In Hong Kong the Chaos were watching the early morning news over breakfast when the giant squid story and videos appeared.
“It’s Greg’s killer,” exclaimed Lily. “Look at the pictures of that animal. So big! Our poor son didn’t have a chance.”
“But that is what Jessica told us. That it was a gigantic squid that seized Greg,” answered T.F.
“Hearing about it is one thing. Actually seeing it is something else,” said Lily. “Greg’s body was never recovered. There must be some way to kill that thing.”
T.F. didn’t say anything.
“Don’t you think so, T.F.? We have ships and resources. There must be something you can do to eliminate those killers.”
T.F. sighed. “Even if we could do it, killing these squids won’t bring Greg back. Sharks are still attacking people but we stopped killing them for their fins years ago. They’re both mindless beasts. We can’t blame them for acting on instinct.”
“T.F., sometimes you are too rational! We lost our son to a sea monster! And here you are making excuses for it! Don’t you feel at all angry?”
T.F. didn’t answer. Anything he said would only make Lily more upset. She abruptly stood up from the table and marched out of the room.
Blue Seas Coalition—Summary of Board meeting:
There was intense discussion about the recent discovery of enormous squids by the Sears Institute and US Navy. Questions about whether there might be a connection to the stagnant growth of the West Coast Grey Whale population dominated the meeting. Finally it was decided by unanimous vote that the Coalition ship, Sea Defender, should travel with the migrating whales to look for evidence of a connection.
Cecilia Chao was on her way back to Hong Kong from a business trip back East. She had entered the family business now that she had both her law degree and MBA. As usual, she stopped for a visit with Jessie and Little Ceci.
“Are you okay, Jessie,? I thought about you when the news broke about the discovery of the giant squid, especially with the pictures. I worried that you might have flashbacks about Greg.”
“I’m okay now. But it was a total shock at first. I just went numb watching the news report and did have flashbacks to that day. Little Ceci cried for her Daddy. We both cried.”
“Poor Little Ceci, what a way to find out,” said Cecelia. “And how upsetting for you to be confronted by the picture of that monster.”
“For me it was the suddenness and being totally unprepared to see it again. But you know what? Ceci immediately became concerned for me. When I could think about it, it was almost shocking that she could make that connection,” said Jessie.
“She is a never ending surprise and wonder. So level headed and mature,” said Cecelia, shaking her head with a rueful smile. Both women sat silently for a long moment.
“What about you, Ceci? What going on with you?” asked Jessie at last.
“Well, right at this moment it is really nice to just be able to put my feet up in your place, relax, have a mug of coffee, and not think about the business for a while,” she said.
“But how is it, working so closely with your father, Ceci?” asked Jessie.
“It’s been an adjustment for both of us. Daddy always captained the business in a very hands-on manner, and now he is trying to gradually give me more and more responsibility with a view to my eventually taking over. But I’ve only been out of school for a year, so neither of us is rushing.”
“I should really take Little Ceci to see your parents. It’s been four months, and they keep asking when we’ll be visiting again. But now that she’s in school, we need to work around that, though she picks things up so quickly that missing a week or two of class is no problem,” said Jessie.
“Could you come back with me this time?” Asked Cecelia.
“Wish I could, but we have some big things coming up at the bank, and they may actually need me to go in.”
Six months later…..
Blue Seas Coalition spokesperson Oceania Sees states that her organization now has solid sonar and visual evidence obtained by their vessel, the Sea Defender, that has been patrolling along the migration path of the Grey Whales, that they are being attacked by gigantic squid. How prevalent this maybe is not yet known, but they will continue to closely monitor the situation. In her statement Sees said, “The North Pacific Grey Whale population has leveled off during the past three years. The cause for this is not known. The effects of warming seas altering their food supply and location is a possibility but it is also possible that predation by gigantic squids might be a factor.”
Blue Seas Coalition Board meeting:
“That Fox News report was way too wishy-washy. From what we have, we know that those squids have been attacking whales.”
“Oceania should have been much more forceful in her statement.”
“Well, she couldn’t sound like a wild-eyed whale hugger to those Fox reporters.”
“I think we should do something positive about this before the whale numbers really start to go down. I think we need to be prepared to intervene on the side of the whales.”
“Wait a minute. How do we know that this isn’t part of a natural cycle? Let’s not mess around with nature before we fully understand it.”
“Gigantic squids were never reported till eight years ago when the Navy first detected what they were then calling USO’s. So I doubt that this is part of any natural cycle. They are something new on this planet, for what ever reason. I say we need to protect the whales.”
“I’m not saying that I agree with you, but how would you do that?”
“Just off the top of my head, I don’t know but we should start brainstorming.”
Carlos and Little Ceci.
It was the weekend and Carlos, Jessie and Little Ceci were walking along the seawall promenade in a warm, light grey drizzle.
“Ceci, you’ve been pretty quiet recently. Are you feeling all right?” asked Carlos.
“I’m all right, but I was wondering, Carlos. You were studying those squids with Dr. Octavian way out at sea, right?”
“Yes, aboard the Sears Institute research ship” answered Carlos. “We were using the mini-sub and got the pictures of the giant squid. Why do you ask?”
“You said once that something down there was flashing lights and that it turned out to be the squids,” said Ceci.
“Yes, Wili and I thought that it might have been the squids signaling to each other. In fact we recorded the flashing lights earlier and were playing the recording back in the water when the light display flashing the recording was attacked, and the mini-sub damaged.”
“Well, if it was the squids talking to each other, doesn’t that mean they are kind of smart?” asked Little Ceci. “I mean we can talk to each other, and we think maybe orcas can talk to each other, but dogs and cats can’t talk. So maybe they’re at least smarter than a dog or a cat, right?”
“That’s certainly a possibility and that’s something thing Wili and I want to study. That’s pretty good thinking, Ceci,” answered Carlos. Wow. She never ceases to surprise me, he thought and looked over to Jessica who smiled as if to say ‘me too.’
“Well, if you don’t do it before I grow up, I’d like to learn how to talk with them too,” said Ceci.
“In that case, I guess Wili and I better hurry up and figure it out before you do.”