Thoughtful - Chapter 3

Waking up

  Photography by Elena Kalis

Photography by Elena Kalis

‘Ok gently now, she’s just gone under again, Marksman do you think we can catch her in lock-out chamber two?’

‘That should work well Commander, will you go pick her up yourself?’

‘Naturally, but I need you to get her in here first,’ Lady smiled as she watched Marksman deploy the large catch-clamp. On the screen it snaked out into the dark water and wrapped itself around the girl’s waist. She immediately began to struggle a look of pure fear appearing on her face in the light from the sub.

‘She’s not doin’ to well, I’ve just clamped her, but she’s panicked, she’s breathing in the stuff!’ Marksman announced in alarm.

‘Damn it, yep I see it, OK I better head down there now, tell Charlie we’ve got a drowner, and to meet me on 2 with a tank and a stretcher.’

‘Of course, good luck,’ he smiled.

‘Won’t need it! I’ve got you guys,’ Lady yelled back as she ran from the control room and down the corridor, towards lock-out chamber 2.

Arriving at a large metal door, which had the traditional oval shape associated with submarines, Lady pressed a panel on the wall next to it, and stared intently at the screen for a few moments. She could see the girl lying on the floor inside, soaking wet and unmoving. The lock-out chamber was a small, round room, similar to an air-lock, but instead of entering or leaving the submarine through a kind of pool in the floor as you did on the older-style submersibles, a sliding metal door slid aside and then you simply entered or left by walking through a wall of water into the ocean, river or lake beyond. It all depended on where you were. A thin membrane-like force field kept the water at bay, allowing heavier objects to move through it with ease and with minimum breach. The room itself was composed of enamelled steel in a cool blue.

Closing the outer door, Lady cranked a large brass handle on the door and pulled it open just as Charlie joined her, a small stretcher floating behind him.

‘You ready?’ asked Lady as she stepped into the room.

‘I have everything I need,’ replied Charlie grimly, turning to pick up a large medical bag sitting atop the stretcher.

‘How long do we have?’

‘A few minutes, but I’ve asked Sagan to move us away from here and find some cover. The others are closing in and we don’t need any more trouble on top of this,’ he explained with a sweeping gesture towards the un-breathing girl.

‘Good idea,’ said Lady bending to take the girl’s pulse.

‘Anything?’ asked Charlie, concern crossing his face.

‘Nup, she’ll need the works.’

‘Ok I’m on it,’ he said depending down and setting up his equipment, ‘I don’t know why Sagan didn’t just use his new toy to transfer her to the ship.’

‘Sub,’ Lady corrected him absently, before explaining, ‘he said he isn’t ready to try it on flesh yet… only inanimate objects. Could you imagine how bad we’d all feel if we’d taken a chance and tested it on her only to turn her inside out and upside down?’

‘Perhaps, but …’ Charlie stopped mid-sentence as he fixed a mask over the girl’s face and started a machine to feed oxygen into her lungs. The girl’s chest began to rise and fall with movement of the machines respirator. Next he grabbed what looked like a small, silver ray gun from the 1950s, and placed the pointy end of it against her chest

‘You might want to stand back, she’ll conduct this like a lightning rod!’ Charlie warned.

‘What about you?’

‘Rubber soled shoes, plus I think I’m immune to this now, I’ve done it so many times,’ he explained, as Lady stepped back and away from the water that had pooled around the girl.

As Charlie pulled the trigger, electricity surged out through the metal spike at the end of the contraption and flowed through the girl’s body. Her back arched alarmingly as the energy did its work. Charlie yelped suddenly and jumped up and back, apparently not as immune to the shock as he proclaimed to be. Almost immediately the girl sat up, coughing up a large amount of water and then drawing in a huge breath. Wild eyed, she looked around her. Her brain, obviously not liking what it saw, decided to instantly turn the lights out. She dropped back into unconsciousness, but according to Charlie, her vital signs were strong.

‘Let’s move her to the medical bay, we’ll need to monitor her for a few days to make sure she doesn’t get an infection from all that putrid water,’ suggested Lady.

‘Agreed, leave it with me,’ answered Charlie as together they bent down to lift her on to the stretcher.