With the end of the great adventure of taking the giant monster Iapetus to New York to save Manhattan from the ultra-yeti, Dr. John Maland returned to his normal life in academia in Florida. He resumed his classes, lectures, and research.
He won much acclaim for his book on the island people and the Iapetus legend. Perhaps some of that acclaim came from the saving of a major metropolitan area. Nevertheless, the book read like a classic adventure tale. The Iapetian legend had a foundation in a large monster, and this monster prevented the destruction of New York City. It made for a great story. Thus, the accolades poured onto Dr. Maland.
For centuries, this giant creature had protected the inhabitants of this island in the Bermuda Triangle from external forces. It fought pirates, naval vessels, and every kind of interloper. The island was completely untouched by external influence.
However, they allowed Dr. Maland to come and study them. They suddenly embraced the external world. Further, at Dr. Maland's request, they allowed their protector to save an external people.
The giant creature was known the world over, and tourists flocked to the island to get a peek at the enormous beast, and the people that befriended him. The island was constantly visited by naval traffic. Gone were the days when Dr. Maland could sail his tiny sailboat to the beach of the island. The tiny island had become a major tourist spot.
While the Iapetians' lives had become quite hectic, Dr. Maland's life quieted down into normalcy. John had difficulty believing that it had been almost two years since his spring break trip to their island.
The damage the ultra-yeti inflicted upon upstate New York was nearly repaired. Memories of that adventure had faded from the conscious of most of the world. They had gone on to other things. Other worries and disasters struck as they always do. Thus, life for Dr. Maland had returned to a degree of normalcy.
Spring break was once again upon the horizon and Dr. Maland was considering what he would do with that week off. As always, he wanted to get away from Florida and the hordes of college students that would soon invade the area.
He was dreaming of his time with the Iapetians when a knock came upon his door. He opened the door and let a dark skinned man in a three-piece suit carrying a briefcase into his office. He had seen his face before, but he was having difficulty placing it.
"Have a seat," insisted Dr. Maland as he pointed to one of his overstuffed chairs. "What can I do for you?"
The man sat cross-legged in the chair in front of Dr. Maland's desk. He held the briefcase close. In an accent Dr. Maland had heard before the man said, "From the look on your face, you do not recognize me."
"Your face is familiar," confessed Dr. Maland "however; I am having difficulty determining where I have seen it."
"Perhaps this suit is confusing you. My people had never worn such things."
"Wait! You’re an Iapetian," John stated with surprise.
"Yes," responded the man politely.
"You're the storyteller!" Dr. Maland replied with much excitement as he got up and shook the man's hand.
"It has been a while," replied the storyteller with a smile.
"And that suit!"
"With the traffic coming to our island, there has been a need to be much more entrepreneurial. Thus, reluctantly, I have become a businessman. I do not feel quite at home in this, but it is necessary."
"You have done us a great service. I hope it has not ruined your way."
"Not at all," replied the Iapetian. "It is us that initiated the contact. It is what we wanted."
"Still... I hope the island and its inhabitants are not adversely affected."
"Your worries are unfounded. We can establish the isolation with a request from the great Iapetus."
"I suppose you are right at that!"
"There are reasons we ended our isolation, and that is what I have come to see you about."
"What can I do?"
"Over the last few years, we have amassed a large amount of wealth. This wealth was gathered for a specific purpose in mind."
"You see, the mighty Iapetus leaves our waters to make brief visits to the cold icy lake where he was spawned. These visits can be 20 or 30 years apart, and some have been even longer. No matter the interval, a population of his kind is born."
"There are more?"
"Do you know nothing of animal reproduction?"
"Pardon me for my outburst, I just find it shocking that there are more of his kind out there."
"The female of his species is quite numerous; however, they are considerably smaller. Further, they are fully aquatic. They do not have the structures that allow our protector to leave the ocean environment. Thus, only the males can be our protectors, and there is only one."
"I see," replied Dr. Maland.
"As an individual, our protector has had several broods, but has not produced an heir. When he is of an age, he will spend weeks or months in this deep, dark, forbidding lake and spawn with many females. In fact, he will mate with every female of his species. If he does not produce a male during this time, the species will end. Unfortunately, that time is approaching. He is ancient, and he cannot live forever."
"What can I do to help?"
"Our people need a protector, and we have been working on the problem of extinction for a very long time. While we are certain that he will produce an heir and our protection will continue, the mighty beast will leave us for a very long time. We have determined a strategy that will ensure our long-term survival and protection. Further, it will help ease our protector's mind to know that he can leave for a long stretch of time to complete his most necessary task."
The storyteller opened his briefcase and placed a large document on Dr. Maland's desk.
"What is this?" ask Dr. Maland.
"With the funds that we have gathered, and these plans, our protection is ensured."
Dr. Maland began reading the document given to him. The plans were full of schematics and blue prints that Dr. Maland could not decipher. The technical document was well beyond his comprehension.
"What do you need me for?" Dr. Maland asked after scanning the document.
"We have contracted with a local business here in town, and we are in need of a liaison between us and this company. We want you to oversee its construction. None of our people have experience in these types of things and I cannot be spared."
"We have provided you personally and your country a great service, you are indebted to us."
"But -- I have no experience in these types of things," complained Dr. Maland.
"You are savvy enough for our purposes. We just need you to check with this company periodically and keep us informed of the progress."
"Who is this company? I cannot even decipher this plan. What are they building?"
"While I appreciate your concern, we are certain you can handle this minor responsibility. The company is AOENC Engineering and they are located here in town; however, the actual manufacturing will occur in Niceville Florida."
"Niceville?" replied Dr. Maland. "I guess I should not argue with you. You have provided us with a great service. If you have faith in me, it is the least I can do. I will do my best, but I still do not know what they are building."
"They are building..." replied the Iapetian storyteller "...a Cyber-Iapetus!"Posted by deg at April 15, 2007 7:28 PM