Zac couldn’t help it. He was trying to look interested in what the tour guide at the West Sea Aquarium was saying, but could he help it if his eyes kept closing all by themselves?
“Zac Power!” hissed his teacher, Mrs. Tran. “I suggest you pay attention. There’ll be a test after the field trip, you know.”
Zac’s eyes snapped open.
“Coral might not look exciting …” the tour guide was saying.
He’s right about that, thought Zac, checking his watch yet again. How could it still only be 9:03 a.m.?
“...but did you know coral takes over a million years to form?”
A million years!
Surely he wouldn’t be stuck at the aquarium that long!
Zac stared out the window. The aquarium was on the edge of the West Sea. Zac saw perfect surfing waves breaking. If only he was out there instead of being stuck in here …
“I’ll pass around some coral,” said the tour guide. “Can you feel how rough it is?”
Zac stood with his arms crossed. He’d had more fun sorting his sock drawer!
“Let’s move on to our next exhibit, kids,” the tour guide went on. “The shark tank!”
Zac woke right up. Sharks! Maybe there’ll be giant great whites with huge, bloody teeth!
“Onto the moving walkway,” called the tour guide.
The moving walkway was a flat escalator snaking all around the aquarium. The whole class stepped on and moved slowly toward the shark tank.
“It’s feeding time,” said the tour guide, sounding excited.
Zac craned his neck to see. Inside the tank were two divers with hunks of meat in their hands. Four sharks were swimming right at them. The sharks were massive!
“Don’t worry, everybody,” said the tour guide. “The sharks really want that meat. It only looks like they’re attacking the divers!”
The sharks circled around the divers. The water churned.
“Wait—they really are attacking the divers!” shrieked the tour guide.
A shark had one of the divers by the leg.
“Shark attack!” Mrs. Tran yelled.
Suddenly, everyone in the aquarium was screaming. People were running right and left. The tour guide hid under a chair.
In all the confusion, Zac felt a tap on his shoulder.
“Zac Power?” a voice said.
Zac turned around. Beside him stood a giant turtle. Or, to be exact, a woman dressed in a turtle costume.
“Come and look at the baby turtle exhibit,” said the giant turtle woman.
Baby turtles? What is this woman talking about? There’s a shark attack going on!
Zac wanted to help.
Or, at the very least, watch.
“Ah, no thanks. I’ll stay here,” Zac said firmly.
“No, come with me. Now!”
Suddenly, the walkway started moving under Zac’s feet. But this time it wasn’t going slowly. It was speeding Zac and the giant turtle woman toward the baby turtle exhibit. Next door, Zac could still hear screaming.
“It’s not a real shark attack,” explained the giant turtle. “GIB hired stunt divers to create a diversion while we sent you on your next mission.”
GIB, or Government Investigation Bureau, was the spy agency Zac worked for. The woman pushed up the bright green sleeves of her turtle costume. Zac saw a miniature walkie-talkie strapped to her wrist. She tapped it once and then spoke into it.
“Attention, all GIB ground staff. This is Big Turtle. Do you read me?”
The walkie-talkie crackled.
“Loud and clear, Big Turtle,” came the reply. “The amphibious submersible is good to go.”
The water in the turtle exhibit started bubbling. Then, the coolest thing Zac had ever seen rose up from behind a clump of seaweed. The top was glass. There were wings on the side and rockets on the back. Underneath were two fat tires.
“What is it?” said Zac, who couldn’t help being impressed.
“An amphibious submersible. It goes under water like a submarine and across land, too.”
Big Turtle handed Zac a set of keys.
“Ever piloted one before?” she asked.
Zac shook his head.
He didn’t know what his next mission was, but he didn’t care. Wherever he was going, he was going there in the amphibious submersible.
It sure beat learning about coral!
Excerpted from Deep Waters by H. I. Larry.
Copyright © 2006 by H. I. Larry.
Published in November 2008 by Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.