Post Diem

by Tom Walsh

Dr. Dawne Michaels has her own DARPA lab at UC Berkeley. She and Dr. Nutting. continue their research in quantum entanglement and rging super virus. Her consciousness transfer to another timeline comes with consequence. Post Diem breaks the time barrier and blurs hi-tech science with Native American mysticism.


Chapter One


Ninety Miles West of Norway,
North Sea, Snorre Oil Field


Theo Jallah couldn’t believe his luck. Here he was, 8,000 miles away from his native home and on a deep-sea rig in the northern hemisphere. Nothing could be more dramatically different than his current surroundings compared to his village in Liberia. The spray of the cold North Sea upon his face was in stark contrast to the blistering, dry, and dusty Harmattan tradewinds that blew fine hot sand through his village from out of the great Sahara and into the Gulf of Guinea. The hot sun-soaked pyramidal sand dunes had been replaced by cold, dark, daunting peaks of water that seemed to occasionally tower over the rig.

If only his family could see him now. They would be so proud. He had only started working as a roustabout for a Norwegian oil company a little over a year before. Now he was aboard a vessel whose crew was about to commence the drilling of a new exploratory well. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to see the world and make good money that would go a long way in supporting his family.

He largely created his own good luck, as he had always taken work wherever he could find it. No job was too small, no task too big if it meant decent pay and providing for his growing family. His first break came when the logging company came in to harvest trees from the forest near his village. He made a decent wage while the work lasted. His family ate well, and he was even able to expand his herd of goats.

When the loggers left, the palm oil plantation came in right behind them. Again, he worked hard in their fields and was fairly rewarded for his efforts. His family continued to benefit from his industrious nature.

Soon after the trees had been cut and the palm crop was planted, the local fruit bat population began to get sick. Too many trees had been taken to support the bat population. But because the fruit bat is common bush meat in many remote villages, people got sick from eating them. Many died. They called the sickness Ebola.

Then people came from many nations around the world to help the residents of the surrounding villages. He worked as a translator for the doctors and nurses. Having work experience from so many different companies, he had acquired the ability to adequately speak a few languages.

He also learned much about the disease and taught his family and neighbors about the hazards of eating bush meat. Some villagers didn’t trust the foreigners, and some even thought they brought the disease with them. They suspected that the injections they were giving were not to save them from the disease but rather to spread it. Many local farmers and herders had been taken for their land. Distrust of any outsiders ran high.

Then a group from Norway came to his village. Oddly enough, they wanted to be sure that no more loggers would come to cut down any more of the forest. It was said that they had paid the Liberian government not to accept any new contracts for their trees. The Norwegians also offered villagers jobs with an oil company that wanted to explore their coastal waters for potential oil reserves. They provided on-the-job training. How could he refuse yet another opportunity to work and earn for his family?

Theo was well liked by all of his employers, and each of them typically kept him beyond the usual employment period of the other hires. Because Theo was able to speak in a number of languages, he commonly had work right up until the point that the companies packed up and left.

But now he had worked his way up the ladder and took more important jobs on the oil rig. His future looked brighter still. Three months of working for the assistant crane operator as a roustabout led to his next position as a floor hand. He preferred “roughneck,” as some called the position. It sounded like something very American, and right out of the Old West. He fancied himself as a jack of all trades, so the roughneck term just seemed to fit better.

If he wasn’t painting and scraping to keep the corrosive salt air from having its way with the steel structures at sea, he was always doing some sort of cleaning and maintenance. Otherwise, when the crew was focused on drilling activities, the better part of his day was spent on the drill floor or in the shale shaker room, where the crew removed large solids and cuttings from the drilling mud.

When the company’s exploration effort off of Liberia started to wane, a friend told him about an opportunity on a new rig in the North Sea. He would be gone for months but he would be working twelve-hour days in two-week stretches. The money was less attractive for European workers these days, but for a goat herder accustomed to living in a beehive hut in remote Liberia, he would take whatever he could get, wherever he could get it. His children were older now and in school. His wife was happy and healthy. He also learned too, that with a little absence the heart grew fonder. He gazed out at the rolling sea and smiled to himself. He looked forward to bringing his family gifts and seeing their smiling faces on his next trip back home.


"Post Diem" by Tom Walsh


Amazon Kindle

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



? Heat Level: 1