My Book: (VISUS) Chapter One
NATURES SILENT CALLING
The Pacific Ocean lay calm and serene once again, heeding a silent calling that had governed her actions, both violent and majestic, for millions of years. The rhythmic, gentle lapping of her deep cool waters created a musical backdrop for the sound of a lone cream-colored gull, screeching his complaint over the lack of surface fish with which to fill his empty and aching stomach as he rode a cushion of air high above, as yet unaware of his close proximity to the pod of sleeping, black and white killer whales that lay submerged in the pre-dawn darkness below. As the moments passed, along with the heavy saturated air, it came as no great surprise to the gull when a golden shaft of light began to unfold from behind him. The birth of a new sun-cycle was now upon him.
The hungry gull, encouraged that the increasing warmth might help to lure the elusive fish below to the surface, watched and waited as the darkness began to slowly erode and fall away. It wasn’t until the sun had risen to full view behind him that he heard the sharp popping burst of gas escaping from a whale’s blow hole below that he began to understand what his instinctive mind had been trying to tell him all along, and that was, that there would be no fish in this seemingly empty abyss for quite some time to come as he spottedthe black saddled hunters break water below him. Soaring upward, the gull caught a brisk easterly current of air and faded into the emerging sun.
The first member of the pod to break the ocean’s surface was the female Bright Night. Unlike the rest of the pod, she was wide awake. She had spent most of this rest period watching the moon cross from one distant horizon to the other. The very same spherical moon that had provided her parents with the inspiration for her signal call some thirty-three cycles of the seasons before. As she lay on the surface, she couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t something of significance that bound these two nights, separated by time, together? The answer to her question came far too swiftly for her liking.
A shudder from deep inside her body reminded her to blow her expended air supply. As she did, a small plume of deoxygenated gas, interspersed with tiny droplets of salty, acidic ocean water, spiraled upward into the crossing breeze above her thinning, black saddled frame. The extreme pain that had accompanied this exchange of gasses had been a severe reminder to her of the disease that grew within her body, a disease that she now realized would accompany her to her end.
The second member of the pod to break the surface was the pod leader, Great Hunter. His massive dorsal fin, no longer supported by the buoyancy of the water, bent with gravity’s force back in the direction from which he had arrived. Only in viewing his immense girth and length could one totally appreciate the mountain of a fin that now lay, sagging stop his back. There had been a time when many of his own species had envied his awesome and powerful horizontal structure, though now the old pod leader knew they would not feel so envious if they were him. His size, combined with his age of sixty-five plus seasonal cycles of the seasons, had worked in tandem to strip him of all his former grace, beauty, and speed. What was left, the old one considered, was little more than a shell filled with a mucus-like material that weighed heavily on his joints, made worse by the hot, stinging arthritis that surged unabated through his huge jellyfish like body.
Great Hunter found the chore of becoming fully awake more difficult than he had anticipated, though the reason for his lethargic, semi conscious state was not hard to pin point. The sudden storm of a few sun cycles now past had been one of both immense size and intense power. In many ways, he was surprised that the entire pod had survived this enraged demon from the skies that had set down upon them. More amazing still was the survival of the sick female who was his oldest son’s lifetime mate. It wasn’t often that he misjudged another’s will to survive. But in this case, he was more than willing to acknowledge that his intuition and second sight had not been totally accurate. Unfortunately, he also realized that, The Silent Calling of Nature would wait only so long before it would intercede in their lives and take the daughter that was rightfully its own in the first place, back to the waters of a far different ocean.
Great Hunter found these thoughts to be much too burdensome to consider for the moment. And besides, there were equally pressing matters that had to be considered for the well-being of the whole pod, the most urgent of which was reaching their destination. And the chill of these waters, with their deep swirling arctic currents, gave more than enough information as to just how close the really was to achieving its long traveled goal. Great Hunter let the cold water stimulate his memory of what lay ahead. Slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, an image behind a shrouded foggy vale began to form within his mind.
The image he reconstructed was of two distinct land formations that had, millions upon millions of cycles of the seasons before, reached upward from the waters of his own watery universe until they sat surrounded by the sky above. The smaller of these two land formations sat out by itself separated from the larger one by a small strip of water that flowed briskly through and around its shores. This the old one knew of as Rock Surrounded by Water, a piece of land that the old had easily circumnavigated on many occasions in the past. The other formation, the larger one, was an entirely different story. It was so massive in its structure that the old one imagined the ocean herself screaming for mercy from the stars above as it bore out from her womb. The old pod leader felt his body shuddering at the thought of the ocean’s pain as it was split down the middle by this monolithic giant, before he finally dismissed these thoughts altogether.
Great Hunter’s attention traveled back to the strip of water that separated these two land masses, for this was the only reason for making such a treacherous journey up from the warmer water’s that now lay at a great distance behind him. And, actually, this tiny strip of water meant nothing to him for three of the four seasons in the cycle of the sun. The one exception was the season that separated the very hot from the coming cold, when this little strait of water could support more of his own hunger ravaged kind than it ever possibly could at any other time in the rotation of the seasons. This the old one knew as, Great Schools of Fish. A place that was magically blessed one time a year with the prize, a prize so sought after by his own species that many were willing to take on the risk of death to claim it.
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