PDA

View Full Version : I Bring You.. The Guest - Part Three.



Realjambo
09-22-2006, 04:43 PM
It has taken longer than I'd planned, but I now, nervously, present to you part three of 'The Guest'

Before we start, links to parts one and two:

Part One: Our guest arrives on board. We are all very wary.
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/16...031054474#5031054474 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/1631034474?r=5031054474#5031054474)

Part Two: "We're Snagged Sir!" A sitting duck.
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/92...281094974#9281094974 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/9281094974?r=9281094974#9281094974)

And now for part three: "Fight or Flight?"

"How long?€ Asked the Old Man, looking, directly at the Chief.

The only the sound was of the waves slapping against the boat. The Chief hesitated, and stammered €œI can€t be sure Herr Kaleun, it depends how much is snagged behind the propeller. We don€t even know what is snagged. Could be a rope, a fishing net, even a sub net broken loose€

€œGive me your cigar and your watch€ The Old Man demanded. The Chief looked confused.

€œYou€re going in, you look at the damage, and then you tell me how long it will take€

The Old Man called for a rope to tie the Chief on with. This was most irregular. The Chief was a vital part of the boats crew. I could see both sides of the argument, however to put him into the water was as bad as the Old Man going for a leisurely dip himself. What if we had to crash dive suddenly?

Reluctantly, the Chief stripped off, leaving on only his underwear for modesty €" not that there is any quarter given with regards to modesty on a U-boat. Gingerly he lowered himself to sit on the edge of the decking with his feet in the water on the port side of the stern, and eased himself into the sea, just as if he was slipping into a swimming pool on holiday.

The Old Man stood pensively, staring into the depth where the Chief had submerged, his distorted rippling reflection gazing back at him. Half turning his head, he shouted back towards the conning tower, €œWatch! You men up there! Eyes peeled! All quarters double scanned! Be sure! Let€s not crash dive for a damn seagull again!€

He was referring to a false alarm only a week ago, when the cry of €˜Alaaaarrm! Flyer headed this way!€ shrilled out from a junior rating on the conning tower. Once submerged, the Old Man having scanned the skies with the attack periscope, a risk in itself, suggested scathingly that the unfortunate rating brush up on his bird watching skills. The enemy flyer was simply a seagull the Old Man ascertained. The junior rating that night peeled potatoes with great diligence.

€œWe could make way with one prop, no more than slow ahead though, and no rudder changes €" it€s quite a mess under there!€ the Chief blurted out, bobbing on the surface between waves. €œIt€s fishing net, I think €" caught by the prop and then twisted round the shaft behind it. God knows how many times €" we€ll have to cut it all off the shaft if the prop is ever going to turn again! - 2 hours repair time Kaleun, at a guess!€

Wire snips, pliers, and even the Galley scissors were put in a canvas bag, tied to a rope and tossed into the water for the Chief to retrieve and distribute. €œThank goodness it isn€t winter€ the Old Man sighed as we watched the repair crew take it in turns to dive under the props to cut and pull away the net €" progress was slow as little shreds of netting floated up and caught the sun glistening on the surface.

Then it came. A hoarse, rasping cry €œEnemy Flyer for sure! Descending Dead ahead!€

My heart stopped and my blood froze. The Old Man and I snapped around and looked down the length of the boat towards the bow. Sure enough, a black angular shape, like a crucifix, was dropping down towards the horizon €" diving straight at us. We had been spotted and the enemy flyer was starting his attack run.

I suddenly felt more vulnerable than I had ever done in my life - stood here at the very stern tip, decking no more than a metre across. All around me was just water, and below me just water €" many hundreds of feet of water. That was it! Our only means of protection, of escape €" we had to dive.

€œAhead slow, Starboard engine only, de-clutch the port drive shaft!€ bellowed the Old Man. The order was repeated down the length of the deck to the conning tower.

€œThe repair crew!€ I cried out, scanning the surface of the water for them. Nothing. They were all submerged, no doubt lungs bursting as they clawed at the knots of the fishing net coiled round the port shaft €œThe Starboard prop will rip them apart!€

€œRange of the flyer?! How long?€ called out he Old Man , his eyes fixated on the rudders, ready to catch the first of the repair crew who came up for air.

€œEstimate 12000 metres, closing fast Kaleun!€ was the response from the bridge.

Time slowed down. I saw in the murk a bronze pulsing light €" the starboard prop was starting to turn over. I could now hear the drone of the enemy flyer in the distance. Still none of the repair crew came up. I breathed in deeply, bracing myself for the white foaming wash around the props to turn a deep crimson red.

€œ10,000 metres, levelling off and coming straight at us!€

€œPrepare to crash dive, everyone off the deck, get below!€

My heart sank. The Old Man had made up his mind. Sacrifice the Chief and the repair crew for the sake of the boat and the rest of us. To dive the boat before the flyer had a chance to drop his bombs.

€œ8,000 Herr Kaleun €" he€s jinking, lining up with us!€

A guilty thought entered my head. At least I didn€t know the Chief very well, or the repair crew for that matter, so perhaps I wouldn€t grieve. Any second now and they would be at one with the ocean. I hoped it was quick for them.

€œAre you crazy!? A voice called out. I thought in the confusion for a second it was mine. €œWhat the hell are you doing? Trying to kill us? €" we haven€t finished with the net!€

I turned back towards the stern, and there, with thrashing angry arms above the wave tops was the repair crew, the Chief shouting on their behalf. I cupped both hands across my mouth in relief. But it was short lived.

€œFlyer! He€s spotted us, get aboard! We can€t wait! Kaleun ordered crash dive! Come on! Come on!€ I beckoned.

They began swimming furiously towards me, flailing arms slicing into the water ahead of them. I became aware of the motion of the boat on the surface as the single starboard prop bit into the water and the engine rattled below my feet. The boat began edging away from them as white foam churned in our trail.

€œ7,000 metres!€ Flyer has levelled off! He has us now! Kaleun we must dive now!€

€œAt 2,000 metres throw everything we have at him, use the deck gun if you have to!€

Was this a reprieve for the swimmers? Was the Kaleun was going to fight?

€œRange 6,000 metres€

€œHurry! We are diving any second!€ I shouted out. The swimmers faces were cast in pure panic, pounding with their arms and thrashing their feet, pushing through the wake we left behind us. As I knelt at the stern of the boat, holding on to decking for fear of tumbling into the water myself, moving images played in my head €" the flyer swooping low over us, the deafening roar of his engines, the crack of his machine guns raking down the pressure hull, the water around us erupting in violent plumes all around me. Then he€d get the swimmers and it would have all been for nothing. My movie neglected to play out my fate. Perhaps it was best I didn€t know.

€œ4,000 metres Kaleun! In God€s name give the order! We must get under now!€

My images changed now to the flyer. I could see him in his cockpit, breathing hard, arming his canons; leather bound hands gripping the control stick tightly, the dark U-boat looming towards him through from over the aircrafts nose. I wondered if he€d called in, and more planes were coming.

The swimmers were so close, I wanted to reach out and haul them on board but I feared they€d drag me off the deck in trying to scramble up over me. A bow wave was forming, waves hissing as they were split in half. The boat was picking up speed.

€œ3,000 metres Herr Kaleun €" this is madness! He€ll kill us all!€ someone shouted from the bridge from behind his glasses.



€œLet€s have him!€ Bellowed the Old Man. The AA gun crews obliged, unleashing a stream of rounds into the sky towards the flyer in a deafening staccato that made me instinctively duck.

I watched as the flyer jinked left and right €" he must have seen the muzzle flashes from the anti aircraft guns. The reload was quick, the empty magazines tossed aside. A bucket was hauled from the water by a rope and thrown over the barrels of the guns to help cool them as new ammunition was unpacked.

The flyer dipped a little, straightened up with us again and bore down with renewed fury. In my mind I saw his thumb on the trigger. Suddenly all I saw was white and a roaring in my ears. €˜Don€t fall over. Don€t fall over€ I kept saying to myself. I wiped my face with my hand, my hair was soaked and the salt stung my eyes. The flyer was now ahead of me, he€d passed right over the boat. I was alive! The swimmers? Where were the swimmers? Coughing and through blinking eyes I saw they had reached the stern, and were hauling themselves up onto the deck, exhausted, panting and scared witless.

The AA guns opened up again, swinging round and chasing the flyer€s tail. A cry rang out from the bridge, and I turned to see if were true.

€œSmoke! He€s hit! He€s hit! We got him!€

The flyer swooped hard to port, losing altitude. A plume of thick black smoke marking his path streaked behind him. I watched as he came round, carving a gentle arc above the waves, spluttering, stalling, struggling to control the aircraft. Clouds of smoke billowing were behind him.

He€s coming right for us! Collision course!€

feinmann_xv
09-22-2006, 06:01 PM
Good read again... more... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

!S

Ali_109
09-23-2006, 12:36 AM
Pure genius RJ, have you thought about approaching a publisher? Maybe for a short story in a magazine? I think you have a good chance. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Realjambo
09-23-2006, 07:27 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif Thanks guys! Part Four will be coming soon...

skimbo
09-23-2006, 12:33 PM
Damn you Jambo!

It's like one of those old episodes of flash Gordon where the audience is given a tantalizing glimpse of what could happen in the next episode and then it's whipped away!

How can you leave us hanging again?! The devil take you sir!

Kidding...

Good stuff as usual more please!!!

Realjambo
09-23-2006, 12:41 PM
Muah ha ha! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Thank you for the post skimbo