Chapter 3

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Bishop shivered as he sat for what seemed an eternity until he was sure he was alone. Gripping the iron bar, he decided to make his way through the radio room and into the crew’s living quarters. The power generator was still working, its gentle hum reverberating through the rig. At the door, he turned the lights on. There was nothing out of place except the dead crewman.   

Bishop was about to close the door behind him when he spotted a steel inspection hatchway open at the far end of the room behind the communications console. It was where the attacker gained entry and then escaped back down to the catwalks below. Bishop breathed in deeply and swallowed hard. He clenched his free hand into a fist to stop it shaking and crept back into the room. The hatch lay back on its hinges and with a sudden rush forward he wrenched it upwards. The weight was too much for him to hold onto. There was a resounding crash that echoed through the stillness as the hatch fell forward into place.

The crew’s quarters looked a mess, as though a fight or hasty escape had taken place. Bishop reasoned that in the absence of bodies it was more likely the crew must have taken to the lifeboats; they were all missing on his inspection tour. He dragged a locker across the floor and placed it in front of the radio room door and did likewise at the other end of the quarters. Stepping over bedding, papers and discarded personal effects, he settled down on a bed for the night. The following day would need all his concentration.

He needed to sleep for a couple of hours. As he settled, he heard a faint voice. The hairs rose on the back of his neck. Holding his breath, he waited.

“Hello, let me in.” The low pleading voice accompanied a gentle knock at the far end of the quarters.

Bishop froze. A crew member would be a handy accomplice; a terrorist something far worse. He slid off the bed and tip-toed to the door, carrying the steel pipe. “Who are you,” he whispered hoarsely?

“Rankin – one of the roustabouts. Let me in.”

Bishop pulled the cabinet away and opened the door. A large man with wild staring eyes pushed past him. He slumped to the floor, gasping as he explained what had happened.

A cruiser carrying armed men landed during the storm. They rounded up the crew and made them abandon the rig. Rankin hid in the food store. An hour later the terrorists left, leaving one dead crewman.

Bishop nodded. “They represent Raoul Cassava, a would-be dictator who has threatened to blow up American rigs off the coast of Rosinia unless the Rosinian government surrender to him. I’m a US agent. I lost two men and a boat getting here.”

“So they’ve wired the rig?”

“Afraid so,” said Bishop, “and one of them is still aboard.”

Comments

Fair enough. My version of chapter3 made it well onto the grid but was not up to publishing as it needed a lot of changes. That is what you get from giving it a go and I'm still trying to work out where Rosinia is in the world.
All fiction is just that - make believe.