Gib Finney’s sequel to THE POWER OF UN
My Theory Confirmed
19 June 2008, Finney @ 10:24 pm

[This post written 6/19/08; position: lat -57’49”, long -43’40”; temp 0C; wind chill -19C]

There is some big news about Strike today. But first I want to tell you about the pictures, which are “still” shots from the videos the Ice Mosquito made while flying. Which it did again today, by the way, in frighteningly windy conditions. But it dropped its beacon successfully and returned to the helodeck without crashing. Today’s pilot, Steve E. was so happy he looked like he would burst. I don’t blame him. It was AWESOME. Ash was so ecstatic he was jumping around and screaming.

The top picture is a shot of the underwater shelf that sticks out from the iceberg. (It’s the blue-green part.) You can sort of see the cliff face of the iceberg, too (the gray part). I know the middle picture looks like a robot spider. But it’s actually the beacon, just after the plane dropped it, and before it hit the ground. You can see the protective Nerf football. I meant to ask Brett or Paul what the things sticking out are. I think they are probably meant to cushion the beacon an extra amount, but I’m not sure. The third picture shows one of the cool little lagoons this iceberg has. You can see underwater ice shelves in this one, too. You can also see that this iceberg is just as smooth on top as the other one.

Also today there was another successful mission for the Phoenix ROV. It got very close to the iceberg and stayed there for an hour looking around with its video camera and pumping lots of water samples for the chemists. That was great all by itself. But then at the science meeting, Dr. Twining said the samples seem to confirm the suspicion that there will be extra iron in the water near the iceberg. This is very good news!

Now for the big news about Strike.

In the morning, Ash usually gets up before I do and quietly gets dressed and goes down to the galley to eat early with the engineers. Meanwhile, I lie in bed for another hour or so, usually sleeping peacefully. This means I usually miss the big breakfast cooked by Nestor and his crew, but I don’t mind. I am not a big breakfast kind of guy anyway. Cereal or a couple of cookies is fine with me. So I was lying in bed this morning, sleeping away, and suddenly I hear, “You should get up, Gib. You’re going to miss the plane flight. It’s at 8:30.”

At first I thought it was Ash, so I mumbled, “Okay okay, all right already.” Then I realized the room was dark and Ash wasn’t in it. Which caused me to say, “What the…?” and sit up too fast and bump my head on the upper bunk.

There was Strike, sitting on my blanket, staring at me with his beady black eyes. “What is it with you!” I said, rubbing my head and feeling generally crabby. “Why do you have to talk while I’m asleep instead of talking when we want you to? Can’t you just be a normal stuffed penguin? For your information, I am never going to do what you tell me to again unless you stop acting so devious. I want to know who or what you are and how you got on this icebreaker!”

“Oh dear, don’t get so upset, it’s all right, now now…” said Strike. I was pleased to see him acting a little flustered for a change. He’s usually so robotic.

I picked him up and squeezed him. “I am done messing around. Tell me right now or I’ll squeeze you to smithereens.” In truth, I didn’t know whether squeezing him would hurt him or not. I knew ripping his head off would hurt him, but it seemed unnecessarily mean and possibly not very smart.

“Oh, come on, Gib. You already know, don’t you?” said Strike. My squeeze didn’t seem to be bothering him at all.

I already knew? That stopped me in my tracks, because in fact, a theory had been forming in my brain over the past 24 hours or so.

I gulped. “You’re from the future, aren’t you? Old Gib sent you, didn’t he?”

“You are correct,” said Strike. I’m sure he would have smiled if his cloth and stuffing face had allowed it.