Atlantic Bridge – 11 –
Plaza 24 – Atlantic Ocean
Annie looked up from her microscope and rubbed her eyes. She’d been up for eighteen hours now, and her neck muscles were in knots. The dives always took it out of her anyway. She absent-mindedly rubbed her neck.
“D.P, is that the last of the samples?” Immediately following the dive, they had retrieved the drill tube from the sub and headed straight for Annie’s lab, where they had broken down the core sample from the rock into five parts, submitting each to a different test.
“Yes, Miss Shaw, did you find any anomalies?” answered Deepak.
“Nope, it’s all hunky dory, I guess we can give those macho engineers the go-ahead to dig a big hole beneath us” she replied, grinning.
Her incoming call alert sounded. She turned to Deepak. ”D.P, can you give me a few minutes?”
“Sure Miss Shaw” As Deepak headed off to the promise of a warm bunk, Annie scooted across the lab floor on her chair and hit RECEIVE.
The videoscreen flickered to life. The smiling face of Marius Cassel appeared.
“Annie! How’s life on the rock?”
“Oh, y’know, idyllic, a hard bunk, thirty foot waves and a canteen that thinks modern cuisine begins and ends with sausage and chips. On top of that, my Steely Dan CD is now unplayable. So how was your day?”
Marius adopted a look of mock horror. “CD’s? You still use CD’s?”
“What can I tell you, I’m a retro kind of gal” she answered defensively.
He laughed. “Me too, in fact, I also have a valuable collection of vinyl, but I daren’t play it anymore. There’s a guy here in Canterbury who maintains my deck for me. I’m thinking about buying him some medical insurance, because when he’s gone, I won’t know where to turn. The Dan….you have some serious taste, my girl.”
Annie’s eyebrows shot up. “You like Steely Dan? Why Mister Cassel, I’m impressed.”
“Yeah, I’m a big fan of musicians actually being able to play. You know, back when they were making music, bands like that were still able to hold down major record deals, but now, its all gone underground. I managed to get a copy of their second comeback album from 2015, Symphony for the Barrio in a junk shop right here in Canterbury, it’s outstanding.”
“Cool” enthused Annie. “I bet you like Toto too, yes? I read about how they always got to the French, way after they dipped sales in their other markets.”
“ Certainly. I think the French went for them after they threw in the line We’ll tame the gulf of Lyons, I’ll wed thee in Marseilles.”
“That’s from Lorraine, right?” said Annie.
“Now your scaring me” said Marius. “Listen, I’d like you to come over as soon as you’re clear with testing. I want your thoughts on Ocean bed integrity across the whole of the bridge and road route. I’ve commissioned a transparent overlay of my blueprint to correspond with an underwater chart for the region. I think we’ll need at least a week on it. When can you make it?”
“Consider me packed, Marius. I just finished the tests today. Everything’s clear. I’ll brief Deepak and he can liaise with the advance engineering team.
They should begin the dig next week. The fuel storage tank can go ahead.”
“That’s great news. Do you have any idea when your next supply run is? I can get you Heli-jetted from the U.S. Carrier Battle Group if Archangel’s there within the next two days”
“Ooh, VIP treatment!” she teased. “I think its due 0700 hours tomorrow morning. Tell me, what does a girl wear for a mid-sea transfer?”
“A winning smile?” he ventured. “When you’re aboard the Carrier, mail me your ETA, and I’ll meet you at Stratford.”
“Wow, Shakespeare country!”
“No, you philistine, not that Stratford, the one in East London. Stratford Olympic Heliport.”
“Aw, you’re no fun, we could have seen a play” she laughed.
“You’ll have to settle for my Canterbury tale, though I have to warn you, Chaucer, I am not.” he replied. “Take care, Annie, see you soon.”
The screen fizzled out and he was gone. Annie jumped up and began shutting down the lab equipment for the night. Then she began to write a detailed brief for Deepak. She felt light-hearted, happy to get off “The Rock” for a while. She recalled her brief time with Marius here on 24. It brought a smile to her face. Yes, she’d enjoy this little trip.
© Kev Moore 2008 All Rights Reserved
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