October 23, 2005

Iapetus Saves Manhattan

Chapter Three

Dr. John Maland spent the entire spring break with the Iapetian people. He heard many stories and learned more of their language and their legends. It was good to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life, even if it were a working vacation. However, no story was as consequential as the story of the ship entitled the Pickering. Thus, Dr. Maland decided that he needed to research the Pickering upon his arrival home.

However, before he got back to work, like many, he became entranced with the stories of the giant creature in Canada. He read as much as he could about the enormous ultra-yeti. He visited blogs and news organizations. He discussed the situation with colleagues. For a brief time, his own work took a back seat to the buzz of Cassiel.

After catching up on the news around the nation, he had to go to work. He taught his regular schedule. He wished he did his pressing research rather than bothering with current events; however, having up-to-date information was important to him. He was a bit disgusted with the sensationalization of Cassiel, and the lack of good information from the news media. Thus, it took him longer to get the information he thought he needed. This was the truth about his anger about being slightly behind.

Eventually he got to the library to research the Iapetian story. The U.S.S. Pickering was a US war ship. She was a two masted sailing vessel. Weight and configuration made her a brig. She was not the largest vessel in the fleet, but she had 14 guns with a regular compliment of 105 sailors onboard.

The ship and crew had some experience in Naval battle. They had been patrolling against French privateers. The most notable engagement was against the L�Egypte Conquise. This privateering ship was slightly larger and had more firepower. Nevertheless, the Pickering managed to capture that ship named for the French conquering of Egypt.

Eventually, officials permanently assigned it to the US Naval department. Its orders were to join patrolling the waters of the West Indies. However, she was in the northeastern part of the US at the time. Thus, she needed to sail toward Guadeloupe. The Pickering and crew left Newcastle, Delaware in late August of 1800 and never arrived in the West Indies.

Most reports suggest a gale in September caught the naval ship and destroyed it somewhere in the Sargasso Sea. It was part of the voluminous number of legends about the Bermuda triangle.

It seems that there were true aspects of the Iapetian legend. However, instead of a giant monster, their Iapetus was like many of the ancient gods. It was nothing more than a fortunate coincidence. The legend was only series of events that saved the people. A storm that arose just at the proper time and destroyed the ship that was firing upon the island's inhabitants.

"The ship's crew perhaps asked the islanders for help, but none of them spoke English," conjectured John in his journal. "The crew likely fired a warning shot, which is the basis of the 'booming arms' of the 'beast'. When a storm came up and destroyed the ships, it added to the legend of Iapetus."

After Dr. Maland entered the information about the U.S.S Pickering into his journal, he read the events of the day. He discovered in the news that Cassiel had given birth to a live ultra-yeti child. The child had wandered away from James Bay research facility. Information was sketchy on what happened to the child after birth. "Perhaps this is more exaggeration by the media," thought John. "Perhaps they got their facts wrong or misquoted someone."

However, shortly after catching up on his work, he received a call from Dr. LeFleur. "Dr. Maland," the Canadian professor began. "I have been following your reports on Iapetus."

"I am flattered," replied Dr. Maland. "I too have been following your reports. Is it true that the ultra-yeti gave live birth?"

"All evidence leads to this conclusion, but I didn't see the birth myself. Be that as it may, the baby ultra-yeti is not anywhere to be found at the research station."

"So, you don't know where the baby is?"

"That is correct," replied Dr. LeFleur. "The reason I'm calling, is to find out more information on your giant beast."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I read about the legend of Iapetus, and I am curious about your beast."

"From my research," started Dr. Maland. "I have determined that Iapetus is not a beast at all. It is just a series of coincidental storms that have occasionally protected the inhabitants of that island."

"Are you sure on that?"

"As sure as I can be I suppose. Why the sudden interest and the urgency of this phone call?"

"I thought that since many legends have the basis in fact, that Iapetus may help us out should the need arise. If this god was the basis of an actual creature, we could use its help."

"Is the situation that bad?"

"I wouldn't say it is, but should Cassiel's baby head for the metropolitan areas of Canada or the United States, he may do some major damage. We would want to prevent that from happening in any way we could."

"I wish I could help," explained Dr. Maland. "However, I am fairly certain that Iapetus is not an actual creature."

"Thanks for you time then," a dejected Dr. Lefleur stated. "It was just a stab in the dark. Good bye."

"I'm sorry I couldn't help, and I will look forward to your further reports. Good bye," replied Dr. Maland as he hung up the phone.

Posted by deg at October 23, 2005 8:24 PM

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