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The Crimson Sea - Part Three

Short story By: Cabe
Science fiction



The final moments onboard the Crimson Sea...


Submitted:Feb 9, 2008    Reads: 186    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


THE CRIMSON SEA
PART THREE
SHIP: CRIMSON SEA
CREW: 6
ACTING CAPTAIN/PILOT: Imag Splint
CO-PILOT: Lee Splint
CHIEF ENGINEER: Alex Todori
DOCTOR: Michelle Tack
MARINES: Jill Kesa, Damien Chowski
DECEASED CREW: Captain Cara Stiles, Drake Vanner, Han Kay, Tim Memphis, Silas
LOCATION:����������� Approximately 11.5 Days From Earth
What remained of the crew of the Crimson Sea was shattered. Five people lost their lives in the last few days, by acts of foul play or an accident. The remaining crewmembers alive stayed very quiet. Nearly no talking was ever heard in the vast corridors of the ship. Imag and Lee spent all of their time inside of the cockpit, wondering how it all went wrong.
Imag knew that Drake's death was an accident, as no one knew that the deck would decompress a second time. The weird things began with the Captain's oxygen line being cut. Imag guessed that Silas did it while the others were all together eating in the mess hall, or just before going out to do the repairs. The third to go was Han, brutally murdered. Imag believed that Silas used Han's trust as a weapon, getting him to trust him then striking while the iron was hot.
The last murder was of Memphis. The logs of the ships computer indicated that someone was inside the airlock when Silas ejected it. Memphis was the only one missing on the ship, so it was concluded that he was inside when Silas blew him into space.
The two remaining marines onboard, Kesa and Chowski, stayed quiet in the Chill Out area of the ship, staring at the blood stained carpet where Han's body had laid before Michelle moved it to the Infirmary, where Todori also spent most of his time recovering from the knife wound to his shoulder.
"How is it today, Alex?" asked Michelle politely, entering the infirmary to see Todori sneaking another look at the wound from under his bandages.
"Still a bit sore," replied Todori, pushing the bandage back down.
"You were lucky the wound wasn't a bit more to the left, you would've been a goner," said Michelle.
Todori nodded silently.
In the cockpit of the Crimson Sea, Imag sat quietly in his own little world. He believed he'd failed the crew. After Cara and Drake had gone, he'd stepped up as Captain, only to let another two crew be killed by a fifth that should've been in the brig, just like Todori, Chowski and Kesa wanted. But now that Silas was dead, it seemed that everything would be okay until they reached Earth.
"I was so sure, Imag. I w-was so sure he was innocent," muttered Lee.
Imag stayed silent, not caring about one word that Lee had to say. Lee sighed, as Imag still took no notice of him, he'd just sat there since the ill-fated events the previous day. Lee had to set the ship on autopilot when it became apparent that Imag was in no condition to fly it.
A message came through the ships radio and startled Lee as a male voice started to speak.
"Attention unidentified spacecraft, you are flying in Restricted Space. Please identify yourself immediately or risk being fired upon," said the voice.
Lee looked out the front of the cockpit and saw a large space station. The large structure had many long corridors coming off it, each with a communication tower on it. It was a Colonial Outpost, a place where travelers could stop for a rest and gather supplies and fuel. Your ship had to be identified before getting within several kilometers. If you weren't identified by then, you were classed as a terrorist on a suicide run.
"Colonial Space Station, this is the Crimson Sea, registration number 201291150905," said Lee clearly.
Lee waited for the response.
"Welcome Crimson Sea. Good to have you here. Please dock at Bay #12," replied the voice.
"Thank you very much," replied Lee, shifting the ship towards the station.
Lee clicked on the intercom system and spoke to the others.
"We are going to rest here for a bit guys. Re-supply and everything," said Lee, clicking off the intercom once he was finished.
Michelle, Chowski, Kesa and Lee all met at the airlock as the ship landed inside the station. The doors opened up and the four went outside. Todori remained in the infirmary and Imag stayed in the cockpit.
Lee went to get fuel for the ship while Michelle and Kesa stocked up on medical supplies and some extra food. Chowski bought some new tools for around the ship and some other items for maintenance. After Chowski returned the items to the ship, he hit the closest bar to drink his troubles away.
In one of the small shopping vendors at the station, Lee found himself talking to a young man called Relic. He was the pilot of a Commercial Star Freighter carrying several tones of precious ore back to Earth. Lee told him about the events that occurred aboard the Crimson Sea.
"The lunatic killed three of your crew?" asked Relic curiously.
"Yeah. Pretty bloody stuff too," said Lee.
"You got the guy?" asked Relic.
"One of our guys killed him before he could finish him," explained Lee.
Relic nodded. "That's good. Space is becoming a harsh place. You ever hear about SPA?"
Lee frowned and tilted his head to the side in a confusing fashion. "SPA?"
"Space Pirate Alliance. They're basically a bunch of assholes that go around hi-jacking ships to add to their fleet. Was your boy Silas one of 'em?" asked Relic.
Lee thought for a moment. He didn't actually know anything about Silas, bar the fact he was male and wanted to get to Earth. Could he have been a member of SPA?
"How do you tell?" asked Lee curiously.
"Each member has the letters SPA, along with a skull, branded onto their chest or neck," explained Relic.
"Branded? As in melted into their flesh?" asked Lee, a disturbed expression across his pale face.
Relic nodded with response, not surprised at Lee's reaction.
Not too long afterwards, Michelle, Lee, Chowski and Kesa all met back at the ship, with supplies loaded and ready to go. Once everyone was aboard, Lee piloted the ship out of the station and continued towards Earth. Michelle returned to the Infirmary, where she said that Todori could finally leave and see the others. Chowski and Kesa went to the Chill Out room, while Lee set the Crimson Sea on autopilot.
Making his way down to the Infirmary, Lee entered and shut the door behind him.
"What's up, Lee?" asked Michelle politely, looking up from her inventory notes.
"I need to see Silas' body," said Lee firmly.
"Why?" asked Michelle curiously, wondering what Lee's intentions were.
"I just need to check on something, okay? Something that's been bugging me," said Lee.
Michelle sighed. "Okay."
Opening up the freezer slabs on the wall, Michelle revealed the cold, dead body of Silas. Lee carefully examined his chest and neck, but found no scarring of him ever being branded with the Band of the SPA.
"Thanks anyway," muttered Lee, turning and leaving before Michelle could say anything.
Lee returned the cockpit where Imag still sat silently. Todori on the other hand, returned to see Michelle. The large knife in his hand suggested that it was not a social visit.
"What's with the knife, Alex?" asked Michelle nervously.
Todori chuckled. "I think I'm just too good, ya know? I made everyone believe it was Silas. Everyone. Did you notice anything about my knife wound, Michelle?"
Michelle shook her head in response, getting another chuckle out of Todori.
"I'd have thought that a doctor could tell if something was self-inflicted…obviously not," laughed Todori. "Have you ever been stabbed, Michelle? I don't recommend it."
Michelle, with her hands behind her backs, clicked a button on her personnel tag, Todori not noticing.
In the cockpit, Lee and Imag sat silently. A quiet beeping alerted the pair, Lee looking down to his tag and seeing a small green light flashing. Something wanted to talk to him through the tags. He clicked a small button and a voice suddenly came on.
"It's a shame really. I always thought you were a very beautiful woman. I would never dream of killing you," said Todori's voice over the small tag.
Imag looked to Lee, Lee staring right back at his brother in horror. The pair leapt from their seats and ran as fast as they could to the Infirmary.
Todori approached Michelle, knife in hand, ready to stab…when Imag and Lee burst through the door, tackling Todori to the ground. Lee sat on top of Todori and punched him in the head, again and again and again! Todori's nose and mouth oozed blood from the brutal bashing, his head being jerked in every which way.
"You fucker! It was you! You killed them! Fuck you!" yelled Lee at the top of his lungs. And the bashings continued…
An hour later, everyone was gathered in the Chill Out room, Todori's arms and legs bound with rope. Imag watched him carefully as he stood to address the other crew.
"It saddens me to say that Silas was not the one responsible for the deaths of Cara, Tim and Han. It was Alex. He fooled us all. Why, Alex?" asked Imag.
Todori shrugged. "I want the ship. I need the ship. That's why."
"How'd you do it? How'd you do it without getting caught?" mumbled Lee.
"First you took out Cara," Kesa murmured.
"That's not true actually. First I took out Drake," corrected Todori with a sick smile.
"Drake was an accident," said Imag.
Todori rolled his eyes. "I'm an engineer for fuck's sake. You think I didn't know that the deck would regain some pressure before we finished. So I let Drake cut the damage off knowing full well what would happen."
"And Cara? How'd you do her?" asked Imag again.
"Cut her oxygen. It's easy to do with a decoy," explained Todori. "You were all watching Silas, not me."
"Dickhead," muttered Kesa quietly. "And Tim?"
"Blew him out an airlock, what's to explain? I then stabbed Silas when he saw me do that, then proceeded to stab myself to improve my story, which worked like a charm," Todori explained.
"So what do we do with him, Captain?" asked Kesa.
Imag put his head into his hands. "Put him in the brig for now. I'll decide soon enough."
Chowski and Kesa took Todori to the brig and locked him inside. Imag returned to the cockpit to think. Lee then knew what he had to do. He had to see whether Todori had the SPA brand.
Lee went down to the brig where Kesa and Chowski stood guard of Todori. Lee entered and stared at Todori.
"Take off your shirt, Alex," ordered Lee.
Chowski and Kesa both raised an eyebrow. Todori just smirked. "It's not really the time, Lee. I don't have my make-up on or anything."
"Shut the fuck up! Take your shirt off now, before I put a bullet in your head!" screamed Lee, snatching the sidearm from Kesa's belt, aiming it directly at Todori's head.
Todori put his arms slowly and stood up. "Calm down, man."
Todori took off his shirt and dropped it to the ground. Lee examined Todori's body closely, looking for the brand, but found none.
"Put your shirt back on," he muttered, turning and leaving the brig.
Todori looked confused at the two marines. "What was that about?"
"Haven't a clue," Kesa muttered.
"I think I know," replied Chowski, drawing his weapon and putting three into the back of Kesa.
Dropping to the ground, her back spurting blood, Kesa was dead before she hit the cold floor. Chowski holstered his weapon and unlocked the brig.
"What was Lee looking for?" asked Todori curiously, stepping out of the brig.
"This," said Chowski, pulling down his shirt collar to reveal the SPA brand.
"Fair enough," said Todori, picking up Kesa's gun and the pair exiting the brig.
"Sow what's the plan?" asked Todori.
Chowski thought for a moment. "Lee and Imag are in the cockpit, you go deal with them. I'll take out Michelle."
"Fuck you. You're the marine, you take out Imag and Lee, I'll take Michelle out," protested Todori.
"Ok," replied Chowski, moving off towards the cockpit.
Todori approached the Infirmary quietly, the gun in his hand. Michelle was inside, righting down some notes. Todori opened the door slowly and aimed right at Michelle's head. Michelle looked up and saw Todori. As soon as she saw him, she leapt from her seat and to the ground, moments before Todori pulled the trigger. Landing hard on the floor, Michelle stood up and reached for a scalpel that lay on the bench behind her. She gripped it tightly in her hands as Todori burst into the room. She lunged at him, tackling him to the floor, knocking the gun out of his hands, sending it across the room. Michelle sat on top of Todori, trying to force the scalpel into his neck, but Todori was stronger than her, and he easily yanked the weapon from her hands.
The pair rolled to the side, Todori now on top trying to kill Michelle with the scalpel. Michelle knew she wasn't strong enough to hold Todori off for too long. Thinking quickly, she head-butted Todori as hard as she could. Todori stumbled backwards and got to his feet. Michelle got up, and without even knowing it, flung the scalpel across the room at him. A stomach churning sound was heard as the blade of the scalpel landed in Todori's right eye. He screamed loudly in pain, ripping the scalpel, along with his eye, out of the socket.
With the scalpel, the bulging eye sliding off its edge, Todori rushed forward at Michelle.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Three bloody holes appeared in Todori's chest; Michelle holding the smoking gun from whence the bullets had come from. Blood oozed from the three wounds in his torso, dripping slowly to the floor. Todori was dumbfounded, as if he wasn't sure exactly what had happened. Feeling one of the wounds with his hand, Todori knew he was a dead man.
"Good shot," muttered Todori, his last words.
Silently entering the cockpit, Chowski approached Imag and Lee from behind, gun in hand, ready to fire. Lee's personnel tag beeped, Michelle trying to contact him. Before Lee could answer, Chowski shot him in the back. Lee fell forward to the ground, feeling something he'd never felt before, a strong stinging and burning sensation in his back from where he'd been shot. Just before Chowski could pull the trigger on Imag, did the Captain tackle him to the ground hard, Chowski losing his grip on the gun.
Chowski kicked Imag off him, getting to his feet and running from cockpit quickly, Imag close behind. Chowski ran into the airlock, and started putting on one of the two spacesuits inside of it. Imag arrived outside the airlock and went to the terminal to lock Chowski in. Just as he pressed the button to seal Chowski inside was he pulled to the ground by Chowski and dragged inside of the airlock, the door snapping shut behind them, sealing the pair in, ready to be ejected into space.
Chowski and Imag got to their feet. Chowski was halfway into a spacesuit, just the top and helmet to be put on. Chowski reached deep into his pocket and pulled out a small pocketknife, flipping it open. The pair charged towards each other, knocking into each other, sending the wind out of their lungs. Chowski spun and faced Imag, slashing the knife across his right arm, cutting it deeply.
"ARRGH!" grunted Imag, clutching the bleeding wound on his arm.
Chowski came at him again, cutting him down the other arm and then again on the chest. Imag bled and began to lose strength every second.
Michelle appeared at the window of the airlock, peering through and seeing the pair engaging each other in combat.
"Captain!" she screamed, pressing the buttons to open the door, but they wouldn't open, Chowski had set it on lock.
Summing up all of his strength, Imag kicked Chowski off him, sending him hurtling into the far wall.
"Blow the hatch, Michelle! Blow it!" screamed Imag, bleeding on the floor of the airlock.
Chowski got up once again and came at Imag, ready to deliver the killing blow.
Michelle didn't hesitate. She slammed her hand hard against the big button, blowing the outer hatch of the airlock door. Chowski was immediately sucked out the small opening, screaming a scream that no one would ever hear. The bleeding Imag was silent as his body was also sucked out the hatch and tossed to the far reaches of space.
Michelle looked around the ship, finding Lee, still alive, in the cockpit. She took him down to the infirmary and patched him up. Lee, lying on the table, nearly asleep, looked up at Michelle.
"Now what?" he asked weakly.

Michelle smiled. "Now we go home."





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