Kreative Kue 58, issued on this site last week, asked for submissions based on a photograph showing a lobster-fishing vessel in action.
John W Howell, author of MyGRL and His Revenge, who blogs at Fiction Favorites, was the first to arrive:
“Do you believe it is 2016 already?”
“I know right? It seems like it was just a couple of days ago it was 2015.”
“Erm. It was 2015 a couple of days ago. I was making a comment on how fast time goes by.”
“Oh, I get it. Hey, what is Jerry doing back there?”
“In the stern. He’s pulling something out of the water.”
“Could be the bumper genius. One may have gone overboard.”
“I don’t think so. I’m going aft to check it out.”
“Take the walkie talkie with you.”
“I got it. Can you read me?”
“I’m standing next to you. Of course, I can read you. Also, you need to turn the thing on.”
“Oh yeah. Gosh. Makes me look foolish right?”
“Yeah right. Now go back there and contact me when you find out what Jerry’s doing.”
“Captain, can you read me? Over”
“Yes. I can read you. What’s going on? Over”
“Jerry has hooked some kind of tube. It looks like it might be a scientific buoy. Over.”
“Is it heavy? Over”
“Naw. It’s pretty light.”
“Bring it to the bridge. Over.”
“On my way. Over and out.”
“Hey, cap. Look at this thing.”
“I’ll be damned. I’ve read about these but never thought I would see one. I know what that is.”
“Yes. it’s a document carrier. It’s used in the submarine service to carry important documents. If anything happens to the sub this thing is supposed to be jettisoned and explode at a preset depth.”
“Did you say explode?”
“Come to think about it I wonder why this thing is intact. Let me take a picture of it and send it to the naval office.”
“Do I hear ticking?”
“Don’t be silly. It’s obvious something malfunctioned and the pod did not self-destruct. We need to turn this into the Navy. To be safe, we better tow it a few yards astern. Tie it off with a line and throw it overboard.”
“Did you get it deployed?”
“Yes. Not too soon I’m thinking.”
“I got a text from the navy and they have identified the pod as a document carrier.”
“Really. Which sub was it on.”
“They are not sure and need to open it. What was that noise?”
“I think the pod just went off.”
“See if Jerry’s okay. I’ll circle back. Maybe there’s some debris.”
“Jerry’s fine. Over.”
“Good. Over and out.”
Well, the captain and crew never found any debris and all they have left is the photo. The mystery of which submarine released the document carrier may never be solved.
My effort was: “The lobster pot deception“, a sequel to last week’s effort.
“Are you sure this is right?” Krola asked.
“It’s what the High Commander ordered, Krola,” Deputy High Commander Ari said, “the method of placement fits well with established practice in the area, and will not arouse suspicion.”
“It seems strange, just throwing it out of the boat, kind of random.”
“We’ve studied the images, Krola,” Ari replied, “it’s what they do. Why, we have no idea, but we know that they move along in their boats, boats just like this one, and throw these things out at random intervals.”
“Perhaps they’re just littering; getting rid of their rubbish.”
“If they were, Krola,” Fran observed, “why would they come back later and pull them up again?”
“Perhaps that’s how they do their washing,” Krola suggested, “that would fit in with all these things on sticks. They must be drying after the wash.”
“Ladies,” Ari insisted, “the High Commander and I have studied the images in detail. What we are doing won’t arouse suspicion. Trust me.”
“We trust you, Ari,” Fran said, speaking for Krola and herself, “but there are questions marks over the High Commander’s mental state.”
“He’ll be fine; no need to worry about him. Since the singing incident, his every move is under my personal scrutiny. He believes he is still in charge, but I won’t let any questionable decision from him jeopardise the mission.”
“Okay,” Fran continued, “but how can we be sure the signal will get through?”
“Is it the fluid that’s worrying you?”
“We took density and viscosity data from the sample we brought back. We can measure the depth by seeing how long it takes for the beacon to reach the bottom, and allowing for gravity and drag. Once we have that, we can calculate the signal strength at the surface and remotely adjust the output to give the power we need to get the message home.”
“What if the Terrans detect the signal?”
“They won’t; it’s shielded.”
“But what if they do?”
“We’re overlaying our message with noise of the type many of their radio signals carry; something called ‘RNB’ which we believe, based on its content, stands for Random Noise Bamboozler.”
“Is there any hope, Ari?” Krola asked, her voice shaking with worry.
“We must have confidence that there is, Krola,” Ari replied, “Since the Droidette’s gravity-wave drive was knocked out by the CME, we’ll be stuck here unless the message gets through, is believed and is acted on.”
“How did the Droidette’s database systems knock out the main drive?” Fran asked.
“What?” Ari said.
“The Content Management Engine doesn’t interface with the gravity-wave generator,” Fran explained.
“CME doesn’t stand for Content Management Engine.”
“What does it stand for then?”
“Coronal Mass Ejection; it’s a blast of charged particles from their star. That’s what knocked the engines out.”
“Oh, I see.”
“What does OIC stand for?”
“Not OIC, Ari, Oh, I see.”
“Ah. IC2 now.”
“Meanwhile, Mr Deputy High Commander, Sir, what message are we sending?”
“That’s the brilliant part. Entirely the High Commander’s idea.”
“Well, what is it?”
“The beacon is set to transmit, at intervals of ten Terran minutes, in the High Commander’s own voice,
I’M A SELLABRIAN — GET ME OUT OF HERE!”
On to this week’s challenge:
Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; and either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm on Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – pingbacks don’t seem to be working, and I haven’t yet figured out why.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.