Saturday, 10 April 2010

Chapter One - Scene 4

Amsterdam                                                                                             Monday 8th March, 12.05 p.m.

“THANK you for your kind words Mark.” Graham Williams controlled the tempo of his voice. “It is an honor for me to be here. The responsibilities and demands of this position with Greenpeace International are immense and somewhat daunting.” Graham allowed himself a wry smile as he shifted his gaze from Mark Stafford and met the looks of encouragement from the other members. “However, I’ve always sought challenge and this opportunity is, for me, the peak of my career. I look forward to working with each of you.” Graham paused for a moment and looked down at his notes.

Lifting his head again, turning to his right, he addressed Mark Stafford. “Mr Chairman, my report today is brief for two reasons. Firstly, I’m still in a settling-in period, and secondly, the number of outstanding issues at present is not high. However, I would like it to be noted that my section will be attending the forthcoming Cross Border Pollution Treaty discussions, the Trans-national Mission on Global Warming and the most important, the International Whaling Commission’s Annual General Meeting. I am particularly interested in the remit on research killing. I look forward to coordinating our efforts with other campaign committees and will report in more detail at future meetings. That is all Mr Chairman.” Pushing himself back from the table, Graham returned his gaze to the head table.

“Brief reports are always appreciated. Thank you Graham,” Mark Stafford noted with a twinkle in his eye, “we look forward to your input at future meetings.” Closing his agenda file, he announced, “Right. If there is no further business I suggest we take lunch.”

Chapter One - Scene 3

Southern Ocean Early March

FEEDING on schools of fish and squid, which had the misfortune to cross his migratory path, the large bull swam without haste. Leaving the frigid Antarctic, he was on his solitary annual pilgrimage to the harem, which awaited him North of the equator.
Diving, he scooped up squid and octopus from the sea floor, crushing and swallowing them in his huge mouth. Other floor dwellers drew back into dark crevices and remained immobile, while his immense presence passed lazily overhead. The seemingly unmoving ocean was momentarily in turmoil as he made a downward movement with his enormous and powerful tail. As his dark bulk disappeared into the lightless distance, his would-be prey began to emerge from their hiding-places, buffeted by the curls of current.
And so it was that during early March, at the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer, he continued his journey, propelling his streamlined fish-shaped body by fins and flukes in effortless grace.
Driven by a millennia-old instinct, he was unaware of the impending drama that was about to turn the hunter into the hunted.