Chapter 9

Written by: Mrellan

Rankin turned on a flashlight and swept the the bulkhead looking for the emergency light, mounted in brackets, that he had noticed a moment earlier. He flipped the toggle on the bottom of the light.  Bishop had lost his balance and fallen against the bulkhead when the explosion went off.  

“Rankin, do you have any idea where the hell we are?” asked Bishop, sitting on the deck and trying to orientate himself to the room. 

“It appears that we are in the tower. Just outside of your line of vision is a bank of windows looking out on the water.  I was just about to have a look and see when the explosion went off. “

“What time is it anyway?” said Bishop, standing up and rubbing the back of his neck at the same time.  He could now see the windows but they were an indistinct color of dark grey. 

“The clock on the instrument panel says it’s just past 0530. It should be light in another half hour,” said Rankin. 

“Do you know this platform well enough to be able to find out where that explosion came from and to do a damage assessment without getting caught?”

“Yes sir,” said Rankin.

“Good, I got a message right before they knocked me out.  There is a boat on the way here.  That’s all I know, but if they are smart they are sending Coasties in a cutter.  I will stay here; you take one of these walkie-talkies and let me know what is going on.”

Rankin snapped the walkie-talkie to his belt and grabbed the flashlight.

“Oh Rankin, don’t be a hero, just find out what is going on.”

When Rankin was out the emergency escape hatch in the ceiling, he unlocked the outside of the watertight door.  Bishop turned out the light, grabbed a pair of binoculars and sat in the command seat at the control panel.   

Ten minutes later, as the light got stronger he finally sited something moving on the horizon.  In three more minutes, he could tell it was a Coast Guard Cutter steaming at full speed in their direction. 

“Bishop, are you there, over”

“What did you find Rankin, over?”

“There is a terrorist here, lying dead on the deck.  Both of his hands are blown off and a good part of his face.  Looks like he was arming a bomb and it went off.  In the room next door is a lot of bomb making stuff.  I heard a clock ticking, so I closed the door and got the hell out!  I am on my way back up.”

“Damn it Rankin, get up here!  The cutter is about ten to fifteen minutes out,” said Bishop.

Bishop let out a sigh of relief and took one more look through the binoculars.   A helicopter had just popped over the horizon from the south.  He scanned the helipad, on the edge of the outer circle was gathered the band of six terrorists.   

 

Mrellan Harahan (USA)

Comments

I never thought I would see the day when Mrellan would write about a bloody corpse with no hands. Love it! A good informative chapter that sets things up nicely for the last writer to close with a bang or whatever.