Squidzilla 13. Oct. 14, 2019.

DOD Communications.  Top Secret.  Secure phone line.

Secretary of Navy to Secretary of Defense:  

Our Marine consultant, Dr. Wilhelm Octavian has provided positive proof in a spectacular video that USOs are some form of giant squid.  I have thanked him for his services and terminated our contract with him.  He plans to publish his findings.  I imagine this will create quite a stir in the scientific community and be a real feather in his cap or his dive mask.

Secretary of Defense to Secretary of Navy:  

Permission for public disclosure should come from DOD at a time when we deem it best.  I would require him to hold off on any public announcement or publication until such time as we give approval.  I believe this clause is in the contract that he signed.

Secretary of Navy to Secretary of Defense:  

And the reason for this?

Secretary of Defense to Secretary of Navy:  

We have learned that the existence of USOs is also known to our potential rivals and they have been as worried as we about their identity and nationality.  They, of course suspect us.  Let’s let them sweat a while longer before we make the announcement.

Secretary of Navy to Secretary of Defense:  

Good one.  I’ll ask George Mellon to inform the good doctor, but not tell him the reason why.

Sears Institute.

Two weeks later and back at the Institute in his office, Dr. Octavian reviewed the DNA report he just received.  “The DNA confirms that the animal we saw is plain old Architeuthis.  Nothing else,” he said to Carlos, sounding disappointed.

  “Well, at least we’ll get a couple of papers out of what we already have, said Carlos.  “And then we have the huge mystery to investigate of why and how they grow so large.  There’ll be enough work to do for years.”

“Well, we’ll have to do it without DOD funding.  I submitted our report with video to them and once we answered their question about what USOs were, which was all that they wanted, they terminated our grant.  I’ll send them the DNA results as an addendum.”

“Then at least we can write up the papers and submit for publication.”

“Unfortunately not.  Or at least not yet.  DOD wants to keep the discovery quiet for now.”

“What!  Why?”

“I wasn’t privy to that discussion,” said Dr. Octavian.  “Captain Mellon said that they don’t plan an indefinite freeze and he will let me know when we can proceed.  In the meantime we can write up the papers and have them ready to go.”

“I guess in the end, the one who pays gets to call the shots.  But what about Albert the captain talking?”

“Mellon said they have already sent a person from Naval Intelligence to speak to him.”

Jessica Turner.

The high levee and promenade along where Pacific Beach had existed before the Great Global Warming and ocean level rise, now protected Mission Bay and had become a favorite place for strollers and runners, with places for picnics on the platforms that extended out from the promenade, over the waves that lapped and at times crashed against the concrete face of the long levee.   

“My mother says that she remembers when the sky was a deep blue on clear days,” said Jessie.  “Even in Southern California.  Now when it’s blue like today, it’s more a kind of milky blue.”

“Be thankful when we see blue at all.  That’s only when the climate control computers allow the low and high cloud covers to dissipate for a while and let the sun through,” said Carlos.

They watched Little Ceci race ahead of them on the promenade to an empty picnic table cantilevered out over the water.  “I got us a table,” she shouted.

“Good job, Ceci,” called Jessie as they approached, Carlos carrying the backpack full of the picnic fixings that Jessica had prepared.  “But don’t climb up on the wall.”

“Fancy,” said Carlos as they unpacked the backpack.  “Even a table cloth.”

“Not so fancy, a paper one,” said Jessica.  “Ceci, come and eat now.”

Ceci was looking over the wall out to sea through the electronic binoculars.  “I’m looking for whales,” she said before stowing the binoculars and sitting at the table.

“Now that’s a project you and Dr. Octavian can take up,” said Jessica.  “Why are the numbers of migrating Grey whales no longer increasing?  The “Blue Seas Coalition” is quite concerned.  And speaking of Octavian, when are you going to tell me what your Department of Defense study was all about?”

“Still can’t say or publish anything.  It’s all still classified.”

“But it’s been a year.”

“We can’t do anything until DOD gives the okay.”

“But you said you completed the job so you have the answer to whatever they hired you to study, right?”

“Right but I still can’t talk.”