Arnold rushed about, he’d never treated someone for a lost appendage before, and he wished that even one person on this ship was a medical doctor. He’d heard of burning the wound but he wasn’t going to risk that until he knew for certain. He’d had Lenny tie a tourniquet to keep the blood from going out as he worked with the thrashing captain. They had no form of anesthesia on board so he had to talk him down and gave him a bar to bite. Penelli watched it all triumphantly.
While he worked the men tried to think about what they could do now, and Lenny suggested, “Poison!”
Roy asked, “How? We can’t get near the damn thing! You saw what it did to the captain!”
“We could throw the poison in from a distance, the doors open!” Marcus suggested, and for once no one suggested his cooking.
“That is a good idea, but it might make the creature more violent right before the end. If it breaks out …” Richard murmured.
“Do not worry about that gentlemen…I have something that we can do if the poison doesn’t work.” Mulberry assured them. “Master Theodore, come to my lab, I’ll need you to carry something…”
There was a scramble in the back and Arnold finished what he could. Baha was paler now from the blood loss and shock, and his breathing was labored. He would need to rest and take it easy, and there was no way he could hope to pilot the ship alone. Penelli and Sam were the only people still in the room with him when the Captain spit the bit out of his mouth and sat up, his eyes wild and his expression feral. Arnold tried to give him some water to replenish some of the fluid he had lost, but the captain slapped it away.
“Everyone get out!” Baha pointed to Penelli, and reached to caress the dagger at his belt with his now missing hand. “Except for you!”
The cat was reluctant, but he had no desire to get between them and their confrontation. He and Sam stepped outside and shut the door.
He could have tried to listen, but with the door closed even Arnold couldn’t hear when they spoke quietly enough. Sam gestured to his lab, “We had better go see if the poison is working… which I don’t think it will since it didn’t work on the rats.” Arnold didn’t want to leave the area, but if the eel did escape it wouldn’t matter what happened between Penelli and the captain. They made their way to Sam’s room to find that the eel had become only more temperamental since they’d begun to add rat poison, and the aquarium looked as if it was about to give way.
Mulberry was exasperated, “This has gone far enough! Theodore, set the device atop the aquarium!” Theodore moved to do as he was told, but Lenny grabbed his arm and asked what the device would do. Mulberry looked at the man annoyed, “That is classified! And we don’t have time for that kind of non-”
He didn’t get a chance to finish his statement as a terrible scream was heard from the front, rebounding off the submarine’s walls.
Almost everyone went running for the infirmary, but Arnold was the first to find Penelli’s body. He made sure no one else was in the room and then entered and examined her.
She was grinning the same innocent way even in death. Though from the scream she had probably looked surprised when the dagger went in, but if so Arnold hadn’t been there to witness it. He had little desire to save her life, and he suspected he couldn’t have done anything as cold steam escaped into the air around her wound. The dagger seemed made of silver at a glance, but Arnold decided not to touch it to find out.
Marcus backed against the wall looking up and down the corridor, “Where’s the captain?”
None of the men were currently armed, and everyone except Arnold and Sam grabbed something nearby. Marcus had chosen a bedpan while Lenny had a chair, and those were the best of the options they had. Arnold tried to smell which way the bloody scent had gone, and he pointed towards the bridge. They made their way nervously forward, no man sure what state of mind the captain might be in.
Suddenly a violent explosion rocked the ship and all thoughts of the captain were put to the side as the crew were thrown about. The sound of thousands of gallons of water rushing into the rear of the ship could be heard as they began to tilt.
“What the hell happened!?” Lenny shouted, but looking around themselves they all knew…Mulberry and Theodore had been the only ones to stay behind.
“Something must have gone wrong!” Roy shouted as the ship started to curve, soon they would be pointed up and there would be no way to reach the bridge! The electricity flickered and died suddenly, the water must have reached the boiler room and killed the engines.
“The escape hatch!” Marcus cried, struggling to get to his feet. There was a mad dash to the bridge as the ship filled with water and soon they crew would begin to slip. They reached the bridge and grabbed onto the railings and rushed to the other side to find that the escape hatch had been sealed. Vaguely they could hear the captain cursing on the other side.
Terrified, Richard shouted in dismay as they all tried to force the door open, “Captain?! What are you doing?!”
A muffled, unhinged, voice returned, “You can all go to the Locker! Traitors!”
They began to beat on the door and tried desperately to force it open, until the sound of the escape ship detached letting them know escape was no longer possible. The submarine lurched as the weight shifted even more without the extra weight, and the bridge would almost be facing directly upwards, and the men standing on the wall.
“Is there any other way out of here?” Marcus asked, his terror obvious as he gripped Sam.
The scientist thought desperately for a moment and then nodded quickly, “There’s the diving equipment near the airlock! It might not be under yet!”
They were about to start running, or slipping down the path rather when Roy asked, “Is there a manual way to open those doors?!”
Sam froze and shook his head. Arnold looked at the men as it dawned on them that there was no hope for them now. Whoever had designed the submarine had made a terrible mistake, but it couldn’t be helped.
Facing up almost completely would slow down the rate the water entered maybe, but it was still dragging them down and they would drown. Not ready to give up hope Richard pointed at the glass. “If we shatter that now, before we sink too much, we might be able to escape once all the water is in the ship and reach the surface!” They looked up and were about to try when Marcus gasped in surprise and pointed.
Everyone noted a large figure swimming above them heading towards the sunlight, a giant glass dome on it’s head.
“Who is that?” Arnold asked, and Lenny smiled. “That’s Reggie!”
Marcus jumped up and looked hopeful, “If he makes it to shore maybe he can send a rescue party!”
Since they were three days out there was no hope of that, but it gave the cook something to hope for…until a giant dark shadow of the swam after the bear moreau. Their faces fell as they realized the eel must have swam out of the hole in the ship.
They also realized their fate was sealed as blood appeared in the ocean water above. Even if they escaped the eel would kill them…in the end whatever Mulberry had attempted hadn’t been enough to kill the eel…just all of them.