The wheelhouse was empty the radio was putting out a light static hiss on all channels. There was a bunch of alarm lights at the captains wheel. Notch flipped some switchs to shut down a bunch of ships systems that showed red.
He looked out the windows of the wheelhouse and saw a solid wall in all directions.
‘I’m in a werehouse or something.’ he thought.
The stubby alien made his escape from the hold. It was no great feat since there was a ladder but it hit the deck running like a windmill spinning with its head turned up at a crazy angle allowing its shifty eye things to look straight back.That was too bad cause it hit the rail on the stern and flipped end over end out of sight.
Stubby was tougher then he looked because he popped into view again moving in that weird almost slo-mo like style.
Where is that stubby basterd going? he asked himself. He watched ‘stubby’ scramble up a ladder to some kind of door grab the handle and… nothing it was locked appearently.
Stubby squealed in distress and leaped for the floor and ran to the next door it too was locked, they all were. Cause stubby tryed each one twice before he tryed to scramble up a wall to reach a small hatch beyond his reach. Three trys later stubby gave up and flopped with its back to a wall as far from the ship as he could get.
Notch was sitting in the captains chair in the wheelhouse by this time with a camel from the captains pack in his fingers. He took a deep drag and inhaled as he reached up and grabbed a string that controlled the horn they used in port for safety, it was powered by a massive air tank and controlled by a manual valve.
He exhaled as he pulled on the string.
The enclosed space and cold air made the port horn way louder than notch remembered. And It had a profound affect on stubby. Stubby leaped up and ran three ways at once, got nowhere, then turned and leaped for the hatch he could not reach before as if the hounds of hades themselves snapped at his heels. And with no regard at all for blue gunk “blood?” coming out of its “hands?” The strange being flailed its limbs against the wall begging for traction. He finally caught ahold of the lip somehow. No matter notch was feeling mean so as soon stubby got a good hold on the handle…
Down he went again but this time stubby had managed to rip the small doorway from the wall, jam and all. He laid below the hole, hatch on the ground next to him.
“Must be made in china.” thought notch.
Notch got up and seached the “lady in chains” stem to stern at this point.
This is what he found.
The cod in the hold was still in good shape.
The crab were all dead. The hold was full of toothpicks and hockey pucks.
The temp outside read ten below.
But when he pushed the memory button it showed numbers that defied belief.
All the pilot lights were out.
The fuel in the main tanks was almost gooey and appeared to be a bit colder than minus ten.
The fuel in the four hundred gallon daytank was still warm as it had heaters.
The ten foot cargo box that held the hunting equipment was securely chained to the deck and locked tight as it should be while at sea.
The paint on all exterior surfaces showed weird hairline cracks in close formation the few loose items that should have been around were gone or found in some of the damnedest places.
The lady was lying twenty degrees to port and a few degrees down on the nose in what smelled like and looked like a layer of ancient semi-frozen debris and trash and gray mud.
There was over a hundred grand in radios scanners g.p.s. ect. onboard.
They only picked up each other.
All safety equipment was onboard and properly stowed.
The epirb’s were all there.
Bob was still a goner.
Notch moved Bob’s frozen body to the stern lazaret where they stored the salt.
Stubby was showing signs of life again and was trying to get up on its floppy looking feet.
It was some what apparently stubby wasn’t doing too well.
Notch noticed that the big door, the only one big enough for the “lady” was almost directly off the starboard beam.
Hmmm…he went below and got a few things out of stores.
Big can of krazy Gorilla glue.
Some spare slightly bent metal tie down tabs for restraining crab pots.
And a couple shots of line.
Notch tied a cargo net to the gunnel to use as a ladder and climbed down and put feet on the frozen gunk below. Stubby froze like a deer in the head lights and when notch walked toward the door stubby stayed frozen.
He glued the tabs on the big door frame around the huge hatch. Then strung some line to the eyes on the tabs then tied the lines together then tied it to a shot of groundline and dropped the end into the crab block.
He went below and turned on the preheaters that warmed the number two backup generator crankcase and block. The engine started to heat as he checked the fuel and oil.
The caterpillar engine was well maintained so it started up on its own when it reached the preset temp. When notch heard the diesel start he was ready with a cup’o noodles at the microwave. He tossed it in the door and twisted the knob and then strolled out the galley hatch with the sound of coffee perking in his ears.
He turned on the hydro-pumps with a practiced stab of a thumb then walked to the roller man position, paused for a second, and then turned the little arm that was the control for the crab block, a device designed to lift thousand pound crab pots off the bottom of the bering sea full of crab and suck them through the water while the ship cruises along at ten knots. The big hatch appeared to be set in a hole a sealed with semi-soft putty.
The line drew tight and came under load. With a creak an pop the tension built. Notch ducked down below the rail so a snapped line wouldn’t chop him in half.
Notch looked on many things he had no names for. Most of them in the form of beings most of which were moving away from notch’s new window. Many different beings of many types all moving in a strange slo-mo style. Some moved faster than others but none of them moved fast. But he could tell, that they were trying like there lives were on the line.
Notch stared mouth open eyes wide. The aliens came in many shapes and sizes and colors three were very large and had no place to hide so they milled around by a large building. The building had six floors with a makeshift awning to shelter the large behemoths with four legs and two arms that lumbered over to the shelter to hide from the sudden rain. They moved so slowly it took almost half an hour for all this to happen.
Notch stood and stared open mouthed threw it all not moving a bit just staring in dumb wonder.