This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2009-12-13 — sourcemeta

Source: Web Archive, Web Archive

The New Kid

Chapter One

It was a year after Brett discovered Neri. A new underwater technician, John McBrad, and his son Robby had arrived on ORCA. He was about Brett age, a little taller, and slender though. He never talked to anyone, and basically kept to himself. When he was not in school he was in the rec-center, sitting by the large portal, reading.

“Brett and I challenge you two at virtual soccer.”Jason said to Froggie and Zoe

“You’re on” Zoe answered to the challenge.

“Whats with him?” Froggy asked them as they walked by the boy that was sitting near the portal.

“I don’t know. I’m going to try to find out. Count me out Jason.” Brett said.

Brett walked over to the boy and asked “Mind if i sit here?”

The boy looked up from his book “It’s a free world.” he said as he looked back to his book.

Brett sat down, looked out the portal, looked at the boy and asked, “So, what are you reading?”

“A book on the reef,” the boy replied.

“Why read about it when you can explore it?” Brett asked.

“That’s what i plan to do, but first my father wants me to create a plan before I dive.” The boy said.

“Cool, I’m Brett,” he said.

“I’m Robert, most people call me Robby.” he said.

“So, have you planned you’re next dive,” Brett asked.

“Yes. It wll be tomorrow, right after breakfast. Unfoutnatly you probably wont like the dive.” he told Brett.

“Why wouldn’t I like this dive. I love to scuba dive.” Brett said.

“I don’t scuba dive.” he started to explain.

“Huh?” Brett asked.

“I don’t dive like most people. I free dive.” Robby finished explained

“So, I also free dive” Brett said.

“Not like I do.” Robby told him.

“What do you mean?” Brett asked.

“Well, I free dive to depths over 50 meters. I stay under water for over five minutes, all without an air tank.” he explained.

“Are you serious?” Brett asked.

“Yes, and at 10:00 am tomorrow I dive.” he told Brett.

“May I dive with you, in scuba gear of course?” Brett asked.

“Sure, if you want. Meet me at the Docking Platform at 9:30 am.” Robby told Brett.

After lights out, in the Bates’ cabin, Jason asked “So why are you going diving tomorrow morning?”

“The new kid, Robby, and I are going. He is actually going to free dive. He says he can stay underwater for over 5 minutes.” Brett told his brother.

“Well if he can people won’t believe him.” Jason said.

The next morning at 9:15 am abot 10 kids had collected on the Docking Platform. Brett And Robby arrived at 9:20 am. All Robby was wearing was a pair of track pants. He didn’t have anything that might help him, not even a pair of swimming goggles.

As Brett was putting on his diving gear, Robby was stretching, getting ready for his dive. About 5 minutes to 10:00 am Robby took off his track pants. under it he was wearing a blue racing style swimsuit.

Some of the kids smirked at him. One kid even said, “No one ever wears those anymore.”

He replied, “I wonder if you will say that after I surface?” Facing Brett he said, “Are you ready?”

“Whenever you are.” Brett answered him.

“I’m ready.” Robby said, and with that he dove in.

Wiithin 30 seconds he was already at 50 meters, with Brett barely able to keep up with him. He swam around the reef, going between the plants and rock formations. He then started to circle around the reef and slowly started to ascend. He broke the surface. Bret followed behind, breaking the surface within a meter of where Robby came up.

“That was six minutes, twenty-one seconds, and a depth of 53 meters.” Brett said after he took his regulator from his mouth.

Everybody, including the one who made the remark earlier were stunned.

“So are you able to dive the same way everytime?” Brett asked Robby after lunch.

“Yes, since I was five I’ve been able to stay underwater for over three minutes. That’s when ans accident happened.” Robby answered.

“What happened?” Brett asked.

“I’d rather not talk about it. It’s a hard thing to talk about.” Robby said.

“I’m sorry.” Brett apologized.

“Aw, don’t worry about it. It is just that i don’t even understand it.” Robby said.

“Oh ok. So where did you live before you came to ORCA?” Brett asked, trying to change the subject.

“Halifax, Canada. Beautiful place to live. I’ve also lived in Vancouver Canada, Miami, USA, Honolulu USA, Buenos Aires Argentina, Monaco France, and I was born in Charlottetown Canada.” He answered.

“Where is the place that you have stayed the longest at?” Brett asked him.

“Charlottetown, for 2 years. The shortest was for 2 months in Monaco.” He answered. “What about you?”

“Lived in Sidney Australia until ORCA opened. Been here since then. Trust me ORCA is a great place to live. The people here are great once you show what type of person you are. You showed them that you’d fit in with that swim.” Brett responded.

Chapter Two

A week had passed since Robby’s dive. News had started to fly around the station that Robby was missing. His father, John McBrad was franticly worried. Brett heard this, so he signed out a wave runner and headed out to the island to talk to Neri. Jason was unable to join him as he was in school.

“Neri!” Brett called out as he beached the wave runner.

Neri came running from the dense forest and answered, “Brett is that you?”

“Yes. I was wondering if Charley found anyone in the ocean alone?” Brett asked.

“No, But I will go and look. Who is the person?” She asked.

“His name is Robby. He is the same age as me. If you can find hi, come to ORCA and tell Jason or I. OK?” Brett said.

“OK, I go now.” After she finished talking to Brett, she dove into the ocean.

Abuot three hours passed, Brett was just finishing dinner, when Neri walked in.

“I found the boy. He is 100 kilometers that way.”: She said as she pointed west.

“What was he doing out there?” Brett asked.

“Swimming. He is not in pain, not injured.” Neri explained. “I go now. Bye Brett.”

“Bye Neri.” Bret said as she walked away.

“Mr. McBrad, I know where Robby is.” Brett told him when he saw him in the corridor.

“Where is he?” Mr. McBrad asked.

“One hundred kilometers west of here.” Bret said.

“Are you serious?” Robby’s father asked.

“Yes.” Brett said, trying to reasure him.

“Let’s go to the bridge so that i can contact him.” Mr. McBrad said.

“Ok” Brett said.

When they got to the bridge, Mr. McBrad talked to a security officer. “Can you bring up th grid that is 100km west of here?” he asked the security officer.

“Sure. Sir the area that you described is in the middle of the ocean. The closest land is over 40 km away, Australia’s coast.” The security officer told him.

“That is impossible. Can you scan the area for a person?” Mr. McBrad asked.

“I’ll try, but there is no guarantees that I’ll be able to even pick up any thing the size of a child. — Well this is the best that i can do. There is something there, but I can’t find out what it is. It is moving west at aproximately 15km/hr.” The security officer told him.

“Where can i get a wave runner?” Mr. McBrad asked.

“At the docking platform. I’ll show you.” Brett answered him. “Meet me at the platform in five minutes. OK?”

“Ok, I’ll be there.” Robby’s father said

In five minutes Brett emerged from the lift, wearing his wetsuit and a personal flotational device (PFD). “You take that one.” He said pointing to a wave runner as he climbed on another.

“You’re not coming.” Mr. McBrad told Brett.

“I’ll be ok, besides regulations require that any persons going more than 10 km must be a party of 2 or more. Since I know Robby, and i can drive one of these wave runner’s, why don’t I come?” Brett asked.

“Oh alright, but please, be careful. Let’s go!!” Mr. McBrad said.

They had gone over two hours without seeing Robby. At the top speed of 60km/hr they had travelled over 120km. Approximately 5km later the sonar picked up something. As they got closer to what the sonar picked up, they could tell it was Robby. They slowed down so they wouldn’t run into Robby. They cut their engines, then Robby’s father asked, “What are you doing way out here?”

“Dad! I was just swimming. I didn’t think there would be a problem.” Robby said.

“Do you know how far you are from ORCA?” Robby’s father asked.

“A couple of kilometers. Why?” Robby asked

“You are over 130 km!” Robby’s father said in amazment and shock.

“You can’t be serious?” Robby asked, thinking that his father was playing one of his jokes.

“I’m not joking. I wish I was though.” His father said.

“Funny, I don’t feel tired.” Robby paused for a minute. “This isn’t good.”

Robby’s father opened a compartment in the front of the wave runner. “Here, put this on.” He said as he reached into the compartment and grabbed a nylon jacket and pants. After Robby put them on, his father then reached in and grabbed a PFD. He threw it to Robby. He put the PFD on, and climbed on to his father’s wave runner.

“How was the swim?” Brett asked Robby just before they started to leave.

“Excellent. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.” Robby answered, and with that, they headed back to ORCA, at a more leasurely pace of 30 km/hr

Four and a half hours later thay were back on ORCA, safe and sound. Brett’s mother was happy that Brett had helped to find Robby, but she was happier that he was back.

“Dad I told you I am ok. Why do I need to see the doctor?” Robby asked his father

"Hey, you’ve been though a lot. I just want to be sure that you are ok. That’s all. You know, to be able to do what you did without being tired is next to impossible, so I want to do what a normal parent would do, find out why. Ok? He asked his son.

“Ok, I guess.” Robby said reluctantly

“Oh, and by the way, don’t do that again without telling me. I’ve been very understanding with all of your recent crazy swimming related ideas. Is that a deal?” Robby’s father asked.

“Yeah, ok, I guess.” Robby said. “Brett thank you for going with my dad. See you tomorrow in school”

“No problem, bye” Brett said as he walked towards his cabin with his mother.

Later when Jason and Brett went to bed, they started talking about the day’s events, mainly about Robby’s swim.

“You know, Robby’s swim seemed like something Neri wouldn’t be able to do without being a little tired. He hadn’t even showed signs that he was even affected by the swim. I’ll bet that he was wanting to swim longer.” Brett told Jason.

“Well, did he say anything about this being normal for him?” Jason asked.

“No, not realy, the only thing he has said about it was that something happened to him when he was younger, but he didn’t want to talk about it. He never said why.” Brett told Jason.

“Well, I think Neri could help us find out. Tomorrow we will see if he want to go with us to the island.” Jason said.

“You think that is a good idea?” Brett asked.

“What do you think his reaction would be?” Jsaon asked.

“He’ll be shocked but he probably won’t tell.” Brett said.

“Tomorrow you can talk to him, and we’ll go.” Jason said as he turned off the lights in their room.