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The Ocean Depths

The Ocean Depths

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The Ocean Depths

Lunghezza:
365 pagine
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 30, 2012
ISBN:
9781301853809
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The Ocean Depths - Ancient mythology has always pointed toward the belief that man originated from the skies. It says that we are the product of genetic manipulation, but what if the folklore of old held some truth? How would humans react to such an assertion? Would we welcome it? Or would we simply say that it was blasphemy?

The men and women of the USS George H.W. Bush have been tasked to find out just what is the truth and what is myth. They are the spear that will uncover the truth behind what we perceive as simple legends and myths. The question is...will we believe what they have uncovered and what an enigmatic African tribe called the Dogon have always preached as the truth?

Pubblicato:
Oct 30, 2012
ISBN:
9781301853809
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Jorge L. Perez-Jara graduated from Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona in 1986. After graduation, he attended Arizona State University and joined the United States Air Force shortly afterwards. He is a military Veteran who served during the 1990-91’ Gulf War “Desert Shield/Desert Storm” in the Middle East. He has traveled to many parts of the world, while he served in the U.S. Air Force and has experienced and done many things. While he served on Active Duty, he had the opportunity to interact with different people and cultures. He was Honorably Discharged and now enjoys spending his time writing, coaching youth sports and researching ancient cultures. His writings consist of personal experiences as well as Science Fiction. He is married with six children and is currently living abroad.

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The Ocean Depths - Jorge Perez-Jara

The Ocean Depths

By

Jorge L. Perez-Jara

SMASHWORDS EDITION

* * * * *

PUBLISHED BY:

Jorge L. Perez-Jara on Smashwords

The Ocean Depths

Copyright © 2012 Jorge L. Perez-Jara

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

* * * * *

The Ocean Depths

Other Books By Jorge L. Perez-Jara

The Alien Series:

An Alien Encounter

An Alien Presence

An Alien War

An Alien Rubicon

The CSM Series:

Combined Service Marines Lunar Cache

Combined Service Marines Terra Incognita

Combined Service Marines Titanus Malleus

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

EPILOGUE

Prologue

South American Landmass

High above the Andes

1438 B.C.

It was quiet in the early hours of the morning as the village shaman went about his business of appeasing the gods and purifying himself. This had to be done every day so they did not anger the gods that dwelled high above them. Many of the young warriors did not believe in the spirits, but that was because they had not been old enough to remember what had taken place long ago. At a time, when the gods were abundant in the skies above them and descended on the wings of birds that spat out fire and created ear shattering noises as they came and went.

The gods had arrived long ago in the past at a time when the people had been lost and could barely feed themselves due to the harsh land. The people were also prone to enemy attack by rival villages that dotted the landmass. It was a time of great sorrow and a cruel existence, but the gods had taken pity on them. They made themselves known and taught them how to farm, fashion spears, hunt game, and gave them laws. It was a time of great excitement and of invaluable knowledge, since the gods created order out of chaos.

But many years had passed since then and the story of the arrival of the gods had been slowly forgotten amongst the native people. Unlike their disciples, the stories of the gods were passed on from one shaman to the next. In this way, they would not forget their people’s history and their salvation. But times were changing and many were beginning to turn away from their beliefs, since the gods had not been seen in a very long time. That worried the shaman, but he could not force anyone to believe. They had to want to believe.

The shaman knew that many did not believe what they had not seen for themselves and he did not blame them, but he had to hold their beliefs sacred nevertheless. He was responsible for maintaining the balance of nature, the ghosts of the past, and the wrath of the gods. That was not an easy task, since the people of his village had become complacent and discarded the names of the gods as folklore to scare children into obeying. Such blasphemy had at one time been dealt with by severe punishment or even death, but no longer. Even their great leader had changed his ways and his belief of the gods. The shaman could only shake his head at that, since he knew it was only a matter of time before the gods returned and punished the entire village for their wicked ways. All he could do was pray daily in hopes of minimizing their punishment. And to do that, the shaman had to make the daily trek up the steep mountain and offer the gods prayers and gold, which he threw into the large lake located there.

The great lake was located at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin high in the mountains on the border of what would be the future countries of Peru and Bolivia and the Andes Mountain range. The natives of that area had at one time thought of the lake as sacred and a place to avoid. The shaman, on the other hand, did not, since it was his sacred duty to pray for the people. He had never seen the gods himself, but he knew they existed high above them. Because once in a while, as he would pray, he would catch glimpses of their winged birds high above him in the night sky.

As the shaman ascended to the top of the mountain, he heard a loud rumbling. The earth beneath him shook violently under his feet and he fell to his knees. While the mountain around him swayed back and forth, he began to pray. As the rumbling got louder and the shaking became stronger, he prayed louder so that the gods would hear him. He needed to let them know that he had not forgotten about them even if the others did not believe. He just hoped that that was enough to appease them.

After a few more minutes of the mountain shaking violently, the rumbling and swaying stopped. The shaman stopped his chanting in mid prayer as he looked around him and listened. The mountain was now completely silent. Even the jungle that came to life at night was not heard. All he could hear was the wind as it blew against the mountain top and down the valley below where the village and his people were located.

The shaman slowly got to his feet and looked around him, but nothing else about him was stirring. It was an eerie feeling, which sank into his very being. He knew he had nothing to worry about, since he was one of the faithful. Still, he could not hold back the gods’ fury, if they decided to punish his people for their lack of faith. He went to his knees once more and began to pray feverishly. It was his duty to find salvation for his people, but only the gods could decided if they were worthy.

After a moment more of prayer, the shaman got to his feet and continued with his task of ascending the mountain. He had to reach the top before the gods awoke fully and found that he had not given them their offering. That was something he did not want to think about, so he hurried along. He only had another hundred yards or so to reach the top and the sun was beginning to pierce the sky high above him. Streaks of red and yellow reached the ground from above as he felt the warmth on his face and body. He moved faster in hopes of reaching the lake before the sun broke completely through the clouds that now occupied the sky.

When the shaman reached the summit, he was mesmerized by the sun’s rays gleaming off the water’s surface. He had made it and had been privy to witness what only a handful of his people had ever seen. It was magical, he thought to himself. He knew now that it would be a glorious day and that the gods approved of his prayers on the side of the mountain. Now all that was left to do was to throw his offering into the lake and finalize his daily ritual. He went to his knees near the water’s edge and stuck his hand into the lake. He began to chant as he retrieved his hand with a little bit of water and washed his face with it. The water was ice cold, but he did not mind it. He knew that one had to sacrifice and endure hardship in order to attain enlightenment.

While the shaman prayed and threw his offerings of gold into the lake, he noticed small ripples developing on the water’s surface. At first, he thought it was due to him throwing the gold into the water, but the ripples were not coming from the direction of the ore he had tossed into the lake. They were coming from the center of the lake and the ripples were growing larger as time passed. He was fascinated by the development, but also slightly afraid of what might come of it. He knew it could be the gods coming to the surface and he was prepared to meet them, since he had always held onto his faith. But was that enough, he asked himself? He did not know, but soon enough he would find his answer.

While the ripples of water came faster in his direction, the mountain top began to rumble once again. It began slowly and he had not felt it at first, but now he did and it frightened him even more. Still, he did not waver. He stood his ground and resumed his chanting. As his voice became louder to drown out the rumbling, so did the ripples in the water increase in size. The ground began to shake all around him and he was having trouble concentrating on his prayers. He shouted at the top of his lungs, but his voice was nothing in comparison to the rumbling and noise coming from the mountain. It spoke to him and he felt its pain. The gods were not pleased.

The shaman got to his feet, but he had a hard time remaining upright. He fought to keep his balance and to remain standing. He also attempted to keep up with the mountain and the noise it was making, but his voice could not go any higher. But what did he expect, he was up against gods and they could surely scream louder than him. And even though he knew this, he screamed a primordial sound, which came from deep within him.

Instantly, the lake’s surface responded by throwing up a giant spout of water hundreds of feet into the morning sky. It was accompanied by a loud sound he could not identify. The shaman watched in awe as the colors of the sun and the water mingled together, but his fascination was short-lived. When he had returned his eyes toward the surface of the water a large metallic object began to rise out of it. His body froze in terror and his lungs felt as if someone was gripping them tight. He was having trouble breathing and he felt lightheaded.

When the object had completely broken through the water’s surface, it paused for a brief moment in midair. The shaman raised his arms toward the sky and shouted as loud as he could for deliverance. The object appeared to acknowledge his prayers and it returned a high pitch sound in turn. He smiled and began to chant nonstop. And even though his chest ached from all the chanting, he did not stop. The gods had made their presence known once more and he had been privileged enough to have witnessed their return.

While the shaman chanted, the unknown object began to change the pitch of the sound it was emitting. That merely encouraged him to pray even more and to chant louder still. He wanted to keep up with the objects high pitch sounds, but he could not. His lungs could not go any higher in pitch or sound, they ached with every breath. When he tried, they burned with the effort. And just when he thought he would faint, the object made one last loud noise and shot straight up into the morning sky. The blast of air it created in doing so threw the shaman into the air. He stopped chanting and opened his eyes as he felt himself begin to tumble. He saw the ground a hundred feet below him and knew he was being blown off the mountain top, but he did not care. He was at peace with himself. He had given all that he had to give to the gods and they had found favor with him by allowing him to gaze his eyes upon them. What more could anyone ask, he thought?

As he tumbled in midair, the shaman once again began to chant, but this time with his eyes open. He could see that he had gone over the edge of the mountain and his body would soon accelerate as it fell to the ground below, but he did not waver in prayer. He extended his arms and legs out as a bird would do in midflight. The feeling of freedom was exhilarating and he felt the weightlessness of freefall. He could see the ground rushing ever closer, so he finally closed his eyes and offered one last prayer.

That same morning the people of his village found his mangled and crushed body at the base of the sacred mountain. And they knew, he had given his life for all of them and had appeased the gods in his selfless gesture. From that day forth, he would be remembered as a great man and he would be elevated to hold the status of the gods. He would always be remembered by his new name they had given him, Pachacuti Sapa Inca—child of the sun.

Chapter 1

The Atlantic Ocean,

fifty miles south of Bermuda

August 2, 0100 hours

The USS Elrod (FFG-55), a United States Navy frigate, sat quietly fifty nautical miles south of Bermuda over the Bermuda Rise, which was underneath the Atlantic Ocean at an average depth of 5,436 feet. She had been there for the past two months with its companions within Carrier Strike Group Two. The Strike Group consisted of eight naval vessels with the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), a Nimitz-class super-carrier, as it’s crowning jewel. The Elrod and the rest of the Strike Group were there as part of a Department of the Navy Sea Exercise. At least that was what the press release had stated. Which, in itself, was a routine mission for the Strike Group, so no one would question its operations or their length of time out there.

But unlike the Elrod, the rest of Strike Group was not immobile or passive on the ocean surface. The other accompanying ships were maintaining a slow patrol of the waters around the Elrod, while utilizing their highly sensitive electronic gear to blanket the surrounding sea in an effort to discourage any other ships from entering or approaching the area. This also included air cover overhead, which was being provided by the carriers air wing. That was the USS George H.W. Bush’s primarily mission there. Its orders were to secure the area and chase off any ships or aircraft violating their orders. The use of deadly force had been authorized, if necessary. Those orders not only included being exercised against anyone entering the area of operations, but also from leaving it. Not that anyone onboard the George H.W. Bush expected anyone with them to leave unannounced, but there was always that possibility. Especially, if an individual onboard any of the ships with the Strike Group took it upon themselves to attempt and disseminate the information they were gathering within the area in question. That remained a high probability, since they had a civilian ship accompanying them and a small compliment of civilians onboard some of the military vessels.

Rear Admiral Angel Morales, US Navy, who was in-charge of the Strike Group knew that none of her personal would dare breach their security, but she was less confident of the civilian personal onboard. They were the ones she was more concerned about, since civilians were less adapted to keeping secrets because all they cared about was their work. Yes, they had been sworn to secrecy concerning their presence and operations there, but that did not guarantee that they would cooperate with the Navy or honor their oath of secrecy. She was aware of that fact, so she had ordered that all information about their mission and anything they discovered on the seafloor remain under lock and key, while out at sea.

Since most seagoing vessels would avoid interrupting naval operations at sea, the Strike Group was less concerned with outside influences intruding on their current mission. If anything, they were more weary of information being leaked to the public amongst them. Even though they had all been cleared to be here, there was a chance that someone onboard would leak their true intentions there. And that they could not allow to happen, even if it meant taking drastic measures to ensure that what they were doing was not exposed to the public or media.

On the USS Elrod a man quietly made his way toward the CIC, or Combat Information Center, of the ship and entered without anyone giving him as much as a second glance. He studied the men inside the secured and sealed room and could see that they were all engrossed in their work. The room was pitch black and he could barely distinguish anyone in the darkness, which was only lit by the computer screens low light within. That made the men working within the CIC appeared as greenish-red silhouettes as they performed their duties within the highly restricted room. Everyone within the room had their own duties to perform and the man’s appearance had been a normal occurrence almost daily, since their arrival on station, therefore, nobody within the room paid him any further attention after their initial quick glance.

The man walked over to the radar screen that tracked all visible contacts in the vicinity and studied it for a moment as everyone else went about their own tasks. As the man watched the screen, he noted that there were only two other contacts that were anywhere near their location. He was certain that they had already been warned to stay away by the ships protecting the Strike Group on the outer perimeter. And if any of the contacts did not get the message, they would be over flown by two F/A-18 Super Hornets who were running CAP, or Carrier Air Patrol, for the Strike Group. One of the contacts was a large oil tanker named La Luz del Sol out of Venezuela. She was an oil tanker returning from the Middle East capable of carrying 113,000 tons of oil, the equivalent of 750,000 barrels, which was headed toward the Eastern seaboard of the United States. The other was the Italian registered cruise-liner Mona Lisa that had left the Azores a few days ago and was also heading to the east coast. Other than that, the Strike Group was all alone out in the vast ocean that was the Atlantic.

While everyone within the CIC concentrated on their current duties, the man slowly reached into his pants pocket and retrieved a small data stick as he leaned into the screen even closer. He swept his eyes in all directions and waited for the right moment to proceed with acquiring the information he sought. When he thought no one was looking in his direction, he inserted the portable data stick in his hand into the computer’s USB port in front of him. Once the stick registered on the computer screen, he quickly typed in his code to access the mainframe’s database within the multimillion dollar system.

When the man had finished typing in the code a small box appeared on the computer screen. Inside this small box, the computer displayed the time it would take to copy all the files the entered code would unlock as well as how long. As the man watched, he noted that it would only take a few seconds to copy all the data he was after. That’s good, he thought, there is no reason to remain within the CIC any longer than is absolutely necessary. Especially, since it was early morning and there was no actual work being performed at the time on the deck of the Elrod or within the sea below them, therefore, he really did not have to be there. And he knew that if he stayed within the CIC any longer, the others within the room would begin to get suspicious of his presence.

When the computer screen indicated that it had finished copying the files requested, the small box that had appeared closed automatically. The man leaned even closer toward the screen once more as if he was examining something being displayed on it and quickly but clandestinely disconnected the data stick from the computer terminal. He placed it in his pants pocket and waited for another minute or so before he headed for the door.

Once he was outside the CIC, the man quickly made his way toward his cabin and the little safety it offered. There he would finalize his plans concerning the data stick and the information it contained within. His plan was a simple one, but there was great risk involved. He had to remove the data stick from the ship without anyone becoming suspicious of his actions or of the contents on the stick. In the beginning, he had seen it as an almost impossible task, since security onboard was tight. But as time passed, he had refined his plan.

When the man was within his assigned cabin, he retrieved the data stick from his pocket and studied it for a moment. He knew that what he was doing went against all protocol and it would be considered as a treasonous act against his own government. He shook the thought out of his head and grabbed a small rounded stone with a hollowed pocket that had been sitting on top of his desk. He carefully inserted the data stick inside the hollow cavity. When he was done, the man reached for sediment they had retrieved from the ocean floor only days ago and packed it inside the orb. Now that the hollow cavity was packed tightly and the data stick was well concealed, he threw the small stone into the sediment sample and ensured that it was completely submerged within it. Now all that had to be done was to send it to someone who could study it and hopefully make a connection to what they were doing out there in the middle of the Atlantic.

The man grabbed one of the boxes which they used to ship sediment samples to laboratories across the United States and poured the contents with the stone into it. He packed down the sediment and placed a plastic sheet over it. Once that was done, he grabbed his notebook and wrote a set of numbers on it. When he was done with that, he tore out the page and placed it within the box. He sealed it with shipping tape and wrote an address on the box, which he had randomly selected from the list of laboratories they sent samples too. But he did not include a return address, since he did not want anyone to know where it had come from or from whom.

On the deck of the USS Ronald H. Brown,

over the Atlantic Ridge, 0356 hours

The water was being agitated by the small submersible breaking its surface as men on the deck of the NOAA, or U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, research ship the Ronald H. Brown (R 104) worked diligently to lower it safely into the ocean below. The civilian ship was attached to the George H.W. Bush Strike Group due to their expertise in underwater exploration. They also possessed some of the best divers in the world and oceanic technology, which both were required for this operation. The Navy had divers of their own and they were experts in their own right, but the operation they were currently involved in required more complex equipment that only the civilian sector could provide. The problem they had first encountered in enlisting a civilian vessel was security. Fortunately, for the Navy, NOAA was a federal agency, so they had only to do a minimal background check on everyone onboard the Ronald H. Brown before they proceeded out to sea and began their diving operations.

Once the submersible began to float on its own on top of the ocean surface, it was released from the heavy steel cables it had been attached too. The operator immediately began the process of testing all of its onboard systems. The small oval-shaped vessel bobbed on the surface of the water as wave after wave pounded it and attempted to push it against the Ronald H. Brown’s hull. The operator within the submersible adjusted the small ship’s trim and instructed the computer to keep a safe distance from the larger ship next to it. The small electrical engines on the submersible whined on and off every time they had to start to keep the programmed distance.

While the electrical engines fought with the Atlantic’s powerful currents to stay within the allotted distance between the two vessels, the operator finished with his system checks and radioed in their status. Ronald H. Brown, this is DSRV Echo, we have green lights across the board, over. The operator looked over his left shoulder and gave the other two people inside the miniature submarine with him a small grin. He could see that they were apprehensive about diving over 5,000 feet inside the small submersible and he could not blame them. He knew that the Echo was considered small by any standards and it appeared fragile, but she was capable of going where others could not, therefore, he brushed their apprehension aside. Don’t you worry yourselves none, he said with confidence. This little tin can might not look like a whole lot, but she has it where it counts.

And where is that? asked Dr. Fiona Moore the only woman onboard. She was currently on loan from JPL—the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She had a degree in physics and planetary science, which seemed out of place out in the Atlantic. But when the Navy had first approached her, they had explained why they had such a need for someone like her in these areas. Hopefully, this thing can handle where we’re going, she said. If not, we’re going to find out real quick.

Well, for one thing, replied the operator with confidence. "This particular DSRV is designed to dive deeper than most and it has a super thick hull made of titanium, so no worries there.

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