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(8) Chapter Eight

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It was dark again now.. and they’d been playing this game for 24 hours now, Donnybrook didn’t get it.. this seemed like fun.. with half the team on one side of the net and half on the other. He was pretty clear on the rules of the game.. the winners were on the outside of the fence.. and being big time into winners.. he was all for his bros and mom and the rest ending up winners.. so he set about getting into just what the big deal was here.. got himself real focused…  and dialed in..

The big leap over the nets was ok for him.. or the bossman bull Orca Thunderhead who kicked his ass on occasion but it just seemed most of his gang inside wasn’t willing to try.. and they sure didn’t seem to be enjoying this game.. and the bull seemed downright pissed. He liked finding cool solutions so he did a slightly angled half leap, half slither over the outer net.. barely making a splash and found himself taking a closer look at the fringes of the game.. down real low where the corner edge of the inner net met the bottom.. and found no probs getting his snout in.. and pushing a bit got much of his bod into the small gap.. especially when the tide was coming.. he kicked hard, wiggled and kicked again and scooted in with the other team. They still seemed kinda stressed by the game so he tried to get them loose with the solution.. they dug it big time so he showed them the growing loose spot.. and started his wiggle thru.. prob was… he was just getting the game won.. when all hell broke loose as the bull orca made a head on full tilt run at the nets..

From Jimmy’s perspective… things got out of hand pretty quickly..

He had just glided silently to the edge of the outside net and quickly started spraying the metal knuckles of the floats that supported the net with liquid CO2 when he felt a surge in the energy around him. At that teetering moment.. he saw and heard a small boat approaching.. ..a ghosting shape heading for the middle of the inner net..  now who would that be?

At that moment the bull erupted out of the water and hit the nets hard.. making  a huge bow in the cables.. he took them down almost 6 feet as his bulk hammered into the water.. and as the nets dipped below the surface two alert females rushed up to the gap and slid to open water. The onrushing skiff never had a chance as it rocked up suddenly..  then speared down into the wall of water cleft by the bull..

Jimmy saw the body of the boat driver ejected forward, landing just in front of the now rising net cable. The huge orca slithered off the cable but clearly turned his head for a look around as he joined the six remaining prisoners from his family..

Jimmy’s kayak was already jumping forward as he saw the figure flying from the skiff and making a quick roll over both cables he was above the landing point in ten crisp strokes.. there was nothing to be seen but a skeetering small boat running aimlessly around the inlet.. a heavy searchlight snapped on from the trawler anchored onto the cables and quickly found the skiff..  Jimmy rolled upside down and ejected, stroking into the murky water reaching out for contact.. he could hear and feel the thrashing of a body and also feel the freight train motion of a large whale converging..

Hair !! a jawline attached.. soft midriff. He didn’t need to continue down for the kicking legs.. The clawing arms were enough to contend with. He kicked hard toward the surface… pulling with his free hand and holding hard with his elbow crooked around a slender but convulsing neck..

A powerful surge passed him by as they hit the surface and he knew Thunderhead was sorting out what was happening.. he uttered a brief sound to acknowledge the bull then draped the coughing body over the edge of the net and quickly got the kayak in hand and tipped it over the cable.. then did the same at the second net.

Moments later he had a young woman draped over the kayak and was stroking off into the darkness.  A huge crashing splash told him the bull had smashed across the nets yet again.. and a second smaller splash was made by a young Orca who quickly surfaced beside the kayak. Paddling hard now, Jimmy felt the bull Orca powering up to the surface beside him.. and paused to trail his hands in the water.. and convey his idea of what was happening.. The enormous bull quickly turned back to the now well lit inlet mildly satisfied with the turn of events.. two more of his pod were free..  Young Donnybrook had performed well, had gotten in behind the net without jumping.. that was good news, if there was a way in.. there was a way out.. and .. the landwalker who swims was here… this was very good news.

He whistled to Donnybrook and was soon exploring the small opening at the base of the net.. above him on the surface.. the trawler had come to life and was nosing across the length of the net.. on the deck a man hunched over with a flashlight examining the cable.. behind in the shadows of the deckhouse.. another man stood, a long barreled weapon in his hands.

 

From the edge of the rocks, invisible in the darkness, a tall man folded into the rocks watched with interest.. Just a few yards away.. lightly bobbing on the water a slight youth on a surfboard had seen the same events unfold.. yet was totally unaware that he was within spitting distance of the unseen man on the rocks..

Just to the north of the inlet, Jimmy was carrying a semi conscious and dripping female form up to his truck.. As he returned to hoist his kayak from the water the great dog was licking and prodding the young woman aggressively..

Her eyes struggled open just as Jimmy arrived at the truck and swung the slim craft into the bed of the truck beside her.. he gestured to her to remain silent and quickly had the truck rolling silently down the backside of the small hill he had parked on.  The dog seemed intent on taking skin off with his rough tongue and she cautiously tried to sit up and slide away from his attention.. he withdrew and crouched powerfully beside the kayak, never taking his dark eyes off of her..

The back window of the truck slid open and a calm voiced asked if she would care to ride up front.. she was still muddled and confused about what had transpired.. she had no idea how she had gotten into this truck.. or who was driving it.. but the dog seemed familiar in a strange way. She remembered the huge bull orca landing in the water just in front of her.. and beyond that she had no recollection other than the shocking feel of cold water entering her lungs and then a few moments of darkness.

The kayak ! she remembered such a kayak.. and a dog like this.. at the zoo..  a black truck with dog and kayak in the back.. she saw only darkness in the cab.. then the interior light flicked on and she saw a curious smiling face looking back at her and gesturing with his hand.. The truck ground to a stop and the passenger door was opened.. again came the soft voice.. thru the window

“you can walk from here or you can ride.. s’up to you..”

 She looked back at the grinning dog.. hesitated for a split second then clambered over the side of the truck bed and got in the cab.. the light snapped off before she got a good look at the driver and the truck powered back onto the roadway.

“What was that all about back there.. with the skiff.. what did you have in mind..?”

“That’s my business.. and who are you? And what were you doing there?”

Quiet dark eyes considered her for a moment..

“I’m Jimmy Walker.. I was kayaking.. saw the whale jump.. saw you hit the water and not come up for air.. found you down about 10 feet.. You swallowed water..”

“you pulled me out?”

“yes”

“I just don’t know what happened.. I must have been knocked out.. I .. it just is all black in my mind.. wait! I have a car.. back there.. and a trailer.. and the skiff.. and the whales? I have to get back there..!”

“This is not a good time to be hanging around that scene.. trust me.. You and that big bull sure woke up the neighborhood.. there’s people running around with guns and lights… What were you going to do when you got to the net..?  You have a fence cutter in that skiff?”

“How..?  never mind.. where are you going?”

“Vancouver..  where do you want to go..? drop you there. You’re shivering.. there’s a towel.. sweatshirt in that pack behind you.. go ahead.. dry yourself off.. get warmed up.. you’ll feel better.. think better too..”

She felt a retort coming but… for the moment withheld it.. and decided she did need to collect her thoughts and get warm.. and innate curiosity was boiling up inside her.. just who was this young man.. and what was he doing at the inlet..?

“Had the same idea as you.. just a different way of going about it.”

“Pardon me?”

“the whales.. I was about to let them go… when you made the kamikaze charge at the net.”

“Excuse me?”

“How did you know they were there?”

“I got.. never mind.. I just knew… and that’s none of your business.. and … what do you mean.. you were letting them go.. how were you going to do that.. and how did you know they were trapped ..

“Liquid CO2 and a ballpeen hammer.. got a note on my windshield… you?”

“What? I mean.. liquid what..? and a note? … I got an email.. and an attached hydro map of the inlet.. and another file.. a utility.. that…never mind..

“Anoneemoose… whoever that is.. has the big picture.. knows the whales are caught.. found me.. contacted you…. and so quickly..! why so quick.. ? Has the vision.. of four different parties.. and he or she is a fifth party.. and who else is playing in the waters here?.. its about killer whales..and there may be a friend out there.. Anoneemoose… well.. brother ..  or sister ?.. thanks.. for now..”

She really didn’t know what he was musing on about.. but she found herself warming up.. and starting to curl up on the big seat.. Her last thought was that he had pulled her out of the water.. had jumped in with the killer whales.. and found her in the dark. Underwater..!

“My God.. he rescued me.. and I didn’t even thank him.. I’m just so tired.. I have to remember to…”

A great dark head came thru the back window and inspected her drooping head and then looked to Jimmy and seemed to nod awareness.. a low low whine.. then a shake of the huge head and a flash of teeth.. punctuated by a very light barking cry..

Almost an hour passed, then a run-up onto the ferry.. and shortly after docking on the mainland the truck was soon merging with light traffic heading into Vancouver.. and the sounds of ska trailed behind it.. flowing from the open back window..

A pair of thoughtful dark eyes took in the vehicles behind him, then snapped back to the traffic ahead.  Peripheral vision gave him the complete picture of the young woman.. her head almost in his lap.. as she curled up, fast asleep on the truck seat.. and the Mighty Quinn.. sniffing the onrushing wind, front feet upon the kayak..

Things could be worse he considered.. I’m playing baseball.. I’ve made new friends.. I have a beautiful young woman asleep in my truck.. I will free the remaining whales.. it’s a beautiful night.. my truck runs well.. and someone righteous is out there..  on the side of the whales and watching aggressively .. and acting.. think Jimmy.. think.

 State the problem or the question correctly.. and the answer will be there.. discover the “why”.. and the who are revealed.. that’s what Dad always says.There’s a trail to follow here.. and another question to be answered.. how did the whales get trapped? How did that net get there.. who’s in the trawler. Well.. I would say an hour in the water up there just before dawn and I should have answers to most of my questions.. and the whales can get on their way.. while I figure out a bit more besides..

The stereo was turned up a bit more and he stole a more direct glance at the fascinating figure beside him.. the girl from the aquarium..! Amazing..! gorgeous too.. and spirited !! Could she be the young woman Darcy’s wife Sally had spoken of so well..? What was it she had said.. that he’d remember her if he’d met her.. Well.. yes.. he certainly had noticed and remembered the beautiful girl who’d been at the aquarium..  and now she was asleep in his truck.. !

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Written by diamondwalker

November 26, 2008 at 1:33 am

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