Saltwater pelted my face as we cruised to the discovery site. My fellow scientist tracked our progress over infinite blue glass. This wasn’t our first expedition together, but would take us farther into the abyss than ever before. It would be like nothing we had dived to before.
“How far out are we?” I asked.
“The tablet can’t get a signal yet,” Andrew, my co-pilot, said.
Who calls someone at three in the morning? Apparently my head researcher does. The volume pierced my eardrum as I answered.
“Al, we have something that might be of interest to you.”
“It better be damn good at this time of night,” I said.
“There’s signs of some form of watercraft off the UK coast. Nobody has been out for a look yet. A Russian crew noticed a bounceback on radar. Would you be willing to fly to the East Coast Reconstruction Center on Bermuda?”
“Sounds good. Can I go back to sleep?”
The flight to Bermuda was interesting but long. Thank God for the stretched layovers that allowed a couple puffs on a cigarette. Even with my time in the Navy and a few test flights with the pilots who pulled extreme G-forces, sitting here in a recliner on a 747 didn’t appeal to me. It was a miracle my lone pack of Marlboro’s lasted until Miami. From there I took a two-seater propeller plane.
We slapped onto the dirt runway and came to a halt at Gate One. There was no Gate Two or Three. Gate One was a small wooden hut with a rusted tin roof. I climbed out from under the wing and an older gentleman creaked open the screen door to step onto the porch.
“Welcome to Bermuda, my friend!” he shouted. His full white beard and fair complexion reminded me of London, but his accent certainly didn’t sound like it.
“Come inside, Al. Welcome, welcome.”
We took a seat at the carved, chipped wooden desk by the door.
“What brings you to Bermuda, my friend?”
“I’m here to meet up with my team at the Reconstruction Center in Hamilton,” I said.
“Oh, I see. That place…” He wasn’t so excited at my mention of the new facility constructed over part of the historic area.
Maritime Discoveries bought the land a year ago and began building immediately. The white box appearance of the center stuck out within the colorful island community. One of the primary bases within the Atlantic, it brought in artifacts from the ocean floor to rehabilitate them behind closed doors. They were then shipped to museums around the world for display or use in exhibitions. This addition to Maritime Discoveries allowed us to bring back to life what was lost beneath hundreds of years of sand and algae.
As my technology daydream closed and the English-looking islander finished checking my passport and paperwork, we hopped into the mud-covered Jeep and were on our way to the capital city.