Globe under Water Trilogy
by Ida-Marie Rendtorff
Gyldendal 2012, Denmark
Synopsis for Globe under Water Volume 1 – The Drowned Soldier
My name is Lara, I am 14, and I have just seen a dead person.
The boat is softly rocking under me. I stay lying on my back and gasp for breath while I stare into the blue silk like sky. I keep getting visions of the drowned person. The drowned person in the flooded city.
We are in a near future where most of the earth is underwater. A small number of people are placed nice and safely on the last remaining pieces of land, while the majority struggle to survive in a world of water.
Lara is 14 years old and lives together with nine other scavenger children on an artificial floating island – a platform built from junk retrieved from a flooded city. The better part of the face of the earth is under water – only a few former highland areas protrude from the sea. Here live the Mountain People, who have placed themselves heavily on the last pieces of land and by putting up high fences, barbed wire, and by using modern weapons do their best to keep everybody else out.
Lara and the other scavenger children make a living from diving to the bottom of the sea and retrieve valuables from the old world. The head honcho of the divers, “The Toad”, sells the goods at the market on the Southern Island and collects most of the profit himself.
He has a commercial traveller's licence and thereby permission to sell his goods at the market. One day when Lara and her friend Jarii have dived down to the flooded city they find the corpse of a soldier from the Navy. Lara and Jarii take a bag from the corpse. Here they find a case made of plastic with a logbook, which they secretly keep even though they risk being punished by “the Toad” by being put in “the Box” and forced to stay there for several days.
Every now and then Lara is allowed to visit her family in “The Houses” some miles away. The Houses is a suburb of the flooded city and consists of a cluster of blocks of flats, which rises above the surface of the sea. Here Lara’s mother, sister, and step-father live in a little cottage on top of one of the buildings. Lara’s father died while fighting for land. This she believes. However, one day she is given the chance to accompany “The Toad” to the market on the South Island. On a boulevard in the once so modern city centre there is a display of the rebels who are usually in jail in the old Randur Castle. Lara recognizes her father. She realizes that her step-father Kastor was lying when he told her that her father was killed in battle. When she later confronts her mother with the truth, her mother does not believe her. Her asthmatic little sister does, however.
In the logbook Lara and Jarii find information about a system of galleries below the Randur Castle, which the soldier was in the process of mapping out. They decide to go see their only contact in the rebel army, Coronel P., in order to ask for his assistance in freeing Lara’s father and the other prisoners. Moreover, their knowledge about the system of galleries may be a key factor in the rebellion against the Mountain People. It turns out, however, that Colonel P. was murdered, and Lara and Jarii must attempt to free Lara’s father on their own. But in the attempt to free a rebel they become rebels too and it has serious consequences on Lara’s life. She will never able to return to her life as a scavenger on the floating island.
Synopsis for Globe under Water volume 2 – The Atom Zone
In the first book Lara and Jarii come across a logbook during a diving expedition. It contains information about a secret system of galleries below the old Randur Castle on the Southern part of the island where soldiers from the rebel army are kept prisoners, among them Lara’s father. Lara and Jarii manage to free him.
He is no longer the dynamic, strong father Lara remembers, but a broken, weakened man. The leader of the rebels, Coronel P, is dead and things are looking bleak for the Sea People’s rebel army.
Lara and Jarii bring home Lara’s father to the The Houses, where Lara grew up. Once again The Houses is “paid a visit” by Captain Kaisar and his feared pirates who ravage the waters outside the coasts of Montania. This time they have taken six very young girls with them, one of them Lara’s asthmatic sister, Fianti.
In prison Lara’s father met Atom Tim, a captured pirate, who claimed that the pirates keep to the Atom Zone, or the Zone, as it is also called. Nobody believes him, though, because there used to be a nuclear power station there, Zeze, which was hit by a tsunami, and in two decades the whole area has been laid waste because of the radioactive radiation. The people living in The Houses are afraid to go there and are not convinced by unfounded rumours. But Lara cannot leave her sister in the lurch and, as Jarii says, why would Atom Tim lie about this? Why would he come up with something so crazy? Malco, a young man from The Houses, chooses to go with them. A couple of years earlier he lost his sister to the pirates. Before their departure Lara, Jarii, and Malco visit an old man, K, who lives in Block 4. Many years ago he was an employee at Zeze and he can tell them about the different precautionary measures they should take when being in the Zone.
The three young people sail away in Malco’s small boat to find Fianti and the other girls who have been kidnapped. In the zone they meet a deserted world, which is overgrown but still bears witness to life as it once was. They come across wild animals with strange outgrowths. But no pirates. The three young people fight among themselves. Lara finds herself trapped between the two men whom she likes in their different ways. It turns out that the pirates live in the secured caves deep below the ground. Lara and her friends do not succeed in freeing Fianti. At least not the first time around. To make matters worse, Lara is taken prisoner. Life with the pirates is far harder than working as a diver for the Toad. Lara comes to realize than even though you are a prisoner you still possess the most important kind of freedom of them all – the freedom to choose what kind of person you want to be. Lara chooses to fight.
Captain Kaisar’s son Vigur has chosen Fianti to be his child bride. Fianti has no say in this. Not until she has a violent asthma attack do the pirates realize that she is ill. She is thrown to the wild animals in the Zone, and now it is decided that Lara is to take her place. Lara is devastated by her sister’s fate and the wedding preparations take place as in a haze. The wedding is planned to take place at the largest of the pirates’ ships. But during the ceremony a knife is hurled at Kaisar and hits him in the chest and he collapses. It turns out that Malco has managed to sneak on board and has thrown the knife. During the ensuing commotion, Lara and Malco manage to escape. But Malco has been severely wounded. They hide in a tidal wave cave on the island. He tells her that he and Jarii managed to save Fianti before the wild animals found her. Jarii has sailed back to The Houses with her and has promised to return as soon as he can. Lara is naturally very relieved to hear this, but then Malco dies, and she sits alone with his body while the pirates search the island. The second book ends with Jarii returning to the Zone to get Lara and together they head towards The Houses.
Synopsis for Globe under Water volume 3 - Red Earth
Lara is back in The Houses but has a hard time adjusting to everyday life. She mourns over Malco, but finds it difficult to confide in Jarii about this and a gap forms between them. Lara’s father has healed fairly well since his stay in prison and has now become the new leader of the rebels. Jarii turns sixteen and decides to enrol himself in the rebel army. The planning of a large-scale attack on the island kingdom of Montania begins. The secret system of galleries below the old Randur Castle plays a central part. Lara can not stand it. Is she going to lose both her father and Jarii?
During a period of time soldiers of the rebel army are smuggled through the system of galleries to the island and they set up camps in the impassable hilly regions on the Southern Island. The idea is to “walk on two legs” as Lara’s father puts it. The Island community is to be attacked both from the inside and from the outside. Saying goodbye to Jarii is painful but the worst part is that Lara feels that he chooses the rebel army over her. Is Jarii still jealous of her feelings for Malco?
Lara learns from a wounded soldier who has returned that Jarii’s camp was discovered by Tereus’ army and that there have been no signs of life from the members of the group since. Most likely everybody has been killed. The soldier tells Lara where Jarii’s group stayed and she takes off to find out what has happened to him. She knows the way through the secret system of galleries, but when she comes through an old well in the outskirts of Tenaffa she is almost caught by Tereus’ soldiers. She is saved by one of the container children from Tenaffa, a twelve-year-old boy called Sejr. Sejr is an orphan. Or, that is, his father is still alive but Tereus commanded that Sejr’s father’s eyes should be put out because he criticised the regime and now he is a beggar down at the market. Sejr and Lara become friends and together they head towards the mountains to find out what has happened to Jarii. They find the camp completely ravaged and a pile of burned corpses. They also find the belongings of the dead people, among them Lara’s going-away gift to Jarii – a necklace with a shark’s tooth.
Still Lara refuses to believe that Jarii is dead. Sejr does not say anything but Lara can sense what he is thinking. They keep looking. In vain. Eventually Lara gives up. On their way back Lara and Sejr must hide from Tereus’ soldiers who are patrolling the area. They are discovered and taken prisoner. Come nightfall several different patrols meet and set up camp. Lara recognizes a voice. Jarii’s.
It turns out that Jarii survived the attack on his camp by stealing a uniform from the body of one of Tereus’ soldiers. So he is not a snitch after all as Lara initially thought. He helps Lara and Sejr to escape and they agree to meet up by the ravaged camp two days later. There is some information Jarii needs to get. In the meantime the rebels attack – the date has been brought forward because Tereus has found one more of the rebels’ camps. Suddenly Lara finds herself in the middle of a rebellion she has no desire to be part of.
Jarii does not show up as they had agreed and Lara has no idea where he is. Lara and Sejr fight to survive in the middle of the war zone. They help an old, wounded marine soldier, Thom, whom they come across on a desolated battle field. He tells them about the Jade Country far up North which is not surrounded by high walls, barbed wire, and fences. Such a society is worth fighting for, he believes.
Tereus is killed and his second in command Rurius starts the negotiations with the rebel army. Lara’s father plays a central part in these negotiations. Lara and Jarii are reunited. As a “false” soldier he has been leaking information to the rebel army. After having been separated for such a long time they both realize that they have strong feelings for each other.
In the end Montania is divided; the islands in the Northern part are allotted to the Mountain People, the islands in the South are allotted to the Sea People. Lara’s father becomes an adviser to the newly chosen leader of the Sea People, Namor. Lara’s mother and sister come to Tenaffa, where the whole family moves into a proper house. Old Thom moves in with them, but even though Lara’s mother does her utmost to keep him alive, he eventually dies. Sejr and his father move into a newly established home for the blind beggars who fought against Tereus. They are now honoured. But Tenaffa is still surrounded by high walls and barbed wire and soldiers from the Sea army now patrol the streets. Furthermore, you must now show your passport in order to go to the Southern part of the Island. Lara’s father believes that this is vital as otherwise the Sea People risk being invaded by the Mountain People who are far from satisfied with the new division of the land. Lara feels herself trapped on the island. The ocean has now been reduced to a distant roar in her life and she misses being able to go swimming or sailing without having to show her passport.
The third book ends with Jarii and Lara setting out to find the Jade Country, the green mountainous country in the North.
Ida-Marie Rendtorff has written several realistic and paranormal children’s and young adult novels including the stories about Dalia Dragon Whisperer. The author drank ink when she was three years old and has been telling stories as long as she can remember.