Gemini Rising Ethereal Fury- Book I, Chapters 1-14

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  • Dedicated to Barry Weinstock

Gemini Rising

a saga by Jessica O’Gorek

Book I: Gemini Rising

Prologue

Oloibiri,

Nigeria- June 5th, 1956

“We did it! After twenty eight dry drills, we did it!” Twenty three year old Oliver Weldon, an engineer employed by Spot Petroleum, jumped up and down and  reported to his supervisor. “I knew I had the map right when I told Seymour to try it! Last drill of the day!”

“Good job, Oliver.” His supervisor patted his shoulder. “This is how history is made, son.” He turned and left the conference room, leaving Oliver to ponder his success at being the first engineer to strike oil in the Niger Delta.

Oliver had naive visions of the future pipelines and how he would design them. His plans were sketchy but he was determined to help bring oil back to the United States and open up trade with Africa. He had no way of knowing that he had uncovered what would become the 6th largest oil production site in the world and Africa’s largest in history. He also had no way of knowing his discovery would contribute to oil pollution, environmental degradation, and the mass destruction of aquatic life and farmlands over the course of the next sixty years and beyond.

Oloibiri,

Nigeria- July 8th, 1958

Mr. James Sutton, Oliver Weldon’s supervisor, looked at him with a drawn face.

“It’s not going to work Oliver. We have to re-design the upper twenty miles of pipeline to go around the North Delta. If we do it the way we have it, we will start producing faster, but we will also risk a lot of damage, spills, explosions, the infrastructure won’t hold the pressure of producing more than five thousand barrels a day.”

Oliver shook his head. “I know this will work. If the connectors are soldered correctly, and the steel is buried deep enough, it should last more than thirty years!”

“Not with the components we have now. Oliver. We have to wait for the newer connectors and the new solder. I’m sorry, but we just can’t start this on time.” James shook his head, feeling sorry for the young blooded Oliver. He could physically feel the pain of his annual bonus getting smaller, too.

Oliver’s eyes took on a steely look of determination. “We have both worked too hard on this. I know this will work. I know it’s not fool-proof, but none of these projects ever are. No pipeline in Africa or anywhere else was constructed without a risk factor.”

James glanced at the picture of his wife and three young children that sat on the corner of his desk. He said a prayer and took a swig from the mug of cold coffee that had been on his desk since 5 am.

“Okay, Oliver. But if this blows out in ten years, if anything goes wrong due to corrosion, or faulty fittings, anything- your name is all over it. You got that?”

“I got it,” Oliver said, a greedy light forming in his eyes. The thought of oil made him deliriously happy; the thought of money in his pocket made him salivate.

Corolla, North Carolina June 5th, 1976

The phone rang three times before Oliver knocked it off the cradle and reached for it.

 “Oliver?” a familiar man’s voice asked. “Oliver Weldon?”

“Yes. It’s two in the morning, who the hell is this?”

“James. James Sutton., calling you from Nigeria. You finally did it.”

 “We got ourselves a fire Oliver. A fire and a few spills. Real bad.” James stopped, waiting for a reaction. When the line crackled with silence, he continued. “Just thought I’d give you a heads up, Finnigans and Spot are gonna be all over this one. The Feds too. They are gonna pull records all the way back to the beginning. Keep your head up and your nose clean, eh?”

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