This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Like a small handheld lighthouse, a silent phone screamed its light into the darkened room, warning of the treacherous waters ahead.
In the darkness a curled frame wrapped in sheets looked like a walrus stranded on a small island and it was only the shriek of light from the silent phone that would shatter the illusion, revealing a man sheltering in his dreams.
Weary and tired from more than just a days work, his crooked ageing body seemed to want to shipwreck itself within this room. It was here his mind would be adrift with memories of the sea, a place more mythical and misunderstood than anywhere on earth. Gently the salty wind, the sway of the vessel and the vast blue would envelope him like a rising tide as he lay down in yet another unfamiliar bed to rest.
It had though, been some time since Graham Orbost had stood on the bow of a ship at such an hour, scanning the horizon for the light. Orbost had anchored himself now to a life of meetings and debate that never seemed to inch any closer to a meaningful end.
And there the light shot out again wanting for attention, the latest burst tickling his eyelids and calling him back to the room. Orbost untangled his arms and reached for the phone, revealing a flurry of missed calls and text messages.
“He is dead. We need to meet, NOW.” Sent 3:12AM
“There’s an urgent briefing on your email, read it and call me immediately, we need to develop a statement.” Sent 3:28AM
“I’m up and reading.”
Orbost switched on the light, gathered his glasses and held the phone like an inexperienced luddite, pressing each number and application precisely, waiting earnestly for his unwanted companion to tell him what he needed to know.
To: Dr Graham Orbost
From: Evelyn Bright
Date: Monday 21 December 2015
Time: 03:26 AM AEST
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL Briefing Note 2015/1201 Reported death of white humpback whale in Southern Ocean
That the Head of the International Whaling Commission seeks an injunction against further scientific whaling activities in the Southern Ocean until an investigation into the death of Migaloo has been completed.
Media reports indicate that Migaloo, a seven-year-old rare albino male humpback whale has been killed in the Southern Ocean.
As yet no footage of the reported incident has been released to the media.
It is unclear from media reports if Migaloo was deliberately or accidently killed by scientific whaling activities or activist responses to such activities.
Media reports indicate that both the Japanese scientific whaling vessel Nisshin Maru and the activist vessel MV Aemila are leaving the Southern Ocean following the incident.
Migaloo is a seven-year-old rare albino male humpback whale first spotted as a juvenile off the east coast of Australia.
Migaloo is known throughout the world as a rare albino mammal and has received significant media attention in the past when sighted during his migration along the east coast of Australia.
The Japanese scientific whaling vessel Nisshin Maru entered the Southern Ocean on 5 December 2015 and encountered the anti-whaling vessel Aemila on 7 December 2015.
Activist aboard the Aemila routinely film several interactions with the Nisshin Maru as well as the activities of scientific whaling, releasing this footage to the media and through social media.
The potential release of footage to the media of Migaloo being killed, the rare albino will draw significant international attention
The effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission may be the subject of media commentary
Media Liason Officer - International Whaling Commission
Orbost’s immediate gut reaction was that this had been a deliberate act, but as the Commissioner he knew better than to jump to conclusions as the stakes were too high.
He thought through the invisible net that seemed to trap whales in a never-ending debate of cultural, political, economic and social dynamics, just as volatile and unpredictable as any ocean.
An impulsive unfounded claim towards the activists would see the International Whaling Commission attacked every which way at the same time pointing the finger at Japan with such conviction would trickle through trade talks, corporate deals and investment activities throughout the world.
Yet the death of a rare albino humpback whale caught on film could be powerful, but it hadn’t been released … yet.
This baffled Orbost. He determined he would need to proceed cautiously yet proceed – any form of stalemate and inaction on his behalf would corrode the credibility of the International Whaling Commission further.
The last time he had interacted with Captain Tom Nugent of the activist ship the Aemila, Nugent had placed just such a veiled threat in his correspondence, deriding the International Whaling Commission as futile, feeble and all talk.
Secretly Orbost shared Nugent’s frustrations.
They were in pursuit of the same treasure - a world free from whaling yet with vastly different tactics; one charting a seemingly steady course through discussion and debate; the other confronting the act itself in the unpredictable slop of the sea.
Orbost and Nugent needed each other but they were starkly different, coexhisting like land and ocean. The land needed the ocean to frame its boundaries while the ocean needed the land to break against in order to be heard.
Orbost sat on the edge of the bed thinking through years of interactions with Nugent, which always seemed to be shrouded in a fog of continuous suspicion that in this moment was thick with conspiracies.
“Would Nugent have done this deliberately to bring international media attention to their cause?”
Orbost righted himself, his joints creaking as he reached for his stick to steady himself and he made way to the bathroom to splash water on his worn face.
In the mirror, he stared into his crystal blue eyes hoping to find a small piece of his soul to cling to before the day tossed him about. Again the question rose up at him.
“Did Nugent do this?”
His phone lit up the room behind him again. It was 3:43AM now. He would have to call Evelyn.
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...
Gavin Lafayette: I really like this story! The author has created characters that are well-defined and complicated, and the plot is intriguing. There are so many places this story could go, and I am looking forward to reading the second book as it comes out..
: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
ram123: Beautifully written novel, engrossing from start to finish. Great story, clever and imaginative adventure of two young sisters in Victorian England. Story moved at a quick pace .Looking forward to the second book. Congratulations to the author I predict that this will be a very successful series.
Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."