Whale Defender I
Rearmed with four self-guided homing armed drones, the Whale Defender I resumed patrolling the North American West Coastalong the route ofmigrating Grey and Humpback whales. The idea that they would actively hunt and kill Squidzillas was voted down by their Board as too risky a first step. They would begin by riding whale convoy and only attack when they found squids hunting whales. The drones they carried would need to be launched within six hundred yards of their target.
They had been sailing with a group of six whales that appeared to have sought their company, possibly protection, for two days when late in the afternoon, sonar picked up five squids approaching the whales from below, two ahead of the other three.
“Okay, we got some action coming up,” said Dave, the captain. “Bring up two tin tuna, hang them in their cradles, ready them for launch, and arm them just before lowering them into the water.”
“Perfect conditions for a first deployment,” Matt, the second mate said. “Seas are pretty calm and it’s still pretty bright.”
“We need to get closer. Launch on my command,” said Dave.
During the many months that that the Whale Defender had inactive, the squids had been harvesting whales without interruption. This was about to change. No. 21 and 17 closed in on a pod of grey whales south of Monterey. They were not alarmed by the approach of Whale Defender I since they were practiced in the technique of cutting the drone-controlling wire.
funny fish come, said No. 17. you go whale. me wait, cut line. But there was no line to cut this time.
no line—no line, flashed No.17. no let funny fish touch you. go deep fast. But there was a second “funny fish” headed towards No.17. The trailing group of three squids were shocked to see the drones strike and explode on contact, killing Nos. 21 and 17. They quickly propelled themselves deeper to safety, to rethink what they had just witnessed, and confer with other squids.
Whale Defender I
“Holy Mackerel! We got them both!” exclaimed Dave. “Couldn’t have a better first trial of the drones.”
“Scared the others off too,” Matt said. “This is a whole new ballgame.”
“Too bad there’s just us out here,” said Dave. “We could use some extra help since we can’t cover the whole migration route.”
“I just thought—would there be a problem with putting the instructions on how to build the drone on YouTube? Costello and his buddy figured out how to do it with pretty much what’s readily available. What people do with the info is up to them. And it’s not that hard to get your hands on explosives from what I hear.”
“We ought to check with Costello first and see what he thinks,” Dave said. “It’s his baby—and his buddy’s. But since we’re trying to protect the whales, I’d bet he’ll agree.”
“Let’s send word back home so they can get the news out to the media. A game changer, baby!”
the three squids that had witnessed the deaths of No. 17 and 21, convened 32 other squids to discuss what to do.
No. 34 said—see new funny fish. No. 17 say ‘no line-no line’ before funny fish explode him and No. 21. new funny fish not so big, not swim so fast like before one with line. but still make explode. still kill. now no line can cut. what do.
No. 5 said—AWL (humans) do thing we not know. No. 34 say new funny fish more slow than one with line. me-you more fast. can get away. but if lots of new funny fish come, hard swim away from all. no hunt whale where hard shell—only where hard shell not. still plenty whale other place.
After discussion, the other squids agreed that avoidance should not be a problem. They would spread the information to other squids.
However, they could not know that the BlueSeas Coalition had released plans for building the drone on the web and it had caught the interest of tinkerers with the technical and mechanical skills to take advantage of the plans. These included those who were interested in saving whales and others who saw this as a chance to hunt and kill the largest and most dangerous animal in the seas.