Zoot was curious to know what had caused such upheaval in a part of the world that very few humans seemed to live.
If the Arctic was really in so much trouble, and if it really was such an important factor in the regulation of the Earth’s climate, why were humans so keen to destroy it?
The owl on Zoot’s shoulder couldn’t answer that question. He had only met indigenous humans before, such as the Arctic Inuit, who he thought were very good at living off the land sustainably, and who clearly had a huge amount of respect for their precious home.
Humans of course, on the whole, preferred to live in nice warm cosy places where they could happily wear shorts and T-shirts and eat pizza.
Life was obviously so good down there, most humans had no reason to ever venture into the cold, dark abyss up north.
But then the owl remembered that on one of his recent migrations he had flown over an oil rig that was drilling out in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.
“Perhaps we can answer your questions if we visit the rig,” the owl suggested.
Zoot looked concerned. “I’m not sure they’ll be expecting a blue alien and an Arctic Owl. I hope they don’t react to our presence disproportionately.”
Zoot hadn’t even considered how he and the owl were going to travel there. Then, the owl disappeared. “Where did he go? We’re supposed to be visiting some humans!”
Next thing he knew, Zoot was airborne. The clear blue ocean had suddenly appeared beneath his feet, and there were thousands upon thousands of tiny icebergs floating far below, as if someone had just sprinkled them like confetti from high above the clouds.
Owl was carrying Zoot in his claws as he flew out to find the rig. On the horizon, their destination loomed into view. A huge structure, several stories high and topped with a crane, was standing on four stilts rising out of the ocean.
“The humans think this is the answer to all their energy problems, that there’s tonnes of oil lying under the Arctic ready to be pumped back home.”
The owl was just about to touch down on a corner of the rig, when Zoot spotted a small boat skimming the surface and pulling up alongside one of its legs.
“Who are they?”
The owl had never seen them before. There were three people in the boat. Two were wearing climbing equipment and looked like they were clutching a banner.
Owl decided to fly down to take a closer look. Zoot and the owl watched as the two long-haired humans daringly scaled the rig, inch by inch.
“Rather them than me,” Zoot exclaimed. “It must be mighty difficult climbing something when you’ve only got four limbs.”
Eventually the climbers made it to the top of the rig, despite being dampened by a huge jet of water from somewhere above their heads. They proceeded to unfurl their banner. “Future Oil Disaster Zone #SaveTheArctic,” it read.
Another, bigger boat, was also now in view. It was apple green, and emblazoned with the words “Greenpeace”.
“This is too much,” the owl complained. “We need to land now otherwise we’re going to spend the night in an orka’s belly.
“Which is it? The rig, or the boat?”
Zoot looked quizzically at the computer on his wrist, then up at the owl.
“I’m scared,” he said.
So how does the chapter end? Does Zoot help the Greenpeace activists? Or will he go back to his own planet? Write next part below.