Alex Hack, an undercover reporter, on board the cargo ship as a lowly deck hand, investigating the poor conditions and quick turnaround of the crew. He is on his hands and knees busy cleaning the floor with all his might, he has had a long tiring day cleaning all around the crew area of the ship, and is now in the galley.
A large burly gorilla of a guy, marches through the galley leaving a dirty trail from his boots as he goes, walking past the poor deck hand that is trying to clean the floor. Alex recognises the man as one of the important crew members, but not an officer, a guy known as El Bastardo, but not to his face. Once he has gotten in to the room fully, and to be honest made a mess of the floor, he turns back to Alex and asks him if he thinks that this is what he calls clean. Alex just explains that he is doing his best, and has had a long busy day cleaning, apologising for it not being good enough.
A smile crosses the big brutes face, then he turns and goes over to the store cupboards, opening the door to one of the drink stores, taking a look within before turning back to Alex.
“You like your drink don’t you?” not pausing for an answer, “it appears that there is a crate of red wine missing, would you happen to know anything about this?” Alex pleads his innocence, not knowing anything about it, then being questioned as to when he will be finishing his shift, if it is in the next thirty minutes. No sooner than Alex responses with an affirmative then the guy informs him not to he here after this time, and to be back at his cabin.
Alex being smarter than El Bastardo realised, was aware of the guy’s attempts at trying to goad him in to a fight, and just let him get on with it without taking the bite, all the while the guy kept muttering curses in his native Portuguese. However as soon as his shift finished he was smart enough not to be around and headed back to his cabin.
Part way back to his cabin, Alex was stopped by another crew member, a much friendlier guy, a thin wiry man of average height, his name being Ivan and speaks with a Russian accent. After stopping Alex he asks him if everything is okay, Alex mentions the problem without stating any names, but Ivan know instantly and brings the name up, Alex just nods.
“I think you should leave ship as soon as possible” Ivan offers, “Do you have any money?” Alex looks puzzled at this remark, only confirming that he is only a lowly deck hand, and barely has enough money. Ivan explains further that Healy, ‘El Bastardo’ likes to pick fights, and that they always go through deck hands very quickly. Ivan then offers that he could help Alex jump ship at the next harbour and give him some money, if he is willing to help him out in ten minutes times. Alex agrees to helping him out, and is told to be up on deck, on deck four in ten minutes time, and that all he has to do is keep an eye out for any office that happens to be out there and just talk to them, then after about ten minutes he can go and they will talk later, explaining that it may involve some wrist time pieces, and that he will go halves on the monetary gain. Alex nods and walks off heading for his cabin.
Finally getting back to his cabin, Alex quickly checks if there are any hidden crates of wine stashed within his room, and thankfully finding none. He quickly splashes some water on his face, and picks up his full hip flask, looks puzzled at it briefly, open the stopper on top, takes in the vapour from the opening, then takes a small draft of it contents. Now looking more relaxed, Alex picks up his micro cassette recorder and heads out and up to deck four.
Out on deck four, Alex just stands over by where the freight containers are held keeping an eye out for any unwanted visitors. Many minutes pass and nothing happens, when he hears a noise from within the crates. Press the record button on his recorder, edging the microphone on the machine out of his pocket, Alex quietly goes over and leans on the container near where the noise is coming from. Standing this close he can hear a muttering coming from around the containers, sounding like some frustration and cursing, when suddenly there is a loud heavy thud and then silence. After about a minute Alex looks to make sure no one was approaching, takes a sip from his hip flask, then creeps on around the container, only to find nothing but a torch beam pointing up to the ceiling of one of the freight containers, the torch seems to be resting on something, but it is too dark to make anything out.
With seeing this and no sign of Ivan, Alex edges his way closer to the dark opening of the container with the beam of light, when he hears a large bang from the main body of the ship, and a very bright intense light flashes out from the crate, along with an odd woody, sappy sort of smell in the air.
Eugene Ga was one of those passengers that travel economy class where every he goes, without having to ever pay a penny, always hiding in the shadows and depths of the vessel he travels on, adventuring out in the awkward hours to gain his meals and drinks when and what possible. The quarters he resides in this time is of such luxury, the bed having a rather tasty rustic vibe about it, the linen having exotic patterns of dried something. On the floor near the bed sits an opened box with five bottles within, a sixth matching bottle lays empty on the bedside table, those elegant furnishing that have a food companies name stamped on.
It is about that time of the day when he feels it necessary to go out for some more supplies, heading out from his room in the depths of the ship near the noisy engines. Traversing the walkways and shadows like a creature of the night. As he went about his business he hears an odd noise, and then not long after people starting to rush about, so he picks this time to stick to the less travelled areas, keeping out of view. At one moment he catches a sound like someone shouting with an Italian accent, “Get it off me!” After this he gets this feeling as if someone was following him, watching him, so Eugene goes to ground quickly finding a room to hide in, crouching by a slightly open door.
Suddenly a dog barrels down the corridor straight for the door, Eugene quickly slams the door shut, spinning the wheel lock to secure the closed door. And as he hastens away he is aware that he never heard the thud of the dog crashing in to the door. Thinking about it he is aware that he can’t remember there being a dog onboard. So with this he carries on to another room, cautiously approaching the closed door, edging to look through the window in the door.
As Alex rushes back to the main body of the ship, he notices two small and one large, with a tarpaulin, pile of watches on the floor of the freight container, and the aroma feels as if a heat of some sort comes with it even though he felt no warmer. Hearing many voices rushing about heading here and there hunting the cause of the noise, Alex just wanting to fit in with the rest as if he has not been any but his room acts the same. As he heads down one corridor he starts to feel like something is watching him, turning to find nothing there, rushing on around the corner. A very sharp chill blasts through his body as he turns the corner in the corridor, a feeling of something very odd spreading across him, he turns to find a door to walk through finding a face looking back at him from the little window in the door near him.
Eugene huffs on to the little glass window of the door, steaming the view through with his breath, then quickly ducks down from sight and scurries off. With seeing the face through the huffed up window duck out of sight, Alex cautiously opens the door, no sooner than he opens it a dark creature, that could be a large rat, drops from the ceiling of the room near the door and scuttles off in to the dark. Seeing this Alex swings the door wide to cast what light there is to bathe in to the room, but nothing can be seen, “hello…..I did see you, and there is now a creature in there with you……” carefully he enters the room, but finding himself in another corridor.
Taking another draft from his hip flask, Alex heads on down the way he thinks the person may have gone, going careful to hear any sign of him, and on the look out for this creature. Almost immediately Alex hears large heavy booted feet purposefully marching up the corridor towards him from deeper in the ship, looking around there is a door that looks unimportant, a small broom cupboard room, not very big, big enough to store cleaning tools and products, Alex steps in quickly and closes the door behind him, letting the darkness of the room wash over him, and waits quietly for the foot steps to pass by.
The sound of foot steps seem to pause outside the door to the cupboard, laughter echoes around from without, getting louder before suddenly cutting off, then the foot steps rush off quickly, vanishing without any obvious direction.
“Hey esey, try not to scream.” A whisper comes from above Alex’s head, catching his breath and managing not to jump out of his skin, stepping to the door.
“I know you’re a sailor and all, but I am getting a tad tired up here and need to come down.” Alex swings the door open and turns to face back in the room.
“Hey esey, I can tell your in trouble too”, a man with a familiar face drops down from the ceiling of the cupboard, “I don’t talk about you, you don’t talk about me, sounds fair?” Alex takes another swig from his hip flask, “Who are you?”
“If you’re in trouble, I am your best friend right now.”
“What is wrong are you in trouble?”
“I am not in trouble, unless someone finds me.”
“Ah so you’re a stowaway.” Alex states and the guy explains that he is a traveller of the world, introducing himself as Eugene. He tells Alex about what he has seen and heard, people screaming. During their talk Alex asks him if he happens to know anything about a crate of wine, then goes on to ask him question about the conditions on board ship for the crew.
After their quick discussion, they agree to go see if Alex’s friend, Ivan is still down by the freight containers, ask him what could be going on, and Eugene will keep an eye out for this El Bastardo guy.
They head towards the decks walking near to the Mess-hall, and Alex decides to stop off there to see if he can find any friendly faces. Within the room there are two people arguing, one has his shirt ripped off, pushing at the other, very aggressive, while the other guy is just smiling at him. As Alex steps in to the room, the two guys stop what they are doing and turn to look at him, “Hi guys, whets happening?” The smiling guy laughs and points at Alex, while the other doesn’t look very happy. As Alex asks them again they both charge him, the angry guy lowering his head as he charges, while the other looks ready to kick as he runs in, still laughing.
Alex steps back out through the doors, slamming it in their faces. Smiling guy grabs the angry guys head as they charge, using it as a battering ram to smash through the doors. Alex swings his fist at the Smiler, as the battering ram collapses on the floor. Eugene sneaks to behind the Smiler and draws his thin blade. Smiler ducks the swinging fist of Alex, rising to bring an uppercut to the game, and as he does so Alex thrust his knee out to catch him in the face. Smiler backs in to the arms of a waiting Eugene, his blade held close to the guy’s eye. As Smiler slowly starts to twist the blade away from his eye, Eugene pulls another blade and hamstrings the guy, and as the guy starts to fall towards Alex, Alex side steps him using the guys momentum to thrust him to the ground.
Smiler lays on the ground looking at his foot flopping around as he moves his leg, laughing to himself. Both him and the other guy are members of the crew, Alex rests his foot on Smiler and asks him what is happening. The guy just manages to control his laughing, “ We are leaving, we’re leaving now, we can go.”
“Who are we?” Alex asks him. “We who?”
“We’re leaving, we’re free, we can be, we’re calling home.”
Alex asks him where home is, but he just looks up at him, looking confused and then starts laughing again. Alex slaps him around the face, which stalls the laugh for a micro second before he carries on.
Alex and Eugene tie the two guys up on a pair of chairs, aware now that the woody, sappy smell is starting to creep in to the room, and the temperature seems to be dropping. Then the two guys start to stare at each other again and bicker with each other in tongues, the temperature dropping more as they argue.
Alex takes a drink from his hip flask, and then offers it to Eugene who takes it and samples the contents. They head up to the radio room, to see if they can send out a S.O.S.. On their journeys they have not come across anybody, but then can hear people running about and shouting. As they head up they traverse inside and outside of the ship, the outside a lot colder than it was. The stars seem to be difficult to see in the sky. They also hear scampering about, like claws on metal. Then they hear a whimpering come from out on deck.
As Alex and Eugene approach they whimpering sound, they find a skinny, energetic guy, who upon seeing them runs towards them. Eugene quickly darts behind a container, and then bounds up to on top, on guard in case anything happens. Alex steps back and to the side to try keep his distance, but the guy is soon upon him. Grabbing his arm, the guy shakes Alex’s hand enthusiastically.
“Are you okay, what’s the matter son?” Alex asks him.
“Thank God I found someone. Have you seen it?”
“My, my case.”
“Your case?” Alex looks puzzled.
“My Case, it ran away!”
Alex checks that the guy did in fact say that his case ran away, asking what it looked like, and how many legs it had. The guy insists that they look for the case, suggesting that he goes one way around the container, where the case had gone, while Alex goes around the other way.
Alex slowly walks the direction he was instructed to go, but very soon the guy has ran all around the container, and is now back in front of him.
“Did you see it?”
“See what?” the guy questions.
“What you were looking for.” Alex states carefully.
“I’m not looking for anything. What are you looking for?”
Alex leaves the subject alone and offers that he had better go, but the guy quickly question him to why he is on deck at this time of night. Alex makes excuses, telling him that he was busy working, informing him that he should know how it is. Now the guy asks Alex if he was out there thieving something. As he gets nowhere with his interrogation of Alex he offers to take him back to his cabin.
As Alex and the guy head back to the main body of the ship, the floor is becoming more slippery, a chanting of voices can be heard coming from within the ship. Eugene throws a stone to distract the skinny guy, Alex ignoring it. The guy stops and turns, another stone clatters off in a different direction, he pulls out his torch, pointing in that direction. With this he heads off to investigate, telling Alex that he will come and check on him in his cabin later.
Finally Alex and Eugene has made it to the Radio room, hearing the chanting voices still, they seem to be chanting in unison. The room looks very run down, unnaturally aged, with a mix of old and new equipment. Alex takes a sip of his hip flask and then hands it back to Eugene, then goes over to the radio. The radio appears to be working, and Alex manages to transmit a signal out. After a couple of minutes sending a message, Alex stops and checks on his micro cassette recorder, stops the tape, turns it over and starts recording again. Eugene suggests that they should record a message on his cassette recorder and then leave it on repeat over the mic, but Alex tells him that they should be able to leave the mic open, and someone will be able to find and locate them from that. Eugene seems to be bothered by Alex recording everything that is happening, but Alex reassures him that it is for reporting on later, and asks him who he is again….
They head back to the Mess-hall, hearing the chanting coming from there, as well as from elsewhere on ship. Once inside they go over to the guys they tied up and quickly separate them, putting them in separate areas, away from each other and not facing one another. As this happens, the people start to come back to themselves somewhat, the chanting stopping. The temperature seems to have got a lot worse, they can now see their breath as they breath.
Alex busies himself replenishing his hip flask from the kitchens, keeping what is left in the bottle and bringing it along, and passing a bottle to Eugene. As they search around they notice that there is a light outside that is becoming brighter. They go up as high as they can, and then out to see where the light is coming from. When they look out they see that the light is emanating from amongst the freight containers, from what appears to be on deck four, where Alex had been earlier on.
The two rush off to where the other chanting are coming from, deciding to focus on stopping that first, and at each one they manage to stop the chant and separate a couple of people, subduing them in one way or another, what ever the situation called for. The last one coming from the Radio room, but once there they only find one person chanting in to the mic, but they hear two voices. They quickly turn off the radio, a loud ear piercing screech sounds out as they do so, then they stop the guy, knocking him out.
They stroll nonchalantly out on deck four, and over towards the freight containers. As they slowly get closer to the source, the light plays tricks on their minds, they see the sides of the containers seem to warp and shift, they hear scurrying sounds around them, their footing becomes odd as they step, the floor either meeting their feet sooner than they thought or later. Again Eugene takes the higher ground while Alex walks on towards the containers. A Russian voice can now be heard coming from amongst the containers, sounding familiar to Alex. As they draw closer the sensation becomes worse, they find it difficult to judge distance, a wind builds up blowing past them, scraps of paper and debris fly in to them and bounce off. Alex takes another swig of Dutch courage as he moves on.
When they come upon the body that the voice is coming from, Alex sees that it is in fact Ivan, but he looks a lot big, in both height and girth. Ivan is busy talking to himself, drawing pattern in the frost. As soon as Ivan spots them he stops his drawings and turns, charging straight at them, the cold environment not effecting him in the slightest.
Alex starts to back up, trying to make sure he keeps his distance from the approaching Russian. Eugene keeping himself out of sight, goes over the top.
“Alex. Is that you?” Ivan shouts out as he carries on charging.
“Ivan is that you?” Alex carries on backing up.
“Mr Alex, you still alright?”
“Barely. Is, is that definitely you Ivan? You…you don’t look like yourself. Are you okay?” Alex explains that he thought that it may have been El Bastardo, and that he wanted to lead him away from the containers, just like Ivan had told him. Ivan is still heading towards Alex, but has slowed down, asking him if he can see anything wrong with the ship. As he draws closer to Alex, Alex spots something in his left hand.
As Ivan closes the distance and is within striking distance he swings out at Alex with his right fist, Alex quickly dodging back and to Ivan’s right side, staying away from his left. As Alex shifts to Ivan’s right he swings his own fist out towards Ivan’s head, keeping himself to Ivan’s right hand side, and or back. Ivan let’s Alex contact with the occasional hit, while he swings his legs out to try to keep Alex at length. All the while Alex trying to keep him busy fighting, waiting for an opportune opening, both ducking and diving.
Ivan starts to aim a chant at Alex, feeling it slowly creeping in to his mind and take effect, so with this Alex takes out his bottle of drink and throw it straight at Ivan’s mouth. As the bottle flies Alex takes this moment of distraction to charge directly at Ivan’s happy sacks, throwing all his might at one strong hit as he aims down low.
While Alex is keeping Ivan busy, Eugene manages to make it to the container, there is a heavy frost coating everything, he feels that if he touches it his hand would stick to it. There is a strong greenish light coming from within a container. Eugene pulls out the bottle of alcohol Alex handed him and pours it out on to the pile of watches, igniting it with a match. A blue flame rushes over the piles. Then he starts to try and talk to the light, trying to get some sort of response. He feels a type of warm radiate from the light, and then a chanting song begins. But as Eugene begins to sing back at the light, a plague of rats rush out past him from the light. And again he tries to talk to it.
“Come in to here.” A croaky voice quietly entices from within.
“Hey I’m all for travelling, but this may be a step too far homes” Eugene informs it. The voice keeps trying to encourage Eugene to enter the light, but he keeps turning it down, the voice becoming more firm with every attempt. Eugene tries to kick the burning pile in to the light, but as he does it just spreads out on the floor of the container. However it does allow him a glimpse of what is within the light, he sees a rich wooded garden spread out in front, with strange flowers he has never seen before.
Alex carries on with his momentum and goes on under the legs of Ivan, coming out behind the guy ready to strike again. Ivan steps forward, trying to give himself some room, but Alex keeps close, aiming a kick to the back of his legs, and as Ivan goes down he jumps on to his back throwing a fist to the back of his head. Ivan rolls on the ground avoiding the strike and comes back to his feet, both sparring with each other. Suddenly Ivan seems to loose interest in the fight with Alex, looking towards the light, and with this begins to edge back towards the light, keeping his guard up against Alex. Making the most of Ivan distraction, Alex presses him with varies different strikes, aiming high then low. This is when Alex gets a chance to meet up close and personal with Ivan’s left hand, a gloved, barbed fist that is closing around his throat, hearing chanting coming from the container.
Alex becomes aware that Ivan was trying to help him, and protect him, and is now aware that the beautiful creature within the container is now under attack. The green light becoming stronger, and the frost becoming colder, as Eugene carries on telling it that he can and will sink it.
“Hey Alex have you finished with that Russian yet?”
“Yeah I am coming now, just wait there for me.” Alex shouts back in response. Eugene takes a look out but can’t make much out, but does hear two sets of footsteps heading his way. The chanting has stopped now, but the light has formed a sphere around the container.
Eugene heads over to a forklift truck, Alex calling after him. When he gets there the key is frozen solid in the ignition, and can not get it started. Eugene tells Alex to follow his voice, to meet him over by the lifeboats, he has a plan.
After finding Eugene no where to be found near where he said, Alex lets all the lifeboats off, dropping them in to the sea, running from boat to boat systematically. Eugene on the other hand rushes off to the engine room, throwing all the alcohol and oil he can find in to the machinery. A struck match flies through the air as Eugene legs it as fast as he can out of there.
The last life boat splashes as it contacts the water, just as Eugene emerges on to deck from below.
“Esey quick, get on to the boats!”
“What boats?” Alex asks him.
“Wha…Jump for it man, we’re not going to make it!” Eugene exclaims as he makes a run for the edge of the ship, and the boats that are floating away. Alex charges for him, to stop and tackle him. Eugene leaps from the deck, narrowly avoiding Alex’s tackle, bounding up on to the railing, then swan diving out and in to the air, almost as if time itself is frozen, before he plummets back down splashing safely in to the sea.
The globe of light swells to such a large size that it encompasses most of the ship, but not quite reaching the life boat that Eugene reaches. The light takes on an almost solid bright state before vanish to darkness. Upon looking back, Eugene can make out just the very extreme ends of the ship left in the water, crashing down in to the hole where the ship was, and a fair amount of water. Eugene struggles to pull himself in to the life boat as the water crashes about, filling in the void that is left behind.
Alex feels himself relaxed, very much at peace with himself, knowing full well that he managed to protect the beauty in the container, long enough for her to return to her rightful place. Before him he sees a huge garden, full of bloom with towering flowers and plants of all strange kinds, over an odd landscape. What can be seen of the ship is embedded in rock, parts of it sticking out here and there. There is a suddenly familiar smell of burning, burning alcohol, oil and machinery.
A large explosion rips from the ship, throwing metal and rock high in to the air, and far across the garden, devastating the vista around the ship.