic society.”
“A pleasure to meet you Mr. Right, I believe you have an interest in publishing as much of what we’re doing down here at Cape Horn as possible.” Sir Francis spoke in a thick British accent.
“I am really wondering why you are backing up the excavation,” said Brian,” There isn’t any profit from funding this excavation.”
“I am man of archeology Mr. Right,” Sir Francis answered sternly, ”Anyway money isn’t a problem to me, and I expect it never will. Since you’ve traveled all day without really knowing anything about the discovery yet, and you’re probably very hungry since my jet didn’t serve any food. We should proceed to dinner then you shall see the discovery.”
“That’s perfectly fine.” Brian responded.
Sir Francis was an old English gentleman who was greatly interested in archeology. He had received a cultural study in PhD from Oxford University. Although Sir Francis inherited much of his fortune he was also a very successful businessman.
Brian, Terri, and Gordon followed Sir Francis to a large temporary shack overlooking the sea.
|Create Date : 20 àÁÉÒÂ¹ 2548 || ||
|Last Update : 24 àÁÉÒÂ¹ 2548 7:07:35 ¹.
|Counter : 218 Pageviews.
NO HOME WORK
I think there should be no homework because I want people to have more time to substantiate their imagination. Because imagination can be very useful other than knowledge. Imagination mixed with knowledge can lead to much success.
There are the good imagination improving things that you could do instead of homework. For example reading because it gives you ideas and a glimpse into another person’s imagination. And it also teaches you to look around and sources of imagination that you like.
Computer is also a very knowledgeable thing if you don’t waste you time on it and find the good part that it holds. Like internet has many good knowledge available to you. Computer games that test the skill of knowledge, imagination, creativity or others can be very useful games.
TV can help kids know and understand better English. Cartoons can increase you sense of humor and can make your world more interactive. TV shows can give you lots of knowledge that can bring you deeper to the understanding of the universe and how it works or the laws of physics.
Now another thing is writing journal because it is like a test to show and bring your invisible imagination to the existence of words. It can give an ability to build a world that does not exist but is a world in your imagination.
Well, another reason is that children need free time to play after the long time they were struggling (sometimes this phenomenon may happen) at school. It is play time or time to have a rest. They could watch TV, play computer, play with toys that would be lots of fun. Anyway children xxx if got so much homework would be tormented to death.
So I have shown that homework can be a waste of time instead of practice. I even wonder why there should be homework to exist. An angry mob could be formed if too much homework come to exist in the world.
|Create Date : 12 àÁÉÒÂ¹ 2548 || ||
|Last Update : 24 àÁÉÒÂ¹ 2548 6:46:10 ¹.
|Counter : 195 Pageviews.