Chapter 10 – One too many dive

On the boat, the dive manager was yelling at his crew to cut the engine as they drifted next to them.  “Where have you been?  Why weren’t you answering?” he said concerned.

As they removed their masks, the dive master was already leaning to help them take their equipment out of the water.  Without thinking, Eirik responded.  “We swam a long way out to make sure that the location is clear for them to drill, we must have gone out of radio range.”

“The boss wants to know what is going on and he wants to discuss what should be done about the structure you guys discovered,” said the dive manager.

“Yeah, let’s return to the platform.  I’m freezing,” lied Eirik as he pulled himself along the side of the boat to the ladder.  As he went, he removed his fins and handed them to the support crew.

On returning to the platform, they removed their gear and headed straight for the briefing room.  The same group as the one this morning was present and they looked at the divers intently.  During their dive, the president of the company had called on a fact-finding mission to find out when drilling would resume.  Alexander had been the one talking to him and he knew that people such as him cared about the bottom line and that heads would roll if they didn’t resume drilling pronto!  He had remained in character.  He was there on an assignment of his own and knew that his job was over anyway and that he would be returning home soon enough.

“What’s the score?” asked Alexander, looking at Eirik hoping the latter would spill the beads, bringing his two years of efforts to a close .

He thought that the boss had opened a door and he entered, no long explanation would be needed.  “We have the exact position where you can start to drill presently without any further delays; swe have already informed the drill master where the structure ends and he said he would be waiting for your orders to start moving the platform to the new drilling location,” explained Eirik.

“So it is your expert opinion that we can’t drill through the wreck or the structure underneath us at the moment?” asked Alexander, looking for a confirmation of what he already knew.  “In the meantime, Franz has taken the liberty to contact the government and inform them of our discovery.”

At that statement, both Eirik and Jack hearts sunk, but they didn’t look at each other in a conscious attempt not to arouse suspicion to themselves.  However, despite their efforts Alexander had gotten his answer.

“What are they going to do about it?” asked Jack while trying to hide his dismay.

“They are not sure, considering that we don't know what it is and that it is clearly not our responsibility to investigate it.  I'm assuming that they will send someone sooner or later to take a look,” answered Franz. “But so far, that preliminary report I have provided them should definitely raise an eyebrow.  I mean how many things we know can stop a diamond drill bit dead in its track?”

At that, Jack replied nothing.  Accountant by the book bastard.

“So I'm assuming our job here is done for today?” asked Eirik rhetorically, anger clearly noticeable in his voice.

For the rest of the meeting, they discussed moving the drill at first light tomorrow morning and resume drilling; Alexander concluded the meeting by saying to everyone that their job was to find oil, and not to boldly drill where no man had drilled before.  He had expected a different outcome, something a little more dramatic and immediate, but his goal was achieved.  Time and human curiosity would do the rest.

During the night, Jack had a lot of trouble sleeping; he kept twisting and turning in bed.  Finally, he sat down at the foot of the bed and couldn't stop feeling terrified of what would happen next.  If the authorities discovered this place, maybe he would never be allowed inside again, maybe he shouldn't have left, and maybe he should have concealed the door and try to hide the light.  A dozen more such scenarios ran through his head until he finally fell asleep sitting on the chair in the corner of his room.

In the morning, Eirik and Jack awoke and noticed that the weather had shifted in the middle of the night.  The sky was completely covered with clouds and the visibility was so low that he could barely see the end of the platform.  Slowly, the rig was moved to the new location and this time the diamond drill had no issue in carving its way to the appropriate depth.