Dangol’ gian’squid man!

4/1

Zahhab Region, noon—The seaweed that’s the secret ingredient in the snakeoil magical healing ointment was easily found at Mushroom Rock. With Pha in tow, I next headed for the Twin Crevasses, to search for Oceana’s favorite animals, which I suspect are the hideous giant isopods, Bathynomus giganteus—figures she’s the kind of kid who loves buffo toads and naked mole rats.

Speaking of giant isopods, have you seen this? http://news.discovery.com/animals/creepy-sea-creature-crustacean-giant-isopod.html 

Pleasant…dreamsss….

But once I got to the sea floor, I realized I should’ve, y’know, taken Oceana with me instead of Pha. Oh well, at least I could search for those Okeanos Tablets while I was there. One of them I know is associated with Horus, and another with Osiris. Isn’t there an Osiris’s somethingorother down here? I crawl through a lot of tunnels and see a lot of weird beasties along the way. At one point I even nearly collide with a giant squid on his way to work. I find Osiris’ Courtyard, which has the totally wicked-looking wreck of the submarine that claimed the life of Matthias Louvier, but no tablets. Come to think of it, Osiris and Horus might be in the Chamber of the Gods. Well, I’ll just have to g—doh!! Once again, my visit to the depths is pretty much a bust.

This friendly-looking fellow is a fanfish. He wants to be petted.

Back on Nineball, the gang’s all clustered around Jean-Eric again, who’s reading a followup story on the magical ointment. (I don’t have the heart to tell him he’s just reading the same paid advertisement). We are the soul possessors of the secret ingredient—the world is somewhat literally our oyster. Oceana wants to share it with the world immediately, but Hayako, no fool, wants to keep it a secret while we study its properties, learn how to market it. Hidden depths of deviousness to that one…

Meanwhile, GG has an interesting salvage request for us from FF, the guy with the dead beaver on his head. He’s got a piece of map to show us, but he hasn’t a clue to what area the map belongs to. All we’ve got to go by is a few grids, a scap of shoreline, and some amorphous blobs of submarine geography. It’s a bit like finding a puzzle piece on the floor and trying to guess which box in the closet it belongs to. There’s no hurry, GG and FF assure me, whenever you get around to it.

It’s time to watch Letterman’s monologue and go to bed, but this has got me intrigued. The land trails off on the lower right, and I think I detect a blush of pink at the border, so it can’t be Zahhab (no eastern shoreline) or Cortica (wrong color). I flip through the other maps in the marine encyclopedia, redraw the map on a piece of scrap paper—not accurately, of course, but it gets me to focus. Suddenly—

I know where this is.

I head out, get GG and dive and in seconds we’ve got it. The Silver Shield, worth a cool 10,500 pelagos. Letterman’s over, but at least now I can go to bed with some make-believe money in my pocket.

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