Part 3, more action, more thrills
|The medical staff and Doc Johnson checked out the civilians rescued only to find that their injuries were mostly cuts and scrapes, no bites. Powell went down to the sick bay to talk to the survivors. He ordered the Master at Arms to assign armed guards to the sick bay area, thereby minimizing contact between the crew and the new passengers until such time as a proper debrief could be done. Powell stepped through the hatchway, as Doc Brown was just finishing up stitches on a nasty looking wound on a young mans forehead. Sitting or standing were the rest of the survivors, eight in all.
“I’m Captain Powell, CO of this vessel.”
“I’m Chuck” a tall kid with a local high school letterman jacket on replied. “And that’s my brother Bobby that your doctor is sewing up.” Pointing to the other boy, dressed in a lightweight jacket, jeans and dirty tennis shoes.
“I’m Steve.” A tall lanky, blonde hair guy that had the knees of his jeans cut out a faded heavy metal group name on the shirt.
“That’s Julie over there. We were at a party when all this shit went down.” He pointed to a dark haired girl sitting in a chair with an ice pack on her head. She raised a hand and gave a weak smile and wave; Powell noted the hot pink fingernail polish and the nose ring.
“Stan, I used to work security at the docks.” An older guy, full head of gray hair, large belly and the remnants of a security uniform on, stepped forward to shake Powell’s hand.
“Pedro, I ran the roach coach for the night shift.” A short squat Hispanic man stepped forward without the trace of an accent, wearing a smeared apron, thin mustache and the remains of a hairnet.
“Norbert,” A light skinned black man in work jeans, heavy construction boots, orange safety vest and wide tool belt. ”I was doing some work down the road from the docks when those two,” he gestures to Steve and Julie.” came roaring up with this wild tale and then the ‘others’ showed up.” Others meaning the undead, “I jumped in their van with the rest,” he gestured to Chuck and Bobby, “but then we crashed at the docks.”
“Aaron, I was kind of like dumpster diving.” A young kid, long hair that almost covered his eyes, dressed in dark jeans, a dirty white t-shirt and long overcoat, hung his head when he finished speaking.
“Yeah I thought so, I’ve been trying to catch your ass for months.” Stan said as he walked over to him. “ But after you saved my ass, I think I can let bygones be bygones.” Stan stuck his hand out.
“What you say kid? We let it go?” Aaron raised his head up shook his head to move his hair out of the way and flashed a smile at Stan.
“Sure man, no problem.” He said as he shook the older mans hand, his face reddening into a blush.
Powell watched the exchange and realized that this was group of survivors that had been through some serious shit. Over the next half hour, he got some background on them as they each related their story of how they came to be where they were when Willis and his team intervened and saved them. Powell was being briefed on the injuries the group had and the projected time for recovery when the intercom beeped.
“Captain, radio contact with Port Winthrop established.”
“On my way Mr. Ridley.” Powell excused himself from sickbay and headed for the bridge. He entered the Conn; Ridley saw him and flipped the switch to broadcast the transmission through the bridge speakers.
“Attention all vessels, this is Port Winthrop Naval base. Do not attempt to pass by the restricted markers without being inspected first. The base is conducting a security lockdown. 100 percent identification check is in force. This is not an exercise. Deadly force has been authorized and any vessel will be fired upon without warning that fails to heave to. Attention all vessels. This is the Port Winthrop Naval base. Do not attempt to pass by the restricted markers without being inspected first. The base is conducting a security lockdown.” The message repeated.
“Captain, someone had to be there to start the recording.”
“How far are we from Winthrop?”
“About 45minutes sir.”
“Slow to one third.”
Powell went over to the chart table and looked at the computations written there in grease pencil.
Several tense minutes later.
“Sir, sonar contact bearing 195.” Powell reached up, pressed the push to talk button enabling him to communicate with the sonar department.
“Sonar, Conn, what you got?”
“Sir, single screws bearing 195, holding stationary.” Powell pushed another button on the overhead comm panel.
“Deck watch, any contact bearing 195?”
“Conn, Deck watch, I have lights at 195, looks like two vessels, stationary at inlet to Winthrop.”
Powell looked at Ridley.
“Radio attempt to establish contact with vessels.”
“Mr. Ridley I’ll be topside. Have Lt. Willis meet me there.”
Powell donned his deck coat, climbed topside and took the offered binoculars, focusing them on the smaller watercraft as his ship moved towards them. Willis, still in his tactical gear, climbed up and joined him.
“What’s up Sir?”
“Sonar contact at the opening to the inlet.” Willis took picked up another set of binoculars.
“Sir, looks like Winthrop’s patrol boats. Any response from the radio?”
“What about the signal lights?”
Powell let his binos hang and called down for a signalman. The young sailor popped up onto the tower and was briefed on what he needed to do.
“Flash them an authentication code.” Powell ordered.
Almost immediately a flashed response came back.
“Hold position. Do not attempt to enter inlet without being inspected.” Powell read through the binoculars.
“Hold position?” Willis asked.
“Mr. Ridley, all stop.” Powell called down then turned to Willis. “Send your men aft and over the side. Get me some hard intel on what’s going on here.”
“Aye sir.” Willis popped down the hatch and made his way aft to brief his men. Minutes later, a deck hatch opened and shadowed men scampered over the side of the sub with sea sleds. The hatch was sealed before the men disappeared into the dark waters.
“Captain, sonar. Single screw vessel approaching, second vessel still holding position.”