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28 April 2011

Global Warming / Global Warning

by Kathleen A. Staley

Both Polar ice caps are slowly melting, as Global Warming continues. At the current rate of warming, it is predicted that the Earth will be mostly covered by water, within the next century.

The High-Tech submarine "Nemo" was sent to Antarctica, to record and interpret the data, concerning Global Warming. Nemo's team of scientists, set-up drills to probe into the deepest trenches of the ocean and glaciers. They surveyed the terrain and collected data.

When the vessel reached the base camp, a structure was built, to shelter the equipment, from the bitter cold winds and subzero temperatures.

In the bow of the research vessel, was a laser drill, able to bore through solid glacier ice. The hull of the Nemo, was able to withstand the pressure of being submerged, miles below the surface. An air-team accompanied the research team and helped record data, from Infrared cameras. From above, images could be seen, deep under the ice. The images were sent from the air to the Nemo and the data was analyzed.

One of the images recorded, disturbed the Captain of the Nemo. It caused him, to investigate further. After the image was examined by the scientists, they were certain that it indicated shapes of prehistoric, bird-like creatures. The pilot of the plane said it looked like a nest of dinosaurs or dragons.

Captain Ethan Chambers was very logical and didn't believe in dragons. He thought that they had found a large colony of frozen, prehistoric creatures. They were curious and anxious to find out what was down there, deep under the ice. The captain ordered the men to begin drilling at the base of the glacier.

The water in the area was warmer than expected. The drill easily and quickly penetrated the glacier. Dr. Janet Beckman, Geologist, speculated that volcanic activity must have been responsible for the warmth of the water. She suggested that the drilling could cause a great amount of stress on the weakened glacier. Her research associates were anxious to proceed and continued with the drilling. The ice broke open as the submarine moved toward their destination. Cameras and monitors were in place, for navigation.

As they moved forward, Dr. Beckman quietly said "I have a really bad feeling about this. We need to be extremely careful or we could be trapped under here."

Captain Chambers replied "It will be alright, Janet, the Nemo can take it. She's the best and strongest submarine, ever built."

The ice around the vessel turned to warm water as the Nemo went further into the glacier. The current carried them downward into a subterranean cavern. The ice formed a dome-ceiling, high above in the rocks. Florescent sea-life illuminated the cavern, with soft light. Several of the crew members, left the ship to explore. Stalactites and stalagmites created towers of glistening crystal. The crystalline forms appeared to be castles of brilliant light. The navigator turned on the spot-lights to photograph the amazing scene.

When the bright lights hit the cavern walls, thousands of eyes were peering out of the crevasses. Strange and shrill cries, echoed throughout the chamber. The monitor picked up movement all around them. They looked up and saw flames shooting from the ceiling. The sound of flapping wings surrounded the men and the ship.

The captain signaled the men to return immediately, but it was too late. The men had been dragged away by a horde of gigantic winged creatures. The hatch was sealed and the submarine powered the engines. The lights were extinguished and hundreds of fire-breathing dragons, descended on the Nemo.

The laser drill was set and they plotted a course to return, the way they had come. The laser startled the creatures and they retreated into the darkness. The Nemo swiftly returned to the point of entry.

Dr. Beckman said "Oh my God! What have we done! Hurry and seal the opening, before the creatures can escape. We must have disturbed a nest. There could be millions of eggs, in there. When they hatch, well, I don't even want to think about it."

Suddenly, hundreds of the dragons emerged from the opening. The Nemo was engulfed by wings and deadly talons. The dragons attached themselves to the hull of the ship and brought it to the surface. They went on a feeding frenzy and consumed fish and other sea creatures.

The Nemo sent a distress call for a "Global SOS Warning".

The signal was interrupted when the transmitter was broken by one of the beasts. When the signal came into the main camp, it was interpreted as Global Warming. The message was acknowledged, but was misinterpreted. The technician thought that the Nemo was verifying Global Warming as the cause of the unusual infrared images.

While the dragons were busy feeding, the Nemo submerged to the bottom of the ocean floor. They turned on emergency power and brought the engines to a halt. They helplessly watched as thousands of dragons continued to emerge from the glacier. All they could do was observe.

The larger ones had wings and would swim through the water as easily as flying through the air. The young dragons were fed small food and the adults hunted for larger prey.

Soon, the skies were filled with swarms of fire-breathing carnivores. Once they had tasted human or animal flesh, they attacked and consumed any living thing that they could see.

One disadvantage of the dragons was their inability to see in bright light. They hunted at night and tended to nest in the day, in cold environments. Ice helped to cool their fire, after the day's feeding was done.

Global Warming was accelerated by the fire-breathing horde. The creatures were hatching at an exponential rate. Frozen Tundra and Arctic regions, quickly melted and more creatures emerged.

The Nemo monitored the behavior of the dragons, for several weeks. Dr. Beckham theorized that the Earth, itself, was being turned into a giant incubator. If something wasn't done to stop the hatching, Humans would be the next food source and dragons would soon dominate the entire planet. Any surviving people would have to live underground, to be safe from the night predators.

The research crew members of the Nemo were the most highly skilled in the world. They all were chosen to do research on the unique research vessel for their expertise. The main project was to find a way to reverse Global Warming, without putting Earth in another Ice Age. With the dragons escalating the situation, a plan had to be implemented, before humans became extinct.

Dr. Beckman and her associates had invented a satellite to reflect the sun and collect solar energy. Energy and the light of the sun, was stored in cells. The satellite used a series of mirrors to harness energy from other parts of the globe. It converted the energy into power. The power could generate extreme heat and extreme cold.

The Nemo was completely powered by the solar cells. They had to recharge every few months. After expending the extra power needed to observe the dragons, it was necessary for the ship to return to base. The ship ascended very gradually and managed to surface without being seen.

The base camp was destroyed, but the main communications were still operational. All of the people were gone. Nemo sent an emergency SOS to the nearest battleship, stationed in the Antarctic. A warning went out to any vessel in the area to stay away from the camp.

The crew started to recharge the cells and the emergency back-up batteries. In the brightest part of the day, enough energy could be stored, for up to six months.

Captain Chambers waited for a reply to the SOS, but the radio remained silent. It was apparent that the Nemo was on its' own. They finished powering the cells and planned to submerge, before nightfall.

Before they left the encampment, a few of the dragons appeared from their hiding places. A fishing vessel approached the camp.

A gigantic dragon swooped down and let out a shrill cry. The surviving members of the fishing boat were inside and they prepared for the attack. Several harpoons were launched and one of them hit its' mark. The beast fell on to the ice and appeared, dead. The other dragons flew away.

The remaining crew came on deck to celebrate their apparent victory. The crew of the Nemo, helplessly watched, as a swarm of smaller dragons, devoured the fishermen.

A probe was launched and it landed next to the wounded dragon. It was barely alive, but was able to call the others, for help. The sky filled with swarms of hungry creatures. The Nemo submerged and the probe began to send data. Everyone was silent, after the horrible scene, they had witnessed.

Janet Beckman and Ethan Chambers had been friends, for many years. Sometimes they disagreed about ethics and scientific practices. The situation with the dragons, forced them to collaborate. They were hoping to find a way to coexist with the dragons, instead of trying to kill them. The captain was theorizing about a way to trap them and the doctor was working on a plan to communicate with them.

A scanning device was used, to monitor the brain activity of the wounded dragon. The animal had an enormous brain and it was capable of telepathic communication. Dr. Beckman tried to send her thoughts through the probe. She concentrated on peaceful images and relayed the feelings through the probe's link.

After several hours of experimenting with frequencies, the doctor was able to connect with the dragon's mind. The creature was in agony and asking for mercy. It wanted to explain why they had attacked the humans, when once, dragons and humans, lived together, in peace.

Long ago, humans rode on the backs of the winged reptiles. A society existed, where dragons were sacred and humans served them.

When the dragon population diminished, the remaining creatures created nests in the coldest regions of the world. The ice protected the nests for thousands of years. If a dragon ventured to the warmer regions, they would weaken and were hunted by humans.

Global Warming caused the eggs to hatch prematurely and they were rapidly consuming whatever food was available. More eggs were hatching and the nest expanded beyond what it could contain. The hatchlings were dying and the larger dragons needed to find a colder environment or they would all perish. When they realized that the Arctic areas were melting, they returned to their original nests, in the coldest regions and waited to die. They were peaceful creatures, unless provoked. The Nemo disturbed the last nest and the dragons retaliated.

The ancient dragon called himself Nordwin, the Guardian. He imparted the story to Dr. Beckman, telepathically. She was amazed at his intensity and intelligence. During the link, Dr. Beckman learned about the history of dragons and how they had survived for thousands of years, inside the glaciers.

The male dragons generated power to incubate the eggs and the females guarded the nest from intruders. Their families worked together and each dragon had a specific duty. They were highly intelligent and peaceful.

Nordwin wished, for humans and dragons, to live together in Harmony. It was his desire, to help find a solution to the problem of Global Warming. He sent a telepathic signal to the others, calling them to go back to the nest. He also instructed them not to attack the humans. The dragons were willing to help anyway possible, to save the planet.

The link was interrupted when Nordwin died. Before he died, he called to his brother, Saurin and asked him to help the crew of the Nemo find a solution.

Janet had a theory, involving Solar Technology, the heat produced from the fire-breathers and principles of refrigeration. The team immediately went to work on designing enormous ice-generators. The idea was to refreeze the polar ice-caps and slow the warming process. The dragons would fuel the generators with their flames and the population of the nests could be controlled. If the project succeeded, humans would be able to maintain the equipment and coexist with the dragons, to the benefit of all.

With Saurin's help, the dragons united and formed a network of "Fire-Breathers". After the first generator was built, they fueled the "Ice Accelerator". Solar power regenerated the dragons' ability to produce more flames. The glacier around the nest soon began to solidify.

More accelerators were placed in areas, affected by the warming. Within several months the regions were restored. Humans migrated to the warmer climates and the dragons enjoyed the subzero temperatures of the Arctic.

The dragons were grateful and promised to continue fueling the generators as long as they lived. Saurin returned to the Nemo to thank Dr. Beckman for communicating with Nordwin. He asked Janet if there was something he could do to show his appreciation.

She replied "Oh, please, take me for a ride, in the sky. I've always wondered what it would be like, to fly"

Saurin gladly granted her request. She climbed on to his immense wings and took her place on his back. The dragon was happy to have a "Wingrider" on his back. It reminded him of the most glorious times, of his life.

Saurin, said "Hold on tightly" and they ascended into the heavens.


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