CNN science report:
Marine scientists are puzzled that the annual count of migrating Grey Whales along the California coast has plateaued after showing five years of steady recovery following the Great Global Warming die-off resulting from the melting of polar ice caps. Since water temperatures are once again stabilizing with the success of the program to reflect more solar radiation back into space and cool the planet, the supply of krill, the whales’ primary food source, had also begun to increase and was thought to account for the recovery of the whale population, until it was noted to level during the past two years.
At the Sears Institute, Wilhelm Octavian and Carlos Vierra sat in Octavians’s office that looked out over the Pacific from atop a high bluff, trying to decide what to do next. Their investigation seemed to have hit a dead end.
“The light display no longer seems to interest the USOs,” said Carlos, “Although we do attract other deep sea creatures. Now what?”
“It’s not a total waste,” replied Dr. Octavian. Other Institute scientists are studying the videos because of those other creatures the lights have lured into video range.”
“But not USOs.”
“The display flashes the same sequence over and over again. Perhaps we should change the flash sequence to a random non-repeating pattern,” said Dr. Octavian. “Something new for them to see.”
“We’ve viewed the videos and talked about the possibility that the flashes were communications between the USO’s. If they were, our flashes would be just nonsense to them. Unless the random pattern were to by chance to mean something insulting to them.”
“Or,” said Dr. Octavian, “Perhaps we could use the pattern of the flashes that we recorded from the USOs when they did come to the sub the first time. Maybe that will get their attention, that is if the flashes actually were communications between them.”
“Why not? Let’s try it,” replied Carlos. “I can change the programming. And then if it attracts the USO’s again, we’ll record every flash they send out.”
Jessica Turner and Cecie.
“You and Grandma Chao had quite a long conversation,” said Jessica as she turned off the Visiphone after Lily Chao said ‘zai jain’ and her image faded from the screen. “Maybe I need to take Chinese lessons so I can understand what you two are talking about.”
“She wants to know when we can go to visit her and Grandpa,” said Ceci.
“We were only there two months ago, Ceci,” replied Jessie. “And what do you call her in Mandarin again?”
“Nainai, and Grandpa is Yeye,” replied Little Cecie.
“I told Auntie Ceci that we’ll go with her when she has her break from school,” Jessica said .
That’s six weeks from now.”
“That’s so long to wait. And when can I go to school, Mommy?“ asked Ceci.
“You’re only 23 months old, Ceci.” And at the rate you’re going I wouldn’t know what grade or school you’d fit into, thought Jessie.
The unmanned Institute sub had gathered an audience behind it as it towed its light display, amended to repeat the light flashes that had been recorded previously, through the deep waters where no light penetrated from the surface.
“Small hard whale talk about itself,” flashed Number 22. “Small hard whale say all same me-you talk about hard whale before.”
“No make sense,” agreed Number 9.
‘Not no make sense,” flashed Number 15. “Talk make sense because now me-you understand.”
“No make sense,” corrected Number 9, “Because it only say what me-you say when we came see before. If can talk why no say something else.”
In the escort ship above, the Institute staff with Wili and Carlos crowded around the screen displaying the video feed from the sub. “It worked, Wili!. It brought the USO’s back,” said Carlos.
“But we still can’t get a picture of them,” replied Wili.
“I’m recording everything,” said Carlos.
“Light talk like me-you but no look like me-you,” said Number 31.
“No look like fish, no look like whale, no look like something me-you see,” agreed Number 9.
“How can talk?” said Number 22, “Even if no make sense.”
“Me go touch, see,” said Number 22
“No go,” said Number 9. “ Know AWT (above water thing – i.e. humans) use light catch small me-you (Humboldt squids). Now watch better. Swim more back.”
“If no say more, me-you go?” said Number 15.
“Me-you follow more. Wait see,” replied Number 9.
“We have a lot of recording of the light flashes now, Wili,” said Carlos. “I can reprogram the light display with these and see if they will come in closer.”
“Why don’t you do that,” said Dr. Octavian.