Chapter 13 Summary

Jan and Sullivan look at the metal skeleton of the sperm whale in which Jan would fly to the alien world of the Overlords. Sullivan explained that the skin covering the metal frame would be artificial, since it would be impractical to use real whale skin, which is layered with several centimeters of blubber. Jan thinks that it would have been more sensible for the aliens to take photographs of a real whale and make the model themselves once they reach their home planet.

Sullivan stands on Easter Island, looking at the ancient statues that have never been understood. The model of the sperm whale locked in conflict with the giant squid stands ready for pick-up, surrounded by a supporting metal construction frame. The entire exhibit is more than thirty meters long. One of the workers comes to Sullivan with the exciting news that Karellen is coming to observe the model before it is loaded. This makes Sullivan nervous, fearing that the alien will detect the hidden chamber inside the whale model. Yet Karellen sees nothing, or at least does not reveal it if he does. He makes mention of the biblical story of Jonah and the whale, asking Sullivan if a man could truly survive inside one of the great sea monsters. Sullivan tells him of an account of a man who did just that, but only for a few seconds. Sullivan fears that this is a hint that he knows what is inside the whale model before him.

Sullivan tells Jan that, if he had known what he was going to go through to help Jan carry out his plan, he would never have agreed. Jan promises to dedicate a book to him, if he ever gets back to Earth to write one. Sullivan says that he will have been dead for years by then. He suddenly realizes how attached he has grown to Jan in the past few weeks. He hopes he is not participating in some elaborate suicide.

Six hours before the model is lifted to the space ship, Jan climbs into the capsule. He lies back on the rubber couch and thinks about his plans. He knows he will feel nothing once he is asleep. He hopes that there will not be a significant difference in air pressure when he finally leaves the capsule, since this could be fatal. He injects the narcosamine into his veins and falls asleep. He does not feel the metal framework being lifted up into the cargo ship, nor the start of the Stardrive as he heads off into deep space.