The BlueSeas Coalition whale protection group had monitored the Grey and Humpback whale migrations along the West Coast, now through two cycles, and found that whale population numbers had steadied so that the danger of squid predation seemed less urgent. Still, there were some on the group’s board who felt that they should take advantage of the prevailing public mood to do something about the squids. In the end, nothing was decided since the squids had nullified the use of wire guided killer drones and no one could come up with a better idea except to continue monitoring.
The Secretary of the Navy was called before a House committee to address public concerns that had been raised by constituents regarding the danger that squids might pose to commercial fisherman and recreational boaters as well as to the navy itself. The Secretary replied that except for the Deep Seeker, all other attacks on ships had occurred after hostile interactions between the ships and the squids.
“What about the loss of the BlueSeas Coalition ship the Whale Defender? asked one congressman.
“We don’t know how it was sunk,” replied the Secretary. The wreckage showed signs of an explosion, so it may have been an accident with one of the explosive drones they were carrying.”
“But do you think, Mr. Secretary, that they pose a threat to fishermen and recreational boaters?”
“The navy will continue to monitor the situation very closely. I will echo the advice that was given by the Coast Guard that no one should provoke the squids by attempting to attack them.”
Since the submarine Deep Seeker was powered by a nuclear reactor, the possibility of whether it posed a danger to San Diego was also raised.
“We and the Soviet Union lost a number of nuclear powered submarines over the years, some carrying ICBMs with hydrogen warheads. Some, but not a majority of those weapons have been recovered. Certainly not the reactors. There have been no problems from the unrecovered weapons or the reactors. That does not guarantee that there will be no problem this time, but from past experience, we do not think so. Again, we will monitor the situation,” the Secretary answered.
The squids were puzzled and worried by the shocking end to No. 12 when it attacked the Deep Seeker.
how small hard whale kill No. 12 asked No. 23. No. 12 whole body light up and all arms cannot move from small hard whale.
No. 12 and small hard whale go down deep then small hard whale break said No. 15.
AWL’s (above water livers) do many things me-you no know said No. 5. no know why they talk to me-you but no say new thing. no know if all hard whales can kill when me-you touch. surface shell me-you can touch. me-you sink them when they kill us with funny fish. better me-you no touch hard whales.
The other squids agreed.
The Navy would have been reassured if they could have known about this.
“Thanks for giving me a chance to review the recordings from both the Deep Seeker and those from the light display that you and Dr. Octavian towed thirteen years ago when it was attacked by the squids,” said Cecie to Carlos. “That was how you made your discovery of them.”
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Carlos asked.
“I thought that since both displays resulted in attacks, they might have inadvertently flashed the same message to the squids. You know, maybe something insulting like ‘Your mama is a cuttlefish.’ But no, there was no similarity.”
“How’d you check them?” asked Carlos.
“A friend at Stanford majoring in computer science ran them for me.”
“Cameron’s scientific team did the same and also drew a blank.”
“My friend did say that the diversity of flashes and positioning might indicate complex communication between squids.”
“Interesting. If we only had a Rosetta stone.”
“Or a code breaker,” said Cecie.
The two sat silently side by side, mulling next steps.
“I just thought of something. Would your friend be willing to rerun the recordings and try to pick out reoccurring light patterns flashed by the squids?” Carlos asked. “Especially ones that the attacking squids flashed on each occasion.”
“Oh, I like that! The reverse of what I was looking for. Yes, what did they say before they attacked?” Cecie said.
And eight days later Cecie received a message from her friend Michel that he was able to pick out a few reoccurring patterns that preceded both attacks.
“There’s a lot of flashes, but here, I’ve culled out these patterns that came up more frequently,” he said. I’ll put them up side by side. On the left is from the attack thirteen years ago and on the right, the recordings from Cameron’s sub. This one pattern was flashed by both attacking squids just before they launched attacks so it may be stating their intent.” (that was ‘me kill’ and the same squid, No. 12, was the attacker each time, but there was no way to identify it on the videos.)
The other flashes said ‘small hard whale’ and ‘me-you talk’ but other than note that they were present on both occasions, there was no way to interpret them. Still, it was an encouraging start, Cecie and Michel thought. The squids could be communicating with each other