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Countermeasures, Pt. 15 of 25. Cliff looked out of one of the two small rear windows of the ship and watched the Earth rapidly recede and become smaller as they shot into deep space. While moving away to the front again and examining the interior of the craft, he wondered what he had gotten himself into. Moving forward, he saw two rows of clear glass-like spheres to each of his sides and presumed that they were for storage but was not exactly sure. The floor and walls felt very smooth, like polished stone, and did not seem very metallic, and he wondered what made them glow and illuminate the interior around him. He guessed that it involved some kind of exotic photochemistry but again, was not exactly sure.
He moved on and soon came up to short single rows of long vertical cells to his sides. Each had a lattice of small holes in its top and bott
Countermeasures, Pt. 14 of 25. The last message Patricia heard from the divers was that they had secured the alien ship. A short time later, she saw the craft burst out of the water in the distance and rise rapidly upward into the endless blue sky. She could only guess then where they were going or what would become of them.
The petite, well-clothed woman moved the dingy to the side of the yacht, using the oar with some difficulty, and as she was about to step off of it and onto the metal ladder, the thing suddenly moved outward as if shoved. She extended her arms outward fast in response, to try and correct her balance, but let out a short scream when she toppled forward and went into the water. She was not a good swimmer but was also not deathly afraid of being in deep water. So, she screamed merely in surprise at the failure of h
Countermeasures, Pt. 13 of 25. John looked at the mermaid again and mentally said, "Your leader! Where is your leader? Take us to him."
"Our leader for this region is one of our star ships a few degrees southeast of here in much deeper water. This is only a cargo ship."
"What do you mean 'one of your star ships'? Just how many of them do you have on our world anyway?" he continued and raised the spear gun.
There are four of them currently on this world. Each of them has a leader to coordinate our activities directly, but our supreme ruler is Brane."
"Brane?" he said audibly, so the others could hear his voice. "What . . . who is Brane?"
Countermeasures, Pt. 12 of 25. When the divers found the alien vessel, they faintly heard Patricia's hysterical voice in their headsets. She indicated that she was "quite" sure she saw some slow-moving forms going in their direction. John knew they were obviously carrying human captives but did not know how successful their mission had been. Tom also heard her warning but upon looking back, he could see no sign of them.
The alien craft was in a little deeper water than Cliff had earlier specified, and it was considerably larger than it looked on his camera. Its color was a very dark aqua, a little darker than the surrounding water; it had a wide, blunt nose and a large, thick mirrored window at its anterior end. The bulk of it was generally rectangular in shape and rather long, with two small wings in the posterior lateral part to help stabiliz
Countermeasures, Pt. 11 of 25. When Jocelyn entered her room that night, she found a letter on the floor by Cliff that Donald had delivered during the day when she was out. It had been slipped under her door, and when she opened it, she found it to be brief but candid, reading as follows:
My dearest Jocelyn,
This is to inform you that I had an impromptu job to do in the Keys. I will be gone for just a few days, certainly no longer than a week. I am very sorry that I could not tell you this directly, for the call was sudden and unfortunately, I had no time. Do not take this as a weakness in our loving relationship, and all I ask is for your patience and understanding, until I return.
Passionate kisses, Cliff.
Countermeasures, Pt. 10 of 25. The crew began the stake-out on Donald's large yacht at the place where Cliff took them the next day. They anchored just outside the reef, and when he finished a short dive, he told the others that the humming sound was still audible but somewhat fainter than before, and that they were nearly at the exact location where he took his camera earlier. he was careful not to take them too close to where he believed the alien craft was, and all went well.
The yacht was about a kilometer from the shore, and its crew conducted maintenance and leisure time activities, until Donald returned from the island on a dingy with some more food, small supplies, and the underwater explosives. When the Sun had set, William informed them from the resort that nothing unusual happened during the day. Over the radio, he also told them that he inform
Countermeasures, Pt. 9 of 25. Cliff watched the moon's watery reddish image gradually sink below the horizon before going back inside into his suite. He was doing much thinking about the events of the day and was considerably restless. He felt there was a strange evil presence surrounding him and that it was going to strike the inhabitants of the warm tropical island, but the fact that he did not know how, when, or where sent a chill up his spine. He pictured the mermaids in his mind while thinking of the evil force and felt it was his responsibility to tell or warn the people of their presence -- somehow. Who would believe him? What could he do?
He looked at his camera with its contents nearby that he had stored in the evening after Jocelyn's dreadful experience and thought of John Silverman. If there was anyone on the
Countermeasures, Pt. 8 of 25. Instead of mermaids, Aimee had an encounter with an old classmate later in the day. They initially met while crossing paths in town earlier. Then, each of them had certain things to do, shopping and errands to run, but now, they didn't, and Aimee was trying to get her acquainted with the experience of being underwater. She had always hoped that she had changed by now in this tropical location.
Aimee was wearing her sexy dive suit, and her friend was in a bland, one-piece swimsuit that made her look considerably less attractive than her. She never learned how to swim well and relax in the water, rather just how to get wet bathing and to escape the heat in it. Aimee talked very little of the past and kept persuading her to go underwater with her -- into a whole different world; she reluctantly agreed to but remained
Countermeasures, Pt. 7 of 25. While Cliff moved toward the beach, Jocelyn leisurely swam out away from the shore. The bottom became much more rocky, which she ignored with her blurred vision, but her inability to see well hid aquatic alien predators from her view. They could see her clearly from behind some boulders, as she relaxed in the warm water, and had intentions of abducting her, as they did with John's wife months ago.
Jocelyn stopped swimming after moving out another thirty meters and treaded water. She felt so stimulated and refreshed! Looking toward the shore, she saw Cliff setting down his bulky camera and taking her mask. He would soon be back in the water with her, and feeling the anticipation, she decided to do some more underwater swimming. She took a deep breath and went under, to do two forward somersaults, before
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