Post by Dark Eagle on Dec 24, 2021 21:03:24 GMT -8
Chapter 1: Worst Night
Author's Note: Years ago, I wrote a horrible book called No Escape, about a guy taking a cruise alone and it the ship was attacked by undersea monsters. It was horrible. So horrible I decided to give it a redo. This one is equally as horrible. Enjoy!
It was Christmas Eve, but what Paul Emerson was feeling was far from being described as festive. His heart raced a thousand beats a minute, but it wasn’t from the earlier excitement on the Village Of The Seas holiday extravaganza, which an hour ago still included multiple Christmas trees, lights and classic Christmas music. The passengers on the medium-sized cruise ship which still rocked back and forth violently on the waves were no longer enjoying themselves, but at least they were relatively safe. As for Paul, he wished his situation could be described as being relatively anything anything at this point. Paul’s heart raced from fear because of his circumstances. Paul wishes he could kick himself right now as he thought, “What was I thinking coming here? Better yet, what was I thinking dragging Jay along on this task? If my guesstimate was lucky, the best thing that could happen to him tonight would be that he’d end up dead!”
These were the circumstances Paul found himself in as his stomach growled from hunger, which added to his growing fatigue. Adding to his misery, was a tremendous pain that riveted throughout his entire body. It didn’t help that he’s had to run for his life more times in the last hour, than he had during his two tours in Desert Storm half a lifetime ago. Paul was sweating profusely all over his entire body, like he had just run a marathon with an overcoat on. His off-white wife-beater t-shirt adhered to his bronze skin like a fresh layer of paper-mache. The gun that dangled loosely in his hand felt heavy, heavier than it did a few hours ago despite only having three, possibly four shots left in the clip. Twirling his wedding band, Paul assumed that nothing could affect his mental state more than losing his wife Karen of eleven years due to breast cancer. Paul had no idea how terribly wrong he was. What started less than twenty-four hours ago as a luxurious vacation, what Paul was told as a way he could get away from “it all” after his tragedy, had turned into something else.
In the metaphoric blink of an eye, Paul Emerson fell asleep on the non-amorous version of the Love Boat only to wake up on the Poseidon. Paul sighed, gripping his left wrist, “How could everything go so wrong… so fast?”
Post by Dark Eagle on Dec 24, 2021 21:10:36 GMT -8
Chapter 2: Violent Awakening
Paul wasn't like the rest of the passengers on the seventy-five-passenger Valley of The Seas cruise ship. Of the over five-dozen guests, most were paired off as couples. But not Paul. Paul went on the trip to not only enjoy himself, but more importantly, Paul was convinced that by getting away from it all, and not being around the same visuals from day to day, he wouldn’t see his wife everywhere he went. "One doesn't go on a cruise ship to get away from it all," Paul told his sister Diane, who with her husband, Dan had helped book and paid for his trip several months ago. "But you will get away from everyone who knows you!" Diane playfully added. Three months later Paul was enjoying his first night on the gleaming-white, five-deck ship, pleasurably inhaling on the fresh, salty ocean air. Unfortunately for Paul, only the crisp, fresh air brought him any pleasure. Instead of being on the top deck slowly nursing a scotch at the bar, watching the darkening horizon, Paul stared blankly at the ordinary light beige ceiling that now looked gray of his cabin. Two hours ago Paul went to dinner at the small, but comfortably decorated cafeteria, which was decorated with every Christmas light imaginable, as he indulged himself in the all-you-can-eat buffet. After graciously stuffing himself, Paul quickly concluded any attempt to see anything in the ship’s theater would result in him being asleep before the lights dimmed the theater to a dull midnight-gray. When Paul got back to his room, he immediately loosened the laces on his red and black Classic Iverson Reeboks. This act usually signified that Paul was done for the night. On one hand, he had his Kindle Fire, hoping he’d put a tremendous dent in the Bad Games book series, while on Paul's other hand, was the remote control to his little LED TV, that leaned out a few inches from the wall before his bed. After ordering room crew around 10 pm, Paul knew he was ready to wind down for the night. When the french-fries he ordered for some odd reason, since he wasn’t even hungry—but bored, arrived a half-hour later; cold and hard, he cursed his decision to come on this trip. He ate a handful of fries, washing them down with something out of the ship's drink fountain “they called” Coca Cola. Killing the lights in his room, Paul opened up the blinds in his room leading to his balcony, before turning to some movie where one of his favorite characters from Sons of Anarchy was now squeezing into some giant mech suits. Ten minutes later, the remote hit the floor once Paul could no longer will himself to hold it. Four hours later, Paul’s body unexpectedly and painfully joined the remote control. His would not be the only one that night to do so. Paul awoke half a second later after his impact with his dresser three feet from the front of his bed. In his earlier life before settling down with Karen, Paul had awakened to some strange places in his life, usually having it had something to do with the amount of alcohol he had consumed the night prior. But this time, inebriation was not the cause of his momentary flight through the air. And since he somehow went forward, and not off to the side of his bed, he knew whatever happened to him was not his fault. Paul stood up and felt the room spin as he just stepped off the gravitron ride at a theme park. He clumsily reached for the light switch to his room, quickly ascertaining after a few flicks, it was no longer working. "What the &^$#@& is going on?" he mumbled to himself, as he felt around for his Kindle on the bed, but of course he couldn't find it. It appears that everything that was with him on the bed, all got thrown towards the far wall at the foot of his bed. Paul waited half a minute, allowing his eyes to adjust to the darkness. As dark as his surroundings were, some ambient light filtered in from the outside night sky, giving his room a dark, purplish tint. He finally felt around long enough on the floor, and despite not being able to find his Kindle Fire, he did find his cell phone. Being in the middle of the sea, Paul knew the only use of his cell phone at this point was going to be as a flashlight. He activated the flashlight app, briefly smiling as the device’s little LED became a brilliant torch in the darkness. Paul wanted to go exploring, as he heard other doors in the hallway opening and closing. A minute later, Paul was in the hallway; it’s pitch-black passageway, which quickly immersed him into a situation with others who were way more distraught than he was. He got his cell phone light up just in time, as a man came running up to him, nearly scaring the life out of him, "What is going on? Do you know what's going on???" the man asked him. Paul regarded the man wearingly, as the middle-aged spoke nearly uncontrollable. As Paul panned the light up to his face, he grimaced at the knot on the man’s forehead that was the size of a baseball. Before Paul could tell him that he had no idea what was happening, the man frantically ran off down the hallway, asking the same question loudly, to no one in particular. Paul needed answers, and he knew he wasn't going to get it from any of the passengers. Before Paul left his room, he had swiped the ship’s internal phone. It was a small handheld phone, similar to a cordless house phone. This entire time, it lay docked at its charging cradle since Paul boarded the Valley of The Seas. Under normal circumstances, he didn’t see a reason why he would need it. “These aren’t normal circumstances,” Paul told himself as he tried the ship's phone, sighing when he got nothing but static. Paul took it with him as he exited the room, figuring that his best bet was to go to the top deck. Paul got to the middle of his floor where the elevators and stairs were, and to his surprise, there were people actually waiting for the elevator. "Power's out!" one man told another who was waiting. "I know... I know,” the man shot back in an annoyed voice. “But I was hoping it was on a different line. I am kind of dizzy, I don't feel like trying the steps.” Paul bypassed the men as he entered the stairway going up. He was relieved that there were only a handful of people on the steps. Paul feared that everyone would have the same idea at once, and it would be a dinner-time rush to get to the top deck. He walked up the four flights and made it to the top deck. That's when he realized that the ship was not moving. He walked to the edge where another man was also pearling over. "Why did we make an emergency stop?" the man asked Paul. Paul looked down and down at this man; a tall, thin Japanese man, who looked so freakishly like one of his best friends he served with in Iraq, that they could be brothers. This man, despite being in his mid-twenties, possessed none of the physical traits as his buddy Mark did. Paul would later wonder was his comparison to Mark which is why he annoyed him so? Paul regarded him impatiently, as his mind wondered, "Am I wearing a ship's uniform on or something as to why people think I have these answers?" Just when Paul felt like telling the man, "How do I know???" the lights of the ship flickered back on. That was immediately met with a sigh of relief by everyone on the top deck. This new jubilation over us now being able to see the floor in front of us, was quickly whisked away as the lights flickered repeatedly, before going back off again. This dance of lighting repeated itself over and over again for the next few minutes before they finally gave up and went off again for good. Paul looked around the top deck, because of the hour, nothing was open, but he was still shocked that no announcement came in over the PA system, or no official from the crew met them on deck to explain what was going on. More voices joined them on the deck, with people's concerns starting to become background noise: "What happened?" "Where's the Captain?" "My head hurts!" "I'm dizzy!" "Where’re the lights?" "I'm scared!" "You are too close! Back the @#$&!# up!" That last one came from Paul's lips. The only thing worse for Paul than being around a lot of people, was being around a lot of people in the dark—scared people in the dark. Paul knew he had to get away from these people, their paranoia mixed with his own anxiety was going to get somebody hurt. As Paul made it halfway to the bow of the ship, he froze in his tracks as it suddenly became abundantly clear as to why the ship suddenly decelerated. The Valley of The Seas hadn’t performed an emergency stop. As the enormous object now took up his entire view just off the bow of the ship, Paul quickly concluded that the Valley of The Seas had struck a ship—a very large ship that was running dark. Paul held up his cell phone’s light, but his minuscule light made very little difference in getting a true sense of the size of the object they’d hit. “We hit a ship!” a voice behind Paul screamed out. Paul shook his head in annoyance to the confirmation of the obvious. Paul returned back to where he left the guy who had asked him questions about what was going on, and was still in the exact same spot. Paul got up right next to him, "Hey... has anyone seen any of the crew? You’d think they’d be up here by now?" “The… the crew?” the man responded incredulously, looking back over his shoulder to the bridge, and seeing none of the usually visible heads looking out over the controls. “Now that you mentioned it. I have not seen the crew at all. That’s strange.” “Very strange,” Paul added. “Hey, come with me up there to see if we can find someone.” The man hesitated, stuffing his hands into his pockets before looking up to the dark sky, “It looks dark up there.” “It’s not exactly sunny skies down here!” The man appeared to consider Paul’s words for a moment before accepting Paul’s invitation to accept his offer of investigation. On their way to the bridge, Paul and his new friend exchanged names, so at least they knew how to address one another. His name was Jay. Jay reluctantly left his wife Susan in their cabin, telling her he just wanted to see if he could figure out what was going on. They got to the bridge, Jay stepping through the door first, only to turn and rush back out, bringing up his most recent meal all over his fancy walking shoes. Paul peaked inside the bridge, and if he weren’t already familiar with death on this level, he might have had a similar response as Jay. Just inside of the doorway of the bridge beneath a splintered window pane lay the prone body of the Staff Captain, his neck twisted at an odd angle that the human neck was never meant to. A few feet away from the ship’s master, a red and pink gaping would glisten in the torch of my cell light. Paul turned back to Jay, “See if you can find the rest of the crew. They are probably down in the engine room to re-establish power.” Jay happily scampered away from the steps of the bridge, only to pause at the last second, “Come with me.” Paul regarded Jay uneasily for a minute. In Paul’s mind, here this man stood, twenty years his junior, appearing in good physical shape, but it was clear to me he was afraid. Despite his wife being below deck, he was visually frightened. Paul sighed heavily, knowing exactly what he had to do. Minutes later, after Jay checked in on Susan, who was reluctant to allow Jay to depart again. But after some coaxing, and repeated stares back and forth with Paul, Jay convinced Susan that Paul needed his assistance. The reluctant duo made it to the final level of the ship, as the occasional flickering of lights, made it more difficult to see if than if the level had no illumination at all. At the end of the hallway was the engine room, which stood before two members of the crew straining to open the engine room door. “You two!” one of the crew members called out to them.”Give us a hand, aye!” Paul and Jay rushed over to the door, immediately adding their palms to the door handle. “The crash,” the other man stated, his shoulders lowering, “It must have bent the hinges enough for the door to be wedged in the frame. If we can’t get in there, we can’t stabilize the ship’s power!” “How did the captain hit something that big?” Paul asked in a low tone, trying his best not to sound accusatory.” The crew member stopped pulling on the door and began looking up at Paul, his eyes narrowing, “He didn’t.” “I beg your pardon?” Paul asked, sounding offended as he pointed towards the front of the ship. “I was just up there. Trust me… we definitely hit a ship!” Paul’s admission caused the other ship staffer to cease his grip on the door handle. “And I was on the bridge itself when the accident occurred. We were engaged at a three-quarter flank when the ship appeared out of nowhere. The captain didn’t even have a chance to go full-reverse.” Paul was about to debate further when the man turned away from me to continue trying the door. Taking it as his cue to drop the conversation Paul joined alongside the trio. Two pulse-pounding minutes later, the door to the engine room creaked open, smacking them all in the face with the putrid smell of burnt plastic. The man who debated Paul slowly shook his head with disappointment, “This is not good… not good at all!” Paul stepped forward to inquire more, only for Jay to beat him to the punch. “What’s wrong? Is it something you can fix?” “Sure, we can fix it,” the other ship staffer said in a low voice. “But most times, we only carry one engine alternator on each ship.” “They basically never go bad… ever!” Paul’s verbal aggressor says. “With that sucker failing, we can’t sustain power to the ship, so we are basically dead in the water.” “Can’t we just radio for help?” Jay asked. Paul looked over at Jay, “Radio’s busted. You must have missed that.” “Sorry, Paul,” Jay said. “I was too busy focusing on our dead captain.” The man who argued with Paul refocused his attention back to him, “Hey, we’ve to stay here and make sure nothing else goes wrong here, and try our best to sustain backup power. If you guys really want to make yourselves useful and see if you can access the radio on the bridge of that other ship. Call for help.” “While I have military experience, it wasn’t in the Navy. Trust me, I’m far from a sailor,” Paul says. “I have no idea how to translate our position. “You don’t have to,” the man says. “Once you start broadcasting, they’ll be able to get a fix on our position.” Paul begins walking back in the direction in which they came, only pausing when he realized his footfalls were the only one traversing the hallway. Turning toward Jay, “You coming?” Jay tried his best to dig deep in his mind for an excuse to bail on Paul, but when he failed, he shrugged his shoulders in indifference, begrudgingly aligning himself along Paul’s side.
Post by Dark Eagle on Dec 24, 2021 21:15:23 GMT -8
Chapter 3: The Ship
Paul looked over the side of the vessel, looking down the twenty-plus feet to the Village of the Seas. As luck would have it, when he and Jay got to the bow of the ship, the larger vessel had a series of ladder rings every twenty-five feet or so along its side. With Jay tucked to his side like an insecure date on a senior prom, Paul tried his best to squint his eyes at the name of the ship. But the best Paul could do is make out the letters D-G-E. Of what Paul was able to make out, the ship they hit appeared to be at least twice the length of the Village of the Seas, and at least six decks higher above where they stood. The fact that the ship was dark unnerved Paul. The fact that the ship was dark and appeared to be devoid of life, unnerved him on another level.” The moment Paul stepped on the ship, he felt an uneasiness in his stomach, like he had just consumed a rotten piece of meat. If Paul thought he was alone in his feelings, he looked back over his shoulder to see Jay down on one knee. “What the fuck is going on?” Jay cried out. “Is this ship listing to one side or something? Why do I suddenly feel so weird?” “I don’t know,” Paul replied. “I feel it too, I just dismissed it as nervousness. Let’s just do what we came to do so we can leave.” “Where do we send the signal from?” Jay managed through chattering teeth. Hearing the way Jay put his question, made Paul exhaled fully through his mouth, and even in the dark surrounding he could visibly make out his breath, telling him that somehow it was noticeably colder on this ship than it was on the Village of the Seas. “Paul?” Jay blundered, snapping Paul away from his weather concerns. “Yes, Jay,” Paul quickly responded. “We will send the signal from the place we would have done it on the Village of The Seas… the bridge.” “And where’s the bridge?” Paul was seconds from stating, “It’s at the same place it would be at…” but then he caught himself, fearing that his answer may be incorrect. Instead, Paul pointed up towards the area near the top of the ship, “Well it should be somewhere up there.” It took another minute for Paul and Jay to use their cell lights to find a door on the new ship. Once inside, both men suddenly felt like they had entered another world as a chorus of screaming, seemed to come from all directions. “What the hell is that?” Jay frighteningly demanded, backing up till he collided with the very same door they had just passed through. “Sounds like screaming, Jay,” Paul responded. “Why is there…” Jay stops to do a quick headcount in his mind. “Over a dozen people, probably more screaming as if they are in some sort of agony?” Paul turned towards Jay and comfortably rested his large hands on the man’s frail shoulder. “Listen, if you ask me one more time a question that I’m not any more prepared to answer I’m going to say something you’re not going to like,” Paul said. “I… I’m sorry,” Jay said. “This whole thing unnerves me something fierce. It’s all I can do to stop myself from running back to Susan.” Paul’s grip on Jay suddenly tightened, only stopping once Paul noticed Jay’s face start to grimace. “You leave me by myself on this strange ass ship and I promise you that when I catch back up to you, I’ll be twice as unpleasant as I’m being right now.” The two men moved in the direction they believed would take them to the bridge. As their cell phone lights push paths of light in front of them at waist level, it fails to point enough at the very floor above them, which feels as if they were stepping on random items of debris. Up ahead, another door that appears to lead to a stairwell gives them a much-needed shot of adrenaline, as the screams pick away at the very souls. Hearing the sound of men screaming is something that Paul has heard before, many, many times. But what bugged the veteran of over a dozen armed conflicts is that usually when he’d encounter this, he could focus on a source. After being on this ship for almost twenty minutes, and thus far they haven’t seen another living soul. Since Jay was closer to the stairway, he entered the narrow stairwell first, with Paul following up the rear. While Paul had no reason to think they were being pursued, he slowly closed the door behind him nevertheless. Closing the door allowed Jay’s proceeding screaming to have reverberated in the narrow corridor a thousand times. Paul rushed to Jay’s side just silently mouth, “WHAT THE FLYING @#$%#!” Just several feet before the door to the next level, a man in classic navy attire appears to be half-embedded into the wall. The man’s face, at least the part that was visible, was frozen in unspeakable horror, as if its entire body was suddenly dropped into a vat of lava. When Jay saw Paul’s right arm slowly move towards the man’s face, he quickly pulled it down. “What the hell are you doing?” Paul shrugged off Jay’s attempt, rubbing the stuck man’s cheek bone with the backs of his index and forefingers. “It’s still warm, which means this just happened.” “I don’t know how this helps us,” Jay says, as he makes his way towards the door, all his eyes focusing on the man the entire time, envisioning the man suddenly freeing himself from his metallic mold. Paul follows behind and slowly closes the door behind him to the next level. “What it tells me is that whatever caused this could be still active, and that we ourselves can be at risk.” Jay starts to walk away, looking over his shoulder as he makes his way to the next similar door, “I would have felt better if you kept that part to yourself.” The next stairwell up was devoid of any protruding bodies, which delighted both men. As their gaze became affixed to the thick tubes of wiring running along the ceiling, neither man paid attention to what was right before them. It was Jay who stumbled over a silver wrench sticking out of the deck like a newly potted plant. Jay fell face-first to the metallic deck, which brought him near face to face with an elder enlisted man who was semi-merged into the very floor itself, as only above his navel was visible. Jay screamed out as if he had just got shot. Before Paul could run to him, the man stuck into the floor suddenly opened his eyes, causing Jay to scream even louder. “Help me!” the half-man said, his eyes jumping back and forth between Paul and Jay. “I can’t feel my legs.” Paul bit in his lower lip as he shook his head slowly. “I don’t know what we can do for you sir. I think your legs might be-” Paul never finishes his words as the man releases a gurgled cry, and falls forward to the floor as much as his body will allow at the waist. He turns around towards Jay, to see the younger man already inches from his face. “What’s stopping this from happening to us?” “Nothing! But it seems as though whatever happened, occurred before we got here. None of this seems to be ongoing.” “You think.” “Hey man… that’s all I got,” Paul relents. The two men press on, as each corridor they pass through brings them several feet from similar soldiers, stuck into almost every part of the walls, floors and even ceiling. One out of every three of those men are still alive. It was Jay, who approached one of the embedded soldiers, and removed his revolver from his holster. “What are you doing?” Paul asked. “Just in case!” Jay snapped back. “These are American soldiers! They don’t pose any threat to you! “Just in case!” Paul was seconds from telling Jay to return back to the Village of The Seas, but he knew he’d be wasting his time, and the young man would be too scared to go it alone. Paul looked up and if his hunch was correct, the door leading to the next flight of stairs led to the command deck where the radio was. They weren’t fully up the stairs when their cell lights let them know they were right where they needed to be. Whatever jubilation that was starting to come over them for being seconds from completing their question, was quickly snatched away once they got a full view of the command center bridge. Jay stood in the entrance, his mouth moving rapidly, with no words coming forth. Paul on the other hand lowered himself down into a squat right before one of the crewmen whose body was sunked down into the floor all the way to his neck. The eyes stared blankly at Paul, till he said a silent prayer and closed them. Similar bodies of entanglement surrounded them as for the second time in under two hours, both men found themselves face to face with a dead bridge crew. One crewman who Paul was able to somehow confirm was the captain from his badges was so flushed with his Captain’s Chair, it was hard to determine where the captain’s body started, vs where the chair ended. As Jay was making his way to the consoles, a hand belonging to the Captain/Captain-chair merging seized him in an icy grip, which once again let the man scream out, “How is this even possible?” Paul rushed over and freed Jay from the man’s grip, before returning his focus to Jay. “There’s a lot of things that we’ve seen over the last hour that shouldn’t be possible, nevertheless, here we are.” When Paul turned back to the Captain, the man began convulsing so violently that he felt the reverberating through the floor.. “Kill me!” the Captain slowly stated. As soon as Jay started to process the captain’s words, the gun that he had just found started feeling heavy in his pocket. By the time he pulled it out, the weight of the weapon increased ten-fold, causing the grip Paul had on it to waiver. As soon as Jay got close to the captain, Paul slowly reached over to slowly remove the revolver with one hand, while resting a soft hand on Jay with his left hand. “I’ll take care of this, you go fool with the radio over there.” Relieved of his duty, Jay runs over to the radio and begins turning knobs and mashing on the ‘talk’ button. Paul straightens his back and gives the Captain his final salute before resting the pistol gently against the captain’s temple. “Rest well captain, let your journey be swift. Let your treasures in heaven be bountiful!” And with that, Paul closed his eyes and fired. Just as Jay flinched from the blast, a verbal response his emergency calls. [Radio]: “HELLO? This is the United States Coast Guard ship Polar Star. Brushing past Jay, Paul got in front of the microphone, slamming his hand on the send button. “Hello… hello, this is Paul Emerson, and I’m on a cruise ship called Village of The Seas. We are in desperate need of assistance. We have multiple fatalities and injuries. Please send someone right away.” “Why didn’t you tell them about this ship?” Jay says. Paul turns to Jay, his face trying to keep his anger under wraps. “We need help right now. Do you want to waste time explaining to them this ship and all the ensuing follow up questions? They can figure all that out once they get here.” The ship's radio squelches back to life. [Radio]: “We’ve triangulated your location, and we should be there in less than an hour.” For the first time since Paul was violently woken up, Paul smiles, giving Jay multiple until something over Jay’s shoulder causes him to leave Jay hanging on the last congratulatory outburst. “The Coast Guard said they’ll be here in an hour. I’m here to tell you that this ship won’t be here in an hour, but that’s not the worst of your worries.” Jay whips around to lock eyes on who Paul saw just seconds before him. Standing in the doorway to the command center, a middle-age man in a black pants and black jacket. “Who the fuck are you?” Josh demanded as he made his way around Jay, his pistol rising. The man in the doorway raises his hands high in the air. “You can shoot me now, but that’s not going to help you. There’s a reason why I said the fact that this ship won’t be here isn’t your biggest issue. The gunshot is what brought me here, unfortunately for all of us will bring others.” The man looked over his shoulder at the same time the sound of a thunderous stampede of screaming crewmen was approaching the command center at blinding speed.
Post by Dark Eagle on Dec 24, 2021 21:19:47 GMT -8
Chapter 4: Answers
Paul and Jay sit silently in a small storage closet who’s only illumination comes from Jay’s cell phone light pointed upward from the floor. Against the door is their newest best friend, named Dr. Albert Willingham, who swears up and down that he has just saved their life. After checking his watch several times, twisting its winding knob to its maximum, Dr. Willingham looked back up to his new shipmates, “Any second now…” Moments later, the lone incandescent light bulb flickers to life, making each man squint several times before their retinas get used to the sudden change of lighting. “Thank goodness,” Jay says. “I think I was going to blind using our little cell lights.” “You won’t be thanking me long son,” Dr. Willingham says. “When the ship’s power is being diverted, that’s when it's charging something else. Now that the device has been accomplished, it’s only a matter of time.” “Matter of time?” scolds Paul. “When the he-ll are you going to tell me… tell us what’s going on here? Besides your name, you haven’t said much of anything, although it's abundantly clear that you know exactly what’s going on.” Dr. Willingham releases a reluctant sigh before raising his eyes from the floor to Paul and Jay. “You don’t have time, but perhaps a brief story will provide the motivation to move. I’m a physicist out of Wilkshirre College, I am part of an experiment that until now, even I didn't even think was possible. This ship, this unique ship successfully conducted its mission.” “And that mission is?” Paul asked “Classified!” Dr. Willingham immediately shot back. “But what I will say is that we’ve had some unfortunate side-effects, most of whom you’ve seen. For whatever reason, this momentarily ship became out of phase with normal space-time, hence the people you’ve seen stuck in the ship’s internal structure. Those who weren’t killed instantly went insane, and began attacking anyone who weren’t affected. If I wasn’t in an area away from the crewman, I would have died with everyone else.” Jay places his ear against the door to the storage room. “What happens when we run out of time?” “This ship disappears and goes home. I don’t think you will be welcomed there son.” Jay hesitated before opening the door, focusing his attention back to Dr. Willingham, “What does that even-” Paul cut Jay off before he could finish his question. “Hey look, figure this all out on the way, we need to get off this ship.” Jay shrugged his shoulders in indifference before stepping outside from the door. Before he can reach the door, Dr. Willingham stops him. “Let me look first, you have to be really careful because sometimes-” Dr. Willingham’s words are cut off, not by Paul, but by a pair of darkened hands rips him from the closet and into the air, before pinning him into the adjacent wall. Jay rushes in to help, but the minute he steps outside the doorway, he’s hit by a human missile as one of them runs into him from the side until they both collide to the deck. The crewman immediately starts hammering down on Jay with two-hand punches as he screams unintelligible words over top of his face. Paul rushes to Dr. Willingham’s attacker first, and pushes him several times to no avail. Changing tactics, he kicks in the back of the man’s left knee, causing him to drop Dr. Willingham. For the next thirty seconds, Paul and the crewmen wrestle back and forth, until Paul is able to get him into enough of a submission hold around his neck, to render the crewman unconsciousness. Winded, but alive, Paul turns his attention back to Jay, who’s still struggling for his very life at the hands of his attacker. “SHOOT HIM!” Jay screams as he tries his best to fend off the blows “I can’t shoot a fellow crewman!” Paul quickly responds. “You already have!” Jay says. Paul runs off and drives the butt of the revolver down into the right temple of the crewmen's skull. The man quickly collapses down over the top of Jay, knocked out cold from the blow. Paul reaches down and snatches Jay back onto his feet. “The captain was different. For all tense and purposes, he was already dead.” Dr. Willingham patted Jay on the arm, “Are you alright?” “Thanks for the assistance!” Jay fires directly at the doctor. “I’m sorry young man, but I’m a scientist, not a soldier. My fellow scientists were already killed by these guys. If I wasn’t good at hiding, I’d be dead a long time ago.” Paul stepped in between the two men, seizing them both by the shoulder. “Hey, sorry to break up this coming to life moment for you two, but didn’t you say we need to hurry up and leave? By what I recall, we’re only one deck above where the main deck is. We can make a break for our ship from there.” “You’re right,” Dr. Willingham says. Paul and Jay start to take off towards the nearest stairway down, before Dr. Willingham stops them. “There is one last thing I forgot to mention?” “We’re not going to like this, are we?” Paul says. “I’m afraid not,” Dr. Willingham says with a lowered voice. “You see, to properly run the experiment, I need an extra pair of hands. As I mentioned before, my other scientist comrades perished by the hands of the other crew. Without help, I can’t re-engage the systems to complete the experiment.” Jay walks up to Paul, tapping him on the shoulder before turning back to Dr. Willingham, “Hey, tough shit pal. We’re getting out of here! You figure it out. Coast Guard is on its way, and I don’t expect to be on this ship when they arrive.” “You don’t understand my young friend, Dr. Willingham says, before shaking his head. “The energy has already been stored up. It’s a MASSIVE amount of energy. The capacitors were never meant to store this much power over a long period of time. IF the experiment doesn’t channel that energy, there will be an explosion.” “From the looks of it, these people are mostly gone anyway,” Jay says. Jay’s comment draws a look of further annoyance from Paul. “This explosion,” Dr. Willingham continues. “Will not only take out this ship, but half of your ship as well. “Susan,” Jay says through lips that barely move. “Look gentlemen, we can debate this, but there’s really not much of a choice here. Engineering is two decks beneath the main deck. Help me get there and start the experiment, there will be a one minute countdown, as the capacitors channel the power. Even I can make it off this ship in that time.” Dr. Willingham says. “Even with the crew coming after us?” Jay says. “We don’t have any choice,” Paul says. Paul then turns to Dr. Willingham. “You know, it would have been nice to know about all this ahead of time!” Dr. Willingham leads the way, and instead of turning over his shoulder, he simply sighs, “Perhaps… but that really wouldn’t have changed anything, would it?” Three decks later, after being chased by over a dozen crewmen, and having Dr. Willingham nearly choked out the exhausted trio finally make it to engineering. The first thing that Paul notices is that the entire room reeks of the electrical smell he and Jay discovered upon entering the ship for the first time. “Hurry!” Dr. Willingham ordered. “We have little time! An explosion is imminent!” Dr. Willingham spends the next full minute explaining to Paul and Josh which buttons and levers need to be activated in order for the experiment to proceed. After carefully following Dr. Willingham’s instructions, the entire room vibrated with such ferocity, Paul could barely keep his footing. “Can we go now?” Jay asked. “Not yet!” Dr. Willingham quickly replied, with his right index finger in the air. “I don’t understand,” Paul said, ``if we don’t have anything more to do, why are you keeping us here.” Dr. Willingham doesn’t respond verbally, just gives them the same one-finger gesture from before. Paul starts to feel his body tingle, as the world around him starts to blur and brighten at the same time. Looking over at Jay, slamming his fist down on the console in front of him, “Hey, let’s get the he-ll out of here!!!” Jay doesn't even respond. He immediately makes his way to the door, despite Dr. Willingham’s verbal protest to do otherwise. The two guests of the Village of The Seas hit the hallway, startled at the crewmen who appeared to be on their way to their area, laying out on the deck, convulsing as if going through a seizure. It takes Paul and Jay thirty seconds to get back to the main deck, all the while dancing around other fallen crewmen who seem to be afflicted by the same condition. Each step Paul makes onto the metal deck plates starts to get softer and softer, as if the solid surface was replaced by a giant sponge, which with each step becomes less and less dense. Paul has an empty feeling in his stomach, but literally and figuratively as his mind starts to come to grip what is occurring, “OMG, this can’t be happening to me. Please… please father get me out of this!” Paul can see the edge of the ship, as the Village of the Seas becomes larger and larger to his point of view. Jay’s younger legs have propelled him ten steps ahead of him and finally pauses to turn back towards Paul. Immediately upon doing so, he falls due to the deck plates' loss of integrity. Paul rushes over, gets the man to his feet, and the two collectively make their way to the edge of the ship that’s less than twenty feet away. “No! NO!” Paul hears from behind him. But Paul, knowing who the words are coming from, never bothers to refocus his attention. The two make it to the edge, looking down over the edge down the teen feet to the Village of The Seas, Jay looks at his new best friend. “We have to be careful using these ladder rings.” “@#[email protected]%# these rings!” Paul said, before he seizes Jay by the back of his collar as well as the back of his pants at the waist. Giving all he has he grabs the man and tosses him over the edge of the ship towards the awaiting Village of The Seas. The moment Jay is in the air, Paul’s world turns a brilliant white.
Post by Dark Eagle on Dec 24, 2021 21:24:39 GMT -8
Paul slowly returns to consciousness to a world he knows is not like the one his vision blacked, or whited out to. He was in a large, white room and when he finally went to move, he realized he was in restraints. It took him a few moments to realize he was not alone. A dozen feet to the left of him, Jay lay in a similar arrangement. Paul went to scream out to Jay, and was beside himself when he realized he couldn’t open his mouth to speak. “Is my jaw wired shut?” Paul asks himself, wondering if he was hurt during the ships transformation. The door to the large room suddenly opened, and two men entered. No surprise to Paul, one of the men was Dr. Willingham. Paul tried to get Dr. Willingham’s attention, but he struggled makes his movements apparent enough for either man to notice. Dr. Willingham and his companion stopped equidistant between both he and Jay, before the unidentified man turned back to him. “Okay, Dr. Willingham, tell me one more time what happened. Dr. Willingham narrowed his eyes directly at Jay’s position. “I know how hurtful this is for you Rear Admiral Hastings, but somehow our base was infiltrated, and this Japanese spy got on board before the experiment. This ‘Jay’ character somehow sabotaged everything, leading towards the death of over one hundred and fifty brave soldiers. The moment’s Jay’s name left Dr. Willingham’s words Jay’s eyes suddenly flashed open. From Paul’s vantage point, they weren’t the same eyes that in his mind, he had just seen a few minutes ago. Jay’s were bloodshot, as his entire face contorted into pure, unadulterated rage. Pushing against his restraints, Jay began to scream about like a madman. “He’s screaming, just like the crewmen on that ship.” Paul told himself.” Paul wanted so badly to do his own screaming. He wanted to scream to the heavens at this admiral that Dr. Willingham was lying, and that Jay had nothing to do with it. Paul wanted to tell them that Jay was being scapegoated and if anything failed, it was due to Dr. Willingham incompetence. “And this fella,” Admiral Hastings said to Dr. Willingham, jabbing his finger in Paul’s direction. “He said his name was Paul. Clearly he was probably some sort of Jap, or Nazi sympathizer. He was in leagues with that Jay fella. I watched helplessly as he executed Captain Eggers as he begged for life. Him and that Jay fella laughed about it as they went around the ship shooting wooded crewmen. Who knows how many negro simpathizers we have out here.” “Absolutely SICKENING!” Admiral Hastings said, as little bits of saliva left his mouth. “I want both of these men executed before the day is over. So with your opinion doctor, the experiment was a failure?” “I’m afraid so Admiral. We disappeared for a few moments, and ended up in the middle of the Atlantic. It was nothing but my exceptional skill to get this vessel back in one piece. Moving forward, I don’t see anything beneficial from trying it again. Even without the sabotage, I don’t think it's worth it.” The admiral shook his head before turning towards the door. In a defeated voice, the admiral let out, “That’s a damn shame! Shouldn’t had let either of these people in the United States armed crews.” Once the admiral was out of earshot, Dr. Willingham slowly walked over to Paul and leaned in close to his ear. Dr. Willingham took one moment to check to see if the three men were alone. “Hallo Neger! Thank you Paul for helping my cause with explaining the failure of the Philadelphia Experiment, my superiors will be proud when in two months I bring them the real plans to the fatherland.” Dr. Willingham takes another moment to look over his shoulder before bring his mouth so close to Paul’s ear that it was almost intimate, “Heil Hitler! Paul began to get beside himself as rage filled his body. Trying to be the hero, had assisted one of the most evil regime’s ever. As Paul’s anger grew, he felt his body shake, as his thoughts became more and more incoherent. As the room started to spin, Paul finally started to feel he was getting the ability for words to come out of his mouth. Unfortunately for Paul, the only words that came out were violent, uncontrollable screams. Paul’s screams left his body despite him not willing them to do so, as if it was some sort of automatic action like breathing, or his heart beating. “The crewmen,” Paul recalled. “They didn’t react angrily till they saw Dr. Willingham. They had figured him out, albeit too late. We were guilty by association.” As Paul’s screams filled the room with such volume, even his jumbled thoughts became unintelligible. Paul’s last act of conscious thought was wondering if the tear that rolled down his face came from contempt, or sadness from his unfortunate fate.