Deep Empire: Book Summary
After discovering the entrance to the redoubt will not open, Ryan ops to climb the hill and enter through the crack in the ruins. He leaves the other behind, hoping that he will be able to open the sec doors from the inside. After nearly an hour, he manages to make it into the redoubt. Somehow, Rick Coburn managed to make it into the redoubt behind him.
They meet inside the corridor where Dean had been attacked by the mutant worms. Ryan and Coburn start a fight, exchanging blow after blow. In the end, as Rick is losing the battle, he pulls out a derringer and is about to fire at Ryan when the mutant worms attack him. He doesn't stand a chance and they kill him quickly. Ryan is able to slip past and makes it to the redoubt entrance.
After the others finally make it into the redoubt, they close the doors. The doors jam open at only a few inches above the floor. After a short rest, they all head into the gateway and jump out. They all suffer nightmares on this latest jump.
Abe is still taking in every clue, no matter how remote, in his quest to try and find Trader. He comes across a man who managed to get his leg caught in a trap. The man is near death. His name is Abe as well. He tells Abe that he had encountered Trader about three weeks previously, and learned that Trader was planning to travel to the Northwest. After learning the news, Abe does the dying man a favour, and kills him. He continues his trek to the Northwest.
Several weeks later Abe is near the ruins of Seattle. He is getting closer and closer to trader all the time. During a particularly nasty storm, Abe takes shelter in a cabin. He wakes up to discover that a mutant cougar is sharing the cabin with him. He barely manages to kill the huge cat. He stays for several more days, feeding off the corpse of the dead cougar.
After leaving the cabin, he runs into a man named Floyd Thursday, who gives him a note from trader, confirming that Trader is really alive.
The walls of the new gateway are a watery yellow in colour. When the group leaves the gateway it is obvious that this redoubt has suffered a great deal of damage. They find only a single corridor that is intact, but it is blocked by water. They decide to see if they can get passed the water, but won't bother until the morning.
After a restless night Ryan decides that he will head into the flooded part of the redoubt. He is a little fearful of the water, considering all the bad encounters he has had in it. But he dives in and swims through the wreckage of the tunnel. He quickly finds himself in the ocean and reaches the surface. From where he is, all he can see is a mound of rubble, the remnants of the redoubt, and a beach, only about one hundred yards away.
Returning to the others, they all make the short swim. Before diving in, it is obvious to everyone that Michael is quite scared, but he goes none the less. They all head out. When they reach the surface, they quickly discover that Michael is missing and begin a frantic search for him.
It turns out that Michael was attacked by a huge mutant sea snake. They know there isn't a thing that they can do to help the young man. But then suddenly the snake is attacked by a pod of dolphins who force it, through their constant and damaging attacks, to drop Michael into the sea, which they then help to shore.
While Mildred is busy reviving the boy, J.B. pulls out his mini sextant and takes bearings. They discover that they are in the Florida Keys. After Michael is strong enough to travel, they head inland and come across the remains of the highway that connected the keys together. They decide to head south, in the hopes that they will be able to find a place to get some food and some rest.
A short time later they come across a group of buildings. The inhabitants come out to greet them. The buildings compose the Mark Tomwun's Institute of Peaceful Oceanographic Research. The leader is none other than Mark Tomwun himself. He welcomes the group to come down and stay with them. He also wishes to know how they managed to come from the redoubt.
The group spends the next five days relaxing and enjoying the peace and quite of the institute. For the first time in a long time they are away from the constant struggle to survive and the near constant killing. It does wonders for the entire group. That morning Dean is out with one of the local scientists for a boat ride. The scientist lets it slip that some of the locals who live in the keys don't like what they have been doing with the dolphins, but that is it.
Michael finds himself in a training pool with one of the youngest of the scientists, a seventeen year old girl named Miranda. The girl may be a mutant as she can communicate with the dolphins verbally, and understand what they are saying. When Michael accidentally angers the young woman, she gets her dolphins to attack him, nearly drowning him. Both Krysty and Ryan pull him, half drowned, out of the pool. There is no sign of the girl or the dolphins.
Doc, at first, was welcomed by the scientists because of his title. But as soon as they learned that his doctorate wouldn't be of any use to them, they began to ignore him. As he walks around the institute, he stumbles upon a sign buried in the sand. The sign said Bantam Contact Missile. He decides to end his tour and return to the others.
That night at supper, Mark Tomwun joins the group for dinner. Michael brings up the fact that Miranda had her dolphins attack him. Mark forces the two to kiss and make up. The meal is superb as usual, except they discover by accident that one of the dead dolphins had been cut up and cooked, and then served to them. It wasn't supposed to have happened that way. The dead dolphin was supposed to have been fed to the others. It is also at this time that Tomwun reveals that his institute used to be a missile base.
After supper, Ryan goes for a walk. He finds himself under attack by a local Indian, a member of the seminole tribe. Ryan fends off the attacker who tries to make a break for it by diving into the ocean. Ryan follows the man for a short distance when he sees a group of dolphins surround the man and force him towards the shore where Ryan is waiting. Ryan tries to talk to the Indian, and is only able to learn that for some reason the Indians hate the scientists. He is unable to learn why before he is forced to kill the Indian.
When he returns to the institute, he confronts Tomwun. He wants to know why the Indians hate the institute, and why one would try to kill him. Mark is quite surprised by this, claiming that they trade with the Indians. He tells Ryan he wouldn't have a clue why the Indian would claim such a thing.
Three more days have passed since the attack on Ryan and they all head out for a boat for a fishing expedition. Michael goes alone with Miranda in a outrigger. Dean teases him, warns him to be careful that the girl doesn't try to drown him again. While out in the ocean they encounter an erupting volcano. The Dolphins soon leave the boats behind. Mildred notices that the ocean is growing very hot, nearly boiling. The air is filled with the smell of sulphur. A violent eruption knocks Ryan overboard, and he is separated from the others. He manages to make it to shore, but there is no sign of the others.
He begins his long walk back to the institute. Along the way he stumbles across the beached wreckage of a boat. The boats crew are scattered around, most having been executed. He also notices that there are two large holes in the hull of the ship, below the waterline.
By evening he returns to the institute. He tells the others about what he found, then turns in, as his swim in the ocean exhausted him. Around two in the morning he finds he can't sleep, so he and Krysty go for a walk. They head towards a large building that Tomwun declared off limits. The break in to see why.
They find a group of dolphins kept in cages, which the discover are electrified. As they are looking around they are discovered by Tomwun and a group of guards. Neither Ryan nor Mark want a firefight, but one of the scientists, a man named Jerrry opens it. He fires at Ryan and Krysty, but misses. Ryan's shot doesn't. The round hits him in the chest, knocking him over the railing onto the dolphins cages. The Dolphins attack, and begin to tear the man apart. In order to prevent any more deaths, Tomwun promises to let them in on what they have been doing, but in the morning. They all return to their respective rooms.
After a huge breakfast Ryan goes to see Tomwun. Ryan demands to know why they killed the people that were on the boat. Mark tells him that sinking the boat was accidental, but they were not responsible for killing the people. He claims that pirates were responsible for killing the people. He asks if Ryan and his band would stay behind to help them, telling him that the pirate, a man who calls himself Red Jack Yoville wants to wipe out his community. Ryan refuses, saying that it is not his fight. He leaves Mark in tears.
They all leave the institute and make their way towards the ruined redoubt, planning to jump out of the keys. About half way to the redoubt, they encounter a group of pirates who have beached. They nearly manage to make it away when Ryan runs into a female pirate who was doing natures bidding. He doesn't hesitate and shoots her. A firefight breaks out, and several of the pirates are killed outright before the rest are able to make it to cover. A mist comes in from the ocean and they are forced to return to the institute, fearing that more pirates would be on their way.
When they get back to the institute, they are snubbed by Tomwun. Ryan goes to talk to the man, and Mark makes the near fatal mistake of calling Ryan a liar. Ryan nearly kills him, but manages to calm down. He finally agrees to stay behind for five days and help them set up their defences against the pirates.
J.B. and Ryan spend the rest of the day going over the institute, checking it out. In the end they know that it is going to be quite difficult to defend. But the only thing they can do is post guards for the time being.
Later that night when Doc Tanner is out walking, he stumbles upon Michael and Miranda. He catches enough of the conversation to learn that Miranda is attempting to get Michael to betray the others. It is obvious that she went down on him earlier that day. In order to prevent anything else from happening, he steps in, pretending to just have been out for a walk. Michael leaves with him.
The next day Ryan has Mark send out patrols, making sure that they keep their eyes peeled for any sign of the pirates. So far, not a thing. Ryan and Krysty borrow a small boat, which was called the Damfino, and head down the keys. A dolphin travels with them as they go. They finally go ashore, as Krysty has to answer natures call. While she is doing her business, Ryan climbs a huge dune and discovers a hotel that, due to its location and the surrounding dunes, is nearly in perfect condition. When Krysty joins him, they both go down to explore the building.
They eat their lunch at the rear of the building, and spend some time exploring it. They hear a door slam somewhere inside the building and discover that they are not alone. They cautiously try to make their way out of the building when they encounter a really bizarre mutant. They are forced to kill it. Just as they are about to leave, they encounter two more, and kill both. Ryan is sickened when he sees that one was female, and pregnant. The baby is aborted and he is forced to shoot it.
They race towards the boat, only to see that five mutants are hot on their tail. They get the boat into the water, but the mutants swim out after them. A brief fight ensues and they are able to kill all the mutants, with the help of the dolphin. They return to the institute.
While Ryan and Krsyty were gone, they discover that the institute had been attacked by the pirates. Two were killed, and another sorely wounded, forcing two more pirates to drag him away. Dean insists that there were eight pirates, and leaves to double check, as the others had managed to escape. It turns out that he was right. There was an eighth pirate. Michael performs a totally amazing act of acrobatics and drives his two slim blades deep into the pirates neck, killing him and saving Dean. They know that Yoville's attack is not long in coming.
In the middle of the morning on the next day J.B. spots the approach of a small wag, which is flying a flag of truce. It turns out that Yoville has come to offer Ryan and the others the chance to escape, and promises to allow them to go unmolested. Ryan, having had a history with the man during the past, knows that Yoville will not keep his word. He kills two of Yovilles people, knowing that it will reduce the number of people he can use to attack the institute. He retreats before Ryan and J.B. can do anything else.
Late in the afternoon three mortar shells are lobbed at the institute. Two have no real effect, while the third kills a man named Chuck Cybulski. There are no further attacks. The dinner meal is quite subdued and eventually everyone turns in.
Krysty field strips her weapon, preparing it for the fight they know is coming. Ryan goes for a walk to try and figure out what he can do about Yoville. While he is walking he runs into Miranda. They talk briefly and he learns that the dolphins told her that the pirates were on their way.
After a hasty breakfast, they await the pirates to show up. They don't have to wait long. The main vehicle is a modified M548. It is escorted by a pair of armoured cars. There are also three boats, about twenty minutes from the shore. As the pirates advance, Ryan opens up on the bridge. The night before Ryan and J.B. places fuel all over the bridge, in hopes that they would be able to detonate it. The fuel explodes, engulfing the vehicles. After the loss of the three vehicles, the firefight claims about twenty five percent of the pirates forces. Yoville orders a retreat.
Ryan meets Miranda and learns that they can't use the dolphins against the pirates coming in on the boats. For some reason, they refuse to head out to sea, no matter what the scientists do to them. They learn the reason why. A violent quake hits, shattering the windows in the institute. It is only a harbinger of the incredible destruction to come. The earthquake causes small tidal waves that swamp and sink the boats.
An eruption, of incredible magnitude, is occurring. It is sending shockwaves of destruction all over the keys. Ryan knows that its time to try and get back to the ruined redoubt and jump out, as he knows what they are about to face. As they leave, Mark Tomwun attempts to stop them. Ryan is forced to kill the panic stricken man and they race out past the pirates towards Yoville, who still has a vehicle.. The attack as they run, wiping them out to a man. Ryan encounters Yoville and cuts his throat, killing the man. The group manages to get to the wag and they start it up.
They race towards the redoubt, seeing a huge Tsunami about fifty miles out to sea. They have at best a half hour to make it to the redoubt and jump out before it hits. They manage to make it into the gateway only minutes before the wave hits, and trigger the jump, saving their lives.
End of Deep Empire
A total of thirteen days passed in this novel
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