This is the ninth part of a fiction serial, in 712 words.
Excited by what he was seeing, Mel put in the next memory card. They had presumably been edited at some stage by Glen, as the scene followed on from the building full of shells.. They were both filming, with Glen in shot from the side, doing the talking. They were in another building, his voice was louder, and he sounded excited.
“Look at this! Cannons, cannonballs, more old weapons. This must definitely have come from shiprecks, and more than one too. But look how they are laid out and arranged!”
In the light from Glen’s camera, Mel could see the interior of another long building, and row upon row of old cannons, some still on decaying wooden carriages, others just barrels and wheels. To the left were cannonballs of various sizes. But they were arranged in size order, and ran the length of the building on the sea bed. Before Mel could even start to think where they had come from, Glen provided the most likely explanation.
“The Spanish Armada lost many ships in this area, after their abortive invasion of England in 1588. My guess is that these artifacts are from that time period, as well as others from a little later. Let’s head into another building, ‘Nita. This is a fantastic find!”
Mel paused the film and went into the staff room to make some coffee. He had a feeling he might be there all night. Sipping the hot coffee, he pressed Play.
They were in another buidling, a smaller square construction. On the ground were piles of old weapons, stacked in some kind of rudimentary order. Swords, pikes, muskets, and pistols. The camera moved to the right, and there were rows of metal helmets and armour. Breastplates and leg protectors together, helmets stacked on top of each other, protected from being swept away by the still solid stone walls. Anita was speaking.
“A lot of this is definitely Spanish, Glen, but some looks much older, maybe Norman. Considering how long it has been under water, it is in remarkably good condition. The museums are going to love this find, I bet they will be sending teams out to recover it all for years to come”.
Hitting pause again, Mel sat back, thinking. This was in Irish territorial waters, so the Republic would have first claim on any finds, and should be notified, strictly speaking. The police there said they had copied the footage on the memory cards, but they had obviously not viewed much of it, if any at all, or news of these finds would have already come out. But there was no way he could mount a recovery operation to bring up any of that stuff, as that would come to notice once large ships and dive teams were operating for weeks on end.
His sudden idea that he could make another film about that would likely come to nothing.
On the screen, Glen was tapping his wrist, and pointing up at the surface. They both started to swim back to the beach, and the cameras shut off. The last segment was around a propane cooking stove, Anita filming Glen as he was preparing some food out of shot. Mel could hear the sizzling sound of it cooking.
“That was a great dive today, with some amazing finds. And nothing was disturbed while we were away, so hopefully whoever was messing with us has gone. There are six more buidings below that shelf, so lots more to investigate before we wrap things up on this island. But there are also a lot of questions to answer. Like why is all the stuff stacked so neatly, and in some kind of order? There must have been other divers down there in the past, and they have done well to keep it secret”.
He lifted a metal plate and smiled. “Yours is ready, ‘Nita.”
Wondering whether or not to go home or just stay at work that morning, Mel pondered the impact of the finds. Whoever had moved that stuff into rows would have had to have access to lifting equipment and had a lot of divers working. That meant it had to be at least during the Victorian era, maybe even later.
Either that, or they were very strong.