Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead is purely coincidental. The characters are fictional and of my own creation. The place, time, and incidents are purely fictional. Copyright © February 2004.
This work is rated as adult material because it involves a relationship between consenting adults of the same gender, and because anything can happen in my stories. If you are easily offended please read something else. If any of this is illegal where you live, stop reading. Beyond this you may wish to take the following immediate actions. First, move. Second, if it is your wish, resume reading. Let no one dictate what you may or may not read, except you, the only person who should be in control of your life.
Warning! This section contains violence and extreme language.
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Inevitable Destiny 10
Inevitable Destiny 11 - Searching the Dead
By Ken Rogers
Tanya sighed then turned to Samantha in frustration as the car glided to a stop at the wharf, her patience wearing thin. The scene in front of them was one of silent decay. "Can we leave, now, Sammy?"
"She's here, I tell you!" Samantha practically screamed. "I know she's here!"
"Tanya, look around again. "It's a bone yard for dead ships, Sammy. They're sealed, have been for years. They'll probably go to the salvage yards still sealed."
Samantha grabbed her arms, her eyes pleading. "Tanya, please, trust me. She's on one of those ships, right out there," she said, pointing at a line of merchant marine ships.
Tanya sighed and rubbed her face. She was beyond tired, as they all were. "All right, Sammy, which one. There must be thirty ships in that one row alone."
"Take me out there, Tan. I know I can find her. Please," she pleaded and Tanya groaned.
"All right, all right, Mikey·."
"Done, boss. There's a launch on its way." He grinned at her frown.
"Taking her side, Mikey," she replied ominously.
"Nah. I just knew you couldn't refuse your Paladin, boss." His grin got wider as her face reflected the truth in the statement. "Wait till you see whose driving."
Time seemed to drag, but they really didn't have long to wait before a small motor launch came up alongside the pier they were standing on. Tanya was surprised to see that Kevin Miller, a ruggedly handsome seaman, was piloting the small craft and she smiled. She and Kev went way back and she trusted him like she trusted few others.
"Hey, T. Long time between visits, girl. You mad a me?"
She jumped down on the boat and wrapped her arms around the big lug, standing on tiptoes to kiss him. "No way, mate. Just been busy and you're not as convenient to get to way out here."
"Hey, when they closed the repair dock it was either this or the bread line." He grabbed her by the waist and lifted her off her feet, in a bear hug, before setting her back on the deck. "Mikey says you need a ride, love. What's up?" He turned to the controls and started the engine, pulling slowly away from the pier.
"Treasure hunt, Kev. Take us along that line of freighters."
"How so?" he asked, setting his course to pass the stern of the designated ships.
Tanya turned and waved Samantha over, seeming to change the subject. "My latest acquisition, Kev."
He turned to the stranger and whistled softly. "Jesus, T, where the hell did you find her?" he said admiring her from head to toe. Even in the dim lights of his control panel he could see that she was a knockout. "You aren't really into that are you?" He turned back to Tanya, a concerned look on his face."
"Nah, don't sweat it, I invented her, Kev."
He raised an eyebrow skeptically. "No shit?"
"No shit. Kev, meet Audra."
"Hi, Audra," he said a boyish grin on his face.
"Hi, Kevin," Audra answered, giving him a big smile.
"She's not for real, Kev."
"No? She looks pretty damn real to me, T."
"You catch the news yesterday?"
"Super lawyer, got her ass fried running into a fuel tanker?"
"Yeah, I caught that one. What a shame, she was a real looker. "
"She's standing right next to you, Kev."
Kevin took another look and Samantha said "Hi, Kevin. Since Tanya trusts you, I do too."
Kevin's eyes nearly came out of his head. He turned back to Tanya.
"This is the blonde that died in that accident yesterday afternoon?"
"One and the same," Tanya acknowledged.
He grinned. "Always knew you were a fuckin' genius, T, but this is incredible!"
"Thanks, man. Just taking care of business."
"Speaking of business, just what are we looking for out here?"
"Tall skinny chick with black hair and blue eyes," she deadpanned.
"O· kay," he drawled in confusion. "T, this really isn't the place to pick up hot chicks."
Tanya smiled. "Sam thinks she's out here though."
He shook his head. "Jesus, T, you get into some really weird shit, baby." He shrugged. "So what do I do?"
"Just drive until Sammy tells you to stop."
He turned to the Îblonde.' His mind skittering away from the concept as he took in the gorgeous brunette well displayed in a very skimpy outfit. No way did she look like she could be a fair blonde woman. He started to ask her a question but stopped. She was standing holding on to the railing, Mikey close behind her. She was looking off towards the dark line of freighters and something about her stance told him she wasn't really here with them. Fascinated, he kept an eye on her, checking his course occasionally. Tanya turned to see what he was looking at and remained looking at Samantha as well. They were going at a leisurely pace, mainly to keep the noise down and because these waters could be dangerous. Floating and sunken debris had taken the prop off more than one boat in this ancient graveyard, since the cutbacks had decimated the yard crews.
They passed six ships in silence, Samantha staring off into the distance. Then suddenly her head started to turn towards one of the ships and Kevin slowed the launch. He stopped dead astern of the eighth ship. Samantha was staring at it with glazed eyes.
"Samantha." Tanya said, gently touching her arm.
She seemed to come out of a trance, turning to Tanya. "She's in there, Tan."
Tanya turned to Kevin. "We need to board her, Kev."
"No problem." He turned the launch and slowly moved between the behemoths, the steel walls closing in on them until they seemed to touch above them. Kevin flicked on a spotlight as they traveled along the steel canyon. About half way along the ship they came to a floating dock with a long flight of rickety metal stairs leading up the side of the ship.
"These stairs aren't used much because there is a catwalk between ships that's normally used by the maintenance crews, but when you just want to go onto one ship, this is the easy way. "He tied off his boat and they started up the long flight of rusted gray stairs, Kevin leading the way, and Mikey bringing up the rear.
"How would you get a person in a hospital bed on one of these things." Tanya asked.
"Wha·? Jesus, T, why would you want to?" he asked in total confusion.
"The woman we're looking for was in critical care in a hospital when she was snatched. Samantha thinks she's still alive. I think, if she is, she's probably still in that bed, or one like it."
"They took her, bed and all, out of a hospital?"
"Private hospital, Kev."
"What kind of asshole would do that."
"Her brother," she answered.
Kevin stopped and looked down at her.
"He wants her dead, Kev."
"Well, why go to all that trouble? You'd think if he wanted her dead he'd just have her wasted."
"He did, that's why she was in the hospital. Get moving."
He hesitated for a moment then sighed. "Hey, if you find the guy, how about letting me do a few rounds with the bastard."
"There's a long line, friend." She smacked his butt. "Move it."
They continued the rest of the way to the top. Tanya moved them over into the shadows of a mothballed crane.
"Kev, you stay here and keep Audra company, while Mikey and I check around," she said in a loud whisper.
"You expecting trouble, T?" he asked, his face showing concern.
She grinned. "Always, Kev. You should know that. That's why I'm still alive."
They disappeared leaving him alone just inches from the gorgeous barely clothed brunette. He didn't think his heart could stand it if she decided she needed to be closer.
* * *
Phyllis became aware of a swaying motion and a shrill noise that threatened to take the top off her head. She also became aware of pain, lots of pain. She gasped and her eyes flew open in panic, as memories flooded her mind, the mask over her face making it worse.
"Easy, lady, It's okay. We're on the way to the hospital. You're in good hands. Just lay back and let us take care of you."
She relaxed slightly, taking in her surroundings and the young serious looking man leaning over her. She realized that she was naked to the waist, a blue surgical cloth draped over her chest but her left shoulder and upper chest exposed. The man that had spoken to her was working there, trying to staunch the flow of blood. Another paramedic, a woman, was working on her right thigh and she realized she had nothing on but her panties, the blue cloths covering her haphazardly. She also realized it didn't matter if she was covered or not. What mattered was that she was still alive and these people were trying to keep her that way. There were several bags of fluid hanging with tubes trailing towards her. She could feel a needle in the back of her right hand, tape holding it there.
She realized that her right eye was blurred and that the right side of her head was swathed in bandages. Much of the most intense pain came from her pounding head. She also realized she couldn't feel the arm or leg they were working on; they were numb. She wondered if a bullet had paralyzed her or if it was something the medics had done. She decided groggily to believe it was something the medics did. She didn't think she could deal with paralysis right now.
It was becoming very hazy and blurred and she realized suddenly that she needed to breathe but she couldn't seem to dredge up the strength to do so. Everything started to fade and she felt suddenly heavy.
"Oh, shit! Ronda, grab the paddles, we're losing her!"
* * *
"Shit, T, don't do that!" the big man growled as she suddenly appeared in front of him.
"She grinned at him. Still jumpy, Kev?"
"Good thing I didn't have a gun, T. I'd have filled your ass with lead."
She patted his cheek. "That's why I never let you have one, buddy. I like my ass just the weight it is, thank you."
"What'd you guys find?"
"Someone's been here recently. Couple hatches have been disturbed, the seals broken. Come on. Let's get this over with."
"Still don't like dark places, T?" he said, grinning.
"Shut the fuck up, Kev," she growled and he chuckled.
The hatch was in the stern of the freighter, below the bridge. Once they were inside the ship, Kevin, Mikey, and Tanya turned on their lamps and looked around. Most of the steel doors were closed and sealed but one was slightly ajar and they turned into the wide corridor it opened onto. Using trial and error, they made their way through the ship, checking for disturbed hatches. They went down a level and along a fairly wide corridor, passing a room that might once have been the dining or recreation room, or both, as was the norm on some of these old tubs. The stale smell of decay was depressing, the silent gray steel pressing in on them.
Suddenly Tanya held up her hand and everyone stopped, hardly breathing. Time seemed to crawl but Tanya kept her hand up and no one moved.
They heard it, a distant, faint scream, then a faint pounding as if someone was beating their hands on a metal wall.
They hurried in the direction the sounds seemed to come from. The screams and the pounding slowly became louder, spurring them on.
She stopped and turned. Samantha had stopped in front of one of the many doors.
"She's in here."
"That's someone else, Tan. Angel's in here."
Kevin had returned, listening to them. Tanya nodded and he undogged the door, pushing it open.
Tanya stepped through, holding Samantha back.
The room contained an occupied bed and a small portable television on a flimsy portable stand. There was no picture on the television. The woman on the bed didn't move when they entered or shined their lights on her.
Samantha brushed by Tanya and went to the bed shining her light directly down on Angela. A quick check confirmed that she was breathing. Her wrists and ankles were bloody from her struggles to get loose. Samantha suddenly reached out and slapped Angela, startling Kevin and Tanya.
"I have to wake her, Tan. She's having horrible nightmares. I can feel them. That's what led me to her." Her hands had gone to her head. "I can't stand it anymore."
Tanya pulled her away from Angela and took over trying to wake her, the slap making her moan and turn her head but otherwise apparently not affecting her. Kevin dug in the pack he was carrying and came out with a hacksaw. Tanya looked up and shook her head.
"Still a brute force kind of guy, huh, Kev?"
"Got a better idea?"
"Mikey," she said. The young man stepped forward and began working on one of the cuffs locked to Angela's ankles.
"Piece of cake, boss," he said. Kevin watched him work in fascination.
Angela woke with a gasp, staring in fright at the strangers.
"Easy, Angela," Tanya said. "We're here to get you out."
"Who·?" she started then paused staring at the woman bending over her, then the woman next to her. "Samantha?" she asked in sudden understanding. She didn't look anything like Samantha, but something made her certain that it was Samantha.
"Yes. We're going to get you out of here."
"Samantha, Juliana is here too," she replied. "Find her, please. She's terrified."
"All right. You just do what these nice men want you to do and we'll find your sister."
Samantha immediately turned to the door and Tanya followed, stopping for an instant. "You guys will have to carry her, but be careful. She was shot in the back. We'll get the girl and meet you at the launch."
"Got it," Kevin said his face going hard when she told him the woman had been shot in the back.
It didn't take them much longer to find Juliana.
Tanya removed the wedge from one of the dogs and opened the door, and a terrified, hysterical Juliana wrapped herself around Samantha.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. You're safe now," Samantha soothed rubbing her back. Juliana was stuck to her like a limpet, squeezing her so hard she was having a little trouble breathing. "Calm down now. We need to get you out of here."
It took her several minutes but she calmed down and loosened her hold slightly, until Tanya spoke. She immediately burrowed against Samantha, and began sobbing again. It took another minute to calm her down, Samantha assuring her that Tanya wouldn't hurt her. Juliana never questioned or seemed afraid of Samantha, but had taken her on as her savior without reservation.
"Juliana, we really need to leave, now. Angela's·."
Her head came up and she looked at Samantha excitedly.
"My Angel's here?"
"Yes, honey, but we have to go because she's hurt and we need to get her to a hospital."
"Luca hurt her!" she said angrily. "He told me he killed her!"
"He tried, honey. That's why she needs a doctor." Sam began leading her out of the ship and she went willingly but she would not release her shaking grip from Samantha's arm, and remained pressed to her side."
Tanya watched them for a moment then began to follow, mumbling to herself under her breath. "That bastard better hope he dies before I find him."
* * * *
The ride to the pier in the small launch was nerve wracking Juliana wanted desperately to get to her sister and only Samantha had been able to stop her, and calm her, afraid the girl would hurt her sister unintentionally. Sam finally took her to her sister after she promised to sit quietly and let her sleep. She sat huddled against Samantha holding Angela's hand and sobbing quietly.
A million things were running through Tanya's mind. She had called for an ambulance as soon as she was out in the open again and they were standing by to take Angela, Juliana, and Samantha to another safe house. Plans were under way to ferret out that skunk, Luca and to destroy him before turning him over to the law. She wanted to make sure the bastard was locked far away for a very long time.
The vibration of her cell phone shook her from her thoughts.
"T, they got to the redhead,"
Return to the Academy
* * * *
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