“I’ve got eyes on her Captain. Dead ahead,” Ensign Mathews shouted.
“Maintain course. Bring her down to a crawl, Martinez. I want to keep our distance. Still no response on any channels, she should be treated as hostile.”
“Rodger that, Captain. Reducing speed.” The ships engines slowed to a quiet hum. The fog sat heavy on the dark water, as though it was polishing it to a perfect glass shine. Captain Harris and Lieutenant Mitchel stepped up to the glass, both looking through their binoculars.
“Lieutenant, what the hell am I looking at?”
“I think it’s a Bremen class frigate. German, Sir.”
“German? I’ve never seen a German boat that looks like that …”
“That’s because they were decommissioned in 2018. They sold them off to private research firms shortly after. I actually got to see one of these things up close at the navel museum in Fresno, California. Before California was under water of course. Only two in existence. The other, we were told, was lost at sea.”
The Captain lowered his binoculars and looked at Lt. Mitchel. When the Lieutenant didn’t return the look, he raised them again. “Well, looks like she’s just been found, Lieutenant.”
“I don’t see how that’s possible, Captain. She’s been missing for over a hundred years. Where the hell has it been. Those ships were mostly steel, unmaintained, in the water that long? The sea should have corroded and claimed her a long time ago.” A silence fell over the bridge. Everyone stared at the ship in front of them. The Captain dropped his binoculars to again look at Lt. Mitchel. The uneasy feeling amongst the crew could almost be heard through the thick silence.
“Captain, I’m reading negative on all scans. Infrared, X-ray and Gamma are turning out no signs of life aboard that ship, Sir,” Petty Officer Jackson called out. He shifted his weight in his chair and put his headphones on. “She’s a ghost, Sir.”
The Captain returned to his chair. The fog had grown so thick, it had rendered visibility to near zero … except for the path between them and the vessel adrift. As though it wanted to be seen. The Lieutenant remained fixated on the ship.
“That thing has no signs of its age at all. The paint is barely faded. But my god, she looks like she’s been to hell and back. Jackson, what caused all that damage on port side?”
“Just triple checked my data, Sir. As near as I can tell, it seems to have been caused by non-incendiary projectiles. The closed match I could find would be … canon balls. Big ones, Sir.”
“Jackson! Are you trying to tell me that canon balls did that? Canon balls were fired at that ship?!” The Lieutenant walk over to him and starts looking over the readings. As his eyes darted this way and that across the screens, his expression slowly drew blank. He pulled his toothpick from his chest pocket and placed it between his teeth. The same way he always did when things got tense. Usually moments before all out battle. “What in the hell is going on here. Where has that ship been for so many years.”
“I want answers!” The Captain roared, slamming his fist on the sidearm of his chair. The entire crew on the bridge jumped, as those the snapping of fingers just brought them out of hypnosis. “Lieutenant, I want two teams on that ship and a third in the Viper for artillery support and quick extraction if needed! Kandinsky!”
“Ready Archimedes! I want him locked on and at the ready for full de-atomization if that ship so much as winks at me.”
“Aye, Captain.” The entire bridge sprang to action. Comms lit up as orders were sent out throughout the MM Majestique. The crew was a hand picked accumulation of the finest soldiers left on the planet. With lethal efficiency, the away teams were in the water and Viper was airborne.
“Captain! I’ve got audio coming from the ghost!” Jackson jumped to his feet, pulling the headset off.
“On speaker.” The Captain pointed to Jackson, never taking his eyes off the vessel. Over the loud speaker came a staticky, clicking sound. The bridge fell silent again, all ears on the repetitious sound.
“Morris Code.” The lieutenant said, starring at the ship. “Save our souls.”
The Captain activated his comm. “Away teams, hold your position! I repeat, do not approach that ship!”
“Captain, I’m getting some strange readings here.” Just as Jackson shouted, the sea opened up and claimed the ghost ship. Like suspended cables realising all at once, the ship free fell into the deep, dark waters below it.. Not so much as a ripple remained.
The Lieutenant slowly drew his binoculars to to his eyes, his expression completely lost. “What in the hell was that?”
To be continued. I think. It kind of ties into my last post and I’m sort of thinking I might try to flesh it out more.
© 2016 – 2017, Travis Baribeau. All rights reserved.
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