Pacific Vortex Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What military decoration does Dirk specifically mention having NOT earned?

2. What does Dirk start carrying before when he realizes the danger he has put himself in before reporting to Admiral Hunter?

3. Who says to Dirk: "If you keep staring at me, I'll be forced to charge you admission."?

4. What does "bare steerageway" mean?

5. Whose responsibility is it to plot the new search area for the <I>Martha Ann</I> after Dirk's interpretation of the evidence?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Dirk's helicopter a necessary component of the crew on the <I>Martha Ann</I>?

2. What are the multiple ways that the <I>Martha Ann</I> is disguised as a civilian ship?

3. In the hotel bar in Chapter 3, Adrian makes the statement: "Considering your amateur standing and less than mediocre talents, you're vastly overpriced. Whom is she speaking to and what does she mean?

4. What is unexpected and distinctly suspicious about the fog that suddenly overwhelms the <I>Martha Ann</I>? What kinds of conditions are required to create fog?

5. How do Summer's divided loyalties express themselves in their final moments in the doomed seamount as the missiles hit and the mountain begins to crumble?

6. Why is the <I>Starbuck</I>'s last reported position Top Secret information?

7. What is the Fullerton Fracture Zone? Does it actually exist?

8. How are the dead bodies described on the Lillie Marlene? How does this description contribute to the myth of the Pacific Vortex?

9. What are the two most important words in the English language according to Dirk? How do they serve Dirk in the battle with the men from the sea in his hotel room?

10. What happens during Dirk's final radio transmission from the C-5airplane before they touch down on the surface of the ocean? what does it mean for their rescue mission?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

LCDR Paul Boland and Dirk Pitt have other differences besides personality, one of them being background. Dirk accuses Boland of being unperceptive as to the oddities of the condition of the Starbuck. How do their very different backgrounds affect their perception of "important details" and why is Boland more likely to overlook the key factors in the discovery of the Starbuck?

Essay Topic 2

Examined carefully, the association between Dirk's reason for visiting to the Polynesian history museum and George Papaaloa's story of Kanoli is slightly obscure except as a plot mechanism. There is nothing Papaaloa relates in the story of Kanoli to suggest that it is related to the Pacific Vortex. The relevance of this revelation seems somewhat abstract. This is especially true since the Vortex has only been "operational" for about 40 years. Rewrite this episode using the essence of the legend of Kanoli as it stands but add elements that allow the two stories to appear related, making the transition from one to the other more smoothly.

Essay Topic 3

Carefully analyze the "real" condition of the Starbuck with respect to international maritime law. Whose waters is she sitting in and who can rightfully claim her? How do the laws of maritime salvage govern this kind of at-sea loss? Most importantly, how does this contribute to the urgency and top-secretiveness in the plot?

(see the answer keys)

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