The following is an excerpt from the Mike Scott thriller Return to Cayman: Paradise Held Hostage.
“Please excuse the interruption,” the well-groomed news anchor said directly into the camera. She wanted to look serious and concerned, but reassuring at the same time. “We have just received a video from an anonymous source explaining what has happened with international communications on Grand Cayman. They say the video has been sent to international publications and media outlets in the US and Europe as well. It says why we have been cut off and what will happen next. They are claiming to keep the island off-line until their demands are met, but they have not sent us any information on exactly what those demands are. We are being held hostage, virtually. We will show you the video now, so you know what is going on, although I must tell you that we are still working to determine the authenticity of the recording.”
The image on the television screen shifted to the image of a masked man, sitting in a chair on a beach with the ocean behind him. He looked casual and comfortable, except for the ski mask over his head and the electronic scrambling that made his voice sound mechanical.
For too long, we have treated our oceans as a dumping ground. We have believed we could do anything to them. Because they were so vast, it just didn’t matter. Our fishermen have caught fish on top of fish believing they would miraculously and magically reproduce, even while seeing the size of the fish they caught get smaller and smaller. On top of that, fish are showing up with concentrations of heavy metals so high we’ve told pregnant women not to eat them. Now, there are fish swimming in our oceans filled with radioactive waste from Fukushima and tons of plastic floating on the surface that we call the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, like it is out of a cartoon. But no one seems to care. It is easier for us to stick our heads in the sand.
Coral reefs are dying around the world. Climate change is just part of the problem. Farm runoff, untreated sewers and other forms of pollution are causing unchecked algae growth, choking out the sun corals need to grow and prosper. Corals protect our beaches from erosion and storms, providing habitat for small fish to grow. The recent event on this island where a cruise ship dropped its anchor on a coral reef that was beginning to recover is the latest example of how we mistreat the ocean.
Grouper, long considered an icon of the Caribbean, are endangered and populations are struggling because we harvest them during their mating gatherings. Sharks are caught for their fins and thrown back in the water to die.
This is all throwing the oceans out of balance, and we will no longer stand by and accept it.
This place, Grand Cayman, is a temple and we should treat it like one. If we won’t take care of this beautiful ocean jewel, what will we save?
And that is why we are holding this island hostage. We want the world to wake up and understand what is at risk. We are in control of this island. And make no mistake, we are firmly in control. Cutting communications is just the first step. No one has been hurt and, except for a few tourists, no one has been inconvenienced. Mark my words, this is just the beginning. We are in complete control and plan to stay that way until the world is willing to come together to change. These are drastic measures, but these are desperate times.
From this moment, you have 72 hours to bring together a group of representatives from every nation in this world. We are sending this same manifesto to news organizations all over the world. We expect to see presidents and prime ministers, kings, queens and dictators. And don’t think we won’t know what is going on. We are not just here on this tiny island. We are monitoring communications. Don’t think we aren’t ready to counter anything you might try. We are everywhere.
Lastly, be warned. If the military from any nation should try to intervene by invading the island, there will be consequences. We have the power to erase every computer system on the island. Much of the world’s banking and commerce flows through Grand Cayman. On any given day billions of dollars flow through this island. If we choose, we can make it all disappear, throwing the rest of the financial world into chaos and taking the rest of the world with it. Stay away and get to work meeting our demands.
If that body of leaders is not ready to make the changes we ask for, the people of Grand Cayman, and the world, will face more serious consequences.
The Saviors of the Ocean are watching.
Get your copy of Return to Cayman: Paradise Held Hostage today, in softcover or Kindle. It is also part of the Mike Scott Boxed Set that includes the first five novels and two short stories.