Sea Sphere - Prologue|
By Guilty Spark
FRIDAY - 9:34 AM
Voices buzzed around the large conference room. Everyone in this room had been waiting at least an hour. The plain beige walls gave it the feeling of a holding cell, despite the two long tables that had people seated all around them.
"Alright, that's it," Guilty Spark pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, "I've been sitting here for an hour and I need a cigarette."
"I hear that, mate," the older man seated next to Spark said as he pulled out his own pack of smokes, "Mind givin' me a light?"
As Guilty went to raise the lighter to MartinRandle's cigarette, the door at the end of the room opened and three men dressed in United States military garb walked through.
"There will be no smoking in this meeting, gentlemen," The lead man announced without looking at either of the smokers, "Though I assure you, after you hear what I have to say, you will be smoking a cigar."
Both Spark and MartinRandle tucked their cigarettes back into the pack. All the talking immediately stopped as all eyes focused on the three who now stood at the end of the room opposite the door.
"Allow me to introduce myself." The lead man, who was clearly of the highest rank, spoke with an air of confidence, "My name is Icebreaker. I am a Captain with the United States Navy, and one of the leads of the Special Investigative Reports Project. I served for five years as the captain of the submarine, USS Nautilus, the very first ship built for SIRP. The man to my left is Commander Trainwreck. He served as my XO for four of the five years I spent with Nautilus. The man to my right is Lieutenant Seth Rex, who also served on my submarine."
Everyone just stared at the three men. Most of those seated in the room were wondering why exactly the military of all things had mandated their presence at this meeting. Finally, Evilgrinch broke the silence, "Well, at least you get to the point. Though I do have a question. What in the world is the Special Investigative Reports Project? Additionally, why the hell am I here? We're not all Americans here, so what do you want from us?"
Icebreaker allowed himself half a smile, but only for a moment. "To answer your first question: The Special Investigavtive Reports Project, or SIRP, was started in 1988 as an independent project founded and funded by the United Nations. It functions independently of any one national military, but utilizes assets of every national military. It's primary focus is to discover and catalog anything that might seem strange or unfathomable to the rest of the world and keep it under lock and key until it is deemed appropriate."
"This is a joke, right?" Raptor Vinny was seated nearest to Icebreaker and had a disbelieving look on his face.
"I assure you that it's nothing of the sort. You all have been chosen for the expertise in a variety of fields to accompany myself, Trainwreck, and Seth Rex on our next assignment. You each of you were hand chosen by me."
"Hand chosen?" the young Australian, Dac, piped up, "Hand chosen for what?"
Seth Rex handled a manila folder over to Icebreaker, who opened it and handed one of the sheets to Dac. After looking at it for only a moment, Dac's eyes went wide.
"There is something at the bottom of the ocean floor," Icebreaker carried on in his calm tone, "That none of our staff scientists have been able to identify. To be honest, nobody who has been informed of it's existence has any idea what it could be. That is why you all were chosen. We hope that at least one of you will be able to give us some sort of idea as to what it might be."
Carnotaur3 looked over the sheet as it was passed to him by Dac, "I don't understand-"
"We don't expect you to. Not yet anyway. All I can tell you at this juncture is that it can best be described as a metal orb, resting about a meter above the sea floor, and that it's approximately one-hundred feet in diameter."
"And nobody has any idea what it could be?" Carnotaur3 said, a perplexed look on his face.
"Originally we thought it may have been something that a Russian vessel dropped during the Cold War. However, when we studied it further we found that not to be the case."
Guilty Spark now passed the sheet on to MartinRandle, "And what lead you to believe that? Something dropped by a ship or a sub sounds simple and would be the most plausible explanation."
"Because," Icebreaker showed only a brief moment of slight hesitation, "With the coral growth that is present on it, we estimate that it's been there for at least a thousand years."
Everyone quietly looked at Icebreaker, trying to figure out if they had heard him right. Icebreaker hated the reaction. All he could think about was how crazy he must sound. However, he would never let on that this concerned him.
"Now," Icebreaker picked the sheet up which had made the rounds up to Raptor Vinny, "You've all been briefed. Seth Rex will take care of you all from here, and I look forward to seeing you all out on the rig."
With that, he and Trainwreck made their way back to the door and left. Seth Rex was left standing in front of a very confused group.
"If I can have your attention please," Seth Rex said, even though he already had everyones' attention, "I will be calling out your name followed by your profession. At that time, you will proceed out the door and Trainwreck will escort you to your rooms, where you will stay until departure at 0600 hours tomorrow."
"Uh," Evilgrinch quipped, "Excuse me? Departure?"
Seth Rex gave him a cool stare, "SIRP will be needing your services at the site. You will be compensated."
"I don't plan on going anywhere," Dac said, standing up, "I have a family that needs me."
"Your family has already been given a reason as to your disappearance. Each one of you has your own individual alibi. I'm sorry, but you do not have an option in this matter."
There was an awkward silence as every person in the room felt as if they were a child who had just been reprimanded.
"Snake-Mark, Paranormal Investigator. Carnotaur3, Professor of Theology. Dac, Engineer. Guilty Spark, Professor of History. Raptor Vinny, Engineer. Yvonne, Engineer. Aragorn, Paranormal Investigator. MartinRandle, Marine Biologist..." As Seth Rex read off the names, one-by-one, the group filed out of the room.
MartinRandle turned to the man walking next to him down the hall, towards their rooms, a few minutes later. According to what Seth Rex had said, this man was named Siir and he was a Psychologist. "You know, Doc, that Icebreaker fellow was wrong. I don't want a cigar at all."
"No. All I want right now is a stiff drink."
Bryan, Marine Biologist, could only think about how huge of an underwater habitat this SIRP must have had set up, for as far as he knew they usually didn't hold that many. He had a terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach from all this. It almost felt like they were cattle, being herded for the slaughter.
Infact, he wasn't so sure that they weren't.
7/26/2009 5:56:05 PM
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