That did it! We immediately deployed the two submersibles we had brought with us. The first to enter the water was a K-250 dry sub. A canary-yellow, one-man mini-sub, built by Kittredge Industries, with an on-board air supply. Its operator--a South African exchange student named Jann Decker--then submerged. Accompanied by two scuba divers hanging on to water ski-style tow ropes that, in turn, had been hooked on to the top of the dry sub's (for lack of a better term) "conning tower."
The second to enter the water was our two-man wet sub. Basically, a fire engine-red, Glastron-built replica of a British naval Mark II Chariot riding torpedo from the Second World War. Only with the rear passenger seat facing forward rather than aft!
The dry sub would head north-by-east (in other words, roughly counter-clockwise to the direction of Brad and Shawna's speedboat). With the two divers--identical twin sisters Flora and Dora Gentile from New Jersey--keeping in touch with both Jann and us through the microphonic head sets built into their astronaut-like helmets.
Meanwhile, the similarly helmeted divers in the wet sub--Sidney Starbuck from the Gulf Coast of Texas, and Lydell Briggs from Bridgewater, Massachusetts--were assigned to investigate the island's main lagoon.
As for the two mapping parties? Celeste had been outfitted with an RCA BW-003 camcorder (roughly the size of a Colt .45 semi-automatic) for videorecording the island canopy. While Shawna had been equipped with a Kodak Polaroid Sonar Onestep Pronto. That way, she could transmit the pictures back to us using a shortwave powered, 80-A SSTV* camera from Robot Research, Inc. While the rest of us, in the ship's recreation room, gathered around the 70-A monitor atop a Model 400 Fast-scan converter. The latter relaying the black-and-white images from the former to a TRS-80 computer, with color TV monitor, similar to the one in Professor Stewart's office, back at the University of Saint Augustine. Only the one we had on board with us had a Centronic Quick Printer attached to it that ran off photocopies of those images. And, in half the time it took them to reach the 70-A, in the first place! Those photocopies were then pinned on to a cork bulletin board, so we could get a gradually improving look at this mysterious island's coast line.
In one of the photocopies, I saw several streaks of red. But, I couldn't quite make out what they were due to drops of water that had briefly appeared on the lens of the Polaroid. So, I borrowed a magnifying glass from Kalama and squinted more closely at it. Followed by another...and another...and another.
"Professor Stewart?" I began: "I'm sorry to bother you, sir. But, take a look at these thin red streaks. Don't you think they look like Todaro...?"
I was interrupted, however, by Shawna's voice frantically blaring over the public address intercom.
"Mayday! Mayday! I'm returning to the ship, this instant. Brad's been attacked. Repeat: Brad has been attacked! He has a flying squid stuck to his face!!"
Todarodes pacifus: the Pacific, aka Japanese, "flying" squid. Molluscan version of the more famous "flying" fish!