By Joanna Sears
Dated: September 2013
(C) Copy write The Monster Zoo
Be Warned This proposes some pretty radical ideas about the Dangers of Fracking
For three days the teams worked feverishly. A squad under Pete Slater had succeeded in capturing another seven Udiggities. Increasing the chances of a breeding colony being established at the Monster Zoo. Jason and Sue grabbed what few minutes they could, to be together. Which was usually just an evening meal and a few hours when they slept in each others arms.
The rift was continuing to expand, although thankfully oceanward, giving the teams a few extra days. Frank and Rackton were actually discussing the need to close the expanding maw. It was by now over five miles wide and growing by the day As yet neither man had come up with a viable way to stop it spreading further.
It was late afternoon on the fourth day. So far Jason and his team hadn't seen a living thing. Then Geo drew a long breath.
"What is that?" he pointed a large slow moving creature ahead. The other two squinted into the hazy underbrush. The ever present rift out at sea was casting a permanent smoky fog over the island.
"It looks like some sort of Chelonian," Andy hazarded a guess. Jason shook his head
"It can't be a tortoise. It's huge. Even turtles don't get that big."
"Well! It's definitely got a shell of some sort." Geo backed up Andy's assumption. Jason shrugged.
Well! Whatever it is? It's in danger and it's our job to get it safely back to camp, for transport home." Geo again regarded
the lumbering beast
"We'd best report it in. I reckon the boss is going to need the Wavecrest for it." Jason frowned
"But Captain Wallis can't bring the ship in any closer because of the rift."
"It's the only thing remotely big enough." Andy agreed. That'll be to heavy for the Sky Guardian and too fat for a Trevik.
Only thing large enough is the hold of the Wavecrest." Jason dutifully called Base Camp to report the dilemma.
"A Chelonian?" Pete was slightly surprised. "Why do your need help for a tortoise."
"Eh! About fifteen foot long and seven high."
"Seriously this is one gigantic great tortoise." Twenty minutes later riding Sky Skimmers, Pete and Frank swooped over the trees. Frank saw it from above and almost fell off his Skimmer in astonishment. He was at ground level a second later. Pete hissed down five foot behind him. Frank leapt from his gently floating board and stared in awe. Pete was open mouthed.
"Am I actually seeing that?" he asked pinching himself.
"If you're hallucinating, so am I?" Frank replied. He was starting to smile.
"Do you know what it is?" Jason asked.
"Oh yeah and it ain't no tortoise."
"So what is it?"
"The greatest find ever." Pete was equally excited.
"But what is it?"
"A very ancient and distant relative of the Armadillo."
"So not a tortoise," Jason shot a triumphant gloat at Andy and Geo They grinned
"No!" concurred Frank. "This wee chappie is more commonly known as," he paused for effect before finishing "A Glyptadon!"
"Excuse me? A Glyptadon? As in a creature of the Mega-Fauna?" Andy almost fainted in surprise
"It can't be! How could it have survived this long. It's species was supposed to have died out before the last ice age."
"This area has never been fully explored." Pete said quietly. "If it hadn't been for those damned illegal Frackers, it never
would have been. It's too remote." Jason coughed.
"So! Um! How do we capture it?" Frank winked at his little brother
"Gently! What little we know of this animal, tells us that it is going to be timid and easily alarmed." Pete rubbed a dirty palm over his face.
"Boss didn't these creatures live in herds?"
"That's a good point. Such a beauty could not have survived for thirty thousand years."
Which means there has to be others." Geo said
"Precisely!" Frank was already pulling his Squawker from his belt and alerting base camp. Mike Rackton also using a Sky Skimmer, flew out to Frank's location to see for himself. They stood side by side grinning as twenty selected zoo men surrounded the beast. But every time they tried to get close It swished it's heavily noduled tail and bellowed fearfully
Jason got annoyed. Without waiting for sanction from his brother he strode forward. Ignoring the warnings he placed himself in front of the terrified Ancient Armadillo and began to reach out with his thoughts. Imagining pictures of warmth and flowers Gentle loving words that gradually calmed the mighty shelled beast. Jason waved away the men with nets. Frank raised an eyebrow at the Director as his brother still mentally coaxing and encouraging walked the Glyptadon back to Base Camp. Wallis taking a calculated risk circumnavigated the rift and succeeded in getting the Wave Crest close to shore. Liam had
a squad building a raft to float the Glyptadon the half a mile or so out to the deeper water. Where Jason saw it safely berthed in the ship's mighty hold. By the time darkness fell, fourteen more had joined it. Every ship the Zoo owned was summoned forth Rackton wanted the prized beasts away from the danger zone as quickly as possible. Two lesser Paddle Steamers also came across the Abyss. Not to collect Glyptadons. It was obvious there weren't any more But their big holds were able to accommodate a great many other rescued animals. Secretly Frank couldn't help wondering if there had been more of the Mega-Armadillos? How many had perished in the fiery depths?. Once word was received from the Zoo itself that the fifteen
Glyptadons had safely arrived, talk turned back to sealing the Chasm just off shore.
Rackton was a brilliant scientist. He and his team had some months earlier, devised a plan for this sort of emergency. They
just hadn't expected humans to be responsible for creating a Basalt Lava Event (Volcanic Fissure) Rackton knew
of at only five such occurrences in history. The most recent one being the Laki Trench in Iceland.
In 1783 the Grímsvötn Volcano erupted but not in the conventional manner. Over an eight-month period long cracks opened up between the Lakagígar (Laki) Mountain and the adjoining Grímsvötn Volcano, pouring out an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu miles) of fiery magma. Clouds of Hydrofluoric acid and Sulphur Dioxide compounds floated over the whole of Europe killing thousands. Modern estimates put the death toll among the continent's livestock at well over 50%. The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as Sulphur Dioxide was spewed into the jet streams over the Northern Hemisphere. This led to crop failures in Europe and may have been responsible for the worst droughts India had ever known. The eruption has been estimated to have killed over six million people globally, making the eruption the deadliest in recorded history. Rackton was desperate to prevent a similar disaster. He began to outline an idea he had forming in his head. It was radical to say the least. Frank stared at him His whole face agog with disbelief.
"Run that by me again. You want to do what?"
"Drop a couple of Dynamic Quantum Vortex Charges into the rift and then detonate them!" Rackton re-stated is aim.
Jason wasn't quite sure what such a thing was? But the other seniors clearly understood what the Director was talking about particularly Frank
"You can't! It'll be like a Mini Black Hole going off. Anything closer than a mile will be sucked in." Rackton overrode his subordinate's shock.
"The implosion should theoretically, close the rift." Frank was far from mollified.
"Everything will be destroyed, including this island."
"Our scans show this island has been cleared of all life forms apart from us." Jason had so far kept quiet. Now he cleared his throat and offered.
"Tani and I could drop them!"
"The hell you can!" Frank snarled. "I don't even want you in this Dimension. I am certainly not going to risk you or your Coravoi."
"No one is going to be risked!" Director Rackton interrupted. "The Engineering Department think the DQVs could be
delivered by a remotely operated drone sub." Frank scowled.
"So we're going to sacrifice a drone?"
"Not one of the standard ones. Professor Matthews has come up with a triple hulled version That will hopefully be able to withstand the intense heat and pressure within the fissure." Rackton despite some strong opposition had made up his mind.
His plan was the only chance they had to close the fissure.
As they exited the meeting Jason looked at Sue.
"Most of that went straight over my head. I never was much good at maths. Any chance you could explain in terms I'd understand?" Sue nodded and led him back to her tent. Where she sat him down and slowly began to reiterate the
Director's lecture into layman's terms.
"Basically," Sue began. "What Director Rackton is proposing is that we use a Steam Sub with a reinforced hull to fire two Vortex Generating Torpedoes into the rift."
"Okay! I got that bit. It's the next part I didn't understand." Sue smiled and patiently continued.
"The first vortex will be positively charged and the second negatively charged."
"Won't they just cancel each other out?"
"No! Because each they will be detonated at a certain distance apart."
"So what will happen?"
"The two differently charged Vortices will both attract and repel each other,"
"Which means..?" Jason looked her expectantly
"The will not only revolve around themselves but also each other. Creating an envelope of highly magnetised space in between. Like two dancers whirling around a circular ballroom." Jason frowned
"I still don't see how this will close the rift?"
"As they spin faster the magnetised space will begin to create a field of intense gravity." Jason's face changed.
"That's what my brother meant about a Mini Black hole. The two opposing forces will create a singularity that will immediately begun to feed."
"Exactly and when it reaches sufficient mass to swallow the two vortices It will start to collapse in one itself. A phenomena known as Quantum Compression." Jason was starting to grasp the physics.
"And as it collapses it will suck in all the matter around itself. Effectively sealing the rift."
"Now you've got it." Sue beamed at him. Jason was quietly awed by the Directors novel solution. A day later when all the teams and their equipment were safely back at the Zoo, Frank and the Director using a small ship transported across the Dimensional Abyss alone. Once at the rift site The pre-programmed Drone and it's two torpedoes were sent off on their mission. Frank and Rackton retreated to a safe distance to monitor the operation. They returned home jubilant and flushed with success. That afternoon a recording of the event was shown to all of the Zoo personnel. Jason was wasn't sure what he expected to see but was suitably impressed by the stunning show. Frank watched it too even though he'd seen it for real. He didn't say anything but inwardly a large part of him wished he could have sealed Brett Marshal and his greedy Fracking cohorts
in the rift as well.