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    quokka
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Aquaria - 15. Aqu Chapter 15

Meanwhile, over 11,500 miles southwest of where they are, in Perth Western Australia, where it is almost 8.30pm and nearly time for bed, as a group of senior boys at the grammar school were watching the late news, when the story of the research submarine came on air.

“Hey there is the Captain and Mr Blackthorn” one of the boys said loudly, “Shush, so we can hear the story, another student replied, and there was total silence in the room, as they listened to the news story.

“Good speech, that former captain is a basted thou” once of the boys said, and the whole group agreed with his comment.

“I wonder where they are heading next? Some awesome place I bet” the senior prefect in the group commented, “Yeah, I wish we could get to be onboard again, that was an awesome time we had” another boy added, as the television was turned off, and they headed to their dorms.

After breakfast, I headed to the office to see if there has been any response from head office. “Yes sir, he has just walked in, I will pass the phone to him, one moment” Jocelyn said, guessing that it was my father on the phone.

“Hello, Trenton speaking” I said nervously, “Hello son, a job well done with the press conference, although I wouldn’t have mentioned you being in the navy” my father said to me.

“That’s what Uncle Jonah said, once we were back inside, so you are not angry at us?’” I replied, “No, not at all, it had to be done sooner or later, probably better to get it out of the way. I have just arrived in Quebec, and I fly out to Halifax this afternoon, local time, so I will see you this evening. I have a few things I need to discuss with both you and Jonah” Dad informed me.

“Ok, I will see you later today then, is that all?” I replied, “Yes that’s all, see you later bye” Dad said before ending the call. A knock on the door brought me out of a thinking daze, and I stood up to open the door, where Uncle Jonah was standing. “Come in Uncle, take a seat” I said as I headed over to the lounge area in the office.

“This is very nice, I like all of your artwork, I don’t know why your father didn’t think of that, no eye for room décor I guess” my uncle commented as he sat down.

“Dad just rang, he is here in Canada, well in Quebec, and he will be here later this afternoon, I know he is up to something, I just can’t quite work out what it is” I commented, and Uncle Jonah laughed.

“Yes, he probably has, but we will just have to wait and see, I too received a call from him, so I know he is coming, and he will be staying overnight, and staying till the new cadets arrive and get settled tomorrow” Uncle Jonah said to me.

“Ok, he didn’t say anything about that, are we able to bus the cadets in, so they don’t have to deal with the media?” I asked.

“Yes, already sorted, they will go through customs at a different location and come by bus directly from there to the wharf” Uncle Jonah replied.

“So, how are things going with your family?” I asked, “As well as can be expected, my son is being a stubborn idiot, as your Aunty Natalia, is quite upset about it all, we have sent Wallace to a University in the UK, and hopefully his views will change during that time.

If it is ok with you, Natalia would like to come back onboard, as she enjoyed her time here last time” Uncle Jonah said to me. “Yes, it is fine with me, as long as my cousin, if I really have to call him one, does not get anywhere near the Aquaria, while I am working onboard” I replied, “Yes, I understand, and it is guaranteed that he won’t be returning.

Now what about his little surprise about my 1st officer’s wife, being your ex-girlfriend” Uncle Jonah commented, “Yes, that was quite a shock, and also to learn that I have a five-year old son too” I commented.

“When are they due to join us?” my uncle asked, “No sure, with the change to our itinerary, I haven’t had the chance to aske Dan about that” I replied, “Well I will find out, and let you know” my uncle said.

For the rest of the morning and half of the afternoon, I kept myself busy, with planning research projects, while we are travelling through the Arctic region, and it was about 3pm when the office phone rang, and I let Jocelyn answer it.

“Yes sir, I will let him know straight away, goodbye” I heard her say. “That was Commander Atkins, asking if you would mind meeting him in the small café on deck 3” Jocelyn said to me, and I smiled and nodded yes, as I stood up and headed out.

As I stepped out of the elevator and looked over to the café, I recognised Julia right away, she had hardly changed since I last saw her, and I stood there for a moment, until I saw a boy approach her, and give her a hug, which made me smile.

Suddenly I noticed the boy staring at me, and I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just continued to smile and gave a short wave, as he came rushing out and he raced into my arms.

“Hello daddy, I am glad to finally meet you” the boy said shyly, “Hello Joshua, it is nice to meet you too” I replied, as I carried him into the café, as the boy wrapped his arms tightly around my neck. “Hello Julia, it’snice to see you again after such a long time” I said to Julia, who was holding Dan’s hand.

“Hello Trenton, it’s nice to see you too… Joshua, how about you let go of your father’s neck so he can sit down” Julia replied, “I want to stay” Joshua wined, so I just sat down and he wriggled a bit in my lap till he was comfortable and lay his head on my chest, and promptly fell asleep.

“Have you settled into your new quarters?” I asked Dan, “Yes, I moved everything down earlier today, shortly after your news conference, and Julia and Joshua arrived an hour ago, so they haven’t unpacked much yet” Dan replied.

“I know it is a bit bland, I have a few paintings that you can use to brighten up your quarters” I suggested, “That would be great thanks, I will have to do some shopping for stuff before we go, by the way when is it that we are leaving?” Julia replied.

“Tomorrow afternoon actually, so if you want to go now, and I will watch Joshua while you and Dan do that, I don’t mind” I suggested.

“I just need to let Captain Burke know that we are heading out and organise a taxi to collect us” Dan replied, as they stood up. “Don’t worry about Joshua, he will be fine, I will put him down in my suite, and I will be in my office next door if he wakes up” I said to them.

Once I had Joshua bedded down for his nap, I stood and watched him sleep for a while before going to the lounge, leaving the bedroom door open, and I read a book for about an hour, until I heard some noise, “Daddy, where are you?” came Joshua’s voice.

“Where is the loo please?” Joshua added, and I rushed into the room, and led Joshua into the bathroom, and left him to it, while I returned to the lounge.

When I heard the toilet flush then the sound of running water from the sink, I smiled and watched as my son entered the lounge and sat down next to me. “I put the lid down and washed my hands daddy” Joshua announced proudly, “That is very good, what a clever boy you are” I replied.

“Can I see some of the submarine please daddy?” Joshua asked, “Yes, we can do that, now you have had a nap, come along then” I said as I stood up and made my way to the office door.

“I am taking Joshua for a look around, if Dan and Julia are looking for us, just page me, and we will come back to the family quarters on deck 5” I said to Jocelyn, “Very well Mr Blackthorn” she replied.

“Why is your last name Blackthorn, Mummy and Dans is Atkins and mine is Alliston?” Joshua asked me as he took my hand and we left the suite.

“That is a very good question, your Mummy’s last name before she married was Alliston, and that is why your last name is Alliston, when she married Dan, her last name became the same as Dan’s last name, and my last name is Blackthorn, because that was my mother’s last name, but she died a few years back now, so you can’t meet her.

You can meet my father, who is your Grandad, and his last name is Lloyd” I replied, that is very confusing” Joshua admitted, “Yes son, it is very much so” I replied.

“I’ve already met Grandfather, when Mummy and I were in London. That is a very big city, easy to get lost there. Grandfather took us to London Zoo, and they have lots of wild animals there, a lot more than I’ve seen at the zoo where I lived. When we came here, this submarine looks big. How many floors does it have daddy?” Joshua said hardly stopping to take a breath.

When you are on a ship or a submarine, we call them decks, and there is a total of 9 decks on the Aquaria, that is the name of this submarine” I replied, “Aqueera… what a funny name?” Joshua said which made me laugh, “No it’s called A…qu…aria” I said saying it phonically, to help Joshua pronounce it correctly. “Aquaria, is that right?” Joshua asked.

“Yes perfect, well done, now on this submarine, there are lots of places that children are not allowed to go, so make sure you are with Mummy, Dan or me, when you want to go anywhere, ok?” I said to Joshua, “Sure daddy, I can do that, what deck are we on now?” Joshua replied.

“We are on deck 6 now, and your new home is on deck 5, one level up. But first lets start from the bottom and work our way, up shall we?” I replied. “I can count to twenty now, and I know most of the altered” Joshua said to me as we stepped into the elevator.

“It is al…pha…bet, you almost got it right, a good job trying, that is the only way you are going to learn” I said helping Joshua to correct the word.

“Ok, this is deck 9, the very bottom of the submarine, and we are about 12 metres below the water, I am just under 2 metres tall so just over 6 times taller than me to the surface” I explained to my son.

“Are we going to drown because we are underwater?” Joshua asked, looking a little worried, “No son, this is a very special submarine, that go lots of places, including deep into the ocean, so far while I have been onboard, we have been to 200 metres below the surface” I explained.

“Wow, that is very deep” Joshua exclaimed, and I just smiled, as I led the way forward, till we reached the crew observation lounge. “This deck has a crew recreation lounge, some store rooms, holding tanks, and this special room, which is the observation lounge, if you look through that very thick window, you can see the water on the outside” I explained, and Joshua walked up to the window and looked out, where the water was a little murky.

“Won’t it crack and break when you go deep?” Joshua asked me, “my word you are a clever boy, yes it would, but we have special steel doors that close, as soon as the submarine goes below 50 metres, so it protects the windows from breaking” I replied. “Do you have other places where you can look out the windows?” Joshua asked me.

“Yes, we do, on deck 6 there is another observation lounge like this one, also on the deck that you live, there is 2 windows in the forward lounge, which is called the family activity lounge, plus in the observation lounge on deck 3. Plus, there are windows at the back of the submarine on decks 1, 2, 4 & 5 and side windows on Decks 1, 2 & 5” I replied, as I lead Joshua back to the elevator, and we went up one deck.

“This is deck…?” I began, “Eight” Joshua responded, “Very good, well done, this is one of three decks that are extra-long, the other two are decks 6 and 4, this deck has the engineering, where the big motors are that make this submarine move, plus a large workshop where they repair things.

We also have a lot of the crew living quarters, that is like bedrooms, plus the crew dining room, and the gymnasium, so the crew can keep fit” I explained to Joshua, deciding not to mention the mini sub hangers, as he would want to have a look at them, so I showed him the gymnasium, the lounge and dining room before returning to the elevators.

By the time I had shown Joshua parts of every deck, nearly two hours had passed, and I could see that Joshua was starting to get tired again, as we glanced out of the side window in the senior officer’s lounge room.

“That is the end of the grand tour of the Aquaria” I announced to Joshua, who nodded tiredly. “Look at all the people down there, looking at us” Joshua announced, just as Jonah and Natalia appeared.

Copyright October 2018 All Rights are a Reserved
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Another great chapter, I’m glad that Joshua knew who Trenton is. I think it’s great that Julia has taken the time to teach Joshua who his daddy is especially since they’ll be living on the Aquaria together. Joshua told Trenton that he had already met Hamysh when they were in London for their underwater training. I love the way Trenton just took to acting like a parent when he first met Joshua. I wonder what Hamysh is up to now since he said that he has some things to discuss with Jonah and Trenton, they’ll find out this evening as he is in Quebec and he will in Halifax then. I’m glad that Natalia will be rejoining the Aquaria as soon as Jonah is able to make arrangements for her when they get to another port. It’s a good thing that Wallace is not allowed on the Aquaria so he won’t be causing any more trouble for Trenton. 

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