Squidzilla 3. July 17, 2019. Jessica

Sears Institute

“There’s a call for you, Dr. Octavian, from a Captain George Mellon.  He said he’s Navy and calling from the Pentagon,” his secretary Alice said.

“Pentagon?  Let me go to my office and take it from there.” 

“Hello Captain Mellon.  This is Wilhelm Octavian.  What can I do for you?”

“Dr. Octavian?  Well, it all depends.  I’ve been making inquiries among marine scientists and your name kept coming up.”

“In a good way I hope.  What were you inquiring about?”

“The Navy Department would like to tap into your expertise.”


“To go further would require a background check and, if that pans out, a top secret clearance.  I’m afraid that’s all I can tell you at this time, but I assure you it will not involve any weapons work if that would help, and it would be in the area of standard marine research.  If you are willing to undergo the stringent background check that is required for a top secret clearance, we can proceed.”

“Top secret clearance?  Now you’ve got me intrigued.  Give me twenty-four hours to think about it.”

“Same time tomorrow, doctor?”

“That would be fine.”

Jessica Turner

Elizabeth Turner’s Visiphone chimed and the screen brightened to show her daughter Jessica’s face. 

“Hi Mom.”

“Jessica.  You’re calling early.  Are you all right?  You look like something’s on your mind.  It’s only been a month and a half since you lost Greg.  Did something happen?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say something happened.  I missed my period so I got one of those test kits.  It’s positive.”

“Oh Jessica.”


“Oh Jessie.”

“I thought I’d better let you know.”

“Oh baby.  What are you going to do?”

“I thought a long time about what I would do if it were positive before running the test.  I decided  that I’m going to keep the baby.”

“Jessica—please, please think about it and be sure.  You’re all alone now.”

“It’s Greg’s baby.  It’s all I’ll ever have of him, Mom.  I’m sure.”

“Will you tell Greg’s parents in Hong Kong?”

“They weren’t very happy when Greg told them about me.  Especially his mother.  Their only son in love with a “foreigner.”  No.  Not right now.  If all goes well, I’ll think about it again after the baby comes.”

“How about work, Jessie?”

“As an analyst, I’ve been working part of the time from home anyway.  I spoke to my manager and he said the bank had no problem if I needed to increase the number of hours that time I work from home.”

“You also do have that large insurance settlement from the policy that Greg bought, so you don’t even have to work if you don’t want to.”

“It’s almost as if Greg had a premonition……”

“Oh Jessie, I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“……it’s okay Mom..….”

Sears Institute

“Well Carlos,” said Dr. Octavian, “I think your research is going to be going in a different direction now.  I was just awarded a large grant to study…ah…things”

“Things?  What things?  And I didn’t know that you’d applied for a grant.  Private foundation or National Institute of Sciences?” 

“Department of Defense,” said Dr. Octavian with a smug smile.

“DOD!  Since when did they become interested in—what did you say?”

“I can’t say what for now.  Are you willing to have your past closely scrutinized if I put you in for a security clearance?  If you agree and pass, then we’ll talk.”

“A security clearance before you can even talk?  Wow!  Well, I’ve got nothing to hide, but you’re going to leave me hanging like this?”

“Same thing happened to me when I was first contacted.  But I hope that you get cleared so that we can talk and plan.  I can tell you now that this could be just an incredible project.  It is a very generous grant.”

“Contacted.  That means they sought you out.”

“Could be.”

“But what about?”

“Sorry, can’t say.”

And that’s all you’re going to tell me?”

“Get cleared first, then we’ll talk.”