Sea Siren: Chapter Eleven

Nivens, The Reluctant Deserter

As they walked the towering walkways to the loading dock, the floor rocked underfoot. Nivens muttered something about the gravity assists being offline as he followed.

Alice looked at him, “Gravity assists are for gaining momentum for space flight not for anything under water. What are you talking about?” But he just shook his head.

As they approached the hangar, men were jumping into the sub planes, some were already rolling down the runway that went straight into the water. 

Alice poked Niven’s side saying,“Nivens, which plane is yours.” 

Nivens jumped at her touch then glared at her and brushed off his side,“Ma’am, I am a medic.”

“I see.” Alice began walking to the nearest subplane.

Nivens blustered as he realized what she was doing. “I must protest. You don’t know how to operate a Glyder.” He actually sounded concerned for her.

“Is that what they’re called?” She kept walking and at the Glyder she stepped up on the wing and jumped into the cockpit.

The sight of the cockpit confounded her. There were some of the usual things like guidance and a handle for diving but the rest was completely alien to her.

Alice decided to ignore the alien elements for now and looked around. There was an extra seat behind her. As she settled in, she pondered a moment looking at Nivens, and then waved him up.

“No.” Fear evident in his face if not his voice.

“WhooOoooOoo!” A new alarm started. Nivens face paled.

Alice felt a grin tug at the corners of her mouth.”Let me guess, that’s the evacuation alarm.” His silence was a thousand words.

“Well, Nivens, it has been nice knowing you. Hope you find a way off this vessel.” She started pushing buttons to seal the glass like dome around her.

His face paled even more if that was possible. He cursed,”I knew I shouldn’t trust Merna. Stupid Goliath is just like the titanic. Say it’s unsinkable and the universe is against you!” He jumped and crawled up into the seat behind her just as the top began to rise up and over.

He whispered, “You know what you’re doing, right?”

She finished lowering the top and revved the engine and with a surge of confidence in her voice she said, “There hasn’t been a machine I couldn’t figure out…after a while.”

He moaned as she turned them to the runway and toward the water. Moments later they were hurtling down the column of water to the outside of the glowing blue vessel. 

Water rushed by bubbling over the glass. Except it couldn’t be glass because at these depths and this thin it would crack. They would implode.

She sure had a lot of questions. Including everything in the box. About her mom and this ancient civilization. Merna talking about cities made more sense now. The people weren’t still alive, right? They would have found them centuries ago. There weren’t any secrets left on Earth that big, right? 

The foreign tech in this glider said otherwise.

Ahead she saw the dark depths coming closer at the end of the tunnel. Then they were out.

A vast plain that reminded her of a chateau stretched out at length around them. The waving sea of glittering blue plants below gave a glow to the sea besides Goliath above them.

The majestic coral reefs she had seen almost didn’t compare the beauty before her. It mesmerized her – the flow, the vibrant glow.

Fingers entered her view and snapped, startling her. Nivens had leaned forward,”Stare too long and we’ll get nowhere. Get us out of here.”

“Nivens,” she pondered aloud, “my mom, Clara, her site was near here wasn’t it?” He nodded still up next to her and waved generally to the right.

“Now hurry, get me out of here!”

As they began to pick up speed, blue and purple with orange and green crackles exploded to light below them in the darkness.

The great lights sizzled on revealing a large plateau and the glowing blue Goliath still above them began to come down.

Men in tight diving suits were now crawling all over Goliath and looking to anchoring the monster to the plateau.

Far below on the plateau, men were drilling metal loops into the ground.

“How did they do that?”

“What?”

“How did they get out of their subs, glyders, whatever and they’re wearing underwater gear?” Alice could see the open glyders feet away from the busy men.

Nivens smiled. His first real smile. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

She rolled her eyes. “I thought you said we were leaving? Why are they latching Goliath to the Chateau?”

Nivens was silent.

The men continued their work below and that was when Alice saw the small scattered holes in craggy spots across the plateau. Why were suited men were pouring out of them?

Then she repeated her earlier question to the apparently dumbstruck Nivens. “Why would they be evacuating Goliath if they’re latching it down?”

He was silent. Then simply said,”They wouldn’t. Take me back.”

It’s Just Coffee: Chapter Three

The smell of coffee was baked in to the very walls of the mountaintop café and anyone visiting would be encased in it and for the day would smell of coffee.

Inside, steam like dragon’s breath curled up from the frothing pitcher of the dark haired barista. He carefully watched even though he could have steamed milk by the sound alone. Drinks were his art, his craft, and he lovingly poured, swirled, and created with his medium.

Second to his coffee crafting was his love of the people. He created to connect, to inspire. He lifted the mocha with his left hand and took a mocha bottle with the other and began to draw. He lifted his eyes to old Meelisa, the local grandmother, and grinned. “You’ll never guess what I’ve made for you today, Oba-chan.”

Behind Erik, the baristas were lively and prepping for the day’s work and expected customers. Meelisa’s old eyes twinkled as she sat on the red leather bar stool, “Erik-Chan, you humor an old lady well. I come not just for your wonderful art, but for your charming self.”

Behind Erik across the room, his mother came out, inspecting the baristas’ work. Her eyes narrowed when she caught sight of him at the espresso machine and the handoff bar. His heart sank as he anticipated the lecture and the rest of the day spent in office doing the business expected of the heir of the Lumeria Coffee Roasting Company.

Meelisa piped up after the wordless exchange between mother and son, “Don’t be afraid to stand up against traditions, Erik-chan. Some traditions are not meant to stay.”

He let a dimpled smile grace his face and he turned back to Meelisa, “Ah, but Oba-Chan, it is disrespectful and slightly selfish to ignore your parents, traditions, and the well-being of those under you.”

“Erik-Chan,” she admonished, “I see the love in your eyes for this work and the connection with the people. It would be disrepectful to ignore the gifts you’ve been given!”

Erik sighed, old Meelisa could freely talk, she was old and beyond the expectations of family.

Sensing his discouragement, old Meelisa continued, “Maybe you’re meant to take a different path than those planned out by those around you. I know you’ll find a respectful way to let them know if that is so. And…” she waited until he looked at her, “I know it is so. And you know, it is not disrespectful to at least try. Try for your dream. Ask, pursue!”

Erik slipped into familiarity, “Meelisa-chan, I do enjoy being a barista, but that is no life, as my mother says. A barista earns next to nothing.”

Old Meelisa looked sadly at him, “Our problems often stem not from having strong desires, but stem from our desires being too weak. We fool about with drink, sex, and ambition as C.S. Lewis says. Are you maybe too easily pleased to do as your mother asks? Are you really content with making mud pies and ignoring the opportunity of living a passionate life lived in the way you were created to be?'”

Erik laughed, “Oba-chan, you are over my head with all your reading and quoting.” His laughter died as his mother approached.

His mother gave pleasant smile to old Meelisa while quietly speaking to him, “Erik, we pay the baristas to make the drinks. I need you in the office working.” That was her soft warning. Not wanting a bigger mess on his hands, he nodded, eyes down, and began to wipe down his work station.

As his mother walked away, he looked over at old Meelisa, “You are making too much out of a small thing Oba-chan. I can be content with the path that has been given me. Isn’t that also part of life?”

A small smile on her lips, Meelisa replied, “God doesn’t limit our dreams. Often his dreams for us expand beyond our imaginations. I just hope you are open to what wonderful works he has planned for you.”

Blog Post: Thoughts & Speculations

Blog Post: Speculations and Thoughts

As Christians, we live in the hope of the unseen. We rest in this hope. Lately, I have struggled as I pondered the heavens, the stars and my recent discovery that on December 21st we will get to see a double planet, a rare celestial event. The next time we see it will be hundreds of years from now. Imagine all the wonderful exciting things out there among the stars!

As I contemplated this and imagined all the celestial events of the past and future I have not and then will not see, my heart doubted eternity. Will I really one day wake up to see my loved ones and Jesus? Will I really get to live forever? Will I really get to have the adventure of learning and studying and adventuring around God’s creative genius in eternity?

It might seem a tad trivial to some. But that is part of my hope. My true hope is in Jesus coming again to fulfill the promises in his word of course, but God has created within me this insatiable desire to know, to understand, and to admire the beauty of his creation which leads into an indescribable emotion of fulfilment when I can in some part imitate that in stories I create.

Hope. It is funny how often we become discouraged and need encouragement to have hope. God knows we need it, and today, I happened to listen to Rest in Hope from the Dwell app over Romans 8:18-28. “But hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.”

Sometimes I doubt my calling to write. I can’t see it because it’s not all there yet, and in the middle of the night, I can feel trivial, small, and inconsequential. But I get out my computer and I write. I find random times in the middle of the day, and I write. I choose to believe God’s truths by way of my actions and pray that God will bring that believing into my heart in the beautiful ways he does. Then my actions show my faith, my hope.

Where are you struggling to have hope right now?

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