The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why.
July 6, Friday
CHARLIE STUDIED THE SEISMIC data until its scramble of colors resembled a poorly designed Navajo blanket. The reservoir where the seep originated wasn't as clear as he'd hoped. Technology was handy, but it didn't disclose everything. It indicated densities, not specifics. No algorithm declared, "X Marks the Spot."
Every two minutes, or so it seemed, Big Dick tromped in, asking where to set up. The pressure was eroding his confidence, to say nothing of distracting and irritating. Everyone was strung tighter than a hunting bow, himself included.
Having Trey underfoot didn't help, either. He was constantly on the phone, his booming voice repeatedly crashing his train of thought.
For the moment, both bosses were down at the old work site, shutting things down. With luck, he'd have an hour or so of peace.
He took a deep breath, determined to figure it out. The answer was there somewhere. Following a short, silent prayer, it dawned on him—his approach was all wrong.
Learning how to interpret seismic data, a skill that took years of training and experience, wasn't going to happen on demand.
He found the site intuitively.
There was no reason he couldn't figure out where to drill the same way.
He studied the graphic one more time to make sure he hadn't missed anything. Bedrock, porous rock, voids, sand, and petroleum reservoirs all showed up as different densities. A seep could have bypassed the porous rock completely, leaking through the fault. Its path would be that of least resistance and possibly convoluted, not anywhere near the source, depending on how much pressure was behind it.
His mind shifted to his red and white ponies, the latter of which had started to prevail. It felt good to be using his education, to feel intelligent, and especially the respect he received from his white bosses. Furthermore, knowing the geology of his Earth Mother increased his respect for her, much as medicine men benefited from knowledge of human physiology.
All that aside, sensing the energy inherent to either the earth or a person's body was what counted. Blending the white man's knowledge with his indigenous intuition resulted in powerful synergy.
But having exhausted the white pony, it was time to yield to the red.
Feeling grounded again, he tapped a soft rhythm on the table with his hand, and quietly sang an honor song to the Earth Mother. He thanked her for her abundance, marvelous structure, and revealing her secrets.
Following a prayer of gratitude, he stepped outside to visit the seep. It was still leaking when he got there, which was good. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on sensing what he felt originally.
Where was the deposit?
Did the ground shift to release the pressure holding it in place?
The energy was there, but too general. He hunkered down, then flattened his hands on the edge of the uplift above the seep. Using the same means of perception as connecting to spirit animals, his mind merged with the oil and followed its vibrations through a tortured path into the earth.
The surface directly above its perceived location was about five meters west, a little over a hundred meters down.
He stood up and wiped his hands on his jeans. A psychic twinge alerted him to being watched. Big Dick was twenty yards to his left, looking puzzled.
Less than thrilled they were back, Charlie strolled back to the lab, purposely slow, not wanting his body language to give away his revelation.
He chuckled to himself at using an OIT—Old Indian Trick—to throw off the white man.
Back inside, he examined the seismic data again in the context of what he sensed. Now he could see it, clear but subtle. It definitely didn't jump out like its energy had.
Seconds later, Big Dick stomped through the door with his usual finesse. Had the big redneck seen through the OIT? Or was it simply time for his next prompting?
"Has y'all earned yer pay yet today, cowboy? Oh! Wait. I'm the cowboy, y'all's the Indian!"
His attempt at humor was edged with impatience.
Charlie tapped the location on the big screen. "Yes, I believe I have. Let's drill here and see what's down there. Come outside, I'll show you where."
"Great. By the way, Chief. Has y'all finished up with OSHA yet?"
His grimaced at both statements. "Not yet. I'll finish this weekend."
"Y'all'd better, Littlewolf." His voice dropped a full notch below its usual pitch. "Or I reckon I'll hafta open up a can of whoop-ass. Comprenday?"
The veiled threat contradicted Maguire's No Altercation policy, though it quite possibly didn't apply to management.
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