"You're hurt!" Kalea was helping the other dolphin over the reef. Robby took a quick glance around. He couldn't see any sharks, but that didn't mean they weren't on their way. Did this just happen recently then? But the only thing Robby could see was a small island in the distance. It was close enough that Robby could tell it kinda had a hat-shape to it, but far away enough that you had to have a boat, or a dolphin, to get to it within a day's trip.
Robby turned back to the dolphins when Kalea gave squeak. "Alright, alright, I'll help, was just making sure there weren't any sharks nearby." Robby began helping maneuver the dolphin over the reef.. "I got him, Kalea, I got him, just be careful, alright?" Between the two of them, they got the dolphin to the other side of the reef. Robby turned and shouted, hoping the people at ICS heard him. "We've got an injured dolphin here! We're coming in!" He positioned himself on Kalea again. "Can you take us both in?" Kalea nodded. "Alright, but be careful, he's losing a lot of blood." Kalea whistled, as if to say 'I know', before taking off towards the lagoon, the injured dolphin being gently pushed forward by his nose and Robby on his back. The going back was a little slower than before, but it was certainly faster than if Robby was swimming by himself.
As soon as they got close enough, Robby began flailing his arms and shouting. "Hey! We've got an injured dolphin! Get a team out here!"
Maggie's eyes widened when she saw the dolphin. "Poipu!"
"Get help!" shouted Robby. He had only seen a bit of the wound, but by the way it was bleeding, it was bad. Poipu needed medical attention immediately, and who knows how long he had been bleeding. A sense of relief flooded Robby when he saw that Harry took off like a bullet. At least someone was moving. Then everyone else seemed to move.
"Irene, go get Dr. Cho and Dr. Von Hoffer!" shouted Ilithyia as she kicked off her shoes, her socks, and her jacket and jumped into the water. She swam towards the dolphin and began examining him. Meanwhile, the pretty brunette Harry had been eyeing took off. A boy around Robby's age appeared at the edge with an ICS shirt and looked on in shock.
"What's going on?"
"Poipu's been hurt, Stan," said Maggie, "please get the visitors to leave." She took off her own shoes, socks, and jacket and dove in as well. Stan turned to the crowd and began ushering them out. Robby stayed with Kalea, who was squeaking with worry.
"I think you found your friend in time," Robby told him soothingly.
"Sir, I'm going to need you to get out of the water," said Ilithyia. "We're going to need to bring in some equipment and you can't be here."
"Thank you for helping Kalea get Poipu here," said Maggie. "You may leave with your family."
"I can't," said Robby as he got out of the lagoon. The women glanced at him in shock. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw his parents and grandfather coming out with Harry, Irene, and a woman his grandfather's age. A couple more people followed a second later with some equipment.
Jacob Von Hoffer gave Robby a quick hug. "Good job, Robby, can you tell me anything?"
"Wait, what?" exclaimed the women. Jacob and Miriam were taking off their shoes and socks.
"Well, Grandpa, Kalea did all the heavy lifting, and he heard Poipu calling for help." He did furrow his brow. "Though, this had to have happened recently, there weren't any sharks in the area. Not that I noticed. Though they could have just picked up the trail when Kalea and I found him."
Jacob patted his back. "Good job, then we can save this dolphin's life." By then, both James and Miriam were in the water, explaining not just their relationship with Jacob Von Hoffer, but their jobs as well. Jacob joined them in the water.
"You're Dr. Von Hoffer's grandson?" asked Irene. Harry, Robby, and Irene were now the only ones standing in the stadium, all the visitors were gone and everyone else was in the water, tending to the injured dolphin.
Robby smiled and nodded. "Yeah, which is why I didn't want to do the dolphin swim, to be honest. I have my own dolphin friend at home, a Risso's dolphin, though. Plus, Grandpa was going to let us come here whenever we wanted."
Irene's eyes widened. "Your own dolphin friend?" She chuckled. "Well that explains how you were able to ride Kalea so well!" She smiled at the team working on Poipu. "And why you went along with Kalea when he heard Poipu's cries for help. You understood his signals and let him lead." She held out her hand. "I'm Irene Marshall."
"I was right! You are Ilithyia's sister!" said Harry as he grasped her hand. He grinned. "I'm Harry Smith."
She raised an eyebrow. "Uh, OK."
Robby chuckled. "I'm Robby Hoenig, and your sister was telling us about you."
"Ah, I see. Well, Robby, let's get you dried up. I think I'd better get towels for everyone else too. Come on." The boys took a look back at the lagoon. The entire team was moving Poipu out of the lagoon. Robby grabbed his clothes before they turned and dashed after Irene.
"Where are they taking Poipu?" asked Robby when they caught up to her.
She glanced back at them for a brief second. "To a sectioned-off part of the lagoon. It's smaller, but it works for injured animals. It allows the scientists to keep an eye on their progress while allowing them some freedom." She stopped in front of a closet and opened it, revealing stacks of towels. She took one and handed it to Robby. "Here."
Robby took it and began drying himself off. "Thanks." Harry held out his arms, and she glanced at him, blinking in surprise.
Harry shrugged. "I'm here, might as well help."
Her lips curled slightly. "Well, thank you." She pulled out a stack of towels and placed them in his outstretched arms. "How old are you two anyway?"
"We're both eighteen, just graduated high school."
Robby nodded as he pulled on his shirt. "And both of us have been accepted into Sanford Institute, though Harry here isn't quite sure yet what he wants to major in."
"Sanford? The best science college in the world? Both of you?"
"Well, it's one of the best," said Robby.
"Hey, I'm as smart as he is!" said Harry at the same time.
Irene scoffed. "Yeah, sure."
"But I am!"
Robby chuckled as he stood. "He is, I just think a park ranger or an ocean cartographer is more up his alley than anything else."
"And you, what are you majoring in?"
Robby grinned. "I'm going to be a marine biologist, like my parents and my grandpa. Continue on in the family business."
Irene nodded. "Those sound great." She glanced at Harry. "Though, maybe not so much an ocean cartographer, there are things that are hidden for a reason, and some things that don't want to be found." She said the last part with such force that it startled the two. They glanced at each other, wondering, what did she mean by that? Robby hada mind to ask her about it, but was interrupted by the appearance of a breathless Stan.
"Oh good," said Stan between breaths of air, "you're getting towels."
"Oh, they're finished moving Poipu?"
Stan nodded. "They have." He glanced at Robby. "And since you're all dry now, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"Um, Stan, Robby is Dr. Von Hoffer's grandson, and Harry is a guest of the family's."
Stan opened and closed his mouth like a codfish. "S-say what?" He glanced at Robby. "Really?"
Robby smiled and nodded. "Yes, I am Dr. Jacob Von Hoffer's grandson. Both of my parents actually went into the lagoon to help take care of Poipu."
Stan's mouth opened wider. "No way!"
"Way," said Harry with a grin.
Stan reached out his hand. "Well then, it's a real pleasure to meet you, Robby, I'm Stan Ho'opi'i, I'm an intern here."
Robby shook his hand. "Robby Hoenig, and my friend, Harry Smith."
Stan turned and shook hands with Harry. "Pleasure to meet you too."
Harry smiled. "Same here, man."
"Man, you two are so lucky. What's life like on a station?"
"Stan, will you help us get these towels to the doctors?" asked Irene.
Stan grinned sheepishly. "Oh yeah, right." He grabbed a few towels from Irene, and the group walked back to the lagoon, Robby and Harry taking turns telling them about life on and in the ocean.
"Man, you guys are so lucky!" Stan exclaimed as they walked towards the lagoon. Irene looked to be deep in thought. She brightened though when she saw Kalea do a somersault when he saw them.
"Oh there you are," said Jacob.
"Took you long enough," muttered Maggie as they handed towels to everyone.
"Maggie," warned the woman. She rose and held out her hand to Robby. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Robby, and you as well, Harry, James and Miriam have been telling us all about you two." She smiled. "Kalea was lucky to have you as his partner today, anyone else would have been utterly clueless as to what to do with an injured dolphin."
Robby shrugged. "I was just letting Kalea lead. Dr. Cho, right?"
She nodded. "Yes, Dr. Helen Cho."
Robby grinned. "Grandpa has just been full of praise of your work."
Dr. Cho turned a surprised face to Jacob. "Has he now?"
"What? You are good at what you do, I don't think there's anyone better."
Dr. Cho sighed. "And how many times do I have to tell you to stop? I'm not that great, I'm just doing my job."
Jacob sighed as he stood up. "Yes yes, I know, I know, but I can't help but admire how well you do your work."
"Now Jacob . . ." Dr. Cho was interrupted by a collective groan. They glanced at the rest of the group before Miriam and James burst out laughing. The others soon joined in, and everyone was eventually introduced to Robby and Harry. But the mood became serious again when Dr. Cho mentioned the name Jack Storm.
"He still hasn't shown up?" asked Jacob.
Stan shook his head. "I haven't seen him come in at all, and I double-checked with Maizie before I came out here." He shook his head. "She still hasn't seen him."
Dr. Cho began to pace, rubbing her chin. "This isn't like him." She glanced at Maggie. "You're the closest person here to him, do you know anything?"
Maggie shook her head. "I don't."
Dr. Cho paced some more. "And now we have to find out what happened to Poipu." She paused and glanced at Irene. "Do you have a vehicle you can use?"
Irene glanced at Ilithyia. "Well, I came here with Ilithyia . . ."
Harry raised his hand. "We've got a Jeep . . ."
"Harry!" blurted Robby.
Harry glanced at Robby before glancing at James and Miriam. "May we use it, please?"
Jame glanced at Dr. Cho. "What do they need a vehicle for?"
"I would like it if they went to check in on Jack's house." She bit her lip. "I just hope nothing bad happened to him."
"How long would it take to get to his house from here?" asked Miriam.
Dr. Cho glanced at Maggie before looking at the Hoenigs. "About twenty minutes to get there."
James glanced at Miriam and nodded. "We were planning on staying here until two."
Miriam nodded. "Yes, they can use it until then."
James held up a finger. "On one condition."
The boys glanced at each other before turning to James. "Yeah?"
"Bring us some lunch. I'm beginning to feel the pangs of starvation."
Miriam whacked his shoulder. "James!"
Jacob laughed. "Give me a second and I'll get you the address of a good restaurant along with Jack's address. Just mention my name, and they'll take care of you." He walked into the building.
Meanwhile James reached into his jacket, pulled out the keys, and handed them to Robby. "Don't lose them." He glanced at Harry and Irene. "Please make sure he doesn't lose them."
"Hey!" said Robby as he took the keys. "I'm not going to lose them!"
"Well, I've got two people to help you make sure that doesn't happen now," said James with a wink.
Robby rolled his eyes. "OK, the keys definitely won't get lost."
James nodded. "Good."
Robby huffed as he turned towards the doors. "Guess now we just have to wait for Grandpa to get back."
Miriam nodded at the doors. "Why don't you wait inside? Then you can just leave."
Robby nodded. "Fair enough. We'll see you soon!"
"Irene, call us when you get to Jack's house, alright?" said Dr. Cho as the teens began walking away.
"I will!" said Irene. She waved before following the boys into the building. They waited only a minute before Jacob came to the front with a card and instructions on a piece of paper.
"Ah, you're already ready to go. Well, here's the directions to Jack's house and the address, plus the restaurant. Remember, just say my name and tell them how many people are eating, they'll take care of you."
"Thanks Grandpa," said Robby. "See you soon!"
"Bye!" The others chorused as they waved goodbye. The three dashed out to the car, and the next minute, they were on their way.
"So, where are you going to college?" Harry asked Irene.
"Who said I was going to college?"
"Oh, um, well, no one . . . but, uh," stammered Harry.
Irene chuckled. "I'm thinking of Sanford as well."
Harry grinned. "Nice! We'll all be going to the same college! What are you majoring in?"
Irene shrugged. "Haven't decided yet, definitely some kind of marine science, but not sure yet which one."
Harry nodded. "That's fair, there's so many great ones to choose from!"
Irene smiled. "That there is." She turned to look at Robby in the rear view mirror. "Robby, did you know you were going to be a marine biologist all your life?"
Robby hemmed and hawed. "Well, kinda? I thought I might, but I wasn't quite sure until last year, when I helped my dad save a blue whale."
Irene gasped. "You and your dad saved a blue whale?"
Robby and Harry both grinned and nodded. "That they did," said Harry, "and boy that was one wild ride."
"You were there?" asked Irene.
Harry bobbed his head. "Oh yeah, I had to help, Mrs. Hoenig wasn't there."
"Where did she go?"
"She was in Miami visiting my Aunt Sophie," explained Robby. "She got back the day after the blue whale was well enough to go back into the deep sea."
"And that's when you knew for sure?"
Robby nodded. "Yup, though, like I said, I kinda thought I would, I like taking care of Balthazar."
"Does Balthazar have a pod of his own?"
"He sometimes hangs out with other dolphins, but I do believe he's come to think of our station as home."
"And you're his bestest friend in the whole wide world!" said Harry.
Robby smiled. "And he's mine."
"Hey! What am I, chopped liver?"
Robby laughed. "You're my other bestest friend in the whole wide world!"
Harry scoffed. "Sure I am."
"Oh, is that Jack's house?" asked Irene as Robby slowed down to pull into a driveway.
Harry glanced at the piece of paper Jacob gave them. "According to this address it is."
Robby parked the car and turned off the engine. "Looks kind of cool."
"Yeah, but it also looks kind of empty," said Irene as they got out of the vehicle.
"So, um, we just knock and see if he answers?" asked Harry. The two boys gasped when Irene just walked into the house.
"Hey! You can't just walk into people's houses like that!" exclaimed Harry as they dashed in after her.
"Here, we can, "said Irene matter-of-factly. She cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted. "Jack! Jack Storm! Are you here?" No answer. "Jack! It's Irene! Are you here?" Again, no answer.
"I'll check the bedroom," said Robby.
"I'll check the bathroom," said Harry.
"I'll check the backyard," said Irene. Both boys went to check the rooms while Irene went outside. "Jack!" she called out. "Jack Storm! Are you here?" The only thing she heard was the sound of insects buzzing around. The yard wasn't very big, so she took a quick look around before going back into the house. Both boys were waiting for her. "Anything?"
They shook their heads. "Nothing," said Harry. Irene glanced around worriedly. Where had Jack Storm gone?
(Author's Note: The schedule I was hoping to do was this story on Sundays, the Hardys on Tuesdays, Nancy on Wednesdays, Red Randall on Thursdays, and the Adventure Alliance on Fridays. I'll be able to do that this week and next, but the week after that . . . well, next week I'll post double chapters. I don't know when or if we'll be getting internet once we get into the rented house, or if we're staying in a hotel for a while. It's really messing things up. But, at least I have some videos lined up for YouTube to post for the rest of the month, next month, and August. But after that . . . well, I will need internet, time, and eventually a job. So please keep me in your prayers. It's going to be a rough few months. I'm going to look for a job in August so I can at least keep on writing. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day! God bless!)